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View Diary: UMass Mao library book story is a hoax (140 comments)

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  •  It sucks that I was so willing to believe (none)
    this ass.
    •  I know what you mean (4.00)
      I posted the original story on the front page, all full of outrage.  Bleah.

      I'm going to put an update on my post that the whole story is bullshit.


      No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.

      by Page van der Linden on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 12:29:44 AM PST

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    •  Have to chalk it up (4.00)
      as a learning experience.  The story had me wondering and I need to pay more attention to my Fraud-Dar.  I went straight to Amazon to see how hard it should be to get a copy of the book (I'm always looking for demand trends as a used bookseller!)  The prices and number of reprints tell me that there are plenty of copies around for the few readers who are still interested...but it's not the latest Must-Read.  And yes, university libraries keep them on the shelf, still.

      Wierd story, really bad timing.  Kid probably has no idea of the damage done.

      It never hurts to ask the ALA (American Library Association) or the ACLU if they are on top of a story like this.   If it were true they would be in high gear rather quickly.    

      "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonest war." - Mark Twain

      by skwimmer on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 04:43:37 AM PST

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    •  reflection of the times (4.00)
      That we were willing/able to believe the story is an indication of the times.  Pre-PATRIOT we would have dismissed the story out of hand, but in today's world we are well aware that the US government is nosing into library records, airline employees are telling people they can't read government documents on airplanes, the government tried (is trying) to get utility employees to snoop on their customers, etc.  

      The fact that we did not immediately call BS on the story is not a reflection on us, but on the climate of fear that the government has been building.

      "Mission Accomplished" -- George W. Bush May 2, 2003

      by gaijin99 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 05:39:33 AM PST

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      •  Or maybe... (2.66)
        ... government surveillance isn't really all that much worse than in prior administrations, but as you are so eager to believe that it is, you seek out and embrace every story that supports your view, whether true or not.  Your eagerness to believe this story should probably give you caution as to what else you unquestioningly believe.
        •  Can you give me some... (none)
          evidence to believe such is the case? i.e. "...isn't really that much worse than prior administrations,..."
        •  government spying (none)
          While the possibility you rise cannot be instantly dismissed, it can be dismissed after a bit of rational thought.

          Despite the desire of those on the right to pretend that we on the left have a horrible and unprescidented hatred of George W. Bush, the reality is that the attitude of liberals towards Bush is quite warm and fuzzy compared to the attitude held by conservatives towards Clinton.  Therefore I think it is safe to assume that since conservatives did not make claims during the Clinton administration that he was authorizing violations of the Fourth Amendment that Clinton was not, actually, spying on American citizens contrary to the laws of this nation.

          Certainly all governments spy on their people, the questions are frequency and legality.  In the USA we require that the government obtain warrants when it wants to spy so that a paper trail exists and if the spies spied on the wrong person, or spied for frivilous or political reaons, we can identify and punish them.  The real issue here is not that Bush authorized spying on American citizens, it is that he broke the law by ignoring the requirement for warrants and removed accountability from the process.

          Since conservatives accused Clinton of everything from murder to serial rape to cocaine abuse, the absence of any conservative claim that Clinton violated the 4th Amendment would indicate that your suspicion that the current uproar over Bush's violation of the 4th Amendment is purely political is not true.

          As for myself, I do not believe anything either questioningly or unquestioningly, I simply accept what the facts lead me to think is true.  Belief is, from my POV, a failure of reasoning.  Available evidence indicates that President Bush is willing to use the War on Terror as an excuse to violate the civil liberties of Americans.  This incident is merely one in a long series of related incidents.  I do not believe this to be true, the evidence indicates that it is true so I accept it as true.  Belief, faith, and the like do not enter the picture.

          "Mission Accomplished" -- George W. Bush May 2, 2003

          by gaijin99 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 10:00:43 AM PST

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        •  I agree that we need to be diligent about what is (none)
          posted. Never the less, I too had a terrible sinking feeling in my gut when I heard the original story. I was writing a letter to the editor and was told by a friend I might want to use the story in my letter. Because I couldn't find any other verification other than the blogs, I didn't insert it. Still it is believable that the current administration would do something like this. I challenge you to prove your conjecture that other administrations have done the same type of spying on American citizens as the Bush administration. Even if you can, that doesn't make it right. Remember when your mother use to ask you if your friend ran off a cliff, would you do the same thing?
        •  They have claimed the power to do it (none)
          The issue is that this administration has either asked for and got (via the USAPATRIOT act), or just illegally asserted (Bush's secret spying orders) the power to perform all kinds of surveillance on citizens.

          And it's not just surveillance: The administration also claims the power to torture, intern without charge, and even summarily strip any person (citizen or not) of all constitutional rights by designating them as an "enemy combatant".

          We don't know whether and how much that power is actually being used or abused, and thanks to the dismantling of due process, we can't find out.

    •  No, what sucks is (4.00)
      how the Bush administration has a history of doing things that would make us all think this story is plausible. Yeah, the kid lied, and it sucks that we were taken in by it, but no one ever would have believed it if we hadn't seen what we've seen from Bush and his Constitution-shredding cronies for the past 5 years.

      "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" --Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hear that, George??)

      by still small voice on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 06:00:26 AM PST

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    •  I went to UMassD.... (none)
      ....so I'm sad this story paints the school in a somewhat embarassing light.  But maybe there is something in the water up there, because we had another lying scandal a couple years ago.

      I don't recall the exact details, but it went something like this: A girl claimed she had been assaulted on campus by a mysterious man.  A couple days later, another girl claimed to have been assaulted.  Turns out the two girls were friends.  Hmmm, interesting coincidence, but not unheard of.  Well, another couple days pass, and the original girl claims to have been assaulted again.

      Now, up until this point, everyone on campus has been freaking out.  But once the original girl made her second claim, the story started to fall apart.  Turns out it was all a hoax.  Again, my details may be off, but that's about the gist of it.

    •  The worst part is... (none)
      ...that a hoax like this makes people less likely to believe when Homeland Security really does confront someone for checking out a book. I don't know that it's actually happened yet, but it wouldn't surprise me -- and now I'll be less likely to believe a true account of such an incident.

      Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978. -7.63, -5.64

      by wiscmass on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 07:38:44 AM PST

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