Monday, June 18, 2007

There ought to be limits to freedom

"There ought to be limits to freedom"-George W. Bush

I had always figured that President Bush was using 9-11 to take away our personal freedoms, though I never thought that he would admit that our freedoms should be limited. But while facing "identity correction" by The Yes Men during his campaign on the website Bush said that the website goes beyond humour and "There ought to be limits to freedom..." and that the site's creator is a "a garbage man". I was surprised that there was no outrage from sanitation workers, until I couldn't find a sanitation workers union or trade organization online.

Below is Excerpts for and Associated Press article about the incident. The full article can be read here.

Gov. George W. Bush on Friday sharply criticized a parody of his presidential campaign's Internet web site, calling it ``garbage.''

The site,, is nearly a dead-ringer in style and appearance for the site operated by the Bush presidential exploratory committee and includes the real Bush campaign phone numbers.

However, its ``news'' items about the Republican governor are anything but authorized.

One item, for example, says Bush has ``a bold new policy initiative to free all `grown ups' from federal prisons.''

Bush's committee has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in Washington over the site, said spokeswoman Mindy Tucker.

``There ought to be limits to freedom,'' Bush said. ``We're aware of the site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that's all he is. Of course I don't appreciate it. And you wouldn't, either.''

The Yes Men
are a group of activists who practice what they call "identity correction". They pretend to be powerful people and spokespersons for prominent organizations, accepting invitations received on their websites to appear at symposiums and TV shows. They use their new found authority to express the idea that corporations and governmental organizations often act in dehumanizing ways toward the public.

Their method is often satire: posing as corporate or government spokespeople, they might make shocking denigrating comments about workers and consumers, then point out what appears to be a lack of shock or anger in the response to their prank, with no one realizing the reactionary rhetoric was only a joke. Sometimes, the Yes Men's phony spokesperson makes announcements that represent dream scenarios for the anti-globalization movement or opponents of corporate crime. The result is false news reports of the demise of the WTO, or Dow paying for a Union Carbide cleanup.

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