Category Archives: programming

Freedom to criticize and quantify

How do people respond when a U.S. general presents testimony to congress that contains slides that are difficult to interpret? Well, some people respond constructively and make a project out of it. Others respond in ways that will probably be much less useful when it comes to interpreting future testimonies, such as controversial full page ads in newspapers. As far as I can tell, congress has yet to acknowledge the useful responses to General Patraeus’ presentation. They could use a bit of quantification I think. Unfortunately, they have acknowledged quite vehemently the ad taken out by MoveOn.org in the New York Times on September 10th. Now, I don’t know that much about the situation and I am not an active supporter of MoveOn. But, what the hell is the house doing wasting time passing a resolution in response to a newspaper advertisement? In my vision of how the U.S. government should work, congress would make laws not official declarations of their opinion of certain organizations. So what if an organization wants to spend its money expressing its opinions through advertisements? As long as such advertisements do not contain any false statements, I don’t see any problem with it. Shouldn’t freedom of speech include freedom from intimidation by the government to not express oneself in a particular way?

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