Vultures Row: Loss of Liberties

Loss of Liberties

This is the kind of thing that the left here accuse President Bush of doing. I hear all sorts of claims from voter fraud to war for oil, to taking rights away, but yet I keep hearing it. If bush is taking the rights of moon-bats American's away how come I keep hearing people regurgitating all these Cliff Claven approved conspiracy theories?

Freedom of communications in this country have never been under any serious threat, at least until the Campaign Finance Reform came to be. I do say to any one crying about how many rights we have lost please read the article below.

Tue Jun 21, 8:49 AM ET
Iran sees red over election text messaging craze
TEHRAN (AFP) - The use of text messaging by Iranians to send often highly acerbic comments on their presidential election choice has worried the authorities, who are threatening to prosecute mobile-addicts who insult the candidates.

The use of election text messaging had already become something of a craze in Tehran ahead of the first round of the vote, where young phone users sent messages languidly reflecting their cynicism with the whole process.

But since ultra-conservative Tehran mayor Mahmood Ahmadinejad made it into the second round against cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the messages have taken on a more bitter and savage edge.

Ahmadinejad has found himself the butt of a series of less than flattering jokes and allegations as his foes try to bring out a mass vote to support Rafsanjani in Friday's second round.

One message going round speaks of an "apocalypse" if Ahmadinejad wins, while another alleges that he will force men and women to work on different days if he wins: "Men on even days, women on odd days".

Ahmadinejad's team vehemently deny such allegations and the presidential hopeful has already attacked the use of text messages against him.

"I have the address and phone numbers of those who have slandered me (in the text messages). The head of this network lives abroad," he told Iranian newspapers.

Iran's ultra-conservative judiciary has now threatened to prosecute people who send text messages with the aim of "denigrating" candidates.

"Unfortunately, the messages are circulating to tarnish the candidates in the presidential election, which is illegal and constitutes an attempt to disrupt public order," it said.

State television on Tuesday was regularly broadcasting a statement telling viewers that to send messages promoting the cause of a certain candidate was an offence.

There has even been "pressure to cut off" the entire SMS service, the official IRNA news agency cited a source within the state telecoms company as saying.

Some users in Tehran found they were unable to send messages on Tuesday morning.

While there are only six million mobile phones in Iran for a population of around 67 million people, text messaging can still have an influence on the campaign.

Using text messaging "could have an effect on turnout in the vote, even if it is difficult to measure," said new media expert Zhayla Bani Yaghoub.

"Text messaging is easy, it can touch people without complicated technology. As there is no real freedom of the press, people use other means of information, like the messages, which go right to the heart of it," she said.

I have never had my cell service cut off for transmitting messages, I have been free to call up talk radio and gripe about both conservatives and liberals, I have been able to publish my thought to the internet as I wish (within blogger's limits and up time of course) and I have never had anyone deny me the right to send a letter to the editor nor to my elected officials.

Crying about imagined liberties being taken away is one thing but having it done, like in Iran, is really another.


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