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  • On a positive note, there were four graduates who stood and turned their backs during Bush's speech, despite the threat of arrest and the denial of a diploma. About ten other people in the stadium did the same. Fortunately, most of them were treated respectfully

    I support everyone's right to express their disapproval of the president, but I find it odd that these people expect to be respected when they show no respect. State your opinion in whatever nonviolent means you deem necessary, by all means, bu

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • What constitutes "respect" is highly context dependent. Considering what loud and disruptive things people could have done, silently turning your back is not terribly disrespectful. Far less disrespectful, at least, than demanding they cheer for a president they don't like, and threating expulsion and arrest for disobedience.

      State your opinion in whatever nonviolent means you deem necessary, by all means, but don't demand that I agree with, respect, or even listen to it.

      How ironic. That is precisely

      • Let's talk about "violence" and "demanding respect".

        Your implication was clearly that the protesters were "demanding respect", when, in fact, it was merely noted that they were treated respectfully. I don't recall any mention anywhere that they demanded, and were subsequently accorded or denied, respect.

        As for violence, what could be more disturbing than the gross violence which was done to our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties on this occasion, and indeed is the norm in American universities?
        • What is interesting to note is that the people who wanted to turn their backs chose this quote from Bush to put at the top of their site [], as if it has special significance to their "plight":

          A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it.

          As best I can tell, they think this quote shows Bush to favor dictatorships or fascism. That the think this is evidence they don't really understand very much. The quote is merely a truism. No one who has tried to lead would think Democra
          • I think anyone who dislikes the President so much that he would turn his back is either a disrespectful person in general,

            I don't. Using myself as an example, I'm not "disrespectful in general" by any stretch of the imagination, and yet, I could see myself turning my back. Being talked at by the President is very unusual occurrence (for most of us proles, anyway); what we'd do in a crowd, in a politically charged atmosphere, can be very different from what we might be "in general".

            ...or lacking principle that he should even attend the ceremony.

            I wondered about that too. As if people had to attend the stupid commencement ceremony! It's just a big silly show anyway.

            Trying to think like a secret service agent, I can see why there are good security reasons to not want people to stand with their backs to the President,

            How absurd. Besides, like you said, this was the university and the local police, not secret service. It had nothing to do with the President himself.

            these people come off as immature and ignorant malcontents,

            Yes, in general, that is how protesters and dissidents will appear to their political adversaries. It is exactly how Americans were characterized by the British about 225 years ago.