Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
United States Software Linux

LUG Pres Resigns Over Military Linux Use 1361

Joe Barr writes "NewsForge is carrying the news that the founder and president of Linux Users Los Angeles (LULA) has resigned because of his opposition to the war in Iraq and the U.S. Armed Forces' use of Linux."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

LUG Pres Resigns Over Military Linux Use

Comments Filter:
  • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) * <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:52AM (#8927229) Journal
    Blaming the tool again...

    This person appears to have the thinking skills of a duck. He stops supporting Linux because the Military in using it,
    but he still uses the internet which the military helped fund and currently uses.

    Is he serious about his outrage or is he just being selective in his outrage and trying to play his leaving the LUG
    into an opportunity to get a better job with one of the LA antiwar groups?

    As a final note, having Iraq be free is important to our National Defence because, regardless of what those in DC say,
    part of the war in Iraq is securing access to vital resources for the American Economy. In other words oil.
    • by kerry-buckley ( 647774 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:58AM (#8927277)
      Blaming the tool again...
      That's no way to speak about your president.
      • by CATINTHEHAT ( 83021 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @04:18PM (#8932941) Homepage
        First read my whole statement [] not excerpts. Then respond. NewsForge and Slashdot could have provided a link to the source but it seems in this case they elected not to give you full access.
    • by Psiren ( 6145 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:58AM (#8927280)
      Exactly. If you release free (and specifcally GPL) software, it's free for all. That's one of the underlying concepts of the GPL after all. The upshot of this is that it will be used by both good and bad people. How many spammers are running Linux on their spamming boxes? What are we supposed to do about it anyway? Put a clause in the license to say only good people can use it? Who defines good? Honestly, this guy is just using his position to have a whine. I'm not saying he hasn't good reason to complain, but I don't see what Linux has to do with it.
      • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:47AM (#8927627) Homepage
        What are we supposed to do about it anyway? Put a clause in the license to say only good people can use it?

        Actually (as you pointed out,) one of the core concepts of the GPL is that you can't enforce such restrictions and have a GPL compatible license. By definition, how can you restrict something which is supposed to be free, as in freedom?

        The major problem with things like this is the fact that the belief held by the majority/ones in power isn't always the right one. Usually there is no black and white right or wrong. In fact, enforcing your beliefs upon others is (in my opinion) often, but not always, worse than a live and let live style attitude towards stuff you don't understand.

        PS. I'm totally not supportive of the war in Iraq, but you can't have your cake and eat it too, now can you?
        • by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:35AM (#8928048)
          History is littered with scientists aghast over how there inventions were used to destroy others. Nobel's dynamite is one example. One of the early airplane evangelists hanged himself after seeing the destruction it caused in war.

          What is the answer? There is no answer. Anything can be used as a weapon. That paperweight on your desk: weapon. That water cooler in your office: did you see that commercial where it was a fighting robot?

          People should be concerned with why their inventions are being commissioned, especially if they're being hired to design/implement weapons. But they should be far less concerned if they develop something with a significant peaceful use that also gets used by the military. Their word processors, their long underwear and even their music players will end up being used by soldiers at some point.

          One more example that is near and dear to lots of us is file sharing. Should the inventors of file sharing be held responsible for its unlawful use? The answer to me is clearly they should not. Gnutella in particular was invented for lawful uses. If we don't thing these people should be responsible for the misuse of their product, why would we think free software makers should feel responsible if their software is misused by the military?

      • by tiger99 ( 725715 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:08AM (#8927803)
        That is the paradox of free software. It can be used in applications which the vast majority, who value freedom, would rather did not exist. But, if you attempt to re-write the GPL to limit use for obnoxious purposes, who would decide what is allowable or not? RMS? Eben Moglen? Linus? Even your non-elected imbecilic non-president? The first three have valid points of view, but they would all be wrong, as far as some section of the community was concerned. RMS would refuse to decide as it would reduce freedom. Eben would do whatever honest lawyers do, which likely would be to ensure that his clients, including the FSF, were not damaged, and no laws were broken, probably angering all dishonest lawyers in the process. Linus would want to have fun, and not limit other people's right to have fun. Dubya would not understand the issue, and would seek advice from a person that he wrongly imagines is an expert, but is certainly an expert in one field, that of creating Criminal Monopolies..... It would be even worse under repressive regimes as in China, suppression of democratic political ideas would have to be compiled into the kernel. Then there is the Iranian perspective, or the women's libbers, or......

        I think this guy should not have resigned, he should instead have continued to advocate responsible uses, and ignored the bad uses. remember that all sorts of obnoxious people drive cars, eat food, watch TV..... You can't abstain from something just because some, in your opinion, bad guys also use it. If your abstention might force a change for the better, it might be different, and I would certainly advocate not using SCOundrel Unix right now, but that is a specific commercial product, not a free concept.

        I also wonder why the military do not use BSD, or maybe some far-sighted person saw that it might allow a defence contractor to create a monopoly by keeping derived code to themselves? There could have been a contractual means of preventing that happening.

        I would actually prefer BSD for this sort of thing (I am about to return to the defence industry, designing safety systems, not weapons) because the development model is more suitable (fewer releases, more closely controlled). Linux is great if you want, or need, to be at the leading edge, more often in military or industrial use a well-established version is more appropriate. My preference for this would have been OpenBSD, or NetBSD for embedded things, although I prefer Linux for general use.

    • by Liselle ( 684663 ) * <> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:03AM (#8927317) Journal
      He's not even leaving the damn group, he's just stepping down from a leadership position.
      I feel that Lula no longer reflects the vision I have had for it and has in fact belittled itself as an organization for change and progress. I cannot attend Tuesday night's meeting, in fact I would be ashamed to in view of what our country is doing in Iraq ...
      That beeping noise is either my attention whore alarm, bullshit radar, or both at once.
      • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:29AM (#8927992) Homepage Journal

        That quote reads more like he butted heads with other administrators/board members and decided to make his outrage as public as possible, without providing details.

        "change and progress?"

        " is doing in Iraq..."???

        It's a [i]Linux User's Group[/i], bozo, not a political activist's group out to change American military policy. Get a grip!

        • by Doomdark ( 136619 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:09AM (#8928411) Homepage Journal
          It's a [i]Linux User's Group[/i], bozo, not a political activist's group out to change American military policy.

          That is true, and maybe his reaction/handling/publicizing of events should be criticized. But politics are not (and should not!) be monopoly of political parties/organizations, handled in parlaments, by politicians. And I'm not talking about corporate politics, but various grassroots efforts; media coverage (indirectly or directly affecting politics); individuals standing up to their principles in political issues. Thus, I would claim that while it's definitely not main agenda for LUGs, you can argue that it's not completely out of question members, or even groups themselves, could and should participate in politics, in appropriate ways. Say, demonstrating against DMCA, petitioning 'your' candiate to get it changed or something else that really does relate to core interests of LUGs.

          It all depends on what really happened. If LUG offered help for army, and person who stepped down strongly objects army's war on Iraq, are you claiming he should just suck it up? What if it was RIAA that asked help in creating spyware? It'd still be wrong to get politically motivated and make a stink about it?

          Main problem I usually see, WRT to voicing one's opinion, in context of groups, is that it's usually impossible to get consensus on what is their common opinion. In this case I'd guess most members (admins, whatever) weren't agreeing with the guy, and that being part of the reason he stepped down. And in those cases, it'd be wrong to imply LUG (for example) is, say, against war in Iraq; or even implying it should necessarily be.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:06AM (#8927332)
      Wow... it blows my mind how brain-dead some people can be....

      I strongly sugges he also not only resigns as LUG president but stop's driving FORD,GM and Chrysler vehicles as they all make military components.. Oh wait! Toyota,Mazda,BMW,Mercedes,Porche,and Volvo ALSO make military components!

      also he needs to never eat any HERSHEY products as they supply food to the troops over in IRAQ.

      The fact this got news is depressing... a moron does something stupid for a stupid reason and it becomes newsworthy??

      • by cozziewozzie ( 344246 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:35AM (#8928050)
        You've just pinpointed why no boycott nowadays can be effective. The megacorps today are way too large and way too interconnected for anyone to keep track of it all. I laugh at people who boycott RIAA and then go and buy a Sony walkman or sign up for AOL.

        At my campus in the UK there was a campus-wide boycott of Nestle products, because Nestle was involved in a milk powder controversy in Africa, which resulted in death of thousands. So you couldn't buy Nestle chocolate anywhere on campus. But you could buy Walls ice-cream (made by the same company). Similarly, there was a protest because the University owned stock in GEC/Marconi, who produce weapons (among many other things). Same people who called for the boycott were happily using their mobile phones, which use several of Marconi's patents.

        Basically, in today's society you cannot effectively boycot ANYTHING without sentencing yourself to the very edge of society -- and the number of people willing to do that is way to small for such a boycott to be effective. So with every penny you spend on bread, water, electronics, or entertainment, you are effectively building weapons, putting people in danger through horrible business practice and lobbying for Draconian laws. Welcome to the brave new world!
        • by skbenolkin ( 215802 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:16AM (#8928497) Homepage
          I agree with you mainly--it seems nearly impossible to isolate any large agent in this interconnected economy--but you should remember that the main purpose of boycotts nowadays is to draw attention to the cause, both from the offending company and from the public. This can still be accomplished without following the dollars to every terminus. In fact, more focus on a particular product or set of products may serve to draw attention, at least in the case of the public, better than a broader campaign. Gandhi wasn't about to put the British occupiers out of business, and neither could he exist without interacting with them at some level, but he still made powerful statements by spinning his own cloth and making his own salt.

          My opinion
    • by the_duke_of_hazzard ( 603473 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:07AM (#8927341)
      I'm resigning from Slashdot. I believe someone working for the military posted from here recently.
    • by ScottGant ( 642590 ) <scott_gant AT sbcglobal DOT netNOT> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:13AM (#8927376) Homepage
      I've also stopped using tools because the military uses it.

      I don't use hammers or screwdrivers...they use those in the military.

      I don't use computers or clothes or shoes or autos or medicine or ....

      Ok, you get the picture...

      Also, you'll notice that he says:

      NewsForge: But what does this have to do with a Linux Users' Group? Or do you just feel your time can be of more benefit applied elsewhere?

      Claiborne: Nothing directly, and I will still participate in the LUG, just let new leadership come to the fore.

      And from the rest of the article, Claiborne really isn't saying he's quiting because the military uses Linux. I think he may have been going in that direction until he stopped and thought how silly that sounds.

      The War and the use of Linux in the War are really not an issue. Linux is just a tool. Does the inventor/developer of the screwdriver (if he/she were alive today that is) not want their tools used in the war?

      Claiborne seems a bit flakey to least the article makes him seem that way. He may be the nicest guy in the world, but the NewsForge article paints him otherwise.
    • by bwy ( 726112 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:01AM (#8927741)
      On the flip side, I've recently discovered that some porn sites are using the image publishing software I wrote. Needless to say, I couldn't be happier!
  • by Colonel Cholling ( 715787 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:54AM (#8927241)
    But... but Darl said Linux was a terrorist OS!
  • Applaud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:55AM (#8927247)
    Applaud his right to express his opinions.

    Even if they are stupid.

    Ain't America great!
  • by Lord_Frederick ( 642312 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:55AM (#8927248)

    I'm glad they're starting a LUG in Baghdad and I'm glad Hussein is gone. I just don't think it had to cost maybe 20K Iraqi lives and how many Americans' so far.

    He's glad Hussein is gone, but thought it cost too many lives? I wonder what "cheaper" plan he would have suggested that still got rid of Saddam. At least he's not one of those people who think Iraq was better off with Saddam in power. What are the mass grave numbers up to now? 300,000 bodies?

  • by Hekatchu ( 684465 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:55AM (#8927250)
    In the military, there will be high tech and software involved anyway. Traditionally army investing in certain product will only do good things to consumers, since there is no way army or anyone else can misuse Linux the way its not intended to - to serve people - under GPL!
  • by crackshoe ( 751995 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:56AM (#8927253)
    Due to the military's blatant use of water and air, i have decided to, as a stand against oppresion and Bush's agenda of oil, stop using both. this will, in all likelyhood, be my last slashdot comment. ::holds breath:: ::falls over:: asjdhflaksjdhfoiausydf9-8qwefijsndflakjndclkajd
  • Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:56AM (#8927258) Homepage Journal
    So, let me get this straight. He is an advocate for Linux and wants people to adopt it but when the military adopts it he become outraged. Doesn't this seem like a contradiction????
    • Re:Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spellraiser ( 764337 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:03AM (#8927311) Journal

      Seems like a publicity stunt to me. Doesn't make any logical sense. Just beacause someone is using a tool to help them do something you don't like , that doesn't inherently make the tool any worse, does it?

      The article has an extensive interview with the former group's president where he goes on at length about his feelings about the Iraqi conflict. So it appears the stunt was successful.

      • Drama queen (Score:4, Interesting)

        by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:54AM (#8927688)
        I will still participate in the LUG, just let new leadership come to the fore.

        Actually, it sounds like he guy is just a drama queen. I mean, really, look at this quote. The group is a bunch of dorks who get together to drink soda and talk about computers on Friday nights instead of getting laid, and he's talking about "new leadership coming to the fore". Oh puh-lease. Imagine the lead fry cook at the local McDonald's quitting saying this.
  • ummmm..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by netfall ( 721323 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:56AM (#8927261)
    Ok - so despite anyone's feelings on the war in Iraq, let's face it - the military has to use SOMETHING in it's systems. Shouldn't our brave men and women at least have something reliable like linux? You'd think the linux community would be proud that linux is so reliable that the military uses it.
    Would you rather they use windows?
  • by holy_smoke ( 694875 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:56AM (#8927263)
    hamburgers, sauces, pasta, pants, shoes, hats, air, water, fuel, cars, robotics, radar, computers, blah blah blah.

    Silly move dude.
  • Big deal (Score:5, Funny)

    by bartyboy ( 99076 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:57AM (#8927269)
    I've resigned from my subscription to Penthouse when I got married. And there was no press release on Slashdot.

    Honestly, who cares? The guy has strong feelings about the war in Iraq. And just because he runs a LUG his opinion is God's word?
  • by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:58AM (#8927274) Homepage
    The blood of tens of thousands of Iraqis is now on the hands of anyone who has ever booted a linux kernel. This includes owners of certain Linksys products, ReplayTV, and any other consumer devices that rely on embedded linux, as well as anyone who has ever watched one of the more recent Pixar films that was rendered on clusters of linux computers.

    It's time to repent for the atrocity that we have all committed.
  • by EngrBohn ( 5364 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:58AM (#8927276)
    Seems to me the guy's complaining about a primary aspect of the GPL -- that there are no restriction as to who can use the software.
  • by RPoet ( 20693 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:59AM (#8927284) Journal
    A premise for freedom, software freedom inlucuded, is that it is for everybody. You can't have "freedom, except for those I don't like". That kind of discrimination is actually incompatible with the GPL.
  • by ack154 ( 591432 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:59AM (#8927285)
    So would he rather have them all running Windows? I'm confused.
  • by kink ( 597413 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @07:59AM (#8927287)
    This person is mixing up a specific political view with the use of free software. The good thing about free software is that there can be no restrictions on who may use it. I do not neccessarily agree with the war on Iraq, but limiting software licences to those who agree with my standpoint would be a bad way to express my opinion. There are many other ways to do that. Plus, if this would become common practice, we'd have to prepare ourselves for a hard time. Checking for all software you use whether the author included some kind of usage constraint would be very tedious. Imagine the situation where for example the Apache Group would say: "we're pro the war on Iraq, so who's against can not use our webserver to promote that standpoint". Very undesireable of course. Please don't mix up politics and free software.
  • by The MESMERIC ( 766636 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:01AM (#8927300) Homepage
    And carry on bombing the Allies?

    Friendly fire .. brought to you by Microsoft :)
  • wrong move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sbuckhopper ( 12316 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:01AM (#8927302) Homepage Journal
    I once had high hopes for Linux. I felt sure it could make a real contribution to the success of humanity, now more and more I have my doubts. I have a real and growing fear that if the Mr. Smith's of Linux have their way,
    I'm having trouble finding any respect for this guy. What he is doing is self-fulfilling the statement that I have quoted above.

    Its really just another way of saying, "Well things are going the way I want them to, so I'm gonna quit."

    Don't give up, fight for what you believe in until you can't fight anymore because someone else stops you.

    I understand that there is a human side of this, I know that there are probably a large number of people that know this guy and are going to say what a nice person he is. I have never met him, and I won't argue that, however I still feel as though his reasons for resigning are all the wrong ones and probably shouldn't make national news.

    The whole point behind the licensing used for Linux is that anyone can take and make use of the same tools. Its the same concept that inspired PGP. You have to release something into the open so that everyone can use it. That means that the people that you don't want to use it have the same access to it as the people you do want to use it. The philosophy here is that at least the people that you do want to use it can.
  • by EachLennyAPenny ( 731871 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:01AM (#8927304) Homepage
    he should stop paying taxes as well. Taxes fund the military.
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SquierStrat ( 42516 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:03AM (#8927312) Homepage
    Big deal! Sounds like a rather idiotic way to protest. I mean he advocates something and then gets upset because some people he doesn't like starts using it? Screw him I say. I say that because A) I like when anyone start's using linux and B) I'm a Marine.
    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by basking2 ( 233941 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:57AM (#8927708) Homepage

      Well, he played the liberal media bias well! He got a wide read thread on Slashdot so all the liberals can rally around it and cry "Oh, imoral! Oh, Veitnam!"

      As far as protests go, this one is loud and emotional, and that's all protests need to be and typically are. The invalid and unsubstantiated claims to the "morality" of the war just add to the inconsistancies of his view of "Free, but not that free... just kinda free... for stuff I support." He says he doesn't think Linux should be used to kill people which does fly in the face of the GPL (as others have pointed out).

      More interestingly, if he can claim the war is immoral, that means he has some absolute authority for morality. I'm too busy to provoke someone who supports him on this board to tell me what that definition of morality is and how they can support it. :D The only answer you will ever get, when you press issues and facts, is black helicopter conspiracy theories about how the president "knew about 9/11," "betrayed this country, he played on our fears," "was AWOL during his service," "snipes Iraqi civilians," "this is George Bush's Veitnam," and on and on and on it goes.

      For those in a media vacuum, all of the above accusations came from elected "leaders" of our coutry. Guess how many of them are soundly based in reasion, thought, and reality?

      None! (It must be a vast conspiracy...)

      But they are so emotionally charged and so outrageous that they get air time (like this story) and folks in the intellectual elitest society of higher situational ethics and the vacuuous contradictory enlightenment of postmodern cotton candy thinking swallow these statements as gospel and run around repeating them until the mildly thoughtful person almost buys into them. And we wonder why the electoral college is still in place...

      For the political scientist in all of us, this is the funniest/strangest election year in quiet a while.

  • GPL & the Military (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FJ ( 18034 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:03AM (#8927314)
    Politics & the war in Iraq aside, he raises an interesting question. As I understand the GPL, a company can do whatever they want to do with Linux. The only restriction is that IF they redistribute their changes outside the company, they must distribute the source code.

    Am I correct in assuming that if the military takes Linux & changes it, they don't need to publish anything if they keep it internal?
  • Non-discrimination (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnGrahamCumming ( 684871 ) * <> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:06AM (#8927333) Homepage Journal
    Time to go and reread The Open Source Definition [] me thinks. Especially,
    5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

    The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

    6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

    The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

    Pretty fundamental concepts right there. A better example than the military is pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups. I have strong feelings on one side of that debate, but that doesn't mean I should pervert F/OSS to help perpetuate my views. If I want to do that I can create an EULA :-)


  • by Call Me Black Cloud ( 616282 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:07AM (#8927337)
    Though he claims some dramatic reason for his departure,

    "Wasn't it nice that so many smart people worked to hard for free to forge their own chains."

    it sounds like he just wanted out of the job:

    ...I will still participate in the LUG, just let new leadership come to the fore.

    After all, he believes, have to say that a body of work worth billions of dollars has been created and placed in the public trust. The LUGs can and should be the trustees or guardians that trust.

    So on one hand he is disappointed in how Linux is being used, that he has a vision for the right way Linux should be used, and that LUGs should be the ones to ensure the right way is followed, and on the other hand he's stepping down as head of a LUG. In other words, "I believe it's groups like mine that should lead the way, therefore I'm quitting as leader of the group."
  • free is free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nuffle ( 540687 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:08AM (#8927348)
    I think Stallman and the rest of the Free Software leadership understood the ramifications of free software: that both people you like and people you don't like will be able to use it.

    This guy has every right to resign, of course; but hopefully his views ring hollow to the rest of the free software supporters. He is advocating that people with some control use their power to limit the freedoms of others. It's as anti-freedom as the Patriot Act. You can't honestly call your software "free" if you are picking and choosing who can use it. Just as in free speech where no one has the right to silence unpopular opinions only because they are unpopular, no one has the right to decide who can use Linux and who can't. Military, nuns, terrorists, martians: as long as you meet the terms of the GPL (or whatever free license), you can use it.

  • What an idiot. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by emtboy9 ( 99534 ) <jeff AT jefflane DOT org> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:11AM (#8927371) Homepage
    I am sorry, he may be the nicest guy in the world, and could even be Linus' long lost twin brother, but what an idiot.

    What does GPL software have to do with the war in Iraq? What does the military's use of Linux have to do with anything related to Iraq?


    Sorry, but if you really want to protest something, and involve Linux, then protest China. Sorry, but China has one of the worst human rights records of modern history, and is also, on a national level, one of the largest proponenets of Linux development and use in the world.

    But no, Heaven forbid someone he doesnt like uses Linux. Those damned military guys! they should all use SCO UnixWare instead! (evil grin)

    Get a grip... there are far more important things to protest/worry about, and do you really think that ANYONE outside a very small group (compared to the rest of the populace of the US) will care that the president of LULA resigned because the Military likes Linux?

    Sorry, but while I do have great respect for people with convictions, I liave little respect for people who do the wrong things for attention.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:14AM (#8927385) Journal
    I work for the Corps of Engineers and we love it. And I was against the war too.....
  • Free Speech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:14AM (#8927389)
    Looks like someone has a problem with the First Amendment. Free Speech means that it is free for whoever for whatever. They do their thing, you do yours, I'll do mine. We can all be happy.

    I suppose that the next story will be someone quit because an abortion doctor uses linux.

    Or maybe a Democrat?

    How about a child porn website hosted on Linux?

    You don't have to like free speech, but you do have to live with it...
  • by TheNarrator ( 200498 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:16AM (#8927405)
    Yet another example of micropolitics in action. That is taking every conceivable act one does, breathing, eating, talking about the weather, being a Linux User Group member, walking or not walking on the cracks on the sidewalk and adjusting one's behaviour based on some pedantic notion that one's choices in these minor manners is having some kind of political impact.

    It's kind of an obsessive compulsive form of political activism and the net effect is to annoy the crap out of everyone and make one's political beliefs look silly.
  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:26AM (#8927474)
    and nobody cared? Seriously, why would anyone outside of Slashdot give a rats ass that some LUG President resigned over...well, anything?
  • by chegosaurus ( 98703 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:28AM (#8927485) Homepage
    You're all saying what a dork etc he is for getting so het up about this, or for quitting his job, but everyone seems to be overlooking the dorkiest fact of all: HE WAS PRESIDENT OF A LINUX USER GROUP.

    He probably just got a girlfriend and has to drive her somewhere on Thursday nights.
  • by Knights who say 'INT ( 708612 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:42AM (#8927578) Journal
    Someone with a reputation needs to write a text explaining to the the rest of the people in the Big Room with Blue Ceiling that there are two cultures around Linux(the FS/OSS community's most noted work), one that's politically centered and sees "free software" as one of the basis of a "free society", and one that's business-oriented and thinks that open source software guarantees better market efficiency, and generally works better is has better "scalability", "customizability".

    Most hackers won't fit in clearly in one or the other group, but the tension is there.

    Someone neutral, but with a reputation (perhaps mr. Perens, perhaps JWZ) needs to explain where RMS stands from and what he stands for, where ESR stands from and what he stands from and so on.

    Because whenever RMS pulls his bohemian/hippie/rebel act on BusinessWeek or some people with radical politics try to get Linux associated with their (perfectly fine) stances, they hurt people who are investing money and careers in Business Linux.

    We can't, and we shouldn't alienate the public image of Linux from the Free Software/Free Society crowd, but we can sabotage the Business Linux public image with a few well-planned stunts. Should we? I don't think so. When you choose to be against business or military or televangelist use of Linux, you are pretty much contradicting the Free Society stance, as well as the spirit of the GPL.

    And, shit, nor IBM, nor some long-haired anti-war activist should be allowed to hijack the spirit behind Linux.
  • by crosseyedatnite ( 19044 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @08:44AM (#8927596) Homepage
    First, leaving an "open" society based on the concept of freedom (Open source) just because you don't approve of a group taking advantage of that freedom is grossy hypocritical.

    Second, while I can respect the viewpoints of people who oppose the war, I have utter contempt for people who oppose "the military".

    Let me put it this way: No matter where our troops are sent into, regardless of my agreement or disagreement with the actions they are in, I would want the members of our armed forces to have every possible advantage we can afford them to get their job done and done with as few casualities as possible. They aren't a legion of faceless oppressors, they are our brothers, sisters, our compatriots and fellow citizens, and are fully deserving of all the support our country can muster.

    Nothing gets me angrier than when an addlepated fuckwit like this utter disgrace to humanity decides that "our military" is evil and must be opposed. You can oppose the president, you can oppose the policies of the government, and you can protest both, but don't antagonize a group of people I hold in the highest regard.
  • by LinuxSneaker ( 528349 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:15AM (#8927872)
    I worked for the "U.S. Military" for 10 years, and 6 of those years has been in either computers or communications in general.

    Where does he come off with the statement "...I don't really trust the Pentagon to abide by the GPL." Let me tell you something-we bend over backwards to abide by license restrictions. I can't even download a shareware program (when we deal with Windows, not too many in Linux) copy without demonstrating we've paid for it. I understand the idea of "free as in beer", but I also understand "free as in speech". Speaking of free [rant]haven't people heard of the "Freedom of Information Act"? Just in case you haven't, click here []. If you want to know what software we're using ask us! Don't just sit in your field of daisies whining and complaining about things of which you know nothing. And, (just so you know I know what the GPL is) you can't have the modifications I've made to the machine in my office. Why? Because I'm not distributing it...if I was, yes, you can have my source code.[/rant]

    Before throwing stones at that "big glass house", realize that much of it is glass. You can see in it (well, maybe not the utility room...well, not that closet either..never mind) more then some company that takes GPL code, puts it in their router, then sells it. That would never happen.
  • Freedom #0 Baby (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hotspotbloc ( 767418 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:18AM (#8927894) Homepage Journal
    From The Free Software Definition []:
    Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:
    The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    It's pretty clear that RMS is against what's going on in Iraq (check out his web site) yet why hasn't he do something like this? Because the GPL contract is bigger than the mess in Iraq. IMO there are a lot more constructive things someone can do than quit a LUG. Linux is a hammer. It can be used to build a company, build a church or bash someone's head in. It's just a hammer and doesn't understand the idea of "good" and "evil". It's like blaming a dictionary for hate speech.

    Under the GPL everyone deserves freedom, even those that do things that many do not like. That's freedom people. While not perfect the alternative is much worse.

    I'm thankful for the line "Free as in speech."

  • by Khelder ( 34398 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:29AM (#8927994)
    This just in: a prominent potato farmer in Idaho is retiring upon learning that, get this... soldiers eat potatoes!
  • Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @09:52AM (#8928226) Homepage Journal
    Look at all the vigourous debate about linux, about licensing, and about the war has been generated here as a result of hit resignation.

    I think he achieved his aim very well indeed.
  • by AyeRoxor! ( 471669 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:01AM (#8928324) Journal
    In other news, the CEOs of Britta have resigned because they heard terrorists use their filters to drink water.
  • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:29AM (#8928649) Journal
    I resigned the leadership of Rancho Santa Margarita LUG with the news that Linux was being used to power parking meters. Power to the people! Down with repression!

    Yes, I am completely mocking his heartfelt position as being nearly equivelent to my pretended protest.

    The LALUG is better off.
  • by NDPTAL85 ( 260093 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @10:40AM (#8928759)
    Obviously the guy is a very intelligent Linux coder. But socially he is unable to realize that the wider world doesn't even know his LUG EXISTS. His quitting will have no effect whatsoever on the Military's use of linux. The GPL states that anyone can use the software. ANYONE. If you aren't modifying it you don't have to worry about whether you can use it or not. Even RMS has recognized and acknowledged this.

    Wow it just goes to show you how head in the sand some people can be.
  • by linuxrunner ( 225041 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @11:17AM (#8929176) Homepage
    A Right to be an idiot....

    I'm going quit an cry because I don't like who's using my FREE software.

    Hey... go work for Microsoft now why don't you... Instead of supplying the Military for the best software possible, lets give them something buggy, secretive, and who knows what else.

    Let me step down and NO LONGER promote linux and other unix variations, because I let POLITICS get in the way!!!

    Man, get OVER it!!!

    Agree with whats going on or not... it doesn't matter. But by NOT promoting linux and playing with your undersized dink isn't going to do the community any good at all....

    Hope you enjoyed your 2 seconds of fame... I didn't know your name before, but I do now... and I'll be sure never to hire you to help my corporation out! Maybe you'll leave because I hurt your feelings by making you try and meet a deadline!!!

  • by X ( 1235 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @01:32PM (#8931065) Homepage Journal
    The full text of the resignation e-mail can be found here [].
  • by prairieson ( 150780 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2004 @02:37PM (#8931893) Homepage
    In the article only a portion of the resignation email was posted, but only one line mentioned his opposition to the war. And the interview centered on the war issue. The lion's share of the email quote dealt with his unhappiness with LULA.
    It seems (from the email snippet) that he resigned because of some disillusionment with LULA the Linux community in general, "My one regret is that more and more it has become an insular collection of geeks..."
    "I feel that Lula no longer reflects the vision I have had for it and has in fact belittled itself as an organization for change and progress."
    Granted, the email wasn't completely presented, but one would imagine if there were more to the war issue, that would have been reported instead. But then, "I'm Tired of Being in Charge of a Group of Detatched, Narrow Geeks.", really isn't news, is it.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"