People Happily Sign Petition Supporting The 'Orwellian Police State Based On Nazi Germany'

from the yes,-it's-godwined-from-the-very-start dept

You can get people to sign just about any kind of petition, apparently. There's an amusing video making the rounds, put together by Mark Dice, in which he convinces people on a boardwalk in San Diego to sign a petition for the "city council" to "support an Orwellian police state." Sometimes he directly mentions the idea of modeling this police state on "Nazi Germany" and it doesn't appear to give anyone any pause at all.
Of course, the video is cut so you never see the full interactions (and, of course you only see the ones he chose to include), or what gets people to agree to sign up in the first place. In most cases, it looks like people have already committed to signing the petition before he goes into the statements about the "Orwellian police state," or "modeled on Nazi Germany," and he does so in a monotone way. But, even then, none of the people shown in the video seem to care much. Obviously, it could be that many others refused to sign or realized what he was up to and we just don't see it. But, beyond being an amusing bit of video, it should remind you how worthless street petitions tend to be.


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  1.  
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    Arsik Vek (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 11:29am

    Being unable to access youtube from work, is there any report of how many signatures the petition got?

     

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  2.  
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    Techdirt Lurker, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    reminds me of the penn and teller episode where they got hippies to sign a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTw

     

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  3.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    Those who signed the P & T petition, I can give them the benefit of the doubt: not everyone has an understanding of science, or of thinking of chemical names like that. Who goes around saying "I want a drink of dihydrogen monoxide"?

    This though? No excuse.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Rick Mercer did stuff like this all the time back in the day, just look up videos called Talking To Americans.

     

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  5.  
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    limbodog (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    That's brilliant and sad.

     

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  6.  
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    Zem, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Come on people

    These people are patriots. Look at where the government is right now. Look at the petition.

    They are signing to curb the governments powers, not increase them.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    I wonder how many people thought the whole thing was a joke, or a piece of satire after hearing the reason.

     

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    Jasmine Charter, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Wrong Conclusion

    That's the wrong conclusion.

    It's not how worthless street petitions are... it's how utterly clueless most Americans are unless you're talking sports or pop culture.

    I'll bet 90% of the people don't know what Orwellian means, who George Orwell was or that he was an author... and that he wrote 1984.

    I find it more surprising about the Nazi Germany references - most people SHOULD know what that's about, but the younger generation have no actual point of reference and with mass genocide featured in movies, they attach no real emotion to it.

    The other false premise is... that we're not ALREADY in an Orwellian state. Anyone read the news? NSA spying on everyone, Homeland buying millions of rounds of ammo, drones flying over U.S. skies...

    We're not THERE yet... but we can see the lights ahead.

     

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  9.  
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    madasahatter (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re:

    The point of the P & T petition is that people mostly do not research issues, particularly technical ones. They rely solely on someone who has credentials who matches their biases for their information.

    The P & T petition was based on a kid's science fair project which did something similar.

     

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  10.  
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    halley (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Sure, some people will sign anything, even without understanding it. Let's look farther.

    A lot of people will sign
    petitions to allow a vote on any important issue, even those they disagree with. Until a ballot actually writes out something, it's all just a thought experiment. Their premise is that debate about actual concrete proposals beats out debate about hypotheticals.

    Some of these people have learned their lesson, when the issue they wanted to debate hotly against actually got onto the ballot and passed because the rest of the populace didn't understand the hot debate.

    But this "well, let's vote on it" mentality is not entirely a bad thing.

     

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  11.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    No petitions ...

    ...it should remind you how worthless street petitions tend to be.

    In a state like California, with the Proposition (referendum) system, it should remind us out dangerous petitions can be. Enough signatures gets bad law on the ballot.

    And any real petition for a new law means someone with money is behind it, who has an agenda, that is not likely in the interests of the public.

    (Also, that looks to be Oceanside, which we San Diegans do not consider to be San Diego. Whewww... [kinda]).

     

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  12.  
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    Deranged Poster (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re:

    So signing petitions based on ignorance or stupidity is a good thing in your world?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    Candid Camera did something like this years ago

    Candid Camera had a skit years ago when Governor Gray Davis was being recalled in California (or maybe it was soon after the recall election).

    They made up random politicians in random positions they also made up, didn't tell people what party they belonged to or why they should be recalled, and got lots of signatures from people to recall them. At one point when asked what party a person they were recalling belonged to the petitioner says "oh we can figure that stuff out when the recall election happens", and the person who asked that question signed the petition anyway.

    They ended it with Peter Funt's kids getting people to sign petitions to recall their teachers simply because the kids didn't like them. A bunch of people signed those petitions to, even though teachers can't be recalled, and they knew nothing about the teachers.

     

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    ipgrunt (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Education

    Orwellian -- what's that?

    People don't read -- they're watching cable shows.

    WSJ ran a bit recently about so-called IT workers not having engineering or science degrees. Still, I don't remember reading Orwell in engineering school.

    We're all responsible for our own education.

     

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  15.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    His t-shirt pretty much says "this is all a joke"

     

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  16.  
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    Shmerl, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re:

    I wonder how many people have no clue what the image on his t-shirt means.

     

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  17.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    The even funnier version of that was when they got people to sign petitions to ban women's suffrage.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    A State based on flying cats?
    Sign me up!

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    The American people elected Obama. Twice. Is this any surprise?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    Re:

    I was thinking about that and I realized there is not one politician in the world I can name that is a good one, could you point to one that could be a model?

     

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  21.  
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    Beech, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 7:12pm

    Maybe these people are all just the avante guarde. We have an Orwellian Hitler-eqsue police state already, it's just classified. Better to have it and know we have it instead of having it and pretending we don't.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 9:50pm

    Personally....

    I blame hipsters. They were supporting Nazi Germany ironically of course.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 3:45am

    WOW

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 3:48am

    Re:

    The petitioner didn't mention but he indeed got a lot of signatures.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    People that don't use the internet pretty much.

     

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  26.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 6:01am

    Start a petition in that Whit House site as mockery and sign in droves. Should send a powerful message. Don't forget to explicitly mention Nazi, Nazism and any other thing that makes it outrageous.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 6:37am

    Re:

    lol ur so funny I lol'd

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 7:48am

    Its because people aren't paying attention to what they are signing. I figured when he mentioned a Nazi police state that would have been enough though.

     

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  29.  
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    toyotabedzrock (profile), Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    SS Please

    I bet they would have given their SS numbers to him if asked.

     

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  30.  
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    thoma, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 12:48am

    Re: No petitions ...

    sometimes it is true that petitions are backed by hidden money with hidden motives but not all of them are.
    I, for one, am in the GREEN PARTY which has no hidden money motives or backers. which means the great majority of our public political actions are entirely volunteer powered.
    public petitions are the only way to speak to the public in our country because all of the other channels of public communications are owned by the ruling elites, who have no interest in democracy.

     

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  31.  
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    Aaron Wolf (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    I wanna see the people who didn't sign

    Surely some people reacted, I wanna see how that went

     

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