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Candidates on Net Issues 377

Robert Wilde writes "Slashdotters have shown great interest in knowing where the US Presidential candidates stand on the 'geek issues.' Now Microsoft's Slate has some answers."
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Candidates on Net Issues

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  • Lemme know how their past record! (Especially Gore and Bush, who are currently in office.)

    BTW: Anyone who compares me to a soccer mom is gonna lose my vote. (That means you, Ron Nehring. Don't be running for office any time soon!)
  • Sadly, as a low-level politico, I'd have to agree with you on this. I've met the Gores a few times and respect them, but think Bradley would probably be better for tech in the long run.

    Either Gore or Bradley would be better than most of the other crowd, though.
  • I look at it this way. If they are able to get elected to office, it automatically disqualifies them from being worthy of the office.
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @11:50AM (#1393246) Homepage Journal
    The only problem I have with Gore is his going to bed with the NSA and I do remember some things relating to internet censorship. He supports higher education, which is very important.
  • by JustShootMe ( 122551 ) <> on Friday January 07, 2000 @11:50AM (#1393247) Homepage Journal

    I honestly don't care where candidates say they stand on net issues.

    It is not because I don't think that they could have an impact on us as a community. It is not because I don't care whether the net is regulated or not. That is important. But it is because I don't trust politicians. And I especially don't trust politicians that have opinions on issues they do not understand. Which is almost all politicians these days.

    So I consider backing or voting for any candidate on this issue to be ultimately a waste of time. Politicians don't get it, don't care about it, and can't be trusted to keep their word anyway even if they do (a) understand the issues and (b) say they're taking a stand for the Right Thing. Politicians are too easily bought and think nothing of lying to us.

    If you can't figure out how to mail me, don't.
  • by TheLurker ( 32233 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @11:52AM (#1393249) Homepage
    They didn't ask what Harry Browne thinks, but I bet I can guess. How are most slashdot readers planing to vote? Almost every geek I know is a libertarian, though many don't realize it.. []
    Harry Browne for President! []
  • by Frank Sullivan ( 2391 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @11:55AM (#1393252) Homepage
    All candidates say
    Stop porn, terrorists, crypto.
    Ignorant morons.

    Al Gore invented
    the Internet. He is such
    an 3133t h4x0r.

    His "Open Source" web site
    runs on NT/IIS
    not Linux/Apache

    begs Bill Gates for donations.
    Protection money?

    Are we citizens?
    Or netizens? Elections
    just encourage them.

    chars is barely sufficient
  • You know its because so many people like you don't vote and don't care that they system is so messed up. Why do you think Special intrests are so powerfull. Its because the folks who support them go out and *VOTE*. Basicly what your post says is that you want to opt out of the Democratic proccess. So what you end up with is what someone else wants.
  • by Mars Saxman ( 1745 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @11:58AM (#1393256) Homepage
    I think this article misses the same point lots of techies miss. In spite of the fact that these are significant issues which will have a major impact on the way people live their lives in the upcoming network-centred era, most people neither understand nor care about things like encryption, taxation, the patent threat, or stupid ideas like deep-link banning. They just don't WANT to understand high tech or the complexities thereof.

    We'll know for sure when the masses hit the polls, but I'll bet that technology issues will remain unimportant until the wars have been fought and there are no big decisions left to make. Then, once the issues are simplified past the point of meaningfulness, we'll see them used prominently in political campaigns.

  • One of the reasons I repect Harry Browne is that he is willing to put his opinions down on paper and stick to them. He has remained surprisingly consistant for a potential politician.

    In Why Government Doesn't Work (which was written before his 1996 presidential bid), he gave detailed information on what he would do if elected president. This book is worth reading. Your local library probably has a copy.

  • The more I see of George W. and his leadership the more I like him as a person, and as a president.

    I'm looking forward to the day when George W. calls for laws making profiled personal information the property of the individual, not the person gathering it.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Federal Elections Commission has a proposal to impute a value to a web page that engages in political speech. It gives a *large* monetary value to a page, and it counts against the $1000 limit. That should effectively silence political speech on the web, because violating the limit results in boocoo fines and jail terms.

    Of course, Salon makes no mention of it. Both Bradley and Gore are in favor of it, McCain is, don't know where Bush stands.

    And you thought the internet would make for more speech. Wrong. Course, the major networks wouldn't be covered by this, how convenient.

  • by MorboNixon ( 130386 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @12:04PM (#1393263)
    So, which candidate would win in a Quake III tournament? *That's* the real question that would influence the vote of many /.'ers.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In a way it bothers me, but I feel that it is my duty to throw my vote away (meaning that I will probably vote Libertarian).

    The mainstream candidates just do not represent me. These guys are clueless morons that pander to the lowest common denominator (aka the clueless American public). According to Slate, only four guys are running for president...

    I don't care which candidate is the most technologically savvy -- I just want a candidate that respects the Constitution and will deal responsibly with the law (as opposed to maintaining the status quo). Is that so much to ask for?
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @12:14PM (#1393277) Homepage
    Internet taxes are not an issue for just the 'geeks'. It's an issue for all Americans, like any tax. What will taxes do for us? They'll give us more money for things like road improvements, educational purchases (computers anyone?), and law enforcement support. What will they do against us? They'll slow down this explosive economy that has really carried this country to the front of the world's pack. When Asia's economy fell apart, it was America's economy that survived relatively unscathed.

    So what are geek issues? Computers in the schools for one. We talk a lot about kids need to be educated in the ways of the binary. Clinton made a pretty good announcement today, but let's go back a big further and get kids started with computers now so that maybe that won't need to take CS to really get to know the most important tool of the next millenium. Also, how about things real OSHA telecommuter guidelines that are fair to both businesses and employees? How about government seriously considering open-source software? How about patent reform so that people who come up with genuinely real ideas get some control over them and people who don't don't? How about some sort of final word on whether consumers will ever quit getting raped for advanced services like DSL?

    I like privacy and Internet taxes and all, but those aren't geek issues, those are real American issues. Politicians are once again just paying lip service to a group of people who they think they need rather than taking a look at their real issues and addressing them. They did it with the 'soccer moms' in 1996 and they're doing it with us now.

    I don't expect anything more out of this election than I've received out of any of the past: a bunch of lies and a lame-duck President.
  • Do you remember in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the guy who ran the galactic government lived in a small hut with his cat on a desolate rainy planet - and he had no idea he was the leader? I think they chose him because he was calculated to be the precisely the last person in the universe who would want the job.
  • Sadly, as a low-level politico, I'd have to agree with you on this. I've met the Gores a few times and respect them, but think Bradley would probably be better for tech in the long run.

    From my experience of Bradley (written a few letters, got a few replies from him/his office, met the man once, spend time in NJ) he is at least willing to hold back on making a statement if he feels that he really doesn't have a handle on a situation. This isn't a sense that I get from Gore (on a lot of issues beyond tech) and it certainly isn't one that I get from the Republican candidates.

  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @12:20PM (#1393287) Homepage Journal
    I don't want a checklist of where the candidates stand on various issues. Because there will inevitably be unaddressed issues.

    What I want instead is a clear and concise understanding of the candidate's philosophy. When does he or she feel government intervention into the private sector is necessary? Instead of a checklist of policies regarding relations with each and every nation, I want an overall guideline on foreign policy.

    I want to know how the candidate will react when confronted with some vital issue that did *NOT* come up during the campaign.
  • So how would you select someone to lead your town/city/country? Come on now, you can't make a statement like that and not provide an alternative!

    You just don't get it. If enough of us ignore it, the government really will go away!

    Basically, democracy is the best form of government due to it's belief that all people have the right to govern themselves. The problem is that democracy is also founded on the belief that all (or at least most) of the people also have the wisdom to govern themselves. Since the second proposition is obviously wrong, democracy fans are always having to push for a 'more informed' or 'better educated' citizenry. This is bullshit. No matter how much information and education you give most people, they'll still be idiots.

    So you can't have tyranny since it infringes on basic liberties, and you can't have democracy because the majority will usually be wrong. What's left? How about governing yourself and leaving others alone. There's no government like no government.
  • by PlaidLady ( 93352 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @12:22PM (#1393294)
    How are most of these geek issues? The Internet sales tax is an interstate commerce issue; albeit one that affects Internet users more than the rest of the population. The controversies swirling over the CDA (which is absolutely ridiculous, it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court) is no different than any of the other free speech/parental control battles as the Republicans try to force their very conservative values on everyone. The DOJ hearings on Microsoft deal with monopolies and so, like the Internet tax issue, is handled by the federal government. That is an issue of big business, and is a "geek issue" only because well, it's M$. :) The privacy issues, with medical records and the IRS, deal more with beauracracy than the Internet. Finally, even encryption is just another example of "we-can-have-this-technology-but-no-one-else-can".

    These are all issues that affect EVERYONE, not just Internet users. And they're not even the biggest issues -- are you going to vote for a candidate based on his ideas about exporting technology, or about his ideas for education and health care reform? Besides, most candidates' opinions on these "geek issues" follow with their stands on the role of the government in other areas of society.

    Internet users may be the key electorate this year, but that may have more to do with Internet users being middle-class, well-educated, and having a LOT of access to information -- the sort of information about a candidate that could perhaps make or break an election (or at least help an individual make a decision). Just remember to vote, people, otherwise you have no right to complain. ;)

  • Yeah, well, it does, because there is no Federal sales tax. When you buy something, the tax from a sales tax goes to the state. Therefore, if the economy moves to e-business, that's a lot of money that people are shelling out to pay for something that will never affect them.

    I actually wrote a pretty long Slashdot post about Internet taxes only to delete it because I wasn't satisfied with that one issue. Yes, I think there should be an Internet tax, but I really think it needs to be a Federal tax and it should be even dispersed to the country as a whole. We could use that money for a lot of necessary social improvements.
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @12:25PM (#1393303) Homepage Journal
    Al Gore: Overconfident - "I invented the Internet."

    Bill Bradley: Inclusionary - "In this time of unprecedented prosperity, we need to establish a consitutional right to ADSL."

    George W. Bush: Proud - "I'm the only candidate here featured as the executive on a government website..."

    John McCain: The Open Architecture candidate - wants to get rid of proprietary access to government (special interest lobbies).

    Steve Forbes: Rich & Clueless - Doesn't quite understand the Internet, but is willing to pay somebody millions to tell him about it.

    Orrin Hatch: The Content Provider - The Internet is a great place to disseminate porn, like the Starr report.

    Gary Bauer: The Right-to-Lifer - Only interested in protecting unsaved emails.

    Alan Keyes: Moralizing - Would ban the Internet. "What we need to do is get back to the ways of our forefathers, who blah blah blah..."

  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @12:29PM (#1393309) Homepage Journal
    I'm even more afraid of the totalitarian moral agendas of those 'Crats who worship the Greater Good and the diety called Godverment.

    Those "christians" who want a totalitarian moral regime are not fooling themselves. I doubt most of them are even real Christians, and just mere church-goers. They do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who said "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and "love thy neighbor as thyself".

    I am a Christian. But I am also a libertarian in every sense of the word. I am a libertarian precisely because I am a Christian. Christ came to offer people a choice, not to make the choice for them.
  • We talk a lot about kids need to be educated in the ways of the binary.
    Yeah, but WHY do we talk about that. Is it true? I know and work with a large amount of geeks from India and China. They're really good at geeking, and I'm 99.44% sure that China and India do not have anywhere near the amount of computers in the elementary schools that we have. Wow. How do you explain it then? Well it's simple. The ability to think logically is the only real requirement to write programs that work. You need to have a degree of pride and a sense of style as well in order to write programs that are maintainable. None of this requires a computer to learn. Hell, none of this requires a school for that matter.
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @12:32PM (#1393318) Homepage
    I don't think you get it. Democracy isn't about individual people. It's about masses of people; the proverbial People. The People have the right to govern themselves, not the individuals. What we have, though, isn't a true democracy. It's democratic, but we have representation. If I think that a law needs to be made, I can't submit that law for a vote by all of my fellow peers. I have to get my lawmaker to do it, and if he doesn't want to, he doesn't have to. Of course, I can try and vote him out, but that may not work either.

    Tyranny vs. Democracy is like a parent vs. a child. Parents take away all the rights a child thinks it should have for the child's (and often the parent's) own benefit. Left to his own vices, the child can govern himself. He makes a lot more mistakes when he first tries something than he does when he works with it for a while, but eventually, everything usually works out for the best (unless the kid is especially dumb and tries to stop a fast-moving semi truck).

    Our government is like a child. We're faced with the new issue of what we're going to do with this whole e-commerce thing, but guess what, we'll make a few mistakes and we'll learn a few things and in the end, we'll end up on the right side of things, cause we're not dumb enough to try to stop a fast-moving semi truck and we've got enough people recognizing our mistakes that eventually we correct them. But you can't help guide unless you make your guidance heard.

    Ignorance isn't the answer; participation is. Anarchists are people who are too lazy to recognize the difference they can make.
  • "The vice president supports finding a solution to these issues that allows the Internet and e-commerce to flourish without stripping states and localities of their ability to educate children and fight crime,"

    Now there is a trade off. Do we allow e-commerce? Or do we allow state to educate kids and fight crime. Choose carefully, we can only pick one :)

    I'm normally opposite Gore on his views, but I almost want to see him win just for four more years of intelligent comments like this one. I'm so disgusted with US politics, I just try to get entertainment out if it anymore.

    Where is is written that to be a vice president, you have to be a complete moron? Beteen Gore and Danny boy, we have had 12 years of some of the most off the wall comments come from that department.


  • I'm from South Carolina, where McCain is on his anti-porn mission.

    First of all, I don't believe that there are miracle cures for computer porn. If you're a parent, the only way to keep your children from downloading porn is to keep a close eye on them while they're surfing. But that means parents have to actually be responisble for a change. Oh horror!!

    However, most South Carolinians don't see it that way. They want a miracle cure, and if you can promise one, you'd probably get the Conservative Southern Baptist vote.

    At issue right now is whether schools and public libraries should provide Internet access. If a library offers a public terminal to the web, then little Johnny can go download porn, and Mommy doesn't like that. Since there is no way to provide porn-free Internet access, the solution is to remove Internet terminals from libraries. Personally, I think that sucks worse than filtered Internet content. If you don't have a computer for whatever reason you should be able to go to the library to check your hotmail account and read

    The privacy Chernobyl that the Slate article mentions has sort of happened in SC. Our Department of Motor Vehicles sold every drivers license photo in the state to some company for a whopping total of $5000. They're going to build a huge database of names and photos and sell it. I sent in a form barring them from using my picture, but most people don't know how to do that.

    The interesting thing is that politicians here don't give a rat's ass about privacy. There was a federal law barring the sale of DL photos, but South Carolina took it to the Supreme Court, arguing that Americans have no constitutional right to privacy, and the law should be shot down. The court agreed, and a little bit later the DMV sold our pictures. Smells pretty crooked to me.

    Take care,


  • So you can't have tyranny since it infringes on basic liberties, and you can't have democracy because the majority will usually be wrong. What's left? How about governing yourself and leaving others alone. There's no government like no government.

    You imply that the US is a democracy, which is incorrect. The US is a democratic republic, a compromise between "democracy by idiots" and "tyranny by tyrants". In the US, we get a selection of tyrants from which to choose. >;-)

  • Are you talking about non-official websites, like if I set up a site on my own in support of, say, Bugs Bunny [] for President? I may be wrong, but the FEC decided recently that any such pages were classified as volunteer work, not contributions, and were therefore not covered by the $1000 limit.
  • Could you be any more stereotypical? You really believe in your heart of hearts that every person who has ever run for any position within the government is corrupt?

  • Do you know how big Amazon's smallest warehouse is? It makes Wal-Mart look like an outhouse. Many, many e-businesses still sell real things and real things require actual space, and actual space consumes the same resources as the same space occupied by a bricks-and-mortar business.
  • And imagine where those geeks in China and India would be now if the first time they had seen and used a computer was at age 5 rather than at age 15 or 20 or whenever they first had it?

    My dad thinks just as logically as I do (at least with computers; we won't get into issues of things like my life). Yet, he started using around 1984 at age 41 when he got his first Macintosh. I started using the computer at the same time, when I was age 7. My brother started at age 4. Guess what? I was stimulated. My dad was stimulated. My brother wasn't. My brother knows about as much as my dad. I know as much as what I would call a typical Slashdot geek. My dad and I, by your definition, should be equal, except that I started earlier, I got training classes in school, I didn't have to adjust my life to using computers; I grew up with it.

    You can have all the brains in the world, but if you aren't stimulated, you won't use them. And if we can stimulate those brains early, when they're even fresher, the results will most likely be greater than if we don't. And since most kids go to school, let's start that exposure there, making it both worthwhile and fun.
  • They didn't ask what Harry Browne thinks, but I bet I can guess. How are most slashdot readers planing to vote? Almost every geek I know is a libertarian, though many
    don't realize it.

    I disagree. While a large majority would probably be interested in a libertarian candidate, they'd only do so for so long, until government has been shrunk enough. The eventual end-product of libertarianism, which seems to be a government of three people in a wooden shack and a totally unregulated country doesn't appeal to me - the government is probably the only thing keeping the country by being run by SuperCorp, the mass merger of all corporations, that would be in control of everything. I really don't want to pay an Oxygen bill to them...
  • It's about masses of people; the proverbial People. The People have the right to govern themselves, not the individuals.

    Someone's been confusing the map with the territory. The people is an abstraction. There is no 'the people'.

    I have rights. Your have rights. Even CmdrTaco has rights. 'The people' has no rights. Justifying a government as being of 'the people' makes about as much sense as attempting to save the environment by by scrubbing a world map.
  • This is silly. Of course there should be limits to freedom. Should I be free to stab you with toothpicks and pee on your dog? Should you be free to play your Neil Diamond CDs at concert volume in a crowded neighborhood with the windows open? Should I be free to publish a newspaper that prints lies about the sex lives of public figures, and all of your grandparents, too? Should you have the freedom to shoot all the critters in Yellowstone with your pellet gun? Do I have the freedom to use your computer any time I want, sleep in your jammies, and eat all your nachos?

    Are you aware that almost every law limits your freedom in some way? Are you opposed to all of them? It's difficult to maximize freedom, but it will defintely involve limiting the freedoms of others.

  • Almost every geek I know is a libertarian, though many don't realize it.

    Is this statement based on that inane Libertarianism test wallet card?

    If so, I suggest take that card to any Statistics professor and ask him/her if the questions are objective. Personally, I can't believe anyone falls for that - the questions are practically a parody of unbiased sampling.

    (If not, ignore me. I'm not trying to insult you, I just despise that card. My own experience is that geeks are paradoxically a pretty even mix of right-wing libertarian types and left-wing liberals, with perhaps a leaning toward the latter, though that's probably just my personal preference clouding my judgement :-)
  • One political net issue that has concerned me is the irrational opposition to net taxes that has gripped the public. I fear somehow this will ultimately result in the worst possible solution: the status quo of state-based taxation depending on where you live.

    People rightly feel overly taxed. Their knee-jerk reaction to net taxes has been to "just say no!" States and local governments, however, fear this popular anti-net tax bias as it could seriously erode the funds on which state and local governments run as internet commerce becomes more central to the way in which we do business.

    As a result, a blanket "no new net taxes statement" ala the thing some of the candidates are signing, could prove dangerous absent of some alternative ways to help fund state and local governments. Instead of making such irrational blanket statements, people should be pushing for greater tax reform that assures that all levels of government are adequately funded without over taxing the people. Such a tax reform might involve no internet taxes, or it might (IMHO better) involve internet taxes combined with a reducation or end to income taxes. Whatever it is, I just wish to caution anyone against mindlessly chanting "No net taxes".

  • What is so bad about executing people from other countries? If their countries don't have capital punishment, they shouldn't have committed capital crimes in the State of Texas.
  • The reason they are all saying the same thing is that they don't understand the tech. They have advisors to tell them what the popular stance is for the majority of the people that care about those issues and they adopt that viewpoint into their platform. BFD.

    What most voters in the USA don't realize is that the popular vote counts for DIDDLY. The electoral collage puts who they want into the office. The idea that the populace votes in the president is a popular myth but no more true than the Good Times Virus.

    So arguing the point may be fun but we might as well be saying yadda yadda yadda. It accomplishes the same thing.

    yuck, that was bitter, wasn't it? had to be said.


  • What services does an e-business utilize that would justify taxation? e-businesses do not use the same resources that typical brick and mortar businesses do.

    Since when has that mattered? Taxes have nothing to do with services for the business. Taxes have to do with paying for the existance of government and government-payed services.

    What services do I get for paying damn near a buck a pack tax on cigarettes? Nothing to do with cigarettes, that's for damn sure. No, that money goes into roads, schools, and politicans wallets.

  • Correct! We should treat all taxes the same.. by eliminating them all! And NOT taxing the internet is a good way to start.

    Hey! Great idea!

    No government, no military, no police, no fire department, no highway department! And nothing you can do when the local MegaCorp dumps a load of nuclear waste into the nearby river...

    Heck, let's even sell off the military equipment, and return the money to the people! Might suck when Saddam uses the newly purchased ICBMs to nuke us into a huge wasteland, but at least you're not paying any taxes.
  • It's really unfair to say the CDA is an example of the Republicans trying to dictate "their very conservative morals on everybody." First of all, the legislation enjoyed bipartisan support, with many Democratic co-sponsors. Secondly, the values encompassed by CDA are quite popular among American citizens, Dem. or Rep.

    This has nothing to do with whether the legislation is sound.

  • This article is just a rehash of available information. I read it hoping that the candidates had actually all been asked the same questions. Alas, no. A very good portion of the issues have responses from only a few of the candidates. It looks like the result of about 20 minutes of keyword searching through press materials.

    It would have been so much more helpful if the author had actually gathered and presented the opinions of all candidates on each issue. As it is is just seems incomplete.
  • And imagine where those geeks in China and India would be now if the first time they had seen and used a computer was at age 5 rather than at age 15 or 20 or whenever they first had it? I imagine that they'd be sitting in their offices all along this hallway, just like they are now. I'm not willing to accept the theory that the Indian and Chinese programmers have any form of racial superiority in the geek world, yet they're definitely kicking ass computerwise all over the guys I went to school with - most of whom had computers in their houses. So how do I explain it?
  • It seems anymore that if you are to get successfully elected you almost have to be corrupt.

    Err... While this is certainly more true than I might wish, if you don't vote, you say as loudly as possible:
    Screw me over every way you can! I am adamantly exercising my right to have no control over my life and be a whiny victim complaining about my rights!
    This isn't what you are probably trying to say, but it is what you do say. If you don't like the candidate, then give your snub vote to a third party candidate or a write in. Particularly in the case of the write-in, you are saying to the Board of Elections or the Electoral College that you would prefer this unknown person to any of the idiots running. Hell, write in yourself. You won't win, but you are one more statistical point showing that the "winner" was not loved by all except apathetic victims. Those statistical results do get seen and recorded. When it gets to the point that more people are throwing away their votes than voting for the winner, you might be surprised at the results.

    B. Elgin

  • 'll definitely not be voting republican. I can't stand the way they like to legislate morality. McCain is especially bad about this, but Bush isn't much better. Then there's Forbes saying that the DOJ shouldn't go after Microsoft. No chance of him getting my vote.

    You think they're bad? Go check out Gary Bauer's views. His campaign motto could be called "fighting against freedom and civil rights". I think I'd rather have Pat Buchanan in office than him... and I think Pat himself needs to be stranded in the middle of that African country with the murderous dictator he did business with...
  • Honestly, I don't think that the major political candidates (sorry Browne, but I'm speaking about Bradley, McCain, Gore, Bush, etc.) aren't targeting the Slashdot crowd. They're probably targeting people more like my mother who do use the Internet and take part in e-commerce and try to raise families with an Internet capable computer in their household, but who don't understand all the intricacies of the network they're on and how laws affect that network. Their targets don't know the history of the Internet. They don't know all about open-source software. We wouldn't call them geeks. These people read Salon, maybe. They don't read Slashdot.

    And these people are either Democrats or Republicans. They are not likely to be on the fringe. Which is why (see my post below, or maybe above if the moderation gods smile upon me (note: not for the humor impaired) we're not seeing real geek issues. We're seeing normal American issues, like taxes and security, not anything really targeting specifically the Internet.

    I'm non-affiliated, by the way. I believe in voting for the candidate that will best serve the country, both as a person and as a politician (and that last part is important).
  • Ok I know I shouldn't trust politicians, no one here does, but I consider Forbes to be a "cleaner" candidate because he does have his own money, and is not afraid to take a position, rather than just saying "let the market work itself out."

    Forbes is probably the worst candidate of all. He "supports" big business and thinks that the anti-trust case against MS is wrong and should have never been filed. He also doesn't like "Loonix".

  • Hey great, we just elected ourselves an "Internet Savvy" President, or is "President in the pockets of large tech corporations" a better description?

    The article didn't say where they stood on dramatically increasing foreign work visas, which McCain supports. Which I think is a bigger "geek issue" than taxing Internet commerce.

    Corporations don't want to pay high salaries for their tech people, they only do because there's such a demand. If they can get the restriction on visas lifted, the market gets flooded, and salaries and quality drops.

    The IEEE [] has done a pretty good job at fighting this, it should be an issue for anyone working in technology.
  • What most voters in the USA don't realize is that the popular vote counts for DIDDLY. The electoral collage puts who they want into the office.

    Nominally true, but

    1. the electoral slate is what you vote for in a US presidential election, and they're made up of electors pledged to vote for the candidate specified by the slate;
    2. I know of no cases in recent elections where enough electors voted for a candidate other than the one for whom they were pledged to make "the popular vote count for DIDDLY" - if you believe there are such cases, present some data to back up your belief.
  • Just because you have a group of Chinese or Indians at your office does not mean that all of the Chinese or Indians are like that. You may be dealing with a cream of the crop there, some of the best to come out of those countries. America still generally leads in terms of programming and computer output, but other countries certainly have the capabilities we have. To stay competitive, we need to make sure we foster our not-so-elite.

    Or we may end up like your friends from school.
  • Really, voting for a third party is not throwing away your vote. Look at it this way:
    Most people only think of the two major parties. If they don't like either cantidate, they will generally pick the lesser of the two evils. So both cantidates get a lot of "gotta-vote-for-somebody" votes, running up their tally. This is why the two big parties don't want other parties to get on the ballot as easily, and have enacted legislation to that effect.
    Now, throw your mostly-undecided vote to a third party that you agree with more (I'll probably do Reform (but not Buchanan) or Libertarian). Instead of running up the tallies for the big two, you throw your vote away. Or so it appears.
    When the votes are counted, yours probably won't decide the election. Now the losing party is going to look around and say, "If we could have pulled in some of those $numberofvotes from the third parties, we might have won." So they start trying to see which parts of that platform they can incorporate into their own, to maybe get your vote next time. Even when we lose, we win, at least a little bit. I will not vote for Gore or Bush. But in 4 years, I might vote Republican or Democrat if one of them wakes up to issues I care about. Unlikely, I admit.
  • The real question is, if he was elected, could Harry Browne really do what he's talking about?

    Exactly. Voting isn't just about whether the candidate has the best statements or ideas, but whether he is the best person for the job. I have the feeling that if Harry Browne were elected to office, he couldn't do anything, simply because he wouldn't have the support of Congress. Look at how little Clinton was able to achieve with a majority Republican Congress.
  • Almost every geek I know is a libertarian, though many don't realize it..

    I don't agree with this, but I think it would make a good poll question.

    The Good Reverend
  • My "juvenille dissertation" was in repsonse to your completely context-free nonsense. What could be more juvenille than posting on Slashdot that you will accept no limits on your freedom? There are juvenilles posting nonsense like that here every day. Oh, and Mr. Mature Adult, tell me, when I'm all grown up, can I "look forward to the day" a man is dead whenever he says something silly?

    Parody is protected but it's not clear that the governor was aware of the context or nature of the site when he said that. He obviously has not had a record of trying to silence criticism of his administration. Get a clue.

  • I agree with your sentiment. However, while I don't think that a Libertarian-controlled state would be ideal (Better than the current situation? Maybe, maybe not), I think the Libertarian party is the one who would best pull the political spectrum in the right direction. That's why I vote Libertarian. Would I keep voting for them always if they became a real political force a la the Dems or Repubs? Almost certainly not. But (IMO) what the company needs now is a good dose of *real* conservatism, not the fake stuff the Republicans preach.
    Just something to consider, this viewpoint probably isn't for everyone.
  • You are ignorant.

    You have issues you want dealt with. It is not because I don't care whether the net is regulated or not. That is important. Your words, not mine. Who do you thinks makes these determinations? Do you think it's you, sitting at your computer, saying, "I don't care," watching the world work around you, thinking you are separate from it.

    If you really think the issues are important, perhaps you'll do a little research and find someone who is not a politician and vote for them. Maybe you'll encourage other people to vote for them. That's affecting change. By not voting, you are allowing the very things you hate to persist.

    A man robs a criminal. You can help the victim. You can help the robber. Or you can do nothing. By helping the victim, you help. Pick either of the others, and you have just done harm. That's what you do by not voting. You do harm. You allow a system that is harmful to persist. All these people that say, "Well, if enough people don't vote, maybe they'll get the message," that says nothing. That says, "I'm apathetic." The man who says, "I want this person to lead me," that man says, "I want this, and you don't have it."

    The fact that your post was moderated up as 'Insightful' makes me wonder what truly is insightful on Slashdot. Maybe if Americans would quit whining about how bad the system is and start making it a better one, we could have a government that we trust.

    Or do you not care about that, either?
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @01:28PM (#1393415)
    Some Al Gore spokesdrone says:
    "The vice president supports finding a solution to these issues that allows the Internet and e-commerce to flourish without stripping states and localities of their ability to educate children and fight crime,"

    finkployd responds:
    > Now there is a trade off. Do we allow e-commerce?
    > Or do we allow state to educate kids and fight crime. Choose carefully, we can only pick one :)
    > Where is is written that to be a vice president, you have to be a complete moron? Beteen Gore
    > and Danny boy, we have had 12 years of some of the most off the wall comments come from that department.

    The place it's written where, in order to be a vice president, you really do have to be a complete moron is in the minds of the voters.

    It's a classical fallacy; that of "false dichotomy", and it's made much easier to do by a quirk of the English language. Most geeks instinctively know the difference between "A OR B" and "A XOR B", but the general public generally doesn't. Ask Joe Schmoe if he wants "pepperoni or olives" on his pizza, and he'll never say "both".

    Politicians love this technique, because it makes demonizing one's opponent trivial. If you're not for Mr. Foo's Plan to save the chiiiildrun, you must be into taking pictures of nude six-year-old kids making bombs from instructions they got off the Internet.

    With taxes; there are plenty of other ways to fund the local police and schools, but e-commerce threatens one of those ways. Therefore you can have e-commerce or police protection. By implication, you can't have both.

    With crypto, you can have either free crypto or less terrorism. Never mind that the crypto cat is already out of the bag and that there are plenty of effective ways to fight terrorism. By putting them in a sentence with the word "or", the implication is that the two are mutually exclusive.

    Anyone with two brain cells to rub together, geek or not, can see the flaws in those arguments.

    As an added bonus, the use of the false dichotomy allows your handlers to get two opposing sound bites for the price of one. In Silicon Valley, "The VP supports finding a solution to these issues that allows the Internet and e-commerce to flourish". In the Mississippi Delta, "The Veep strongly opposes measures which would strip the states and counties of their ability to educate children and fight crime."

    There's a reason why basic courses in logic, philosophy, and reasoning-and-rhetoric are no longer taught in high schools: none of the presently-ruling class of politicians would ever be elected if a substantial portion of the electorate were capable of even the most basic elements of reasoning: it's much easier to manipulate the actions of a flock of drooling sheeplike morons than it is to convince a bunch of sharp-minded logicians.

    If it were ever extended to the broader population (this can never happen until the broader population acquires the rudiments of logical thinking), the 'net's style of open debate would scare the hell out of politicians, because bullshit would be exposed for what it is. Is anyone here buying LinuxOne?

    Sadly, the converse is also true. The fact that the broader population will never acquire the critical thinking skills that we geeks take for granted means that "politicans and geek issues" will remain a red herring. You can't bluster geeks, you have to convince them. But as a politician, why spend millions trying to convince the geeks when there are 200-million sheep out there who will beg (with their votes) for your comforting logical fallacies like a masochist begs for the whip?

  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Friday January 07, 2000 @01:30PM (#1393419) Homepage
    So if I didn't agree with any of them, who could I vote for with a clear conscience?
    Third party, or write-in. I pulled the Libertarian lever in 1992 and wrote in the Greens in 1996.

    I think writing in "Bill The Cat" is a more effective statement than staying home. Think about it - you made the effort to go wait in line to say "I'd rather have a fictional dead cat in the White House than you." Doesn't that say more than silence?

    Plus, you should still go and vote on local races, bond issues, and referendums. Might as well scribble something for President. And asking about how to write in a ballot causes much confusion amoungst the poll officials - hail Eris!

    I do think that "none of the above" should be a valid ballot choice, though. Failing that, I've thought that it would be neat to run for some local office as the "none of the above" candidate -promising that I won't even show up for work and will return any and all salary to the treasury.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @01:32PM (#1393422) Journal
    They need to be told that the internet, like most the rest of the world, is a place for ADULTS. It includes its equivalent of bars, bedrooms, and X-rated bookstores and theatres.

    The solution to the perceived problem of kids viewing internet porn is not for government to censor the entire virtual world down to a level suitable for children. The solution is instead for childrens parents, guardians, and other supervisors to watch the kids and make sure they don't frequent the virtual bars, bedrooms, and X-rated theatres. They should not be running about unsupervised on the internet until they're competent to make their own decisions on such matters.

    (Wiring the schools for internet is not a wonderful thing. It's actually the government making an excuse to censor internet content.)
  • Yes, I read that. It was pretty immature. He came of sounding like a spoiled frat-boy. On the other hand, the woman in question axed an innocent person to death for drug money. It was not a murder that inspired much compassion for the killer.
  • Really, the issue with libraries and terminals isn't about whether we should filter information, but how we should filter information. Right now, we do it strictly by content. My mother's hospital does something similar to this. When she needs to get articles on the breast or something similar, she generally needs to go to the sysadmin and get the site punched through because the filter blocks out 'breast'. This would suck for a library as well (imagine not being able to get an online version of Gray's Anatomy).

    What we need is a third-party group that people can opt into, similar to the e-mail blocking groups that keep track of things like open-relays, etc. Different groups could operate different ones, and they would keep track of whether or not the sites were moral by their rules. Libraries could then choose one or more to filter by.

    As for privacy, we don't have a constitutional right to privacy. The great thing is, though, that our Constitution can be changed, and I think you'll see an amendment within 20 years that will make this a reality.
  • A government, be it in USA or Republic of Tonga, cannot bring about justice. The only thing a government can do is enforce a set of utilitarian rules, that, the goverment thinks, will maximise happiness. These rules make up the Law of the land.

    Justice, however, goes much deeper, its boundries are ill-defined. As the saying goes, what's legal, is not always just. The reverse is also true. It is legal for a good lawyer to charge exhorbitant prices for his services, but it is not just. Why is it not just ? Simply because as only the rich (i.e., capitalist pigs), can afford expensive high-flying lawyers, and the outcome of a court-case, is greatly influenced by the skills of one's lawyer, it is quite clear that so called justice system does not serve everybody equally, rather, rich people get more justice than poor.

    The rich-poor disparity is much much higher in US than in many social democracies. The rich man in US has a more fun than a rich man in, say, UK of Finland. But the poor man in a social democracy is assured of his food, of his health and well-being, his child's education. I doubt the same could be said about an economically underclass woman in USA.

    My view is that we are not mature as a species yet to live in an anarchic state. We still need governments to wet-nurse us, like a child needs his parents. However, once the human race matures, and we all realise that power should not be one's goal in life, and that greed is character strait unworthy of a human being, then we can begin dismantling governments.

    Till then, we have to put up with this necessary evil.

  • Your analogy between a choice between helping a victim and a criminal is not idea. The better analogy - and not as much as anology as one might think, is a choice between helping two criminals or walking away.

    Fine, you have two criminals. I don't care how many criminals you have. The fact is that you don't do anything to help the situation. By not voting, you are doing just as much harm as if you did vote. JUST AS MUCH!

    An enlightened individual would realize that he can have an effect on the system. Anyone who is a part of the system can. Yes, those who vote for one or the other are ignorant as well, but you are just as ignorant for not helping. Rather than sit on your ass, you can take an active part in change. It's not going to happen on its own, and it sure as hell isn't going to happen at the hands of the current politicians.

    Until either a candidate that I trust who wants to change things too comes along (not likely) or things change for the better, my point of view is not going to change.

    If the issues are important to you (and in my previous post, I quoted you as saying that they are), go out and find a person that wants to change things. Do some research. There are politicians in this election, right now, who want to do the very things that you want to do.

    Or are you just too enlightened to realize this?
  • So if I didn't agree with any of them, who could I vote for with a clear conscience?

    I have the same dilemma. So far, the best way to send a message I can think of is to vote for George Washington (deceased). Or perhaps Bill and Opus. If enough people vote for impossable cantidates, THAT sends a message that they DO care enough to register and vote, and that they DON'T like anyone on the ticket. Just not voting will be attributed to apathy or laziness.

    That also sends the message that there are motivated voters out there who just need someone they can stand to vote for. In the best situation, those people would be a majority. Next best is enough to change the election results.

    I'm also looking at alternative parties. Sure, they probably won't win, but at least the vote gets counted and I can have a clear conscience. Even if none of them get enough votes to win, imagine the message to both parties if R+D

  • OOps, HTML, imagine that! Last line reads:

    ... if R+D

  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @01:54PM (#1393441) Homepage Journal
    The goal of libertarianism is a vastly reduced government, zero taxation, etc. But long before such a circumstance is reached, we would enter a state of diminishing returns.

    Libertarianism is a direction, not a goal. I'll be more than pleased to live under a government composed of libertarian-leaning conservatives bickering with libertarian-leaning liberals.

    "the government is probably the only thing keeping the country by being run by SuperCorp, the mass merger of all corporations, that would be in control of everything."

    One company cannot buy another unless it is first for sale. That most modern companies decide to go public, and thus be eternally up for sale, is beyond me, but there are still many that aren't.

    I'm am still surprised at the number of people more afraid of corporations than of governments. Corporations use voluntary means of persuasion. Governments use force. Microsoft cannot force you to use Windows. Have you forgotten your most recent history? Linux rose from nothing to a viable alternative before the government even wrapped up their case. And the case hasn't even been decided yet!

    Microsoft does not maintain armies or navies. It does not have a police force or issue laws. It does not compel parents to send their children to Microsoft-run schools. It does not tax. The so-called Windows tax is only a pejorative. It is not a tax.

    No individual, company or corporation any other private organization has ever approached the atrocities committed by governments. Auschwitz, the Trail of Tears, the Gulag, the list goes on. I am far more fearful of good people with state power than evil people with corporate shares.
  • Right, and you'd get a completely total lack of faith in the Libertarian party, because nothing, good or bad would get done. When Joe and Susie Public ask why they didn't get any tax relief and why their police didn't get anymore money, the Congressmen will point to the President and say, "Look, he vetoed everything!" and they'll be right.

    The President can't cause change without a Congress that helps him. The veto and pardon powers only help him prevent wrong things from happening, not from fostering the right things. Congress, as the body of the people, has that power, but they also can't actually implement them.

    That's why I think a Harry Browne, as President, can't do much to affect change (unless by change you mean 'no change'). But a Harry Browne with a Libertarian Congress; that would cause some change.
  • I've had many conversations with Marshall Fritz, the originator of that card. The purpose of the pocket test is not to see if someone is a libertarian or not. It is partly propaganda, and partly a demonstration that libertarianism is not a lunatic fringe philosophy. "You believe in A, well so do we".

    It also gets people to think outside of the box, which is always a good thing. Although wildy inaccurate, it is magnitudes more useful than the silly left-right spectrum. Nothing is more aggravating than having someone ask "libertarians, are they conservatives or liberals".
  • Do you think that the government governs you individually? Government is all about abstraction. If it weren't, my President would be ruling me, and you could have your own President. Individuals don't elect the President, the People do. That's why a candidate can get all electorate votes for a state, even if the majority of the people in your entire district voted for some other guy.
  • Okay, I deserved that one. Saying that most church-goers are not real Christians is just as bad as saying all Christians want a totalitarian moral regime.

    It is probably accurate to say that most Christians are against pornography. But to assert as the previous poster implied that all Christians want to ban it, is wrong. True, some do. Others desire non-governmental means to reduce it. Others say it is none of their business as long as they themselves don't use it. Still others have no clue so they ignore the issue.
  • The same way you tax a person who drives from Texas to Oklahoma to purchase some fancy Oklahoma thing. You just add the tax in. You say, "All right, you purchase $10 worth of crap, the sales tax here is 8.25%, so you owe us $10.83, what's your VISA number?" The real problem isn't doing the taxing, it's how the taxes get distributed. The whole point of a sales tax is that it benefits the community in which the business resides, but if the majority of the business isn't conducted in that community, is it right for those people to have to pay for things in that community? Most Americans would say no.

    Taxation without representation was one of the ideas that defined our Revolution.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Friday January 07, 2000 @02:24PM (#1393466)
    This is why I stay politically neutral.

    Anyway, there were a few things about the article that I found interesting. One, it never tackled the encryption issue. It mentioned it once in passing, but never said anything about it.

    Two, check the bit about the MS case. There's a decidedly pro-MS slant. Then again, that's probably why the site's called that.

    Three, the filtering problem. The issue is thorny; kids really shouldn't be accessing all the pr0n that's out there. But the government has no place in this, and no right to take the role of guardian. That's the job of parents and educators. There's also the problem that most filtering software blocks harmless sites (the most often-cited example is that medical sites get blocked).

    Apple's KidSafe filtering software is actually intriguing for that reason. Instead of blacklisting the "bad" sites, it whitelists "good" ones, as approved by a panel of teachers and librarians. This one, much as I hate to support filtering, might actually have something of a place in the school system. School-owned computers shouldn't be used for stuff other than schoolwork anyway. As long as they don't try to force it onto personal and home machines, there's something of an appeal to those.

    The argument can also be made that the government owns the computers placed in public schools and libraries, and therefore has the right to do what it wants with its property.

    Note that I don't support mandatory filtering at all. I would still much rather see any "protection" acts shot down. But I get the feeling that eventually our twisted right-fringe zealot friends in the government are going to get what they want, so it might as well be channeled to where it can do the least destruction possible.
  • The thing that you are forgetting is that corporations are a legal fiction. They exist only because the state allows them to exist. So no, under no circumstance would SuperCorp be able to run the government. The government could always nullify corporate law.

    Plus, keep in mind that the president is not the whole game. Even with a libertarian president, it is unlikely that congress would allow any very libertarian amendments to be passed.
  • He has the power of veto and pardon. [emphasis mine]
    Say, do you think he would pardon all the people rotting in jails on drug charges? That, in and of itself, could shake things up quite a bit. Interesting...
  • You can stop shouting anytime now...
  • The thing that you are forgetting is that corporations are a legal fiction. They exist only because the state allows them to exist. So no, under no circumstance would SuperCorp be able to run the government. The government could always nullify corporate law.

    With the government of three people in a shack it will be very hard to implement. Libertarians ignore the fact that after some growth large companies can gain more real power than government, and rule the country basically by themselves (and definitely not in anyone's other than themselves' interest -- there is no mechanism that enforces their responsibility to population, and their commercial interests with the absence of any restraints that government provides, will be to turn the country into something like 14-th century's Europe).

  • You asked the exact question I entered the comments area to post.

    I've always leaned towards a libertarian ideal, but have never voted for the party in the past. This year I am changing that, and registering as a member of the party to boot. If the party can do this right, they should be able to grab a large portion of the tech crowd, because I believe our ideals are very similar to those of the party.

    One thing that makes the Libertarian party stand out is their party stance. If you vote for a libertarian, you are voting for the Libertarian party, and what it stands for. That's something you can't say with the Republican and Democrat candidates.

    Here's an idea..

    What are the chances of getting a Slashdot interview with Harry Browne? I'll bet that he would be one of the most accessible of the candidates, and would be a good foil to the information provided in the above article about the Rep/Dem internet opinions..

    Anyone else interested in seeing this?

    ________________________________________________ _____________
  • No, no, no. Politicians nead a good strategy so it should be better to test them in a StarCraft tournament.
  • I'm am still surprised at the numberof people more afraid of corporations than ofgovernments. Corporations use voluntary means of persuasion. Governments use force. Microsoftcannot force you to use Windows. Have you forgotten your most recent history? Linux rose from nothing to aviable alternative before the government even wrapped up their case. And the case hasn't even been decided yet!

    I'm afraid of corporations because I believe that entities with large amounts of resources can influence the functioning of the government to do things which will work to my detriment, and I feel powerless to stop them.

  • Could someone please explain to us non-Americans what 'soccer moms' are, and what was their importance in the '96 elections? They were mentioned in some comments, but I still don't get it.
  • That still doesn't explain why you're afraid of corporations and not the government. It's like saying you're afraid of casinos more than the mafia because a casino might have a mob connections.

    The solution would be to limit the power of government, rather than set an arbitrary size upon a corporation.
  • I agree with you up until your last sentance, religious "morality" has no place in the US Government.

    Let me disclose first, that I'm an atheist. That being sad, I didn't say we need to go to a religious morality, even though the Constitution is founded upon Judeo-Christian morality. The simple definition of morality is the rightness and wrongness of an action. Is it wrong to kill? Most people would think so... it's not a religous centered idea. The premise behind the general laws of the US is, or at least should be, to prevent that which hurts someone else.

    Also note, the separation of church and state is a mythical lie in the revisionist history books today. There is no article in the Constitution that says that the religion and government entities have to be mutually exclusive; the only thing mentioned is that "Congress shall make no law prohibiting the exercise or the worship of religion". Even as an atheist, I see the importance of allowing things like school prayer if the kid wants to.

    Start getting into more blurred things like homosexual marriage and it becomes more obfuscated. IMHO, marriage is the public bond between a man and a woman who seek to have a family in order to procreate. Yeah, not very PC but it's my opinion. That being said, although I don't care what someone does behind closed doors, I don't think homosexual marriage itself is proper even if they adopt kids( who knows what kind of impact a gay relationship could have on someone... some may handle it well but some may be devastated as they get older ). I don't have a problem with insurance companies offering coverage for gay partners IF THEY CHOOSE TO. It shouldn't be a government mandated thing much like government shouldn't be banning smoking in restaurants and bars. If some company decides to offer partnership benefits, they'll be rewarded by the gay community.

    Basically, the way I see it, government shouldn't have its tentacles in your personal, private life but to some extent marriage itself is a societal contract. If there is enough demand for something, healthcare or whatever, someone will come in to fill the niche market if they could be convinced that they could profit. You might raise questions about boycotting but it sure didn't seem to hurt disney.

    The feds should get out of all the unecessary areas that they have their claws in and get back to national defense and interstate regulation. Last year, the government spent $359 billion on necessities and $953 billion on social programs. Regardless of what the democrats and the heavily liberal media say, it sure wasn't defense spending that got us into debt and I'll let you guess which has decreased and which has increased. Under Bradley and Gore, expect to see the second number double to pay for their socialized medicine programs( and while everyone's at it, ask why canadians come here for medical treatment ).

  • If they can get the restriction on visas lifted, the market gets flooded, and salaries and quality drops.

    Damn straight! Everybody knows them immigants can't write good code like Honest God-Fearing Americans! Why, the next thing you know there'll be a horde of swarthy green card holders here working on their cheap Leenooks and slandering the quality of the US and our Windows software!

    They probably program in their strange furriner tongues, too! Imagine!

    impresarf("Soy un imigrante malvado!");

    Now, how is a humble young American boy supposed to debug that?

    The IEEE has done a pretty good job at fighting this, it should be an issue for anyone working in technology.

    That warms my heart. Only when we get back to the kind of economic isolationism and protectionism we enjoyed in the 1930s will America truly prosper. Why, if we're enjoying the longest economic boom in decades after NAFTA, just think of how great the American economy would be if we stopped letting furriners steal our jobs!

  • Damn straight! Everybody knows them immigants can't write good code like Honest God-Fearing
    Americans! Why, the next thing you know there'll be a horde of swarthy green card holders here
    working on their cheap Leenooks and slandering the quality of the US and our Windows software!

    I think you're a little ignorant about your argument. Some of the best software in the world is written by non-Americans. The point I'm making is that corporations, if work visa restrictions are lifted, will degrade the quality of working enviornments for *all* their employees who are affected by these visas.

    What happened at the end of the cold war when we cut defense spending and wound up with too many engineers? Think they all kept their jobs?

    Why would they need to pay you, when they can have their development done overseas by people willing to work for 1/3 your salary? Why provide a decent work enviornemnt if they *do* need you? Why provide a decent work enviornment to the developers overseas?

    If you think that overloading the market with workers (regardless of nationality)is going to actually help growth, you probably don't have much experience in corporate America.

  • Eroding the funds on which state and local governments are run would be a good thing. The government already has way too many incompetent people. It's a welfare system in and of itself. Go to any big city and spend some time talking to some of the people employed by the city. It's an effing disgrace. Eroding their funds and firing their asses would be a dream.


  • Are you sure this fellow wants to lower barriers to entry as you imply? You strongly suggest all this supports people like us, but you could as easily say:

    2) Stop lawyers from attacking the technology industry and make sure special interests like Microsoft can do absolutely anything they want without fear of legal hassle

    Gee, sounds like Microsoft might like that a lot, actually!

    3)Eliminate capital gains taxes to make sure the existing rich special interests can be even more rich and even more capable of starving out and crushing any high-tech small business dumb enough to try and apply late-80s rules to 2000 and beyond- or, failing that, just buy anything that looks threatening and divvy up the developers and skilled people among random corporate projects to keep them out of circulation.

    Ooo, stick it to the man ;P

    I don't trust this guy as far as I could throw him on _Jupiter_. Yeesh. How many slashdotters really buy into this sort of thing? It's amazing how people can see total pandering to trusts as 'woo hoo, freedom'. I don't have an answer- I'd go with Bradley, not real enthusiastically- but I'd like to think I at least have a clue. American Politics is the _dumbest_ place I can think of to worship the wealthy in the belief that they will be above influence. o_O

  • Bill Bradley. Name _one_ other candidate that was a top-echelon athletic star (i.e. basketball, for Bradley), with experience getting situational awareness of many people running around competing with you, plus the remainder of a sports star's youthful reflexes. _Plus_, what other candidate has been in such a public competition as pro basketball, relied upon to win the game, the center of attention and stress?

    I might also add that Bradley would be well suited to playing team Quake because he always played team basketball very well, working with teammates rather than being a ballhog, and I have to emphasise the situational awareness- Bradley was known for startling quick passes to teammates that he wasn't even _looking_ at, sensing where they'd moved to and winging the ball to where they must be without looking. This tended to leave crowds cheering like maniacs as it seemed superhuman.

    With all this going for him, how could Bradley _not_ totally wipe the floor with anybody in American politics, playing Quake III? The ability to keep track of where individuals are going in a busy melee would have him owning all of them, by a huge margin. Anyone know if he plays the game? I'm serious- there's every reason to believe Bradley would just humiliate all the other politicians. How could he not?

  • Better yet, he can decriminalise everything! Then the jails can be mostly emptied, and 90% of those people can hit the streets and, rejoicing and singing merry songs, flood the fscking country with crack! How empowering :P

    Simple answers make complicated messes. I'd rather see complicated answers to hopefully make simpler messes. To me, _both_ "Jail 'em all!" and "Let 'em all go!" are dangerously simple answers. The reality is a lot trickier than that, believe me.

  • You know, that ties in really well with the belief of Douglas Adams that "anyone who wants to be President should on no account be able to do the job", and Arthur C. Clarke's corollary: the best government would be one where certain groups of people (criminals, politicians, etc.) are eliminated, and the President would be determined by picking randomly from the eligible people who were left. The resulting President would then want to do their job well, on the hope that they'd get time off for good behavior.

    The anti-vote system could determine who to eliminate. Obviously, if you've heard of the person, they're trying too hard. So have a vote where you simply write in the name of someone that you do NOT want to be President, then pick the President randomly from everyone who got 0 votes.

  • A government, be it in USA or Republic of Tonga, cannot bring about justice. The only thing a government can do is enforce a set of utilitarian rules, that, the goverment thinks, will maximise happiness.
    That's very true. Just remember that politicians will weight the scale of happiness so that their own happiness is maximized first.
  • Nobody's going to start reading your posts until you turn off Caps Lock.
  • Bill Bradley and Al Gore's beliefs say that being racially discriminatory is immoral, therefore it should be illegal. (I'm referring to the hiring and behavior of the private sector, as well as the government) Does this mean you won't vote for them, too?

    Clinton thought that the actions of Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic were immoral, therefore he sent the army after them, arguably a far stronger act than merely passing a law. He called Saddam Hussein immoral, and sent troops after his actions. Does this mean that you didn't vote for Clinton?

    What would *you* have the government do? Too much action offends you, and too little you wouldn't trust.
  • That aside, if the corporations code were abolished, then all the assets of all the corporations in the US would go to the shareholders, and any concerted effort thereafter would have unlimited liability. In other words, if the business was sued, the plaintiffs could reach the owners' assets. Who would invest under such circumstances?

    Organized crime isn't even legal under existing laws, yet a lot of people participate and invest in it. If "abolished", corporation will just convert themselves into something similar.

  • I've seen abuses on both sides when it comes to immigration of skilled workers. This involves ppl that
    should have been granted work visas or permanent immigration status, and the lowering of work
    conditions by the importation of cheaper labor.

    Exactly. I've seen people months away from getting their citizenship being forced to work 60-70 hour weeks, with the employer's attitude being "What are you going to quit and start your immigration all over again?"

    I've been in the computer industry for a while in the New York City area, and I'd say that 80% of all people once they get citizenship bail out of their jobs because they were mistreated and underpaid.

    "roystgnr" shows the ignorance that a lot of people in technology have to this issue, instead of reading the Website I linked to, or better yet, even understanding the issue before trying to be cute, he chose to insinuate I'm sort of foreigner hating hillbilly, which did nothing but demonstrate his ignorance.

    If he held a job in a major metro area, I'm sure he'd be more enlightened.
  • Notice how I singled out crack? I didn't use marijuana for my bitter remark. I'll tell you, me and marijuana happened not to get along very well- even though it's one of the least aggressively harmful drugs you can get, I still got well and truly hung up on it, and won't touch that stuff anymore. I can see how even that could be harmful, but I can accept that my experience might be atypical.

    I said crack because high-powered cocaine (and, obviously, opiates) are without question the most likely 'victimless' drugs to actually cause victims- either in the form of physical addiction that some people never escape, or in the form of criminal acts performed to get the money for more crack or opiates. _You_ know that's true, better than most. Many of the criminals you deal with are also abusing substances, and a lot of the really familiar faces are strung out on heavy drugs and simply desperate to get a fix. Suburban potheads might not want to believe this is a reality, but yes there are drugs that tend to produce conditions like that.

    You also know that serious drug supply is not a charity or public service- it's a bigtime capitalist enterprise more vicious than most, and it's heavily geared towards extracting as much money as possible from consumers who are often poor and not in a position to pay for what they need. Again, it's the potheads that present a less vicious picture, a more peaceful front. Start looking at other drugs and you get sellers who will not do payment plans or 'help out a friend who's hurtin' and it's cash on the barrelhead or nothing, and they don't care where you get it. And again, welcome to robbery, fraud, mugging, the gamut of victim crimes, for the purpose of getting money. Few things are more motivating than a severe physical addiction like opiates, or a magic Superman pill like highpowered cocaine, particularly when they can erase your concern about what acts you may have just committed to get the money for your drugs.

    So, I wasn't saying there was _no_ way in which drugs could be decriminalised sanely- it seems to me serious regulation and taxation would help. But just flinging the doors open and kicking the underground, criminal (in various senses of the word) economy into high gear without trying to change it? You'd be overloaded again, this time with victim crimes. Sale of crack is a canonical example of a 'victimless act' that has a really high probability of rapidly eating through the buyer's money, no matter how much that is. It's not like pot- you can burn through _large_ amounts of money consuming cocaine. And when the money is gone, then what? GET MORE, what else? Naturally, some people are going to take more direct approaches to this problem, and that becomes your problem as a cop.

    If you want a lower caseload in the long run, work for decriminalisation that results in practically a government subsidy on drugs. Get the government set up as your friendly dope dealer. Otherwise, the underground economy already in place will burgeon and swamp you with other crime as the dealers and distribution chain fight over booming business and the new buyers produce a steady percentage of new muggers, robbers and con artists.

  • In particular, there's a question I want to ask him, where his answer can be seen by many.

    I am a small-l libertarian, i.e. I never joined the Party (due to a minor issue with the wording of the pledge). I characterize my political leanings as "law 'n order anarchist" (or sometimes "... minarchist").

    By that, I mean that we should repeal all (or most) of the laws. But it is important that certain of them be repealed in the right ORDER. Most big-L Libertarians seem willing to repeal them in any order, taking every target of opportunity.

    A case in point: The wealth-redistribution entitlements (welfare, child support, medical assistance, etc.) must go (or be significantly limited or modified) before the immigration restrictions can be releaxed.
  • Without implying that either of you are wrong, in roystgnr's defense:
    He has worked in multiple metro areas (including Houston and Albuquerque) and is extremely
    intelligent and enlightened. Why don't you point out specifically what's wrong with his argument and
    why, instead of slinging ad hominem attacks? I'm sure the humor was not intended to be a personal
    slam, but rather a reminder that this issue is, in fact, easily stereotyped and polarized and requires
    careful, elaborated, and specific argument.

    I'm not sure how to repond to what's wrong with his argument, since he completely didn't understand the issue, and instead of just moving on (like most people do when not familiar with an issue) chose to use humor in a personal slam.

    Therefore is shows his ignorance on this issue, he could be the most intelligent person in the world, but he's ignorant on this issue, and immature in his response.

    I can't see how he was trying to give us a 'reminder that this issue is, in fact, easily stereotyped and polarized...', since he was insinuating that I'm some foreigner hating redneck, which is far from the truth.
  • I didn't say the electoral college always follows the popular vote. I said the electoral college always elects the person who "won the electoral vote" on Election Day. There's nothing sacred about a small plurality, and there is nothing wrong with Wyoming getting three electoral votes instead of the slightly more democratic one electoral vote.
  • Maybe. But he still might be the best candidate.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington