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United States

Internet Effects on Presidential Campaigns 179

nickdog writes "The upcoming presidential election will probably be the first to be significantly influenced by the Internet. According to a study by Media Quotient, Bill Bradley and John McCain are in the best position to win over voters who rely on Internet news sources."
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Internet Effects on Presidential Campaign

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    From The Art of Political War by David Horowitz:

    Here, then, is a label for Democrats: Leftists.

    The Democrat Party is a party of the Left.

    But nobody calls the Democrats leftists, even though Republicans are regularly identified as right-wingers. Even Republicans call Democrats "liberals" rather than leftists.

    But "liberal" is a word whose root is "liberty," not "government control" which is what Democrats want. We need to have truth-in-labeling for political categories. Republicans should make "Left," and "Radical Left," and "Far Left" reflexive labels for describing those who belong to what is now called the "liberal" wing of the Democrat Party.

    Leftists have a history that accurately links them to experiments in big government and socialist solutions. The word "liberal," on the other hand, falsely connects them to Adam Smith, James Madison and John Locke. These were the philosophical champions of free markets and political democracy.

    Republican legislators should practice referring to Democrats like Maxine Waters as "my opponent from the far left," and to "my left-wing colleagues Bernie Sanders and Barney Frank." Don't blame the media for describing leftists as "liberals," while letting them off the hook yourself.

    The complete pamphlet The Art of Political War: How Republicans Can Fight To Win [noleft.com] is a good read.
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Well, I can't really take credit for it, but I admit it had me convinced. I don't know about the reverse-sin-taxes, though. (saint-tax-exemptions?) But maybe that's just because I don't like sin-tax in the first place. Ever since those BASIC interpreters gave me sin-tax errors... :)

    But yes, you could create a simple system that's good enough like this and massively reduce paperwork. In England, they have a (huge, in my opinion) VAT (value-added tax)... but they still tax the hell out of their citizens anyhow, so maybe that's a bad example. (Disclaimer: not from England. If you are, feel free to enlighten me as to the system there)

    What I like about it, though, is people who would normally pay huge taxes on their house and land that they can't afford on their current income wouldn't have to be punished so harshly. Just because they already have possessions doesn't mean they still have money. Tax people when the money changes hands, and that way you're sure to get some of it.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Yes, but you don't want a write-in like Segfault had.

    However, if you did, you'd be amazed at what a strong showing the independent party for NATALIE PORTMAN NAKED AND PETRIFIED FOR PRUZ1DENT!!!1!1 has... ;)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Nowadays "liberal" is becoming a bad word, as it is overused by those darn conservatives. It used to be that liberal might imply, say, democrat, libertarian, free-thinking, progressive... Now it's liberal in the context of "tax-and-spend liberal", as opposed to the much more noble "tax-exemption-for-me republican"...

    That, in fact, would be the only *good* thing about a flat tax: getting rid of the loopholes in the current system. But I doubt they'll get rid of property tax, capital gains tax, gift tax, intangibles tax, etc., etc. anytime soon...

    Oh, and for any rich, offended, extreme-right-wing republicans out there: my opinion is natural given my economic status. If you want to change my mind, try donating me some money instead of arguing with me. I'll like you better, and you can find out if I can be bought. *And* it's better than property tax, because you know the student that you are helping! Think of it as a scholarship for people who will take your money.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    I don't think that's how it works. When you use up your mod points, doesn't someone else get mod points? I'd hope they've figured that problem out in the code already.

    But yes, I agree with the general principle, it's better to moderate up than to moderate down. But what's the point of moderating a +3 up to a +4 when you could be helping get rid of a slew of huge, random, content-free posts? Sometimes it's better to help slay the horde of orcs so the other players can move freely than promote the level 24 character to level 25... :)

    (where's that Doom interface to Moderation when I need it?)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    I agree, that's pitiful.

    I'd like to send out a big FUCK YOU to Mr. Smargle here, and I encourage the moderators to send those posts to oblivion--at least -2, if possible.

    I like to read at -1 sometimes, to see what people are saying. But I'd appreciate it if I could do that without my netscape trying to swap.

    And for people with slow connections at home... well, at least it's compressible.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • :) Touche. Of course, while we're at it, buying people is classic conservative thinking, but this was meant to be humorous anyhow. You're not being punished, you're setting a good example for the rest of us; by working harder, you're taking on more responsibility for your country. Or, you could spend time learning how to (sometimes legally) evade the system. Roth IRAs look rather nice nowadays, at least, and failing that, you can pay an accountant, or buy a local authority figure.

    I wish I could change my economic status by working harder. Sadly in my case, the opposite is true. If I work harder, I could end up paying *more* to my University. Over the summer, however, is another matter.

    But there are many people out there who work much longer hours than I would for much less money. They can work "harder" all they want, but they don't necessarily get the cushy tech-support jobs over the crappy bus-driving / hotel-security / food-service jobs. Work smarter, not harder. Anyone who *really* believes that the wealthy physically work harder is stupider than they think you are. Maybe. That's another good reason why the wealthy should pay more in taxes.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • I'm a registered Republican, but I'd rather see McCain or Bradley win than any of the other candidates

    Agreed. I'm a Democrat, but I'd rather see either Bradley or McCain than Gore (or, obviously, Bush).

    But then, what do I know -- last election I voted in, I voted for an ex-professional wrestler rather than the idiot my party nominated (I *never* liked Skip -- when he ran for Senate, I voted for the Republican running against him (Dave Durenberger, IIRC)).

    --

  • Recent geologic studies have shown that the temperature of the Earth is normally 8-10 degrees warmer than it is now. We're still coming out of the last ice age! Try http://www.junkscience.c om/news/william-the-conqueror.html or http://www.zianet.com/wblase/endtimes/ge olog.htm

    You'll forgive me if the informally expressed, vague opinion on the climate of the middle ages (which is not at issue) from half a decade ago, or a reprint from the Wall St. Journal's Letters to the Editor section don't exactly hold much weight for me.

    We're not still coming out of the last ice age. The last glacial retreat was 10000 years ago, and although the climate is supposed to continue to warm for some time after that, it should have stopped by now. In fact, we're over the hump, the climate should be getting cooler. (This is not based on computer models, it's based on the historical glacial advance/retreat scedule from the last few hundred thousand years.)

    As far as what the Earth "normally" is, that entirely depends on what you call normal. It's true that the Earth was significantly warmer during the Cretaceous period. Tropical climates were found north of the Arctic Circle! The carbion dioxide count in the atmosphere was over ten times higher than it is now, so this is not surprising (except to idiots who think CO2 doesn't affect global temperatures). But it should be noted that there was also far less land area available back then, due to higher sea levels (since there were NO polar ice caps at the time). If your idea of "normal" is to place the majority of the land humanity has lived on during its existence, then might I suggest we do everything in our power to prevent the Earth from returning to "normal". You see, I don't care whether it's natural for the Earth to be warmer or not! That's not the issue here! The issue is we've evolved to live on a planet more like it is today.

    From a strictly Gaian perspective, global warming is irrelevant. The Earth has been much warmer in the past, and it gotby just fine (perhaps better if you consider the total amount of living biomass on the planet as a guage of how well Gaia is doing). But if you care at all about humanity, it IS an issue. Nature will get by just fine, it's humanity that will suffer if we can't keep the climate under control.

    --

  • At the moment gasoline is running about a $1.40/gallon. 41 cents of that is tax. It's a 30% tax already! I drive a 1979 Camaro at 12mpg 500 miles a week. That means that I gave the government $900 in gas taxes last year. What did paying the tax do for me? Less than nothing. I've replaced two shocks, a tie-rod and a tire because of their misuse of the tax.

    Err, are you normally this stupid or are you just venting? Yes, you had to repair your car. How much more or less would you have had to repair it if they didn't do what they do to upkeep the roads? If you think your car would have been less damaged driving off-road, then yes, it's true, you received "less than nothing" for your taxes. Somehow, I suspect this isn't the case, though. Did you spend more than you would spend of the roads were kept up better? Maybe, maybe not. Cars suffer wear and tear driving on perfectly good roads. It's unreasonable to simply assume if roads were kept up in perfect condition, you would't have spent any money on repair. Also, if you stop and think about what you're saying, you're making an argument for increasing gas tax. Right now, according to you, we don't do enough upkeep on the roads and it's costing you money because of it.

    I vote we just toss all the bums out of office and start over. There's gotta be a more cost effective way of doing it!

    Unless you can be more specific about what the more effective way would be, there would be no point in starting over. We'd just rebuilding using the same poor design.

    By the way, why is this a reply to my post? You seem to have avoided the issue I was addressing and ranted on about something unrelated. I don't disagree that the government is not spending the money it receives efficiently. That's completely unrelated to what I was suggesting. I wasn't suggesting we give the government any more or less money than we do now. I was suggesting that we distribute the tax burden more fairly. You use the roads way more than I do, should you not in fact pay more for their upkeep than I do? I think that's only fair. Why do you think I should pay for your use of the highway? Do you always look to the government for free handouts?

    --

  • You do not neded to do away with capital gains tax.. just income tax. The money needs to go someplace. I guess investment firms could be forced to deduct the tax automatically when you sell stuff, so individual people would not need to fill out taxes unless they actually took possetion of the stock. I suppose you would also need to keep things like inheretance tax.

    Maybe, maybe not. These are interesting ideas, and I don't disagree with them, I just don't think they address a truly significant problem. People talk about rich people evading taxes and so on, but really, this is a relatively minor problem. If we simply stopped taxing millionaires altogether, it wouldn't make a significant dent in the budget. There simply don't make that large a contribution to the IRS's yearly take -- there just aren't enough of them for it to really make a difference. Which is not to say I think they should be exempted from taxes, but just applying a national sales tax instead of an income tax and letting them pay their fair share under the same system everyone else uses seems enough. If it turns out they spend a smaller percentage of their income than others on taxes that way, well, so that's what happens. No big deal, no real need to up luxury taxes, capital gains taxes, or anything like that. We can, but it's just not that big an issue...

    --

  • Ventura isn't so bad.

    Of course not, that's why I voted for him. :) He used to stop by a little computer store in Brooklyn Park from time to time back when he was mayor (the owner of which was also active in city politics). He's a smart man with good ideas. He just lacks the political savy he needs. Hopefully he'll gain that as time goes by...

    --

  • This may be an international forum, but the outcome of a US presidential election affects far more than the US, just like the election of a leader in any other politically signficant country, such as the UK, Russia, Israel, and so forth. These people's stances on foreign policy affect the course of history for the entire globe.



  • Politicians are politicians. They are good at one thing, and ONE THING ONLY, and that is, TELLING LIES.

    Whether they do it online or not, LIES are still LIES.

    Whether or not the people the pols are telling lies to are online or not, the pols know how to TAILOR their lies so nicely that people will BUY INTO THEIR LIES.

    Even if 100% of the electorate are online, even if 100% of the pols are here to woo our votes, it still won't change the basic tenet a bit - that they (the pols) will end up RUINING OUR LIVES, because WE LET THEM !


  • In my experience, the games advertised in this way aren't really worth playing. If the game's so pathetic that they have to use tasteless sex to sell it, well, thanks for warning me that only sexually frustrated teenage heterosexual males will get anything out of it, and thanks for saving me the time I'd spend considering buying your game.
  • who is willing to base both your campaign and administration soley on opinion polls.

    You fail to note the influence of big money.

  • Someone needs to put an end to anonymous posting.
    ________________________________
  • Candidates wold love more, but aren't getting that
    way.
  • I think you have a slight paranoia/dissaffection/cynicism/apathy problem. True, many politicians lie, but it's also true that many are hard-working, honest, people. Tom Hayden, the founder of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the 60s, is now a politician in my area. My Congressman, Henry Weinstein, is an honest, uncompromised liberal, as are Senators Barney Frank (D-MA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Just 'cause Clinton, Hatch, Gingrish, and the others suck, doesn't mean they all do.
  • With the loosening cryptography export regulations, either candidate really could appeal to the Slashdot mass by promising to continiue the tradition the Clinton administration has started.

    Are there any public documents detailing their respective plans for cryptography export regulations?

  • The instant online polls at cspan after most of the Republican debates showed that viewers felt Allen Keyes won the debate. This was not picked up and reported by any newspaper that Ive read.

    Interesting. I haven't heard anything positive about him here either. I don't suspect race first, religion is far more likely in this forum; but I was curious about the Slashdot readership's opinion since I favor Mr. Keyes.

    Anyone have anything to say on the subject?

    cheers,
    sklein

  • I drive a 1979 Camaro at 12mpg 500 miles a week. That means that I gave the government $900 in gas taxes last year.

    And good. You burned about 2200 gallons of gasoline, releasing lots of toxins and pollutants. Get a fuel-efficient car, let the inner-city asthmatic kids breathe better, and pay less taxes. Everybody wins.

  • For the record, I flatly refuse to qualify SUVs as fuel-efficient. In fact, I spent part of my summer campaigning for tighter restrictions on SUV emissions.
  • It would be interesting to see Slashdot polls about how Slashdot readers will be voting.
    Yes, but we'd run into the crappy of options problem for those who, like myself, favor third-party wackos.

    Read the candidate comparisons that are going to appear all over the web over the next 10 months. And make an intelligent decision.
    While certainly no substitute for performing your own analysis, GoVote's VoteMatch [govote.com] is a pretty nifty and useful tool that compares your views to the candidates'. There's a terrible dearth of anyone but Democrats and Republicans (though Pat Buchanan is there -- yuck), but, honestly, one of them is going to win anyway.

  • Huh? The tradition that the Clinton administration started? ?? For most of its existence, the Clinton administration has been the enemy of sensible export restrictions. Let's not be grateful to an entity who has merely decided to oppress us less.

  • Well, it's on the *Internet*, and we all know that the internet is only for perverts and anarchists, and that no *real* American would be caught dead in such a place, right?

    People still have the tendency to view people on the Internet as machines or to dismiss actions that occur here as not worthy of "real people".

    Unsurprisingly, this is still the case with the reactionary world of contemporary American politics.

    ~~~~~~~~~
    auntfloyd
  • I think this is an excellent idea, except for the fact that this is an international forum. Perhaps a seperate area where this can take place would be better and not all mixed in with the rest of the slashdot news.

    I would love a nice collection of links that focus on the candidates since I'm too fscking lazy to spend hours tracking down decent information myself...

  • A national sales tax, and suddenly getting computers to inner-city students just got 20%-30% more difficult.

    *Sigh*... no, it wouldn't. Once you've eliminated the corporate taxes and compliance costs that are embedded into the price, the retail cost of most goods, including the national tax, will be roughly the same (within a few percent). Check out Americans for Fair Taxation [fairtax.org] for more details. The bill they sponsor, HR 2525, is a single-stage, single-rate tax on all new retail goods and services (used goods are not taxed, nor are non-retail sales such as business to business). The bill also provides a rebate set by the poverty line that everyone is eligible to receive the same dollar amount. In other words, it is that rarest of laws these days -- one that would treat every single person identically.

    --

  • Hrm, I doubt thats correct. However, if it were true then the government would be getting the same amount of money from products as they are now, acsept no Income tax. So while the government looses a huge revinue stream it would gain nothing.

    Or did I missread you, and you are actualy stating that the price after a national sales tax would not be the same?

    Because the government would not be collecting individual income taxes, people would have more disposable income, and retail sales would go up (even if only due to inflation, which is an unlikely risk) accordingly.

    Add to that a more dynamic model of economics, which actually assumes that taxation levels and types actually have an impact on economic activity (this, BTW, is radical thinking for most government organizations...), and the fact that the reduced costs of production would make American (since we are talking about the US in this example) products more competitive with foreign goods, increasing the wage base, which increases the retail sales base, which decreases the necessary tax rate (cycle until the diminishing returns equal zero).

    A retail sales tax (in lieu of an income tax) also gets rid of the intrusive IRS, and the need to fill out a return each year.

    --

  • [what the Dominant Paradigm candidates are running deleted for brevity]

    Harry Browne (http://www.harrybrowne2000.org/ [harrybrowne2000.org]) - Apache on BSD

    Steve Forbes (http://www.forbes2000.com/ [forbes2000.com]) - Netscape Enterprise on Solaris

    Alan Keys (http://www.keyes2000.org [keyes2000.org]) - Apache on Solaris

    And just for the halibut, my favorite undeclared choice, Jesse Ventura, who, while he doesn't have a campaign website, does have a website on his current administration (http://www.jesseventura.com/ [jesseventura.com]), which runs (drumroll please) Apache+PHP on Linux! (My man is with it.)

    Normally, I'm not a karma whore, but folks need to know about more than just the aforementioned heffalumps and woozles when they go to choose who will lead this nation into the 21st century (which starts in another 345 days!) For freedom, eh?

    p.s. these are NOT THE ONLY GOOD CANDIDATES, go find your own, alreddie... and post back!

    --
    Elephants and asses
    are scamming the masses

  • their success has nothing to do with their web

    sites at all especially here since certain people

    are usally frontrunners and that is the case here.
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    Where the hell's the IP ban?

    Heh, I guess it just took a while for those -5. Ah well. Enjoy your 'break' asshole

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • Well, after the Stevens-death story was trolled insainly, Rob instituted "troll protection", whereby an IP will be banned for a few days if the poster get's more then -5 moderations in a few hours or somthing.

    I guess this guy just spammed the hell out of it before he got -5. After that though, he probably stopped... Unless he was on a dynamic IP...

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • In a flat tax system, the poor, and lower middle class pay no taxies whatsoever, beacuse the first $x is not taxed. Under the current Forbs plan, x = $20,000, more if you have kids. A lot of people don't know this, and it can only be exsplained by the fact that they are idiots.

    The rich will probably pay more money, but less persentages. The people paying the most will be the upper middle class, forwhom $20,000 is not a significant amount of there total income.

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • Scientists can run the same model with and without different effects, such as factories, rain forest burning, cars, etc. And the current best models show that there will be a significant difference depending on such factors.

    There are certan things we don't know about the effects of greenhouse gasses. But we can guess. By changing the guesses, the effect of man-made polutants can be anywhere from 0 to a huge amount. Regardless of, cars, factories, whatever.

    Anyway, if the earth gets to hot, all we need to do is insert some particulates to reflect the sun's light a bit before its hits the earth. Cooling the earth isn't reall even a problem.

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • Someone like George W. Bush would make a better choice about freedom

    Whatever, that fundi-fuck would just as soon stomp all over your freedoms if it ment more votes from the Chirstian Coalition, or more money from ExxonMobil/AOL-Timewarner or whoever.

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • http://www.selectsmart.com/PRESIDENT/

    This votey thing matched me up with some guy from the natural-law party first. Then henry brown, and Bill bradly. Lots of options for lil-guys.

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • No one has claimed that he didn't. Including The man himself

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    you could have saved yourself a lot of trouble if you would have just gone to netcraft, or looked at the post a few above you.

    I know, I know, its not as fun as doing it yourself. But anyway, McCain Uses IRIX. pretty weird.

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • Before you get sucked in by Steve's Flat Tax plan, think about the personal benefit it will be to Mr. Forbes.

    Why the hell should I care what the effects of a flat tax are to steive Forbs? I care about the effect of the tax on three things. How the poor will be taxed, how much money the government will loose/gain, and how much I'll have to pay. Since Forbs isn't poor, I see no reason to pay atention to how much he will benifit-loose by any tax plan.

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • Once you've eliminated the corporate taxes and compliance costs that are embedded into the price, the retail cost of most goods, including the national tax, will be roughly the same

    Hrm, I doubt thats correct. However, if it were true then the government would be getting the same amount of money from products as they are now, acsept no Income tax. So while the government looses a huge revinue stream it would gain nothing.

    Or did I missread you, and you are actualy stating that the price after a national sales tax would not be the same?

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • A perl script to contravene the above ideas is trivial to implement. Yes it would take a bit more effort, but not much...

    LetterRip
  • I always vote in Presidential elections, but I am tempted not to because I am too lazy to gather enough information to make a good decision. I know, I shouldn't be like that. Anyway, if the internet can provide the information needed to make a good decision then maybe those people who wouldn't otherwise vote will get out and do it.
    Maybe.
  • There is nothing revolutionary about the Internet and Politics. In contrast, it's sad to see how old strategies of power aquisition are applied to such a cool medium as the Internet. The latest example is the AOL-Time Warner merger. With this move, a big chunk of the mainstream Internet news outlet is immediately controlled by the government - assuming that you agree with me that the media (and Time Warner) is pretty much controlled by the government. Sure, there will still be other news sources, but if they don't get traffic (and with AOL-TW out there, they will get less traffic), they will get less (Ad) revenues, and with that, they can affort less independent research, which will make the mainstream news sources even more attractive. And even if they can keep their traffic, they will have to rely on Reuters & Co. as a source for news. Go figure.

    I hope you don't find this off topic - because the influence of politics on media must not be underestimated. There are very few news agencies out there, and a lot of the data they spread steems directly from the White House, the Pentagon and large corporations. Do you think Reuters verifies all the news they release? "It's from the White House speaker, it must be true!" Don't forget that all major government agencies spend millions every year on a staff of hundreds of press speakers. And they know who pays their salery.

  • by dallas ( 38374 )
    Even though this is offtopic, I would ask the moderators to look at my reason for this post.
    Who ever posted those comments needs first off to get a life. Don't ruin ./ for the rest of us.
    It may even be a good idea to get rid of being able to post anonymously. Lets not have to resort to that, and just have everyone grow up.
    Slashdot is a site for nerds, not for little pervs who think it is funny to post comments about Portman with hot grits down her pants.
    So come on people, lets move ./ back to what it was started for, News for Nerds.
  • 1. The re-introduction of slavery for the unemployed, 2. Flogging of servants.

    You mean like dependency on government and forced re-election of democrats( gee.. the republicans just want to take away all your entitlements that you're not guaranteed to under the constitution. They're mean so you better vote for your master.. er, I mean democratic candidate )

    3. Shooting all poor people.

    Losing your self-respect and becoming dependent on others for every facet of your daily life is far a worse punishment than death. Why is it that they're poor? Because they're too lazy to work? I've had a TON of people on welfare work for me... they do just enough to not get fired for 30 days and then do their damndest... why? Because if they "attempt" to get a job, they can go back to sitting around doing nothing.

    It's about time for Americans to realize they need to take responsibility for their own lives. There's been enough government engulfment of everyone's responsibilities... Hell, most criminals don't even pay their full penance to society, only to go out and commit more crime. Of course, it's not their fault... they are disenfrachised because everyone else had it easier than him.

    Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat for the rest of his life.

  • I don't know how useful these prescences are, and whether the system is correct... The candidates are measured on how well they did for general electorate criteria, but internet users are not a representative group... Getting lots of good publicity about issues that affect internet users adversely, but are good for everyone else is probably not too great...

    Reminds me of a long time ago when a poll was taken by telephone... The only problem was telephones were so expensive in them days, the poll was incredibly inaccurate...
  • Aw c'mon!!! Anyone could have guessed Hatch's web sever was some old Novell NLM.
  • IIS 4.0 installs on Windows 95 or NT 4.0 Workstation as a stripped-down version called Personal Web Server. My guess (not having tried it) is that it'd be the same with Win98.

    Windows 2000 uses IIS 5.0, which is pretty much the same as IIS 4.0, although I'm not sure how it'd install on Win2K professional (the successor to NT Workstation).
  • some articles on that site have a link to a usenet post on deja. take a look at the responses there.

    david freidman has also written a response [best.com] to a "non-libertarian faq".

  • what about giving some moderators the ability to remove a posting (without wasting moderator point)
    ---
  • by coli ( 64530 )
    Remember, Al Gore invented the internet!


    (someone got to say it...)
  • heheh

    I can just picture it...

    there's lxdoom and psdoom and now slashdoom...

    Unfourtunately slashdoom is not open sourced :)
    #include <signal.h> \ #include <stdlib.h> \ int main(void){signal(ABRT,SIGIGN);while(1){abort(-1); }return(0);}
  • Please... There's not a single person who has claimed seeing W doing any drugs. Meanwhile, Roger Clinton said his brother had a nose like a vaccum cleaner...


  • It seems strange to me the numbers they are reporting.
    I work for a law firm, and in research and polling, words matter. how you word something will totally change the results of the poll. I can't see how Americans would want to vote in another Democrat for a few years after the crap that Slick Willy has put us thru.

    I'm glad we aren't relying on these internet guesses to actually elect officials.

    Fook
  • But Starr was popular solely for the sexual content. Do you think that info from "harder to understand" scandals like Iran Contra or the "Keating Five" would be so popular?

    Methinks not.

    To the contrary, Anita Hill would be a web blockbuster.
  • Let's give them participatory democracy and see what happens. I bet there are candidates who will love it. It will attract the underdogs, and probably the lunatic fringe as
    well... but what a show.


    I don't think that is what anyone in politics wants anymore. I am so fed up with the political scene, it is so corupt. I am even more upset with the largely weak-minded, pop culture American people who believe - without even questioning or thinking for themselves - anything they read. The fringe does not matter to the candidates, other can be too easily brainwashed.

    Without too much of a rant let me make a couple points that people should kep in mind:
    o Campaign finance reform - someone who is not rich or very well connected to the rich canhardly run for office and CANNOT win a major election. Because of this business interests run the govt.

    o Because of a lack of really devisive issues, most candidates will tend to be faximilies of each other as far as stances on issues - just a couple minor difference. Candidates now must sell themselves with personality (read b.s.-ing) ;)

    o I would love to see a completely imaginary candidate run using technology to support the election. I mean - get a great website, press releases, make up an identity, use some cool media production to fake interviews etc - i really think one major network would believe it and then the rest would follow. It could be a candidate how lives by the rules of open source. Too bad the candidate who would govern this way does not exist.

  • I like this idea very much. In addition to releiving most Americans from "doing taxes", it would allow taxes to be targeted more precisely. If you buy rice, low/no tax. If you buy a mink coat, high tax. That way money spent on necessities is taxed only very mildly, while money spent on luxuries is taxed more heavily. Similarly, tax incentives for things like being environmentally responsible could still exist. If you buy recycled paper, you get a small reduction in the tax. If you buy natural gas, you are taxed less than if you buy oil. If you give your money to a charity, no tax.

    This seems like a great idea to me. Yes, businesses and maybe investors would still have complicated tax laws, but it would still be a big improvement for most of America.




  • If you don't like the gas tax, trying walking, riding a bike, or taking public transportation.

    In other countries gasonline taxes are over 100%. By using a car, you're hurting us all. You should have to pay big time for it. A measly 900% tax would still be ripping off your grandkids.

    For example, I recently attended a scientific talk where the speaker showed plots of climate simulations run as far forward as they are trustworthy. According to their best model, merely permanetly parking every car in the world isn't enough action to prevent tempratures from rising 10 degrees F and cities being submerged! We need to take drastic measures fast. Imposing very large taxes on environment destroying things like gasoline is the least we can do.
  • True, we don't know what conditions are normally like, whether we're going in or coming out of an ice age, how accurate models are (I've seen models that are reasonabely successful for 20 years. That doesn't quite make the 60's, but that doesn't mean you should completely ignore them. If they predict big changes over the next 20 years, doesn't that worry you?). You are correct that those are matters of scientific debate. However, ignorance is not an excuse to do whatever you want. The fact that we don't know the consequences of our actions should be an even bigger incentive to minimize our impact on the environment.

    Please do not simply dismiss our best efforts to understand what we're doing on the basis that we're not 100% sure. Scientists can run the same model with and without different effects, such as factories, rain forest burning, cars, etc. And the current best models show that there will be a significant difference depending on such factors.

    I beleive nearly all researchers agree that there are significant environmental changes taking place. What is not agreed upon is whether human activity is causing those changes. I find the alarming thing is not the magnitude of the changes over the next 20 years (about as long as the models could reasonablely be trusted), but rather than rate of change. If such rates are maintained, it seems quite likely that something drastic will happen beyond the timescale of validity of the models, but not beyond the timescale of my lifetime.

    Yes, there are people who put up websites saying there's nothing to worry about. That doesn't mean it is so. If you are really interested, I'd recommend researching the various sites credentials. While I don't completely trust anybody, I trust academic physics funded by NSF more than I trust "scientists" funded by oil companies.

    WRT your particular situation: I beleive this is a serious enough problem that it's worth making serious sacrices. 90 miles/day would require a lot of time and effort on bike. Please consider relocating either your home or your place of work.

  • My Prob and Stat teacher (this was many years ago) told us a cautionary tale about data sources. It seems that a telephone poll was taken asking who the respondent favored in the upcoming presidential election. The republican cantidate (can't remember his name) was favored by such a high margin that the election day newspapers published him as winning while the votes were still being counted, then found out that the other guy had actually won (again, the name escapes me). This was at a time when telephones were expensive as hell and only the affluent (i.e. republicans) had them.

    Now an on-line study of web-sites indicates McCain and Bradley leading. Does this mean anything? Probably not, since people that sponsor and run political web-sites are not indicative of the general population's tastes.

    Besides, if they were really looking, they would have had to mention Harry Browne or one of the other Libertarian types... [lp.org]

  • I think that most Internet users are smart people and knowledgeable people recognize that Bradley and McCain are better choices than Gore and Bush.

    I'm a registered Republican, but I'd rather see McCain or Bradley win than any of the other candidates

    And Internet news had little to do with that decision, it's just that I think Bush is a puppet for the rich and Gore has about as much wit and charisma as I have in my left big toe.

    Call it intuition.
  • No matter how grandiose or miniscule a "internet plan" or "no net tax" plan may be, chances are it will not translate into anything meaningful. In the past, Congress has been the primary agitator in net related issues, not the President himself. We do tend to blame the President for signing a bill or professing to agree with a bill, but the President is usually a figurehead on these issues.
  • But, the nature of the internet (see what you want, at least more so than TV) makes it less helpful to candidates. So, yes it will make a difference in the sense it will be used like every other media outlet to spread propaganda.
    Actually, "see what you want" rather than "eat what you're fed" is *more* helpful to some candidates... Just not the set who just want to spend big bucks to pull the wool over your eyes long enough for the perks from lobbyists to kick in. Same principle as how net provided a means of co-operation and delivery for all the free software which is currently flourishing. :)
  • Being won over by internet presence? WTF? How about we choose a candidate based on their politics and principles? Internet or no internet, my vote goes to Harry Browne.

    http://www.lp.org
    http://www.self-gov.org

    MoNsTeR
  • That could work.

    Frustrating for the legitimate cowards, but it could work...

    Another idea is to make anonymous cowards even less visible than they are - but let registered people "sign" cowards posts and take responsibility for the content.

    Cheers,
    Ben
  • Well, I agree in general that the models suck, but I'm not sure about the whole "just coming out of the ice age" thing. Temperatures in Europe now are significantly cooler than they were during the dark ages. For instance, when Leif Erikson discovered Greenland it had a habitable coastal strip, which vanished as temperatures cooled. It was also, at one point, possible to make wine as far north as Yorkshire. Anyone who has ever tried British wine will tell that you can't do that now.

    On the other hand, the middle ages were substantially colder than the current period. The Thames used to freeze over every winter. This has not happened for more than a century.
  • "Bush", vulgar term for the female pubic region: pornographic, block it.
    "Gore", vulgar term for visceral matter released by serious injury: violence, block it.
    "Bradley": inoffensive, let it through.
    "McCain": inoffensive, let it through.

  • Face it: the Internet changes *nothing*. Sure, it allows the faster dissemination of knowledge and better communication between voters, but it doesn't affect the main problem which seems to strike at the presidential race: the candidates, for lack of a better phrase, suck.

    In America, anyone can become president, so long as you are a middle-of-the-road white male 'republiocrat' who is willing to base both your campaign and administration soley on opinion polls. So we must be content with what the two parties are willing to give us: either a former crack addict who is adamant about tougher sentances for drug addicts (among his many other hypocracies and past failings) and bland party men such as Gore who, together with his wife Tipper, would censor anything which offended their delicate sensibilities.

    The only way out is to truly bring America into the mult-party system. Break the monopoly of the GOP and Democrats on political power.

    Ok. I'm done ranting.
    For now...

    ~~~~~~~~~
    auntfloyd
  • Perhaps a more important effect of the internet is the way news and rumors get around. I've heard talk show hosts bring up rumors and facts they've gotten from the internet often enough. We're a minority, but we're an influential one.

    But in fact, it's hardly just one "we" anymore, at least compared to the Net culture of old (and not to imply that the old days were one big happy family or anything...).

    What I find much more potentially interesting about certain internet forums (Usenet groups, things like Slashdot, other chunks of the web) is that they are automatically archived, and reasonably searchable. In that kind of environment, it is

    • easier to cite some kinds of evidence directly (it makes more sense to ask somebody for their sources)
    • easier to find what you think could be relevent in a political message
    • easier to point out that somebody really did say something that they deny having said.

    All in all, it's very possibly a politician's worst nightmare. :-)

  • Oh, and for future reference: don't support anyone who thinks the flat tax will solve all of your problems. They're morons. All it does is change the current (progressive) bracket system with a simpler, flat/regressive one. A better solution would be a national sales tax with exemptions for food / clothing / books, but I don't think people realize how large it would have to be.

    *sigh* it's amazing how uninformed people are. You don't want a flat tax beacuse it's regressive (not true) but you think a sales tax won't be? Are you crazy? Think about man, the less people have, the more % of there money they spend. Poor people want to buy more then food/clothing/books. A national sales tax, and suddenly getting computers to inner-city students just got 20%-30% more difficult. Talk about tech stratification. Meanwhile, Mr Rich spends a little of his (untaxed)money, and puts the rest in stocks and intrest berring bank acounts. He'd probably end up only spending about 2% of his income in taxes, wheras a low income person will spend almost the tax rate % of there income.

    Oh, and no Flat-tax plan actualy flat. in general, the first $20,000 is not taxed. (plus $5,000 more per dependend). So a family of making $38,000 a year would only pay 17% of $3,000 -- $510. Not $6460.

    A flat tax is by definition nither progressive or regresive. All flat tax 'plans' are progressive. A sales tax will certanly be extremely regressive.

    but that said, I'm glad to see that you felt you could critize something that you obviously never even bothered to look up. I mean, why would you want to actualy know somthing, when its just as easy to spout of without knowing anything at all!?!?!

    "Subtle Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • Remember just how small a portion of the population actually bothers to vote. I think internet-users tend to be better informed and more likely to vote.

    Perhaps a more important effect of the internet is the way news and rumors get around. I've heard talk show hosts bring up rumors and facts they've gotten from the internet often enough. We're a minority, but we're an influential one.
  • I can't remember ever seeing that kind of blatant abuse on slashdot before. Coincidence? I think not.

    I doubt we'll see him again, I think he's made his point. Nonetheless, I imagine some other fLamer will take up the torch.

    The best way to deal with these is never to mention them (well, the best way is to have a trusted and ever-vigilant deleter, who deals only with extremely blatant repeat posts, but this works too). They always get bored and move on.
  • I feel that their is a much better interpretation of their data...

    They have the strongest positive and negatives for Bush and Gore, and then strong positives for Bill Bradley and John McCain.

    The reason for this, is that the strong criticism of either side, are likely from those with opposite political idealogies, who, for lack of information about the other side, focus on the most predominate individual in the other parties campaign, hence Bush and Gore. Essentially, Bradley and McCain are ignored by the naysayers because they aren't considered politically important.

    Just a thought...

    LetterRip
  • by Foogle ( 35117 )
    This is really a question for the /. staff (and maybe they don't really know) but do any of the presidential candidates have Slashdot logins? Have they ever posted to Technocrat.net? I bet politicians are wicked karma whores ;)

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • The average AOL'er will be influenced by webpages. People that read /. probably will not as we are generally not mainstream and the canidates that are mainstream are not targeting us.

    The article states, "On the eve of the first series of primaries and caucuses in the 2000 presidential campaign, Democrat Bill Bradley and Republican Sen. John McCain are in the best position to win over a critical group of potential voters: Americans who use the internet for news."

    I do not think that this means us - or highly advanced users. It means people that might get on and visit msnbc.com or do a little bit of Online trading. - We as a whole on /. will not be swayed by canidates cheap website buying and such, but you must remember that the 10 million AOL'ers will be.

    If I was an AOL'er, I would care about the candiates view on the Net somewhat and would visit thier page...

    Also note that the average AOL'er is far more likely to vote for a mainstream canidate than a /.er. This is because we are informed of canidates views on specific issues while AOl'ers are generally not (They get what they know from TV ads).

    TV and News is fading... and probably will be gone sooner than you think, even though net voting doesn't exist - it is very popular for people like Gov. Ventura of MN to host virtual forums. - Internet voting will appear soon... even though people may/may not trust it.
  • i think a lot of the media hype around the role of the internet in the upcoming elections has a lot to do with the decreasing participation over the last few decades.

    some people see the internet as a means of reaching out to otherwise discontented and apathetic voters by providing more customized and relevant fora for discussion of electoral issues.
    whether or not this actually occurrs is a whole other issue, cause much of the media coverage of the election itself is comparable to canned laughter: entirely predictable. will the internet be that much different?

    personally i'm curious to see how slashdot covers the elections. so far i think its just fine :)
  • John Locke was a liberal thinker in his day. The U.S. use of 'liberal' seems to go through a remake every decade or so. In the fifties and sixties, you were a liberal if you voted 'black' or anti-war. In the seventies, you were liberal if you weren't in the pocket of some corporation. In the eighties, it adopted the 'tax-and-spend' connitation.

    At the moment it seems to be thrown at everyone who ever spoke against one of the bullshit 'Protect our children from', 'protect Medicare from', 'protect BigCorp from' proposals. Microsoft lambasts the DOJ as liberals for prosecuting them, Buchanan calls everyone a liberal because they won't go for his form of state-sponsored religion, Gore calls Bradley liberal because he once *talked* to a gay-rights group, etc.

    Ironically, 'conservative' is used much the same way among liberal circles, usually with 'bible-thumping' as a prefix. Unfortunatly, the public opinion polls shopw us a 'conservative' nation at the moment, so those circles are smaller and smaller.
  • At the moment gasoline is running about a $1.40/gallon. 41 cents of that is tax. It's a 30% tax already! I drive a 1979 Camaro at 12mpg 500 miles a week. That means that I gave the government $900 in gas taxes last year. What did paying the tax do for me? Less than nothing. I've replaced two shocks, a tie-rod and a tire because of their misuse of the tax.

    And sin-taxes? Take smoking. In 1997, the total governmental cost of smoking related-illness was $20 billion. That very same year 24 billion packs of cigarettes were sold. I pay over a buck a pack in tax; Where else is the government mis-spending the money they said was to repay them for smoker's expenditures? And what about the untold billions they stand to make from the tobacco settlement? It certainly isn't being spent properly!

    I vote we just toss all the bums out of office and start over. There's gotta be a more cost effective way of doing it!
  • Humanity can deal with the worst that 'Gaia' can throw at us; With little effort we survive in the hottest deserts. With slight effort we survive underwater, at the South Pole, and in the heatless vaccuum of space.

    If it can't be positively shown that we are causing the effect, who are we to screw with it? We are not gods, and we shouldn't be able to dictate the how earth deals with climatic variation. You would agree that selective extermination of 'harmful' plant or animal species is wrong, how is selective tinkering with the mechanism that produced them different?
  • Oh, you mean the copy of 'Abbey Road' they listened to whilst smoking pot at Harvard??

    Lest we forget, Tipper is the one who brought music censorship into the spotlight, and is the reason my college freshman brother can't buy Sex Pistols albums at the local record shop.. Anyone who can laugh about smoking pot as a kid and then support the mandatory sentancing bills needs a Volkswagon enema.
  • And yet I burned less fuel than a 767 does taking off once. Why not just sit outside Dallas/Fort Worth airport and take 'em out with LAW rockets? You'll save a lot more inner-city asthmatics!

    Fuel efficient? I get better highway mileage than most of the crop of Super-SUVs, and better city than at least one of them. Just because I could be driving a sub-compact hybrid doesn't mean I will.
  • Sorry. I was being a prick, and you just happened to be in my sights.

    I apologize.
  • I agree. It still amazes me that the new GM SUV monster gets a 'low-emissions' cert because of its weight. Just under eight thousand pounds of steel. Thats two 1961 Lincoln Continentals, three 1977 Firebirds or 6 1/2 1970 Triumphs. I'd worry more about the safety standards though. The modern SUV's go through much less stringent safety criteria than passenger cars. Hitting a traffic pole at 15 mph is catastrophic in a new Escalade. I did roughly the same in a '95 Mercedes and barely dented the bumper.
  • Maybe 2008 or 2012, but not this year. Most of the electorate is still NOT online, and those that are have better things to look at than politicians website.

    Even politically conscious folks such as myself probably won't be swayed by a website.

    Television and newspapers will still be the forum of choice for the next few cycles.
  • I for one do not think that the internet will play a big role in the presidential campaign (at least not now). Consider that most of the people who vote are senior citizens. Also consider that most of the people who are 'in' with computers are usually young people. Now young people are often associated with a couple of character traits which can be easily demonostrated in any slashdot discussion forum on any issue that has a social context; namely this is being a mix of apathy and defeatism or liberterian thought.

    All of these factors allow for the internet to play a role just not a very large one. I for one think both Bradly and McCain(sp) are total idiots. I watched a debate that was I believe from the major party debate on NH on PBS a couple of weeks ago. Someone like George W. Bush would make a better choice about freedom compared to some of those people who could have quite easily been the real life counterparts to Ned Flanders of Simpsons fame. The real thing to look out for is when one of those 'moral' people decide to get in the hot seat.
  • No, I think there are legitimate uses for anonymous posting. Someone needs to put an end to that particular poster, though. Are there any hit men (or hit women) reading this? Want to help out?



    Well I just couldn't resist this little tidbit!
    In general you must provide the name and address of the individual. Failing that a good picture or anything that can allow for facial expression analysis to go on. Then I can procure a handmade high powered weapon with telescopic sight produced with a custom plastic die process. A single bullet to the head will usually do the trick fired from a concealed location in a secluded area.

    However the best/most sadistic way is to use a deadly toxin. Most of the best fast acting toxins include potassium cyanide caplets or hyrodgen cyanide gas that is released in a confined space like an elevator or stairwell or even the vitim's car. If you wish to avoid detection however the best method by far is to use a little thing the KGB cooked up back in the 70s. A little case involving a Bulgarian dissident who displeased them met with a rather unpleaseant end when an unidentified agent "accidentally" stumbled into him on a city street. What then occured was a small fine needle jabbed into his leg cavity implanting a metal sphere containing a small ammount of a deadly nerve toxin. He incidentally died about 24 hours later. So yes it is possible. What is really troubling is that (at least for me). The text of the little SMARGLE posts are in fact particularly nasty when viewed in IE5 (I am in it right now). Has anyone else noticed this? Perhaps a little DoS attack directed at the httpd log acces files will obtain something.
  • Considering that 95%+ of online news is simply reprinted newspaper news (particularly from the associated press), what does this really mean? It seems to me that it's just an equivalent measure of positive stories in the paper press.

    I will say that there is probably quite a bit of influence from the "new media" like Drudge. How much influence I think is impossible to say, and I don't think this study does anything to measure it.

    I find the more interesting question is whether TV news is gaining less influence. The last 30 years has seen a huge surge in the power of national TV news. Are we seeing a return to people getting more information from printed sources? If so, I can't help but think this is a positive thing. I tend to think that people's brains are more engaged when they are reading something than when they have hysterical blow-dried anchors feeding information in just the right tone of voice.


    ---

  • Regardless of what the study has to say, I'm hoping that politics move to the Internet later than sooner. Can you imagine what would happen if a politician purchased an e-mail list? It's bad enough that I start getting political junk mail when I subscribe to magazines. The thought of getting stuff from the Republican party when I dump information into the Nasdaq or Forbes is pretty repulsive, or even from the Democratic national party when I submit something to a tree hugger's site.
    Let politics stay in the physical world as long as possible so that it has the farthest to catch up when it finally does move online. If the Internet is really about change, then let's not bring dead weight from politics into the mess of things in the online world.
    The seporation of the digital world from the physical one is something that I personally enjoy a great deal. Not hearing about Clinton (except when it comes to crypto) this, Bush that, or Gore bleah bleah bleah is almost comforting. Sure politics are important, don't get me wrong, I vote and like to think that I am good at educating myself about whatever is on the ballot before an election, but the absence of politics online... is nice to say the least.
    I hope politics stay offline for as long as possible... well... until the day when we have a canidate that knows (or knew) how to program in C and knows the first bit about how networks operate (or even the Internet for that matter, but I may be getting wishful at this point). The sad part is that I think I may have to settle... There are choices in soft drinks, operating systems, but not in politicians... ::sigh::
  • I'm a proponent of AC posting, but the multiple, identical posts eating up the page is pretty damn annoying. One is easy to skip over, but 4 or 5 pages gets kind of tedious. Possibly some sort of cap regulating the # of posts allowed during a certian amount of time could be implimented to prevent things such as this from happening (and prevent actual users from accidentally double posting). If the poster has to wait 3 minutes (or so) between each message, that'll probably cause them to become impatient and lose intrest.

    I can't imagine any reasonable grounds to object to this on, since it usually takes 3 minutes or so just to read the relevant articles or posts. Saves users' time, prevents multiple trolls.

    Just a thought...

    -SaintAlex



    Observe, reason, and experiment.
  • According to Netcraft [netcraft.com],

    Al Gore's website at www.algore2000.com [algore2000.com]
    is running Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) secured_by_Raven/1.4.2 PHP/4.0b3 on Linux.

    Bill Bradley's website at www.billbradley.com [billbradley.com]
    is running Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) mod_perl/1.21 on Solaris.

    George W. Bush's website at www.georgewbush.com [georgewbush.com]
    is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT4 or Windows 98

    John McCain's website at www.mccain2000.com [mccain2000.com]
    is running Rapidsite/Apa-1.3.4 FrontPage on IRIX

  • Liberal is no longer being used to mean, "free".

    When you say "classic liberal", you're very nearly using the exact terminology. There is a distinction to be made between what is now often called "classical liberalism"... the position of John Locke, Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson, and the "modern liberalism" of FDR and Ted Kennedy. The two share some positions, such as freedom of the press and sharp separation of church and state, but on issues such as gun rights and the free market classical liberals are aligned with today's US "conservatives".

    The term "libertarian" was coined by people who saw themselves in the classical liberal tradition, but who found that in the US the term "liberal" had, oddly, become sturdily affixed to a populist, federalist position. From my understanding, the term "liberal" retains somewhat more of its original meaning in Europe and elsewhere... perhaps in Canada as well.

    And IMHO, the real offense of income tax is against privacy. The 16th amendment needs to go.

  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @04:26PM (#1352957)
    George W. Bush doesn't have a very good "online reputation" (I wasn't impressed with his buying up domain names--if people don't like you, they'll tell you, and if you buy the domain name they wanted to get, they'll just like you less.) and I've never liked Al Gore that much because of his stances on encryption, Clipper, and the like. (even if he did invent the internet... ;)

    But... how many people out there get most of their political news from the internet? Maybe that would make a good slashdot poll, because I know I don't, but I'm sure other people do. I know the Starr report was a very popular download, so maybe this will start to make a difference. Heck, ever since Byte disappeared from the shelves, I haven't really supported dead-tree media at all...

    Oh, and for future reference: don't support anyone who thinks the flat tax will solve all of your problems. They're morons. All it does is change the current (progressive) bracket system with a simpler, flat/regressive one. A better solution would be a national sales tax with exemptions for food / clothing / books, but I don't think people realize how large it would have to be.
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @05:18PM (#1352958)
    A better solution would be a national sales tax with exemptions for food / clothing / books, but I don't think people realize how large it would have to be.

    This, too, could be argued to be regressive (rich people doesn't spend a large of a percentage of their income as the rest of us -- with necessities exempted to protect the poor, it winds up mostly a tax on the middle). On the other hand, I think that, even though it's not a perfect solution, it's better than the current one. I see several advantages to a national sales tax in lieu of income tax:

    (1) It's much harder to evade.
    (2) It utterly relieves normal people of the burden of "doing their taxes". Businesses take on the additional burden, but they already have to do this for state sales tax, so this isn't really such a big deal. The majority of the work done by the IRS goes bye-bye! Massive paperwork reduction! Less headaches for us normal people.
    (3) As an avid environmentalist, I'm all for consumption taxes. I think we ought to eliminate drivers license fees and license plate tab fees, etc, and bump up the gasoline tax instead. Many of us would pay less this way, although gas guzzlers would of course pay more.

    Ultimately, all taxes suck, but this seems to suck less than any of the alternatives.

    --

  • by haaz ( 3346 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @09:18PM (#1352959) Homepage
    A little nmap in my life
    A little portscan and I'm all right
    nmap number five...

    [root@athens jhaas]# nmap -sS -O www.algore.com -v
    Remote operating system guess: Linux 2.2.0-pre6 - 2.2.2-ac5

    Wow, Al might be running Linux! Maybe he really did invent the Internet. OK, let's try Bill Bradley, my favorite..

    Remote operating system guess: Solaris 2.6 - 2.7

    Hmm... robust, enterprise level Solaris. OK, it's UNIX at least. I can respect that. It doesn't look like they're actually running it, which also makes sense.

    I made the shocking (shocking!) discovery that George W. Bush laughs the same way as his dear old dad, that weird, stuttered giggle. Unfortunately he's probably going to win.

    Initiating SYN half-open stealth scan against www-01.georgewbush.com (206.104.218.130)

    It's going incredibly slowly, so I'll come back to that later. As you can tell, I am an 31337 h4x0r, and I own these b0x3s. Let's move on to the aliens from outer space candidates, Keyes and Bauer..

    Woah! George W's just finished.. no wonder it took so long -- there's scads of ports open.

    TCP Sequence Prediction: Class=random positive increments
    Difficulty=85 (Medium)

    Sequence numbers: 25507B62 25507CFC 25507F35 255081B8 255083EC 2550866D
    Remote operating system guess: Windows NT4 / Win95 / Win98

    Nmap run completed -- 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 465 seconds

    Hah! Point for me. No surprise there that George W's campaign would probably be running NT or something icky like that. It just figures, you know? I suspect if Bradley's campaign was running their own box, it'd have Linux on it. And stiff old Gore would have Solaris or SCO or something like that. Anyway.. on to the space men..

    Bauer doesn't seem to have a site up yet, according to bauer2000.com. nmap thinks it's running:

    Remote operating system guess: BSDI BSD/OS 3.0

    Hmm. Ok. Keyes... scan is going slowly.. maybe I'll do Hatch's for fun and giggles while that grinds away. Much better. Ooh, rail on the administration's abuses, Orrin. You go with your bad self.

    Remote operating system guess: Solaris 2.6 - 2.7

    No big surprise there. A buttoned down UNIX, if there is such a thing. Who thinks Hatch knows what a UNIX is?

    Keyes server has shown us that port 80 is open (which I hadn't already figured out by going there with Netscape..), and is going about as quickly as Bush's. So we'll just ignore that, just like the voters will...

    And last, Mr. Flat Tax himself, Steve Forbes. Solaris again. Hmm. Well, interesting. Gore and Bradley were reversed in my mind. Oh -- McCain.. nmap didn't know what to make of that one, so I'll be sending in the fingerprints. Hmm!

    Amazing what you can learn while you're supposed to be beta testing something else.
  • by Nimmy ( 5552 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @04:38PM (#1352960) Homepage
    "The Internet will matter more in this election than any previous". Well, DUH! I mean, the internet has been growing at a prodigious pace for the last 10 years. Of course it matters more now than before!

    Does it matter enough? Enough for what? To make a difference? Of course it will make a difference, it is one of the main news outlets (Smaller than TV and newspaper but larger than radio) for most of the US population. And we know media makes a huge difference in elections.

    But, the nature of the internet (see what you want, at least more so than TV) makes it less helpful to candidates. So, yes it will make a difference in the sense it will be used like every other media outlet to spread propaganda. No, this isn't a revolution, just an evolution.

    --Nick
  • by Weezul ( 52464 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @06:48PM (#1352961)
    A better solution would be a national sales tax with exemptions for food / clothing / books, but I don't think people realize how large it would have to be.

    This, too, could be argued to be regressive (rich people doesn't spend a large of a percentage of their income as the rest of us -- with necessities exempted to protect the poor, it winds up mostly a tax on the middle).

    You do not neded to do away with capital gains tax.. just income tax. The money needs to go someplace. I guess investment firms could be forced to deduct the tax automatically when you sell stuff, so individual people would not need to fill out taxes unless they actually took possetion of the stock. I suppose you would also need to keep things like inheretance tax.

    (1) It's much harder to evade.
    (2) It utterly relieves normal people of the burden of "doing their taxes". Businesses take on the additional burden, but they already have to do this for state sales tax, so this isn't really such a big deal. The majority of the work done by the IRS goes bye-bye! Massive paperwork reduction! Less headaches for us normal people. (3) As an avid environmentalist, I'm all for consumption taxes.


    These are all good fine reasons, but you missed a very importent reason: people see how much they are paing every day (well companies may include it in the cost of the product, but prices go up when they rase it, so it is still better then the gov. hiding it via paycheck deductions and stuff).

    Related to tax reform: It is also worth mentioning that we need to privatise social security, but not give some agency the power to effect the market by having lots of dollars to invest. I supposet he best way to do this would be to allow people to open up social security accounts with financial institutions. People would be allowed to transfer money they have paid to socail security in the past into these accounts. The social security administration would restrict how much money people could have in privatized accounts (you don't want everyone to take the money out now or we would have big problems), but there would be soo much preasure on them to let people have more of their money that they wuold need to keep raising the precentage every year. Eventually, we would have a nice mandatory private investment system which did not need to invest in gov. bonds. Medicare could be a mandatory inshurace attached to these private accounts.

    Jeff
  • by dispensa ( 57441 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @04:52PM (#1352962) Homepage
    I, for one, am voting for the man who invented the Internet! BTW, do the zeros after his name on the bumper stickers mean anything?

    - SD
  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @07:47PM (#1352963) Homepage Journal
    Recent geologic studies have shown that the temperature of the Earth is normally 8-10 degrees warmer than it is now. We're still coming out of the last ice age! Try http://www.junkscience.c om/news/william-the-conqueror.html [junkscience.com] or http://www.zianet.com/wblase/endtimes/ge olog.htm [zianet.com] Hell, hit any major search engine and you'll see that the scientists are split into two camps; The camp using models saying that we'll see a dramatic warm up, even though the models can't even figure out the current weather correctly from the 1960-70 statistics, and those that point out the fact we're ony a few thousand from the last Ice age and that man-made greenhouse gas accounts for less than 1% of that produced in a year.

    What public transportation? The nearest bus stop is twenty miles further than my employer, in the opposite direction! And is riding a bicycle 90 miles/day actually feasable? Some of us still live in the great wasteland that is Suburbia because we can't afford $1,200/month apartments in the major cities.
  • by dsplat ( 73054 ) on Thursday January 20, 2000 @05:31PM (#1352964)
    The Internet is a wild card. A lot of us aren't listening to what we are being told we will be doing [cluetrain.com]. I've already considered McCain and Bradley. I won't bother to go into a lengthy discussion of them here. It isn't relevant.

    I am not a statistic. I am not a number. I am a minority of one and so is each and every person reading this. Don't let the pollsters tell you what you are likely to do. Go out and read the candidates' web sites. Read the candidate comparisons that are going to appear all over the web over the next 10 months. And make an intelligent decision.

    Too many media outlets pretend that nothing matters in a presidential race each the Democratic and Republican Party nominees and the photo ops. They don't dig. They tell the stories that will attract the biggest audiences. The net not only doesn't have to do that, there is really no way to constrain it to do that.

    I suggested it here before, and I'll suggest it again. It would be interesting to see Slashdot polls about how Slashdot readers will be voting. I would be particularly interested if a few of us, and I'll volunteer, post links to useful web sites with analyses by a variety of interest groups of the candidates' positions. I'm as interested in what the people I wouldn't trust with a soggy match think of the candidates as I am in what the people I like think of them.

    Let's give them participatory democracy and see what happens. I bet there are candidates who will love it. It will attract the underdogs, and probably the lunatic fringe as well... but what a show.

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