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Politics, Endorsements And Privacy 294

We have a few stories relating to the candidates this morning: First up is this piece which lists techies endorsing Gore (including Vint Cerf) but notes that Bush still raised more campaign money. Second is a self-promotional piece from the Green Party on Nader's stance on Privacy.
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Politics, Endorsements, and Privacy

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  • Well, for one thing, the Second Amendment doesn't say anything about criminals, it just says "the people". Are convicted felons stripped of their First Amendment rights?

    Convicted criminals do have fewer rights under the law -- depending on the crime. For example, I don't believe felons can vote at all...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • by Ian Bicking ( 980 ) <ianb@@@colorstudy...com> on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @06:42AM (#699810) Homepage
    Well, I have a philosophical difference here. The problem with our system is that it has a bug: the mathematical relation of "preference" is nontransitive when measured over the populace.
    It should be noted that this bug is solvable on the state level: federal or constitutional reform is not necessary. States are free to come up with the method for choosing their electoral college votes. A run-off system without winner-takes-all (which would solve this nasty bug) is not that difficult to attain.

    Well, still not that easy. But at least within the realm of reason.

    Have you actually looked into what the green party stands for? Nader is running as their candidate, but he's really not one of them, or at least he disavows some of their positions and doesn't run on their platform.
    It makes sense to vote for a candidate who you believe to have the character to make the right decision on future matters. In the same way, a party is not just its platform, but a system and a process for coming to that platform.

    The Green's platform reflects the beliefs of their members, who at the moment tend to be radical leftists (radical, because they haven't given up, not because they are crazy)

    I don't think the Democratic or the Republican platforms really represent their members. If you became active in the Greens you would actually have a reasonable chance to change their direction in a number of ways -- if not nationally, at least locally.

    Here in Chicago, under the Democratic Machine, you just can't do that. There is little I can do to make the Democrats reflect my beliefs (and the Republicans are just further yet).

    A platform can and will change, but the party process underneith that platform is much more static. The Green Party's process is democratic. The Republican and Democratic parties don't even come close.
    --

  • And, if the wealthiest 1% are paying 34% of the taxes, then there is obviously something wrong with our tax structure...Don't you think?

    You raise a lot of interesting points -- but this one stuck out. Why shouldn't the wealthiest 1% pay 34% of all taxes when they own 40% of the wealth in the country?

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @05:17AM (#699812)
    I find it amusing that the techies (and /. ) seem to support Gore. But, in general, scientists and techies have tended to side with the democrats or communists (no slam here) rather than more conservative groups. This is not to imply that this is bad, it only goes to show that they care about their fellow man and feel their work belongs to the people. Their hearts are in the right place.

    But, this philosophy has maligned itself in the recent decades with misguided politics. The people we elected to promote these ideals have, themselves, become corrupt and self-serving.

    Cases in point:

    How many people in the Clinton Administrator had to resign or were fired?

    Clipper Chip - Designed to allow Law Enforcement to read encrypted transmissions through the Key Escrow Initiative. Failed miserably - thankfully.

    Skipjack - Designed by the NSA for Clipper. It never received public review to determine if it was secure or contained any backdoors or trapdoors.

    Over the past 8 years, RSA Data Security has contributed greatly to Clinton/Gore. Jim Bizdos as been seen to frequent the Whitehouse. Did he stay in Lincoln's bedroom? Funny, now that the patent has expired, the restrictions on this strong encryption technology has substantially declined.

    RSADSI has been allowed to export strong encryption and set up shop in the Far East and Europe where other countries were hindered from similar action. This gave them a strong hold in countries were other companies now must try to compete.

    Fund raising incidents involving the democrats (Al Gore in particular) and the relaxing of sanctions on the Chinese.

    Loss of e-mail regarding Fund Raising activity during the Monica Lewinsky scandale.

    Wen Ho Lee and his subsequent release on plea bargain. He admitted to taking the tapes...yet he gets off. Now everybody is screaming about Racial and Ethnic profiling.

    Export of missile technology to the Chinese allow them to build more accurate and longer range missiles.

    The information contained in those "missing" tapes supposedly would allow the Chinese to build deadlier warheads.

    The list goes on...

    How about failed promises --- HealthCare reform lead by Hillary Clinton. It failed miserably. As a result of this "reform", our Seniors are stuck in HMOs that provide worse benefits than they started off with. That issue has been raised again under the guise of Perscription Plan reform.

    Hollywoods marking of violent and sexually suggestive material to children -- a Lieberman special. He condemns it yet is willing to take their money.

    Don't be misled. The democrats of today ARE NOT the same ones led by JFK. They are corrupt and self serving.

    Senator Kennedy was forgiven of his actions in Chappaquidic (sp). Congressman Druce was convicted under similar circumstances (they were both supposedly drunk).

    I'm not saying the Republicans are much better -- but they are are concerned more with building this country (and their wallets) rather than countries that really don't want us there. Tax breaks may help the rich, but lower taxes for everybody has got to be a good thing.

    And, if the wealthiest 1% are paying 34% of the taxes, then there is obviously something wrong with our tax structure...Don't you think?

    Also, let's quote the rise of average salary income since 1976 of 9.6%. This came at a price of working in excess of 220 hours a year...or in excess of 10% longer hours. And, we are better off? Hmmmm...

    I'll barely mention the support of Gore gave to Clinton while he lied to the American people.

    Economic policies generally take 8-12 years to take effect. What boon we are experienced is because of the previous administrations policies. What we are experiencing now (i.e the slump in NASDAQ and DOW) is the result of Clinton/Gore politics. Don't believe me? Read your history.

    President Bush experienced the effect of Reagan's policies following the fall of communism. The machine was too big to fight nobody and the subsequent result was a major scaling back within industry. Prez. Bush turned his attentions back to domestic issues after the Gulf War (after a major build up). But, it was too late then to bring about a recovery before the election.

    Think long an hard about the actions of both parties over the past 8-12 years and decide.

    If you don't want to vote Republican, then at least vote for a party leader who knows the difference between right and wrong.

    RD
  • Billionaires for Bush or Gore [billionair...orgore.com] is a site worth reading if you really think that Gore and Bush are so fucking different.

    Both had daddies who were Big Men on the Mall, quintessential DC Insiders.

    Both of their families made their fortunes in industries which were/are taxpayer subsidized.

    Both of them are pro-death penalty and pro-WTO, an organization which has the ability to overrule a nation's laws.

    Read some of my past posts and see the light.

    And by the way: These "A vote for Nader is a vote for whomever" crap? Congrats, you've been brainwashed.

    Last I checked, a vote for Bush is a vote for Bush. A vote for Gore is a vote for Gore. A vote for NADER is a vote for NADER.

    If you want to subscribe to the switch-vote lie, then it's more like a vote for BUSH is a vote for GORE and a vote for GORE is a vote for BUSH.

    And finally, voting for "the lesser of two evils" is like choosing between Pneumonia and Influenza, according to Studs Terkel. Both are nasty, and both can kill. (And the worst part about voting the lesser of two evils is that you've still got TWO EVILS.)
  • Well, for one thing, the Bundesgrenzschutz can search you without any reasonable suspicion.

    Germany is really big on the privacy of electronically-stored information gathered by businesses, but they have a very authoritarian government that pokes it's nose into areas of their citizens' lives that ought to be private.

    In particular, their propensity for passing laws that parse to "you're free to say anything you want, unless it's on this list of things you're not allowed to say" should frighten anyone who recognizes the value of free speech.

    Hell, you're talking about the country that outlawed web browser cookies in 1996.

    -
  • One piece of political skullduggery is to call somebody up and pretend to be polling them, while really trying to brainwash them by asking leading questions. It works great when you have a tight race and want to target non-media savvy undecided voters (e.g. elderly).

    The practice is not exactly common, probably because it is expensive. Because it's expensive, it ususally isn't done by candidates themselves but by proxies, such as "institutes" bankrolled by industries with big financial stakes in the election outcome(e.g. the hog industry mobilizing against pro-environment candidates).

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @06:56AM (#699822) Homepage Journal
    Actually, he runs on this platform: http://www.gp.org/platform_index.htm Nader runs on the Association of State Green Parties platform, not the more radical Gren Party/USA platform you posted. Of course, you'd have known this if you had gone to Nader's site, votenader.org.

    Why is this starting to sound like a scene from "Life of Brian"? Are they the same party or not?

    The AGSP platform is less extreme, probably because they have more of a chance to actually get candidates elected at the local level and don't want to saddle them with unpopular extremist positions.

    In fact, I actually like the AGSP platform quite a bit. It's the kind of moderate left position I wish the Democrats hadn't abandoned years ago. And, I hope you will note that I avoided attributing the national party's views to Nader in my original post. I erred in not posting a link to the AGSP platform too for balance, but I quoted the national party's platform to make certain points, which remain:

    1. Since Nader certainly won't win, a vote for Nader does nothing to advance the more moderate ASGP platform, and in fact may undermine many of its priorities.
    2. The platform of the national party are not irrelevant. Again since Nader can't win and can't even get high enough polling to inject his issues into the debate (like Perot did in 92), the main effect of a vote for Nader is to suport the advancement of the Green Party. The platform of the National party does not make me want to support this party.


    I'm not doctrinaire about this. I'd be open to voting for Nader if you could convince me that the prorities of the moderate ASGP platform would be advanced by that vote, or that I want the Green party is a party I want to support.

    Or are the state Green parties actually a different party from the Greens? The situation is, to say the least, confusing.
  • Yes, and Quayle never said most of the stupid quotes he is attributed with. Gore never claimed that "love story" was written about him and Tipper. Bush is not dumb (he got better grades at Yale than Gore at Harvard, and didn't flunk out of grad and law school like Gore).

    All of these are media inventions. Welcome to American politics, issues are irrevelant.

    Finkployd
  • Jello Biafra showed us a funny prop from the Democritan National Propaganda Show, Live from LA.

    It was a 12" disk saying "Tipper Rocks."

    But that's nothing.

    Lieberman is the champion of censorship in the Senate. He is one of the people that believes the first amendment freedom of speech means "political speech for the current state of affirs only", freedom of religion means "you must believe in some deity".

  • I think we should all be able to sell our votes, if the politicians can buy them.
  • The part about the ecological and economic damage that socialist polcies did to Eastern Europe, yes, I believe.

    What Nader advocated is, interestingly, seen as utopian and/or extremist in the US. The funny part is that it's just social democracy à l'european. Social democracy that's even supported by what you'd call 'conservative' parties (excluding the tories in UK which are really conservative and just as prostituted to big businesses like the demoblicans).

    And yeah, right, we just live in soviet union. Silly troll.


    --

  • Surprise, surprise, Microsoft has given AT LEAST $50,000 to BOTH candidates George W. Gore and Al Bush. I've tried to submit a story about Who's Giving The Big Bucks To BushGore. Read 66 Smart Billionaires [billionair...orgore.com] for the full list.
  • if it could be guaranteed that confiscation would not follow.

    Who's word would you take as a guarantee? Since (as previously pointed out), registration of firearms has NEVER in the world's history NOT led to confiscation, I'd be wary.

    Finkployd
  • by Hairy_Potter ( 219096 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @03:57AM (#699839) Homepage
    A few days ago, a telephone pollster called me asking about the election.

    Most of her questions were so vague, I didn't answer them, ie. "Would you vote for the candidate that would cut taxes.?"

    But she asked if I would vote for Gore or Bush, so I told her Nader. She then said, "Oh, so you're undecided?"

    I got nasty, "No, I'm not undecided, I decided I would vote for Nader."

    Dipshit, but it sure felt good.
  • I saw Nader on Politically Incorrect way before he was a candidate. He actually was in strong support of hat old woman who sued McDonalds because she spilled hot coffee on her own lap.

    There's 2 sides to this story -- me too I thought, initially, that this suit was bogus. It turns out that it was'nt really that frivolous. The lady got REALLY badly burnt, think hospital, HR, surgery ... not just inconvenienced. And I'm not going to cry for McDonald's ...

    That we're all helpless consumers who must be protected at all costs from big evil companies crap is just too extreme for me.

    We are, without the protection of the law.


    --

  • Communism: 1 a : a theory advocating elimination of private property b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

    Socialism: 1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    Both definitions courtesy EB.com.

    There are a major difference between socialism and communism: in a socialist state a) all are not equal, and may be paid differently, while theoretical communism means all are paid the same; b) the government controls the means of production and how it's distributed, whereas a communist state has the owners own the factories and theoretically all can access the products as needed.

    The US is not a democracy or a socialist state; it is a corporate republic, where the biggest corps get their concerns heard first and, if there's time in the end, maybe a few, minor issues could be heard.

    Now, you say Browne's politics are 'excellent.' That's all well and good, but governments are needed to protect people from those who would abuse them.

    A weak government is an invitation for a large corporation to come in and abuse the people. (See Nike's Asian sweatshops.)

    Governments are needed to make sure companies don't screw the workers by paying them less than the minimum wage (though even that wage is a piece of shit).

    Governments are needed to keep monopolies out of the picture.

    Finally, what good is your bitching if you don't vote? Your vote DOES make a difference.

    If you live in a state which is supposedly locked up for a certain candidate, then why not vote? If you like the supposed winner, it won't make a difference, and if you don't like the assuming prick, then you'll be helping your candidate!
  • I don't agree with his political beliefs. That's all it takes. Sure, he is probably the most moral and honest candidate, and I respect that. however, if I don't agree with his political beliefs, why would I vote for him. I'm more likely to vote Brown.

    Finkployd
  • I agree with you (and for the that matter the points raised by the previous poster).

    I also agree with Bush that if we had a surplus (which we do NOT) a tax cut would be in order for ALL, across the board. I'm barely lower middle class, and I would get a small tax cut under Bush's plan, and NO cut under Gore's.

    Finkployd
  • Huh? While I'm no left-wing zealot, you certainly have to admit that the republicans are the party constantly talking about moral character (and later being arrested for masturbating in public, etc).

    In my observation, the general rule is that Democrats get into hot water over sex, while Republicans get into trouble over money.

    And, I'm curious why being against the death penalty isn't a legitimate reason to vote for/against someone? I'm personally all for it, but it's no less a devisive issue than abortion, and people should consider a person's view on both topics when considering who to vote for.

    What I find hypocritical is that the present administration made a big deal about having increased the number of Federal crimes for which the death penalty could be imposed. Now that it's expedient to do so, it's trying to make Bush out as some sort of 'Maximum George' for letting prisoners be executed for their crimes. Of course, no one has been executed for a Federal crime since 1964, but hey, we've gotten the laws on the books, so I guess that's all that counts.

  • Project Vote Smart [vote-smart.org] has something they call the NPAT (National Political Awareness Test or something like that). It's basically a crib sheet for voters that shows candidate support for various policies (though it could take as much as 10-15 minutes to wade through, far exceeding the attention span of the average voter).

    Now, our main two contestants (W and Gore) have declined to answer the questions. This isn't too surprising, considering they have much more to gain by continuing to engage in the spin-centered tactics they now employ than providing actual info. Because the people at vote smart are dilligent, they've filled out NPATs for W and Gore from public statements they've made, and left blanks where there's no public statement.

    But guess what? Nader didn't fill out an NPAT! Despite being contacted repeatedly by vote-smart people, including relative political luminaries Michael Dukkakis and Geraldine Ferraro. Nader has almost NOTHING to gain by using the same spin tactics that our mainstream friends do. His entire campaign base really should be people who are actually semi-informed. What's going on here? Nader starting to dodge?

    Harry Browne did fill one out incidentally, but after reading it, I know I can't vote for him, even though he gets big bonus points for actually putting his views on a clear record.

    Take a look at the list [vote-smart.org]. I think you'll be surprised at the sheer number of candidates -- I couldn't take the time to go through each one (so I basically weeded out everyone who couldn't come up with a running mate). And it's interesting that those who fill out the NPAT are the ones who have the least publicity. Stardom going to your head, Ralph?
  • What I think I really want is Jesse Ventura (maybe in 2004?).

    What, you mean, a former wrestler for president? Why not an actor while you're at it?

    Anyway, Jesse has said really cool things about religions (they suck), and he has my support. Not that it matters, eh eh.


    --

  • There's another option, if privacy and freedom from censorship are your priorities. The Libertarian [lp.org] candidate, Harry Browne, stands firmly against any regulation which would restrict the internet, or any other form of speech. This has been the Libertarian policy [lp.org] for years. If you take Nader's advice to "vote your conscience", maybe Libertarian is the way to cast your vote.
  • Actually, registration could serve a useful purpose to us gun owners, if it could be guaranteed that confiscation would not follow. But it cannot be guaranteed; even an amendment to our Constitution has not protected us.

    If every gun were registered along with its ballistic characteristics in a big ol' database, it would then be possible to determine, to some degree, which guns were likely to have been used in a murder. This would simplify the job of detecting &c.

    But as long as there are tyrants wishing to deprive us, this cannot be. And there will always be that sort of sub-rational twit in this world.

  • Gore's basically stated he's against the death penalty. When they panned to him nodding, I think that was more "Ah, ha! He fell into my trap!" (which technically wasn't his trap, just that a majority of the US population is against the death penalty, therefore as Bush shows his support for something more than half the country disagrees with, Gore knows that's a point for him he didn't even have to earn)
  • That is not what I said at all. People should be paying their taxes based on their income...that's why its called INCOME tax.

    If the rich own 40% of the income producing entities, then they should be paying taxes on that income. That's their fair share. But, why should someone making $125K be paying a higher rate than say, somebody making $40K? Is that really fair?

    But, if they are allowed to hide that income, then I do have a problem with it. Do away with the loop holes and make everyone pay a flat tax. Make corporations pay the same taxes as individuals except make them also responsible for paying a larger share of Social Security and such as they are now.

    The only exception to this rule should be for those making below poverty level or if the amount of taxes charged would push them into poverty level.

  • There are now many exceptions to the orginal law that created the SSN. Businesses are allowed to require your SSN before doing business with you. You are not required to give it to them though. Your alternative is to go elsewhere. Sad, but true.

  • Let me say I'm grateful to the folks who are helping me sort out my confusion over the Green party's identity.

    The Green party is very anti-corporate.

    That's one of my problems. I'm not anticorporate. Corporations do many good things, albeit in their private interest. I'm just not as pro-corporate as I am pro-people.

    I'm chary of supporting a party that has an anti-corporate psychology, the way I'm chary of supporting a party that thinks of the market as God (omniscient and benevolent). The market is a mechanism for solving a simplified version of the general problem of resource allocation -- that of maximizing internalized benefits. It's not the entire solution, but it is a critical component. Corporations are nececessary components of our economy -- they aren't the enemy, but they aren't our friend either.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @07:28AM (#699877) Homepage Journal
    OK, I'm getting a better sense of why the Greens have two platforms.

    It seemed a bit like having your cake and eating it too -- as if the Republicans had a red meat platform which banned abortions for the faithful and a milquetoast platform for the general public. You make it seem much more like standard messiness of the democratic process (democracy being the absolutely worst system of government except for all the rest of them).

    Still it does leave me with a dilemma though. Do I utterly ignore the national party's platform? If the platform was constructed democratic means, it must reflect what the Greens stand for, right? The fact that the greens are democratic doesn't mean they stand for what I believe in. If the ASGP platform Nader was running on were the only platform, I'd be an enthusiastic supporter. I realize that parties always have problems with their lunatic fringe, but to an outsider the Green party looks like a Jekyll and Hyde case. And the disparity in the platforms makes me wonder if the Green party's democratic machinery isn't a little buggy itself.

    So, if I have a party which is democratic but might not agree with me (I'm not sure), and a party which is not democratic but will advance my positions or damage them to a lesser degree, which way should I vote?

    By the way, as long as you have the electoral college, the bug (among others) remains. The only way to fix the bug is to go to direct popular elections under which any voter can select as many candidates as he pleases, victory going to the most widely supported candidate. This would be simpler than a run-off, egalitarian, democratic and mathematically consistent.

  • At what point did our country change from electing our officials based on the quality of their policies to electing our officials based on the number of fireworks and shiny things in their parades?

    Umm...the 19th century. I wasn't there (obviously), but it's arguable that Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt were elected more on personality than issues. And every election since the dawn of radio has been more about media manipulation than about platform stances.

  • CPSR sponsors The Social Security Number FAQ [cpsr.org], which should answer all of your questions. Of course, don't expect to like any of the answers...


    Are you moderating this down because you disagree with it,
  • I want to vote for Harry Browne (Libertarian), but I would also rather see Bush in the white house than Gore, even though I don't like either of them. What do I plan to do? Vote Libertarian anyways. I don't expect to see Harry Browne in the white house next year, nor do I expect to be happy with the next President.

    Good for you, that's what I'm doing also. Remember, your vote is not going to decide the election. Bush or Gore is going to win regardless of whether you or I vote for Bush, Browne, or Cthulu. The truly wasted vote is when you vote for the lesser of two evils, because you have declared that you support something that you don't.

    Go Harry! [harrybrowne.org]

  • To end on satire [salon.com]...
    --
  • They are forced to pay many times more for the same services that the other 99% receive.

    And they benefit financially from the country's legal, legislative, and economic systems many time more than the other 99%. So they should maybe pay more to ensure that the system continues to be able allow their fantastic accumulation of wealth.

    It's not coincidental that the vast majority of the world's wealthiest people are in America -- they succeed because our way of life and government encourage and support financial success. To suggest that someone making $100,000,000 a year doesn't owe a little more back to the infrastructure than someone who could be getting a better minimum wage elsewhere is, I think, shortsighted.

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • I posted a response about the Greens/Green Party USA and the Association of State Green Parties. The former is an older, more activist group. A nice resolution has been made, whereby the Greens will give the name "Green Party" to the Association of State Green Parties, leaving us with one real offical "Green Party", and will spin themselves off into a separate activism group. This will clear up any confusion about the candidates not holding the same positions as the Greens activism group, and will assuage any fears of the group that their agenda is being watered down (the platform you read is probably the activist group's platform - go read Nader's at his site http://www.votenader.org).

    If I've made any mistakes, please any Greens out there feel free to correct me.

    And by the way, Nader supports a voting system in which you can rate candidates, like you suggest.
  • Anyone who's ever had even a rudementary economics class can tell you the minimum wage is the most useless scam imaginable. It's very simple. Companies sell their products at a profit, which is some amount marked up beyond the cost of producing that product. The cost of producing the product breaks down into materials, tools, and labor. Raising the minimum wage only have one of two effects. Either the price of the product increases that much more, meaning the laboror has the same buying power he did before the wage increase because the increase caused inflation; or the company keeps the price the same while decreasing the amount of labor to produce the product, by putting a certain number of the laborers out on the street.

    Do you really think its a good idea to have more/bigger government to protect us from the 'evil corporations'?

    Lets look at one of the most famous of polution disasters, 'Love Canal'. The fact of the matter is that the company who owned the chemical dump was maintaining the dump in a very good state. Considering they were maintaining it in the 50's the dump site was kept to standards that would even meet current EPA regulations! The county was desparate for cheap land to build more schools and threatened the company with 'emminant domain' if it did not sell. The school district then disregarded all warnings the orginal owners made and dug up and through most of the site unleashing the chemical mess that ultimately occured. Government at work.

    Examine some of the things that have been labeled 'corporate welfare'. For example ADM gets a very large subsidy to make ethanol from corn.. I think this subsidy or 'corporate welfare' is in the billions. Ever wonder why they are getting this subsidy? Because someone in our goverment thought that creating this subsidy would help environmental issues by encouraging ethanol over conventional gasoline. The car companies get substantial 'corporate welfare' to develop electric vehicles for the same reason.

    Even the most basic things, like starting a business, have been damaged by government control. A hundred years ago it was fairly simple and straight-forward to start your own business. Anyone with the courage and ideas to attempt it could. Now there is so much government regulation that anyone thinking of starting one needs a tremendous outlay of capital to pay lawyers and accountants to ensure the new business meets all the federal and state regulations.

    Perhaps some guy in his garage had the greatest idea for a competitor for windows but couldn't afford to go through all the work to start a business. Perhaps that person instead just joined up with microsoft and handed his idea over making a big powerful corporation that much more powerful.

    While 'government intervention' might be good in theory it usually has the opposite effect in practice... Making the playing field less fair rather than more fair. A strong government is an invitation for corporations to controll the people by influencing the politicians who run said government.

    Finally I'd say that if you don't like how a corporation works then don't buy their product. Nobody says you have to own Nike shoes.

    -- Greg
  • I don't like a lot of the way things work either, but guess what, that's politics.

    So how do you think politics changes? By voting for the crap they offer us or by voting your conscience? Hey, if your conscience sez 'Vote Gore' then you go, girl. My conscience sez 1)Never vote for the incumbent (mostly applies to Congressional elections) and 2)Vote outside the two party system when you can. I'm all for stirring up trouble and fscking with the status quo. Politics as usual sucks and I don't vote for it at all. Sure my candidates of choice may not have a chance, but if Jesse Ventura can get elected, so could Nader (or Browne, or whoever).

    So if you're in a state that isn't in play and you want to register your protest, go ahead and vote for Nader.

    I blame this on the electoral college. Don't think on the state level, Ack! Every vote counts! Write in your 7th grade science teacher if you want to, but don't vote for someone you hate just because you think they could win. That's NOT the point of voting. This is not the Bud Bowl, folks.

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • The vast majority of Slashdot readers are the donkeys on which the rest of society, and especially the bureaucracy ride.

    You mean that I, who make as much as the average family of four, and other slashdot readers, have not benefitted more from America than that family of four? Personally I thank my lucky fucking stars every day that I was fortunate enough to be born in a first-world country, and have seen enough of the poverty on this planet to know what a great bargain our taxes are.

    It's not a coincidence that so many rich people are in america -- we've got a great system, and we should be putting extra stamps on our tax return every year to make sure it doesn't stop paying out.

    Reason number two is the mobility of capital. Don't like the price of government where you are? Move your economic activity elsewhere. This will happen more and more, and if the U.S. wants to continue being prosperous, it must compete against low-tax countries.

    Um, yeah -- and Microsoft is moving to Canada, like everyone keeps threatening. The big problem with this is that we don't compete with low-tax countries. Low-tax countries have nothing more than maybe natural resources and cheap labor, which are fine, but we don't want to move there. Feel free to build your Nike factory there, but you'll excuse me if I missed the rush of high-tech startups moving to Costa Rica.

    no matter how poor you are, if you don't become an addict, get an education, work hard, get married, and live a stable life, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of you becoming at least middle class, and probably one of those tax donkeys the stoners and slackers get to ride on.

    Indeed -- and that wouldn't be true in most countries. There aren't that many places where a poor person can get rich, so when it happens, I would think the person would be more than happy to pay back in the system for the "benefits" they've recieved by living in such a place. Not all of us here on Slashdot, I suspect, were lucky enough to be born middle or upper-class, but here we are...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • Communism is Socialism, and Socialism is Communism. Look at the historical development of Socialist parties and that sort of thing. They are equivalent in policy and are equivalently wrong. The fact that the Socialists have spent a century claiming not to be Communists does not make it so; if it qucks like a duck, looks like a duck, walks like a duck &c.

    Socialism is wrong and does nto work. It has damaged Europe and the US; Europe has done bette because i has a greater cultural tradition to draw on, but even it is falling. The US is in trouble because of it, and yet we continue to export that venomous philosophy. We are not a free market, and we are not capitalist. We are a social democracy.

    Look at what a majority of people feel to be a major issue: prescription drugs. WTF? What will next year's issue be--shoes? Pr0n magazines? Free net connexions for the indigent? It's bread and circuses time, folks...

    Bush is no good, Gore is awful and Nader would destroy this country. Browne's policies are excellent, but he will not be elected.

    I don't vote though, not out of laziness but out of conviction. I disagree with self-government in general and I disagree with our government in particular. To vote would be to betray that which I believe, and I will not do it.

  • Interesting point. However, if they are paying tax on their income producing interests, then they should be entitled to a tax break. Just because they are wealthy does not mean they should be taxed on their wealth alone...only on income.

    Similarly, after you paid you tax liability and get your rebate check from the IRS (hopefully), you put some money in the bank. Do you think it right that the feds tax that rebate check next year simply because its part of your wealth. I don't. If you have the foresite to save some money, then you should be rewarded and not penalized.

    Where I draw the line is when you have individuals and industries that pay little or no taxes because of loopholes.

    Same thing goes for married vs single income individuals. Why does the marriage penalty exist...Why did the democrats (i.e Clinton/Gore in particular) feel that this relief was not justifiable? Are they advocating non-married unions over marriage?

    I found it particularly interesting that Microsoft and Cisco both paid zero federal tax (according to the article on /.).

    RD
  • I don't live in the US, I live in Holland, we have a different political system, and it works for me/ us, ofcourse, I don't pretend to be totally objective, but I'm going to go through some points.

    - In Holland, seats in the house are awarded on total votes, not on how many districts a certain party has won, this allows:

    A) Even small parties to actively participate in ruling, and more importantly, make sure they're heard.

    B) No truly dominating party/ parties, parties are forced to grow and reform or else they will die out.

    - The Prime minster isn't voted in by the people per say, but rather is chosen from one of the parties which is picked to rule, this allows for A ruler to truly be chosen on his merits, he's chosen by his peers, people who all know him personally and can judge him better than the average Joe

    - No party in Holland is rich, donations are seriously limited, and the prime minsters usually aren't particularly rich either, it's obvious that this leads to less corruption, as money simply isn't that big an issue in elections.

    The biggest problem I see with the political system the US and several other countries use?

    Basically, there are 2 parties, it's nearly impossible for more to have actual power, the Democrats and Republicans are allpowerfull, and have been for very, very long, too long I'd say.
    These 2 parties are oftentimes fighting eachother more than actually looking out for what's important, how many times will you see both parties either agreeing on a proposal, and how often will you see individual members vote against their own party?

    The 2 party system is a dinosaur, it's a corrupt system from top to bottom, ridiculous laws are still upheld, if you look at it objectively, you KNOW that guns should be banned, however, because of the amazing amount of cash this industry represents nothing is done against it, and as a result 10 year olds are blowing each others heads off.

    I could go on for days about this, it's the one reason I'd never want to live in the US, I'm afraid that such a juggernaut of a country has such appaling leadership, I worry about nuclear hollocaust still, religious violence, civil war, and I thank the light that I live in Holland, and say thanks that our prime minister can't even buy himself a ferrari, and that the dude lacks all charisma, but still rules my country, simply because he is GOOD.

  • But really, can't we just hunt and protect ourselves with standard rifles and pistols? Why the military weaponry?

    Seems to me that it depends entirely on what you might have to defend yourself against. If it's a burglar with a knife or pistol, then a standard pistol or rifle might be enough. Of course having an H&K MP5 handy would probably scare the hell out of the burglar and you wouldn't have to use it anyway.

    Now, if it came down to revolution time (which, history tells us, does happen every few hundred years at least due to the tendency of governments to become increasingly corrupt over time), it would be good for the citizens of the country to be able to defend themselves against well-equiped police and military units when necessary. Now there are many arguments on this subject having to do with whether or not a civilian force can compete against M1A1 tanks and F-16 fighters if it came down to that. Well that's deceptive really. It wouldn't be a stand-up fight. It would be a guerilla war and it's quite likely that the military would be operating significantly under normal strength (due to those who would refuse to fight and/or resign/desert). I'm not advocating revolution here. I'm just pointing out that its historically inevitable that it will happen, and that we, as citizens, should not allow ourselves to be further disarmed by our government. I don't have a problem with violent felons being denied the right to purchase firearms. I do take issue with generally law-abiding citizens being denied that right.

    Additionally, new weapons laws are quite likely to have little to no positive effect on murder rates or violence in general. Usually, criminals who use a gun to commit a crime have already broken half a dozen or more gun laws in the process. I think something on the order of 17 laws were broken in the Columbine killings. What difference would it make to these people if they break another law or two?

    It's already been demonstrated with the drug war that you can't prevent things from being brought into the country if there is a demand for them. You can just drive up the cost and create more criminal activity. Criminals will still get guns. Better to let non-criminals have a means of self-defense. The police are not there to defend you. They show up later and take pictures of your corpse.

    Next point. Gun accidents. Yes, they happen. No, a family member or friend is not more likely to be killed by the gun than an intruder or attacker unless you add in suicides and incidents where the attacker is a family member or "friend" (which, for the purposes of the study, usually translates to "someone whose name you know"). That assertion is just anti-gun propoganda.

    All things considered, I believe that citizens should be allowed to own weapons, even automatic weapons. I've been thinking about the licensing and registration issues a bit. I'm definitely against registration due to the near inevitability that it will be used to aid in confiscation if the politacal winds begin to blow in that direction. Licensing is a bit tougher to decide on. I would prefer that gun-owners demonstrate some competency in using and taking care of their weapons. I don't want a license to be used to aid confiscation efforts by tying you to a particular gun purchase though. If there was a way to license people without helping the government to keep track of us and our purchases, I might support that.

  • That is exactly what happened to my girlfriend. I think it was the Bush or Lazio campaign (because of the tax questions). Actually the person on the phone was really rude, laughing at the response. Just wish I was there to answer.
  • by Flounder ( 42112 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:01AM (#699923)
    Surprise, surprise, Bill Gates has not come out and supported Gore. Gee, I wonder why?

    Also notice that Dubya has gotten more donations from high tech companies. I wonder if a large part of that is from Microsoft. Dubya has already said that he's against breaking MS apart. I think it'd be in Gates' best interest to side with Dubya.

  • Communism is Socialism, and Socialism is Communism. Look at the historical development of Socialist parties and that sort of thing. They are equivalent in policy and are equivalently wrong

    The local socialist party has been ruling my country for most of the last 20 years, and I can tell you that this has nothing to do with communism.


    --

  • Well, I have a philosophical difference here. The problem with our system is that it has a bug: the mathematical relation of "preference" is nontransitive when measured over the populace. That is to say the public as a whole may prefer A to B, B to C and C to A in rock/scissors/paper fashion. This means it is possible for candidate A to win an election with a plurality even when if he were matched against B or C head to head he'd lose badly. The "vote your conscience" position simply ignores this bug, like a program that's running on and OS too stupid to know it seg faulted. I believe the rational thing is to vote in the way which contributes to the best possible outcome. It makes no sense to "vote your conscience" when doing so may actually work against your priorities.

    Voting for a position you know is going to lose might make sense if you believe your party is going to be strengthened over the long run by gaining credibility, or reaching the 5% federal funding threshold. But that only applies if you actually support the party's positions.

    Have you actually looked into what the green party stands for? Nader is running as their candidate, but he's really not one of them, or at least he disavows some of their positions and doesn't run on their platform [greenparty.org].

    I recommend that people who are considering voting Nader read the party platform, because while many of these positions it takes are sensible, some a very extreme. For example the platform espouses mandatory break up of the largest 500 corporations and effectively nationalizing the 200 largest banks. While Nader disavows his own party's platform, it doesn't mean the platform of the party is irrelevant, because the Nader "conscience voters" are throwing away their ability to affect a historically tight race in order to build that party. You may never get a chance to vote in an election where your vote is so powerful.

    By the way, I think there are ways to fix the system, for example by allowing people to vote for as many candidates as they please. This would do away with the mathematically impossible fiction of the "favorite" candidate in favor of electing the most widely supported candidate.

  • by plastickiwi ( 170800 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:05AM (#699937)

    Man, Ralph's sounding more and more like a real politician every day.

    1. Do you think the use of social security numbers by businesses and government agencies should be regulated?

    Yes. The use and sale of social security numbers by private firms and most government agencies should be banned.

    Note: "most government agencies." Which ones are the exeption? Surely Ralph knows that federal law prohibits the use of the SSN as an identifier for any purpose other than Social Security benefits? Surely he knows this law is completely disregarded? Surely he's not proposing more legislation instead of enforcing the laws we already have?

    Ralph's got a lot of good ideas in this Q & A, but he's cutting them down to sound bites. One of the reasons I don't support him for President is that he's more effective as a consumer advocate when he can tell the whole truth. Running for office he has to say "I think..." and "I support..." a dozen times a day, but doesn't have the latitude to propose actual solutions.

  • Still it does leave me with a dilemma though. Do I utterly ignore the national party's platform? If the platform was constructed democratic means, it must reflect what the Greens stand for, right?
    The current platform and the larger goals are somewhat different. If you disagree with the larger goals of the Green party, then it wouldn't make sense to be a part of them, and you might not want to vote for them.

    The Green party is very anti-corporate. The dismantling of the top corporations just isn't going to happen, at least not anytime soon. But there are a lot of smaller issues where, on a local level or elsewhere, the Greens could have an impact. Do you think corporate power should be fought, maybe even just for the sake of fighting corporate power?

    Before you think that's reactionary, fighting crime for the sake of fighting crime isn't usually considered reactionary. And if you really consider the power held by corporations -- amorphous entities without will or conscience except for the profit motive -- there are real reasons to oppose them on principle. At least the publically traded corporations.

    Do you feel protecting and restoring the environment is important enough to make real and tangible sacrifices for that goal? And to make those sacrifices as a society, not just as individuals? There are ongoing debates even among environmentalists as to what the most useful for the environment -- and a platform that supports one thing this year may change as science and the evolution of events continue. But the commitment is a defining aspect of the Green party.

    Really, this "stick to the issues" bend that the Republican/Democratic party has gone with in the presidential race is a total farce. When the president gets in office, the truly important decisions won't have been discussed as issues. Even if they did a better job of discussion a wider range of issues, the flow of events will always be important in any decision. To vote on those issues is impracticle -- you have to trust the candidate, and to a degree the party, to make the right decision from the right fundamental principles.

    I'll let you decide on what the Democratic/Republican principles really are, but past actions make it pretty clear. NAFTA, WTO, UCITA, CDA, CDA II, low capital gains tax, highest military funding ever, Carnivore, bombing Iraq, steadily declining value of the minimum wage, steadily increasing length of copyrights, more H1-B visas... some of these you might agree with, some you might not. Potentially a candidate could break out of the path their party has chosen, but I don't think Bush or Gore show the slightest inclination to do so.

    Do you agree with the what the government has done? Do you want them to keep doing it? You can assign various things you like and don't like to one of the two faces of the powers-that-be, but it won't really matter. What goes on in Washington is mostly stuff they don't talk about on the news, they don't debate in congress, and just happens whether we like it or not. It goes on with the full complicity of both parties. They like the abortion issue because it gives them a good reason to squabble, but when the business of the country gets done everyone plays the game.

    There's a good chance that you are doing well financially. Many on /. are. But most of us here will do fine however things go, like it or not we're among the privileged elite. And, more or less safe, we can rise above self-interest. We can show real concern about what goes on in the world. Do you want to? Do you believe a vote for Bush or Gore represents this?

    These are the things you should consider when you wonder if you should support the Greens.
    --

  • by Electric Angst ( 138229 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:07AM (#699948)
    Okay, this is pretty cool...


    Should the US Government create a watchdog agency to protect US citizens from privacy invasions from other government offices or from corporations?

    Yes. The US is the only major industrialized country in the World without such an agency. More than 40 countries have them. An aggressive, independent watchdog agency is essential to protect citizens' privacy from corporate and governmental invasions.



    Still, I'd rather go to my Democratic preceinct meeting, bring up this issue, have it voted on, and make it part of the Democratic platform than vote for a candidate who wants to take our trade practices back to 1930's isolationism rather than figure out ways to support the individual and worker in a global society...
    --
  • if you look at it objectively, you KNOW that guns should be banned, however, because of the amazing amount of cash this industry represents nothing is done against it, and as a result 10 year olds are blowing each others heads off.

    What a load of crap. You are obviously right, huh? Those of us who disagree must not be looking at it objectively, huh? That's insulting and it does nothing to support an argument against guns. This country wouldn't exist without guns, and we may need them again someday for that very reason. Then there is the issue of self-defense and defense of family and property. I would not deprive anyone of one of the most effective tools for self-defense. Quite often you don't even need to fire the weapon to deter a criminal.

    It's already been demonstrated with the drug war and prohibition here in the U.S. that you can't prevent things from being brought into the country if there is a demand for them. You can just drive up the cost and create more criminal activity. Criminals will still get guns. Better to let non-criminals have an equally effective means of self-defense. The police are not there to defend you. They show up later and take pictures of your corpse.

    I am not a gun owner, but I support people's right to own guns. For you to portray the issue as being black-and-white simply because some kids have been killed by the misuse of guns is disengenuous. In most of the cases involving children being killed, there was a lot more going on than just the kid getting ahold of a gun. It's not a simple issue and we don't yet have all the answers, but that does not mean that a ban is the answer. That was the answer that was tried with alcohol and didn't work. That was the answer that was tried with drugs, and here we are 20 years later and the country is still awash in drugs and our prisons are full. Bans are something that politicians use to get the weak-minded, uninformed voters all worked up and emotional so that they'll go out and vote for them. In reality they usually accomplish little towards a positive outcome, and often are counter-productive.

  • ARGH! I don't even live in the US and I'm getting friggin' sick and tired of people saying "I want to vote for that guy, but I don't want to waste my vote!" That's ridiculous! The point of democracy is to vote your conscience, vote for the guy who would do the best job. NOT for the lesser of two evils among the big party candidates! Gawd, nothing will change if people keep thinking this way! This point has been made before, but where would Linux be if people didn't use it, despite the fact that it started off with a tiny user base? This is no different! Granted, you won't change things over night by voting for a 3rd party or independant candidate, but in time, perhaps you will! Frankly, NOT voting your conscience is, IMHO, wasting your vote, since you're throwing it away on someone you don't really want in office anyway!
  • Two reasons: First, the whole "wealthiest 1%" is a red herring to distract from the fact that the "wealthiest" (some of us do not think of ourselves that way) 10% end up paying most of the rest of taxes, and the "wealthiest" 20% pay pretty much all taxes. This means you! The vast majority of Slashdot readers are the donkeys on which the rest of society, and especially the bureaucracy ride.

    Reason number two is the mobility of capital. Don't like the price of government where you are? Move your economic activity elsewhere. This will happen more and more, and if the U.S. wants to continue being prosperous, it must compete against low-tax countries. When the wealthiest 1% leave (or hide their money in gold, art, overseas real estate, etc.), and the next 1%, and so on, it comes down to you pretty quickly.

    Reason number three: no matter how poor you are, if you don't become an addict, get an education, work hard, get married, and live a stable life, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of you becoming at least middle class, and probably one of those tax donkeys the stoners and slackers get to ride on. Or, and the proverb goes: A Republican is a Democrat with a mortgage.

    You might also ask yourself why envy is a sin, while zeal, closely related, is not.

  • Socialism is wrong and does nto work. It has damaged Europe and the US;


    Oh, I'm sure all the Scandanavians agree with you was they look around at their morally corrupt, malnourished, sick compatriots. Same for the rest of Western Europe. And we mustn't forget the Canadians, with their inadequate health care system. And public education is a Communist plot, too.


    Europe has done bette because i has a greater cultural tradition to draw on, but even it is falling.


    This is such a non sequitur. What does cultural tradition have to do with anything? Are you saying Italy is better off than us because they are directly descended from the Romans? Not that I think they are especially better off than we are, what with their Fascist, anti-Semitic and Stalinist tendencies.


    I disagree with self-government in general


    Wow. I've seriously never met anyone who was a monarchist. How many people do you meet these days who will admit to being antidemocratic? You oughta put yourself in a museum. Seriously, can you give a little argument against democracy? I'd be fascinated as to why someone would trust a dictator over themself.

  • Here is a scary story with some things removed (I hope the original author doesn't mind that I post it here!):

    Here is a story about my terrible experience voting in the primary

    election, I am also sending this to the [local newspaper] and the [local newspaper]. As I send this I am on the phone with someone from the Board of
    Elections, did something similar happen to anyone else?

    Tuesday I went to the [voting place] to cast my green vote, I walked
    over while it was thundering and lightning, tripped on a step coming in and
    walked to a table where three people sat. They took my name and
    asked what primary i was voting in. When I said "Green" the older woman
    told me that I was stealing votes from other real candidates. I thought
    she was kidding, and agreed with her, calling myself a trouble maker. She
    walked to the voting booth grumbling about the green party the whole way,
    then she got the booth ready and I climbed inside. When I tried to pull
    the lever for my candidate it wouldn't budge and I said so from inside the
    booth. Then she shot her arm in through the curtains and began fiddling
    with the red lever, saying that this only happens when greens come to vote,
    she was getting rather hostile. In the end I had to vote by emergency
    ballot, and while I was filling out the paperwork she accused me of having
    done something to the voting booth while I was inside, if I did she would
    have known about it because she was inside with me! Anyway, when I asked
    someone to be my witness (i needed someone's signature on the emergency
    ballot envelope) she came to me and started yelling that I had to seal the
    envelope first. I asked her to please stop screaming at me and she said
    that I could report her. I'm sure there are rules out there that she was
    breaking by bullying me about my choice in candidate, she certainly was
    overstepping my boundary lines by yelling in my face, I just don't get why
    she would wait until the last minute to do her two party campaigning.


  • Surprise, surprise, Bill Gates has not come out and supported Gore. Gee, I wonder why?

    He's endorsing Nader.

    BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-!

    I mean, Bill Gates endorsing Nader, it's just....

    BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-!

    No, seriously, he's endorsing Buchanan. If Pat's willing to declare a national language, why not a national OS?

  • While Gore won the backing of some of high-tech's biggest names, Republican foe George W. Bush has managed to get more of the industry's campaign donations.

    A democrat communist might say that while the industry wants Gore to win, they want to pay off Bush in case he wins. Honestly, soft money, and the ability of corporations to buy legislation is a problem which Gore has hypocritcally addressed, and Bush has kinda let slide.

    A republican nazi might venture to say that the 420 high-tech leaders are probably CEOs of companies, and are interested in seeing their pockets get bigger as a result of Gore's new targetted tax cuts. As for the money, there is something to say about actions speaking louder than words, and $972,199 is a lot of action.

    Less we not forget, Vint Cerf is a high level executive of MCI Worldcomm, and is on the ICANN board of directors. Both organizations having their own agendas. And I really don't think Mr. Cerf's recommendation of Al Gore is of the same rational as we think.

    One more thing. Ralph Nader really seems to "get it". This makes him dangerous, to the other candidates, and to big business.

    This right exists in the US only to a very limited extent, in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and it is time to expand this right to other areas of commerce.

    Interesting that he mentions the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which only allows you to access your credit information under certain conditions, otherwise you have to pay for it. Some states have expanded this, and I think something should be done on the federal level.

  • Now, you say Browne's politics are 'excellent.' That's all well and good, but governments are needed to protect people from those who would abuse them.

    Virtually every abuse of rights mentioned on /. (CDA, DMCA, Clipper chip, Carnivore, bogus patents, etc) is directly caused by government. Sure, sometimes corporations advocate some of them (like DMCA) but without government force to back them up they would be much less powerful. Browne's solution is to remove power from the government, so it would have no authority to pass the draconian laws that corporations might want (as a side effect, greatly reducing the incentives for corporations to lobby/bribe lawmakers). Nader's solution is to subordinate both business and individuals to the government, which assumes that neither he nor his successors would ever abuse that power. Nader actually seems like an honest guy, but I'm not willing to hand over that much power to anyone.

    A weak government is an invitation for a large corporation to come in and abuse the people. (See Nike's Asian sweatshops.)

    Is Nike forcing the people there to work at gunpoint? If not, then the workers are exercising their best available options. It may suck that their options are limited, but closing the "sweatshops" would make them worse off.

    Governments are needed to make sure companies don't screw the workers by paying them less than the minimum wage (though even that wage is a piece of shit).

    Minimum wages increase unemployment. A minimum wage of $X says to the unskilled worker "if your productivity is less than $X per hour, you cannot get a job". It also raises the cost of goods by artifically increasing labor costs. It's an inefficient and often counterproductive form of welfare.

    Finally, what good is your bitching if you don't vote? Your vote DOES make a difference.

    On that we agree.

  • I hate to be a one issue voter, but I'm going to vote for the candidate who seems to be willing to uphold our constitution. Gore and Nader would attack the Bill of Rights itself in order to please those who believe gun control somehow reduces crime. These candidates loosely interpret the constitution in order to further whatever agenda is on their mind. (Wetlands, anyone?... that's not what they meant by interstate commerce) Anyone who walks all over the second amendment and then somehow believes that the first amendment won't be similarly screwed with is an idiot. It's the Bill of Rights, people.

    I'm a complete Linux zealot, Java nut, and am very much annoyed by Microsoft. I certainly don't appreciate Bush's lack of understanding of technology, and willingness to let Microsoft continue operating in the interest of the economy (even if they broke a FEW laws). But I could never bring myself to vote for someone who wouldn't have a problem violating the constitution for his own purpose.

    Bush understands that you don't just piss on the constitution when its convenient. He's pledged to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who will follow the constitution.
  • you know, if a lot of pols are conducted like this, no wonder Nader [votenader.com] never gets any coverage. THey are deliberately not reporting Third party votes!

    sometimes i wonder if those people mumbling about the black helicopters, echelon, wearing tin-foil hats are right.

    sometimes


    tagline

  • ASGP [gp.org] and Green Party USA [greenparty.org] are two different parties.

    ASGP was founded after the 1996 elections. They are the partner of the european greens, and they nominated Nader/LaDuke.

    Part of the problem is that Green Party USA (the more radical group, but older) is supporting Nader, and make almost no mention of the difference, so most people can't tell.

    There was an article in the New Republic some weeks ago, and the writer made the same mistake in confusing GP USA with Nader's green party.

    More on the history of ASGP here [green-party.org].

  • than vote for a candidate who wants to take our trade practices back to 1930's isolationism rather than figure out ways to support the individual and worker in a global society...

    Sorry, I just have to address this. This is a ridiculous claim. Buchanan is isolationist. Nader is not. Nader opposes what has been called "free trade" because it is actually a codeword for allowing multinational global corporations to exploit workers around the world. As he says, there is no "free" trade, amongst non-free nations. This cushy "free-trade" is what will endenture the populations of many third world countries into making goods to be exported back to America, for cents per hour. This wonderful "free-trade" is what will ramp up the exploitation of child labor. This great "free-trade" is what is destroying the environment, much of it in third world countries. And guess what? Both Gore and Bush support NAFTA/WTO "free trade". Did you think so many global corporations would have sunk so much money into both these candidates if they *really* thought their precious cheap foreign labor would be threatened? Free trade is not about "supporting the individual and worker in a global society". It is about *exploiting* the individual and worker in a global society.

    Of all the parties, the Green party is *the* populist/worker's party. Green parties around the world have been fighting for labor rights long before this election. So to imply that the Greens are somehow against the individual and against labor is just patently false and completely ridiculous. Damn, some people even complain that the Green party is *too* labor-oriented/socialist.

    And, yes, I also realize that opening up countries to the rest of the world through trade presents an opportunity for reform in those countries. But for the large part I think free trade, as it is formulated now, is not fair trade, and exists mostly for the good of large corporations.

    Check out Nader's real stance on the issue at: http://votenader.org/issues/fairtrade.html
  • Wow, you know perl. I'm so very impressed, especially someone as clued and talented as to be an AOL user.

    Your clever regex does not change the facts that the previous poster presented. Weapon confiscation usually follows registration in most instances.

    Just two examples; first (I bring this up not to acuse anyone of being facist but to show the most well known instance) Nazi germany required manditory firearm registration and then used that registation information to confiscate weapons from the jewish population. Secondly the state of california reqired registration of SKS (I think thats the designation) rifles and then two years later declared them illegal and used the registration information to enforce this law (i.e. confiscate the weapons).

    Lets talk about the constitutional reasons for the second amendment. The founding fathers felt so strongly about this right that they made it the second of ten in the bill of rights, only slightly less important than freedom of speech. The people of the US had just been forced to overthrow their rulers because the rulers had become so oppresive that people would choose to risk their lives overthrowing them than to just accept the state of affairs. Additionally the colonists had no representation in the government and had no way to vote but with their firearms.

    The founding fathers feared so much that the government would cease following the will of the people and become tirranical that they created the second amendment as a 'dead man switch' so that the people would have the option if all else failed to overthrow the government and put in place a new one.

    Of course there was gun violence in the 1700's. Biologically people are the same then and now and some percentage of the population will be violent. But the founding fathers thought that this was an acceptable price to pay to guard the freedom of the citizens of the new republic.

    -- Greg
  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:12AM (#699972) Homepage
    As Nader says, you really should vote your conscience. If you wish he could win, vote for him.

    I know he's not going to win, but I'm tired of the political "discussion" that goes on now between the 2 parties.

    If we can get a real third party, or maybe even 4th or 5th, perhaps we could actually talk about issues, rather than "fuzzy math" and "lockboxes."

    If Nader & the Green party can get 5% of the popular vote, they get Federal funds next time around. 5% gets their foot in the door.

    If you wish he could win, vote for him. The lesser of two evils is still an evil.

    I do have some concerns about Nader hurting Gore, and I'm not sure where I stand on that... but if you're in a state where Bush has no chance of losing (say... Texas, for example) and you like what Nader has to say, then by all means, vote for Nader! (Or any 3rd party candidate, for that matter). A vote for Gore in Texas is more of a throw-away vote than a vote for Nader...

    ---

  • Quoting from his web site:

    The other presidential candidates want the burning issue of this election to be: Who is best qualified to lead the nation?

    I want the issue to be: How quickly can we restore all the liberty you've lost to arrogant politicians?

    In other words: Don't mind the fact that I have no public experience whatsoever, 'cause it doesn't take any qualifications to destroy things!

    I think most Libertarians are perfectly well-meaning, and their perception that government is horribly broken is dead-on. But it's as if the nation was a great mansion with a leaky roof, and they're telling us, "Hey, if we remove the roof entirely we won't have to worry about leaks anymore!" Well, yeah, but....

  • It seems to me, and probably to many of you as well, that the current rules for how the major presidential candidates obtain their money is just plain rediculous, and leaves them wide open, and more to the point willing, to be, well, fucked up the arse by their corporate pimps to put it bluntly.

    When did it all go wrong is what I want to know. At what point did our country change from electing our officials based on the quality of their policies to electing our officials based on the number of fireworks and shiny things in their parades? Because if you ask Joe and Jodie Sixpack in Inbred Trailer Park, Kansas, I can guarantee you they wouldn't be able to tell you a single concrete difference in the policies of Bush and Gore. And if they knew of any of the other candidates, I'd be very surpised, because they don't get the corporate "attention" the main two receive.

    And as the need to impress has grown, so has the need to ensure a steady supply of $$$ from corporations with their own agendas. This isn't the cut and thrust of politics, it's the rape of democracy by a 20-stone black man with a Nike logo on his head.

    Until candidates receive equal and fixed amounts of money to spend on their campaigns, we'll continue to see a stream of presidents who are already intentured to corporate masters before their inaugurations. And that means democracy is nothing more than a myth, and freedom a fond memory of the past.

  • Basically, he is saying that he created the internet. [...] The internet was CREATED in the 60s.

    There was an interesting article in the Boston Globe today (which I would link to if I wasn't so lazy) about the evolution of the internet. Aside from pointing out that amoung all the techies listed in various "histories" of the internet, Al Gore is the only politician given regular credit for both vision and effort, it says that while geeks often point to DARPANET (sp?) as the beginning of the internet, this is like giving Native Americans credit for the interstate highway system because some of our modern roads lie over their trails.

    You have to define what you mean by the internet. Nothing in the 60s really resembled the scope, accessability and "intent" of what we now know as the internet. One might as well say that the internet was created by alexander grahm bell.

    Maybe I just think in "political" rather than "inventor" but when I hear a politician talk about "taking initiative in creating" its pretty obvious to me that he's talking about pushing for funding, not claiming technological prowress.

    Kahuna Burger

  • I have no illusions about the balance of slashdot editors political views, nor do I feel they should have any obligation to be whatever they want... I did find it humorous however that the same story managed to promote Gore and slam Bush... as if just promoting Gore was not good enough :)

    Anyway, go back and listen to the first debate, where Gore made it clear that he thought the Constitution was a living document that must be constantly re-interpreted, and if current justice department activities are any indication, aggressivly re-interpreted. Gore went on to indicate that he would choose supreme court justices based on how he believed they would rule on a particular issue (in that case, abortion).

    Bush indicated he would choose justices based on qualifications, and that he favors constructivist justices (justices that give the constitution as broad a power as possible).

    Take a read of the constitution, and consider all our pet issues it protects... Then take another look at it through the eyes of somebody like Al Gore and do some lawerly "reinterpretation". Remember this is the guy that called the fund raiser at the Buddist temple a "community outreach" event.

    He may be with you on this issue... but once the door is opened to manipulate the constitution, then the US is in REAL danger... what is your recourse if he, or his successor, or his sucessors sucessor, is on the other side?

    The constitution may have been written by a bunch of dead rich white guys... but they were also a group that had been oppressed by a tyrannical government and were prepared to give life, limb, and fortune to overthrow it. They did not set up the new government lightly, and they were not fools.

    Al Gore has been on just about every side of just about every major issue whenever it works to his advantage (gun control, censorship, abortion, etc)... remember this election is not just about issues, but is about individuals, and that the Al Gore you elect may not be the Al Gore that governs.... Bush, for better or worse, has at least been consistent on the issues and is honest about where he stands.

    Taco can post his political rants, and I can post mine. I would also prefer this stays a "news for nerds site", but will respond in kind.

    "Anyone who is young and conservative has no heart... Anyone who is old and liberal has no brain..." (Winston Churchil)

    Bill
  • maybe she thought you said nada :)
  • To "ward off" criminals, I always have lived in relatively safe communities and I watch my back (you know, the paranoia thing). I've never been held up at gunpoint, so I must be doing something right.

    It's good that it's never happened to you. But there is a large percentage of the population of this country that can't afford to live in safe communities. Watching your back doesn't help much if you don't have a means to defend yourself when you realize you're going to be attacked. I could not, in good conscience deprive people of their means of self-defense.

    Maybe I'm an optimist about our nation's future, that political matters will always work themselves out one way or another.

    Even my relatively limited knowledge of history would lead me to believe you are one heck of an optimist.

    It's just not clear cut which way is the best way to go in regards to whether ordinary folk should be able to possess military-style weapons. IMHO, there's danger in either direction.

    I agree that there is danger in either direction, but I believe that the greater danger lies in the power of the government, which when sufficiently corrupted can become tyrranical enough to spark the sort of revolution that would require that the citizenship be armed and prepared to throw that government out and replace it with one that will once again be accountable to the people of this country. Corrupt governments rarely go without a fight.

  • Or "neither"
    --
    An abstained vote is a vote for Bush and Gore.
  • However, if they are paying tax on their income producing interests, then they should be entitled to a tax break. Just because they are wealthy does not mean they should be taxed on their wealth alone...only on income.

    I don't entirely agree or disagree with you -- it's fairly arbitrary that we tax earnings rather than other things (probably becuase most people do have the majority of their money through income).

    So while it certainly isn't fair to say we should tax everybody's net worth on an annual basis, it also doesn't seem "fair" that a multi-millionaire who happened to inherit every penny should be able to go through life without paying a penny in taxes. he's still using the roads, and the air traffic control system (probably more than mere laborers are) and other things that taxes go towards. He's still counting on the police and army to defend his wealth, but so long as he never has "income" he can live off of services paid for by those of us required to do actual work.

    So there's somethign in-between, which is partly why the estate taxes the Republicans have been trying to eliminate exist. Even though we worship money, Americans still don't tend to think much of someone who inherits it all.

    Look at Donald Trump -- he's admired for "making" so much money, but if he had simply invested his inheritance in the DOW or S&P, he would have made just as much as he did from real estate. He's no great deal-maker, but the act of making the deals made him seem to be "earning" the money...


    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • Is Nike forcing the people there to work at gunpoint? If not, then the workers are exercising their best available options.

    I can't believe anyone still can say this with a straight face. It's so patently ridiculous to assert that a contractual agreement is sacrosanct because it was voluntary. If you're starving, and the two available options are (a) remaining unemployed, and continuing starving, and (b) going to work for a multinational and making a pittance, you're going to choose (b), just because it's better than nothing. Nobody thinks that employers should stop existing. The solution people are advocating is for wages to be regulated. This would not put Nike out of business, by any means. Furthermore, government is, or should be, the representative of the people, and serves as the guardian of their rights. Even if you don't think government should set a minimum wage, I think it is unreasonable to deny workers the right to organize. If you truly advocate capitalism, then it is perfectly fair for workers to bargain collectively, as long as each worker agrees with the policies of the group.

  • What Nader said in the article this was linked to is pretty important. It boils down to this:

    1. ISP's should be regulated about what kind of info they can gather and store.
    2. Organizations (especially health related) should be regulated about what kind of info they can share (or sell)
    3. Consumers should be aware of all the ways that information is gathered (like in supermarket surveillance, etc.), and have access to see what exactly has been gathered about them.
    This is extremely important stuff! This is the fodder that Slashdotters rant about almost every day! It would be very interesting to see a comparison of what Nader things vs. what Bore, Lush, and other third-partiers think. (Although, in all honesty, how could any candidate disagree with any of this?)

    Personally, I like Nader. But the biggest issue that I'm begging everyone to consider is that a vote for a third party candidate is not wasted! When all is said and done and the smoke clears from the battlefield, we will most likely have Gore or Bush in office. But if we want to change the politics of this nation, a great percentage of votes must go toward a third-party candidate of your choosing!

    It will not happen soon, but you must banish the "microwave" mentality. We're talking about a slow baste here, not three minutes to instant popcorn. In four years, we might still not have a third party candidate in office, but maybe they'll at least be allowed in the debates! And in another four years...who knows?

  • The US is the only major industrialized country in the World without such an agency. More than 40 countries have them. An aggressive, independent watchdog agency is essential to protect citizens? privacy from corporate and governmental invasions.

    Sorry, I don't get a warm, fuzzy feeling from a candidate who says he wants us to have the privacy of Germany and France.

    -
  • One interesting proposal I've heard bantered about is paying a "federal" sales tax. Every item purchased (with the exception of essentials like food and basic clothing) would be taxed. Items with higher luxury value would be taxed at a higher rate than say, a nice shirt or jacket.

    Similarly, road tolls are another available income source...use it to subsidize research for alternative fuel sources and improved usage of existing fuel reserves.

    I also think that telecommuting should be promoted to futher reduce traffic. Working from home two or three days a week (if you job function permits it), would drastically cut down on fuel consumption and improve moral.

    When my 3 year old was home with a broken leg, we needed to have someone with him at all times. My job involves a 74 mile commute each day. Staying home with him two days a week drastically cut down on my fuel consumption, improved the quantity and quality of the work I do, AND improved my relationship with my son.

    Of course, once his cast came off and he was able to go back to school (he was in a hip cast..broken femur...freak accident at school involving a tricycle and another kid knocking him off balance) I had to resume my normal commute. But, it really did pay off in the time he was home (10 weeks).

    RD
  • by Geese_Howard ( 200602 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:19AM (#700001)
    I don't live in the US, sometimes, I am extremely happy about it.

    Presidential elections in the US I find an absolute insult to human intelligence, I think it's obvious that you will NOT be voted in as president unless you:

    A) Have support from either the Democrats or Republicans
    B) Are filthy, stinking rich

    This system does not work, I might be the most capable person on the planet for the job, but I'll lose out on not being rich alone, this is an absolute shame, the US has obviously had some utter idiots as president, and looking at this election I don't see much changing.

    People need to be judged more on merits instead of their ads, these elections are an absolutely stunning show of ignorance and flat out idiocy.
  • "prefer [...] central decision-making in economic matters"

    Central meaning the federal government in this case, yours seems fairly accurate if you ask me. Your answers are certainly not centrist. The things you chose prove this out:

    You support...
    Federal contol of wages (setting the minimum wage obviously affects all wages above it)
    Federal food subsidies; the federal government picks who grows what through economic incentive.
    Federal control of trade with other nations
    Federal control of apportioning funding to programs (rather than users choosing with fees)

    They are not 'dead center', they are clear that they are into reduced government control both social and economic. Democrats favor reduced social control while supporting more economic control while republicans support more social control and less economic control. Totalitarian governments favor tight economic and social controls. This was their point.

    -- Greg

    PS: Your anarchist statement seems contradictory; how can I have 'economic self-government' and at
    the same time reject capitalism, the process of freely buying or selling my property??

  • I assure you that virtually every border patrol in the world has the authority to search you on a whim.

    Yes, it's very true that virtually every country in the world sucks. That doesn't mean our goal should be to be just like them.

    Until very recently, the majority of the people in the world lived in countries whose governments were either one-party or military; should we have been trying to emulate them?

    6 billion people can most assuredly be wrong. Or, more importantly, be wronged.

    -
  • I was going to mention a sales tax in my earlier message but deleted it because I didn't have the time to really follow through, so yes I tend to agree that something like a "consumption" tax would be more ideal than an income tax.

    It would be tough to make it less regressive than a typical sales tax -- I know in many states they eliminate tax on all necessities (food, clothing, etc) while keeping it on comforts. And we do have the luxury taxes. It would be a tough system to work out, probably MORE complex than the income tax system. The one advantage would be that tax would be charged and collected by merchants, who presumably are using computerized systems that could do all the hard work. But that still places a pretty big burden on small mom-and-pop outlets.

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • Actually, it would probably streamline things rather than confuse the issue. Already, sales taxes are being collected and reported by mom&pop shops. This is just another requirement. Determining what the tax should be is another issue.

    Perhaps the gov't could supply the infrastructure(computers, software, network) to satisfy the reporting requirements. Business owners would then have either opt into the electronic system or be audited by the IRS or accounting firm on a routine basis to ensure compliance.

    Or, if the item is purchased via credit-card, make the cc company make the necessary payment transfer.

    The only real issue would be potential crime against small shops as they would be collecting more money making them potential targets.
  • I suppose we live in different countries. I live in the calm waters of the USA. Yes, we have a small faction of bandits who want to topple the government, but they are few and far between. Most Americans have it good. Make that...Very good.

    Like I said, read some history. Waters don't stay calm forever. We've done pretty well so far, but this nation has only been around about 220 years. That's not very long really. There have been many empires that lasted much longer, but still went down in flames, it was just a matter of time. The founding fathers of this country knew this as well, and Jefferson said as much in his writings. Sooner or later, they believed that the government would likely become corrupt and need to be tossed out, which is one of the main reasons we have the 2nd amendment.

  • The best non-partisan information I could find on the history of the Greens is here:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june 00/green_history.html

    Not a word about Communism.

    Now, I'm not saying you're wrong, but can you point to anything that backs up your information? Especially concerning the Greens in America?

    Oh, and pointing to Buchanan's site doesn't count. :)

    ---

  • Presidential elections in the US I find an absolute insult to human intelligence, I think it's obvious that you will NOT be voted in as president unless you:

    A) Have support from either the Democrats or Republicans
    B) Are filthy, stinking rich

    Yup. This has of course to do with the fact that in the US, people think of money as a measurement of success. If you're rich, then you must've done something right. If you do voluntary work for a cause (i.e. no pay or very low pay), then you must be plain off stupid.

    Another thing is that you have to get the attention of people. You do that by advertising. Advertising costs money. And where do you get that money? Right, either you're funded by one of the two parties, or you must be rich enough to fund your campaign yourself.

    Sorry for relating the obvious. :-)

    --Bud

  • A vote for Nader could very well be a vote against Gore. Ok, so what? If more people vote for third party candidates, and get them more press, we could actually get one in office after 4 years of Shrub! But if everybody votes for the lesser evil then NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE.

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • by KahunaBurger ( 123991 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:27AM (#700026)
    I can't have any real respect for a "news source" that states a lie as truth twice in one short article.

    OK, guys, one more time - Al Gore NEVER said that he invented the internet. He said that he "took initiative in creating" it, in a context of talking about legislative proccess. Some conservative wack job took a slightly over-reaching comment that was clearly about funding and regulation and distorted it into a claim of technological might. Then everyone one the planet decided that the fake interpretation was actually the orriginal quote.

    The fact that I support gore more than bush only accounts for a small part of my annoyance at this entire thing (I'm voting for Nader anyway). I just hate it when an irresponsible media allows retoric to trump fact, then eventually to become fact. "A little boy was charged with sexual harrassment for kissing a little girl who wanted him too!" nope, never happened, but that doesn't matter, does it? "One of the colimbine victims proudly declared her belief in God at gunpoint before being killed!" Totally false, but who cares, the book sold well. "Al Gore says he invented the internet!" Significantly different from his actual comments, but its just FUNNIER, doncha know?

    OK, enough ranting for now. On a slightly different note, is there anyone for whom the computer/privacy credentials of the canidates will be a deciding factor in voting?

    -Kahuna Burger

  • Should (ISPs) ...be prohibited from misusing customer information...?

    I love these phony questions. Would anyone answer yes to a question asking if misuse is okay? Clearly, the question answers itself!

  • Now, as for the federal law that prohibits the use of SSN as an identifier, this is patently false. What the law says is that you
    cannot be required to give your security number to organizations other than the SSA.

    Tell that to the IRS, VA, many state DMVs and all the other government agencies that routinely deny services to anyone who won't give an SSN.

    Seems to me that refusing to process my tax return without my SSN creates a de facto requirement.

  • Thom Yorke of Radiohead put up the sign "Let Ralph Debate" on Saturday Night Live? I thought that was cute.

    I also believe in it. I'm going to vote Bush, because Rush is Right [rushlimbaugh.com], but geez! I think every person on the ballot should be getting to speak!!! I mean, news is so biased (er... well I guess so is Rush hehe), and all of the candidates don't get nearly as much time. Just because they're not viable? I don't believe it. I'd like someone to step up to the plate, but at this point the umpire is calling them out before they get there.

    ----

  • "Surely Ralph knows that federal law prohibits the use of the SSN as an identifier for any purpose other than Social Security benefits?"

    Could you provide a reference for this? My understanding is that the prohibition is on using the card itself for identification, not the number printed thereon.
    --
    An abstained vote is a vote for Bush and Gore.
  • Your vote is not wasted. If you do not like Gore as much as Nader, why vote for Gore, just because you like Bush even less? If you vote for Gore on the assumption that your single vote will swing your state over the edge (thus awarding all electoral college votes thereof to Gore), then you will have probably wasted your vote. Where I live (MN), a vote for Bush is wasted-- the state is almost guaranteed to end up a Gore state in the EC (this was, I think, the only Dukakis state in 1988). So, given the facts of the mechanics of the Electoral College, what happens when you don't vote for 3rd party candidates that you support is that the 3rd party continues to be prevented from being given federal election funding in the next election... effectively limiting your choices in that election as well.
  • by Benjamin Shniper ( 24107 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:35AM (#700042) Homepage
    When "TV" started offering very expensive "advertising" and people actually listened to it.

    That will run you a couple million. And corporations are willing to pay these funds... IF they are sure the politition is on their business' side. As Bullworth said: "Give them free air-time they won't have to pay." Not that this is a particularly interesting notion. And actually the free air-time already given to the candidates is impressive (Convention, Debates, Etc...) I think our whole corporate culture has decided to just vote money out of the national treasury.

    Like Microsoft decided to give stock options and not pay taxes. We think the Government can solve this problem, but the big G. gave them their patents, powerful copyrights, their free ride, and a good portion of their software sales!

    -Ben
  • Actually, there's really two sides to the same party, and it's not delineated on Liberal/Conservative sides like you think. We really have a one party system. Anyway, the reason Nader can hurt Gore is if 10% of the voters who were going to vote Gore instead vote Nader, then you end up with Bush X%, Gore Y-10%, Nader 10%. Call X% 48% and Y% 52%, and you can see the problem - Bush now leads 48%-42%, a 6% lead over Gore.
  • "The Constitution was meant to evolve over time. That's why provisions were set in place to let it happen.

    That doesn't change the fact that gun-control laws are unconstitutional. If you want to get rid of guns legally you are going to have to remove the Second Amendment.

    As for your other gun-related comments, you seem to have trouble reading simple English. The "well-regulated militia" clause does not modify the "the rights of the people clause".

    Example: "Respect of cattle being important to our religion, everyone must be vegetarian."

    Can I eat cats? No, because I must be vegetarian. But cats aren't cattle. Doesn't matter, the first clause isn't modifying the second.
    --
    An abstained vote is a vote for Bush and Gore.
  • Lol! You probably think that since the Green movement in Europe is very tied to Socalism. You ought to go back and review the difference between Communism and Socalism (one is a specific but not representative example of the other.)
  • If you need to see what Gore's stance is on the topic of censorship (beyond the fact that he is married to the "Queen of Censorship"), you need look no farther than his VP choice, Lieberman. Joe is perhaps the most vocal proponent in congress on the topic of governmental and voluntary censorship of the media.

    This election pains me. I won't vote for shrub, as I live in Houston, and have seen the effects of his policies first hand. I don't want shrub to win, but I also am having serious misgivings about voting for Gore (particularly on the topic of censorship). Buchanon is a nutcase (enough said). The Libertarian Party (Harry Browne) is actively against government funding of healthcare and education to the poor, so they are out on that one (it should be noted, however, that they are likely to be the only 3rd party on the ballot in all 50 states). I like a lot of Nader's rhetoric, but I am also of the opinion that he will take a number of these issues too far (not privacy, mind you--this topic might just cause me to switch my vote to Nader).

    What I think I really want is Jesse Ventura (maybe in 2004?). He is fiercly independant, meaning he takes an intellectual approach to all issues without prejudices or baggage from the party platform. For all the mockery of him as being a pro wrestler, if you listen to him talk, it is rather apparent that he is very intelligent and thoughtful. He is fiscally conservative, socially liberal. He is libertarian on constitutional issues, but not on things like education.

    Hmmm...If only it weren't for all those things I did in university, I might join the political fray. Oh well...I think it is society's loss...
  • Hmm, I took the libertarian site "what party are you" questionaire, and it seems that I'm an Authoritarian on the Socalist side (according to it), but I also agree that we should eliminate Crypto regs. What other parties are also against Crypto regs?
  • how can votes for 1 candidate hurt another? The way I see it this can only be because there is a choice of 2 parties, and all other parties weaseled their way into the political system.

    Ok, first of all, while the American political system is refered to as a 'two-party' system, there are actually more than that. It's just that there are two major parties that pretty much control everything.

    Now, as how Nader takes votes away from Gore...

    Since most people who actually vote will select one of the two major party candidates, they can be divided into the groups of "those who will vote for Gore" and "those who will vote for Bush".

    The introduction of a third (or more) candidate will take votes from one of these two camps, as members of that camp decide that this candidate fits their views better than the "mainstream" candidate.

    Now, Gore and Nader both subscribe to what can be loosely described as 'liberal' policies. Thus, while Nader might pull a few votes from the Bush camp, the vast majority of people voting for him will have been pulled from the Gore camp.

    The same thing, although probably in a far lesser manner, will happen with Buchannan concerning the Bush camp.

    Hope that helps.
  • http://salon.com/tech/col/rose/2000/10/05/gore_int ernet/index.html

    gives a fair and thorough analysis of the "invented the internet" meme.

    It was not an "unsubstantiated claim" the previous poster made, and "get a clue" brings the discussion down to gradeschool level. Plato says to attack an idea's proponent rather than the idea itself is a sign of intellectual incompetence. I agree.

  • This is however, extremely unlikely. It's the college of congress that actually elects the president. And there's no way they're going to cast enough votes for him, to get him elected. I wonder if None of the above can be elected.
  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @05:08AM (#700082) Homepage Journal
    I don't believe either candidate is trying to "get rid of guns".

    There is no reason to have universal gun registration except for confiscation. Nowhere in the history of this world has gun registration NOT lead to confiscation. Being reasonably well read on this topic is all it would take to be aware of this. If Al Gore wants to ban them, let him do it honestly. Let him be upfront about it instead of pretending that he has another agenda.

    BTW, I don't see how preventing people with criminal records from purchasing guns is "unconstitutional".

    Who is championing any such effort?

    LK

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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