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Politics With A Slice Of Lemon 311

With the weekend comes many stories about the upcoming election. First, Herger sent us an article by Liberatarian Neal Boortz which is fairly humorous, and makes several good points, along with talking about Harry Browne. cmpgn sent in transcripts from a panel discussion on how GWB would govern. James Hills sent us Rolling Stone's Interview with Gore. Yohahn sent us filmmaker Michael Moore's article after being on the road with Nader. Finally, a few links of a more general nature: Duncan W. McQueen sent us a page that tries to match up your beliefs to a candidate, and LizJ sent us a site trying to be impartial and track the candidates' stance on the issues.

Still getting lopsided story submissions. We're trying to give links to several different candidates each time, but Gore and Nader are the only candidates that we're getting good submissions for. I'm voting for Quimby anyway ;)

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Politics with a Slice of Lemon

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  • by Fredge ( 186975 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @07:54AM (#683373)
    How can the man call himself a libertarian when he's profoundly anti-choice about abortion?

    The same way he can support legalizing drug use without using cocaine or heroin.

    For libertarians it's about personal freedom. Harry personally finds abortion objectionable for whatever reason but he realizes (correctly, IMO) that it's not the place of the government to regulate people's personal behavior.

    note: I'm not looking to get into a flamefest over the abortion issue so don't bother.
  • by Mathetes ( 132911 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @08:00AM (#683378)
    Actually, Harry Browne doesn't want the Federal Government involved in the decision at all. Here [] is his position on abortion from his website.
  • The title says it; I'm uncomfortable with gov't involvement in anything, but in this case I think it has become a necessary evil to be endured until sanity is restored.

    What we have now really isn't a market, it's control by one monolithic corporate entity.

    A "market" brings up images of a bazaar, with vendors hawking their wares, all trying to out do each other for your business.

    Personal computing has become a road in the middle of nowhere. You're out of gas, and you pull into a station where a toothless Bill Gates says "Fill'er up?"

    You ask "How much?" and he stretches his lips and whispers quietly "How much you got?" and laughs...well, maybe it's not there yet, but they are obviously trying.

  • To leave computing "open," I don't want government getting into anyone's face about computers, and that includes Microsoft...I'd rather government stayed out of the computing market all together.
    Fine. That does, of course, include no government force preventing me from making copies of software, or telling me that certain types of software are "patented", right?

    Oh, and I'm sure it also means getting rid of those government-created "corporation" thingies.

    You can't have it both ways. If you're going to get the government involved in terms of "intellectual property" (or indeed, pretty much any sort of property) and corporations, then they're also going have have to intervene when these creations of the state go awry and no longer operate in the public interest.

  • > [Most tech workers - won't see Gore's cuts, will see Bush's cuts]

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Gore is using the rhetoric of class warfare to mask the fact that his "cut" is merely a complication of the tax code - a series of if/then statements crammed into a chunk of code that's already unmaintainable.

    Bush, whatever else folks may about him, at least provides a tax cut plan that's intelligible and gives broad-based tax relief. He changes a few constants (the brackets and ther tax rates), and leaves the rest of the code alone.

    > [Bush vs. Gore on giving younger workers the option to invest part of their SS taxes in the markets, as opposed to the governmen IOU "fund"]

    1998: 6.2% on your first $68400 ($4240).
    1999: 6.2% on your first $72600 ($4501), up 6.14% from '98
    2000: 6.2% on your first $76200 ($4724), up 4.95% from '99
    2001: 6.2% on your first $80400 ($4984), up 5.50% from 2000

    In the past four years alone, the SS tax has gone up by $744.

    If you run your own business, double the 6.2% to 12.4%. That's goddamn near $1500 taken straight outa your wallet.

    The Social Security pyramid scheme is imploding NOW. Is it any wonder that the limits on earnings subject to SS tax have been increasing at more than double the rate of inflation?

    It's the stealthiest tax around (I dare you to find the numbers on your 1040!), and it's going up faster than any tax out there.

    Given the rates at which the SS tax is increasing, and given the time required for the phase-in of Bush's income tax cuts, most techies will be very hard-pressed to keep their overall tax payments at a constant level.

    Under Gore, I shudder to think how far it'll go. No income tax cut, continuing explosive increase in SS tax. And the government funnels all my SS taxes into the pyramid scheme.

    Under Bush, I get an income tax cut that might keep pace with the SS tax increases, and I get to keep at least some of those SS dollars out of the black hole.

    If you're a techie and you're voting on taxes, the choice is clear.

    Naturally, if you're not voting on the issue of taxes, well, disregard this whole post.

    But whatever you're basing it on, get out there and vote. Unlike the past two or three elections around here, the outcome has not yet been determined, and there are substantial economic policy differences even between the two mainstream candidates.

    And if you live in a swing state, one look at the electoral college map makes it damn obvious that your vote counts a hell of a lot more than it has in the past 10-15 years.

  • The 'twenty year cycle' you refer to is also known as the Zero-year presidency cycle. Every president elected in a year ending with a zero has died in office...except the latest, Reagan (elected 1980). Not all these presidents were assassinated -- a few died of natural causes.

    Therefore, if you believe in numerology or superstition, and if Reagan didn't break the curse forever, signs point to the death of the next president, no matter who he is.

    I think it's a load of hooey, myself. But I am worried that psychos often feel the need to fufill their own prophecies...and thus it is conceivable that there will be an assassination attempt on the next president, by some insane moron who thinks it's his destiny.
  • The child as in under 18 poverty rate is twelve times the senior poverty rate. Where does social spending go? Not to the young.

    Maybe it is because teenagers and poor people are getting pregnant at a higher rate than the people who can afford to take care of their children.

  • By getting out there and doing so! Any political party is just dying for volunteers: people to knock on doors, maintain mailing lists, call supporters, hand out literature at events, build signs, collect signatures for ballot access, attend local conventions, even to run for office. Do you have any idea how many offices even the major parties fail to put up a candidate in? Even if they do get a candidate, they're often scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    Ever wonder why the Christian Coalition, NRA, labor, pro-choice, pro-life, etc. groups have influence beyond their money? Because these groups are well-organized and chock full of dedicated volunteers -- they're vital to running an effective campaign.

    I do agree that money-soaked, TV-focused campaigns let the major parties turn their back on those who've done all that volunteering (like me), but any would-be third party can't ignore such work, because it's all that they have.

    I just wish that the AFL-CIO had endorsed Nader, as they were considering. Then maybe the Democratic party would start missing all that volunteer power, and stop ignoring labor.

    Ah, well. I'll pay them back when my vote for Nader helps cost them Minnesota...

    When did I start ranting?
  • As this election approached, I once again looked at the candidates and looked for a third party. For a while, I thought Harry Browne was it. I've changed my mind.

    I lean considerably to the Libertarian point of view. I think the war on drugs wastes resources that could be better spent on treatment programs and prevention. I want a smaller, more constitutional government. I don't believe that the government should be in the business of redistributing wealth from the class that creates it to a class that consumes it. I think that welfare enslaves the people it was designed to help by removing their dignity and encouraging those behaviors that we as a society should discourage.

    Harry unfortunately takes it so far that he loses credibility. He takes the all or nothing approach. No income tax. No gun laws. No social security. Hence, no chance of ever becoming law in the world in which we live. Get real Harry.

    For heaven's sake can't someone stand up and take the middle ground by embracing Harry's ideals without losing all touch with reality. I'm still waiting for a candidate. I don't like any of them.

  • by jesser ( 77961 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:09AM (#683400) Homepage Journal
  • Here's an article about Nader that got rejected by Slashdot, about how Gore's camp is pissed that the Nader vote may swing key states towards Bush.

    Link []

  • This people *do* sound dangerous, so I'm wondering if their intent of *payback* has any basis for consideration?
    I do have to wonder about the "zero factor". (Except for Reagan, since Lincoln every president elected in a year ending in zero has died in office. Reagan literally missed joining that club by an inch. (Of course, one might argue that he was pretty much brain-dead throughout his term anyway...))

    It is an interesing coincidence, and I do think (note to my fans in domestic surveillance: I am not, at this time, planning on killing anyone, nor am I inciting or advising, nor am I aware of any plot, I am merely speculating) that there are a significant number of people in the country who would see killing a "President Dubbya" as a great public service, and one might take the "zero factor" as a hint.

  • by flatpack ( 212454 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:12AM (#683406)

    Does it really matter which dictator you elect? Both candidates are identical in pretty much every respect, and we can be sure that whoever wins, the US will still continue to be as arrogant and insular as it always is.

    The fact that /. is bothering to provide "coverage" of such a non-event is quite sad really, all it does is provide a forum for the slashbot hordes to propound their particular dogma to people who'd rather use Windows than admit that someone else's politcal views might have validity.

    God, I wish it'd hurry up and be over and done with.

  • >> [SS is] the stealthiest tax around (I dare you to find the numbers on your 1040!)
    > Eh? That's like saying income taxes are stealthy because they're not on your hunting license. SS Taxes aren't handled by the IRS, so it's unlikely they would be on an IRS form.

    Yeah - but just try not withholding 'em. IRS will find out real quick and tell you exactly how much you owe :-)

    I've seen the Canadian tax forms - the Canada Ponz^H^H^H^Hension Plan is their equivalent of the SS pyramid. And their tax forms show exactly what you're paying. The point being, how come the 1.45% Medicare tax shows up on your 1040 but your SS tax doesn't? I'm not saying that SSA == IRS, (or even that it should== IRS) but it seems pretty obvious to me that neither political party has any interest in having light shone on this tax grab.

    Now I'm getting curious... Let's take a single filer, and assume he/she is in the 31% federal tax bracket for funds between ~$60-$120K. Suppose we (being The Gummint) decide we wanna gouge this guy for $744 over four years in income taxes, while keeping the SS taxes the same. How much of a hike would we have to put in his/her income taxes?

    That means we take an extra $744 out of the money made between $61400 (where the 31% bracket begins) and $80400 (where the SS tax now ends) using income tax only. If we create a new "tax bracket" for $61400-80400, what rate would it have to be?

    - Presently, Joe Taxpayer pays 31% on (80400-61400) = 31% of $19000 = 5890.
    - We want to gouge him for $5890+744 = 6634.
    - He must therefore pay 6634/19000 = 34.9%.

    Damn, that's within epsilon of the 36% the "rich" pay on income between $128K and $278K. Probably in excess if we assume another year or two of SS tax hikes or Bush actually following through on his income tax cuts.

    To paint this in the worst possible light (hey, it is an election year, politically-loaded comparisons are the "in thing"!), if you made ~$80K for the past four years, the SS tax hike they've imposed on you is comparable to being in the same tax bracket as those earning $250,000.

    People on the right should argue for SS reform because SS is a pyramid scheme. People on the left should argue for SS reform because it's the most regressive tax in the system. (The nature of the desired reforms will be a function of which side you choose, but both sides probably agree that the system as it stands is terminally fuX0red.)

  • Fine, they can't be "recalled" whatever purpose that would serve (new elections every 6 months or what?). The point is that they can't just change their policies and have everyone go "oh, well, I guess we're just screwed" -- they'll have no ability to enforce them...

  • He's not splitting hairs -- he's making a legitimate distinction. The declaration of Independence is a purely historical document, it has no legal impact on us. It also says that people have the right to raise arms against the government whenever they want, which is (needless to say) illegal.

  • Dude, go back and look at the beginning of the posts...I clearly stated "...for those concerned with open computing..." -- thus stating the focus of the post.

    I also made statements about the Supreme Court, transition concerns, and general technology.

    Not a fair shot, Dude!

    Vote for your choice, and I'll vote for mine. I wish there was a smarter, more qualified, more idependent *viable* candidate to vote for, but I'm reduced to these two.

    I think this could be a critical election on a number of fronts, and having "survived" the previous Bush presidency, when the economy went to hell while he's on TV wondering over the miracle of supermarket scanners, and the whole Industrial park I was working in became a ghost town, all I can say is "No More Bush!"

    But I don't begrudge anyone there vote or their opinion.

  • What if the woman got pregnant from being raped? Just curious what your stance on this is...
  • You will probably benefit much more without government debt.

    Interest rates are the price that people without much money (most of us) pay to get money from those who have it. Examples of this -- your mortgage, your car loan, your student loans, your credit card, outweigh what non-wealthy Americans get from bond interest in both amount and frequency. The interest you collect on a bond is far outweighed by the harm of the government competing with you for the money supply.

    Oh, and stocks go up when the price of money goes down, which happens when the government borrows less.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @08:22AM (#683436) Homepage Journal
    Libertarianism has come to mean whatever you want it to. It's inclusive of everything from the far right to the far left and if there is anything there you don't agree with just claim those other people are misguided. Honestly, is it simply entertainment or a real, thought out postion when Boortz says things like "maybe it's a mistake that women can vote". Or that 2 income households should be outlawed. Are we supposed to take seriously this altdotblackhelicopters thinking? When right wing self professed Libertarians claim on a show like Boortz or Limbaugh that those liberals in the "major media' secretly control what you see and hear, and it's evil I have to laugh.

    Now maybe they don't represent what the rest of you consider mainstream Libertarianism but that's my point. Anyone from Ghengis Khan to Leon Trotsky can claim to be Libertarian. After all the "S" in Nazi was for "Socialism" - you can twist words to mean whatever you want. All I can tell you is that I live in a state where at one time Jesse Helms was considered the more liberal of two Senators and I've heard the self defined Libertarian rhetoric: anti gov't, pro-gun, eliminate the sep. of church and state, no immigrants, no taxation, eliminate all but the vestiges of a federal system, power to the states, responsibility to the individual, yah ya yah. It's Ruby Ridge with a soccer mom face. I read the book I saw the movie. It was by Leni Reifenstahl. Be afraid.
  • Get real, Troll :-)

    There are no viable third candidates in this election.

    Voting third party makes a small statement, but given they weren't even in the debates, there is no way any one of them will get in the seat, short of divine intervention.

  • I too became a green when Bill Bradley lost :) Pat Buchanan came dead last for me, which didn't surprise me, the man's insane.
  • Actually, he said "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos". And then Kodos whipped him. :)

    That was an excellent sketch, and it's been constantly reminding me of this election.
  • I found a well-written article on the Zero Year curse affecting US presidents. It apparently stretches back to a Shawnee Indian chief named Tecumseh, who cursed president Harrison in 1840. Interesting stuff. And a reminder that we should keep in the back of our minds the possibility of President Cheney or President Lieberman.

    Death Cycle of Presidents elected in Zero Years []

  • Been saying that for years. My parents generation, the Tom Brokaw 'greatest' or the one just a few years younger was the recipient of more federal aid, social breaks, tax waivers, subsidized education then any other on the face of this earth. Ever. And to compound it saw their financial health by and large increase more and faster than any growth of the middle class in the history of civilization. The net increase in property values alone says that. These were the people who grew up hungry in the Depression and retired on the golf course on AOL stock- in large part thanks to an interventionist Federal government that bled money from 1945 to 1994. And in large part put in place by Eisenhower - a Republican. Now these same people, who as a group receive NOW, 10x more Federal money percapita than the children they purport to be so concerned with are chomping at the bit to exhaust and bankrupt the system in THEIR lifetime.
  • No, he isn't anti-choice. He's made up his own PERSONAL choice. He still supports others' right to choose.

    We need more people who can separate personal and political adjendas, as Browne can.
  • It's the stealthiest tax around (I dare you to find the numbers on your 1040!)

    Eh? That's like saying income taxes are stealthy because they're not on your hunting license. SS Taxes aren't handled by the IRS, so it's unlikely they would be on an IRS form.

  • I think you proved my point. It's whatever you say it is and if somehow it doesn't represent the pure line of thinking then it must be misinformed, misguided or misrepresenting what it claims to be. Either way if an outsider comes into the tent looking for a reasonable summary of what Libertarianism is the message is so horribly garbled as to be meaningless.
  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Monday October 23, 2000 @08:37AM (#683460) Homepage
    but how can you find both of these candidates interesting?
    Not directed at me, and I don't find Browne particually interesting, but I've voted Libertarian in the past and I'm voting for Nader this year (as I did in '96).

    We need to understand that "libertarian" originally was a leftist (i.e., pro-labor, as opposed to pro-capital) term. (For more information, hit Google with "libertarian socialist" and "anarchist"; also try "zenarchy".) Leftists aren't necessarily in favor of big government; some of us want a small government, like the libertarian capitalists of the Libertarian Party, but one that moves in a different direction. We reject the notion that capitalism is somehow a natural state that arises from a smaller government; indeed, capitalism requires a strong state, to define and defend property.

    Think of government as a vector quantity; the Libertarians have (at least in theory) a magnitude I like, but the Greens have the direction I prefer.

    As a libertarian, I find Nader's positions more horid than even Gore & Bush. For me personally, it comes down to freedom or not.
    Nader's the only one talking about how corporate power and concentrated wealth is threatening individual freedom.

    You'll also find that on many practical issues there is agreement: on free speech, ending corporate welfare, ending the "prison industrial complex", decriminalization of victimless crimes, Fourth Amendment rights, and religious freedom, the Libertarians and the Greens are pretty much in alignment.

  • Or revolt. Study your history, we are better at staging a revolt than emmigrating :)

  • I'm not sure I totally agree, but I thought this was a pretty good Nader quote:

    "The only difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock."

  • A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. It's the Supreme Court, stupid. article: Nader is poised to play spoiler []

    Abstract: Oct. 23 -- Although he was excluded from the national debates, has no money for television advertising and rarely rises above 4 percent in national opinion polls, Ralph Nader enters the last two weeks of Campaign 2000 poised to make an important impact: According to polls and campaign officials, he could tip as many as six states from Vice President Gore to George W. Bush, making a potentially crucial difference in the Electoral College.

    read the article for more details

  • How can the man call himself a libertarian when he's profoundly anti-choice about abortion?

    How can you call yourself a human being when you obviously have the IQ of a wet teabag?

    The man is in favor of FREEDOM, therefore he is a libertarian. That means IT DOESN'T MATTER what his beliefs are because he won't impose them on YOU.

    Sheesh. Get a clue.
  • What if the woman got pregnant from being raped?

    Does the child of a murderer deserve to die for the sins of his father?


    Then why should the child of a rapist?

    Now, if you believe the Biblical prescription that the sins of the fathers should be visited upon the sons unto the seventh generation, then you've got a clear justification (assuming you believe the death penalty is justified for rape, of course) but short of that there doesn't seem to be a sound philosophical reason for treating pregnancy by rape different than any other pregnancy. Feel free to present one if there is but it's just escaped me....
  • Um ... what difference? He says that abortion is none of the federal government's business, so it shouldn't prohibit it, and it shouldn't fund it either.

    How on earth is this unlibertarian? I don't think money should be extorted from me at the point of a gun to pay for your abortion EITHER -- are you going to claim that makes me not a libertarian?

    Hint: If you do you'll REALLY look like a COMPLETE idiot.
  • "Both candidates are identical in pretty much every respect..."

    So don't vote for one of the "both candidates". For for someone else.
    An abstained vote is a vote for Bush and Gore.
  • For that matter, so can Nader, or anybody-- this is a problem with the US political system, there is no way for the people to recall a candidate that has violated his mandate.

    Sure there is -- it's called checks and balances. If the president changes his stance on everything he got voted for, there's no reason for Congress to let him get away with any of it (it'll make them look good to stand up for the little guy).

    Think of the Republican revolution in the 90s -- a huge electoral mandate to fix taxes and campaign financing. So they got into office and started pushing morality legislation and abortion laws and everyone else promptly started ignoring them because they had no more influence to get things done. They changed their priorities from middle-class economics to right-wing social.

  • This election is too important, this president will name 2-4 supreme court justices for terms of LIFE.

    That is true. However, what the Republicrat FUDers don't want you to think about is the fact that which of the current justices resign depends on who wins the election.

    None of the justices are so infirm that they'll have to resign within the next four years. If Gore is elected, no conservative justice will resign and allow himself to be replaced with a liberal justice. Vice versa with Bush and liberal justices. Although the next president will have the opportunity to appoint a few justices, this will not change the ideological makeup of the court.

    Voting for Pat won't get him elected. It won't stop Gore from getting elected. Voting for Bush, who is my second choice, can help prevent Gore from getting elected. He's not perfect, but he'll do.

    Ah, that explains it! How much you buy into the "don't waste your vote" rhetoric depends on how much worse one of the two major candidates is, in your opinion, than the other. You, as do most Buchanan supporters, believe that Gore would be much worse than Bush. Thus, you buy into the FUD, and Buchanan will receive very few votes. Libertarians such as myself believe that Gore is only very slightly worse than Bush (and there's quite a few of us who believe that Bush is slightly worse than Gore, too), so we don't listen to the FUD.

    By all means, cast your vote for Bush. I'll be reminding you for the next four years how Browne got three times as many votes as Buchanan.

  • The question for me is: do I want smaller government?

    If the answer is yes, then it's stupid to support anyone who doesn't also want smaller government. Harry Browne and Howard Phillips are the only Presidential candidates who have proposed reductions in government programs. Voting for anyone else isn't just a vote for the lesser of two evils. It's a vote that will continue to take us in the wrong direction.

    Harry Browne won't win this year. So you don't have to worry about him implementing his more radical proposals. But voting for him is the only way you can send the clear message that you want smaller government.

    As for the extremeness of his proposals, let me point out that incrementalism doesn't work when it comes to getting smaller government. If a candidate ran on a platform of cutting various government programs by 10% and eliminating a few of them, he would attract the ire of the special interests that depend on those programs without offering any substantial tax relief to the taxpayers. Only a single, decisive stroke in the opening months of a presidential term has any chance of bringing about major reductions in government.

    Not only that, but any government programs you leave reduced but still in place will quickly grow back to their former size the next time a D or R takes office. A partial cut of the SS tax can easily be re-instated in the next election. It is much harder to do so if people are used to keeping every dollar they earn.

    If smaller government is what you want, you need to vote for a candidate who supports it. Even if you think Harry Browne does go to far, it's still better to go in the right direction than to continue supporting those who are making the government bigger. And given that he's not going to win, his getting a lot of votes will primarily cause his ideas to get put on the table more often, something that can only do good regardless of whether you ultimately support his positions.
  • I read the Harry Browne piece:

    The problem not addressed regarding 'blue hairs' and Social Security is those 'blue hairs' paid into this catastrophe of a system for far many years. They believed Roosevelt, and put their money into that system and my denying them what they paid forward is tantamount to theft. Rather, we should require that all monies paid into Social Security and Medicare, be locked away from general revenues. If you examine the Office of Management and Budget, you will see that most of the "surplus" lauded about, and planned for future spending by both major party candidates is actually Social Security revenues which are the direct result of higher employment and better paying jobs. Lock those monies away from Congress and the President and SS will be solvent for about, a million years. Why? Because the money, if left alone, will be there for current recipients. See the OMB website and see that the outlays are far smaller than the receipts. Also, as the recipients get older, they die (they also rarely see all of the money they paid into the system BTW). Therefore, the outlays will continue to drop rather than exceed the amount in the pot even with the much vaunted Baby Boomers asking for their payout.

    Getting either major party candidate to honestly say where the alledged budget surplus is coming from (Social Security) is a whole other matter; one that would probably upset the 2000 Election apple cart.

    Further, pitting older Americans and younger Americans against each other, black vs. white, rich vs. poor and so forth by any candidate is plain wrong. We have enough tribal separation in this country, we don't need more.

    HOWEVER, and a big however, by the way, younger workers should be allowed to determine what they want to do with their SS contributions incrementally as time goes forward in order to dismantle the SS system in the future. The money will be there for the older population that are over 50, for instance. Those younger, and supposedly with more time between them and retirement should be allowed to begin moving their contributions to alternative savings plans. In addition, there should be an easier process for completely withdrawing from SS with one major caveat: You withdraw, you don't come back in 10, 20 or 30 years asking for a handout because you spent your retirement money on a BMW, failed stock or your brother-in-law's beeper business that went belly up.

    Finally, my profile said I would vote for Browne, if that is any use to any of you. I will not because there are too many government programs I want continued rather than disbanded, shrunk or privatized. Namely, the National Parks department, NASA, the military, the National Transportation Agency, the FAA, the FCC, and a few others come to my mind.

    Whatever. I am voting on November 7th rather than spewing euphenisms and defeatist slogans. Like it or not, I have to raise my children in this country and be damned I am going to tell them I did not care enough about their future to ignore my duty to them.

  • still others (like me) think that it should be allowed before the fetus develops to a be its own entity.

    I got news for you ... a newborn baby has not become "its own entity". The brain has not developed any personality, and operates on total instinct. So are you in favor of post-birth abortions?


  • Maybe he didn't have a valid ticket? :)
  • I was just reading a Q&A about SS in the Sunday paper, and they mentioned that they are raising the cap to 80k next year - I believe they said about a 6.6% increase to someone making 80k or more.

    Enjoy the loss of income to a program you'll never see a penny from! I know I will!
  • I've always found intriguing the idea that voting for a third-party candidate amounted to "throwing away" your vote.

    Perhaps I'm a little naive in this, but let's see which action is a real waste of a vote: voting for someone because you want to "back a winner", or voting for a third-party candidate who best represents your ideology.

    If you want to back a winner you will try and determine which (Bore/Gush) big party candidate is most likely to get the most votes. Therefore the real power of your vote will truly become insignificant -- it will be only 1 out of several million, and even then it will only only solidify the current political status quo. Aside of course from the fact that the two big parties hold pretty much interchangeable positions on any given subject (let's face it, it's a choice between a white southern middle-aged man of privilege who went to an Ivy League school, and, well, another white southern middle-aged man of privilege who went to another Ivy League school).

    On the other hand, by casting your vote for the third-party who best represents you (because frankly the two big parties don't truly represent anyone), you accomplish much more:
    1- you are taking a stand in favor of that candidate.
    2- you increase his/her party's visibility. With enough votes maybe, just maybe the name of the party will be mentioned in passing by Jennings/Rather/Brokaw during the election night coverage
    3- the more votes are case for anyone but the two major party candidates, the stronger the message will be sent to Washington that if the politicos don't start taking democracy a little more seriously, then they might find themselves out of a job at the next elections.

    To those who say, "but my vote is only one vote", I reply that it's just one vote one way or the other. If you think that voting for a third-party candidate is a waste of a vote, consider the real implications of voting for establishment candidates. At least the candidates from the smaller parties will probably be receptive to your discussions and ideas. They're not likely to cower from the public behind their Secret Service escorts.

    Think about that, America.
  • OF course one could disagree with the specifics. The problem I have is that many many people who claim on some level a populist sentiment if for no other reason than to distance themselves from either major party, and label through which that populist sentiment is categorized is Libertarianism then that is what I have to use as some mental guidepost for what Libertarianism is. I don't quibble that a few vocal people may have appropriated the term, Libertarian. None the less if I hear the same strident rhetoric day after day peppered with a belief system I can only classify as a blend between Charles Lindburg's America First party and 19th century robber barons I have to conclude that this in fact is a representative sample of what that term Libertarian means. I need only turn on the radio and listen to a mouthpiece from the John Locke Institute state that:

    Taxes are bad and should be eliminated regarldless of what they're for. The government has enough of our money now and should be happy we alllow them to have that.

    We should use some of whatever tax dollars that are left to subsidize private religious education in the form of vouchers because paying for two systems will somehow magically crowd the public sector out.

    Government bonds are bad because they ultimately lead to foreign investment in America's infrastructure. I'm still waiting for some factual evidence of this or even a statement of why it's bad on it's face. Debt is a product that this country manufactures and exports and exporting debt is always better than exporting jobs.

    Hate Clinton in all his garb and splendor. 'Nuff said.

    Guns are good, <more> gun laws are bad. Because...because.....because...well they just are the Constitution says so and there is some old guy somewhere in America I can get here on the radio to tell his story about how he foiled a home invasion with his Glock as proof.

    Owing the UN a billion or so dollars is good because then we can strong arm them to do whatever we want. I might agree with this. If it's come that then we should just default and pull out.

    NGO's form a secret shadow world government bent on domination through manipulation of world financial markets.

    I could go on but why bother, just tune in to your local self proclaimed Libertarian radio talk show. If they don't represent you then you should call in and tell them that.
  • Wow, I had no idea that I, a libertarian, was afraid of black helicopters from the government. Now, I AM afraid of black helicopters from the evil corporations, but ummm, wait... corporations.... government... one has limitless and legal authority, and has no accountability... one is funded privately and has no control over me... DAMN! I lost track of what I was saying.

    Either way, libertarianism is not a cover all, it is a cover everyone. While cute sometimes when everyone labels things "left" and "right", one really does see, when one actually will research facts, that those labels are often interchangeable depending on the spin people want to put on it. As far as the elimination of church and state, no immigrations comment, I just have to say that that is NOT a libertarian view. As far as the rest, that pretty much defines what the founding fathers wanted. Libertarians are just the ones who are not hypocritical. Libertarians do not say "racism is bad" and then instigate a racist policy, under the guise of equality. To say otherwise is akin to arguing that the earth is a pyramid shaped block of frozen hydrogen sitting in a giants display case. You can disagree with specific ideas, and you can argue sides of how which one is most effective, and which one is the most ethical and/or legal. However, the important thing is to make sure you get the facts right. cheers

  • The worst part is Browne is just planning on passing the buck to the states, where his libertarians will be as anti-choice as he is. Voters tend to agree with the ideology of those they vote with and its a big suspension of disbelief to assume that *those* Browne Libertarians will be pro-choice.

    You'd think with so many smart Libertarians around they'd pick someone who wasn't a Republican in disguise. Even posterboy Libertarian Bill Maher is voting Nader.

    Go Green!

  • by Platinum Dragon ( 34829 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @08:54AM (#683505) Journal
    I think I'll take this opportunity to mention Canada will hold an election on Nov. 27. Prime Minister Jean Chretien dissolved Parliament on Sunday at 11 am; he admitted Canada's worst-kept secret to opposition leader Stockwell Day over coffee on Friday.

    It will be interesting to compare how the elections are conducted. Our campaign starts now; legally, the campaign can only run 36 days, from dissolution of Parliament to the election. We have at least four well-known parties throughout the country people regularly vote for - five in Quebec due to the strong separtist party in that province. For a while, the separtists were the official Opposition in our Parliament!

    We also don't choose a separate president and majority party; the majority becomes the government, with the leader becoming prime minister. In the event of a plurality, the government can rule as a minority or form a coalition; the current leader of our Progressive Conservatives, Joe Clark, led a minority gov't for a few months back in 1980.

    Our elections can get just as nasty, though I think in this election (IMHO, of course) Canada will focus more on the parties' overall platform and performance, whereas the US election seems to be centered on who will make a better president; the contest over the House and Senate seems much more fluid. I suppose that happens when the man currently in charge has a legacy of misadventures involving his johnson, and his potential successors are seen as the men who will have to restore prestige to the post.

    Main reason I like our elections; they only last just over a month, instead of seeming to last forever:)

    Let the best candidates and parties win, in both of our countries.
  • Bit of a historical rewrite there...actually, Bush kept claiming there was "no recession", while tech companies were closing througout the USA. At least Carter acknowledged the problem, but I don't want to get into the Carter thing.

    I'm not saying that the gov't or president controls the economy, but just like in the armed forces (or many companies, for that matter) if the sh*t hits the fan on your watch, regardless of fault, you are probably going to have to take responsibility for it.

    Taking responsibility means acknowedging the problem, and dealing with it...something the former Pres. Bush did not do.

    Actually, I didn't want to vote for Clinton. I thought he was a slimeball. In many ways, he is...but he is also quite intelligent and has surrounded himself with a quality staff. I absolutely voted my pocketbook...the jobs just disappeared from the papers under Bush's watch...and I held him responsible.

    I wouldn't hesitate to vote against another President given the same circumstances...they have an obligation to strengthen and monitor the US economy, whether they choose to accept it or not.

    "Mild recession" is fairly subjective...a lot of companies in Southern California were absolutely devasted by Bush policies and (in)action. Members of my family lost almost it was not mild to us, compared to the carter years.

  • you know, there are actually more than two choices...

    while gore and bush are the exact same, and may be destroying this country. By not voting, you are voting for the standard, and the standard sucks. It needs to change. Don't vote for someone because you "have" to... vote for who you feel is the best candidate, regardless of party affilitation... nader may be the best guy for the job in a long time.

    i mean, have you ever heard him speak? this guy knows what he's talking about, and doesnt talk down to you, and doesnt BS or pander. Its really great to have a guy that has clear virties and principles and plans.

    this guy is exactly what america needs

    let me step down off my soapbox...


  • Wow, an unconvincing slashdot poster making terrible analogies and picking on the typos of others. I've never seen that before. Keep up the good work!

  • You say Gore would not be activley destructive. But of all the people in your list, who was the one who heavily promoted the Clipper chip which would have effectivley disallowed strong encryption to anyone?

    Why, that was Gore. It seems to me that looking over the previous record I can find only one candidate who has done something that would activley harm the internet, and that person is Gore. As someone else said here, vote for anyone else but please do not vote for someone who would seek to control the internet.

    Do not confuse the ability to understand the internet with the desire to protect it!
  • None of the justices are so infirm that they'll have to resign within the next four years.

    I'm not willing to bet the future of my country that the next president will only serve one term. 8 years is a LONG time.

    By all means, cast your vote for Bush. I'll be reminding you for the next four years how Browne got three times as many votes as Buchanan.

    I wouldn't care if Browne got 50 times as many votes as Bush, neither of them will win this election. Neither will Nader. This election is too important to me to waste my vote to "make a statement" voting on someone who can't win.

  • The young, indpenedent party, voting block (read "techie") in California could be influence in denying that state to Gore.

    Note the Green Party is rather anti-corporation and some the biggest corporations are techs like MS, CSICO and GE.
  • the brain does not fully develop until after birth

    Slipping in irrelevant weasel words is not a substitute for debate. The brain continues to "develop" in some way or other throughout life. My standard (cortical development as the threshold between early and late term abortion) stands.

  • > Those of you who are still saying the two candidates are the same obviously are listening to their campaign rhetoric...

    Yeah, if it weren't so sad||serious, I'd be laughing my ass off.

    Two months ago Bush was campaigning on the issues of "tax break" and "strong military", and Gore was campaigning on "save social security" and "prescription medication benefits".

    Now both are campaigning on "tax break", "strong military", "save social security", and "prescription medication benefits".

    Where is the talk about the issues that really divide the two parties, such as abortion, gun control, affirmative action, gay rights, the environment, etc.? No, no, no! Can't talk about that during election year - there might be some voter out there who disagrees with me! Give 'em what they want to hear! Give them everything!

    Oh, well. Their mamas didn't name them "Bore" and "Gush" for nothing. The middle of the road should be reserved for dead possums.

    Also, last time I checked they both wanted to pay for their voters' perks by dipping into a surplus that isn't here yet - and never will be unless the economy runs like it has the last eight years for another ten. Not likely.

    BTW, I applaud the spirit of your post -- especially the part about looking at what the candidates actually did before the great battle for the middle of the road began. But I would like to add that the next president will probably make some appointments to the Supremes, and that those appointments will matter more in the long run than the President himself does.
  • this is a problem with the US political system, there is no way for the people to recall a candidate that has violated his mandate.

    Sure there is -- it's called checks and balances. If the president changes his stance on everything he got voted for, there's no reason for Congress to let him get away with any of it (it'll make them look good to stand up for the little guy).

    I was under the assumption that Congress != the people. Anyway, the [eople can't recall their "representatives" either.

    The heart of the problem is that people discharge their political will onto functionaries.

  • by Bug2000 ( 235500 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:33AM (#683553)
    In September a major point in the French Constitution has been destituted: the president from 2002 onwards shall be president for 5 years instead of 7.

    20% of people voted...

    There seems to be a growing disinterest in politics everywhere. In France, it is partly due to all the "affaires" (corruption and so on...).

    I believe that it is all deeper than that. Not too far ago, politics represented an institution. People in grey talking about things noone understands and who everybody respect. But now, in the times of improved communication, of less censorship, of more accessible information, people start to think for themselves, have better opinions and start to realize that politics has become a big marketing fight with its buzzwords, buzztopics, trends, ruled and leveraged by polls. This has been pushed to such a point that they define voters as 'targets'. So they have to act younger, speak younger to seduce tomorrow's voters. Just like bankers, priests, singers or recruiters. Signs of times, the French socialist candidate for the city hall in Paris recently admitted he was gay. 2 weeks later, his competitor gave an interview in a gay magazine (looks like a fight over a market sector doesn't it ?).

    I don't believe they will get anywhere better if they don't clearly show some genuine interest for the community, or at least for their own vision, and moreover, stick to it.

    Also, I tend to believe that people do not understand a 100th of what is going on. Rather, they support their candidate as they would support their football team, with a strong feeling of belonging to a community rather than that of supporting the most suitable person. Am I wrong there ?
  • > first let workers invest the SS surplus in the market instead of federal bonds, with the possibility of bigger payouts

    Nifty deal. If you're a big-time stockholder.

    Inflate the market with SoSec money, and what happens to the shares the well-heeled already own? Up, up, up! Nifty indeed.

    Of course, that leaves stocks inflated, and due for the ever-popular "correction". The big boys cash out, and share prices drop. Oh, boy! Where's all that SoSec richness now?

    Which party supports this deal? Which party's minions are likely to be most vested in stocks right now?


    This is nothing but a scam to transfer SoSec funds into Fat Cats' pockets.
  • by Luis Casillas ( 276 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:34AM (#683567) Homepage
    Voting for "the lesser of two evils" *never* works. It has an atrocious track record. It simply gives a political mandate to a bunch of crooks who are going to screw you over.

    To vote for somebody you *know* is a corporate drone who will support measures you don't only gives them more power. The right answer to this is *not* to vote for a "relatively benign" corporate drone, but to *organize politically* from a grassroots level and create an alternative. The most important thing one can do for this to happen is to work outside electionary politics at a grassroots level; voting for Nader, or any other candidate, is a very small part of this whole process.

  • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:34AM (#683569) Homepage
    Yeah, now there is a great way to pick who you support to lead the country. Why not just pick the one that has better hair or who smiles more. Screw the issues, we make our decisions irrationally :)

  • by none2222 ( 161746 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:34AM (#683572)
    even if he is a troll.

    /.'s editors keep saying that they are only getting submissions for Gore and Nader. Not likely true! They just don't want to let the people hear any message that doesn't fit their world view, namely some form of socialism.
    This is very true. I don't know if Taco is actually a socialist, but he is definitely a leftist. I assume his idea of 'good story submission' is one that supports Gore or Nader.

    He has already shown a bias towards Gore in his story intros; why wouldn't he show a bias in story selection?

    I personally think the presidential election has no place being covered on Slashdot. If you want to talk politics, go to a politics forum.

    Rob is only covering the election so he can try his hand at influencing the little people, just like all other major media outlets. What used to seperate Slashdot from other news sources was a lack of bullshit (of the political variety, anyhow). But now, we can't go two days without being exposed to Rob's political views. When is this going to stop?

  • CmdrTaco whines about there being no submissions... well I submitted this and he didn't post it in his political links. Whatever, here it is for your consumption: http://ww w.s dex.html [].


  • Also, I tend to believe that people do not understand a 100th of what is going on. Rather, they support their candidate as they would support their football team, with a strong feeling of belonging to a community rather than that of supporting the most suitable person. Am I wrong there ?

    Actually people have always voted based on their feelings of identification with a party.

    The difference is that if you go solely on how the campaigns are run, there is less rational reason to identify with one candidate or another.

    Back in the first half of the twentieth century things were clearer. If you were a working person you were for the Democrats because they were pro-labor and for policies that would actively benefit the poor rather than relying on the ultimate benevolence of pure market forces. A prime example is the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which created the weekend. This innovation was brought to you by the labor movement, not the invisble hand. The problem is that the program of advancing the working man, or at least elements of this program, worked so well it undermined the class divisions which were the axis of the Republican/Democrat distinction.

    Most (but not all) working folk are now also middle class -- their interests are no longer so strongly aligned with the poor. Thus when some Democratic politician talks about some program to benefit the poor, he must carefully qualify "poor" so it becomes "working poor".

    The working middle class are not monolithic, but there are huge globs of them in the political center of the spectrum (e.g. the "Reagan Democrats") which represent the key to victory or defeat in every political election from dog catcher to president. Both political parties are feverishly pitching to this center while papering over the political agendas of their bases. They party both are attempting to appear to be is one and the same. Nonetheless this is about appearances, not reality -- the bases of the parties are very different.

    Third parties, such as the Greens and the Libertarians, are more into buiding their bases and have no immediate hope of capturing the vast center. They can afford to more up front about their ideology.

  • I prefer Gore to Bush. But I prefer "Gore in four years, after realizing he could've won had he been more like Nader" to "Gore now".
    An abstained vote is a vote for Bush and Gore.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:40AM (#683585)
    The candidates do have distinctive programs, despite the eternal whining that modern presidental campaigns pander to the older voters.
    Unfortunately, these issues don't seem to line up for one candidate or another.

    With regards to tax cuts for tech types- Bush is a clear leader. Most technical workers will exceed Gore's "middle class" limits, while Bush will give them a 10% tax cut (i.e. raise).

    On the other hand Gore and Nader oppose giganticism in the tech industry. They'll keep the anti-trust pressure on the MicroSofts, Intels, and Ciscos that threaten the smaller startups. Also limit immigration of cheap tech workers.

    A third issue is retirement savings. Bush suggests privatizing in too ways: first let workers invest the SS surplus in the market instead of federal bonds, with the possibility of bigger payouts. Second Bush?replications would give larger tax breaks to 410K & IRAs.

    So there are clear distinctions. But they don't all fall into clear party boundaries.

  • I read through the Haryy Brown article, but not the others. Nothing I din't already know, but it was good none the less.

    We do have more than just two choices this election. We only have two choices in which we have a real chance of being on the winning team, but why would the slashdot crowd care about that? We don't use windows just because that is the "market leader." Saying we only have two choices is like saying we have a 50/50 chance of being on the winning team? Who cares if the the person you vote for actually wins!? If everyone voted for the person they thought would win, this country would be more of a mess than it already is!

    I was initially planning to vote, if I did vote, for Bush, due to strong dislike of Gore's policies, and history of lying about stupid little things. If he lies about the small stuff all the time, what about the big stuff? Moving on...I am getting off track....

    Based on a couple things I have hear Gore talk about recently, I figure I don't really care which one of them wins. I plan to vote for a third party canidate. Who? I don't know yet. Nader is a little too, I guess freak is the word, for me to vote for. I have watched some interviews of some of the other third party canidates, and am thinking Harry Brown has his head on the straightest of them all. But my mind is not made up yet.

    The point is, pick he national canidate you like the most, and vote for him.

    And God help us, if you live in New York, vote against Hillary Clinton for Senator! I can't stand the though of the woman from wherever she is from pretending to care about my state! She has her own agenda and "career" to advance. I wish we had someone from NY running on the Democratic ticket, I'd probably vote for them.

    Anyway, enough rambling. But get out and vote for some third party person. Who you choose is up to you...but vote for them, send a message with your vote, you voice will be louder than voting for one of the top two.

  • ,4626,500271963-500424165-502646617-0,00 .html

    It would appear to have been a hoax
  • Abortion is quite controversial. If one considers it murder, than it is a crime against liberty. If one does not, then it is a crime against liberty to prevent abortion. Browne's position is that it is not a federal issue and therefore should not be addressed at the federal level.

    I think that abortion is murder, but I recognise that many disagree.

  • If your only objection to Browne's positions is that you wouldn't take them as far as he does, then it's still a good idea to vote for him. Realistically, he's not going to win (and even if he somehow did the system has too much inertia for him to do everything he would like) -- pumping up his vote totals has the effect of nudging the political landscape just a bit in his direction, not overturning it wholesale.
  • The most truthful place is conception. That's when it has been endowed with a separate set of genetics. At that point, it is just as unique an individual as anyone else. Any other point is totally arbitrary.

    Sorry, nope. The critical point is the development of that trait which separates humans from the beasts, namely the cerebral cortex.

    (I suppose that a PETA-fringe type who believes that a rat is a pig is a boy would dispute this. Evidently, you do take that position -- rats, pigs, and boys are identical in that each "has been endowed with a separate set of genetics", that being the standard you've chosen. Good luck persuading anybody else....)

    Thus, it is not in the least "arbitrary" to draw a line between early and late term abortions, taking a pro-choice position for the former and an anti-choice positon for the latter.

  • To vote for somebody you *know* is a corporate drone who will support measures you don't only gives them more power.

    To vote any other way allows the worst person to get in. When some big goon tries to talk your wallet or grope your girlfriend do you "put up your dukes" and fight him like a man or do you reach for your pepper spray or your gun and do what needs to be done?

    The most important thing one can do for this to happen is to work outside electionary politics at a grassroots level; voting for Nader, or any other candidate, is a very small part of this whole process.

    What you fail to realize is that one man in one election doesn't maky a third party viable. How many people had the green party put into office? The reform party at least had Ventura as an icon, but what do the Greenies have? Nader WAS big news 30 years ago. If Nader did take the whitehouse what could he get done? There is a duopoly in the congress. Bill Clinton was able to get things done, even with a republican congress because he had media willing to put his spin on every issue and pressure the republicans into giving him his way. Nader will not have that power. He won't be able to force change because there will be no party loyalty within the congress, and big media won't side with him on every thing.

    This year, a vote for a 3rd party is a wasted vote.

  • The Boorz article mentions that the citizens of Galviston County, TX voted themselves out of the Social Security System. I gotta get me some of that. I'd take my instant 15% "raise" and put it straight into certificates of deposit.

    Anyone have any details on how to get out?

  • I went to the test at votematch and indeed was paired with my favorite candidate, Ralph Nader.

    Not surprising since it is a rehearsal of partyline soundbites. Let us take an example.

    do I support continue Foreign Aid to Russia, Israel, Others

    I think present levels of US aid ( 0.3% of GDP) is ridiculously and shamefully low. countries half as rich contribute three times more. This shows the US to be a country of mean spirited misers.

    but I also think that aid to Israel is excessively high for no good reason and that the 'aid package' to Russia was a catastrophe Gore should be held personaly resposible for.

    So how should I answear ?

    The problem with issues, is that they are just a nice name for soundbites. The Media is happy that the election is about discussing serious issues, but nobody bothers about the shallow level of the discussion.

  • If you vote for the lesser of two evils now, there won't be a real alternative next time. Suppose no one voted for any second (oh, excuse me, "third" if you believe there are really two separate major parties in the US) party candidate this time around. Do you really think any "third" party candidate would bother to run in 2004? If Ralph Nader didn't get a single vote this year, why should the Green Party even bother fielding a candidate in 2004?
  • To vote any other way allows the worst person to get in.

    Then you have to balance the risk of allowing the worse major candidate to win with just how much worse that candidate is, and the possibility of improving the publicity of your third party four years down the road.

    This year, a vote for a 3rd party is a wasted vote.

    Do I even need to mention that this is exactly what the Republicrats want you to believe? Go away, Republicrat shill.

    When you vote, please remember that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. And if you vote for evil, do not be surprised when you have an evil government.

  • Maybe a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush

    Even if you are worried about electing Bush, the tired old "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" slogan is simply untrue. A vote for Nader is half a vote for Bush. It takes two people switching from Gore to Nader to do the same damage to the Gore campaign as one person switching from Gore to Bush does.

    Suppose you have a state where 1005 people plan on voting for Gore, and 1000 plan on voting for Bush. Now, it would take six Gore supporters to switch their vote to Nader to give the state to Bush (1000-999-6), but it would only take three Gore supporters switching their vote to Bush (1003-1002).

    A vote for Nader is half a vote for Bush.

  • Freedom of speech: That's right, baby. The right to open my mouth, as long as I am not shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Complaints fall under it. You might not like it, but, hey, too bad.

    Don't be so sure. Remember that CDA passed the Senate with the support of 99 Republicans and Democrats. Had it held up in court, it would have outlawed "indecent" communication on the internet. And keep in mind that legally, "indecency" is not synonymous with obscenity. While obscenity is somewhat defined, legally, indecency is not. So if CDA had been upheld--and it was supported by 99 Republicans and Democrats--all it would have taken was one piddly little county court finding that your complaint was "indecent" to have you thrown in jail.

    Don't take your freedom of speech for granted. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  • How can any libertarian vote Nader?

    I'm a libertarian, and I intend to vote for Browne. Yet, I can answer that question, becuase if the only three candidates were Bush, Gore, and Nader, I would vote for Nader. It is more important to me to destroy the one-party system we have (which masquerades as a two-party system) than to vote based on political ideology.

    (Disclaimer: I do not believe Bush and Gore are exactly alike. I acknowledge that they have ideological differences on a few issues, just as any two politicians from the same party will not be in agreement on 100% of the issues.)

  • I was really quite impressed by that website. It matched me up almost perfectly with what I had thought and it even nailed down my political outlook.

    Sites like this should be the ones that get more publicity during election time - maybe if more of the 'drone' voters took a try at these types of information sites then they might be more influenced to vote outside their 'traditional party affiliation' and we could start to have a real democracy instead of a sheep herding contest.

    I was surprised to see that they didn't include anything about censorship and whatnot though...

  • However, at least Bush is a known quantity whose positions represent the lesser of two evils to me.

    Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

  • But I prefer "Gore in four years, after realizing he could've won had he been more like Nader" to "Gore now".

    But the minute he's won, he doesn't have to play at being Nader, or anything else. Hell, the minute he's won, he can in practice reverse his stand on anything.

    For that matter, so can Nader, or anybody-- this is a problem with the US political system, there is no way for the people to recall a candidate that has violated his mandate.

    Let's get real. Electioneering, making a vote every couple of years, won't solve any problems by itself. The illusion that you can cause things to get better by just voting every 4 years for a guy who will wield enormous power in an office in Washington, or that such a person will actually "represent" you, or live up to their mandate with no mechanism present to enforce it, is just that, an illusion. In reality, the political system needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, putting grassroots participation at its center, and cutting off the corrupting influence of corporate power.

  • It's interesting how privacy policy, disclosure, copy left|right|middle etc is not being talked about or looked at in this election at all. Nor is looking at how anti-trust should be applied to companies in the 'miracle-gro' computer industry. I don't understand why not,

    If the two major candidates are keeping oddly silent on an issue, chances are that they both hold the same position as each other, and one diametrically opposed to your own. Thus, it is in their interests not to discuss that issue--it would not gain one of them votes from the other (since they both have the same position), and it would lose them votes to those third party candidates who hold the opposite position.

  • by tidge ( 85471 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @06:56AM (#683625)
    But if you are in fact a citizen of the United States, then it's people just like you that have helped to get us into the predicament we are in today. If you aren't vocal, if you don't let government know what you think and want and if you don't vote, then you turn into a society of the governed.
    Our leadership turns into "dictators" like you say. Because they know that to be elected they only have to appeal to the very small minority that votes.
    That's why Joe Blow American is always feeling screwed. "Why don't the candidates speak to me? Aren't my needs important?" They aren't important to a candidate if he knows you'll be sitting at home with your thumb up your butt come election day.
  • There are no viable third candidates in this election.

    This is what is known as a "self-fulfilling prophecy." As long as enough people believe it, it will be true.

  • Then you have to balance the risk of allowing the worse major candidate to win with just how much worse that candidate is, and the possibility of improving the publicity of your third party four years down the road.

    This election is too important, this president will name 2-4 supreme court justices for terms of LIFE. There is no way to make that up in 4 years. The wide eyed idealism of the 1960s died when the hippies grew up, got haircuts and jobs. This is reality, I'm not wasting my vote to "make a statement". Your vote is yours to do with as you please, I'm not wasting mine.

    Do I even need to mention that this is exactly what the Republicrats want you to believe? Go away, Republicrat shill.

    It's all a question of when you want to learn to deal with reality. Sure, I'd love to see President Buchanan. That's not realistic. Pat won't get the votes. Voting for Pat won't get him elected. It won't stop Gore from getting elected. Voting for Bush, who is my second choice, can help prevent Gore from getting elected. He's not perfect, but he'll do.
  • Please don't take this as a flame, it's not intended as such, but how can you find both of these candidates interesting? They're almost diametrically opposed to each other. I'm asking this out of curiosity because you aren't the only poster I've seen with a stance like this.

    Because destroying the one-party system we have (masquerading as a two-party system) is more important than political ideology.

    Also, if you're concerned about corporate power, both of these candidates may seem likeable. Nader would use a strong government to restrain corporations. Browne would not restrain corporations at all, but at the same time he would not allow CEO's to use the FBI as their personal police force, the way they do under the Republicrats. Under Browne, corporations would not be able to corrupt government power the way they do today, becuase they would be hardly any "government power" to speak of. (How Nader proposes to prevent corporations from corrupting the increased goverment power, I'm not sure.)

  • A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.

    It's typical of Republicrat FUD to just plain lie when it suits them. Even if you're worried about electing Bush, a vote for Nader is only half a vote for Bush. Do the math.

  • by Prof_Dagoski ( 142697 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @07:21AM (#683635) Homepage

    Its decent piece of rhetoric. I don't agree with the ultimate conclusio, but hey its free society aint't it? Well, it used to be. Anyway, the point about how the old people who vote in numbers are robbing the youth of this country is one worth noting. I'm reading a very good book right now called The Scapegoat Generation []. One of the points in that book is that the over 40 crowd who have benefitted the most from social spending is consistently voting to deny younger people such benefits largely gain an opulent subsidized lifestyle. Now, I know I just touched a major hot button there, but hear me out a sec. The child as in under 18 poverty rate is twelve times the senior poverty rate. Where does social spending go? Not to the young. Anyway, I strongly encourage Slashdot readers to check this book out at your library. The points about the organized political war on youth are well worth noting, especially since it was published two years before the whole Columbine mess.

  • There seems to be a growing disinterest in politics everywhere.

    As more people have better lives/fewer problems, fewer need help and fewer are looking to the gov as a solution. That is why the ones that still consider themselves to be opressed in some way(AKA special interests) are always the most strident in political campaigns. It is just that these noise makers are now very much in the minority. When more are starving, freezing, suffering, you will see more interest.

    Other than that, only those that have a real, deep conviction about some principle or other(AKA special interests) will be interested or in some way motivated to make the effort to participate.

    Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.
  • by bgarcia ( 33222 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @07:25AM (#683646) Homepage Journal
    In case you haven't yet noticed, Kuro5hin [] is having a Roundtable with Libertarian Presidential Candidate Harry Brown [].

    I like how they've set this up. You post questions as comments in the forum. Harry chooses to answer 5 of the question every day until Thursday. Because of the continuing nature of the interview, it will allow for follow-up questions.

    Given the high volume of questions already, I think some people are going to be disappointed that their question won't be answered.

  • by Q*bert ( 2134 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @07:29AM (#683651)
    Aaargh. I look to the election news, and all I see are stories and more bland, recycled stories about the presidential candidates. Folks, if you have any political ideals at all, your choice for president should be a no-brainer. Those of you who are still saying the two candidates are the same obviously are listening to their campaign rhetoric, and not looking at the way Texas has been run lately or the way Gore has voted in his days as a Representative.

    The races that are harder to decide, and ultimately just as important, are the local and U.S. Congressional races. As usual, they've been badly ignored in the news media this year. It's up to you to seek out information on them (and hurry!) The composition of the House and Senate makes more difference in upcoming legislation than the next president. Don't like the DMCA? Wish we could export crypto binaries? Want better Federal education funding? Think Social Security monies should be invested in the stock market? and what about environ- mental reform? You'd better make an informed choice in these races. All the social programs that Gore and Bush are kicking around require legislation to address. Even the ones that could be addressed through Administration programs are going to need to get their funding somewhere.

    The same goes for your state. In my experience, geeks tend to think about politics in abstract and focus on large-scale issues. That's as it should be, but please don't ignore what is going on around you! Public education is still funded mostly by property taxes, so it's largely a state and local issue (and maybe you take issue with the whole idea of rich neighborhoods getting better-funded schools; I certainly do). Your city council controls development; it alone will decide how to deal with issues of conservation, affordable housing, and urban sprawl. Your local school board may be gearing up to install censorware or ban sex education. Your city may not allow you to carry a gun. Many of you live in states where it's still against the law to be gay. These are major points of contention, and they're being played out at the state and local level.

    The politics of coalition-building are quite a bit different at this level, where many factions and lobbies have to be represented, and as a result these elections are often more interesting than presidential ones: the candidates are more differentiated. Also, you might have a chance of electing a third-party candidate in your state, as opposed to voting for one as a protest gesture.

    So there's my appeal. It may seem obvious, but it's easy to lose sight of your full voting power while watching the presidential races. You can't vote early, but you can vote often. Make sure your views are represented in your school board, your city council, your state house and senate, and the chambers of Congress. Then punch the line for president. If that last one is the hardest decision you make this year, you're not paying attention.

    Vovida, OS VoIP
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

  • I agree. Don't Vote.

    Yeah, I know all the arguments. But there is something to be said for voting for 3rd candidates who you just *know* won't win as to help crash the bipartite stronghold on power, and have similar stands to you, *while* building alternate, participatory political structures.

    Simply, in the US, voting for a 3rd party is politically more visible. But it is still one thing to vote for a 3rd party, and another to believe that the party would solve the country's problems.

    As for myself, I'm still undecided as to whether not to vote, or vote Nader. Both actions have their particular strong points, but it's simply a tough choice, the way I see it.

  • by hugg ( 22953 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @07:09AM (#683653)
    I tried VoteMatch and it told me I was chaotic neutral, and had special skills in repairing small engines and archery. I'm going to keep re-rolling until I get at least two 18's.
  • Both candidates are identical in pretty much every respect Have you been under a rock for the past 18 months? Bush and Gore (I assume that's who you mean when you say "both") differ on underlying philosophy, and that means they differ on foreign policy (btw, of the four presidential candidates currently visible on national polls only Buchanan and Bush could be described as subscribing to arrogance and insularity), social justice, and education, to name a few. If nothing else, decide for yourself; do you agree with Bush when he says that government exists to protect and encourage business (a position, I point out, that even Adam Smith would find a horrifying prospect), or Gore when he thinks that government exists to protect and encourage the populace? Alternatively, if you agree with neither, then it behooves you figure with whom you do agree, and vote your conscience. That's why you're not using the windows os, right?
  • I looked more carefully through the site you link. Though I'm very familiar with the arguments against electioneering, I certainly can't take seriously a site which proclaims the "dollar vote" [] as "An Alternative Form of Voting". So those with more money have a right to decide for those with less? By that logic, we should just officially hand over the government to GE and the other multinationals, for them to regulate as they see fit.
  • by Anne Marie ( 239347 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @07:34AM (#683657)
    How can the man call himself a libertarian when he's profoundly anti-choice [] about abortion?
  • But if you are in fact a citizen of the United States, then it's people just like you that have helped to get us into the predicament we are in today. If you aren't vocal, if you don't let government know what you think and want and if you don't vote, then you turn into a society of the governed.

    Voting does not give you a voice. It silences you for 4 years. You don't get any more input into the process of who runs the country for those 4 years.

    There are many ways of being politically vocal. And most of them don't involve voting for corporate-sponsored candidates.

  • Simple -- because people do not have the choice to kill human beings. It's called civil rights.


  • by yankeehack ( 163849 ) on Monday October 23, 2000 @07:41AM (#683666)
    I must admit I am quite bemused that Slashdot is taking a turn towards the political during this quadrennial election year. While this is a *GOOD TREND*, however, there's this idea being mistakenly promulgated that only November 7th counts in the "big picture".

    Folks, if you don't take the time to follow up on or gasp! even take proactive stance towards politics and politicians (especially the ones that represent YOU), then don't shake your heads when [insert whatever infuriates you...] gets passed in Congress or even in your local legislature.

    Stated in another fashion, a democracy (even a representative democracy) is a system designed with the expectation that citizens are SUPPOSED TO be involved with political decisions (not just elections). In fact, some would say that it is YOUR DUTY to be involved in "the process". After all, aren't political decisions (the good and the bad) supposed to be made to the benefit of, for and by the cititzery?

    I don't how we've (as a nation) have come to the point that we now expect our representatives to follow his/her's own agenda after they're elected. No wonder the tradition of the career politician keeps on. No wonder that the big two political parties are running this year's show. No wonder the electorate is, as a whole, apathetic. No wonder that we've got tweedle dee and tweedle dum running for the Presidency this year.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?