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United States

New GOP Domain Name Violates RFC 2146 235

Macki writes "Citing the poor quality of republican websites, Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts has started a project called 'GOP.gov' to help improve their websites. This is all well and good, except GOP.gov isn't just their name, it's also their domain. This is a pretty clear violation of RFC 2146." (Please click below for more.)

The domain is registered to 'US House of Representatives Republican Conference' and should rightfully be GOP.HOUSE.GOV.

Excerpt from RFC 2146:

C) Subsidiary, non-autonomous components of top-level or other entities are not eligible for separate registration. International organizations listed in this document are NOT eligible for registration under .GOV. Subsidiary components should register as third-level domains under their parent organization. Other Federal entities may apply to the FED.US domain."

Comment from Roblimo: Well, that's Mackie's opinion. I disagree, at least in part. I believe a political organization - and that's what a political party is; it's certainly not a government agency - should be an ".org", not a ".gov". BTW, I don't see this as a Republican vs. Democrat thing, either, but as evidence of general Congressional cluelessness. Anyone else care to weigh in on this?

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New GOP Domain Name Violates RFC 2146

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    But they are the only parties in the House (with the exception of Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont). They have both been around for at least 150 years. No other party has sustained members in Congress since the Civil War.

    I'm gonna go off topic here but, that doesn't make it right, ya know? With only two parties to chose from, it's a safe bet that most candidates follow the party line nearly to the letter. If your vote goes to a Rep., you get a less taxes (maybe), but you'll probably get shafted with ridiculous censorship attempts in the name of the children. If you vote Dem., sure, you'll sleep better knowing that you're helping the less fortunate, but more than likely you'll have to face the fact that if you make more than 50g's a year, you're going to hell. Personally I hate the government and don't trust them with anything. That's why I vote Libertarian [lp.org] [note the .org :)]. And don't even tell me that I'm throwing away my vote. It's because of that philosophy that we have congressmen/senators with 40 year incumbancies(sp?) making policy about things that they have no knowledge of... E-mail tax, gimmie a f***ing break. Screw the Post Office....whoops, did I say that out loud?... sorry. Anyway...

    The lack of diversity of parties, on the other hand, is in my opinion a good thing, since it keeps flakey parties from getting elected with a plurality (instead of a majority) -sometimes of only 20 or 30 percent. For example, Hitler came to power with only a third of the vote - but there were too many uncooperating parties spltting the non-moron vote. Ergo the ass won.

    Maybe you should change that to "The lack of a Hitler is a good thing." Cause that's what you meant. That was an entirely different system. Congress does NOT elect our chief executive. Even if the ENTIRE congress supported David Duke for Pres, the people are not that stupid (hopefully). The only thing that a two party system accomplishes is stiffling out change in the interest of campaign supporters. Period.

    --MessiahXI
    messiah11@mindless.com

  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@ajCOWs.com minus herbivore> on Sunday October 17, 1999 @03:47AM (#1607549) Homepage Journal
    From the RFC:

    The registrar will use this RFC as guidance and will not grant the ".GOV" to any new entity which is not listed in the FIPS 95-1 or the US Government Manual or which has not been granted an exception status by the FNC Executive Committee.


    This clearly makes a policy for exceptions. The FNC Executive Committee is allowed to make exceptions to the policy at their discression.

    Is GOP.GOV a reasonable use of the .GOV space? Perhaps not. Is it in compliance with the RFC? Yes.
  • OK, yeah you're right. But it's beside the point. What happened in germany was going to happen regardless of the specifics of their (at that time)existing government. The country as a whole was falling apart. The economic climate was such that any form of government would have been suffocated into failure. There were way too many contributing factors to begin pointing fingers at specifics.

  • ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-government organizations may fit here.
    [devils-advocate]
    But Slashdot clearly does fit somewhere else: .COM
    [/devils-advocate]

    (Totally off-topic: Has anyone figured out how to get literal angle brackets in a /. comment yet?)
  • The US Post office is partially priovatized so technically it is both a gov't entity and a commercial venture.
  • And the people of America are fairly aware, especially when a poor job is being done.

    And who is informing them? The media? Do you think that's a "good thing"? If you merely consume mainstream news, then you are clueless about many issues. For example, how many wars, i mean "police actions" or whatever, has the US been engaged in the past 10 years? OK, now how many of those can truly be called a success? ZERO. Phillipenes(sp?), Somalia, Iraq, Kosovo, to name a few. We got involved in these regions in the name of human rights and what did we accomplish really? The Phillipenes is as corrupt as ever. Chaos still reigns in Somalia. Hussein and Milosovich(sp?) are still in power; how long till we hear from them again? And what happens after we pull out? So does the press. If the atrocities in Somalia and Kosovo are so bad, if it was so bad that we had to get involved, then why aren't we still hearing about it? Did we fix it? No, we didn't. So tell me how informed the majority of the public is.

    Most people are satisfied with their representation, however, and there is little upheaval.

    I would say that is because they aren't fully aware of their rights and that the government walks over our rights on a daily basis. It's become the status-quo. And it is sad.

  • Why does this site exist in the first place? Officially it's "to improve the quality of republican websites", but in political speak "improve the quality of" almost always means "make more to my liking."

    My bet is this is a result of some sort of power struggle within the republican party. I'm sure that the house republican caucus would love to get a jump on the national committee: it would give them much more control over the agenda.

    [Of course, there's a certain amount of unfairness here: I'm sure that if Bernie Sanders, the one Congressman outside the two party system, tried to create www.socialists.gov, he wouldn't be allowed to.]

    ObSideNote: www.gop.com exists. It's been poached by www.politics.com.
  • I don't have to look it up. There is, as I said, only one Independent in the House, Bernie Sanders, and he organizes with the Democrats and votes like them. (He's hardly independent.) And there are no independents in the Senate, unless you count Bob Smith of New Hampshire, who was GOP all his life until nobody supported his now-defunct Presidential bid. He still doesn't know what party he's in.
  • (Totally off-topic: Has anyone figured out how to get literal angle brackets in a /. comment yet?)

    You can use the standard < and >.
  • D'oh! it double-converted my characters! It looked fine in preview, though.
    Ug.

    Anyway, use ampersand-lt and ampersand-gt.

    There.
  • They have a (ridiculous) legal monopoly on mail delivery. So they overcharge for stamps, and use the money to pay for their huge losses on package delivery, where they do have competition. If they had to compete equally, they'd go out of business.

    This all kind of sucks for a lot of small businesses, who end up spending more than they should on postage. Anybody who sends out adverts will tell you they cost more to mail than to print.

    The reason they aren't a .GOV domain is that they are a semi-autonomous corporation owned wholly by the US gov. - so they could probably use a .com or .gov and still be honest both ways.

  • Heard an English guy on the radio last week say that in England they make the joke:

    America is a one-party state. But with typical American extravagence, they have two of them.

  • Well, I was responding to Roblimo's comment, where he said

    I disagree. I believe a political orgaization - and that's what political party is; it's certainly not a government agency - should be an ".org", not a ".gov"

    Do you see? But perhaps you are right about gop.house.gov over gop.gov

  • The US Postal Service definitely hasn't been privatized.
  • So they overcharge for stamps

    Can we really say this is unfair, though? Considering that the mail gets through (most of the time ;-) aren't they doing a good job with what they charge per letter?

    I guess, maybe a better question would be, how much do other coutries charge for stamps/shipping and how good is the quality?
    --------------------------
  • I think this was advice of the highest quality.

    gop.gov has some measure of branding kudos, and thus it's valuable. It's the GOP's job to try and acquire such things, and the objective election watchers and federal civil servants to exercise whatever control they can to stop them.

    Should it be there ? No. hrc.house.gov should be permitted instead and scrutinised very carefully to ensure it doesn't exceed whatever Whitehouse rule there is about limiting Federal funding of party campaigning.

    Is it understandable ? Absolutely. It's just politicians taking anything that wasn't nailed down, and we clearly didn't nail this one down firmly enough beforehand. Don't blame crocodiles for biting your leg off, it's just what they do best.

    Personally I'm dubious on any .gov domain that isn't honestly a UN-based New World Order. Having .com imply the US is reasonable enough, but the Whitehouse should stick firmly to .gov.us and stop trying to rule the whole world.

  • trance, the point is, an RFC is followed by our community, until it is the defacto standard (at which point someone will make it official)
    In this case, the RFC would be a wonderful thing to have everyone follow, but...well that will not happen.
    We all have to realize that as this thing of ours (no pun intended to all of you italians/mobsters) gets out to more and more people, who adopt it with abosolutely no respect for its tradidtions (or for the traditions fo those who created/run it) the RFC process which served us so well in the apst will have to be replaced by a more corrupt, easily manipulated system which could mean lots of cash for one group, or even one senator.
    The current process allows argument, best of breed adaptation, and some degree of removal of the standardization process from both government and industry.
    So saying that it is "just for comment" is fully correct, but you are wrong to say that this is unimportant.
  • E-mail tax, gimmie a f***ing break. Screw the Post Office....whoops, did I say that out loud?... sorry. Anyway...

    Yeah, you did say that out loud, and you probably shouldn't have, since the whole thing was just a stupid chain-letter hoax. But, of course, just be because the government didn't actually do something is no reason to hate them for doing it, right?

  • THAT IS NOT THE KIND OF HIJACKING THEY ARE AFTER.. GO READ YOUR NEWS.

    What you are experiencing is a javascripot which many organizations use to prevent the fracturing of their precious framed sites. Tell them to GET OFF FRAMES, and this can be avoided.
  • It is clearly in the enumerated powers in the Constitution that the House and Senate may make their own rules. Well, the majority party (through the Rules committee) makes the rules for that Congressional session.
  • by Lord_Byron ( 13168 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @02:25AM (#1607585)
    It should definately be gop.org. They are not a government agency, and it's time that people started realizing that the Republic and Democratic parties are just two of *many*.
  • The UK parliament dropped its parliament.gov.uk domain a while back on the grounds that parliament is not a subsidiary of the government. Check out www.parliament.uk [parliament.uk].

    This isn't petty. It's important. Anything with a .gov domain element should clearly be in the control of the government. Party groups are .orgs, and that's that.

  • by jdube ( 101986 )
    Do you think that the "top-level-government" will care? Unless I got the wrong thing out of this, isn't this project all about making the .gov sites better? Why would they be against it? I DO suppose that there is the fart that if you let one person do it the rest will too... Can't wait to hear how this resolves.


    If you think you know what the hell is really going on you're probably full of shit.
  • On the contrary, I think Rep Sanders would get his way with that, assuming he actually has anything but a passing affiliation with that party.

    But to your original point, the reason gop.gov is being set up is because the RNC and other Republican sites aren't being updated, and so are fairly useless. That's all.

  • Comment from Roblimo: ... I believe a political orgaization - and that's what political party is; it's certainly not a government agency - should be an ".org", not a ".gov".

    In a two-party system like ours, a political party's role depends on whether it is in power or out of power. In power it is the government, out of power it is an organization wanting power. But it should not be two hard to check on whether a party is acting as a government entity (i.e., when it is looking out for the public interest) and when it is acting as a private organization (e.g., when it is looking out for its own interests).

    In theory that is; in practice it is not often easy to tell which is which...

    --
  • While I will agree that we, practically speaking, have a very close to two party system, that doesn't mean that we need to institutionalize it. To set in stone, even in a minor way, the notion that there are only two parties is to assist in creating a monopoly which will certainly be more damaging than any in the private sector.
  • WAIT?!??!??!

    I THOUGHT THIS WAS NOT A POLITICAL ARGUMENT!!!

    ACHA!! Im A REPUBLICAN... YES I LIKE TO MAKE MONEY, AND KEEP ALL OF THE PROCEEDS OF MY WORK....

    BUT THIS WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO GET POLITICAL, SO FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE DEMOCRATS, THIS GUY JUST BIT IT:

    I AS A REPUBLICAN HAVE A SENSE OF SHAME TODAY, FOR ONE REASON. THE LEADERS OF MY PARTY GO AROUND cALLING DEMOCRATS TREASONOUS BASTA_DS, BAD MOUTH THEM, ETC. ETC. ETC.

    BUT THEY MISS THE POINT. THIS IS THE WAY OUR COUNTRY HAS TO BE, WITHOUT DEMOCRATS, WE REPUBLICANS BECOME TOO OBVIOUS. WE WANT POWER, AND WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY ONE ELSE BUT OURSELVES.

    I AM SAYING THIS BECAUSE TODAY I AM ASHAMED. I AM ASHAMED THAT OUR PARTY, THE GRAND OLD PARTY, FAMOUS FOR STEALING FROM THE POOR, AND KEEPING THE PEOPLE IN THE DARK ABOUT OUR POLICIES, KILLED THE NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY.

    WITH ONE FELL SWOOP, IN THE NBAME OF MAKING A POLITICAL STATEMENT, WE HAVE MEDE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY LOOIK LIKE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS, AND LOST ANY CLAIM TO INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP WHICH WE MIGHT HAVE HAD IN THE PAST.

    SO GO BLOW IT OUT YOUR EAR.
  • I'm sorry you had a bad time with UPS. The overall service record of UPS versus USPS is very very one-sided, though, in favor of UPS. They're cheaper, too. They also offer online tracking.

    As far as universal coverage goes, can you name a place in the US that isn't served by UPS of FedEx? (Or RPS, or Airborne Express...)

  • At some level, a person advising the republicans has ignored the RFC. I'd expect this has happened at a fairly high level, and I agree it should be a .org, something like gop.republicans.org. (although republicans.org is probably taken by someone for some stupid irc vanity host.)
  • This may be getting off topic a bit further, but Andover, being a network provider, gets (and does have) a .net name.
  • The fact that the democratic and republican parties are commonly associated as a 'subdivision' of the house is really just a sad result of the lack of political diversity in USG. No single party should ever be able to claim that it is an integral part of the government. .gov domains should be reserved exclusively for the offices and branches of the government... a party is just a private interest group of people.
  • It's funny that they are the majority party when they've alienated so much of the population. Or maybe you're just full of beans.
  • for their isp stuff, maybe. for the rest of it, no.

    --

  • I'm certainly missing something here.
    Macki says GOP.gov is a violation of the RFC and shouldn't be allowed.
    Then Roblimo says (roughly) "I don't agree with Macki's opinion, it should be GOP.org and not GOP.gov".
    Don't you two agree then ?

    Confused,
    --Jonathan
  • ...CAIS.COM, the nameservice provider for GOP.GOV, has a banner image of a major city skyline being destroyed in massive, flaming explosion.

    Really! What the hell is that about? It's part of their "Join the risk-free Revolution" logo? WTF kind of company slogan/logo is that supposed to be? Someone please explain because I _really_ would like to know.


  • I'm sure it's just a simple misunderstanding. These people have better things to do than keep up with domain-name rules. No doubt it'll be fixed.

    (By the way, it's Congressman J.C. Watts, Not J.C. Watt)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am in a position to know about some of the internal working in australias capital - Canberra - damn chaotic...

    We dont have a .mil.au - instead we have .defence.gov.au. For example our defence web site is http://www.raaf.defence.gov.au/ - not exactly imaginative, but then neither are our websites.

    The website i am involved in kicks most of our Gov'ts websites - http://www.airtc.defence.gov.au/

    The whole reason this isnt http://www.airtc.mil.au/ is because one lame duck on a desk 'doesnt like it'.

    sorta gives you an idea of what goes in in government, doesnt it?



    [sorry about Anon Coward - email me on scorpion@australia.airforce.net - btw thats an american company, not our own domain!]

    Teo.
  • "This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind."

    I suppose it doesn't really matter. Seems pretty inconsequential to me, since naming standards are pretty routinely violated.

    -lx
  • Trust me me Matt... Change is good :)

    I admire your optimism, but tell it to the Germans in 1932. Yikes!

  • The choice of GOP.GOV does not lead to one thinking that this is the domain name of a standing committee of the House.

    This relationship would be better described as RobLimo suggested; GOP.HOUSE.GOV. This is what is intended in RFC 2146.

    An interesting experiment would be, as you suggested, to have the Democrats register DEMOCRATS.GOV, or better yet, INDEPENDENTS.GOV, and see what kind of stink that would raise.

    Now what I find even more interesting is that CAIS.COM [cais.com], the nameservice provider for GOP.GOV, has a banner [cais.com] image of a major city skyline being destroyed in massive, flaming explosion. Coming on the heels of the Senate voting down participation in the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, my paranoid conspiracy theory engine purrs...
  • It says clearly, right at the top, that it is "informational only" and "does not specify an Internet standard of any kind". You cannot violate a non-binding RFC.

    RFC's are just requests for comments. They are not necessarily standards. Some of them wind up getting approved through the standardization process, but apparently this is not one of them.

    It's interesting that they have the gop.gov domain, but it's not interesting that they violated a non-binding, non-standard RFC.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    According to one story [zdnet.com], cmdr taco got that after Andover took over.

    "Malda will receive an additional $3.5 million plus stock over the next two years should he remain with Andover.net. "


    Note - I don't think there's anything whatsoever wrong with this - any tech site with such a big crowd is worth a lot. and it is good that linux/open source work is making money. After all, the code is GPL'd :)

    However, it did interest me in terms of the .org domain and how it could result in profit.... Anybody know?

    Can you sell a non-profit .org for stock options and cash? is slashdot registered as a non-profit?
  • .nu is a country? I thought it was one of the recent addedd 'made-beleive' TLDs, just FOR doing stuff like theres.something.nu etc .. :)

  • >Congress does NOT elect our chief executive. Even if the ENTIRE congress supported David Duke for Pres, the people are not that stupid (hopefully).

    Actually, Congress does have the power to elect the President if no candidate gets at least 270 votes from the electoral college( more than 50% of the 538 votes ). Each state in the House gets one vote to elect someone from the top 3 candidates. If none of them win by majority, the top two then goes to the Senate for their decision. See the FEC rules [tqn.com] for more info. The party in majority generally should have the advantage in this situation.

  • Hear, hear!!!

    Totally agree w/ you, Mess. Thanks for saying it better than I wanted to...
  • I would rather lead the way than look to other countries as a standard. Do we really want the postal service of France? (no offense please I love France hehe).

    I would make two assertions. First, a private corporation could deliver the mail at a lower cost and with greater reliability. The US gov itself uses Fedex for it's overnight shipping - NOT the USPS! It's just the sort of service that works much better when it's subject to competition. Second, it shouldn't even matter how efficient the USPS is. In a free country, I should be able to start a business delivering mail in my hometown. Right now, if I did, I'd be shut down and imprisoned. No kidding. It happened in Baltimore in the 80's. (not to me of course!)

  • Sounds like he is re-working some old material. Beyond the Fringe (circa 1961) had a joke in the Broadway performance in which they said, "Yes, in America they have inherited our two party system. They have the Democratic party, which is roughly equivalent to our Conservative party and they have the Republican party, which is roughly equivalent to our conservative party."
  • You're right some people have better things to do than keep up with domain-name rules, but I don't think you go far enough.

    Only geeks think hierarchically. The average non-geek has a single ACCumulator and just a JMP instruction, no JSUB. Sure, they could theoretically implement recursion, but they won't and never will because they don't have the stackspace anyway. They do stuff like watch "Voyager" on Wednesay without ever thinking, "'Voyager.UPN.net' and 'Voyager.WSBK.Ch56.tv'... must be multiple inheritance."

    Actually, they don't even watch Voyager at all, but that was the only program I knew the call letters for.

    TLDs should be wiped out completely. For all of our geek glory, exactly how many sites do we actually use TLDs for either? "Hmmm... let me think, do I want the profit-making foo, or the non-profit foo?" It's so stupid! We think just like everyone else does: "I want Altavista, I want Slashdot, I want Yahoo, I want InterNIC" and then we have to remember which TLD is appropriate.

    "Hierarchy through obscurity" is what it is, and it's stupid.

  • If you want to see something really funny/disturbing, do a whois on lucasfilm.
  • A standard "poly sci" answer would be that it is not that majority and minority parties took over everything in the rules of the US Congress - the phenomenon derives from the nature of the US electoral system.

    When you elect a single candidate from a territory (a President from the nation as a whole, a Senator from a state, etc.), this creates a very powerful incentive for all people in the system to reduce the relevent choices down to two. Suppose you have three parties contesting elections of this sort. As a quick and dirty principle, we will also suppose that everyone can rank all three parties in terms of preference, and that those rankings are reasonably consistent - supporters of party A will tend to rank all three parties in the same order (which, since we are being generic here, we can describe as A,B,C - meaning A is their first choice, and C is their last choice) and supporters of the furthest opponent (party C) will tend to rank the parties in the opposite way. If all three parties keep contesting elections, there will almost certainly be many cases where two of the parties realize that if they worked together, they could defeat the remaining party which is currently winning the election - and they would be happier with the result. For example, party A gets 40% of the vote, party B gets 35%, and party C gets 25% - so parties B and C realize that if they united behind the candidate from party B, they would win the election, and they would prefer that result. The same logic affects voters (who don't want to "waste" their vote), party organizers (who want to win elections for their party), issue activists (who want to get their preferred policies adopted), etc. Of course, once the vast majority of elections are being contested between two parties, it is quite likely that rules in the Congress will reflect that partisan "fact of life."

    This contrasts sharply with the experience of many European countries, which use a proportional representation system of elections. They do not divide territory up into single-member districts, but instead cast votes nationwide, and allocate seats within the legislature in proportion to the votes received (ignoring a broad range of variation in mechanics - there are a whole bunch of different proportional representation schemes). In these countries, we usually see a noticeably larger array of different parties regularly participating in elections, and we see entirely different forms of legislative organization as well.

    Of course, this explanation still has a few holes. The continued survival of the British Liberal party, and the rise of the Social Democrats in Britain, and the New Democrats in Canada are still seen as anomolies (both Britain and Canada use single-member district elections). There are probably additional "problem" cases elsewhere in the world (my comparative politics classes were taken several years ago.) However, I think it is fair to say that for many political scientists, the interesting question is not why there are only two parties in the US, but why there are more than two in Canada and Britain.
  • I guess I agree, partly. At one point, I would think a conceptually pure TLD scheme would be in everybody's best interest. But, since its all meaningless at this point, I've given in to the dark side and gone along with the madness...

    Tonga, or rather the hey.to domain, has been bastardized fully [hey.to] to my own purposes.

  • Just wait until after the November elections.
    If they have their way it will be gop.gov
  • That's a great point. But in most elections it's not a credible threat. And I wonder if, say, all those who are Libertarians joined the GOP tomorrow, would it not give them a big ideological shove - a much bigger one than the message you are describing?
  • Can Micro$oft register "microsoft.gov" now, bringing the old joke about MS acquiring the US one step closer to reality?

    Can the Reform, Green, Libertarian, and Communist parties get .govs? Or hey, how about an anarchist "no.gov"? Or a Lenny Bruce "fuckthe.gov"? ("If you can't say `Fuck,' you can't say, `Fuck the government.")

    Most importantly, can I register EmperorNorton.gov to commemorate the first and only Emperor of the United States [sfmuseum.org]?

    The Republican and Democratic parties are private entities with no more special legal standing than other parties, or the Church of SubGenius for that matter. If a group of them in the House want a domain, the house.gov admin can give them gop.house.gov. If the party can get a .gov, anyone should be able to.

  • Look at how many times the multi-(usually seven-)party system in Sweden has collapsed: 0. The system is similar to the Italian system except that a part needs at least 4% of the nations' votes or 20% of a regions' votes to be accepted into parliament, and at least 2% natl. or 10% rgnl. to get continued govt. funding

    That's true, but there are many other examples to the contrary, like Spain, and even France. Maybe Swedes are more homogenous in their political beliefs, in spite of the multiplicity of parties.

    Yeah. Stability. Great. Just imagine how terribly unstable the whole system would be if there was a chance for *poor* people to get into politics - or a non-WASP majority. Gee, then the people of America may become politically aware, and a reasonable amount of people might vote, and then where would we be? Sheesh

    You really see no value in benign stability? Most Americans want the government to be neither seen nor heard. It's hard to see where your sarcasm is taking you. Are you a US citizen? If you were, you'd know that poor people can get into politics, though I wouldn't start with the US Senate. I certainly wouldn't vote for somebody who couldn't get a job, though. What idiot would? And there are many non-WASPs involved in politics. And the people of America are fairly aware, especially when a poor job is being done. Most people are satisfied with their representation, however, and there is little upheaval.

  • You are truly deluded if you think PR is the solution to whatever problems people have with their reps. Name a single country where it has improved the actions of the government.
  • just a thought...
  • Okay call me weird but I think the domain system is truely fucked. To me it'd make much more since to allow anyone to register their TLD w/ an open committee of TLD owners. Then instead of having any centralized server for TLD's each TLD's name server could have the links not only to their sub-domains but also all the other registered TLD's. Possibly limit each person, organization, or company from having more than one registered TLD at a time. That way it stays decentralized, nobody controls more than one TLD, each TLD is allowed to set up it's naming scheme anyway it wants, and there is no silly bickering over if we should add additional TLD's or not. I personally am waiting for .oss or .gnu for my domains! :)
  • I did not find any quotes by Twain in the online version of Bartlett's ninth edition (1901) [bartleby.com], but Michael Moncur attributes it to both Lincoln and Twain. Search Michael Moncur's quotes here. [starlingtech.com]

    --
  • by Gleef ( 86 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @04:33AM (#1607637) Homepage
    If it's going to be site of the House Republican Conference, it is not in violation of the RFC, but it's still poorly located. It should be "hrc.house.gov", not "gop.gov", same way the House Committee on Veterans Affairs has "veterans.house.gov".

    Their use of GOP instead of HRC makes me particularly suspicious that the intent of the site is for party business, not HRC business. They are using the HRC's government status to get access to an address they would otherwise not have access to. A political party should never masquerade as a government entity, we are not the Soviet Union (nor is Russia anymore).

    In fact, I question the need to give the HRC (and whatever the Democrats' counterpart is, the HDC?) official house committee standing. The fact that members of Congress share a party should not be something to form a committee over, it should be an unofficial caucus at best.

    ----
  • Ok, first off, we Americans do NOT have a two party system. We have always had multiple parties. It's just that most TV brained people can't keep up with more than two. It's thankfully changing though.

    Second, it is usually easy to tell the difference. Where does the money come from? Private donations or tax dollars? Parties, although they probably do receive some government funds, receive most of their money from private donations, thus that ARE NOT part of government.
  • This relationship would be better described as RobLimo suggested; GOP.HOUSE.GOV

    Maybe you're right, but gop.gov is much simpler, and that Conference Committee is probably going to be here longer than the IRS.

    An interesting experiment would be, as you suggested, to have the Democrats register DEMOCRATS.GOV, or better yet, INDEPENDENTS.GOV, and see what kind of stink that would raise

    Now, I'm sure the Dems could do this - they have a Conference Committee, too. But there is no 'Independent' conference in the House. There is only one Independent member, and he organizes with the Dems.

    Now what I find even more interesting is that CAIS.COM, the nameservice provider for GOP.GOV, has a banner image of a major city skyline being destroyed in massive, flaming explosion. Coming on the heels of the Senate voting down participation in the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, my paranoid conspiracy theory engine purrs...

    hehe- that's funny. But what dumbass would sign an unverifiable treaty? The image of a burning city would be more likable if the skyline was DC instead of NYC, though. ;)

  • I wish you were right. From http://www.uninett.no/navn/domreg.html [uninett.no]:
    • .nu - Niue
    • .to - Tonga

    Both of these domains quite verifiably belong to those countries--and if you notice, the global TLDs section ONLY has .com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net, and .org. Everything else is a country.

    /me expresses his disgust at the abuse of the domain name system.

  • For those of you who go to the site http://www.gop.gov , you will find that the 'back button' doesn't work (unless you furiously and rapidly hit it 3 or 4 times). Isn't the government trying to pass legislation to prevent this type of hijacking? Is this whole site a cruel hoax? Who could be behind it - Gore? (After all, he created the internet.)
  • Actually, I think you're partly right-- it's a matter of ignorance. However, I doubt it will be fixed.

    In fact, although some would say this is a violation of an obscure, subtle, lesser known rule of the net... I would say that this is an example of how the GOP don't know or care to really know the culture and rules and how things work on the Net.

    Yet, they want to legislate it.
  • by mr ( 88570 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @04:40AM (#1607644)
    is long past.

    Years ago, non network entites registered .net and non orgs registered .org. In fact, back in the dawn of time before the earth cooled, (the mid to late 80's) you would be steered to the proper TLD.
    But as soon as you had to pay for the domain, as long as you had the money, you were able to register what you want.

    The time to complain was back when the first non .net and .org registrations happened.

    My personal favorite is wildwildwest.net - a domain to promote a movie has exactly WHAT to do with offering network services? Warner Brothers didn't answer my e-mail asking that question, and the InterNIC's e-mail was like "So what".

    If they allow GOP.gov, then .edu and .gov are fair game.

  • The GOP is a political organisation, but not part of the government, nor any governing body. No political parties are written into the constitution; not even a two-party system is suggested. Furthermore, efforts have been made to consider political parties somewhat "privatised" - any donations made to a political party are not tax deductible, for example.

    The evolution of the American political process has led people to equate the parties with government, but the fact remains that the Republican and Democratic parties are not part of the government.

    To me, the GOP's efforts to secure a .gov, is a brash, overt attempt to usurp some sort of political power, for a private group. Such domains should be reserved for just that -- governmental bodies, lest groups with outside motives use them for political gain.
  • Their use of GOP instead of HRC makes me particularly suspicious that the intent of the site is for party business, not HRC business. They are using the HRC's government status to get access to an address they would otherwise not have access to. A political party should never masquerade as a government entity, we are not the Soviet Union (nor is Russia anymore).

    Hate to break it to you, but the political parties pretty much act like they are the elected government...and for good reason. Hopefully, this reason will go away within our lifetimes - but until then, the Democrats and Republicans are, for the most part, the de facto American government.

  • I have to agree with your gripe about UPS. I live in Boston, and I'm a student. I don't have a car. If UPS delivers something, they always come by when I'm in class (naturally) and they'll only try to get it to you 3 times. And where is their distribution center? Far enough outside of the city that you need a car to get to it. At least the post office has a presence in every town.
  • No argument from me there. I happen to think it's a "bad thing", but it's not an "abuse" of the Niue namespace. It's a legitimate use of the namespace, but I'd completely agree that at least on paper it's probably not a good thing for the people of Niue.

    I suspect however, that at some point, Niue will either get a new namespace if the current system gets scrapped, or that Niue will be assigned a new country code. Same with Tonga.
  • That is what i said..it's partially privatized, it's also one of the few gov't agencies that makes a profit..
  • For those that haven't heard the story on this, some US enterpreneurs decided they wanted to ease the so-called "domain name crunch", so they made proposals to some small countries like Tongo (.to), Cocos (.cc), and Niue (.nu), that in exchange for the use of their TLDs, or at least a significant portion thereof, these enterpreneurs will pay to upgrade the internet infrastrcucture in those countries. These are 3 of the countries that agreed to the terms, I don't know if there are others, as well.

    While I think that the "domain name crunch" is all hype (kxq7m_zy.com is as good a domain name as any), and that these businessmen went about this in the wrong way, it was with the permission, even blessings, of those countries. They get their infrastructure upgraded, the businessmen make their money, and greedy, rapacious Americans (but I repeat myself) get their shiny, new, 1-word domain status symbols to park in their driveways next to their shiny new BMWs.
  • by nicksand ( 28560 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @10:50AM (#1607656)
    These chaps should definately be under a dot com address, since you buy yourself a senator for about a hundred grand or so.

    Hmmm. eSenator.com -> buy yourself an ear in American politics. Methinks I have a new startup idea.

  • What about .arpa?

    What about it? .arpa is not a TLD--not according to RFC 1591. And if it is, show me a site that uses it--doing a quick search in google, I came up with no .arpa domains.

  • >>...Personally I hate the government and don't trust them with anything. That's why I vote Libertarian [note the .org :)]. And don't even tell me that I'm throwing away my vote..

    >You're throwing away your vote. The only libertarian who are ever going to vote in Congress are going to be elected as Republicans, like Ron Paul (R-TX), who was previously the Libertarian candidate for President. If enough libertarians had his sense, they could actually accomplish something within the GOP.

    Except that being in the GOP is antithetical to the idea of Libertarianism. In fact, at its deepest heart, being in the LP is antithetical to being a libertarian, but as you say, we have to work within reality.

    When I vote LP, I am NOT throwing away my vote. If I simply failed to vote, THEN I would be throwing it away. But, by voting LP, I am voting None Of The Above, which is an entirely different matter. It's an active statement, rather than passive disinterest.

    By the way, in many parts of the country, you cannot write in a ballot. If you were to attempt it, you would be required to get a form from the people checking registration, and then, with a strong possibility that you were the only one asking for such, your write-in is no longer secret.

    In fact, I feel any kind of organized political parties are a serious distortion of the ideas of the founding fathers, and it was only after they were actually infected with running the government that they succumbed to the idea of parties.

    Personally, I think anyone who feels like they need to run for political office, especially anyone who does so because they think others need their help in running their lives, is certifiably insane, and should be declared incompetent and confined for treatment. I'm too busy running my own life to try to run someone elses.

    What do we do instead? Try the suggestion in James P. Hogan's Voyage to Yesteryear.
  • You know, the abuse of the TDL .gov rather pisses me off, but once you think about the fact that Freshmeat (no network services, AFAICT) has a .net and Slashdot (for-profit) has a .org, then you realize that the whole thing has been fscked up for a while, now. This is a bit worse, since .gov hadn't been polluted before, but it's just another step along the way.

    What really pisses me off is that GOP.gov was written in: [drum roll] FrontPage.

    Yes, the all-powerful Grand Old Party, powerful enough to merit its own .gov, can't find a decent web developer.

    And, so, I hereby offer my service as web developer for GOP.gov for the low-low price of one (1) cogent.gov, free of charge, forever. Who should I talk to in GOP.gov? (FrontPage put the META NAME="generator" tag in, but the developer didn't put the META NAME="author" tag in.)
  • You know, as I was clicking the "submit" button, I realized (too late) that I should have been hitting "preview"...
  • "silicone" and "silicon" are two different things.

    Umm, I think that was the point. But thanks for playing.

  • It's not the GOP. There are so few technically clueful people in Congress period. (AlGore was an exception-God Bless the Father of the Internet). Why would a geek with massive stock options run for Congress?

    But actually this is true of most issues, not just technical ones. Congressmen must vote every day on things they cannot possible have had time to study and understand. It's just a fact of life.

  • by RonVNX ( 55322 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @04:50AM (#1607663)
    Never mind RFCs. The days of reason are long past. The Evil Empire of the Internet (Network Solutions) has deemed that .com, .net, and .org are all equal, and meaningless in distinction. .org is no longer for non-profits. In fact, Network Solutions encourages everyone to register a name in all three TLDs. (obviously to increase their revenue)
  • In fact, I question the need to give the HRC (and whatever the Democrats' counterpart is, the HDC?) official house committee standing. The fact that members of Congress share a party should not be something to form a committee over, it should be an unofficial caucus at best.

    Then you truly, truly, don't know how Congress works on a day-to-day basis. The member runs around all day meeting constituents, attending to lots of committee meetings, occasionally making speeches, going to hearings, and voting in the full House. They have only a small amount of time for learning about legislation, or party work. The Conference Committees keep members from duplicating tons and tons of effort. Most of the bills Congress votes on are incredibly complicated and non-controversial. The Conference Committees are essential to sorting all of this mess out. They are a vital organizing element of Congress.

  • Well of course the Dems know more about the Internet 'cuz like, you know, Al Gore invented it ;)

    What with Janet "No Strong Crypto" Reno, and Louis "Wiretappin' Must Be" Freeh, I think there are plenty of people on both sides of the aisle to complain about.
  • This gop.gov is just one more demonstration of how democratic the US of A are.
    On a side line, I wonder why the US have a .gov domain and french governmental institutions go under .gouv.fr and not .gouv . Isn't it just a nice symbol? France has a 'gouvernement francais' germany a 'deutsche regierung', the UK a queen, and the us have 'THE government'.
    Is that the new world order?
    ---
  • It might now. It didn't originally.

    And, actually, it doesn't really fit within the original plan for .com -- Slashdot isn't a company (I don't think). Andover is the company. Under the original plan, they should be slashdot.andover.com. So it's all pretty unclear anyway.

    It'd be better if we had a more complicated hierarchical structure (a la usenet) from the beginning -- slashdot.tech.news, or something. But it's probably too late for that.

    --

  • Because it was designed (and paid for for many years) under the aegis of a US Government Agency, DARPA (actually ARPA at the time.)

    No one made the rest of the world adopt the protocols and RFCs of ARPAnet/Internet; you could have all standardized on JANET's wierd reverse protocol, or stuck with UUCP, or made up something new. But Internet was the biggest and best, and so with that came the inheritance of .gov and .mil as privileged US domains. Ya move into someone else's house, it's rude to lecture them about the layout.

    I'll note that no one is stopping other countries from setting up their own nameservers that don't pay attention to .mil and instead only take requests for *.mil.us to reach those sites, if dealing with the heritage really gets up your nose.

    Laura
  • Check your RFCs. ORG was never for "non-profits" only. It was deemed as the miscellaneous category for people who didn't fit into INT, EDU, GOV, MIL, NET, or COM.

    Here's the snippet from RFC 1591 [isi.edu], written by Jon Postel himself:

    "ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-government organizations may fit here."

  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @06:40AM (#1607706) Homepage

    "ORG" was NEVER meant to be restricted to non-commercial entities, despite the widesspread misconception. Check out RFC 1591 [faqs.org]:

    ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-government organizations may fit here.

    --

  • by MattXVI ( 82494 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @02:44AM (#1607709) Homepage
    Now that I read this more carefully, I see why they are using a .GOV domain. This group that Congressman Watts is registering is an officially organized committee of the US House of Reps. It is the House Republican Conference. This is just like if, say, the Commerce Committee of the House, or the Appropriations committee of the Senate wanted a domain name. They would also use .GOV Any standing committee of either branch could do this.

    I think the source of the misunderstanding here is that you guys think this is something coming out of the RNC (Republican Nat'l Committee) Headquarters-this is totally different. The Party Conference is an official standing sommittee of the US House, and exists as long as there are Republicans on the Hill. The Democrats could do the same thing. Any party could.

  • The USPS is only privatized to the point that it is the only government program that is entirely self sufficient. Its still a government agency, and is not a contractor...if it were truly privatized, then other companies like UPS or Federal Express would be to bid for the contract.

  • Yes, gop."gov" [gop.gov] is more of an organization, not a government body, such as noaa.gov [noaa.gov], nasa.gov [nasa.gov], or nist.gov [nist.gov].

    There should be a line drawn between special interests bodies and official government services.
  • by AntEater ( 16627 ) on Sunday October 17, 1999 @03:00AM (#1607721) Homepage
    Maybe I'm missing something here but how is Slashdot a non-profit and why does it have an .org domain? If I remember correctly it is owned by a "for profit" type company. It seems to me like the same type of abuse of the TLD's.
  • In fact, I question the need to give the HRC (and whatever the Democrats' counterpart is, the HDC?) official house committee standing. The fact that members of Congress share a party should not be something to form a committee over, it should be an unofficial caucus at best.

    I agree that it's questionable whether or not it should be an official part of the government; but the fact is that the HRC (like its Democratic counterpart) is provided for in the House rules (established in accordance with Article I Section 5 of the Constitution).
  • The overall service record of UPS versus USPS is very very one-sided, though, in favor of UPS...They also offer online tracking.
    Ever have to deal with their customer service after they damage your shipment? It's horrible, and everyone I've talked to who had to deal with their customer service reps had similar stories.

    I need online tracking like I need a hole in my head - I don't care what route my package takes, I just want it delivered quickly and undamaged. And if they can't do that (and they can't), I want a quick resolution, not to have to make eight phone calls to finally have someone come out to look at a computer with its case bashed in, shrug, and say, "Sorry 'bout your luck."

    Sorry if I'm ranting, but UPS has managed to make my Permanent Shit List.

  • First off, I did a little more research. The HRC already has a server at http://hillsource.house.gov [house.gov]. Their equivalent for the Democrats is the House Democrat Caucus, and they have a website at http://dcaucusweb.house.gov [house.gov]. Since the HRC already has a server at a meaningful location, why would they need another at a misleading location?

    Secondly, if the purpose of these groups is to handle all the complicated technical details, preventing duplication of effort on non-controversial issues, then why are they separated by party? Every technical committee is bipartisan, these are not technical committees. My understanding is that their purpose is to make it easier for those congressmen who want to be loyal party members to see which bills they are supposed to be voting for or against.

    Sure enough, a quick look at these websites show them both to be sharply partisan. The HRC opens with bright red text saying "STOP THE RAID", referring to the GOP's stand on recent social security debates. The HDC hides it a little better, but the partisan sentiment is at least as strong on their site.

    Again, these are clearly extensions of the political parties, why do they have official government standing? Secondly, why does the HRC, who already have a website, need another one; particularly one whose name carries the implication that the Republican Party is a core government agency?!?

    ----
  • Ok, first off, we Americans do NOT have a two party system. We have always had multiple parties. It's just that most TV brained people can't keep up with more than two. It's thankfully changing though.

    I hate to tell you this but this tendency towards a two-party system predates TV. You are partially right when you say that there have always been multiple parties, but the system is set up to encourage two main parties.

    Other parties are formed when the two "official" parties lose touch due to the rise of a new political reality. They are usually small, single-issue parties and very often disappear. Sometimes they grow and become one of the two dominant political parties (like the GOP did circa the Civil War when the other parties became paralyzed by the foremost issue of the day: slavery).

    If you would like to learn more about the political party system in the U.S., be sure to read Dynamics of the Party System : Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States by James L. Sundquist. It illustrates how political parties must remain relevant or they will either die out or be absorbed by another party.

    And yes, I studied Political Science and History in college... :-)

    --
  • First, a private corporation could deliver the mail at a lower cost and with greater reliability
    The USPS gets it monopoly on first-class mail in return for guarnteed universal service at a single price. Doesn't matter if your correspondent is right next door to a major post office, or living in a shack on top of a mountain at the end of a twenty mile dirt road; your stamp will get your letter to them. FedEx, UPS, etcetera, are free to say, "We don't deliver to such-and-such areas," or "we charge a 2000 percent surcharge to anyone not living within twenty miles of a major city."

    Is postal mail important enough to warrant government intervention to ensure universal one-price service? I dunno. Most of mine goes right to the recycling bin. (And I mean "right to" - I have a small trash can right underneath my mailbox, don't even bother bringing the junk into the house anymore.)

    I tell you this, though: after my experience with UPS's abysmal customer service when they damaged two packages of mine, USPS looks a whole lot better than it used to! Their "Priority Mail" service is a pretty good deal.

  • That is EXACTLY the point. FedEx, UPS, etcetera, are free to say, "We don't deliver to such-and-such areas," or "we charge a 2000 percent surcharge to anyone not living within twenty miles of a major city." And they will, and they especially will if you hao other options. I recently had a FedEx guy refuse to _climb_ _stairs_ to knock on my door- to him, if my (useless) doorbell wasn't working, I didn't deserve 'express package delivery'. (Bugger was carrying my O'Reilly books too!)
    The price is almost irrelevant. The real issue is that if it was a private corporation, they would instantly disenfranchise anybody living in that shack at the top of a mountain- thus getting the lower price. Well, other countries may feel differently (socialist ones may actually understand this even better than we do!) but the USA was founded on the concept that _everyone_ counts, and that the government looks after everybody's interests, as best it can- very likely unimpressively, but you have to give it points just for being willing to try. The mail system is a perfect example- it is in fact pretty competitive on price with the private corporations (though you can pay extra to a private corporation whose representative then refuses to bother to knock on your door and squanders the time savings you thought you were buying), but the real issue is what the private corporations will refuse to do because it's a money sink- who they'll put the screws to in order to make better offers to the majority.
    Damn right it's socialist thinking. This nation was founded on little carefully chosen bits of socialist thinking. It's a problem when that is lightly brushed aside. Why yes, let's disband the post office! Hell, let's disband the judicial system, and law enforcement, and people can take their gripes and concerns, for instance about fraud practiced by big corporations, or negligence resulting in loss of life, to efficient for-pay courts paid for by the mysteriously immune-from-guilt defendants! Then they can be informed of the loss of their suit through a for-pay mail system that refuses to deliver to an address that won't co-pay (or something- now wouldn't that be profitable: pay to get your mail!). Most efficiently of all, we could have the for-pay law enforcement take notice of these miserable plebian worthless drags on the country, and go out and shoot them in the head, whereby the whole nation can be made to run more efficiently and profitably!

    If anybody thinks that isn't sarcasm, go see a doctor...


  • For that matter, what the Post Office? Sure, we've got usps.gov, but its also usps.com. Surely the USPS part of the government and not allowed to be a .com.


  • There was a recent announcement that the IRS was moving to IRS.Gov [irs.gov], where it used to be at IRS.Treas.Gov [treas.gov]. A similar violation of the RFC.

    As I've been politically active, I asked NIC.Gov if I can register my name under .Gov also. I wonder how large a staff they'll need to monitor when political clubs drop below the registration requirements and get de-registered.

    But I am surprised that AlGore didn't already get GOP.Gov registered to the GOvernment Printing office...

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