Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Editorial: The state of affairs in commerce

By mind21_98 in Culture
Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 08:59:37 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

With the recent passage of an act to make "electronic" signatures, I've had a chance to look at what really is in that law. And folks, this is just another sign that the Internet industry in the USA is commiting hari-kari.


We're already seeing signs of this going on. Take for example the DMCA. This has been successful in making applications such as DeCSS illegal. Although they are beneficial to the users, they are written off as a "circumvention device." Napster has also been affected under the DMCA, and is currently pending a decision by the court system.

The MPAA/RIAA aren't the only ones at fault for letting something such as the DMCA become law. Citizens of the USA are also at fault. It may seem like I'm putting down people from the US, but most US citizens in my opinion know little about how the government works. Of course they know the basic things (such as voting) but they do not keep in touch with the government to see what's going on. As a result 95% of the laws in this country may have been avoided if more US citizens kept up with what's happening with government today.

Many people blame campaign financing as well for the current state of affairs in government and in society. This is partially correct. However, the current society in this country does not lean well toward liberalism. Changes have been made in the 20th century that have allowed us to improve the quality of life for minorities. Some people in the US still are racist, for example. And most the people in this country are of a form of Christianity. I'm not saying that people should avoid Christianity altogether, but there are people who should not treat Christianity as the law of the land.

This environment has contributed to the current state of affairs. Although the stock market returns and the paychecks seem to be juicy now, expect lots more in terms of anti-consumer laws and of increasing legal instability as a result of trying to make the government and corporations happy. This instability will eventually stifle innovation and cause more hardship among ordinary citizens.

Some ordinary citizens do use computers and the Internet, but most of them do not care about more technical topics that these laws seem to be after. People still need to be informed about the possible consequences of some of these laws.

I propose several radical changes:

  • Introduce government earlier in a child's life. Most schools (in my school district) don't introduce government-related topics until late in high school.
  • Lower the voting age from 18 to 16. Most technically-savvy people are teenagers, and this will allow their voices to be heard.
  • Get rid of campaign financing completely. Make it illegal with the penalty of impeachment. Have TV stations all around the country give at least 12 hours free TV time for the canidates in a debate-like situation. And don't just limit it to high-ranking positions (such as President.) Force Congress to accept the same campaign-finance ban I outline here.
  • Allow all bills and laws to be voted for online. Granted, some people might not have an Internet connection, so this should be optional.

If nothing is done about this current state of affairs soon, there may be nothing left of the computer industry in the USA.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Also by mind21_98


Display: Sort:
Editorial: The state of affairs in commerce | 55 comments (42 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Racism, and Christianity (2.00 / 2) (#2)
by the Epopt on Sun Jul 02, 2000 at 04:23:54 PM EST

Some people in the US still are racist, for example. And most the people in this country are of a form of Christianity.

I love the juxtaposition of these two sentences. Just had to highlight them.

We now return you to the rant already in progress.


--  
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.

K5_Arguing_HOWTO
Observations (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by nuntius on Sun Jul 02, 2000 at 09:11:01 PM EST

I should have voted to post this one, but now its too late. Oops

I just wanted to get my observations in on a few of your points.
  • Introduce government earlier in a child's life. Most schools (in my school district) don't introduce government-related topics until late in high school.
    __________
    Now this is interesting... My homeschool education included more politics than most of my peers'... I agree that our citizens should get more education about politics, theories of government, and economics; but the fact that homeschoolers (and Christian private schools) address these very points often brings criticism from others claiming that they are trying to take over the world. Maybe we're just trying to protect our freedoms?!?
  • Lower the voting age from 18 to 16. Most technically-savvy people are teenagers, and this will allow their voices to be heard.
    __________
    Decidedly a bad idea. Maturity comes with age. With maturity comes resistance to empty hype and other things formerly known as wisdom.
    Case in point: [I'll use a Biblical reference here, but its a good one] King Solomon had to choose one of his sons as his successor to hte crown. He got the counsel of his elders, but followed the advice of his peers and appointed Rehoboam to succeed. As a result, Isreal split into two kingdoms.
    =>How to more easily win an election than mass market yourself to voting teens over the Internet for almost free?
  • Get rid of campaign financing completely. Make it illegal with the penalty of impeachment. Have TV stations all around the country give at least 12 hours free TV time for the canidates in a debate-like situation. And don't just limit it to high-ranking positions (such as President.) Force Congress to accept the same campaign-finance ban I outline here.
    __________
    I wish political races weren't so tied to money, but until the American people can get to the level of voting for <u>issues</u> instead of <u>people</u>, they're going to buy the same salesmanship which gets them into the movies/sells lottery tickets/whatever.
    In the foreseeable[sp?] future, money needs to be spent educating our people about the bigger issues. Unfortunately, the politicians are often doing a better job of it than anyone else. Its got half the nation discussing major issues again.
  • Allow all bills and laws to be voted for online. Granted, some people might not have an Internet connection, so this should be optional.
    __________
    One phrase: High-tech ballot stuffing
    Or maybe: Anonymity != secure voting results


I still don't see how Christianity==racism. First, it was the religion of hope to slaves in the south. More recently, my pastor lead the stand to keep the KKK away from the University. Maybe I'm biased because out congregation has about 50/50 mix of the races...

Oh wait! That can't be...we're racist! ;-)

Re: Observations (none / 0) (#34)
by speek on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 05:15:24 PM EST

Case in point: [I'll use a Biblical reference here, but its a good one] King Solomon had to choose one of his sons as his successor to hte crown. He got the counsel of his elders, but followed the advice of his peers and appointed Rehoboam to succeed. As a result, Isreal split into two kingdoms.

Yeah, and Brer Rabbit, he got caught in the Tar Baby, and Brer Fox had him good. But Brer Rabbit convinced Brer Fox he was more scared of the briar patch than of him, so Brer Fox threw him in. As a result, Brer Rabbit got away.

So, so, there. You see? Everything's clear now.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Nit-picking and complaining (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by yannick on Sun Jul 02, 2000 at 10:10:27 PM EST

Allow all bills and laws to be voted for online. Granted, some people might not have an Internet connection, so this should be optional.

The only compelling reason I can think of to initiate online voting would be the convenience of it (and it would only be convenient for people, as you say, with internet access and relatively high-speed connections). On the other hand, I can think of several equally compelling reasons not to allow people to vote online, not the least of which pertain to security concerns. I doubt that many people would start voting should it become possible to do so online. The lack of interest in the electoral and legislative process isn't because voting booths and legal centres are physically inaccessible or far away, it's simply because people are more concerned about their day-to-day affairs than to consider the course (alarming or otherwise) that their legal system is following. I could understand this attitude being prevalent two hundred years ago, but not today. Oh well.

And it's "hara-kiri", not "hari-kari". The former is a slang term for, "ritual suicide" (formally, "seppuku"), while the latter means roughly "needle debt". And there's your lesson in Japanese for the day =) Disclaimer: I'm not even Japanese. I just live there.
------
"Myself when young did eagerly frequent / Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument / About it and about: but evermore / Came out by the same Door as in I went." -- Omar Khayyam

Mixed quality (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by adamsc on Sun Jul 02, 2000 at 11:55:50 PM EST

Introduce government earlier in a child's life. Most schools (in my school district) don't introduce government-related topics until late in high school.
Good idea. In fact, in addition to more time on history education, it needs to be taken as a serious academic exercise, not a chance to indoctrinate kids with ultra-patriotic fluff. Unsurprisingly, the heavily whitewashed, frequently outright false propaganda that masquerades as U.S. History textbooks has failed to interest most students. At least as much focus should be given to the failures of the U.S. as is given to the successes, both to illustrate that existing laws or conditions aren't always good and to highlight the value of civic debate. Students can tell when they're being given a snow-job. (The author's left-leaning shows a bit more than I thought was necessary but Lies My Teacher Told Me is an excellent book inspite of it).
Lower the voting age from 18 to 16. Most technically-savvy people are teenagers, and this will allow their voices to be heard.
Bad idea. Maturity is a good thing and short of some sort of responsibility test (which I doubt would ever be fair) age is basically all we've got.
Get rid of campaign financing completely. Make it illegal with the penalty of impeachment. Have TV stations all around the country give at least 12 hours free TV time for the canidates in a debate-like situation. And don't just limit it to high-ranking positions (such as President.) Force Congress to accept the same campaign-finance ban I outline here.
Very, very bad idea. It's unconstitutional for starters. What would be good is mandatory disclosure on donations, which would not violate the first ammendment and would help prevent the problems with certain people making large cash donations when they need a vote.
Allow all bills and laws to be voted for online. Granted, some people might not have an Internet connection, so this should be optional.
This will be a good idea once the government gets serious about cryptography. You need some very interesting techniques to maintain anonymity and prevent forging. Until then, it'd probably just be an easy way for someone to forge votes.

Re: Mixed quality (none / 0) (#14)
by dannyboy on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 12:58:04 AM EST

Forging votes is nothing new. I live near a county which got around 250% turnout at some time in the past.

Internet voting can be made secure -- SSL is available for privacy. Registration could be done offline (but made more available, see "Motor Voter" legislation and the like) -- you'd get a (dead tree) slip with an identification string (username) and (a) one-time password(s). Granted, the voting server(s) would need to be competently secured (OpenBSD?), but that would just mean a couple extra government contracts. Which isn't necessarily bad...

"Well, sir, the server has a broken toilet seat assembly -- can I have $700?"

[ Parent ]
Re: Mixed quality (none / 0) (#32)
by adamsc on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 03:05:24 PM EST

Forging votes is nothing new. I live near a county which got around 250% turnout at some time in the past.
It's certainly not new. I just think voting online could make it much easier to do while leaving less evidence.
Internet voting can be made secure -- SSL is available for privacy.
SSL doesn't even begin to cover the privacy considerations. The big issue is how to securely identify a voter without recording their actual vote or even if they did vote; otherwise you have the potential for a corrupt politician to build a blacklist of people who voted against them.

[ Parent ]
Unconstitutional? (none / 0) (#41)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 04:08:55 PM EST

> It's unconstitutional for starters.

Why? Right now you're limited as a personal donor, and it used to be the case that corporations were *not* allowed to donate money to candidates.

] The individual limit for direct donations to federal
] campaigns during an election cycle is $2,000

So, what's unconstitutional about it?

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
Re: Unconstitutional? (none / 0) (#47)
by adamsc on Wed Jul 05, 2000 at 12:51:31 AM EST

> It's unconstitutional for starters. Why? Right now you're limited as a personal donor, and it used to be the case that corporations were *not* allowed to donate money to candidates. ] The individual limit for direct donations to federal ] campaigns during an election cycle is $2,000 So, what's unconstitutional about it?
The Supreme Court has tended to see restrictions on donations as restrictions on speech since they're restricting your ability to support a candidate. If you were to look for the most common reason that a campaign finance law was thrown out in court, it would probably be the first ammendment. There've been quite a few cases where this has happened.

As an example how speech & money are considered similar as far as campaign finance goes, the FEC went after one person (Leo Smith) who created a website supporting a candidate because they considered the value of the time & equipment used to create the site enough of a donation that he'd have to register as a PAC.

I personally agree with the school of thought which holds that any restriction in any form on political donations is unconsitutional. Consider that I have a constitutionally protected right to speak out in support of $Candidate. If we go by the rates my clients pay for any hour of my time, an hour spent doing so would be equivalent to a $175 donation. I could even rent a building, throw a party and spend some time telling everyone who showed up what a great person $Candidate is. I don't agree that this can be right while giving the cash equivalent directly to $Candidate is wrong.

What I do think would constitute a valid form of campaign financing reform would be a requirement that all donors be identified at every level, possibly by submitting the data (under penalty of perjury, of course) to an FEC website within a short period after the donation has been received. If Bill Gates wants to give Al Gore $1,000,000,000, it is his money and he should be allowed to spend it as he sees fit. It should also be posted publically so that questions could be asked if Janet Reno suddenly called off the DOJ investigation. Similarly, any political advertisement should identify the person or group sponsoring it. (political groups would need to publish the donor and amount for all donations).

[ Parent ]

Okay... (none / 0) (#54)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Jul 16, 2000 at 02:59:27 AM EST

But then why are you not bitching over private restrictions?

And since when did you believe that corporations should have freedom of speech? They're a legalism, put in place to benefit the community.

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
So what is the beef? (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by Dj on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 09:09:35 AM EST

The hook on this story is "Something awry with the digital signatures bill".... which is then never mentioned again....

Re: So what is the beef? (none / 0) (#33)
by Erbo on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 03:45:22 PM EST

Bang-on. I'd like to see a breakdown of just what exactly is in the digital signatures bill, and why it's so odious. All this "petty bickering" about the US political system is "most intriguing" (to borrow a quote from Data), but it isn't really specific to the digital signature bill.

Eric
--
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

Christianity/Racism? WTF are you talking about (2.00 / 1) (#20)
by Neuromancer on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:05:45 AM EST

I sorta scanned over this and missed the comment about Christianity == Racism. I should have voted this down. The big question being, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I don't remember racism being part of christianity. I don't see WHAT Christianity has to do with copyright/encryption/any of this shit. There are plenty of predominantly white/black churches, but there I don't know of a real denomination of Christianity that promotes racism. You could argue that the KKK supports Christianity, but then, you could claim that the nation of Islam is Islamic, and is patently racist (yeah, black people saying that white people aren't good enough for their religion is racist). Ironically, Islamic people don't promote that belief. So, the big questions are.

1) What the fuck are you talking about?
2) Where the fuck do you get off saying this if you don't know what you're talking about.

As a Lutheran, I take personal offense to the statement that Christianity is tied to racism. I'm sure that my friend Derrick whose degree is in Christian Business (he happens to be black) would disagree. Perhaps you are saying that Christians are anti-semitic?

1) That isn't racist.
2) I'm sure that my friend (a baptist) who is married to a Jewish woman, and their kids would dissagree.

Re: Christianity/Racism? WTF are you talking abou (none / 0) (#22)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:25:01 AM EST

Perhaps you are saying that Christians are anti-semitic?

1) That isn't racist.

Isn't it? The Jews are a race. Anti-semitism is being against the Jewish race. Hence anti-semitism is racism (and a few more nasty ideals thrown in).

He didn't say Christianity == Racism. But I would say that being Christian does not prevent you being racist. How about the deep south during the fifties, sixties? I would say that a high (don't have the numbers) percentage of people living in the Southern states would claim to be Christian but that certainly didn't stop them being racist.

In the same way, being Christian doesn't mean you won't covet your neighbours arse. How many sex-scandals do you hear about involving preachers/vicars/priests and a member or two of their married parishoners?

Unfortunately, being human means not sticking to many of the ideals of society.

Slightly off topic I know, but the thread seemed to be wandering.

Icarus

[ Parent ]

Re: Christianity/Racism? WTF are you talking abou (none / 0) (#30)
by Rand Race on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 02:32:13 PM EST

Just a little common misunderstanding in your post. Anti-semitism does not only cover anti-jewish sentiment but anti-arabic ideas as well. I have actually heard people refer to arabs as anti-semites and can't help but laugh. The semitic 'race' has historically included others as well, most notably the Phoenicians and by extension the Carthaginians. In the levant the semites ruled supreme from the fall of Sumer (nobody is quite sure what 'race' they were) to the rise of the caucasian (Greek and Persian initialy) empires.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Re: Christianity/Racism? WTF are you talking abou (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by cpt kangarooski on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 11:13:37 PM EST

Judaism is a religion. Judaism is not a race. I can speak with some small degree of authority on this, being Jewish myself.

I'm an Ashkenazi Jew. My ancestry is Slavic; both sides came over from (AFAIK) the Ukraine in the late 19th century. Many of my ancestors back in the old country were probably descended from converts or pagans that intermarried into the Jewish families that ended up there. I'd hardly expect that there's something that could be called a race that's gotten to me.

The other really big group in the states are Sephardic Jews. The Sephardi are basically of Mediterranean descent. But you can't ignore the Arabic, Persian or Yemeni Jews, who are much closer to what you're thinking of, if you want people who are probably of the same race that Jews were in Biblical days. Don't forget the black Jews of Ethiopia though. Or the group Jews that lived for maybe as much as 2000 years in India. Or the ones in Libya. Or those in China.

Stand a bunch of Jews from all over the world by each other and you'd probably find precious little, if anything, to indicate a racial similarity other than 'human'.

Judaism is a religion. There's no Christian race, there's no Muslim race, why should there be a Jewish race all of the sudden? There wasn't a minute ago. Heck, there's not even an International Jewish Conspiracy. I almost wish there was, if it meant that I could get a better job out of it. ;)

Unfortunately of course, being Jewish doesn't stop you from being a bigot of any kind. Trust me, I know. Nor does it make you smarter wrt digital signiatures, though I think that they're going to be soundly abused and are presently not a great idea.

Sorry if this was boring anyone, but this is one of my pet peeves....

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
He's not saying that Christianity == racism. Not (none / 0) (#23)
by Paul Crowley on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:26:08 AM EST

I've just re-read the passage you're referring to several times, and I'm not getting much success working out what he's trying to say (though of course I'm sure many Christians would agree that Christianity should not be treated as the law of the land) but it doesn't read to me that he's equating Christianity and racism.

Some people do have racist religious beliefs; for example, some claim that your parentage or genetic background makes a fundamental difference to how God feels about you. But this is far from true of all religious people.

FWIW I'm an atheist, and I like to be accurate about other people's beliefs.
--
Paul Crowley aka ciphergoth. Crypto and sex politics. Diary.
[ Parent ]
OK (none / 0) (#26)
by Neuromancer on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:48:10 AM EST

Ok, I misread that part. Still, I'm not saying that being Christian means that you are NOT these things. I was just saying that being Christian doesn't mean that you are. And, no, the Jews might be a race, but I could convert to Judaism today (it is possible) and still maintain my original heritage, thus not changing my race...

[ Parent ]
put out the flames - back on issue (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:22:03 AM EST

I am resisting the urge to further enter this flame war, mostly because the author is basing many of his claims on broad generalizations and sterotypes. Hmmmm....that is what many racists do as well, what a coincidence. I would like to see a decent article on the digital signature act. My understanding is that it is just more crap to help software companies enforce click licenses. The news keeps saying 'wow! now people can get loans over the internet.' Guess what, that already happens. I clerked at a law firm - we faxed mortgages all the time, with faxed signatures. Guess what, those were valid without this law. People can make a contract in a lot of different ways and if they agree to allow for an 'online signature' - whatever that means, it is normally fine. This bill is aimed clearly at the mass market - shrinkwrapped licences and clickable contracts which apply to software. This is an attempt to give federal teeth to the M$'s of the world. Be careful next time you click that agree button during that software install.

HOLD UP (3.50 / 2) (#24)
by Neuromancer on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:43:12 AM EST

Wow. I totally misinterpretted this article the first time through (we all see what happens when we fail to drink our coffee).
<br><br>
<I>"Introduce government earlier in a child's life. Most schools (in my school district) don't introduce government-related topics until late in high school."</I>
<br><br>
Ok, sounds good to me, but you have to have time for all of the other stuff too. Once we get college kids who can do algebra, then we'll talk about getting ones who understand what their vote means
<br><br>
<I>"Lower the voting age from 18 to 16. Most technically-savvy people are teenagers, and this will allow their voices to be heard.</I>
<br><br>
Crappy idea, if they are tech-savvy as teenagers, they will grow up to be tech-savvy. I trust the ideas of a PhD in CS more than I trust the ideas of a "really 1337 script kiddie with a neato NT b0x0r." I'd like to smack most script kiddies upside the head. At least most of them outgrow it. I'm not a mean guy, but the last time I encountered one who told me that he was way more "1337" than me, I pretty much ripped him apart asking him about basic computer concepts. No, most of these guys aren't more suited to vote on computer issues. No matter how much Quake you play, it isn't the equivalent of a degree.
<br><br>
<I>"Get rid of campaign financing completely. Make it illegal with the penalty of impeachment. Have TV stations all around the country give at least 12 hours free TV time for the canidates in a debate-like situation. And don't just limit it to high-ranking positions (such as President.) Force Congress to accept the same campaign-finance ban I outline here."</I>
<br><br>
For someone so in touch with politics, you sure don't know where the power lies. Congress is exponentially more powerful than the president. The president is more a figurehead than anything.
<br><br>
Also, they have to get their name out SOMEHOW. They need money to get their name out.
<br><br>
Forcing TV stations to broadcast advertisements for free is a little against the law. For someone who so adamantly is supporting direct democracy, you are really smacking us with a communist idea there.
<br><br>
<I>"Allow all bills and laws to be voted for online. Granted, some people might not have an Internet connection, so this should be optional."</I>
<br><br>
Being a congressman is a full time job. There are a LOT of bills and laws proposed every day. That's why we have congress. If it wasn't a full time job, we probably would have an open vote, but I like working and getting paid, so I really don't have time to vote on everything.
<br><br>
This would create even more problems. You think that there are a lot of assholes in congress? At least they are fairly well informed. Wait until you get out in the real world and see how many assholes you meet in the street. Turning them loose on the laws would be even more destructive. Ever heard of people slipping laws into strongly supported ones? Wait until you unleash those in the open vote. Nah, I'll keep it the way it is.
<br><br>
<I>Many people blame campaign financing as well for the current state of affairs in government and in society. This is partially correct. However, the current society in this country does not lean well toward liberalism. Changes have been made in the 20th century that have allowed us to improve the quality of life for minorities. Some people in the US still are racist, for example. And most the people in this country are of a form of Christianity. I'm not saying that people should avoid Christianity altogether, but there are people who should not treat Christianity as the law of the land.</I>
<br><br>
Separation of church & state is pretty strong. When you can't even pray in school or take objective looks at it in history class, I'd have to say that people are pretty paranoid about being accused of sliding God into anything these days... No, I'd say that Christianity certainly isn't overrunning America.
<br><br>
Again, where do you get off calling Christianity racist.
<br><br>
<I>With the recent passage of an act to make "electronic" signatures, I've had a chance to look at what really is in that law. And folks, this is just another sign that the Internet industry in the USA is commiting hari-kari.</I>
<br><br>
That law is what we call a "good thing." It lets the industry decide what constitues an electronic signature. Pretty much, it's saying, "Take your encryption, and use it." Nothing wrong with that. Saying that we have to go on making unverified transactions. That's suicide.



Woops (none / 0) (#25)
by Neuromancer on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:44:01 AM EST

Meant to post as html, sorry about all of the tags folks.

[ Parent ]
Re: HOLD UP (none / 0) (#31)
by synaptik on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 02:54:08 PM EST

Separation of church & state is pretty strong. When you can't even pray in school or take objective looks at it in history class, I'd have to say that people are pretty paranoid about being accused of sliding God into anything these days... No, I'd say that Christianity certainly isn't overrunning America.

Who says you can't pray in school? I know of a supreme court decision that decrees that the school can't direct a group prayer, or provide a forum for a public prayer-- but I know of no such decree or law that says that individuals can't privately pray to the deity of their choice, while on school grounds.

Again, where do you get off calling Christianity racist.

I don't think he intended those two sentences to go together. But I could be wrong, it's happened before...


--synaptik
warning C4717: 'WORLD3D::operator=' : recursive on all control paths, function will cause runtime stack overflow
[ Parent ]

Communist? NOT (none / 0) (#37)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 11:14:06 PM EST

Ummm, *WE* own the airwaves.

Unfortunately, we don't yank back the airwaves from companies too often, so they're under the impression that they own portions of the spectrum.

> Forcing TV stations to broadcast advertisements for
> free is a little against the law.

*e's not talking about advertisements.

It's not illegal to make broadcasters do things. In fact, it used to be the rule = equal coverage for both liberal and conservative points of view (bye w/Reagan).

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
Cable (none / 0) (#52)
by Neuromancer on Wed Jul 05, 2000 at 04:24:38 PM EST

I still think that it's not cool on the part of the government unless the companies are compensated, and what of cable? I suppose that I can see the point, it's still not a good idea.

[ Parent ]
Cable != Airwaves (none / 0) (#55)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Jul 16, 2000 at 03:03:11 AM EST

Cable's a different bucket of bolts. They're not taking up any public bandwidth, they paid to lay their cable, and they have their own control over it. It's *theirs*. kinda like the internet - all private.

Airwaves are yours and mine. But they need central control, or the person who can afford the biggest jammer is the only person who gets to use the *public* resource.

Biggest problem is that companies think they own it because they bought licenses, and we (thru the government) don't collect rent on it every year. We don't do that becuase of stability reasons, but we should have.

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
Re: HOLD UP (none / 0) (#43)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 06:23:38 PM EST

> Again, where do you get off calling Christianity racist.

He didn't call christianity 'racist,' he merely grouped them nearby each other. However, in many peoples' minds the two are naturally grouped together.

I will be fair and say that "organized religion" is a better choice of words than x-tianity, but christianity really has been perverted and twisted by people who want justification for "God is on our side!"

[ Parent ]
Voter Education (none / 0) (#27)
by audrey on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 10:59:45 AM EST

Better government classes for high-schoolers is only half the problem. The other half is to actually have a body of knowledge that can be learned in a reasonable amount of time. The body of US law consumes over 100 volumes, each 6 inches thick, and several thousand pages. It is not reasonable for any person to learn the contents of these laws in any reasonable time. And this isn't even including state laws!

This country is experiencing law bloat. Laws are passed. Lots of them, every year. Laws are almost never repealed. So the body of US code just keeps growing and growing. Not only is it impossible to learn all of it, it's also almost impossible to comply! How can we be expected to obey laws that we couldn't reasonably learn about simply because there are so many!

We should pass a conservation of law law. In order to pass a new law they'd have to remove another off the books. Also we need to get rid of riders. I don't know if most voters know about it, but it's common practice to attach ammendments to a bill that have nothing to do with the bill itself. Particularly when you have a law that will sail through congress (child protection or some crap), it often gets lots of ammendments that have nothing to do with the original bill, but no one will vote it down because the bill itself is clearly desirable. Makes you think line-item veto wasn't such a bad idea.

Bah, this country sucks. I want a digital democracy yesterday.

Re: Voter Education (none / 0) (#28)
by pete on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 12:56:20 PM EST

Laws are almost never repealed. So the body of US code just keeps growing and growing. Not only is it impossible to learn all of it, it's also almost impossible to comply! How can we be expected to obey laws that we couldn't reasonably learn about simply because there are so many!

To paraphrase Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: they don't want you to learn and obey all of the laws. They want you to break them. That's how they can maintain power over you.

IMO the only way to reverse this trend is to vote Libertarian.


--pete


[ Parent ]
Limited lifetime laws (none / 0) (#39)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 08:57:56 AM EST

Laws need to come with limited lifetimes. They can only be continued by being debated and voted on one by one when their time is up.

This would help with this problem.

In a criminal case, after the jury is selected, they should be given a quiz on the laws in question. If a significant number of them do not know the law, the case should be dismissed.

That will get the big boys to make a serious effort to educate the public as to the important laws!

A Nony Mouse

[ Parent ]

Juries don't vote on the law... (none / 0) (#42)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 04:15:09 PM EST

Go read some jury stuff.

Juries aren't suppossed to vote on the law - but on justice. If you just need interpreters of the law, there's no need for a jury at all, hire specialists.

And, no the big boys wouldn't care, they'd use the case that so many trials are getting thrown out, that they should nullify that portion of the law -- not as a reason to increase public training in law.

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
Free TV time (none / 0) (#29)
by Pac on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 01:13:53 PM EST

We have that down here in Brazil and we are constantly discussing if it is worth the annoyance. Here are some of the problems with it: - Who deserves air time? If you will force TVs to give away free air time, who should benefit? Here in Brazil we have 15+ political parties, many of them irrelevant or even downright dishonest. But where do you draw the line? In the USA, specifically, would it be fair (or even legal) to give free time only to the 2 major parties candidates? - How do you allow all the candidates to have a fair ammount of time? Remember, campaign financing is probalby more troublesome further down the food chain. A couple of thousand bucks is nothing for a presidential candidate, but may well be decisive in a local election. So you will want to stop it there, also. - Who pays for it? Government? The TVs? The parties? Also, you will find out that having politicians in your screens is NOT a way to raise the general awareness to political issues. But it surely raise the awareness about cable alternative channels and shows...

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


Lower The Voting Age? (none / 0) (#35)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 07:29:23 PM EST

Lowering the voting age would simply a be myopic attempt to treat a symptom of the problem and not the cause. My opinions on this, being an ex-teenager :) and still interacting with several teens.

    If the adults cannot make informed decisions, why should the more immature and less educated teenagers be any better?
    Just because the author of this article knows sixteen year olds who may be smart and mature does not change the fact that a majority of sixteen year olds are immature and irresponsible.
    Teenagers are too easily influenced by by flash, pomp and trends as opposed to true substance. The current era of smear campaign advertizing would easily be further entrenched to attract teens weaned on confrontational pageantry like WWF and Celebrity Death Match


Re: Lower The Voting Age? (none / 0) (#40)
by pete on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 10:22:12 AM EST

Just because the author of this article knows sixteen year olds who may be smart and mature does not change the fact that a majority of sixteen year olds are immature and irresponsible.

Teenagers are too easily influenced by by flash, pomp and trends as opposed to true substance. The current era of smear campaign advertizing would easily be further entrenched to attract teens weaned on confrontational pageantry like WWF and Celebrity Death Match

I'll disagree with this. Fifty years ago, I'll bet you wouldn't have said the same thing. I think teenagers are this way today because we have let them become this way by taking away all of their responsibility. What else can they do? I'm personally in favor of lowering all the important age limits (voting, drinking, etc).


--pete


[ Parent ]
Re: Lower The Voting Age? (none / 0) (#44)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 06:30:31 PM EST

Frightening, I would have said something along those lines. Not quite the same, but similar enough. The noise ratio is very low here. Like clicking on "I'm feeling lucky" in Google and getting the precise site you want.

I've dealt with a great deal of gifted children. The thing about adults is, they've been trained in "conventional wisdom," which in other words is what the guy next door thinks. Chlidren are at times attracted to "flash" in the same way that Mozart was a flashy musician. But their tastes in music do not make them any less insightful. It's just easy to dismiss a child, that's all.

"'Common sense' is the term for the prejudices one learns until they reach 18." -- Einstein

[ Parent ]
Voting. (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by static on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 12:32:09 AM EST

You managed to miss a rather obvious idea: Compulsary voting. I know the American's would have great difficulty with this, but it would lower by several orders of magnitude the amount of funds that change hands for political purposes.

Why is that, you ask? Simple: in the current system, candidates must not only convince people to vote for them, but also to turn up and vote. This requires engendering a kind of fantacism. In a compulsary system, candidates must merely convince people to vote for them. The effort to convince people that they have to vote for someone is independant of who they vote for.

Australia has compulsary voting*. A story was floating around during our last federal elections about a US campaign manager who couldn't believe how little was spent on election campaigns and how long they didn't run for, compared, of course, to his US experience. :-)

Wade.

* Yes, I know it's technically "you must turn up at a polling booth", but that's the intention.

Bottom up taxing (none / 0) (#48)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jul 05, 2000 at 11:54:27 AM EST

I think the tax system also contributes to general apathy on the part of the citizen (or subject in my case). Taxes go to a large general pot of money that the national government controls and are distributed from there to causes deemed worthy by the lords and masters at the top.

Instead, taxes should be collected and spent locally with the national government receiving grants from the local government rather than vice ver·sa. When tax money is spent demonstrably on local projects people will be far more interested in how it's spent.



[ Parent ]
Re: compulsary Voting. (none / 0) (#51)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jul 05, 2000 at 02:12:48 PM EST

I'm more of a compulsive voter myself. Heh. My boss tells me they had compulsory voting in Russia when she grew up there... they not only told you where and when to vote, they told you who to vote for, too! --Charlie

[ Parent ]
hari kari (3.50 / 2) (#45)
by akihabara on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 09:15:57 PM EST

There is no phrase "hari kari", despite many people's best attempts. The correct phrase is "hara kiri" or "seppuku", and means "cutting the stomach".

Re: hari kari (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 10:05:12 PM EST

Addendum:

Seppuku is the formal term, hara kiri the vulger.

A biologist calls it feces, I call it shit.


[ Parent ]
Re: hari kari (none / 0) (#53)
by Cryptnotic on Thu Jul 06, 2000 at 01:29:48 AM EST

Interestingly, both words are written with the same two characters, although their order is reversed.

[ Parent ]
Christianity != Racism, Christianity = EVIL (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jul 05, 2000 at 12:59:05 PM EST

From the original article:
> Some people in the US still are racist, for example. And most the people in this country
> are of a form of Christianity. I'm not saying that people should avoid Christianity
> altogether, but there are people who should not treat Christianity as the law of the land.

OK, I'll say it then. People should avoid Christianity altogether. Thinking people will find themselves siezed by the urge to commit mass murder if they are in contact with Christianity - and I'm not talking about the mass murders perpetrated by Christians over the centuries, I'm talking about a fervent desire to choke the life out of sanctimonious idiots. Wishing to slaughter your fellow man for religous reasons is bad for your karma, so stay as far away from Christianity (and Satanism, which is simply another flavor of Christianity) as possible!

If you're looking for a spiritual community that does not promote evil (and I meant to say EVIL, ok, it's not a typo) and wish for something reasonably close to the traditions of your neighbors in white bread America, I recommend Unitarian Universalism. Unitarianism, of course, is the religion of the Founding Fathers - a Christian offshoot that rejects determinism and dogmatism. Universalism was a Christian heresy founded on the belief that all people are equally saved - the baby-eating Bishop of the Black Canons does not get to go to a better Heaven than Adolf Hitler. The Unitarians and Universalists merged relatively recently to form the UU Church, which believes in the worth and dignity of sentient creatures and does not require adherence to any particular creed or dogma. Look in the phone book for your local UU church, but be aware that the UUs accept and harbor homosexuals, convicted felons, racial minorities, and even (gasp!) overeducated computer nerds.

Someone else in this venue has already begun ranting about Christianity and racism being mentioned in the same breath. The author of the original article did not equate the two... BUT I WILL!!! The overwhelming majority of American racist and hate groups are self-admitted CHRISTIANS. This is not a fluke, and it's not a bunch of little "cults" (a cult being any religious organization unable to defend itself from the label by virtue of vast funds or legions of zealots). The Southern Baptist Church split from the rest of the Baptists because they claimed the Bible specifically condones slavery (which it does) based on race (which is a stretch - depends on a very suspect interpretation of racial roots). They have recently recanted this stance in order to focus on oppression of homosexuals.

Christians like to pretend that anyone who commits an evil act, or who doesn't interpret scripture exactly as they do, is not a christian. THINK AGAIN. The NEO-NAZIS are CHRISTIAN. The Southern Baptists are CHRISTIANS. The ARYAN NATION is CHRISTIAN. The KLU KLUX KLAN is CHRISTIAN. THE IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTIC OF CHRISTIANITY, FROM CATHOLOCISM TO SATANISM TO LUTHERANISM TO METHODISM, IS UNQUESTIONING FAITH IN THE ARTICLES OF THE CHURCH - THE SURRENDER OF MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO DOGMA. This is the breeding ground of evil and the fertile field of hatred.

This message brought to you by your local soap-box ranter. Soon to be moderated out of existence by self-righteous bigots. THINK FOR YOURSELF!

--Charlie

Re: Christianity != Racism, Christianity = EVIL (none / 0) (#50)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jul 05, 2000 at 02:07:15 PM EST

Many of the founding fathers were Unitarian, but more were Congregationalist. And Jefferson invented his own Deist religion by rewriting the Bible. You can get the Jefferson Bible from Barnes and Noble or Fatbrain (Amazon still being under boycott, of course).

Universalism is still banned in many countries, and was only legalized in Britain recently. It's a subversive doctrine, like capitalism, or freedom of speech (which they still don't have in Britain - section 21 is like a blindfold).

G0dfath3r

[ Parent ]
Editorial: The state of affairs in commerce | 55 comments (42 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!