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Third party debate

By speek in Meta
Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:26:56 AM EST
Tags: Interviews (all tags)

Interested readers should try to arrange a simultaneous interview with US presidential candidates.

I don't know how Slashdot-style interviews would work here on K5, but I expect would be the story poster's responsibility to arrange for the interviewee to answer the questions. However, I'm hoping there are people out there who can help me out on this one.

I'd like to invite all the candidates to answer the questions that get moderated highest here. If people out there happen to be involved with Browne, Nader, Buchanan, Bush, or Gore, please bring this to their attention and try to convince them to commit to answering (if this story goes anywhere, that is).

Alternatively, the readers of K5 can send many emails and regular mails to all candidates inviting and encouraging them to send in answers to our questions. A final question list will have to be generated for each candidate, but if we all email them and invite them to contact a particular person*, we might get a few to respond.

If we could keep actual questions to candidates as Topical, and everything else as Editorial, that would be easiest to deal with.

* I don't know who the appropriate contact would be in this case, but I'm guessing either Rusty, as organizer of this site, or myself, as submitter of this story. I am ready to be instructed on this from you all, and from Rusty, if he's interested. I am certainly willing to be the focal point for contact with the candidates. As such, I would organize the finalized question lists for each, and submit to them in the format they request, and collate the responses.


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Third party debate | 79 comments (75 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Unlisted concerns... (3.50 / 8) (#1)
by pb on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 11:07:21 PM EST

My personal biggest concern is <B>personal freedom</B>. I see it being eroded every day in this country, with big corporations deciding what rights I have and making everyone play by their rules.

Unfortunately, no one cares about the rights of the individual in America anymore, so let's go back to talking about prescription discounts or whatever, and give the drug companies some more money instead...
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
Nader (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by kmself on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 11:23:29 PM EST

Of the major candidates, Nader is the only one I've heard even address this issue. Radio interview earlier this week on KQED FM in San Francisco. Program is called Forum, it aired Tuesday, October 10, 10:00 am.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Nader (2.00 / 3) (#5)
by pb on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 11:38:53 PM EST

Excellent, thanks!

If I vote, I'll probably vote for Nader. However, I still have a couple of problems with this.

1) Nader isn't going to get elected.
2) Of the candidates that aren't going to get elected, I'd rather vote for BRAK!

...and people wonder why America has such low voter turnout. It also has too many sheep, including some of the candidates and most of their voters.
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Re: Nader (3.71 / 7) (#7)
by pretzelgod on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 11:43:55 PM EST

Nader isn't going to get elected.

You're not paying attention. The goal isn't to get Nader elected. No one is silly enough to believe that's a possibility. The two major goals are securing federal funding for the Greens and raising awareness of issues that aren't otherwise discussed.

When people like me say these things, people just ignore it. When we hold demos, the media lie about us and people think we're just stupid kids. When Ralph Nader says these things, it's a little different. Sad, but true.

Ever heard of the School of the Americas?

[ Parent ]
Nader: uncontestted state? Vote your heart (3.80 / 5) (#8)
by kmself on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:04:45 AM EST

Nader's advice on this, and I kind of like it. If you're in a state that's not contested -- it's clearly going to one candidate or the other -- you aren't wasting your vote. Voting how you really feel sends a clear message.

If you are in a tightly contested state, you want to ask yourself: do you want your representative voting her or his concience? Shouldn't you?

California is fairly solidly going to Gore. I wouldn't have a problem voting Nader. Particularly if I thought it might make a difference.

Incidentally, I tried finding a list of closely contested state races. I know a few of them off-hand: Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arkansa, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and something New Englandish. Most of the rest of everything is pretty well sewn up. But, and this was my point -- the data aren't readily available. You can dig for it, and this Yahoo story lists them: Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, Delaware, Missouri, Iowa and, West Virginia (OK, I wasn't too far off). I'd expect that some campaign site would list leanings by state, in something resembling real-time, but I was unable to turn this up, searching Yahoo, NPR, the Washington Post, and the Gallup Oganization.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Nader: uncontestted state? Vote your heart (2.80 / 5) (#11)
by byoon on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 01:18:44 AM EST

Right on! I'm in Nebraska which is about as Republican as you can get so I know a vote for Nader isn't going to hurt Gore because he doesn't have a chance in hell of winning here anyway. I think myself and just about all my friends are voting for Nader. It'll really be interesting to see the results.

By the way, did you catch Nader getting a little free face-time on SNL the other night?
"I'm a going to break you down into the little cubes." -Picasso
[ Parent ]
Re: Nader: uncontestted state? Vote your heart (4.60 / 5) (#21)
by brandtpfundak on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:57:33 AM EST

Is a vote for Gore any different than a vote for GWB? I don't think so. Of the little I heard of the debate last night (listening to it really started to infuriate me) I managed to confirm (at least for myself) that the two big party candidates are basically flip sides of the same coin. They are both pro-free trade and basically corporate stooges. They have the same view on Israel and the Mid East peace process (quick aside: how can a high ranking government official like Gore say that the US is pro Israel and then claim that the US is a "fair broker" in the peace negotiations?) and basically have the same view on US military involvement in other nations.

I live in one of the states that is contested (Ohio.) Everyone here is making a big deal of it. Everyone tells me that a vote for Nader is as good as a vote for Bush. But it isn't. A vote for Gore or Bush is a vote for corporate interest. A vote for Nader is vote against the current political system and the growing influence of coporate America. I refuse to vote for Gore and basically say that I approve of the actions of the Clinton-Gore administration during the last 8 years (that's the mistake I made in 96.)

Ralph Nader has been quoted as saying that in regards to our voting system that "you can't corrupt a corrupt system." To me the system is totally corrupt. The Republicrats here in Ohio have gone out of their way to make sure that Nader is not listed as a Green on the ballot. Now why would they do that if they didn't feel that Nader and the Greens might actually be getting their message out there?

I am sure most of the people who read Kuro5hin believe they are informed voters and hopefully will vote based on how their candidates stand on the issues. But if we want change, we have to go with the candidates who have radical ideas on how to change our government. For me, that person is Ralph Nader.

Just my two cents.


[ Parent ]
Re: Nader: uncontestted state? Vote your heart (3.50 / 2) (#46)
by sugarman on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:32:33 PM EST

Is a vote for Gore any different than a vote for GWB? I don't think so.

You're not alone. I hope I'm not alone on k5 in having seen the new RatM video for "Testify"? Basically, it involves some photo-blending technigues (ala Conan O'Brien's If they mated) of the two candidates, and some sound bites where each candidate is quoted on the record, as being for the exact same thing. Blew my mind.

[ Parent ]

More from Ohio (4.00 / 3) (#54)
by baberg on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:05:55 PM EST

It's official, at least in my county. I just got my absentee ballot today in the mail (school levy back home needs votes, and I'm away at college). Nader is listed but without the Green party's endorsement. John Hagelin with VP Nat Goldhaber (neither of who I've ever heard of) are running under the Natural Law party (who I've also never heard of). Am I just ignorant, or has this party been around for a long time and I've just never noticed (first time voting, last time I wasn't old enough)?

And I agree. I tell my opinions about Nader to anybody who will listen, and often they will respond with "Why are you throwing your vote away? He's not going to win." That's like only cheering for the baseball team that is winning in a ballgame. Sure, at the end, you can be happy that "your team" won, but did you really accomplish anything? A vote for Bore/Gush is a vote for the status quo, for corporate power and diminishing rights. A vote for anybody else is a vote that says "I'm willing to use my vote to speak my mind, not follow the masses" Isn't that what voting is all about?

[ Parent ]

Re: Nader: uncontestted state? Vote your heart (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by _peter on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 06:01:38 PM EST

I'd expect that some campaign site would list leanings by state, in something resembling real-time, but I was unable to turn this up, searching Yahoo, NPR, the Washington Post, and the Gallup Oganization.
Portrait of America. The site's run by Rasmussen Research, which won an award for accurately predicting the outcome of the primaries. PoA does list electoral college totals -- including states considered "solid" vs. "leaning". It's not real-time, but it's reasonably current.

[ Parent ]
Re: Nader (2.80 / 5) (#9)
by tsiar on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:18:13 AM EST

If you are referring to personal freedoms/liberties, even Nader doesn't come close to Harry Browne and the libertarian platform when it comes to making sure everyone keeps/is returned their rights and liberties guaranteed by the constitution, and especially the bill of rights.

[ Parent ]
Re: Unlisted concerns... (3.12 / 8) (#10)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 01:12:21 AM EST

big corporations deciding what rights I have

I've heard this kind of language quite a bit of late, and it leaves me half-interested to hear more. So just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me which rights they feel have been usurped by major corporations, and how the "big corporations" have achieved jurisprudence over matters of equality before the law.

The only recent example that springs to mind is the DoJ/Microsoft trial, but the antitrust war seems to be motivated primarily in Washington. To be sure, major private groups like Sun Microsystems and AOL have played their part, but they've acted more like cheerleaders than anything else.

I'm particularly piqued by the notion that a high-minded regulation advocate like Ralpha Nader would be inclined to buck the trend. I can't remember the last time I put out a grease fire with gasoline, but I'm sure it wasn't pretty.

As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Unlisted concerns... (2.80 / 5) (#13)
by kovacsp on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:09:01 AM EST

DMCA, Patents, etc, etc, etc.

[ Parent ]
Re: Unlisted concerns... (4.25 / 8) (#14)
by Matrix on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:17:27 AM EST

Ok, here's what I can think of off the top of my head. I'm afraid I can't provde any links for these, but I'm sure you can find something if you hunt around.

(1) Digital Millenium Copyright Act - Effectively destroys all Fair Use and First Sale rights on works on "digital medium." Some are specifically protected, but the limitations imposed on them are still painful. Passed by congress in an unrecorded vote and signed by the president the same day. Effectively written by big publishing (including movie and music) interests, and they literally re-wrote the final draft, if Orrin Hatch (sp?) is to be believed.

(2) UCITA - This was literally written by the software industry to protect their "precarious marketing position." It basically means they can do what they like in software licenses, which you don't even get to see until you've bought what you thought was your property or (in some cases) even agreed to the conditions already.

(3) Can you count the number of trivial patents issued in the past few years? On things like a breed of Mexican bean or the idea of storing customer data on a server insteaed of having the customer enter it every time.

That's just a short list, because I don't have much time right now. I'm sure someone else can provide more data.

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Re: Unlisted concerns... (2.66 / 3) (#24)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:51:58 AM EST

[DMCA, UCITA, patents]

They look like government documents. They may have been issued at the behest of corporate interests, but that's hardly surprising. Government exists to execute the will of interested parties, after all.

Which of the following seems, to you, to be more likely to discourage blatant misuse of government power?

* Increase the size and oversight responsibility of the government
* Decrease the size and oversight responsibility of the government

Nader's platform is chock full of references to "social justice", as executed by federal mandate. "Social justice" is one of those remarkable phrases that can favor whatever interested party is using it to beat the opposition. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that Nader favors dramatic expansion of federal powers under such a dubious notion.

Given that governments (around the world and throughout history) have been the tools of empowered cabals, does it seem more meaningful to reserve more privileges to the government, where they can be used by special interests? Or would it be more consistent to reserve those privileges to private individuals serving their own interests without federal power?

It seems to me we have a Constitution to protect our rights. Nader's implicit claim is that by ignoring the Constitution, he can personally guarantee that he'll effect social justice and give us more rights. Forgive me my cynicism, but I'm ever so wary of the Cult of Personality. Perhaps I've been reading too many historical texts.

As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Unlisted concerns... (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by speek on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:32:59 PM EST

The corps use whatever means are available. Given a government more powerful than them, they use the suck up and subvert strategy (ie DMCA, UCITA, patents, regulations that work against startups, etc).

Given a weaker government, they would likely use different strategies, such as dumping wastes when no one's looking, bulldozing land to get at resources, requiring consumers surrender more personal info, requiring employees surrender more freedom to the corp, etc.

Let's be honest - there is no difference between corps and government (well, except that gov. has a monopoly on use of force). They are both large organizations that basically strive for more and more power. The best way to deal with that basic truth about such structures is to counterbalance them. We need gov. to offset the power of corps, and we need corps to offset the power of gov. Exactly like we need competition in markets so that a monopoly of power doesn't build up.

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

Re: Unlisted concerns... (3.66 / 3) (#32)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 01:22:43 PM EST

We need gov. to offset the power of corps, and we need corps to offset the power of gov. Exactly like we need competition in markets so that a monopoly of power doesn't build up.

Ah, feudalism. Makes me nostalgic for the old days of Holy Wars and court intrigue.

As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Unlisted concerns... (3.00 / 1) (#35)
by speek on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:42:19 PM EST

I have no idea what your point is. I'm not seeing the connection with feudalism. I could be stupid, though, so enlighten me.

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

Re: Unlisted concerns... (4.00 / 4) (#41)
by ubu on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:24:16 PM EST

The US Constitution guarantees rights reserved to the private citizen, away from the power of the federal government. In the view of the Founders, personal liberties couldn't be bought or sold.

The system you envision guarantees no rights to the citizen. It trusts a competition between 3rd-party powers to somehow benefit you in the end. It's reminiscent of the competition between the Church, the Monarch, and the landholding gentry during the high Middle Ages. I'm sure I need not remind you that the quality of life was very low and that personal freedoms were rare.

You would endow Ralph Nader with unConstitutional powers simply because he promises to fight for "social justice". At this point in time, I suppose, you happen to applaud his promises, so you're willing to make him your surrogate in Washington. A vote for Nader is, in effect, a vote to give away your Constitutional rights so that this politician can do what he likes with you.

But he promises to help! He's not going after you, he's going after someone else. So it's okay. Call it Enlightened Despotism. Go get 'em, Ralph, beat up the HMOs and make them give us what we want. They can fight back, and it will be a splendid dog fight, with our Consitutional rights as the scrap of meat in the jaws of each competitor.

So, a question for you: what will you do when Nader leaves office? Can you vote those powers back into your own hands? Nope. Can you decline to vote and let the powers revert to yourself? Nope. Can you find someone who promises to return power to the people (not in the Nader-esque newspeak sense)? You'd better hope you can.

But why wait until then? If you're *really* fed up with too-expensive healthcare and ridiculous corporate welfare, you'd do better to vote for someone who believes in a free market, unstained by regulated monopolies, gigantic government contracts, and race-baiting policy. Someone who actually stands up for your rights. Your *Constitutional* rights, the only ones guaranteed by Law. The only ones you actually *have*, and the only ones worth fighting for.

And I can guarantee you'll have to fight for them, sooner or later. But the longer you wait, the harder it gets. And the more blood will spill. 42 million out of 42 million dead Russians agree: government hurts.

As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Unlisted concerns... (4.00 / 3) (#56)
by speek on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 07:33:04 AM EST

Excellent points. I would point out a couple things however:

Nader is far less likely give the government more power than the democrats or Repoublicans. Yes he's in favor of regulating technologies and businesses and he's for universal healthcare. However, he's against anti-drug laws. He's against laws that violate personal privacy. He's likely to end a lot of the ridiculous corporate welfare you mention. He's vehemently against all the various laws made or being pushed on behalf of companies seeking greater protection for their copyrights (which, btw, is one of the governments constitutionally valid powers).

My other point is that I flat out don't believe in your fantasy capitalism-makes-right world. As capitalism and the free-market take root in our society, people become more and more concerned with only themselves. It's their job to take care of themselves, and it's everyone else's job to take care of themself. Families become smaller and smaller and less important. Who your neighbor is is of no matter. Children are seen more and more as financial liabilities. Everything we have to pay money for becomes an irritant to us, and a threat to our financial sovereignty. What exactly does prevent the rich and powerful and the large corporations from exerting their power in undesirable ways? How long before the number of people living in poverty, who, quite reasonably, care more about feeding their family than about these "constitutional" rights becomes so large that a police force is incapable of defending "us" against "them"?

The constitution of the federal government is not the constitution of the state governments either. I personally am in favor of states being in control of how things run within them (actually, I'm more in favor of much smaller units of government having all the control). But, that is still government.

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

Re: Unlisted concerns... (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by DigitalRover on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:20:43 PM EST

Excellent Point!

While I recognize the need for debates and ideas outside of the two mainstream parties, Ralph Nader's and the Green Party's recent surge is downright scary. The Greens, IMHO, are nothing more than rebadged socialists. They are establishing their platform on the belief that they know better than you when it comes to running your life.

The Founding Fathers knew exactly what they were doing when the Constitution was written. They were limiting the power and the scope of the government at the federal level, and making sure that the power lay first and foremost in the hands of the people. Yet, here we have the Republicans, Democrats, and the Greens seeking to concentrate more and more power in the hands of Washington politicians. Stifling personal freedoms and looking to the State for guidance and support will inevitably fail in the long run. For proof, just look at any communist country in the last century. Heck! Look at even mildly socialist countries like France. They have allowed their central governments to expand into the lives of individuals and the result is a country that is falling apart. Whenever you hear a politician talk about how new programs will help this group or that, or a spending increase will make an existing program more effective, ask yourself: "Is this law Constitutionally sound?" Better yet, name three things that the government (at any level) can do quicker and with less cost than private industry?

Before any candidate can hope to garner my vote, they must show me through words and actions that they support my right to live my life as I choose; that they believe less governmental intervention, not more, is the answer to my problems; and that they will not seize my property or freedom without due process of law. What does this mean? It means ending the senseless and useless redistribution of wealth in this country. It means and end to Drug Prohibition and other government programs that are not specifically mandated by the Constitution. It means an end to the seizing of my property in the form of income taxes. Do you want to get rid of corruption in Washington, and give the power back to the people. Then get rid of Washington! Reduce the size of government not just in the number of beauracrats, but in the scope and reach of its laws and legislation.

Too many people are jumping on Nader's bandwagon just because he's not the mainstream. Those who do so without understanding the implications of his positions are as much blindly following sheep as those who will walk in and vote for a mainstream party because "they're the only one with a chance."

If you really want to send a message to Washington, vote for a party that will dismantle the mountain of legislation that it sits upon. VOTE LIBERTARIAN!

[ Parent ]
A question for Harry Browne and other Libertarians (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by speek on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:56:34 PM EST

Harry Browne talks about selling all public property (except military bases). The idea is that property held privately is better cared for. Beyond the argument as to whether that's true, I have another question:

How exactly will you sell this land? Take a big national park, for instance - Yellowstone. Are you going to sell it as is, in one big chunk, or will it be sold in parts? The reason this is important, in my mind is that how you sell it determines who could possibly buy it, and what use it will be put to. If sold as a whole, only a very large corporation could afford it, so you're not really selling it to anyone out there - you're locking out all individuals (except maybe a handful), and essentially only allowing corporations to buy it. In which case it will surely be used to make money.

If you sell it in small chunks, you are allowing a larger percent of the population a chance to buy, but you increase the odds that the park will be destroyed as the individual owners "do there own thing".

A related question is, who controls the roads? Right now, I leave my house, and I travel on public lands to get virtually anywhere I want to go. I cannot be barred from going most anywhere (even most businesses can't really bar me from their premises without reason). However, if that all becomes private property, is it possible that I could be barred from leaving my tiny yard? What's the libertarian solution to these concerns?

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

RE: A question for Harry Browne and other Libertar (2.00 / 1) (#61)
by DigitalRover on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 06:12:04 PM EST

I'll take up the challenge with this one under the assumption that this isn't a troll, but honest discourse. Of course, we all know what happens when you assume. . .

With a large National Park, my personal feeling and that of the Libertarian Party, is that the land is in better hands when it is controlled by private interests than when it is controlled by the government. More importantly, it should be controlled by someone who is going to preserve the integrity of the area, because that is in their best interest. So why not allow conservation groups to bid on the park as a whole? Groups like the Nature Conservancy have done very well managing their own private parks that are completely self-sustaining and in excellent shape, enviromentally.

In National Forests, where logging companies pay to log them, why not allow the logging companies to buy them, with the stipulation that they must remain open to the public? It will be in the logging companies' interests to maintain the land and the health of the forest. After all, that's where they get their money from. I probably disagree with the party though, on the issue of old growth forests. These should be set aside and logging prevented to preserve a habitat for wildlife that will surely be displaced in younger forests that are being logged and because these ancient forests are much more efficient at scrubbing clean our air than the much younger forests. Like the National Park example above, these should be maintained and managed by a non-government entity. There is case after case on the lp's website that shows how these lands are better off in the hands of individuals than the government.

On the issue of roads: Local and state routes are the repsonsibility of those governments, respectively. When you have something like the Interstate system, there is the argument that it affects interstate commerce and thus falls under federal jurisdiction. However, the Federal Highway System is the source of some of the most disgusting pork barrels politics out there. Huge Federal Highway contracts are handed to companies that support Congress-members and only benefit their specific constituencies. That, to me, is just sickening. Rather, why not hand over control (and responsibility) to the states which can do with them as they please.

For every government program that is eliminated, that it that much power and control given back to the average American.

[ Parent ]
not a troll (none / 0) (#68)
by speek on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 07:44:32 AM EST

I like your answers, but you've made all kinds of assumptions: 1. When selling, the government will target its sales to specific people and/or groups (ie. selling the national forests to conservation groups). 2. Some property will not be sold to private owners, but rather given to the states, or not sold at all (for roads and the like already owned by states). 3. Some property will be sold to corporations, but then regulations will be put into affect regarding how they are to be used (requiring the logging companies to keep their forests open to the public).

These are all very sensible strategies. However, whether the state or the federal gov. controls things - it's still government, and we're just arguing about the best way for government to do things. Personally, I'm all for state, and, even better, local control. But, that's not private property.

Additionally, this act of selling public property is not nearly as simple as it sounds. You're talking regulations restricting the use of the property, and barring certain people from purchasing certain pieces of property so as to ensure the "right" people get to buy it. There's a political fight if I ever saw one! 20 years down the road, we could easily be bitching and moaning that the government sold the Olympic penninsula to the Sierra Club, and no one's been allowed in since! Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the problem is a lot more difficult than "sell off the property" makes it seem, and I was wondering what my fellow libertarians thought about it. So thanks - I appreciate your answer.

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

Re: Unlisted concerns... (3.00 / 3) (#55)
by winthrop on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:30:08 PM EST

I've seen arguments along this line in a few places and I would really like to understand why it is you distrust/dislike the Greens specifically.

In what way do you feel we're [s]tifling personal freedoms and how are we seeking to concentrate more and more power in the hands of Washington politicians? One of our 10 key values is listed as decentralization; do you think we are not living up to that value?

You mentioned our platform: which pieces of it do you dislike? Or is it the general tone? What would you change?

I don't mean this as a flame; I have actually found myself arguing the side of individual freedom vs. collective responsibility and wish I had better examples.

[ Parent ]

The Greens and Personal Freedom (3.66 / 3) (#57)
by DigitalRover on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 08:17:00 AM EST

I'm distrustful of the Greens becuase many of the party's program points, especially those dealing with economics and "social justice" would require an exponential increase in the amount of legislation and the size and scope of the beauracracy. Whenever you have things like a progressive income tax on the top 1% of income earners (who already pay 30% of the taxes), a public banking system, a "right" to all for housing and healthcare, you are taking money and power away from individuals and putting it into the hands of the collective. While I do understand that they say it would be decentralized, I also understand the reality of social engineering situations such as this: they always turn into a stifling, stagnating beuracratic hole that we pour money down. I am always opposed to any expansion of government power at any level. And this is exactly what this public-ization (is that a word?) is. The government is going in and forcefully seizing control of the industries from the handsof individuals in the name of the common good. Does this remind anyone of the Soviet Union? This, of course, is just one of many points where I disagree with the Greens.

I am, however, all for helping people succeed. This is accomplished on two different fronts. The first, is by eliminating the unnecessary, and over reaching government programs. That of course, is a whole 'nother post. Assuming we did so, vast amounts of capital would remain in the private sector. Money and spending always beget more money and spending allowing larger groups more upward mobility on the economic ladder. Rather than having the Greens so-called Fair Trade, you would have Free Trade in as close to its ideal as possible. Of course, there will always be those who do not benefit, either because of chance circumstance, or personal choice. This is the where individuals may choose to assist those in need. The main point though, is that they are neither being coerced by the state to do so, or having their assets seized so that the state can fritter it away (I wish I had some figures in front of me showing how much money the government wastes in endeavor's like this).

In answer to your last point, I do not believe there is any collective responsibility, except that which you as an individual choose to shoulder. No man or woman should have have this foisted upon him or her forcefully by the government. I invite anyone who disagrees with me to visit Libertarian sites, like the party page (www.lp.org) and the Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org). Read through them all with an open, yet critical mind. You may just learn something.

On an aside, I'm very impressed as to the the tone of the vast majority of these posts. Finally, an intellectual conversation online! <G>

Go Browne!

[ Parent ]
greens (4.00 / 3) (#59)
by winthrop on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 05:05:32 PM EST

Thanks for the well-written reply. Let me a give brief reply to a few of the issues you raised about the greens:

Expansion of government

Whereas the Libertarians are concerned about overly large and overly powerful governments, the Greens are concerned about any overly large concentration of power.

For example, right now many greens believe that elections should be socialized: the government should provide a pool of money for candidates based on some criteria. We are wary of the concentration of this power--the power to decide which candidacies get financed--in the government. But we think it would be better to have it there, where people at least have a shot of influencing it, than in the concentrated hands of private corporations like the self-appointed Commission on Presidential Debates and its sponsors, like Anheiser Busch.

Private Property

In my view, the existence of private property is actually a public construct. After all, private property is meaningless without a goverment to enforce property laws, and the government is supposed to be an instrument of the public.

If you accept this, than it follows that the public should decide what rules we set up for private property. This isn't to say I think we should pool all property and then reapportion it. That would just create a gigantic concentration of power in whoever's doing the reapportioning, not to mention being extremely disruptive and invasive. But it also means that I don't think it's wrong to, say, pass a law capping executive salaries at a multiple of the lowest salary in the company. Why? Because my right to earn that money is a public right and in this case, the public has decided that other people's right to earn that money is more important.

I hate to be so argumentative, though, because there were a lot of things I agreed with in your post. I have watched with some dismay as the traditional left has picked up on the Greens/Nader campaign and seemed to bring some of their general disrespect for personal freedom along with them.

[ Parent ]

RE: greens (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by DigitalRover on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 07:11:14 PM EST

Concentration of Power

There are two big problems with public financing of elections. It's one of those ideas that sounds really great when you first hear it, but dissolves under scrutiny.

The first problem is that you are depriving people of their right to air their own views. Whether you are saying your part with your mouth or your wallet, it is protected by the First Amendment. I whole-heartedly agree their is way to much influence by special-interest groups at the Federal level, but the answer is not more government encroachment into what we choose to do. If you want to eliminate these groups influence and sway over your lives, cut off the source of their influnce: Federal legislation! Would you bother lobbying at the federal level if that level of government was not strong enough to force your views on others? I know I wouldn't. The simple answer in the short term is requiring campaigns to disclose any and all sources of funding from any group. Notice I said group. If an individual wishes to remain anonymous, they should be allowed to (of course, the why is another reason altogether). Yes, I realize this is an expansion of the government, but in the long term, it becomes a moot point.

Secondly, you come back to the issue of concentration of power. Who decides who gets what money? Really, you are just pulling the power from one influential group and handing it to another. Then the question arises over who gets the money. The simple solution is to cut off the gravy train of any public money into campaigns. If you want to run for office, fine. But you need to raise your own money. If you can't raise enough money to make yourself visible (as a Party) you don't belong in the election. Look at the Libertarians, they've raised scads of money through grass roots supporters without any government help. Any Libertarian who donated will tell you that that is real empowerment of the people.

In my view, the existence of private property is actually a public construct. After all, private property is meaningless without a goverment to enforce property laws, and the government is supposed to be an instrument of the public.

I have to whole-heartedly disagree here. The notion of private property has existed much longer than any government. Since the first neanderthal (sp?) beat another over the head with a club when he tried to take his <insert cave-man item here>, the concept of provate property has existed. The government's function when it comes to property is to act as every person's club, so to speak. If you attempt to take my property, I can prevent you from doing so by A) using the law as my club, or B) using a club. Either way, the results for you are negative and I keep my property.

The other mistake you make is assuming that the government, or any entity, should interfere in any sort of private contract or market. The market for workers at any level should remain unhindered and should only answer to the lawas of supply and demand. If a company wants to pay their CEO millions of dollars, that is their right. The CEO is exacting the maximum price possible for his market. Similarly, if a worker is getting paid less than he feels he is worth, he should be free to seek employment elsewhere. If his choices in life have prevented him from moving upward in income, no one else should be punished because of it.

The notion of an income cap is also troubling because it destroys the very roots of the labor market. Why should anyone strive for more and work to build a business, if his earnings will be the same as another who does not exert the same effort. If you take away a man's desire to succeed you destroy him. Pretty soon, you have an apathetic society that is decaying both internally and externally. In addition, you destroy the stream of new capital that comes from wealth creation, and your economy will slip into a permanent depression. We live in times that have never know what it is to be truly poor and deprived. America has some of the richest "poor" people in the world, that do not understand what it truly is to be poor. Put a cap on income (and with it wealth creation) and we'll all know what it is to be poor and wonder where the next meal is coming from. Even if these Green policies were implemented today, we might not see the results for many years, but it would be the jolt that would derail the economy's expansion and rob it of its inertia.

To me, the Greens' economic ideas are some of the scariest because they are very much socialist in nature and are to be avoided at all costs. For some real economic answers check this out.

[ Parent ]
income cap? (2.75 / 4) (#63)
by jmc on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:02:42 PM EST

I'm not sure where you got the idea of an income cap. Although it's true that there are more socialist groups of Greens out there who call for it, it is nowhere to be found in our platform, which is the one Nader is running on. Statements like this are pure FUD, and only help the Republicrats.

Also, if the LP is so against any public financing of elections, why did they sue to be allowed into the debates?

[ Parent ]

RE: income caps (3.00 / 1) (#69)
by DigitalRover on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 12:49:13 PM EST

Before you start trolling, read the rest of the discussion... Winthrop made the example of an income cap for executives that would be a multiple of the wages of the lowest paid employee. That's what I was replying to.

Now, as to the charge of suing to gain entry to the debates, I hadn't heard of anything such thing. However, I really don't have any problems with the party doing so. In fact, if you were really a third party advocate on either side of the ideological debate you would welcome any third party's entry into the national spotlight. That will always help any others attempting to gain the attention of the nation. While I don't agree with the vast majority of Ralph Nader's positions, I do welcome his entry into the spotlight. It aids anybody who wants to show the people that their is an alternative to the mainstream. Their fear of alternative parties is evidenced by their blocking him from even entering the debates as a spectator with a ticket. They release that once the spotlight and the attention of the people is wrenched away, it will mean an end to their power!

If someone were really interested in empowering the citizenry and bringing an alternative to the two mainstream party, they wouldn't engage in petty sniping attacks. Myself, and others here may disagree on issues, but this has been a very starightforward, open discussion. In any discussion like this, both parties are forced to examine their beliefs and motivations. This sort of open debate is necessary any reublic. It breeds any informed and aware citizenry. If you're going to troll, head to usenet.

[ Parent ]
not trolling (3.00 / 1) (#74)
by jmc on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 07:46:51 PM EST

I wasn't trolling... I thought you believed it was part of our platform, and not just just an idea Winthrop was suggesting as an example. I've seen other LP people bring this up as an example of what's so horrible about the Greens. This sort of thing regularly appears as FUD from mainstream journalists in the NYT and Newsweek, so it's best to correct this kind of misunderstanding before it spreads further.

I'm glad Browne sued to get into the debates, because his inclusion probably would have gotten Nader and other 3rd parties in as well. However, how can you be against public financing of campaigns and still request other rights for your candidate? I think the purely libertarian view would be that the debate was entirely kosher... a private company like the debate commission should be able to invite whoever they want to debate, and the TV networks can cover it as they choose. Of course, this is not the view of the Greens... we view the airwaves as public property and think the TV companies have the responsibility to the public to provide real political coverage.

[ Parent ]

Why even libertarians should support Nader! (none / 0) (#66)
by jmc on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:46:29 PM EST

I understand your ideals, but I think you're being irresponsible. Politics in US state and national elections is "winner take all." If you live in a place where a race is very lopsided, it's ok to use your vote as a protest. If you live in a place with a close race (even if you don't this time, you may some day), and you really believe your views are good for America, you have a civic responsibility to vote for whichever candidate has a chance of winning and is closest to your views. Voting for somebody you know will lose is just as irresponsible as not voting... you may claim to be sending a message, but if the message isn't listened to, did you really send it? There are only two cases where it is responsible to vote for a 3rd party in a close election:
  • No matter which of the major candidates wins, it makes NO difference for the issues you support.
  • You can help the party grow to become one of the genuinely contending parties, which will make your views count in the future.

If you vote for a 3rd party candidate for the first reason, you're insisting that you're not hurting anybody by not choosing the lesser of two evils. This is very rarely the case; for example, I think most LP, Reform, and NL people would agree more with the views of the Republicans; most Greens and P&F voters would agree more with the Democrats. However, I think I could justify my vote for Nader on this basis; while Bush's positions on education and social security would hurt millions of people, Gore's foreign policy stance and his contempt for the Bill of Rights could potentially hurt even more. I know you LP supporters don't agree with my points on Bush, but I'd guess you do on Gore?

If you vote to grow a party, you're saying that even though you're hurting some people by choosing not to vote for the lesser of two evils, it's worth it to get your views expressed in the long term. You're sacrificing people now in the hope that eventually your party will save more people in the future. So, morally, you had better have a good long term plan!

Now here's my argument: I think that the Green Party (see our 10 key values or our platform) is the only one of the minority parties with a realistic hope of becoming a 2nd party in this country that can contend in and win major elections. If not for the "winner take all" aspect of this election, most people agree that Nader would probably come in 2nd or a close 3rd (although Bush would win). The LP, NL, Reform, and P&F platforms will always have strong and vocal niche followers, but don't appeal to enough voters to ever break the Republicrat stranglehold on our country. Supporters of these parties should vote Green, because we may eventually be able to break through, just as Republicans broke the Democrat/Whig stranglehold over 100 years ago. If we eventually make it, we will enact voter reforms supported by all 3rd parties, such as instant runoff elections and real campaign finance reform. With instant runoffs or proportional representation, a 3rd party vote would no longer be a wasted vote, and all you niche guys could actually get a voice in government.

Because of our views on election reform, our stance on foreign policy, and our support for ending Prohibition, I think LP people should consider us the lesser of two evils when compared to the Republicrats. That's why Bill Maher is with us, and why other responsible 3rd party supporters should join us as well. Otherwise, none of us will ever have any better option than simply protesting, and "sending messages" that never get heard.

[ Parent ]

RE: Why even libertarians should support Nader (none / 0) (#75)
by DigitalRover on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 02:52:36 PM EST

I myself, and I imagine most other libertarians, would strongly disagree with you. . .

First off, by virtue of their libertarian allegiance, we have a group of people who are very sure of what they believe, and how the government should be run. Yet, here you are asking them to support a candidate and a party that runs counter to the vast majority of their beliefs!? Ain't gonna happen.

Secondly, the libertarian party, when compared with other "third" parties, has a much higher representation in government at all levels:

Total Number of Elected Officials:
  • Libertarian : 170
  • Green Party : 72
  • Reform Party: 7
  • Natural Law: 0
  • Constitution: 1

    Total Number of Candidates in 2000:
  • Libertarian : 1,420
  • Green Party : 244
  • Reform Party: 151
  • Natural Law: 165
  • Constitution: <100

    Amount of Money Raised in 1999
  • Libertarian : $2.7m
  • Green Party : N/A
  • Reform Party: $250,000
  • Natural Law: $713,000
  • Constitution:$406,000

    States with ballot status for president:
  • Libertarian : 50+DC
  • Green Party : 44+DC
  • Reform Party: 48-50
  • Natural Law: 38
  • Constitution:41

    .. and now my personal favorite...
    Registered voters in party's name:
  • Libertarian : 205,029
  • Green Party : 136,285
  • Reform Party: 152,507
  • Natural Law: 64,789
  • Constitution: 29.457

    So you're asking libertarians to compromise their views and throw away all this that they've worked for. I would also like to say (proudly, I might add), all the money that the libertarian party has raised has been without any government help.

    Finally, I quote from Neil Boortz on voting Libertarian:
    Those of you out there who are calling me everything but a Child of God for voting for Harry Brown Ö just take another look at the chart. There IS a political party out there that reflects your desire for individual freedom, lower taxes and limited government. Itís a viable party Ö. certainly more viable than the others. OK Ö so it doesnít have the star power of Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan. Youíre going to vote for star power? Thatís how you want to pick a president? Thatís how you want to forge your future?

    Itís time to show the politicians and the media that there are some thinking voters who are more concerned about their freedoms and liberties than they are impressed with political celebrities. No --- of course the Libertarian Party isnít going to take the presidency. It can send a message, though. It can wake up a few politicians and media types who are laboring under the impression that most Americans have cast aside their love of freedom for a desire for security.

    You vote however you want. Iím voting conviction. Iím voting for principle. I cannot support a Republican party that just last week voted to expand the food stamp (income redistribution) program by one million people. I canít vote for a candidate who canít bring himself to say the word ďlibertyĒ or ďfreedomĒ even once in a 90 minute debate.

    Remember ---- the American Revolution was started by a minority.

    [ Parent ]
  • RE: Why even libertarians should support Nader (none / 0) (#76)
    by jmc on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 02:26:38 AM EST

    I'm not sure you followed my argument... I'm not asking you to change your mind about liking the GP or Nader! I think you should vote for us to serve your own goals. Sure, vote for whoever you want in your local elections... 3rd parties have a much better chance of winning those, especially in cities with runoff elections or other laws beneficial to us.

    The LP has been around much longer than the Greens, so it's not surprising that they've qualified for the ballot in all states and are running many candidates. BTW, we've raised about $5 mil this year, also from small individual contributions. We've also registered a significant number of GP voters, who should show up in the official tallies around the time of the election.

    Anyway, can you EVER imagine the LP drawing 10% in a national election? What about the magic 5% threshold--I'm sure even the LP wouldn't turn down $14 mil of tax dollars if they could get it! I'm sure the GP will get there some time; our platform isn't that different from that which liberal democrats used to successfully run on. Since it's in the best interest of the LP voters for the GP to succeed (or at least grow large enough to weaken the Republicrats), LP voters should vote for Nader in the presidential election. Neil Boortz' quote about poor people eating too much certainly demonstrates that Libertarians have no problem looking out for their own interests!

    [ Parent ]

    We have to burn this village in order to save it! (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Asterisk on Wed Oct 25, 2000 at 06:56:50 AM EST

    What are you on about? How does voting for socialism help dismantle socialism?

    I suppose you'd also have us begin our next mission into space by burrowing a tunnel into the Earth?

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Unlisted concerns... (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Matrix on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:56:40 PM EST

    YO! Note that I never once said I support Nadier. I think he'll probably wind up being better than Gore or Bush, but I think that Brown(e?), the libertarian candidate, would be best.

    "...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
    - Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Unlisted concerns... (2.66 / 3) (#51)
    by KindBud on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:30:01 PM EST

    Government exists to execute the will of interested parties, after all.

    No, it doesn't. Go read the US Constitution. This wrong-headed idea is what gets us into scraps like the DMCA, UCITA, etc.

    just roll a fatty

    [ Parent ]

    cult of personality == reform party. (3.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jmc on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:16:33 PM EST

    The Green Party is centered around our 10 key values, as well as our platform. Nader believes in these values, has endorsed our platform, and we therefore are supporting him as our candidate. Not because we all like seat belts.

    The Reform Party failed to become a viable third (second?) party in this country precisely because they had no such core... they were centered around a tiny, insane billionaire. Their only core value was a desire for "change", so they could never be anything more in the long term than a protest party.

    I'm supporting the Green Party not only because of Nader, but because I believe it will eventually be able to grow into a viable minority party and sometimes actually have a chance to win against the Republicrats in state and national elections.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Unlisted concerns... (4.66 / 3) (#33)
    by kallisti on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 01:48:00 PM EST

    The infamous WTO (also GATT & NAFTA) forces countries to sign a document stating that they will not pass laws "restricting free trade" as decided by a panel of anonymous businessmen. Thereby, reducing a governments right to protect its own people.

    So, if, as an example, the citizens of California pass a law banning the further use of MTBEs, since they are poisoning the groundwater, the company (based in Canada) can (and has) sued under NAFTA.

    And don't claim that no country was forced to sign. Most of the third world lost their native subsistence farming when forced to quit by European invaders. As such, they were given the opportunity to sign or starve. The right to decide what protection measures is thus taken away from the governments, and thus the people, and given to the corporations. The threat of starvation is as effective as a gun.

    I'm not saying, of course, that California is going to starve, but coming up with $970 million dollars could be ugly. Even better, that money is being directed at the Federal level, so California is passing a law that affects the other 49 states as well. This bodes ill for state rights.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Unlisted concerns... (4.66 / 3) (#45)
    by weathervane on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:05:26 PM EST

    Libel Chill Large corporations effectively make it illegal for small concerns to criticize them by blackmailing them with the spectre of unaffordable legal bills. The most obvious example of this is not (exactly) corporate: the Scientologists, who are habitually treated with kid glovesx by the media due to their habit of dropping multimillion dollar libel suits at the drop of a hat. Conrad Black (the Canadian and international media mogul) also comes to mind. Various Anti-Union policies Firing workers for talking about organizing a union is a clear violation of rights of assembly. But it's still legal. Expropriation of Land for Corporate Projects The examples here will naturally be local, but when the province (Nova Scotia) expropriated lots of land and then gave it to a private company to build a toll highway, I thought that was a pretty clear loss of rights to corporations. Similar things happened when the (poor black) neighborhood of Africtown was bulldozed to make room for a shipyard. I'm sure that this sort of thing happens all the time all over the place. Private property rights? Only if you're rich. General Corporate Control of the Legislative Agenda Because after all corporations pay for election campaigns. And thus legislation that harms corporations doesn't have much hope.

    [ Parent ]
    this won't work (3.10 / 10) (#6)
    by madams on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 11:39:01 PM EST

    Hey, they could only get Bush to agree to three debates; do you think he's going to jump at the chance to take questions from some nobody haX0rs?

    Nader and Browne are a more likely bet (Buchanan is iffy, but you know how he loves attention). You might try contacting the Green and Libertarian parties to see if they'd be interested in this. I would advise trying to contact the Parties' press agents, rather than the candidates themselves, if you're serious about moving this forward.

    As far as Gore goes, the best bet would be to gain the ear of his eldest daughter, Karenna. She's pretty hip and might dig the idea, but I think daddy would veto it.

    Mark Adams
    "But pay no attention to anonymous charges, for they are a bad precedent and are not worthy of our age." - Trajan's reply to Pliny the Younger, 112 A.D.

    nobody haX0rs (2.50 / 2) (#16)
    by codemonkey_uk on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:43:26 AM EST

    I don't know the stats, but I bet quoting the number of hits per day, and number of registed users would help you chances. Especially if you point out that the audiance is specifically intelegent and politically aware.
    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]
    Re: nobody haX0rs (3.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Delirium on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 01:01:55 PM EST

    I bet quoting the number of hits per day, and number of registed users would help you chances It'd be more likely to hurt your chances. K5 has what...not more than 10,000 registered users? Why would a website with such a minute number of readers interest a candidate who's used to debates watched by millions?

    I think slashdot would have a better chance of pulling this off than k5, and even for them it'd be a longshot...

    [ Parent ]

    Re: nobody haX0rs (3.00 / 2) (#37)
    by speek on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:48:56 PM EST

    I agree - but you don't see Slashdot trying to. Heck, you don't see interesting stories on Slashdot anymore. The last 4-5 months have been boring there.

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

    Re: nobody haX0rs (3.66 / 3) (#40)
    by marisa on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:18:29 PM EST

    we would have a much better chance if we described ourselves as a large group of undecided women voters
    as it is, we're just not thought of as any sort of deciding vote, and i think those are the groups that candidates are bending over for, certainly in the case of bore and gush.

    kuro5hin.org... women's issues from the trenches? gag.
    "Physics is not a religion. If it were,
    we'd have a much easier time raising money."
    [ Parent ]

    true, we might not get personalized answers (3.33 / 3) (#17)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:17:18 AM EST

    I doubt that either of the demopublicans would take the time to answer our questions, but I'd be willing to wager that if the questions were reasonable and if presented to the campaigns that at least some one on staff would offer the 'official' view of the two major candidates.

    The same would likely hold true for the third-party candidates, although I would think they would be much more likely to answer in person.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: true, we might not get personalized answers (2.50 / 2) (#23)
    by Rand Race on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:14:58 AM EST

    But we can get the official line anywhere. I want answers to the hard questions that nobody is asking. Like how can either of these men stand up and be taken credibly on their hard-nosed anti-drug stances when they both had 'youthfull indescretions' with illicit drugs and both crow about 'personal responsibility' (apparently we are not allowed the personal responsibility to chose what we ingest). Or why exactly George Bush Jr. did not put in one single day of duty in the last two years of his preferentialy gained position in the Air National Gaurd (story here)? Or why Gore seems to value poll results over integrity... I could go on for days.

    The total lack of coverage for third parties and the pandering questions of the debates lead me to believe that the media has finaly completely become an arm of the establishment.

    "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: true, we might not get personalized answers (3.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:01:44 PM EST

    The total lack of coverage for third parties and the pandering questions of the debates lead me to believe that the media has finaly completely become an arm of the establishment.

    When was this ever not the case?

    I will concede that this has gotten worse in the last few years, but media has almost always been corporate driven. Given that corporations virtually own washington is it really any surprise that corporations will drive the policies of the US toward favorable (to them) postitions?

    have a day,


    [ Parent ]

    Re: true, we might not get personalized answers (1.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Kaa on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:53:27 PM EST

    Oh, these are easy questions.

    Q: Like how can either of these men stand up and be taken credibly on their hard-nosed anti-drug stances

    A: Is there *anybody* who can be taken credibly on a hard anti-drug stance? The War on Drugs is being run for a variety of reasons, none of the being the government's concern for what substances happened to get into my bloodstream.

    Q: why exactly George Bush Jr. did not put in one single day of duty

    A: Because he had better things to do

    Q: hy Gore seems to value poll results over integrity...

    A: Because they are more important to him.

    Kaa's Law: In any sufficiently large group of people most are idiots.

    [ Parent ]
    A bit late, but... (1.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Rand Race on Mon Oct 30, 2000 at 04:28:24 PM EST

    I just heard a comment that illustrates why I want these questions asked:

    (Interviewer): Senator, do you really believe, as you said, that your opponent sodomizes orangutangs?

    (Senator): Of course not, I just wanted to hear him deny it.

    "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: this won't work (1.50 / 2) (#18)
    by bmetzler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:34:37 AM EST

    Hey, they could only get Bush to agree to three debates;

    I think you mean that they could only get Gore to agree to 3 debates. I don't think you could get Gore to answers questions in an online forum anyways. He couldn't roll his eyes and sigh.

    www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: this won't work (3.66 / 3) (#22)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:12:09 AM EST

    Brent was mistaken.

    I think you mean that they could only get Gore to agree to 3 debates.

    If one takes a gander at this CNN article, one finds respective Gore and Bush positions:

    Bush had originally agreed to just one commission debate and had pushed for more informal debates that would have been aired on individual networks, one on CNN and another on NBC. Gore had insisted on adhering to the commission's timetable and proposal for three debates, which will be carried by all the networks and reach a larger audience.

    The election hasn't even been held and the revisionism has begun.

    Then again, it's not like I've never misremembered a factoid.



    [ Parent ]

    Re: this won't work (4.00 / 2) (#43)
    by bmetzler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:36:41 PM EST

    Bush had originally agreed to just (1)one commission debate and had pushed for more informal debates that would have been aired on individual networks, (2)one on CNN and (3)another on NBC.

    Count them, that's 3, yes 3 debates. And who wouldn't agree to them? Yeah, I think you guessed.

    Meanwhile, the Great Bipartisian Commission won't allow the 3rd party candidates to take part in the debate. Some democracy America has, eh?

    Anyways, finally in order to just give the Americans voters some forum to voice the issues, Bush allowed Gore to have his way like a spoiled brat. You didn't see Gore go even half way, did you? Sure, have 3 commission debates, but then have 2 network debates also. But then, Gore wouldn't want the voters to be too informed.

    www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
    [ Parent ]
    I think you missed the point. (2.33 / 3) (#44)
    by Anonymous 242 on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:05:09 PM EST

    Al Gore wanted three debates broadcast on network television.

    George Bush wanted one debate broadcast on network television, one on a single network and one on cable.

    Based on this, which candidate appears to be in favor of restricting information?

    But if you would have researched the issue, George Bush also didn't want to have actual debates. Only one of his intended confrontations would have been a true debate. The other incidents would have been more relaxed meetings and only broadcast to a limited audience.

    Therefore, it is correct to say that George Bush was the one refusing to meet for three debates. If you don't believe me, go back and read the CNN article I linked to and some of the related articles that the CNN article links to. Its somewhat obvious that George Bush is the one not wanting to meet to have three debates. He wanted to have three encounters, one of which was a debate.

    Squabbling about pedantry aside,

    Meanwhile, the Great Bipartisian Commission won't allow the 3rd party candidates to take part in the debate. Some democracy America has, eh?

    This is all too true. The person I'm going to vote for wasn't in either of the already broadcast debates.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: I think you missed the point. (3.50 / 2) (#47)
    by bmetzler on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 04:56:13 PM EST

    Its somewhat obvious that George Bush is the one not wanting to meet to have three debates. He wanted to have three encounters, one of which was a debate.

    I think Bush had a good idea. Instead of trying to have 3 formal 'debates', that don't do much to actually appeal to the voters, why not meet together in a relaxed setting and just chat? Talk about the issues in a non-agressive, non-defensive manner.

    I think Gore was wrong to refuse the schedule. And even more wrong to try to accuse Bush of not wanting to debate.

    www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
    [ Parent ]
    What we really need (3.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Anonymous 242 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:44:48 AM EST

    Hey Brent,

    What I, personally, would really like to to scrap the current system of inconsequential debates altogether and put together something of substance for voters to make their minds on. In a country such as the US where the populace isn't informed on most issues (even ones that are claimed to be important) a hour or two of debate tells people exactly diddley-squat.

    What I would like to see is for each candidate to get three half hour or hour infomercial spots where they detail (1) their budget proposal, (2) foreign affairs, and (3) their character. The content of these spots should regulated so that they can only be informative about the candidate that creates them. The week following the informercials after their is time for pundits and analyts to critique and criticise and demythologize the informercials, then a series of debates (somrwhere between five and ten) should take place, with each debate centering on a specific issue.

    In a democracy, the government ought to work hard to make it easy for the average citizen to become well informed.

    And I also think that any party that polls > 5% in > 25 states or is receiving federal matching funds should allowed to participate in the process.

    Unfortunately, few parties would be willing to go through such a gauntlet of exposure. Most politicians don't want the populace to really know where they stand.

    I also support mandatory disclosure of all donations to political causes.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: this won't work (3.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Quark on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:51:20 PM EST

    On the other hand, if you get Nader, Brown and Buchanan to agree to do it, you've got some leverage on Gore and Bush as well. You might have to kiss some a$$ to get their attention, but once you've got it, you're in business. You just might want to consider to present Kuro5hin as a website dedicated to providing the highly educated techie with discussion material blah, blah, you know, cream it up a little.

    So much bandwidth, so little time...
    [ Parent ]
    THIRD-PARTY debates (none / 0) (#70)
    by CentrX on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 05:59:04 PM EST

    This article is about doing third-party debates, which wouldn't include Gore or Bush. The point is they've already done debates so we already know what they think, and we don't like it. The third-party candidates were excluded from the debates, so it would be a good idea to have a nice forum here like this one for them to express their opinions on questions asked by us.
    -- "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson
    [ Parent ]
    Excellent idea. (3.20 / 5) (#15)
    by vinay on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:40:19 AM EST

    This is a great idea. With the help of Rusty, this would be an excellent way to get some of the K5 readership's concerns aired and discussed.

    Perhaps a good way to do it would be to have reader's control the question choosing (not directly, but by vote and such), and Rusty could handle getting the questions to the candidates (that would insure that no foul play occurs). Also, the reader working a particular interview, would be responsible for initially contacting his/her respective campaign.

    note: I'd be interested in helping!



    Re: Excellent idea. (4.00 / 2) (#20)
    by speek on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:54:41 AM EST

    I absolutely think the questions sent should be determined by their ratings from K5 users. I also would prefer Rusty do the contacting and gathering of answers, but I'm willing to do it if he doesn't want to.

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

    How do we avoid @ss-kissing Questions? (3.44 / 9) (#19)
    by weathervane on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:52:22 AM EST

    Let's assume that some Gore staffer who reads Kuro5hin has decided that this might be a good chance to get some of the Geek vote, and manages to persuade the Big Guy to answer his questions. How do we avoid a contentless love-in, with 'questions' like "How do you manage to make your hairstyle so wonderful and your smile so reflective?", or "How do you cope with the constant nasty vicious personal attacks from a knucle draggin moron like 'Pappy's Boy' Bush?".

    I don't think this is a theoretical problem, we see this softball stuff all the time with 'professional journalists' like Barbara Walters and Larry King. It's only reasonable to assume that a staffer would be even less inclined to ask tough but important questions.

    But given K5's relatively low profile, how would anyone but a staffer who promised to ask friendly questions ever get a candidate (or any other potential interviewee) to come on K5 in the first place? Nobody wants to be subjected to a "When did you stop beating your mother?" Mike Wallace interview either.

    For reasons like this, I'm not so sure that a K5 interview section is all that good an idea. Slashdot trades on its recognizability among the geek elite, and it's own staff ask the questions. If it's a staffer who doesn't even identify themselves as a staffer asking the questions, I might as well just read the press release.

    Not a problem/What 'Slashdot-style' interview mean (4.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Parity on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:03:14 PM EST

    The way a slashdot-style interview works, is that the interviewees are described in one article, and everyone asks questions and moderates questions up and down; then, the staff of the website pick the top 10 question, editorially removing anything that got moderated up as 'Funny' or whatever and isn't really appropriate. So, there is a phase in there where Rusty or someone would pick out the best questions to forward to the candidates. This should be the highest rated question, minus anything that got put high inappropriately. (ie, 'jokes', any 'zingers' that are massively biased, etc.). Of course, because of the non-real-time nature of the interview, the 'answers' from candidates would come back reading like press releases, so I'm not sure of the worth of it on that count. (Slashdot usually gives the interviewee the questions on Tuesday evening and posts the answers on Friday. Question session starts Monday morning and ends on Tuesday afternoon.)

    Parity None

    [ Parent ]
    Re: How do we avoid @ss-kissing Questions? (4.00 / 1) (#36)
    by speek on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:46:18 PM EST

    Comment ratings determines which questions get sent. So suck-up questions probably won't get voted up much.

    Regarding how trustworthiness of the interviewer - that's a tough one. If the person submitting the story is responsible for arranging the delivery of questions and collation of the answers for submission to K5, who's to say and verify they actually did get answers from the purported interviewee?

    So yes, either Rusty does it, and probably we trust him, or some other verification of authenticity must be provided.

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

    I'll try (5.00 / 6) (#48)
    by rusty on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:23:42 PM EST

    Well, obviously everyone wants this to happen, so I'll do my best. I can't guarantee any of them will agree to answer our questions, but if any do, we'll go ahead. If more than one candidate does, well, everyone's invited.

    I will try to contact the press relations folks for Gore, Bush, Nader, and Browne. Are there any others I'm leaving out? Unlike the networks, I'd rather include *all* the candidates, not just the media-endorsed ones.

    Not the real rusty

    Re: I'll try (2.66 / 3) (#52)
    by pete on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:53:04 PM EST

    Well, the others that show up in the polls are Howard Phillips and John Hagelin, both of whom were in the CSPAN third parties debate with Harry Browne.

    How many registered users are you up to these days? Honestly, I'm not sure how many of the candidates will go for it, but it's certainly worth a shot. People have raised good points about candidates refusing to answer questions that are too hard.


    [ Parent ]
    Buchanan (2.66 / 3) (#60)
    by conio on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 06:01:45 PM EST

    Don't forget Pat Buchanan

    [ Parent ]
    Give it a try, but... (3.00 / 1) (#67)
    by skim123 on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 02:21:06 AM EST

    Not to be a downer, or anything, but what do you think the chance of any of these contenders seriously considering such an option? I would assume they would weigh the following consideration: how much time will it take to how many potential voters will I reach... That being said, let me ask this: "How many unique visitors does K5 do in a given month?"

    Anywho, your effort is appreciated, and I do hope these candidates decide that it is, indeed, worth their time to discuss/debate on a site like k5...

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum

    [ Parent ]
    it would attract interest (3.00 / 1) (#72)
    by speek on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 08:24:15 PM EST

    Well, if Nader, Browne, and Buchanan actually agreed, I'm sure Slashdot would have a story on it, linking to K5. CNN and the NYTimes might also do write-ups on it. So, it's entirely likely that viewers other than K5 members would see the questions, answers and the resulting comments.

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

    but now... (3.00 / 1) (#77)
    by rusty on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 05:07:46 AM EST

    But now we have Slashdot and the Washington Post both doing online forums too. Hell, I'll still try.

    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    new development (2.00 / 1) (#78)
    by speek on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 09:33:19 AM EST

    I appreciate your efforts in this. I would not have been upset at all if you decided it wasn't worth your time - especially now that Slashdot is doing it.

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

    Third-party candidates (3.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CentrX on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 06:49:41 PM EST

    Ralph Nader (http://www.votenader.org) of the Green Party (http://www.greenparty.org)

    Harry Brown (http://www.harrybrowne.org) of the Libertarian Party (http://www.lp.org)

    John Hagelin (http://www.hagelin.org) of the Natural Law Party (http://www.natural-law.org)

    Pat Buchanan (http://www.gopatgo2000.com) of the Reform Party (http://www.reform-party-usa.org)

    David McReynolds (http://votesocialist.org) of the Socialist Party (http://sp-usa.org)

    -- "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson
    [ Parent ]

    The future (3.00 / 4) (#50)
    by masloki on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:14:43 PM EST

    I have been following the press coverage, print and net as best as I can. I have heard quite a bit about what you will do as soon as you can once you get into office. And I will admit a lot of the changes sound good to some degree or another. There is one thing I haven't heard too much about.

    I want to know what changes you are hoping to implement to secure our future. What will you do to make America a better place in 10, 15, 25 or more years and better than all other countries? Every country out there is trying to be the best country in their way; where are we headed long term?

    Tee hee (none / 0) (#73)
    by skim123 on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 03:11:03 AM EST

    What will you do to make America a better place in 10, 15, 25 or more years and better than all other countries? Every country out there is trying to be the best country in their way; where are we headed long term?

    Sounds like you are an HR director, or someone who is use to conducting interviews! :-) "Excuse me, Mr. Bush, but what initiatives would you like to see the US spearhead over the next four years?"

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum

    [ Parent ]
    Interview or Debate? (4.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Chris Andreasen on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:02:21 PM EST

    Slashdot-style works well for interviews, but do we want an interview or a debate? I would think just sending off questions without allowing the debaters to comment on the other debaters' comments will lead to them giving us a lot of bland, rehashed answers.
    What if we instead had a discussion which was read-only to everyone but the moderator (who simply posts the questions that were modded-up in a previous discussion) and debaters, the questions were posed and the debaters would tackle them as if they were normal posters. Perhaps people with high mojo could put in comments, too? This would allow at least some discussion without having people of a lesser maturity screaming out "[candidate] sux". Or maybe we can trust k5's community to mature enough to allow anyone to post? (but, then again, this'll certainly attract some trolls from the other site)
    Or maybe only debaters and high-mojo'ed people can post on the first day, then anyone can post after that (somehow I doubt the candidates will bother sticking around after that first round). In any case, this will probably mean adding some code to scoop (sorry, rusty).
    Is public worship then, a sin,
    That for devotions paid to Bacchus
    The lictors dare to run us in,
    and resolutely thump and whack us?

    third party presidential debate on Sept. 28 (2.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Anon6731 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:45:06 PM EST

    I have placed a link on PhDepot.com to Harry Browne's campaign speeches, and he also participated in a third party presidential debate on Sept. 28, 2000. Yet I cannot find the replay on CSPAN anywhere. Does anyone have a link?

    All the candidates were invited to that presidential debate, but Nader, Buchanan, Gore and Bush declined. Strange that Nader and Buchanan declined. What were they afraid of ? (I also know what Bore/Gush were afraid of).

    Third party debate | 79 comments (75 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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