This story may seem a bit US-centric at first glance (amen!) but there is a useful principle here that seemingly a lot of kuro5hin readers could do well to take to heart.
I've seen a lot of (often poorly written, unoriginal) political stories from both sides of the spectrum lately (including yours). I can only speculate that, this being an election year in the USA, k5 readers have political/philisophical issues on their minds, thus the great temptation to inject their opinions and latest pet peeves into public view. It is very easy to whip up a quick story, clothe it under a thin guise of objectivity, and add a link or two for credibility. (Have I just described journalism as we know it? :-) )
The Futility of It All
Speaking of political and philisophical issues here, have you ever known anyone's mind to be changed by persuasive information they read in a newsgroup, weblog, or ANY medium for that matter? Trying to persuade people by means writing opinionated stories is utterly futile. Why? Because it has no effect on a person's mind. He may agree or disagree with you, but he always does so becasuse he was already so inclined.
Not surprisingly, this is contrary to what the Great Web Visionaries of yore hade to say about the impact of the Internet on politics. In theory, the 'net was supposed to revolutionize politics by massive increases in voter awareness and ease of participation. Such a claim could just as easily have been made about the radio, the TV, or the newspaper. It was easy to see that, no matter what the medium, neither content providers and content consumers are truly objective; and that people who do not participate in the political process do so out of willful apathy, not because it is hard for them to find the information they need.
Before You Submit: Stop, Drop and Roll....er, something
K5 does have sections for both political stories and overt rants; but this is primarily a discussion site, not a tournament grounds for pointless arguing. Furthermore, this is a site primarily by and for technically-oriented people, and these other "extraneous" topics -- including politics -- are most interesting where they relate to technology. Encryption is one good example of this. Bottom line: before you submit your story, ask yourself:
Am I bringing anything fundamentally new to the discussion? If not, you are merely generating a boring rehash of prior debate. It's like playing a "Life" simulation using the same configuration over and over again.
Am I attempting to persuade people to my beliefs? Nothing wrong with that, but your efforts will be ineffective and perhaps counterproductive if you waste them on a rhetoric-filled opinion piece and/or try to make it look as though you are being objective. As someone once said, this is the age of the engineer, not the pampleteer. Get involved locally and apply your ideas practically.
Does anyone here really care about the issue? If no one is really aware of the subject or the issues, it might be your task to show us why we should care; but more often than not, nobody cares because they've already decided not to.
When Did Discrimination Become a Bad Word?
I'm not surprised that these stories have been written and submitted, but I am surprised that many of them were voted to the front page. Most of them brought nothing new to the discussion of subjects they concerned. The title of this paragraph has nothing to do with racism or sexism; it used to be said of a man, when he knew how to pick out the good and chuck the bad, that he was Discriminating. If kuro5hin is to have a high standard of quality in its stories and discussions, the voters must be more discriminating.
To put it in a nutshell, then, I humbly suggest that users here adopt a critical stance toward politically opinionated pieces. It is not because I can't stand flame wars or debates, and it is not because I disagreed with some of the opinions expressed here; but if there's one thing I can't abide, it's half-baked, undistinguished and uncreative slipshod writing, gudgeoned into a format that will make it palatabe to an audience that cares about exploring NEW ideas, and viewing familiar subjects from a new perspective.
(Maybe you don't think that accurately describes kuro5hin. Well, it did, before the Quadrennial Event rolled around. It was the chief impression I got about k5 when I signed up awhile back, and it was what interested me in the site.)
It doesn't require a lot of talent, but it does require a little thoughtfulness, consideration and discrimination.