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Deadline For Data.gov Arrives, and Delivers

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the set-my-data-free dept.

Government 81

inKubus writes "According to a story carried by AP, as part of President Barack Obama's 'Open Government Directive,' the 24 major departments and agencies that make up the executive branch of the federal government had until Friday to release at least three 'high-value' data sets. Over 300 new data sets have been released on data.gov. There's a lot of interesting stuff on there and more to come." One of the departments required to release data is the office of the US Trade Representative. Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA negotiating drafts?

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81 comments

Publishing the ACTA negotiations (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871550)

Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA negotiating drafts

Meanwhile, back in reality...

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872004)

A lot of Westerners don't realize this, but back in the Soviet Union we had much more access to proposed legislation than we do today in America.

In the mid-1980s, and especially after glasnost was introduced, a request could be made to Moscow for the text of any proposed legislation set to be approved. Not only would it be shipped to you, anywhere in the Soviet Union, free of charge, but it would be done extremely quickly. You could make your request on a Monday, and often have the documents in your hand that Friday, or at worst by the following Monday.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872182)

And be picked up at home by a friendly KGB agent on Tuesday.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872590)

That is funny.

    Article 54. Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed inviolability of the person. No one may be arrested except by a court decision or on the warrant of a procurator.

    Article 55. Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed inviolability of the home. No one may, without lawful grounds, enter a home against the will of those residing in it.

    Article 56. The privacy of citizens, and of their correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications is protected by law.

    Article 57. Respect for the individual and protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens are the duty of all state bodies, public organisations, and officials.
    Citizens of the USSR have the right to protection by the courts against encroachments on their honour and reputation, life and health, and personal freedom and property.

    Article 58. Citizens of the USSR have the right to lodge a complaint against the actions of officials, state bodies and public bodies. Complaints shall be examined according to the procedure and within the time-limit established by law.
    Actions by officials that contravene the law or exceed their powers, and infringe the rights of citizens, may be appealed against in a court in the manner prescribed by law.
    Citizens of the USSR have the right to compensation for damage resulting from unlawful actions by state organisations and public organisations, or by officials in the performance of their duties.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872024)

To be fair, doing negotiations behind closed doors lets you set aside a lot of the political posturing. That's probably why they aren't making the ACTA stuff public.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (2, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872080)

Want to buy a bridge?

The portions that have been leaked (and not denied) do not confirm that as the reason. Citizen outrage appears more likely.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872326)

You mean all the political uproar if the public found out whats actually going to be in ACTA?
Hell the public tried to view the ACTA conversations in Mexico earlier in the week, the industry people were confused and angry the public was there and when one person tried to post comments on twitter about what was happening, she was escorted out by security. They were also originally going to force everyone to sign an NDA until too much uproar caused them to abandon that though.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (2, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872386)

According to what I've read, that is exactly why it's behind closed doors. Apparently the first thing that happens is each country makes ridiculous claims, and they ask for ridiculous deals, and then they slowly work their way back to reality. If it was all in the public eye, everything would be nice and politically correct, but they would never agree or disagree on anything for fear of exposure and they would never get to the guts of the treaty in the public eye. Really disingenuous that they are only inviting those pushing for the treaty and not those that are against such legislation. Makes the discussion and perspective rather one sided.

Does anyone know if this will be an 'executive' treaty, or one that will have to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate? I can't imagine that regardless of what goes behind closed doors, the voting public will be too kind to any politician that sells it's citizens down the river.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872620)

Another question. What if the premise of this treaty is fundamentally against the rights stated in the constitution? Could a treaty be ruled as invalid by the legislature? The whole bit about requiring ISP's to hand over user information without a warrant or even suspicion of violating IP, and allowing border guards to determine whether something is in violation of copyright even without a complaint being filed.

These all go against the basic premise of presumption of innocence, and requires no burden of proof. This is a basic tenant of our law.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872844)

Could a treaty be ruled as invalid by the legislature?

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution requires 2/3 of the Senate to consent to any treaty. Of course, if you look at the Senate vote on the DMCA...

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872948)

I mean after the fact. Lets say that the senate signs off on the treaty, could it later be challenged on legal grounds?

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873254)

I'm not sure that we've ever revoked a treaty; it's easier to break them. Ask the Indians.

Apparently the Supreme Court can invalidate [justia.com] all or part of a treaty if it's blatantly unconstitutional, but it seems that's about it.

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873662)

I found the end of your link to be the most interesting piece of the whole document:

"In brief, the fact that all the foreign relations power is vested in the National Government and that no formal restriction is imposed on the treaty-making power in the international context352 leaves little room for the notion of a limited treaty-making power with regard to the reserved rights of the States or in regard to the choice of matters concerning which the Federal Government may treat with other nations; protected individual rights appear to be sheltered by specific constitutional guarantees from the domestic effects of treaties, and the separation of powers at the federal level may require legislative action to give municipal effect to international agreements."

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874882)

I found the end of your link to be the most interesting piece of the whole document:

"In brief, the fact that all the foreign relations power is vested in the National Government and that no formal restriction is imposed on the treaty-making power in the international context352 leaves little room for the notion of a limited treaty-making power with regard to the reserved rights of the States or in regard to the choice of matters concerning which the Federal Government may treat with other nations; protected individual rights appear to be sheltered by specific constitutional guarantees from the domestic effects of treaties, and the separation of powers at the federal level may require legislative action to give municipal effect to international agreements."

I read that as "the executive can agree to whatever it wants in a treaty, but it can't enforce any part of it that violates the constitution"

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

bhiestand (157373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30876668)

I've never seen a solid challenge to this. The DEA and all the drug control laws are legally based on the fact that we have to do it to honor a treaty... which we wrote and proposed. Otherwise you'd need some sort of constitutional amendment to prohibit citizens from imbibing popular drugs, wouldn't you?

Re:Publishing the ACTA negotiations (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885516)

I was looking recently and realized that the war on drugs could have easily paid for universal health care. Who's the socialists now?

I saw this on CSpan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871704)

I saw this on C-Span, when the Democrats where televising the Health Care Bill debates. LOL. Open Government. ROFFFFFFL.

I'm democratizing data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871714)

"We're democratizing data," White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said Thursday in an interview.

"Your Honor, I'm not a hacker, I broke in and made those secret documents public to help the government in democratizing data. Fuck, I do all this fine work completely free of charge and now you want to charge me?! WTF kind of country is this?! No, I will not shut up, I'm about to open a can of Chuck Norris on your ass, beotch!!"

We gave US the Beatles and all we got was data.gov (3, Interesting)

theodp (442580) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871726)

Re:We gave US the Beatles and all we got was data. (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871830)

Hey. I just want you to know...

The Transportation Department will post ratings for 2,400 lines of tires for consumer safety based on tire tread wear, traction performance and temperature resistance. The Labor Department will release the names of 80,000 workplaces where injuries and illness have occurred over the past 10 years.

How is this NOT valuable? Access to this information will change the world! We will FINALLY have government information on the tread wear of tires! SWEET! You can keep your musical revolution, I'm going to bask in the glory of TIRE TREAD DATA.

Re:We gave US the Beatles and all we got was data. (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872036)

I thought they sold to Michael Jackson? And agin re-sold? I just started hearing new covers of Beatles songs in otherwise unremarkable adverts.

Anyway, just buy them back like you did my beloved TR3's. And please repatriate Benny Hill as well.

Re:We gave US the Beatles and all we got was data. (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872566)

We gave the US the Beatles and all we got back was this lousy data.gov site.

And the Beatles' music was based on American blues, pop, folk, R&B and rock'n'roll, so I'd say we're just getting back what was ours to begin with, albeit with poncy Brit accents and funny hairdos.

Re:We gave US the Beatles and all we got was data. (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30875484)

And...now I guess you expect somebody to list all the influences on blues, pop, folk, R&B and rock'n'roll from "outside" of US?

Re:We gave US the Beatles and all we got was data. (1)

epine (68316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30883484)

Hey baby, how's your baby? Fair exchange, in my books.

From Hans Rosling: Let my dataset change your mindset [ted.com]

And it is my task, on behalf of the rest of the world, to convey a thank to the U.S. taxpayers, for Demographic Health Survey. Many are not aware of -- no this is not a joke. This is very serious. It is due to USA's continuous sponsoring during 25 years of the very good methodology for measuring child mortality that we have a grasp of what's happening in the world. And it is U.S. government at its best, without advocacy, providing facts, that it's useful for the society. And providing data free of charge, on the internet, for the world to use. Thank you very much.

Quite in the opposite of the World Bank [who rock] it's just that we would like to upgrade our international agencies to deal with the world in a modern way, as we do. And when it comes to free data and transparency, United States of America is one of the best. And that doesn't come easy from the mouth of a Swedish public health professor.

Chinese hackers are in deep trouble (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871792)

When their bosses find out the information they have spent months hacking for is on data.gov.

Re:Chinese hackers are in deep trouble (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871864)

It's more like: the data that we stole doesn't match up with the data.gov results - Obama's government falsified its data! The places where they lied will provide telling insight about their psychology, and will especially highlight what they feel is vulnerable and needs to be hidden. Now, our stolen data is twice as valuable! Good work comrade, here's an Audi A6 and the keys to an apartment on the outer ring road.

Re:Chinese hackers are in deep trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871994)

Is the stuff worth sending hackers in for going to be posted on this site? Maybe, but probably not until after the information is too stale to make it worth the extra effort Of course, there's probably a TON of information for folks that can make a living connecting dots. As for the falsified data, it's just a likely that anything not quite right will be more the secrets of long term civil service types doing CYA on a something they did themselves back when Reagan was president.

Re:Chinese hackers are in deep trouble (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872002)

>.> Why did that post as an AC?

Re:Chinese hackers are in deep trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872076)

Then who was phone?

Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA negoti (4, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871800)

Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA negotiating drafts?

Wouldn't it be nice if they televised the entire health care bill debates on C-SPAN as they said they were going to?

Transparency my ass.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871868)

Transparency my ass.

Indeed. Although I can't really say that anyone really feels nostalgic for the "transparency" of the Bush administration either.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871902)

The Bush Admin was transparent. Many people could see right through their plans.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871946)

Republicans hide the truth, Democrats just flat out lie. It always amazes me to watch each new generation hit their 20s and think 1 party is going to fix all the evil of the other... only to find out 8 years later they had the same plan all along. Tax the fuck out of you and hold onto power. They have no other goal.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872104)

Republicans hide the truth, Democrats just flat out lie. It always amazes me to watch each new generation hit their 20s and think 1 party is going to fix all the evil of the other... only to find out 8 years later they had the same plan all along. Tax the fuck out of you and hold onto power. They have no other goal.

Amen to that..........I 'd like to use that statement as a signature in other forums, thank you.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872336)

Tax the fuck out of you and hold onto power. They have no other goal.

They are failing -- people are still having babies. And politicians seldom electrocute themselves.

One difference (5, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872492)

Republicans tax poor people by eliminating social services and giving tax breaks to the people who don't need them. Democrats tax rich people to pay for social services for poor people.

This was going alright - both parties have interests in the society, and there was a balance of power. Then the conservatives started losing ground, and had a miraculous conversion. Turns out there are 40 million Americans who will vote against their own interests at the drop of a hat, if you'll call yourself an evangelical. You may have to do a lot of embarrassing things - pretend you'll overturn Roe v. Wade, praise hopeless idiots like Pat Robertson, pretend that gay people are "evil", and so on. Corporations will give you the money to promote yourself this way, to defeat working class (or "union") money, in exchange for tax cuts at any cost, even during wars.

All of this is perfectly illustrated by the last decade of John McCain. If his VP running mate hadn't been so shockingly stupid, he would have given Obama a run for his money.

Sorry for the nuanced approach. I know it's terribly unpatriotic.

Re:One difference (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872574)

Democrats tax rich people to pay for social services for poor people.

So so naive.

Re:One difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872754)

It's sometimes naive to think so, and it's sometimes naive not to think so. Yes, I mean it. Get off your high horse, and really think about it for a few minutes.

Re:One difference (2)

bkeahl (1688280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874336)

Republicans tax poor people by eliminating social services? Since when is NOT gifting charity to the recipients suddenly a tax? By what right should the government gift them anything while forcing others to pay for it? You really call the decision to discontinue charity as a tax? "... giving tax breaks to the people who don't need them ..." - Spoken like a true Marxist. Need as defined by who? What the heck does need have to do with it? Just because someone manages to acquire, without committing a crime, more than another person they should be forced to give it up? By what right should the government take from one person and give to another when no theft or other crime has been committed? "Democrats tax rich people to pay for social services for poor people." - just plain wrong. Democrats tax anyone who makes anything and wastes most of it on operating the government, sending a small percentage of the budgeted money to the recipients. They just do it under the "from those who have more than they need to those who don't" argument. I'll ask again, how do you decide when someone has more than they "need"? Who's the determiner? Why should those people be punished for success by having the fruits of their efforts taken from them?

Re:One difference (2, Informative)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30875234)

Republicans tax poor people by eliminating social services? Since when is NOT gifting charity to the recipients suddenly a tax? By what right should the government gift them anything while forcing others to pay for it? You really call the decision to discontinue charity as a tax?

Social services are not gifts or charity. They are the shared benefits of civilization and infrastructure, and a recognition that the market does not have just solutions for every situation.

Spoken like a true Marxist. Need as defined by who? What the heck does need have to do with it? Just because someone manages to acquire, without committing a crime, more than another person they should be forced to give it up? By what right should the government take from one person and give to another when no theft or other crime has been committed?

The infrastructure and shared wealth of a society provides opportunity for success. Liberia is not home to any technology firms because it lacks the infrastructure to support one. Infrastructure is funded by public money. Therefore, if you want to continue to have a civilization, you should pay taxes. How much from whom is certainly a valid debate, but one it seems you wouldn't be capable of having.

Democrats tax anyone who makes anything and wastes most of it on operating the government, sending a small percentage of the budgeted money to the recipients.

On this we can sort of agree. Much of the money in the Federal budget is wasted on the military and the loans we have to pay off from previous wars. I say wasted, because although it provides jobs, the end result isn't really an investment. You can't do anything with a laser guided missile after you've paid millions of dollars for it, except use it to kill someone, or sell it to someone you'll probably have to disarm down the road.

They just do it under the "from those who have more than they need to those who don't" argument. I'll ask again, how do you decide when someone has more than they "need"? Who's the determiner? Why should those people be punished for success by having the fruits of their efforts taken from them?

Progressive tax rates are determined by the congress, who are elected by us. They are adjusted every year for inflation, and are based on the idea that taking 1/3 of someone's check who makes $250,000 a year is less damaging than taking 1/3 of someone's check who makes $25,000 per year.

If you think seeing a tax rate increase from 28% to 31% for income above $80k is punishment, or from 31% to 36% for income above $170k, or from 36% to 39.6% for income above $370k... well, forgive me for saying you're just being a bitch. Love it or leave it, right?

Incidentally, current tax rates are much lower. Those are the "Clinton" tax rates that apparently terrify you, I guess because balancing the budget isn't important these days, even if we should have raised taxes instead of lowered them after we decided to go to war. I really think McCain said it best: "The tax cut is not appropriate until we find out the cost of the war and the cost of reconstruction."

During his Presidential run in 2000, his commercial said:

"There’s one big difference between me and the others. I won’t take every last dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy. I’ll use the bulk of the surplus to secure Social Security far into the future to keep our promise to the greatest generation.”

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Greatest Generation? Fuck those old people. I need a second home in Aix-en-Provence.

Oh, Jesus, let me put that into Conservative Outrage: "I don't need anyone stealing my hard earned money just because they're lazy welfare recipients who just don't want to get jobs!"

Re:One difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30875758)

Who creates infrastructure? It doesn't just pop into existence on the infrastructure tree. Factories don't erode out of the soil. A guy sees an opportunity to make money and creates a factory. That factory makes something useful that reduces everyone's burden.

You function under the mistaken idea that people are "resources" to be "consumed" and "allocated." That would be true if they lacked volition. You have the volition to allocate us like cogs in your machine. Therefore all people have volition.

What gives you the right to tell me what to do with the fruits of my labor? If I want to spend all my money on beer and hookers that's my right. I worked to earn that money. That you want to "redistribute" my wealth to someone who hasn't earned it because they "need" it doesn't disguise the fact that you're a thief.

Re:One difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30877902)

Social services are not gifts or charity. They are the shared benefits of civilization and infrastructure, and a recognition that the market does not have just solutions for every situation.

Most social services are not only charity, they hold back the potential of a population by giving the people who receive them a crutch that prevents them from taking action to help themselves. Society is served best when its people actually go out and work, think, innovate, and otherwise try to better themselves individually. Most modern welfare or other special programs where "the government takes care of you" keep those who use it in a position where they have little desire or reason to help themselves and continue to live that way for the rest of their lives. While I do not deny that there are people who truly "really need it", they are few and far between.

Generally, people who think the way you do change their minds after they buy property (and not on some special loan for people who can't otherwise afford the mortgage and are going to wind up losing the house anyway).

When the have-nots that bust their ass to get somewhere go from have-not to have, they finally question why they have to pay for everything the have-nots are getting, because they decided they were going to bust their ass to get out of their bad situation instead of popping out another kid because it will entitle them to a larger welfare check.

Re:One difference (1)

arekusu_ou (1344373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30878344)

Though I agree with the concept of social obligation, I work in non-profit and I know someone who works in Canadian housing social services as well. The mentality of deserving and obligated charity is ridiculous.

Sure it's just a small subset that abuses the system, but the system created these ridiculous limits to allow it to be abused. And I don't see why I should live frugally and within my means and pay for even one person to live more extravagantly than I can afford reasonably.

Take food stamps for example
http://www.massresources.org/pages.cfm?contentID=12&pageID=3%20&subpages=yes&dynamicID=310 [massresources.org]

Helping a poor individual with $50 a month for food is charity. A max of $200 a month for a single person is a luxury. We had a single woman who was interviewed who spent $150 a month in food stamps and complained it wasn't enough and the state needed to raise it. Grain, basic fruits and veggies, and low cost meat for 30 days shouldn't cost more than $100 a person, a month.

Heating
People are spending $300 - $400 a month on heating to be comfortable and then cry for free handouts. That's poor managing of money when you can't afford to be comfortable you should settle for above tolerable. When I was a poor college student alone in an apartment, I lowered my winter heating to 55F - 60F and wore more clothing to save money.

Electricity
People using air conditioner when they can't afford it. AC should be a luxury, not a right. I do my best not to use AC to save on electric costs, humans are adaptable and 80F-90F won't harm a reasonably healthy person.

Cable TV
I actually overheard the audacity of a caller requesting help for money, otherwise they couldn't pay their cable TV with premium channels.

Housing
Wasting tax money getting small amounts of individual families into "houses" is ridiculous when you can use the same amount of money to get much more needy people into "subsidized apts". Why am I paying for someone else to own a house? Shelters are too impersonal but there is middle ground like dormitories.

Though as a society we should care for our unfortunate brethren with their basic needs, it irks me when democrats use tax money to raise the basic quality for life into luxuries where I shouldn't indulge in.

I agree with you regarding other wastes like the wars. It's like children, they have no regard for the value of money when it's not their own money they're spending and they can just simply ask for more. The government raises taxes, the wasteful asks for more handouts, the greedy corporation cry too big to fail and reward their exec with huge bonuses and disgusting salaries.

Re:One difference (1)

bkeahl (1688280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30964714)

I love how opposing government theft of private property becomes wanting old folks dying in the streets and a snipe against welfare recipients in the eyes of social liberals.

My point is I'd rather charity be voluntary and delivered somewhere closer to the person needing it.

Local communities are the best place, followed by the local government when desired, followed by the state when necessary, and the federal government when idiots like the governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans are too incompetent to evacuate their communities and accept outside help when offered.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872692)

Republicans hide the truth, Democrats just flat out lie.

They're only doing what their corporate masters pay them to do.

Why do you think that every single lawmaker who's in office for more than 10 years leaves as a multi-millionaire? Certainly not on their congressional salaries.

Until we take corporate money out of politics, neither party will be any good, and our real incomes will continue to fall as they have for the past 30 years, since Ronald Reagan took office.

Transnational corporations love it when we spend more than we make. Then, we become more desperate to hang onto jobs no matter how bad the pay and working conditions, and thanks to easy credit, we continue to buy their goods and services. Admittedly, the whole system crashes and burns eventually, which we are seeing with the world economic crisis, but when it does, the corporations will have the resources to start over, and workers will be in an even worse position to negotiate fair wages and decent working conditions.

I'm betting that if you asked Slashdotters if the working hours and conditions at their jobs are getting better or worse, you'd see that they are universally getting worse while their credit card balances are getting bigger. And it's not just big-screen plasma screen TVs that are going on those credit cards, but basic necessities like health care, education, food and shelter. This system lets us think our standard of living is getting better, while we only fall deeper and deeper into debt to our bosses.

The citizens of america.com really do owe their souls to the company store. We should just change the name of our country to AmeriCo.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874358)

>Why do you think that every single lawmaker who's in office for more than 10 years leaves as a multi-millionaire?

Back that assertion up with data or it's a lie.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872044)

Wouldn't it be nice if they televised the entire health care bill debates on C-SPAN as they said they were going to?

Yes, it would.

And they would have, if the Republicans had ever shown one bit of being willing to debate. When a major political party's response is "no, just no, I don't care what we said we'd say yes to, we're saying no even if you take our 2004 platform and make it your health care reform", there really isn't any debate to broadcast.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872088)

YOU are what's wrong with America.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (2, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872138)

And they would have, if the Republicans had ever shown one bit of being willing to debate. When a major political party's response is "no, just no, I don't care what we said we'd say yes to, we're saying no even if you take our 2004 platform and make it your health care reform", there really isn't any debate to broadcast.

If that's all it was, they'd have been delighted to televise the debate, since it would have made the Republicans look really bad.

Personally, I believe they didn't televise the debate because they really didn't want to show the House and Senate leadership bribing their own side to vote for the bills. After all, if the Health Care Bills were so wonderful, why would you need to bribe guys in your own Party to vote for them?

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (4, Insightful)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872376)

After all, if the Health Care Bills were so wonderful, why would you need to bribe guys in your own Party to vote for them?

Anyone who has lived in a jurisdiction with corrupt officials will tell you that bribery occurs not because whatever you are being bribed to do is a bad idea, but because you have the power to withhold whatever the briber wants. Bribery is about power not goodness or badness of the behaviour you are being bribed to do.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (3, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872722)

Anyone who has lived in a jurisdiction with corrupt officials will tell you that bribery occurs not because whatever you are being bribed to do is a bad idea, but because you have the power to withhold whatever the briber wants. Bribery is about power not goodness or badness of the behaviour you are being bribed to do.

Which makes the Democrats (the Party of the People) look even worse. You're not doing the work of "the People" when you require a bribe to do your job....

Note that this is not meant to imply that the Republicans don't take bribes. Though I don't recall a case where a Republican majority leader had to bribe his own guys to get them to vote for the Party's bill.

Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, just that I've never heard of it.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (0, Flamebait)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873510)

Note that this is not meant to imply that the Republicans don't take bribes. Though I don't recall a case where a Republican majority leader had to bribe his own guys to get them to vote for the Party's bill.

Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, just that I've never heard of it.

I'd say your hearing is selective, to say the least.

These so-called bribes are in fact better described as pork. I haven't heard of anyone buying the senator from Nebraska a new BMW. Instead, Nebraska gets exempted form certain Medicaid costs. The senator from Vermont isn't getting breast implants for his mistress, he's getting $10 billion in federal funds to build health clinics. (Cue the Republicans: "They're buying him off with money for abortions!!!!11") Montana, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming are getting higher Medicaid payments because of their dispersed populations. Notice how these "bribes" all curiously have something to do with ... dare I say it ... healthcare reform.

Representatives want something for their home states in exchange for going along with a difficult vote. This happens every day. As it turns out, it is the residents of Wyoming who vote for senators in Wyoming. No one should be surprised when those senators then look out for the interests of their home state before that of the President. No one, that is, except the Republicans -- who, whenever it's expedient, forget all their huffing and puffing about states' rights and the evils of a big government and choose instead to compare states exerting their rights to "bribery."

At least the Democratic senators are getting "bribes" that have something to do with the issue on the floor. What did Republican hero Ted Stevens of Alaska ask for the last time someone wanted his vote?

Yes, I suppose if one can rely on any maxim... (1)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872050)

... it's that any point of failure completely invalidates other successes.

Be sure to tell your boss or clients, your SO, and your friends.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872096)

If your ass was transparent, we'd have see your shit as well as read it.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (4, Insightful)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872578)

Obama made the promise, Congress is failing to uphold it. I don't see a problem here.

What I do see a problem with is that I contacted my Congressguy McConnell to let him know that my Crohn's disease leaves me deciding to live a relatively normal life with huge debt, or a debilitating painful existence, and his discussions will affect my own personal future far more than it will affect his personal career, and I would appreciate being able to follow it.

I got no response, from my rep, on the most important issue of the decade (to most Americans anyway - as bad as numbers seem, the financial meltdown, terrorism, and 9/11 combined don't impact a small percentage of those potentially affected by health care).

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30876750)

Obama made the promise, Congress is failing to uphold it. I don't see a problem here.

The problem is promising something that anyone with a basic understanding of how American government works knows he will be unable to deliver. Had he promised to work as hard as possible WITH the Congress to pass health care reform, that would have been one thing. Promising that it WILL happen is like promising that I'll be giving you my boss's salary. My boss has other plans.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (1)

StopKoolaidPoliticsT (1010439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877876)

I got no response, from my rep, on the most important issue of the decade

And yet, I presume those are the people you want to put in charge of managing that issue? How is that better than the evil HMO? You're just a number to either one, if that.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30883596)

"Obama made the promise, Congress is failing to uphold it. I don't see a problem here."

While that is technically true, it's far too facile. Before one can claim that someone else is responsible for a broken promise, one must make at least SOME effort to fulfill it. Where Congress is concerned, he hasn't even tried.

Publish text of bills pror to the vote? Sorry, it's too "urgent".

Veto bills with earmarks? Sorry, "last year's business".

Televise negotiations? Sorry, too "sensitive".

Obama has let the Congressional leadership do whatever they want without even token protest. I don't like his politics, but I had held some "hope" that he'd have the balls to apply "change" to his own party. Turns out whatever balls he had are firmly ensconced in Pelosi's handbag.

Re:Wouldn't it be nice if they posted the ACTA neg (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30890692)

Obama made the promise, Congress is failing to uphold it. I don't see a problem here.

So, if I promise to reverse global warming, accept your donations (or votes or whatever) and rise to power, then mother nature / the environment / the industrialized world fails to uphold, it will be alright with you?

Underwhelming (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872048)

I checked several data sets. All appear to be already available. For example:

Interactive Access To National Income and Product Accounts Tables

...

Dataset Summary

Agency: Department of Commerce

Sub-Agency: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Category: Income, Expenditures, Poverty, and Wealth

Date Released: Continuously released since 1934

...

Oh, god, the images (1)

kainino (1042936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872168)

.... Seriously, what did they use, FrontPage 2007? The top part of the page is almost entirely images of text.

That said, it works perfectly without JavaScript. They did something right.

I see they've kept up with the latest (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872262)

I see they've kept up with the latest in web design. When you go to search for geodata [data.gov], the search list is constrained to a tiny rectangle in the middle of the page. You have to scroll within that tiny rectangle. On my monitor, the page is about a foot tall, and I'm tediously scrolling in this inch-high box.

I've learned to recognize state of the art web design when I see it. I bet it's even CSS compliant. They're not quite there yet. To be really great web design, it should be a Flash only site.

(close captioning for the sarcasm impaired: this was sarcasm)

How accurate are these data? (4, Informative)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872456)

I've consulted with major research firms who use government data. Universally we find that the data haven't been verified and a little work shows massive inconsistencies therein. When recovery.org was showing jobs in zip codes that don't exist, etc., I wasn't surprise - it's par for the course.

I'll reserve judgment, but making data available is one thing; collecting usable data is something entirely different.

Re:How accurate are these data? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872864)

There is also the matter of state and local government data. The feds are completely transparent by comparison. Even the things that are in the public record are difficult to obtain, expensive, poorly documented, and the data is a mess etc. The "cost of reproduction" is closer to what it would cost to be transcribed on parchment by monks than it is to the cost of making a CD/DVD or FTP. At the drop of a hat they will decide that something _isn't_ public record and then it goes from difficult to impossible, although that data often sneaks out the back door and is available, even older and messier than ever. Or they decide that it has "commercial value" so they charge 10 times more than a business could afford to pay and have a workable business model around it. The state and locals just don't get it. Whole industries have been built on fed data from NASA, USGS, US Census, NOAA etc. and local businesses would benefit from better access to local data as well.

Re:How accurate are these data? (1)

OWJones (11633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873136)

Completely true.

In 2005 the state of Virginia wanted me to fork over AT LEAST $3,000 (!) to get per-precinct turnout figures. Not per-precinct results; those were free at the State Board of Elections website. But if you wanted to know actually how many voters showed up at each precinct they said it would take 4-6 weeks and "reproduction costs" would be between $3,000 - $5,000 for them to send me a CD with the PDFs. They had per-county/city turnout results (also on the website). But apparently getting it down to the precinct level was going to be a massive undertaking, requiring one staffer to spend three to five weeks full-time collecting this data and then another week to digitize it and send it out.

Re:How accurate are these data? (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874190)

I must be missing something here, but wouldn't the sum of the number of votes cast (available in the per-precinct results) give you the turnout?

Re:How accurate are these data? (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30892066)

There are usually multiple issues on the ballot, and you're not required to vote for everything, and it's possible that not every vote is counted. The log-book of people signing in is going to also be an independent count vs. the number of ballots, so probably he was interested in seeing if there was a discrepancy (uncounted votes/people choosing not to vote/etc).

Re:How accurate are these data? (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885580)

Yeah. The feds should lead a charge to get standards set up for the states. Not demand but facilitate. A good example would be education data. There's no offical schema for that. Yet we're talking about a one trillion a year expense for the governments (Federal, State, Local) (according to this [usgovernmentspending.com], anyway, which may not be correct).

Re:How accurate are these data? (2, Insightful)

nemoest (69043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873958)

Because there is obviously a problem with making all these inaccurate data sets public as opposed to keeping them locked up.

I think part of the point is with more transparency in Government it makes it easier for the public to be aware of and fix what is wrong.

Download Formats (1)

Carcass666 (539381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873502)

I went to download 2005 Toxics Release Inventory data for the state of California [data.gov] and the only link was for a .csv. When I went to download it, up comes an .exe file. Why the binary executable?

Re:Download Formats (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873688)

I went to download 2005 Toxics Release Inventory data for the state of California [data.gov] and the only link was for a .csv. When I went to download it, up comes an .exe file. Why the binary executable?

The Government (a.k.a. Big Brother or THE ILLUMINATI) wants to infect your computer with uninvited wiretapping software, of course! And once the NWO buys control of Google, every time you visit a Google web site, your computer will send the collected data to Big Brother and the Vatican, so that they will know everything you do and can enforce their agenda for globalization upon you!!! DON'T BE FOOLED!!! ITS A TRAP!!!

Or maybe they're just idiots? They probably spend more time playing WoW in their cubicles than working on data.gov if my past experience working for the government is any indicator.

Re:Download Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30877208)

It's a self-extracting Zip file, with 7 text files in it.

Makes sense to me - Windows users can open it without needing any decompression utilities, untar won't really care what the extension is.

Re:Download Formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30877984)

It's probably nothing more than a self-extracting zip file. Take a look at it with WinZip or 7zip or whatever.
But if that's the case, why not just have a plain ol' zip? (Pretty much all OSs these days have a way to look at compressed/archived files.)

So you're right on questioning why they'd have it as an .exe.

Re:Download Formats (1)

design1066 (1081505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30891294)

A self extracting zip archive so you can extract these tiny documents. As long as you have windows.

dBi3k (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874116)

MOVIE [imdb.com] People already; I'm standards should outreach are can coonect to first avoid going NETBSD POSTS ON Usenet is roughly butts are exposed The Cathedral
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