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Todd Park Appointed Second U.S. CTO

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the guys-named-todd dept.

Businesses 78

redletterdave writes "On Friday, President Barack Obama appointed Todd Park, a 39-year-old former entrepreneur and data scientist, to be the new Chief Technology Officer of the United States. Park takes over for Aneesh Chopra, the first U.S. CTO, who resigned earlier this year. Park was formerly the CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since 2009, where he helped bring 'big data' to healthcare by helping create an open health care data platform similar to the National Weather Service, which could feed data to commercial websites and applications. Before joining the Obama administration, Park helped co-found AthenaHealth and Castlight Health, and also served as a senior adviser to Ashoka, a global incubator for social entrepreneurs. One of his ventures, Healthpoint Services, won the 2011 Sankalp Award for the 'most innovative and promising health-oriented social enterprise in India.'"

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AthenaHealth (0)

terbeaux (2579575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306075)

I wonder how many shares he has and if that will influence his decisions based around ObamaCare?

Re:AthenaHealth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306191)

Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterfuck of a miserable failure.

Re:AthenaHealth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306483)

Not on any planet or any plane of reality is that even remotely true.

Empty Assertion Without Evidence Is Empty Assertion.

Re:AthenaHealth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306517)

Not on any planet or any plane of reality is that even remotely true.

Empty Assertion Without Evidence Is Empty Assertion.

Have you seen him without his teleprompter?

Sure, with slick professional script writers with ph.ds in public relations to tell him exactly what to say, he looks smooth enough. Without it, he's a stuttering bumbling idiot. I'm the only one who remembers that?

Course Obama is just like Apple and Google. If you say something 100% true and easily verifiable that happens to make them look bad, legions of upset bedwetters will tell you what a big meany head you must be. Chew on a pacifier and get the fuck over it.

Re:AthenaHealth (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306859)

Did you see Bush WITH his teleprompter, let alone without?

Re:AthenaHealth (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307335)

Did you see Bush WITH his teleprompter, let alone without?

Bush Jr. with a teleprompter or speech to follow was a joke.
Bush Jr. just talking about things was perfectly coherent and reasonable.

Bush Jr. is not a moron, he is just a terrible public speaker.
Whether or not you agree with his opinions or his administration's actions is a completely separate matter.

How come CTO of USA are minorities? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39309251)

Just a curious question:

This may be a coincidence, but I find it curious that the first CTO of USA, Mr. Aneesh Chopra, an Indian American, and the second CTO of USA, Todd Park, a Korean American

Is the position of CTO of America a Political Correct appointment or is this - appointing minorities to the post - a sign that the minorities are somehow doing something right that the majority (ie the Whites) are under performing?

Re:How come CTO of USA are minorities? (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311043)

Since these are the appointments of one person - how is their race the sign of anything besides what that person believes?

Obviously, the President is from the political party that pushed the style over substance societal pressure that is "political correctness", so what would even lead you to search the space of "doing something right" while trying to understand the likely reason for a statistical aberration?

Re:How come CTO of USA are minorities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311791)

Just a curious question:

Are you disappointed he didn't pick a white man? Would you be asking about demographics if he picked Meg Whitman? If not, would that be because she's a Republican?

Re:AthenaHealth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307389)

Did you see Bush WITH his teleprompter, let alone without?

"Hey he mentioned Obama. Shit. Now I'm forced (FORCED I tell ya!) to mention Bush."

If I mentioned both Obama and Bush in the same post, would that make *you* stutter like Obama without a teleprompter?

You see, when a man can think for himself he realizes certain things. Things like this: making a true statement about Obama does not mean you're automatically making the opposite statement about Bush. They're not God and Satan. Party affiliation isn't some fundamental reality.

When you grow up mentally you'll see what I mean.

Re:AthenaHealth (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39310999)

I'll never understand how criticism of Obama is somehow countered with criticism of George W.

That's politics, I guess, where which team you're on is always more important than the soundness of your logic or the value of your core principles.

Re:AthenaHealth (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39308395)

Have you seen him without his teleprompter?

Sure, with slick professional script writers with ph.ds in public relations to tell him exactly what to say, he looks smooth enough. Without it, he's a stuttering bumbling idiot. I'm the only one who remembers that?

I would love to see you get up and give an extemporaneous speech in front of hundreds of people who are just itching to tear and twist your every word apart. It would be hilarious. I'd wager you couldn't get through a single sentence without at least two "ums", "uhs", or "likes".

Obama, off-script, talks like a regular person. What a shock. If you want to find something trivial and petty to criticize him over, go after his terrible comedic timing. Seriously, that dude can't tell a joke to save his life.

Re:AthenaHealth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306211)

Did you even bother to look to see what they do or did you want your first post to start a flame war?

Re:AthenaHealth (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307333)

Why did this get modded down? Just asking a real question, if it was because he used the term "Obamacare" I can certainly side with people who hate that word. I think he raises a relevant question here.

We certainly see it with the banking industry, the bank CEO's get jobs at the treasury. This shit is happening far too often and I see it as the number one problem we face, big business running our government.

Re:AthenaHealth (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311079)

What's wrong with the word "Obamacare". It's short and unambiguous. Is the guy supposed to say "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" instead?

It's like the "Bush Tax Cuts". We all know what someone is talking about when they bring it up. No need to site the HR and S bill numbers which no one knows anyway.

Sure, these terms tend to be used to in the pejorative sense; but that's the fault of the actual legislation, not the way their nicknames.

Re:AthenaHealth (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312499)

I just think that a lot of people grab onto that word and use it without knowing what the hell it actually means. I guess the same could be said for any word though, for some reason whenever I hear obamacare it is usually coming out of the mouth of some idiot that only uses it because he saw some pundit on a major media network using it to slam Obama.

The same thing could be said with any presidency, there is always some catch-phrase or slogan that ends up paraphrasing an administration. I see your point in it being easier to use these words rather than a long drawn out bill name, i just get tired of hearing them I guess. I have to hand it to you for even seeing my comments, I was sure it would be buried. I still don't know why the OP got modded down, but perhaps I will never know.

CTO? (4, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306217)

Is it bad of me that I didn't know the country HAD a CTO? Do we have a CEO, COO, and chairman of the board too?

I think we should work on a hostile take-over of Iraq... no wait, maybe we already did that.

Re:CTO? (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306319)

I don't know about all those executive posts, but the country does have owners. You and I are not among them.

Re:CTO? (0, Offtopic)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306423)

You and I are corporations now?

Sweet! I'm suddenly rich!

Re:CTO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306701)

You and I are corporations now?

Sweet! I'm suddenly rich!

READING COMPREHENSION FAILURE. The GP wrote: "You and I are NOT among them"

Re:CTO? (0)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39308267)

You failed at life. This is obvious when we take into account your extreme lack of any form of a sense of humor and your ability to post anonymously, like the pussy you really are.

Re:CTO? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306529)

Is it bad of me that I didn't know the country HAD a CTO? Do we have a CEO, COO, and chairman of the board too?

I think we should work on a hostile take-over of Iraq... no wait, maybe we already did that.

First I've heard of it, too. What systems did they hack into to get these jobs?

Re:CTO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306565)

Based on the sad state of tech legislation these days, I'd say you're excused. I would think that an Executive Branch CTO would be primarily concerned with crafting and enforcing good tech laws. Of course, I'd be wrong since the Executive Branch is only involved in enforcing the laws. The CTO is likely concerned with things like upgrading the IRS's accounting system. I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me that the office of the "country's CTO" was responsible for the eFile system that the IRS uses, or digitizing the Library of Congress.

Re:CTO? (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306775)

Is it bad of me that I didn't know the country HAD a CTO? Do we have a CEO, COO, and chairman of the board too?

Silly. CTO is just the title they use for /. readers.
His real title is Tsar or more precisely Computa Tsar , so you don't confuse him with the Auto Tsar, the Dealing with Foreigners Tsar, or the War Tsar.

Re:CTO? (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39308133)

The US does indeed have a CIO.

Re:CTO? (1)

Midnight_Falcon (2432802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39308203)

I think that if you were to translate the roles of CEO, COO, etc into the branches of American government, it'd look something like this:

CEO -- Barack Obama President (Chief Executive)
COO -- Joe Biden (VP)
CFO -- Ben Bernake (Chairman of Fed)
Chairman of the Board -- John Roberts
Board Members - Supreme Court Justices

I think that corporations just made new titles for roles that already existed in models of governance and applied them to corporate governance, but the "CTO" title might be the first time that this tradeoff has gone full circle, back into governmental institutions?

Re:CTO? (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311131)

All the CTO/CIO + tons of Czar appointments are an effort to legitimize more executive appointed bureaucrats, more staff to support them, more money, and more power for the government.

Over time, these appointments will get expanded into departments that will end up completely undermining the very thing they're supposed to be promoting - at the cost of billions to taxpayers. Take a look at the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. Horrible track records for accomplishing squat in their respective fields, yet they've bloated way beyond all usefulness and are tied into the political infrastructure like cancers that can never be removed.

Understood (2)

nman64 (912054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306225)

He has my condolences.

Great! More Outsourcing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306295)

It's a good thing this guy has done so much for Indian health care.

After all, with Immelt - the great innovator of outsourcing - as head of Obama's Job Creation Council, India is going to need healthy workers.

Why is it not immediately obvious to everyone that the White House is quite literally selling them out?

Re:Great! More Outsourcing (1, Informative)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306497)

It's not immediately obvious to everyone because it is not, by any factual account or logical reasoning, true.

Re:Great! More Outsourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307195)

Sure, brush up on your Hindi.

Corporate conversion... (0, Troll)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306311)

Looks like the corporate conversion of the country is nearing completion.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306399)

And looks like people are voting for it.

It's even worse in Britain - here the poor and the disabled aren't regarded as a consequence of a free market served best by charity but as lazy, dishonest scum.

Re:Corporate conversion... (2, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306581)

It sounds like the British have moved from mere conservatism to killing off the weak and powerless.

There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision. -- The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich von Hayek

Re:Corporate conversion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306767)

Indeed. If there was a Citizen's Wage for *every* working-age British citizen of, say, £50 per week, then we would spend less than our current highly bureaucratic benefits system does on non-NHS/pension welfare. It'd still be cheaper even if we preserve allowances (i.e. DLA) for people whose disability gives them extra care/mobility expenses.

If we wanted to be really communal about it, the allowance could be conditional for all but the most severely disabled and terminally ill on, say, offering a certain number of hours of community service per year. This work might include anything from cleaning up graffiti to teaching kids about your trade, and the number of hours would be sufficiently small such that the Citizens' Wage could be regarded as compensation at, say, no less than the median wage. Work for profit-making firms would obviously be ruled out, and the best arrangement would be to do work for those in the community who need extra help.

Current means-testing, sickness medicals, work schemes, etc. are simply a siphoning of government money to a few large corporations with friends in government. Welfare is being turned into a source of profit. Contracts worth over half a £billion to ATOS translate into overheads of 20% on some welfare payments (20% appropriately being the spending reduction the government is claiming to look everywhere for). Neither the left nor the right should be satisfied with the current system, which fucks everyone except a few major shareholders and executives.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312169)

"Neither the left nor the right should be satisfied with the current system, which fucks everyone except a few major shareholders and executives."

Which are properly rewarding those governing from the left or from the right, so being everybody that counts.

Re:Corporate conversion... (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306997)

(1) We already have that - minimum level of food (stamps) and lowcost housing. Also shelters for homeless and orphanages for kids.

(2) Our society is wealthy? Is that why our almost-all our EU and US governments owe money to China and Arabia? I don't define that as wealth.

Re:Corporate conversion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307081)

(1) You're commodore64_love or something, right? I seem to recall his trolls along these lines, but just in case you're not, get out of mom's basement and walk around any city. There exist shelters to accommodate a small proportion of the sufficiently mentally healthy homeless, and certain classes of people are entitled to food stamps. This is nothing like, "guaranteed to all... some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health."

(2) Yes. So start campaigning for worker control of the means of production rather than the capitalist ownership which allows employment of labour in countries which have no sound notion of rights.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311229)

Why should I have to work to provide you a minimum level of food, shelter, and clothing? Are you my master? Am I your slave? How many hours of my labor do you require to take care of you and the results of your breeding activities? At what point during the day can I take care of my own needs and pursue my own desires?

Am I selfish for choosing how to spend the fruits of my labor? Or are you selfish for wanting to take the fruits of my labor by force through government?

Maybe if giving people people minimum levels of food, shelter, and clothing didn't do anything besides create a culture of dependence, I might agree that the good of the results is worth the price of tyranny against individual liberty... but it just isn't.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0309/Lottery-winner.-Food-stamps.-In-Michigan.-Again [csmonitor.com]

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312161)

Because, as Warren Buffet said, you grew up in a society which was the creation of others before you, and if you didn't have that society you and your parents wouldn't have had your own food, shelter and clothing.

You would be chasing rabbits with sharp sticks, sleeping in trees, and wearing rags, if you survived at all.

In exchange for the benefits of society that you grew up with, you have an obligation to give back to society. If you don't, society will punish you for not following its laws.

As biologists and anthropologists have now proven with pretty good scientific rigor, communities that survive are the ones in which people are cooperative and altruistic. The ones that aren't cooperative and altruistic don't survive.

Individuals in those societies can sometimes get an advantage by being overly selfish, rather than altruistic, but in all societies that have survived, selfish people are punished.

There seems to be a genetically inherited predisposition to altruism and punishing greed.

(There also seems to be a genetically inherited predisposition to killing outsiders, minorities, and other scapegoats, which leaders exploit sometimes. Those aren't nice places to live, and they don't always survive.)

Yes, you're selfish. You've received the benefits of society and don't want to pay the bill. There was an implied contract and you don't want to carry out your obligation. You don't want to give others the same benefits that you enjoyed.

I just went through this argument again with a self-described conservative. He said, why should I pay for the health care of other people who can't afford it? I asked him, if you were no longer able to pay for health care, and you needed it, would you expect the government to pay for it? He said he did. He didn't see any disconnect between his wanting the government to pay for him, but not for others. (There was also an article in the New York Times that interviewed conservatives who were getting government benefits but didn't want to give them to others.) That's cognitive dissonance for you.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313639)

Because, as Warren Buffet said, you grew up in a society which was the creation of others before you, and if you didn't have that society you and your parents wouldn't have had your own food, shelter and clothing.

Sure, I owe Society something for providing a starting point. I don't advocate anarchy. But what is this "society" you speak of and for so authoritatively? Further, what is the actual fabric of that society that has benefitted me and that I owe? Yet further, what parts of society actually hindered me? Certainly you realize that our society, like any framework, has its good parts and bad parts. Have you thought about that? Have you followed that thought to its logical conclusion in that some people succeed despite obstacles put forth by the society they live in? Think about what a woman who taught herself how to read in Afghanistan circa 1999. What did she owe the goals of the Taliban? Ooh, the government != society? Now you're really thinking... I like that.

I claim that the society that I owe my starting point to is one that encourages personal responsibility by letting the successful keep the lion's share of their rewards. The society that I owe is one that establishes fundamental primary value in personal liberty, unleashing the individual to reach whatever heights of success he or she is able to. The society that I owe is one that encourages free and open markets to allow individuals to create products and services that others in the society will want to pay for, thus vindicating the value of such products and services.

In short: Yes, I owe society -- but not the collectivist/socialist society you would like me to pay into. I owe the society built upon the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. All the obstacles that some have put in my way through tyrannical subjugation of the Individual by the State are to be battled and destroyed, not funded.

As biologists and anthropologists have now proven with pretty good scientific rigor, communities that survive are the ones in which people are cooperative and altruistic. The ones that aren't cooperative and altruistic don't survive.

Oh, hell... so from the biological perspective, maybe if we were all just mindless hive members listening to the commands of our leaders, we'd be more successful as a society? No thanks.

From an anthropological perspective, citation? Are you going to argue against the explosive societal growth that was the American experiment in individual liberty? Are you going to claim that America was founded as a non-cooperative society because we didn't guarantee free food, shelter, and clothing in the Constitution? If so, you may want to go Google the constitution of the failed Soviet State. They guaranteed a huge list of freebies. It looked like an OWSer's dream document. We all know what happened to the Soviets.

I just went through this argument again with a self-described conservative[...]

Dude, I can't be bothered to formulate arguments to defend the positions of so-called "conservatives" with whom you've argued who may or may not exist, who may have actually cleaned your clock logic-wise -- but you may not have understood what they were saying well enough to relate it here.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39314261)

You owe everything to the society that provided you with a starting point.

As Warren Buffet said, if he had been born in Somalia he wouldn't have accomplished any more than the average Somalian.

The people who study the history of science have seen that there are few if any great individual accomplishments. Science is created by cooperative teams. Most of the scientists who have accomplished great things, such as the Nobel laureates, agree.

You are part of a hive. You can look up Samuel Bowles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Bowles_(economist) [wikipedia.org] in Science magazine, among others. America's success started with government enterprises that were essentially socialistic, like public education, the Erie Canal, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the interstate highway system, the aerospace industry, and the start of the Internet.

Where did you hear of a woman in Afghanistan who taught herself to read? How could an illiterate person teach herself to read? From books? From Sesame Street? It's absurd. Actually, the Soviets established a good education system, including women, in Afghanistan. When they left, it was rare for women to go to school again.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39314715)

You owe everything to the society that provided you with a starting point.

Obviously you think this line of reasoning is hyperbole and bullshit or doesn't apply to you since you're spending time debating politics on Slashdot and probably surfing the internet rather than working to provide food, shelter, and clothing to others in need.

So let's try again. What do you mean by stating that I owe everything to society? What is this society you speak of? I owe everything to all of it? Throughout all time? To which structures of this society should all the fruits of my labor go? The parts that make war? The parts that feed hungry people? The parts that make the economy work? The parts that create life-saving medical products and techniques? If I owe everything, why don't you owe everything? You seem to make your own choices about how you spend your time, why can't I?

So basically, what you're saying is that because I was born into a society to which I owe everything, I should be thankful for anything that society lets met do. Welcome to abject tyranny. What a shitty philosophy you espouse.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312201)

"Am I selfish for choosing how to spend the fruits of my labor?"

Yes, because you purposely choose to ignore that only a small part of "the fruits of your labour" can enterily be attributed to your individual efforts.

"tyranny against individual liberty"

It is not tyranny when you understand, accept and respect the weight of your sourrounding society on what you want to call your "individual liberty".

But I suppouse you are in fact free to migrate to Haiti or Somalia any day you want: they certainly are more respectful of the "individual liberty" than any first world country (I'm not kidding: I really mean it).

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313747)

Yes, because you purposely choose to ignore that only a small part of "the fruits of your labour" can enterily be attributed to your individual efforts.

So, 100% of the money you don't need to minimally feed, clothe, and house yourself, you send to various federal, state, and local governments? Obviously not, since you're here on Slashdot, arguing this subject. Obviously, you're selfish for spending time surfing the internet when you could be helping to build someone a house with Habitat for Humanity. You're selfish for having a personal computer and an internet connection. Maybe you have cable television, own your own car, or have taken a vacation by airplane. Those are all extremely selfish.

It is not tyranny when you understand, accept and respect the weight of your sourrounding society on what you want to call your "individual liberty".

Oh, so I owe something? Exactly to whom do I owe something? How much do I owe? By whose authority and under what logic do I owe?

But I suppouse you are in fact free to migrate to Haiti or Somalia any day you want: they certainly are more respectful of the "individual liberty" than any first world country (I'm not kidding: I really mean it).

That's a straw man. Those societies are not respectful of individual liberty for everyone. They believe in liberty for those with the most power. There is nothing in their societal framework that tries to maximize liberty for all. When I talk about Liberty, I mean as a fundamental and primary right for everyone. I mean it in the sense of the Declaration of Independence as (ostensibly) protected by the US Constitution.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39319829)

"So, 100% of the money you don't need to minimally feed, clothe, and house yourself, you send to various federal, state, and local governments?"

Obviously not. But can you please point where I said you owed 100% of your income? It is you here the one making the strawman going from "only a small part of the fruits of your labour can be enterily attributed to you" into "therefore 100% of your income above survival you should return in taxes".

"Oh, so I owe something?"

Of course yes. While I can't tell you an upper mark I certainly can point you to a lower one: you owe at the very least the proportional part of your country's sovereign doubt and whatever takes to provide sufficient army, police, health, education, food and shelter. The authority comes from the government of the people, by the people and for the people every country should assign to itself.

"That's a straw man. Those societies are not respectful of individual liberty for everyone [...] When I talk about Liberty, I mean as a fundamental and primary right for everyone."

While it might be a bit of an hyperbole, it certainly is not a straw man but it is more that you went into such a simplistic argument as to make your position false. Remember we reached here because you said:

"Why should I have to work to provide you a minimum level of food, shelter, and clothing? [...] are you selfish for wanting to take the fruits of my labor by force through government?"

But then, you can't have it your cake and eat it too: either taxes are against your individual liberty because they mean taking out by the force the fruits of your labour, in which case you certainly are more free in Somalia, or they are there to provide for "maximizing liberty for all".

But then, "maximizing liberty for all" means providing for all reasonable levels of security, wealth, knowledge, health, food and shelter for without them there's no real freedom to act.

So, in the end, yes, I do think that for all practical purposes, the average Swedish, taxed at 49%, ends up benefiting higher levels of individual freedom in the very sense of the Declaration of Independence than the average American at his 27% taxation level.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39319847)

s/doubt/debt/

Re:Corporate conversion... (1, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306639)

And looks like people are voting for it.

Sure. Anytime it looks like anyone might want to examine or change that, a manufactured issue is raised and immediately promoted to BIG FUCKING DEAL status by the media. "What? Oh no, don't worry about that, hey look over there!"

Usually the manufactured issue is abortion, or guns, or the old standby of income disparity (aka class warfare, the kind that exists to create controversy with no intention of changing anything because that would remove an issue that's just too damned useful). Lately it's contraception. It's always a non-issue compared to more pressing problems. It's always a completely polar topic with no hope of changing anyone's mind on the subject. The principle is an old one: divide and conquer. Consider how damnably stupid the government-educated* majority has to be to never recognize the pattern.

Until the majority stops being so stupid and gullible and develops an attention span longer than fifteen seconds, it will remain this way.

* Did that hit a sore spot? Good. If you have any sense and any guts, then you would have never trusted anything half as important as your education to those assholes. Going to a public school because it's compulsory doesn't stop you from also educating yourself.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307369)

What you consider a "manufactured" issue, is only an issue because the government does things like try and set up shit like government funded health care and then makes pro-lifers not only have to accept that abortion is legal, they will then face the very real possibility that their tax money is paying for it. You'd probably find that most pro-lifers don't like abortions at all, but would probably leave well-enough alone if it really was between the women and her own body and didn't include their wallets too.

Eventually one side will win out, but this is real principle stuff here. There really is no scientific way to state: a woman's choice is more important than someone else's life. You're either going to come down on one side or the other by making your own justifications to yourself, and since at least the principle is literally life and death, you can't expect someone to simply compromise on it. One side has to win, and the other has to lose and everyone knows that.

The good news, however, is that *it doesn't have to involve the government*. You want a huge health care system? Then have people buy into it. Don't go collecting money from people with the government's guns to do it. If the government can run a large health care system, then surely someone else can as well. It's not like health care is a natural monopoly or something that needs guns to enforce it.

You want people to be elected who will fix the government and not be elected for distracting social issues? Then stop making the government in charge of social programs. Otherwise, aren't social issues the very heart of the matter to begin with?

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39345695)

What you consider a "manufactured" issue, is only an issue because the government does things like try and set up shit like government funded health care and then makes pro-lifers not only have to accept that abortion is legal, they will then face the very real possibility that their tax money is paying for it. You'd probably find that most pro-lifers don't like abortions at all, but would probably leave well-enough alone if it really was between the women and her own body and didn't include their wallets too.

Man, if you want to talk about objectionable things the government does that are funded by tax dollars you have no choice but to pay, abortion is damn near at the bottom of the list. How nice for the pro-lifers that they might even get their way on their pet issue. Meanwhile, how many pointless, destructive wars (which harmed more people than every abortion clinic combined) have my tax dollars funded and where's my media talking head explaining why I should have a choice? How many nonviolent criminals have we locked up for nothing except that they possessed a forbidden plant that I had to help fund? In this case the pro-lifers sound like a bunch of spoiled brats who are used to getting their way.

Anyway, if you want to see how manufactured it is, look at the timing. These things don't come up during times of peace and quiet when nothing is really going on, like the "slow news day" pieces they properly are. They come up when there is some kind of crisis or another. Or an election. It's a distraction.

In this particular case with contraception, the leftists and the media (lots of overlap there) realize that many people are dissatisfied with Obama and would love a president from the other party who seems to have his shit together regarding some important and mostly fiscal issues. The whole contraception deal was carefully fed to the candidates because the Republicans have one major electoral weakness: they tend to cater to a certain phony "Christian" (that is, Churchian) brand of "morality" (i.e. what offends them) that causes them to be obsessed with things like abortion, contraception, anything related to the sex taboo really. Mainstream Republicans are suckers for this. They just can't resist the topic. They will argue about abortion while Rome burns before they'll grab a firehose.

Bringing up contraception came from the media and it was an effective way to throw a monkey-wrench into the Republican primaries. The fact that no one is trying to outlaw contraception (and in fact organizations like Planned Parenthood often provide it for free) doesn't enter into it. It becomes an instant "moral" crusade, a chance to parade how "Christian" they are. Make no mistake; it was a deliberate, pre-planned, top-down, carefully executed maneuver designed to leverage the vast clout the Democrats enjoy in the media.

You want people to be elected who will fix the government and not be elected for distracting social issues?

When the nation is going bankrupt and is poised to become the next Greece, any and all social issues are nothing but distractions. Worrying about shit like contraception (that no one is trying to ban anyway) is and should be a luxury reserved for prosperous times.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307397)

This is offtopic, but I couldn't have said it better myself. If only I had a mod point to give and hadn't already posted in this topic. Keep fighting the good fight while everyone else is asleep.

Re:Corporate conversion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306425)

Looks like the corporate conversion of the country is nearing completion.

I would agree with this comment, but it's a government at the head. More like a socialist conversion since most of his expertise deals with healthcare and I'll be forced by them to carry a plan.

Re:Corporate conversion... (4, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306475)

Only if you define the Heritage Foundation as "socialist."
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/apr/01/barack-obama/obama-says-heritage-foundation-source-health-excha/ [politifact.com]

Or if you define "socialist" to mean "any government program that I don't like."

Re:Corporate conversion... (2, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306935)

I define it as stealing..... taking money from somebody else. Whether you do it yourself or ask a Congressman to do it for you makes no difference. --- And if we are going to provide for the poor, then let's do that (welfare, food stamps, lowcost housing). Not a universal program that includes the well off. Wouldn't it be silly if I, an engineer, was being given free food stamps by the government?

Of course. It's ridiculous. Government programs should be a last-resort safety net for those who need the help. I should not be eligible for food stamps. Or free hospitalization. I should buy those things directly with my own cash.

   

Re:Corporate conversion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307205)

Funny. Taking money from someone else is part of commerce too. Specifically monopoly capitalism (see "rent seeking"). See, things like hospitalization can't usually be planned for and trust me, you do NOT have enough cash to pay for anything major. So taking money to have a decent society where you don't have people trying to knock you off because they've got bills to pay is.....what? I call it a cost of doing business in a decent society.

Taking money from someone with no intention of giving them something for it must be what bothers you then. In this society it's not government that does that, it's insurance companies.

Now, If you have a need to feel better than everyone by not wanting a national health care system, because God forbid you might end up in a doctor's office with a poor person go right ahead. Nobody will stop you. (Everyone else please note that conservatives love to "means test" programs for this reason). What a good lot of the rest of us DO want to stop is people's lives being ruined because they get sick--and no, it's NOT always lifestyle choices that cause that either. We also want to stop corporations from profiting off of human misery.

BTW, in many countries national health care is not government run. It's run by private entities. They just have to be not for profit. The US is the ONLY modernized nation where for-profit primary health care is legal. It used to be that way in the US too. Until Reagan, for-profit hospitals and health plans didn't really exist. Gee, when did health costs start becoming a big problem around here?

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307299)

Ya know it helps if you read the WHOLE message. I very clearly stated I support a government safety net to help the poor (welfare checks, food stamps, et etera).

As for illness, I have catastrophic insurance. If I did not, and I could not afford the bill, that's where government would step in (after I've exhausted my wealth and become a poor person).

BTW I'm a liberal not a conservative.
You missed the mark on that one.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39310669)

So, taking money from people (ie, taxes) are stealing, but you support a safety net. Where does the money for that come from? What about money for roads? The police? The military? Firefighters? Schools?

It sounds to me like you're defining "stealing" to mean "any government program that I don't like."

Re:Corporate conversion... (2)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307459)

Stealing is using your taxes to pay for a bridge to nowhere (or several). Stealing is using your taxes to pay for body scanners that nobody wants to go through, is harmful, and doesn't actually do any good. Stealing is taking away from the public domain.

Stealing is not using taxes to maintain social order, provide social services, and promote individual well-being. A national healthcare system is as much stealing as a national interstate system. As long as everybody gets the same level of treatment irrespective of wealth, race, or sex, it's not stealing. It's only stealing when certain specific individuals get special treatment, e.g. when a celebrity gets a private room in a hospital on government money while everyone else gets a shared room.

A good healthcare system is as beneficial as a good police force. Their purpose is the same: to maintain social order. Death by murder is not that different from death by disease. Being robbed of all your money at gunpoint is not that different from going bankrupt from medical bills. The unease of living in a high-crime neighborhood is not so different from the unease of having to foot a large medical bill.

Yes, there should be a line drawn somewhere between the treatments that a healthcare system should provide, and the treatments that the individual should provide. This line should be tied to what comes about as a result of a personal choice, and what comes about as a result of random acts of the Creator.

But as things stand, we can't even have that debate yet, because there is no such system to talk about. As it is now, everybody has to provide for themselves. Sure, the very poor have insurance (that we subsudize doubly, because providers both charge more to make up for the pittance they get from Medicaid/Medicare, despite us already funding it through taxes), but what's defined as the "very poor" does not allow for upwards mobility. Eligibility isn't tied to income, but instead to net worth (which includes savings), which means the choice is either to stay at the bottom or to tough it out and try to move up and lose all government protection.

It's like the wild west all over again, but worse. Those who can afford a bodyguard pay for one. Those who cannot are on their own. And only those who are permanently crippled can access the sheriff.

Re:Corporate conversion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307571)

No, it's not ridiculous. Offering welfare only to the poor dramatically increases administrative overhead, permits bureaucratic fuckups, and creates perverse incentives for people near the cutoff point. Since the program is funded by taxing the rich (i.e. people like you), tax them a bit more, but then give it back as food stamps.

Of course, I oppose on libertarian grounds, but if you're to have such a program, universal eligibility is the only sane choice.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39308341)

Out of curiosity, are there any programs in the present day United States that you'd consider socialism? What exactly would be changed in your ideal world?

Certainly "Obamacare" doesn't meet your definition of socialism, as it only provides subsidies to low income families who couldn't otherwise afford health care. Maybe Medicare, but it is a very rare person who could afford to pay all their own medical bills into old age. The only one that might make sense to call socialist under your definition would be Social Security, but even there, around 60-70% of America's elderly are reliant on the program to make ends meet, so most of the people receiving it need it.

If you're just calling for means-testing on Social Security and Medicare, I could understand that (not necessarily agree, but at least understand). But since you led off by calling it "stealing", I'm not sure how refusing to let the 1% share in the benefits would make it better in your mind.

Re:Corporate conversion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306533)

You're saying there'll be worker control of the means of production, rather than control by clueless, leeching financiers, whose interest is - naturally - enough money for them rather than enough money for their company?

Oh, wait, you mean that American re-definition of "socialism" which is something like "where the government controls something" and which comes down to "where the law reduces the opportunity for some private corporation to make unfettered profit in some naturally monopolised area of fundamental service provision by forcing all citizens to use the provider of that service".

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306459)

The privatization of education isn't complete yet.

Re:Corporate conversion... (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324697)

Troll? Really? Apparently "tongue in cheek" humor is lost on the mods today.

Perfect Choice! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39306657)

What is the deal with the health care guys? I mean honestly it is the worst industry for technology ever, well except for like actual medical procedures and stuff - but that's not what these guys did.

I mean really? We couldn't find someone from IBM or Oracle or Apple or Microsoft .. hell, I'll take a guy from Netscape at this point .. who at least has a sense of how things *should* work? Next time you wonder why it takes your doctor 3 months to bill you remember that the CTO of the United States of F'ing America is a guy who was considered a genius in that industry.

flame away on my company names, they were just examples of the hundreds of companies that actually use real technology to actually, you know, DO THINGS.

Re:Perfect Choice! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307059)

Obama's campaign was & is heavily-funded by the Medical & Insurance industry. He's just returning the favor by hiring one of them. (Note: So too is Romney.)

Aside - Netscape no longer exists (except as a brandname). Most of the former employees of that once-great company moved over to Mozilla circa 1999.

Re:Perfect Choice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307399)

I can pretty much guarantee you that any doctor serviced by the company Todd Park co-founded does not take 3 months to bill you.

Re:Perfect Choice! (1)

teslatug (543527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311635)

You obviously haven't worked in the field. It's really difficult to get anything done. You have way too many stakeholders. The government issuing rules and changing them often, the nurses wanting one thing, the doctors wanting another (often that is to do nothing), the administrators another, etc. All of this needs to be customizable to the workflows of all the different hospitals and clinics. Then you have all the different fields of medicine (you thought ambulatory care was going to be the same as an inpatient hospital?), which ads another multiplier. Then you have the software companies having to put all those requirements together, and interface with all the other software out there, and you have a huge mess. If anyone can come up with a software that satisfies all of these demands, then the lead architect deserves every award out there. More likely you need someone like Apple coming up with the one true way and shoving down everyone's throat. You'd probably have yourself a rebelion among all the practitioners, but that's the only way to get it done.

American CTO..Symbol of reigning corporate fascism (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306711)

What a contemptible title to give someone in government. It assumes we're all in favor of having a government that's as inefficient, tyrannical and fascist as the average corporation.

Re:American CTO..Symbol of reigning corporate fasc (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39306915)

What a contemptible title to give someone in government. It assumes we're all in favor of having a government that's as inefficient, tyrannical and fascist as the average corporation.

While I don't want a government that is as efficient, tyrannical, or fascist as the average corporation, I do have a question about the job title. What would you call this guy? CTO does say who he is and what he does.

Re:American CTO..Symbol of reigning corporate fasc (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307293)

How about Minister of Federal Information Technology? Or commissioner. A title that actually fits a government job. I suppose CTO is better than Czar (or Tsar, or whatever) though.

Government Buffoonery (1)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307063)

Government technology buffoonery has plagued this nation for decades. If banks can daily move trillions of dollars without the loss of a penny, why does the government require months or even years of waiting for various permits? The technology already exists. Companies like Fiserv, Jack Henry, Metavante, and Harland (maybe not Metavante, their technology and people skills suck) already manage off the shelf systems that could take a large bureaucracy like INS and make it super efficient.

If an Government CTO wanted to start somewhere, they should take advantage of this incredibly low hanging fruit. Tellers getting paid 8 dollars an hour are more efficient than the various case workers around the Federal Government. It's time to apply the same technology.

Re:Government Buffoonery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307155)

If banks can daily move trillions of dollars without the loss of a penny, ...

I just spent five weeks on the phone with Chase Bank and Wells Fargo trying to track down the location of two payments for $59.40 for one of our cable TV customers. Turned out it was Chase's fault all along. I don't disagree with your core premise that government technology buffoonery is buffoonery, but trying to support it by claiming that banks are any better at it will only hurt your argument.

Re:Government Buffoonery (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39307379)

Most of the Banks around here seem to use Diebold ATMs. The company that managed to infect its own ATM network with Windows viruses. One of the more common kinds of financial scams relies on the fact that cheques _never_ actually clear even though the banks have to clear them in a certain time frame. It can be two years later and suddenly a $50,000 cashiers cheque you deposited and your bank "cleared" is reversed. There have been tons of cases of billions of dollars being completely misused by bankers and being lost because the bank procedures and software that were meant to track the money could simply be bypassed and it looks like the ones that made the news are only the tip of the iceburg.

Based on that and other things, I'm going to have to say that, while _some_ of the systems banks use may be very good and amazingly precise, overall they do a terrible job considering that they're basically the underpinnings of the entire world economy.

Re:Government Buffoonery (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311297)

Your suggestion of where a Government CTO should start implies a misunderstanding of the motivation of the State and of this administration in particular.

There will be no concerted moves toward efficiency that might decrease a need for Government personnel and budget. No, this CTO will be suggesting new programs that require new expenditures. If anything, those new programs will degrade the performance of other parts of Government, requiring more budget dollars to correct.

The State is interested in its own growth. Low hanging fruit that gains efficiency, costs less, and gives more freedom to individuals will not be pursued.

I Do NOT Want My Health Records Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307103)

What are they thinking?!?!?

Oh no! Another Czar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39307277)

Fox News will complain about this for at least a week instead of actually going into any substantial issues.

Data Socialist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39308567)

The resume says he used to be a data socialist. He'll it fit right in with the banksters and the spies.

He'll last 8 months at most (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313111)

Because a) it's a do nothing job and b) it's impossible to accomplish anything when procurement runs the world.

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