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Silicon Valley Stays Quiet As Washington Implodes

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the power-to-tax-is-power-to-destroy dept.

Government 299

dcblogs writes "In a better time, circa 1998, Cypress Semiconductor founder and CEO T.J. Rodgers gave a provocative speech, titled 'Why Silicon Valley Should Not Normalize Relations with Washington D.C.' This speech is still important to understanding the conflict that tech leaders have with Congress, and their relative silence during the shutdown. 'The metric that differentiates Silicon Valley from Washington does not fall along conventional political lines: Republican versus Democrat, conservative versus liberal, right versus left,' Rogers said. 'It falls between freedom and control. It is a metric that separates individual freedom to speak from tap-ready telephones; local reinvestment of profit from taxes that go to Washington; encryption to protect privacy from government eavesdropping; success in the marketplace from government subsidies; and a free, untaxed Internet from a regulated, overtaxed Internet.'"

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299 comments

Don't pay your taxes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133629)

Defund the government. It's the only way.

Re:Don't pay your taxes (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133897)

yeah I like jail too

"It falls between freedom and control" (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#45134319)

Would you like a Palantir [techdirt.com] with your Siri, [venturebeat.com] or just plain Narus and Amdocs? [mondoweiss.net]

Re:Don't pay your taxes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133973)

Our Federal government has a expiration date.

We're in the coffin corner now, printing our own debt, as predicted. Buying votes with bennies always ends badly. The EBT glitch showed us, once again, what sort of people we're made of now.

American Exceptionalism is a genuine phenomena. We're about to prove it again by imploding ourselves. It won't be like Europe; angry protesters briefly painting signs and throwing rocks while the adults finally impose reality. We've bred millions of hate filled, feral animals and they're going to get hungry fast.

Just about the time the Chinese get their new Panama locks working to flood the East Coast with container ships they'll find the ports on fire.

WASHINGTON NOT IMPLODING (4, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#45133995)

Stage management. Drama. Theatrics.

In the end? The powerful will be more so - you will pay more, and get less.

Mission accomplished, and your expectations diminished, as planned.

Re:WASHINGTON NOT IMPLODING (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#45134365)

Eh, why so cynical? Look at history: there's good things to come out of every bad thing and bad things that come out of every good thing. Perhaps this will shock people into realizing that gerrymandering isn't something they can ignore. Perhaps tea party voters will start to question whether forcing people to buy healthcare is actually at all similar to fascism. Perhaps actual small government conservatives will take back control of their party, and we can actually cut wasteful spending rather than just cutting taxes and pretending that makes sense.

Don't say the sky is falling simply because you could see one way in which it COULD fall. For one thing, it's not going to cancel it's plans to fall simply because you discovered them. If the shutdown causes the worst to happen, you'll be able to say "Told ya so!' and everyone else in your shantytown will roll their eyes. If it doesn't, you just stressed yourself out, made everyone more cynical about politics, and less likely to take steps to prevent your prophecy from coming true.

Granted, the chances of anyone reading your post doing anything about it are really low anyway... Fuck, I think I just talked myself into looking up my house of reps number and considering calling them.... goddamn desire not to be a hypocrite...

Re:WASHINGTON NOT IMPLODING (1, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#45134449)

It will be a good thing, when America slides down the hole that swallowed Rome, Assyria, Babylon and Egypt.

Re:WASHINGTON NOT IMPLODING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134769)

What?!? A call for reason? For moderation, not of the comment variety?? For actual rational thought??? On Slashdot?!?

IT'S AN OUTSIDER! OUT! OUT, VILE INTERLOPER! Never try to spoil our decade-long circle-jerk celebration of misery and cynicism again!

Bah ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133653)

The only difference is which rich assholes get richer.

The tech companies want to be given the ability to do anything to make a profit. The government wants to be given the ability to do anything to spy on us.

It's douchebags on both sides fighting for their piece of the pie -- we all get fucked over in the end.

Re:Bah ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133803)

It actually fills me with disgust to read people like Scott McNealy's twitter feed.

Re:Bah ... (5, Insightful)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 9 months ago | (#45134067)

The only difference is which rich assholes get richer.

The tech companies want to be given the ability to do anything to make a profit. The government wants to be given the ability to do anything to spy on us.

It's douchebags on both sides fighting for their piece of the pie -- we all get fucked over in the end.

Without a government that is forcing you to give your money to someone, those "assholes" have to compete with others for the privilege of serving you.

Re:Bah ... (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45134281)

What "competition"? Maybe in your libertarian fantasy world. But here in the real-world, powerful corporations collude, buy monopolies, crush any smaller competitors--and generally do everything to ensure that there is no real competition, and never will be. The "free market" is a bunch of horseshit shoveled to gullible suckers.

Re:Bah ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134361)

Where do you go to become a corporation? Who do you pay?

Re:Bah ... (1)

blakelarson (1486631) | about 9 months ago | (#45134439)

I get your point, but TWiTfan did say "powerful corporations". As opposed to any old corporation (which can be formed at the cost of a Mens Wearhouse suit).

Re:Bah ... (2, Interesting)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#45134467)

You forgot Somalia.

The "free market" is a bunch of horseshit shoveled to gullible suckers.

You're right, we don't have a free market. But pessimism isn't going to fix that, and inaction isn't going to result in a better situation. We're not going to end up in a socialist utopia, but state-run capitalism that rewards the elite, yet treats the worker as mere chattel.

Re:Bah ... (0)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45134551)

We're not going to end up in a socialist utopia, but state-run capitalism that rewards the elite, yet treats the worker as mere chattel.

As opposed to sitting in a privately-run capitalism that rewards the elite, yet treats the worker as mere chattel.

real dichotomy (4, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45134237)

The only difference is which rich assholes get richer....It's douchebags on both sides fighting for their piece of the pie -- we all get fucked over in the end.

I sympathize with your frustration but, no you're wrong.

Look at *policy*...Dem's and Repub's are very, very different. One party has a coordinated effort to end all abortion (including fertitlity tests in Louisiana) and teach young-earth creationism.

That's Repbublicans, that's "libertarians"...don't kid yourself....you want to criticize money in politics? welcome to the fucking club...the rich get richer **in any situation** fact is, even the best case scenario, with two functional, representative parties, money in politics will still be just as much of a problem...

no....the fact that humans can be corrupt does not validate your argument

In the end, the defeatist "Bah...it's all bullshit...meh" is immature and reductive. It's not an intellectual conclusion....it's the opposite...the refusal to engage a complex situation...something that requires mental effort to dig below the rhetoric.

Your position reminds me of Dr. Zeus in Planet of the Apes...covering his ears and screaming so he doesn't hear the human speak.

Democrats are the only people trying to do anything resembling professional governance right now. **accept and deal with that fact** if you think about it, the Chinese idea of 'crisis/opportunity' applies...

I'm surprised at Republicans...for 'free market' people their party is remarkable bereft of any new ideas.

trolls: if you want to express your hate for what I've said, please use blockquote to specify which part of my post you are criticizing

Re:real dichotomy (4, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about 9 months ago | (#45134485)

I'm surprised at Republicans...for 'free market' people their party is remarkable bereft of any new ideas.

The point of a free market is that the politicians don't have the ideas. They keep government from interfering with others who do have the good ideas. Of course the Republicans aren't very good at that either. They're just as meddling as the Democrats.

grumble-grumble (3, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45134623)

Of course the Republicans aren't very good at that either. They're just as meddling as the Democrats.

trying not to freak out here...but you *did* make a coherent point and used blockquotes as requested...so here goes:

The point of a free market is that the politicians don't have the ideas. They keep government from interfering with others who do have the good ideas

this is Ayn Rand revisionism...Paul Ryan type stuff...people who understand economic theory through the lense of **ONE** theorist only...that's your mistake.

the 'free market' is a heuristic of human behavior....it is independent of political/social systems (ex: the huge black market in Soviet Russia, street vendors, etc)

the 'free market' applied to government means a competition of ideas...

**competition of ideas**

my point was/is, that of the two, the Repubs and their supporters talk often and loudly about their love of the 'free market'

if you apply 'free market' ideas to politics, logically you would expect a lively debate of new ideas and old ideas adapted in interesting ways...

also, what is the difference if Robert Oppenheimer makes the A-bomb for Boening or for the DoD? does it really matter who signed his paycheck? he went in and did his work...

the 'free market' isn't any better or worse than the 'government' at doing any one project...that's comparing apples and oranges...b/c the 'free market' isn't an economic system its a heuristic of human behavior

They keep government from interfering with others who do have the good ideas

that is a drastically reductive idea of what government does...based on Ayn Rand...a bad reading of Rand even...

The US Constitution spells out why our government exists, and it makes alot of sense.

I certainly agree that **YES** you are right, one function of government (of many, many functions) is to protect the 'idea people' from unfair competition!!!

I really want you to know that you're right on there...but I think your premise is wrong...

Re:real dichotomy (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 9 months ago | (#45134641)

In the end, the defeatist "Bah...it's all bullshit...meh" is immature and reductive. It's not an intellectual conclusion....it's the opposite...the refusal to engage a complex situation...something that requires mental effort to dig below the rhetoric.

Unless by "mental effort" you mean "advancing technology to the singularity and welcoming our new AI overlords," human nature is what it is, and you're just pissing into the wind.

Re:real dichotomy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134651)

That's Repbublicans, that's "libertarians".

Republicans are not libertarians. Anyone trying to make that equivalence has an agenda, and they're probably afraid of libertarians. Neither Republicans nor Democrats like libertarian's "keep government small and butt out of our private affairs" attitudes, although for different reasons.

While pure libertarianism probably wouldn't work a whole lot better than anarchism in modern society, it'd sure be nice to try even a watered-down version over the creeping totalitarianism we have now.

Re:Bah ... (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about 9 months ago | (#45134625)

Well sure. That's one way to look at the world and for the moment, let us suppose it is just which assholes get richer.

I'd much rather some asshole get rich providing me with a service/product that I actually want to use.

Yes, I'd rather some asshole get rich providing me with good transportation, communication, housing, shelter, food... you know all the things you want/need in your life.

Better still, a rich asshole who interferes the least with my life.

It absolutely matters who that rich asshole is and what he does. Even if you take this rather rich asshole view of the world, you'd be a food to treat all rich assholes equally.

Nerds Should Shut Up About Politics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133655)

Sorry but the computer whizzes in Silicon Valley may know a lot about technology, that doesn't mean they know politics. They have very privileged, sheltered lives, where the American people do not all have been so lucky.

Everyone there may be all hippie libertarians but the truth is they are so far from the mainstream of American politics, they have no business sticking their noses in this and should just stay with what they know- tech.

Re:Nerds Should Shut Up About Politics (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#45133841)

The marketplace of ideas is enriched by every additional voice no matter the background, as long as that additional voice doesn't silence another voice. If they're saying "let them eat cake" type nonsense, then everyone will ignore them and the effect will be the same. If people take their dumb ideas to heart, they're probably not making good moves in the absence of nerds talking. If what the nerds are saying is better than what the alternatives are saying, like religious organizations, organizations dedicated to ignorance, or corporations interested in nothing more than money, then it will be a good thing that they talked.

Alternatively, everyone else should shut up too and give all power to a benevolent saintly king who will rule fairly. Oh, we don't have one of those? Well then, how about everyone gives their opinion and we don't resort to ad-homenim attacks.

On the contrary, it's an obligation (2)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 9 months ago | (#45134299)

Intelligent educated people have a duty to speak, especially about science and technology issues. It's this whole "democracy" idea that only works when people participate.

They have very privileged, sheltered lives.. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 9 months ago | (#45134349)

So Silicon Valley and DC politicians do have some common ground.

Why do you keep electing a privileged elite to represent you in DC, but you shy away from a privileged tech elite that have a track record for economic growth?

Something doesn't add up here, and I suspect it's your own personal bias. Try take a more anti-establishment stance, at least when the world is crumbling around us.

Stay strong President Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133659)

We've got your back. Don't negotiate with the Republican terrorists.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133687)

Stay Strong Conservatives, don't negotiate with the libtard fascists.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#45133715)

Stay strong apathetic non-voters. Don't bother. It's cool. Or whatever.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (3, Funny)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#45133769)

Stay strong, zero-information voters. Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga will do your bothering for you.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134031)

Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga will do your bothering for you.

Now there's some write-in candidates I could believe in in!

Re:Stay strong President Obama (3, Funny)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 9 months ago | (#45134443)

Rumor has it, Miley and Justin are breeding the first generation of NEGATIVE-information voters. . . .

Re:Stay strong President Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133863)

I'm having a hard time deciding if the conservitards are more like fascists or terrorists. I think I'm going to go with terrorist this time around, since using FUD to attack a government and achieve a political goal is pretty much a by-the-book definition of terrorism.

Kind of ironic that the conservitards were pro-fascism in the W. Bush years, and now they're pro-terror.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134095)

Liberal fascists now? I thought they were all communist or socialist. Geez, will someone make up their mind?!

Re:Stay strong President Obama (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#45134631)

Fascism has always been a flavor of socialism. We know you're all in denial. Doesn't change history.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#45134667)

We've got your back. Don't negotiate with the Republican terrorists.

Stay Strong Conservatives, don't negotiate with the libtard fascists.

Yes, everyone just "stay strong" (a weird choice of speech, because you have to actually be strong in order to stay strong) and never negotiate! We don't need to negotiate! Negotiation accomplishes nothing!

I think the American people need to stay strong and kick out everyone in Washington who would rather hold the country hostage by refusing to negotiate instead of doing their actual jobs. Their job, by the way, is to negotiate.

Idiot (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133889)

You fell for the Pelosi/Reid/Obama hype. Congratulations, you are as dumb as the next guy.

It's not terrorism to practice politics.

When you have power, you use it to affect change. If you sit on your hands and say "well, the president was elected, so we have to do as he says", then you are a double idiot because (a) the president doesn't get to tell congress what to do (b) congress is allowed to do anything that's within the rules of the constitution and it's just how politics are done.

You're very much a person who just wants a government subsidy of what sort or another, and you think anybody who stands between you and your check is evil.

Get over yourself. You're not entitled to anything.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133929)

Obama and his senate sock puppets want a blank check. The country is almost $17T in debt and it's rising fast. Giving a drunk an unlimited supply of mad-dog 20-20 is hardly a responsible act. Especially since the budget is Congress' Constitutional responsibility.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134273)

Libtards just want a blank check so they can keep polishing the giant turd they have created with stimulus, 29 hour work weeks, huge debts, and the largest tax increase ever perpetuated on the the American People (Yes, it's a tax - John Roberts said so). With the media cum-guzzlers shilling for Obama, the S/N ratio about what is actually going on is getting propagandized away from the truth that Congress has the purse strings and the purse is empty and overdrawn. Conservatives in the house are doing their job.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (2)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 9 months ago | (#45134419)

Look, Obama isn't involved here. Congress is the legislative body(s). Until they pass a bill and send it to the White House, they haven't done their job.

If Obama is vetoing bill after bill, and Congress can't override, then it's time for the Congress and the White House to confer and compromise. That's not the case right now. If the Congress was doing their job, Obama would be just another asshole with an opinion (although, surely, an asshole with a "bully pulpit"). Placing responsibility for this mess on the President is simply another tactic by the lunatic fringe to deflect blame from their actions.

Re:Stay strong President Obama (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 9 months ago | (#45134691)

Dissent is patriotic [youtube.com] - Hillary Clinton

If only... (3, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about 9 months ago | (#45133669)

It's an interesting attitude that I wish more companies would take. I think many of our laws would be better designed to protect "we the people".

Re:If only... (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#45133741)

It's an interesting attitude that I wish more companies would take. I think many of our laws would be better designed to protect "we the people".

At least SOMEBODY is on the proper side of the line here.

But make no mistake: other parts of California, like Hollywood and the music studios, have been staunchly behind Obama and the others who have been attempting to take our freedoms.

Still, it's glad to see businesses -- especially big businesses -- supporting the good causes too.

Re:If only... (3, Interesting)

PaddyM (45763) | about 9 months ago | (#45133813)

The Anti-SOPA stance was a good day.

But by and large, I think these organizations have been too quiet. If they have not normalized relationships with Washington, then why did it take a leak by someone from Washington for some of these organizations to admit what vast information has been shared?

And it's ludicrous to not-normalize relationships with Washington. That's where the laws are defined. There should be pro-privacy politicians with the backing of these companies. With Citizens United, shouldn't tech organizations have the strong advantage of getting the word out about what kind of society we want to create?

The stance of burying heads in the sand is no better than those fools who talk of secession, or try to create their own militia societies. The brain drain occurring today in Russia, is likely to reoccur here in the United States due to gerrymandering if we stay disengaged.

Re:If only... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about 9 months ago | (#45133871)

Sadly, they've been staunchly behind BOTH parties to try to pressure them into such things. This "latest battle" started with the DMCA - which would have been a lot worse if it weren't for some CongressCritters who actually stood up for us - and those were largely Democrats, btw.

While BOTH parties are doing a horrendous job with such things, one party is entirely ignoring the public on this matter - the corporate donations to that particular party are coincidentally a lot higher.

Goals vs Means (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#45133745)

I find that most people can agree on what goals we admire and hope for. What they tend to disagree upon, particularly politically, is how to achieve them. When it comes to protecting freedoms and liberties, the goals generally necesitate preventing the government from getting a foot in the door in the first place. Once the government is in, they refuse to get out.

Re:Goals vs Means (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 9 months ago | (#45134481)

I've begun to think there is a fundamental difference in how people look at solutions to problems that guides them towards liberal or conservative solutions. It's a simplistic theory, but interesting.

Basically, liberals place more emphasis on the primary effects of a solution, conservatives place more emphasis on secondary effects of a solution. Sort of mirrors the "change is good" vs "change is bad" poles. But not entirely.

Example: abortion
Problem: unwanted pregnancies are a problem
Solution (primary effect): end unwanted pregnancies
Secondary effect: potential lives are ended

Liberals see the end of the problem as better than the secondary effect
Conservatives see the problem as better than the secondary effect

In all fairness, this theory is pretty arbitrary and what are primary and secondary effects are debatable. But I find it handy for understanding the perspective of two sides of a debate. How each side can be deaf to what the other is saying.

Bullshit (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 9 months ago | (#45133773)

You know why the NSA was able to search social graphs and emails so easily? Because all of those pro-freedom Silicon Valley companies (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and so on) had already built infrastructure for doing so for the purpose of selling adverts. The NSA just piggybacked on existing system to look for other information. If Silicon Valley had really cared about individual freedom, Google would have been pushing federated, decentralised services with no single point where you can insert a tap. Instead, what has happened since we've learned about the NSA's involvement? Google has replaced federated XMPP in GTalk with non-federated XMPP in Google Hangouts.

Re:Bullshit (2)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about 9 months ago | (#45133887)

While that may be the case (sans the drama), the simple fact is that in order for much of the web to work in a decent fashion, such "infrastructure" had to be built in one form or another.

Re:Bullshit (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 months ago | (#45134091)

Bullshit. Plenty of decentralized services (including, but not limited to HTTP, email, IRC, etc.) work just fine and centralizing them like Google attempted with XMPP has no conceivable benefit (except to the likes of advertisers and the NSA).

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133891)

You know why the NSA was able to search social graphs and emails so easily? Because the US Army had already built infrastructure for doing so for the purpose of communicating information. The NSA just piggybacked on existing system to look for [snip] information.

FTFY.

Re:Bullshit (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 9 months ago | (#45133983)

Let look at the rest of the statement in the write up:
1) Freedom vs. control. How do we reconcile this with patent trolls, DRM, and de facto unlimited copy rights?
2) Local reinvestment of profit from taxes that go to Washington. Yeah right, reinvestment. If reinvestment means CEOs line their pockets. What I see is a bunch of freeloaders not paying taxes to support the educational system that benefits them. And also such basic research institutes such as DARPA, NASA, and a host of others.
3) A free untaxed unregulated internet. It is regulation which prevents the internet from becoming a captured, by business interests, internet.
4) Success in the marketplace from government subsidies. LMAO, see point 2 above as well as how many tech companies have their snouts in the government trough.

That's probably just a start.

Re:Bullshit (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#45134045)

Your post doesnt really make much sense. A webmail provider (like Google) has to be able to see what your email is, even if only because they are sending you the HTML containing your emails. Everything Ive seen suggests that the Google et al taps were done via tapping at the ISP level or else sending NSLs, neither of which a company can really do much about so long as they are based in the US.

You could sell adverts on a webmail even if it werent tappable (say, they require the use of VPN)-- the server could scan the mail and insert ads as it is delivering the email webpage; you could even insert javascript which simply does it client-side (which i believe is what most of these sites do) so the server doesnt have a hand in picking the ads.

Google has replaced federated XMPP in GTalk with non-federated XMPP in Google Hangouts.

While Im not happy with that, I fail to see how the use or lack thereof of XMPP somehow presents an obstacle to the NSA.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134089)

At least google gives me a good search engine, what has the fucking goverment ever done for me? Shit all but STEAL my money.

Re:Bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134563)

All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

The divide is the same everywhere (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 months ago | (#45133781)

But the folks in Silicon Valley have the means to at least complain about how bad things are. The rest of the country can't or won't speak up.

Silence until NSA spying hurts sales (4, Interesting)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 9 months ago | (#45133847)

They'll stay silent until America's reputation, and the NSA spying specifically, starts to impact sales. Until then, Silicon Valley's lobbying policy seems to be "pray they don't affect us".

Since TFS doesn't list it, here's Why Silicon Valley Should Not Normalize Relations With Washington, D.C. [cato.org] from the libertarian think tank Cato Institute.

Except that spying is what this new economy is all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45133865)

about. I wouldnt expect that silicon valley would be fighting against their own profits.

Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valley? (5, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 9 months ago | (#45133921)

There is no such thing as what "silicon valley wants". It's not even a valley and it is definitely not made of silicon. But, that's beside the point. He basically makes it sound as if everybody there is libertarian without mentioning the word, but it is far from the truth. People who matter are involved with the government up to their necks, including all the things he says silicon valley is against: eavesdropping, subsidies, protectionism, non-free internet. All major tech companies maintain nice and expensive lobbyists in Washington. Not that I blame them, they have to live in real world and deal with the biggest and most powerful gorilla in the jungle and that is the government. And it's getting bigger.

Re:Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134109)

I'm glad someone else noticed this. And dissapointed to have to wade through 30 post of government hate, Google hate, and NSA hate just to find the one person who understood the subtext.

Re:Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valle (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 9 months ago | (#45134121)

There is no such thing as what "silicon valley wants". .

This is true. Also, technology is generally a party neutral topic, and technology companies want to keep it that way. They must retain the ability to lobby both sides. Plus, these days, company leaders that express political opinions are often crucified in the press, calls for boycotts and such often follow.

Re:Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valle (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 months ago | (#45134189)

It's not even a valley and it is definitely not made of silicon.

Actually, I'm sure that silicon makes up about 30% of the land in Silicon Valley (just like it does everywhere else), and San Francisco Bay was a valley until the end of the last ice age (when it filled up with ocean).

Re:Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valle (3, Informative)

unixisc (2429386) | about 9 months ago | (#45134199)

Given how overwhelmingly the entire counties of San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara - not just San Francisco - vote Democrat in every election, thereby making the entire state of CA a 'blue' state, it's ridiculous to claim that Silicon Valley wants the sort of things that Libertarians or even Conservatives champion. TJ, Scott McNealy, John Chambers are really exceptions in an industry that leans overwhelmingly LEFT.

Re:Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134409)

The voting for democrats in CA is picking the lesser of 2 evils.
Give me candidates who:

1. Don't care about religion and don't care either way about Abortion.
2. Aren't crazy to think global warming is not real.
3. Don't want to subsidize either Big Oil or Big Green.
4. Does not want to interfere in what is taught in schools.
5. Doesn't support the Military Industrial complex.

To sum it up someone who cares about the important things that I care about and won't fuck up the rest and they will get my vote even if they are republicans.

Unfortunately I like republican Fiscal policy but that's where it stops. They are just plain nuts when it comes to religion, distrust of science, gun craziness, Support for Big Businesses at social cost which ought weighs the fiscal goodness.
And I like the Democrats views on personal freedoms, Climate & belief in Science. But can't take their dysfunction.
And unlike some other countries we don't have a real third or fourth or fifth party to choose from.

Re:Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valle (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 9 months ago | (#45134739)

Your view of Republican party seems to be influenced more by the (unfortunately very successful) efforts by the left and their media to discredit it, than by reality. Yes, there are nuts on the right but there are also nuts on the left, it's a matter of whom the media chooses to emphasize or hide in the corner. Fox News plays the same game by constantly mentioning one or other leftist politician/activist/professor who says particularly nutty things and then presents them as views of the entire left. As for the things you say matter to you:

1) I support abortion (in libertarian way though - the right to life does not apply when you live inside another person's body) but I would never vote for a candidate who doesn't care either way about it. It shows how far you are gone to the other side of the religious right, that you don't apparently even recognize the moral issue involved.

2) Hardly anybody claims that. There are genuine differences in what the causes of it are and what the response should be. I would equally call it crazy to automatically support something like carbon tax, or sign up to various treaties (which invariably tax the developed countries disproportionately) without having any idea (since nobody does) whether this will have any impact on global warming.

3) Agree with that one.

4) Are you kidding? Apart from the fringe of the right which has been trying (unsuccessfully) to introduce something like intelligent design or whatever, it is the left that interferes FAR more with what is thought in schools and how. Political correctness alone has introduced far more deliberate falsities into the curriculum than religion. Not to mention that politically, left want more uniformity in what is thought (right would leave more of it to states and local), supports teachers unions which honest people can plainly see negatively impacts the "how" part.

5) This is one area where there is a PERFECT bi-partisan agreement. Show me how Democrats are not supporting Military-Industrial complex?

Re:Who elected this guy to speak for Silicon Valle (1)

stevew (4845) | about 9 months ago | (#45134509)

A few points.

1) It was written 15 years ago. Since then we've had 9/11, the Patriot Act, Wikileaks and the NSA invasion of privacy just to mention a few interesting events. So many actors have changed their stripes (Google seems to be a prime example) since this was written. Yet his points are still relevant! If we had paid attention to Dr. Rodgers points then maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are today.
2) It IS a valley idiot. I stand outside and see two mountain ranges, one on either side... a valley!
3) Since the 1960s this place has been the center of the Semiconductor industry. In the last decade the place has lost most of its manufacturing. Yet calling Silicon Valley 15 years ago was an accurate portrayal.

I don't even bother watching, "staying quiet" too (1)

bradrum (1639141) | about 9 months ago | (#45133977)

This shutdown has been a long time coming lets face it. Congress has been mostly broken for years. It seems someone is always ready to throw a wrench into the gears no matter what the issue is (Except war and surveillance, because hey no one wants to be that guy that gets blamed for a terrorist attack). Its good that things have come to a head because the whole world needs to see that the US government is broken.

Power corrupts, and all that. (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 9 months ago | (#45133985)

We've seen it over and over again. Once a few large successful companies develop an entrenched market position, they drop all of their pretenses of ideals and form a sort of symbiosis with the government.

The difference between now and 1998 is probably that internet companies at the time saw government control of the net as an impediment to their growth, where now they see it as an opportunity to make more money and protect their position from competitors.

It isn't any different elsewhere (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#45133987)

There are those who have fallen for the false, artificially created dichotomy of Republican-Democrat and those who have realized that the real problem is politics as an industry.

What really needs to be done is to wipe out the concept of two parties both of which are so ossified in untenable positions that the combination is destroying the Republic.

1. Term limits for Congress. 12 years.
2. Campaign Finance Limits. 100 dollars per candidate/person.
3. Eliminate Gerrymandering. Districts must be drawn that are representative of the state's demographics.
4. Eliminate the electoral college.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

bradrum (1639141) | about 9 months ago | (#45134133)

I would add
5. Establish an election holiday so people can actually take their time and (hopefully) make a better decision about who to vote for.
6. Limit time between campaigning to a month or two at most

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134249)

Also:
7. Eliminate the straight ticket vote
8. Remove the party affiliation next to the candidate. Just names only on the forms.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134183)

Those are pretty straightforward, but I'd add:

5. Ratify the original House version of Article the First [wikipedia.org] (max 50k constituents per Rep)
6. Get rid of first-past-the-post voting

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#45134305)

50K max would mean a Congress with 6000 representatives. There is no way this would be workable.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 9 months ago | (#45134297)

While I agree that there needs to be a great deal of ballot access and redistricting reform (indeed I think districts should be generated by an algorithm that is developed and overseen by a nonpartisan agency/office), it's premature to talk of eliminating the electoral college. Not because its time hasn't come, it has, but the current national context wouldn't bear it. It's currently the main institution that's balancing the power between the broad expanse of rural America and the dense urban areas. If it were eliminated, rural America would become virtually disenfranchised as Presidential candidates would only need to campaign in the largest metro areas to secure victory. Rural areas would be ignored, and consequently have no voice. Roll that on for a few years and it would be likely to precipitate another civil war.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134301)

(3) Isn't as possible as you'd like it to be. If every district is representative of the state's demographics, then there will be no majority-minority districts (which I believe the Voting Rights Act requires, and it certainly seems like they should have representation), and every state's house representation would be identical. Ideally you'd want to draw districts which have near-homogeneous voters, but in reality homogeneous voters don't exist. Historically geographic representation yielded the best results for this (rural voters have distinctly different priorities than urban and suburban voters), but other countries have used different systems.

It'd be interesting to try having a few at-large house districts, but Congress currently doesn't allow them.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#45134363)

Alaska is represented by an at-large representative now.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#45134429)

There is a huge problem with the existing districts that results in entrenched, invulnerable elected officials.

I'd be in favor of a system that prevented the formation of districts that resulted in minimization of noncompetitive elections.

Perhaps the election theorists could come up with such a system.

Another problem is the makeup of the Senate - the lack of population sensitivity causes gross underrepresentation of much of the US population. Population concentration in a few states is now much more pronounced than at the time of the Great Compromise. It's a serious issue. I don't have a suggestion on how to fix it though.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134315)

Replace first-past-the-post voting with a system that doesn't require strategic voting and doesn't converge towards a two-party system.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#45134367)

3. Eliminate Gerrymandering. Districts must be drawn that are representative of the state's demographics.

There's no way to eliminate gerrymandering. There will always be someone who draws the boundaries, and whoever draws them, no matter what rules he follows, will be able to find some way to make some districts lean more than they should.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#45134621)

Specify an algorithm and you can take the pols out of the process.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#45134771)

Nope. The party that is in power when the algorithm is specified wins.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

dbc (135354) | about 9 months ago | (#45134381)

You need to study the effects of what you propose and try to post again.

We have term limits in California. They have empowered the permanent staff and the public employee unions. They have made things worse, not better.

Campaign finance limits always run up against First Amendment challenges. Sort that out coherently, then let's talk. Until then, it's a pipe dream. You don't get to ingore the parts of the consitution you find inconvenient in the moment.

What do you mean by "representative of the state's demographics"? That could be interpreted a hundred different ways. We just had a non-partisan citizen committee do redistricticing in California, chartered with drawing districts along natural boundaries. The process was about as non-partisan as is possible to get. The results were "safer" districts overall. The scheme totally backfired, despite good intentions all around.

Eliminating the electoral college has zero effect in most years. When it does, it has the effect of disenfranchising the rural minority. No thanks. That is why we have a republic, not a direct democracy.

Disenfranchisement of minority rights is the pox on American politics. In the case of California, we could correct a lot of the state's disfunction by making the state Senate one seat per county. Let the assembly seats be drawn in areas of equal population. Then legislation will no longer be mob rule by the urban interests. The legilature will have to come up with compromise legislation that solves real problems without trampling on the rights of minority interests. Yes, it would be a lot harder to get both houses to agree on legislation -- that is a good thing.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

TheSync (5291) | about 9 months ago | (#45134435)

We have term limits in California. They have empowered the permanent staff and the public employee unions. They have made things worse, not better.

Indeed, I used to believe in term limits. The truth is that in practice they seem to "distort the market of politics" the same way price controls distort the market. They force the real economy of power away from elected officials competing in the marketplace of the voting booth and push real power into the darker "deep state" of bureaucracies.

By the way, the same goes for campaign finance limits as well.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 months ago | (#45134561)

The reasons I want to eliminate the electoral college are:

1. Past history of Presidents elected despite not having a plurality of votes.
2. Proposal by Rance Priebus describing a method to corrupt the election process by tying electoral college votes to gerrymandered congressional districts.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/172191/rncs-priebus-proposes-rig-electoral-college-so-losing-republicans-can-win# [thenation.com]

There are huge problems with the current gerrymandering system. For example, we have a Republican majority in Congress despite the fact that 55% of the votes for Congressmen in the last election were for Democrats. In large part the current shutdown and threats on not raising the debt limit devolve to one thing - the current system of gerrymandering.

It makes a complete mockery of the idea of one man, one vote.

Re:It isn't any different elsewhere (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 9 months ago | (#45134743)

3. Eliminate Gerrymandering. Districts must be drawn that are representative of the state's demographics.

How? Who determines that? Who gathers and manages the data? Who draws the lines? It would be far easier and less manipulable to just do a single transferable vote [wikipedia.org] ballot and elect representatives at large.

We're screwed. (0)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 9 months ago | (#45134011)

What's currently happening in Washington doesn't fundamentally impact most people day to day. If anything, it's probably a good thing because spending has been curtailed somewhat. The fact that certain high profile programs have seen funding cut is nothing but a political ploy to make citizens feel some of the pain. We're supposed to believe that the sky is falling but meanwhile all of Congress continues enjoying it's countless benefits. Nor has it prevented our vice-president from going on vacation.

The problem is that while Americas are playing tic-tac-toe the powers that be are playing chess. To this day people continue to argue in defense of their political parties of choice while we continued to be screwed by everyone. Both sides of the aisle are clearly pandering for influence and power, usually playing to different constituencies and except when they're trying to appease the same corporate masters. When when they're pandering to regular systems they inevitably screw everyone else in favor of their particular constituency. It's all garbage.

And meanwhile people seem generally okay with the fact that we're being spied on. That's the most troubling thing here, that people continue to be so fiercely loyal to Obama despite the fact that he's proven himself to be no different than Bush. There's that obnoxious "thanks Obama" meme going around that continues the theme of making fun of anyone who criticizes the president. Where were all these people when Bush was being criticized for something as ridiculous as the weather?

The problem isn't that people criticized Bush, it's the double-standard being applied to Obama. Case in point: Ann Romney wears a $10k outfit and she's out-of-touch; Michelle Obama wears an equally expensive outfit and she's so stylish, adorning the cover of countless magazines. As long as people continue this mentality of my guy is better than yours we're screwed.

Re:We're screwed. (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#45134413)

As long as people continue this mentality of my guy is better than yours we're screwed.

Welcome to the human race?

Re:We're screwed. (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | about 9 months ago | (#45134545)

What's currently happening in Washington doesn't fundamentally impact most people day to day....The fact that certain high profile programs have seen funding cut is nothing but a political ploy to make citizens feel some of the pain. We're supposed to believe that the sky....

Nope, the programs affected by the shutdown are discretionary spending, that means nice to have, but not essential. So if we open national parks, memorials, museums, etc. What would you suggest we close in its place? The military?

Vulgar libertarian propaganda (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 9 months ago | (#45134071)

I see the Ayn Rand science fiction book club are quite busy today.

Yawn. As always. Nothing to see here. Move on.
.

Re:Vulgar libertarian propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134265)

I get sick of this. As a liberation, would you like to inform me as to why my beliefs are vulgar? Point by point mind you. Not just what left wing media says with the whole "libertarians are anarchists!" thing when if you read up on it you see anarchy is an extreme leftist view.

What's wrong with limiting government involvement to where it needs to be? And I'll start throwing some myth busting at you. No where will you see dissolving state run police forces or fire departments. People want to form a union, sounds good to me, just don't make my joining compulsory. Abolishing the concept of legal marriage so all the shit related to that is placed on a beneficiary/dependent role regardless of "marital status" and eliminating unnecessary substance bans, yeah, but not critical services. That's just FUD because if you actually read up on libertarian views, they actually make a hell of a lot of sense, and I believe the left wing media is afraid of it as it would be difficult to spin negatively to keep their power once it was actually seen in practice.

Regulate that which needs to be, and nothing more, that's the creed of the libertarian. What's the problem with that?

Re:Vulgar libertarian propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134683)

"What's wrong with limiting government involvement to where it needs to be?"

Everyone has different opinions on that. For some it means that every aspect of your life needs to have some regulation or service associated with it. Because it is unfair if only rich people get the things they need. And it's unsafe if we allow anyone to do anything they want, like home school their children.

Why aren't you thinking of the children? Why can't you stop hating family?

In my opinion, and this is perhaps more bizarre than libertarianism, is that the government should be limited to a few basic goals:
1. keep our communities from becoming some ugly horrible place. (no old ladies who have to eat cat food, no old men dying in the street)
2. anyone who wants an education should get one. doesn't mean they get a free education, if they want it bad enough they may have to work for it or borrow for it.
3. anyone who wants a job should get one. they may have to adjust their expectations, their standard of living, or retrain for a new career. It's sad to go from history professor to ditch digger, but I don't think we should make a lot of promises
4. (fits in with #1) anyone who will die if they don't receive basic medical attention should get it. they may have to go into debt, or borrow, change their lifestyle or maybe they get it for free. (don't care about the details). They don't get world class medical care for free though, just basic medical care. If a cutting edge million dollar treatment means you can live another 3 months, then that is entirely your choice and you should figure out your own way to pay for it. If a $1500 surgery means your appendix doesn't burst and go septic, then lets get that taken care of. I don't want to see old men dying in the streets over relatively easy to treat conditions.
5. anyone who wants to do business should be able to do so in a way that is competitive with the world, as long as the standards of the community can be maintained. Operating a sweat shop and using child labor is not something we want to see in our community. But burdening business with numerous taxes and liabilities makes it difficult for individuals to move from being a worker to being an owner/operator.

for the most part, we do pretty well on these, goals. But I don't think we have these goals in mind when writing laws, so I can't explain how it has happened. Perhaps the community keeps nudging everyone into the right direction. But we could do so much better if we'd just listen to what people really want. (to be free to live a safe, comfortable and productive life)

Re:Vulgar libertarian propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134433)

Of course, we should listen to you and do what you want. Everyone knows that you're perfectly correct and everyone else is wrong. You are the enlightened ideal among the unwashed masses! Ben J Fowler knows the TRUTH!! Follow HIM!

Re:Vulgar libertarian propaganda (3, Insightful)

TheSync (5291) | about 9 months ago | (#45134515)

We are glad your non-libertarian Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the White House are doing such a great job!

Does Silicon Valley have a preference on the ACA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134165)

Washington imploding my ass. The Republicans and Democrats each feel strongly about how the health care system in America should be run. The Democrats have been pushing for something stronger than the ACA for decades. Ted Kennedy considered the lack of health care reform prior to the ACA as his unfinished work. In 2008, Iraq propelled Democrats into power of the House, Senate and Presidency. They took action, and a weaker health care bill, ACA, got through. The Republicans have been fighting it ever since. This shutdown is about the ACA, and nothing more.

They're not quiet (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 9 months ago | (#45134217)

You just need lotsa untraceable lobby money to hear them.
-Congress

"Liberty" is ideology, too (1)

ferespo (899921) | about 9 months ago | (#45134223)

"Liberty", Individualism are all tenents of Libertarianism or simple Right wing ideology, so it is no surprise that Silicon Valley is against (or indiferent) to the Government or the State.

There is this idea, that there are choices that go beyond "left or right", choices that are not subjective but objective and universal.

Anytime that someone tells me that he has "no ideology" or "no political stance" I suspect he is a closeted right winger.

FAILZORS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134255)

Population as well the reape8 In a Not going to play Is busy infighting

Dat quote (1)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#45134421)

"'The metric that differentiates Silicon Valley from Washington does not fall along conventional political lines: Republican versus Democrat, conservative versus liberal, right versus left,' Rogers said. 'It falls between freedom and control. It is a metric that separates individual freedom to speak from tap-ready telephones; local reinvestment of profit from taxes that go to Washington; encryption to protect privacy from government eavesdropping; success in the marketplace from government subsidies; and a free, untaxed Internet from a regulated, overtaxed Internet.'"

Boy, do IAWTP.

Not going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45134461)

"Silicon Valley CEOs should withdraw from Technet, the hightech lobbying association; oppose corporate welfare programs; and stand together to vigorously defend companies like Microsoft, Intel, and other high-tech firms when they are under assault by the government."
-T.J. Rodgers

The problem is that "companies like Microsoft, Intel, and other high-tech firms" sign vendor contracts with the government which allow the government to dictate how these companies operate. They chase sales, incur higher-than-estimated costs, and then beg for corporate welfare.

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