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Best Super Tuesday Candidate for Technology?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the something-to-talk-about dept.

Government 549

Petey_Alchemist writes "With Super Tuesday coming up and the political field somewhat winnowed down, the process of picking the nominees for the next American President is well underway. At the same time, the Internet is bustling through a period of legal questions like Copyright infringement, net neutrality, wireless spectrum, content filtering, broadband deployment. All of these are just a few of the host of issues that the next President will be pressured to weigh in on during his or her tenure. Who do you think would be the best (or worst) candidate on Internet issues?"

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549 comments

A Good Reference (5, Informative)

longacre (1090157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274374)

Popular Mechanics' Geek The Vote '08 [popularmechanics.com] has a nice rundown of each candidate's tech policies.

Re:A Good Reference (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274436)

Pity one has to go through 50,000 page views to read it.

Obama is for transparency (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274554)

at this point, we need as much transparency as we can get for most of the tech issues: Intellectual Property, RIAA, MPEG, copyright, frequency, Cable regulation, bandwidth prioritizing. Obama has flatly stated that he supports maximum transparency at all levels of government. That makes him more libertarian than the other candidates by a long shot. so, based on that, i would say obama.

Re:Obama is for transparency (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274680)

Obama has flatly stated that he supports maximum transparency at all levels of government

Which means absolutely nothing as far as any of the issues mentioned in the summary: "Copyright infringement, net neutrality, wireless spectrum, content filtering, broadband deployment".

No wonder you posted as an AC - your answer is the same any politician would give when asked a question - use a lot of BBBs (bullshit bingo buzzwords) to avoid actually giving an answer.

Re:A Good Reference (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274592)

The best candidate is...

Let's see, eni meeni mini mo...

Re:A Good Reference (2, Informative)

Stradivarius (7490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274624)

News.com has candidate interviews [news.com] on technology policies.

answer (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274414)

Oblig internet answer: Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul!!! (yes, I'm making fun of you fanboys)

Realistic answer: Obama

None of them (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274416)

I hope to be wrong, but apparently it's impossible to run for president without the support of the same people and companies that are damaging the development of internet.

If you need funding from companies that would shut down internet if they could, how can you possibly do anything that actually helps internet development?

Any candidate that has received money (directly or indirectly) from a RIAA/MPAA affiliate or a telco (for example) is out of the question when it comes to internet matters.

Re:None of them (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274560)

The talent of a political candidate is proportional to the strength of the reality-distortion field s/he can maintain during the whole campaign. An genuinely idealist with a clear line of action that never ever bends facts or his/her opinions is sure to never get elected.

Re:None of them (5, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274618)

An genuinely idealist with a clear line of action that never ever bends facts or his/her opinions is sure to never get elected.
Yes, I agree that Ron Paul has no chance.

However, there's a different between being unbending in one's ideals and being unbending in one's understanding of the world; the latter leads to an inability or unwillingness to understand or empathize with the motivations of one's opponents, and that leads to the political environment we have today. Much of what makes Obama appealing is his willingness to think things over from perspectives other than his own and strike considered compromises that still accomplish his intended goals while making people who disagreed feel like they weren't completely steamrolled. Hillary strikes me as the win-at-any-cost type -- but winning at any cost means making the other side lose, and that leads to still more division and partisan hatred.

Re:None of them (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274858)

If Paul has no chance, it will be precisely because of all the otherwise well-meaning people who keep saying "Paul has no chance".

The "wasted vote" is a myth, or at best a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you do not vote for who you WANT to win, then someone you do not want will win. Period. It is as simple as that. Thinking about it any other way is nothing more than second-guessing, or mental jerking off.

Re:None of them (1)

barfooz (936184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274876)

No, it's not because 90% of the country says he has no chance, it's because 10% of the country says he has no chance and the other 80% say, "Who's Ron Paul?"

Re:None of them (3, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275018)

Support IRV [wikipedia.org] and there really will be no such thing as a wasted vote. Right now, however, the spoiler effect [wikipedia.org] is very very real.

Re:None of them (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274574)

Any candidate that has received money (directly or indirectly) from a RIAA/MPAA affiliate or a telco (for example) is out of the question when it comes to internet matters.
If that's your concern, wouldn't the candidate getting his funding from a much larger number of small-money individual donations make more sense than the candidate getting most of her money from a smaller number of bigger donors? (Damn English, not having grammatically correct genderless singular pronouns).

It's not like receiving any money at all is akin to taking an oath of fealty -- but you're certainly right that there's at least some level of correspondence between supporters and actions, so watching where the money comes from is a worthwhile effort. I don't expect Obama to support every item on my agenda even though I've donated repeatedly; why would you expect fealty to the telcos if any funding amount from them (if it exists) is far, far less than what's given by small, individual donors?

Re:None of them (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274892)

It is not the fault of English! You simply should not have constructed your sentence that way. Try:

"Wouldn't the candidate getting funding from a much larger number of small-money individual donations make more sense than the candidate getting most of the money from a smaller number of bigger donors?"

No singular pronouns necessary. Or desired, for that matter. That just throws in unnecessary complications, just like most of the candidates.

Technology is a business (1, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274452)

Well, the only one who understands economics and business is Romney. Since technology companies and their employees are what makes "technology" happen, Romney is the best.

The others primarily think that business (including the technology business) exists to produce goods and wealth for them to tax so they can redistribute it to politically-connected unproductive folks.

Re:Technology is a business (1)

squarefish (561836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274490)

Based on the rate of return he's getting from his campaign, I think you're high as hell.
Besides, a mormon will not be president, probably ever. He's also been known to flip-flop a little.

Romney being a mormon is a plus (3, Interesting)

rcb1974 (654474) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274884)

The mormons I know are very friendly, caring, family oriented, smart, and law abiding. I'm paying close attention to Romney this election because I think it will be good for America to have someone with those qualities in office. Running a country isn't that much different from running a business. It all boils down to doing cost/benefit analysis on a bunch of huge multivariable problems. I think Romney has the best brain for that compared to the other candidates. He has already proven he can do successfully with his own business (Bain & Company).

Re:Technology is a business (1)

gerbalblaste (882682) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274504)

Romney is great if you love telcos and hate net neutrality, hate CC and IP law reform. Just because someone ran succesful business doesn't make them informed about technology and IP law (especialy IP law)

Re:Technology is a business (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274558)

This will be quite the political discussion if everyone who doesn't say they love socialism and hate corporations (and hate the rich, religious people, the military, etc, etc, etc) gets modded to -1 Flamebait.

Why even ask the question if there's not going to be a serious discussion? Just make it a poll so the "moderators" can say "Ron Paul" or one of the socialists instead of voting to censor other perspectives with their mod points.

Re:Technology is a business (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274740)

I didn't rate you down, but you took a question on Internet issues (examples from the story: Copyright infringement, net neutrality, wireless spectrum, content filtering, broadband deployment) and gave a cookie-cutter (and IMHO unrelated) answer based on what passes for the conservative platform these days (i.e., liberals suck more.)

Speaking for myself, I'd find your comment more satisfying -- or at least more substantive -- if you had elaborated on which positions Romney holds that you feel are important on Internet issues rather than taking what has become a predictable and irrelevant swipe at Democrats whenever the Republicans have nothing reasonable to offer.

Re:Technology is a business (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274896)

The question was about who was the best candidate on Super Tuesday. I gave a clear reason why Romney is the best.

I think you're saying:

"We hate telcos, we hate owners of IP, we want the government to control every policy on everyone's Internet (except at public libraries where the government should butt out even though they are government-run libraries), and that's the "technology" position. What's the best candidate that agrees precisely with those chosen positions?"

That's not much of a discussion, is it? Why not also tell us which candidate to vote for if you're going to proscribe every other issue position in the question?

Also, who said being a socialist was bad? Not me. If you think being a socialist is good, then Obama or Hillary are good candidates for you. If you think it's a mixed bag and that socialism is good only about half the time, then McCain. If you want to escape responsibility for any government decision but still claim to have a voice, then Paul. If you want technology businesses to succeed and innovate and grow and prosper, then Romney.

Ron Paul (4, Interesting)

Roger Wilcox (776904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274620)

Paul understands economics better than any of the other candidates, in my estimation. While I'm sure Romney knows all about microeconomics and running a business, the debates have not shown that he knows anything of economics on a national or global scale.

Paul does not look at business in the way you describe either. He detests taxes that redistribute wealth to anybody - be it the lobbyists that are in bed with congress or through nanny programs that sustain a welfare state. He believes that free markets are the best thing for technology. While it's nice to think that the government spends money on research, you have to remember a few things: a) they have to get that money from somewhere (taxes) and b) by subsidizing technological research, unsubsidized programs suffer. As you mention, the government is likely to favor subsidies for politically-connected unproductive folks, so Paul would say: don't subsidize it at all.

Re:Ron Paul (1, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274662)

I'm sure Ron Paul is a good choice for anyone who wants to escape responsibility for anything that happens in government. "Don't blame me. I voted for Ron Paul".

If not being blamed is your objective, Paul is you best bet. If you want to actually accomplish something, then one of the candidates who can accomplish something might be better.

Re:Ron Paul (1, Insightful)

Roger Wilcox (776904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274974)

WTF are you talking about? Are you implying that a vote for Bush makes a voter responsible for all the stupid shit that Bush did once he won the office? Bush is a lying bastard, and most of these politicians are. You can't hold voters responsible for that. Bush said ABC in his campaign and did XYZ as soon as he was in power. Predictable, perhaps, but the fault lies with Bush and his cronies, not with voters. You want people to be more responsible? How about voting for someone who ISN'T A LYING BASTARD! Someone who, while you may not agree with his platform exactly, you believe will do his best to bring HONESTY to the process! Someone who WON'T SELL THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION OUT to his business partners! Sounds a hell of a lot better than voting for someone who will only continue the cycle of lies and corruption.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275020)

I'd rather vote on the issues then based on the media polls of who is ahead. Your mileage may vary, but I feel better with myself for sticking to my ideals than picking it based on a popularity contest. Also, I believe that it's possible to wake up the Americans that they don't have only two choices. Likely? Probably not. But it allows me to sleep good at night.

Re:Technology is a business (1)

thedbp (443047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274656)

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anybody who backs the Federal Reserve System is in the pocket of the people that are making our lives a living hell. Period.

Re:Technology is a business (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274732)

I back the Federal Reserve system. When can I expect my check to arrive?

Also, this is the USA. We have a good quality of life in the USA compared to most other countries past and present. "Our" lives are not a "living hell". Since you are so demonstrably wrong about obvious, observable quality of life, what insight could you possibly have on the "cause" of that "problem"?

Re:Technology is a business (1)

hoffmanbike (1206840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274854)

you do not want Romney... he's fu cked mass up real good, took away pensions for retired and current state workers, is for STREGNTHENING IP, Copyright protections, and anti-privacy laws

Al Gore (5, Funny)

ryanisflyboy (202507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274454)

He did create the thing, you know.

During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.

Re:Al Gore (5, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274502)

And Vint Cerf agrees [umich.edu] with [politechbot.com] him.

Check the candidate web sites (5, Informative)

polin8 (170866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274456)

I was impressed by Obama's technology issues page:

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/ [barackobama.com]

The summary points are:

        * Ensure an open Internet.
        * Create a transparent and connected democracy.
        * Encourage a modern communications infrastructure.
        * Employ technology to solve our nation's most pressing problems.
        * Improve America's competitiveness.

The list is pretty much "policy speak" but the detailed initiatives indicate a good grasp of the issues and a reasonable stance on the direction we need to move.

Re:Check the candidate web sites (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274488)

Check the candidate web sites
Yeah, we can't be bothered to follow TFA link (let alone read TFA) when there is one and here you are asking us to do the research ourselves :-)

Re:Check the candidate web sites (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274578)

And he knows his complexity theory [wired.com] .

Re:Check the candidate web sites (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274846)

Technology is part of culture, too. And I believe Obama is probably the best candidate from the perspective of overcoming a lot of the old blue-state/red-state cliches and antagonisms. It may sound hackneyed to say this, but I actually did feel stirrings of patriotic (in the sense of commitment to a community, not in terms of jingoism, nationalism, or "national branding") feeling after his South Carolina speech. So much of the divisive rhetoric we see in forums are really perpetuations of crude stereotypes and tired arguments which rely on them.

If there is anything Obama connotes to me, above and beyond his policy positions (which I am generally OK with - though I'm also OK with a lot of HRC's positions, but can't stand her) its the return of a culture of listening, of not seeing conservatives or liberals as "the enemy", but as fellow citizens. It's an idealistic position, but maybe I'm a little tired of cynicism. "Cynicism is the only form in which base souls can approach honesty." - F. Nietzsche.

Re:Check the candidate web sites (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275038)

It's called "charisma", and it's been proven to be very dangerous. It alters the mind.

If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.

Re:Check the candidate web sites (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274882)

Employ technology to solve our nation's most pressing problems.

Most pressing problems:

  1. Lack of universal, affordable health care
  2. Budget deficit has mortgaged several generations' future
  3. Housing bubble bust, impending bank collapses, 2 million homes to be foreclosed, etc.,
  4. Real inflation (not the BS numbers that don't count essentials like food and energy)
  5. Foreign policy in a shambles
Gee, technology will sure solve these problems ...

Technology is only a tool. The political will to address the above problems has been seriously lacking during this century - on the contrary, its politicians who have created these problems in the first place.

Is Obama going to toss out the HMOs? I doubt it. Is Obama going to figure out some way to get investors to agree to write off over a trillion dollars of bad mortgages without causing a financial collapse? Gee, that's some "technology" - Steve Jobs would like his reality distortion field back ...

Actually, Jobs would probably have been a better candidate.

Obama good, Huckabee bad (5, Informative)

abburdlen (131870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274472)

If Obama is good enough for xkcd [xkcd.com] then he's good enough for me.

I imagine Huckabee is the worst on technology issues unless of course they were mentioned in the bible.

Re:Obama good, Huckabee bad (4, Interesting)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274568)

I agree, Obama actually understands technology, patent issues and creative rights. I'm Canadian, so my vote doesn't matter however I've noticed other candidates seem to be less educated in these areas, or relying on basic knowledge; however Obama seems to have personal knowledge in these areas.

Re:Obama good, Huckabee bad (-1)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274610)

Yeah, except Obama would take away your gun and he IS a lawyer.

I for one am opposed to lawyers in political office.

Re:Obama good, Huckabee bad (2, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274798)

would take away your gun
I don't have a semi-automatic, which is what he's mostly opposed to -- and he's certainly much less extreme on the issue than Clinton. Consider the alternatives.

he IS a lawyer.
A civil rights lawyer. Don't you think that makes a difference?

Re:Obama good, Huckabee bad (2, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274926)

Luckily, gun rights are something that are easily re-granted through the court system and by future administrations. Economic and foreign policy, on the other hand, are much harder to fight for and to correct past mistakes.

none (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274476)

The ongoing crisis in the financial economy is now reaching a critical level and we'll be lucky to make to the Nov elections without a complete banking collapse. It is going to be a rough term for whomever is elected.

Re:none (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274540)

It is going to be a rough term for whomever is elected.

Yes, I'm sure the rich men who are in bed with the Fed are going to have a very rough time.

</sarcasm>

2008 has me disillusioned, politically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274480)

This isn't exactly technology related, but the 2008 race has me depressed ever since it became clear John Edwards wasn't going to get his party's nomination. On the Democratic side you have a question of which shallow personality cult is best. On the Republican side, it's a question of who supports Bush's worst policies the most. Meanwhile the one guy talking about things I'd like to see implemented has dropped out of the race as a distant third. I'm a registered Democrat, but I think this reflects very poorly on what that party values, and, even though I feel strongly that the Republican candidates are much, much worse (in terms of, say, economic policy, or stem cell research), I'm considering not voting at all in 2008, because Obama and Hilary just don't have me the slightest bit motivated.

Re:2008 has me disillusioned, politically (1, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274820)

a question of which shallow personality cult is best
The media doesn't represent him that way, but Obama has plenty of substance; it just takes a little research to find it, rather than listing to the sound bites on the evening news. Go do your homework -- you'll be very pleasantly surprised.

Re:2008 has me disillusioned, politically (2, Interesting)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275002)

That's true. I was planning on voting for Edwards all along but when he dropped out I switched to Obama. The more I've learned about him in the past few days the more I like him.

Ob. Quote: (5, Funny)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274498)

Don't blame me, I voted for Cowboy Neil.

Re:Ob. Quote: (1)

yuda (704374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274584)

So where can I get that on a t-shirt?

irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274500)

whether the candidates personally support or reject certain tech. related topics is largely irrelevant, considering I doubt they will be presiding over a majority of the things themselves, with or without heavy corporate influence.

I would be much more concerned on their economic plans and how they plan to improve the economy to ALLOW for overall improvements in technology, than I would be on actual direct improvements to technology.

shit flows downhill, but so does money.

Barack Obama (5, Interesting)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274514)

Check out the Technology section of his website. He knows what's up with net neutrality and privacy laws, and vows to change it (although that's what everyone says, I think he could really help the tech world)

Hillary Clinton, however, could possibly crash the global economy. She wants to crack down on violent video games, which, due to the pins and needles the economy is on right now, could devastate the economy if a major sector of the gaming industry would collapse. She even supports "media literacy" in the United States (aka censorship).

In my opinion Obama could do a lot of good for America. He is not a conservative, so he would be more likely to reform and change stuff that is in dire need of it.

Re:Barack Obama (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274994)

Hillary Clinton, however, could possibly crash the global economy.

Too late for Clinton to claim that - Bush has prior art with the housing bubble.

Housing prices have fallen every month for the last 11 months [ft.com] . Predictions for the next 3 years are more of the same - with the bottom anywhere from 25% to 50% from their peaks.

That's a lot of people who will be upside-down on their mortgages, with a trillion dollars of bad debt still to work its way through the system.

This isn't news - for more than a year, its been predicted that more than 2 million people will lose their homes [consumeraffairs.com] .

ronpaul (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274516)

Ron Paul thinks anything the government does is socialism. He would never have let the government invest in the Internet the way that it did, and we wouldn't have one now (certainly not the equal-access Internet that's getting everyone online). He wouldn't do anything to stop telcos from blocking or slowing traffic that competes with theirs, or doublecharging servers and consumers (quadruplecharging, really) who already pay for bandwidth, but must pay extra for "on-time" bandwidth ("Network Neutrality").

Ron Paul would let corporations do whatever they want with the Internet, which includes AT&T's plans to violate Net Neutrality and snoop on content (to police for "piracy"), avoid equal access for competition, and every other dirty trick they invent in what passes for their "innovation".

The Internet is one of the most obvious places where the people need the government as our collective representative to protect ourselves from the powerful exploiters of the people. There aren't a lot of monarchs in a position to hurt the American people anymore, but we've got plenty of dictatorial, aggressive, imperial corporations. And Ron Paul's government would stay out of the business of protecting us from them.

Re:ronpaul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274660)

Mod parent up. Finally a refreshing bit of perspective. Ron Paul -- popular as he is amongst 20 and 30 something white Internet dwellers -- is the wrong choice in this election. Government regulation is not all bad folks.

Re:ronpaul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274700)

So sad that a 100% truthful and accurate comment gets modded down as a troll.

Re:ronpaul (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274756)

Moderation 0
    30% Insightful
    30% Underrated
    20% Flamebait

PaulBot trollMods don't want to talk about Ron Paul's abdication of our government power [slashdot.org] to protect us from corporations. They don't even want to admit it. They just want a stampede to corporate anarchy.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274760)

Ron Paul is talking the normal libertarian mantra of leave everything unregulated by government and it will be alright.
Except it won't really be alright. Competition is not always able to control everything.

Libertarians always say "If only" it was like this or like that everything would be perfect. In a perfect world at least some of that is likely true.

But back to tech, AT&T built the phone infrastructure with ratepayer dollars. They don't really own it, WE DO. Remember those rate cases they did to get rate increases? They spent more money so they had to get more from us to pay for it. We had no option but to pay.

So AT&T didn't build the fiber backbone, they didn't build the copper plant, we hired them to build it. It's ours.

But Libertarians like Ron Paul would act like AT&T owns it, and AT&T would be ripping us off forever, like they are doing right now.

That said, I will likely vote for Ron Paul on Tuesday. Heh. Just to put some fear in the machine.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274868)

Who did you vote for in 2000, and in 2004 (primaries and general)?

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274898)

"libertarian mantra of leave everything unregulated by government and it will be alright", "Libertarians always say 'If only' it was like this or like that everything would be perfect."

You are unfairly putting words in the mouths of libertarians that most of them did not say. It would be more fair to say that libertarians believe that, in practice, on average, things would be better.

Re:ronpaul (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274990)

Ron Paul would let corporations do whatever they want with the Internet, which includes AT&T's plans to violate Net Neutrality and snoop on content (to police for "piracy"), avoid equal access for competition, and every other dirty trick they invent in what passes for their "innovation".

Umm... I though RP wanted to kick corporations out of the Federal Government. Hence, there would be no NSA ATT wiretaps or kickbacks to the telco/cable monopolies or FCC regulations as we know them now.

I think people forget that empowering the Federal Government just means that it leads to corporations investing more control over it. Although I disagree on Paul on many social issues, I will agree that the current situation in DC is pretty much forgone. The problem is that the Federal government is being used to solve problems which ends up being lucrative to a subset of parties.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that you will never acheive a neutering of corporations without fixing the root core of the problem which is "corporate personhood" which Ron Paul is highly against.

So yes, in theory Ron Paul would never support network neutrality legislation, but don't you think its very strange that many Google employees are highly supportive of him [youtube.com] ?

Simply arguing over who is going to pass bills that support technology or wedge issues is ignoring the 9 trillion dollar white elephant in the room along with the billion dollar war that appears to have no end in sight.

Unfortunately, neither of the major parties seem to acknowledge that we are in for some hard times and that the current economic and political system has some major issues that might be insurmountable in the near future.

I'm tired of people saying "I like 'X cannidate's' message! It inspires me!"

Not to goodwin this, but Hitler inspired people too and we really need to be pragmatic about the next leader. If not Paul, then someone else who at best is nothing more than good technocrat and not an ideologist who's going to drag us down even further.

Absolute Nonsense (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275030)

You do not understand Libertarianism. You are confusing it with anarchy. They are very different things.

Others here have confused Fascism with anarchy ("corporate anarchy"). They are very different things.

Libertarians support the FREE MARKET. Free markets do not operate where monopoly or oligopoly exist. Libertarians do not support a corporate-run, completely unregulated economy! That is simply not a free market.

Also, a truly free market accounts for real costs as part of its operation. Therefore, in a real free market, producers bear the cost of the societal problems they cause (pollution, etc.), rather than that burden being borne by the taxpayers. Is there anything wrong with that? And the reason things are not done that way NOW, is because of corporate interests being too involved in government and thereby subverting the free market process. Contrary to what many people are saying, Libertarianism addresses and strives to solve that issue. It is the current corporate-state that preserves and worsens it.

I could go on for quite a while... but I strongly urge you to do some real research about a topic -- especially if it is a major political party -- before you go around spouting such nonsense as the above. I am not trying to say you are an idiot, but it sure makes you look like one.

Lessig supports Obama (5, Interesting)

damiam (409504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274532)

http://www.lessig.org/blog/2007/11/4barack.html [lessig.org]

An excerpt:

First, and again, I know him, which means I know something of his character. "He is the real deal" has become my favorite new phrase. Everything about him, personally, is what you would dream a candidate should be. Integrity, brilliance, warmth, humor and most importantly, commitment. They all say they're all this. But for me, this part is easy, because about this one at least, I know.

Second, I believe in the policies. Clearly on the big issues -- the war and corruption. Obama has made his career fighting both. But also on the issues closest to me. As the technology document released today reveals, to anyone who reads it closely, Obama has committed himself to important and importantly balanced positions.

First the importantly balanced: You'll read he's a supporter of Net Neutrality. No surprise there. But read carefully what Net Neutrality for Obama is. There's no blanket ban on offering better service; the ban is on contracts that offer different terms to different providers for that better service. And there's no promise to police what's under the technical hood (beyond the commitment already articulated by Chairman Powell): This is a sensible and valuable Net Neutrality policy that shows a team keen to get it right -- which includes making it enforceable in an efficient way, even if not as radical as some possible friends would like.

Second, on the important: As you'll read, Obama has committed himself to a technology policy for government that could radically change how government works. The small part of that is simple efficiency -- the appointment with broad power of a CTO for the government, making the insanely backwards technology systems of government actually work.

But the big part of this is a commitment to making data about the government (as well as government data) publicly available in standard machine readable formats. The promise isn't just the naive promise that government websites will work better and reveal more. It is the really powerful promise to feed the data necessary for the Sunlights and the Maplights of the world to make government work better. Atomize (or RSS-ify) government data (votes, contributions, Members of Congress's calendars) and you enable the rest of us to make clear the economy of influence that is Washington.

After the debacle that is the last 7 years, the duty is upon the Democrats to be something different. I've been wildly critical of their sameness (remember "Dems to the Net: Go to hell" which earned me lots of friends in the Democratic party). I would give my left arm to be able to celebrate their difference. This man, Mr. Obama, would be that difference. He has as much support as I can give.

Ron Paul (2, Informative)

d3ik (798966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274546)

- Only person running that voted against the Patriot Act(s)

- Only person running that voted against Sarbanes-Oxley

- Opposes the DMCA

- Opposes the national ID card

- Has never voted to raise taxes

- Returns a portion of his congressional budget to the treasury every year

- He is a Republican who opposes the Iraq War on moral and economic grounds

There's a lot of FUD out there about Ron Paul, and there are a lot of fanatics on the internet who work against him sometimes, but if you look at his voting record over the last 20 years it speaks for itself.

This is a good guy who opposes the big government mentality that so many here on Slashdot rail against.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274650)

And how does he feel about "big government" going after people who abuse their monopoly position?

Re:Ron Paul (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274728)

Like Telcos? Lest you forget, "Big-Government," put them there.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274860)

This is slashdot, I'm not talking about telephones.

Who put Microsoft in a monopoly position? I don't remember Big Government being responsible for that.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

d3ik (798966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274834)

He doesn't have a stated position on monopoly enforcement that I'm aware of. His default position is a "hands off" libertarian policy of letting the market handle most things.

I'm divided on this, to tell you the truth. I think the market addresses most concerns, but this may be one of those exceptions where intervention is needed. On the other hand, most monopolies are government sponsored. Also, look at how the "big government" approach of the EU fining Microsoft daily. That doesn't seem to really solve anything. Microsoft gladly pays the fine. The only other option would be to break up the corporation like Ma Bell, but as we've seen over the last few years it just seems to T1000 its way back together.

Then again, look at what is happening to Microsoft now without government intervention. Competition in the marketplace from Google has forced them to use the last of their cash on hand to try and acquire another company. At the same time, the OEM lock in has been eroded by alternatives like Linux which Dell and a few other mainstream manufacturers sell pre-installed in some models.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274872)

Competition in the marketplace from Google has forced them to use the last of their cash on hand to try and acquire another company.
Nah Bill Gates is just trying to mimic the contrarian habits of his good friend Warren Buffet...

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274976)

Dell offering Linux is a direct result of government intervention.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

badmanone (806884) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274878)

It's one of the (few) things government should do:

- Enforce contracts
- Enforce property rights
- Provide national defense
- Break monopolies

See this part of his interview [go.com] with John Stossel on the role of government.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Informative)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274918)

Monopolies are nearly all caused by big government. Without the special privileges government gives them it would be extremely difficult to get into a monopoly position, and once there they would have to keep prices low and provide good service, lest new firms arose to compete for that pie.

Big government encourages big business with regulatory and tax structures that encourage bigness. When it takes an army of accountants and lawyers to do business, only those firms large enough to afford an army of accountants and lawyers will do business! Add to that governments at all levels handing out exclusive contracts, and a patent system that explicitly encourages monopoly, then no one should be surprised at these behemoths striding across the land. Stop and think where Microsoft would be today without their government granted copyrights. Even if you agree with the concept of copyrights, their very monopolistic nature demands that they be limited.

Government isn't the solution, it's the problem!

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274950)

He feels that "big government" can "go after" "them", by not giving them insane tax breaks and subsidizing them in the first place.

And he is against NAFTA and other such agreements, and all about helping the small business owners along, by cutting taxes down to nothing or close to nothing.

Re:Ron Paul (4, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274694)

For every problem, there's a solution that's simple, neat, and wrong. That's Ron Paul, who would dismantle vital institutions of our society.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

d3ik (798966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274746)

You name institutions that you feel are vital that you think Ron Paul would like to dismantle, and I'll explain his position on each and every one.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274916)

You name institutions that you feel are vital that you think Ron Paul would like to dismantle, and I'll explain his position on each and every one.
Social Security retirement, Social Security disability, Medicare, and TANF, for starters. The 60 percent of the federal government that is entitlements (source: the Republican debate at the Reagan Library). It is the typical libertarian position that entitlements are a bad idea, but senior citizens and citizens below the poverty line tend to vote for more of them.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

d3ik (798966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275024)

Social Security: http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/social-security/ [ronpaul2008.com] (watch the embedded flash video)

Medicare: Ron Paul is a doctor who has experienced how broken the system is first hand, http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/health-care/ [ronpaul2008.com]

If you're concerned about senior citizens on fixed incomes you should be greatly concerned about rising inflation and the crashing dollar, which affects senior citizens and the middle class first: http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/inflation-tax/ [ronpaul2008.com]

President Paul would not dismantle anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274966)

Ron Paul may have a pre-new deal mentality that may be scary to many when it comes to the legislative branch. But he has a similarly doctrinare view of the executive branch. And libertarians follow what they percieve as the rules even when it constrains them in getting what they want.

President Paul will not be using signing statements and executive orders to make himself a king, unrestrained by the law. He would order troops home and require CONGRESS to declare war. He will not have secret prisons and habeus corpus will return. He would not write legislation. And if congress gets a veto-proof majority, he can't stop universal healthcare or anything the dems want.

The biggest danger of a President Paul is the pardon of a bunch of non-violent drug users.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

abburdlen (131870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274714)

I am eagerly awaiting hearing Ron Paul speak-out against the giving telecoms retroactive immunity in the FISA bill.

I realize it's in the Senate now rather than the House where he serves but adding his voice (and his supporters) to the debate would be helpful.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Insightful)

mikethicke (191964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274796)

- Wants to wall off the country and deport millions.

- Wants to let states ban abortions.

Ron Paul has some admirable positions, but his supporters should recognize that when it comes down to it he is effectively a social conservative and his policies if implemented completely would, if they didn't destroy the economy right off the bat, probably turn the country completely over to corporate rule.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22275012)

"- Wants to let states ban abortions."

I think you should have been aborted. Late term abortion even better. Cut open your head and suck your brains out. You deserve it.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274836)

- Only person running that voted against Sarbanes-Oxley
And that's a good thing? Want other Enron/Woldcoms?

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274940)

"but if you look at his voting record over the last 20 years it speaks for itself."
Character - Even if you don't agree with him on every position he remains consistent with his positions. With Ron Paul you know what you are getting. I can't believe all of the sheep here promoting Obama or should I say Obaaaaaaama. Here is a guy who likes to cut on Hillary for voting for the war over and over, yet he keeps voting to continue fighting the war. What a hypocrite. You need to take a look at who is funding Obama before you vote for him. Numerous major financial institutions and multi-national corporations. If you think he is going to represent your interests over theirs you are naive.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275004)

I went to vote-smart.org to see how he did on their political courage test but apparently he refuses adamantly to take the test: http://www.vote-smart.org/npat.php?can_id=296 [vote-smart.org]

Here's the full voting record. If you click on a particular bill you will also get links to statements and speeches made around the time of the vote. There's no guarantee they'll be about the same issue though. http://www.vote-smart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=296 [vote-smart.org]

Politics (1)

localman (111171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274572)

I'm going to plug my little non-partisan politics page [binadopta.com] that features substantial interviews with each of the candidates. There is an interesting crop of people to choose from this time, moreso than in the past couple elections, it seems. Or maybe it's just because the stakes seem so much higher now?

I'll refrain from my opinion.

Cheers.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274776)

There is an interesting crop of people to choose from this time, moreso than in the past couple elections, it seems.
People say this every election year. The front runners in the Democratic and Republican parties aren't much different than they've been in previous years, and neither will make any really significant changes. Both parties are basically owned by large corporations.

It really is astonishing how many people buy into the same political propaganda, from the same two parties, every election cycle. Keep believing though... this time it will be different!

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." - President George W. Bush

Come on (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274638)

the obvious choice is the Cowboy Neal option!

economics and technology (1)

groffg (987862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274678)

The best candidate from the perspective of technology (or any private sector-driven sector) is the one who intrudes the least in the market, economically speaking. Of the candidates who are electable, I don't see a clear winner based on that single (but important) criterion.

Re:economics and technology (1)

teg (97890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275000)

Not entirely true. Some free markets can turn into monopolies if not watched right, and if they do, actions need to be taken to promote competition - and avoiding stagnation and overcharging.

Internet poker (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274702)

Well, I admit it's tangental, but the fight to fully legitimize Internet poker is a tech issue, of a sort.

To that end, the Poker Players Alliance has put together a guide to the presidential candidates' stances [pokerplayersalliance.org] on the issue.

Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274710)

I believe the most dangerous restrictions are when the government forces people to be subject to certain technical controls (for example, internet censorship, criminalizing anonymity and "Real ID") or shifts the balance the other way by criminalizing technology to disempower people (for example, criminalizing video taping of police activity, banning cameras from almost all federally owned properly, and redefining nearly all financial privacy against governments as "money laundering"). For these reasons, I urge all Republicans to vote for Ron Paul.

If you believe it is impossible for Dr. Paul to win any state primary with only four bound delegates and only two second place finishes in the early primaries, there are at least two reasons why voting for Ron Paul is still probably the most effective use of your vote in advancing technology-related freedoms:

1) Most practically, the additional delegates that Ron Paul picks up in the states that are not "winner take all" may translate to a little more bargaining power in the winner's platform and campaign commitments eminating from the convention, especially if the no candidate gets an outright majority from the primaries.

2) The Ron Paul campaign has become the measure of the support available for libertarian-oriented political positions, and will undoubtedly influence the calculations that politicians in the future make based on the limited information that they have available.

Shortsighted... (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274734)

It seems terribly shortsighted, in a time where foreign policy is so critical and calls for changes in domestic arrangements (particularly health care) are powerful, to be voting on such narrow issues as technology positions. I won't say these things are unimportant (and would love as much as anyone else here to see someone who would have us withdraw from WIPO and end most IP protection), but by comparison there are far more important things to focus on.

Barack Obama, Candidates@Google (5, Interesting)

at.splat (775901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274768)

I was on the fence last summer and fall as to whether Obama was "the real deal." That is, I was until I saw the Q&A portion [youtube.com] of his November 2007 talk at the Google campus. This was my true turning point.

It is a typical question and answer session with some pretty advanced questions lobbed by the Googlers and moderated by Eric Schmidt. It is, beyond any combative debate or stump speech, a truly (+5) insightful conversation about his views on technology.

(As others have mentioned, Senator Obama's Technology [barackobama.com] page is also a helpful peek at what he stands for in case you don't have the patience for the ~20 min. video)

Rember the Web server survey? (2, Funny)

scubanator87 (1023313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274770)

A while back i remeber seeing a survy of what webservers each canidate was running. You can find it here [douglaskarr.com]

but to summerise:

Democrats
Hillary Clinton - Windows Server 2003, Microsoft-IIS/6.0 by Paul Holcomb
Barack Obama - FreeBSD, Apache by pair Networks

Republicans
Mike Huckabee - Windows Server 2003, Microsoft-IIS/6.0 by LNH Inc.
John McCain - Windows Server 2003, Microsoft-IIS/6.0 by Smartech Corporation
Ron Paul - Linux, Apache by Rackspace
Mitt Romney - Linux, Apache by Rackspace

Worth Mentioning:
Al Gore (Democrat) - Linux, Apache by Rackspace
Dennis Kucinich (Democrat) - Linux, Apache by New Age Consulting
Rudy Giuliani (Republican) - Linux, Apache by RackSpace
John Edwards (Democrat) - Linux, Apache by Plus Three

To summerise, the probably winners of the nominations are both running winblows. Damn no penguins or devils in the white house, just evil butterfiles!

New Obama video : "Yes We Can". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22274782)

Ron Paul for the Intertubes! (0, Redundant)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274800)

Ron Paul will be best for technology, simply because he does not believe that it is any of government's business trying to manage it. The internet has shown the power of unfettered human creativity that happens when humans aren't micromanaged by government. It is a real life experiment demonstrating Hayek's spontaneous order.

The role of government is to protect and defend the lives, liberties and properties of the citizens. Powers beyond this only lead to authoritarianism of one brand or another. Candidate A may claim he's benevolent enough to manage all of our technology decisions, but even if he means well, what happens four or eight years down the road when Candidate B gets into office who isn't quite so benevolent? We need to keep government limited because government is inherently dangerous.

We geeks and engineers tend to think in terms of central administration and control. But the world does not work that way. It is extremely dynamic and subjective. You cannot bug fix it like you can software. Don't treat human beings like malleable code, they are not. Don't give government the role of national sysadmin! That would only lead to authoritarian BOFHism.

We need a candidate who would keep government out of technology and the internet, a candidate who won't try to micromanage our lives. That candidate is Ron Paul.

everybody knows (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274880)

It's Ron Paul. But his supporters are so commonly demonized that people are afraid to say publicly now that they support him. Well, he is. Like it or not. He is the only one with hands off approach to government. And the best technologies emerge and evolve just so.

Re:everybody knows (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22274986)

He is the only one with hands off approach to government. And the best technologies emerge and evolve just so.

Y'mean technologies like the internet?

Slashdot has become a political popularity contest (1)

zibix (654122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22275032)

It's become so pathetic that every score on this page can be predicted based upon how far left the post is. A post about Romney being a business man and tech-savvy gets a Troll score and a stupid post about Al Gore inventing the internet gets a 5?

At some point slashdot is going to become just another crap-fest of left-wing circle jerks where people with other opinions are unwelcome regardless. So much for the party of tolerance.
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