While writing this comment I was struck again by the strangeness of politics being legal and prostitution being illegal in most of the U.S.A.
When you think about it, the transaction between a prostitute and the customer is typically fair and honest. Both parties know pretty much what they are going to get. The prostitute gets X amount of dollars, and the customers gets Y amount of sex. With the exception of pimping, no one is forcing either party into the transaction. Both are free to say no and to walk away. (In principle, they are, and in reality, too. The trouble is that most people have swallowed the whole victim of circumstances mentality that they're now too chickenshit to stand up for themselves in the most basic ways.)
The transaction between a prosti..., sorry, politician and a large donor is much the same, except that the donor gets a less solid guarantee that the prosti..., sorry again, politician will do the utmost to ensure that the customer's, sorry, donor's desires are fulfilled in the law. This pretty much resembles the transaction between prostitute and customer with the exception that the prositician can easily take the money from the customer and not fulfill any of the customer's expectations, thus essentially committing fraud (and if it were a truly commercial transaction, it would be fraud and politicians would be sued and quite often).
The transaction between a prostitician and the voters is even less honorable and even more closely resembles fraud. The politician will make vague promises. The politician will present a certain public image. The politician will claim to fight for the people (who are analogous to the customer above), when the politician has already made other promises that quite possibly run counter to the interests of the very people whose votes are needed to get elected. The politician in this case lies, or at best, obfuscates the real agenda behind the drive to office. Once elected, the promises of the campaign are no longer required and the prostitician can get down to the business of satisfying the client's, err, donor's desires.
So, tell me again, why prostitution is illegal and political campaign contributions aren't? Free speech? Really? You believe that garbage about money being speech? This is about commerce, plain and simple, about exchanging money for getting service that you want.
Aside: Has it really been nearly four years since I felt compelled to write something in here?
As for me, I don't know. I don't like a lot of the disccussion in this thread or what I read in the linked article. I certainly believe that some degree of voter fraud happened in 2000 and 2004, but that much?
I think I want observers from the UN to monitor our elections in 2008.
I mentioned once before that/. needs better journal navigation, like a page that can list all the users's journals. I've started checking up on a few from time to time and it's quite fun. I've even taken to moderating discussion in some journals.
Maybe I'll take a look at the SlashCode sometime to see what can be added for better journal handling. The link to the code is staring at me right there to the left....
RSS feeds for journals, too. I'll need to check if that's here already...
Today's has to be one of the funniest April Fools' on/., ever. When I saw the "OMG!!! Ponies!!!" I nearly sprayed the monitor with Coca-Cola. My 5-year-old daughter is into the My Little Pony stuff, so it had a certain meaning to me.
Also, linking to CuteOverload was a good move. Going there and reading about them being discovered by/., and the remarks over there about a Slashdotters favorite activities.....Heh, I especially liked the comment about our egos being more fragile than a butterfly fart!--There is some truth in the funniest comments.
I saved a screenshot for posterity.
The link to the screenshot no longer works, and hasn't worked for maybe two years. It took me that long to go back to perusing my journal.
I was just perusing some other/.ers journals and actually moderating the discussions attached to the journal posts and discovered that the journal navigation tools on/. are pretty lame. I'll have to do some more poking around and maybe I can enumerate the problems later.
Heh, I know....I'll just grab the latest slashcode and go to town hacking it over the "long" weekend. Um, yeah, right.
Something else hit me, too. Roblimo has a lower ID than I do, but I'm sure I "joined" before he came on board. I remember his column at Andover.net before they bought/., and I used to read it and/. All the IDs below 1,000 must be reserved for editors and future editors. That's what I'd do if I were setting something like this up. Wonder who gets ID 666, then?
I don't generally consider myself to be superstitious, but then, who does consider himself to be superstitious? Anyway, I was cruising the WWW and clicked on a link for horoscopes and put in my star sign. The following sentence from what I read made me laugh, and I thought that I'd stick it in here so that I wouldn't forget it:
Just be sure to wear the gold uniform when you beam down -- you know what happens when you wear the red one.
I moderated http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=168695&cid=14063447 as "funny" because email service is actually rather unreliable in the first place. Anyone who understands how it functions would know that it should not be relied on as a sole means of communiction for anything truly important.
Reading that comment made me laugh, because I could read irony into it. Whether or not the irony was intended by the poster, I can't say.
As someone who has been surfing the WWW since the days when IE and Mozilla were one product called NCSA Mosaic, I've never really felt the need for tabbed browsing. Being a long-time user of the X-Windows interface, it has always seemed natural to me that each document should get it's own window. As a result, I've never seen the need for all the added visual clutter involved in tabbed browsing and so, I've not ever really used it.
That said, I'm not trying to tell anyone else how or how not to surf the WWW. If you like tabbed browsing, then continue to surf that way. Myself, I prefer to deal directly with the information that concerns me and to not have all the visual clutter of extra widgets. If I need to visit more than one site at a time, I'll just open another browser window. As I have at this moment 3 windows open & 2 of them pointing at/.
Please, feel free to post your comments below. If you love tabbed browsing, then by all means expound upon its virtues, etc.
All I can tell the "lesser of two evils" folks is that if they keep voting for evil, they'll keep getting evil. If you don't like the way things are, how do you change it by voting for more of the same?
Those two sentences from U.S. presidential candidate Michael Badnarik convinced me that to vote for him in this November's U.S. general election would not be a wasted vote. For quite a while since he was announced as the Libertarian Party's nominee for president, I had been waivering on casting my vote for him or for Senator Kerry. The reason that I waivered was that I do not want to see President Bush get re-elected, and while I'm not too fond of Kerry either, I had thought that casting my vote for the "lesser of two evils" was better than throwing it away on a third-party candidate with no real chance of winning. However, Michael Badnarik's words above convinced me that voting my conscience is indeed the right thing to do.