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Censorship United States Your Rights Online

White House Pressuring Registrars To Block Sites 569

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the strange-world-we-live-in dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While the Senate is still debating a bill that would force registrars and ISPs to block access to sites deemed 'infringing,' it appears that the White House's IP Czar is already holding meetings with ISPs, registrars and payment processors to start voluntarily blocking access to sites it doesn't like. Initially, they're focused on online pharmacies, but does anyone think it will only be limited to such sites? ICANN apparently has refused to attend the meetings, pointing out that they're 'inappropriate.' Doesn't it seem wrong for the US government to be pushing private companies to censor the Internet without due process?"
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White House Pressuring Registrars To Block Sites

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:42PM (#33751566)

    Meet the new boss, same (worse?) as the old boss.
    Goddamn idealogues seeing everything in black/white terms. This is your fault.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:42PM (#33751568) Homepage Journal

    I wonder how many WH officials worked for or intend to work for Big Pharma companies that don't want Americans to pay the same CHEAP prices for medications that the REST OF THE WORLD pays?

    I'm guessing most of them.

    Single payer - what we should have done.

  • by Androclese (627848) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:42PM (#33751576)

    Doesn't it seem wrong for the US gov't to be pushing private companies to censor the internet without due process?"

    Does it seem wrong? Yes.

    Is it surprising with this Administration, coming from a made-up post that was not vetted by Congress and is not supposed to have any operational power? Not in the least.

  • Due Process? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akido37 (1473009) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:43PM (#33751600)
    When the Obama Administration claims the right to ASSASSINATE CITIZENS [salon.com] without due process, I'm not surprised that a little thing like blocking websites doesn't merit due process either.
  • by Bos20k (444115) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:49PM (#33751682)

    Yup, 'change'. F'ing idiots voted for 'change'. Um, change to what??? They would have been better off voting for Mickey Mouse. Would have made more sense given the average voter's level of knowledge about history, politics and the Constitution of the United States. Well, here you have it, your 'change'. Change to socialism. Happy now?

  • Re:A minor setback (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Firemouth (1360899) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:49PM (#33751692)

    ...what's to prevent us from then just building a new one requiring more technical acumen to get to, putting them back at square one. It's a minor setback for us, but really, where is the horror?

    Money.

  • In a word: Yes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kheldan (1460303) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:51PM (#33751718) Journal
    Son, I am disappoint. Did I get magically transported to Iran during the night and not notice? If a site is doing something illegal, then by all means shut them down, but you do NOT get to arbitrarily censor things just because you don't like them.
  • by kaptink (699820) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:54PM (#33751758) Homepage

    Is ICANN tied to the UN or the USA?

    This all seems very bad and very wrong. Using online pharmacies as the primary reason just doesn’t wash with me. No one country should 'own' the internet. And without due process you have to really wonder what the hell is going on here. I thought the Australian government was going to far with mandatory censorship but this is pretty frightening.

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:57PM (#33751798) Homepage Journal

    Meet the new boss, same (worse?) as the old boss.

    I voted for Obama based on my belief that he would make better decisions than McCain. We tend to forget that the election was not a yea or nay vote for Obama. It was a contest between two contenders.

    Has Obama done everything I want him to do? No. Has he made decisions (like this one) that I disagree with? Yes. Am I still happy that I voted for him rather than McCain, the guy who wanted to put the freak from Alaska a heartbeat away from the Presidency? Abso-freakin-lutely.

    As for being worse than the old boss, your memory must be failing. Bush was the most corporate-friendly President we've seen. Undoing the damage he did to civil liberties and the environment alone will take years.

  • Re:Due Process? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sanctimonius hypocrt (235536) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:57PM (#33751810) Homepage Journal
    Maybe off-topic, or maybe not, but it's not trolling. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8606584.stm [bbc.co.uk] I'm fine with killing al-Awlaki, but targeted assassination, just on the say-so of the National Security Council, is open to abuse. There needs to be judicial review or congressional oversight. If the Whitehouse shuts down your website, at least you're still alive to take it to court.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:59PM (#33751846)

    When you grow up and get an education, you'll see that the "left" Dems are further to the "right" than the "right wing" parties found in Europe and elsewhere. But hey, keep deluding yourself into thinking any party gives a flying fuck about you.

  • Story summary bias (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slapout (93640) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:00PM (#33751854)

    "Doesn't it seem wrong for the US gov't to be pushing private companies to censor the internet without due process?"

    If Bush had been president, this headline would have read: "Doesn't it seem wrong for the Bush Whitehouse to be pushing private companies to censor the internet without due process?" But the Slashdot editors voted for Obama, so they can't make him look bad, even if they disagree with him

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:01PM (#33751882) Homepage

    keep deluding yourself into thinking any party gives a flying fuck about you.

    I was having a conversation about just that earlier today with a co-worker. Both major parties have proven many times over that they can't be trusted...how anyone can still be a registered Democrat or Republican in this country defies belief.

  • by electron sponge (1758814) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:05PM (#33751938)

    Undoing the damage he did to civil liberties and the environment alone will take years.

    I see President Obama is making great headway in undoing the damage President Bush did. Policies like this are sure-fire ways to improve the status of civil liberties in this country. Or not.

    At least with Bush we could fall back on, "hey, the guy's a stooge for corporate interests, what did we expect?" Obama on the other hand is doing pretty much exactly what he promised not to do regarding liberties, transparency, and many other areas that made people want to vote for him.

    Somehow we need to put a stop to this practice of appointing "Czars". Anyone who can't pass muster with the Senate shouldn't be calling shots in the Executive Branch.

  • by kalirion (728907) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:05PM (#33751946)

    Undoing the damage he did to civil liberties and the environment alone will take years.

    Dunno about the environment, but the current administration is taking quite the opposite approach to undoing damage to civil liberties.

  • by biryokumaru (822262) <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:06PM (#33751950)

    Oh my fucking god. I am throwing away 5 mod points posted elsewhere for this. You, sir, are the problem.

    It was a contest between two contenders.

    No it fucking was not. There were 5, count them, 5 candidates who were registered on sufficient ballots to win the presidency. The fact that you are too fucking ignorant to be even dimly aware of what they show outside of CNN is utterly pathetic.

    Stop being part of the problem.

  • It's His Fault (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dugn (890551) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:07PM (#33751974) Homepage
    Down with Bush Hitler! Wait...
  • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:08PM (#33751986) Homepage Journal

    It's too bad you don't have the courage to vote your conscience. If you did, we might get a candidate that you actually want, instead of the second-most-objectionable candidate.

    To quote Penn Jillette, "Keep voting for the lesser of two evils and things will just keep getting more evil." [hutnick.com]

    -Peter

  • by spottedkangaroo (451692) * on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:10PM (#33752020) Homepage
    Lemme know when one of the others gets more than about 1% of the vote. Until we get rank order voting or instant runoffs or something it's just not going to change.
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:11PM (#33752036) Homepage Journal
    Do you even know what socialism is? Because it isn't this.

    Socialism - Anything political that is disliked by a conservative.

    Fascism - Anything political that is disliked by a liberal.
  • by electron sponge (1758814) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:11PM (#33752042)

    How long do you think it will take our leaders to demand a system by which THEY can add sites or domains to the blacklist directly?

    Not very long. [govtrack.us]

  • by thestudio_bob (894258) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:13PM (#33752066)

    I've said this before and I'll keep saying it...

    If you are in the U.S. and you want change, and I really mean serious change, then you have the power to make a difference. All it takes is for you to do a little bit of research and maybe 30 minutes of your time to VOTE. The biggest problem is that we have these two parties who are totally out of touch and/or basically just don't give a rats ass, about the citizens.

    Make a change and do the following:

    • Don't just vote for the republicans and just don't vote for the democrats, this time try to find some independant candidates (Trust me, they are out there. Big media just doesn't want you to know about them)
    • Don't be fooled by the parties marketing. It's marketing, it's supposed to razzle-dazzle you, it's not real.
    • Find an independant candidate who you can relate with and vote for them.
    • Don't buy into the hype that a vote against the Republican/Democratic party is akin to throwing away your vote.
    • Research your candidates, if they have money, then ask where did they get that money from?
    • Try to persuade your friends and family to do the same.

    Sure, your guy might not make it in, but hopefully you can sleep better at night and send a message to these scummy politicians that we are fed up.

  • Jesus Christ (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:14PM (#33752070)
    Motherfucking shit. I voted for your ass knowing that some stuff like this would happen, but it's been all shit like this from day one. What did we get out of it? A half-assed health plan with no public option and a mandate. Everything else? Same as the last crowd, and worse. WHAT THE FUCK.
  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:15PM (#33752090)

    > Doesn't it seem wrong for the US gov't to be pushing private companies to censor the internet without due process?"

    No--it seems wrong for the US gov't to be pushing private companies to censor the internet *with or without* due process.

    Censorship is only legal in relatively narrow situations. Commercial speech that is not truthful, for example. (e.g. "100s of television stations for free" scams.)

    Our argument about blocking prescription sites is basically a slippery slope argument--they'll block other things. It's true, they will. But it seems to me there's a more libertarian freedom-to-contract argument that most of the people on slashdot would endorse: buying drugs across borders should be legal. People should have to disclose where the drug is coming for, and maybe someone should have to agree that if they sell to the US, they are subject to US laws regarding their liability if they send the wrong drug or send cyanide instead of codeine. But when a consumer goes to an adequate length to show he or she really wants a drug, and it's not, for example, cocaine, why the hell shouldn't the consumer be able to order it from another country? Maybe it's not approved here yet. There may be good reasons for that. The consumer decides he doesn't care. That should be okay.

    Or at least, that's the libertarian/freedom-to-contract/anti-paternalist argument.

    (The counter is that it breaks down the entire medical regulatory system.)

  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:17PM (#33752108)

    No, the idea that leaving our garbage and shit right where we live is ok killed more people than any other idea in the history of human civilization.

  • by uxbn_kuribo (1146975) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:20PM (#33752138)
    Please go back to 4th grade civics. This isn't socialism. It's fascism.
  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:20PM (#33752150)

    Tyranny's a good word for it.

    There's plenty of reasons not to like Obama. Socialism isn't one of them. Throwing words around meaninglessly does not help anything--it just helps to marginalize those with actual coherent complaints and causes more harm. That's my point.

    Hate Obama's policies all you like. There's plenty to hate. But hate them for what they are, not for the bogeyman they aren't.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:21PM (#33752176)

    There are legitimate safety and regulatory reasons for limiting the import of overseas drugs, it's possible that these reasons do not warrant the increased cost for many patients, but that doesn't change the fact that the reasons exist. The same argument can't be made for movies, music, and video games so I would argue that since their current actions have a logical basis and the slippery slope does not, the slippery slope is far worse.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:23PM (#33752218)
    This seems to be blocking by obscurity -- i.e. removing DNS listings, but IP addresses persist and would still reach the site if you knew which one to type in. How long before OpenDNS morphs into FreeDNS (or AltDNS) or some other service that you can apply to in order to be listed in a manner free of government interference? There is, to my belief, no technical reason why one can't subscribe to the DNS listing service of one's choice. We all use the standard DNS system at the moment just because it gets us to everywhere we want to go. When it stops doing that then an alternate DNS systems becomes viable and attractive. Can the government ban that?

    Can they ban a local to your machine (hey, hard drives are LARGE these days) DNS database that distributes listings by P2P for "banned sites"? I may be wrong, but it is a truism that the Internet routs around damage, including censorship.
  • by pavera (320634) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:24PM (#33752230) Homepage Journal

    Second verse same as the first, if this is the "Change" everyone wanted... wow... I'd rather have had bush for another 8 years, started 2 more wars (North Korea and Iran) than have a censored internet, be forced to buy something by the federal government (I have health insurance already, but being FORCED to pay money for something, anything besides taxes, by the government is a step WAY BEYOND the freedoms this country is supposed to stand for).

    And he hasn't even rolled back any of the Bush "secret" stuff, or closed Guantanamo. Instead as soon as he was in office he decided all that stuff was great!

    Never been a worse president than Obama.

  • Re:Due Process? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:27PM (#33752272)

    Bush claimed it first

    I'm sure Stalin did it long before Bush, so I don't know what this "first" nonsense is all about. But what does any of that have to do with Obama?

  • by hrvatska (790627) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:32PM (#33752326)
    And the GDR was the German Democratic Republic, aka East Germany. There's frequently not much of a relationship between what political movements call themselves and what they actually are.
  • by Znork (31774) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:34PM (#33752364)

    I used to vote along the 'realistic' least evil lines, but over the last decade I've come to regard voters in democracies as complicit in, and responsible for the policies of the ones we vote for. And so I cannot vote for any party whose actions I find unconscionable; I'd carry the stain of responsibility, no matter how small a part, for their actions on my conscience.

    I might not get a candidate that wins these days, but at least I'm not getting betrayed by mine or made part of their crimes.

  • by anorlunda (311253) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:34PM (#33752370) Homepage

    Does the Obama Administration Hate Free Speech?

    It started with a half-hearted campaign against Fox News. They couldn't censor them so they tried to discredit them. Next the White House called liberal commentary on MSNBC and invaluable public service.

    Then comes the Citizens United case. They hate the idea of first amendment rights being given to corporations, but they love it for non-profits and labor unions.

    Next, Obama couldn't bring himself to criticize the backers of the ground zero mosque but he couldn't resist trying to prevent a preacher in Florida from exercising his first amendment rights.

    Now we come to web sites. Time to try to eliminate the ones we don't like.

    Never before have we had such a thin-skinned president, nor an administration so openly contemptuous of rights for those who disagree with them. I suppose tha't not really true, America once passed the Alien and Sedition Act.

    This hostility to free speech is a far greater threat to your and my civil rights than the Patriot Act ever was. The current White House threatens freedom more than Dick Cheney and Karl Rove ever imagined. Where is the outcry? Where are the demonstrators? Where are the media campaigns? WTF?

    Sure I'll blow all my mod points for daring to post anti-Obama stuff. So be it.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:34PM (#33752380)
    National Health Care, Social Security, Welfare, HUD, there are a whole lot of programs that the US has been starting and enlarging over the last 100 years that are socialist. Like them or not is debatable. Socialist or not is not debatable.
  • by a whoabot (706122) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:38PM (#33752438)

    I'm fairly sure that if people started voting for those candidates, those votes would probably be counted, instant run-off or not. In Canada there are usually more than two candidates in any riding and no instant run-off voting. In my riding it was a close race between three different candidates -- Liberal, Conservative and NDP -- the NDP won.

    I think I agree with the grandparent more -- as it relates to politics, the majority of people consume mainstream media almost exclusively (read: Viacom, National Amusements, Time Warner, Disney, News Corp.) and so, lo and behold, they vote for mainstream candidates (read: Democrats, Republicans).

  • Re:A minor setback (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:39PM (#33752450)

    Sadly, this is likely the case. People love to tout the mantra about getting around these things. "We'll just use encrypted channels" they proclaim, but realistically, that only works so long as the government stays within some level of sanity.

    There comes a point - not saying we'll get there mind you, just saying that it exists - when that doesn't matter. All they have to do is one simple piece of legislation: it's a felony to engage in the transmission of any content not readable by the government. Then it's not a matter of proving that your transmissions are bad - it's a matter of being able to prove that they're NOT. If they can't read them, then you're guilty and you go to jail for long periods of time (or are executed, depending on the brutality of the regime).

    As I said, I'm not sure we'll ever get THAT far, but the government - from BOTH political spectrums, has been showing more and more signs lately that their attitude is shifting towards "Shut up, we're the government, we'll do whatever we want, law and constitution be damned.".

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:40PM (#33752460)
    And that's self defeating, a self-fulfilling prophecy, like all the other people who say 'I'm not wasting my vote on somebody who can't win!' And then they don't win... surprise... because people didn't vote for them.

    I for one can say fuck em both, I voted for Barr.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:42PM (#33752490)

    You forgot police, fire departments, nation defense, roads, bridges, sewage, water, etc. I could go on for ever. Its funny how people always pick the things they find to be evil socialism and conveniently leave out the ones they actually want/like.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:57PM (#33752718) Journal

    >>>Somehow we need to put a stop to this practice of appointing "Czars". Anyone who can't pass muster with the Senate shouldn't be calling shots in the Executive Branch.
    >>>

    Remember when I said Executive Orders should be unconstitutional? That includes executive orders from czars. It is Congresses' job to make laws, not the executive branch (which merely executes laws). Furthermore the whole of the US government, which includes all three branches, is forbidden from exercising powers never granted to it per the 10th Amendment. That is not just an optional piece of wording - it's the Law - ruling above even the president.

    You want to put a stop to "czars"? Make the 10th Amendment supreme. Make "the appointing of czars" a reserved power of the States, never granted to the US. While Congress was given the power to regulate products on the internet (interstate commerce), nobody in the executive branch ever was.

  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:00PM (#33752764)

    That reality distortion field is mighty powerful. You don't know what socialism is.

    We've had an oligarchical government propped up by a varyingly legal/extra-legal patronage system since the early 19th century (arguably even longer than that, but that's quibbling over irrelevant details at that point). Is that a long enough time? But it isn't a socialist one. It's worse than a socialist one in fact.

    Denying it just lets the problem get worse and makes it less likely we'll be able to fix it.

    And treating cancer with antiobiotics does nothing. Treating the problems we have as if they were 'socialist' will make things worse, because you're ignoring the real problem in favor of a bogeyman you think you know how to fight.

  • by bonch (38532) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:01PM (#33752774)

    I voted for Obama based on my belief that he would make better decisions than McCain.

    Which were based on vague promises and TV speeches. Unlike Obama, McCain had a public promise to shrink the government and a record showing his history of reaching across the political aisle to work with Democrats. He even bashed the Republican Party at the Republican convention. But people got caught up in the culture of personality around Obama, acting on their emotions and the glowing media coverage where he made tons of promises that critics knew he would never keep.

    You bought into another smooth-talking politican.

    As for being worse than the old boss, your memory must be failing. Bush was the most corporate-friendly President we've seen. Undoing the damage he did to civil liberties and the environment alone will take years.

    What a stupid comment. Being corporate-friendly doesn't mean your civil liberties are damaged, and the environment claim is laughable. Perhaps the worst part, though, is that you voted for Obama knowing he was left-of-center and pro-government, as if governments and corporations are different in their damage. The important difference is that corporations can be punished or replaced easily. Have fun with your government-restricted internet.

  • by youngone (975102) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:03PM (#33752796)
    So really it just comes down to Politicians lying to get into power, then doing whatever their corporate masters tell them to do once they get there. Bush is an idiot, and transparently a corporate shill. Obama is just a slicker, more authoritative one.
  • by bonch (38532) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:03PM (#33752800)

    Hey, voting for the big-government guy to protect civil liberties sure makes sense to me!

    It looks like Americans are finally realizing that big government is damaging to civil liberty and that lawmakers are above the law.

  • by Xylantiel (177496) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:06PM (#33752844)

    Stop playing games. Your argument is one for why third-party candidates should RUN, not for us to vote for them. You are simply claiming that it defines a voter group that can be addressed in campaigns.

    Until there is a rank-order voting system in place (which is what your arguments really point toward), sensible voters will continue to vote strategically. One of the problems of a winner-takes all system is that a third party candidate will always hurt the majority of his supporters more by taking relatively more away from their second choice candidate.

    I suspect your whole line of reasoning as being disingenuous. The original point is that the general republican stance on this kind of speech issue is blatantly worse than that of the general democratic stance. So reacting to this with "nothing's changed" is disconnected from reality. The presence of third party candidates does not change this.

  • by easterberry (1826250) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:12PM (#33752934)

    But in Canada we have a system where each riding you win is worth a seat for your party and the PM is the leader of whichever party gets the most seats. In the states it's a winner take all deal. Whichever party has the MOST votes gets their guy in charge. Independents and third parties make sense for American Congress and Senate races, but for the presidential race you're just going to hurt whatever major party your policies are closest to (ie, if a third party liberal candidate gets 10% of the US vote he's actually helping the republicans because that 10% is mostly coming out of the democratic candidates voting base.)

  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:14PM (#33752962)

    Here's the trouble though:

    Liberals are a bunch of disorganized, self defeating, introspective idealists. That means presented with 30 different ideas you'll get 30 different candidates who all divide the vote.

    Conservatives are structured, team oriented cheerleaders. They stay on message. They circle the wagons. They read the talking points (which are actually catchy) and STICK to them.

    Just based on personality the Conservatives would win just about every time. If you just took environmental protection you would end up with:
    1) The Cap and Trade candidate
    2) The Carbon Tax candidate
    3) The nuclear subsidy candidate
    4) The green tech tax credit candidate.

    On the conservative side you would get:
    1) The 'Global Warming is a con to steal your freedom.' candidate

  • by sarhjinian (94086) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:20PM (#33753064)

    You do realize that the political systems in Europe now and the political systems in Europe back in 1776 have not a lot to do with each other, right?

    And yes, Europe's politics are better than America's. Much better. And yes, it's not just because they're Left, but because they're less authoritarian. The idea of a non-authoritarian party, and certainly a non-authoritarian leftist party, is alien to American political discourse.

  • by Moryath (553296) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:45PM (#33753402)

    Hollyweird REALLY owns the Democrats. So it's not surprising that when crap like this passes, Hollyweird and the MafiAA's hands are all over it, and invariably the sponsor is a Dem. 1976 Copyright Extension, Sonny Bono (may Mary Bono and Jack Valenti fucking rot in hell for that) Copyright Extension Act, DMCA, DMCA2, ACTA, you name it.

    On the flipside, the DMCA passed the House by "voice vote" and the Senate by "unanimous consent" before Clinton signed it into law. So it's readily apparent we can't count on the Republicans for crap to protect citizens' rights either.

    Republicrats. Demicans. Who can tell the fucking difference any more? One wants to screw you up the ass and tell you they're protecting you by doing so, the other wants to screw you up the ass and tell you it's good for you and you'll like it if you just give it a chance.

    Or in the words of HL Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @06:11PM (#33753638)

    I voted nay for Obama which meant I had to vote for McCain, but the only reason I voted for McCain was because I may as well abstain rather then vote for a third party.

    If even 10% vote for a 3rd party, that's potentially 10% less that a winner has to claim they have a clear mandate to steamroller their agenda.

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @06:14PM (#33753666)

    And on top of that, if your party gets any traction, the media starts running articles and news clips about how goofy your party is. Liberal or conservative- both sides.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @06:26PM (#33753780)

    "Dunno about the environment..."

    Really? Remember that big oil spill? You know, the one where scientists are still being blocked analyzing the environmental effects?

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/bp-oil-spill-silence-science.html [discovery.com]

  • by aix tom (902140) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @09:24PM (#33754976)

    But a "road" is also a "free transportation service".

    Where is the difference between building a road with tax money and building and running a hospital with tax money?

    Both offer free "services" to people who otherwise would have to travel slower or build their own road, or build and run their own private hospital.

    "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need" is a slogan of communism by the way, not socialism.

  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOSpam.Gmail.com> on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:13AM (#33755992) Homepage Journal

    Because it certainly isn't any Europe in reality.

    "And yes, Europe's politics are better than America's. Much better. And yes, it's not just because they're Left, but because they're less authoritarian."

    Would this be the same "non-authoritarian Europe" that just banned Burqas in France, that has a mass-surveillance state in the UK, and bans firearm ownership in much of the continent? The same Europe where the EU has not only allowed but directedauthorities to gather and save the communications data of European citizens for an indefinite amount of time [wikipedia.org]? THAT Europe? Authoritarianism with good intentions and a velvet glove is still authoritarianism.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:03AM (#33759160) Homepage

    Sure I'll blow all my mod points for daring to post anti-Obama stuff. So be it.

    Ummmm, look back up through the thread. I just read everything modded at 5. There was one post that was favorable to Obama, one post that seemed to be favorable to the Republicans (yours), and all the rest that expressed an opinion said either Obama sucks, or both parties suck.

    If you're looking for partisans to rhetoric with, you're on the wrong site. The most powerful bias here is not left or right, but "judge them by their actions" -- which is to say; most of us believe both parties are entirely discredited and hostile to The Nation.

    You, and the guy who posted supporting Obama, are their food. Unless you pay for some serious campaign ad time, you are nothing more than a means to an end. Nothing more than an instrument to be played by way of your emotions. Nothing more to either party. And you never will be. Stop playing along.

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