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White House Pulls Down TSA Petition 638

Posted by timothy
from the change-your-hope dept.
Jeremiah Cornelius writes with a note that on Thursday of this week "The Electronic Privacy Information Center posted a brief and detailed notice about the removal of a petition regarding security screenings by the TSA at US airports and other locations. 'At approximately 11:30 am EDT, the White House removed a petition about the TSA airport screening procedures from the White House 'We the People' website. About 22,500 of the 25,000 signatures necessary for a response from the Administration were obtained when the White House unexpectedly cut short the time period for the petition. The site also went down for 'maintenance' following an article in Wired that sought support for the campaign."
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White House Pulls Down TSA Petition

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  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:41AM (#40964339) Homepage

    We need a petition for the petition!

  • Tyranny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pubwvj (1045960) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:42AM (#40964349)

    So much for open government and responsiveness. Yes, but only if we ask for what they want to give us.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ish' in gap]> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:44AM (#40964359)

    Given that online petitions are notoriously ineffective, I wonder why they'd bother. Let the thing get to 25,000, and issue a generic, mostly content-free response about balancing safety and the War on Terror with civil liberties and whatever. I doubt it'd be particularly politically damaging either way, since this is one issue where the Obama administration is more or less in line with the GOP opposition, which created the TSA in the first place, and whose law-and-order branch still strongly supports it.

  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:45AM (#40964365)

    They were going to give a non-answer answer anyway. This is just an attempt to avoid any coverage of the issue.

  • How much time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:49AM (#40964387) Journal

    TFS and TFA state that the "White House unexpectedly cut short the time period for the petition", and indeed, the petition's page now says "The petition you are trying to access has expired, because it failed to meet the signature threshold."
    It would be nice if EPIC provided information on (i) how long a petition normally gets before it expires, and (ii) how old this petition was when it was abruptly terminated. We know that it had garnered 22500 out of the 25000 signatures required, but how much time was taken away by the early termination of the petition?

  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C0R1D4N (970153) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:49AM (#40964395)
    They should meet Barbara Streisand. I am betting taking it down and killing what little credibility the petition system had will only increase coverage.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:50AM (#40964411)

    We need a petition for the petition!

    That petition will get pulled early too. Look it's doesn't matter how many petitions you stand up. Basically the folks that have the authority and power to control the people, will. Common folk are only here to support the rich and powerful by way of their taxes. Nothing else matters. You're either part of the good-old-boy network, or you're nobody. It's always been this way; for every country; for every regime; for every global power, since time began.

  • Re:Tyranny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:51AM (#40964413)

    Its getting more and more obvious though. When a government is no longer working for the people, the people will change it one way or the other, this is the lesson of history. I sometimes wonder how these guys got into power in the first place with such a poor understanding of cause and effect in politics.

  • Special Screening (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CosmicRabbit (1505129) <jppequenao@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:54AM (#40964431)
    The petition was not removed, but randomly chosen for special screening in a side room, away from public eyes to protect its privacy. Hence you saw it "under maintenance".
    Unfortunately it has been determined that the petition was carrying some dangerous baggage, and therefore it was denied boarding rights to the oval office. It is now blacklisted for future trips.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:00PM (#40964459)

    Hope and change ?

    Bullshit.

    What those of us with brains hope is that soon we will have a change of
    president.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:00PM (#40964461)

    We need a petition for the petition!

    That petition will get pulled early too. Look it's doesn't matter how many petitions you stand up. Basically the folks that have the authority and power to control the people, will. Common folk are only here to support the rich and powerful by way of their taxes. Nothing else matters. You're either part of the good-old-boy network, or you're nobody. It's always been this way; for every country; for every regime; for every global power, since time began.

    Yes and every once in a while a revolution comes along that burns the old ways and chops heads or worse.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:06PM (#40964487) Homepage
    Convenient time to schedule maintenance. Right at the end of the petition deadline. Also, who's running this server. This isn't 1970. There's no need to bring a server down for maintenance. At least not for a prolonged period of time. At most it should be down for the amount of time it takes to reboot the server. A proper web site should have 2 or 3 load balanced machines anyway, so the site never has to be completely down.
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:07PM (#40964493) Homepage

    Look it's doesn't matter how many petitions you stand up. Basically the folks that have the authority and power to control the people, will. Common folk are only here to support the rich and powerful by way of their taxes. Nothing else matters. You're either part of the good-old-boy network, or you're nobody. It's always been this way; for every country; for every regime; for every global power, since time began.

    That wasn't true of the US from WWII to about 1960. Truman and Eisenhower were modest people. Truman ran a hat store. Eisenhower was a night supervisor at a creamery before he got into West Point. That period was probably the most successful in American history.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:07PM (#40964499)

    Common folk are only here to support the rich and powerful by way of their taxes.

    No you're all wrong. Common folk are here to support the rich with their labor, because their labor is the only thing they have to offer that has value. The rich, on the other hand, use their capital to employ the labor of the common folk, in order to increase their wealth. This benefits the laborer, because he is paid a wage from which he can live. And it benefits the rich person, because he increases his capital. There. Now you have a fairly accurate picture of how the world works.

    Now throw in the politician, whose job it is to steal both the wealth of the rich and the labor of the poor, in order to enrich themselves. And since there are many more poor people than rich people, it's easy for the politician to blame the rich man for the problems - most of which are caused by his theft. After all, when did a little division and discord do any harm in politics?

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:09PM (#40964513)
    Has the "We The People" website had one iota of influence on ANY issue?

    I suspect the whole purpose was to get some good touchy-feely-see-I-care press for launching the site, not to actually do anything substantive but pat people on the head and continue to do whatever the hell they want anyway.
  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:09PM (#40964519)

    Yes and every once in a while a revolution comes along that burns the old ways and chops heads or worse.

    But somehow fails to effect any change at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:13PM (#40964545)

    you see the petition was set to expire on the 9th and they admit they didn't have the 25,000 threshold so how can they complain? i think the TSA is crap but this is a bogus conspiracy.

  • RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lexsird (1208192) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:15PM (#40964567)

    If anyone bothers to read this, (and this is an old story already, been done at Reddit) they will discover that it was due to be taken down in a half an hour. It was a half an hour early, BIG FUCKING DEAL. It's highly doubtful that they would have got the 2500 signatures in that time anyway. Besides these petitions are only for letting them know what people are on about, to get a public opinion. They don't set policy.

    This is a none issue, only made an issue by hysterical paranoid loons.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:18PM (#40964593)

    Incidentally, the top tax bracket in that period was 80-90%. The rich could still live like kings, but they didn't have billions (or the contemporary equivalent) to buy politicians.

    Income disparity is a self-reinforcing problem. If you let the rich have too much of the pie, that gives them the power to take even more.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:23PM (#40964623) Homepage Journal

    The politician steals no wealth from the rich. He is the lickspittle and lackey of the socioeconomic elite - and lives or dies at their bidding. What passes for his riches? These are but crumbs, from the feasting tables of his masters.

    The main job of the politician is to distract the mass of people into believing their plight can be resolved through matters of governance and ideology. He's like a WWF entertainer - should he lose or prevail, the winner is always the man in the back office.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:24PM (#40964627)
    It would certainly effect change for Obama. For the country as a whole? Not so much. In fact, none at all. The track that the US - and much of the Western world - is currently on, will continue. There is so much momentum because of a mind-set. The mind-set of the corporate world. The mind set of the children brought up in a land of plenty, who have never experienced real war, or real hardship, or real famine. The mind set of corruption and lobbying. The mind-set of being fascinated with destruction and war machines and technology. You can vote out every single politician and nothing will change at all, because the politicans are merely a reflection of the society as a whole. They are the symptom, not the disease.
  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:32PM (#40964663)

    The politician steals no wealth from the rich. He is the lickspittle and lackey of the socioeconomic elite - and lives or dies at their bidding. What passes for his riches? These are but crumbs, from the feasting tables of his masters.

    In this we disagree. Because the goal of the politician is power, not capital. So while the rich continue having more "money" than the poor, what is money when the currency is debased? Power is to turn around to the rich man, and say "no, and if you continue I will bring the masses of the poor up against you". And what is the rich man going to do? Why do you think there is so much wealth "offshore", and why do you think the government is so desperate to seize it, outlaw it, and otherwise get its finger in it? Offshore wealth is a thorn in the politician's side, because it lets the wealthy keep some control over their destiny. But no, the politician is not the rich man's lackey at all. He will tolerate the rich man as long as the rich man does what he is told, and if not there are plenty of others willing to be rich men.

  • by LourensV (856614) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:37PM (#40964697)

    ...for the least transparent administration in American history.

    I seriously doubt that. With modern media and the Internet all the parts of the government are more visible than they've ever been. Yes, there are things that governments today won't tell their citizens about, but those have always been there. It's just that the citizens now know about the existence of these things at all, whereas in earlier times the citizens did what they did in their homes and the politicians did what they did in their capitols and there was much less communication. And so, modern governments seem less transparent, while the citizens now actually know more about what their government does than ever before.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:37PM (#40964699)

    This isn't wikipedia, dipshit. No one here is obligated to sprinkle offsite links throughout every comment thet make. You have a problem with that? Get thee off to that other site and stop bothering people here.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:38PM (#40964709) Homepage Journal

    Artificial view of "Money" and "Power".

    "Money" is a power token, and a force to exert that power. Politicians have NO POWER in the modern, western republics. They are INSTRUMENTS of the power of others. This is where you have been deceived.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:43PM (#40964745)

    People are inherently evil, and behind their altruistic motives is the instinct to backstab if they can get away with it.

    Put someone in a position of trust where they have a chance to fuck everyone over and get away with it, they will do so.

    The few who wouldn't, never seek such a position to begin with.

    It's human nature, and will never change.

    The best we can do is put in checks and balances so that we turn this nature against itself and keep it deadlocked in a stalemate.

  • by smpoole7 (1467717) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:46PM (#40964769) Homepage

    > Yes and every once in a while a revolution comes along that burns the old ways and chops heads or worse.

    And within a generation or two (if that long), the revolutionaries are just as corrupt as the original regime.

    Also, it's a rare revolutionary who just wants things to be FAIR. Most of them want to get EVEN. (A very fine distinction.) History is also filled with examples of revolutionaries who, once having taken power, simply use that power to oppress those who originally oppressed them.

  • by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:54PM (#40964829)

    You are missing the fact that the problem isn't the politicians as much as their puppet masters.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @12:57PM (#40964847) Homepage Journal

    Incidentally, the top tax bracket in that period was 80-90%.

    First: nobody paid those taxes. People paid less taxes than they are paying today.

    Nobody paid 94 or whatever % taxes. Entire industries were created to avoid taxes and every single thing was a write off against taxes and IRS didn't have direct link to every bank account, checking information was a very long manual process.

    Second: what kind of logic is that, marginal tax rates were high and so this is why the economy was better or whatever the point is? That's a huge logical fail, none of that follows.

    Thirdly: the real time when USA was actually a real economic power, when people truly had individual liberties was not any time past WWII, it was the time from the 1870 to 1913.

    Incidentally 1913 was the year when IRS and the Fed were finally pushed through (after a number of unsuccessful and temporary attempts), the stars lined up so to speak, or more correctly - the POTUS, SCOTUS, Congress and Senate lined up in a way that allowed this atrocity to take place.

    That became the beginning of the end of the Republic.

  • by repvik (96666) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:01PM (#40964885)

    Which causes them to move, and take a bunch of jobs with them. Excellent. Who does that fuck again? Oh, you're right, the rest of us.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:03PM (#40964895) Homepage Journal

    The government enforces the will of the people

    - now that is prime time bullshit.

    The government does no such thing. The politicians use the popular trends in order to become famous for introducing (and maybe passing) the bills that are popular with the mob, sure, but this does not equate to 'enforcing the will of the people'.

    The will of the people is subjugated to the number 1.

    The will of the people is finely presented in the law, that is supposed to govern the government, and that law is completely tossed out (of-course I am speaking of the Constitution).

    The taxes are needed to pay for the government, that is true, but 1913 became the aberration, the year when the government was finally in a position to take away the will of the people, as it introduced the tools necessary to destroy the ability of the people to fend for themselves, the Fed and the IRS were created to steal the productivity of the people in a number of important ways, and none of it should have ever happened; it was tried earlier a number of times and failed, but finally they figured out how to put together the right people into the key positions to have this implemented and since then the gov't became something it was NEVER intended to become from the beginning of the USA, it became the ruler of the people rather than the protector of their freedoms.

  • by berashith (222128) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:07PM (#40964925)

    So I have a choice of allowing someone to fuck me over and try their best to enslave me while pretending to let me have a say in the matter, or creating an environment where they leave, take their money and jobs, but leave behind the capital and resources that the remaining citizens can attempt to use to actually achieve success? I say let them go. There are piles of people with skill and drive that can still succeed and bring up many with them that currently have to wade through a stacked deck.

    I dont think that the jobs are only here because the rich that are skimming the economy into ruin are just being polite as long as we let them get away with anything they feel like doing.

  • by number11 (129686) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:12PM (#40964949)

    If the Obidiot were to be thrown out of office come the November election, it would effect some change.

    True, but if he was replaced by Rmoney, it would be change for the worse.

    If all 435 sitting idiots in the House of representatives were thrown out come the November election, it would effect some change. If all 33 idiot senators in the Senate up for reelection were thrown out come the November election, it would effect some change.

    True, but if they were replaced by others from the usual crowd of suspects, it would not be significant change. And part of the problem is that while a lot of people (including me) think that Congress is idiots, those same people (including me) often think their own particular Rep is an exception.

    Repeat until the elected idiots finally realize that their employ is to serve the interests of the people (those who vote them into office) rather than the corporate elites.

    This will only work if we can keep the corporate elites' money out of politics. Limiting who can put money in (e.g. only persons qualified to vote) would help, as would limiting the amount they can put in (e.g. a max of $5000 per person per election for all aggregated electoral/issues advertising contributions), but there are those "corporations have rights" and "money is speech" things to overcome.

  • by ToastedRhino (2015614) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:14PM (#40964969)

    Funny that historically that absolutely did not happen, and in fact the US was at its most prosperous during those times. Greed will always exist, and some people will indeed move because of it. I say good riddance, go be a douchebag somewhere else.

  • Re:How much time? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:18PM (#40964989)

    but how much time was taken away by the early termination of the petition?

    I'm too lazy to dig up wherever I read it, maybe it was a comment on hacker news, but it sounded like it had about another week to go before expiration.

    FWIW, I'm inclined to write this off as a glitch. There is nothing to be gained by nefariously disappearing the petition other than to draw attention to the petition. If history is any evidence, petitions that do get enough signatures don't provoke any action anyways, just a condescening pat on the head.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:19PM (#40965003) Homepage

    "If you take too much from the rich, they will leave, and they'll take their jobs with them."

    Then good riddance. They can frisking leave. Hope they enjoy paying for a private army in south america or where ever they move to. Because if what you say is true they wont be going to Europe where the rich are taxed heavily.

    and honestly we don't need their jobs. Eliminate the rich and their "jobs" and the economy will recover faster. because small business men will jump in to fill the void. treating the employees better, creating a far superior product, and overall doing a far better job at it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:27PM (#40965075)

    Almost exactly one year ago, when this website first launched in September 2011, a petition was submitted for "abolishing the TSA [whitehouse.gov]." The White House responded to it, and, BIG SURPRISE, gave a cookie cutter response defending the TSA without even acknowledging the short-comings of the TSA (budget, civil liberties, incompetence, and so on).

    Considering the fact that the White House already gave an official response to this question, I don't see how they are under any obligation to answer a duplicate question. Even if the White House decided to respond to the duplicate question, was anyone expecting their answer to change in the slightest? After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.

    Nothing will come from all this horn-blowing about the petition. If either candidate were to openly come against the TSA, you can bet your ass their opponent will get a massive backing from the security industry which is supported by the TSA. Since neither Obama or Romney have the balls to challenge the TSA, the only answer is to vote third party and send the bastards a message that we are fed up with their shit. Once enough people become disenfranchised and stop voting for "the lesser of two evils" the political spectrum will shift over to accomodate these people, and their voices will be heard once again.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:42PM (#40965215) Journal

    You've got it all wrong. People are actually inherently good, and their altruistic motives are mostly hardwired. The few who would seek a position of trust and power tend to be sociopaths, though.

    Unfortunately, it only takes a few to fuck everything up.

    I've long wondered if some kind of jury duty for most governmental positions (but without voir dire... pure lottery style) would actually give better results in the long term.

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:45PM (#40965241)
    Might as well get used to it folks. The TSA is never going away. Already it has absorbed several other agencies along the way (coast guard, etc.). As Rham Emmanuel once famous said "never let a good crisis go to waste". The creation of TSA was a direct result of 9/11 and it's continued existence is playing upon people's fears of some vague "terrorist" threat somewhere in the distance. Remember in the airports they always used to announce that the threat alert was "orange"? Never yellow, never red. Always orange. If it was yellow people might question if we even need the TSA. It was never red because they never actually caught anyone doing anything that could justify setting it to that. So basically it was just a charade. Remember how the govt told us how they were going to replace those rent-a-cops that the airlines used to hire for security? Looks to me like the same drones that were there before. The only difference is that it costs more and the lines are longer. I don't feel one bit safer. Oh, and the screenings are more invasive and we have given up (or had taken away more accurately) more of our civil rights. If someone wanted to blow up a plane they could do it TODAY, with or without the TSA. I'm not suggesting that we don't need screening in airports I just don't want the government in charge of it.
  • by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:47PM (#40965269)

    The EPA hasn't helped much either. The fact that companies can outsource production to an area where it's okay to dump toxic waste in the fields outback of the plant makes it hard for companies in the US that must spend tens of millions to properly dispose of waste to compete. I agree that dumping poison is bad for the environment but why do we let them do it overseas and then import their products?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:50PM (#40965297)

    You might want to meditate on the reason why your comments are at -1, and the guy you responded to is modded insightful.

    Here on Slashdot, we expect some basic search skills. Like you know opening google.com and copy pasting names from the post into it. If you're so retarded you can't or won't use them, but feel entitled to demand something from another poster, you deserve every downmod that you get.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @01:51PM (#40965301) Homepage Journal

    60% Insightful
    20% Troll
    20% Informative

    - one man's 'Insightful' or 'Informative' is another man's 'Troll'.

  • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @02:03PM (#40965411) Homepage

    The EPA can only enforce environmental laws within the US. They have no ability to enforce US environmental standards overseas, and no ability to prevent the importation of foreign-manufactured goods unless the goods THEMSELVES pose an environmental threat (such as banned pesticides).

    While I completely agree with you in regards to outsourcing in order to skirt environmental regulations, the laws needed to prevent this would need to come from agencies other than the EPA. Starting with the commerce dept.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @02:13PM (#40965483)

    Look at Zuckerberg, Gates, Bezos, Ellison, Page, and Brin for a few examples. None of these folks were born with a silver spoon in their mouths

    Wait, are you trying to make a point, or did you not do any kind of research about any of these people?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @02:21PM (#40965533)

    ... and what did that produce?

    500 years of democracy and peace.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @02:54PM (#40965745)

    I see that some people agree with your unsupported assertions - why else would your comment be modded up?

    First: nobody paid those taxes. People paid less taxes than they are paying today.

    You seem to be confused about the concept of marginal tax rates. Nobody is claiming that people paid 90% of their total income in taxes. There were more deductions at that time, however, people certainly didn't pay less taxes then than they do today. In 1960, the top marginal rate was 91%, and the rich did indeed pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes [wordpress.com]
    Income inequality was also much less at that time.

    Second: what kind of logic is that, marginal tax rates were high and so this is why the economy was better or whatever the point is? That's a huge logical fail, none of that follows.

    You appear to have a reading comprehension fail. The claim was that the lower incomes of the rich led to their having less influence over politics because they had less to spend on it.

    Thirdly: the real time when USA was actually a real economic power, when people truly had individual liberties was not any time past WWII, it was the time from the 1870 to 1913.

    Ah, yes, the Gilded Age. A time of robber barons, union busting, company stores, and political corruption. There was certainly high growth during this period due to industrialization, but a period of personal liberty? What are you smoking? Assuming you weren't black, a woman, or a native American, and assuming you approved of child labor and sweat shops, you basically had the "liberty" to exploit your fellow man during this period - if you had the money, resources, or political power to do so. It was certainly closer to the libertarian paradise in that the government did little to protect the common man from exploitation, but these liberties tend to be quite one sided, and to the benefit of those with power.

  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp&Gmail,com> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:20PM (#40965897) Homepage Journal

    You've got it all wrong. People are actually inherently good, and their altruistic motives are mostly hardwired.

    And just what proof of this do you present? Because I present, for my case of man being inherently flawed and evil unless taught not to be and enforced with laws and social codes, the entire history of the human race. You're essentially using Rousseau's "noble savage" argument, that man, until corrupted by civilization, is inherently good. But it fell out of favor because common sense triumphed, and we re-discovered that, shockingly, savages tend to be... savage.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:24PM (#40965931)
    The worst of what he did was try to gracefully end Bush's policies, rather than doing so more abruptly. That, and sellout to the insurance lobby by abandoning single payer insurance the moment he won the election. The only reason he seems bad now is that you are too close to it. 50 years from now, he may be a forgettable president, but won't even make it on a list of "bad" presidents any more than Carter does, who was bad, and quite hated at the time, but now largely just ignored.
  • by shentino (1139071) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:28PM (#40965961)

    I kinda like the scheme set up by israel's knesset.

    Direct election of representatives, who elect a prime minister. They can waive their own immunity.

    Add to this the ability to recall a representative at will and you'd almost have a perfect system.

    The biggest problem we have with the electoral college is that we can't fire our reps if they screw up or screw us in the arse.

    Which means they have no incentive to be truthful during campaign season, just avoid pissing off the congress critters feeding from the same corporate trough they are.

    More finishing touches would be to make election fraud (vote tampering, disenfranchisement, etc) a class A felony of sorts punishable by 20 years in prison.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:30PM (#40965979)

    What we need most is a way to fire our delegates.

    Local politicians subject to recall tend to behave better while in office.

    If we're really their bosses, why shouldn't we be able to hand them a pink slip?

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:34PM (#40966013)
    Well done, you almost quoted the official line verbatim. You forgot to add "baaa" at the end. Back to work, slave. The smart people are talking.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:36PM (#40966029)
    We gave the rich billions, and they didn't create a single new job for it. When Exxon or Mobile take in 10 billion in profit in a quarter, do they add new jobs? No. They still try to keep costs as low as possible to repeat the performance next quarter.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:01PM (#40966661) Homepage Journal

    ...but won't even make it on a list of "bad" presidents any more than Carter does, who was bad, and quite hated at the time, but now largely just ignored.

    I dunno...Carter is still held in most dialogs, as being a bad president.

    As for health care fiasco...I think he screwed the pooch on the insurance companies as you said...but, I wouldn't have wanted a single payer system either.

    There's got to be a much better way than either of those two paths...something that does NOT put the federal or state govt in between me and my doctor with regard to my medical care. But, that's another argument.

    The abomination that is the current "affordable health care act" has just made a bad situation worse....and we're not going to see the full effect of its badness for years to come, sadly....until well after Obama is out.

    As for any of Bush's policies he tried to gracefully end....exactly which one was that? Recalling the Patriot Act? Repealing immunity for the Telcos after illegal wiretaps? Closing Guitmo?

    Hmm....I've not seen him really repeal anything much to tell the truth....and yet, some people still can support him?

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:11PM (#40967191) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure which world you live in, but you can either have non-govt provided healthcare (so you pay $$$ or pay insurance $$$) or you can have govt provided healthcare (in which case, you pay with taxes).

    What other choices are there, other than fairy dust and unicorn horns?

    I think an integration of both sides.

    We already have medicare for the elderly, and medicaid for the poor....

    For the rest of us, do a few things I think:

    1. Allow insurance to be sold across state lines, like auto insuracne....open it up to more competition and that should help lower prices a good bit.

    2. Especially for the young...and I'm not young and I'd prefer this...rather than tighten down things like HSA (not FSA which is use it or lose it) allow people to sock away a good bit of money pre-tax into Health Savings Accounts....for their routine care. Why should people not save for routine care just like they save for groceries, utilities...etc. If you combine this with a higher deductible insurance policy, ONLY to be used for catastrophic needs (this used to be called Major Medical)....and that way your covered for something catastrophic....but routine care is paid for by you...allowing you to shop around for doctors, etc....opening up competition there a bit too.

    Way back before HMO's and all came about....prices weren't running away...its when you put bean counters in as middle men along with insurance, where things got out of hand.

    3. Take employers out of the chain.....why should medical insurance be tied to employment...that ties people down to jobs....

    I think something along those lines would help. It keeps the govt out of the decision making...but allows for people to save on their own, and encourages it through tax breaks...I supposed if the govt were to be involved more...maybe a minimum HSA deduction would be mandated by employment...but the person would be in charge of it, and it would stay with them no matter who they work for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:17PM (#40967215)

    Well, he certainly couldn't do any worse than the current administration on virtually any front you wished to discuss.

    Sure he could. Look at the changes in consumer credit. In gay rights. In healthcare. Look at the huge rebate he forced the insurance companies to come up with this month. In the type of warfare he prosecutes -- drones mean fewer deaths of our service people. Now look at Romney's pandering to the 1%.

    Are you not paying attention, or are you just mouth-breather-stupid?

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:36PM (#40967311) Journal

    I can't see anywhere to go but UP from where we are now.

    You have a distinct lack of imagination, the US population is still well fed, watered, and sheltered.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:18PM (#40967661) Journal
    The US health system is fucked because there is a maze of overlapping schemes and policy fine print, each one with its own army of accounts who are paid to work out how NOT to pay your claim. The US spends as much tax on health as Australia does (on a per capita basis). The difference is that in Australia you are fully covered with that tax money no questions asked, whereas in the US the same level of funding doesn't even buy basic cover for everyone. A good system will only come about when affordable universal health care is a bipartisan issue, which is unlikely to happen any day soon in the US.
  • by khallow (566160) on Monday August 13, 2012 @12:34AM (#40969811)

    Those laws and social codes, especially the latter arise on their own.

    Nonsense. Everything has a cause. Sometimes it's a crazy vision or some weird quirk that enough people aped, sometimes it's genuine harming of humans by other humans.

    All the evil you are referencing is usually sociopaths grabbing for power.

    And what distinguishes a sociopath from a normal human? The primary characteristic seems to be opportunity.

  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Monday August 13, 2012 @08:56AM (#40972011) Homepage

    Taxes are the price you pay to live in a civilized society.

    Nobody argues this, what people do argue about is the amount of taxes, and what those taxes are used for. The problem is that we start with spening, then create a budget, then go after revenues.

    We should determine what a fair amount of revenues or life to eat up of the populace, then determine a budget, then allocate the revenue to the budget.

    Can you imagine at your house if you went on a spending spree for every little thing your heart wanted, then you came up with your budget, then went to your boss to demand to be paid what your budget was? It's just fucking stupid!

  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Monday August 13, 2012 @10:05AM (#40972557) Homepage

    Have you missed the last 3 years of Obama's pandering to the 1%? What do you think the bank bail-outs, Wall Street bail-outs, etc. were? And do you not understand that the Obamacare bill was written by the insurance companies that are supposedly being taken to task?

    Are you not paying attention, or are you just mouth-breather-stupid?

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