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Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband 846

Posted by kdawson
from the ethanol-and-fat-pipes-for-all dept.
Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."
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Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband

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  • If Obama [senate.gov] and Biden [senate.gov] have a joint ticket, do you think they will call it obama/biden?

    If they do, will they be "cashing in" on the popular the "dyslexic terrorist" vote?

    (If there's going to be a political flamewar, it may as well be my political flamewar).
  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:45AM (#17970090)
    Is Slashdot going to have a story for every candidate who is running for President and discusses something having to do with energy dependence, stem cell research, and investment in science (which every candidate will have some opinion on)? Or is Obama getting his own story due to editorial preferences? I haven't seen a story for John McCain or Hillary Clinton. Why Obama?
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

      by splodus (655932) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:59AM (#17970188)
    • by RichPowers (998637) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:00AM (#17970202)
      Slate currently has an "Obama Messiah Watch" column that chronicles the media's excessive praise of the would-be-president.

      http://www.slate.com/id/2159502/?nav=navoa [slate.com]
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kpau (621891) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:50AM (#17970530)
      Because (and I'm speaking as someone who's voted Republican probably since before many posters here were born and I'm going to fry my karma) .... the Republican party need to spend a while in "time out" after the total fuck up they've pulled on the country between the corruption, the misrepresentation, and the disregard for the *rest* of the Bill of Rights. Both parties stink in their own ways, but at the moment I've had it with these fascist dipwads.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Siener (139990) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @07:37AM (#17971212) Homepage
      He has special alternate versions of his videos so that Firefox and Apple users can access them ... that is enough to get a mention on Slashdot if you ask me.
    • by AmazingRuss (555076) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:38PM (#17975218)
      and McCain is a crook. Remember the Keating Five [wikipedia.org]? IMHO, he should have gone to prison for that...but it works out karmically because of his POW time. He talks a good game, but he's a slimy criminal backstabber just like most any other suckup politico. He's been alternately sucking up to/backstabbing Mr. Bush throughout his presidency.

      If it ends up being McCain vs Hillary, it'll be too close to call...both have shady histories that will come out. Obama looks to be pretty clean, and relatively sane, and would probably trounce whatever republican he ran against.

      It is for this reason alone that the Democratic party is incapable of nominating him.
  • by Petey_Alchemist (711672) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:46AM (#17970096) Homepage
    It's also worth noting that, in addition to things like 1 million strong for Barack [facebook.com], his team has set up it's own social networking site [barackobama.com] where Obama supporters can share photos, messages, groups, fundraising, and events.

    Dean ushered in Internet fundraising in 2004. Could Obama harness social networking?
  • A new feeling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Terminal Saint (668751) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:46AM (#17970098)
    I may not agree with his stance on every single issue, but I have to say, I don't think I've ever felt genuinely excited about the prospect of any particular candidate becoming president before this election. Usually I'm just hoping for the guy I mind the least to get in.
    • by Shihar (153932) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:05PM (#17976764)

      I may not agree with his stance on every single issue, but I have to say, I don't think I've ever felt genuinely excited about the prospect of any particular candidate becoming president before this election.
      I would strongly advise you to ignore such warm and fuzzy feelings about someone you know jack and shit about.

      Obama is an excellent speaker and is very charismatic. On top of that, there is a media love fest that is just oozing over the fellow. This is where the warm and fuzzy feelings for him come from.

      While the ability to speak is a big bonus (though apparently not required - see GWB), it doesn't make a good president on its own. Obama has done an excellent job saying nothing other then warm fuzzy shit that people want to hear.

      He talks endlessly about compromise and understanding, but he has yet to spit out an actual innovative proposal on an issue that puts his 'philosophy' into practice. As far as I can tell from few things he actually has a REAL position on, they are straight across the board moderate democratic party line proposals.

      Obama is a great speaker, but I don't trust someone who speaks of warm and fuzzy things yet refuses to take an actual stand. It is still early though. I don't discount Obama. He still has plenty of time to make some actual proposals with meat on them. I just think that the big media orgy and public love festival surrounding Obama is horrifically premature. See if you still like the guy after he actually takes a stand on an issue.
  • by abscissa (136568) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:53AM (#17970150)
    Yes, it is added in places like Brazil, but that's because they derive it from sugar and not corn like the US would have to. If they could derive ethanol from any plant cellulose, that would be something.

    I am an environmentalist, but ethanol is a BAD BAD idea.
    • ^ FROM CORN (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrchaotica (681592) * on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:01AM (#17970214)

      Like you said, the problem is the source of the fuel, not the chemical itself. Unfortunately, your post title would lead one to believe the opposite -- you ought to be more careful about that.

    • by feranick (858651) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:16AM (#17970328)
      Very true. Ethanol is viable only if produced from non-food-related products. Simple math, we don't have enough usable and fertile land to grow food crops AND fuel crops.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord Kano (13027)
      Yes, it is added in places like Brazil, but that's because they derive it from sugar and not corn like the US would have to.

      Not only has it added, but it has seriously reduced their dependance on foreign oil. Instead of getting 80% of their oil from foreign sources, they currently only get 15%. I don't have a link to this because I saw it on Modern Marvels.

      I am an environmentalist, but ethanol is a BAD BAD idea.

      Then, you're a stupid environmentalist. Ethanol is carbon neutral, the CO2 released by burning it
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by abscissa (136568)
        You are the only person who replied to my OP who seems to think that I am wrong: i.e. you think that ethanol will be a huge help to the oil addiction.

        Instead of pretending that fuels like hydrogen are the way of the future, we should make an effort to switch to clean energy (wind, solar, nuclear) and use electric cars. This technology is available TODAY. No need to spend $4b for research.

        David Pimentel, an agricultural scientist at Cornell University and one of the foremost critics of ethanol, has conducted
  • How? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:00AM (#17970204)
    The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol

    And this interests readers of Slashdot ... how?

    Latest figures I've seen say if every grain of corn was turned into ethanol that it would only represent 12% of total USA gasoline usage, and that's only gasoline, which doesn't affect other energy usage. And we'd starve Mexico in the process. It's more political fluff on the part of the this article poster, than reality. And does he want to ban alcoholic drinks as well, and pour them into cars? Furthermore, burning ethanol does nothing to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, which I thought he was also unrealistically big on.

    Politician and Science -- a very bad mix.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aussie_a (778472)
      If you could find 9 sources of alternative energy that represented 12% of total USA gasoline usage, you'd do away with any need on foreign oil. If you could find 1 source of alternative energy that represented 12% of total USA gasoline usage, you can decrease the amount the USA needs foreign oil.
  • by cdn-programmer (468978) <terr AT terralogic DOT net> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:30AM (#17970414)
    Freeing America from oil via ethanol.

    Read this: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=219742&cid=178 41462 [slashdot.org]

    One ton of dry biomass = 2 barrels of oil

    The USA burns about 20 million barrels of oil per day. As I incorrectly pointed out in the prior post - this is 10 million tonnes of dry biomass per day (I had a brain fart which no one picked up on and wrote 40 tonnes).

    It was nicely pointed out and correctly I might add that if we were to produce the amount of ethanol required to offset the oil being burned, then we would need more than the world's production of grain.

    I did a google search on "world grain production" and was impressed with the increases since the 1960's.

    Since I grew up on a grain farm I have a gut feel for this. The increased production came from dwarf grains (more grain, less stalk), irrigation and fertilizer. At this point much of the north amercian farmland has been badly raped of its nutrients. As I write this a major part of the North American fertilizer industry is shut down because of a shortage of Methane. They use methane to create anhydrous ammonia.

    Check here:

    http://www.agrium.com/products_services/ingredient s_for_growth/nitrogen/anhydrous_ammonia.jsp [agrium.com]

    The thing is the irrigation is not sustainable.

    The dwarf grains and genetic manipulation lead to mono culture which is questionable sustainable.

    The use of methane to create nitrogen fertilizers is past peak by over 5 years in North America. Its a big problem.

    The short of it is that there is no way on earth we can double our grain production. We can however produce Ethanol from other than grain.

    Cellulose to ethanol is a possibility with fungii like Trichoderma reeshii. But plants also contain pentosans and lignins. T. reeshii likes cellulose.

    Personally I think a fungus with more potential is in the Pleurotis genus.

    But that is just my guess.

    The short of it is that we have a big problem - do we want to eat (grain) or do we want to drive cars.

    I hope the cars lose.

    As I pointed out before.... the USA would have to convert more than the whole world's supply of grain into ethanol to keep its fleet of car toys on the road.
  • Mr. Cynic says... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Perseid (660451) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:45AM (#17970486)
    I know the reason Mr. Obama is saying all of these things: He wants to be president. That is all. And I don't say this because he is a democrat. I don't say this because he is black. I say this because he is a politician.

  • by melted (227442) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @05:05AM (#17970634) Homepage
    This country is not yet ready for a black prez, particularly the one whose father is from a predominantly Muslim country and who has the last name that rhymes with Osama. If he goes on ballot, Republicans will win again by unleashing a horrific misinformation campaign right before the election. Sadly, in order to win presidency in this country one needs to be a white, Christian-god-fearing male. I'd love to be wrong about this, though.
    • This country is not yet ready for a black prez, particularly the one whose father is from a predominantly Muslim country ... Sadly, in order to win presidency in this country one needs to be a white, Christian-god-fearing male.

      Sigh... Mark Twain was right, a lie really does get around the world before the truth can get its boots on.

      Barack Obama is a Christian. He belongs to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ [tucc.org]. When asked about his faith, he has said that he has "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ [suntimes.com]", which, while he doesn't describe himself as born-again or evangelical, is a standard way that evangelical Christians describe their faith. In other words, he is definitely a "Christian god-fearing male".

      As to his father being a Muslim. His birth father was an atheist goatherder [snopes.com] who left the family when Obama was two years old. His stepfather, who raised him through adulthood, was a non-practicing Muslim [about.com], and his father and mother educated him in secular schools, not whacko Muslim Madrassas as some of his political opponents have been claiming.

      So let's stop worrying about Obama being some kind of Muslim Manchurian Candidate, k? Because it's really far from the truth.

  • by schmiddy (599730) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @05:14AM (#17970666) Homepage Journal
    A tiny issue to be sure, but I'm appreciative of the website linked for providing a video link that's easy to use, even in Linux.

    Addressing the larger scheme of things, I'd just like to say it's sad how politics seems to eventually run into centrism, especially for the presidential elections, due to the "winner takes all" approach. I was really rooting for Dean during the last primaries, but it seems like the Dems preferred a more bland candidate. Oh well. Here's to hoping that people have wised up since '04.
  • by Mad-cat (134809) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @06:37AM (#17970990) Homepage
    Obama, Clinton, McCain, etc, all of them make me want to never vote again.
    I've always voted for third parties, since I refuse to buy into the belief that a vote on principles is a wasted vote, but I think we need a new option on ballots:

    "Throw the bastards out."

    If this wins the majority, the candidates for the parties are legally prohibited from ever running for office again, and we start over with new primaries.
    It'd be nice if we could go so far that if this option wins, the candidates and all their cronies get exiled to some godforsaken rock in the Pacific.

    Yeah, it'll never happen. Let me dream please.
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @09:13AM (#17971606)
    let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that

    Who's this 'we' shit, and who pays for it? Sounds like Universal Service Fee part II. I'm not interested in spending $25,000 per person to connect a bunch of people who choose to live in the Bayou. Broadband access is not critical to life, and I'm not interested in subsidizing it.

    Obama has a lot of great ideas with no funding.

  • Fingers crossed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Novotny (718987) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @09:49AM (#17971784)
    Speaking as a European, I really hope this guy gets in, he would do wonders for the global image of the United States. I'm not sure even the quite-worldly Slashdot crowd realise what damage Bush has wrought upon America's relationship with the rest of the planet. As previous posters have commented though, I'm not sure middle America is ready for him. Like many Europeans, I have enormous respect for the America ideal and I know that your government doesn't really represent you. But on the other hand, literally, it does. Good luck guys! Don't let the oil companies rig it. Unintentional pun, honest
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:00AM (#17971846)
    We have 20 months to go, during which time I have every confidence that golden-child Obama will end up like previous golden-child Howard Dean.
  • by aldheorte (162967) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:24PM (#17973478)
    The key problem with Obama is that his platform, or lack thereof, consists of nebulous hopes wrapped up in positive wordplay. He isn't actually proposing a plan to enhance broadband accessibility or promising to do anything to help it. He's just hoping someone will do it and saying he thinks it would be a good thing if someone does. You can see a dramatic illustration of this in the difficulty the poster in the summary (pretty obviously a shill) is having concretely describing this in a way that would appeal to the Slashdot crowd:

    * "Boost broadband? - This is a meaningless statement. How do you "boost broadband?" Did broadband access increase overnight? Did he actually propose a way to increase broadband access?
    * " Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd" - Exactly, because they aren't listening to the what he is saying, they are just listening to the words and audience cues built into his speech through pauses and wordplay. I suspect that actual neurological activity in the average crowd member would be around that of watching television - they are just being entertained. Also, the shill is trying to use social proofing to make you think, hey, everyone else was cheering this, I should to. Unfortunately, it invalidates the salience of the boost broadband comment used as the lead to capture the interest of Slashdot readers because, if they were cheering for everything, then their cheering for broadband is meaningless.
  • by istartedi (132515) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:14PM (#17974426) Journal

    I sometimes wonder if a bunch of CNN reporters were sitting around having coffee one day, joking about how powerful they are. Then one guy was like, "I bet we could take a junior senator and turn him into a presidential candidate". Wager donuts for breakfast. OK! You're on. Loser has to sit next to cologne-soaked Carl on the next flight out to a location shot.

    Oh, and it's fine to take surplus grain that's no longer fit for human consumption and use it as a reserve fuel; but it will never get us off oil. Reduce sprawl and improve battery life for electrics. Switching fuels is easier at the power plant than it is at the pump. With electicity as the fuel-neutral choice, we can shift from oil/coal/nuclear/natgas/bio/wind at will, based on the relative cost and availablity of any particular fuel. Oil spiking while natgas priced reasonably? Shut down generator 2 that burns oil, and fire up generator 4 that runs natgas. With electricity as the mediator, cars will always be fueled by the most affordable technology, and if any new tech comes online it will be incorporated with no fuss at the consumer level.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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