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Obama Launches Change.gov 1486

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the transparency-in-government-would-be-great dept.
mallumax writes "Obama has launched Change.gov. According to the site 'Change.gov provides resources to better understand the transition process and the decisions being made as part of it. It also offers an opportunity to be heard about the challenges our country faces and your ideas for tackling them. The Obama Administration will reflect an essential lesson from the success of the Obama campaign: that people united around a common purpose can achieve great things.' The site is extensive and contains Obama's agenda for economy and education among many others. They first define the problem and then lay out the plan. Everything is in simple English without a trace of Washington-speak. The site also has details about the transition. According to many sources, Obama's transition efforts started months ago. The copyright for the content is held by 'Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501c(4) organization'."
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Obama Launches Change.gov

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  • Obama (Score:5, Funny)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:48PM (#25677501)

    First Obama

  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by damburger (981828) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:51PM (#25677519)
    Now you can be ignored by politicians faster and more efficiently than ever before!
  • Stresstest (Score:5, Funny)

    by Narpak (961733) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:51PM (#25677527)
    Well posting this on slashdot should ensure that their servers get a proper stress-test.
  • "Propaganda" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:52PM (#25677535)

    I know this is probably gonna get me marked down from some of Obama's more, ehm, "faithful"--and I'm not excusing anything past politicians have done, in either party, oh no--but this seems too much like propaganda. "Ministry of Change", heh.

    It also seems like he's unveiling things he didn't talk about that much:

    The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nationâ(TM)s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

    Mandatory community service? Great, let's send a bunch of unmotivated kids to do stupid work. Hell, that kind of shit would have been a nightmare for me at that age when I had massive social anxiety and was extremely uncomfortable in such situations.

    Of course, people will come out of the woodwork to say how because it's something that people "should" do (because helping people IS nice, after all...) that Obama should MAKE you do it. Please, someone explain to me how you justify that leap.

    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@ubermMONET00.net minus painter> on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:56PM (#25677595) Homepage Journal

      They did talk about it, actually. [barackobama.com] There was also a YouTube video, one of the "Blueprint for Change" series. [youtube.com]

      Whether or not it's a good thing... I don't know. It seems perhaps a bit much to force students to help out... but then, it could do some serious good as well.

      • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:4, Informative)

        by Cristofori42 (1001206) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:10PM (#25677809)
        The youtube video was interesting, and if what he states in there is still accurate then it's not quite "mandatory", but it still feels rather intrusive to me to make government funding for schools contingent on developing service programs (if I understood that correctly).

        The $4000 tax credit for college students that do 100 hours of service didn't seem all that unreasonable to me.
        • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Xphile101361 (1017774) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:46PM (#25678521)
          $4000 for 100 hours? $40 an hour? Really? Seems a bit high to me, but maybe that is the only way they can get people to participate.
          • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Main Gauche (881147) on Friday November 07, 2008 @02:13PM (#25679011)

            $4000 for 100 hours? $40 an hour? Really? Seems a bit high to me, but maybe that is the only way they can get people to participate.

            Yes, you caught it. If you really want to teach young people that they should be paid for their volunteer work---no one seems to catch the contradiction there---then you do need to pay them a high enough rate.

            Seriously, I am surrounded by conscientious people (mostly immigrants) who do solid work for a third of that rate, and have to feed their families.

    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:59PM (#25677621) Homepage

      We have mandatory community service in Ontario, to complete their highschool education, I for one was glad I was far out of reach of such policies. I'm not a fan of forcing people to go out and do things such as 'voluntary-mandatory community service'. With any luck, if he does decide to pull this bullshit through the air, people will run across fellows who remember this and happily do one thing(should it be a requirement for say graduation/etc), pay them for it; like many do here now.

      Community service should remain that, a choice. Do it, great, nice job on you. Don't do it...well, it doesn't look as good and you might get passed over, but it doesn't matter in the end. It's the choices that make you what you are, not what the government is telling you what you should do.

    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by oahazmatt (868057) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:59PM (#25677623) Journal
      Really? One of my requirements for graduation was that I had to do 10 hours of community service. And this was a public high school.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sexconker (1179573)

      Mandatory community service?
      Sounds a bit like slavery to me.

      • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:19PM (#25677971) Homepage Journal
        I live in the US and, though community service wasn't required in my area to graduate high school, believe it should be mandatory for troublemakers.

        For instance, instead of cramming all the troublemakers into the cafeteria for Saturday school, they could me made to do various community service. The community would benefit and it would be more fun for the troublemaker than the alternative. Many would rather paint over graffitti or pick up trash as long as they could socialize with their fellows.

        The GP laments about how that would've been torturous to his introverted psyche, but what he dosen't realize is that it may have been very beneficial to interact with others who have a common gripe(having to serve out their "sentence") as a team-building exercise.

        Additionally, there are many high school organizations which do community service and offer some kind of carrot(say, a trip to a theme park), as a reward. Working with the mentally challenged is a very eye-opening experience...those little funny-looking bastards are much smarter than we think they are.
      • by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:25PM (#25678097)
        Yeah but it's only mandatory for white people, so it's ok! ~
      • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Locklin (1074657) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:26PM (#25678133) Homepage

        Slavery?? like math class? or being forced to read books as homework for English class? Requiring a couple days of community service over the course of 4 years of high-school does as much good for the student as it does for the community (small but potentially significant). At least in this case, the student can pick whatever he wants to do.

        • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Friday November 07, 2008 @03:29PM (#25680433) Homepage Journal

          It gives you great insight into the workings of someone's mind when they think requiring this amount of community service is akin to slavery, both in their inability to understand the role of school in society as well as of the significance of real slavery.

          The school system isn't making kids stamp license plates or cut down trees or fill reactor rods here, this is community service chosen by the youth in school. They may decide to help out at a boys & girls club of some form, or do some reading to seniors at a hospital, or whatever tickles their fancy.

          I think a lot of previous generations would be better off if they had more exposure to being engaged in this way.

    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IchNiSan (526249) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:02PM (#25677659)
      Forget all that stuff. What gets me is that he promised more openness and transparency in government, and holy fucking shit, he ain't even in office yet and has a .gov being (apparently) more open and transparent.

      This man is dangerous, this is just more proof that there is truth coming out of his mouth, how can we possibly survive when politicians don't lie every time they open their mouths?
    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jav1231 (539129) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:04PM (#25677683)
      Don't forget that this is all what Obama collectively called the "Civil Security Force." I was ridiculed for pointing this out and told that it was merely an expansion of the Peace Corp and other organizations. But "Civil Security Force" are Obama's words and to my knowledge the Peace Corp doesn't "secure" anything. Like most agendas like this these things sound great on paper (who can argue with "serving" your country?) but there's a creepiness to it as well not to mention ominous possibilities. What happens if one wishes to exercise the freedom to abstain? Shouldn't such a freedom exist in a "free" society?
    • this country (Score:5, Interesting)

      by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquar ... m minus language> on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:05PM (#25677699) Homepage Journal

      as well as many others, have fought important wars with drafted soldiers

      "Mandatory community service? Great, let's send a bunch of unmotivated kids to do stupid work. Hell, that kind of shit would have been a nightmare for me at that age when I had massive social anxiety and was extremely uncomfortable in such situations."

      so you have a problem with the fighting forces of world war i and world war ii? where we gave 18 year olds guns and made them serve on the front lines of mayhem and death? i'm just saying, you'd better have a problem with the idea of a military draft, for the sake of intellectual honesty

      although, i've heard stories of many countries with mandatory military service as nothing more than a chance to learn smoking and peel potatoes. so mandatory civil service might prove stupid... or really good, can't tell

      but i do like the idea of paying off part of your student loans this way. because it serves as a carrot and a stick. if your civil service effort is poor, you would be punished by having to still pay your loans in full, for example. this at least provides motivation

      • Re:this country (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <.akaimbatman. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:13PM (#25677875) Homepage Journal

        so you have a problem with the fighting forces of world war i and world war ii? where we gave 18 year olds guns and made them serve on the front lines of mayhem and death? i'm just saying, you'd better have a problem with the idea of a military draft, for the sake of intellectual honesty

        Actually, I do have a problem with it. One of the key force multipliers that the brass has identified is that a voluntary fighting force is many times more effective than a drafted force. One of the key issues in WWI and WWII is that our men were dying without ever firing their weapon.

        It's not that they never had an opportunity, but rather that they were not professional soldiers. Being pressed into service with the fairly limited weapons training of the time did not train them to respond on instinct. They thought too much before pulling the trigger, and it got a lot of good men killed.

        However, the draft was a necessity for WWI & II. It wasn't until Vietnam that the true horrors of a draft became apparent. How many good men died in a war where we never lost a battle but lost the war? How many vets came back to be spat on, beat up, and otherwise disowned by the American people? How many vets lost limbs or were crippled only to come back and find hatred rather than care?

        The draft is an evil thing. Sometimes a necessary evil, but evil none the less. I can only hope that the US will never have to issue a draft again.

    • Dear Sir (Score:5, Informative)

      by coryking (104614) * on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:07PM (#25677735) Homepage Journal

      The government is paying a good chunk of your tuition in exchange for 100 hours of community service. Sounds like a fair exchange for me.

      Head Start.

      Do you know what this program is? The government lets you to earn college credit while you are in high school. Many of my classmates were able to graduate with a bachelor degree a year before us chumps who didn't take uncle sam up on the offer.

      Hell, that kind of shit would have been a nightmare for me at that age when I had massive social anxiety and was extremely uncomfortable in such situations.

      How do you know this? Maybe it would have got you over it sooner. In fact, I wager most of the people in head start did it to get away from their high school foes and sit around people who respected smarts.

      that Obama should MAKE you do it

      If you dont want to do it, pay full freight on your college tuition instead! Nobody is pointing a gun at your head saying "cash this government check!!"

      • Re:Dear Sir (Score:5, Interesting)

        by characterZer0 (138196) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:12PM (#25677847)

        The government is paying a good chunk of your tuition in exchange for 100 hours of community service. Sounds like a fair exchange for me.

        Exactly which part of the constitution are we deliberately misinterpreting to give the federal government the authority to do this?

    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Informative)

      by LanMan04 (790429) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:10PM (#25677817)

      Mandatory community service? Great, let's send a bunch of unmotivated kids to do stupid work. Hell, that kind of shit would have been a nightmare for me at that age when I had massive social anxiety and was extremely uncomfortable in such situations.

      Maybe it would have made you a more well-rounded person. /shrug

    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jdc180 (125863) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:13PM (#25677871)

      Did You Read It?

      Expand Service-Learning in Our Nation's Schools: Obama and Biden will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year.
      seems reasonable to me, i remeber doing a lot more than that in school, I imagine most schools aready do that... think canning drives, fund raisers etc...

      Require 100 Hours of Service in College: Obama and Biden will establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that is worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.
      again seems reasonable to me. You want money, do some work for it. Where else you gonna make $40 bucks an hour in college?

      • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Informative)

        by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Friday November 07, 2008 @02:08PM (#25678947)

        Where else you gonna make $40 bucks an hour in college?

        Tax credit, remember? There are two kinds of tax credits available in the US system. Refundable, and non-refundable. Most tax credits are the latter type, which means they can be used to reduce your income tax burden to zero, but no further. Only refundable tax credits are worth the full value if your tax burden is less than face value of the credit.

        Assuming the credit is non-refundable (as almost all of them are. The EIC (which is meant to make up for the regressive SS and Medicare taxes) is the only one I can think of off the top of my head that is refundable right now), the benefit will be less than that.

        In other words, since few college students actually owe $4000 per year of income taxes, very few will end up getting the equivalent of $40 per hour.

        Note that as of 2008, you have to clear ~$29,000 per year after the usual deductions before you owe $4000. Realistically, we're talking about $40,000 per year to get the nominal benefit.

    • Re:"Propaganda" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Doghouse Riley (1072336) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:34PM (#25678275)
      Why do I have this funny feeling that 50 hours of signing up the homeless in heavily Democratic districts will easily qualify as "community service" while 50 hours of working with a libertarian organization to oppose eminent domain laws, or working with a law firm fighting campus speech codes, may just barely fail to pass muster??
  • .gov? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thetagger (1057066) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:53PM (#25677541)

    How the hell did they get a .gov domain considering that they aren't even in power yet? And even if they were, is this the kind of stuff .gov was created for?

  • by strangeattraction (1058568) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:53PM (#25677543)
    It has been a long time since that has happend.
    • by megamerican (1073936) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:07PM (#25677747)

      http://www.change.gov/americaserves [change.gov]

      Classic double-think

      "When you choose to serve -- whether it's your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood....

      Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.

      Obama's chief of staff choice favors compulsory universal service [examiner.com]

      Obama and Hillary Call for a Draft Live on MTV [barackswar.com]

      Text of H.R. 393: Universal National Service Act of 2007 [govtrack.us]

      Obama Calls For National Civilian Stasi [prisonplanet.com]

      Constitution, what Constitution?

      Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

      • by slashdotlurker (1113853) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:24PM (#25678087)
        Are you trying to tell us that the Draft (which existed in fits and starts from WW2 to Vietnam) was unconstitutional ? It may have been a good idea or a bad idea, but I do not think it was unlawful. Why ? Because involuntary national service in wartime does not count (at least to my legally untrained ears) as involuntary servitude or slavery.
        And if the draft had been in place, I think this nonsense of a war in Iraq would have never started, and if it did, it would not have lasted this long. The only reason it has lasted this long is that most of the poor stiffs dying for you and me in the sands of Iraq have no career options back home (I am not talking about genuine volunteers, just the poor kids who use military service as a way to get out of the hell hole their otherwise gang and poverty infested lives are.).
        In that sense, given how much we are going to need the military (Bush has after all started so many wildfires around the globe), it might not be a very bad idea to re-institute the draft - it will give us the manpower we need, and will keep future chicken hawk oil-thirsty traitors like Cheney from driving this country into wars it does not need to be involved in. It will make participation in our government also that much more personal as a matter. And boost voting percentages even more, making the government even more representative of the people than simply a few shrill interest groups (if you have done any stats, you know what I am talking about).
        And yes, I could also be drafted.
    • by characterZer0 (138196) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:13PM (#25677891)

      No it hasn't. Bush & Co. spent years planning their assault on the constitution.

  • It Begins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tripdizzle (1386273) on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:53PM (#25677545)
    This is the first installment of the government run media machine and how they will humor your requests http://www.change.gov/page/s/yourvision [change.gov]
  • Excellent... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <.akaimbatman. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:56PM (#25677585) Homepage Journal

    ...now we'll see if we can get him to change his policy on Nuclear Power (a necessity for cleaner power), pay more attention to what the AMA has to say on insurance [voicefortheuninsured.org], convince him not to raise taxes in the middle of an economic crisis*, and plead with him to leave Griffin as head of NASA and keep him properly funded. Anything I'm missing?

    While I'm being a little bit snarky, I think it's great that Obama has this outlet to let our voices be heard. I look forward to seeing if he listens. :-)

    * The $250,000 bit doesn't matter. What's more concerning is when Bush's existing tax breaks expire. When Hoover raised taxes in 1932, it caused a complete economic collapse of an already precarious situation.

    • by coryking (104614) * on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:12PM (#25677851) Homepage Journal

      Unlike claims by McCain, I've never heard Obama say he was against nuclear power. At some point, he might have said he was against some specific form of power plant design or something, but never against the concept. McCain must have lept on that statement and blew it up to make it sound like Obama was against all forms of nuclear power.

      In fact, I think the "no more nukes" people have become such a small base that it would be politically safe to revisit nuclear power. Do you know anybody who is really against it? Most people I know are really concerned more about how to dispose of the waste, not really concerned about the power plant itself.

      But that all said, if you could develop power sources that are cheaper per megawatt then nuclear power, why bother? From what I understand, wind power is going down in price per megawatt that it is almost competitive with coal!

    • Re:Excellent... (Score:5, Informative)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:16PM (#25677937)

      The Obama tax plan reaffirms the Bush tax cuts on all but the highest brackets past 2010; the salient change is that the $250k bracket simply returns to where it was when Bush took office: see here [barackobama.com]. In the end, the total tax rate of the country is still below where it was during the Reagan administration. It's astonishing to think we went through the first decade of expansion this century without collecting any money to pay down our debt; through the 50s, the highest brakcet had a marginal tax rate of over 90% [truthandpolitics.org], in order to pay down our war debt, and that was a tax code submitted by a Republican congress and signed by Eisenhower. At the time thus amounted to a huge wealth redistribution since the paper on the war debt was in war bonds, which were universally subscribed, not to mention the costs of the GI Bill and Marshall plan, which educated millions and could also be considered a form of debt repayment or infrastructure invetment.

      When Hoover raised taxes in 1932, it caused a complete economic collapse of an already precarious situation.

      It didn't help that he wasn't spending much; if we trim up taxation while spending gobs on infrastructure like in 1933. Of course back then, they didn't have $10 trillion in debt.

  • Why only one "blog"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by composer777 (175489) * on Friday November 07, 2008 @12:57PM (#25677601)

    Shouldn't there be blogs and forums so users can actually communicate with each other and make their opinions known to each other? That would be a powerful force, as they could band together to keep Obama in line if he strays too far from his promises. The way it is set up currently, it simply is a bullhorn for Obama, while his users can "share their vision" with a recycle bin. I don't see much (yet) to get excited about. It reminds me of CNN's "talkback", which is heavily censored and filtered.

    • by Fastolfe (1470) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:09PM (#25677783)

      I've been a proponent for blogs for our elected offices for a while now. I don't think forums would work this term, though. Given how racist and irrational a large percentage of our population is, it will take about 2 seconds for such a forum for Obama to devolve into uselessness, even with heavy moderation. (And then, once you throw moderation into things, you have to deal with charges that you're biasing the comments.)

    • by coryking (104614) * on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:19PM (#25677961) Homepage Journal

      A forum that citizens "talk back" to a presidential blog would be the largest community website on the planet. Could you imagine how many comments a single blog post would get? I bet a single blog post, especially if it was even slightly controversial, could easily generate thousands of comments. How would you design the UI to navigate 5,000 comments? How would you moderate it? How would you even design it? Nobody would interact on such a forum either, it would be one blog post and 5,000 direct replies. No threads, nobody talking to each other, nothing. Just 5,000 comments that all sound the same.

      You can already see how this works by visiting the comments pages of any major national newspaper. Nobody reads other comments, and everybody replies directly to the article. You basically get pages of comments all talking to nobody.

      Personally, I dont think it is possible to allow comments on a presidential blog. I dont even know if it would be productive. It would just be a mess.

  • In other news... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sesshomaru (173381) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:07PM (#25677749) Journal

    Joe the Plumber has launched:

    http://www.secureourdream.com/ [secureourdream.com]

    Yes, sadly now that his dreams of owning a plumbing business have crashed to the ground, he decided to become a political watchdog and "take it to the streets."

    Who knows what we'll be saying about him 4 years from now? A 1 year "Freedom membership" costs a mear $14.95 .

    Freedom, who among us is against that?

  • by psychicninja (1150351) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:10PM (#25677795)
    I already liked the guy, but I'm honestly impressed by this. Any information from the government can be suspected as 'propaganda'. At least this site puts forth their agenda in an easy to navigate, plain English fashion.

    As for the 'submit your own idea' functionality, I think it's a great move. Even if they ignore most/all of the suggestions, isn't that the same results as not asking for them in the first place? At worst this is a waste of time and at best it's a huge step forward in citizen understanding of and participation in government.
  • story summary: obama and team put up website communicating their efforts

    take home message, pro obama: all the good i feel about an obama administration is taking effect

    take home message, anti obama: all the bad i feel about an obama administration is taking effect

    its just a communication tool folks. last i checked, communicating what you actually intend to do is never a bad thing

    for those of you who don't like obama, think of it as your enemy telegraphing his punches, allowing you to prepare your rebutal, or providing a convenient record for you to accuse him of not doing what he promised to do. see? its good all around

  • by internerdj (1319281) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:12PM (#25677857)

    I know you are new to politics so I thought I would let you know. Now that you have won, you can stop campaigning for about 3 years.

  • South park (Score:5, Funny)

    by operagost (62405) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:15PM (#25677919) Homepage Journal
    WHOO HOO! Change! We got change! Yes we can! F___ you, boss!
  • by Unending (1164935) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:24PM (#25678079)

    As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

    Repeal the Tiahrt Amendment- This would be a very bad idea go read up on why the Tiahrt Amendment exists that information should remain unavailable to the public for privacy reasons if nothing else. Also the reasons given there are incorrect at best.

    Making guns in this country childproof- Safe storage is a good idea, but I have yet to see a good safe storage law.

    Making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent- This is very bad.

    I prefer this guy because he is better than the alternative, but I knew this was coming and it concerns me.

    • *sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquar ... m minus language> on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:58PM (#25678743) Homepage Journal

      i grew up rural, and i live urban now. i shot shotguns in the swamp behind the house with my granddaddy, a mile from our nearest neighbor, at gamebird and targets. i understand the need for your own form of protection when the police are half an hour away

      now, living in an urban environment, i see the other side of guns. guns are not only tools of virtue. they are frequently tools of mayhem. guns are not always in the hands of those who intend good, nor is there some magic wand which can tell who should or should not have a gun. such that in an urban environment, it makes sense to let the police be armed, and everyone else to have suppressed gun ownership, amongst common people. it simply cuts down on needless death

      and, as a side issue: no, arming only the police is not a formula for fascism. in fact, it is those who appeal to visceral force, who appeal to the gun, who are more likely fodder for embryonic fascist movements, not the police. really, read your history. random guys in the country is not a protection from fascism, it is the soil in which fascism grows

      back to the larger point: gon control is the approach to guns as it exists in europe. europe is mostly urban. meanwhile, the usa has mostly been rural throughout its history, but is shifting to majority urban in recent years. therefore, it is natural that attitudes towards guns will shift from a rural attitude to an urban attitude, and experience a watershed moment in the coming years against gun ownership

      and its simply a rural versus urban dynamic. currently, there are people dying in urban centers for the sake of a rural legal approach to gun ownership. in the future, there will be people dying in rural areas for the sake of an urban approach to gun ownership. its the majority deciding the legal approach. and either rural, or urban folk, suffer for the benefit of the other. for those of you want to keep your guns, urban blood is on your hands. for those of you who wish to curtail guns, rural blood will be on your hands. simple as that really

      personally it would be ideal if you could own a gun in the country, but not in the city. but this is nearly impossible to enforce

      and finally, the second amendment referred to posses in the countryside against native americans and british and french colonial forces. its completely taken out of historical context in reference to modern gun ownership needs, really folks. i don't know why the second amendment is so depended upon as a some sort of supporter of your right to have guns. are you the minutemen? the second amendment does not support the concept you think it does

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Friday November 07, 2008 @05:38PM (#25682565)

        such that in an urban environment, it makes sense to let the police be armed, and everyone else to have suppressed gun ownership, amongst common people. it simply cuts down on needless death

        Of course, there are no numbers which support your opinion. Here are a few facts about CCW permit holders [wikipedia.org]: "Permit holders are a remarkably law-abiding subclass of the population. Florida, which has issued over 1,346,000 permits in twenty years, has revoked only 165 for a "crime after licensure involving a firearm," and fewer than 4,200 permits for any reason."

        for those of you want to keep your guns, urban blood is on your hands. for those of you who wish to curtail guns, rural blood will be on your hands. simple as that really

        What a load of crap. The "urban blood" is caused 90%+ of the time by drug-related violence. It is the "war on drugs" and accompanying gang-related activity that is the root of the issue. If you took away guns, they'd just be stabbing each other instead. If you really want to cut down on the crime, legalize drugs and do something about the 75%+ illegitimacy rate in the inner city. Oh wait, that'd be racist.

        Here in the Baltimore metro area, where it's impossible for law-abiding citizens to obtain CCW thanks to our asshole legislature (unless of course, you have celebrity status or are already the victim of violent crime), and as a result the criminals are emboldened to prey on the law-abiding because they know they won't get shot. These thugs don't give two shits about any new gun law you'd pass -- they don't follow any of them now! As the saying correctly states, if having guns is criminal, only criminals will have guns.

        are you the minutemen? the second amendment does not support the concept you think it does

        Yes, it does. See Iraq, where recently a group of determined citizens armed with small arms and improvised explosives made life miserable for their occupiers. The right of citizens to bear arms is fundamentally important to keep the government's power over the people in check. You may trust the friendly government not to fuck with you, but I've seen too many abuses of government power in this country to ever reward them with relinquishment of a constitutional right.

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:25PM (#25678129) Homepage

    Of course, I tried e-mailing them yesterday to point out that their privacy policy looks to not match their actions (as they're linking to Google Analytics, so the cookies used to tracking people _are_ being shared with another website), and the e-mail address _on_their_privacy_ page bounced with an authentication error.

    Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:

    webmaster@ptt.gov
    Your message wasn't delivered because of security policies. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.

    Sent by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

    Diagnostic information for administrators:

    Generating server: ptt.gov

    webmaster@ptt.gov
    #550 5.7.1 RESOLVER.RST.AuthRequired; authentication required ##

    So I e-mailed postmaster@ptt.gov, and got:

    <postmaster@ptt.gov>: host mail-pls-smtp-02.ptt.gov[72.164.179.9] said: 550
            #5.1.0 Address rejected postmaster@ptt.gov (in reply to RCPT TO command)

  • cmon people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Danzigism (881294) on Friday November 07, 2008 @01:54PM (#25678685)
    I find it kind of shocking how a good portion of slashdotters don't care much for Obama. But what is more shocking, is that these same semi-intelligent people think they can predict the future. quit your shit talking, and wait 4 years until we know for certain how things are going to pan out. you're not fucking Nostradamus.
  • Ah, windfall tax (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@NOsPAm.gmail.com> on Friday November 07, 2008 @03:08PM (#25680085) Homepage Journal

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. This relief would be a down payment on the Obama-Biden long-term plan to provide middle-class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief.

    Because it's so wrong to make "excessive...profits". Speaking of which, who defines "excessive"? Will companies now have to look at ways to reduce their incoming, so that they don't make "too much" money? /that's/ gonna help the economy in the long run. Oh, hey, by the way, who funds the permanent tax relief, since this is only a 'down payment'?

  • Looks competent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ivoras (455934) <ivoras AT fer DOT hr> on Friday November 07, 2008 @04:04PM (#25680977) Homepage

    They've:

    • Survived slashdotting (and the topic is hot so it was probably a stronger slashdotting than usual)
    • Running Apache, and probably Linux.

    There's hope yet :)

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