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Ask the Presidential Candidates 1002

Posted by Roblimo
from the from-your-mouths-to-their-ears dept.
Okay, we've gotten about a billion (or at least a few hundred) requests for this: a chance to subject U.S. presidential candidates to a Slashdot grilling. As usual with our interviews, please post your questions below. 24 hours after this notice, we'll select 10 of the highest-moderated ones and send them to some of the highest-profile people running for the U.S. presidency this year to answer or ignore as they choose.

We are sending questions to the following candidates (listed in alphabetical order by political party affiliation):

We'll post answers as they come in.

Meanwhile, quorum.org is doing a similar, Slashdot-style interview with senatorial and congressional candidates in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you live in those states, you might want to check it out. We've been talking back and forth with Scott Reents of quorom.org about all of this for months, and we're curious to see the difference in the kinds of questions he gets from his "general audience" readers and those we get from the net-hip, tech-aware Slashdot crowd.

So ask away, and let's see what happens.

Update/note: We will not select questions addressed to a single candidate. We are sending the same 10 questions to all candidates. - Robin

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Ask the Presidential Candidates

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    What reforms would you like to see made in the H1B visa program?

    Many companies depend on the H1B visa program to satisfy their need for tech workers. Several problems have been identified with the current H1B visa program. A September 2000 report by the GAO [gao.gov] documents the massive expansion in the H1B program, and concludes that better controls are needed. Organizations such as the IEEE [ieee.org] have provided recommendations [ieeeusa.org] to reform the current process.

    I am interested in your view as to what problems you see in the H1B visa program, and steps you would take to correct them.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, "belief in the nonexistence of God" is only one definition of atheism; another is "disbelief in the existence of God". The latter is the same as one usage (of three that I've seen) of agnosticism but is not the definition Huxley origially used, if I recall correctly...
  • The "offical" Presidential Debates require a 15% average in six hand-picked polls. This requirement was hastily raised after Perot managed to get into the last debates and nearly got himself elected despite being a total nutter with delusions of grandeur.

    As for other third-parties in the debates, although there are over a hundred different third-party candidates, a bare handful have even a mathematical chance of winning (ie. on the ballot in enough states to win the Electoral College). The Republican primaries worked with 5 people on stage, so would this.
  • This is fairly random, but I thought I'd mention it. I understand that the Columbine massacre was not the deadliest attack on an American school.

    From http://www.clydelewis.com/dis/t ren ch/trench.html [clydelewis.com]:

    ``It was overlooked by the media that the worst school disaster happened on May 18, 1927, when 45 people were killed, including 38 elementary students, by a series of dynamite explosions at the Bath Michigan School. After detonating explosives he planted under the school, "maniac bomber" Andrew Kehoe, a school board member and treasurer, blew up his pickup truck, killing himself and the Bath School superintendent.''


    --
    Ski-U-Mah!

  • A tax cut stimulates the economy. Why? If you're a fairly high income earner, your marginal tax rate (the rate you pay on each additional dollar) can be very high. So high, in fact, that it may not be worth it to you do work harder/work overtime. If taxes are cut, the disincentives to working harder are decreased, so people work harder.

    This is the accepted Trvth, but is it actually true, or is it simply what's been repeated so many times that people just assume that it's true? Note that the following might work against this:

    1. It assumes that the marginal value of an extra dollar's income is the same at all levels of income. If the marginal value of income decreases greatly above a certain level, then a tax cut that puts someone above this line (for that particular individual) might not encourage that person to work harder at all; it might encourage that person to work less, to put his or her income closer to that knee.

      It is clearly true that the marginal value of income is less for wealthy people than for poor people. Wealthy people are not likely to spend their off hours flipping burgers for an extra $3-4/hour (net). The issue is whether someone receiving additional income because of a tax cut chooses to spend some of that income purchasing extra leisure time (people talk about working harder to pay the taxman -- that's exactly what I mean).

    2. Income level is not necessarily proportional to level of effort, particularly at high levels. For someone performing piece work, it quite clearly is; for an executive or professional, it often isn't.

    There is a fairly clear region where a high tax rate does discourage productivity, but it's not one that people like to talk about -- it's the fact that welfare (and other) benefits are withdrawn quite abruptly at certain levels of income. This acts as an extremely high marginal tax rate, which I suspect is well in excess of 100% in some cases (certainly when there's a hard wall it is). In that situation, there's a very clear lack of incentive (and if the marginal rate exceeds 100%, an outright disincentive) to produce. But this isn't the situation people usually think of when they talk about reducing the tax rate.

    This, in turn, increases the growth rate of GDP. Now maybe that increase in the growth rate looks insignificant, but remember, we're dealing with exponential growth.

    Will the (hypothetical) extra growth really be sustained, or will it simply be a one-off effect that boosts growth for a few years until things settle down at basically the same level of growth?

  • As was demonstrated, during the Industrial Revolution in both England and America, the increase in profits generated by a well-educated workforce exceeds the cost of that education.

    However, poorer schools can't afford books and other educational material, and poorer students can't afford to buy their own.

    One solutions would be an educational computer network that carried electronic versions of ALL basic and advanced school texts to scools in deprived areas would provide the students there with the materials they need.

    Would the candidates consider such a solution? And if not, what do the candidates feel is the most cost-effective way to solve the resource crisis?

    As a follow-on, would candidates consider making education tax-deductable (say, in proportion to the level)? A well-educated person can generate more revenue for the US (through tax, additional trade, etc). Since education isn't cheap, offseting some of that potential against the cost would seem to be the way to encourage people to become as useful and able as they can.

  • Do any of the canidates think that the current election system is in need of reform, or is a two party electorial system the best way.
    Is there a problem with corporate and media interest in our current election system.

    What about a no-party two-pass voting system?
    In this system, there would be no special power given to political parties. In fact, presidential primaries may not be needed.
    The first pass would be the "vote your heart" vote. And the second pass would be choosing from the top candidates. This would greatly lesson the wasted vote fealing that people get in a two-party system.

    Or are there other ideas for a more democratic election system?
  • There are a lot of really good questions here. It's going to be difficult to choose the 10 best. Any chance you could short-list say 20 of them and post it as a slashdot poll?

    Paul.
  • John Hagelin - Natural Law

    It's interesting to see the Natural Law party listed -- I'd assumed they were just a UK penomenon until now. I wonder how many other polital parties are international, and what would happen should they come to power in multiple countries simultaneously. Scary thought.

    Sidenote: anyone else amused by Monica G. Moorehead's bio where she's listed as a religious atheist? So how does that work, then? :-)

  • "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." George Bush

    But at what point did it become one nation under God? "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion." This quote was not by George Washington (as is widely claimed), but it was in a treaty ratified by the senate in a unanimous vote during his second term of office, and signed by John Adams in 1797.

  • The Constitution allows the Congress to set laws instituting Patents and Copyrights "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" "for limited times." How long do you believe copyright should reasonably exist on a work and what "fair-use" of copyrighted materials do you believe should be allowed? In addition, are there any types of work that are currently copyrightable which you either do not believe are worthy of copyright or believe should be treated differently in copyright law?
  • Also, how much time do you spend browsing the web each day (on average)?

    Very little... too busy running the country/Texas/for prez.

    What is your favorite internet porn site?

    Prono degrades women, bad bad bad

    How many mp3's have you downloaded from napster

    What's an mp3?

  • I am interested what sites these guys visit (if any). I'd suspect CNN.com, CNNfn.com, and politics.CNN.com
  • Gentlemen:

    You both admit, to one degree or another, to have used illicit substances in your past, and yet you both would like us to believe that you are fully functional, respectable members of society.

    You both also claim that you are comitted to support, possible strengthening, the current "war on drugs" -- a war by the laws of which you should be put in prison for your actions of the past.

    How do you reconcile your positions on these issues? Do you admit that recreational drug use is not a serious issue worthy of spending millions upon millions of tax dollars on, as well as tying up our legal system with the prosecutorial burden? Or are you willing to submit yourselves to appropriate punishment for your actions, regardless of any statute of limitations on them -- like the honorable men you claim to be.
  • The Congress is supposed to represent the people of this country, yet in recent decades it seems to represent the large corporations that have enough money to entice them with "contributions" or lobbying. Would you support a bill making it treason for members of Conress to represent the interests of corporations when it is in direct conflict with the interests of the people?
  • But corporations are people too.

    Not completely. They cannot vote, and I'm sure that there are other rights that they do not have. I once considered starting a corporation and demanding its right to vote to show the stupidity of it being a "person".

  • I think we're already in dependancy -- take a look at how many people depend on the State to provide something for them

    Here in Mississippi, we're trumpeting about how many kids we've signed up for the CHIP program. Is this something to be proud of? How many kids have become, in a sense, wards of the State? 25,000 at last count, and there aren't all that many people in Mississippi. 25,000 is a goodly portion of the population.

    If that isn't enough, how many of our aged depend on Social Security and Medicare for their food and medicine? I have no clue. My grandmother is on Social Security, and I hate it. If i didn't have to cough up nearly 50% of my income (self-employed), I'd be more than able (and willing -- my grandmother is an 85 year old hacker in her own way) to help care for her. As it is, I live hand to mouth myself (nope, no health insurance -- but then, I'm pretty healthy) and can't bear supporting somebody else.

    Dependancy (I would argue) is equivalent to slavery anyway. Dependancy on a person is bad enough -- dependancy on a faceless State is horrible. It's equivalent to being a stand of trees or a ditch on Federal land. You're owned by the State and used by the State, but not cared for by the State because, after all, you're just property with no value.

    I'm just about ready to leave this country and move to a Caribbean island where the laws are lax (I'm thinking the Turks and Caicos). Sure I like my fast Internet connection, but when confronted with the choice between freedom and nerdliness... I'll be the first to choose running a dive shop over hacking Tcl anyday.

  • the only difference for her would be concern that she's being a burden and occupying all of your free time.

    Not too many years ago, that idea wouldn't have even popped into your head. It was as unthinkable as drilling holes in your own head. Family was (and still should be, IMO) everything. My Granny wouldn't think about being a burden, because she wouldn't be a burden. She's family.

    It's still somewhat prevalent here in the South (not nearly what it used to be), and the Philipinos have us beat like all get out -- family over there is way at the top of the list of Important Things.

    We don't have tight families anymore (witness our spectacular divorce rate and the pseudo-prestige given single parents). Dunno when or how exactly this happened (for conveniece I like to blame the Boomer generation), but it's a shame that it did happen.

    As for those who don't have anyone to support them, there used to be charity houses where they could go and be cared for. I know, you're thinking how horrible those were or could be. When I was younger, I used to play my cello for the residents of Government-run retirement homes. Trust me -- I know of which I speak -- those are just as bad if not worse.

  • Do you believe that the Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled that corporations are individuals, with all the inalienable rights thereof? If so, what would you do to correct this mistake?
  • Yes or no; do you support a 100% taxation rate on income over a certain level? If so, what is that level?

    -
  • The rollout of broadband data solutions to end users has been an unqualified disaster (example: I live in Fairfax county, Internet capital of the world, but still can't get cable modem or ADSL service). I have long advocated the need to create a quasi-governmental, not-for-profit agency to run fiber to every doorstep, then sell bandwidth (on a cost-recovery basis) to ISPs, Telcos, cable-TV, etc. Barring the issue of cost, would you advocate such a step? Returning to cost, would you endorse "creative solutions" in working with industry to help finance and build such a network?

    A related question hinges on technical standards. As part of my suggestion above, I'd like to see a standardized box (that I can buy from any manufacturer, at WalMart) that will convert the fiber signal into TV, Telephone, Data, or whatever. Then, if I want to change my cable provider, I simply call my current provider, say "drop me," call a new provider, say "I want to give you my money," then walk downstairs and it should be switched over. There's no technical reason why this cannot happen today -- except that there are too many competing and incompatible standards.

    At many times in the past, the government has refused to endorse a single technological standard (AM Stereo, HDTV (until late), and Cell Phones are examples). The rationale behind this is comendable: "Let the market decide." The end result, however, is that we have several competing and incompatible standards out there, and the industry is unable to settle on any single one -- saddling users with hardware supporting legacy sytems, the inability to switch between providers without buying a new phone, and so forth. How would you rectify this situation (both for new needs, such as the "one connection" box I describe above, and to bring the US into the 21st century to finally catch up with the Finns and the Japanese)?

  • As recently reported [cnet.com] by the Associated Press, promiment Senator John McCain (R-AZ), joined by three other Republicans, has recently begun promoting mandated internet 'filtering' in public libraries and schools. Doesn't it seems strange that a party, whose major planks focus individual rights and freedom, is behind a proposal to obstruct it? What is your opinion on this? Is this a violation of civil liberties?
  • Here in Germany, the Internet is sometimes called Datenautobahn (data motorway).

    In 1995, Helmut Kohl, then Chancellor of Germany, was asked by a German IBM manager during an interview: What's the government's take on the Datenautobahn?

    His answer: The Autobahn system is an issue of the federal states.

    ------------------
  • Probably 99% of my unsolicited bulk email (also known as Spam [abuse.net]) originates in the USA. It is a whole new dimension of fraud, chain letters and multi level marketing, thanks to the cheap mass mailing possibilities of the Internet.

    While Anti-Spam regulation exists, US laws appear to be very weak on this issue. Here in Germany, laws are far stricter and the financial fines involved can make email spam a very expensive hobby for a spammer.

    Most US spammers cite non-existant laws (the Murkowski bill is an example) as an excuse for their actions, trying to appear legal. Some of the most persistent spammers have been in action for years and are known by name and address, yet they still haven't been stopped, due to weak US laws.

    Will there ever be more efficient laws against spammers and their usual snake oil line of fraud products?

    Also: I see a disturbing trend of US-American political parties trying to use E-Mail spam for their campaigning. While not being an American citizen, I have already received such E-Mail by US-American parties and political or corporate lobbyists. What is your take on email bulk messaging as a political tool?

    ------------------
  • Stock options are credited against the corporate
    tax. When the grantee exercises their option, they pay a tax at the personal income tax rate. that is gnerally higher than the corporate tax rate- 28-36% versus 25%. So the governments gets a LARGER revenue than otherwise.
  • Since he became a Congressmen. Has real estate, treasuries and cash instead.

    Bush owns stocks.
  • However, Bush encourages more tax incentitives for supply and Gore tax incentives for conservation and alternative energy.
  • When I see so many facts mangled in many of the questions posted here, I am saddened by the state of our system. High tech people seem no less ignorant than the general population on the issues. Should try reading an [online] newspaper now and then.

  • The high tech industry claims we need far more computer science people than graduate from US schools. The number of computer science majors has been stagnating. Hence we are admitting (or planning to admit) nearly two million high tech special immigrants. This, in turn, scares US kids from considering the field and compounds the problem. Should we, and how can we get more US students into the pipeline?
  • Or do you think this is a good idea?

    I think this is an excellent idea. The President of the United States should spend a lot of time wrangling with issues that affect dozens of cities all over America. Many people will argue that these cities could probably pass their own laws that best suit their own citizens, but local government will just get it wrong. A federal law is necessary for any behavior which might be incorrect or inefficient. Think of all those people trapped in all that suburban sprawl, masturbating with their right hands, when they should be using their left as God and Congress intended.

    Moderate the above post up, please!

  • If anything, atheism is now the official statre religion of the US, since the only legally acceptable religion in public has become no religion. It seems pretty childish to complain of discrimination against your revolt against reason when your form of disbelief is being enshrined as the only acceptable position.
    This is simply not right. I will confess that in academia and in the tech industry, atheism is fairly widespread, however, -legally-, the right to practice any religion is as well protected as ever in the history of the U.S., and -socially- christianity is clearly still the primarily accepted religion, evidenced not only by the predominance of churches of christian sects, but, by the way that the candidates in the 'big two' parties manuevered to express their strong christian faith back in the primaries, not to mention that -every- president of the U.S. has been a christian of one sect or another. There is some evidence that the strongly christian leaning of the US government is weakening in that Gore chose Liebermann for a running-mate, but that only goes to show that there is increasing tolerance for other monotheistic faiths besides Christianity.

    Anecdotally, it's easy to come up with examples of how religion is disappearing, but really, in a religiously diverse country, it's easier to keep religion as a quiet and personal matter than provoke arguments by loudly proclaiming the rightness of one's own faith at every opportunity. This is simple politeness, really, as any claim that one's own religion is 'true' implies that others are 'false,' and nobody likes to have their religious beliefs publically attacked. (Polite theological debate in the right setting being another matter.)

    So, as evidenced by the fact that the a pro-christian standpoint -improves- the approval ratings of a candidate for the highest office in the United States, and with my suggestion above as an alternative explanation for some -appearances- to the contrary, I think it's safe to say that religion is still alive and well.

    Anecdotally, FWIW, I don't currently know any atheists at all; I seem to recall knowing one or two in college. I -do- still know a handful of agnostics, but most people I know are, in about equal numbers, christian, jewish, or neopagan. I'm pretty confident that that's not at all close to the actual population, but it does show, at least, that the country is not overwhelmingly atheist or I'd have trouble meeting such people.

    Now, if by 'legally acceptable' you meant the creationism/evolution in schools thing, and related issues, let me just say that science is not (or rather, -should not- be) a religion. It's a set of momentarilly believed 'truths' based on empirical evidence, and is perfectly possible to accept both scientific 'truth' and religious 'truth' at the same time. People do it every day. Now, when someone says 'spiritual religion is bunk because there's no scientific evidence for it', that's treating science like religion, and the proper answer to such persons is 'there's no scientific evidence -against- it either'. (Specifically, there's no scientific evidence that there is no such thing as a soul, a god or gods, an afterlife, etc. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the Earth is more than a few thousand years old, etc. The devout christian will have to either believe that God created the world with that illusory evidence in place, or that the stories of Genesis and the years that people lived as you follow the genealogies up to historically verifiable events aren't exactly literal.)

    --Parity
  • a) You shouldn't reply to obvious trolls.
    b) Joining an organization such as the ULC (Universal Life Church, at www.ulc.org) or one of the several umbrella pagan organizations that exist just to accredit local pagan groups as members of their religion can make it easier to get your temple/grove/whatever made into a place of worship, though depending on where you are in the country it still won't be easy... but then, starting a branch of the 'universal life church' might slide the paperwork through painlessly (and most ULC chapters -are- Christian oriented, though the church itself has as its only tenet that everyone is free to believe and worship as they choose, so you can easily be a pagan ULC minister... ) Anyway. Blessed be. ;)


    --Parity
  • by The Man (684) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:26AM (#703080) Homepage
    Please walk us through the main points of your platform, constitutionally justifying each one. Feel free to quote at length from the Constitution itself to support your arguments. Please note that Supreme Court decisions are not part of the Constitution.
  • by Tim Macinta (1052) <twm@alum.mit.edu> on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:37AM (#703081) Homepage
    PBS is currently running an excellent documentary on the drug wars on their Frontline program. Having grown up in the Nancy Reagan era I always thought that the war on drugs was a moral issue and yet another area where the government introduced Draconian measures to satisfy its ever growing lust for power. I was fascinated to learn that the whole war on drugs was initially started by Nixon as a means of treating people with addiction problems rather than locking them up so that the rest of us could forget about them (and this treatment rather than punishment strategy actually worked extremely well). I was also fascinated to learn that Carter campaigned on the promise of marijuana legalization (and made efforts to bring that about when elected). The policies of just 20 years ago seem so much more sane than what we have today. Today, multiple orders of magnitude more is spent combatting drugs and if there has been an additional benefit it is unclear.

    Check out The Frontline website [pbs.org] for more info on this two part series. I still have both parts sitting on my TiVo and haven't watched the second part yet, but the first part has been a excellent eductional experience for me and will probably be good for anybody who doesn't remember a US president before Reagan. I think PBS is re-running both parts soon so prep your VCRs/TiVos if you're interested.

  • by rlk (1089) on Monday October 16, 2000 @09:37AM (#703082)
    Don't forget that most of that debt is owed to ourselves (in the form of Treasury notes and other bonds).
  • by Masem (1171) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:05AM (#703083)
    A 'chance to win' and a minimum vote rule make sense for a debate system with a 'large' number of parties. However, 15% is a huge number to obtain, particular for third party candidates: Perot barely made it in 1992. The problem is that 15%. When the debates started way back, it was put on by the League of Women Voters (IIRC). Soon they lost interest and a special private organization was created to run the debates -- made up of Democrates and Republicans. They decided on that 15% number, knowing full well that the chance of a third party candidate getting that was rather slim. IMO, any presidental debate should include at least 3 and no more than 5 candidates, the 3rd parties chosen based on rankings in the appropriate pools but required to be above 2% (so that we don't have a dem, rep, and a representative of the silly party up there).
  • by HeghmoH (13204) on Monday October 16, 2000 @09:15AM (#703084) Homepage Journal
    Do you support the handling of the Presidential debates this election season? Specifically, do you spport the closing of the debates to any candidate with less than 15% of the polled vote, a number which creates a chicken-and-egg paradox for any third-party candidate? Jesse Ventura began with only 2% in Minnesota, but was allowed into the debates where his support grew and he eventually won. How would you propose to allow access to the debates by third parties without allowing any random person with fifty signatures and a name badge on stage?
  • by sammy baby (14909) on Tuesday October 17, 2000 @04:47AM (#703085) Journal
    Oh really? For someone so obviously indoctrinated as to not recognize that Gore is an even more pathological liar than his boss, here's a link to an actual transcript of the CNN program where Gore claimed to have created the Internet: htt p://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/03/09/pre sident.2000/transcript.gore/

    Indoctrination implies that I'm in some way a Gore shill, which is far from the case. As I've stated before, I am not a Gore apologist, or even a supporter, despite the fact that he's probably going to wind up with my vote. The way I see it, I have the choice of voting for someone I don't trust to do the right things, or someone I do trust to do the wrong things. If this is damning with faint praise, so be it.

    It's also interesting that you selected your words in the manner that you did. The most common version of the story is that Gore claimed to have "invented" the Internet, which he obviously did not. Most news agencies played fast and loose with this distinction.

    However, you've provided me with a reference, so I'll provide you with a couple of my own. If I really, desperately wanted to refute your accusation regarding the "creatation of the Internet" story, what would I look for? Well, first I'd look for a rebuttal by the guy who broke the story to begin with. Then, I'd look for a statement by key Internet muckity-mucks - I dunno, IETF members or something - claiming that Gore was all that and a bag of chips.

    To wit:

    • The Mother of Gore's Invention [wired.com], an article by Declan MucCullagh, the guy who broke the story. Relevant quotes: "...Gore in the 1980s supported universities' efforts to increase funding for NSFNet, a measure that became law in the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. Gore's guest columns in Byte magazine at the time showed an appreciation of technology that was far from usual on Capitol Hill. "
    • Did Al Gore Really Invent the Internet? [216.110.36.217], an article by none other than Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf (whose names I assume you recognize, seeing as how you were "following the development of the Internet fairly closely at the time"). Relevant quote: "As far back as the 1970s Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system. ...No one in public life has been more intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving Internet than the Vice President."

    When Vint Cerf says, "This guy was important in the creation of the Internet," I listen. In the face of that statement, the speech which is the subject of your complaint seems to drop from the realm of outright falsehood into mere political hyperbole. In the shitty political climate of the US these days, I find it difficult to get worked up about that.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:52AM (#703086) Homepage Journal
    What is the purpose of government, and how will you make the government's role more closely match that purpose?
    ---
  • by Phoenix Rising (28955) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:41AM (#703087) Homepage
    There is an increasing demand by religious groups to adopt public policies based on religious beliefs (e.g. Internet content filtering at libraries, school vouchers, support of religious schools with public funds, abortion). These requests are being heard and acted upon by the current Congress, and people who are against them are also becoming more vocal.

    So, for the candidates: What role and influence should these demands and actions have on the decision-making process of government, and what importance, if any, do any issues of this sort have in your platform?

  • by speek (53416) on Monday October 16, 2000 @09:38AM (#703088)
    Harry Browne talks about selling all public property (except military bases). The idea is that property held privately is better cared for. Beyond the argument as to whether that's true, I have another question:

    How exactly will you sell this land? Take a big national park, for instance - Yellowstone. Are you going to sell it as is, in one big chunk, or will it be sold in parts? The reason this is important, in my mind is that how you sell it determines who could possibly buy it, and what use it will be put to. If sold as a whole, only a very large corporation could afford it, so you're not really selling it to anyone out there - you're locking out all individuals (except maybe a handful), and essentially only allowing corporations to buy it. In which case it will surely be used to make money.

    If you sell it in small chunks, you are allowing a larger percent of the population a chance to buy, but you increase the odds that the park will be destroyed as the individual owners "do there own thing".

    A related question is, who controls the roads? Right now, I leave my house, and I travel on public lands to get virtually anywhere I want to go. I cannot be barred from going most anywhere (even most businesses can't really bar me from their premises without reason). However, if that all becomes private property, is it possible that I could be barred from leaving my tiny yard? What's the libertarian solution to these concerns?
  • by sconeu (64226) on Monday October 16, 2000 @09:12AM (#703089) Homepage Journal

    That both Lazio and Hilary flunked in the NY senatorial debate...

    If bill 602P, providing for a 5 cent tax on email by the USPS is passed by Congress, will you sign it, veto it, or do nothing. Why?

    Of course, the correct answer is do nothing, since it's a hoax, but let's see how well these people do...
  • by McSnickered (67307) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:21AM (#703090)
    Mr. Bush,

    While I am in favor of providing some computer access to kids of all ages in school, I feel that there is too much emphasis on schools purchasing computers for what I would suggest is state-sponsored babysitting: math games, surfing the internet in class, etc. Rather than learning how to create with computers, children are just given eye candy to keep them busy.

    My question is, as a candidate pushing a strong education platform, what role do you see computers playing in public education?

  • Please list (without explanation), in order of priority, your presidential philosophical goals, so that we can understand what you are willing to compromise. Here are some important examples:

    Reducing corruption

    Reducing power / influence of government over our lives

    Protecting the vulnerable (i.e. environment)

    Fostering education

    Fostering national productivity (i.e. supporting new technology)

    Commitment to social welfare ( i.e. Medicare, social security, welfare, etc. )

    Commitment to advancing the rights of citizens

    Maintaining a strong economy

    Laisez Fair economics

    Providing a moral compass for citizens (i.e. abortion)

    Providing a moral compass for other nations (i.e. human rights)

    Avoiding wars / use of troops

    Strengthen military

    Trust in citizens to know what's best for them

    Guide citizens to avoid the pitfalls of greed / selfishness / impatience / biased phobias (in spirit with retirement plans, universal education, and other social programs )

    Resolving differences between parties (i.e. take lesser of evils instead of stubbornly holding out)
  • by cananian (73735) on Monday October 16, 2000 @11:55AM (#703092) Homepage
    Books such as Actual Innocence [amazon.com] by Dwyer, Neufeld, and Scheck have documented the ways that provably innocent people have ended up on Death Row. If you believed innocent people had been executed, would you still support the death penalty?
  • by gbnewby (74175) on Monday October 16, 2000 @09:49AM (#703093) Homepage
    K-12 schools work hard to spot gifted children and support their development. What would you do about school-age children who appear to have a gift for working creatively with computers?

    In the positive sense, "hackers" are people with strong technical skills, curiousity and persistence. Yet, some people with these characteristics (and many more without them) commit crimes, acts of vandalism, and engage in otherwise anti-social behavior.

    The Clinton administration and Congress, notably through its extraordinary funding of the NSF's Information Technology Research (ITR) initiative, has very soundly backed the notion that there needs to be a significant investment in (relatively high-risk) high-tech research -- and a fostering of potential scientists, software developers and other key people who will help move technology forward.

    So, again: what do you propose for K-12 schools and other institutions to help develop these "good" hackers? Conversely, what do you propose to do about people who might use computers anti-socially?
  • by kag (131352) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:06AM (#703094)
    Presidential Candidates: With the media and public acknowlidging the failures of the "War on Drugs" what do you plan to do with this war if you reach the Whitehouse?
  • by north.coaster (136450) on Monday October 16, 2000 @11:19AM (#703095) Homepage

    It's been 20+ years since the OPEC oil embargo, yet the United States is even more dependent on imported oil than ever in history. Some have suggested that opening new oil fields (such as in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska) can help solve this, but it seems unlikely that the US has enough domestic untapped capacity to provide a long term (25+ year) solution to thew problem. Others have stated that we should allow the price of gasoline to increase in order to encourage research in alternative energy sources, but this may create problems for the economy.

    What are your proposals to solve the long-term US energy problem?

    /Don

  • by TeTalon (142851) on Monday October 16, 2000 @03:32PM (#703096) Homepage
    A question for all the Presidential Candidates.

    In your administration what will be the future of NASA.

    Will you future cut the NASA budget?
    Will you scale back manned missions?
    Will you scale back any current plans?

    Or will you propose perhaps any of the following?

    Research & development of a reusable interplanetary space craft.

    More research in to the possible setting up of a lunar Science station, with possible commercial follow up.

    Stepping up of Mars research, and possible manned missions.

    More Funding for finding near earth objects in space.

    More funding into reusable Earth to orbit vehicles.

    Will you at least increase funding so that mission critical systems have the proper built in redundancies, so they don't fail.

    What truly are your plans for us in space?

    Thanks

    TeTalon
    You are either a part of the problem, or a part of the solution, which are you.

  • by cromano (162540) on Monday October 16, 2000 @02:56PM (#703097) Homepage

    Well, this would be a nice time to remind the crowd that the EFF is not the only foundation out there who needs a lot of help to finance lawyers to make good laws instead of only bad ones.

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation [ffrf.org] is out there to battle cases of separation of Church and State, Religious Freedom for Atheists, discrimination on faith (or lack thereof) and publishes a nice monthly paper (Freethought Today), which will be mailed to you once you become a member.

    Go on! Don't hesitate! Join now! [ffrf.org]

    For additional information, see also the Secular Web at http://www.infidels.org/ [infidels.org]

    I'll go back to lurking now...

    --
    If you want to live in a country ruled by religion, move to Iran.
  • by jaga~ (175770) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:18AM (#703098)
    A question for either of the 2 major candidates:

    After watching the first Presidential Candidate debate, I discussed it with someone who is from Europe and he was quite confused by the blatent misunderstanding and interpretation of the financial outlines of each candidate. He made a very strong and prevelent comment: Why doesn't the American people have a structured independent body in place to publically review financial plans and post the results? W Bush can claim all he wants about Gore's financial plan, and Gore does the same for Bush; the American people then make their judgements based on who they believe more. This isn't a sales job they are applying for, why don't we have in place a public outlet for public examination of proposed plans such as the financial one? I believe this would alleviate some of the misconceptions that are based around these and other Presidential races.
  • by boing boing (182014) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:22AM (#703099) Journal
    For each candidate:

    What is the most important issue that you would concentrate your presidency on? What is your stance on that issue? Why is it right? And how would you affect real change in regards to that issue?

    P.S. Please don't answer vaguely...I want one issue. And DO NOT talk about building consensus. If the issue is that important, you BETTER have a position that you think is RIGHT and good REASON for it.
  • by sulli (195030) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:25AM (#703100) Journal
    Admittedly this is a local issue, but to all the candidates: what would you do to promote environmentally friendly urban growth and reduce suburban sprawl, thereby preserving open space? Or do you think this is a good idea?
  • by Ariston (232656) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:10AM (#703101)
    That's exactly right. Over in Holland, where marijuana is legal, you don't see a nation overrun with potheads. More often you see Americans who have gone over there to escape some of America's drug laws.

    People don't realize that legalizing a "bad" thing can have positive results. For example, drugs bought on the black market are usually more potent, as it is easier to smuggle a more potent substance, as was stated earlier. Legalizing drugs would allow for quality control. When you buy prescription drugs, you have some assurance that they are exactly what they claim to be, since you bought them from a licenced pharmacist.

    Another way I like to look at it is the comparison between alcohol and marijuana. Alcohol is legal, and yet thousands of people die every year from alcohol and its effects (such as drunk driving). Marijuana is illegal, but how often (if *ever*) do we hear of anybody getting killed by it? Not to mention alcoholism, alcohol-related domestic violence, and so on, which do not occur with marijuana, since it is not addictive and, IMHO, puts people in a much more peaceful state of mind than with alcohol, making them much less likely to go do something violent.
    Just something to think about...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:07AM (#703102)
    One hallmark of a free society is the ability to expand one's experience through education.
    Everyone recognizes that information-sharing mediums such as the internet can harbor ideas, sentiments, data thought to be harmful to children or unstable persons. But so can a library. Or a newspaper. Or the radio..etc.
    What are the candidates' opinions on restricting access to potentially "harmful" information? Is it not better to restrict access on the "client" side than try to impose restrictions on the source of said information?
    Thank you.
  • by Deven (13090) <deven@ties.org> on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:13AM (#703103) Homepage
    What concrete steps will you take to stop corporations from trampling individual rights or interfering with the political process, such as the usurping of the sovereignty of nations by the WTO? Do you believe that the legal fiction of corporations as "persons" is good or bad for our society, in the final analysis? Should corporations have rights, or only biological persons?

    Are we to be governed by a government "of the people, by the people, for the people" or by amoral profiteering corporations and the WTO?
  • by ddt (14627) <ddt@davetaylor.name> on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:43AM (#703104) Homepage
    If the Dems and the GOP were corporations, they would have long-since been broken up under anti-trust laws.

    Congress limits the President's power in a very healthy way, but when you have a single party in control of the Congress, it takes on the disturbing characteristics of a mob or a monopolistic corporation, depending on how it assesses threats and opportunities.

    The dominant parties also make general election for our highest office something like winning an Academy Award. Out of hundreds of millions, only a few behind the curtains performed the real election which reduced the choices from dozens of excellent candidates to two.

    That's very wrong.

    If elected President, would you sign a bill to break up the dominant parties, allowing healthier competition for the office to resume?
  • by Mr. Piccolo (18045) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:11AM (#703105) Homepage
    Actually this is a two-parter:

    1. Do you believe the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is constitutional?

    2. Do you believe the DMCA is in the consumer's best interest?

  • by goliard (46585) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:47AM (#703106)


    Sorry to be so blunt, but I don't quite know how else to ask this:

    The candidates which I have heard in the media have made much of their efforts on behalf of, for instance, the elderly and the parents of school age children. Frankly, it's begun to sound like you think that I (a childless, working young adult in a high-tech field) and the similar majority of Slashdotters don't exist (or at least don't vote). I question whether you know what our concerns are, and am curious as to what you think our positions are.

    So I would like to hear you expound on precisely what it is that you've done which you think we care about. I am asking about your record -- what you have actually already acheived as an officeholder or an activist -- not what you intend to do. In short:

    What have you done for us lately?

  • by q2k (67077) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:40AM (#703107) Homepage
    Aexander Tyler wrote the following regarding the fall of the Athenian Republic. I believe it is a fairly accurate description of America today. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."

  • by owillis (74881) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:05AM (#703108) Homepage
    Do you feel that current implementation of copyright law is tipped too much in favor of corporations vs. individuals?
    --
    DigitalContent PAC [weblogs.com]
  • by cworley (96911) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:12AM (#703109)
    It's thought that had the DMCA been law in the 80's, Compaq would never have been able to clean-room reverse-engineer the IBM bios, which many believe started the PC revolution.

    In what ways would you modify the "fair use" clauses in the DMCA?

    Chris
  • by Viking Coder (102287) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:08AM (#703110)
    Which single response to a question during the Republican and Democratic Presidential Debates did you find most obejectionable? Put another way, which single issue do you think most differentiates you from the two "main" candidates for President? (If you are one of the "main" candidates, which single issue most differentiates your view from the other "main" candidate?)
  • by Cullpepper (106167) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:10AM (#703111) Homepage
    What is your opinion of the use and usefulness of the DMCA, and its application to the music, video and software industries? Would you favor a repeal?
  • by Prof_Dagoski (142697) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:24AM (#703112) Homepage

    Many in the technology community are concerned with the rise business practice patents. Many of the patents represent trivial applications of existing technology with Amazon's One-Click-Shopping patent being a notorius example. In addition, trademarks are becoming more all encompassing as Pepsi's trademark application of the color royal blue indicates. In light of these trends do feel that the US patent and trademark systems need to be reviewed and possibly reformed? Does the patent office need more resources to process the intellectual productivity of the new economy? How do you see broad patents affecting indidual creatvity and the ablity of smaller companies entering the tech industry late to innovate?

  • by d.valued (150022) on Monday October 16, 2000 @04:54PM (#703113) Journal
    For those of you who think that the Gore-Lieberman ticket is better:

    Mr Lieberman is on record stating that the Constitution was NOT for everyone, but for a "moral and religious people."

    That is, he is another person who states that the First Amendment is the right to believe in how you want, but you gotta believe.

    Yet another reason that, though I am an Orthodox Christian, I refuse to swear oaths "under God."

    I also would encourage any /.ers that have younger brothers and sisters (or, if they're really old, sons and daughters) to not say the "Pledge of Allegiance" at school. If the teacher asks a reason, tell them to say,

    "This pledge says that I am subservient to the state. However, in a democracy, the state is subservient to me. If anyone should swear oaths, then the government should swear that it will protect me from those who would hurt me, abuse me, stop me from saying my mind and my beliefs.

    "This country is supposed to be free, but this oath is to make a nation of free people into slaves. Amen."

    Here endeth the lesson.
  • by snarfer (168723) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:20AM (#703114) Homepage
    Governor,

    Please describe issues where you will vote against your largest campaign donors.

  • by Chiasmus_ (171285) <ayatollah_hyperb ... m ['yah' in gap]> on Monday October 16, 2000 @09:46AM (#703115) Journal
    "As a percentage of the GNP, how big should the government be? Patty-patty Buke Buke!!"

    BUCHANAN: "I'd say about seventee..."

    "WRONG! The correct answer is nineteen point four seven percent!"
  • by cyphergirl (186872) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:10AM (#703116) Homepage Journal
    How can the two of you (and your respective parties) justify:

    1. refusing access to third parties to debate with you?

    2. refuse to allow Ralph Nader to attend the debates as an audience member w/ a valid ticket?

    The debate commission which sets the rules for the three debates is owned joinly by the dems & repubs. Those two parties own the elections... until the "third parties" get equal access to the debates & the public, the poor people of this country will be afraid to vote for anyone other than the D or R. Let's face it, at this point, a vote for anyone else is almost a wasted vote.. and that's truely sick and sad. Instead of seeing "_________________ won 7% of the vote, maybe we should start listening to the people that voted for him" we'll be hearing things like "_______________ took 7% of the vote away from ____ (---insert four letter word of your choice here)

    Can I get a "none of the above" choice on my ballot please?
  • by Atreides_78723 (228515) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:13AM (#703117)
    Lady and Gentlemen,
    What precisely are your positions regarding the imbalance between corporate power and individual liberty and what do you specifically do you intend to do to safeguard individual liberty?
  • by David Greene (463) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:50AM (#703118)
    I think this question should be phrased differently. The way the question is worded now, it's clear on which side of the debate the poster sits. The candidates are going to pander to that viewpoint.

    Perhaps a better version of the question is: "What, if any, changes to copyright law will be necessary in the 'digital economy?' What, if any, changes are necessary with respect to more 'traditional' fields?"

    An analogous question could be asked of patent law.

    This is just off the top of my head. Any other, better versions of this question out there?

    Questions (this and others) should go to all candidates, not just Gore.

    --

  • by Tim Doran (910) <timmydoran@@@rogers...com> on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:03AM (#703119)
    The War on Drugs has been a consistently neglected topic in discussions surrounding this federal election. My question is, do you believe the War on Drugs has been an unqualified success, and if not, what would you change about it if elected president? Further, does your solution represent a change in strategy, or just more of the same?
  • In this age of the Internet, intellectual property has become a very important concept to many people. Many companies make their living on the artificial scarcity provided by intellectual property laws, selling information that they have either created or aggregated. Some others, mostly in the Free Software world, make their living seemingly in spite of these laws, selling their services based on information that is freely given.

    Do you feel that out current system of intellectual property is a good one? Which parts of it (e.g. trademarks, patents, copyrights) do you feel are well suited to the world of the Internet and which do you think need to be changed (and, if changes are needed, what changes are needed)?


    --Phil (I'm quite glad to see this article and look forward to the responses.)
  • This isn't a question for the candidates, or even a suggestion for the people posting and moderating questions.

    It's a plea to Roblimo and/or whoever chooses the final 10 questions.

    With the Carnivore interview recently, I wasn't the only one to complain that a lot of redundant "why should we trust you" type questions were moderated up to a 5 (and then asked in the interview), to the detriment of questions moderated to 4 or even 3, and generally to the detriment of us all when we had to read the Carnivore reviewer repeatedly defending his character rather than answering more interesting questions about the review.

    I'm worried that the same thing is happening here: among the thousand-odd posts, of course many people are repeating the same questions. Could we eliminate duplicates before sending them to the candidates, please? In particular, as I write this there are 4 DMCA comments modded +5, and more at +4. We only need one question on the DMCA.

    Secondly, a request: Since you're obviously going to have to throw out three redundant copies of every question you ask, could you pick the least leading of the bunch for the question that gets sent? And could everybody just stop trying to seize the opportunity to tell the next president what to think, and take the opportunity to ask him what he thinks? I'm sorry, but a post that begins with "Little by little the rights of Americans are being taken away to protect the interests of corporations." or "Many tech people think that strong encryption is one of the best ways we have to protect freedom both now and for future generations." is not a question, it's the poster getting up on a soapbox, and inadvertently telling the politicians we're interviewing exactly how to best pander to him.

    I don't want to be pandered to. I don't see any way to avoid it, since any smart candidate will have his advisors reading the last week or two of Slashdot stories and telling him what we want to hear. But do we have to do their research for them? Can we at least try and ask some unbiased questions instead, and maybe see what the candidates actually think?
  • by Anonymous Coed (8203) <planders@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:34AM (#703122)
    I don't know about you but I don't see too many opioum addicts roming around today.

    I take it you don't spend much time hanging out in the poorer neighborhoods of major cities. No, the reason you don't see many opium addicts is because they've all switched to heroin, originally developed as an opium substitute by a pharmaceutical company (Bayer). The reason people use heroin now and not opium is not due to the 'success' of the various drug laws, but because of the effects of illegality -- the black market demands a more potent, concentrated drug that is easier to smuggle than opium. (In other words, it's 'better' to try to smuggle a kilo of heroin than a kilo of opium -- you get more out of it.) Now if drugs were legal and regulated, people might well choose a less potent preparation of opium over some kind of suspect black market heroin. As an example, in the Alcohol Prohibition in the USA in the 1920's, a frosty cold well brewed lager was hard to come by, but a bottle of 140 proof backwoods-still moonshine could be bought from nearly anyone of a certain reputation.

    You really need to open your eyes to the true effects of our misguided drug policies. If people with your impressive grasp of the issues were running the country, just think of the state we'd be in. Oh wait, never mind... drcnet.org [drcnet.org]

  • by sab39 (10510) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:20AM (#703123) Homepage
    There are a few issues that repeatedly come up on forums (fora?) like SlashDot. I am curious to know your positions on these issues; in the form of a simple "pro" or "con".

    1) Software Patents
    2) UCITA - the Uniform Computer Information and Transactions Act
    3) DMCA - the Digital Millenium Copyright Act
    4) The illegalization of DeCSS (open source software for watching DVDs - often mischaracterized as DVD copying software)
    5) Extension of copyrights from 14yrs to lifetime and more
    6) The antitrust case against Microsoft

    For any items which you answered "con", please indidcate briefly what you will do to work against these, since all of them are currently happening.

    (Note - as far as I can tell as a regular reader here, the only item on this list which is controversial on SlashDot is number 6; the first 5 are (almost) universally opposed here.)
  • by HunterD (13063) <legolas@evils o f t . org> on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:40AM (#703124) Homepage
    Sure - we have freedom OF religion, but we in no way have freedom FROM religion. I can be any faith I want to - but if I am an Atheist I LOSE RIGHTS. Period, End of story.

    For Example - The Predident of the United States - and Father of current Presidential Candidate George W. Bush said:

    "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." George Bush

    And Americans in general do not even agree that Atheists have ANY religious rights: (Taken from religioustolerance.org)

    'Although adults in North America exhibit reasonable tolerance towards persons of different denominations and different religions, this acceptance does not necessarily extend to Atheism. Some older surveys published in the 1980's, showed that almost 70% of Americans agreed that freedom of religion applies "to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme their ideas are." But only 26% agreed that Atheists should be given freedom of speech to ridicule religion and God, no matter who might be offended." 71% believed that Atheists "who preach against God and religion" should not be permitted to use civic auditoriums.'

    Hell - the constitution of Texas (the state of George W. Bush's governership) explicitly states that Atheists are not citizens of the state of texas, and my be discriminated against - luckily the US Constitution superceeds this.

    Finally - may states are trying to take away my ability to keep my money from being spent DIRECTLY on the church - by sneaking in bills that allow for the use of 'school vouchers' - which are nothing more then a way to circumvent the inability for the state to give money directly to religious institutions.

    So don't EVEN start to tell me that Atheists, Agnostics, and Humanists enjoy the same protection as everyone else in the US.
  • by funkman (13736) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:09AM (#703125)
    With the surplus, everyone has been saying "Let's have a tax cut, Let's have a tax cut". In the meantime, Alan Greenspan and friends are trying to keep inflation and the speed of the growing economy in check so it doesn't burst. Which they are doing by raising interest rates periodically. (6 times this year)

    A tax cut flies in the face of what Greenspan is trying to do. A tax cut will inject more money into the economy and do what Greenspan is preventing.

    Why is a tax cut so big? Wouldn't the money be better spent on the deficit so when worse times roll along, a tax cut can be easily given by not paying as much on the debt?

  • by grappler (14976) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:35AM (#703126) Homepage
    Although the two main candidates disagree on how to handle the anticipated oil shortage this winter, they seem to agree that steps should be taken to keep oil prices low so that people can continue to use lots of it.

    I fundamentally disagree with both of them on this point. I would like to see oil prices rise, so that people get the clue that this is not a good long-term solution for out energy needs, and I would like to see tax incentives for alternative energy (such as solar and wind, for example). Both tax breaks for alternative energy and tax hikes for oil would be preferable.

    I don't care if gas prices rise. It is a small part of my budget and I hate to use more gas than I need to. That's why I drive a ULEV civic that gets over 40 mpg. Even with a guzzler, a trip across the country would only cost about 100 extra dollars in gasoline with the recent higher prices.

    So here's my question: do you plan to agressively persue alternative energy sources, and reduce our reliance on oil to a minimum? If not, why not?

  • by sterno (16320) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:32AM (#703127) Homepage
    In the last year or so we have seen a tremendous excalation in the quantity and size of political protests against globalization and the rising power of corporate multi-nationals. Do you believe that these people have reason to be concerned? If you do believe that they have reason for concern, what steps would you take as president to deal with their concerns?

    ---

  • by scotpurl (28825) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:00AM (#703128)
    The United States has long had a policy of meddling and imperialism in other countries. Our record in South America and the Middle East, coupled with the habit of Congress giving Ambassadorships to large donors or "retiring" Congressmen, added to the sheer number of people who despise the U.S., indicates we're doing something wrong.

    The British ruled a larger portion of the world than we do, yet they are attacked, bombed, and the target of terrorists far less often than the United States.

    Can you explain what would constitute your foreign policies?

    Follow on military invervention in foreign countries: There is not a soul among us who would could stand to see our friends and neighbors butchered, raped, and driven from their homes -- if it were here in the United States. Why does our compassion suddenly evaporate when the victims are not U.S. citizens?
  • by Ethelred Unraed (32954) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:32AM (#703129) Journal
    To all the candidates:

    Would you support a constitutional amendment or other legislation mandating the protection of the right to privacy, especially with regard to the control of personal information?

    Would you support legislation requiring the following: mandated health insurance for all citizens; standardized forms and other systems of information processing in health care (to cut down on bureaucracy); standardized health insurance identity cards (again to cut down on bureaucracy and increase mobility) using smart card technology; and reforms on health maintenance organizations (HMOs)? If not, what kinds of reforms of the health care system would you agree to?

    Would you support legislation to increase use of renewable, non-nuclear energy by the Federal Government? Further, would you support tax reductions for those who willingly use renewable, non-nuclear energy?

    Would you support a flat-tax scheme in which all income above a minimum level (for example, set at twice the official poverty level) is taxed at the same rate?

    Would you seek to continue the moratorium on taxation of e-commerce, and would you seek to extend the moratorium globally via the WTO or other institution?

    Would you renew funding of programs to research and develop global defense systems against asteroids or other such threats from space?

    cya

    Ethelred

  • by cfish (61161) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:58AM (#703130)
    To understand the true effect of the internet, one must be familiar with it. My question is: How often did you use the internet in the 90's? During the 90's, how many protocols have you used besides HTTP? (the web) Have you visited a pronography site? Have you played a violent video game? Have you visited some of the anarchist web sites?

    Of the above questions,

    If your answer is "No", then why do you think you qualify to make comments about them? If your answer is Yes, Please tell us how these contents affect your values and behavior.
  • by Ronin Developer (67677) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:56AM (#703131)
    Encryption policy is overseen by the Vice President under executive order by the President.

    The current administration strongly promoted the Clipper chip, reduced key sizes and key escrow until relatively recently.

    Question: What is your view on the use of encryption technology for protecting the privacy of US citizens and companies?

    And, do you favor legislation that provides more substantive easing of export restrictions for strong encryption technology or use of encryption technology on the internet?
  • by bwt (68845) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:59AM (#703132) Homepage
    Do you believe that the intellectual property law changes over the past few years have adequately protected the intellectual commons? Have we gone too far in allowing corporations to homestead in the public domain? Does this threaten to put the breaks on the public cooperation and innovation that produced the internet?
    • Comment specifically on:
    • The Digitial Millenium Copyright Act
    • The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act
    • Fair Use and "file sharing"
    • UCITA and Article 2B of the UCC
    • Business Process Patents
    • Software Patents where non-software prior art exists

  • by rkent (73434) <rkent@@@post...harvard...edu> on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:10AM (#703133)
    In light of the recent federal report finding that adu lt content is aimed at minors [cnn.com], much of this campaign's rhetoric has had to do with "decency" in the media and "protecting the children." However, no one has really said much besides "something must be done." For the candidates who said this, what, exactly is "something?" What specifically would you do to protect minors from violent content without infringing on the rights of musicians, writers, and filmmakers?
  • by Paul Neubauer (86753) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:39AM (#703134)
    What, in your belief, is the US federal government not doing that it should be doing?

    What, in your belief, is the US federal government doing that it should not be?

    How will you rectify this situation? (assuming your answer to the above isn't 'nothing'.)
  • by kevin@ank.com (87560) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:06AM (#703135) Homepage
    Dear Candidate,

    [This question is about Corporate ownership of the government and the impact of global Corporations on society. I've tried to phrase it to see if the candidate has an inkling of what the problem is, rather than get a vague response like 'I support campaign finance reform.']

    What is your reaction to the protests that have taken place at the WTO meeting in Seattle, and at the Republican and Democratic national conventions. What do you think the protests are against? How would you address the concerns of the protestors? How would your solution to these problems have any effect?

  • by carleton (97218) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:11AM (#703136)
    Some people, especially those that favor '3-rd' party candidates, have called for the ending of the electoral college system to be replaced by a simple purely popular vote, or at least allowing for splitting the electoral votes by each state. The best recent example was the Bush-Clinton election. Clinton received 43% of the popular vote (but a sufficient majority of the electoral vote), whereas Perot got at least 10% of the popular vote but zero electoral votes. If memory serves, Vermont is the only state which does currently allow for its votes to be split; if someone wins 60% of the Vermont popular vote, they get 2 votes and the 40% candidate gets 1. This in contrast to California, where someone can get 51% of the popular vote, and therefore gets 53 (or whatever it is nowadays) electoral votes. What is your position on this issue?
  • by tjwhaynes (114792) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:45AM (#703137)

    Just to give you some feel for the amount of debt that the US has build up. Lets play with this some more - there are approximately 250 million people in the US, of which approximately 180 million are tax payers. That means that to clear the debt in the US, each taxpayer would have to pay $31,400. Now all this talk of exponential growth in the economy is all very well, but when you consider that this debt is growing exponentially as well (deficit in June 2000 was $30.4 billion dollar) you have a big problem. The only thing keeping the US out of serious recession is the value of the dollar - if the investors believe that this debt is getting too large to service, the dollar will fall in value. Then things get messy.

    To see the debt figures - click here [treas.gov]

    So I'd say that the US had better start servicing that debt - at a rough estimate, assuming a 6% interest rate, the US tax payer must contribute nearly $2000 a year which goes to stabilizing the debt (not paying it off). That is entirely wasted money that could be spent elsewhere if it wasn't being flushed around various financial institutions.

    So it is difficult to see why there is little or no outcry about this - it is probably the most serious problem that the US faces internally and it will have to pay for it sooner or later. The longer it is left, if the interest rate is larger than the growth in the economy, the burden of debt becomes ever heavier.

    Cheers,

    Toby Haynes

  • by Electric Angst (138229) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:07AM (#703138)
    What will you do to protect the rights of athiests and those who hold minority faiths, such as Wicca, Santaria, Shinto, et al?

    --
  • by Prof_Dagoski (142697) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:16AM (#703139) Homepage

    Recent comments at the presidential debates indicate that this issue is on the public policy radar. Moreover, we have heard from media and politicians alike that there is a growing epidemic of youth violence precipated from depictions of violence in the media and on the Internet. My first question is 1) Do the numbers actually show an epidemic of violence, or are we all caught up in the hype of recent abberant mass murders? Please indicate the source of your statistics. 2) Throurghout the nineties and starting in the eighties, real spending on education and youth programs have declined dramatically. What impact do you think this has had on youth crime and violence, and what do you propose to do about it? 3) Do you believe that filtering the Internet and other media can have a real impact on youth violence, especially when compared with racial, income, educational, and regional indicators on violence? If so why.

    In lieu of the above, or in addition to, please summarize your social and educations policies and how they will effect the lives of young people. Of interest to me personally is what programs do you propose for high school age kids, and what plans if any do you have to make attaining higher education easier.

  • by atlantageek (166719) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:03AM (#703140) Homepage
    As a percentage of the GNP, how big should the government budget be?
  • by SquadBoy (167263) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:31AM (#703141) Homepage Journal
    Many tech people think that strong encryption is one of the best ways we have to protect freedom both now and for future generations. For example to preserve information that future not so friendly governments may think we don't need to have and to make sure that things we want to have remain private remain private. Given this what would you do to help preserve our right to privacy through the use of strong encryption? Also in a related question what are your thoughts and what do you plan to do about the fact that we can not export many forms of strong encryption?
  • by logicnazi (169418) <logicnazi@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday October 16, 2000 @12:22PM (#703142) Homepage
    This is a wonderful question but both the major canidates have come out in favor of continuing the war on drugs (each of them vowing to devote several billion dollars to the issue) so I propose the following addendum to the question.

    Given both the major canidates have engaged in illegal drug use and have family members who have engaged in more recent drug use how can you realisticlly support criminalization and mandatory sentences over treatment without turning yourselves and members of your family in to prison. Moreover do you believe it would have been a good thing to through young George Bush and Al Gore into prison?
  • by Blue Weirdo (178504) on Monday October 16, 2000 @07:07AM (#703143)
    Little by little the rights of Americans are being taken away to protect the interests of corporations. We have especially seen this happen in the arts world where well established rights of fair use of a copyrighted work are being diregarded by laws like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). What is your opinion of this current trend and what steps if any would you take to change it?
  • by 11223 (201561) on Monday October 16, 2000 @09:19AM (#703144)
    (Note: This probably won't go anywhere, because there's already a flood of +5's, but I'm submitting it in the hope that I'll be pleasantly suprised.)

    I'm very concerned with the future of the country, and about what our national mission seems to be. Looking back through American history, every period seems to have a defining popular mission - like the "manifest destiny" movement in the 19th century, the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. During these times, there would be one struggle or idea that captivates the attention of the nation, sort of providing a national mission.

    I'm a little confused as I look around today. What is our mission? To me, it seems to be "to watch TV and use the Internet." What would you say the defining national mission of today is? What should it be? Furthermore, how would you show this in your activities as a lawmaker? (For instance, if our national mission is the pursuit of science, then would you increase funding for scientific pursuits in the budget?)

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:13AM (#703145) Homepage Journal
    First, a short story for Slashdotters (and I'm not taking credit for anything, before you flame me ;-)
    About 10 years ago I was in Washinton DC on business with two others from Michigan. An associate with strong connections had arranged for three of us to have lunch in the congressional lunchroom (a nice place, I recommend going if you get an invite.) While the two were from the representatives home district, I was not and quietly ate while they discussed arm-twising tactics. Eventually the representative turned to me and said, "I realize you are not from my district, but do you have any questions I can answer?" Having just completed Macro Economics (and the topic of the Crowding Out Model) I responded, "Yes, I'm very concerned about the enormous deficit and whether you have any plans reduce spending and pay it off, as it puts me in direct competition for borrowing capital with an enormous debtor of the US government. I want it paid off." As the representative visibly squirmed, conversations around us dropped off, faces turned and you could have heard a pin drop.
    Have courage when dealing with the government, it is there to serve the people, not the reverse.

    My question: As the world petroleum reserves dwindle, as they are doing at the present, and prices begin an inevitable ascent, what plans do you have to make the United States less reliant on petroleum based energy and what infrastructure, such as a national passenger rail network, would you encourage before the plentiful supply is gone forever?


    --
    Chief Frog Inspector
  • by lgeeko (221266) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:06AM (#703146)
    Alternatively: One of the primary economic effects of the growth of Internet technology is the potential decimation of distribution costs, and the drastic reduction in the incremental cost of bandwidth, which could - and arguably should - fundamentally change the relationship between producers and consumers of all sorts. How will your administration act to protect the rights of both consumers and producers as the corporations currently in control of distribution channels struggle to maintain control of the economy?
  • by Ericson,N (244385) on Monday October 16, 2000 @08:36AM (#703147)

    Do you feel that there are any issues regarding the United State's current use of the prison system?

    Are too many Americans in prison?
    Do their crimes fit their punishment?
    Will the privitization of prisons help or hurt any of these problems?
    Why, do you feel, are there unequal numbers of Americans with different skin pigmentation in prison?

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