General discussion


Outsourcing and the presidential election

By jmottl ·
A political analyst states the following in a ZDNET article (link: ):
"It's safe to say that almost none of the really important Internet and technology issues will be debated during this campaign...In an attempt to shore up votes and campaign cash for the technology community, all the candidates will probably just play it safe and stick to bland platitudes and generalities about how 'technology is vital to the U.S. economy.' It's just a bunch of hot air."
What's your take?

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by Oz_Media In reply to But what if

You're right in that people generalize support and no I wasn't directing at it you specifically.

Ad for the BUSH past, I too agree that someone should not be accountable for his past as much as what the person NOW brings to the table, with exception to being a pathalogical liar or something.

This is why I was shocked to see Clinton thrown out for his drug testing and relations with Monica. Nobosy would have even batted an eye if he ws the Canadian PM, it'd irrelevant.

I was just using the BUSH /NAZI thing as a reference.

I don't think history should be recalled so often, everyone has made mistakes over history as we developed our intelligence and formed new alliances. We shouldn't use the past as 'justification' as much as a 'guide' for positive and negative actions and the repercussions of our past victories/mistakes.

My point was when does the past matter and when doesn't it, who determines this?

I meant diapers literally in the sense that politicians come out all clean and smelling of baby powder and end up wading in it and slinging it all over the place as it becomes deeper and deeper.

Why must a president have four years? Why not until he is no longer favored of until he makes a mistake like Clinton? What if he us great for 6 years and you oust him after four only to losed out on the first guy?

Maybe they will be a little more focused on improving the country from WITHIN the country, instead of looking for fireworks and fanfare by resolving external issues.

These guys know they have four years, one to win some of the nonsupporting voters over, the next two to try and actually DO something for a country and one to campaign for the nest election, which can begin while doing something for the country.

In that short time, they are held accountable for helping progress one of the largest nations in the world, with millions of people from every ethnicity known.

To oust someone, who is performing a suitable job, due to past history is ridiculous.

Politcs, what a ****-off pain in the ***. I'm just glad they are not an issue here or a topic of discussion anyone wants to even start to consider.

I mentioned the new Conservative candidate in Canada here and was answered with a question about the Canucks hockey team. I tried bringing it up with a client, but got the same 'who cares' response. Political discussion will get your butt kicked here real fast it seems.

Nobody trusts cares about or even thinks abour our politicians, they just get into office, raise our taxes every year and grow old until they are replaced. We don't want to grow old watching them grow old so you may as well just ignore them.

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On running the US

by Oldefar In reply to But what if

I can't speak for anyone other than myself, but I do vote based on what I see as what is in the best interest of my country. In each instance, it has been a compromise vote and I don't have any illusion that this will change.

What I do is consider several factors. First is a close enough alignment to my own beliefs. I have yet to meet an individual I am in complete agreement with. However, I have met many that are so far out of sync with my own ethics and values that I choose not to associate with them if at all possible.

Next is the limitations of what a particular office can do. While much of the world attributes the US President with absolute power, the fact is there are significant limits to that power. A recent example - Clinton would have implemented Hilary's universal health coverage while he was President. Abortion would have been illegal during the Reagan, Bush1, and Bush2 administrations. Understanding these limitations means that certain agenda's are not going to be implemented and a candidate who focuses on these issues will accomplish little even if elected. So a position on issues that I believe can be influenced by the particular office is important, and can outweigh positions on issues that I perceive as currently dead end issues.

Finally there is my recognition of how a particular office influences how those in other nations will perceive America and Americans. Now 50 years on this planet have taught me a few things. One is that the appearance of strength and a willingness to use that strength is a good way to avoid fights.

As for how a candidate sells a particular issue to a larger audience, I would have to acknowledge selective hearing. If I am already in agreement with a proposed course of action based on a set of facts or beliefs, then I really don't pay attention to all the words used to convince those who are not in agreement. In this respect I suspect I am no better or worse than anyone else.

One area where I suspect I differ from many other Americans is that I don't buy isolation as a viable option. The world is too small, life too interdependent to ignore what happens outside of our borders.

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All but one point

by Oz_Media In reply to But what if

"One is that the appearance of strength and a willingness to use that strength is a good way to avoid fights."

I actually USED to think that way but realized I was horribly wrong. One thing I learned during my days in martial arts was that expressing outwtward strength CREATES conflict it doesn't suppress it.

Eg. A night club is FULL of testosterone ridden guys trying to look like head peacock. Tight shirts, strutting chest out etc.

These are the FIRST guys that others will look for conflict with. Many times it's the smallest guy that beats up the biggest 'looking' guy, or the guy who think he's the biggest, size has no relevance in had to hand conflict.

In my too MANY (16!)years as a security foreman, the most important thing I told new staff was NOT to look like a bouncer, if you don't try to look cool and tough, people don't want to knock the chip off your shoulder.

The guys that end up in brawls on the street are always the 'tough guys', only sometime do they prevail.

I have a video clip of a US helpcopter in Iraq that shoots four Iraqi's in a field, destroys the transport tuck they are with, makes a small pickup practically explode from who knows HOW far away all without any of the Iaqi's having ANY idea they were targeted, via FLIR and auto tracking late at night.

To the Iraq's on the ground, they just see four guys literally explode without even seeing any helicopter. To them this is America flexing her muscles, even the good citizens in Iraq can't see this as a 'man's' fight, it looks like a cowardly and brutal attack.

I understand this is war but what about those you are trying to liberate. It must just look like a ore powerful Saddam on thier doorstep.

No, I TOTALLY disagree. Showing strength and posessing strength are in no way related whatsoever and aren't perceived that way by others. People who SHOW strength are just people wo need to be taken down a notch, not cowered to, only the VERY weak would feel that way and that would just be out of fear.

This is where the North and our neighbours differ. You are seen as warmongers due to your constant muscle flexing, very few see you as tough though.

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About the helicopter video clip

by maxwell edison In reply to But what if


Origins: Many readers have asked us about an MPEG video clip, roughly a minute long, depicting a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship firing at men in a field. The men are Iraqis shown handling a long cylindrical object; the accompanying audio indicates that the helicopter crew believes the object to be a weapon, so they ask their commanders for permission to engage the enemy, then take out the three men one by one with the helicopter's 30mm cannons, firing over 100 rounds in all.

All we know so far is what ABCNews (presumably the source of the video) reported: the action depicted took place north of Baghdad on 1 December 2003, the soldiers heard on the tape are from the Army's 4th Infantry Division, and the men on the ground were fired upon because the helicopter crew believed them to be armed with rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

According to ABC:
A senior Army official who viewed the tape said the pilots had the legal right to kill the men because they were carrying a weapon. He said there were no ground troops in the area and if the Apache pilots had let the three Iraqis go, the men might have gone on to kill American troops.

Keane agreed. "Those weapons were obviously not being pointed at them in particular, but they [the three Iraqis] are using those weapons in their minds for lethal means and they [the Apache pilots] have a right to interfere with that," he said.

Anthony Cordesman, an ABCNEWS defense consultant who also viewed the tape, said the Apache pilots would have had a much clearer picture of the scene than what was recorded on the videotape. He also said they would have had intelligence about the identity of the men in the vehicles. "They're not getting a sort of blurred picture. They have a combination of intelligence and much better imagery than we can see."

As to whether the Apache pilots could have called in ground troops to apprehend the men, Cordesman said: "In this kind of war, wherever you find organized resistance among the insurgents, you have to act immediately. If you wait to send in ground troops almost invariably your enemy is going to be gone."

Army officials acknowledged that the 30 mm cannons used by the Apache gunners were far bigger than what was needed to kill the men, but said it is the smallest weapon the Apaches have.

Authenticity of video: Undetermined

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by Oldefar In reply to But what if

Products of our environment and prisoners of our experiences.

When I said strength you heard toughness. Your mental image was immeadiately that of the muscle flexing swaggart looking for a fight.

Now I have not taken martial arts, but I suspect the aspect of it that avoids trouble is the same element I was referring to. The strength I referred to is self confidence to take a position and to act on it if necessary. Most times, that attitude is sufficient. However, every once in awhile someone will challenge it. Back away, and you find yourself challenged again and again by all who saw.

Bush took a stand on behalf of America. He was challanged on it, and he acted. Now a number of other nations who have questioned the will of America to back her position have changed their minds and we have positive results without war.

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Issues that polarize

by maxwell edison In reply to Outsourcing and the presi ...

All too many candidates try to play all sides of the issues, and when that becomes too much of an obvious contradiction they try to avoid the issue altogether. Candidates run the risk of being labeled as either anti-job or anti-trade, so they try to be both. Is a candidate in favor of globalization, or does he or she prefer to protect the American worker and be more of an isolationist? Is a candidate in favor of creating more American jobs, or would he or she prefer to help American business become more profitable? When a candidate takes a stand one way or the other, he or she runs the risk of polarizing a large segment of the voting public, something none of them wants to do. And it is rare indeed to find a candidate who can skillfully and honestly find an acceptable middle-ground or convince the constituency that their thinking is flawed. After all, how could a candidate possibly convince an out of work IT professional that IT offshoring is really a good thing in the long run? (Not that I'm suggesting it is or it isn't.) To make matters worse, most of the political banter we hear from many of them is no more than questionable rhetoric intended to mislead at best, or deceive at worst.

Standing up for one's principles, and just letting the chips fall where they may, is a virtue that is found in all too few politicians. That's not to say that ALL politicians fit this description, but those who are more principled in their stance are often labeled as extremists. That could include extremists on either the left or the right, by the way, although most extremist charges are, in my opinion, levied by those on the left targeting others on the right. Clarence Thomas, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and other Republicans, for example, are among those who have been demonized simply because they take a principled stand. How many Democrats have been demonized in such a way? Was (and is) Ruth Bader Ginsburg demonized the way Clarence Thomas was (and is)? No, absolutely not. Both are extremely principled justices, but the difference is that one leans towards the left while the other leans towards the right. Are representatives Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Major Owens, David Bonior, Maxine Waters or John Conyers demonized the way Tom DeLay is now or how Newt Gingrich was then? No, absolutely not, even though all are servants of their convictions, the only difference being the direction of those convictions.

I can't help but suggest that, in my humble (or not so humble) opinion, Republicans, in general, are more prone to such attacks for taking a principled stand and being labeled as an extremist, and Democrats are more prone to posturing themselves on both sides of an issue. I don't mean this as a slam, but rather I see it as almost a function of the way the Democrat party has progressed over the years. The Democrat party has had a history of pandering to particular groups, and oftentimes contradictions are inevitable. For example, the Democrats see themselves as "pro-choice", but the freedom to choose doesn't apply if a mother wants to choose a different school, by way of school vouchers, for the child she chooses to have. In the quest to attain and maintain their power, Democrats have created an umbrella so big and so diverse that contradictions are inevitable. But it doesn't have to be that way if a person (especially the voter) focuses on the bigger picture. For example, the Democrat party is considered, as a rule, the party of the worker and labor unions, but that is often seen as anti-business. And we all know that Democrats as well as Republicans want to see American business thrive, at least I hope we do. On the other side of the same coin, Republicans are considered, as a rule, the party of big business, and this is often seen as anti-worker. But we all know that Republicans as well as Democrats want to see the average worker thrive, at least I hope we do.

But I digress, even though it's all related. Back to the candidates and their stand on IT issues.

I think the biggest problem is the voter himself. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and suggest that many people in the IT industry want it both ways. (This is not just the IT industry, by the way, but this could apply to any industry.) On one hand, most IT professionals will admit that ours is a shrinking globe, especially with the advent of technology itself, and that free and open trade and globalization is inevitable, perhaps even preferable. But on the other hand, many are demanding that their American jobs be protected against such global change. Which way do we want it? Okay, the reality is that companies are forced to look for ways to become more profitable. Why is that, and therefore what? "Big-business" is just being greedy, one might argue. Oh really? Is it really just "big-business" being greedy, or do many of us have our own financial interest at stake here as well? Take a look at your company's retirement plan or your own 401(k) plan. Microsoft, Intel, and other technology "big-business" is a big part of that plan. If the company's profits decline, guess what happens to the value of your retirement plan? What happens to the country's overall financial stability, and what "domino effect" will result when those profits decline? Okay, the reality is that more IT jobs are going overseas. Why is that, and therefore what? Do we therefore cry foul and demand that our politicians protect us? Or do we therefore realize that we, as Americans, have to find ways to be better, we have to be more productive, we have to be more competitive, and we have to do it all at a lower cost?

Taxes and the Internet is another big issue. On one hand, no one wants their Internet access taxed. But on the other hand many people expect more and more government services to provide for their basic needs, services all funded by taxes. On one hand, no one wants taxes levied on their Internet transactions, but on the other hand we might all see a need to level the playing field so that the established brick and mortar businesses in out local communities can continue to thrive and employ our neighbors.

How about standing on the principle of your convictions, and just let the chips fall where they may. If the American voter wasn't so fickle, and if the American voter quit trying to sell his or her vote to the highest bidder, perhaps the candidates themselves wouldn't have to walk such a tight-rope. Put another way, who's going to be the first to stand up for the convictions of their principle, the candidate of the voter? The answer makes a strong argument for the underlying principle of self-reliance. And that just scares the heck out of too many people.

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Letting the chips fall

by Oz_Media In reply to Issues that polarize

"How about standing on the principle of your convictions, and just let the chips fall where they may."

This is interestnig, I have been looking at the recent Canadian Conservative candidate (would be the first conservative PM since Brian Mulrooney).

She is 38, single, QUITE attractive and stands with what I see as conflicting opinions.

eg: She doesn't want marijuana laws lifted as she is concerned of the repercussions from the USA. She does agree that more testing is needed and that the government would be able to rax it and gain HUGE revenue, although the black market would still flourish as the gov. grows would be much lower quality than the norm.

On the other hand, she is FOR gay marriage.

Now these two aren't realted BUT the gay community in Vancouver is VERY pro-marijuana, there are sevral resons for this that I see: a) These people are generally not accepted in thier youth and turn to drugs fro comfort, b) Those suffering from HIV and AIDS will find benefit in marijuana as they will have an appetite that is removed from thier prescription medication.

So from what I see Brenda Stronach has actually decided to take a stand and let the chips fall.

Unfortunately, she will gain MANY votes by those who like her looks, many more from supporters of her father (who inceidentally lost by a long shot several years ago)but I am really confused as to how she hopes to win over the gay and marijuana communities (yes there is a marijuana community here). In fact even though numbers of users are very different depending on the source, there are MILLIONS of users here. Almost EVERYONE in BC has tried or still smokes marijuana, even Brenda has and she admitted to inhaling AND enjoying it as she grew up where it was completely accepted.

If you vivst downtown Vancouver at lunch time, you will see stock brokers, lawyers, bankers, CEO's etc. in suits sharing a joint at lunch in broad daylight. It is not frowned upon so I don't see it hurting her campaign even while trying to win teh Gay voters with the same sex marriage support.

In conclusion Max, I see her as someone who is prepared to make her stand and let the chips fall where they may. Then again, I think she has VERY slim chance of winning the vote.

Your points are accurate, one must play the people and stroke them just right in order to be elected. This should almost be seen as purjury and should disqualify and elected official once they reneg on thier intents.

I feel it happens in many social groups too, schools, clubs etc. The politicians have just learned how to make it an art form.

Ms. Stronarch claims she is NOT a professional politician but a mother (unwed mom's rejoice) she came from an poor immigrant family and went to public school, says she was never fed with a silver spoon, however she just quit her job as CEO for Magna to persue politics.

I think she is just trying to settle a score. Someone beat out her father many years ago, funny enough, that guys son is also running against Stronarch now.

Games or people's livlihoods, what are we voting for these days. There's too much smoke and mirrors in politics to allow voters a fair appraisal of candidates and a logical vote. Unfortunately, they also make the laws, so we just dip out all around.

Perhaps another reason Canadians give up on politicians and just live daily instead.

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Name correction

by Oz_Media In reply to Letting the chips fall

Sorry , Max, she is a new politician that has just quit her dayjob ay a multi-million dollar corporation to persue a career in politics. not a familiar face.

I referred to her as Brenda Stronarch however her correct name is Belinda Stronach.

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The politician's dilemma ...

by jardinier In reply to Issues that polarize

The fundamental dilemma facing any politician, no matter how honest, sincere or idealistic he/she may be is that in order to implement their ideas they first have to be elected to parliament.

Once in office, compromises usually have to be made to accommodate the general view of the party, and election promises are often qickly forgotten.

The only real statesman Australia has produced in my lifetime is Gough Whitlam. Afer 23 years in Opposition, he led Labor back to power in 1972. He proceeded to legislate his election promises one by one -- you could have ticked them off in a list. He also held a weekly press conference which was published verbatim in the major newspapers.

He made a couple of slip-ups, and was booted out in three years. Yet in that short time he introduced some 370 items of legislation.

The new Labor leader, Mark Latham, has some revolutionary ideas, and is obviously a man of integrity (why, he even replies personally to my emails from time to time).

It is quite likely he will be Prime Minister before the end of the year as John Howard has to set an election date by November. It is going to be an interesting year politically for both the US and Australia.

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Hey Julian

by Oz_Media In reply to The politician's dilemma ...

Turns out our dope smoking, ex-hippie, millionaire, single mom, half-assed hottie candidate may do better than first predicted. She has MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars for campaigning (just like GWB does) and is a good friend of the denial ridden Clinton!

Her opponents are already being overrun by her campaign money that doesn't need funding by others.

Uh OH!

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