Was Re: Microsoft

From: Ross A. Finlayson (raf@tiki-lounge.com)
Date: Sun Jan 16 2000 - 11:11:02 MST

Well, there is the government.

What can we as individual citizens do, depending upon cause, among, for, or against the
machinery of state?

First it is necessary to know what it is doing. The government has its tendrils in most
sectors of society.

The government is, in my opinion, more benign that not. So, we turn to it to provide us
information about it.


At the above locations are listed budget expenditure figures. Of note, a high level of
military spending. I have downloaded many of these budget accounts and reviewed them.
It is important to examine where Social Security funds are being spent.

One large organization collects taxes from the people:


The government (this note is in the frame of reference of the U.S.A.) has a series of
laws pertaining to the public access to goverment operational and other data. As
discussed on this group, there are some exception for "National Security". In terms of
these Acts, a web search yields beginning data:



Then there is the historical and policy legislation.


Our legislators receive funding from a variety of sources. There are guidelines in place
as to how they are to receive and report donations to their campaign baskets.


So the government is willing to provide huge amounts of information, supposedly that
which they are not rife to expose. We can also turn to public watchdog groups to give us
enlightenment towards understanding objectionable government actions. Here are some, I
vouch for them not:


Now when there is a problem with the way the government is doing something, we must seek
recourse. There are constitutionally recognized methods of doing so. A direct one is to
contact your legislators and express your views:


A more indirect one is that of grassroots movement to garner weight to your statements to


I choose to examine more closely the first search result from AltaVista(C) search engine,

"Common Cause supports improving the current system of electronic access to congressional
documents by making available additional information, including timely availability of
committee hearing and markup transcripts, testimony, Congressional Research Service
reports, committee reports, lobbyist disclosure reports, and personal financial
disclosure and office expense reports. "

That sounds good to me. Congress already has passed laws under Clinton to move all
government agencies towards a "paperless" workplace. We could examine those laws and
their relative rates of enforcement for days on end.

One thing that I think about sometimes is the mining on federally owned lands. I think
that deserves investigation.

In the eighties, the defense contractors came under fire for $2,000 coffeepots. Today,
they charge the same for two hours of web development, without having to subcontract the

Well, that is my spiel. As is my wont, I might later explode about privacy and other
individual rights issues again. Have a nice day,

Ross Finlayson

John Clark wrote:

> Ross A. Finlayson <raf@tiki-lounge.com> On January 15, 2000 Wrote:
> >I feel quite comfortable that the defense lawyers were well funded and given
> >adequate time to produce documents and edited video tapes, it's not my place
> >to say if they were or not.
> I'm not a lawyer so I don't know or much care if the "justice" department's
> actions against Microsoft were legal or not. I do know that the actions were
> immoral and showed just as much intelligence as you'd expect from hack
> politicians and civil servants.
> >We Americans don't live in a completely socialist country
> Fortunately that is true.
> >it is not completely capitalist either.
> Unfortunately that is true.
> >So then, if the government is to take some action, which it would be bound to do
> >upon ruling of antitrust violation sans rehabilitation,
> Rehabilitation? Do you mean if they would only stop being so damn successful, if they
> would stop spending their own money so wisely, if they would just stop making
> products that people wanted to buy?
> >it should be to open it up and "level the playing field",
> It's interesting, there are 3 common phrases that, although not offensive in
> themselves, have never, ever, been used in defense of anything I agreed with.
> The 3 are:
> 1)Life is sacred.
> 2)you can't cry fire in a crowded movie theater.
> 3)Level the playing field.
> >The responses to this post mostly show a general sense of antipathy towards the
> >government and specifically regulation.
> That's because you're on the Extropian list and that's our thing.
> >The food producers are regulated somewhat, so that all packaged foods
> >have a list of ingredients and rudimentary nutrition information.
> Not needed. If people value such information then it's a good marketing tool
> and so the regulation is redundant, if they don't value it then the regulation
> is worthless.
> >Advertising is supposedly truthful.
> Government getting into the truth determining business makes me very
> nervous, I'd rather do that little chore myself thank you very much.
> >My opinion is that the people who pay to use this Windows to interoperate
> >with the many others that use Windows have the right in cases to fully
> >comprehend the functioning of this software,
> I don't see why they have that right, it's not what they bought. They knew, or they
> should have know, that the software it was not open source, Microsoft never said
> or even hinted that it was.
> John K Clark jonkc@att.net

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