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Ron Paul Campaign Answers Slashdot Reader Questions 1011

Posted by Roblimo
from the first-they-ignore-you dept.
On January 15th we asked you for tech-oriented questions we could send to the various presidential candidates, and you responded like mad. The candidates were the exact opposite: not a single one answered emails we sent to their "media inquiry" links or email addresses. Slashdot has more readers than all but a handful of major daily papers, so that's kind of strange. Maybe they figure our votes aren't worth much or that hardly any of us vote. In any case, the Ron Paul campaign finally responded, due to some string-pulling by a Slashdot reader who knows some of Ron Paul's Texas campaign people. Perhaps other Slashdot readers -- like you (hint hint) -- can pull a few strings with some of the other campaigns and get them to communicate with us. Use this email address, please. But first, you'll probably want to read the Ron Paul campaign's answers to your questions (below).


1) Global high tech

In the last year, India and China have both announced and made progress towards implementing their own space programs. How should America respond to such growing technological boldness in such countries? Is it a threat or an opportunity?

Ron Paul campaign:
America should stop subsidizing the defenses of the rest of the world and worry more about its own national security interests, including its interests in a viable space program. As president, I will also work to remove barriers to private space flight.

2) Why Can't I Get a Straight Answer?

I've noticed that a number of candidates (I'm not naming names) and a number of administration officials will not answer a question in a clear and concise fashion. The subject could be anything from "Do you think waterboarding is torture?" to "What will be your stance toward the war in Iraq if you are elected?"

So my question to you is, "Do you think that I want someone in that office (Whichever one it is) who is deliberately attempting to deceive me?"

Even if you don't answer this question, I hope you think about it the next time someone asks you a question.

Ron Paul campaign:
The American people should expect clear and direct answers to their questions. Not only have I always strived to clearly state my position on issues, but my voting record backs up my commitment to the free-market, limited government philosophy I espouse on the campaign trail.

3) Marijuana

I'm a college graduate with a decent job in a technical field. I pay my taxes, my debts are minimal. I get along well with others, and am close to my family. I like to think that I am a good citizen and contribute to society. Yet because I smoke marijuana instead of drinking beer when I come home from work, my government has declared war on me.

My question is this: Do you believe I belong in jail? If so, why? If not, what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?

Ron Paul campaign:
I oppose federal laws outlawing marijuana and I oppose federal interference with state medical marijuana laws.

4) What do you think about technology?

Can you clarify your policy around fair use of digital media and content? More specifically, can you explain how you will balance the rights of the average citizen to use digital content in "fair use" ways (backups, time-shifting, parody, etc.) with the need for corporations to protect IP investments? With the previous two administrations we have seen an erosion of fair-use rights via the DMCA and copyright extension bills. As President, will your policies tend to favor these trends or reverse them?

Ron Paul campaign:
I favor enforcement of intellectual property rights; however, some of the steps taken to protect these rights impose unreasonable burdens on the consumers and even raise civil liberties concerns. As president, I will seek a balance between the interest of copyright holders and consumers of digital media.

5) What do you think about patents?

People complain about taxes being the main hindrance of innovation, but when someone creates a new product, be it an iPhone or a Blackberry, they aren't looking out for the tax man. The main hindrance to American technological innovation is a patent system that rewards people for sitting on ideas and punishes those who create new products.

It has become an accepted fact that when you create something new, you will likely have to pay companies that had nothing whatsoever to do with your invention, just because they filed a patent while never intending to actually produce or sell anything.

As President, would you fix our broken patent system?

Ron Paul campaign:
Patents have a role to play in encouraging innovation. While I do not have a plan for patent reform yet, I would want to work with Congress to make sure that the US patent system encourages and rewards innovation. Making sure the patent system is fair to small business and entrepreneurs, rewards the actual inventors of a product, and does not tilt the playing field to large corporations will be a priority in my administration's approach to patent law.
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Ron Paul Campaign Answers Slashdot Reader Questions

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  • coflicting answers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nevurthls (1167963) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:26PM (#22307718) Homepage
    To me the answer to question 2 very much conflicts with the answer to question 1.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How so?

      #1 is horrible shorthand for:

      Playing cop and peacemaker and bully across different parts of the world is expensive and contrary to our national interests.
      If you reverse course on those policies, you allow of lower taxes by cutting the actual need for the money. That in turn allows
      the country to focus on 'true national interests' which includes private research of all sorts.

    • by GradiusCVK (1017360) <originalcvk AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:42PM (#22307992)
      I don't really see how that's the case, both answers seemed pretty compatible... perhaps if you had given a reason or two we could discuss this further. Your lack of details notwithstanding, let me try to explain why they are not in conflict: 1: He basically stated that by discontinuing our subsidization of other countries through military aid, they will quickly find they have a lot less money to blow on costly, competitive space plans. Beyond that, it's not our business to try to interfere with other countries' efforts to build a space infrastructure. We ought to try to improve our own, of course. 2: He said he believes we all deserve straightforward, concise answers to our questions. I see no conflict... I assume you intended to say that his answer to question 1 was somehow not a straight answer, but I contend that if you try using that brain of yours for something other than snarky comments you will quickly find he gave a very concise, logical answer to question 1 while explicitly avoiding buzzwords and fluff.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by onemorechip (816444)
        I assumed differently, namely that he meant that if Paul is for strong national security (answer #1), he would likely, if President, find that he would have to avoid answering, or give misleading answers, to some questions (contradicting answer #2). But we'll have to hope the original poster comes back to answer, 'cause I'm only guessing, too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mark Bainter (2222)
          If that's the case then the OP is laboring under a false understanding of "national security". National Security does not necessarily or always == keeping secrets.
    • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:50PM (#22308100) Journal

      To me the answer to question 2 very much conflicts with the answer to question 1.
      Please explain?
    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:51PM (#22308126)
      The whole thing is bullshit. There's no way anyone spent more than 15 minutes on these stupid answers. Also, typical politician speak, in which they take 5 sentences to say "I agree".
  • lolwut (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:26PM (#22307720) Homepage
    So, like, I'm confused. Who is actually answering these questions here? The title and story intro say the questions are answered by the "Ron Paul campaign." So does that mean this is, in fact, Ron Paul himself answering, or his people, or a combination, or...?
    • Re:lolwut (Score:5, Informative)

      by Roblimo (357) Works for SourceForge on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:39PM (#22307954) Homepage Journal
      The answers were prepared by Ron Paul's legislative director, who is the person in most Congressional offices (don't forget - Ron Paul is a sitting Congressman, not just a presidential candidate) who is empowered to speak on behalf of the representative. It's also possible, although we have not been told this, that Rep. Paul himself came up with the answers.

      Many years ago, on a certain presidential campaign (which one is not important; he didn't win), if you got a "personal" answer to your letter addressed to the candidate, chances are that I wrote it and "signed" his name with a machine that scrawled "his" signature with a felt-tip pen.

      You really can't expect a presidential candidate to personally answer all requests or even all media requests. That task alone takes at least 100 hours per day, which means you need to have a number of people doing it.

      Reality = when you vote for almost any office higher than local school board member, you're voting for a team instead of for an individual.

      I have learned, over the years, to carefully watch the actions of that team, and its organization or lack thereof, as a useful indicator of how competent that candidate will be in office if he or she is elected.

      I may have stories to tell about our attempts to contact various campaigns as the general election gets closer. :)

      - Robin
    • Re:lolwut (Score:5, Interesting)

      by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:43PM (#22308000) Homepage Journal

      So does that mean this is, in fact, Ron Paul himself answering, or his people, or a combination, or...?

      Well, just like Ron Paul's newsletters [cnn.com], these will be his own writing when he agrees with it, then someone else's writing when it gets attention, and finally ghostwritten with no prior knowledge of his when the sh*t hits the fan...

      But of course, we are all supposed to believe that he is not just another politician, and he is somehow fantastic and different.
      • Re:lolwut (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Xyrus (755017) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:03PM (#22310212) Journal
        Back in the cave, troll.

        Ron Paul wasn't even in congress when those newsletters were written. He had gone back to his practice in Texas. Those letters WERE written by a ghostwriter, and have been widely discredited. When Ron Paul finally saw what was going on, he fired the people responsible. He has admitted that it was his fault the letters were published without appropriate oversight.

        I'm also pretty sure Ron Paul wouldn't be endorsed by the NAACP if they thought those letters contained even a hint of truth.

        If you're looking for modern bigotry, try McCain. He had some lovely things to say about people from the Middle East, including some things he said at the South Carolina debate.

        ~X~
    • Re:lolwut (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:46PM (#22308036) Homepage Journal
      >> Who is actually answering these questions here?

      It's Ru Paul, and the answers are fabulous.
      • Thank You! (Score:3, Funny)

        by Belial6 (794905)
        Thank You! I kept wondering why I kept thinking that the name Ron Paul sounded like the name of a transvestite. I could not figure out where I was making that connection. Ru Paul explains it.
  • by parcel (145162) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:27PM (#22307730)
    Which is a less than huge surprise, considering how leading most of those questions were!

    Seems like the libertarian version of a typical politician - light on details, light on commitment, and exactly what the audience was looking for.
    • Softball questions. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JonTurner (178845) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:56PM (#22308210) Journal
      Not just leading, but real "softball" questions. I'm surprised they didn't ask if he likes puppies. I'm pleased to learn he believes in providing direct answers to direct questions and I'd like some answers to questions such as:

      Do you believe the current levels of illegal immigration are harmful to America in terms of economy and culture? If so, how do you propose to reduce/end illegal immigration?
      Do you believe in open borders -- unrestricted immigration?
      In Republican debate #2, you implied that America was not attacked on 9/11. What words, the, would you use to describe the events of that day -- the murder of thousands of people by organized foreign nationals subsidized by States, the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars in property and the follow-on damage to our economy?
      Should those on welfare be disallowed from voting?
      What restrictions to firearm ownership do you support?
      Do you believe the Federal government has exceeded the authority granted to it by the Constitution? If so, how do you propose to return America's Federal government to the limited powers proscribed therein?
      How will you reduce America's dependence on foreign oil?
      Is healthcare a right?
      Please give you opinion regarding Kelo v. City of New London (Supreme court deciison which gives municipalities broad powers to seize private property for the purpose of increasing tax revenues).
      etc.

      Frankly, I'd like answers to those questions from ALL politicians. It would be a step forward, instead of the current internecine squabbling : the "he said/she said/you made the girl cry" pandering Soap Opera.
      • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:07PM (#22308374) Journal

        In Republican debate #2, you implied that America was not attacked on 9/11. What words, the, would you use to describe the events of that day -- the murder of thousands of people by organized foreign nationals subsidized by States, the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars in property and the follow-on damage to our economy?
        Citation please? I saw that debate, and never heard Ron Paul say anything remotely close to that, implicit or explicit. Ron Paul said that the lame-brain jingoistic excuse often given for the attacks "they attacked us because we're free & prosperous" was not the reason we were attacked. We were attacked due to our interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. Switzerland is free and propserous and Al Qaida didn't attack them.
        • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:33PM (#22309766)
          We were attacked due to our interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East.

          Why was Spain attacked by middle eastern terrorists? Or the UK, for that matter? Why was this man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_(film_director) [wikipedia.org] murdered by an Islamic terrorist?

          I'm sorry, there's a lot more to the issue than simply foreign policy.

          Switzerland is free and propserous and Al Qaida didn't attack them. ... yet.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dcollins (135727)
            Blah blah blah. The thing is, the leaders of Al Qaeda have expounded *at great length* about exactly why they're fighting Americans. There's no need to make up a bunch of fantasy shit. All you have to do is listen for 3 minutes and not go around trying to throw sand in everyone's faces. There is no question about it -- every statement, the founding of Al Qaeda, every attack begins and ends with U.S. military forces in Saudi Arabia.

            "[T]he ruling to kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military
          • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:53PM (#22310076) Journal

            Why was Spain attacked by middle eastern terrorists? Or the UK, for that matter?
            Now ask yourself: Did the attacks on Spain and the U.K. happen BEFORE or AFTER the Afghan & Iraqi invasions? What side were Spain and the U.K. on?

            Why was this man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_(film_director) [wikipedia.org] murdered by an Islamic terrorist?
            If you read the article, you know why.

            Here's the problem with almost all you pro-war people. You think that anybody who is opposed to the war is blaming America. I can't speak for everybody, but I can tell you I'm not. But the truth is that whenever there's a crime committed, even a terrorist act, you have to ask yourself "What was the motive?" Ron Paul explained that one of the motivating factors for Al Qaida to attack the U.S. was U.S. intervention in the region for decades and the presence of U.S. Military Bases in Saudi Arabia. He didn't pull it out of his hat, he got it from the 9-11 Commission Report.

            No, I don't think the attacks on 9/11 were justifiable. No, I don't believe the attacks on Spain & England were justifiable. No, I don't believe the murder of Theo van Gogh was justifiable. But I do know that fundamentalist zealots were able to use our previous actions to motivate some of their people to attack us. That is something that needs to be understood. Trying to explain it away with false excuses isn't going to do anything to improve the situation.
          • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:56PM (#22313192) Homepage Journal

            We were attacked due to our interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East.

            Why was Spain attacked by middle eastern terrorists? Or the UK, for that matter?.
            Because Spain and the UK were involved in your interventionist foreign policy.

            Also, Spain has been at war with islam for nearly a millennium. Go crack open a history book and a newspaper or two, sheesh!
      • by Emrys (7536) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:04PM (#22309352)

        I will give these a try. This is not an official campaign response, but it's also not just a fanboy response; I *have* been sent to represent the campaign before, and am on a first-name basis with the family and campaign. I will also try to get an official response to this but it's kind of Super Tuesday today so most people are working in the field.

        Most of these can also be answered via google, anyway.

        Do you believe the current levels of illegal immigration are harmful to America in terms of economy and culture? If so, how do you propose to reduce/end illegal immigration?

        Paul is the strongest anti-illegal immigration candidate still running, primarily because of the harm done to our economy when people take entitlements they did not contribute to. He is absolutely opposed to illegal immigration and has published a 6-point plan to secure the border, including no amnesty, amendinging the Constitution to make clear children born to illegals here are not citizens, physically securing the border, etc.

        That said, he does not oppose legal immigration and primarily sees the problem as economic. He has stated that immigrants are made scapegoats of our current economic problems. We can't afford to keep doing what we're doing with entitlements, so we have to fix that first, but once the economy is fixed he has stated the problem would always be too little immigration.

        Do you believe in open borders -- unrestricted immigration?

        I think this is included in the second half of the answer above; for more information on things Ron Paul has consistently said on immigration see here: http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/?tag=Immigration [ronpaul2008.com]

        In Republican debate #2, you implied that America was not attacked on 9/11. What words, the, would you use to describe the events of that day -- the murder of thousands of people by organized foreign nationals subsidized by States, the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars in property and the follow-on damage to our economy?

        We were obviously attacked and I've never heard him say anything remotely otherwise. He has consistently proposed for and voted for legislation to go after the actual perpetrators (al Qaeda) as opposed to random Arabian countries that have oil we'd like to have. He has criticized our interventionist, imperial foreign policy as a strong contributing factor for why people attack us, but regardless of their reasons they need to be brought to justice. Random civilians do not need to be bombed for this to happen.

        Should those on welfare be disallowed from voting?

        I've never heard him speak to this directly but I would certainly say no. He is the one person running who knows we need to eventually get rid of the entitlements BUT do it in a way that keeps existing people dependent on them from being thrown in the street, and revoking their basic rights is not consistent with his approach. We need to cut our imperial spending and take care of things at home, while promoting better policies for the future (as in letting kids opt-out of social security, while still paying back those that paid in already).

        What restrictions to firearm ownership do you support?

        None, though private property owners set the policy on their own property.

        Do you believe the Federal government has exceeded the authority granted to it by the Constitution? If so, how do you propose to return America's Federal government to the limited powers proscribed therein?

        What softball? Ron Paul of course believes the Federal government has run roughshod over the Constitution. He never votes for unconstitutional legislation and as President would veto it. He has stated that he would veto any budget that contained unconstitutional spending. The one place for "wiggle room" here is going to be his above approach to not throw people used to entitlements out onto the str

      • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:17PM (#22309536)
        Answers from ronpaul2008.com issues page mostly. Unlike a lot of politicians, Ron makes some *very* clear statements about his intent... and with his history and voting record you can trust him to do what he says. I disagree with easily 40% of his positions- but I trust him to do what he says. ALL the other politicians left in the race, I trust to say whatever they need to say to be elected and then go right back to running the company for major corporations as soon as they are elected...

        Question 1> Do you believe the current levels of illegal immigration are harmful to America in terms of economy and culture? If so, how do you propose to reduce/end illegal immigration?
        Do you believe in open borders -- unrestricted immigration?
        Answer 1>

        The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked. This is my six point plan:

        * Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
        * Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
        * No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That's a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
        * No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
        * End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.
        * Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

        Question 2> In Republican debate #2, you implied that America was not attacked on 9/11. What words, the, would you use to describe the events of that day -- the murder of thousands of people by organized foreign nationals subsidized by States, the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars in property and the follow-on damage to our economy?
        Answer 2> I could find no clear answer to your question...There were answers around your question here:
        http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/?tag=Terrorism [ronpaul2008.com]

        Question 3>Should those on welfare be disallowed from voting?
        Answer 3> While I could find no clear answers to your question, I think most people who follow Ron Paul would find your question completely bizarre. Of course he is for every united states citizen's right to vote. He's never beaten his wife, and he's never called for welfare recipients to lose the right to vote.
        His positions on this area (voting record) appears to be here: http://www.thelangreport.com/?p=324 [thelangreport.com]

        Question 4>What restrictions to firearm ownership do you support?
        Answer 4>
        http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/second-amendment/ [ronpaul2008.com]
        I share our Founders' belief that in a free society each citizen must have the right to keep and bear arms. They ratified the Second Amendment knowing that this right is the guardian of every other right, and they all would be horrified by the proliferation of unc
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)
      Seems like the libertarian version of a typical politician - light on details, light on commitment,

      I was a little disappointed with the answer to my question, the one about marijuana. I asked:

      what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?

      He answered:

      I oppose federal laws outlawing marijuana and I oppose federal interference with state medical marijuana laws.

      I already knew that he opposed such laws, but what would he actually do about it? How would he use his powers as president to effect suc

  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by CheeseTroll (696413) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:32PM (#22307816)
    I'm overwhelmed by RP's insight and commitment to these issues, and can't wait to put him into a leadership position.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Workaphobia (931620) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:36PM (#22308838) Journal
      To be fair, those questions outright SUCKED. *That's* the best Slashdot can give our candidates? No wonder no one responded! I was expecting questions that would give a layman's summary of all the great issues whose explanation we take for granted, including patents, copyright, distribution monopoly, fair use, parenting in the digital age, internet governance, etc., and then ask for a well-reasoned or thought-out action plan. But these questions do nothing to motivate a person to think deeply about anything I care about.

      Fuck, you have an opportunity to get official answers to questions that would *never* be asked in a mainstream debate, and instead you shove forward crap about Marijuana and "our elected officials deceive us"? We all deserve the shitty response we got.
  • Meh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oxy the moron (770724) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:33PM (#22307832)

    Not trolling at all here, but I was rather underwhelmed by the responses.

    Basically, the responses given by the Ron Paul campaign carried the tone I expected (more focus on personal liberties and free market) but were truly lacking in depth. For once, it would be nice to get a more detailed response from a politician, and not just the typical buzzword jockeying.

    Of all the candidates, this was the one I least expected generalizations and "typical response" muck. Oh well... at least they responded... I guess...

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:34PM (#22307838)
    They're Republicans who want to smoke pot and get laid.
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:34PM (#22307844) Homepage Journal
    ...I still support Ron Paul and am very vocal in proposing him as a choice to my many family, friends and customers who do vote.

    Nonetheless, these answers were a bit short and vague, but I do agree with how he answered them. Ron Paul's greatest asset is that he does listen. I have an interesting story dating back many years to a gold conference I attended in San Mateo. Ron Paul was a keynote speaker there, and after his speech, everyone left the convention room to gather for drinks and snacks. Outside the room, I started speaking with some younger folk who gathered outside the convention room (the average age of people in the room was probably 70, and I was the only person under 40 who wasn't a nurse of an old person in a wheelchair). Even almost a decade ago, Paul had young fans who would gather to talk to him outside of the official convention. As I spoke to these teenagers and young adults, many from the convention gathered to hear me out. After about 45 minutes of fielding questions, the crowd finally dispersed, and then I noticed that Dr. Paul was in the crowd listening. A congressman who took time out from his then-hectic schedule to actually hear me speak about gold and freedom. We spoke for a few minutes, and since then I've regularly talked to him at other conventions he's attended. It's ridiculous to me to think that a popular congressman would take even a few minutes out of his life to listen to anyone but lobbyists, but Paul has done it again and again with people around him. Even during the current campaign I've seen Paul spend hours after a speech to shake hands, answer questions bluntly, and sign pocket Constitutions.

    Paul's most magic words I've heard him speak is to say that as President he doesn't have the power that people would want HIM to have. He admits that the President's powers are very limited, and his sole purpose to be President is to use the bully pulpit to raise awareness on Constitutional issues. He would be wonderful with the veto pen, and he would call our big business and lobbying groups for their actions, as he has done (on C-SPAN) over his many years in Congress.

    On the war issue that many neoconservatives hate him for, Paul has said repeatedly that he is against undeclared wars. He's also said that Presidents are to follow Congress on declaring war or refusing it. This means that Paul _would_ go to war if Congress declared it, even in Iraq. He's putting politicians in their responsible positions by demanding that they follow the Constitution.

    Paul wants the Federal Department of Education gone, because they make a mess of education. He also admits he can't do it alone. He wants the IRS gone, because of its unconstitutionalist, but he can't do it alone. A vote for Paul is NOT a vote for getting rid of anything, or stopping a war, or ending rampant government growth -- it's a vote to put a freedom lover in the most powerful bully pulpit, to remind the politicians and the masses that freedom and responsibility are the individual's right to protect and follow through on.

    Even though I don't vote, I support voters who make clear choices based on the Constitution that we believe in to protect the freedoms that I believe are God-granted, or inherent at birth for all people in all countries. Paul's message is powerful in that he's not looking to lead people, but to follow them, and protect their freedoms so they can make responsible, or irresponsible choices, and learn lessons from those choices. He's not looking to stop abortion, but to stop Federal involvement in an issue that is debatable as a "murder" cause. The definition of murder is a State issue, and Paul wants to force the issue there. I appreciate his candor and honesty even though I disagree with many positions of his.

    I'm glad he answered these questions simply, because it allows you to see that Paul believes the President is near powerless, except for the veto pen and the bully pulpit.
    • by log0n (18224) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:07PM (#22308364)
      Why don't you vote? Are you a felon? Or is it the whole 'voting doesn't matter' diatribe.

      When you get bad service at a restaurant, not leaving leaving a tip only makes the server think you're an ass. Leaving a $.25 tip will still make them think you're an ass, but betters the odds of sorting themselves out (either via a manager, or themselves, etc).

      Personally, this is the first election I'll have ever voted in where I felt like 1) my vote mattered (both to me and to the outcome), and 2) I'm excited for the potential of numerous candidates regardless of parties.

      Unless you're prohibited by law, get off your lazy ass and vote.
  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wanerious (712877) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:35PM (#22307864) Homepage
    So I suppose it's my fault for not checking this thread and modding these questions down, but come on. "Why can't I get a straight answer?" and an inflammatory question on marijuana? This is why the elected hold the masses in contempt. Then two questions about patents and IP, where one begs the question of a broken patent system (not that I disagree, but it's a lousy way to ask a question). Are these the best presidential questions dealing with science and technology we can come up with? I'd like to hear something about energy policy, science education, NSF funding, international collaborations for basic research, and so on.

    Just blowing off steam. Sheesh.

  • by King Gabey (593144) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:39PM (#22307948)
    Except this time, make it clear how many subscribers are actively reading slashdot. Instead of some crackpot geek site they'll see it as a forum for a significant amount of voters. Or maybe they just don't think geeks vote :)
  • Unfortunately ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CycleFreak (99646) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:40PM (#22307960)

    It is highly unlikely then Ron Paul will win the Republican nomination. This is unfortunate because he is an extremely smart man who is consistent in his policies. His voting history carries this out. Not only that, be he is the only candidate that seems to have a solid understanding of sound economic fiscal policy.

    Even more unfortunate, we will soon be left with elections that are exactly as they have been in the past: A choice between the lesser of two evils.

    Tell me, of the 4 front-runners (Clinton, Obama, Romney, McCain), who deserves your vote? The answer is: None of the above.

    [ exhale a sigh of desperation ]

  • More of the Same (Score:3, Insightful)

    by humphrm (18130) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:41PM (#22307980) Homepage
    More non-answers from a guy who claims to be running on a "not more of the same" platform.

    For instance:

    Quote:
    2) Why Can't I Get a Straight Answer?

    Ron Paul campaign:
    The American people should expect clear and direct answers to their questions.

    3) Marijuana : My question is this: Do you believe I belong in jail? If so, why? If not, what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?

    Ron Paul campaign:
    I oppose federal laws outlawing marijuana and I oppose federal interference with state medical marijuana laws. /Quote

    Does anyone else think that Answer #2 conflicts with Answer #3? Did he just not answer the guy's direct question? (i.e. "what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?")

    Another non-answer: "As president, I will seek a balance between the interest of copyright holders and consumers of digital media. "

    I must say, after all the hoopla about this guy being a "real candidate", I'm not impressed. He sounds like more of the same to me.
  • by tompaulco (629533) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:47PM (#22308058) Homepage Journal
    Maybe they figure our votes aren't worth much or that hardly any of us vote.
    I know this story is slanted such that we are supposed to feel that only Ron Paul cares enough about us to actually respond, but the truth of the matter is that despite slashdot's large readership, a significant fraction of the readership is not eligible to vote in U.S. elections, whereas large U.S. newspapers can boast a much larger percentage of eligible U.S. voters. Also, politicians still pay more attention to print publications than to internet publications. Print media still holds more respect. One of my coworkers once told me he had e-mailed his resume to 100 companies and not gotten a single response. I told him that I would bet money that he had sent his resume by regular mail to the company that he would have gotten multiple responses. Of course, that would have cost him over $40 in stamps, plus more effort to address everything. This is the same reason you are more likely to get a response from a politician if you send them a letter than an e-mail. You have to put more effort into a letter, so they are going to pay more attention to it.
  • by wiggles (30088) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:47PM (#22308060)
    You serve politicians up questions like that, where their answers will either alienate the Slashdot population or the general electorate, and you expect answers? Come on. Those were cherry picked by Ron Paul fanboys. The pot smoking question especially.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:52PM (#22308140) Homepage Journal
    1) Global high tech

    In the last year, India and China have both announced and made progress towards implementing their own space programs. How should America respond to such growing technological boldness in such countries? Is it a threat or an opportunity?

    Khan Paul campaign:
    Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? ...It is very cold in space.

    2) Why Can't I Get a Straight Answer?

    I've noticed that a number of candidates (I'm not naming names) and a number of administration officials will not answer a question in a clear and concise fashion. The subject could be anything from "Do you think waterboarding is torture?" to "What will be your stance toward the war in Iraq if you are elected?"

    So my question to you is, "Do you think that I want someone in that office (Whichever one it is) who is deliberately attempting to deceive me?"

    Even if you don't answer this question, I hope you think about it the next time someone asks you a question.

    Khan Paul campaign: Oh, I've given you no word to keep, Admiral. In my judgement, you simply have no alternative.

    3) Marijuana

    I'm a college graduate with a decent job in a technical field. I pay my taxes, my debts are minimal. I get along well with others, and am close to my family. I like to think that I am a good citizen and contribute to society. Yet because I smoke marijuana instead of drinking beer when I come home from work, my government has declared war on me.

    My question is this: Do you believe I belong in jail? If so, why? If not, what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?

    Khan Paul campaign:
    I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on... hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her. Marooned for all eternity, in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive... buried alive.

    4) What do you think about technology?

    Can you clarify your policy around fair use of digital media and content? More specifically, can you explain how you will balance the rights of the average citizen to use digital content in "fair use" ways (backups, time-shifting, parody, etc.) with the need for corporations to protect IP investments? With the previous two administrations we have seen an erosion of fair-use rights via the DMCA and copyright extension bills. As President, will your policies tend to favor these trends or reverse them?

    Khan Paul campaign:
    You see, their young enter through the ears and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex. This has the effect of rendering the victim extremely susceptible to suggestion. Later as they grow follows madness.. and death.

    5) What do you think about patents?

    People complain about taxes being the main hindrance of innovation, but when someone creates a new product, be it an iPhone or a Blackberry, they aren't looking out for the tax man. The main hindrance to American technological innovation is a patent system that rewards people for sitting on ideas and punishes those who create new products.

    It has become an accepted fact that when you create something new, you will likely have to pay companies that had nothing whatsoever to do with your invention, just because they filed a patent while never intending to actually produce or sell anything.

    As President, would you fix our broken patent system?

    Khan Paul campaign:
    No. No, you can't get away. From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

    Khan Paul 2008 [khanpaul2008.com]
  • by tjstork (137384) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ykswordnab.ddot)> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:02PM (#22308310) Homepage Journal
    He's actually made pretty clear some of his positions on technology, I'll give him that.

    In general, Obama is:

    a) in favor of investing in education
    b) against the NASA manned program to the moon and mars. I believe he was going to use that money to fund some third world development fund.
    c) is absolutely in favor of copyright protection in general, and is committed to the DMCA in particular.
    d) is in favor of environmental technology in general, ethanol in particular (thanks Iowa!)
    e) deploy next generation broadband
    f) in favor of net neutrality

  • by afabbro (33948) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:04PM (#22308344) Homepage
    Asking Ron Paul questions about what he'd do if he was President is like asking me. I have as much chance of becoming President as RP does.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:43PM (#22308974) Journal
    Jus One Example:

    So my question to you is, "Do you think that I want someone in that office (Whichever one it is) who is deliberately attempting to deceive me?"

    Even if you don't answer this question, I hope you think about it the next time someone asks you a question.

    Ron Paul campaign:
    The American people should expect clear and direct answers to their questions. Not only have I always strived to clearly state my position on issues, but my voting record backs up my commitment to the free-market, limited government philosophy I espouse on the campaign trail.
    What the fsck has giving a straight answer have to do with commitment to free market and limited government? Do they (Ron Paul campaign) have such a short attention span, or do they expect that their voters have? I felt like someone spat on me, when I read those answers.

    I have seen this sort of BS in all of the answers. Either Ron Paul doesn't care enough to think about these answers himself and lets his minions do the job (but they did it SO poortly!), or his logic device is fried and severely compromised.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:06PM (#22310260) Homepage Journal

    Sure, he should at least be (very lightly) commended for admitting he hasn't thought about it, rather than giving a bullshit answer.

    But why hasn't he thought about it? All of RP's policy decisions come down to this decision: is the power mentioned in the Constitution? If so, then it merits resolution, else the 10th Amendment prohibits it. Well, IP is there, right in Article 1 Section 8. There are so few issues actually at stake, once you look at it in this manner, so I'm kind of disappointed that he doesn't have a position on this one.

    More to the point, I find it hard to believe. Maybe we really did get a bullshit answer. That doesn't really line up with what we know about the guy, but nevertheless I'm getting a whiff of it.

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