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Re: Cheerleading and Democracy 101

  Well, Charles... Seems like you haven't corresponded with your congressman via
  E-Mail very much... Or at least haven't corresponded with -my- congressman (bloody
  useless loony that he is...)
  It's been my experience that his (Congressman Christopher Shays of CT) staff does
  little or no work on -anything- which comes in via E-Mail.  For example, he voted
  -for- the CDA amendment to the TCA -despite- being told politely, directly and
  finally with some vehemence, that it was both unconstitional and unenforceable.
  The  act made it illegal for someone to provide a web link to a site with smut.
  Since your ISP makes the initial link, this made it possible for -your- ISP to be
  responsible for what you went to on -your- web browser, even if the site you
  jumped from had -nothing- to do with your ISP.  That's like making Microsoft
  responsible for what you do with Quicken because Quicken is running under
  BTW, Public Kudos to the Judge who decided to prevent Microsoft from requiring PC
  manufactures to license IE before they'd be allowed to license Windows 95 for a
  job -half- done...
  charles mueller wrote:
  >         Why should E-mail be treated differently?  My guess is that, in the
  > typical congressional office, it's printed out, sorted by subject matter
  > etc, reviewed by ranking aides, routed (where appropriate) to the various
  > government agencies (e.g., the Justice Department), or taken directly to the
  > legislator's desk where the subject warrants it.  Why assume that, instead,
  > he's enlisted the latest technological gimmicks to keep himself in ignorance
  > of the incoming flow of intelligence on the state of the country and the
  > economy?  There are a lot of ex-senators and former congressmen around.  Why
  > don't we make a list and ASK them if they had their staffs and/or their
  > computer programs trash "unsolicited" messages like our complaints about
  > Microsoft?  And who is more experienced in the ways of Congress than Ralph
  > Nader?  Has anyone asked him whether E-mail from the members of this list is
  > doomed to the trash heap on Capitol Hill, without ever making it to the
  > desks of the legislators themselves?
  >         The last time I heard, Ralph still had great faith in democracy--and
  > in the importance of citizen participation in it.  "Should we really have
  > these kinds of lists?," the kind that allow the public to express its views
  > to its national leadership? I'd very much like to hear his thoughts on the
  > advisability of E-mail re Microsoft's monopoly from this list's 270 members
  > to Congress' 535 legislators.
  >         Charles Mueller, Editor
  >         http://webpages.metrolink.net/~cmueller
  >                                                  *************