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Re: your mail

  > Is the Electronic Frontier Foundation volunteering to follow the legislation
  > and post the various mark-ups to this list.- It is, according to Stanton
  > McCandlish, trivial.
  Sure, given the necessary funding for the project, and given the required 
  access to Congressional documents[*].  It *is* trivial.  What is not trivial 
  is the hurdle that has to be jumped - getting Congress to just allocate 
  the resources to make this happen. That takes convincing them this is a 
  good idea, convincing them that it won't kill their careers to give the
  people access to more political power, etc.  That's what the hard part is.
  Any geek can figure out the technical side, and any wonk can figure out 
  where the resources could come from.
  [* Don't laugh; this was a serious proposal under consideration at one 
  point - provide a legislation server, as a separately funded project, 
  with some other orgs like LWV. We just concluded that we'd never be given 
  access to chairman's marks and the like, and that this would have to be 
  done by Congress itself. Needless to say we were please when Thomas 
  started, and when Gingrich said it would be improved.  But, alas, that's 
  not happened.  It's going to take House and Senate Rules Committees
  changes to make it happen.]
  > Yeah for revolution! Why is it that it is always the geniuses with the
  > solutions to all of society's problems are always kept in meaningless
  > positions by the forces of the evil empire? Oops sorry - EVIL EMPIRE!!!!!
  You miss my point entirely. This isn't about conspiracies or evil. I 
  don't belive in evil, and I don't belive the government, any part of it, 
  is cohesive enough to pull off a real conspiracy, with the exception of 
  the intelligence agencies who usually bungle it when they try.
  No. The point is that too many legislators are too willing to spend time 
  (and our money) playing political games, like trading a vote to OK the 
  building of a new Federal Building in Kansas or a new spy plane or or a 
  G.I. toolbox with $2000 bolts holding it together, or whatever, in 
  exchange for pork provisions like extra highway dollars for the 
  Illinois, etc.  These games frequently create pointless paper-pusher jobs 
  that waste staggering amounts of money, that could be spent on more 
  worthwhile projects.
  How you can mistake an observation of the obvious like this for a call to 
  revolution and a conspiracy theory is beyond me...
  The new mantra of downsizing and spending cuts isn't really fixing the 
  problem, because money isn't being reallocated into sensible things, it's 
  just being cut everywhere they can find a place to cut. Being a 
  semi-libertarian, I like the idea of govt. spending cuts. A lot. But not 
  being a hyper-libertarian, I'd like to see some of the remaining govt. 
  spending do useful things. It's more productive to push for a project 
  like this than to demand more cuts that aren't coming. (And of course 
  it's not productive at all just give up and say "live with the spending 
  the way it is.")
  <HTML><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/~mech/">    Stanton McCandlish
  </A><HR><A HREF="mailto:mech@eff.org">        mech@eff.org
  </A><P><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/">         Electronic Frontier Foundation
  </A><P><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/A">        Online Activist    </A></HTML>