We, The People, Are Sarcastic And Not Easily Mollified By Bland Political Non-Answers

from the yearning-for-authenticity dept

The White House’s We, The People petition site is definitely an interesting experiment in an attempt to be more open in governing. However, as we discovered last week when we mentioned the petition against SOPA/E-PARASITE, many people believe that the administration is not really taking the whole thing seriously. In particular, there’s been a fair amount of anger over the bland, political non-answers given to issues raised in the petitions. That’s resulted in a petition to take the petitions more seriously, as well as a slightly more sarcastic response (found via Ars Technica), in the form of a petition demanding “a vapid, condescending, meaningless, politically safe response to this petition.”

We demand a vapid, condescending, meaningless, politically safe response to this petition.

Since these petitions are ignored apart from an occasional patronizing and inane political statement amounting to nothing more than a condescending pat on the head, we the signers would enjoy having the illusion of success. Since no other outcome to this process seems possible, we demand that the White House immediately assign a junior staffer to compose a tame and vapid response to this petition, and never attempt to take any meaningful action on this or any other issue. We would also like a cookie.

While extremely snarky, it’s a pretty good way of making a point. While the press may be mollified with boring standard political emptiness, the public is pretty damn sick of it. It seems like the public really yearns for just a bit of authenticity out there, and that’s not what’s coming back. Unfortunately, petitioning for authenticity just doesn’t seem likely to get much of a result.

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Comments on “We, The People, Are Sarcastic And Not Easily Mollified By Bland Political Non-Answers”

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Jay (profile) says:

The system is down

Those aren’t the only petitions that have been ignored.

The Keystone Pipeline protests – People petition right in front of the White House but the administration won’t take a position right before an election year.

Marijuana legislation – Won’t take an issue because “To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.”

Now think about this. Smoked marijuana has not been found to meet modern standards? Who makes those standards? And who does Obama not want to go against right before he asks them for money on new drugs or patents for making new pills?

Which would you rather screw over? The people that can grumble that you made a bad call, or the people backing you?

A Guy (profile) says:

Re: The system is down

The real problem concerning the legalization of marijuana is not its effect on the people that choose to partake. While it is not a healthy activity, it isn’t any worse than alcohol or tobacco.

The real problem is that it’s eating into the profits of the drug cartels in Mexico. This “increased competition” is making a (literally) cutthroat market even worse. The violence and corruption is a destabilizing on the entire country of Mexico. Mexico, as a country, is too dependent on drugs as an income source.

As the profits dry up, the violence and corruption escalates as cartels attempt to gobble up existing market share from others.

It’s another self made problem by our politicians. They created a huge market for illegal activity in Mexico by making all marijuana illegal in the United States and now the Mexican society is destabilizing as a result.

Now the choices are either allow the narco state to continue and consume Mexico or take some demand away and watch their society destabilize and violence escalate, potentially spilling over into our country.

If only someone had thought this through and worried about the unintended consequences before making asinine, unenforceable, prohibitions.

Cynyr (profile) says:

Re: Re: The system is down

actually I’m willing to bet a simple handheld device that could determine the amount of marijuana in the system and if that was enough to count as “intoxicated” for purposes of a DUI.

We all seem to agree that driving while under the influence of pot would be bad, but with out a way to test for it, it is easier to just make it illegal all the time. Invent a “pot breathalyzer” and I’d bet legalizing it would work better.

I personally think that it would be a good source of revenue with a hearty consumption tax of say 25%-40%.

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: The system is down

Those petitions seem like a waste of time.I signed all the Marijuana ones and I got their stupid form letters.We really need to get a million pot smokers to march on Washington and force it down their corrupt throats.
They do not mention how they allow Cigarettes to be legal with the 100’s of cancer forming chemicals used just to make a cigarette.
Marijuana is natural and has no chemicals in it during growing or in it in the making of your pipe/joint smoke.

I made a few petitions and you can not find them on their website.But I do have links to them so White House why can people not see them ?


Someantimalwareguy (profile) says:

Re: Re: The system is down

Those petitions seem like a waste of time.I signed all the Marijuana ones and I got their stupid form letters.We really need to get a million pot smokers to march on Washington and force it down their corrupt throats….

The problem here is that to get all those stoners off the couch you are going to need a really, really big bag of Doritos ready for them at the end of the march and a line of oxygen tents to resuscitate those who passed out along the way due to being out of shape…

And trying to keep them focused on the path with a single, coherent message is going to be like herding cats…

On a serious note however, I do strongly support the Libertarian agenda to repeal ALL drug prohibitions as it does nothing but breed black markets, violence, artificially high prices, wastes tax money, and places Law Enforcement in dangerous, life threatening situations when it would be more appropriate, efficient, and with a higher benefit to society as a whole to simply legalize and tax the consumption with proceeds going towards a medical, rather than legal approach to the problem of addiction.

Raven Morris says:

Re: Re: Re: The system is down

Your statements are rubbish stereotypes of those who partake in cannabis.

There are pot smokers in every area of society, including scientists, doctors, lawyers, elite athletes, politicians, people of every health level, success level, income, education level, every type of diet, etc.

There is no rational, logical, or other functional reason why cannabis should remain illegal in any capacity. Proven by the US government’s own studies to reduce the risk of various types of cancer. Filling more and more prisons with poor people who used drugs is pure insanity, and paid for with billions dollars of the people’s money.

ScytheNoire (profile) says:

Sorry, “We, the People” has been modified to mean “We, the Corporations”. Since Corporations are considered people, but are of larger importance to politicians because they give them large sums of money in the form of brib… err, lobbying and donations, it is only the will of the Corporation People who matter to the U.S. Politicians. So if you want answers, please ask the Corporation People’s Public Relations Department.

Wiggs (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Overturn Citizens United, via executive order and then via a proposal for a Constitutional amendment stating that corporations cannot be recognized as individuals. Failing that, at least having legislation passed to that effect… but I imagine you could probably get the *people* of the states to ratify such an amendment.

Institute term limits: 12 years for all Congressional offices – that’s a political MAXIMUM of 6 House terms and 2 Senate terms per individual, and then 2 Presidential ones, should you be so lucky.

Immediately remove Congress’ ability to vote themselves a pay raise.

Freeze Congressional salaries and index them only by inflation. Taking national office should be the civilian equivalent of serving in the military – a sacrifice.

Commission a thorough investigation of campaign finance corruption, and eventually require all political action groups to have full transparency or severely reduced limits on contributions, remove the ability for corporations to contribute directly to any politican’s coffers or campaign, and institute strict public funding for any direct contributions. This may also necessitate a law requiring broadcast/cable networks to provide time for political discussions during campaign seasons.

…and, while I’m dreaming, I’d also like to implement instant-runoff voting and make voting mandatory.

How’s that?

Wiggs (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Excellent point – it does make sense that the President can’t do that. So we’d need a cooperative Congress as well. Well, too bad that will never happen.

And since we’re all dreaming big here, I’d also like to add a Constitutional amendment which allows for a nationwide referendum on a vote of no confidence in the government. This would provide for a special election, initiated somehow by the states (I’m not sure on the logistical details) – if 75% of turnout votes no confidence in the government, a new nationwide election is triggered for ALL members of government (House, Senate, President) and all currently serving members are prohibited from being re-elected.

Obviously the details are sketchy on this one, but this would sure put those idiots on notice, don’t ya think?

Michael Long (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“…remove the ability for corporations to contribute directly to any politican’s coffers or campaign…”

Forget directly, how about at all? First, no Super-PACs. All contributions must be able to be sourced, and no PAC or political organization can donate to another PAC.

Second, no corporation or business or organization shall have the right to contribute more money to a politician or party or PAC than may an individual, and limit individuals to $2K.

And that $2K includes money, goods, and services.

Tech42 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The fix is quite simple, but will never be implemented.

Just provide each registered candidate with a campaign budget for the election (to come from the federal elections department, whatever the US version is called). No external funding permitted.
If candidates want to pool their money for a party campaign, fine, but no external funds.

Then, and this is the really hard part, make any bribery(offering, soliciting, accepting) a really SERIOUS criminal offence, on the order of a 10-year minimum prison sentence and all personal assets seized.

No more problem.

Loki says:

If the public was really tired of it, they’d stop voting the same tired politicians into office they have for the past several decades. If the people floating these petitions around spent even half the time providing easy access/information to/about non-democrat, non-republican alternatives who might actually do something they might actually be worth taking seriously.

Manfred Manfriend says:

Re: Re:

They HAVE stopped voting. Check the percentages of people who bother to show up at the polls every election–those numbers have been going down for years. In fact it would not surprise me a bit to discover that even those numbers are less than we’ve been told.

Since voting has been shown so clearly as the waste of time most people do something else on election night. Its only the true believers who show up year after year to vote for the home team…

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“If the people floating these petitions around spent even half the time providing easy access/information to/about non-democrat, non-republican alternatives who might actually do something they might actually be worth taking seriously.”

If you can guarantee that ICE and DHS will leave my perfectly legal website alone I might be willing to go that route. However, I don’t think that’s a guarantee anyone could keep.

The thing about stifling free speech through over zealous and downright illegal seizures is that you have no idea what might have been done without such heinous acts acting as a deterrent.

Anonymous Coward says:

We the people should be replaced with “We, the whiny minority”. Just as the idiots in OWS try to declare themselves the 99%, you guys act like you have some sort of majority standing – and you don’t.

You don’t get the answers you want because it is your very actions that force the politicians to have to craft laws that narrowly define things. Every time a law is enacted, a few sneaky people find ways around them, ways to abuse them, and ways to flaunt the law. So each time, the politicians must go back and try again to block you from your own stupidity.

SOPA, Protect IP, and all of that are here because you guys couldn’t control yourselves. You get what you get because you did it yourself. No stop whining because the politicians are tired of your shit and don’t want to give you a straight answer. They don’t owe you one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

bahahahahahahaha. you hear that folks? people cannot manage themselves. its not the laws that are unjust, its the SNEAKING people do to get around them!

stop whining because politicians are tired of us? politicians dont owe us one? they dont want to give us a straight answer, so we should deal with it?

im gonna make what i hope is a safe bet, and assume your post was satire/snark? it was super funny, thanks for the chuckles bro.

Cynyr (profile) says:

Re: Re:

yes yes feeding the trolls and all that…

I’d like to point out that everything i currently download I’d be happy to spend say $100-200 per year on each(which is only 4-6 things but still). My conditions for spending that sort of money are:
1) Timely posting content that stays around for at least 2 years.
2) Quality high bitrate 720P or higher streams with 5.1 audio.
3) Ability to watch from what ever the fuck device with a screen I happen to be looking at when I decide I want to watch it.
4) Ad free, both the stream and the site I get it from. I am paying for it after all.

Now for the record this is all motorsport stuff (F1, WRC, Dakar, MotoGP), and while some of it is sort of available in my local region, it is either highlights and not the full race, or it is commentated on by someone who clearly didn’t even bother to find out how to say peoples names before sitting down let alone knows anything about the event, that is if it even makes it on air.

As for what this site would be competing against, uploads with-in minutes of the normal TV broadcast ending, at 720P h264 packed in a MKV with 0 DRM. How it could be better? streaming would be nice, so I could just start watching instead of waiting for 6 GB to download. It could contain relevant extras say the position of each car on the track sync’ed with the video feed(offered for free(i think) on F1’s website, but hard to sync unless you are watching live and is for windows only(no android, linux, OSX, winmo, iOS). Just not having to muck with bit-torrent, and seeding ratios and such. Also it could provide links to other similar events that were offered which may be of interest, like “ohh we see you like enduro rally, and fast track cars, maybe you would like to preview our coverage of 24 hours of Le Mans. It is kind of like an endurance rally and F1 all mixed together.”

Also would your boss at work take an answer like “well i’m not sure it it isn’t bad, but i’m not sure if it isn’t good either and while we are at it here is a circus with free bread.”? Yes, politicians are my employees, there are notionally paid out of my taxes, and put in to that position by me, they sure as hell better answer to me.

Ben (profile) says:

Same in the UK

I must have signed a dozen petitions on the UK’s Number 10 Downing Street petition site. All responded to with a bland non commital statement.

The ‘your say’ web site which allowed public to vote to repeal unpopular laws? Let down by poor coding and lack of government action.

The one good thing about the latest government seems to be the amount of policy u-turns they make when the public cries out…. though that could just be because the public have a greater voice now thanks to twitter etc

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Same in the UK

>you will understand that you are being part of the 0.00001%, and that it is meaningless.

If we, the dissonant crowd on this site, is the meaningless, you and your ilk, as the anti-dissonant, are part of the 0.00001%, and as such constitute less than the 0.00001%.

How does it feel being more meaningless than the meaningless?

Mr. Oizo says:

There is no such petition ?

Is that petition still alive because if I click through to ‘https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions?_escaped_fragment_=/petition/we-demand-vapid-condescending-meaningless-politically-safe-response-petition/gCZfn86x#!/petition/we-demand-vapid-condescending-meaningless-politically-safe-response-petition/gCZfn86x’ I actually don’t see any of it.

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