La Salle Debain

Open Source @ Consolidated Braincells Inc.

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About La Salle Debain

This is a weblog I'm keeping about my work on Debian and any other useful Debian related info I come across. It is not meant to compete with other news sources like Debian Weekly News or Debian Planet. Mostly it is just a way for me to classify and remember all the random bits of information that I have floating around me. I thought maybe by using a blog it could be of some use to others too. Btw. "I" refers to Jaldhar H. Vyas, Debian developer for over 8 years. If you want to know more about me, my home page is here.

The name? Debain is a very common misspelling of Debian and la salle de bains means bathroom in French.

If you have a comment to make on something you read here, feel free to write to me at

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Tuesday, February 5 2008

Let Me Show You My Hegemons

New Jersey is one of the states holding presidential primaries on this Super Tuesday and since you asked, I voted for John McCain.

The chief reason for my vote is of course the war against Islamic terrorism. Now that we are finally gaining the upper hand in Iraq, we can't afford to elect someone who will fail to see victory through. Mind you this isn't necessarily a reason not to vote Democrat. The anti-war wing of that party has been thoroughly marginalized. Hillary atleast has a commendable reputation for viciousness. Even Obama has made some encouraging remarks (ok that was probably a red herring but I have the audacity to hope you see.) But while the Democrats do not take the anti-war crowd seriously, they do depend on them for a great deal of their funding. A Democratic president might feel the need to throw them some bones inadvertantly screwing up things in the process. On the Republican side, Huckabee might leave tactical planning to Jesus. Romney would toe the line but there is no sign that he has any original thoughts on the matter. While I continue to support the President, it must be admitted that this whole war is stretching out as long as it is because mistakes were made. We need options beyond "staying the course" and "cutting and running" and McCain a military hero and early supporter of the surge could be the one to find them.

The other big issue is supreme court appointments. One, possibly two justices may need to be replaced in the next four years. We need to ensure that the court does not veer leftward again as it will inevitably do during a Democratic administration. Here there is a big split in the Conservative establishment. Ideologues consider McCain to be insufficiently pure and worry he will end up appointing another Souter or O'Connor (both appointed by Republicans it should be noted.) Pragmatists point out that McCain is viewed more favorably than Romney or Huckabee amongst the independent and moderate voters who will be crucial to victory and that even the slight chance of a bad choice is better than the certainty of a bad choice if Clinton or Obama get to make it.

Social issues are important to many Republican voters and in this area too there is some grumbling about McCain being too liberal. Some have even suggested that if McCain beats Huckabee or Romney, a Democratic victory and four years out of power would be preferable in order to bring the GOP back to the straight and narrow. Although this contingent is loud I frankly don't think they have the influence people think (As evidenced by the actual performance of Huckabee or previous champion Fred Thompson.) When push comes to shove, they will rally behind the party candidate especially if McCain makes a bona fide social conservative (Huckabee himself?) his vice-president.

On economic issues, the president's job is to not interfere and let business run itself. I don't see any of the Republican candidates being much different in this regard. Or the Democrats for that matter.

[Careful readers will have noticed I have avoided mentioning Ron Paul. Paulestinians, consider this carte blanche to send me your long, rambling, incoherent screeds about how Dr. Paul has the answers to everything. Because God knows I haven't read enough of them lately.]

Update: Kevin asks what I think about the candidates in terms of "geek" issues such as net neutrality, DMCA etc. IMO there is not a whole lot of difference between the major candidates on these issues. Republicans one would think would be more beholden to corporations in general. Democrats on the other hand have a closer association with the media who are behind many of the sillier IP laws. Overall, I don't think it ought to be much of a factor in choosing the president even for Free Software types. Rather we should focus on the legislative branch (in Congress as well as the states) which holds the real power here and in the court of public opinion.

posted at: 19:52:14 | #