Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Do you know the way to Bangalore? 
Thanks to dreams of venture-capital fueled riches, many of my technology industry colleagues lean toward the Republicans, not only because of the free and easy business climate they promise, but also because geeks often have a "question authority" attitude that finds resonance in the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. But times have changed - there's no place in the Republican Party of 2004 for libertarians - the order of the day is pernicious authoritarianism - telling people what they may not say, what they must not do. Republican rhetoric says "we love entrepeneurship, and want to empower American small business."As for what they DO - Robert X. Cringely, gossip columnist for computer-industry trade rag InfoWorld reports:

Indian elephants: My editor threatened to lock me in a networking closet with Al Franken and Bill O’Reilly if this column gets even remotely political, but this item is too good to pass up. It seems the Republican National Committee is such a staunch believer in outsourcing that it used a firm in Maharashtra, India, to create its database of approximately 165 million registered voters. Technically, the RNC hired a Seattle-area consultant, which then apparently outsourced the job to Compulink Systems in India. I tried to reach the GOP-ers for comment but had no luck — I guess they had other things on their plates.

For the record: The Demos’ voter database was developed by a company, Plus Three, based in a distant suburb of New Delhi, India, called Washington, D.C. It’s an open source app — but that’s probably just a cynical attempt to lock up the Linux vote.

Don't put aside those dreams of dot-com zillionaire glory, but in the meantime, oh my geek brothers and sisters, remember that we, like most Americans, work for a living, as salaried employees or hourly contractors, and everything the Republicans are doing, from overtime rules to workplace safety to tax rates to moving jobs offshore, are designed to screw Americans who work.

They expect your votes, but they won't even give you a job. Fire 'em from theirs. "Question Authority," indeed.

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