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H&R Block Petition Update: 1,351 Signatures and Growing
1,000 signatures in 4 days
even with host-site crashing for 13 of first 24 hours.

by Sean Oberle

March 20, 2002

Your signature still matters. Please help spread the word. Sign the petition here:


Thank you to all 1,350 of you (as of 4:28 p.m. EST, 3/19). Although there is no way for me to thank each of you personally, I have read every comment.

After a nearly disastrous start, we are making the H&R Block petition a success. It went up about 1 p.m. EST, March 13. With only about 30 signatures (I had not yet promoted it widely), at approximately 5:30 p.m., the entire PetitionOnline site went down for about an hour. After it was back up, we logged about 24 signatures an hour. By 1 a.m., we had about 170 signatures.

Then disaster came –- the PetitionOnline site crashed again, and this time did not come up for about 12 hours. I had spent the better part of the evening promoting the petition. I knew that a lot of you were trying to sign it but couldn’t — I was sick thinking about how many people would not try again.

But the site was back up at about 1:30 p.m. March 14, and by 3:30, we had broken 250 signatures — a quarter way to 1,000 in a bit more than a day, with most of that time down. By 9:00 p.m., we’d hit 400. And so it has gone. 

This is not over folks. While I sent the first 1,300 signatures to H&R Block Chairman of the Board Frank L. Salzzoni earlier today (with copies to the rest of the board and top executives), I will send Mr. Salzzoni an updated pile of signatures every 1,000 or so signatures.

Sean Oberle is a Featured Writer and gun control analyst for He can be reached at View other articles from him at


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After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. — Alexis de Tocqueville

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