In an issue of "The New York Times" last week, tech reporter John Markoff pointed out a troubling new program that the government has put in place: an upgrade to the president's electronic message system.I was eager to test-drive it as I've often used the traditional firstname.lastname@example.org to voice my opinion about the president's decisions - both for and against them.But as Markoff points out, a new system has been put in place that is Web-based. Trying to access that system through the whitehouse.gov "Contact" Web page proved futile. Where the president's e-mail address used to be, there is only a link to "White House Web Mail." I received a "page cannot be displayed" error when I clicked on the link that was supposed to drive me to the new message site.So I sent a message in what is now officially "the old-fashioned way" and was instantly sent the following message:"Thank you for e-mailing President Bush.\u00a0 Your ideas and comments are very important to him."Because of the large volume of e-mail received, the President cannot personally respond to each message.\u00a0 However, the White House staff considers and reports citizen ideas and concerns."In addition to President@WhiteHouse.gov, we have developed White House Web Mail, an automated e-mail response system.\u00a0 Please access https:\/\/www.whitehouse.gov\/webmail to submit comments on a specific issue.Additionally, we welcome you to visit our Web site for the most up-to-date information on current events and topics of interest to you."So off I went to the appointed Webmail site and voila, received a "page cannot be displayed" message again.Hmmm... now, according to Markoff, the White House receives more than 15,000 messages a day. Those 15,000 people trying to reach the White House on that day probably encountered the same frustrating scenario I did. A severe deterrent to logging an opinion.According to Markoff, had I been able to actually get to the Web site, I would have found an even more angst-inducing situation - a detailed Web form that asks for more than just your opinion.So I decided to send my note off to Vice President Dick Cheney, whose e-mail address was still listed on\u00a0whitehouse.gov. Turns out the vice president's e-mail system has not been converted to the new system and I received a lovely autoresponder note that said the White House Office of E-correspondence will be perusing my message.