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Out of the Blue

After what seems like a four year campaign, we finally get to vote today here in the US. MrsBlue and I will hit the polls this evening, though we do not even remotely live in a swing state. The other thing that does not happen around here is these long lines for voting that have been shown in the news lately, as folks in some states have had to wait hours to participate in early voting, and of course many places will have long lines today. I'm not clear on the reasons for this, but I have never in my life had to wait more than about 15 minutes to vote, which seems to me how it should be. Oh well, best of luck if you have a line to contend with.

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96 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
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96. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 6, 2008, 02:32 Scottish Martial Arts
 
I think that voting is for the ignorant and we should just pull the shadow-government out the fucking shadow install a goddamn Empire.

I shouldn't even bother responding to this, because you either didn't read what I wrote, or didn't bother to understand it. Whatever, I like talking about Rome, so here we go.

Fuck it if the Roman Republic turned into an Empire, thats the way the US republic should go too!!!

You are aware that Julius Caesar was a Populares, right?

It would take way to long to go through the fall of the Republic step by step but here are some key themes:

1. The wealth of empire was overwhelmingly benefitting the senatorial class. Meanwhile, the small land holders were losing their farms after years of overseas service (during the Republic the army was a propertied militia).

2) The land redistribution legislation proposed by the brothers Gracchi marked the introduction of political violence.

3) Gaius Marius reorganized military recruiting to allow the poor and disenfranchised to serve. Since these new poor soldiers were dependent on their commander for getting payed, their loyalty was to the general and not the state.

4) Beginning with Scipio Aemilianus, we see Roman politicians leveraging popular support in order to force policy through.

Combine the above factors, and you have a situation in which Roman politicians, in order to achieve their political goals, leverage their armies and their supporters among the people, offering such incentives as land reform or, after the Social War, voting rights for the Italian allies. The result was essentially a mob turf war, starting in 133BC (need to double check that date, whenever Tiberius Gracchus was assassinated) and not ending until the Battle of Actium 100 years later.

The point here is that the Republic didn't fall because Octavius woke up one morning and decided he wanted to be emperor. Rather, there was extreme discontent among the ever-growing class of urban poor, which folks like Tiberius Gracchus, Gaius Marius, Cinna, and Julius Caesar were able to leverage to achieve their political goals, often resorting to mob violence, assassination, and ultimately marching on Rome. Likewise, conservative politicians like Sulla were not above using their essentially private armies to knock some heads among the Populares. Over a century of civil war, Roman statesman were killed off one by one, until only Octavius was left standing, allowing him to take control.


Look, I'm not proposing genocide or something here by saying that there isn't supposed to be a popular vote for President. It's in the US Constitution for crying out loud: Article II Sec. 1, check it out if you don't believe me. All I have tried to say in the past few posts, is that I believe that what is in the Constitution is a little more coherent and well thought out than the mishmash of electoral procedures we currently have.

The Founding Fathers didn't have blind faith in democracy, and, honestly, that's because they thought a little more seriously about its implications than most do today. Most of us have been raised in democracies, and been taught since early childhood that democracy is the one, true, best way to govern a country. If you want to cling to your enculturation, fine. But the Founding Fathers didn't take your faith in democracy for granted, and accordingly they thought more seriously about what the dangers of letting a simple majority decide everything might be, and designed the US government accordingly. You don't like it? Fine, but it's what's in the Constitution, and I happen to believe in that document and to believe in the thinking that went into it.

This comment was edited on Nov 6, 2008, 02:36.
 
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95. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 5, 2008, 19:51 xXBatmanXx
 
If you want to define marriage as marriage because it's a religious thing, it oughtn't have any place in government in the US.

I agree.

Tell that to the majority of states that have "common law marriage" thank your Gods Minnesota isn't one of them. I would have had 3 wives by now.
 
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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
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94. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 5, 2008, 09:57 InBlack
 
Well Goddamn it Scottish Marshal Artist! Why didnt I think of that!

/facepalm

I think that voting is for the ignorant and we should just pull the shadow-government out the fucking shadow install a goddamn Empire.
Fuck it if the Roman Republic turned into an Empire, thats the way the US republic should go too!!!

/end sarcasm
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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93. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 5, 2008, 02:25 PHJF
 
But in an *actual* democracy the majority is *always* right. Right and wrong are of course subjective and realistically determined by the majority.

The president certainly isn't on some higher tier than the Congress or the Supreme Court, it only seems that way because he functions entirely on his own. We probably would have not even had a presidency but for the fact that, for international relations, we need a face. Remember we are first and foremost a federal state, and 200 years ago that was far *far* greater the case. George Washington was the first president because he was a great general and it was the president's job to command the military. They never expected the president to exercise *real* power. We've just strayed so far into national-level government that the president has more sway than was intended. The Civil War was no doubt a massive catalyst to the end of states' rights.

And with that, the position of president is fundamentally flawed as it always serves one of the two parties, the two parties who also run the Congress, and two parties a majority of Americans belong to. So like it or not, the president is still pandering to roughly half the population and is enforcing his party's rule over the Congress in the form of vetos. My best interest hasn't been addressed by the federal government for the past 8 years; that's a tyranny in itself.

Anyways, having a president elected not from the majority serves counter to the Congress, who ARE elected to serve the majority of their constituents. If we elect a Congress based on majority, and the Congress "elects" the president, should it not follow that the majority is electing the president?

And all this talk aside, let's not forget that had a majority had their say 8 years ago we'd have gotten Gore instead of Bush. The writing is on the wall this time; anyone who frequented Futurama would only have made a fantastic commander in chief.

This comment was edited on Nov 5, 2008, 02:30.
 
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92. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 5, 2008, 00:18 Scottish Martial Arts
 
If you seem hell-bent on painting the entirety of the American citizenship as completely ignorant and unworthy of having a say in their own government, why do we vote at all?

That's not my intent, although I can certainly see how I've come off that way. The essential danger of democracy is that the majority can be wrong. The challenge then, and I quote this straight from High School Civics, is to have majority rule while protecting minority rights. Part of how the Constitution sought to prevent a tyranny of the majority was to have various offices, with different powers, elected at different times, or not elected as the case may be, by different constituencies. This way a simple majority cannot dominate the policy making process, but instead must compromise with various parties in order to get anything done.

If we consider the Congress and the Presidency, we will find that there are three tiers: from lowest to highest, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President. In order to make policy, all three tiers have to cooperate. As designed in the Constitution, the higher the tier, the less the office is directly influenced by a simple majority, so that a misguided majority cannot dominate the policy making process. Accordingly there is an additional degree of separation between the people and the office-holder for each tier; the people directly vote for their representative; the people vote for their state legislator who votes for a Senator; the people vote for their state legislator who votes for electors who vote for president.

Since the President has the most power, there is the most danger if he makes the wrong decision. Accordingly, it is dangerous to make his decision making directly accountable to a majority that may or may not be right. That's why the Article II Section 1 makes no provision for a popular vote.

This is thinking that I happen to agree with. Your mileage may vary. I don't believe that the majority is always right, and I believe that moderation is the best way to avoid bad policy. Accordingly, I think the Founders were right to design the Constitution as they did. Again, you may feel differently, but I hope you at least understand that I don't simply feel that Americans are too incompetent to vote.
 
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91. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 21:42 PHJF
 
I didn't say we all WOULD make proper judgments, I said we all COULD make proper judgments. The electoral college was for a day when it was impossible to be well informed.

If you seem hell-bent on painting the entirety of the American citizenship as completely ignorant and unworthy of having a say in their own government, why do we vote at all? To keep the sheep in line?
 
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90. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 21:03 deadgoon
 
It would be a lie if either did. No President has that much control of individual lives. But even if they said it, I wouldn't vote for them. I want less control over individuals lives, not more.

I am talking about upholding the individual freedoms and betterment of the American life, not the control over it.
 
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89. Re: Meh. Nov 4, 2008, 20:58 Kxmode
 
Sheesh. All this fighting over prop 8. All of you should just stop and start making out!  
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88. Re: Meh. Nov 4, 2008, 19:51 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Now we have a direct, nearly transparent view of our candidates, and we can all make proper judgments.

Uh, are you sure about that?

The electoral system is antiquated and serves now only to obfuscate the voting process.

Stupidity and mob rule, which the electoral system was designed to mitigate, are never antiquated.

This comment was edited on Nov 4, 2008, 19:56.
 
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87. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 19:51 Bhruic
 
The problem is that the homosexual agenda isn't served by simply having the same benefits - they desire to have social and moral equivalency... thus the push for gay marriage.

Ok, so what exactly is wrong with homosexual people wanting social and moral equivalency? Or are you suggesting that you are better than they are based sololy on your sexual orientation?
 
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86. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 19:49 Bhruic
 
There is a religious aspect to marriage as well.

Wait, what? You realize that a man and a woman can go to a justice of the peace and get a marriage license and get married without religion being involved in the slightest, right? That means that there isn't a religious aspect to marriage in general, just to some people's marriages. And if a man and a woman can be married without religion being involved, there seems to be no justification to stop 2 men, or 2 women from getting married, as again, there's no religion involved (or, maybe they are part of a much less judgemental religion that accepts homosexuality).
 
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85. Re: Meh. Nov 4, 2008, 19:38 PHJF
 
The whole deal with the American electoral system is that it was designed before the telegraph was even conceptualized. Of course citizens were ignorant of national politics, the news traveled by horseback and word-of-mouth.

Now we have a direct, nearly transparent view of our candidates, and we can all make proper judgments. The electoral system is antiquated and serves now only to obfuscate the voting process.
 
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84. Re: Meh. Nov 4, 2008, 19:23 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Personaly I think the electorate system youve got there in the US is total bullshit. A vote is a vote. For some reason a vote in one state is worth more than a vote in another.

As designed in the Constitution, there are three degrees of electoral separation between the average citizen and the President: citizens vote for state legislators, state legislators vote for electors, electors vote for President. The idea is to insulate the Presidency from the whims of the majority, and therefore to allow him or her to take a more circumspect and thoughtful approach to governing, less pressured by a volatile popular opinion.

What has happened is that over time state legislatures decided to turn the selection of electors over to a popular vote. As a result, when a citizen votes for President, you aren't voting for the candidate per se, but voting for a slate of electors who have pledged to vote for that candidate. Electors can vote how ever they want once selected, but it is virtually unheard of for an elector to vote against his or her pledge.

It's important to note that this is not how it was originally intended to work, nor how it worked for quite some time. Again, state legislatures would select prominent non-office-holding individuals in their state, whom they felt would vote wisely, to be electors. These electors would then vote for the presidential candidates, with the first place candidate being President and the second place candidate being Vice-President.

That a vote in one state is worth more than a vote in another state is not because the electoral system was stupid to begin with, but because there was never supposed to be a popular vote for President to begin with! Now, with a very poorly educated populace thanks to the failure that is the US public education system, people have come to believe that there is supposed to be a popular vote for president, when there never was supposed to, and cannot understand what this baffling electoral college is for.
 
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83. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 19:20 PHJF
 
So you came right out and said it; you want your religious view imparted on the entire state of CA.

And even more sad, your want of No. 8 is solely to protect the word marriage. Never mind they do it, just god forbid they actually called their satanic butt-fucking rituals marriage. Hey, maybe I'll go form a religion devoted to gay men and we'll have our own "marriage" and we'll get it endorsed by the state. Will it be OK for us to get married then? If it's a part of our own gay little religion instead of yours?

Your shallowness is amazing.

Oh fuck, these two beat me to the punch.

This comment was edited on Nov 4, 2008, 19:21.
 
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82. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 19:19 nin
 
If you want to define marriage as marriage because it's a religious thing, it oughtn't have any place in government in the US.

I agree.

 
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81. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 19:17 mag
 
No, I just don't think they need to co-opt the term "marriage" from those of us who believe it describes a legal and religious joining of a man and a woman.

Would you support abolishing the legal status of marriage? What if we simply put in Civil Unions for all legal couplings and leave all marriage as a religious issue? If you want to define marriage as marriage because it's a religious thing, it oughtn't have any place in government in the US.
 
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80. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 18:51 Warhawk
 
Beyond that, getting into the religious aspect of it, is up to the respective churches. eg: if you belong to a church and need their approval to be married, the state should issue the union license.

I think the next concern here if 8 passes might be if someone who belongs to a church and is homosexual wants to get married in the church, but the church says no, would they be able to sue the church for discrimination or any other reason?
 

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
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79. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 18:35 Warhawk
 
On the other side of the coin, who cares what other people do with their lives, it doesn't affect you. "I disagree with gays marrying" doesn't cut it, sorry. That's just a more politically correct way of saying "I don't like fags."

No, I just don't think they need to co-opt the term "marriage" from those of us who believe it describes a legal and religious joining of a man and a woman.

Sue me.

My cousin is a fantastic person, and we invite him and his friends to our family events all the time. We love having him around. We are open and accepting of how he lives his life. We think his friends are great people as well.

There is a religious aspect to marriage as well. For those who want the benefits of "marriage" but are homosexual, don't try to push an agenda onto the rest of us, just get a civil union and you have all the same rights and benefits. Next thing we will be fighting is bisexual, transsexual, polygamous, MBLA, and other groups wanting to "marry" as well. You have to draw the line somewhere. For me, it is the traditional man and woman definition of a marriage. That is where I choose to draw it, and so did over 60% of the state a few years ago before a couple liberal judges overturned it.
 

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
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78. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 17:41 PHJF
 
Regarding gay marriage, first off, fuck anyone who has an "opinion" on the matter. Mind your own business. A few years ago a Lib. lawyer said, ''If the government can regulate private sexual behavior, it's hard to imagine what the government couldn't regulate."

How can you possibly not understand that? You can argue semantics all you like but what it boils down to is that you don't like men sticking penises in other men and somehow feel entitled to make them stop. Grow up; you don't run the playground.

And fuck a bunch of politics. You realize that 99% of all societal ills stem from the tribal desire to identify with, well, tribes. Be it religion, political party, or a god damn sports team the sole purpose of your outspoken identity is to challenge somebody else's identity. People create conflict where there is none. For all the religious fundamentalists out there, remember that pride is a sin. Bear that in mind the next time you think of saying, "I'm proud to be an American." Humility is a religious virtue and is not evidenced by attempting to impart your utterly personal views on the populace of a state, let alone a nation. Mind your own fucking business.
 
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77. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 4, 2008, 17:15 Krovven
 
My question is, in areas that do not allow Gay Marriage...does the government consider and tax the couple as Common Law if they have been living together beyond a set amount of time?

If they do, then it's rather hypocritical for the Government.
 
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