Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:10 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Follow-up!

Cameron linked directly to the detection of Miranda: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/ ... G920130821


I'm starting to get seriously worried, here. Russia, ok, they've never had a real solid grasp on "not authoritarian". Greece, their country is fucked, so weird shit happens. Worrysome, but Greece is small. Hungary, well, the hungarians never did really get a grip with their fascist past, did they. Now it's back.

And now, Britain. Full surveillance, both with cameras and all communications traffic. Reporters detained on bullshit "terrorism" charges. Charges that were so bullshit that no one believed them, not even for a second. I'm pretty sure the airport security struggled to say that with a straight face. And newspapers threatened on the direct order of the PM. V for Vendetta starts to look omniously prescient.

When did Europe take a turn towards totalitarianism? Not that the US is much better, you're only more paranoid over there, so they have to go a bit slow. Orwell should have called his book 2014...
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:28 pm

More than totalitarism, it's the rise of demagogy that allowed politicians with a rather vague program access to more power than they can wisely use.

The problem is that demagogues are at their heart bullies, so they know of only two kind of relationships: dominator and dominated. You're weaker? You'll be crushed, because they have "the people" behind them. You're stronger and not interested in them? They'll brownnose you to get to that sweet, sweet power of yours.

The second problem is that democracy has no natural fail-safe against bullies, unless people are wise enough to recognize it past their own misgivings. Likelyhood: very low.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:45 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:08 pm

Sagara wrote:More than totalitarism, it's the rise of demagogy that allowed politicians with a rather vague program access to more power than they can wisely use.

The problem is that demagogues are at their heart bullies, so they know of only two kind of relationships: dominator and dominated. You're weaker? You'll be crushed, because they have "the people" behind them. You're stronger and not interested in them? They'll brownnose you to get to that sweet, sweet power of yours.

The second problem is that democracy has no natural fail-safe against bullies, unless people are wise enough to recognize it past their own misgivings. Likelyhood: very low.

Yup. People can be herded around by the carrot of faith and the stick of fear.

When one party links itself to the dominant religion, it can then market the other side as being against that religion. People can be quite happily led to their own demise by their faith. My mother and sister repeatedly vote for candidates who oppose their best interests on the basis of their faith.

After 9/11 the general public was so afraid of terror attacks they basically said "shut up and take my freedom".

Between those two things, I don't think the US has ever been as vulnerable to demagogues as it is right now, with the possible exception of the Cold War and the rise of McCarthyism.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:21 pm

Again, this is why I am looking forward to Apophis to kill the shit out of us.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby aureon » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:06 pm

Nooska wrote:Nuclear Fission has its own heap of problems - like spent fuel storage - radioactivity isn't good for you, and storing it for our kids or grandkids don't make it better.

Nuclear Fusion however....


There's reprocess for waste, but hey, it costs money!

Klaudandus wrote:Again, this is why I am looking forward to Apophis to kill the shit out of us.


I'm very sorry to break it, but some months ago, thanks to new observations, the possibility of Apophis hitting earth was declared nil.
Also, Apophis would only be a ~750 megaton hit, which, sincerely, isn't much. It's just a very, very, very big volcano, or ~12 Tsar Bombas. Not a Humanity Extinction Event.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:39 pm

I thought it was not gonna be clear until its 2029 flyby.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:25 am

http://volokh.wpengine.com/wp-content/u ... nParty.pdf
Disgruntled Republican sues the Republican Party for “Professional Negligence” consisting of the breach of the “legal duty of care, to take care of their constituents with job market protection” and the breach of a “duty to make[] sure the Republican corporate members are well taken care of with plentiful job markets, security from criminals, [and] lots of ability to home and nest for their lineages.”



This made me lol
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:45 am

Klaudandus wrote:http://volokh.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/FitchvRepublicanParty.pdf
This made me lol


The last line:
Then I want a movie script for me and my African American honky cousin. I would
like to play in Blazing Saddles with him for his first starring role and many other funny as all movies.


The previous few paragraphs are even more bizarre. Hard to tell if person is trying to be funny, or actually mentally ill. Joke or Troll? Hmm.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:30 pm

Apparently, the biggest threat to Russia, after the gays, are pastafarians.
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013 ... -ties?lite
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:37 pm

In other political news.

The Law of Unintended Consequences in effect.
http://www.npr.org/2013/08/24/214997385 ... rs-offices
These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

In Arizona, using private attorneys costs the government about 25 percent more than using public defenders — that's about $6 million a year. In other places around the country, the difference can be even greater.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:50 am

I disagree filing that ind LoUC - I'd say thats more the law of stupidity and not understanding consequences. Whiel it certainly wasn't an intended consequence, it certianly was a very foreseeable consequence.


I battle with the same attitude in the apartment company I chair - "we have to save money on this and this so we don't have to collect more rent from our tennants", while ignoring that not maintaining buildings will not only mean a serious rent hike at some future point, but also a bigger total rent increase as its more expensive to do neglected work than to maintain regularly.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:36 am

Nooska wrote:I disagree filing that ind LoUC - I'd say thats more the law of stupidity and not understanding consequences. Whiel it certainly wasn't an intended consequence, it certianly was a very foreseeable consequence.


I battle with the same attitude in the apartment company I chair - "we have to save money on this and this so we don't have to collect more rent from our tennants", while ignoring that not maintaining buildings will not only mean a serious rent hike at some future point, but also a bigger total rent increase as its more expensive to do neglected work than to maintain regularly.


Here is something a little more scarier for LoUC
http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2013/08/ ... z2coZGdvza
Running out of money to fight wildfires at the peak of the season, the U.S. Forest Service is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Lieris » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:17 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/opini ... issue.html

Extract:

But I was unprepared for the vitriolic response she inspired. Thousands of people have “liked” the Facebook page “I Hate Skyler White.” Tens of thousands have “liked” a similar Facebook page with a name that cannot be printed here. When people started telling me about the “hate boards” for Skyler on the Web site for AMC, the network that broadcasts the show, I knew it was probably best not to look, but I wanted to understand what was happening.

A typical online post complained that Skyler was a “shrieking, hypocritical harpy” and didn’t “deserve the great life she has.”

“I have never hated a TV-show character as much as I hate her,” one poster wrote. The consensus among the haters was clear: Skyler was a ball-and-chain, a drag, a shrew, an “annoying bitch wife.”

I enjoy taking on complex, difficult characters and have always striven to capture the truth of those people, whether or not it’s popular. Vince Gilligan, the creator of “Breaking Bad,” wanted Skyler to be a woman with a backbone of steel who would stand up to whatever came her way, who wouldn’t just collapse in the corner or wring her hands in despair. He and the show’s writers made Skyler multilayered and, in her own way, morally compromised. But at the end of the day, she hasn’t been judged by the same set of standards as Walter.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:22 am

^Wht am I missing in regards to politics on this issue?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fetzie » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:36 pm

Klaudandus wrote:In other political news.

The Law of Unintended Consequences in effect.
http://www.npr.org/2013/08/24/214997385 ... rs-offices
These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

In Arizona, using private attorneys costs the government about 25 percent more than using public defenders — that's about $6 million a year. In other places around the country, the difference can be even greater.


Presumably this is the effect of cutting costs in the wrong places to meet the sequester rules in order to preserve spending in others. Cutting funding in places the public can see it happening and not in those that the public cannot.


In other news the UK will not be joining any military action against Syria, regardless of the outcome of UN reports. The motion was defeated with a 13 vote majority (285 to 272).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:46 pm

I've criticized the US budget... how for the cost of a single F-22, we could fund my school district for several years and things like that.

I'd like them to cut spending on military equipment and move it to vet services.

It would also be nice if they would cut the salary of congresscritters -- and take their health benefits.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fetzie » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:53 pm

How many billions of dollars has the USAF wasted on the joint strike fighter (that will be ready for the scrap heap before the first one rolls off the production line)? That is the kind of project that needs to be hit by the sequester, not school funding or public defenders.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:50 pm

Fetzie wrote:How many billions of dollars has the USAF wasted on the joint strike fighter (that will be ready for the scrap heap before the first one rolls off the production line)? That is the kind of project that needs to be hit by the sequester, not school funding or public defenders.


Completely agreed. Specially since the pentagon had to lower the bar so the plane would meet their requirements.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:22 am

Klaudandus wrote:It would also be nice if they would cut the salary of congresscritters -- and take their health benefits.

While not having looked up how much a member of congress is awarded in salary, I doubt that is a viable solution.
Remember, the countries with the lowest corruption are the ones paying a jhigh enough salary to parliamentarians, judges, policeofficers etc.
The pay has to be high enough that a bribe generally isn't worth the risk (the other half is having a penalty for taking a bribe that is big enough).

And the way I understand the political system in the US, bribery is pretty much legal through fundraising, soft money, PAC's and general 'benefits' - I don't think te salary needs to be lowered, unless you want more crooked politicians.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:06 am

Nooska wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:It would also be nice if they would cut the salary of congresscritters -- and take their health benefits.

While not having looked up how much a member of congress is awarded in salary, I doubt that is a viable solution.
Remember, the countries with the lowest corruption are the ones paying a jhigh enough salary to parliamentarians, judges, policeofficers etc.
The pay has to be high enough that a bribe generally isn't worth the risk (the other half is having a penalty for taking a bribe that is big enough).

And the way I understand the political system in the US, bribery is pretty much legal through fundraising, soft money, PAC's and general 'benefits' - I don't think te salary needs to be lowered, unless you want more crooked politicians.


Perhaps, but that hasnt stopped congress to get money from lobbyists for their campaigns and proclaim that their 150K a year is not enough salary for them, quickly forgetting that the avg household income is barely a tick over 50K, and that 1.5 million households live in extreme poverty, where they subsist on less than 2 dollars a day.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby aureon » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:28 pm

Klaudandus wrote:
Nooska wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:It would also be nice if they would cut the salary of congresscritters -- and take their health benefits.

While not having looked up how much a member of congress is awarded in salary, I doubt that is a viable solution.
Remember, the countries with the lowest corruption are the ones paying a jhigh enough salary to parliamentarians, judges, policeofficers etc.
The pay has to be high enough that a bribe generally isn't worth the risk (the other half is having a penalty for taking a bribe that is big enough).

And the way I understand the political system in the US, bribery is pretty much legal through fundraising, soft money, PAC's and general 'benefits' - I don't think te salary needs to be lowered, unless you want more crooked politicians.


Perhaps, but that hasnt stopped congress to get money from lobbyists for their campaigns and proclaim that their 150K a year is not enough salary for them, quickly forgetting that the avg household income is barely a tick over 50K, and that 1.5 million households live in extreme poverty, where they subsist on less than 2 dollars a day.


Cutting back on 2000 people's 150/yr won't save 1.5 million households, though.

Reducing politician pay is good for morale, and nothing else - the numbers are way too small to matter.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:40 pm

Maybe so, but still.

I mean, there should be no reason to be a career politician? There's been some senators that have been in congress for longer than I've been alive.

I don't expect those to be in touch with what their constituents actually want or need.

Seriously, there is no need for NY/DC to have suffered through 42+ years of Charlie Rangel, if you know what I mean.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Snake-Aes » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:17 am

Nooska wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:It would also be nice if they would cut the salary of congresscritters -- and take their health benefits.

While not having looked up how much a member of congress is awarded in salary, I doubt that is a viable solution.
Remember, the countries with the lowest corruption are the ones paying a jhigh enough salary to parliamentarians, judges, policeofficers etc.
The pay has to be high enough that a bribe generally isn't worth the risk (the other half is having a penalty for taking a bribe that is big enough).

And the way I understand the political system in the US, bribery is pretty much legal through fundraising, soft money, PAC's and general 'benefits' - I don't think te salary needs to be lowered, unless you want more crooked politicians.
That's just half the problem. See Brazil, for example. Their pay is pretty damn high, and it's one of the most corrupt ones.
They can get away with crazy stuff easily, like raising their own paychecks.
Their bribes generally are on the 8 figures, and they steal money through overbudgets and facade companies all the time.
They don't fear going to jail, because by and large they don't. When a scandal big enough to drop their mandates pops up they just resign and come back a couple years later, because here if they resign they can't be punished.


So, yeah. High paychecks is fine, but they have to show SOME interest in actually doing some good, fear the consequences of anything they do wrong, and feel a gun on their heads 24/7.
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Only this week the congress finally voted to revoke his right to working in a public station. Yes, his mandate was still active. They didn't revoke his mandate.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:49 am

Snake-Aes wrote:
Nooska wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:It would also be nice if they would cut the salary of congresscritters -- and take their health benefits.

While not having looked up how much a member of congress is awarded in salary, I doubt that is a viable solution.
Remember, the countries with the lowest corruption are the ones paying a jhigh enough salary to parliamentarians, judges, policeofficers etc.
The pay has to be high enough that a bribe generally isn't worth the risk (the other half is having a penalty for taking a bribe that is big enough).

And the way I understand the political system in the US, bribery is pretty much legal through fundraising, soft money, PAC's and general 'benefits' - I don't think te salary needs to be lowered, unless you want more crooked politicians.
That's just half the problem. See Brazil, for example. Their pay is pretty damn high, and it's one of the most corrupt ones.
They can get away with crazy stuff easily, like raising their own paychecks.
Their bribes generally are on the 8 figures, and they steal money through overbudgets and facade companies all the time.
They don't fear going to jail, because by and large they don't. When a scandal big enough to drop their mandates pops up they just resign and come back a couple years later, because here if they resign they can't be punished.


The highlighted portion is the problem here; as I said, it has to be 2-fold.
1) High enough salary that you don't need to take bribes
2) punishment severe enough that taking the bribe isn't worth it (because you would, amongst other things, lose that salary thats enough that you didn't need to take the bribe anyway)

As for politicians raising their own saleries - well, yeah, thats pretty much the only way salaries of politicians can be managed (on a national / parliamentary level) in a democratic system - I meean noone is above or equal to the politicians on that level, so who would decide their salary otherwise?


Also (generally, stopped reponding here), please don't underestimate the amount of work being a politician is (in most countries). They geenrally have hours that are far longer than median / average work hours - and anyone working similar hours gets a lot higher pay generally.
Add to that that a lot of politicians are (were) from professions that have a higher than median income to begin with, and it reallly isn't the money keeping them in the seats.

In the US, the electoral system is a part of the "problem" of career politicians, because while true, the quote from West Wing ("And when it comes down to it there ARE term limits - they are called elections") isn't really accurate, as its not the elections that decide who gets to be the representative in many cases, but the ability of the opposition to mount a proper challenge candidate and/or the distribution of selfidentifying voters of one party or another (it would take a pretty big thing to make a candidate from party X lose in a predominantly X party district).
That is also to say that general ignorance of politics (or uniterestedness in same) is a problem (not just the US, but the western world generally).
What is simialr between parties is often so much more than what seperates them - ad I think I've said before; out of the current 8 parties in the danish parliament, only 1 wants to dismantle the welfare state - the rest just disagree on how big it should be, or where it should focus the most amount of effort (and who should benefit).
The smae indication is true in most other western countries (not specifically the welfare satate) - we have ad our "freedom" or "democracy" (or whichever word you want to use as a label) long enough that what we discuss politically, generally isn't fundamental, principled or even impactful - compared to us actually having a say in what goes on at all.

When was the last time you saw demonstrations in favor of a politician that either lost or was deposed/forced to resign (deposing is quite rare, after all) (in the western world) rather than accept it and move on with our own lives?
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