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Re: Election 2012

Postby Jabari » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:55 pm

Fivelives wrote:Jabari, I don't think we're really at that point yet. Of course we expect our representatives to do things that benefit us - that's why they (nominally) represent us.

Hmm, I guess I prefer to expect that they represent our views (i.e., for me, balanced budget, restoring freedom (particularly the 4th), prosecute the financial fraudsters). I've no interest in hoping that the Rep can get megabucks for state parks and such - hardly fair of me to (expect to) steal Fridmarr's cash to go toward the Grand Canyon. *shrug*

Jabari wrote:The only thing that can save us at this point is to enact a law that says something on the order of "Any person that is a net-negative contributor to the public treasury is not allowed to vote."


Fivelives wrote:That's an interesting idea, actually. You mention that active duty military (and I'd probably add disabled veterans that are drawing lifelong pensions) should be exempt, but what about other non-taxpayers such as clergymen?

(Disclaimer: I have no idea how taxes currently work in such cases)
As long as they weren't taking direct benefits (foodstamps, section-8, etc), and they didn't get refunded more than they put in, then "zero" is not a negative number so they'd be ok. Similar cases for students (grants = benefit, loans aren't as they need to be paid back at interest), etc.

It'd certainly be a logistical nightmare in practice, but the idea is to not allow the leeches to vote for more blood, basically.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:05 pm

Fivelives wrote:I disagree - I don't think it's possible at all for people to get past asking "how does this benefit me". We're selfish, and that's part of human nature. Always has been, always will be.
I think it's much worse now than ever before, it's systemic at this point. However, it can also be made apparent that such decisions are not in your best long term interest, and people can make that adjustment. The environmental movement exists almost exclusively on that notion, and it's a powerful movement.

No one said low voter turn out wasn't because of voter apathy, we were referring to their reelection rate despite their approval rating not just being caused by apathy.

Jabari, keep in mind, not paying income tax doesn't equate to not paying taxes. That said, I do think it's problematic that we're near a majority of people not paying income tax at all. However, the notion of requiring someone to be tax positive in order to vote is pretty difficult for me to swallow. I'm not even sure what a fair way to calculate that would be, annually, for life, total amount paid in...I mean it's a pretty deep jar of flies. I totally get the big conflict of interest we have with gov't employees and the real problems that has caused and will continue to cause, but I don't think removing their right to vote is the answer.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Jabari » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:29 pm

Fridmarr wrote:... but I don't think removing their right to vote is the answer.


Please remember, we (theoretically) are a Republic, not a Democracy.

As weird/harsh as this is going to sound, there is no such thing as a right to vote. Voting is a privilege in a Republic.

You have exactly 3 "rights":
- Life.
- Liberty.
- The pursuit of (but not guarantee of) happiness.

We've lost a great deal of the second (NDAA? TSA? Federal SWAT raids on small dairy farms?), and completely confused the third to think it's a guarantee. The first is mostly there still, but it's even slowly starting to slip away.

I certainly don't claim to have all the answers. *shrug* I just know that if I had all the waste and fraud and stupidity at home that is in the public sector, my wife would take every knife in the drawer and kill me 50 times over for it. Then we have a 90% re-election rate. That's just ... depressing.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:43 pm

That's totally not true. First, those are from the Declaration of Independence which doesn't have legal standing (it was also saying that they were innate human rights (inalienable) at a bit of a different level than the sorts enumerated in the constitution like free speech and all that). Secondly, the constitution codifies direct election of senators by popular vote (meaning we absolutely have a RIGHT to vote) among other amendments. Third, the constitution deems other electoral power to the states, who in turn via their own constitutions have granted various right(s) to vote to the people. We are a constitutional republic and those constitutions have enumerated voting as a right of the people for many situations.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:19 pm

Quick question... when it comes to voting for members of Congress... how often is it a two-party "race" (I use that term loosely, since most often it's the incumbent that wins) vs having third-party candidates on the ticket?

People say that voting for a third-party for president would be a "wasted" vote, but if it became popular enough, couldn't the 3% of voters that opted for the third-party candidate effectively "highjack" a congressional election, due to low voter turn-out for most of those anyway?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:28 pm

I think there are four independents currently in congress. Though that doesn't always mean they ran as independent, and then you have guys like Lieberman who was a democrat with a conservative foreign policy mindset, and popular enough to be Gore's running mate in 2000. He actually lost the democratic party primary, but still won the general election as an independent. Obviously, he's more closely aligned with the democrats.

I'm not sure how many non Reps/Dems have had a viable shot lately... I think it's generally a two party race with a few exceptions scattered in.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:59 pm

Jabari wrote:As weird/harsh as this is going to sound, there is no such thing as a right to vote. Voting is a privilege in a Republic.


The 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments to the Constitution beg to differ. We do have a right to vote, not a privilege. Although I can see where the argument could be made, considering that certain rights are stripped away from people (like felons). That might make it seem like it's a privilege, but really it isn't.

How much do you think things would change if America did get off its collective ass and elect a mostly independent congress? And I kinda liked Lieberman. I was hoping for a McCain/Lieberman ticket in '08 and instead got McCain/Palin. Blech.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:27 pm

Fivelives wrote:
Jabari wrote:As weird/harsh as this is going to sound, there is no such thing as a right to vote. Voting is a privilege in a Republic.


The 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments to the Constitution beg to differ. We do have a right to vote, not a privilege. Although I can see where the argument could be made, considering that certain rights are stripped away from people (like felons). That might make it seem like it's a privilege, but really it isn't.

How much do you think things would change if America did get off its collective ass and elect a mostly independent congress? And I kinda liked Lieberman. I was hoping for a McCain/Lieberman ticket in '08 and instead got McCain/Palin. Blech.

The 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th amendments are just that - amendments. They can be repealed just like any other amendment. Is it likely to happen? No. Can it theoretically happen? Yes.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:39 pm

Yes, but each of those amendments specifically states "right to vote." Nothing about "voting privilege."
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:39 pm

Skye1013 wrote:Yes, but each of those amendments specifically states "right to vote." Nothing about "voting privilege."

And yet in this document there is no mention of a right to vote:

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charte ... cript.html

If you do a search in that document on the word "vote", you will not find it in relation to the common man. It talks about senators voting, and representatives, and electors, but never the general population.

Here is the bit on electing the President:

The US Constitution wrote:Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President...


As you see, there is no mention at all of the general population having any influence on the appointment of Electors, or for whom the Electors cast their votes. There is nothing in there to indicate the common man would cast a vote for the President at all.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:46 pm

I don't understand why you are trying to separate out the amendments, they are part of the constitution. There's nothing in the constitution that can't be repealed through an amendment either.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:47 pm

Do a search for the word "right" in that document... it only comes up once:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries
Because it doesn't include the Bill of Rights.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:59 pm

Fridmarr wrote:There's nothing in the constitution that can't be repealed through an amendment either.

While this is true, that doesn't mean they aren't rights acknowledged/granted by the government.

It'd be like saying the rules of your guild aren't really rules because they could be changed at any time...
"me no gay, me friends gay, me no like you call me gay, you dumb dumb" -bldavis
"Here are the values that I stand for: I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you wanna be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That’s what I stand for." -Ellen Degeneres
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:02 pm

Skye1013 wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:There's nothing in the constitution that can't be repealed through an amendment either.

While this is true, that doesn't mean they aren't rights acknowledged/granted by the government.

It'd be like saying the rules of your guild aren't really rules because they could be changed at any time...

...yes that was my point. There is no difference in legal standing between the constitution and its amendments, so no reason to treat them separately.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Jabari » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:41 am

I apologize for not responding in a while, haven't had the time. Today's events have made me extremely angry, however, and I need to vent a bit...

First, I overdid it with the "right/privilege" to vote - the later amendments certainly have made it a right. That wasn't the original intent (something like only White Male Landowners could - obviously too restrictive, but it was a privilege at the time). *shrug*

Fridmarr wrote:First, those are from the Declaration of Independence which doesn't have legal standing (it was also saying that they were innate human rights (inalienable) at a bit of a different level than the sorts enumerated in the constitution like free speech and all that).

The DoI is probably the best political document ever written. The Constitution would have some value, but the first ten words of Article 1, Section 8 pretty much destroy any good it could have done. (I've heard it said that the whole POINT of the Constitution is to distract you from those ten words. Cynical, maybe, but it certainly rings true today...)

Fridmarr wrote:Secondly, the constitution codifies direct election of senators by popular vote...

The 17th Amendment is one of the worst mistakes ever, BTW. (Senators were initially elected by the state's legislatures).

Fridmarr wrote:I'm not sure how many non Reps/Dems have had a viable shot lately... I think it's generally a two party race with a few exceptions scattered in.

As an example for the coming (hopefully) election, follow people like:
- Calen Fretts (http://frettsforcongress.com/)
- Kerry Bentivolio (http://bentivolioforcongress.com/)

Fretts is on the ballot as an independent. Bentivolio is an "R" challenging the incumbent. Do either of them really have a realistic shot? No, probably not.


Now to the venting:
The Constitution died today. It's been in its death throes for quite a while now, but we have official date of death.

If you read the ruling, they're saying that PPACA is "unconstitutional on the surface, but since it's a tax it's fine" (basically). The first ten words of A1S8 strike again.

1) I hope that all of you with company-provided insurance have a backup plan. Your cost is likely to immediately jump by 50% or more - companies can't absorb the cost of this. You're also likely to get dropped sooner or later - it's far cheaper for most companies to pay the fine under PPACA than to pay for the insurance. (Companies have the fiduciary duty to their stockholders to do this if it's cheaper.)

2) My advice based on #1: Get yourself into the best physical shape you can. Eat better, exercise more. "Health care" is going to be rationed as a consequence of this (might take a while, but it'll get there), so do the best you can to stay out of the system.

3) There is nothing, NOTHING, our government can't force us to do now. Whatever they tell us to do with our money is a 'tax'. Electric Car mandate? "Just a tax". Outlaw gun ownership? "Oh, that's simply a $2M/year tax for each gun, nothing more." RFID implants? "Just a tax." Selling your firstborn into slavery? "Just a tax."

4) Voting for "team red" or "team blue" to "get the correct people on the Supreme Court" is now shown to the be farce it's always been.

5) And back to the original discussion: As far as 2012, do you really think that Mitt RomneyCare is really against this? Voting is useless. "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."

:evil: :evil: :evil:
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