Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:18 pm

I'd honestly expect a complete re-vote of either or both the Chambers.

I mean at this point, your government has already all but fallen, and is simply limping on until it gets recycled, and a new balance can be found. Might has well spare the pain and get that recycle right now.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:38 am

Skye1013 wrote:@Klaudandus: the reply from Kingston was severely disappointing...


It was so lame indeed.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:24 am

http://gawker.com/joe-lhota-doesnt-want ... 1446023260
“I am pro-choice; they are not. I am pro-gay rights as well as marriage equality; they are not. I have been outspoken about these issues over and over again."

"Do not lump me with the national Republicans. It’s unbecoming.”


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

Postby cdan » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:47 am

Just reinforces the problem the GOP have - they don't represent traditional Republican values anymore. They've turned hard right and exited reality.

A lot of the traditional small government / local control policies make a lot of sense in the US, but their policy shifts towards the religious right when Reagan came in and now their massive jump even further since the tea party got involved in the primary process has basically made them unsupportable to people who counted themselves Republicans for years.

The Democrats are getting a significant amount of support from people who seem them as the least irrational choice. Which is hardly a ringing endorsement.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:31 am

Skye1013 wrote:
Firstly, just wanted to correct you slightly in that it's one-third that goes up for election each time.

Secondly, are you suggesting a revote of all of Congress or strictly those determined to be causing the issue? I'd think to be fair, you'd have to hold a complete revote, but perhaps allow the incumbents a chance to keep their seats. If the public decides that certain members are the problem, they'll get booted by popular vote (theoretically.)


Thanks for the correction, - House members are elected for.. 6 years and with elections every other year then?
Senate, iirc are for 6 years? (2 from each state, alternating?)

I would let the petitioner point to either house or senate or both.
I would let POTUS, Senate majority (by vote, not by party) and house majority (by vote, not by party) seperately have the right to petition SCOTUS to approve early elections.
And yes, I would require that the entire hourse or senate be put on early election - with 2 (or 3 or however the rotation is figured out, by your correction I have not fully understood it yet*) different term lengths to be voted for - either by ticket (each district having a ticket with 2 or 3* names on it) or by individual vote (X votes, X being the number to elect) and the X candidates with majority votes get elected for the terms in order of longest to shortest.

It would be an electoral upset in regards to how the house and/or senate was put together, but the US system (and where it has been exported to) are about the only democratic (or republican) systems in the world that doesn't allow for early elections.

The European systems (be they westminster or not) universally (I believe) have a system for early elections. Some places parliamentarism has caused that system to not work the way it was intentioned, but work nonetheless (when the prime/state minister is chosen by parliamentary majority, the early elections become just a political tool, as opposed to when prime/state minister (and other ministers) were chosen by the head of state (many european countries beiing monarchies still) as a check to the peoples representatives, being able to "poll the will of the people" as such, to see if the elected members of parliament were still representative of the peoples will in certain matters, and apart from that the responsibility to schedule elections at appropriate intervals.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:38 am

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:48 am

http://www.spiegel.de/international/wor ... 28817.html

The US surveillance of politicians in Mexico and Brazil is not a one-off. Internal documents show these countries' leaders represent important monitoring targets for the NSA, with both Mexico and Brazil ranking among the nations high on an April 2013 list that enumerates the US' surveillance priorities. That list, classified as "secret," was authorized by the White House and "presidentially approved," according to internal NSA documents.

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:30 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:47 am

Update on the municipal elections, as requested.

Spent the night hanging posters. Met at 10 pm to distribute posters to the 2 cars that didn't have them already (me driving one), then on to the local party's "room" (political parties are associations by definition, and since they fall under the "people enlightenment law" (it isn't as communist as it sounds, quite the opposite), the municipality is required (by law) to furnish rooms for activities), sitting around with "the team" (9 people all together) planning where to go first, and having fun reminiscing over previous poster hanging nights.

The posters are allowed to go up from midnight, so at 11.30 pm (circa) we split up and go to oure respective parts of the city (it has 3 distinct areas - its made up of 2 centuries old villages, and a 'new' village thats sprung up near the beachside, and almost all the farmland has been converted to housing).
From midnight till about 5 am I was busy with 1 other person in our district (the one where we both live, so we know the roads and places people walk and not just drive) hanging posters. Thankfully we had preprinted posters this year (printed directly on plastic boards) so they were light and easy to wrangle. The first hour we get up ~8 posters, the second maybe 10.
By 5 am we had hit an average of 18 posters / hour for a total of 88(climbing lighting poles, making sure they stay etc). Posters have to be at least 7½ feet off the ground, and we want them higher than that.

I have to say I was shocked at how many posters went up between 1 am and 5 am (in general) - at midnight we saw 1 other party, hang 2 posters at the S-train station, where we also (more or less) started.

Home at 5:10 am, was kind enough to drive my teammate home, then write up where we had hung how many of each poster in an email to send to the other teams, so we all know where we have covered and how much, and then to bed.
I guess it was 6 before I fell asleep, and then I woke up, ready to get out of bed (well sort of) at 9 am.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:03 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_election

In 2011, there were at least 150 recall elections in the United States. Of these, 75 officials were recalled, and nine officials resigned under threat of recall. Recalls were held in 17 states in 73 different jurisdictions. Michigan had the most recalls (at least 30). The year set a record for number of state legislator recall elections (11 elections) beating with previous one-year high (three elections). Three jurisdictions adopted the recall in 2011.[8]


So yeah, let's get on that. The White House online petition page should work for this? There's precedent for recall elections, even in the senate.

Edit: linked for convenience
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:23 pm

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nsa-hacked-email-account-of-mexican-president-a-928817.html

The US surveillance of politicians in Mexico and Brazil is not a one-off. Internal documents show these countries' leaders represent important monitoring targets for the NSA, with both Mexico and Brazil ranking among the nations high on an April 2013 list that enumerates the US' surveillance priorities. That list, classified as "secret," was authorized by the White House and "presidentially approved," according to internal NSA documents.

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I'm stationed at the US Embassy in Berlin right now. Spiegel just released a piece alleging that the NSA has been bugging Angela Merkel's cell phone.

It has been a challenging week at work.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:33 pm

I believe Spiegel mentioned this had been happening since 2010. Part of the problem was the WH statement that they are not doing it right now nor they will in the future, but did not deny it doing it in the past.

It's like if a girl would ask me if I'm seeing someone else right now, I could say no and it would be true, in spite of, lets say, seeing a different girl the night before.

That said, the electronic surveillance is so incredibly easy to defeat, provided you want to put in the effort -- just look at General Van Riper's tactics in the Millenium Challenge 2002, where he defeated the opposing team by using non-electronic means of communication -- The judges of the war game had to rewrite the rules in order to restrict what Van Riper could and could not do in order to defeat him the 2nd time around.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:43 pm

Honestly, even as an E.U. citizen, I find all the hubhub a bit depressing, but not why most would expect.

There's no way any serious official would be candid enough believe because we're "allies" with someone, they won't take any fast and safe tricks to gather intel on me. That might work in the lower rungs of us common plebes, but not that high...

And second, I have no faith that secret services in Europe aren't doing the same thing when some U.S. leak pops up, let alone when another E.U. country leak pops up.

And third, I'm wondering who they are trying to convince with the drama act. "Booh, you bad bad U.S. people, spying on people and all that! Bad!" More like "Welp, we screwed up in our security, we'll try and shore up the leak.", but hey, politics and honesty, milk and orange juice!
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:10 am

Klaudandus wrote:That said, the electronic surveillance is so incredibly easy to defeat, provided you want to put in the effort -- just look at General Van Riper's tactics in the Millenium Challenge 2002, where he defeated the opposing team by using non-electronic means of communication -- The judges of the war game had to rewrite the rules in order to restrict what Van Riper could and could not do in order to defeat him the 2nd time around.


Yikes, that's an awesome/terryfying story. The bit about communications isn't the critical part, though - the important stuff seems to be that carriers can't dodge, can't take a hit (and their defenses can be saturated by low tech attacks) and that attacks are too reliant on electronic signatures to find targets (a carrier can't go dark, a cruise missile site doesn't need an electronic signature). Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002 (And a random angry blog post: http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php ... =35&PAGE=1)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:41 am

As a lower tier politician myself, I would be surprised (actually appalled) if the NSA was NOT trying to gather intelligence on world leader s(including allies) - the same goes for the european intelligence agencies.
I mean, we might be allies today, and we can't see any reason we wouldn't be tomorrow, but that IS after all the job of the intelligence agencies to know if something is up.

That there are diplomatic results when your spying on an ally is discovered also goes without saying (you shouldn't get caught with your hand in the cookie jar after all).

If I were to shine the spotlight one place in the Merkel tapping, I would point primarily at the german intelligence, who, I think, should be safeguarding this stuff and preventing tapping as far as possible.
How come the chancellor of one of the most influential european countries can have a regular cellphone without the IA saying its a problem?
Of course, if all she uses it for is personal calls an nonsecure discussions, fine, but she had better have a secured connection for anything sensitive, or the counter intelligence isn't doing its job.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:50 am

Nooska wrote:How come the chancellor of one of the most influential european countries can have a regular cellphone without the IA saying its a problem?
Of course, if all she uses it for is personal calls an nonsecure discussions, fine, but she had better have a secured connection for anything sensitive, or the counter intelligence isn't doing its job.


On that specific point, I'd go so far as saying NO regular phone. Period. I've seen enough so called "smart people" do dumb things to not imagine a chancellor using a non-secure phone "just this once" or to stupidly "spill the beans" during a private conversation.
These people aren't intelligence-trained. They're just as much of a risk as a non-secure phone.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:32 am

Of course people are spying each other, I'd expect no less. But the problem resides on how intrusive they are, and that they use it for things that are not in the interest of national security, but instead as a chip to be used on international trade agreements. At least that was according to Der Spiegel.

That's the reason why Brazil's president is so upset, because they had also tapped into Petrobras, infiltrating their network and tapping their CEO's phone line.

Snake-Aes would probably know more about this, since I don't really read O Globo on a daily basis, or really ever, unless there's a really good article that lands on my lap.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:43 am

Paxen wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:That said, the electronic surveillance is so incredibly easy to defeat, provided you want to put in the effort -- just look at General Van Riper's tactics in the Millenium Challenge 2002, where he defeated the opposing team by using non-electronic means of communication -- The judges of the war game had to rewrite the rules in order to restrict what Van Riper could and could not do in order to defeat him the 2nd time around.


Yikes, that's an awesome/terryfying story. The bit about communications isn't the critical part, though - the important stuff seems to be that carriers can't dodge, can't take a hit (and their defenses can be saturated by low tech attacks) and that attacks are too reliant on electronic signatures to find targets (a carrier can't go dark, a cruise missile site doesn't need an electronic signature). Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002 (And a random angry blog post: http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php ... =35&PAGE=1)


Yep. I know most people overlook the communications part, but not me. It shows what you can do when you don't rely on electronics. Heck, you can openly communicate on a CB radio and still defeat it provided you use something as simple as a Book Cipher. To make things interesting, you could probably have a set rotation of book ciphers. Takes a lot of effort, but without the context, the message is useless to anyone else that is on the wire listening to it.

Electronic encryption right now is meaningless seeing that the standard in use was compromised since its implementation.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:51 am

As bad as the US can be, at least we have yet to see the WH make threats to media venues like Cameron just did.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/o ... an-snowden
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:54 am

Hey Brekkie, I guess this article did't help -- http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 30205.html
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:58 am

Klaudandus wrote:As bad as the US can be, at least we have yet to see the WH make threats to media venues like Cameron just did.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/o ... an-snowden



So much for that... *facedesk*
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... government

The head of the embattled National Security Agency, Gen Keith Alexander, is accusing journalists of "selling" his agency's documents and is calling for an end to the steady stream of public disclosures of secrets snatched by former contractor Edward Snowden.

"I think it's wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000 – whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these – you know it just doesn't make sense," Alexander said in an interview with the Defense Department's "Armed With Science" blog.

"We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don't know how to do that. That's more of the courts and the policy-makers but, from my perspective, it's wrong to allow this to go on," the NSA director declared.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:39 am

The only thing I have to say about the whole NSA debacle is as follows:

If you are shocked, surprised, blindsided, etc... by the revelations about the NSA in recent history, you should be ashamed of yourself, unless you are over the age of 60, or under the age of 15.

Everyone else should have enough of a working knowledge of the technologically driven society in which we live, to have known that this was possible. And if it's possible, it's happening.

It doesn't make me fearful of the NSA, or the government. WE as a society voted to give them the power to do the things that they do. We did this over, and over, and over, since 9/11. We gave them the right to snoop.

No... That's not right. We didn't give it to them. We demanded it. In the same way you see those silly futurama memes
Image

But we weren't holding cash. We were holding our freedom. We did this. We created this monstrosity as a knee jerk reaction to the atrocities committed against our populace. If you didn't think that there would be a bleed over into other areas, and a push to stretch those laws / rights of the agency as far as they could, you haven't paid attention to how governments work throughout time.

Now, I'm not endorsing what has gone on. I'm not. And I'm not saying that I'm blameless. I was a knee jerk foaming mouthed fanatic screaming "DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN" right along with everyone else. But slowly, I came to realize just what it was that we were demanding with our incensed patriotic vengeance hunt, and preservation tactics.

And, unfortunately? I think it might be too late to close the box.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:47 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Hey Brekkie, I guess this article did't help -- http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 30205.html


No, it wasn't helpful, that's for sure.

It's not my place to comment on the substance of the article. A couple reactions to other things though:

-Who the heck is this "novelist and NSA expert" they dug up? Pretty sure he is talking completely out of his ass. If it was some retired intelligence agency professional, either NSA himself, or some other country equivalent that would presumably have inside knowledge on US practices, it would have some modicum of credibility. But I suppose no one like that would ever go on the record to Spiegel anyway, so instead they found some quack British dude to muddy the waters with ridiculous bullshit.

-Allegations that the US Embassy has has super secret squirrel sensors on the roof, along with fake walls and other hollywood nonsense, make no sense because the Embassy was built openly in plain sight in downtown Berlin. Unlike, may I add, the Reichtag Building (German Parliamentary building), which they put a huge sensor-proof tent over while they renovated it.

-For the record, the US and Germany do not have a mutual no-espionage treaty like the US has with Britain and other close allies. Neither does France. France in particular has been a huge hypocrite through this entire thing.

-Nor is Germany such a close ally as to make any potential surveillance surprising. Until very recently half of it was a communist dictatorship. Much of the planning for the 9/11 attacks took place in Germany, with aid from German citizens. An entire camp of Islamist fighters in Syria right now are all self-radicalized Germans (as covered by another recent Der Spiegel article). There are violent terrorist groups in Germany on both the left and the right extremes of the political spectrum. Germany's very lenient immigration laws have made it home to massive numbers of radical Islamists. In German Politics, if the current Grand Coalition goes through, the head of the successor party to the Communists will be the de facto leader of the opposition.

-Cracking down on US intelligence collection would hurt Germany, and the EU in general. For years, the EU has outsourced it's defense to the USA. They have slashed their defense budgets while America's defense spending has increased, knowing that they were protected under the NATO umbrella. In effect, billions and billions of dollars worth of European social programs were subsidized by the existence of excessive American military power.
The same holds true for intelligence services, though to a more variable extent. Germany in particular has been very hesitant to invest sufficiently in domestic intelligence collection post-reunification because of a justifiable sensitivity among German voters towards the concept of a police state (after all, they had to live through two of them). But you can no more have adequate defense without intelligence than you can without airplanes. So many EU countries have become increasingly reliant on just letting US agencies like the CIA and NSA do all the work, and then benefiting from the proceeds via intelligence-sharing agreements. Cancelling these intelligence-sharing agreements hurts Germany more than it hurts the US. The US will still have the CIA and the NSA. The German people would have an anemic and overwhelmed BFV.

-To me, these revelations serve no purpose. They make me feel less and less sympathy for Edward Snowden, and solidify him as almost certainly crossing the line of being a traitor, not a whistleblower. They endanger the passage of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership free-trade agreement, which sacrifices multiple percentage points of win-win annual GDP growth on either side of the pond for no reason.

I believe in the freedom of the press, but I do not believe they have the right to publish classified information that isn't clear examples of illegal activity or cover-ups. The press is ultimately unaccountable, and motivated by skewed incentives due to the pressure to sell papers. Who elected the New York Times? Who elected Der Spiegel or La Monde? Why should their editors sit on a pedestal to decide in their ultimate, unbiased wisdom what information "should" be released to the public and what shouldn't, all without the benefit of any context? If they make the wrong decision, we cannot throw them out of office.

Our lawfully elected government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, and is subject to that continued consent. All the activities of our intelligence agencies were conducted under the oversight of these elected officials. Notably, once they were made public, those elected officials STILL endorsed programs like PRISM. Disagree all you like, that is your right. But you do not have the right to sabotage the instruments of the lawfully elected government just because you personally don't like them.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:19 pm

Much is being made of the US Embassy's prime location in Berlin, implying that this was somehow a strategic choice to enable surveillance. This is ridiculous. The spot the US Embassy is on, except for the decades of the Cold War when the West German capitol was in Bonn, is the same spot the US Embassy has always stood ever since the days of the Prussians.
The original building there was vacated following the rise of the Nazis and WW2, and was destroyed during the siege of the city.

Not to mention, ALL the major embassies are located there! There is nothing special about the US's spot. The French are directly opposite us (right next to Der Spiegel's office I might add), in a building just as big. The Russians, Italians, and British are a single block away. The Canadians are down the street.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:08 pm

Fine. Spy all around, but don't claim you are doing it in the name of security when you're spying on economic targets instead like... Petrobras or the IMF and the World Bank.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/s ... -petrobras
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/ ... EQ20131031

It's like going to the strip club and claiming you go there to have intellectual discussions with the girls.
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