Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Kal » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:36 pm

Corporate personhood is a useful legal fiction, and it is protecting 1st amendment rights, but this is getting ridiculous. The law I'd like to see passed is a 28th amendment getting money out of politics, defining corporate personhood clearly and in a limited way, and defining money as property, not speech.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:52 pm

With our economic and government system, a law that removes money from politics is simply not possible. It can't be accomplished by a law when you have a group of less than 600 people that can control everything in an entire country of our size, population, and GDP. That's an amazing amount of power in the hands of an amazingly small number of people, and there is simply no way that that much power among so few people will not attract massive resources from people who want to influence it, whether it's legal or not. Ultimately, the money isn't the problem, but merely a symptom.

Also, I'm not sure defining money as property as opposed to speech would change anything, or that it even "defined" that way today. Paper isn't speech either, it's just a raw material (property), but when I right on it it's used to convey speech. That's essentially how money works. You can't really suggest that groups are allowed to speak about a candidate because that's "speech", but they aren't allowed to pay any money to create their speech (eg. a political ad) because money isn't "speech". That doesn't make any sense.

That would mean that only media outlets can "speak" on any reasonable scale (although even they still have use money to do it, so maybe not). Ironically, since they were already exempt from McCain-Feingold I guess by the "logic" in this thread, they were "Corporate Persons" even before Citizen's United. Of course, there wasn't a whole lot of gnashing of teeth about that...I wonder why.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Kal » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:38 am

If 34 of the state legislatures propose an amendment to the Constitution and 38 states ratify it, the federal governemnt cannot overrule it in any way. Check out Wolf-PAC.

Money is essentially an IOU being passed around, so that's the "logic" being used to define it as speech as I understand it, but I think that's very wrong. Money represents labor, a physical act. Money replaced the trading of goods, so we use money as we used to use physical goods, i.e. property. Under our current system, people with more money-as-speech have ridiculously more political power, and are able to use that power secretly, from anyone, to anyone, and in any amount. That is not democracy in the sense of 1 person, 1 vote. If we treat money as property, however, it becomes immediately offensive to the senses to give it 1st amendment rights.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:00 am

Kal wrote:If 34 of the state legislatures propose an amendment to the Constitution and 38 states ratify it, the federal governemnt cannot overrule it in any way. Check out Wolf-PAC.
I understand how to pass an amendment, but what would it say? How on earth could it work? It's simply not possible to create a law that removes money from politics, especially under our current systems.

Inasmuch as Wolf-PAC makes absolutely no attempt to remove money from politics, I'm not sure of its relevance. All it is trying to do is define which people under which context can spend their money on politics. Picking and choosing winners and losers, under a rather flawed algorithm.

Corporations may not be a person, but a corporation is merely a group of people. Would Wolf-PAC then outlaw political spending for all groups? Would Labor Unions have a voice, while corporations would not? What about religious groups and other non profit groups? What about their close ties to media, would media be exempted again? How does all that mash up against the freedom to associate?

Further, I would assume folks like the Greene family (Hobby Lobby), the Koch brother, George Soros, Warren Buffet, etc would still be allowed to use their massive wealth to spend on politics since they are individual people. So then the whole "corporate" limitation is merely a nuisance for all privately held companies, which can easily funnel the money through individuals. Further, it's hypocritical because Wolf-PAC still wants to exempt media organizations like The Young Turks with whom this is tightly associated, from spending all their money on politics like they do now. I guess they didn't like it when their exemption was rendered moot and the playing field was leveled. Go figure...

I it is interesting to me that the Wolf-PAC acknowledges that the Federal Gov't can't be trusted. I always have found it weird that some people who complain about corruption in gov't want it solved by having more gov't. Lets end the corruption by creating more laws to stop the corruption...It always seemed oxymoronic to me, but I digress.

Kal wrote:Money is essentially an IOU being passed around, so that's the "logic" being used to define it as speech as I understand it, but I think that's very wrong. Money represents labor, a physical act. Money replaced the trading of goods, so we use money as we used to use physical goods, i.e. property. Under our current system, people with more money-as-speech have ridiculously more political power, and are able to use that power secretly, from anyone, to anyone, and in any amount. That is not democracy in the sense of 1 person, 1 vote. If we treat money as property, however, it becomes immediately offensive to the senses to give it 1st amendment rights.
I think you are getting lost in the weeds over something that doesn't matter. Money is merely a resource. It's a difficult line to tell people that they can produce speech or expression, but can't use any resources to do it. It doesn't matter what label you want to put on it, it won't change anything culturally and certainly not legally.

As an aside, campaigns and PACs actually must disclose their contributors, it's not done in secret. That doesn't stop all of it, but quite a lot of it is fully disclosed. Of course campaigns are merely just a small part of "politics".
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Kal » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:31 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
Kal wrote:If 34 of the state legislatures propose an amendment to the Constitution and 38 states ratify it, the federal governemnt cannot overrule it in any way. Check out Wolf-PAC.
I understand how to pass an amendment, but what would it say? How on earth could it work? It's simply not possible to create a law that removes money from politics, especially under our current systems.

Inasmuch as Wolf-PAC makes absolutely no attempt to remove money from politics, I'm not sure of its relevance. All it is trying to do is define which people under which context can spend their money on politics. Picking and choosing winners and losers, under a rather flawed algorithm.

Corporations may not be a person, but a corporation is merely a group of people. Would Wolf-PAC then outlaw political spending for all groups? Would Labor Unions have a voice, while corporations would not? What about religious groups and other non profit groups? What about their close ties to media, would media be exempted again? How does all that mash up against the freedom to associate?

Further, I would assume folks like the Greene family (Hobby Lobby), the Koch brother, George Soros, Warren Buffet, etc would still be allowed to use their massive wealth to spend on politics since they are individual people. So then the whole "corporate" limitation is merely a nuisance for all privately held companies, which can easily funnel the money through individuals. Further, it's hypocritical because Wolf-PAC still wants to exempt media organizations like The Young Turks with whom this is tightly associated, from spending all their money on politics like they do now. I guess they didn't like it when their exemption was rendered moot and the playing field was leveled. Go figure...

I it is interesting to me that the Wolf-PAC acknowledges that the Federal Gov't can't be trusted. I always have found it weird that some people who complain about corruption in gov't want it solved by having more gov't. Lets end the corruption by creating more laws to stop the corruption...It always seemed oxymoronic to me, but I digress.

Kal wrote:Money is essentially an IOU being passed around, so that's the "logic" being used to define it as speech as I understand it, but I think that's very wrong. Money represents labor, a physical act. Money replaced the trading of goods, so we use money as we used to use physical goods, i.e. property. Under our current system, people with more money-as-speech have ridiculously more political power, and are able to use that power secretly, from anyone, to anyone, and in any amount. That is not democracy in the sense of 1 person, 1 vote. If we treat money as property, however, it becomes immediately offensive to the senses to give it 1st amendment rights.
I think you are getting lost in the weeds over something that doesn't matter. Money is merely a resource. It's a difficult line to tell people that they can produce speech or expression, but can't use any resources to do it. It doesn't matter what label you want to put on it, it won't change anything culturally and certainly not legally.

As an aside, campaigns and PACs actually must disclose their contributors, it's not done in secret. That doesn't stop all of it, but quite a lot of it is fully disclosed. Of course campaigns are merely just a small part of "politics".


And this is the post that let's me know I'm in the wrong place. I don't argue with stupid.

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:06 pm

Kal wrote:getting money out of politics


What does this even mean?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:35 am

fuzzygeek wrote:
Kal wrote:getting money out of politics


What does this even mean?



1. Enforce spending laws on campaigns. No more billion dollar campaign races against 2 presidential candidates.

2. Stop campaign spending from companies to politicians.

3. Higher inspection level of politician's finances and family's finances to ensure no corruption.

4. Actually enforce your laws.

5. Enact a tax-payer funded campaign system. weed out candidates with local elections etc, until you get to 5-6 candidates. Allow all candidates time on public television to debate their side. Stop attack advertisements.


These are just a few ideas and pretty well known ones. I'm sure that someone out there has a few more creative Ideas.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:12 pm

Aubade wrote:1. Enforce spending laws on campaigns. No more billion dollar campaign races against 2 presidential candidates.

2. Stop campaign spending from companies to politicians.

3. Higher inspection level of politician's finances and family's finances to ensure no corruption.

4. Actually enforce your laws.

5. Enact a tax-payer funded campaign system. weed out candidates with local elections etc, until you get to 5-6 candidates. Allow all candidates time on public television to debate their side. Stop attack advertisements.


These are just a few ideas and pretty well known ones. I'm sure that someone out there has a few more creative Ideas.

Those are some lofty but probably unattainable goals.

Stopping attack advertisements, for example - if your opponent blatantly lies to make himself look better in his ads, is it an attack to present the truth or do you simply have to let him get away with lying? If a news source points out those lies, can you tell if it is biased against him, or merely being accurate? What if it's Fox news?

Of those 5-6 candidates, what if 2-3 suddenly pull out of the race at the last minute and urge their supporters to vote for one guy? Seems like a good way to double or triple the campaign spending for that one guy. No real way to tell if it's legitimate or not.

Even if there were 5-6 candidates running, how many voters would give enough of a crap to bother seeing the differences between them? A choice between only two candidates is apparently so hard for people that they let their party affiliation decide - what are they going to do with even more? We're talking about a country that elected George W Bush - twice. As long as the devil hides his forked tongue, hooves, tail, and horns, he's a shoe-in on party votes.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:41 pm

1. How would this work? Candidates can only spend, say $5M. Once they've spent that much, they can no longer purchase air time or pay staffers? What kind of spending laws would you implement? What kind of spending laws *could* you implement? When the candidate hits their limit, what's to keep "private interest groups" from just paying for stuff? How could you stop it?

2. This looks tricky. It seems to be a big bugaboo, but if such things were made illegal another mechanism would be put into place that would do the same thing. If you make it so ABC Corp can't, say, help fund a commercial, what's to stop ABC Corp from just using a proxy to do so?

3. The odds of a politician actually proposing this law are ... I can't come up with an analogy miniscule enough. But I'd argue an "oversight" law like this would be good. But there's always going to be ways around this.

4. Which laws aren't being enforced now that would make an appreciable difference, you think?

5. This is tricky, and I'd argue it would just end up funneling more taxes into the pockets of politicians and the political machinery. Which means they'd probably looooove it.

Agree w/Kotanga re: attack ads. Some politician says something dumb. Opponent makes an ad out of it. Is it an attack ad, or just informative? What if it's not even something dumb, but Dude is on record voting for some piece of legislation. Is talking about Dude's vote an attack ad?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:24 pm

Since news used to be non-profit and is now profit-driven, why not require all networks to run 60 minutes per day of advertising, for free? They would have to split it up between all of the running candidates instead of allowing a network to endorse one over the other.

Asynchronous debates via youtube and social media would be a viable replacement for the current media debates, and with the benefit of allowing it to last for the entire campaign cycle. Benefit: it's absolutely free, so no campaign funding needed. It's also a way for ALL of the candidates in an election to get equal "talking time" as it were, and it would take away the gotcha aspect of debates, where candidates try to trick each other or trip each other up in some way.

Those two changes would take money out of the political campaign and be far more viable than the currently antiquated system that we've used pretty much forever. The best thing is, the changes (other than the nonprofit network unbiased advertisement thing) could be presented to politicians in a way that would make them salivate at the chance to do it that way.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:32 am

http://www.vox.com/2014/4/8/5594224/stu ... nservative

Whites afraid of being a minority? Why? Are minorities treated like second-class citizens?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Skye1013 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:55 am

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.vox.com/2014/4/8/5594224/study-white-americans-told-theyll-be-a-minority-become-more-conservative

Whites afraid of being a minority? Why? Are minorities treated like second-class citizens?

Minorities are icky and aren't able to hold seats in government and keep their stranglehold on all aspects of life... I mean, if whites were a minority we might end up with a black president...
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:07 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:56 pm

Speaking of politics take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalia_Poklonskaya

I am sure some of you may have heard of her but what you likely didn't hear is that she was only offered the job as top Crimean Prosecutor after five of her male colleague were too afraid to take it.

So here's a young woman with bigger balls then many of her male co-workers.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:08 pm

Whaddaya know, the NSA has been using the Heartbleed exploit for over two years.

The NSA: Keeping America safe, by exposing the entire global internet to a potentially catastrophic security vulnerability.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:35 pm

KysenMurrin wrote:Whaddaya know, the NSA has been using the Heartbleed exploit for over two years.

The NSA: Keeping America safe, by exposing the entire global internet to a potentially catastrophic security vulnerability.


Not surprised at all given this:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2082720/ ... versy.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/ ... C220131220
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:58 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Whites afraid of being a minority? Why? Are minorities treated like second-class citizens?


Well, yes?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:21 am

Paxen wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:Whites afraid of being a minority? Why? Are minorities treated like second-class citizens?


Well, yes?


It was a rhetorical question, in any case, who is the one treating them like second-class citizens?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:57 am

Klaudandus wrote:
Paxen wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:Whites afraid of being a minority? Why? Are minorities treated like second-class citizens?


Well, yes?


It was a rhetorical question, in any case, who is the one treating them like second-class citizens?


The minority in power.

Also, its rarely the majority that makes a caste system, its a minority in power, usually doing so to stay in power despite being a minority.
Power can be based on control of production, necessary basic resources or actual force of arms (amongst other things).
The slightly less targetted majority will then help enforce the castesystem on anyoneone lower than them, because it helps them have some better stuff.
Basic human psychology so far.

Whats interesting is when we rise above it, when we don't perpetuate the basic way of doing stuff, but decide to rise above our own wants and needs and put the wants and needs of one or more others ahead of our own.

(apologies for the philosophical views, I'm in that sort of political mood lately)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:02 pm

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/2014-pulitz ... velations/

I am perfectly ok with this. (Others might be not, of course)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby econ21 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:48 pm

Io.Draco wrote:I am sure some of you may have heard of her but what you likely didn't hear is that she was only offered the job as top Crimean Prosecutor after five of her male colleague were too afraid to take it.


Afraid? Of what exactly? Being one of Putin's running dogs? That's not exactly a dangerous stance to take in Putin's Crimea. If she had pointed out the illegality of Putin's annexation or stood up to his goons like the unarmed Ukrainian solders in Crimea, I'd regard her as brave. To acquiesce to it as a person supposed to uphold the laws of Ukraine, not so much.

So here's a young woman with bigger balls then many of her male co-workers.


Quite the contrary. I'm impressed that five Crimean lawmakers turned down Putin's gold before she took it. That's what took balls. And it suggests how over-hyped Crimea's affection for its annexation may be, at least among professionals.

BTW, it's quite pathetic how a pretty face can attract such unwarranted internet attention.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:02 am

Afraid? Of what exactly?


Being branded a criminal by Ukraine when the far right has large power in the west? Perhaps being branded a criminal and put on a sanctions list by the west as well. Also it takes courage to speak out on the illegal coup ( and since you care so much about laws then I'd like to know how overthrowing Yanukovich and then dismissing him without a two thirds majority in parliament as the law requires is legal. ) as she did long before Russia intervened in Crimea.

If she had pointed out the illegality of Putin's annexation or stood up to his goons like the unarmed Ukrainian solders in Crimea, I'd regard her as brave. To acquiesce to it as a person supposed to uphold the laws of Ukraine, not so much.


Illegality by whose laws exactly? Ukraine where the law is being spat and shat on by everyone Kiev at the moment, not that it hasn't been like this for the last two decades.

Illegality by UN laws? Laughable. The UN is a glorified meeting hall for diplomats of various countries. There is no international law since no one can enforce it on any country unless countries use political/military/economic force. As it goes with the west so it goes with Russia.

I'm impressed that five Crimean lawmakers turned down Putin's gold before she took it.


Yeah Impressive thing isn't. A bunch of cowardly dogs afraid of being cast in the spotlight.

And it suggests how over-hyped Crimea's affection for its annexation may be, at least among professionals.


You mean those already living comfortable lives with no worry in the world. Ukraine is the poorest countryin Eurpe right now ( how one can beat Moldova is beyond me but they did it ). When you however look at Crimea you see a part of the country which has been underdeveloped for the last 24 years and with large economic issues. Russia, for all it's economic faults has a growing economy, average salaries that are three-four times as high as in Ukraine and a government that promised the Crimeans economic development in the region.

Indeed one of the first things that was done following the takeover was granting Crimea special tax status in Russia along with bills signed that will pour tens of millions in the region. The public support among the masses comes down to simple economics. People want a better life and being part of Russia would offer them that.

Oh but what of the EU, you might ask. Being part of the EU or having closer ties does not lead to higher quality of life. Oh sure businesses might profit from it but the average person? Not so much.

My country, Romania, has been part of the EU for seven years and salaries have not seen any real increase. There was a point where they could have before they were cut by a substantial amount ( 25% ) by the Government. The average salary of most people is around 300 EUROs, or less, and that in itself is not the issue because average salary only matter in relation to prices....prices that are standard across the EU.

We have the same prices for a great of deal of our food as the rest of the EU. Same prices for electronics, appliances etc and only slightly lower prices for utility bills. In contrast a country like Russia has substantially lower prices then we do and they have close to double the average age. For fuck sake even Belarus has higher wages....BELARUS with it's dictator leader.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:15 am

Having been an EU member for the past 7 years doesn't mean much in that regard - in case you missed it there has been a global financial crisis for 6 of those 7 years which is not yet completely over.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:52 am

A crisis which continues, the EU still has large difficulties in countries like Spain, Italy, Greece and even France and the UK. There are few countries which experience growth and even then it's only marginal growth. My point is that closer ties with the EU or even joining the EU is not a God sent miracle that will significantly improve quality of life. There's an illusion of that in a lot of countries that are not part of the west but I think it's safe to say that a lot of us that are part of the west don't find that to be true.

At the moment in Crimea wages for state workers as well as pensions have increased by two, three times what they were before while prices have only been increased by a mild amount ( although that's temporary until Russia manages to get things sorted ). The only people suffering are private workers...since it's going to take more for them to get stuff worked out.

Corrupt authorities have been replaced by more competent ones: Certainly there is corruption and incompetence in State Institutions in Russia, but it sure as shit doesn't compare to Ukraine.

In mainland Ukraine: Prices for everything have increased as the national currency has lost a great deal of it's value while salaries and pensions are starting to be cut. Russia might be blamed for increased gas prices, not that Kiev has paid Russia a cent since it all began, but it can't be blamed for higher costs on everything else and decreased wages.

When the the myth of "Western Salvation" is finally debunked in Ukraine and people start struggling to survive then you will see the country fall apart. Russia isn't helping it, but why should they? They offered Ukraine large subsidies in gas, a 15 billion loan without the strings attached that come from an IMF one ( Austerity measures ) and what happened? Western Ukraine spat on them instead preferring to beg the EU for help.

We'll see how far the EU can help without provoking large scale protests in the EU capitals: Seriously 15 billion Euro given to fucking Ukraine when we struggle with three major countries here and have large economic issues? Fuck off I say.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby econ21 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:01 pm

Io.Draco wrote:Being branded a criminal by Ukraine when the far right has large power in the west?


Yes, I am sure Ukraine is going to invade Crimea and arrest her.

Perhaps being branded a criminal and put on a sanctions list by the west as well.


Of course, I am sure a 34 year old prosecutor will be added to the targeted sanctions and must be trembling at the loss of her Swiss bank accounts.

Also it takes courage to speak out on the illegal coup


No, it looks like 1/3 of the country has no problem speaking out against it. To speak out in favour of Kiev would have been the brave thing to do in Crimea, given that so many of the people there are pro-Russian.

At the moment in Crimea wages for state workers as well as pensions have increased by two, three times what they were before...


So she's not being brave, she's just being bought?

( and since you care so much about laws then I'd like to know how overthrowing Yanukovich and then dismissing him without a two thirds majority in parliament as the law requires is legal. )


Actually, I think we probably agree on this. I'm not keen on popular movements trying to overthrow democratically elected governments - whether in Egypt, Thailand, Venezula or Ukraine. The current international trend towards this is very concerning - it's very destructive of constitutional politics and tends to result in authoritarian strongmen emerging. Much better if possible to wait for the next elections. That said, Yanukovich was apparently very corrupt (i.e. illegal and illegitimate) and repressive.

Illegality by whose laws exactly?


International law. Invading weak neighbours to annex their territory is so 19th century.

Illegality by UN laws? Laughable. The UN is a glorified meeting hall for diplomats of various countries.


Jaw-jaw is better than war-war.

Russia, for all it's economic faults has a growing economy, ....


Forecast close to zero growth this year though - perhaps due to the current adventurism.

My country, Romania, has been part of the EU for seven years and salaries have not seen any real increase.


Cry me a river. My country, the UK, has not done any better. And it's nothing to do with the EU, btw. The global financial crisis of 2008 - the hint is in the name - started in that well known EU state, the USA. I cannot conceive of how leaving the EU - my country's major trading partner - would have made it any easier for the UK to cope with the aftermath. Ditto Romania (I think you avoided joining the Eurozone, which is probably constraining some EU economies such as Greece, which probably have not done well out of the EU).
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