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  Topic: Presidential Politics & Antievolution, Tracking the issue< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 06 2008,16:55   

Quote (csadams @ Sep. 04 2008,17:43)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 04 2008,19:28)
Full screed:

 
Quote
Posted by: DaveScot | September 4, 2008 5:49 PM

You finally got one right, PZ. This IS how you will lose.

Even totally united behind Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 you couldn't beat a dumbass draft dodging reborn alcoholic George "Shrub" Bush and his snake-oil sidekick Dick Cheney of all people. That's pretty pathetic. This round you've got an even worse candidate that half of your own party thinks stole the nomination by cheating and dirty politics. Your party is shattered up the middle and you have the worst candidate in all the decades I've been paying attention. I knew Jack Kennedy and your nominee, PZ, is no Jack Kennedy.

Now the culture war is still on, the players are all the same on both sides, except this time we have an honest-to-God centrist war hero, even if he is an elitist beltway insider, and a little unheard of cutie, obviously a political savant, who in 30 minutes won the hearts and minds of every heretofore apathetic God fearing blue collar flyover family all across the nation and made them start caring about who wins this election not to mention is stealing a lot of the Hillary voters who wanted nothing more than a woman in the Whitehouse. If McCain wins then Palin, sooner or later, is going to become the first woman president of the United States as by the time she's up for election to the top spot there won't be any question of lack of experience. You are basically looking at teh American Margaret Thatcher. Get used to her. She's going to be in your face for the next 16 years. It's all over except for the tears and anger from your side that you were fucked yet again. Write that down.

Is this the same Dave from 2005 who predicted  
Quote
Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. Of course the ACLU will appeal. This won’t be over until it gets to the Supreme Court. But now we own that too.

 
???

Sounds like Bitter Old Dave's blogging while drunk. You'd think past experience would have taught him the folly of that.

Well, if Dave "we own that now, too" Springer is convinced that Mama Mooseburger is going to be in the White House for 16 years, I feel much better now.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 06 2008,17:03   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Sep. 06 2008,12:22)
Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 06 2008,11:54)
This seems like the right place to ask this question.

I'm trying to find a suitable moniker for the Republicans' Happy Couple. The need for this struck me as I was looking at PTET's excellent, sneering coverage of it all.

"Captain Geritol and Polar Barbie"?
"ditto and Igloo Barbie"?
"Fossil Man and Gospel Mama"?
"President POW and The Moose-Meat MILF"?

Your thoughts (FTK, it's in the dictionary)  and suggestions, please.

I've heard "the maverick and the milf", but that gives them both too much credit.

I'm partial to "the flyboy and the flake" meself.

I like Flyboy and The Flake.

AND STAY OFF OF THEIR LAWNS !!!&^%$

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 06 2008,17:16   

i don't see much rational thought from either 'side' of this circus.  a pox on all their houses.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 06 2008,17:44   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Sep. 06 2008,17:16)
i don't see much rational thought from either 'side' of this circus.  a pox on all their houses.

Indeed.  The 2000 spectacle of Democrats arguing for, and Republicans against, state's rights told me everything I needed to know about politics. Internal consistency is the first victim in the quest for power.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 06 2008,19:19   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 06 2008,17:16)
i don't see much rational thought from either 'side' of this circus.  a pox on all their houses.

I never got the American polarised politics anyway. That 2-party system (well technically speaking, it's not) only seems to evoke loads of bile and pure hate and not a fruitfull discussion on how to make your country a better place to live.
When I watch American politics, it looks like almost like an educated "yo momma" battle instead of "My plans are better then yours, and here's why." All the attention goes to the next grand speech from Obama, or the next add from McCain. But where are the discussions about the issues? Where are the economists discussing with eachother instead of the same old chatter about crap that in the end won't matter anyway. I'm still waiting for the facts, thát's usefull.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 06 2008,21:25   

assassinator do you have a better plan?  say the world was your oyster, how ought we live?

i've often wondered what the axioms are that people work from that results in the conclusion that 'democracy is the best form of government' etc etc.  how do you get from 'I eat when I am hungry and sleep when I am tired' to 'We need a stronger national defense system' or 'Everyone has equal rights' etc.  Methinks there is a scam afoot but I'm not sure where it originated.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,07:03   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Sep. 06 2008,18:16)
i don't see much rational thought from either 'side' of this circus.  a pox on all their houses.

I posted this on the UD2 thread, but it's appropriate here:

Fatalistic cynicism and secession of our responsibility to participate knowledgeably in both the educational system and the electoral system is what brought this country to its knees.

We stand eyeball to eyeball with theocracy precisely because of attitudes just like that.

Now we each have a choice. We can either take up the mantle of that responsibility once again and expend great effort to drag this country and the world back toward the ideals of the Enlightenment, or we can capitulate to the rip tide of religious fundamentalism and drown in an ocean of ignorance.

It's true that voting for the current Democratic candidate is not swimming directly to shore, 'Ras. But like a swimmer caught in a rip current, it's just not possible to reach the shore that way. Just like that swimmer, we need to escape the rip current by swimming almost parallel to shore first, until we are in less dangerous waters. It's only then that we can turn fully toward safety.

Your choice, to not participate, is tantamount to surrender to the rip current.

I choose to swim.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,07:49   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 06 2008,21:25)
assassinator do you have a better plan?  say the world was your oyster, how ought we live?

i've often wondered what the axioms are that people work from that results in the conclusion that 'democracy is the best form of government' etc etc.  how do you get from 'I eat when I am hungry and sleep when I am tired' to 'We need a stronger national defense system' or 'Everyone has equal rights' etc.  Methinks there is a scam afoot but I'm not sure where it originated.

I don't ;) But I assume presidential candidates have. Afterall, they're not running for president for nothing. The only thing I'm really asking for, is more focus on the product and less focus on the advertisements. I still find it odd why there is so much focus on advertisement in American politics.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,08:20   

Quote (Assassinator @ Sep. 07 2008,07:49)
I still find it odd why there is so much focus on advertisement in American politics.

It may be "odd", but they do it because it works...

Sadly.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,10:20   

Quote
Fatalistic cynicism and secession of our responsibility to participate knowledgeably in both the educational system and the electoral system is what brought this country to its knees.


I'm trying to find the empirical content in this claim but it seems to me to just be empty rhetoric.  Exactly how does a country have knees?  How could 'fatalistic cynicism and secession of responsibility to participate knowledgeably' bring a country 'to its knees'?

It can't.  That is word salad.  What you mean to say, I think, some elements have used the system to get their way at the expense of other the desires of other elements.  Well, loddy frikking dah.  That's what makes it run.  Now do you see why I say its a pile of shit?

Quote
We stand eyeball to eyeball with theocracy precisely because of attitudes just like that.


it's not because of attitudes like mine, pal, it's attitudes like YOURS.  In other words, those who say 'use the system to get what you want' are the same no matter who you are or what you want.  Of course the myopic take umbrage at this and are morally offended at this accusation instead of recognizing that it is a flaw with this system, you know the one that we are supposed to be participating in to keep Amurrika off her knees?

Quote
Now we each have a choice. We can either take up the mantle of that responsibility once again and expend great effort to drag this country and the world back toward the ideals of the Enlightenment, or we can capitulate to the rip tide of religious fundamentalism and drown in an ocean of ignorance.


More histrionics.  I think the root question here is "How should we live" and I am pretty fucking sure that the answer is not in a global village, Enlightened or Not.  Your fundamental axioms here will greatly affect that realm of possible conclusions, but I am fairly sure that I can demonstrate that participation in the system involves some humongous internal contradictions that are unresolvable (and indeed as the hegel/marx thesis-antithesis-synthesis notion suggests, keep it working at all).

Quote
It's true that voting for the current Democratic candidate is not swimming directly to shore, 'Ras. But like a swimmer caught in a rip current, it's just not possible to reach the shore that way. Just like that swimmer, we need to escape the rip current by swimming almost parallel to shore first, until we are in less dangerous waters. It's only then that we can turn fully toward safety.


can't do that much with your analogy.  to clarify, what is the current and what makes it work?  how did we get in the water anyway?

my interests lie in an orthogonal plane to the false left-right dichotomy we see here.  when you disagree with both parties, at a fundamental level, there is no place for you in the discussion.  but heat death and the tragedy of the commons will eventually take care of this stubborn obstacle.

Quote
Your choice, to not participate, is tantamount to surrender to the rip current.

I choose to swim.


swim swim swim swim swim.  I'll be somewhere out there fishing, maybe i'll pick you up if you swim to my boat.  bring beer.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,10:53   

Ok real small words, 'Ras.

Religious nuts spreading ignorance in the country is bad, m'kay?

When people don't understand what this country was founded on, principles of liberty and reason, they give up that liberty to tyrants.

Are you with me so far?

Now the donkey dudes don't have it all right.

But the efalant boys are making it badder.

We need to get rid of the efalant boys, m'kay? They are the bad men who want to tell you that you can't think stuff.

Let me know when you want to help, instead of pouting in the corner because you don't like the donkey dudes.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Amadan



Posts: 1334
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,12:47   

Quote
Fatalistic cynicism and secession of our responsibility to participate knowledgeably in both the educational system and the electoral system is what brought this country to its knees.


Here in smugly superior Yurrp, we like to sneer at the Murkin system of popularity polls, but I sometimes wonder how things would work out for us if we had to organise continental-scale elections for a position that carried real power. It sure wouldn't be pretty.

It's worth remembering that the US system was designed so as to have the president elected by the Great and Good of the various states. The noisesome mob were to have their say in the bear-pit of the House of Reps, not in the olympian halls of the Senate, and certainly not in the matter of the President's election. To the minds of your revered founders, that gave sufficient balance between the popular and the propertied. Rational debate was, in their minds, assured among an elite whose position was not dependent on the popular will.

The emergence of coast-to-coast television companies as the main media of political persuasion has, unsurprisingly, reduced most political debate on TV to the lowest common denominator. Given the diversity of regions and interests, how could it be otherwise?

So to my mind, you have a system designed for a set of circumstances that haven't existed since the introduction of the steam train and the popular press. The American cult of ancestor worship ( "our Founding Fathers"! C'mon, get a grip, they weren't superhuman) makes it heretical to even suggest changing the rules. The need for intravenous television makes every elected official a whore for the purposes of fundraising.

The current incarnation of teh Intertoobs demands a bit more interaction than the almost perfectly passive consumption of TV. It will be interesting to see if the Net takes over from TV as the main medium of mass communication. If it does, and it continues to demand something more than drooling on a couch for your nightly news, you could see a revival of popular participation in political debate.

I wouldn't bet on it, but then I'm a sneering Yurrpean cynic.

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"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,13:28   

Quote
So to my mind, you have a system designed for a set of circumstances that haven't existed since the introduction of the steam train and the popular press.


you know amadan, you sound like you hate freedom.

how's that lou?  am i getting it yet?

show me how voting helps and i'll consider your point.  

voting = praying.

period.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Amadan



Posts: 1334
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,14:13   

What the Hell is going through your head, Erasmus? Criticising a system = hating freedom? That's on a par with the sort of comments we got from Fox at the time of the UN Security Council debates on the Iraq resolutions.

My point, which you clearly missed, is that the US constitution is the product of 18th century men who had assumptions and objectives that reflected their times and backgrounds. Did you think I agreed with their view that a propertied elite should have a permanent advantage in political life? Perhaps I should avoid complimacated litturary stuff like irony.

If you take the view that voting just encourages the bastards, you are stuck with the problem of how you are going to assure yourself the freedom that you clearly value. Opting out is fine until you run up against the system. When that happens - say, if a cop doesn't like the colour of your skin or the town council votes to remove the Koran from the library - what are you going to do?

Perhaps your point is that there is nothing that you can do, and that the system will inevitably crush individual freedom. Personally, I don't take that view. If the system of government itself is a subject of debate and potential change, the individual has a far stronger chance of fighting back.

In the USA, that doesn't seem to be an option. The 1789 constitutional framework is sacrosanct and its drafters are presented as uniquely endowed with wisdom and foresight. Bollocks. Contributing to this problem is the biased, homogenised and sound-bite level of most political discourse on US national TV networks.

Of course, you can assert and protect your freedom in the USA, but you could do it a heck of a lot more effectively if you redesigned your constitution.

Does that make it clearer?

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"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,14:35   

As a contrarian, I note that I am not subject to arrest or confiscation of my property for selling bananas by the pound.

And my country, warts and all, does not publicly humiliate Germans and Italians by noting, as a matter of law, that their condoms are, for some unspecified reason, undersized.

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,14:40   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Sep. 07 2008,13:28)
Quote
So to my mind, you have a system designed for a set of circumstances that haven't existed since the introduction of the steam train and the popular press.


you know amadan, you sound like you hate freedom.

how's that lou?  am i getting it yet?

show me how voting helps and i'll consider your point.  

voting = praying.

period.

It's true that the individual vote in a country the size of the US or even Holland does not really count. You only stand strong as a group, you're (mostly) worthless as an individual. And that only gets worse when the size of a society gets bigger. Voting only has an impact when you do it as a group.
But I wonder what you would want then? What would work for a society of USA-ish size. Or do you think we shouldn't live in USA sized groups anymore?

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,14:43   

Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 07 2008,12:13)
What the Hell is going through your head, Erasmus? Criticising a system = hating freedom? That's on a par with the sort of comments we got from Fox at the time of the UN Security Council debates on the Iraq resolutions.

I *think* he was being facetious with that one line.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,14:45   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 07 2008,12:35)
And my country, warts and all, does not publicly humiliate Germans and Italians by noting, as a matter of law, that their condoms are, for some unspecified reason, undersized.

The ones Louis buys are smaller still.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,14:57   

Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 07 2008,14:13)
My point, which you clearly missed, is that the US constitution is the product of 18th century men who had assumptions and objectives that reflected their times and backgrounds. Did you think I agreed with their view that a propertied elite should have a permanent advantage in political life?

 
Quote

In the USA, that doesn't seem to be an option. The 1789 constitutional framework is sacrosanct and its drafters are presented as uniquely endowed with wisdom and foresight. Bollocks. Contributing to this problem is the biased, homogenised and sound-bite level of most political discourse on US national TV networks.


Both of these comments are gross overgeneralizations that come from, IMO, an incomplete understanding of American history, the rather unique nature of the American Founders, and the singular nature of what they were able to achieve.  That isn't intended as a personal criticism.  I suspect that your exposure to the American political history probably is (at least) on par to what is taught in American high schools. But, I don't consider that an adequate level of study for such a deep history with such complex personalities.  Such a study would include, at a bare minimum, study of "The Federalist" and wouldn't be hurt by biographies of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson.  That the Founders crafted such a constitution, under assault from the git-go (and very nearly stillborn) by the demagogues of the day speaks to it's unique nature.
 
Quote

Of course, you can assert and protect your freedom in the USA, but you could do it a heck of a lot more effectively if you redesigned your constitution.

Does that make it clearer?

No, for two reasons. First, the Constitution was constructed with dual goals: to establish the relationship of the government to the governed (with particular attention to the ennumeration, and preservation, of individual rights), as well as the construction of the government that was structured to provide interlocking balances of power intended to forestall excesses of any one particular branch (in particular, the House of Representatives).  As an American, I see plenty of problems in execution of our political system, but that is not due to any defect I see in it's particular construction.

Second, our constitutional system already provides means by which it can be amended.  It is an onerous process, to be sure, but that is deliberate.  As the checks and balances of our government's structure provide a buffer against excesses driven by popular passions, so does the amendment process.  The beauty of the Constitution is it's narrow focus to the construction, and limitations, of government, coupled with it's relative permanence. It isn't intended to specify the detailed nature of political life, but rather provide a framework within which to operate.

So, I see no need to redesign The Constitution, only to ensure it's faithful execution (which has been all to poor of late).

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,15:07   

Quote

Of course, you can assert and protect your freedom in the USA, but you could do it a heck of a lot more effectively if you redesigned your constitution.


I'm very opposed to a redesigning of the Constitution (except for abolishing the Electoral College). This isn't 1789. Extremist loonies and special interests would hijack the whole process. People as smart and secular as Adams and Jefferson wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the committees. Ironically, Jefferson would never be elected president now, since he'd be called 'too liberal', 'elitist' and 'not Christian'. Fox would do dozens of shows about his disdain for flag pins and how people wouldn't want to have a beer with him.

Plus he probably smells kind of bad by now.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Ra-Úl



Posts: 93
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,15:32   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 07 2008,15:07)
   
Quote

Of course, you can assert and protect your freedom in the USA, but you could do it a heck of a lot more effectively if you redesigned your constitution.


I'm very opposed to a redesigning of the Constitution (except for abolishing the Electoral College). This isn't 1789. Extremist loonies and special interests would hijack the whole process. People as smart and secular as Adams and Jefferson wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the committees. Ironically, Jefferson would never be elected president now, since he'd be called 'too liberal', 'elitist' and 'not Christian'. Fox would do dozens of shows about his disdain for flag pins and how people wouldn't want to have a beer with him.

Plus he probably smells kind of bad by now.

Sometime in the '60s or 70's, a political announcement aired in the US, in which former Supreme Court Justice, later UN Ambassador, Arthur Goldberg, and Phyllis Schalfly (it's hard not to spell it Shoo-fly as some of my parent's friends at the time did) campaigned against a Constitutional convention, citing as an argument that a Convention would have carte blanche to do anything, even doing away with the Bill of Rights, Habeas Corpus and the reserve clause. I reasoned then as I do now that if a Convention scared both Goldberg (an American liberal, for those of you in Europe and elsewhere) and Schlafly (I shudder as I type that name), then it is a Bad Thing.

Edited 'cause I'm a furriner, can't spell, and my typing, especially in the dark, is atrocious.
Re-edited to add an 'f' somewhere.
R-e'd to ditto a 'd'. Damn.

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Beauty is that which makes us desperate. - P Valery

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,15:47   

Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 07 2008,15:13)
What the Hell is going through your head, Erasmus?

In fairness to 'Ras, he wasn't really advancing a claim, he was building a strawman by deliberate mischaracterization of my words.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Amadan



Posts: 1334
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,17:51   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 07 2008,14:35)

And my country, warts and all, does not publicly humiliate Germans and Italians by noting, as a matter of law, that their condoms are, for some unspecified reason, undersized.

Hmm. Perhaps they export the undersized ones to the UK for a reason.

</800-year grudge>

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"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
Amadan



Posts: 1334
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,17:53   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 07 2008,14:43)
Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 07 2008,12:13)
What the Hell is going through your head, Erasmus? Criticising a system = hating freedom? That's on a par with the sort of comments we got from Fox at the time of the UN Security Council debates on the Iraq resolutions.

I *think* he was being facetious with that one line.

Oops.

Scorn withdrorn.

--------------
"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,18:48   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 07 2008,14:57)
Second, our constitutional system already provides means by which it can be amended.  It is an onerous process, to be sure, but that is deliberate.  As the checks and balances of our government's structure provide a buffer against excesses driven by popular passions, so does the amendment process.  The beauty of the Constitution is it's narrow focus to the construction, and limitations, of government, coupled with it's relative permanence. It isn't intended to specify the detailed nature of political life, but rather provide a framework within which to operate.

The amendment process is onerous, yes, but a reasonably complete civics course also tells students of the other way to change the US constitution: constitutional convention.

We did a simulated constitutional convention in high school. If you hear that our leaders decide to hold one, it wouldn't be a bad thing to get your passport in order. It might come in handy.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Amadan



Posts: 1334
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,18:52   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 07 2008,14:57)
That the Founders crafted such a constitution, under assault from the git-go (and very nearly stillborn) by the demagogues of the day speaks to it's unique nature.


Being unique doesn't make it perfect. Is it uniquely effective in the way it protects, say, the rights it proclaims? I'd say that it has, by and large, done a decent job, especially in establishing the power of judicial review. The USA and the the world are all the better for it. But consider also how Shrub has arrogated the right to ignore laws he doesn't like. (That such a power-grab is probably unconstitutional is not the point: the point is that he can get away with it because Realpolitik prevents anyone doing anything about it) Could he do that if the rights of the Commander-in-Chief were expressly limited in time or scope? Room for improvement there, I'd say.

   
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As an American, I see plenty of problems in execution of our political system, but that is not due to any defect I see in it's particular construction.


If the system permits that type of execution, you have to ask if its construction is still appropriate. It's undeniable that it was designed (where have I seen that phrase before?) for social and technological conditions very different from today's. Perhaps Americans consider the abuses and corruption within it an acceptable cost of the freedom the system permits. Or perhaps they reason that the problems can be fixed without change to the constitution. But if I was an American, I'd take quite a bit of convincing.

   
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The beauty of the Constitution is it's narrow focus to the construction, and limitations, of government, coupled with it's relative permanence. It isn't intended to specify the detailed nature of political life, but rather provide a framework within which to operate.

So, I see no need to redesign The Constitution, only to ensure it's faithful execution (which has been all to poor of late).


I agree, constitutions shouldn't be tinkered with on a whim. My point however is that many Americans seem to subscribe to the notion of American Exceptionalism, that their Constitution is the definitive and unimpeachable wellspring of democracy. But remember that Eisenhower's first draft of his farewell speech referred to the concentration of power in "a military-industrial-congressional complex". Allegedly for fear of instigating a political crisis, he removed the reference to Congress, and toned down his remarks to the 'potential' for such a concentration, not to its actuality. But that it exists is a fact.That it does so within your constitutional system suggests that the ability to concentrate that much power in that way is a defect in the system that those who drafted the constitution did not and could not have forseen. But any political commentator, let alone politician, who dared to say so would at best be written off as a flake, or be denounced for treason for daring to suggest that the Founding Fathers (Forgive me, I have to laugh whenever I see that term) might have got even part of it wrong.

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"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
csadams



Posts: 124
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,19:09   

Quote (ck1 @ Sep. 06 2008,10:54)
There is an important difference in these two predictions.  On the one hand, the outcome depends on the decision of a single highly-educated jurist, on the other, on the choices made by ordinary voting Americans:

"And in all of this we should not leave out the role of the much heralded ordinary American. One reason the Republicans find such fertile ground for their shamelessness is that this is fundamentally a right-wing country. My liberal friends find it difficult to accept this, but to me it seems obviously true. Why do you suppose that Republicans trumpet their pro-life credentials, but Democrats try to change the subject when it comes to abortion? Why do Republicans run around bashing homosexuals, while Democrats quake in terror at the thought of having to say what they really think? Why do you suppose upwards of eighty percent of the country want to have some sort of creationism taught in science classes?

The answer is simple. It is that in each case the Republicans are defending the popular position."

http://scienceblogs.com/evoluti....ion.php

(sorry - don't remember how to add quote boxes here)

. . . but aren't the Republicans - the radical branch of them, anyway - the ones who rail against relative morality?  "If it's popular, therefore it's right" seems to be an idea they accuse liberals/atheists/bogeyman-du-jour of holding.  Maybe we need to make public a few popular ideas held by the American public:

50% of Americans aren't aware that the earth orbits the sun and takes one year to do so.  Teach the controversy!

30% of Americans believe that alien spacecraft visit the earth on a regular basis. Teach the controversy!

44% of Americans believe that astrology is "very" or "somewhat" scientific? Teach the controversy! (Oops, Michael Behe already tried that one.)

Half of our citizens believe that magnet therapy is "sort of" or "very scientific." Teach the controversy, and make sure to show that ridiculous opening warehouse sequence from the latest Indiana Jones movie!

73% of Americans believe in at least one of the following: Extrasensory perception (ESP), haunted houses, ghosts, mental telepathy, clairvoyance, astrology, witches, reincarnation, or channeling. Should our next administration endorse teaching these ideas as well?

Fifty years ago, a substantial portion of Americans believed that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites. So it was okay to teach that in public schools, right?

Just because an idea is popular does not mean it is correct. Let's make sure we keep the focus on teaching REAL science in our classrooms.*

I understand your point about the predictions, ck1, that one involved an individual, and the other a group of people.  And no, I'm far from complacent about the upcoming elections whether at the local or national level.  On the other hand, I'm not going to waste my time combing through UD posts to find "Dave's" other predictions and outcomes.

*blatantly cribbed

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Stand Up For REAL Science!

  
jeffox



Posts: 671
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,20:43   

A couple of minor points to bring up:

1)  This election will hinge on $4.00/gallon gasoline.  The people know which party is responsible for that and will vote accordingly.

2)  Shrub, et. al., have, for the last 8 years, been driving the (majority) moderates out of the Republican party.  They're NOT voting for Bush II.  Hence the idiotic "maverick" label of the right-wing press, a feeble attempt to bring them back.

3)  This election was decided over 3 years ago.  Any non-Republican in a landslide.

My 45c.  :)

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,21:26   

Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 07 2008,17:53)
 
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 07 2008,14:43)
 
Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 07 2008,12:13)
What the Hell is going through your head, Erasmus? Criticising a system = hating freedom? That's on a par with the sort of comments we got from Fox at the time of the UN Security Council debates on the Iraq resolutions.

I *think* he was being facetious with that one line.

Oops.

Scorn withdrorn.

Sorry Amadan I was poking Lou's "knee jerk love it or leave it syndrome" there at your expense.  I thought after 9-11 the whole world knew about "you don't love freedom" sorta stuff and you would get it.

and he has absolutely failed to understand my point.  sigh.

anyway there is much good stuff in the rest of what amadan says.

 
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If you take the view that voting just encourages the bastards, you are stuck with the problem of how you are going to assure yourself the freedom that you clearly value. Opting out is fine until you run up against the system. When that happens - say, if a cop doesn't like the colour of your skin or the town council votes to remove the Koran from the library - what are you going to do?


This is true.  How does on assure oneself of freedom when voting clearly encourages the bastards?  If we question those assumptions you are saying are worth questioning, then perhaps we may understand the timeless truth held by most religious-philosophical systems:  freedom is a mental condition, a state of mind.

Easy answer, right?  Yet it is true in many respects.  The central issue becomes the definition of "freedom".

 
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Perhaps your point is that there is nothing that you can do, and that the system will inevitably crush individual freedom. Personally, I don't take that view. If the system of government itself is a subject of debate and potential change, the individual has a far stronger chance of fighting back.


Of course this is true.  Any governmental system gleans its power by limiting the freedom of individuals.  Individuals have varying amounts of resources available to them, which results in varying treatment of those same individuals by any system.  I suggest, as assassinator has suggested, that the fundamental issue of interest is "What scale of government best maximizes the freedom of individuals?"  The answer to this question has complex interactions with the relations of those individuals to the ecology of their means of sustenance.  The form of government taken by both yurrpeens and amurrikkkans, indeed all of the 'civilized' world, is one that must grow or die, just like a cancer.  

A vote for anyone in a US election is a vote for continuing the system of natural resource exploitation that has dammed nearly every mile of the tennessee river, resulted in the obliteration over 700 miles of streams in Appalachia by mountaintop removal, extinction of north american indigenous cultures, etc etc etc etc.  A vote for anyone gives your sanction to this history, your consent.  The blood is on your hands.

Assassinator says

 
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But I wonder what you would want then? What would work for a society of USA-ish size. Or do you think we shouldn't live in USA sized groups anymore?


We should not.  I believe this to be an empirical truth, even given the ethical claim embedded in the proposition.  To unpack a bit, if we value connection with our landscape, if we value growing or procuring our own food, if we value sustainable human communities, then this claim is true.  I suggest that most folks hold these values, but for other reasons they are led to compromise them in the hopes (as Lou has suggested above) that participation may allay the inevitable demise of the system for just a little bit longer.

anarchy?  not what i am advocating.  however i don't think this ship can run forever, and in the meantime it's important to remember the Old Ways.  the division of labor and mechanization of daily human tasks have caused a Great Forgetting, politics now is a dance of amnesiacs who are merely chanting magic words they do not understand in hopes of stirring primeval passions that are beyond the grasp of reason.

ETA and voting just encourages the bastards.  You might as well pray.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 07 2008,21:40   

Quote (Amadan @ Sep. 07 2008,18:52)
     
Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 07 2008,14:57)
As an American, I see plenty of problems in execution of our political system, but that is not due to any defect I see in it's particular construction.


If the system permits that type of execution, you have to ask if its construction is still appropriate. It's undeniable that it was designed (where have I seen that phrase before?) for social and technological conditions very different from today's. Perhaps Americans consider the abuses and corruption within it an acceptable cost of the freedom the system permits. Or perhaps they reason that the problems can be fixed without change to the constitution. But if I was an American, I'd take quite a bit of convincing.

I think there are two faulty premises in what you are saying here.  First, I would suggest that you are engaging in a reverse Exceptionalism inasmuch as you seem to the think that abuses and corruption are particularly egregious in the American system.  Second, you are seem to be assuming that there is no means of addressing such problems except by changed constitutional construction.  I think both premises are wrong.

I think the first premise is prima facie false and requires little comment except to say that corruption and abuses of power are present in any system and I don't think the American system is any worse, and probably much better*, than most other systems. That said, I do understand power is a force multiplier and a minor abuse of power here may have a more significant impact that a major abuse elsewhere.  But I don't see that as a fault in construction, but as a problem in execution.

The second premise is false in that there are means of dealing with abuses of power and corruption. The American Constitution provides means for dealing with violations of a constitutional nature. Indeed, I would note that several times, when suits related to the constitutionality of the "enemy combatant" and military tribunal policy have rose above the district court level, the Bush administration has backed down in what I would describe as a strategic retreat to avoid constitutional reviews that are unlikely to break there way (I am thinking particularly of the Hamdan and Padilla cases). The unitary executive concept and the signing statements, along with the warrantless wiretapping, are still concerns and it should be interesting to see how that plays out.  

The second premise is also flawed in that I question that is necessary that a constitution deal with anything more than defining the role and structure of government and the nature of it's relationship to the governed.  Abuses and corruption that falls outside the (current) US constitution are not unaddressable. Rather, they are addressed through existing, and voluminous, criminal and civil codes.
   
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I agree, constitutions shouldn't be tinkered with on a whim. My point however is that many Americans seem to subscribe to the notion of American Exceptionalism, that their Constitution is the definitive and unimpeachable wellspring of democracy. But remember that Eisenhower's first draft of his farewell speech referred to the concentration of power in "a military-industrial-congressional complex". Allegedly for fear of instigating a political crisis, he removed the reference to Congress, and toned down his remarks to the 'potential' for such a concentration, not to its actuality. But that it exists is a fact.That it does so within your constitutional system suggests that the ability to concentrate that much power in that way is a defect in the system that those who drafted the constitution did not and could not have forseen.

Spare me.  In this regard, America is completely unexceptional.  Business and governmental interests are inexorably intertwined in all systems everywhere.  I will try not to engage in armchair psychology, but I would ask you to consider whether your unease with the American military-industrial complex** is less due to our constitutional construction and more that our (currently) pre-eminent position militarily in the world tends to exaggerate the impact of abuses that would be merely annoying elsewhere.
   
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But any political commentator, let alone politician, who dared to say so would at best be written off as a flake, or be denounced for treason for daring to suggest that the Founding Fathers (Forgive me, I have to laugh whenever I see that term) might have got even part of it wrong.

I make no bones about it, I think the American Constitution is an exceptional document, witnessed by the fact that other nations have modeled their constitution after ours, sometimes even lifting language wholesale. I think you are put-off by the extent of American power (a point I will not begrudge you) and are confusing the execution of a fundamentally flawed system with the execution of a fundamentally good system by flawed actors. But rather than dealing with this in the abstract, I think it would be easier (for me, at least) if you would elucidate what you would change about the American Constitution.

* I come to this perspective as a businessman, employed by a European company, who deals frequently with associates all across the world, and passing familiarity with anti-corruption laws. Business laws and practices around the world (including Europe) are far more laissez faire than those here in the States.

** Strangely enough, the last 8 years, and the verdict from the Hamdan tribunal last month, have lead me to the conclusion that we have far less to fear from our military than the civilians elected and appointed to direct them.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
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