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Thread: 2012 Elections - Page 436







Post#10876 at 10-15-2012 02:09 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Focusing blame on elected politicians ignores the fact that a lot of them do what they do not out of malice, but because they tend to trust what Beltway "experts" say as fact and also because of legal and financial restrictions on the size of their staff they come to rely on lobbyists to help with the technical details of legislation. Additionally, many politicians are bound by regional economic interests; one of the reasons the Military-Industrial Complex has become a sacred cow is because it intentionally spread itself into as many congressional districts as possible, so if they dare tried to cut Defense spending they will get hounded by people telling them not to take away their jobs.

For example, Joe Biden has often been rightfully criticized for sucking up to insurance companies, but Delaware, which he represented as a senator, is home to many insurance companies and so has lots of residents who work in the industry, people who vote and use the income from their jobs to pay the bills. For the same reason politicians in West Virginia suck up to Big Coal, a lot of people there work in the coal mines.
In other words, a lot of people put their own interests ahead of the interest of the nation and the planet. Perfectly understandable, but still our (the voters) fault. They also swallow the trickle-down theory that says what is good for their boss is good for them, and that what the boss says (that government policy needs to favor them, or they'll go out of business and have to fire the workers) must be true. Of course, the bosses fire their workers anyway, the more so when government policy favors them in doing so. Then again, a lot of other voters put their "values" (prejudices) ahead of even their own economic interests. Again, their own damn fault.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#10877 at 10-15-2012 08:03 AM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
Who created it then, men from Mars?
That's an easy one. The guys who created it even signed their names to it. Since then, it's been maintained and adjusted by the heirs of those guys -- in both cases, the ruling class. This is 101-level stuff here.
Last time I checked, Americans live in America, and Americans decide what kind of system we live in.
You clearly haven't checked very closely. The first is true, and the second is kind-of true... except that by putting the two phrases next to each other, you imply that the "americans" of the first are the same people as the "americans" of the second. They aren't.

We acquiesce in it, and that's our fault...

Every country gets the government that it deserves...
Fair enough; at least you're consistent.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#10878 at 10-15-2012 10:57 AM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
That's an easy one. The guys who created it even signed their names to it. Since then, it's been maintained and adjusted by the heirs of those guys -- in both cases, the ruling class. This is 101-level stuff here.
You clearly haven't checked very closely. The first is true, and the second is kind-of true... except that by putting the two phrases next to each other, you imply that the "americans" of the first are the same people as the "americans" of the second. They aren't.

Fair enough; at least you're consistent.
Wow, I go away for just a week or so and magic pony land breaks out all over the place.


Don't have time to post much so I'll leave JPT's rediscovering his faith in polls for another time. I'll just say how convenient for him that his rediscovery coincided with his guy doing better.

However, I do have to provide a bipartisan response to this magic pony land of Justin's -

Yeessh.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...0,251672.story


A rise in enthusiasm and engagement has shown up in several polls recently. The Pew Research Center, for example, found that 70% of registered voters now say they have given a lot of thought to the election, up a few points from the level the survey found in June. The level of engagement hasn’t hit the heights reached in 2008, largely because fewer young voters say they have paid a lot of attention. But this year’s figure significantly exceeds the level of voter engagement in 1996 and 2000 and is on par with the very closely contested 2004 election.
In Gallup’s latest compilation, 59% of registered voters in the 12 states that Gallup considers battlegrounds said they were either “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting this year. Nationwide, that figure was 55%, and it was slightly lower in the non-battleground states, where voters have been less exposed to all that negativity.
So, it seems for a large majority of voters, no one is holding a gun to their head to go vote. They’re actually pretty enthusiastic about it and believe that it makes some difference, i.e., there is a significant big difference between what the two candidates offer and these voters want to help make their side win. That's a lot of people that Justin has to wave his hand over and claim that they know nothing and that there really is no difference. I think those people would just tell Justin to stay home on Election Day and make their vote that much more important.

You see, there are two possible reasons why folks like Justin like to foist this horseshit nihilism on others -

1. It's a ploy from the Right to try to make you believe there's no difference between the candidates. Romney's debate "win" was nothing but his accomplishment in making people believe he is a born-again moderate (but with business skills! whoo-hoo!). He did a complete etch-a-sketch from his two years of campaigning for his party's nomination and yet the GOP is gleeful. The T-baggers are okay with being thrown under the bus because either they: (a) understand the mendacity as necessary to get into office and once there, do their damage; (b) know how malleable Romney is and will vie with the neo-Cons in surrounding him once in office; or (c) as evident of being t-baggers they're just not very bright.

or -

2. It’s because people who live in magic pony land actually do believe it is real and therefore everyone else lives in magic pony land as well. One would thing that Justin is somewhat of a hypocrite by his constant denouncing of the American system that he returned to, was accepted back into, and apparently now doing fairly well within, after he got spanked by the mean old world particularly the Russian system that he so often offers up as glorious. But he's actually incapable of seeing his hypocrisy, he really really believes in his magic pony land as not only his but your reality.

Okay, got to get back to 'work.' I return you to your discourse, whether of magic ponies or not.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

“It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed … so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It’s much more akin to printing money.” - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#10879 at 10-15-2012 11:55 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
That's an easy one. The guys who created it even signed their names to it. Since then, it's been maintained and adjusted by the heirs of those guys -- in both cases, the ruling class. This is 101-level stuff here.
You clearly haven't checked very closely. The first is true, and the second is kind-of true... except that by putting the two phrases next to each other, you imply that the "americans" of the first are the same people as the "americans" of the second. They aren't.
I would just say that if Americans let the ruling class decide what system we have (or who gets into office), that is our own fault.
Fair enough; at least you're consistent.
Thanks.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#10880 at 10-15-2012 01:23 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Wow, I go away for just a week or so and magic pony land breaks out all over the place.


Don't have time to post much so I'll leave JPT's rediscovering his faith in polls for another time. I'll just say how convenient for him that his rediscovery coincided with his guy doing better.

However, I do have to provide a bipartisan response to this magic pony land of Justin's -

Yeessh.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics...0,251672.story






So, it seems for a large majority of voters, no one is holding a gun to their head to go vote. They’re actually pretty enthusiastic about it and believe that it makes some difference, i.e., there is a significant big difference between what the two candidates offer and these voters want to help make their side win. That's a lot of people that Justin has to wave his hand over and claim that they know nothing and that there really is no difference. I think those people would just tell Justin to stay home on Election Day and make their vote that much more important.

You see, there are two possible reasons why folks like Justin like to foist this horseshit nihilism on others -

1. It's a ploy from the Right to try to make you believe there's no difference between the candidates. Romney's debate "win" was nothing but his accomplishment in making people believe he is a born-again moderate (but with business skills! whoo-hoo!). He did a complete etch-a-sketch from his two years of campaigning for his party's nomination and yet the GOP is gleeful. The T-baggers are okay with being thrown under the bus because either they: (a) understand the mendacity as necessary to get into office and once there, do their damage; (b) know how malleable Romney is and will vie with the neo-Cons in surrounding him once in office; or (c) as evident of being t-baggers they're just not very bright.

or -

2. It’s because people who live in magic pony land actually do believe it is real and therefore everyone else lives in magic pony land as well. One would thing that Justin is somewhat of a hypocrite by his constant denouncing of the American system that he returned to, was accepted back into, and apparently now doing fairly well within, after he got spanked by the mean old world particularly the Russian system that he so often offers up as glorious. But he's actually incapable of seeing his hypocrisy, he really really believes in his magic pony land as not only his but your reality.

Okay, got to get back to 'work.' I return you to your discourse, whether of magic ponies or not.
I wouldn't call it magic pony land, his attitude that elections don't matter is very common not just among Anarchists like him, but also many of my fellow Marxists, but they are wrong. When Marx talks about "social revolution" is his talking about a long and drawn out socioeconomic process political revolutions are often involved because elites usually don't give up power willingly, but that doesn't mean that elections are useless, if only to keep the worst scum out of power.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#10881 at 10-15-2012 02:09 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
...that doesn't mean that elections are useless, if only to keep the worst scum out of power.
Except that the American system does a very good job of ensuring that only the worst scum are even candidates for power.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#10882 at 10-15-2012 03:02 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Focusing blame on elected politicians ignores the fact that a lot of them do what they do not out of malice, but because they tend to trust what Beltway "experts" say as fact and also because of legal and financial restrictions on the size of their staff they come to rely on lobbyists to help with the technical details of legislation. Additionally, many politicians are bound by regional economic interests; one of the reasons the Military-Industrial Complex has become a sacred cow is because it intentionally spread itself into as many congressional districts as possible, so if they dare tried to cut Defense spending they will get hounded by people telling them not to take away their jobs.

For example, Joe Biden has often been rightfully criticized for sucking up to insurance companies, but Delaware, which he represented as a senator, is home to many insurance companies and so has lot of residents who work in the industry, people who vote and use the income from their jobs to pay the bills. For the same reason politicians in West Virginia suck up to Big Coal, a lot of people there work in the coal mines.
It's hard to win in statewide politics without kissing up to the dominant part of the economy. As in Delaware with the financial industry and West Virginia with coal mining -- so Michigan with automobiles and Mississippi with agribusiness. Small, diffuse interests get stepped on, especially if they are unable to collect money in their interests. Most significantly, one group of Americans is to be found everywhere, but it is completely powerless. Ethnic groups? Hardly. The talented members of America's ethnic and religious minorities have organization, have access to the media, and can usually deflect smears. Successful members of the ethnic minorities of America are largely middle class -- and well-educated. Unions? Weaker than they used to be, but they have the numbers and political intelligence with which to fight back.

It's the poor. They get the shaft in our political system.

Lobbyists and PR people are the intellectual equivalents of whores. I apologize to pimps and hookers for that comparison. Hookers usually know how to avoid transmitting STDs to their clients. Lobbyists corrupt politics and PR people corrupt our conscience with what could well be a terminal disease to our Republic.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#10883 at 10-15-2012 03:28 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Except that the American system does a very good job of ensuring that only the worst scum are even candidates for power.
What you believe is "scum" is anyone who believes that some governing structure is needed in a highly complex nation of 330 million people on a globe of 7 billion. And the "worst scum" of course are those that participate in said government.

Once someone comes to understand that premise is at the heart of your sophisticated complaints, your complaints begin to look a whole of a lot less sophisticated.

The American system only takes the brunt of your 'sophisticated critique' because you have, well, "father issues” - a form of prolonged adolescence.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

“It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed … so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It’s much more akin to printing money.” - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#10884 at 10-15-2012 03:45 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
It's hard to win in statewide politics without kissing up to the dominant part of the economy. As in Delaware with the financial industry and West Virginia with coal mining -- so Michigan with automobiles and Mississippi with agribusiness. Small, diffuse interests get stepped on, especially if they are unable to collect money in their interests. Most significantly, one group of Americans is to be found everywhere, but it is completely powerless. Ethnic groups? Hardly. The talented members of America's ethnic and religious minorities have organization, have access to the media, and can usually deflect smears. Successful members of the ethnic minorities of America are largely middle class -- and well-educated. Unions? Weaker than they used to be, but they have the numbers and political intelligence with which to fight back.

It's the poor. They get the shaft in our political system.

Lobbyists and PR people are the intellectual equivalents of whores. I apologize to pimps and hookers for that comparison. Hookers usually know how to avoid transmitting STDs to their clients. Lobbyists corrupt politics and PR people corrupt our conscience with what could well be a terminal disease to our Republic.
Not disagreeing, but I don't believe the Founding Fathers were under any illusion that elected representatives of the people would not pursue their individual let alone parochial interest - it is at the heart of the checks-and-balances they put in place that became the basic model of any nation choosing to pursue democracy with its enormous benefits to individuals as well as society at large.

Further it is hard to buy into nothing there but the balancing of parochial interests when we have achieved extensive safety nets for the less fortunate and have bouts of spreading civil rights extensively to increasingly greater numbers of people. Yes, many problems and shortcoming abound and whatever has been achieved is under constant attack particularly more recent advances (e.g. sure we got vitriol towards gay marriage but very few openly express going back to Jim Crow days let alone outright slavery).

These things could not have been done without good people elected into government acting beyond their own parochial interest. The first job of a nihilist or anarchist is to convince you otherwise. It must get awful lonely for them in magic pony land.

Collectively, we get what we deserve. And no baying about how it’s all the elites’ fault changes that. The Koch brothers can buy you only if you let them.
Last edited by playwrite; 10-15-2012 at 03:47 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

“It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed … so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It’s much more akin to printing money.” - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#10885 at 10-15-2012 03:54 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
What you believe is "scum" is anyone who believes that some governing structure is needed in a highly complex nation of 330 million people on a globe of 7 billion. And the "worst scum" of course are those that participate in said government.
Nice of you to continue putting words in people's mouths. Need to work on your accuracy a bit, though.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#10886 at 10-15-2012 08:28 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Not disagreeing, but I don't believe the Founding Fathers were under any illusion that elected representatives of the people would not pursue their individual let alone parochial interest - it is at the heart of the checks-and-balances they put in place that became the basic model of any nation choosing to pursue democracy with its enormous benefits to individuals as well as society at large.
Precisely. Government needed checks and balances because humanity is flawed. Democracy does not mean that people invariably get there way. There will always be 51-49 splits on controversial issues. We have Constitutional limits on power because we don't want economic despotism or a legislature going amok. We don't want, and must never tolerate, the lynch mob as a substitute to formal justice simply because the defendant is the most loathsome person who ever lived. We don't want people using the legislature to steal the property of someone who loses the vote on a bill. We don't need confessions exacted under torture or its threat.

We had our revolution and established that George III was not King. Our Founding Fathers, practical men of their time, wanted something that worked. Further revolution was out of the question. Anarchy was no solution. Government was necessary for mediating disputes, repressing pirates, fending off Indian attacks, and enforcing contracts and property rights. Contrast the situation in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution -- imbued with the idea that Revolution was the objective and not a temporary means, Lenin and his followers saw no cause to allow any 'bourgeois' checks and balances thwart the Revolution. The predictable result was terror.

Further it is hard to buy into nothing there but the balancing of parochial interests when we have achieved extensive safety nets for the less fortunate and have bouts of spreading civil rights extensively to increasingly greater numbers of people. Yes, many problems and shortcoming abound and whatever has been achieved is under constant attack particularly more recent advances (e.g. sure we got vitriol towards gay marriage but very few openly express going back to Jim Crow days let alone outright slavery).
The holes in our Safety Net demonstrate our flawed character as a People. Few governments can be better than the people that they represent whether an oligarchy or a democracy. Democracy depends upon the fundamental decency and wisdom of a People... and fundamental wisdom and decency of a People is not certain. Poverty remains the Third Rail of American politics.

These things could not have been done without good people elected into government acting beyond their own parochial interest. The first job of a nihilist or anarchist is to convince you otherwise. It must get awful lonely for them in magic pony land.
I would use a different formulation. It is necessary that people conclude that flagrant injustice is bad for them because it degrades the quality of life for us all.

Collectively, we get what we deserve. And no baying about how it’s all the elites’ fault changes that. The Koch brothers can buy you only if you let them.
The Koch brothers could never buy me. But lots of people would sell out to a new and dictatorial order so long as they get some privileges that they consider worthy of lying, stealing, cheating, and perhaps even torturing and murdering.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#10887 at 10-15-2012 08:53 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Except that the American system does a very good job of ensuring that only the worst scum are even candidates for power.
Says someone who insists Obama is a psychopath. The vast majority of militarists are not psychopaths, they have a conscience, they are just good at rationalizing their actions as being for the "greater good" in spite of their conscience. IMO Hitler, for example, was not a psychopath, he was just a mentally unstable fanatic (Stalin, on the other hand, WAS a psychopath, IMO).
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#10888 at 10-15-2012 08:56 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
What you believe is "scum" is anyone who believes that some governing structure is needed in a highly complex nation of 330 million people on a globe of 7 billion. And the "worst scum" of course are those that participate in said government.

Once someone comes to understand that premise is at the heart of your sophisticated complaints, your complaints begin to look a whole of a lot less sophisticated.

The American system only takes the brunt of your 'sophisticated critique' because you have, well, "father issues” - a form of prolonged adolescence.
Despite my disagreements with Justin, I also think it's wrong for you to put words in his mouth.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#10889 at 10-15-2012 10:37 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Nice of you to continue putting words in people's mouths. Need to work on your accuracy a bit, though.
What you said was this -

...only the worst scum are even candidates for power.
Let's make this just a tad easier for you and limit it to just those that got elected.

Of the 535 elected Congress critters plus the Prez and VP, what is your common denominator that makes them ALL the "worst scum?" If you actually have something logical, please share it.

I think I may have been too kind in deducing that your logic was that they all choose to work in an organizing structure called central government.
Last edited by playwrite; 10-15-2012 at 10:42 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

“It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed … so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It’s much more akin to printing money.” - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#10890 at 10-15-2012 10:41 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Despite my disagreements with Justin, I also think it's wrong for you to put words in his mouth.
Okay, I may have jumped the gun.

But, let's wait and see what he comes up with as an alternative to my deduction. Putting aside the question of whether you agree or not with his thinking, is there even a rational alternative to my deduction?

Let's see.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

“It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed … so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It’s much more akin to printing money.” - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#10891 at 10-16-2012 12:45 AM by Tristan [at Melbourne, Australia joined Oct 2003 #posts 1,249]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Except that the American system does a very good job of ensuring that only the worst scum are even candidates for power.
You should visit Australia some time, at least your legislative bodies don't often degenerate into endless shouting between different parties. Not to mention every second politician has been in politics in some form or another as a career since their youth.
"The f****** place should be wiped off the face of the earth".

David Bowie on Los Angeles







Post#10892 at 10-16-2012 08:54 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Tristan View Post
You should visit Australia some time, at least your legislative bodies don't often degenerate into endless shouting between different parties. Not to mention every second politician has been in politics in some form or another as a career since their youth.
I think that is the necessary result of having a Parlimentary system. To get to the front bench, you need to start at the back. To get into leadership, you need to get to the front bench. So, by definition, party leaders have been there for a while.

I'm not sure that's either bad or good. The slow process of party politics assures that the ones who get into leadership actually represent their parties and can get things done. Then again, some things shouldn't get done at all. I still think that's preferable to our often split and gridlocked governement. Look at the last 4 years as a prime example.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#10893 at 10-16-2012 10:08 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Says someone who insists Obama is a psychopath. The vast majority of militarists are not psychopaths, they have a conscience, they are just good at rationalizing their actions as being for the "greater good" in spite of their conscience. IMO Hitler, for example, was not a psychopath, he was just a mentally unstable fanatic (Stalin, on the other hand, WAS a psychopath, IMO).
Militarism is largely a cultural phenomenon. It can be a relic of feudalism in which political power correlated heavily with ownership of land (then the only measure of wealth) that allowed one to raise an army in defense of the realm. Economic power is no longer land-based, and the power of an entity such as Exxon-Mobil, JP Morgan-Chase, or Wal*Mart is not its ability to raise an army. It can morph in the service of economic interests that profit from war, seek gain from colonial adventures, or seek the meddling of 'their' country in the economies of other countries (security of investments and their 'enhanced' prosperity), so militarism can become more 'sophisticated'. American meddling to overthrow Arbenz, Mossadegh, and Allende exemplifies such. Beware the bromide "American interests abroad", which means "the interests of American corporations in captive markets, collection of debts, control of raw materials, and cheap labor" that may not be in the interests of the masses of those countries. Know the code words and stock phrases.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#10894 at 10-16-2012 10:25 AM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Says someone who insists Obama is a psychopath.
I'm almost positive the word I used was 'sociopath'. The rest of your post isn't an argument against anything I've said, so I've no problem just letting it stand
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#10895 at 10-16-2012 10:33 AM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Of the 535 elected Congress critters plus the Prez and VP, what is your common denominator that makes them ALL the "worst scum?" If you actually have something logical, please share it.
It's fairly simple, and something you'd have heard from me on more than one occasion before (were you one inclined to pay attention to the words others say, rather than just filling-in your own). A major characteristic that they all share which signals to an observer the fact that they are scum is an inclination to gain and use power-for-the-sake-of-power over other people for their own gain. What makes them 'the worst' is that, having reached the level they have, they have already demonstrated not merely the inclination to that, but the capacity and intent.

I've even proposed an alternative method which would almost surely shift the scum/human ratio to something less than 100%/0% -- that of political office being a random draft. Some might get in anyway, but at least in that case, you avoid the system itself selecting for bad people. As I recall, you imagined I had said something else when I made first mention of that, then used the cartoon you had just whipped up to go ranting off along one of your more preferred restricted fields of argument.

In any case, the good or ill inherent in a structure designed to rule people is not necessarily relevant to the tendencies inherent in that structure. Talking about the quality and type of "representatives" is something concerning the latter, not the former.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#10896 at 10-16-2012 11:11 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
It's fairly simple, and something you'd have heard from me on more than one occasion before (were you one inclined to pay attention to the words others say, rather than just filling-in your own). A major characteristic that they all share which signals to an observer the fact that they are scum is an inclination to gain and use power-for-the-sake-of-power over other people for their own gain. What makes them 'the worst' is that, having reached the level they have, they have already demonstrated not merely the inclination to that, but the capacity and intent.

I've even proposed an alternative method which would almost surely shift the scum/human ratio to something less than 100%/0% -- that of political office being a random draft. Some might get in anyway, but at least in that case, you avoid the system itself selecting for bad people. As I recall, you imagined I had said something else when I made first mention of that, then used the cartoon you had just whipped up to go ranting off along one of your more preferred restricted fields of argument.

In any case, the good or ill inherent in a structure designed to rule people is not necessarily relevant to the tendencies inherent in that structure. Talking about the quality and type of "representatives" is something concerning the latter, not the former.
I guess you prefer honest but incompetent people to competent (at least likely to be competent) crooks. OK, this is an arguable if somewhat foolish position.

FWIW, competent crooks will not set fire to the building they happen to be in at the moment. This may not be a high recommendatoin, but it is a minimum qualification. Can you say the same for your random selection? After all, the number of potential Michele Bachmanns in a random sample is quite high, based on my own experience with a large part of the sample space. Given critical mass (almost a cetainty at some point in time), the end of the world as we know it a virtual certainty.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#10897 at 10-16-2012 11:34 AM by the bouncer [at joined Aug 2002 #posts 220]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
I'm almost positive the word I used was 'sociopath'. The rest of your post isn't an argument against anything I've said, so I've no problem just letting it stand
obama is neither a sociopath or a psychopath. in fact, i'd trust him (and a fair number of other politicians) with a lot more than i would any of the self-labeled anarchists or libertarians on this message board.

it isn't all about power. it's also about service. it's about looking beyond your own selfishness and trying to bring about more for the common good.

but i suppose people that only think in terms of self-interest and power trips are going to see what they want to see.

as for the "random selection" idea, we already sorta have this on one level. it's called jury duty.







Post#10898 at 10-16-2012 11:46 AM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
It's fairly simple, and something you'd have heard from me on more than one occasion before (were you one inclined to pay attention to the words others say, rather than just filling-in your own). A major characteristic that they all share which signals to an observer the fact that they are scum is an inclination to gain and use power-for-the-sake-of-power over other people for their own gain. What makes them 'the worst' is that, having reached the level they have, they have already demonstrated not merely the inclination to that, but the capacity and intent.

I've even proposed an alternative method which would almost surely shift the scum/human ratio to something less than 100%/0% -- that of political office being a random draft. Some might get in anyway, but at least in that case, you avoid the system itself selecting for bad people. As I recall, you imagined I had said something else when I made first mention of that, then used the cartoon you had just whipped up to go ranting off along one of your more preferred restricted fields of argument.

In any case, the good or ill inherent in a structure designed to rule people is not necessarily relevant to the tendencies inherent in that structure. Talking about the quality and type of "representatives" is something concerning the latter, not the former.

First and foremost, you take a hell of a lot for granted of the place where you live. Just living in the US, particularly as a White person who had the privilege of being afforded a higher education, you belong to a relatively very small minority of people on this planet that on a relative basis is constantly cuddled and nursed along by your representative government in a myriad of ways 24/7. God knows I'm not saying it's perfect or that a lot more doesn't need to be done or that people in power will not take advantage of their position for personal gain, but in the grander scheme that’s all small potatoes. You are like a spoiled brat adolescent that complains because mommy has to work for a living and can’t pay attention to you 24/7, and rather than jump in to lend a hand to make things better for the family, you throw tantrums and wonder off to hid in your bedroom to be furthered enraptured in self-centered Ayn Rand horseshit.

Second, your random draft of representatives is a sophomoric joke, period.

Third, the suggestion of your sophomoric random draft betrays contempt of the very foundation that this country was built on - the election of representative government. Again, as I concluded before, for you, government representatives are the "worse scum" only because they are within the government system you despise* For you to remain here and continued to be cuddled by that governmental system you hold in contempt is hypocritical. I would suggest a move to that Anarchist/Libertarian paradise on the outskirts of Mogadishu – you wouldn’t last 10 minutes past exiting the airport, but at least you would die a principled death.

_________________________________
* Note - some people on this forum need to come to understand the difference between (a) putting words in someone else's mouth and (b) the often not-so-difficult process of drawing the only possible logical, and obvious, conclusion of what drives certain stated extremist opinions.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

“It’s not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed … so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. It’s much more akin to printing money.” - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#10899 at 10-16-2012 12:25 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
I'm almost positive the word I used was 'sociopath'. The rest of your post isn't an argument against anything I've said, so I've no problem just letting it stand
The rest of the post wasn't really aimed at you, I was just yakking.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#10900 at 10-16-2012 12:31 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
I've even proposed an alternative method which would almost surely shift the scum/human ratio to something less than 100%/0% -- that of political office being a random draft. Some might get in anyway, but at least in that case, you avoid the system itself selecting for bad people.

Not a bad idea, it worked for Periclean Athens. On the other hand, you risk having a government of political amateurs that are even more easily bamboozled by lobbyists and "experts" then our politicians are now.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
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