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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OTP - September 2012 - Because it’s Labor Day after all

Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 8483 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   101. Lassus Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4226094)
Flip


I think we should celebrate the coming together of the two sides on this one. Whether voter ID laws are an ineffective waste of time and money or an effective conspiracy to disenfranchise the underclass, they should not exist in the first place.

Much more internetty to shout BEYOND STUPID and argue things that were never said. My sole comment was that to think anything that makes voting more difficult wouldn't affect vote totals was ridiculous. I fail to see how this isn't a fact considering that rain affects vote totals.


Anyhow, as I had some figures quoted to me, I do wonder how many of the provisional ballots in 2004 required people doing this:
A voter who casts a provisional ballot because he or she is unable to provide proof of identification must execute an affirmation that he or she is the same person who appeared to vote on election day and do one of the following within six calendar days after the election:

Appear in person at the county board of elections to complete the affirmation and present proof of identification;

Submit an electronic, facsimile or paper copy of the affirmation and the proof of identification.

Might be many of them, I haven't read through the stringency of provisional ballots and voter IDs across the board.
   102. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4226121)
I think what I call the Dinkins effect is in operation. David Dinkins was the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York in 1989, having defeated three-term incumbent Ed Koch in the primary. His Republican opponent was Rudy Giuliani. The polls all showed Dinkins well ahead, but he won the race only narrowly. In 1993, there was the same match-up. The polls all showed Dinkins (who had a lousy record as mayor) as narrowly ahead. Giuliani won in a walk.


This isn't true, the Polls in 1993 had them essentially even, Giuliani won 930 thousand to 877 thousand
Giuliani won because he swept Staten Island had a record high turnout which Giuliani took by a 115,000 to 21,000 margin
(later in 2009 Bloomberg took Staten Island by 55,000 to 24,000).

Yes Staten Island is the "whitest" borough, but in 1993 Giuliani also took 50% of Staten Island's blacks as well.

Why? Dinkins lost 1993 because he reneged on a promise to close the Staten Island Landfill.
Dinkins "under-performed" his polling because of the Staten Island Landfill.


   103. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4226125)
The quoted text is essentially a lie.


Pretty much everything FMP has said in this thread is a lie, including the word "the."

Gee isn't this fun!
   104. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4226126)
   105. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4226129)
A voter who casts a provisional ballot because he or she is unable to provide proof of identification must execute an affirmation that he or she is the same person who appeared to vote on election day and do one of the following within six calendar days after the election:

Appear in person at the county board of elections to complete the affirmation and present proof of identification;

Submit an electronic, facsimile or paper copy of the affirmation and the proof of identification.


They must then put their right foot in, but then take their right foot out. Then put their left foot in. But if they then "shake it all about" they will be immediately disqualified from voting ever again.
   106. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4226143)
Why I will be voting for Gary Johnson, Andy...

Fair enough, but then as you've said, a single presidential vote in the state of Georgia is as effectively meaningless as a vote cast in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia during the Stalin era. I'd only care about your vote if you were living in a swing state.

And BTW wasn't Andrew Sullivan one of the earliest and loudest cheerleaders for the Iraq war before he finally saw the light?
   107. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4226151)
And BTW wasn't Andrew Sullivan one of the earliest and loudest cheerleaders for the Iraq war before he finally saw the light?


He was. And he saw the light. And you should embrace people who see the error of their past beliefs and the evil such beliefs have wrought in the world.
   108. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4226199)
Because having a subset of voters have to show up in multiple places multiple times is exactly the sort of process a democracy wants to have going.
No, a democracy wants people to vote-early-and-often because they don't have to prove who they are.

The idea that coming back in six days either with an ID or to sign an affidavit won't affect vote totals - and isn't designed to do exactly that - is ridiculous. Do you guys know any actual human beings?
Sure. And I know that anybody who wants or intends to vote already has ID. It isn't designed to do exactly that; it's a safety valve for the 1-in-a-million person who wanted to vote but didn't have ID and couldn't get one in the time between when the law was passed and November. (Yes, IOW, people still have two more months to get those IDs.)
   109. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4226209)
No, a democracy wants people to vote-early-and-often because they don't have to prove who they are.
Just as with the "closer mentality" and the steroid benefit to home run hitters, the fact that you can tell a plausible story that would explain the effect is not evidence of the effect's existence.

If we have no evidence of false-identification based voter fraud, then voter ID schemes are as obvious a case of unnecessary government regulation impinging on freedom as one could as for.
   110. DA Baracus Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4226217)
The law is silly (and possibly unconstitutional), but it's not going to be particularly effective at suppressing the Democrat vote, if in fact that's its purpose.


Let's hear it from the mouth of the people who passed it, such as PA House Majority Leader Mike Turazi:

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” Turzai said at Saturday’s Republican State Committee meeting


(Coke to steagles)
   111. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4226228)
If we have no evidence of false-identification based voter fraud, then voter ID schemes are as obvious a case of unnecessary government regulation impinging on freedom as one could as for.

So, I'm sure you're 100% on board with me being able to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights to buy a firearm w/o showing ID, or undergoing a background check.
   112. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4226230)
And BTW wasn't Andrew Sullivan one of the earliest and loudest cheerleaders for the Iraq war before he finally saw the light?

He was. And he saw the light. And you should embrace people who see the error of their past beliefs and the evil such beliefs have wrought in the world.


Sure, and if you're a one issue voter whose vote in non-swing state has only symbolic value, then I guess Gary Johnson is understandably going to be your man. I doubt if Sullivan is going to be voting for him.
   113. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4226234)
If we have no evidence of false-identification based voter fraud, then voter ID schemes are as obvious a case of unnecessary government regulation impinging on freedom as one could as for.

So, I'm sure you're 100% on board with me being able to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights to buy a firearm w/o showing ID, or undergoing a background check.
If the topic has been studied, and it has been shown that existing gun regulations don't impact public safety significantly, then I would not support those gun regulations.
   114. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4226235)
Mr. Ryan also cited bankruptcy numbers to make the point that failing businesses mean fewer jobs. “In 1980 under Jimmy Carter, 330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy,” he said. “Last year, under President Obama’s failed leadership, 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy.”

But he appeared to conflate business bankruptcies and much more numerous personal bankruptcies. Of the 331,264 bankruptcies in 1980, only 43,694 were for businesses, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.
People are corporations too, my friend.
   115. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4226243)
People are corporations too, my friend.

To be fair (and I say this as a bankruptcy lawyer and someone who did some research on this back in law school), its probably reasonable to conflate these to some degree: "personal" bankruptcies include sole proprietorships (both formal and informal).
   116. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4226245)
Anyhow, as I had some figures quoted to me, I do wonder how many of the provisional ballots in 2004 required people doing this:

A voter who casts a provisional ballot because he or she is unable to provide proof of identification must execute an affirmation that he or she is the same person who appeared to vote on election day and do one of the following within six calendar days after the election:

Appear in person at the county board of elections to complete the affirmation and present proof of identification;

Submit an electronic, facsimile or paper copy of the affirmation and the proof of identification.
You sort of left off an important final provision:
A voter who is indigent and unable to obtain proof of identification without payment of a fee must submit an affirmation that he or she is the same person who appeared to vote on election day and that he or she is indigent in the same time frame and manner as described above.
To answer your question, the whole point of provisional ballots is that there's some doubt as to whether they are valid. Of course the voter has to take further steps.
   117. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4226251)
To answer your question, the whole point of provisional ballots is that there's some doubt as to whether they are valid.


Of course they're not. The way they're dressed? In that precinct?!
   118. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4226254)
If we have no evidence of false-identification based voter fraud, then voter ID schemes are as obvious a case of unnecessary government regulation impinging on freedom as one could as for.
On freedom? There's no natural right to vote; voting is by definition a government function. To be sure, one can argue that these laws are unnecessary. But they're not an infringement on freedom, the way, say, that requiring ID to speak, bear arms, travel, or do business are/would be.
   119. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4226257)
its probably reasonable to conflate these to some degree: "personal" bankruptcies include sole proprietorships (both formal and informal).
It's probably reasonable to understand that some percentage of personal bankruptcies are also business bankruptcies because of sole proprietors. It is not reasonable to simply assume they all qualify in order to make your statement sound more damning.
   120. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4226259)
Let's hear it from the mouth of the people who passed it, such as PA House Majority Leader Mike Turazi:

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” Turzai said at Saturday’s Republican State Committee meeting
Yes. Voter ID will allow Romney to win because it will prevent Democratic voter fraud. Now, I know you don't believe that -- but the fact that you don't believe that does not mean that PA House Majority Leader Mike Turazi doesn't believe it, or that he meant something else by what he said.
   121. zenbitz Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4226261)
However, it is obviously not proper to compare RAW 1980 bankruptcies to 2011 bankruptcies unless the denominator is the same. (which it very well might be). That's assuming bankruptcy law hasn't changed much in 30 years.

Without even getting into the fundamental question of how bankruptcy rate is really reflective of the given President's policies.
   122. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4226265)
I am still curious as to why spending tax dollars (taken at gun point I am sure) on Voter ID laws is OK, while spending tax dollars on other things (like making health insurance more affordable) is EVIL.

Since there is not a voter fraud problem in the US why are we spending money on it? other than the obvious it helps my party or hurts the other party. I respect those who admit to this obvious fact much more than those who pretend otherwise.
   123. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4226266)
On freedom? There's no natural right to vote; voting is by definition a government function. To be sure, one can argue that these laws are unnecessary. But they're not an infringement on freedom, the way, say, that requiring ID to speak, bear arms, travel, or do business are/would be.
Oh, I remember when I had this discussion with Dan.

Just to be clear, you're arguing that if a state were ruled by an englightened libertarian dictator who protected in full all the subsidiary rights which flow from self-ownership, the autocratic state of Libertopia would not in any way be violating the freedoms of its citizens?
   124. DA Baracus Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4226268)
Voter ID will allow Romney to win because it will prevent Democratic voter fraud.


So you're saying we still have Republican voter fraud as a problem to solve?

Now, I know you don't believe that -- but the fact that you don't believe that does not mean that PA House Majority Leader Mike Turazi doesn't believe it


I never said he doesn't believe it. In fact I'm sure he believes it.

or that he meant something else by what he said.


He spoke his own thoughts and used his own words. It is what it is.

   125. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4226270)
It's probably reasonable to understand that some percentage of personal bankruptcies are also business bankruptcies because of sole proprietors. It is not reasonable to simply assume they all qualify in order to make your statement sound more damning.


However, it is obviously not proper to compare RAW 1980 bankruptcies to 2011 bankruptcies unless the denominator is the same. (which it very well might be). That's assuming bankruptcy law hasn't changed much in 30 years.

Both, of course, true. But in the spectrum of political half-truths, this is about as mild as they come.
   126. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4226271)
On freedom? There's no natural right to vote


The word natural is doing a whole bunch of work here. Not good work mind you, but work.
   127. Langer Monk Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4226272)
Back to Voter ID, eh?

The hearings on the South Carolina Voter ID law makes for interesting reading. Here and here, among many others.

This article has snippets of testimony about how the 'reasonable impediment' can theoretically be challenged without the voter even knowing.

Awful lot of stuff for an admitted non-problem.
   128. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4226275)
But they're not an infringement on freedom, the way, say, that requiring ID to speak, bear arms, travel, or do business are/would be.

So wait, bearing arms is a "natural right?"
   129. Ron J2 Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4226277)
#118 David that's the dumbest piece of horseshit you've ever posted. I'm truly disappointed in you.
   130. zenbitz Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4226278)

So David, you are only opposed to regulations and laws that inhibit "natural rights". So, EPA/CRA/ADA (i.e, business regs) laws do this, and voter registration restrictions do not.

But how is the right to self-rule (chose your government) not a natural right? Is it not a natural right to defend your natural rights? I suppose not - I mean, if there was a referendum to repeal the bill of rights - and you didn't have the right to vote on it (say, because you are a Lawyer) it wouldn't matter if it violated any rights to not vote against it, since by (your) definition such a law would be invalid on it's face.

I don't believe in natural rights - so the argument has no merit anyway (although I suppose it's consistent, given that you get to define natural rights).
   131. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4226284)
Oh, I remember when I had this discussion with Dan.

Just to be clear, you're arguing that if a state were ruled by an englightened libertarian dictator who protected in full all the subsidiary rights which flow from self-ownership, the autocratic state of Libertopia would not in any way be violating the freedoms of its citizens?
Correct. (Although I'm not quite sure in what way this state could reasonably be described as "autocratic.") There are plenty of pragmatic objections to that arrangement (e.g., what do we do if the dictator stops being enlightened or libertarian), but at the philosophical level, the only legitimate purpose of voting is to select the government that will best protect all those rights; if it already does, then voting serves no function.
   132. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4226286)
But they're not an infringement on freedom, the way, say, that requiring ID to speak, bear arms, travel, or do business are/would be.

So wait, bearing arms is a "natural right?"
Right to property.

Among a certain set of libertarians (I was surprised Dan was one, not surprised David is), democracy is only good insofar as it's better at protecting core libertarian freedoms that other forms of government. An autocracy which protected those freedoms would be, in theory, a superior place.

I think one very notable aspect of the Arab Spring has been how utterly central democracy - the right to vote - has been for people seeking their freedom against autocratic states. Actually existing human striving for freedom has placed rights to political representation and the right to vote front and center.
   133. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4226288)
(Although I'm not quite sure in what way this state could reasonably be described as "autocratic.")
"Autocracy", a system of government in which political power is held by one single person.
   134. JL Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4226290)
This one confused me as well:

In other news out of Ohio, a federal judge ruled that the state must count provisional ballots that in the past would have been thrown out because of pollworker errors. In 2008, Ohio rejected 14,000 such ballots, which were cast in the wrong precinct likely because of mistakes by pollworkers in directing voters to the appropriate precinct at the poll site. Ohio has the highest rate of provisional ballots of any state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Voting rights group Advancement Project represented the SEIU, the Ohio Democratic Party, and other groups. Secretary of State Husted plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.


So the official state position was that if I move, go to a precinct, and they tell me I need to go to another one, tough my vote does not count if the pollworker messed up? My provisional ballot just gets thrown out?
   135. Steve Treder Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4226291)
Actually existing human striving for freedom has placed rights to political representation and the right to vote front and center.

Wait, you mean sophomoric theoretical gibberish pulled out of one's a$$ can be trumped by empirical reality? Now I've heard everything.
   136. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4226292)
But how is the right to self-rule (chose your government) not a natural right?
That's not self-rule; that's majority rule.

Is it not a natural right to defend your natural rights?
It is. Look, in a state of nature, do you have the right to free speech? Yes. To defend yourself? Of course. To worship, to assemble? Yeah. But to vote? The question doesn't even make sense. Voting is a derivative 'right'; it cannot exist without government.
   137. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4226297)
Look, in a state of nature, do you have the right to free speech? Yes. To defend yourself? Of course. To worship, to assemble? Yeah. But to vote? The question doesn't even make sense. Voting is a derivative 'right'; it cannot exist without government.
In gurgleblop hizzyfizz porkulartz, do you have the right to vote? Yes? To political representation? Yes.
   138. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4226300)
Among a certain set of libertarians (I was surprised Dan was one, not surprised David is), democracy is only good insofar as it's better at protecting core libertarian freedoms that other forms of government. An autocracy which protected those freedoms would be, in theory, a superior place.

I think one very notable aspect of the Arab Spring has been how utterly central democracy - the right to vote - has been for people seeking their freedom against autocratic states. Actually existing human striving for freedom has placed rights to political representation and the right to vote front and center.


Except, those Arab democracies are not going to protect many of the rights we take for granted.
   139. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4226301)

I think one very notable aspect of the Arab Spring has been how utterly central democracy - the right to vote - has been for people seeking their freedom against autocratic states.


And it's working so well in Egypt as the Democratic Process has shut the liberal reformers out of government, started implementing Islamic law, sent religious minorities fleeing the country, chilled the relationship with the US, and further isolated Israel! Excelsior! Once women start being stoned regularly for showing their faces in Egypt, then we can really taste the freedom.
   140. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4226302)
The polls all showed Dinkins (who had a lousy record as mayor) as narrowly ahead. Giuliani won in a walk.


Only because of Giuliani's tough stance on falsely labeled frozen yoghurt.
   141. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4226304)
Among a certain set of libertarians (I was surprised Dan was one, not surprised David is), democracy is only good insofar as it's better at protecting core libertarian freedoms that other forms of government. An autocracy which protected those freedoms would be, in theory, a superior place.


Yes that's because a certain group of libertarians are a bunch of petulant snip upset at being a minority, when in fact they are better and know better than everyone else. Basically it's the mindset that comes out of authoritarian movements- the fact that the cognitive dissonance this type of libs should suffer from hasn't killed them just shows how resilient the human psyche is.

   142. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4226308)
"Yes that's because a certain group of libertarians are a bunch of petulant snip upset at being a minority, when in fact they are better and know better than everyone else. Basically it's the mindset that comes out of authoritarian movements- the fact that the cognitive dissonance this type of libs should suffer from hasn't killed them just shows how resilient the human psyche is."

Says the dude who supports a party in favor of tens of thousands of pages of legislation dictating the rules on every single aspect of life.
   143. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4226309)
(Although I'm not quite sure in what way this state could reasonably be described as "autocratic.")

"Autocracy", a system of government in which political power is held by one single person.
No, a system of government in which a single person holds absolute power. But in our hypo, our dictator doesn't have absolute power; he has almost no power.
   144. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4226310)
This libertarian #### is the weirdest #### ever.

But in our hypo, our dictator doesn't have absolute power; he has almost no power.

He has immense power, he just chooses not to wield it.
   145. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4226311)
I think one very notable aspect of the Arab Spring has been how utterly central democracy - the right to vote - has been for people seeking their freedom against autocratic states.


And it's working so well in Egypt as the Democratic Process has shut the liberal reformers out of government, started implementing Islamic law, sent religious minorities fleeing the country, chilled the relationship with the US, and further isolated Israel! Excelsior! Once women start being stoned regularly for showing their faces in Egypt, then we can really taste the freedom.
Your failure to understand my point is noted. I wasn't saying that the Arab Spring had produced successful and free democratic societies. obviously that has not been the case.

Rather, I said that the people who rose up against their autocratic oppressors understood the right to political representation as utterly central to their own freedom. I take this as much better evidence of what constitutes human freedom that David's denatured-theology blathering about states of nature.
   146. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4226312)
No, a system of government in which a single person holds absolute power. But in our hypo, our dictator doesn't have absolute power; he has almost no power.


He chooses to wield almost no power. There is a difference.
   147. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4226313)
then we can really taste the freedom.


yes because Egypt was so free under Mubarak....

chilled the relationship with the US

so what? who cares, and do we still send boatloads of $ to them? If so turn it off, our "relationship" with Egypt is a remnant of the cold war, cast them off

and further isolated Israel!

and so, what does that have to do with "freedom"?
and, again, who cares? I mean other than Israelis? Rightwing US evangelical nuts who see Israel's existence as a prerequisite to the 2nd coming?

Look you can critcize other peoples/countries, all you want, but by what right can you that the Egyptians have no right to run their own country?
   148. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4226316)
But in our hypo, our dictator doesn't have absolute power; he has almost no power.

He has immense power, he just chooses not to wield it.
No, he has immense power which he uses in a radical fashion to produce a particular kind of political body. It takes immense power to establish a system of law according to libertarian ideals, and equally immense power to enforce it. All of that power is invested in the dictator, the state is properly described as an autocracy.
   149. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4226317)
And it's working so well in Egypt as the Democratic Process has shut the liberal reformers out of government, started implementing Islamic law, sent religious minorities fleeing the country, chilled the relationship with the US, and further isolated Israel! Excelsior! Once women start being stoned regularly for showing their faces in Egypt, then we can really taste the freedom.


This isn't all accurate or fair, by the way.
   150. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4226321)
Look you can critcize other peoples/countries, all you want, but by what right can you that the Egyptians have no right to run their own country?
The question is so confused that it makes my head hurt. Why makes it "their own country"? What makes it a country at all? By what right does a guy in Cairo have some "right" to tell people in, e.g., Alexandria or Luxor what to do? Why does that guy in Cairo have some right that Free Mark Prior does not? From where does it derive?
   151. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4226322)
Rather, I said that the people who rose up against their autocratic oppressors understood the right to political representation as utterly central to their own freedom.

LOL. Arab Spring-style "freedom" and democracy thus far have been the living embodiment of that old axiom about democracy being "two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner."
   152. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4226323)
but by what right can you that the Egyptians have no right to run their own country?

If they democratically choose to oppress women, religious minorities, etc., they have no right to be a democracy.

A coup overturning such a democracy would be just.
   153. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4226324)
If they democratically choose to oppress women, religious minorities, etc., they have no right to be a democracy.

A coup overturning such a democracy would be just.


Cool. When do we march on the Vatican?
   154. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4226325)
That's not self-rule; that's majority rule.


That's what self-determination generally means.

Look, in a state of nature, do you have the right to free speech? Yes. To defend yourself? Of course. To worship, to assemble? Yeah. But to vote? The question doesn't even make sense. Voting is a derivative 'right'; it cannot exist without government.

"State of nature" is a fine philosophical concept, but it never existed. There is no such thing. "Government", i.e. "power relationships that structure human society" has existed as long as there have been humans.
   155. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4226326)
Cool. When do we march on the Vatican?

The Vatican's only citizens are working for the Church. No one has that as their primary citizenship. So, sorry, no cigar.
   156. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4226327)
If they democratically choose to oppress women, religious minorities, etc., they have no right to be a democracy.


Can we get a moratorium on the word "right"? There are too many competing definitions here.
   157. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4226328)
I think one very notable aspect of the Arab Spring has been how utterly central democracy - the right to vote - has been for people seeking their freedom against autocratic states.


I think one notable aspect of the "Arab Spring" is how so many neo-cons in 2001/2002 touted such a thing as being a likely result of the overthrown of Hussein, began pissing in their pants when it started happening.

I work with someone who used to bring up Lockerbie and Peter Kilburn and various African mercenary armies... kept saying Gaddafi had to go and that Reagan should have tried harder to get him...

Later he claimed that Obama was wrong to support the rebels, because Al Qaeda was going to control Libya.

   158. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4226329)
Since snapper seems to have misunderstood me as well, I guess I should re-state my point.

I was emphatically not arguing that democratic freedoms are the only freedoms that matter, that the protection of the right to political representation is sufficient to human freedom. I was arguing that democratic freedoms, rights to political representation are necessary to human freedom.

(With regard to aftermath of the Arab Spring, I would dispute the interpretation of events that democratic freedoms are being enforced at the expense of other freedoms. Democratic freedoms in Egypt and elsewhere are, sadly, spotty and selectively protected like most other freedoms in these emerging states.)
   159. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4226330)
What makes it a country at all?


Egypt is the oldest polity yet existing on the entire planet. If they're not a country no one is.
   160. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4226331)
That's not self-rule; that's majority rule.

That's what self-determination generally means.


If you majority chooses to oppress me, I have every right to try and overthrow that system. There's nothing magical that makes majority rule the only legitimate form of gov't.

If restriction of the franchise, or even monarchy is necessary to protect basic right, then they are superior to majority rule.
   161. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4226336)
I was emphatically not arguing that democratic freedoms are the only freedoms that matter, that the protection of the right to political representation is sufficient to human freedom. I was arguing that democratic freedoms, rights to political representation are necessary to human freedom.

And I'm saying that it isn't necessary, and it may actually be inimical to human freedom.
   162. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4226337)
Look, in a state of nature, do you have the right to free speech? Yes. To defend yourself? Of course. To worship, to assemble?


You also have the right to die in childbirth, in vast numbers. Your children have the right to die in infancy, in vast numbers. The moment you are too old or too sick, or too injured to go out and hunt and gather your food for the day, or the day your last tooth fell out and you could no longer chew your meat, you have the right to starve to death, in vast numbers. Improvement in these and many other quality of life issues are impossible without civilization, and civilization is impossible without government, and the best way to protect your rights when there is a government is through voting.

With all due respect to Jefferson or Franklin, or whoever said it, I'll gladly trade some of my natural rights for the right to live (currently) 30 more years than my life expectancy as a man in a state of nature, nasty, brutish, and short, red in tooth and claw, and all that.
   163. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4226338)
You also have the right to die in childbirth, in vast numbers. Your children have the right to die in infancy, in vast numbers. The moment you are too old or too sick, or too injured to go out and hunt and gather your food for the day, or the day your last tooth fell out and you could no longer chew your meat, you have the right to starve to death, in vast numbers. Improvement in these and many other quality of life issues are impossible without civilization, and civilization is impossible without government, and the best way to protect your rights when there is a government is through voting.

With all due respect to Jefferson or Franklin, or whoever said it, I'll gladly trade some of my natural rights for the right to live (currently) 30 more years than my life expectancy as a man in a state of nature, nasty, brutish, and short, red in tooth and claw, and all that.


But civilization doesn't require one-man-one-vote democracy.

Most of the progress in human history was made under non-democratic and semi-democratic countries.
   164. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4226347)
If restriction of the franchise, or even monarchy is necessary to protect basic right, then they are superior to majority rule.


Has never happened in the history of the world, and likely never will.

   165. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4226348)
If restriction of the franchise, or even monarchy is necessary to protect basic right, then they are superior to majority rule.
Who gets to decide? This logic has been used over and over again in human history, and it has never, to my knowledge, actually produced an improvement in the freedoms of the people whose political rights have been so restricted.

Just in American history, this was very clearly the logic behind the disenfranchisement of blacks in the Jim Crow south, it was the logic behind the disenfranchisement of women, of immigrants, of those who don't hold property, and so on. It is not a logic that I trust to be wielded in the real world.
   166. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4226353)
That's not self-rule; that's majority rule.

That's what self-determination generally means.
That's what collectivists use it to mean, but that requires one assume their priors. Libertarians don't (which is why we say that "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting what to have for dinner.") The "right" of you to govern me isn't a right at all.

EDIT: I see someone else used the wolves/sheep quote.
   167. zenbitz Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4226355)
That's not self-rule; that's majority rule.


Technicality (but correct). You are cleaving all social interaction. It's a spherical horse.

It is [[a natural right to defend your natural rights]]. Look, in a state of nature, do you have the right to free speech? Yes. To defend yourself? Of course. To worship, to assemble? Yeah.


These are rights, they are verbs. They are actions you can take. Anyone or anything can stop you if they are so inclined.

But to vote? The question doesn't even make sense. Voting is a derivative 'right'; it cannot exist without government.


Yes, you can vote in an isolated, natural state. And you always win, 1-0.

Yes, but a democratic government exists by fiat of self-rule of those within it. You have ceeded the obligation to defend your property and person to this government - implicitly. Therefore, in order to retain control over this you receive a right to vote. That's the social contract. You can reject this contract and go outlaw, but you lose the state's protection.

Yours are the arguments of an anarchist, and you are not one.
   168. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4226356)
I don't see why voting is not covered under the "natural right" to free speech.

If you're the head caveman, and you ask everyone's opinion on something, everyone is just exercising their natural right to free speech. But if you say ... "well, there's a lot of you, and to make everything fair, I'm going to count everyone's opinion as exactly equal" - suddenly it's not longer free speech, it's something else, something libertarians do not care about?

If you ask for ID when everyone's just debating, it's a privacy infringement, but if you ask for ID when it's understood that everyone gets 1 point for their team when they express those opinions, it's not an infringement?
   169. Jay Z Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4226357)
It is. Look, in a state of nature, do you have the right to free speech? Yes. To defend yourself? Of course. To worship, to assemble? Yeah. But to vote? The question doesn't even make sense. Voting is a derivative 'right'; it cannot exist without government.


In a state of nature you also have the right to form government. Dictatorships, democracies, anarchies are all natural. Please specify at what point life becomes unnatural.
   170. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4226358)
I am still curious as to why spending tax dollars (taken at gun point I am sure) on Voter ID laws is OK, while spending tax dollars on other things (like making health insurance more affordable) is EVIL.

My favorite bit of "conservative" irony is their alleged opposition to the deficit, combined with an admant opposition to increasing the woefully underfunded IRS. Never mind that increasing the IRS's auditing budget would induce millions of tax cheats to report their income more honestly, and that it would also slice hundreds of billions of dollars from that deficit, we can't do anything to strengthen THE JACKBOOTED SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT.
   171. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4226364)
f restriction of the franchise, or even monarchy is necessary to protect basic right, then they are superior to majority rule.
Who gets to decide?


Libertarians

   172. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4226365)

Has never happened in the history of the world, and likely never will.


Less democratic countries have had more liberty than more democratic ones.

There was more liberty in the old "Ataturk system" in Turkey than under today's democracy.

   173. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4226366)
Please specify at what point life becomes unnatural.


Lunar habitats
   174. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4226367)

If you majority chooses to oppress me, I have every right to try and overthrow that system. There's nothing magical that makes majority rule the only legitimate form of gov't.


I am a follower of Rousseau's concept of popular sovereignty. The people are the source of all legitimate political power and the only legitimate government is one that has the consent of the governed.
   175. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4226368)
Who gets to decide?

Duh, whoever can wield enough power to implement the changes.
   176. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4226369)
If restriction of the franchise, or even monarchy is necessary to protect basic right, then they are superior to majority rule.


At least he owns and doesn't hide behind some mumble-jumble libertarian house of cards.

In the "state of nature" I have every right in the world to beat the #### out of you, take your women, throw your children into my salt mines. IN a state of nature, any action I can successfully do is a "natural right."
   177. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4226370)
I am a follower of Rousseau's concept of popular sovereignty. The people are the source of all legitimate political power and the only legitimate government is one that has the consent of the governed.

But if the 51% decide to oppress the 49% , the 49% have "popular sovereignty" too. If they are truly oppressed, they justly have recourse to non-democratic means to redress the situation.
   178. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4226371)
The question is so confused that it makes my head hurt. Why makes it "their own country"? What makes it a country at all?


What makes the US your country?
What makes the US a country at all?
What gives someone in DC the "right" to tell me in Long Island what to do?

Dave I think you are clever, and you can make arguments that the liberals haven't thought of, have difficulty countering, but post 150 isn't clever, it's fatuous and stupid.
   179. BDC Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4226372)
alleged opposition to the deficit

I was fascinated to read, in Robert Caro's intriguing but somewhat padded Passage of Power, about LBJ's work with Senator Harry Byrd (Neanderthal-VA) on the "JFK tax cut" of 1963-64. Byrd, a true "deficit hawk," blocked the JFK tax cuts until LBJ could demonstrate that he had federal spending under control. (Byrd's target was a budget under $100 billion, which now seems like a laugh line from an Austin Powers movie; but it represented real cuts in spending during LBJ's first year in office.) It's astonishing to think of any 21st-century conservative doing this: insisting on higher taxes till he saw evidence of spending cuts.
   180. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4226374)
In the "state of nature" I have every right in the world to beat the #### out of you, take your women, throw your children into my salt mines. IN a state of nature, any action I can successfully do is a "natural right."

You have the ability to try, if you can get away with it, but that's no different than under a gov't. The ability to attempt something doesn't make it a right.

   181. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4226375)
I think one very notable aspect of the Arab Spring has been how utterly central democracy - the right to vote - has been for people seeking their freedom against autocratic states. Actually existing human striving for freedom has placed rights to political representation and the right to vote front and center.
Sure -- majorities always like the right to vote. Why wouldn't they? (I would note that Egypt was a democracy to begin with -- in theory. There was an elected parliament and everything. The military held the real power, and even the impotent parliament was a sham, since opposition parties were essentially banned and the elections were fixed. But, still, it provided a framework for the protesters to work with. Change didn't require overthrow of the system of government a la Syria or Libya; it just required turning form into substance. (It's much easier to say, "We want our votes to count" than "We want the right to vote."))

But your whole line of argument here is one big gotcha attempt. You asked me a hypothetical question about an ideal world. I answered that, while pointing out that this is true only in theory, but pragmatically, we have reason to disfavor so-called "autocracy." Then you act as if I'm saying the opposite. All I said was that an "autocrat" that fully protected individual liberty would be ideal; I did not posit that such an animal existed or was likely to ever exist. Am I supposed to be Andy, and refuse to answer your hypothetical question on the grounds that the hypothetical is unlikely to come to pass?

(Plus, there's an even bigger bait-and-switch, since you cite the Arab Spring as evidence on the democracy side of the scale while then conceding, "I wasn't saying that the Arab Spring had produced successful and free democratic societies. obviously that has not been the case." I mean, then, if you have neither theory nor empiricism on your side, what do you have?)
   182. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4226376)
The ability to attempt something doesn't make it a right.


What the #### is a right? Seriously.
   183. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4226377)
I am still curious as to why spending tax dollars (taken at gun point I am sure) on Voter ID laws is OK, while spending tax dollars on other things (like making health insurance more affordable) is EVIL.
See, this is what I mean about voting being a derivative right. You can have health care without government. But elections themselves presuppose government; an election by its very nature involves the expenditure of tax dollars. (Well, a governmental election, anyway; you can have an election for head of the girl scout troop that doesn't.) One can question how the tax dollars are spent -- presumably poll workers do not each need BMWs to get them to the polls -- but one can't question the notion of spending tax dollars.
   184. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4226379)
(Plus, there's an even bigger bait-and-switch, since you cite the Arab Spring as evidence on the democracy side of the scale while then conceding, "I wasn't saying that the Arab Spring had produced successful and free democratic societies. obviously that has not been the case." I mean, then, if you have neither theory nor empiricism on your side, what do you have?)
I cite the actual people who rose up, and I cite their imagining of what human freedom entails. I do not believe that the various failures of the Arab Spring have occurred because the ideals the people voiced have been reasonably put into practice and found wanting. The suggestion that the problems in Egpyt are a function of "too much democracy" is ludicrous.

When we ask, "what constitutes human freedom?", I suggest that we should ask actual humans who are risking their lives to agitate for said freedom. They probably have something useful to say.
   185. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4226382)
I mean, then, if you have neither theory nor empiricism on your side, what do you have?)


Libertarian philosophy?


   186. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4226383)
I don't see why voting is not covered under the "natural right" to free speech.

If you're the head caveman, and you ask everyone's opinion on something, everyone is just exercising their natural right to free speech. But if you say ... "well, there's a lot of you, and to make everything fair, I'm going to count everyone's opinion as exactly equal" - suddenly it's not longer free speech, it's something else, something libertarians do not care about?
You are confusing an opinion poll with an election. Asking people what they think, and tabulating those opinions, is indeed free speech. Turning that opinion into governance, in which the majority controls the minority, is something beyond that.
   187. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4226385)
What the #### is a right? Seriously.


A freedom granted to you by the mere fact of being human. Freedom's endowed by the creator, is the language those of us who believe in God would us.

Life. Liberty. Self-defense. Freedom to worship. Freedom to own property, and earn a living.
   188. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4226386)

A freedom granted to you by the mere fact of being human. Freedom's endowed by the creator, is the language those of us who believe in God would us.

Life. Liberty. Self-defense. Freedom to worship. Freedom to own property, and earn a living.


There is no particular reason to think there is a creator. Does that mean that "natural rights" is an invalid concept?
   189. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4226387)
What makes the US your country?
What makes the US a country at all?
What gives someone in DC the "right" to tell me in Long Island what to do?
The difference is that you're asking these questions rhetorically, while I wasn't doing the same in 150.
   190. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4226388)
Life. Liberty. Self-defense. Freedom to worship. Freedom to own property, and earn a living.
If our creator endowed us with that, and then inspired the Bible, he or she must have meant an extremely limited right. I'm surprised it shows up so highly on the list.

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. ‘Ananias,’ Peter asked, ‘why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us* but to God!’ Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped up his body,* then carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter said to her, ‘Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price.’ And she said, ‘Yes, that was the price.’ Then Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.
   191. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4226389)
I cite the actual people who rose up, and I cite their imagining of what human freedom entails.

But that is entirely conditioned by their experience of what free countries look like today. If the freest, richest countries in the world were aristocracies or monarchies, they would aspire to that.
   192. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4226390)
There is no particular reason to think there is a creator. Does that mean that "natural rights" is an invalid concept?

To my mind, yes. If there is no God, I don't see any reason why humans have any special dignity above other animals.
   193. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4226392)
What the #### is a right? Seriously.


Answered @145. Denatured theology.
   194. BDC Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4226395)
If there is no God, I don't see any reason why humans have any special dignity above other animals

Many secular posthumanists would agree with you completely.
   195. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4226397)
If our creator endowed us with that, and then inspired the Bible, he or she must have meant an extremely limited right. I'm surprised it shows up so highly on the list.

Really? You must not read the Bible much.

Try the parable of the Talents, or the parable of the vineyard and husbandmen. The Bible is none too kind to those who disrespect others property.
   196. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4226398)
A freedom granted to you by the mere fact of being human.


But those freedoms can be revoked so easily, as they have been so commonly in history, and still are today. I can be incarcerated or executed in the USA, despite the founding document's assurance that I have a inalienable rights to freedom and life.

So what is a right? I think a more accurate definition would be that it's "a freedom that it would be nice if all humans had."
   197. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4226399)
Many secular posthumanists would agree with you completely.

It's the logical conclusion of atheistic materialism.

If God didn't endow humans with some special dignity, where does it come from? Why is killing a man different than killing an animal. Animals kill their own kind, and we don't brand it immoral. Morality presupposes some absolute standard of conduct.

Without God, any "morality" a person wants to cook up is equally valid. The Taliban's opinion of a just society is no better or worse than the Founding Fathers'.
   198. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4226400)
If there is no God, I don't see any reason why humans have any special dignity above other animals.

And?
   199. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4226402)
But those freedoms can be revoked so easily, as they have been so commonly in history, and still are today. I can be incarcerated or executed in the USA, despite the founding document's assurance that I have a inalienable rights to freedom and life.

But your rights are only denied in response to you violating the rights of others. We don't say the criminal no longer has the right to liberty, he is being denied it as punishment for his crime. If his sentence is less than life, when it is over, he regains the right.
   200. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4226403)
You can have health care without government.


No you can't
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