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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   5201. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4333265)
Flip.
   5202. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4333267)
Gallup's out today with the latest polling on where Americans stand on the issue or new gun laws. As you can see in the chart below, opinions appear to have changed greatly in the past year, no doubt largely due to the Newtown tragedy and a string of other recent high-profile mass shootings:
These results need to be unskewed.

Indeed. Taking a poll one week after a tragedy and then pretending the results are proof of a wholesale shift of opinion re: gun rights is fairly laughable.
   5203. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4333272)
this guy from huffington post is a joke suggesting that senate republicans are key

that's laughable
   5204. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4333277)
Really? How many guns did the suffrage movement bring into play? What about the civil rights movement? What about the women's and gay movements? Were they sponsored by Winchester?

I really wouldn't call these revolutions,


Well, if the complete dismantling of legal apartheid and a wholesale shift in assumptions about the role of minorities and women in American society doesn't constitute a revolution, it's certainly an improvement over any sort of revolution that's likely to be achieved by any armed citizen uprising.

and I wouldn't call the government tyrannical here.

What, the state governments of the South weren't tyrannical towards blacks during the Jim Crow era? What sort of threshold would they have had to mount before you'd call them by that name?

The closest I can think of in US history that was truly large-scale tyranny post-slavery was Japanese internment, and I would have considered the Japanese justified in taking up arms against the government in that case.

And rightly so, although all that would have resulted in would have been a liquidation of anyone and everyone who took up arms against the government, and with disastrous consequences for those who didn't. It would have taken us on a course so far for the worse that the consequences would be too horrible even to consider. The real world is not a goddam video game, and the "collateral damage" doesn't allow you to start over from scratch.


   5205. CrosbyBird Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4333278)
We can play the game the other way too. The second amendment could have just said "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." That would have been clearly more supportive of the right to bear arms than the text as written. Read the rest of the Bill of Rights - you won't find rationale embedded in the text of any other amendment. The 1st amendment does not say "A vigorous and open exchange of ideas being necessary to a functioning republic . . . " It just says "Congress shall make no law . . . " I think any originalist (or even strict constructionist) reading of the Constitution is borderline preposterous, but it's more preposterous to read the first clause out of the second amendment or to ignore the idiosyncratic phrasing of the 2nd Amendment completely.

It's not a game. The point is that the Second Amendment doesn't clearly establish anything; textualism/originalism will not do us much good in interpretation. I'm not arguing that there's a clear individual right to possess firearms, because there's not a clear anything. Textualism is garbage anyway; does anyone really interpret the First Amendment as "no law"?

There is a legitimate argument, supported by historical fact and documentation, that the intention of the framers in crafting the Second Amendment was, at least in part, to protect against tyrannical government. That concern (one that still exists today) needs to be addressed as part of crafting reasonable gun policy.
   5206. CrosbyBird Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4333280)
You are simply incorrect. There is not a gun out there that is intended by the founders to be used against the government even in threat. It is treason inside the country and war outside it. Among other things. The founders intended for the state to be defended and policed, hence "security of a free state." Guns pointed against the government make the state less secure.

I'm not going to quote-bomb you, but I've posted some substantial evidence supporting my position, and you're just repeatedly asserting that I'm wrong. Read the article I linked and you'll see that there actually is some very clear intent among the anti-Federalists. Patrick Henry didn't want Virginia to ratify the Constitution because he was afraid of the unchecked power of a national army, for example.

I'd be happy to engage you in a legitimate discussion if you'd like, but if you're not going to address the substance of my position, then I'm going to be forced to conclude that you don't really want a discussion so much as a soapbox.

I am trying to determine whether the tacit tolerance of people like CrosbyBird is causing part of the problem in this country. Whether that tolerance is emboldening some of the more deranged citizens.

I'm wondering if the tacit tolerance of government authority is the reason why our privacy rights are eroding and we're able to have a generally accepted policy of extradition-for-torture and drone strikes.
   5207. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4333290)
There is a legitimate argument, supported by historical fact and documentation, that the intention of the framers in crafting the Second Amendment was, at least in part, to protect against tyrannical government. That concern (one that still exists today) needs to be addressed as part of crafting reasonable gun policy.

What "legitimate" grievance is there today against the U.S. government that could conceivably be remedied by armed rebellion, or by some sort of "deterrent" factor? What sort of fantasy world are you talking about?

I'm wondering if the tacit tolerance of government authority is the reason why our privacy rights are eroding and we're able to have a generally accepted policy of extradition-for-torture and drone strikes.

Our privacy rights are routinely impinged upon far more by marketers than government agencies, in case you haven't noticed it, at least when it comes to 99% of the computer-owning population.

But even granting your premise that the government is the chief offender, exactly how are guns going to remedy this?
   5208. CrosbyBird Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4333298)
What "legitimate" grievance is there today against the U.S. government that could conceivably be remedied by armed rebellion, or by some sort of "deterrent" factor? What sort of fantasy world are you talking about?

I think Ruby Ridge is an example of a government abuse that was exposed by gun ownership. It's terrible that people had to die, but it drew attention to the fact that the government was trying to strongarm a witness into testifying. Perhaps not enough, since most people don't know about Ruby Ridge. Waco is a less compelling example, although I still think the government caused this problem by not waiting out the Branch Davidians; at worst, you could say that the guns drew attention to whether the government was acting responsibly.

That's the main value of guns, as I see them, for individual resistance of government. I don't think we're a freer country if we're spared Ruby Ridge and Waco and the government gets to act aggressively in silence.

Our privacy rights are routinely impinged upon far more by marketers than government agencies, in case you haven't noticed it, at least when it comes to 99% of the computer-owning population.

So what? I'm concerned with the government violating my privacy rights, since I can't shop for a new government or function as an anonymous agent as a citizen, as I can on the internet. It is fairly trivial to act on the internet with relative anonymity if you're very concerned about marketers stealing your private information to better sell you things.

But even granting your premise that the government is the chief offender, exactly how are guns going to remedy this?

I didn't say that guns would. I'm saying that the same sort of complacent attitude of trust toward governmental authority that allows disarming citizens allows the government to invade privacy and limit individual rights. "The government will only wiretap people if there's a legitimate reason. The government will only prohibit the use of dangerous drugs. The government will only be disarming the people for their own protection, not to quash dissent."

The main difference between government and private agency is that government is the ultimate authority in the land. Government policies have force of law, while private agencies act with the sufferance of the government. If a private agency wrongs you, you have legal recourse and can petition the government to help resolve the issue; if the government wrongs you, you have only your ability to resist.
   5209. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4333313)
Why do coins have to be 2-dimensional? Why not shaped like a D&D 20 sided die?
Because then they tend to roll off the card table and into a dark corner of Mom's basement.
   5210. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4333315)
What "legitimate" grievance is there today against the U.S. government that could conceivably be remedied by armed rebellion, or by some sort of "deterrent" factor? What sort of fantasy world are you talking about?

I think Ruby Ridge is an example of a government abuse that was exposed by gun ownership. It's terrible that people had to die, but it drew attention to the fact that the government was trying to strongarm a witness into testifying. Perhaps not enough, since most people don't know about Ruby Ridge. Waco is a less compelling example, although I still think the government caused this problem by not waiting out the Branch Davidians; at worst, you could say that the guns drew attention to whether the government was acting responsibly.

That's the main value of guns, as I see them, for individual resistance of government. I don't think we're a freer country if we're spared Ruby Ridge and Waco and the government gets to act aggressively in silence.


Of course if there weren't any private guns involved in those situations, there would have been far fewer deaths, if in fact any at all.

Our privacy rights are routinely impinged upon far more by marketers than government agencies, in case you haven't noticed it, at least when it comes to 99% of the computer-owning population.

So what? I'm concerned with the government violating my privacy rights, since I can't shop for a new government or function as an anonymous agent as a citizen, as I can on the internet. It is fairly trivial to act on the internet with relative anonymity if you're very concerned about marketers stealing your private information to better sell you things.


But unless you want to forego any sort of 21st century economic activity, you're not likely to escape the prying eyes of the marketers. The fact that only the government concerns you is solely an ideological distinction you're making.

But even granting your premise that the government is the chief offender, exactly how are guns going to remedy this?

I didn't say that guns would. I'm saying that the same sort of complacent attitude of trust toward governmental authority that allows disarming citizens allows the government to invade privacy and limit individual rights. "The government will only wiretap people if there's a legitimate reason. The government will only prohibit the use of dangerous drugs. The government will only be disarming the people for their own protection, not to quash dissent."


But again, guns are a total non-factor here when it comes to a remedy, as you yourself admit. If the problem is citizen complacency, the solution is organization and increased awareness, and guns have nothing to contribute to that. You can vote an intrusive government out of office and limit the use of its data by electing officials who will defund its agencies, but you can't do that with those NRA-inspired fantasies.

The main difference between government and private agency is that government is the ultimate authority in the land. Government policies have force of law, while private agencies act with the sufferance of the government. If a private agency wrongs you, you have legal recourse and can petition the government to help resolve the issue; if the government wrongs you, you have only your ability to resist.

And once more, it all starts with citizen organization and action. We're no more able to stop private snooping with guns than we're able to stop government snooping, but in both cases that snooping depends on the consent of the electorate. If we can elect presidents and congressmen who can empower the regulatory agencies to crack down on runaway private "marketing" practices that leave your life and preferences available to any company willing to pay the price, we can just as easily elect people who will crack down on the government agencies you find so objectionable.

But as Morty Seinfeld might say, do you have the votes? I get the strong feeling that your underlying complaint is more against the electorate than against the government itself.
   5211. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4333356)
bitter

let the private sector do the spending now that their house is in order. the govt should step in as the spender of last resort


This is contrary to a three-quarters of a century of successful fiscal policy. It fits your philosophy, but it doesn't fit the facts. In any case, unemployment is still extremely high, and infrastructure--the building and maintenance of which is a huge part of governance--is in dire need of repair. The time is exactly right for an infrastructure based stimulus bill. In a time of high unemployment and extremely low inflation and borrowing costs, the time is practically perfect for government spending.

Can I just point out that cutting spending in the face of really low interest rates and crappy employment (just barely out of recession) is crazy and we should be spending more and not less. Gah the whole thing makes me crazy.


Yup. Another word for it is austerity. It's also anti-Keynesian monetary policy that will prolong the recession.

I really wouldn't call these revolutions, and I wouldn't call the government tyrannical here. The closest I can think of in US history that was truly large-scale tyranny post-slavery was Japanese internment, and I would have considered the Japanese justified in taking up arms against the government in that case.


It gets even more interesting if we hypothesize the Japanese-Americans of the time as proud gun-owners and gun-collectors who would respond to internment with violent rebellion.--say, one thousand dead on the government side, and ten thousand dead Japanese-Americans as a reasonable expectation.
   5212. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4333363)
jack

this garbage about infrastructure is so 20th century. why the blank are we messing around with road repair when as a society we should be looking to move away from cars and find transportation that isn't such a resource hog?

i am so godd8mn sick of hearing about roads and bridges and that cr8p. think ahead not back

jes8s
   5213. McCoy Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4333381)
Well, no matter what source of traveling device we come up with we're going to need bridges, rail lines, navigable rivers, and harbors. It also wouldn't hurt to add a few dams as well.
   5214. zonk Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4333382)
this garbage about infrastructure is so 20th century. why the blank are we messing around with road repair when as a society we should be looking to move away from cars and find transportation that isn't such a resource hog?

i am so godd8mn sick of hearing about roads and bridges and that cr8p. think ahead not back


FWIW, I agree with you -- and I certainly don't want this to sound like standard partisan accusatory stuff...

But these think ahead/not back stuff is expensive - and at this point, isn't yet profitable for private enterprise alone to shoulder the load, just as transcontinental railroads weren't more than a century ago.

I think the administration has tried to look forward. There high speed rail initiatives that have been summarily rejected by a variety of GOP governors. Green energy initiatives - some of which certainly failed for a variety of reasons - likewise have become nothing more than fodder for investigations.

China - with its significant state-subsidized economy - can afford to build things and support industries at a loss in order to gain long-term advantage.... they simply don't have to worry about providing a precise ROI end-date, much less next quarter's financials, what the shareholders, the venture capitalists funding them, or otherwise might say.

I'm not anti-private sector and I'm not suggesting complete government control of any industry.

However, I do have a friend who works for what is now a troubled solar energy start-up... their wholly private venture capital is drying up - they're still in R&D/prototyping stages, but (quite understandably) their financial backers are starting to question when and if they'll start to see a profit, and as a result - beginning to wonder if it's time to pull the plug. I don't claim to understand the technology, but I do understand percent increases in this capture/storage/transmission or that technology... progress is being made - but ultimately, the people who fund this are not altruistic nor do they pursue science for its own sake. They want to make a profit.
   5215. zonk Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4333386)
Just to add to 5214 -

I work in an industry that is transitioning from a legacy distribution model (print-based publishing for professional/legal/accounting services) to a digital/software/e-delivery model. It's a balancing act...

Working on the software/digital side, my completely forward thinking answer is to radically shift resources from the legacy to the forward-looking... It's the future - let's work on the future. Our executives most certainly agree in theory -- but one can't just retool a large multinational on the drop of a hat -- and there are always next year's, even next quarter's numbers to worry about. We have multi-year plans -- but this transition has been happening for more than 3 years and will continue far longer than 3 years more. Only time will tell if we went too slow -- but the shareholders will decide if we go too fast (sacrificing near-term returns for theoretical long-term gain).

Now... I'm not saying that we need a government bailout or assistance in our transition. We're a mature industry and not dealing with a market which does not yet exist - rather, just a market that would have its needs satisfied by either smaller, more nimble competitors, or, our larger competitors who made better choices.

I'm just saying even in a mature industry with a market that already exists - we always have to be mindful of the current/near-term numbers, often times to a fault. We make trade-offs on advances because it might make too large an impact on current bottom lines.

When it comes to something for which that market is theoretical or - if the current state technology remains too profitable for the future state to gain enough market share to lure the private dollars, what then?
   5216. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4333388)
why the blank are we messing around with road repair when as a society we should be looking to move away from cars and find transportation that isn't such a resource hog?


Great, let's build the infrastructure for that then. And in the meantime, we're still using those roads to get almost all of our stuff where it needs to go.
   5217. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4333393)
zonk

solar is dead for now. it's just not cost effective with the impact of the output of fracking
   5218. billyshears Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4333397)
There is a legitimate argument, supported by historical fact and documentation, that the intention of the framers in crafting the Second Amendment was, at least in part, to protect against tyrannical government. That concern (one that still exists today) needs to be addressed as part of crafting reasonable gun policy.


That concern only needs to be addressed if (a) one concedes that the 2nd amendment was in fact designed in part to enable the citizenry to rebel against the recently established government and (b) one accepts originalism as a legitimate basis of constitutional interpretation. I think (a) is at least arguable, but (b) is the realm of fools. We don't need to address 18th century paranoia while crafting 21st century gun policy.
   5219. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4333402)
this garbage about infrastructure is so 20th century. why the blank are we messing around with road repair when as a society we should be looking to move away from cars and find transportation that isn't such a resource hog?

i am so godd8mn sick of hearing about roads and bridges and that cr8p. think ahead not back


Well infrastructure is not just roads and bridges (and since we will need cars & trucks for a while yet can we please keep those up and not let them rot away), it includes rail and also things like a smart power grid which from what I have read would be much more efficient and effective and enable all sorts of great things - but private enterprise just doesn't want to do it right now.

There are plenty of modern infrastructure projects out there, and as I said roads and bridges are not exactly obsolete.
   5220. zonk Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4333404)
solar is dead for now. it's just not cost effective with the impact of the output of fracking


It's not dead - it's unprofitable... there's a difference - entities that don't need to worry about profit in the near-term are still pursuing it. Entities that can afford to take a chance on never seeing profitability are still pursuing the possibility of it.

   5221. CrosbyBird Posted: December 27, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4333405)
Of course if there weren't any private guns involved in those situations, there would have been far fewer deaths, if in fact any at all.

Without a doubt. The government would have just quietly stormed in and arrested the Branch Davidians and Randy Weaver, and we'd probably know even less about the strongarm tactics they used.

But unless you want to forego any sort of 21st century economic activity, you're not likely to escape the prying eyes of the marketers. The fact that only the government concerns you is solely an ideological distinction you're making.

And a practical one. Marketers can't come into my home and arrest me. They can't decide whether or not I'm allowed to purchase a gun, or what drugs I'm permitted to take. They can nag me and sell my information to other people, but they have no direct power over me.

That's not merely ideological.

But again, guns are a total non-factor here when it comes to a remedy, as you yourself admit. If the problem is citizen complacency, the solution is organization and increased awareness, and guns have nothing to contribute to that. You can vote an intrusive government out of office and limit the use of its data by electing officials who will defund its agencies, but you can't do that with those NRA-inspired fantasies.

No, the point is that you can't adequately defang the government, because it's always subject to majority trends. If the government decides to round up CrosbyBirds and put them into cages because they might be traitors, I want the ability to buy a gun and shoot back. I'm not going into that cage willingly, and even if I end up incapacitated or dead, I want to make a very loud noise so that everyone else hears about the injustice.

Since this is very, very unlikely, gun ownership is a lousy cost-benefit proposition on the surface. I acknowledge that. I'm favoring the principle (and the effect that it has on government to know that if the citizens are pushed too far that they could potentially fight back) over the cost in human lives when bad people get their hands on weapons.

And once more, it all starts with citizen organization and action. We're no more able to stop private snooping with guns than we're able to stop government snooping, but in both cases that snooping depends on the consent of the electorate. If we can elect presidents and congressmen who can empower the regulatory agencies to crack down on runaway private "marketing" practices that leave your life and preferences available to any company willing to pay the price, we can just as easily elect people who will crack down on the government agencies you find so objectionable.

We cannot. We've already proven that the average person will happily trade liberty for security. Also, the government has a natural inclination to increase its own power. For these reasons, the solution must be outside of government. It's not about voting for governments that will or will not do particular things, but by setting checks on what government is ever permitted to do in the first place.

But as Morty Seinfeld might say, do you have the votes? I get the strong feeling that your underlying complaint is more against the electorate than against the government itself.

My underlying complaint is that no electorate will behave properly because all human beings (self-included) are irrational. If a man shot my dog, I'd want to kill him slowly and painfully, but it wouldn't be any more justifiable morally than I'd say dispassionately today. It's very easy to weigh "dead children" more heavily than something intangible like "ability to noisily resist abuses of government, and the resultant deterrent effects," but the former happens very rarely and the latter (particularly the deterrent) happens every day.

An ideal government, as I see it, protects everyone from the majority voting away certain rights. It has a Constitution with iron-clad restrictions on what government can do that cannot be overruled by majority vote. I don't think a majority can be trusted to rule properly; it's not this electorate but any electorate.
   5222. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4333407)
Solar is most certainly not dead. Solar power generation has been expanding at a rate far beyond the most optimistic projections. The price has dropped 80% in the last five years alone.


As I said in the Hurricane Sandy thread, solar energy production is growing exponentially. It's doubled in just the past two years. It promises to provide 10% of our energy by 2018, that's just six years away.
   5223. CrosbyBird Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4333413)
That concern only needs to be addressed if (a) one concedes that the 2nd amendment was in fact designed in part to enable the citizenry to rebel against the recently established government and (b) one accepts originalism as a legitimate basis of constitutional interpretation. I think (a) is at least arguable, but (b) is the realm of fools. We don't need to address 18th century paranoia while crafting 21st century gun policy.

I don't know how you could fail to concede (a) in the face of historical evidence. We could argue over how much that mattered, but not honestly that it did not matter at all (or that it was the only thing that mattered).

It's not an originalist argument at all. The same concern still exists today. I suppose we could argue that it's no longer a concern, but that would be a challenging position that I'd be interested in seeing you argue.

Just to be clear, I don't care one bit about original intent except for the purpose of arguing original intent. (Some have claimed in this thread that the founders did not intend the Second Amendment to be at all protective of citizens from tyranny of government, which is not really supportable unless you ignore big chunks of historical documentation.) The original intent of the founders was for black slaves and women without voting rights, and few argue for a return to originalism there.

My argument is rights-based.
   5224. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4333415)
jack

this garbage about infrastructure is so 20th century. why the blank are we messing around with road repair when as a society we should be looking to move away from cars and find transportation that isn't such a resource hog?

i am so godd8mn sick of hearing about roads and bridges and that cr8p. think ahead not back

jes8s


This is so off the wall I'm wondering if it's alcohol-fueled. Even google's magic driverless vehicles have to drive on something. While you're spending the next three decades at a cost of 10 trillion dollars eliminating cars, trucks, bridges, roads, ports, airports... (jesus, indeed) converting the entire county to hi speed rail, hovercrafts, and teleportation devices, what do you think vehicles, ships, trains, and aircraft are going to run on and land on and unload and...?

I love the idea that without government spending private enterprise is going to step in and shoulder the load for trillions of dollars worth of alternative transportation for which there is no (in its view) profit to be made. Well, unless you're going to reveal to us your magic study showing how GE is going to rack up 8 billion in private investment and in short order turn a profit on its own hi speed rail service between New York and Washington.

Glad you didn't get personal, by the way.

In any case, I eagerly await a significant proposal regarding transportation and infrastructure that we can reasonably expect private enterprise to fund.

As for 'solar is dead', tell it to the Chinese, who in short order will be investing 40b annually, and employing 500,000 workers.

http://www.zdnet.com/cn/chinas-solar-power-investment-to-hit-39-5b-by-2015-7000004255/

In some of my consulting I don't have enough solar projects available to steer all the money that sensibly wants to go into it.

@5222: yep. People also often make the mistake of thinking big with solar when they should be thinking small. It can be a significant contributor to energy needs around the globe. It works with centralized collectors, and at the level of the house I'm living in.

   5225. CrosbyBird Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4333417)
It gets even more interesting if we hypothesize the Japanese-Americans of the time as proud gun-owners and gun-collectors who would respond to internment with violent rebellion.--say, one thousand dead on the government side, and ten thousand dead Japanese-Americans as a reasonable expectation.

That assumes that the government would go so far as to murder ten thousand of its own citizens. Not to mention non-Japanese friends and family, and other disenfranchised citizens that might join the resistance as well.

I like to think that we'd have a monstrous political backlash against the government and not the Japanese if internment were resisted with force.

EDIT: Would we have been better off figuring out in the 1940s that it was a terrible mistake rather than waiting another 35 years or so to issue a formal apology? Would that be worth a large loss of lives?
   5226. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4333420)
That assumes that the government would go so far as to murder ten thousand of its own citizens.


Are you serial? After Pearl Harbor, a whole bunch of armed ethnic Japanese resist relocation from the west coast and you think there is a chance the US government is going to let that slide?
   5227. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4333422)
5225 and 5226: it's not at all clear what would have happened. Would the government, knowing it would have been met with armed resistance against what was hardly an obviously lawful or constitutional plan to pursue, gone ahead with internment anyway?

I'd like to think that the certainty of principled, armed resistance might have stopped it in its tracks. I can hardly assert it would have done so, though.

I like to think that we'd have a monstrous political backlash against the government and not the Japanese if internment were resisted with force.


So would I, in case it isn't clear.
   5228. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4333426)
I like to think that we'd have a monstrous political backlash against the government and not the Japanese if internment were resisted with force.



So would I, in case it isn't clear.


I'd like to think so too, but I'd be wrong.
   5229. Mefisto Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4333428)
Lots of infrastructure can be built other than roads. Sewage systems for example. Rail lines and updated electrical transmission too. Storm mitigation projects. Rebuilding NY and NJ.

I'll just go on record as saying that Crosbybird, who's normally very reasonable, is flat out delusional about the historical evidence on the 2A. There is ZERO evidence that a majority of the Federalist Party -- and that's what we're discussing here, because they controlled passage of the BoR in both Congress and in most states -- voted to let private individuals revolt (i.e., commit treason) against the government they just fought so hard to put into place. That's why I cited earlier the examples of early rebellions by private parties. Nobody reacted by celebrating the exercise of 2A rights, they reacted by marching in the militia, hanging a few, charging some with treason, and handing out a few pardons.
   5230. CrosbyBird Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4333429)
There is ZERO evidence that a majority of the Federalist Party -- and that's what we're discussing here, because they controlled passage of the BoR in both Congress and in most states -- voted to let private individuals revolt (i.e., commit treason) against the government they just fought so hard to put into place.

Well, sure, if you discount all of the anti-Federalists, then there's not much of an argument, but that's a healthy chunk of the Founding Fathers.

EDIT: Also, switching from "some of the Founding Fathers" to "a majority of the Federalist party" is a slight movement of the goalposts, don't you think?
   5231. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4333433)
I'll just go on record as saying that Crosbybird, who's normally very reasonable, is flat out delusional about the historical evidence on the 2A. There is ZERO evidence that a majority of the Federalist Party -- and that's what we're discussing here, because they controlled passage of the BoR in both Congress and in most states -- voted to let private individuals revolt (i.e., commit treason) against the government they just fought so hard to put into place. That's why I cited earlier the examples of early rebellions by private parties. Nobody reacted by celebrating the exercise of 2A rights, they reacted by marching in the militia, hanging a few, charging some with treason, and handing out a few pardons.


Expanding beyond 2A, though --

It's stuff like this actually comforts me... the founders themselves had variations of these very same arguments - I think I might agree with Mefisto on the immediate history of the passage of the BoR, but then -- there were federalist opponents that would dominate American political leadership for significant periods starting with Jefferson and then (with interruptions, of course) culminating with Jackson who always saw himself as fulfilling the Jeffersonian vision of democracy.

I personally find it both ironic and extraordinarily interesting that the 'faction' that was so insistent on the BoR and so distrustful of the Constitution itself -- and those who would found the party that I am closest to ideologically -- were also some of the biggest underminers of limited government, expanding federal control, etc.

I think it's often fun to muse where yesterday's American leaders would reside today... I think Jefferson would be a Chomsky-esque figure, ever distrustful, having little role in politics. Jackson, I think, would be a hardcore tea partier, but in an Allen West mold. Adams, I think, would be a Democrat, but probably a cerebral, Moyniham type.... Washington, to me, is always the hardest to place -- I think he'd a delegator and more of a figureheadish leader in the mold of Reagan, but much less of a 'party stalwart'.... Mix in parts Obama, part Reagan, part McCain, part Lieberman, part Clinton -- eliminate some of the bad (but not all) the bad traits of each and I think you'd have Washington.
   5232. tshipman Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4333435)
There is ZERO evidence that a majority of the Federalist Party -- and that's what we're discussing here, because they controlled passage of the BoR in both Congress and in most states -- voted to let private individuals revolt (i.e., commit treason) against the government they just fought so hard to put into place.


Hamilton in Federalist 29:

If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights.


Madison from the Annals of Congress:

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country


Madison along the same lines from Federalist 46:
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.


I disagree with your statement strongly. I'm not going to pull quotes to amount to a majority of the Federalists, but I think the two most important ones should suffice.
   5233. Mefisto Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4333437)
It's not moving the goalposts at all. The Federalists had a majority in both Houses of Congress and in a majority of the state legislatures. That doesn't discount the anti's, it recognizes that amendments require a 2/3 vote in each House and 3/4 of the states. The Federalists could have blocked any amendment they didn't want.

Think of it in today's terms -- no amendment could be passed without Republican support, since they control the House and 30 of the state legislatures. It would be absurd to claim that an amendment they supported stood for something those Republicans opposed.
   5234. billyshears Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4333441)
I don't know how you could fail to concede (a) in the face of historical evidence. We could argue over how much that mattered, but not honestly that it did not matter at all (or that it was the only thing that mattered).

It's not an originalist argument at all. The same concern still exists today. I suppose we could argue that it's no longer a concern, but that would be a challenging position that I'd be interested in seeing you argue.


I think the conception of the 2nd amendment has to be viewed in the context of the role of militias in the Revolutionary War and early United States history. The Unites States at the time of the Bill of Rights still had significant discomfort with the idea of a standing army and had little truly federal forces. It was generally understood that existing state militias played a key role in the defense of the republic. On can view the 2nd amendment as little more than a statement of fact - the security of the federal government largely depended on the armament of it citizenry, because the militias were drawn from such citizenry, and if the federal government was under attack, those militias would be called upon in defense of the country. It's easy to make the leap that because militias were critical in the early Revolutionary Era that the 2nd Amendment was intended to enable the citizenry to engage in rebellion against a future totalitarian U.S. government, but I think that view was, for most, a little stale by 1789. I don't think it's wholly inaccurate, but I think it's a piece of the story, rather than most of the story.

To address your second point, I don't think that resistance against totalitarian government is no longer a concern, but (a) in the U.S., it's a very, very small concern, (b) I think the notion the an armed citizenry could effectively resist a totalitarian government in any manner whatsoever is preposterous and (c) a balancing of the merits of relatively free gun ownership and severely restricted gum ownership weighs heavily in favor of restricted gun ownership. In essence, (c) is the whole ballgame. The value of the infinitesimally small possibility that gun ownership enables the citizens of the United States to resist a theoretically totalitarian government is so severely outweighed by the harm caused by mass gun ownership that the conversation occasionally strikes me as existing in an alternate reality.
   5235. Mefisto Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4333443)
@5232: Those quotes are in the context of the militia. I'm arguing against the claim that the 2A recognized an individual right to oppose the government by force of arms. It didn't; the 2A is a collective right expected to be exercised, if at all, by the militia under the control of the state governments. In fact the full context of the quotes you gave demonstrates that very fact.

The full context of your quote from Federalist 29 is this:

"But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens."

Similarly, the full context of Federalist 46 is this:

"Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it."

Militia.
   5236. tshipman Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4333444)
I'm arguing against the claim that the 2A recognized an individual right to oppose the government by force of arms. It didn't; the 2A is a collective right expected to be exercised, if at all, by the militia under the control of the state governments.


I agree with the collective vs. individual frame of the writing, but that isn't your claim.
This is your claim.
There is ZERO evidence that a majority of the Federalist Party -- and that's what we're discussing here, because they controlled passage of the BoR in both Congress and in most states -- voted to let private individuals revolt (i.e., commit treason) against the government they just fought so hard to put into place.


Hamilton and Madison are expressly arguing that a militia serves as a natural check on the powers of a federal government who has the power to raise a national army. A militia is made up of individuals, loosely organized. I don't know if Hamilton actually believed what he was writing (he probably didn't, that loveable bastard), but they clearly wrote that the arming of the populace and their organization was an effective check on tyranny.

   5237. billyshears Posted: December 28, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4333448)
Re 5232: I think those quotes have to be viewed in light of the fact that there was significant debate at the time between those who viewed a standing federal army as a necessity to the defense of the country and those who viewed a standing federal army as an anathema to a free nation. Many viewed an ideal national defense as composed of various state militias. I grant that, inherent in that notion, is the idea that a standing federal army is a dangerous thing, and that the existence of state militias served as defense against a federal standing army (as noted in 5235), but the militias were considered as part of a collectivist national defense. That mix was considered more protective of liberty than a large standing federal army. It's essentially a structural argument akin to the checks and balances inherent in the rest of the constitution. But, importantly, that view eventually lost the argument. A defense of the 2nd amendment on the grounds of liberty unmoored from its original context must rise and fall on its own merit, rather than on the backs of the founders.
   5238. Mefisto Posted: December 28, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4333451)
@5236: I don't see any contradiction between my two comments. Both address the supposed individual nature of the 2A; I even use the word "individual" in both.

Perhaps the problem is what it means to be in the militia. That was not a collection of individuals, it was organized and managed by the states under the direction of the Feds: "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress." Art. I, Sec. 8.

The militia was not a source of individual rights.

If you have something else in mind, let me know and I'll respond in the morning.
   5239. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4333459)
It's amazing how many Second Amendment scholars we have here at BBTF, especially those who are smarter than, e.g., the Supreme Court majorities in Heller and McDonald, famous liberal constitutional law scholars Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe, et al.

When liberals like Dershowitz (who wants the Second Amendment repealed) and Tribe denounce the "collective" right theory, that's a fairly good sign the theory is specious.
   5240. GregD Posted: December 28, 2012 at 02:12 AM (#4333463)
Too bad that notorious Communist Warren Berger didn't get the memo about the Second Amendment.
Berger in Parade magazine

People of that day were apprehensive about the new "monster" national government presented to them, and this helps explain the language and purpose of the Second Amendment. A few lines after the First Amendment's guarantees -- against "establishment of religion," "free exercise" of religion, free speech and free press -- came a guarantee that grew out of the deep-seated fear of a "national" or "standing" army. The same First Congress that approved the right to keep and bear arms also limited the national army to 840 men; Congress in the Second Amendment then provided:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
In the 1789 debate in Congress on James Madison's proposed Bill of Rights, Elbridge Gerry argued that a state militia was necessary:
"to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty ... Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia in order to raise and army upon their ruins."
We see that the need for a state militia was the predicate of the "right" guaranteed; in short, it was declared "necessary" in order to have a state military force to protect the security of the state. That Second Amendment clause must be read as though the word "because" was the opening word of the guarantee. Today, of course, the "state militia" serves a very different purpose. A huge national defense establishment has taken over the role of the militia of 200 years ago.

Some have exploited these ancient concerns, blurring sporting guns -- rifles, shotguns and even machine pistols -- with all firearms, including what are now called "Saturday night specials." There is, of course, a great difference between sporting guns and handguns. Some regulation of handguns has long been accepted as imperative; laws relating to "concealed weapons" are common. That we may be "over-regulated" in some areas of life has never held us back from more regulation of automobiles, airplanes, motorboats and "concealed weapons."
....

Americans also have a right to defend their homes, and we need not challenge that. Nor does anyone seriously question that the Constitution protects the right of hunters to own and keep sporting guns for hunting game any more than anyone would challenge the right to own and keep fishing rods and other equipment for fishing -- or to own automobiles. To "keep and bear arms" for hunting today is essentially a recreational activity and not an imperative of survival, as it was 200 years ago; "Saturday night specials" and machine guns are not recreational weapons and surely are as much in need of regulation as motor vehicles.

Americans should ask themselves a few questions. The Constitution does not mention automobiles or motorboats, but the right to keep and own an automobile is beyond question; equally beyond question is the power of the state to regulate the purchase or the transfer of such a vehicle and the right to license the vehicle and the driver with reasonable standards. In some places, even a bicycle must be registered, as must some household dogs.


   5241. CrosbyBird Posted: December 28, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4333465)
To address your second point, I don't think that resistance against totalitarian government is no longer a concern, but (a) in the U.S., it's a very, very small concern,

I agree.

(b) I think the notion the an armed citizenry could effectively resist a totalitarian government in any manner whatsoever is preposterous

I think an armed citizenry could potentially resist a totalitarian government effectively enough to cause the trained military to defect, at which point it's a whole different ballgame. When the National Guard is called upon to fire into a group of protesting civilians, I could very easily see them deserting and bringing weapons with them.

The idea is not citizens vs. military and the citizens win (which I agree is ludicrous with modern weaponry) so much as revolt inspires defection so it is citizens plus faction of military vs. military.

and (c) a balancing of the merits of relatively free gun ownership and severely restricted gum ownership weighs heavily in favor of restricted gun ownership. In essence, (c) is the whole ballgame.

I think all but the hardest line gun folks have already conceded severely restricted gun ownership (as in private citizens not owning rocket launchers and machine guns). The discussion, framed in a modern context, is pretty much between severely restricting personal weapons and more severely restricting personal weapons.

I'm generally not a pro-regulation guy, but I think guns are currently poorly regulated and there's some solution to the problem that doesn't involve an outright ban or a poorly-conceived ban on the basis of some arbitrary category like "assault weapon." I'm all for registration and licensing, and requiring proof of competence, and requiring liability insurance for possession outside of the home or range. I don't think that's some sort of wingnut hard-right position on guns at all.

Part of me thinks that proper maintenance and use of guns should be part of our public education system, but that's another whole can of worms.

The value of the infinitesimally small possibility that gun ownership enables the citizens of the United States to resist a theoretically totalitarian government is so severely outweighed by the harm caused by mass gun ownership that the conversation occasionally strikes me as existing in an alternate reality.

It's more than just this particular area of resistance. I think a large part of our government's evolution had to do with a certain attitude toward individual freedom that is, at least in part, captured in our nation's attitude toward guns. I'm not so sure that we'd have evolved in the same way or in a way that is clearly better without having such a culture, and I don't know that a gun-free America would have that same independent streak.

Imagine if we were to pass a law that forced all citizens to have identification and present that identification upon request by any legitimate authority. That's the law of the land in a number of other civilized countries. It is, to our credit, the sort of law that would have much of this nation inflamed with resistance. Why? Is it that big a deal to present papers if you're not doing anything wrong? Certainly, it would make it much easier to keep tabs on bad actors. Our country would be safer. But it wouldn't really be the America we know anymore.

Perhaps that's not a big deal to you. Perhaps you're already convinced, as many other people are when they look at us from a foreign perspective, that we place too much emphasis on personal liberty and not enough on the collective good. Perhaps we should be sacrificing a lot of those relatively small individual rights to live in a cleaner, safer country. But if you even understand a glimmer of why someone might be resistant to that idea, then you understand why some people care so deeply about remaining armed.

You don't have to be paranoid. I think the right to own a gun is very important, but I don't have any desire to exercise that right. If you could buy a handgun over the counter and obtain a license easily, I still wouldn't own one; I don't even want to have one inside my house.
   5242. steagles Posted: December 28, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4333476)
The evil, heinous act at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn., where 26 innocent people were murdered, was horrible. Guns are blamed for this.

But guns are not to blame for the murder of millions of innocent babies by abortion, and yet I never hear an outcry to stop abortion.

Until we look at each life, including those in the womb, as precious and sacred, we will continue to have these awful things happen.

Each life is precious and sacred, and each should be treasured from conception to death.
   5243. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:49 AM (#4333484)
I want the platinum coins to be enormous for the theater of it. Something like this.


This is what you should be thinking.
   5244. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:57 AM (#4333485)
Lots of infrastructure can be built other than roads. Sewage systems for example. Rail lines and updated electrical transmission too. Storm mitigation projects. Rebuilding NY and NJ.


Speaking of rebuilding NY and NJ, the LA Times from November 28 puts the estimate at 79 billion. Dollars.

Madison from the Annals of Congress:

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country


One more data point in favor of interpreting 2A as meaning the right to bear and keep as within service on behalf of a militia.

It was generally understood that existing state militias played a key role in the defense of the republic. On can view the 2nd amendment as little more than a statement of fact - the security of the federal government largely depended on the armament of it citizenry, because the militias were drawn from such citizenry, and if the federal government was under attack, those militias would be called upon in defense of the country.
Wait! Are you saying, then, that A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?

Hm. Convincing, I'd say.

This, though...

(b) I think the notion the an armed citizenry could effectively resist a totalitarian government in any manner whatsoever is preposterous


This straw man, that's been repeated at least a dozen times, seems to willfully refuse to address the point. Which is deterrence.

Hamilton and Madison are expressly arguing that a militia serves as a natural check on the powers of a federal government who has the power to raise a national army.
This seems beyond dispute.

Today, of course, the "state militia" serves a very different purpose. A huge national defense establishment has taken over the role of the militia of 200 years ago.
I disagree. Our huge, national defense establishment is what was the national army. The various states' militias evolved into the various states' National Guards.

5242: without attribution or purpose? A mild, WTF is in order.
   5245. RollingWave Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:04 AM (#4333486)
To be originalist, the correct path would be to do something along the lines of the Swiss, such as...

All men must serve mandatory services, which involve some military training at least, until they are around age 40, and some of the training should start quite early, like at 13.

Guns are assigned to you after a certain point of the training (like after 18 years old.) assuming you passed most of it, you will be required to handle it by a military SOP, and report it on a yearly basis, losing it (without some reasonable explanation like natural disaster or house fire or robbery) would be fined, openly selling it would be a crime.

Female are not required for such training, but if they want to own guns they also must submit to something like this (let's face it, none of the mass shooter have been women.)


Those that can't pass the training due to mental reason, or is not willing to pass it, should not be allowed to own a weapon. serious physical disabled people can obtain gun with some other form of training.

People under the service have a duty to report to some training every once in a year or two (along with checking that their gun is still there and functioning). and can be called upon for emergencies such as natural disaster relieve or military defense (unlikely, but that's the ultimate intention.)

Certified folks can buy gun and ammo without limit, but all sales must be registered, no sales to uncertified folks, no sales to non-citizens (or at least non-perma residence), no private sales, all dealer must be registered, and authorization will be revoked if they violate the term.


My argument is that, any nation to citizen relationship is a matter of duty and rights, duty without rights is tyranny, but rights without duty is anarchy, the current general NRA line of rational is , by all standards, an anarchist argument, the USA can have greater rights to their citizen then most other country, but that should also come with a matching duty , which isn't there at this point, there are plenty of country WITH A DRAFT that doesn't allow guns, and few would consider them to be tyranny.





   5246. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:23 AM (#4333487)
My argument is that, any nation to citizen relationship is a matter of duty and rights, duty without rights is tyranny, but rights without duty is anarchy, the current general NRA line of rational is , by all standards, an anarchist argument, the USA can have greater rights to their citizen then most other country, but that should also come with a matching duty , which isn't there at this point, there are plenty of country WITH A DRAFT that doesn't allow guns, and few would consider them to be tyranny.

As much as I might agree with your general theme, at least in spirit, what "duties" do U.S. citizens have to the nation vis-a-vis the exercise of free speech, or the receipt of entitlements, or any number of other rights? If the NRA's position "is, by all standards, an anarchist argument," then isn't that also true of just about all other rights and all other interest groups?

I never see the liberals here arguing, for example, that welfare recipients have a duty to work, or that Medicaid recipients have a duty to keep themselves in the best possible physical condition so as to minimize taxpayer expenditures, etc., etc. To the contrary, anyone who even hints at such positions generally gets lambasted here as a selfish, heartless jerk.
   5247. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:54 AM (#4333493)
Anyone still actually trying to win any points with Joe?
   5248. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4333496)
Win points with? No, but he serves as a good foil. Sharpen your own thinking, convince the audience.

His insistance on seeing everyone who disagrees with him as a single liberal hivemind is a bit disappointing. Indeed it is a little confusing to follow the whole flow, when only a handfull of people here really abide by the grand coalitions, but I think that's a pretty strong plus.
   5249. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4333502)
This is a great thread. Can someone recommend a good book on the drafting of the constitution and the political debates surrounding it? It can be academic (I'm a PhD candidate) or popular, so long as it is quality and not overtly agenda driven.
   5250. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:41 AM (#4333503)
His insistance on seeing everyone who disagrees with him as a single liberal hivemind is a bit disappointing. Indeed it is a little confusing to follow the whole flow, when only a handfull of people here really abide by the grand coalitions, but I think that's a pretty strong plus.

This is hilarious, given that from this thread you appear to be completely intolerant of anyone who disagrees with you, not to mention a bigot. Or shall we spin your woeful tale that the problem with parental notification is the significant societal problem of corrupt judges covering up father-daughter child rapes so that the father can assault the child later?
   5251. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4333505)
Parental notification is the biggest puke of horseshit in history. #### parents. Every ####### teenager old enough to conceive a child has the right to whatever the #### medical care they want without mommy and daddy knowing about it.

sorry...I'm a big children's rights guy. Don't even get me started on circumcision.
   5252. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4333508)
This is hilarious, given that from this thread you appear to be completely intolerant of anyone who disagrees with you, not to mention a bigot. Or shall we spin your woeful tale that the problem with parental notification is the significant societal problem of corrupt judges covering up father-daughter child rapes so that the father can assault the child later?


Eh? Yes, legislation should be considered in the context of what it changes. When we legislate against murder, we're not trying to control the behavior of people who wouldn't murder anyways. Similarly, mandatory parental informing isn't trying to control the behavior of girls who are already telling their parents, but those who aren't. Amongst those girls, the ones who're being legislated on, abuse is a significant concern. Those are limited cases, but they're all that's being addressed by mandatory informing.

Now, favoring the welfare of pregnant teenage rape victims over their abuser's right to control them is one of those issues where I'm happy to take a stand and say the counter position is immoral. What the 2nd amendment is trying to say, how much we should follow original intent vs. current use, etc. We can reasonably disagree. We can reasonably disagree about whether it's a good idea to pursue solar. To pick two issues from this thread.

But when I'm against mandatory parental informing and also against significant gun control, it's difficult to engage Joe because I clearly don't speak for all liberals, but I must be a liberal because I don't toe the conservative line either.
   5253. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4333515)
C-Bird (#5221),

You state your points clearly, and I think it comes down to this: I fear the effects of widespread private ownership of automatic and semi-automatic weapons far more than I fear the government, whereas you're willing to accept more deaths of innocent people in return for your idea of "liberty". But since our only specific argument over gun control is where to draw the line between allowable and verboten privately owned weapons, I think by this time we're mostly just talking past each other. You're not in favor of unlimited gun ownership, and I'm not calling for the outlawing of non-automatic or semi-automatic weapons for self-defense or sporting purposes.

One minor question, though: How should the government deal with groups of heavily armed maniacs like the Koresh gang? Just surround their compound and let them starve themselves to death?
   5254. steagles Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4333521)
One minor question, though: How should the government deal with groups of heavily armed maniacs like the Koresh gang? Just surround their compound and let them starve themselves to death?
or just use non-flammable tear gas. either/or.


   5255. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4333523)
or just use non-flammable tear gas. either/or.

I'm sure this is easily found out, but if Koresh didn't have gas masks, I'll eat my hat.
   5256. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4333524)
I'm sure this is easily found out, but if Koresh didn't have gas masks, I'll eat my hat.


Tear gas is really, really nasty stuff even with a mask.
   5257. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4333525)

I'm sure this is easily found out, but if Koresh didn't have gas masks, I'll eat my hat.


You'll get to keep your hat today.
   5258. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4333530)
Tear gas is really, really nasty stuff even with a mask.

Were you exposed as part of your military training? The ensuing (cough) decades may have brought about some advances. A.J. isn't taking the same foul balls to the face that Yogi did, you know. :-D
   5259. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4333533)
Were you exposed as part of your military training?


Yes.

The ensuing (cough) decades may have brought about some advances. A.J. isn't taking the same foul balls to the face that Yogi did, you know. :-D


The masks worked fine. But any exposed skin is immediately aflame, and after a short while, even clothing becomes saturated and no longer protects.
   5260. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4333538)
His insistance on seeing everyone who disagrees with him as a single liberal hivemind is a bit disappointing. ...

This seems to be a recurring complaint lately, and it seems like a silly one. It's borderline absurd to claim that the vast majority of liberals here don't generally agree on the vast majority of issues. How many liberals here are anti-abortion, or against tax hikes on higher-income Americans, or in favor of a smaller "safety net," etc., etc.? Very few, if any.

Beyond that, in a country with 315 million people, how else are we supposed to debate national politics but for the use of generalizations? Instead of saying "liberals want higher taxes" or "liberals want more gun control," am I supposed to list the specific liberals who want higher taxes or more gun control? That doesn't seem very practical. I suppose I could make a habit of saying "most liberals ..." or "liberals generally ...," but I've always thought such qualifiers were implicit. A person would have to be quite a literalist to believe that I've been claiming that every single liberal has exactly the same position on any given topic.
   5261. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4333550)
I've no idea how many people here are actually "liberals" - my impression is very few would own that label in any significant way. There's a few positions that're widely adopted, mostly because of what this site is; the thinking fan's baseball site, which accumulates the evidence-based thinkers. Of course most of us favor higher taxes on the rich, for the same reason we favor using OBP and SLG to evaluate players more than BA or RBI.

Beyond that, it's not really necessary to ascribe it to some nebulous boogeyman. When I argue against gun control, I'll argue against people who're pro-gun control. When I argue for abortion, I'll argue against people who're anti-abortion. When I argue the marginal income tax rate on the top earners should be ~50%, I'll argue against people who ... have some other idea. When arguing about the tax rate, it doesn't matter what they think about abortion. (Although that isn't universally true - obviously, someone who supports spending a lot of money should be able to explain where it should come from, etc.)
   5262. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4333556)
I've no idea how many people here are actually "liberals" -

In the eternal words of John McEnroe, "You cannot be serious!"
   5263. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4333559)
my impression is very few would own that label in any significant way


I prefer progressive, but I am OK with being labeled Liberal. I don't even mind being tagged with the Democratic party. What I object to is when folks start to ascribe motivation to why I want something.

For example I am in favor of a larger safety net. When the Libertarian/Conservative folks around here put it that way - no problem. When the motivation behind it is "to foster a culture of dependence because takers vote Democratic" now that I object to because I am being told why I think the way I do.

It would be as if I explained that the reason Joe thought/thinks (wrongly, btw) Iran was run by maniacs is because Fox news told him so or because the GOP needs a bogeyman, but the fact is I don't know why Joe incorrectly thinks it and so I argued on the evidence and not the why because I don't know why Joe believes what he does, I can't see into his brain and he certainly can't see into mine.

I do agree mostly with Brian in 5261, but I do think it oK to generalize to an extent.
   5264. DA Baracus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4333561)
This is what you should be thinking.


Excellent.
   5265. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4333563)

In the eternal words of John McEnroe, "You cannot be serious!"


See, Joe, that's exactly what I mean. Apart from you and the pair (trio?) of Libertarians, everyone has adopted one or more views that are liberal in a strict American characiture dichotomy of politics. So you've binned us all as liberals, regardless of whatever our actual alignment (if any) is. These days, it seems Democrats have more space for dissent than Republicans (but I'm not sure the same is true of liberals - liberals are just as quick to push me out of the liberal circle for being pro-whaling as you are to push me out of the conservative circle for being pro 50p tax), but even that's pretty new, I think.

Putting everyone who adopts a liberal position into your liberal box is why you see a room full of liberals.
   5266. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4333565)
It would be as if I explained that the reason Joe thought/thinks (wrongly, btw) Iran was run by maniacs is because Fox news told him so or because the GOP needs a bogeyman, but the fact is I don't know why Joe incorrectly thinks it and so I argued on the evidence and not the why because I don't know why Joe believes what he does, I can't see into his brain and he certainly can't see into mine.

I'm surprised you brought this up again; I would have thought you wanted that topic to go away. But the above is rather dishonest: I repeatedly mentioned why I believe the leaders of Iran qualify as "lunatics."

Regardless, it's kind of funny to watch a liberal claim that it's perfectly "rational" for a leader to want to exterminate his (perceived) opponents. If I don't want to pay for Sandra Fluke's birth control, I've declared a "war on women." But if Ahmadinejad wants to annihilate Israel and exterminate the Jews, that's totally "rational." Bizarre.
   5267. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4333566)
Putting everyone who adopts a liberal position into your liberal box is why you see a room full of liberals.


Exactly the sort of thing an anti-Cetacean fascist bigot would say.
   5268. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4333568)
But if Ahmadinejad wants to annihilate Israel and exterminate the Jews


He still isn't (no matter how much you want him to be) in charge of Iran and it's foreign policy. And I have this idea that one should judge a nation and leadership by what they do and not what one (or a couple) of them say in speeches.

So what has Iran done - actually done - that leads you to believe Iran is run by maniacs? Especially as compared to the completely rational leadership of Russia/USSR and/or China?

Honestly Joe, don't you actually think about this stuff? Do you ever wonder if the stuff you parrot is based in reality? How many times will you find out you were wrong about something before you begin to unskew some of the stuff you think.

The best part is based on actions one could make a much better case that the US was run by maniacs the last twelve years than Iran. They have behaved in a very rational fashion. They may be wrong in what they done, immoral even. I don't agree with their policies, but they are not crazy and anyone who repeatedly claims so is just not paying attention.
   5269. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4333569)
Putting everyone who adopts a liberal position into your liberal box is why you see a room full of liberals.

I see a room full of liberals because BBTF's "OT: Politics" is a room full of liberals. It's as simple as that. In a country in which Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by less than four points, Obama won the pre-election survey here, if I recall correctly, 92 to 8. If that's not a "room full of liberals," I don't know what would be.
   5270. Delorians Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4333570)
"Parental notification is the biggest puke of horseshit in history. #### parents. Every ####### teenager old enough to conceive a child has the right to whatever the #### medical care they want without mommy and daddy knowing about it."

I'll assume you're being serious here, and ask..why? Why should parents be required to sign permission slips to go on a school trip, or be informed about incidents of discipline, or receive report cards periodically, but not be notified before their child makes a decision that will permanently alter multiple lives forever?
   5271. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4333572)
Regardless, it's kind of funny to watch a liberal claim that it's perfectly "rational" for a leader to want to exterminate his (perceived) opponents.


And I'll address this directly (ignoring the dude who said this is again not in charge of Iranian foreign policy, no kidding). Israel is pretty clearly an enemy of Iran. The two countries are at odds. Wanting to destroy your enemies is not exactly a new thing in geopolitics.

"We will bury you!" was a phrase famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.


Do I support genocide? Obviously not and think anyone who attempts is is evil and likely insane. But Iran has not attempted genocide that I know of. A random Republican says something horrible and you brush it off. The domestic (not diplomatic or military) leader of Iran says something terrible and the entire country is run by maniacs.

And you call me a hypocrite. Dude, look in the mirror.
   5272. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4333573)
Honestly Joe, don't you actually think about this stuff? Do you ever wonder if the stuff you parrot is based in reality? How many times will you find out you were wrong about something before you begin to unskew some of the stuff you think.

Yes, yes, you're a Big Thinker and all I do is "parrot" what Rush tells me to parrot.

The best part is based on actions one could make a much better case that the US was run by maniacs the last twelve years than Iran. They have behaved in a very rational fashion. They may be wrong in what they done, immoral even. I don't agree with their policies, but they are not crazy and anyone who repeatedly claims so is just not paying attention.

Right. Ahmadinejad doesn't really want to annihilate Israel and exterminate the Jews. He's just auditioning for Celebrity Apprentice or something.
   5273. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4333575)
I see a room full of liberals because BBTF's "OT: Politics" is a room full of liberals. It's as simple as that. In a country in which Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by less than four points, Obama won the pre-election survey here, if I recall correctly, 92 to 8. If that's not a "room full of liberals," I don't know what would be.


I agree BBTF (the OT thread, I have no idea how representative the thread is of the whole) is more Liberal than Conservative (Libertarians are well represented as well, Greens no so much that I can tell) - we are a thinking site after all :).

But referencing the recent election results is silly, as the GOP has moved right (and maybe the nation has moved left) to the extent that a very large portion of moderates joined the Liberals in voting for Obama. It is not like their are only two camps, Liberals and Conservatives. There is a huge pool of moderates also, unless you are defining anyone who voted for Obama as a liberal (which hilariously fits in with what Brian was saying earlier).
   5274. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4333578)
Right. Ahmadinejad doesn't really want to annihilate Israel and exterminate the Jews. He's just auditioning for Celebrity Apprentice or something.


Way to be so very unresponsive to any point made. Thus far your sole argument for "Iran run by maniacs" is the speeches of some Iranian elected dude hating on Israel (a nation actively trying to goad the US into attacking Iran) that has less power over Iranian foreign policy than the Governor of California has over US foreign policy.

Do you have any - you know - actual evidence for your assertion?

Edit: Minor change for clarity.
   5275. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4333579)
But referencing the recent election results is silly, as the GOP has moved right (and maybe the nation has moved left) to the extent that a very large portion of moderates joined the Liberals in voting for Obama.

Obama got well over 90 percent of the Dem vote and he won by less than four points. You make it sound like people were so aghast at Romney and/or the GOP platform that a Reagan-style landslide ensued.
   5276. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4333583)
Obama got well over 90 percent of the Dem vote and he won by less than four points. You make it sound like people were so aghast at Romney and/or the GOP platform that a Reagan-style landslide ensued.


What on earth does that have to do with your equating the entirety of Obama's vote totals to liberals? Are you just randomly picking out portions of what I say so as to avoid the central thrust of the argument (rhetorical question)?
   5277. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4333585)
It is not like their are only two camps, Liberals and Conservatives


My point is that Joe invariably represents it like there are only two camps, liberals and conservatives. And thus, anyone taking any liberal position must be a liberal. Obama (or at least, Obama's image) suggests he's far more likely than Romney to ask "Will this solution work?" before deciding what solution to try for a problem. So just like a BBTF team would ask "Do you have a high enough SB% forth it to be worthwhile?", rather than favor HRs over SBs or vice versa, we collectively prefer the candidate who's more likely to ask the same thing. I don't think we (as a community) are likely to be all that partisan, a Huntsman tickey would've done well here (but a GOP that could select him would probably do well here too). Though I'm sure Joe would suggest the former Republican governer of Utah is probably a Marxist. ;)

   5278. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4333587)
What on earth does that have to do with your equating the entirety of Obama's vote totals to liberals? Are you just randomly picking out portions of what I say so as to avoid the central thrust of the argument (rhetorical question)?

The point was both very simple and very obvious: Large numbers of right-leaning Primates didn't vote for Obama and thus create an illusion that there are more liberals in these threads than there really are.

***
My point is that Joe invariably represents it like there are only two camps, liberals and conservatives. And thus, anyone taking any liberal position must be a liberal. Obama (or at least, Obama's image) suggests he's far more likely than Romney to ask "Will this solution work?" before deciding what solution to try for a problem.

Really? The community organizer is far less ideological than the heartless, all-about-the-bottom-line corporate raider?
   5279. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4333589)
Really? The community organizer is far less ideological than the heartless, all-about-the-bottom-line corporate raider?


Anyone in either position might be either, but my impression of them is that Romney is likely to bat Joe Carter third.
   5280. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4333592)
The point was both very simple and very obvious: Large numbers of right-leaning Primates didn't vote for Obama and thus create an illusion that there are more liberals in these threads than there really are.


Do you think everyone who voted for Obama liberal? If not then using voting for Obama as a litmus for how Liberal BBTF is more than a little suspect. If so then you are proving Brian's point.
   5281. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4333596)
Do you think everyone who voted for Obama liberal? If not then using voting for Obama as a litmus for how Liberal BBTF is more than a little suspect. If so then you are proving Brian's point.

No, I don't think everyone who voted for Obama is a liberal, but it would take a hell of a lot of "unskewing" to get from a 92-8 Obama win to anything resembling a balanced crowd here.
   5282. bookbook Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4333597)
The Dem vote is mostly not liberal. Obama's policies are center-left. His administration bad mouthed progressives for its first three years. The GOP is currently anti-math, anti-science, anti-woman, and anti-immigrant. That they got 47% of the presidential vote is disturbing.
   5283. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4333598)
Speaking of Mitt Romney, does anyone else here think it absolutely hysterical, especially as more details around how he ran his campaign and and how wasteful and basically financially incompetent it was? The guy who constantly carped on how wasteful Obama was ran a really wasteful campaign, while again Obama ran a tight, frugal (got value for the money) campaign.

The whole thing is just awesome. However I am sure Romney's masterful handle on budgets would have come to the for as President even though it did not at all as a candidate.

If I were someone who gave money to the GOP this cycle I would be pretty pissed off.

EDIT: To try to fix a train wreck sentence in the first paragraph. Ack, not sure what happened.
   5284. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4333599)
but it would take a hell of a lot of "unskewing" to get from a 92-8 Obama win to anything resembling a balanced crowd here.


"Balanced" is strongly indicative of an underlying mindset that there are two camps/teams/whatever. I don't think we're ~50% conservatives and ~50% liberals. I suspect it's far more like ~15% conservatives, ~35% liberals, and ~50% others. Which is nothing like the national average (but this is typical of any group of people who actually follow politics, I think), but doesn't mean it's a room full of liberals either, because there are third, fourth, fifth options.
   5285. Mefisto Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4333600)
When the National Guard is called upon to fire into a group of protesting civilians, I could very easily see them deserting and bringing weapons with them.


The National Guard has fired on American citizens many times over the last 200 years. Never once has anyone deserted.

Can someone recommend a good book on the drafting of the constitution and the political debates surrounding it?


Four suggestions: Madison's Notes on the Debates; Federalist Papers; Akhil Reed Amar, America's Constitution; Pauline Maier, Ratification.

I've no idea how many people here are actually "liberals" - my impression is very few would own that label in any significant way.


I call myself a liberal. I don't like the term "progressive", though it seems to be replacing "liberal".
   5286. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4333604)
The GOP is currently anti-math, anti-science, anti-woman, and anti-immigrant. That they got 47% of the presidential vote is disturbing.


The thing is that there is a really strong element of tribalism in voting. For good or bad a large portion of voters are not parsing out the totality of the positions of the two parties and deciding what fits in terms of their own and the nations self interest.

Now how folks become associated to the tribe they belong in is an interesting process and I suspect pretty complex. Policy does play a role, but I don't know if it is a decisive one except perhaps over a fairly long time horizon.
   5287. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4333608)
I like to call myself a leftist. "Liberal" is historically a tremendously strange word to mean the things it means in America. Most of what folks on the left and center-left believe and support was opposed tooth and nail by "liberals" through the 19th into the 20th century.
Speaking of Mitt Romney, does anyone else here think it absolutely hysterical, especially as more details around how he ran his campaign and and how wasteful and basically financially incompetent it was? The guy who constantly carped on how wasteful Obama was ran a really wasteful campaign, while again Obama ran a tight, frugal (got value for the money) campaign.
It's funny, but it's not strange. Romney ran his campaign perfectly in line with the values and strategies of contemporary corporate America. Its primary goal was to enrich shareholders and executives, and whether it turned out a quality product was entirely secondary.
   5288. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4333609)
I call myself a liberal. I don't like the term "progressive"


I would love to hear why (and I realize it is very subjective). I sort of decided to prefer progressive over liberal a few years ago, but I admit my thoughts on the subject are a bit unfocused and would love to get a different perspective.
   5289. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4333610)
No, I don't think everyone who voted for Obama is a liberal, but it would take a hell of a lot of "unskewing" to get from a 92-8 Obama win to anything resembling a balanced crowd here.


Why? If I think the Yankees have a better chance at winning the World Series than the Cubs this year, does that make me a Yankee fan?
   5290. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4333617)
Speaking of Mitt Romney, does anyone else here think it absolutely hysterical, especially as more details around how he ran his campaign and and how wasteful and basically financially incompetent it was? The guy who constantly carped on how wasteful Obama was ran a really wasteful campaign, while again Obama ran a tight, frugal (got value for the money) campaign.

It's hysterical because it's utterly false. Obama outspent Romney in September, and then Obama outspent Romney by $71 million between October 18 and Election Day.

***
"Balanced" is strongly indicative of an underlying mindset that there are two camps/teams/whatever. I don't think we're ~50% conservatives and ~50% liberals. I suspect it's far more like ~15% conservatives, ~35% liberals, and ~50% others. Which is nothing like the national average (but this is typical of any group of people who actually follow politics, I think), but doesn't mean it's a room full of liberals either, because there are third, fourth, fifth options.

Ah, now I see the problem: You're a foreigner. Otherwise, there really isn't a viable third option in American politics, let alone "third, fourth, fifth options."
   5291. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4333619)
Saw the Hobbit last night. I did enjoy it, although I did, er, skew my expectations to be a little less than LOTR, which I thought was utterly awesome.

It was a fun movie, more action-packed. People whining about the length I don't understand, but I never have, it's probably subjective.

Barry Humphries as the Goblin King was the highlight of the film.

Nitpicky things that annoyed me:

Freeman being too much Freeman and not enough Bilbo. It was a little like watching him be Watson or Arthur Dent. I think he might not have a lot of range.

Deposed dwarf king far, far too human and pretty.

Goblin battle just too Temple of Doom.


   5292. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4333620)
Speaking of Mitt Romney, does anyone else here think it absolutely hysterical, especially as more details around how he ran his campaign and and how wasteful and basically financially incompetent it was? The guy who constantly carped on how wasteful Obama was ran a really wasteful campaign, while again Obama ran a tight, frugal (got value for the money) campaign.

It's hysterical because it's utterly false. Obama outspent Romney in September, and then Obama outspent Romney by $71 million between October 18 and Election Day.

It's false? How does Obama outspending Romney somehow mean Romney's spending was competent? Or that Obama's was wasteful?
   5293. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4333622)
Why? If I think the Yankees have a better chance at winning the World Series than the Cubs this year, does that make me a Yankee fan?

Huh? The Sept. or Oct. pre-election poll here didn't ask which candidate people thought would win; it asked which candidate people wanted to win.

***
How does Obama outspending Romney somehow mean Romney's spending was competent? Or that Obama's was wasteful?

I didn't say either of those things.
   5294. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4333624)
It's hysterical because it's utterly false. Obama outspent Romney in September, and then Obama outspent Romney by $71 million between October 18 and Election Day.


So where did I say Romney spent more than Obama? I said Romney was wasteful, and he was. He wasted money when buying TV ads, he wasted money on the campaign trail (have a look at the articles about what they are trying to charge the press corps). He wasted money on the ORCA fiasco. He wasted money on his staff (look at what they made and their bonuses). He obviously wasted money on his polling and analysts.

Obama on the other hand, despite being "just a community organizer" and a "wasteful democrat who knows nothing but spending other people's money" ran a tight ship and wasted much less.

Are you claiming Romney ran a more financially responsible campaign than Obama? If so, then in the words of our President, please continue.

EDIT: Digital Cola on the way to Lassus. Darn him and his pithy posts.
   5295. Greg K Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4333625)
Freeman being too much Freeman and not enough Bilbo. It was a little like watching him be Watson or Arthur Dent. I think he might not have a lot of range.


I'll preface this by saying I liked it. But to nit-pick!

My main complaint was that there was not enough Bilbo in the movie generally. The scene with Gollum I thought was the best of the movie, but other than that Bilbo is a side character in Thorin's story - rather than the t'other way 'round. Obviously Jackson has decided to tell the story of the dwarves and the wider atmosphere of danger in Middle Earth, because that story fits more easily into the multi-movie epic he wants to tell. And that's fair enough, adaptation is an art form and there's no rule saying he has to tell the same story as the book. But as I watched the movie I couldn't help but think "I'm more interested in Bilbo's story".

Next up is Les Mis on New Years Eve with my parents - who haven't seen a movie in theatres for about 12 years. My mom was shocked to hear that there are non-trailer commercials before the movie. I give my dad about 10 minutes after the listed start-time before he storms out of the theatre in a huff.

EDIT: Also I think the mountain titan battle was a tad poorly done. Not in a visual sense, but in a "hey this crazy stuff that no one even hinted at earlier, and no one is going to bother explaining, is about to happen". It's the kind of episode that works a lot better if the story is about the naive Bilbo discovering the wondrous world outside of the Shire. But it's a bit of a hiccup in the story-world of the movie.
   5296. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4333626)
Ah, now I see the problem: You're a foreigner. Otherwise, there really isn't a viable third option in American politics, let alone "third, fourth, fifth options."


Political alignments aren't viable or inviable. My political alignment doesn't match up well to my options when I look at a ballot. That doesn't mean it isn't my political alignment, only that I can't vote for someone who's going to do a good job of representing my positions. People who don't think much about politics engage in a lot of tribalism, but not much political discussion. People who engage in a lot political discussions are likely to not align very well with the Democrats or Republicans, and I say, Good for them.

Just because I can't vote for a Marxist, doesn't mean I can't be a Marxist. It's a third option for political alignment.
   5297. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4333629)
[5291][5295] Did you see it in 24 or 48?
   5298. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4333630)
Huh? The Sept. or Oct. pre-election poll here didn't ask which candidate people thought would win; it asked which candidate people wanted to win.


OK. I don't remember that. It seems strange we would have a poll like that, asking people what result they want. I guess we sort of do in mock HOF and other awards ballots, but that's not really the same thing. But, I'll take your word for it.
   5299. Greg K Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4333631)
48.
   5300. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4333633)
Just because I can't vote for a Marxist, doesn't mean I can't be a Marxist.


Freaking Marxist whale killer!
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