Politics!

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Re: Politics!

Postby Valerie » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:29 pm

This sounds like a huge conspiracy theory, but I'm sharing it with you all anyway. A group I like posted it on Facebook, and it was removed immediately after I saw it. That concerns me a bit.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Trefle » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:16 am

Captain LeBubbles wrote:Trefle, I forget, where are you from again?

Indonesia >_> my sympathies for Obama for living here for a while.

ANd yes, echoing what everyone is saying here. I can't even speak coherently without getting into type rage.

It's just, GOD, the GOP has been getting pretty worse this whole election. I mean, the last time, McCain sounds like a decent politician. This time? Romney, Gingrich, Trump... OI. D:

A friend talked about the reasons; one of which, the next election, the 9gag, tumblr, 4chan generation will be able to vote. Times are changing, and I think it's possible that this is, essentially, the final fight for Good Old 1950s ideals.

Which aren't even real anyway.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Zanosuke Kurosaki » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:50 am

Trefle wrote:
Captain LeBubbles wrote:Trefle, I forget, where are you from again?

Indonesia >_> my sympathies for Obama for living here for a while.

ANd yes, echoing what everyone is saying here. I can't even speak coherently without getting into type rage.

It's just, GOD, the GOP has been getting pretty worse this whole election. I mean, the last time, McCain sounds like a decent politician. This time? Romney, Gingrich, Trump... OI. D:

A friend talked about the reasons; one of which, the next election, the 9gag, tumblr, 4chan generation will be able to vote. Times are changing, and I think it's possible that this is, essentially, the final fight for Good Old 1950s ideals.

Which aren't even real anyway.


Trump doesn't count, actually - he's just a bad businessman who is lucky enough to have lawyers that have found various loopholes to keep him from having everything seized. (Which is a shame, because he would have been better off had someone seized that squirrel living on his head...) After his latest "announcement", I was a bit disappointed that the cameraman didn't immediately turn that camera at himself, and apologize profusely for letting that arrogant blowhard waste a single second more of the nation's time.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Lia S » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:22 am

Valerie wrote:This sounds like a huge conspiracy theory, but I'm sharing it with you all anyway. A group I like posted it on Facebook, and it was removed immediately after I saw it. That concerns me a bit.


Voting using computers is a problem, even when you put great security measures in place (which isn’t done) and make the source code available to the public (as if!) there always is a chance someone will have an opportunity and will be tempted to mess with the software. It is impossible to prove a computer was NOT tampered with, the best one can do is make it very unlikely.

There is only one way to make voting computers trustworthy: let them print the votes. Everyone checks their own printed vote, and then uses that to vote the old fashioned paper way. Then the paper votes are ALWAYS counted. The only thing the computers will be good for is allowing the election results to be on TV sooner.

But even that shouldn’t be done, because it is technically possible to figure out what a computer is doing by analyzing the weak signals it emits (and for something with as few options as a vote, you don’t need to get a very clear picture of what’s on the screen to recognize it). Votes are supposed to be guaranteed to be secret. Is anyone going to sit with spy equipment near a place where one can vote to verify that people vote the way they were told to? Probably not, but it can’t be guaranteed.

Is the story you linked to true? I don’t know, it might be something someone made up to scare you. But it’s certainly possible.

In the Netherlands, we stopped using computers for voting. It wasn’t easy to make that happen, and people are still complaining about paper and pencils being so inconvenient and old fashioned. That just shows they don’t care to understand enough about politics to know the difference between elections and a popularity contest on TV.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Trefle » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:37 am

Zanosuke Kurosaki wrote:
Trump doesn't count, actually - he's just a bad businessman who is lucky enough to have lawyers that have found various loopholes to keep him from having everything seized. (Which is a shame, because he would have been better off had someone seized that squirrel living on his head...) After his latest "announcement", I was a bit disappointed that the cameraman didn't immediately turn that camera at himself, and apologize profusely for letting that arrogant blowhard waste a single second more of the nation's time.

that......sort of made his almost-run to the US presidency even scarier.
I tend to think he has a (somewhat) bigger media name thanks to the Apprentice and such, but I realized exposure =/= fame. So..

Hahahaha, a-la the CNN interview, Zano?
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Re: Politics!

Postby sun tzu » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:14 pm

I was recently involved in a forum discussion (about Todd Akin's infamous comments) where someone argued that hey, if employers wanted to pay women less, then it was legally within their right, and if the women agreed to it, well, tough.

I'm trying to write a mini-essay based on my answer below:

The big problem with this worldview - and with a lot of current conservative worldviews - is that it treats property rights as the be-all end-all of freedom. As if, as long as the government protects your right to do as you will with what you own, without physical violence ever being used to coerce you, you're free.

Freedom is not actually that simple.

Let's say you're holding a job for some company. Let's also say - and I know how hard to imagine that is - that the economy is really bad right now, that job seekers outnumber job openings by an order of magnitude, and that if you lose this job, then you have pretty low odds of finding another one before ending up homeless and unable to feed your family. Still with me so far?
One day, your boss (of whichever gender) calls you inside their office, and tells you that the two of you are now going to have sex. If you refuse, you're fired. What happens?
Well, in the real world, hopefully you call the police and have that sicko hauled away for sexual harassment. What your boss did was completely, utterly illegal.
But wait! Why should it be illegal? Your boss, let's say, owns the company. It's your boss's money. Why should your boss be forced to keep you on the payroll against their will? If the law is keeping your boss from firing you, then the law is infringing on your boss's property rights. Sexual harassment laws are infringing on your boss's freedom to do as they wish with their money.
So, a society that fully respected property rights would do away with those sexual harassment laws; it would be up to individual companies to decide whether they want to include such rules in their corporate policies. If you choose to work for a company that doesn't have such a policy, well, your choice, right? At least property rights are being respected.
But then, your boss can pretty much threaten to destroy you financially, drive your family to the streets, unless you become their de facto sex slave. No physical violence was used. No property rights were violated. And yet at some point, you lost a completely vital freedom.

My point is: Often enough, different types of freedom exist at each other's expense. Complete, uncompromising property rights, which the likes of Todd Akin would probably advocate, would put the general population at the mercy of the rich, turning them into something only a few notches above slaves.
A law demanding equal pay infringes against some of the employers' rights to do as they please with their money. But it goes a very long way to protect other, no less important freedoms - for without equality, freedom is illusory.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Rowan Hawthorn » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:08 pm

Sun Tzu, actually, most of those people would never grasp your point, because they DO think that scenario would be okay. I'll take it even further: most of the people I talk to on the internet who loudly proclaim as how regulations are infringing on their rights, believe they should be able to treat anyone else any way they please, and would really like to see just enough law to protect their own asses should the people they like to kick when they're down decide to kick back. A return to the days of feudalism and the robber barons would suit these people just fine.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Captain LeBubbles » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:11 pm

Rowan Hawthorn wrote:Sun Tzu, actually, most of those people would never grasp your point, because they DO think that scenario would be okay. I'll take it even further: most of the people I talk to on the internet who loudly proclaim as how regulations are infringing on their rights, believe they should be able to treat anyone else any way they please, and would really like to see just enough law to protect their own asses should the people they like to kick when they're down decide to kick back. A return to the days of feudalism and the robber barons would suit these people just fine.


Of course. It's only an infringement on rights if it's an infringement on THEIR rights.
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Re: Politics!

Postby thebitterfig » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:36 pm

Trefle wrote:...McCain sounds like a decent politician...


Never trust a politician who's made a 20+ year career out of being an "independent." The same guy who told a good story about how he was moderate, willing to work with both sides proceeded to be part of the filibuster-everything core of the Republican senate. Dude even had the stones to filibuster Obama judicial nominees, after being part of the so-called "Gang of 14" which formed from seven each Republicans and Democrats to avoid filibuster of Bush's nominees. Makes a big thing about being bipartisan, but when it comes time to work in the other direction, he craws back under a rock. He's nearly as fake as Romney.

Great 2000 David Foster Wallace story on him here: Up Simba.

Money quote:
DFW wrote:His famous habit of bringing up his own closet’s skeletons, for example—bad grades, messy divorce, indictment as one of the Keating Five—this could be real honesty and openness, or it could just be McCain’s canny way of preempting criticism by criticizing himself before anyone else gets the chance. The humble way he talks about his heroism as a POW—“It doesn’t take much talent to get shot down”; “I wasn’t a hero, but I was fortunate enough to serve my time in the company of heroes”—this could be real humility, or it could be McCain’s clever way of appearing both heroic and humble. You can run this weird sort of two-way interpretation on almost everything about him . . .even the incredible daily stamina he shows on the Trail—this could be a function of McCain’s native energy and enjoyment of people, or it could be ambition, a hunger for election so great that it drives him past sane human limits. Because holy shit. The good old Shrub stays at luxury hotels like the Charleston Inn and travels with his own personal pillow and likes to sleep til nine; McCain crashes at hellish chain places and drinks pop out of cans and moves like only methedrine can make a normal person move.
[...]
The point, to put it as simply and dully as possible, is that there’s a very real tension between what John McCain’s appeal is and the way that appeal must be structured and packaged in order to get him elected. To get you to buy. And the media—which is, after all, the box in which John McCain is brought to you, and for the most part is your only access to him, and which itself is composed of individual people, voters, some of them Young—sees this tension, feels it, especially the McCain2000 corps. Don’t think they don’t. And don’t forget they’re human, or that the way they’re going to resolve this tension and decide how to see McCain (and so let you see McCain) will depend way less on political ideology than on each reporter’s own interior wars between cynicism and idealism and marketing and leadership. The far-Right National Review, for example,calls McCain “a crook and a showboat,” while the Old-Left New York Review of Books says “McCain isn’t the anti-Clinton . . . McCain is more like the unClinton, in the way7Up was the unCola: different flavor, same sugar content,” and the politically indifferent Vanity Fair quotes Washington insiders of unknown affiliation whispering “People should never underestimate [McCain’s] shrewdness. His positions, in many instances, are very calculated in terms of media appeal.”

Well no duh. Here in SC, the single most depressing and cynical episode of the whole week involves shrewd, calculated appeal. (At least in certain moods it looks like it does[maybe]). Recall 10 Feburary’s Chris Duren Incident in Spartanburg and McCain’s enormous distress and his promise to phone and apologize personally to the disillusioned kid. So the next afternoon, at a pre-F&F Press-Avail back in North Charleston, the new, unilaterally non-Negative McCain informs the press corps that he’s going up to his hotel room right now to call Chris Duren. The phone call is to be “a private one between this young man and me,” McCain says. Then Todd the Press Liaison steps in looking very stern and announces that only network techs will be allowed in the room, and while they can film the whole call, only the first ten seconds of audio will be permitted. “Ten seconds, then we kill the sound,” Todd says, looking hard at Frank C. and the other audio guys. “This is a private call, not a media event.” Now think about this. If it’s a “private call,” why let TV cameras film McCain making it? And why only ten seconds of sound? Why not either sound or no sound?

The answer is modern and American and shrewd and pretty much right out of Marketing 101. The campaign wants to publicize McCain keeping his promise and calling a traumatized kid, but also to publicize the fact that McCain is calling him “privately” and not just exploiting Chris Duren for crass political purposes. There’s no other possible reason for the ten-second audio cut-off, which cut-off will of course require networks that run the film to explain why there’s no sound after the initial Hello, which of course will make McCain look doubly good, both caring and nonpolitical. Does the shrewd calculation of appeal here imply that McCain doesn’t really care about Chris,doesn’t really want to buck him up and restore the kid’s faith in the Political Process? Not necessarily. But what it does mean is that McCain2000 wants to have it both ways, rather like big corporations who give to charity and then try to reap PR benefits by hyping their altruism in their ads. Does stuff like this mean the gifts and phone call aren’t “good”? The answer depends on how gray-area-tolerant you are about sincerity vs. marketing, or sincerity + marketing, or leadership + the packaging and selling of same.


Fuck I wish I could write one tenth as well as DFW or TNC...
Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote:The reader, and Mourdock, share a belief system in which one can separate "conception" from "rape."

I also have a belief system. I believe cheap luxury goods to be a gift from God, even when limbs are mangled in the process. I believe that my McDonald's is sanctioned by God, though I am sorry for the clipped chicken beaks. And I believe God intended America to be great, though he played no part in the slavery, the banditry, the pogroms -- the long rape -- in which it was conceived.

God is where the opportunistic believer wants him to be.

It is not enough to throw up one's hands and say "Augustine didn't know, so I don't have to either." Theology is like any other ideology. If the scholars of your ideology profess its great wisdom, despite crucial moral problems; and if you then take up that ideology, in full knowledge of those problems; if you argue that it should be elevated to law of the land; if you assert that it should then be imposed on half the country (not your half), you are not a bystander to immorality. You are an accomplice.
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Re: Politics!

Postby mindstalk » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:37 pm

Gay rights, women's rights, minority voting rights... Romney has come out as wanting to slash Medicaid. Not "have it grow more slowly", actually cut. Republicans have also been pioneering system abuses like using the filibuster on everything, and re-drawing districts in between censuses. At this point I'm not sure they'd be far off from going down Hungary's road, if our system allowed such rapid change.

The US has a conservative party, it's the Democrats. This is also the liberal party, or rather, the party with some liberals in it; the average Democratic position is meh.
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Re: Politics!

Postby DudeMyDadOwnsADealership » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:50 pm

On the position of whether to Re-elect Couldn't Cut the Mustard or vote for the Neo Guilded Age Crusader, I'm going with the former. If the other guy wins, meh.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Rowan Hawthorn » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:28 pm

Pink Freud wrote:http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/29/tampa-protestors-decry-voter-fraud-laws-passed-in-florida-and-other-states.html

The reasons behind this are blatantly obvious, but still they keep trying, and are not afraid of backlash in the slightest. Why is this?


I can't argue with any of the rest of your post, but - as much as it pains me to have to support the right wing in any fashion - it appears that the two people in this article who claimed to be getting a petition for Protect the Polls were just pulling a (pretty damn stupid) practical joke on the crowd.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/correction-gun-owners-shoot-illegal-voters-hoax
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Re: Politics!

Postby Pink Freud » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:26 am

Rowan Hawthorn wrote:
Pink Freud wrote:http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/29/tampa-protestors-decry-voter-fraud-laws-passed-in-florida-and-other-states.html

The reasons behind this are blatantly obvious, but still they keep trying, and are not afraid of backlash in the slightest. Why is this?


I can't argue with any of the rest of your post, but - as much as it pains me to have to support the right wing in any fashion - it appears that the two people in this article who claimed to be getting a petition for Protect the Polls were just pulling a (pretty damn stupid) practical joke on the crowd.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/correction-gun-owners-shoot-illegal-voters-hoax



what.

The two articles aren't about the same thing, I think you're confused.
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Re: Politics!

Postby Rowan Hawthorn » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:41 am

:?: My turn to ask if you're confused. The two guys in Tampa? Claiming to be from "Protect the Polls"? Supposedly offering a petition to allow gun owners to shoot "illegals" caught voting?
"Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
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Re: Politics!

Postby CBrachyrhynchos » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:59 am

Personally, my vote is in the can, and I'm planning on spending the next week of vacation with a disconnected laptop, a stack of SF/F novels, and a bucket of seashells. After the usual post election noise about whether I cast my Democratic votes with enough emphasis has died down, I'll go back to politics as usual.
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