Rocketman on August 13, 2010, 10:40:18 am
I've said before in a recent post that this sad state of affairs is about to end.  America by every reasonable standard is totally broke and something in the not to distant future is about to give.  The congress is rearranging the deck chairs instead of trying to save the ship.  Because of their obstructions they wouldn't allow a third party that might have made some meaningful reforms to gain any power and now it's too late.  I think that very soon they will ignore even the pretext of the rule of laws and simply steal from the citizenry (read "slaves in all but name") whatever they can until they now longer are able.  It's about to get very bad in this country people.   :'(  :'(  :'(

macsnafu on August 13, 2010, 11:01:58 am

Second: This is an assumption based on a belief that there is some evil conspiracy in place, instead of a government of well-meaning politicians who believe in freedom - but who find it easiest to get votes by eroding our freedom little by little.

And that if most Americans wanted to vote for a Barry Goldwater, a Ron Paul, or someone else who could improve things, they would be prevented from doing so. By what? Rigged voting machines?

The secret police are not knocking on our doors in the middle of the night. Not yet.

So they're not justified unless you've proven that the political process is rigged. Instead of just assuming it on the basis of a personal antipathy to government.

There are simpler ways to "rig" the electoral process, the most common of which is simply putting high restrictions on third party and independent ballot access.  Controlling who (or what) is on the ballot is more powerful than controlling the actual vote. Most states have an initiative petitioning process, and it is usually as difficult or more so than putting a third party on the ballot. 

A more important "restriction" is built into the electoral process as well:  usually, voters only vote on candidates for office, and not directly on issues.  So say that a Barry Goldwater or Ron Paul actually wins an election, they still have to struggle with the rest of governmental process to actually accomplish anything, and how much they may accomplish is debatable. 

It's true that sometimes voters get to vote directly on an actual tax or other legislation (initiatives), but as mentioned above, who created the initiative that the voters vote on?  They only get a yes or no vote on something that a legislator or bureaucrat wrote up. the actual wording on the ballot can sometimes be misleading and has been subject to lawsuits.  Why no mutiple choice initiatives, for example?

All in all, the electoral process, even if we assume it works as it should, is a cumbersome and difficult way to make changes to government. And, as I've already pointed out, it doesn't even work as it should, with the various restrictions put on it. So there's little need to worry about "rigged" voting machines - the whole system is fundamentally "rigged".



I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

terry_freeman on August 13, 2010, 01:50:04 pm
I once read of a society - real or hypothetical, I do not know - where every King had an absolute mandate to do anything, up until the moment when his people killed him. There was no penalty for regicide.

Thus, kings tended to give some thought to their dictates; would their latest outrage provoke the people too far?


 

J Thomas on August 13, 2010, 02:33:10 pm
I once read of a society - real or hypothetical, I do not know - where every King had an absolute mandate to do anything, up until the moment when his people killed him. There was no penalty for regicide.

Thus, kings tended to give some thought to their dictates; would their latest outrage provoke the people too far?

Robert Sheckley wrote a short story or novelette about a somewhat-anarchistic society where the head of state wore an explosive collar and any single citizen could push the button for any reason. I don't remember the name of the story.

At one point the governor picked up a rifle and shot at a citizen who was walking by down on the sidewalk. "Why did you do that?" "He had killed four people and he was well on the way to becoming a murderer. We define a murderer as somebody who kills six other people. We don't want to have any of those, and this way we prevent murder from happening. I checked with his friends and relatives and none of them objected."

Anybody was allowed to rob anybody else at gunpoint, if they could get away with it. Government armed robbers wore special white kerchiefs over their faces to claim that they were stealing for the government, since officially there were no taxes.

You might be thinking of something else.

Apollo-Soyuz on August 16, 2010, 12:38:08 am
... In order to have something that's domestic to go to and from the station-that-serves-no-purpose up there.  Sorry, serves no purpose but to be a place to toss a lot of money and set fire to it...  ....

I would argue that the International Space Station serves the purpose of keeping many Russian rocket scientists employed, instead of perhaps seeking out employment in places like Iran or North Korea. One could argue that this falls into the "defend the borders and deliver the mail" responsibilities outlined in the Constitution.

Space program spending always has military spinoffs, even if it's not obvious. Sputnik may have been beeping out "HI HI HI..." on the shortwave bands, but what it was really saying was "we can drop a nuke anywhere on the globe we wish".

quadibloc on August 16, 2010, 09:46:21 am
Sputnik may have been beeping out "HI HI HI..." on the shortwave bands, but what it was really saying was "we can drop a nuke anywhere on the globe we wish".
Yes, it was definitely no Winslow.

And this also explains Apollo.

Bob G on August 16, 2010, 09:30:33 pm
I once read of a society - real or hypothetical, I do not know - where every King had an absolute mandate to do anything, up until the moment when his people killed him. There was no penalty for regicide.

Then there's 'Lone Star Planet' by H. Beam Piper. There was no 'remote control'; If a pol pi$$ed you off enough, you had to hunt it down and shoot it. I guess even a politician deserves a chance at self-defense. No repercussions, though.

Free e-copy at the Project Gutenberg site   http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20121/20121-h/20121-h.htm
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 11:27:17 pm by Bob G »
Whatsoever, for any cause, seeketh to take or give
  Power above or beyond the Laws, suffer it not to live.
Holy State, or Holy King, or Holy People's Will.
  Have no truck with the senseless thing, order the guns and kill.

The penultimate stanza of Rudyard Kipling's MacDonough's Song

Apollo-Soyuz on August 16, 2010, 09:57:59 pm
Sputnik may have been beeping out "HI HI HI..." on the shortwave bands, but what it was really saying was "we can drop a nuke anywhere on the globe we wish".
Yes, it was definitely no Winslow.

And this also explains Apollo.

What is a Winslow?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Winslow

Oh, never mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winslow

wdg3rd on August 17, 2010, 12:27:31 am
Sputnik may have been beeping out "HI HI HI..." on the shortwave bands, but what it was really saying was "we can drop a nuke anywhere on the globe we wish".
Yes, it was definitely no Winslow.

And this also explains Apollo.

What is a Winslow?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Winslow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winslow


Yeah some of us have known Phil for longer than some folks are willing to admit having been alive.  And both Sputnik and Apollo were serious threats. To the governments who weren't competent to get their slaves to launch a counter, yet.

Oh, never mind.

Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

 

anything