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  1. #14626
    Get Off My Lawn. Maynerd's Avatar
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    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RhodyYanksFan View Post
    This is a must read. I'd love to hear everyone, but particularly Maynerd's, take on it.
    It's a good read.

    But another way of thinking about our founding compromises is to think about the fears that led to them. The threat to the United States of America has always been disunity. At the time of the founding, the strongest and most politically important identities were state identities, and the central tension was between those who feared the (white, male) public and those who trusted it, and so we built a system meant to calm those divisions.

    Today, the strongest and most politically important identities are partisan identities. We don’t talk about big states and small states, but about red states and blue states. If there is a threat to American unity, it rests not in the specific concerns of Virginians or Alaskans, but in the growing enmity between Democrats and Republicans.
    That's superbly stated, and the bolded is an absolute condemnation of politics in America today.
    “If the competing groups are states, you need a set of rules to make sure that competition is fair,” says Mason. “If the competing groups are parties, you need a set of rules to make sure the partisan competition is fair.”
    Easier said than done. Whichever party loses power or influence is going to claim the competition is unfair. I fear evening the stakes for two political parties will only result in a new set of competing groups: urban vs. rural. Move toward a more democratic system, and the power coalesces in the cities. How does the rural area regain that power? Economics. Shipping a pork chop to New York or a gallon of gas to LA is going to cost 10 times as much, because that's the only way the rural citizen's voice will be heard.
    Republicans control the US Senate despite winning fewer votes than Democrats...
    Absolutely meaningless. North Dakotans vote for who they wish to represent them. Should a California voter have any say in this whatsoever?
    ...Electoral College...
    You already know where I stand, and why. With a 'majority rules' popular vote, there's no way a Presidential candidate will invest a nickel in securing the votes from citizens in states that don't border an ocean. Iowa, Montana, and New Mexico will become irrelevant, and subservient to the voters of New York, Chicago, and LA. That would be more democratic, but would do a vast disservice to our republic.

    He recommends statehood for DC and Puerto Rico, as well as breaking up California into seven states, each with two senators; packing the Supreme Court with more justices so liberals can crack its conservative majority; replacing winner-take-all elections in the House with ranked-choice voting and expanding the size of the body to 870 members; passing a raft of voting rights reforms; and more.
    Statehood for DC: disagree. Having a single city become a unique state is unprecedented. If you want to fix DC's representation, fold them into Maryland.

    Statehood for Puerto Rico: Strongly agree. Long overdue.

    Breaking California into seven states: Who gets to decide? If that could be done with the snap of a finger, what's to prevent Texas from breaking into 20 states with 40 Senators?

    Packing the Court: This was a terrible idea and naked lust for power when FDR tried it. Still is.

    Ranked choice voting: Intriguing. Not sure how this would work. I honestly need to learn more before I could comment.

    Expanding the size of the House: Strongly in favor. The House is supposed to represent the people based on the size of the citizenship, and the Senate by geographic means. As the population increases, keeping the size of the House constant diminishes the intended disproportionality of the House. If it was greatly expanded, the additional seats would go to the population centers, and not to North Dakota and Wyoming.

    Raft of voting rights reforms: OK. I guess. My idea of voting rights is that if you're an 18-year old citizen, you have the right to vote in your home district. Protection against voter fraud is important, but protection of that individual's right to vote is far more important.

    I agree with (and I'm saddened by) his basic premise: that our division today is more based on a two-party system than geography. As you know, I dislike both parties, and believe that blind party-line adherence (both among our elected representatives and citizens in the polling place) represents the greatest threat to our nation today.

    We need, as a Society, to STOP Red vs. Blue politics, and start assessing issues based on their own merit, rather than which party proposed the legislation. We need to stop generalizing the evil intent of the other party. We need to start being Americans first, and not Virginians or Oklahomans, and definitely not Republicans and Democrats first.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
    - President Barack Obama

  2. #14627

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ojo View Post
    "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich."
    One of my favorites.
    "A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
    -- Declaration of Independence

  3. #14628

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ojo View Post
    "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich."
    In Venezuela they ate the zoo animals first. The rich might be next though.

  4. #14629
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Jburke View Post
    In Venezuela they ate the zoo animals first. The rich might be next though.
    Well, most of us eat animals, too.

    The Vnezuela comparison, much beloved by our president*, is really not an apt one at all.

  5. #14630

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Well, most of us eat animals, too.

    The Vnezuela comparison, much beloved by our president*, is really not an apt one at all.
    I try and stay away from the zoo animals myself.
    And i wasnt making any comparison, just an observation.

  6. #14631
    NYYF Legend

    Yankee Tripper's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Left coast

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jburke View Post
    In Venezuela they ate the zoo animals first. The rich might be next though.
    free market economy in action
    Baseball is life;
    the rest is just details.

  7. #14632

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee Tripper View Post
    free market economy in action
    You misspelled "socialism"

  8. #14633
    NYYF Triple Crown


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    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jburke View Post
    You misspelled "socialism"
    Maybe you're not up to date or well informed about Venezuelan politics, but they're not really running a socialist government. The kleptocracy Maduro is running under the guise of socialism should be extremely obvious by the fact that he's frequently going to expensive restaurants, while he's starving his people.

    In terms of policy, Venezuela has a lot in common with many Latin American junta governments and right wing dictatorships from before the 1990s, only with higher levels of public spending. Many of Venezuela's "socialist" policies have been successfully implemented elsewhere without wrecking the local economy - the corruption and ineptitude of the regime more than anything is causing the economic chaos in the country.

    It's as "socialist" as North Korea is "democratic" or China is a "republic" despite those words being in their names and used by their governments to describe themselves.

  9. #14634

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by trapper700 View Post
    Maybe you're not up to date or well informed about Venezuelan politics, but they're not really running a socialist government. The kleptocracy Maduro is running under the guise of socialism should be extremely obvious by the fact that he's frequently going to expensive restaurants, while he's starving his people.

    In terms of policy, Venezuela has a lot in common with many Latin American junta governments and right wing dictatorships from before the 1990s, only with higher levels of public spending. Many of Venezuela's "socialist" policies have been successfully implemented elsewhere without wrecking the local economy - the corruption and ineptitude of the regime more than anything is causing the economic chaos in the country.

    It's as "socialist" as North Korea is "democratic" or China is a "republic" despite those words being in their names and used by their governments to describe themselves.
    Oil is 50% of Venezuelas GDP, and the oil companies are all owned by the government. The government has seized 500 of the countries largest businesses. They have price controls on everything. Currency controls. The government pretty much runs the whole economy, which is pretty much what socialism is, and it never works.

  10. #14635
    Word of the Year is Complicit ojo's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
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    Canada's basement

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jburke View Post
    Oil is 50% of Venezuelas GDP, and the oil companies are all owned by the government. The government has seized 500 of the countries largest businesses. They have price controls on everything. Currency controls. The government pretty much runs the whole economy, which is pretty much what socialism is, and it never works.
    This is a good piece on the state of affairs in Venezuela, and it does a reasonably good job of pointing out why in fact, it is not a socialist regime at all.
    This is not America...No! https://youtu.be/neLXqbR_r0E

  11. #14636

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ojo View Post
    This is a good piece on the state of affairs in Venezuela, and it does a reasonably good job of pointing out why in fact, it is not a socialist regime at all.
    I can find plenty of articles explaining why it is socialist and why socialism has destroyed the country.
    https://mises.org/library/how-social...ined-venezuela
    I guess it depends on different opinions of what socialism is because it really exists on a spectrum. Like i said though, if there are price controls, currency controls and you have the government seizing businesses--you are pretty socialist in my view.

  12. #14637
    Word of the Year is Complicit ojo's Avatar
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    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jburke View Post
    I can find plenty of articles explaining why it is socialist and why socialism has destroyed the country.
    https://mises.org/library/how-social...ined-venezuela
    I guess it depends on different opinions of what socialism is because it really exists on a spectrum. Like i said though, if there are price controls, currency controls and you have the government seizing businesses--you are pretty socialist in my view.
    And this article pretty much blows that position out of the water.

    Read that piece and you’ll understand why myself (and others) are saying what’s going on in Venezuela is most assuredly not socialism.

    Because 20th century “socialist” states attempted vast social engineering projects, there is a tendency to think of “a socialist economy” in engineering terms. Capitalism is an engine, with its parts all working together to produce an effect. Socialists come along and say that the engine should be designed entirely differently, with a totally different set of rules in order to produce better effects. If this is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about “capitalism versus socialism,” then it’s completely right to ask for an explanation of how the proposed alternative works. We’d be very suspicious of someone who said they had reinvented the combustion engine but refused to tell us how the alternative would work and insisted that before trying it we destroy all of our combustion engines.

    But this is a poor way of thinking about what is being advocated by socialists. Books are a better analogy. We have, in our hands, a badly-written manuscript and are trying to edit it into a well-written manuscript. But there’s no blueprint for the well-written manuscript. We create it through a process. Delete a passage here, insert one there, move this around, move that around. And in doing this, we follow a set of principles: we want it to flow well, we want the reader not to get confused, we want all our sentences to be forceful and precise. Those principles aren’t handed down from on high, and there are lots of different ways we could write the book that would produce something satisfactory. But asking at the beginning of the process “Well, what will the finished product look like?” makes no sense. If we could present a blueprint for the finished book, we wouldn’t need a blueprint because we would already have finished the book.

    Socialism can be conceived of similarly: socialists are trying to make society better, so that its operations meet a particular set of ideal criteria. Here, I want to quote Leszek Kołakowski, the Polish scholar of Marxism, who was a vicious opponent of communist governments but drew an important distinction between socialism as a system and an ideal:

    “[It would be] a pity if the collapse of communist socialism resulted in the demise of the socialist tradition as a whole and the triumph of Social Darwinism as the dominant ideology….Fraternity under compulsion is the most malignant idea devised in modern times… This is no reason, however, to scrap the idea of human fraternity. If it is not something that can be effectively achieved by means of social engineering, it is useful as a statement of goals. The socialist idea is dead as a project for an ‘alternative society.’ But as a statement of solidarity with the underdog and the oppressed, as a motivation to oppose Social Darwinism, as a light that keeps before our eyes something higher than competition and greed—for all these reasons, socialism—the ideal, not the system—still has its uses.”

    By his last years, Kołakowski was bitterly disenchanted by the left to an extreme I find off-putting. But even he offered high praise for the great socialists of early 20th century Europe, and the ideals they embodied. They “wanted not only equal, universal and obligatory education, a social health service, progressive taxation and religious tolerance, but also secular education, the abolition of national and racial discrimination, the equality of women, freedom of the press and of assembly, the legal regulation of labour conditions, and a social security system. They fought against militarism and chauvinism [and] embodied what was best in European political life.”
    There’s more to that article, btw. Well worth your read.
    This is not America...No! https://youtu.be/neLXqbR_r0E

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