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  #71  
Old 12-30-2005, 06:25 PM
tylerdurden tylerdurden is offline
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Location: actually pvn
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

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Drug dealers commit illegal acts, which is not the same as committing crimes. Do you see the difference?

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No.

Neither does Webster: an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law

What's the difference?

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Keep reading your dictionary. Definition number 2:

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2 : a grave offense especially against morality

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Nothing to do with legality.

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The act they are imprisoned for - trading some chemicals or some plants for some money - is a voluntary exchange of private property between two consenting adults. What could possibly be criminal about that? The only reason it's illegal is because imprisoning these people achieves some political goal.

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So is a terrorist buying a privately owned nuclear bomb from an insane dictator.

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Possession of nuclear weapons *is* criminal. Weapons of mass destruction cannot be directed at individual aggressors, and therefore are not legitimate "arms".

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Or a 19 year-old kid buying some grenades and an assault rifle from some dude in a dark alley.

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I don't have any problem with this.

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Thank you for pointing out one of the big problems in our particular implementation of representative democracy. You can replace drug legalization for any "swing issue" and see why this system produces consistently crappy results.

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Perhaps if our representatives were selected by more competent individuals, we could take a big step towards improving our system of representative democracy.

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So your definition of "competent" is what, "people that agree with me"?
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  #72  
Old 12-30-2005, 06:41 PM
CORed CORed is offline
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Posts: 273
Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

Actually, if I'm John Kerry, I change my opinion to suit whatever I think my current audience wants to hear. This is not unusual among politicians. Kerry just did it very badly and very obviously. I only voted for the idiot becuase I though he was a slightly less dangerous idiot than the one he wanted to replace. And it was close.
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  #73  
Old 12-30-2005, 06:51 PM
CORed CORed is offline
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

In theory, I don't think some kind of qualification to vote is a terrible idea, whether it's some sort of test of intelligence, general knowledge, or even what Heinlein suggested in Starship Troopers, limitng the vote to people who had served in the military (under which I would not be qualified, btw). In practice, I think such a system could be easily manipulated, as the "literacy tests" in the southen states were to exclude black people from voting. Also, I think there is nearly zero chance of it ever happening in this country, because democracy and universal adult suffrage have become such sacred cows, even though the Founding Fathers considered it something to be feared.
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  #74  
Old 12-31-2005, 12:35 AM
Borodog Borodog is offline
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Location: North Carolina
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Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

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And for the record, any politician, police officer, prosecutor, or judge who has participated in imprisoning American citizens and ruining their lives for the "crime" of commerce deserves to eat a bullet anyway.

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Again with this? They can't selectively enforce only the laws they agree with.

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That's the funniest thing I've read all day. Of course they can and they do. The vast majority of laws go unenforced.

Part of the benefit of having a byzantine morass of uncountable thousands of laws is so that most citizens can be found to be violating some law or another most of the time, which can be enforced whenever this government officer or that bureaucrat finds it convenient or lucrative.

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But you think they still deserve to die?

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Perhaps "deserve" was too strong a word. But then again, perhaps it wasn't. Let's put it this way: they destroy tens of thousands of lives and families and get thousands of people needlessly killed each year. Why don't they deserve to die? Because they're "just doing their job?" Where have I heard that before?

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Why do you and PVN still live in the US?

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Believe me, if there were anywhere better on Earth, I'd be there already. In the meantime, am I supposed to be happy that I only have a ball and chain on one ankle, and only one gun pointed at the back of my head, when I could easily have two?
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  #75  
Old 12-31-2005, 05:12 AM
Warik Warik is offline
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Posts: 436
Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

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Keep reading your dictionary. Definition number 2:

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2 : a grave offense especially against morality

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Nothing to do with legality.

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We are talking about law and therefore must use the LEGAL definition of crime. A crime is an illegal act. Get over it.

Surely you have something more compelling than "boo hoo the 5th definition of the 3rd synonym in this obscure dictionary I found says I'm right!!!"


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Possession of nuclear weapons *is* criminal.

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So is possession of drugs.

I win.

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Weapons of mass destruction cannot be directed at individual aggressors, and therefore are not legitimate "arms".

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Irrelevant. I only plan to use it for decoration. That actually makes it safer than drugs.

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Or a 19 year-old kid buying some grenades and an assault rifle from some dude in a dark alley.

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I don't have any problem with this.

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i.e., you have no problem with people breaking 4 of 5 laws simultaneously.... well... at least that's out in the open now.

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So your definition of "competent" is what, "people that agree with me"?

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No.

My definition of "competent" is "people who have the ability to look at both sides of the major issues and make an informed decision about their candidate" as opposed to "everyone I know says to vote for <X>, so I'm going to vote for <X>" or "<X> says abortion is OK and we need to leave welfare alone, and since I already have 3 kids from 3 different fathers, none of whom I'm still with, and living off welfare, I'm going to selfishly vote for this guy.... even though I have not bothered to find out what the hell else he stands for which might not at all be good for this country."

If my candidate is the right candidate and more voters know what's going on, then more people will vote for him. Right now it's just a matter of who can pander to more demographics.... i.e., Republicans pandering to the wealthy and the religious + Democrats pandering to minorities and people looking for free rides (disclaimer: who are not necessarily one in the same, but I'll be awaiting your accusations of racism anyway).
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  #76  
Old 12-31-2005, 05:18 AM
Warik Warik is offline
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Posts: 436
Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

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Kerry just did it very badly and very obviously.

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My favorite Bush mudslinging quote from the debates: "The only consistent thing about my opponent is the fact that he's inconsistent."

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I only voted for the idiot becuase I though he was a slightly less dangerous idiot than the one he wanted to replace. And it was close.

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I'm fairly confident he would have won if he had shown the same attitude DURING the campaign that he showed during his concession speech. He was a different John Kerry.

Fortunately, he was a condescending waffle-factory until it was too late and we were spared. [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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  #77  
Old 12-31-2005, 05:35 AM
Warik Warik is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 436
Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

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limitng the vote to people who had served in the military (under which I would not be qualified, btw).

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This part I don't agree with. There are plenty of people who have not served in the military who are qualified to vote, and many who have who are not.

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In practice, I think such a system could be easily manipulated, as the "literacy tests" in the southen states were to exclude black people from voting.

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That's because "literacy tests" in the South were designed to exclude and there was nobody around to prevent that from happening. With all the of civil liberties groups out there for any demographic, the likelihood of an unfairly discriminatory test coming to pass is small.

I'm not talking about a lengthy, complicated, SAT-like procedure. Even a BASIC, FACT-BASED multiple choice & true or false test will significantly improve the voting pool.

You'll kill off hundreds of thousands of voters with a "Does the Constitution guarantee your right to an abortion [true/false]" question.

You'll probably kill off a million voters with this question:

"The Bill of Rights guarantees you the right to which of the following:
a) free education
b) free healthcare
c) a job
d) all of the above
e) none of the above"

Are people who don't even know what their rights are really qualified to choose who is going to help decide what everyone else's rights are for years to come?

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Also, I think there is nearly zero chance of it ever happening in this country, because democracy and universal adult suffrage have become such sacred cows, even though the Founding Fathers considered it something to be feared.

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Oh I definitely agree.... none of this will ever happen unfortunately... but we can dream, can't we?
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  #78  
Old 12-31-2005, 06:08 AM
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Conditional Suffrage?

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Taking the sheep out of the equation would also take the dominance of the two party system out of the equation and give us better choices for representatives, governors, presidents, etc...

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We don't have a two party system because stupid people vote. We have a two party system because of the winner-take-all mechanism by which we elect our officials.

EDIT: This idea is known as Duverger's law.

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Takes me back to my poli sci classes and the discussion of SMDP (single member district plurality) vs. MMPR (multi-member proportional representations) systems. I am astonished it's not better known, as it's not really all that hard to explain.
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  #79  
Old 12-31-2005, 06:19 AM
Cyrus Cyrus is offline
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Location: Tundra
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Default Janus

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[Here's] Webster: an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law.

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Surely you have something more compelling than "boo hoo the 5th definition of the 3rd synonym in this obscure dictionary I found says I'm right!!!" Get over it.

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Both quotes are from the same poster.

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  #80  
Old 12-31-2005, 12:38 PM
Warik Warik is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 436
Default Re: Janus

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[Here's] Webster: an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law.

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Surely you have something more compelling than "boo hoo the 5th definition of the 3rd synonym in this obscure dictionary I found says I'm right!!!" Get over it.

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Both quotes are from the same poster.

1 2

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Oh please.

He said that "crimes" and "illegal acts" were not the same thing. I looked up the definition of "crime" and the first definition clearly said that a crime was an illegal act.

He retorts by saying "oh, look at the OTHER definition - it mentions morality! That means illegal acts are not crimes!"

I'm clearly right here. Stop grasping at straws.
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