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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

Hmmm, imagine entire US cities where those without Spanish speaking skills are second class citizens. Some people say they exist in Florida now...


Based on what I have seen here in California I would be surprised if such discrimination did not exist in Florida.
 
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
But doesn't anybody find it unsettling that a medically senile, retarded person on crack cocaine with a history on criminal convictions that knows nothing about any issues except that they always vote for the Democratic candidate has an equal voice as you do in determining the future of our society and the world ?
It's not an equal voice. Said individual has an excellent chance of being in jail, lost, or too strung out on crack to be able to show up at the polls.


Once their vote is cast, their voice is equal.


I'll agree that the idea of this person deciding the fate of the nation is unsettling. But (a) he's a pretty small minority so the influence of his demographic should be minimal, and (b) many of the possible schemes to disenfranchise him, I find much more unsettling.
[ February 25, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]


Do you remember the small minority that helped choose the current leader of our nation who is now about to plunge us into war with unkwon consequnces?
I now live in Palm Beach county Florida, home of the famous "butterfly ballot" that thousands of confused and senile seniors could not comprehend, even though 4th graders had no problem with it. The future of our nation and the world in the hands of people with no more mental capacity than that of 4th grade children. That doesn't worry you Jim???
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
In principle, having the most trustworthy, responsible and intelligent people deciding important societal matters is not such a bad idea.


Herb, you are a communist!!!
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

Herb, you are a communist!!!


LOL, I knew that was coming. Careful Mapra, remember your last thread got shut down also because of the name calling.
 
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herb slocomb wrote:

However, individuals acting through governments establish various conditions on voting already such as age and criminal convictions. Would you say this is entirely inappropriate and without any justification?


I believe that the governments and the societies are the neccessary evil that will by their nature try to dominate and oppress the individuals. To preserve the primacy of an individual over its first derivative (the government and society), those derivatives should be given very limited powers, and the individuals should have some means of control over them. The voting is one of these controlling mechanisms.
In the former USSR, the dissidends that disagreed with the government policies were routinely labeled as "insane" and were denied their rights. This is perhaps the best argument against revoking the voting priviledges based on a person IQ or mental health in democratic societies.
If the government has the power to determine my eligibility to vote based on my sanity, John Ashcroft can easily make a case that I am insane just because I like to do it doggy style while the Attorny General himself and the society in general consider the missionary position the only sane choice.
Eugene.
 
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Originally posted by Herb Slocomb:

Perhaps a combination of factors are needed to determine eligibility to vote. But doesn't anybody find it unsettling that a medically senile, retarded person on crack cocaine with a history on criminal convictions that knows nothing about any issues except that they always vote for the Democratic candidate has an equal voice as you do in determining the future of our society and the world ?


Nope. Doesn't bother me in the least - (and I'm somewhat Republican ) Realistically, the number of voters in this catagory, that actually do vote, are so small that it really doesn't matter. I think there is more harm to society in suppressing their vote than in having them vote 'irresponsibly'. Any politician that is worried about this, is probably incapable of getting anything done.
It also is good to continue to allow folks to run for office that a bit 'irresponsible'. (i.e. David Duke) It keeps things clean. Many people feel that if we let things slide too much a David Duke will get elected, so it prompts people to take action.
We mustn't forget that the US was built by folks who were considered criminal, fanactical, treasonist, lower-class, unworthy, etc, etc. in the countries from which they fled.
 
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
It can be done in incremental steps. Right now, IQ 80 and above are the majority, by a fairly large margin. (I sure hope anyway.) They can vote to remove everyone under 80. Then with the 80-and-under crowd gone, in the next election the average IQ of voters might be, say, 110.

Actually I think you have it exactly backwards. One the under 80 crowd is gone, then the rest can vote out the other small minority, those over 130. In fact, you can carefully control this so that the only people eligible to vote would be those at the peak of the bell curve.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Voting for constitutional amendments or electing fanatical leaders such as a Hitler is not dangerous???

Democracy is very dangerous. It would be so much better to live in a world controlled by an intellectual elite that decides what is best for all of us, wouldn't it?
The fact is that I have the right to vote and how I choose to utilize that vote and how prepared or unprepared I am to cast that vote is none of your business.
Is the perosn with 160 IQ who flips a coin because he can't make up his mind making a better decision than the person with a 70 IQ who studies as much as he can and chooses a candidate that supports Special Olympics?
 
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herb: As a society we can reach a consensus on who is and who is not responsible and trustworthy to vote, just as we as a society make similar decisions all the time in different contexts.
And how do you reach that consensus? Do you want the people to vote to decide who can vote? Then the next step i guess will be let the people vote to decide who can vote to decide who can vote?
 
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[hs]: But I don't think IQ should be the only factor since "trustworthiness" and being "responsible" or, in short, character, are even more important.
I'd agree again in principle, but am highly skeptical that a satisfactory test of "trustworthiness" or "responsibility" could be devised that was not suceptible to the same forms of abuse.
[hs]: In principle, having the most trustworthy, responsible and intelligent people deciding important societal matters is not such a bad idea. Finding such people is another issue.
So we're in agreement - there are just a few pesky implementation details to work out. Nothing major I'm sure.
[hs]: And as far as people being disenfranchised; if everyone is being treated equally on every other matter and no other rights have been abridged, has there been any real disenfranchisement?
If it's as you say, then maybe not. But what if some of the disenfranchised start saying that their rights are being violated? How likely is it that these claims will be fairly heard and evaluated? I think it's very possible that many of the citizens will start to write off the complaints of the disenfranchised as coming from a bunch of whiny ingrates who just don't realize all the complexities of running the nation. And to some extent that may even be true,
but there's going to be a huge amount of room here for legit complaints to get buried in the shuffle...
[hs]: Once their vote is cast, their voice is equal.
If their vote is successfully cast, their voice is equal. But I hear you.
[hs]: Do you remember the small minority that helped choose the current leader of our nation who is now about to plunge us into war with unkwon consequnces?
Yeah. How about if we just disenfranchise the people of Palm Beach County?
It's true, tiny minorities do on rare occasions have a big effect. But in the last presidential election, the basic problem is that the overall numbers were really, really close. The minority would never have mattered if there weren't large numbers of people on both sides who were canceling each other out. It's not as if those other people didn't have a say - they did, and the results were still up in the air. This may sound callous, but my own opinion is that if an election is ever that close again, I'd be willing to just say screw it, and let the matter be decided by a coin toss. If George W was the wrong choice, that's the fault of the large numbers of people throughout the nation who voted for him; if he was the right choice, then be glad that the many who voted against him weren't quite enough. It seems to me that the responsibility of the senior citizen population of Palm Beach County has been blown out of proportion.
That said, if your idea of "minimum standards of mental competence" is limited to testing the ability to follow simple instructions on a voting ballot, I could probably support that.
[TP]: Actually I think you have it exactly backwards. One the under 80 crowd is gone, then the rest can vote out the other small minority, those over 130. In fact, you can carefully control this so that the only people eligible to vote would be those at the peak of the bell curve.
Good point - this might happen too. Though I think the people on the higher-IQ side of the curve will have a tactical advantage in the manuevering that goes on, so I doubt that the eventual voting criteria would be exactly centered at 100. But maybe there would be a "know-nothing" revolt that would vote to re-enfranchise some of the dummies and keep those arrogant eggheads in check. Hmmm, so many possibilities...
 
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Actually I think you have it exactly backwards. One the under 80 crowd is gone, then the rest can vote out the other small minority, those over 130. In fact, you can carefully control this so that the only people eligible to vote would be those at the peak of the bell curve.


This reminds me of the Brave New World, -- the use of new techniques in reproduction and eugenics to make a "perfect" society.
Eugene.
 
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Yeah. Though there might be a misconception here - when Thomas says "peak of the bell curve" he's talking about the large number of people in the middle. Peak = highest point = the part of the curve with highest probability. Which for a bell curve is in the middle. Not quite the engineered "perfect" society - more like an engineered "society for regular Joes". Dunno if you interpreted it that way or not - there's at least some "Brave New World" flavor in either case.
Also, after I posted earlier I realized I should probably have included either the genetically engineered or the genetically unaltered (or both?) in my list of possible oppressed groups.
[ February 25, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

I believe that the governments and the societies are the neccessary evil that will by their nature try to dominate and oppress the individuals. To preserve the primacy of an individual over its first derivative (the government and society), those derivatives should be given very limited powers, and the individuals should have some means of control over them. The voting is one of these controlling mechanisms.
In the former USSR, the dissidends that disagreed with the government policies were routinely labeled as "insane" and were denied their rights. This is perhaps the best argument against revoking the voting priviledges based on a person IQ or mental health in democratic societies.
If the government has the power to determine my eligibility to vote based on my sanity, John Ashcroft can easily make a case that I am insane just because I like to do it doggy style while the Attorny General himself and the society in general consider the missionary position the only sane choice.
Eugene.


Very well stated Eugene and I'm in sympathy with what you are saying, but I can only take this to mean that in answer to my original question you believe that minimum age requirements for voting, or prohibiting criminals from voting, are both entirely inappropriate.
We'll start first with the age requirement. Today 18 is the minimum age to vote, but don't people exist as "individuals" well before age 18? So using your reasoning above they must also be allowed to vote. So as long as they are old enough to push a button to vote is that fine with you? Wait, infants can respond to videos/photos of candidates and we can measure their positive or negative response and have a proxy vote for them based on brain wave measurements showing which candidate was perceived most favorably as well. Maybe we can play the candidates voices to babies while they are in the womb also...Why allow the government set arbitrary ages for voting? Isn't 18 a rather arbitrary age? It used to be 21 for most of our history.
I would think that the government is making a presumption of decision making capacity and responsibility at age 18 simply as a matter of convenience or custom, not of principles based on individual vs society theories you gave above. But since this is merely a convenient presumption, in the face of good evidence it needs to be revised. Those who are clearly not capable of making decisions and/or completley irresponsible should not vote. Why allow mentally retarded criminals vote and not responsible, intelligent 17 year olds???
As far as criminals voting, the image of Charles Manson maniacally grinning and casting his vote from his prison cell for Al Gore leaves me (almost) speechless on this matter. Prisoners would be the swing vote in every elction since I know 95%+ of them will vote. Can you see candidates campaigning to win the prison vote???
I think behind the purpose of age requirements and felon prohibitions on voting, there is a desire to protect our democracy based on having responsible people with decision making capacity cast votes.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:

We mustn't forget that the US was built by folks who were considered criminal, fanactical, treasonist, lower-class, unworthy, etc, etc. in the countries from which they fled.


Are you in favor of allowing all people who are considered "criminal, fanactical, treasonist, lower-class, unworthy" in the countries from which are fleeing to vote? Do you believe US criminals should vote? What about age requirements? What principles help you decide who should and who should not vote?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

The fact is that I have the right to vote and how I choose to utilize that vote and how prepared or unprepared I am to cast that vote is none of your business.


The fact that society and possibly the world will change because your irresponsible vote is none of myh business? Isn't it society's business to prevent criminals from voting?


Is the perosn with 160 IQ who flips a coin because he can't make up his mind making a better decision than the person with a 70 IQ who studies as much as he can and chooses a candidate that supports Special Olympics?


IQ alone would never be an adequate criteria.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Yeah. Though there might be a misconception here - when Thomas says "peak of the bell curve" he's talking about the large number of people in the middle. Peak = highest point = the part of the curve with highest probability. Which for a bell curve is in the middle. Not quite the engineered "perfect" society - more like an engineered "society for regular Joes". Dunno if you interpreted it that way or not - there's at least some "Brave New World" flavor in either case.

Reminds me of a Harlan Ellison story. In order to make society more equal it is decided that attractive people will have to wear ugly masks, smart people will have to wear headphones that play constant annoyong sounds, athletic people will have cumbersome weights tied to their legs, etc. A couple of attractive, athletic, smart people decide to launch a rebellion but in the end they are killed... on live television... to the cheers of the crowd.
 
John Dunn
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Are you in favor of allowing all people who are considered "criminal, fanactical, treasonist, lower-class, unworthy" in the countries from which are fleeing to vote?
Whoa... that's a big jump. I'm not in favor of transporting ALL the folks from foreign prisons, insane asylums, and military prisons into the US, just to get their vote. But I am in total favor of allowing folks to come to America and make it here. That is one of the beauties of this country.
Keep in mind that Britain sent many of her petty convicts to the New World along with the Irish rebels and the religious dissidents. Many others came to flee the Catholic Church's policies. Many families came here as dirt poor starving immigrants. Many found themselves here as second-rate citizens.
Yitzak Shamir, Michael Collins, Aimen DeVelara, Vaclav Havel, Natan Sharansky were all in prison at one point and went on to lead in another country's political system. Mahatma Ghandi & Martin Luther King could have led... So there's alot of gray area when it comes to what is a dissident, rebel, felon in another country.
As far academic competence, many people came here illiterate, and many were victims of forced illiteracy so I don't see that as a bearing at all.
Do you believe US criminals should vote?
what is a criminal? Do you mean felons??? If so, I would restrict it to convicted felons until AFTER they are out and have served their probation. Lifers are SOL in my book. You gotta be in it to win it...
What about age requirements?
18 is fine by me. We don't let 'em drink either. And let's face it, generation
y is not exactly a heavy-duty voting block...
What principles help you decide who should and who should not vote?
age, criminal status, citizenship.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
The fact that society and possibly the world will change because your irresponsible vote is none of myh business?


You don't like then start a dictatorship.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:

Do you mean felons??? If so, I would restrict it to convicted felons until AFTER they are out and have served their probation.


I'm trying to find the principles behind your decisions. You agree with an arbitrary age of 18 as a minimum voting age yet you give no reasons for chosing 18 over the more traditional 21. People can get legally married at younger than 18 so what rational reason is there to restrict voting rights at 18? If you can decide to get married and make more citizens you still can't vote???
Why don't you let felons vote in jail? Isn't voting a sacred right no govt should take away? Don't prisoner's have rights, and surely the basic right to vote must be one of them. Why does the felon get the right to vote after he is released? Statistics show that he will soon be back in prison very quickly anyway.
Why would you require citizenship? There are many fine, responsible, tax paying, productive members of our society today that are not citizens. What gives you the right, John Dunn, to deny them their basic and fundamental right to vote?
John, you sound like an evil, unprincipled man to deny all these human beings their basic human right to vote.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:

That said, if your idea of "minimum standards of mental competence" is limited to testing the ability to follow simple instructions on a voting ballot, I could probably support that.


Round of applause for Jim for stepping forward and crossing the line to defend democracy. He not only agreed in principle with what I was saying but also gave a practical suggestion for beginning implementation of those ideas to save our republic from the hordes of imbeciles.
Here's another elaboration : since voting is becoming increasingly electronic we could set it up so that a few simple multiple choice questions would have to be successful answered before proceeding to the actual voting itself. The questions could be simple and measure the ability to follow directions. Hard to argue with that, since if you can't follow simple directions that would show you could also not follow voting instructions, therefore mentally incompetent to cast a vote by definition. Of course, I'd like to add a few extras such as basic literacy and an understanding of our democratic insititutions and traditions. Nothing fancy, just show a basic awareness of how our govt operates. Do we want people totally ignorant of democracy itself trying to fumble around and pretend to be democratic?
A national committee could select and choose the questions which could be approved by the Senate, etc.
 
John Smith
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herb slocomb wrote:

John, you sound like an evil, unprincipled man to deny all these human beings their basic human right to vote.


Herb,
I think that you realized that you are losing the argument and now desperately trying to save it at all costs. Calling John "an evil, unprincipled man" just because he believes that only citizens can vote will not get you anywhere in this discussion.
I have somewhat radical views on the matters of morals, people, and societies. I believe that we should have no prisons (they don't reform the criminals), no country boundaries or citizenships (I consider myself a citizen of the Earth who is free to to go anywhere without the permission of some government), no capital punishment (the ideas of a criminal are above the society), and no minimum age for voting (an open mind of a child is worth 100 votes of partisans).
Those are some of the attributes of an abstract idealistic civilization that has found the way to find better solutions to the problems. It is unfortunate that we are a long way from that perfect civilization. But while we are half way (or maybe only 1/100 way) to the final destination, we must use the best available methods known to us to sustain our democracy. Requiring the minimum age and the citizenship for voting may be considered "unprincipled" if evaluated against the highest standards, but they are the best currently known standards to ensure democracy with the least possible amount of "evil".
Eugene.
[ February 25, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
frank davis
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Ooops, hope I haven't offended the entire Puerto Rican community:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/02/25/hispanic.voting/index.html
[ February 25, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
Dan Chisholm
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

Here's another elaboration : since voting is becoming increasingly electronic we could set it up so that a few simple multiple choice questions would have to be successful answered before proceeding to the actual voting itself. The questions could be simple and measure the ability to follow directions. Hard to argue with that, since if you can't follow simple directions that would show you could also not follow voting instructions, therefore mentally incompetent to cast a vote by definition. Of course, I'd like to add a few extras such as basic literacy and an understanding of our democratic insititutions and traditions. Nothing fancy, just show a basic awareness of how our govt operates. Do we want people totally ignorant of democracy itself trying to fumble around and pretend to be democratic?


I like this idea. Here in California we have ballot measures that allow people to vote for or against a proposed new law. The advertisements for and against the ballot measures are usually very misleading and yet organizations pay millions of dollars for those ads because they do indeed mislead voters. I think that it would be great if voters were required to answer some basic questions about each ballot measure before casting a vote. If the voter failed to demonstrate an understanding of the issue then the vote would not be allowed for that particular measure. All of the information required to answer the questions would be printed in the voter's guide.
If voters were required to actually read and understand the voter's guide then misleading ads would be less effective and organizations would be less likely to pay for them.
 
John Dunn
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Originally posted by Herb Slocomb:

John, you sound like an evil, unprincipled man

Wow Herb, I am genuinely flattered. I see I have deeply touched you and I am truly pleased.
All the best,
John

 
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People, I think Herb was being ironical with his "evil" comment!
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
People, I think Herb was being ironical with his "evil" comment!



Yes, Mapra is correct, I was attempting to be ironical. I thought it was obvious that there was absolutely no basis for such an accusation of being "evil" and the remark on being "unprincipled" was an attempt to goad him to explain the principles behind his positions. My fault, since many of my positions appear to be exagerations to others, its no doubt hard to tell when I'm joking. I'll start using the smiley icons more next time.
 
frank davis
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Another recent example of a symptom of a deeper problems :
A few days ago, at a college basketball game, one of the players turned their back on the American flag. I just skimmed the details , so correct me where I am wrong, but my understanding was that the player was disgusted at America because of a perceived widening gap in income/wealth distribution that they phrased as "inequality". A school administrator praised the player for their courage.
Am I the only one that sees at least 2 serious things wrong with this picture?
Of course the first thing that comes to mind is that this person is a potential voter who has no understanding of, or respect for, our American traditions and philosophies. Equality, as they understood it, could only come about through more coercive confiscation of income/wealth. Since property rights are fundamental rights as envisaged by the founding fathers (influenced by British philospher John Locke), accomplishing this player's objective runs counter to the purpose of American govt as being a protector of rights. Also, the player seems to have not understood what "equality" really means in the American tradition.
Second, we have the school administrator refusing to correct the student. Then instead of at least remaining silent, the administrator praises the student.
 
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1773:
American basketball players under team captain Samuel Adams in Boston turned their back to British flag, because they did not like changes in the british tax laws.
http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/E/teaparty/bostonxx.htm
more details:


[...] On the evening of December 16, 1773, three companies of fifty men each, masquerading as Mohawk Indians, passed through a tremendous crowd of spectators, went aboard the three ships, broke open the tea chests, and heaved them into the harbor.As the electrifying news of the Boston "tea party" spread, other seaports followed the example and staged similar acts of resistance of their own.'
When the Bostonians refused to pay for the property they had destroyed, George III and Lord North decided on a policy of coercion, to be applied only against Massachusetts, the socalled Coercive Acts. In these four acts of 1774, Parliament closed the port of Boston, drastically reduced the powers of selfgovernment in the colony [...]


Every citizen should have the right to protest against tax laws he considers injust.
Would you say that Paul Krugman does not understand the concept of property rights?
He critizices tax cuts, too.
http://www.pkarchive.org/column/021403.html
more analysis
[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
1773:
American basketball players under team captain Samuel Adams in Boston turned their back to British flag, because they did not like changes in the british tax laws.
http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/E/teaparty/bostonxx.htm
more details:

Every citizen should have the right to protest against tax laws he considers injust.
Would you say that Paul Krugman does not understand the concept of property rights?
He critizices tax cuts, too.
http://www.pkarchive.org/column/021403.html
more analysis
[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]


Correct, Paul Krugman does not understand property rights, futhermore he doesn't understand basic notions of equality before the law. On what moral basis can you justify discriminating against one group of people by taking more of their property simply becuase they have more? Is the principle simply that those who have less are entitled to those who have more? What a marvelous justification and philosophy for every thief, robber, and bandit. We'll have to empty our jails now to let these noble people out. The Left in the US has always been soft on crime, now I see it is all part of their philosophical orientation.
Citing your URL on the original tax protest in 1773, " More important, however, the Tea Act revived American passions about the issue of taxation without representation." This was the primary issue, taxation without representation, not taxation per se, or the rate of taxation. That issue of representation has been resolved and that was not what the basketball player was protesting. By the way, the founding fathers did not approve of any income tax and they would have turned in their graves at the idea of a discriminatory one that penalized one group of people not only at a higher amount, but even worse, at a higher rate. Had income taxes been intoduced in the early days of our Republic there would have been s Second Revolution.
 
John Dunn
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Yes, Mapra is correct, I was attempting to be ironical.
Ohhhh, okay... I thought everything Herb said was an absolute. :roll:
 
John Dunn
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great photo depicting an American Tradition
 
Axel Janssen
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ok. Will come back to discussion when you guys come up with a common definition about what "equality" really means in the American tradition.
[
Lots of work, pending in this job, negotiations about new job, xml certification, xml-training material, question_of_questions: am I really able to use UP in a disciplined way in projects and does that makes sense?
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You will be finished with definition until weekend?
[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
great photo depicting an American Tradition



Yeh, protest is an American tradition. There are no issues about protesting per se. My point in mentioning the basketball player was the ideological basis of the protest and how that is contrary to the traditions of our Republic, which tied in with the other posts regarding voters who are ingnorant of our democratic traditions, history, etc, and this tied in with Mapra's original subject of Michael Savage's themes of "Borders, Language, and Culture". Our culture needs to support its democratic traditions lest it imperil them. Those without a understanding or respect for our democratic traditions/philosophies etc can be a threat to them when allowed to vote.
[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Those without a understanding or respect for our democratic traditions/philosophies etc can be a threat to them when allowed to vote.
Herb, you are wrong. Thinking our democratic system should be abolished is a perfectly valid opinion. Despising America and her values and culture is a perfectly valid opinion. Americans don't have to agree with what America stands for in order to vote. We don't even require that you believe in the electoral process to vote. America thrives on diversity of opinion.
 
John Dunn
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Our culture needs to support its democratic traditions lest it imperil them.
Hmmm...
Should the basketball player have been more like John McCain, Senator from Arizona, who was a fighter pilot in VietNam and become a rebellious POW after being shot down? OR like Tom Hayden, Senator from California and one of the rebellious 1968 Chicago 7 defendants, who then went to North VietNam POW camps to protest the war?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Those without a understanding or respect for our democratic traditions/philosophies etc can be a threat to them when allowed to vote.
Herb, you are wrong. Thinking our democratic system should be abolished is a perfectly valid opinion. Despising America and her values and culture is a perfectly valid opinion. Americans don't have to agree with what America stands for in order to vote. We don't even require that you believe in the electoral process to vote. America thrives on diversity of opinion.


The issue I've identified is not whether such opinions are "valid" or not, its whether certain opinions or ignorance can threaten our traditional political insitutions and/or democracy itself. Cleary, if enough people believe that our democracy is garbage and vote to install a fascist/communist regime where there is no voting, then democracy is not only threatned, it is eliminated. America would NOT thrive under such a change. Similarly other freedoms and rights can be lost at the ballot box. Its ludicrous to suggest that assaults on democracy and its philosophical underpinings somehow causes America to "thrive".
 
Melvin Menezes
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Cleary, if enough people believe that our democracy is garbage and vote to install a fascist/communist regime where there is no voting, then democracy is not only threatned, it is eliminated.


Well if that is what the majority wants, then that is the right thing to do. Isnt' that one of the wonderful things about democracy? Now would 'enough' people ever let it happen is a different thing.
i know your next post will be something about fUSSR and Germany
[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: Melvin Menezes ]
 
Thomas Paul
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So are you saying democracy is only good if it comes out with a verdict that you agree with? If it is the will of the people that we grant supreme executive power based on strange women lying in ponds distributing swords then so be it!
 
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Sometime I feel that democracy is nothing but a number game.
Majority does not itself prove to be right and correct.
Majority might be wrong.
 
Thomas Paul
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The US Constitution is based on the premise that sometimes the majority os wrong. That is why it is so hard to change it and why it has so many protections built in to it. There is an expression, "the tyranny of the majority," which is what the founding fathers tried to prevent.
 
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