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Old 2020-01-23, 15:27   #67
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Quote:
I wonder if any Europeans may have viewed the Warsaw Pact as being subservient to the Soviet Union.
Was it not dominated by Moscow as US allies are by Washington?
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Old 2020-01-23, 16:55   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Many of us here in the good ol' USA may have difficulty grasping the notion of a foreign military conqueror, or of the ruination brought about by being in a "theater of operations."
I realize that Hawaii was not a state of the union in 1941 but some still remember being in a theater of operations. Not so many these days.

Just one operation, that in NY and DC in 2001, brought home to many Americans a small inkling of "ruination".
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Old 2020-01-23, 22:42   #69
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By now I have reached the conclusion that whomever may be voted into office as a result of the 2020 elections, it will not be a candidate who will be able to steer the US back to a society along the lines on which it was founded.

The district system, effectively a two party system, divides the nation in two groups and sets them up against each other. In a diverse society as the US is, this means that all kinds of fringe groups must be included in both parties to give each party a chance to secure a majority. Hence, all kind of political extremist groups can exert too much power.

Over the many decades all kind of special interest groups have learned how to exploit the system, economically and socially. Getting elected is now a matter of catering to as many special interests at the expense of the general interests as possible.

This presidential term and the two previous earned the US a reputation amongst allies to be very unreliable. And the two terms before those aren't remembered as particularly good either.

The whole US society and the political system are in a deadlock and only a change from the district system to an equal representation system for the US House and a US Senate elected taking into account the population size of the individual states can change this, Nothing else can, and until that time it will be further downhill from here.

The US judicial system has stopped functioning as well due to the appointing of judges by a flawed process that proved to be exploitable too. As a result all judges must be replaced or reinstalled after a robust change to a new election system.

Donald J Trump, not elected as president and not functioning in that position but occupying the seat during this term is not the cause but a symptom of institutional failure.

Europe will go down with the US as both societies are very intertwined and share the same enemies and threats. It is no coincidence that the only European country that is also subject to a dramatic downfall and equally divided has the election system from which the US one has been derived.
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Old 2020-01-24, 14:18   #70
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Originally Posted by tha View Post
The US judicial system has stopped functioning as well due to the appointing of judges by a flawed process that proved to be exploitable too. As a result all judges must be replaced or reinstalled after a robust change to a new election system.
At the federal level, the process is flawed because both Democrats and Republicans have implemented the nuclear option. Per Wikipedia:

Quote:
Senate cloture rules historically required a two-thirds affirmative vote to advance nominations to a vote; this was changed to a three-fifths supermajority in 1975. In November 2013, the then-Democratic Senate majority eliminated the filibuster for executive branch nominees and judicial nominees except for Supreme Court nominees by invoking the so-called nuclear option. In April 2017, the Republican Senate majority applied the nuclear option to Supreme Court nominations as well, enabling the nominations of Florida Man nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to proceed to a vote.
Before the nuclear option was implemented, it required a more centrist judge to be nominated if Congress were closely divided.

IMO we should revert back to the requirements of the past. As for those whom are elected to Congress.a weighted voting system might help pull government towards the center.
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Old 2020-01-26, 07:48   #71
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An article in the Washington Post by Francis Fukuyama reviewing a book on the same topic.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-01-27 at 19:59 Reason: Removed link tracking spam
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Old 2020-01-27, 20:00   #72
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Why I Am Worried About the Legitimacy of the 2020 Election Balloting Process | Lambert Strether, Naked Capitalism
Quote:
Any aware person who’s been following United States elections since, oh, the year 2000 should have a chronic, low-grade worry about the legitimacy of the election results. I’m not talking about gerrymandering, or voter roll “purges,” or ballot gaming, or discriminatory voter ID requirements, or even the electoral college, but rather that, for any given voter, it is not necessarily certain the ballot as cast is ballot as counted. The United States has a rich history of election fraud, and it has nothing whatever to do with “meddling” by foreigners; we can steal elections all on our own, right here. (See the Presidential elections of 2001 (Florida) and 2004 (Ohio); the Democrat Texas Caucus in 2008[1]; the Democrat 2016 California primary; and doubtless other examples that readers will suggest. Note that the list just given is bipartisan, as are presumably the election fraudsters[2] responsible). In this post I will do two things: Bring us all up to date on the continuing “ballot marking devices” (BMD) debacle — because BMDs make election fraud undetectable — and raise the issue of what will happen if a the 2020 election result is challenged on the ground of foreign interference; Adam Schiff’s recent tweet on that topic, posted in Links today, chilled my blood, and it’s why I thought to write this post today.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-01-27 at 20:02
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Old 2020-01-27, 20:51   #73
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It was widely asserted at the time that the Democrats stole the 1960 Presidential election -- particularly in Illinois. As related in Len O'Connor's book Clout: Mayor Daley and His City, Daley (1) had highly accurate polling data that told him how big a margin would be needed in Cook County to offset the Republican majority in the rest of the state, and (2) reported the Chicago vote quickly. This second bit of strategy was designed to have two effects. One, it put pressure on other, Republican-leaning Illinois counties to report quickly also, preventing them from "correcting" the vote count as much as they would like. Two, when the news came out of the huge margin in Chicago, it might discourage voters further West from voting, since such a tremendous Kennedy margin in Chicago meant it was already all over. And it may have had that effect.

Of course, it turned out that it wasn't "all over." The election was still too close to call the next morning. Kennedy carried Illinois by 8800 votes.

Since the Republicans in other counties (e.g. Kane and DuPage) were just as actively cheating, however, complaints of the 1960 Presidential election being stolen came to mind when I saw the movie The Sting, in which there was the immortal exchange,

Quote:
Floyd: Doyle, I KNOW I gave him four THREES. He had to make a SWITCH. We can't let him get away with that.

Doyle Lonnegan: What was I supposed to do - call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?
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Old 2020-01-28, 02:43   #74
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The margin calculations also went on in places like the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson details the bused-in Latinos who voted as directed and got a shot of tequila for compensation. Down there, the tactic was to delay reporting and see how the rest of the state was coming in. Then they could provide as many "votes" as necessary to control the result. These votes, and voters could be living, dead, or fictional, as in many registrations all filled out in the same handwriting.
EDIT: Lyndon himself probably benefited from the graveyard vote.

EDIT2: (Time travel allows me to answer future posts.)
Quote:
The point is, hackable digital voting systems make it easy - especially for connected insiders - to do this sort of cheating at scale, leaving few if no traces. No Latinos riding around in bus caravans needed!
No disagreement, but these were early to mid twentieth century techniques, and worked quite well for the nefarious political operatives of the day. It did not hurt that they also had their private army of armed thugs.

I do recommend Robert Caro's biography of LBJ. I need to pick up Master of the Senate and get back into it.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2020-01-28 at 03:28 Reason: strike out
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Old 2020-01-28, 03:04   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
The margin calculations also went on in places like the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson details the bused-in Latinos who voted as directed and got a shot of tequila for compensation. Down there, the tactic was to delay reporting and see how the rest of the state was coming in. Then they could provide as many "votes" as necessary to control the result. These votes, and voters could be living, dead, or fictional, as in many registrations all filled out in the same handwriting.
EDIT: Lyndon himself probably benefited from the graveyard vote.
The point is, hackable digital voting systems make it easy - especially for connected insiders - to do this sort of cheating at scale, leaving few if no traces. No Latinos riding around in bus caravans needed!
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Old 2020-01-28, 13:48   #76
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And now, a few words from Ambrose Bierce, via The Devil's Dictionary:

POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

PRESIDENCY, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics.

PRESIDENT, n. The leading figure in a small group of men of whom - and of whom only - it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President.

RABBLE, n. In a republic, those who exercise a supreme authority tempered by fraudulent elections. The rabble is like the sacred Simurgh, of Arabian fable -- omnipotent on condition that it do nothing. (The word is Aristocratese, and has no exact equivalent in our tongue, but means, as nearly as may be, "soaring swine.")

REPUBLIC, n. A nation in which, the thing governing and the thing governed being the same, there is only a permitted authority to enforce an optional obedience. In a republic the foundation of public order is the ever lessening habit of submission inherited from ancestors who, being truly governed, submitted because they had to. There are as many kinds of republics as there are gradations between the despotism whence they came and the anarchy whither they lead.

SUFFRAGE, n. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized. Refusal to do so has the bad name of "incivism." The incivilian, however, cannot be properly arraigned for his crime, for there is no legitimate accuser. If the accuser is himself guilty he has no standing in the court of opinion; if not, he profits by the crime, for A's abstention from voting gives greater weight to the vote of B. By female suffrage is meant the right of a woman to vote as some man tells her to. It is based on female responsibility, which is somewhat limited. The woman most eager to jump out of her petticoat to assert her rights is first to jump back into it when threatened with a switching for misusing them.

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
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Old 2020-01-28, 14:14   #77
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
And now, a few words from Ambrose Bierce, via The Devil's Dictionary
You omitted the etymology of the word "politics" and, by extension, those terms derived from it such as politician.

It comes from the Greek "poly" which means "many", and from "ticks", which are blood-sucking parasites.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-01-28 at 14:14 Reason: Fix tpo.
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