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12201  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Bush nominee 'believes in an all-powerful presidency' on: January 10, 2006, 07:44:21 pm
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee accused President Bush's latest Supreme Court nominee of being far too deferential to executive power and invariably favouring the state over the rights of the individual.

Edward Kennedy, the party's liberal standard bearer, told Judge Samuel Alito as the committee got down to serious questioning yesterday: "Your record shows you believe in the supremacy of the executive branch and an almost all-powerful presidency." .

To make his argument, Senator Kennedy cited several cases from Judge Alito's 15-year stint on the federal appeals bench in which, he claimed, the judge had sided with the state even when some of his conservative colleagues disagreed.

Along with abortion, the issue of abuse of executive power and the judiciary's role as the last line of defence against such abuse, have emerged as a potential stumbling blocks to Judge Alito's confirmation.

The row has been propelled on to the front pages by last month's revelation that President Bush has allowed the National Security Agency to conduct wiretapping without warrants against US citizens, bypassing a special domestic court that normally authorises such procedures. The White House, Mr Kennedy charged, was "abusing power, excusing and authorising torture and spying on American citizens." Judge Alito, he said, "has to speak out on his commitment to constitutional values and liberties".

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article337785.ece
12202  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who Would You Vote For? on: January 09, 2006, 11:16:10 pm
Hmmm, I didn't vote -- I have a feeling this is one of those tricky ones where Person A and B have real life counterparts that we know and love, and Person C was a total nutjob, as in A = Roosevelt, B = Churchill, and C = Hitler ... or something similar.

I was waiting for that... something similiar had hit me on the high school debate circuit back in the late 90s, about three or four times. Apparently the chaps thought it was quite clever. It just shows the meaning of ad hominem attacks (and defenses).
12203  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is the previous poster a FF or HP? on: January 08, 2006, 11:30:05 pm
Freedom fighter
12204  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is the previous poster a FF or HP? on: January 08, 2006, 11:28:12 pm
Freedom fighter, (though with some extreme views).
12205  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of NOW on: January 08, 2006, 11:09:22 pm
Obviously I think there's a lot of hyperbole there, but I can't expect ever to change you, I know you better than that. Wink

To be clear, I don't dispute that it's still a man's world out there, that society is sexist in many ways, even if many people accept this sexism implicitly; that ideally they shouldn't accept it. Thus, many of the practical things NOW does, like support for birth control, opposition to domestic violence, constitutional equality, family and health care affordability, women in the military, etc. I support in practice.

What I oppose is their identity-oriented approach and mentality, which influences their positions (or silence) on certain issues. Feminism is only part of the larger liberal tradition originated by Hobbes, Locke, and the Enlightenment, in addition to a bridge for social criticism and the link of politics to social roles. Gender justice is only a part of social and economic justice. It was never meant to be a political interest group based around a person's biological identity, and NOW seems to have degenerated into this latter thing.
12206  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Most Polarizing State on: January 08, 2006, 11:05:14 pm
How about Iowa?  This state has one of the most conservative senators AND one of the most liberal senators.

I don't know.  Iowa has so many counties where the other party got 40%+ that I'd honestly be surprised if there is that much division.

I'd add South Dakota to the list.  There are some counties as heavily Democratic as Washington DC and some counties even more heavily Republican than Utah.

Those are Indian Reservations, and they don't cast many votes.

I'd have to say Utah.  The ski areas are quite "latte liberal" (as stupid of a term as that is), and obviously we know about the Republican areas.

California and Florida both have lots of suburban Republicans.  They may be minorities in their counties, but they cast more votes than the rural Republicans.

Washington has a ton of moderate libertarian Democrats in the suburbs.  Oregon would be a decent option, though.

EDIT:  The problem with southern states is that the Democrats/liberals are often very socially conservative because they are black.

Yeah but how significant are the "ski areas" that you speak of? Where are they located and how many votes do you "attribute" to these areas?

Summit County is about 50-50 ski resort/standard Utah.  The parts with ski resorts (Park City) are very liberal.  However, you're right in that those aren't really big vote-getting areas.

But the real Democratic vote-getters in Utah are non-religious people.  And since the Mormons are quite conservative, the non-religious people generally contrast pretty heavily.

That's a good point. This thread has really made me want to visit Utah.
12207  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: One year ago today... on: January 08, 2006, 11:03:39 pm
Congratulations Joe Republic.

It seems like you've been here forever.
12208  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you been to the state of the previous poster? on: January 08, 2006, 10:58:40 pm
Yes, thankfully.
12209  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Most Polarizing State on: January 08, 2006, 10:58:05 pm
I'd have to say Utah.  The ski areas are quite "latte liberal" (as stupid of a term as that is), and obviously we know about the Republican areas.

California and Florida both have lots of suburban Republicans.  They may be minorities in their counties, but they cast more votes than the rural Republicans.

Washington has a ton of moderate libertarian Democrats in the suburbs.  Oregon would be a decent option, though.

EDIT:  The problem with southern states is that the Democrats/liberals are often very socially conservative because they are black.

Yeah but how significant are the "ski areas" that you speak of? Where are they located and how many votes do you "attribute" to these areas?
12210  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Which is more moderate? on: January 08, 2006, 10:54:08 pm
People who vote are more likely to be people who care a lot about politics, and people who care a lot about politics are more likely to fall on the extremes, so, yes the general public is probably more moderate. Not that it particularly matters, though.
12211  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the ACLU on: January 08, 2006, 10:50:29 pm
Mixed record, though in general I think they're better than NOW. Obviously they are biased, but they represent one side of the debate and play an important role in doing that.
12212  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of NOW on: January 08, 2006, 10:47:58 pm
Freedom fighters, of course.

I don't support NOW because they've betrayed liberal feminism by turning themselves into just another interest group. Their particular kind of interest group is rather fascist. The organization needs to reform back towards the spirit in which it started, based on principles rather than identity.

Can you please give specific examples?

They oppose the efforts of groups representing fathers to equalize custody disputes.

They feel men should have to pay child support after losing the custody dispute.

They support affirmative action even though men are a minority in 4-year colleges (I'm pretty sure).
12213  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: your religion on: January 08, 2006, 10:34:29 pm
Christian. I have been challenged on this because I'm not a regular churchgoer, yet I really think one has to view things case by case and not exclude someone just because they are not a regular churchgoer.
I still fail to understand how church is a requirement for being 'Christian'. I stopped attending church a while back, and ever since then people have complained that I am not fulfilling my duties.

A lot of it depends on what kind of church we're looking at. Some churches can be more counterproductive than productive, and I had a bad long-term experience with one of those, whose effect was to push me away from God not toward him.

I would try harder to find a church that fits me today except for my extreme social anxiety, which prevent me from doing a number of other things as well.
Indeed. Furthermore, one does not need to attend a building to worship. If the organisation ends up being distracting or otherwise detrimental, it's probably best to simply stay at home and pray, or read the Bible, instead of dealing with whatever (or whoever) is causing the problem.

Sorry to hear about the social anxiety, though. That's probably my biggest reason for not trying to find another church as well.

Many churches today actively try to be distracting, which is part of the problem, though it's not really their fault. The problem with mainline religion is that its not exciting enough for people.

A18- That's part of the reason why I like internet forums. It affords a greater sense of freedom for me from inhibitions I'd ordinarily have.
12214  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of NOW on: January 08, 2006, 10:30:44 pm
I don't support NOW because they've betrayed liberal feminism by turning themselves into just another interest group. Their particular kind of interest group is rather fascist. The organization needs to reform back towards the spirit in which it started, based on principles rather than identity.
12215  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: your religion on: January 08, 2006, 10:24:08 pm
Christian. I have been challenged on this because I'm not a regular churchgoer, yet I really think one has to view things case by case and not exclude someone just because they are not a regular churchgoer.
I still fail to understand how church is a requirement for being 'Christian'. I stopped attending church a while back, and ever since then people have complained that I am not fulfilling my duties.

A lot of it depends on what kind of church we're looking at. Some churches can be more counterproductive than productive, and I had a bad long-term experience with one of those, whose effect was to push me away from God not toward him.

I would try harder to find a church that fits me today except for my extreme social anxiety, which prevent me from doing a number of other things as well.
12216  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: your religion on: January 08, 2006, 10:16:33 pm
Christian. I have been challenged on this because I'm not a regular churchgoer, yet I really think one has to view things case by case and not exclude someone just because they are not a regular churchgoer.
12217  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Party in power - Congress on: January 08, 2006, 09:52:09 pm
I'm not sure about this-- but might having a large talent pool in the House help attract more qualified candidates for senate and gubernatorial races? I'm not sure what percentage of statewide candidates are drawn from the House as opposed to say county executives, mayors, or lower-level statewide (like AG).

At the aggregate level a difference of 20-30 seats out of 435 might not make a big difference, but controlling only a few House seats in a given state might seriously harm a party's ability to recruit for the higher level.

With regard to the House itself-- wealthy candidates without a strong ideology might decide to run for House in whichever party is the majority, feeling they have a higher payoff if they win; and qualified people from the minority party might retire earlier or choose not to run, if they feel they can't be productive. Since the House is bigger than the senate, and since House members have less independence, this might affect more people.
12218  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Voting Age on: January 08, 2006, 09:46:09 pm
18 ties in with the general concept of suffrage, wherein one is considered a legal adult (though there are a few exceptions). I don't think the voting age should be separated from the age of suffrage in general.
12219  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who are you politically the most like on this board? on: January 08, 2006, 09:44:41 pm
Probably Harry
12220  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Most Polarizing State on: January 08, 2006, 09:40:01 pm
The entire west coast (Washington, Oregon, California)
Colorado
Florida
12221  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Spank Poll on: January 08, 2006, 01:26:53 am
I've never been either slapped or spanked, so my handle on this issue isn't exactly great. But from reading I agree with Progress & J-Mann here.
12222  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: If Al Gore had won in 2000.... on: January 08, 2006, 01:10:46 am
The point is, by the "butterfly affect" alone, there is a significant chance it wouldn't have been pulled off. That by itself has nothing to do with policy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect
12223  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you talk to the preceding Atlasian on an instant messager? on: January 08, 2006, 01:03:23 am
Yes, but there's no point to.
12224  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: America's Ideology on: January 07, 2006, 07:44:38 pm
Bullmoose is not a socialist.

Subjectivity is almost inevitable because the question involves a double speculation. First, one must speculate on the median American citizen's characteristics (not views or even propensities). Second, one must speculate on the contents of a comprehensive education, a substantially more difficult task. I don't believe that anyone on this forum, or in the world for that manner, can answer this question without speculating on both accounts.
12225  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: America's Ideology on: January 07, 2006, 05:45:51 pm
Emsworth, you seem to be placing your own value system and education, as well as your own interpretive spin, which, could be expected of anyone, which is the biggest pitfall in asking a question like this.
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