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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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751  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Green Party vs. Pirate Party on: August 31, 2013, 09:06:50 pm
I regard both positively, and think they both have commendable core values. For the time being I'll side with the Greens since the Pirates are pragmatic and without any guiding ideology when it comes to political economic systems. From one election to the next, however, I am very likely to consider candidates put forth by either group with more interest than those running for their Democratic or Republican counterparts.
752  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Unconstitutional ideas on: August 31, 2013, 08:32:06 pm
Well, to name a few:

  • Officially collective but de-facto public/private hybrid ownership of all lands and products of labour
  • Denizenship/citizenship duality; the former pays no tax but gets no free goods or services from the state
  • Voting age lowered to sixteen; all citizens and denizens allowed to vote
  • Ban of all business corporations and partnerships
  • Some workplace compensation controls
  • Guarantee of workplace democracy
  • Economic cooperativization
  • Tax code simplification and inclusion in Constitution to deter creation of new loopholes
  • Right not to be executed, tortured, mutilated, conscripted, or enslaved
  • Right for free speech not to be limited or censored by state
  • Adjustment to and caveats for gun ownership rights
  • Right for no person, social group, social status, or doctrine to be implied superior or inferior by the state
  • Substantially expanded terms of state non-discrimination in regards to civil rights
  • Marriage / civil partnership / civil union equality
  • Right to trial over matters of controversy increase from $20 to $500 minimum, henceforth adjusted for inflation
  • Right to adhere to own cultural identity (within certain limits)
  • Right to basic income
  • Right to primary and secondary education
  • Right to adequate sanitation facilities
  • Right to useful access to electricity and modern tools of communication
  • Right to ample time off from work for sleep, leisure, and tending to other aspects of the good life
  • Right to access medical facilities and social insurance covering health care expenses
  • Right to be provided a passport without any fees
  • Constitutional clauses advising the People of their duties to voluntarily accept, for the Revolution's survival
  • Replacement of the House of Representatives with the People's Assembly
  • Replacement of the Senate with the Continental Senate
  • Altered responsibilities and checks on the legislative branch
  • Replacement of the post of POTUS with an executive Presidium
  • Fourth, technocratic branch of government drawing membership from academia
  • Addition of a Constitutional Court to pro-actively uphold or nullify state acts and policies
  • One-term limits in all branches of government; judges no longer have lifetime appointments
  • Publicly financed elections, and public media outlets for covering elections and politics
  • Proportional representation, different ballot and vote-counting method, and a lowered number of seats
  • Territories allowed full-participation and seats in Congress
  • Native nations guaranteed self-determination
  • Compensation controls for elected officials
  • Representatives cannot be expelled by Congress
  • Open-list primaries for all parties fielding candidates for elected office
  • Constitutional convention automatically re-convenes to debate amendments once every ten years
  • Procedures for peacefully letting republics into and out of the Union
  • Procedures for peacefully letting people into and out of the Union
  • Change of national symbols; e.g. name becomes the American Federation of Socialist Republics

Personally, I think it would be easier to incorporate it all into a new Constitution rather than amend the old one.
753  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Quiz List. Are you a Quiz Whiz? on: August 31, 2013, 11:53:55 am




Econ: -5.50
Social: -8.51



Political Values

Radicalism     99.5
Socialism       81.25
Tenderness   50

These scores indicate that you are a progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with a university professor. It appears that you are skeptical towards religion, and have a pragmatic attitude towards humanity in general. Your attitudes towards economics appear communist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as left-wing. To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, an egalitarian with many strong opinions.


754  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Your Political Compass Answers on: August 31, 2013, 11:43:06 am
My score:

Econ: -5.50
Social: -8.51

1. If economic globalization is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations. Agree
2. I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong. Strongly Disagree
3. No one chooses his or her country of birth, so it's foolish to be proud of it. Strongly Agree
4. Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races. Strongly Disagree
5. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Strongly Disagree
6. Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified. Agree
7. There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment. Disagree
8. People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality. Strongly Agree
9. Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment. Agree
10. Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation. Strongly Agree
11. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea. Agree
12. It's a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product. Strongly Agree
13. Land shouldn't be a commodity to be bought and sold. Disagree
14. It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society. Agree
15. Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade. Disagree
16. The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders. Disagree
17. The rich are too highly taxed. Strongly Disagree
18. Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care. Agree
19. Governments should penalize businesses that mislead the public. Strongly Agree
20. A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies. Strongly Agree
21. The freer the market, the freer the people. Strongly Disagree
22. Abortion, when the woman's life is not threatened, should always be illegal. Disagree
23. All authority should be questioned. Strongly Agree
24. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Strongly Disagree
25. Taxpayers should not be expected to prop up any theatres or museums that cannot survive on a commercial basis. Strongly Disagree
26. Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory. Agree
27. All people have their rights, but it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind. Strongly Disagree
28. Good parents sometimes have to spank their children. Strongly Disagree
29. It's natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents. Strongly Agree
30. Possessing marijuana for personal use should not be a criminal offense. Strongly Agree
31. The prime function of schooling should be to equip the future generation to find jobs. Strongly Disagree
32. People with serious inheritable disabilities should not be allowed to reproduce. Strongly Disagree
33. The most important thing for children to learn is to accept discipline. Strongly Disagree
34. There are no savage and civilized peoples; there are only different cultures. Strongly Agree
35. Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society's support. Strongly Disagree
36. When you are troubled, it's better not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things. Disagree
37. First-generation immigrants can never be fully integrated within their new country. Strongly Disagree
38. What's good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us. Strongly Disagree
39. No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding. Strongly Disagree
40. Our civil liberties are being excessively curbed in the name of counter-terrorism. Agree
41. A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system. Strongly Disagree
42. Although the electronic age makes official surveillance easier, only wrongdoers need to be worried. Strongly Disagree
43. The death penalty should be an option for the most serious crimes. Strongly Disagree
44. In a civilized society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded. Disagree
45. Abstract art that doesn't represent anything shouldn't be considered art at all. Strongly Disagree
46. In criminal justice, punishment should be more important than rehabilitation. Strongly Disagree
47. It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals. Disagree
48. The businessperson and the manufacturer are more important than the writer and the artist. Strongly Disagree
49. Mothers may have careers, but their first duty is to be homemakers. Strongly Disagree
50. Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries. Strongly Agree
51. Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity. Disagree
52. Astrology accurately explains many things. Strongly Disagree
53. You cannot be moral without being religious. Strongly Disagree
54. Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged. Strongly Disagree
55. Some people are naturally unlucky. Strongly Disagree
56. It is important that my child's school instills religious values. Strongly Disagree
57. Sex outside marriage is usually immoral. Disagree
58. A same sex couple in a stable, loving relationship, should not be excluded from the possibility of child adoption. Strongly Agree
59. Pornography, depicting consenting adults, should be legal for the adult population. Strongly Agree
60. What goes on in a private bedroom between consenting adults is no business of the state. Strongly Agree
61. No one can feel naturally homosexual. Strongly Disagree
62. These days openness about sex has gone too far. Strongly Disagree

755  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Independents on: August 31, 2013, 11:16:26 am
Democrats if I had to pick, which I usually do when nobody outside of the two major parties runs.
756  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Free Trade on: August 22, 2013, 01:25:10 am
Offer free trade agreements to every country; restrict U.S. arms sales to any country governed in a manner in violation of human rights, and also any country that allows U.S. arms purchased to then pass into the hands of the aforementioned violators; remain open to generously negotiating terms of fair trade with LDCs favorable to their development; forgive debts currently owed by LDCs; lift all embargoes and trade sanctions not pertaining to military hardware; raise immigration quotas; and try to negotiate while forming an international coalition to oppose Chinese currency manipulation.

If/when the States establishes a socialist economy, bar all businesses that are not either sole proprietorships or worker cooperatives from being based on or from trading within its territory.
757  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Tax Reform on: August 22, 2013, 01:17:39 am
Progressive income tax with a min of 10% on the lowest bracket and max of 50% on the highest
Tax individuals separately, and equally under the law, regardless of marital status
Include capital gains and inheritance as income (perhaps some exempt inheritance?)
Eliminate all other deductions for and special stipulations pertaining to the income tax
Eliminate all other forms of tax at the federal level
Explore options for countering current tax avoidance techniques
758  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Welfare Reform on: August 22, 2013, 01:06:39 am
Implement a system of (livable) basic income that is unconditional and w/o term limits
Discontinue food stamps, TANF, Social Security, farm subsidies, and the minimum wage
Create a social insurance scheme covering physical and mental health
Examine options for discontinuing or reforming Medicare and Medicaid
Examine options for discontinuing or reforming unemployment benefits
Require each state to ensure all their residents get all their basic material needs met
759  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Which Business Would You Rather Shop At? on: August 22, 2013, 12:27:42 am
Brown's in this hypothetical situation.

In practice I expect the state to be the primary promoter of social justice and safeguards for workers in a capitalist society, seeing as corporations are under constant pressure to do the wrong thing on those fronts by market forces. In a socialist economy I would instead expect workers to manage their businesses with objectives in mind that go above and beyond profit-motive alone, and would feel compelled to support the business that seems to do the most good for society... unless their prices are unaffordably steep compared to nearby competitors.

This all gets complicated. xD
760  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you pardon Bradley Manning on: August 22, 2013, 12:11:31 am
Immediately. Manning's a true FF. Murder (even if 'collateral') and torture should not be tolerated in any civilized country. His refusal to abandon his moral conscience in the face of deeply disturbing information means he's a hero.

I couldn't have said it better, and certainly not as succinctly!
761  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How do you Rank on the RWA Scale? on: August 20, 2013, 11:24:24 pm
Scored 20 on the scale, for 0%.

The only deviation from non-RWA attitudes I had on the quiz was a slightly tempered disagreement with the statement for question #1 (the established authorities generally turn out to be right about things, while the radicals and protestors are usually just "loud mouths" showing off their ignorance) in acknowledgement that some radicals and protesters are pretty annoying and ignorant, though that's not what I think of radicals and protesters in general.

762  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What would be your 2012 House ACU rating? on: August 20, 2013, 09:19:25 am
16% (4/25)

This rating is comparable to:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA-D)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA-D)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA-D)
Sen. Mark Pryor (AR-D)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI-D)

In comparison, my state's representatives right now are Sen. Max Baucus (14%), Sen. Jon Tester (4%), and Rep. Steve Daines - who does not yet have a rating.


- 1. Domestic Energy Production (ANWR, KXL) - HR 3408

- 2. Conservative Alternative Budget amendment to H Con Res 112

- 3. Federal Land Management (Sportsmen’s Heritage Act) HR 4089

- 4. Elimination funding for Economic Development Administration - Pompeo Amendment to HR 5326

- 5. Public-Private Competition (FPI) - Huizenga amendment to HR 5326

- 6. Elimination of funding for Legal Services Corporation - Austin Scott amendment to HR 5326.

- 7. Healthcare Law Litigation - Blackburn amendment to HR 5326

+ 8. DOMA adherence - Huelskamp amendemnt to HR 5326

- 9. NSF Political Science Funding - Flake amendment to HR 5326

+ 10. Afghanistan Defense Spending - Lee amendment to HR 4310

- 11. Terror Suspect Trials - Rooney amendment to HR 4310

- 12. Missile Defense -  Polis amendment to HR 4310

X 13. Public-Private Competition (DoD) - Coffman amendment to HR 4310

- 14. Sex-Selection Abortion - HR 3541

- 15. Project Labor Agreements - Grimm amendment to HR 5854

+ 16. Science/Renewable Energy Funding - Hultgren amendment to HR 5325

- 17. Davis-Bacon Act - King amendment to HR 5326

- 18. Border Security/Environment - Grijalva amendment to HR 2578

- 19. Air Service Subsidies. - McClintock amendment to HR 5972

+ 20. Elimination of Community Development Block Grants - MClintock amendment to HR 5972.

- 21. Healthcare Bill Repeal.  HR 6079

- 22. Offshore Oil and Gas - HR 6082

X 23. Energy Project Loan Guarantees

- 24. Welfare Reform Waivers - HJ Res 118

- 25. Climate and Water Regulations - HR 3409
763  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Left Vs. Right: Personality Differences on: August 19, 2013, 08:46:02 pm
No study I have read concerning variations in value sets, moral convictions, traits of personal character, etc. having influence over ones positions in politics has been contrary to the notion of American rightists and leftists being divided in their RWA scores at present. Going beyond what was covered in the video btw, a person with the RWA personality archetype is submissive to conventional ways, their chosen leaders, and will act aggressively in opposition to those who are not on their "side," especially if placed in environs where lashing out feels safe and unlikely to carry with it a serious threat of successful retaliation on the part of their targets.

Something else I've noticed from skimming over the results of some social experiments involving university students placed into geopolitical simulations is that low-score RWA people generally appear to make splendid internationalists and collaborators for mutual gain when they are given decision-making authority, whereas high-score RWA folk seem much less trusting of people from other factions and engage in a lot of realpolitik and brinksmanship - to the effect of not building much in the way of inter-team projects and teetering on the edge of descent into large-scale, bloody conflicts (if I recall, the simulations for them usually ended in mutual annihilation with vast casualties courtesy of exchanges of nuclear weapons).

And yet I am reluctant to drag in labels like Democrat, Republic, liberal, or conservative when we discuss a matter like this. One risks painting with far too broad a brush. There are some general trends to observe, certainly, but I certainly don't go around thinking of Republicans as potential fascists in a condition of dormancy or of Democrats as libertarians who don't think of freedom of the individual in terms of big versus small government. To avoid making a partisan hackfest out of intriguing (and pretty plausible) theories like that presented in the video I like to step back a bit and try to put a positive spin on what makes people different.

Can an understanding of RWA scores help people of different factions better understand the core motives of their different-minded counterparts? How can low and high scorers on the spectrum be brought to see and to some extent integrate the strengths of their opponents' perspectives into their own? Likewise, what can be learned about the political weaknesses of folk on each end of the scale? Are the two poles bound to be locked in a zero-sum contest for power or are there constructive ways to collaborate and deliver gains to both sides? These are the sort of matters springing to mind for me right now.
764  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US says Area 51 is real (but they have no aliens there) on: August 16, 2013, 05:32:34 pm
Ya, my impression of the base is consistent with that - a remote military facility used for testing prototype aircraft. I don't think there are any aliens there but am definitely curious about what kinds of jets may be safely kept on site sufficiently far off from prying eyes.
765  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How are your parents politically? on: August 15, 2013, 02:45:12 pm
My folks are centrist Democrats on balance, with my mom somewhat less liberal than my dad on social issues and neither being particularly pro-labour... although my dad was a fan of Edwards and the Kennedys, and my mom a wee bit prejudiced and far more enamored with Hillary Clinton.

I do not know much about the political views of one my relatives working the copper smelter in Butte way back in the day, but if he wasn't one of the radicals of the era I'm probably the most leftist person in the family's history going back at least four generations.
766  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 1965 (semi-runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:13:45 pm
Barbu
767  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 1974 (runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:13:19 pm
768  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 1981 (runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:12:43 pm
769  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 1988 (runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:11:24 pm
Mitterrand, reluctantly.
770  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 1995 (runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:09:27 pm
Voynet
771  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 2002 (runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:08:57 pm
Mamère
772  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 2007 (semi-runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:08:08 pm
Bayrou
773  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 1969 (runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:06:51 pm
Rocard
774  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French presidential election, 2012 (runoff) on: August 13, 2013, 07:06:26 pm
Mélenchon
775  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: United States and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games on: August 13, 2013, 02:52:10 am
No - the Olympic Games provide a fleeting opportunity for the peoples of our world to set aside their differences and stand together in solidarity. Why let politics as usual ruin our prospects of enjoying such a rare event?
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