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16726  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Israel on: August 19, 2009, 04:55:43 pm
And what would Gaza have as an export? Could they have a viable economy? Or would they end up being some third world welfare state?

What do Dubaļ and Singapore have?

Dubai had enough oil to give it a jumpstart.  Singapore had a decent anchorage on a major shipping lane.  Gaza doesn't have either of those advantages.  It might have a chance if it didn't have to deal with those who moved there during the ethnic cleansing of 1948-9 and their descendants.
16727  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gay Marriage Litigator Seeks to Break Up California on: August 19, 2009, 03:31:11 pm
There are quite a few good reasons to consider breaking up California into an Alta California with the capital at Sacramento, and a plain California or Media California with a capital at Anaheim, since a capitol complex would seem most like a theme park Wink.

There's a ready made straight edge border if San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino were the northern most counties of Media California. (Media as in being the middle between Alta (high) and Baja (low) California, though I do like the pun on the media business centered on Los Angeles.

A split on that border would make Media California the 2nd most populous state (after Texas) and Alta California the 5th most most populous state (after TX, MC, NY, and FL).  The fact that the southern portion would have the larger population is likely why Gilbert figures the northern portion should be the one that must get a new name.

However, while I feel that there are many good reasons to split up California into 2 or more smaller states, this issue isn't one of them.  It's doubtful that the north-south divide over same-gender marriage will last more than a decade or two.
16728  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the Preceding Poster's Signature Thread IV on: August 18, 2009, 11:52:52 pm
Can't think of a more appropriate place for Vick to end up playing than Philadelphia
16729  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Opinion of the amendments (Amendment IX) on: August 18, 2009, 11:24:23 pm
Nonpersons don't have Constitutional rights.  Wink

A fetus certainly has at least as good a claim to being a person as does a corporation.  In any case, personhood isn't defined anywhere in the Constitution, so we end up back at the ninth leading to conflicting assertions of rights if we try applying the ninth amendment to the abortion issue.
16730  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Opinion of the amendments (Amendment IX) on: August 18, 2009, 08:35:01 pm
A more clearly-phrased version would be nice, something to the effect of: "The lack of a right in the Constitution should not be interpreted to mean that said right does not exist" would be good.

So then the unborn have a right to life? Wink

The reason why the ninth is infrequently invoked is that often cases involve conflicting rights.
16731  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Supreme court Justice Scalia: Executing innocent people is perfectly constit on: August 18, 2009, 08:26:43 pm
My answer is: pass.

I just came across one of my favourite "stupid" Supreme Court decisions: Dretke v. Haley - a particularly stupid decision where even the prosecutors agreed the convict wasn't guilty, but still insisted he do the extra time anyway, and whats more, the Court agreed.

Not quite.  The Court refused to create new precedent because it felt existing precedent (i.e., seeking relief due to incompetent counsel, which he clearly had) would grant the plaintiff's desired outcome.  A perfectly reasonable example of judicial restraint.
16732  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Another 'who would you vote for' scenario! on: August 18, 2009, 05:47:38 pm
Greens, but I could see voting Tory, UD, or LP depending upon the riding and the candidates.
16733  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the Preceding Poster's Signature Thread IV on: August 18, 2009, 01:36:12 am
SKIP since I've comment on Xahar's sig before.
I can't understand if it's a pro-Democratic cartoon or an anti-Democratic one, so to speak.
I take it as skewering both parties.  Unlike a lot of political cartoonists and comedians, Ariail doesn't really slant left or right.  He tries to slant funny for the most part, and will gladly barbecue the sacred cows of both sides if there is some humor to be found in it.

Here's a another example of his dual skewering:
16734  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Richius on: August 17, 2009, 09:45:34 pm
Not exactly your best choice of an example to prove your point JD.  IQ tests for pre-adults are problematic in reliability when it comes to predicting adult intelligence.  An IQ test for a 2 year old is absurd, since the result could simply indicate that she is developing her adult intelligence earlier than usual.  Few child prodigies retain their exceptionalism as an adult.
16735  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease on: August 17, 2009, 09:38:02 pm
So you're going to take the vaccination when offered?

Yes, just like I get the regular flu shot each year.  Not so much for myself, as I am in good health so a bout of flu would most likely be a personal inconvenience that would require me to spend several days sick in bed, but because I don't want to be the vector that spreads it to someone who is less well off in the health department, especially since several of those someones are people I come into contact with on a regular basis.
16736  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the Preceding Poster's Signature Thread IV on: August 17, 2009, 07:52:15 pm
Why would an English doctor write a novel about The Military College of South Carolina?
16737  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Born abroad on: August 17, 2009, 07:28:25 pm
The fourteenth amendment has this to say on the issue of American citizenship:
Quote from: XIV Amendment, Section 1, 1st sentence
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

A minimalist argument would be the natural-born citizens are those born of a parent with legal residence in the United States on territory that is under the jurisdiction of the United States, all others, even if the parent(s) be U.S. citizens are naturalized, and the law provided for naturalization at birth.  Under that theory, neither Weicker (assuming he wasn't born in the Paris embassy) nor a Kenyan-born child of an American mother would be a "natural-born citizen".  Obama, since he was born in Hawaii, and McCain, since he was born in the Canal Zone, both meet the strictest interpretation of what constitutes, natural-born.  Wicker's claim to being "natural-born" depends upon a broader definition, in which all those who acquire citizenship at birth are "natural-born"

Of course, we might all be misinterpreting what the Founders meant by the clause.  Perhaps in their zeal to prevent the President from becoming an Imperial Cęsar, they meant to render those born via a C-section from becoming President. Wink

16738  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1852 Democratic Convention on: August 17, 2009, 06:30:44 pm
A Cass/Douglas ticket sounds good.
16739  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Castillo v. Texas on: August 17, 2009, 03:43:19 pm
I will say that upon reading the details of what happened, Keith's Comics efforts to keep adult material out of the eyesight of any minors who happened to be in the store when an adult customer took an adult comic book out of the restricted section to be purchased were inadequate.  That likely was a factor in the jury's decision.
16740  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Opinion of the amendments (Amendment VIII) on: August 17, 2009, 03:09:48 pm
Modify it to make it clear what constitutes "cruel" and to make clear that the "unusual" provision applies to judges not to legislatures.

If Ohio wishes to try out a novel punishment for a crime, or impose a prison term significantly longer than what other States do for equivalent crimes, then unless said punishment is "cruel" the eighth amendment shouldn't be applicable.

I'm also not a fan of the "evolving standards of decency" doctrine.  Those evolving standards are best handled via legislative and/or constitutional processes, not judicial fiat.
16741  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease on: August 17, 2009, 12:30:12 am
There's a very significant difference between the 1976 swine flu scare and the current H1N1 pandemic.  The 1976 H1N1 strain never became pandemic (indeed after the first outbreak it was never seen in the wild again), while H1N1 already is and is responsible to date for 100 times more deaths worldwide (20 times more deaths if you count only U.S. and Canada)  than the GBS deaths linked to the 1976 swine flu vaccine.

Alarmist much?

Not really.  The H1N1 flu hasn't been a particularly deadly strain of flu so far in this putbreak, but because no recent strains of human flu have been at all similar, it will disproportionately impact young adults.  GBS remains at this point a theoretical concern of the H1N1 vaccine, just as it has for every new flu vaccine ever since it was noticed as a side effect of the 1976 swine flu vaccine, yet that theoretical concern has never translated into a real problem.  If the problem in 1976 was due specifically to the virus being immunized against being of the H1N1 type instead of some other factor (an unknown) then this vaccine might be more likely than the intervening flu shots to cause GBS on rare occasions.

However, compared to the known rates of mortality from the current strain of H1N1 unless the new vaccine proves to be considerably worse in side effects than any flu vaccine has had in the past, it's definitely a net positive for health, especially if you are in a job that involves daily contact with lots of different people.  It might be prudent if you don't live in an area currently experiencing an H1N1 outbreak, your health (and that of everyone in your immediate family) is otherwise good, and you are not in daily contact with lots of different people to wait a couple of weeks when it first comes out.

Vaccination is one of those areas where uber-libertarianism fails.  The more broadly a vaccine is used, the greater the effect is on protecting even the unvaccinated.  If it weren't for the anti-vaccine idiots, we could already be rid of a lot more communicable diseases besides smallpox in the world.
16742  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you be opposed to no Saturday mail? on: August 17, 2009, 12:29:10 am
I see no harm in ending Saturday home delivery, so long as the post offices themselves are still open for a part of each Saturday.
16743  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: An electoral college for Governor elections? on: August 16, 2009, 11:34:49 pm
The Electoral College is an antiquated and anti-democratic mechanism in presidential races; why would states want to inflict it on their gubernatorial races? It would only serve to unfairly dilute urban voters for rural ones.

Hmmmm.....I think I just answered my own question.

Actually, in South Carolina, the urban counties are for the most part Republican.  Of the 13 most populous counties, 11 are solidly Republican right now, 1 Democratic (Richland) and 1 swing (Charleston).  Under a EV plan, That's 70 solid Republican EV's, 10 Democratic and 10 swing.

The other 33 counties (80 EV collectively, especially the one's in the rural ones in the black belt, are the Democratic strong areas.

Granted, that is largely die to the fact that save for Richland County (and to a lesser extent Charleston), our most populous counties are dominated by suburbs rather than an urban core.

16744  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease on: August 16, 2009, 08:39:27 pm
There's a very significant difference between the 1976 swine flu scare and the current H1N1 pandemic.  The 1976 H1N1 strain never became pandemic (indeed after the first outbreak it was never seen in the wild again), while H1N1 already is and is responsible to date for 100 times more deaths worldwide (20 times more deaths if you count only U.S. and Canada)  than the GBS deaths linked to the 1976 swine flu vaccine.

Richius, go ahead and bury your head in the sand because you are unable to properly evaluate risk, an odd shortcoming given the profession you claim to be in.  But do be a dear and let people know when H1N1 levels are elevated in your area that you have refused to be vaccinated so that they can avoid you for more than the usual reasons.
16745  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama surrenders on: August 16, 2009, 08:23:22 pm
RIP Health care reform.

Again.

And say goodbye to my support in the next election, Obama.

So you'd prefer that the chief executive have continued fighting for a proposal that had no chance of passing?

Having observed seven years of Governor Sanford doing exactly that, I can assure you that is a quick route to political irrelevancy and futility.  Perhaps if as mentioned in another thread, Obama had started with single payer, he could have negotiated his way to public option, but that's doubtful too.  Even the backers of the public option largely presented their support for it only as a step towards single payer, and single payer is not a politically acceptable option.  Too many people are sufficiently satisfied with their existing insurance that they fear, and often with good reason, that change will be personally disadvantageous due to either higher cost (either in rates or taxes) or lower quality of service.
16746  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: An electoral college for Governor elections? on: August 16, 2009, 07:48:27 pm
Ever since one-man one-vote got interpreted to bar geographic distribution of voting power, it hasn't been possible to use a Gubernatorial electoral college even if a State wanted one.

Incidentally if we were to go back to the old system of divying up the General Assembly and implemented an electoral college for Governor

2002:


Sanford: 110 EV 53% PV
Hodges: 60 EV 47% PV

2006:


Sanford: 110 EV 55% PV
Moore: 60 EV 45% PV
16747  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Will we ever elect an obese President? on: August 16, 2009, 12:47:35 pm
An obese person could not get elected today, but if standards of personal beauty change so that we revert to the historical norms wherein it was better to be obese than starvishly thin, then yes.   We live in a land of plenty where obesity is associated with being poor, not wealthy enough to afford excess food.  Once the world population reach 20 or 30 billion, I imagine being overweight will once again be considered better than being underweight.

It won't: birthrates across the world have been in a downward trajectory since the early 90s: the population will probably peak at around 10 billion at the end of this century and afterwards will slowly drop.

Because we all know that trends continue forever, right?

China is seeing the beginning of the end of the one child policy taking place now.  I would not at all be surprised to see China in reaction to that policy once it is finally gone, see a baby boom take place with two child families seen as the minimum desired size by mid-century, rather than a maximum desired size as it is now. China has set itself up for seeing the ability to provide for multiple children as the ultimate status symbol to say that you've arrived.  That's also true to a lesser extent in India.  That isn't to say I see the world population reaching the 20 billion mark by 2100.  I do see the world population continuing to expand until food prices increase markedly from their current historically abnormal low value as measured by the percentage of per capita income devoted to them.
16748  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: You are elected British PM in 1979.. on: August 16, 2009, 11:36:37 am
Acted as if I'd been elected Speaker (i.e., act as if I didn't want the job. Wink)

Thatcher did a good deal of much needed house cleaning, but I wouldn't have been as keen as she was on privatizing infrastructure.
16749  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Idea on: August 16, 2009, 11:03:57 am
More germanely, Jefferson and other Republicans made considerable use of State courts to squelch Federalist newspapers and the like that attacked him.  He really was the pot calling the kettle black in this area, since save for the name of the charge, there was no real difference between sedition and criminal libel.
16750  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: You are John Anderson. on: August 16, 2009, 02:55:54 am
I'd see an Anderson/Kennedy ticket doing as follows:



Anderson/Kennedy: 291 EV 39% PV
Reagan/Bush: 247 EV 41% PV
Carter/Mondale 0 EV 18% PV (Carter manages to get 2nd place only in Georgia.)
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