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  1. #101
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Well, you know Jefferson's quote:

    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"...
    I'd like my vigilance without hidden cameras and armed guards pounding billy-clubs into their hands, please.

  2. #102
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I'd like my vigilance without hidden cameras and armed guards pounding billy-clubs into their hands, please.
    Which country are you referring to?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  3. #103
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    What country are you referring to?
    I was speaking metaphorically concerning excessive restrictions on specific individual rights in an attempt to optimize and preserve individual rights in general.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Orthodox Islam IS in opposition...
    I would like to say that it is militant Islam that is in opposition.

    And that is will be moderate Islam that will defeat militant Islam, if we are lucky.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I just can't understand a government getting that involved in something that Western tradition dictates is a fundamental freedom. I understand the mentality, but it does not make sense when you consider how much blood has spilled and how many fortunes spent in order for everyone to have freedom of conscience.
    Everything has its limits, including freedom of conscience.

    Freedom of conscience ends at the freedom to end freedom.

    We don't want anyone free to end freedom.

    We do have freedom of conscience under our Constitution.

    But under Sharia, we would have no freedom of conscience.

  6. #106
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I would like to say that it is militant Islam that is in opposition.

    And that is will be moderate Islam that will defeat militant Islam, if we are lucky.
    No, orthodox Islam (not just marginal sects) mandates that believers seek to establish and subsequently implement Shariah law-an odious system that is antithetical to liberal democracy. Militant Islam constitutes an attempt to carry out these functions through terrorism or Jihad (depending on which strategy is most practical under exigent circumstances). A good analogy would be the American South during the Jim Crow era; most segregationalists were not violent, but their beliefs and actions served as incubators and de-facto support networks for groups like the KKK. And of course, the segregationalist agenda was antithetical to liberal democracy (though not procedural democracy) in its own right.

    Edit: there are genuine Muslim reformers (not to be confused with nominal Muslims), but they are a distinct minority among the religious Muslim population, and are in fact subject to more frequent intimidation and persecution under Shariah law and orthodox Islamic mores than the "dhimmis" within Muslim countries.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 10-29-2008 at 01:09 AM. Reason: had more to add

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Proportional representation has extremely negative consequences;

    1.) Multi-member PR districts make it impossible to hold specific representatives accountable to specific voters.

    2.) PR ensures that politicians are subservient and beholden to national party bosses rather than their constituents, creating oligarchic conditions while making true federalism a dead letter.

    3.) PR almost never produces a "minimum winning coalition" without politicking after the vote, resulting in unpredictable ruling coalition (comprised of multiple parties) that the voters cannot control. A first-past the post system, when combined with presidential systems, produces a two-party system in which two (dynamic and fluid) minimum winning coalitions are known to the voters beforehand.

    4.) PR systems make a "separation of powers" system impossible at the executive and legislative levels (after already making separation of powers between national and local governments impossible, see #2); either the two are combined (parliamentary systems) or the legislature is rendered very very weak relative to the Executive (see Latin America).

    This is yet another example of the "American Exceptionalism" I've been harping about recently.
    Proportional Representation works quite well here. Members are bound closer to their electorates. And in government, parties are held to account and generally ameliorate their policies.

    We have a successful Federal System of nine Parliaments.

    Our Parliamentary system is based on the separation of powers.

    And Proportional Representation has never been introduced here without first holding a plebiscite in the electorate involved.

    And we are the sixth oldest democracy in the world.

    But most of all Proportional Representation is fair.

    And it is not only fair, but it works.

    Whereas Exceptionalism is simply vanity fair.

    And consider, who are you exceptional to? You are saying you are exceptional to us.

    And we know you not only want power, but you want to be loved as well.

    And Exceptionalism does not endear you to others.

    And that only leaves you with power to keep you warm at night.

    But then again, they say you are never more American than when you are alone.

    But you do look a little sad and lonely - and indeed depression is your national disease.

    Perhaps you might like to join us for a cup of tea or a glass of wine, so we can cheer you up.

  8. #108
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Whereas Exceptionalism is simply vanity fair.

    And consider, who are you exceptional to? You are saying you are exceptional to us.
    "American Exceptionalism" refers to the manifest differences between the United States and other developed liberal democracies, and the purported explanations for the same. It is an existent phenomana within the realm of political science, not vanity. The degree of representative accountability, independence from party bosses and federalism (the latter much diluted from an overly broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause) contained within the American political system is exceptional by global standards.

    The desirability of the things that make the United States exceptional is a matter of personal opinion. If the rest of the developed world became more like the United States (in terms of formal and informal institutions), I would have no problem with the fact that my country would not be "exceptional" anymore.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    "American Exceptionalism" refers to the manifest differences between the United States and other developed liberal democracies, and the purported explanations for the same. It is an existent phenomana within the realm of political science, not vanity. The degree of representative accountability, independence from party bosses and federalism (the latter much diluted from an overly broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause) contained within the American political system is exceptional by global standards.

    The desirability of the things that make the United States exceptional is a matter of personal opinion. If the rest of the developed world became more like the United States (in terms of formal and informal institutions), I would have no problem with the fact that my country would not be "exceptional" anymore.
    Good heavens, Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny, these are Nineteenth Century newspaper cliches.

    The fact is you have two parties of business. You have two business parties. You do not have a social democratic party. In essence you are a one party State.

    Most of your people just don't bother to vote.

    And why should they? They just don't get a choice. Instead they get personality politics and money politics. Political choices are simply denied them.

    Thank heavens you have no sense of irony. 'Cause you have the best political system in the world, and the best sense of humour.

  10. #110
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Good heavens, Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny, these are Nineteenth Century newspaper cliches.

    The fact is you have two parties of business. You have two business parties. You do not have a social democratic party. In essence you are a one party State.

    Most of your people just don't bother to vote.

    And why should they? They just don't get a choice. Instead they get personality politics and money politics. Political choices are simply denied them.

    Thank heavens you have no sense of irony. 'Cause you have the best political system in the world, and the best sense of humour.
    Victor at his best...
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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