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  1. #71
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Fortunately, this war is being wound down. If we could prosecute Cheney and Bush, I'd be all for it. That said, I don't think America has some intrinsic beef with "brown people". I'm a brown person. I'm not slaughtered. There are other factors that are exacerbating that shit in the Middle East.
    Hmm... Mexico, the Indian Wars, Mexico again, Honduras, Panama, the Philippines, Guatemala, Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iran again, Iraq...

    Not so sure I agree with you on that one. We definitely show a pattern in our foreign meddling/brutalization.

  2. #72
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I think a lot of what is written in the US constitution is pretty fantastic, but there are flaws that need correcting or may need correcting in the future.
    Which is what the Amendment process is for.

    The thing is, what one person considers 'flaws' another person considers virtues....what many of the people who disparage supporters of the Constitution as characters out of Fiddler on the Roof really seek is the capacity to fundamentally change American institutions without broad-based support among the disparate states and districts.

  3. #73
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    To take away the constitution would....


    it's just unfathomable and stupid.


    /sj

  4. #74
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The constitution itself has literally no more power than Moby Dick.

    Everything seen that is couched as the enforcement of the constitution was just a selective decision by people with power.
    Ideas have more power than men with guns, in the long-term. Which, of course, is what all of this is really all about.....if you succeed in delegitimizing an idea, it loses most of its power.

    That's the problem with 'critical' legal theory.....it disparages the concept of the 'rule of law', thereby undermining the utilitarian benefits of celebrating and pursuing it.

  5. #75
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Hmm... Mexico, the Indian Wars, Mexico again, Honduras, Panama, the Philippines, Guatemala, Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iran again, Iraq...

    Not so sure I agree with you on that one. We definitely show a pattern in our foreign meddling/brutalization.
    Mexico has a complicated history. If you're talking about Santa Anna, I mean? I don't know what he stood for, tbh. Or who Mexicans really were then (and I live in San Antonio, the home of the "Alamo"..lol). He fought Indians and Spanish at different times. And then Americans too (or rather, Texans). He was all over the place.

    Cambodia is closer to my sympathies (my mother is half Khmer), but I bet that I could achieve a lot in this country, if I my put mind to it (which I don't really care to do, honestly lol). There isn't going to be some White bogeyman coming out of the dark who's going to randomly cockblock me from success, just because of race. I've dealt with racism, but not systematic racism. I'm fortunate that the country has evolved beyond that. I think people who needlessly pity the brown man, just because, are just as annoying. It's indirectly telling me that I'm without hope, when I know it's incorrect. I'm not that screwed. Cambodia is another case that had many other factors, besides race. I'm not excusing it. The entire Communist scare that had created problems in many of these places is a giant clusterfuck.

  6. #76
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    I agree, except that if the government were reasonable enough to pull off small and appropriate changes cleanly, then we would not have needed it to begin with.

    On the one hand we need revision to deal with oppression but on the other we need limits to at least provide a speed bump for the possibly stupid and corrupt.

    Appropriate changes require some kind of sense. They need to have objective reasoning for sure but that is in short supply these days.
    It's the sad truth about politics (and human beings in general).

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    You know what keeps it together? When people fundamentally feel that their leaders are like them, and are in their tribe. A "tribe" can be any sort of psychological ingroup, be it ideological, ethnic, racial, you name it. As long as the person's in one's tribe, most are very likely to write off any sort of action that an outgroup would see as an abuse of power, as something completely necessary.

    That brings us to a functional definition of tyranny: when your leaders are not like you and from outside your perceived tribe, and that irritates you to the point where you want to remove their power by force.
    This fits with my impression of US politics but this concept is alien to me, personally. Politics in my country doesn't typically fall along such deep tribal lines - and if it does, it is more policy based than in such superficial terms.

    My Prime Minister is male, (ethnically) Jewish, and very wealthy, former businessman - none of which applies to me. The only thing that matches me is that he's white and I think he's an atheist (I say, "I think", because I'm not sure and I frankly don't care). I didn't vote for him because I disagree with his policies but in general I think he does an OK job as PM. I don't see his decisions as an abuse of power or an effort to destroy my nation; they just don't match my own preferences.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Which is what the Amendment process is for.

    The thing is, what one person considers 'flaws' another person considers virtues....what many of the people who disparage supporters of the Constitution as characters out of Fiddler on the Roof really seek is the capacity to fundamentally change American institutions without broad-based support among the disparate states and districts.
    Absolutely. Fair points.

    Question for all: In your opinion, under what conditions would you consider it right/just/necessary to make Amendments or to amend existing Amendments? How controversial does a Amendment have to be for it to no longer be considered fundamental enough to be included?
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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  7. #77
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    How are they subject to it? Who is holding them accountable? It's always a matter of who, because the constitution has no ability to enforce or interpret itself. Nothing you have is the result of the constitution, it is the result of what people have made of the constitution, including the decision to try to heed it or just disregard it altogether. The constitution itself has literally no more power than Moby Dick.
    Nobody has to listen to leaders either. The only thing they really have to listen to is the power of a gun. I guess the military is the ultimate leadership of the country according to that logic. The constitution has power because there are people backing it. They have power because there are others backing them. Power comes through unity. If people unify behind the constitution (which they have for over 200 years) it has power.
    You lose.

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  8. #78
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    I would say the United States constitution is a document of sound and intelligent principals, that nevertheless was introduced by those perhaps a little naive of the worst elements of human nature.

    Give people freedom and the first thing they will do is find ways to minimise it for others. Because freedom is, at heart, an individual principal, it is difficult to translate into an effective doctrine for a large population and in fact doing so is counter-productive to the outcome of freedom in the first place.

    Of course this is just a human social concept of freedom, as we are not that free from our own biologies.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  9. #79
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Question for all: In your opinion, under what conditions would you consider it right/just/necessary to make Amendments or to amend existing Amendments? How controversial does a Amendment have to be for it to no longer be considered fundamental enough to be included?
    Not to be tautological, but anytime an Amendment has enough support to pass the Amendment process, it is right/just/necessary to pass it: the process is designed to ensure that Amendments have widespread support, in terms of both citizens and federal states, so that any power surrendered by the citizens of the several states to the federal government is democratically legitimate and reasonably voluntary-a balance between the sovereignty and local control of a confederated system and the stability/efficiency of a unitary system.

    As for specific Amendments, while I would want to make a few more years of observation in case of unforeseen consequences, I would like the entire country to adopt California's new primary system (the top two candidates, even if of the same party, compete in the general election, forcing representatives in strongly Democrat or Republican areas to seek broad-based support across party lines). I would also make electoral votes automatically represent the state/district vote rather than technically being up to designated electors.

    Most of the other changes that immediately spring to mind are changes in legally binding interpretations of what's already in the Constitution.

  10. #80
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Not to be tautological, but anytime an Amendment has enough support to pass the Amendment process, it is right/just/necessary to pass it: the process is designed to ensure that Amendments have widespread support, in terms of both citizens and federal states, so that any power surrendered by the citizens of the several states to the federal government is democratically legitimate and reasonably voluntary-a balance between the sovereignty and local control of a confederated system and the stability/efficiency of a unitary system.

    As for specific Amendments, while I would want to make a few more years of observation in case of unforeseen consequences, I would like the entire country to adopt California's new primary system (the top two candidates, even if of the same party, compete in the general election, forcing representatives in strongly Democrat or Republican areas to seek broad-based support across party lines). I would also make electoral votes automatically represent the state/district vote rather than technically being up to designated electors.

    Most of the other changes that immediately spring to mind are changes in legally binding interpretations of what's already in the Constitution.
    I have thought about that, the original constitution did not have the protections which are among the most popular in the US, the were amendments, such as the rights of gun owners.

    What if there's a fresh set of amendments today which support health spending or economic demand management?

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