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Thread: Joss on Romney

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    Evil Twin PointMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    An actual right is one that a court of law will enforce.Everything else is a matter of opinion.
    If that's true then why do people in the western world protest the treatment of women in certain middle eastern countries? If a right is only what the government says it is how is it that people over here have a problem with whats going on over there? It's all perfectly legal under their system of laws, and yet we call it unjust. Why is that?
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    We protest because we think they ought to have rights which they don't have under their existing regimes.

    That is our opinion, and I agree with it.

    In the last century women in the West campaigned for the right to vote until it was was granted to them. At that point their opinion, that women should have the right to vote, became a fact.
    Last edited by Michael; 16-11-12 at 02:36 AM. Reason: Correction

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    Here's the rub -- if the same government and same process that gave it, then later were to come back and take it away... if the law, the court, the government, the state are the source of rights... then that would be just as valid as having extending them in the first place. If our rights are not ours inherently, if they do not have objective substance, than there is no right or wrong but fiat makes it so.

    Women not having the vote, and then having it, is something I can articulate within the enlightenment view of negative rights, of government being instituted among men to secure those rights, as the imperfect having been rendered, if not perfect, than more perfect. And the inverse, would be going from better to worse. But I can describe these things with the government as having done a 'good' or a 'bad' job, because the inherent rights are the yardstick, not the will of the state.

    If the rights come from the law, than Rex non potest peccare.

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    Let me put it another way. We have to distinguish between rights in the practical sense and moral ideas.

    For example : "People have no right to criticise the government in your country and we say that is wrong."

    Moral ideas motivate people to campaign to make the ideas into legal rights, as in the civil rights movement in the US.

    The struggle to make slavery illegal took a long time and much blood.

    Obviously government fiat, by itself, does not make anything morally right or wrong.

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    Sorry I've dropped out of the debate - one of my best mates just got hit by a motorbike, so don't really feel in a neutral enough place to discuss hospitals! Off to visit her at one in a sec.

    But, v interesting debate, watching with interest - sorry to anyone I haven't replied to, will come back when the shock's worn off!

    Especially interesting discussion re the nature of rights.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Let me put it another way. We have to distinguish between rights in the practical sense and moral ideas.

    For example : "People have no right to criticise the government in your country and we say that is wrong."

    Moral ideas motivate people to campaign to make the ideas into legal rights, as in the civil rights movement in the US.

    The struggle to make slavery illegal took a long time and much blood.

    Obviously government fiat, by itself, does not make anything morally right or wrong.
    There is still the same problem that those moral rights have to come from somewhere. We can't give them to ourselves, because no individual possesses the power to bestow a right on themselves. If a person decided to sell themselves into slavery, does that mean they have given up their right to be free, morally speaking? Of course not. You can't give up a moral right, because it is an absolute.

    Wolfie: Sorry to hear about your friend, hope she's okay.
    Last edited by PointMan; 16-11-12 at 08:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
    Sorry I've dropped out of the debate - one of my best mates just got hit by a motorbike, so don't really feel in a neutral enough place to discuss hospitals! Off to visit her at one in a sec.
    Oh my god ....Im sorry to hear that.

    I hope she's OK
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    Wolfie, I also am thinking of your friend. I have always been leery of motorbikes.

    Rights,and duties, arise within society and have no practical meaning outside, in "the state of nature" as the social contract theorists like Tom Hobbes used to call it.

    Only a society, through its institutions, can give you legal rights. Moral rights are only rights when they are also legal rights. Otherwise they may be called moral ambitions as in the case of the struggle against slavery. There was a fine movie about William Wilberforce a few years ago. I will try to find the title. Although Christians played a large part in this moral struggle , they waited quite a few centuries before doing so.

    The great libertarian Thomas Jefferson was certainly not a part of the movement. He kept slaves and even sold the offspring of slaves for a profit. He took the whip to them on occasion.

    Today if you tried to sell yourself into slavery no court in the West would recognise such a transaction.

    Do these moral ideas come to us from God?

    Or is our concept of God constructed from our existing stock of moral ideas?

    If you look at the changing concept of God, and the gods, in Western history I think the latter view will seem more plausible.

    Qualification: the Sermon on the Mount, as we have it now, offers such a beautiful and tragic contradiction to the way we live, and have to live, that I wonder where it comes from.

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    I decided to read and respond to everything said in this thread. This is because this thread is kinda about general political matters while the Presidential Election thread was more about who should have won the Presidential Election and about the American Political Parties. I knew Obama was going to win; I knew that the Senate would remain Democratic; I knew the House would remain Republican. I know that if Hilary runs in 2016, she’ll win. And I know it’s kinda too early to talk about the Mid-terms. And I didn’t want to much discuss specific political issues in the Presidential Election thread or really in any thread on a Board. But this thread is fun.

    Edit: I consider that this thread should be renamed to something like "Our Political Views" or "General Political Views". It's gone from talking about whether Joss should have made this video into a general political discussion. And maybe more would post here if they knew the topic was broadened greatly.


    PointMan

    My quote: Okay, you obviously don’t know much about the founding fathers. The people at the Constitutional Convention pretty much only wanted people like them to be able to vote. The Constitution is written at a level that only educated smart people would be able to understand it. James Madison was a genius and one of the smartest people in the country. And the guy who most defended the Constitution and the prime author of the Federalist Papers – Alexander Hamilton – was also a genius and one of the smartest people in the country. Have you read the Federalist Papers?

    There is a reason that everyone was given a right to vote, excluding black people which is a different discussion altogether.
    No, only adult white male landowners could vote. You don’t even know that women weren’t able to vote until 1920 with the passage if the 19th Amendment. Blacks were given suffrage in the late 1800s (I had to look up which Amendment it was: It’s the 15th Amendment and it passed in 1870 http://www.infoplease.com/timelines/voting.html ). Back to the landowner thing: Remember, this was at a time when ‘mortgages’ didn’t exist. To own a house, one had to pretty much be able to buy it outright. In effect, this meant that only rich (or those who could get huge loans) adult white males could vote. And Thomas Jefferson died with massive debt (over doing such things as building Montecito) and Alexander Hamilton died pretty much broke.

    Them being really smart has nothing to do with it.
    James Madison was chosen to write the United States Constitution because he went to most of the meetings of the Continental Congress and he was considered one of the smartest people in the country. Alexander Hamilton probably could have had more say in what was in the Constitution, but he skipped a lot of the meetings of the Continental Congress. And, again, it seems you haven’t read the Federalist Papers.

    Liberals are the ones whose intellectuals typically look down on other people.
    That’s a separate discussion and it has no relevance to the Founding Fathers given that there wasn’t a ‘liberal’ party during the founding of the country unless ‘liberal’ is defined as anyone who isn’t a Loyalist.

    My quote: You did not deliver the majority opinion of the United States Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts said the individual mandate is a tax and so that’s what it is.

    Your mistake here is assuming that our laws come to us from the government. […]
    They do.

    […] Our founders knew better. If the government decides what rights you have then you effectively have NO rights.
    The whole point of the Constitution was to make the Federal Government more powerful and to have that power supersede the State governments. And Alexander Hamilton gave this country a National Bank, a national Navy, a customs tax, a national debt instead of only states’ debts and therefore made the country much more powerful by giving the country a national credit. He created the Treasury Department.

    The Government does decide what rights you have. The individual person can’t decide that he or she has the right to kill people, not pay taxes, commit fraud, etc.

    My quote: Medicare is a tax. There was zero legal basis to call the individual mandate illegal.

    Again, auto insurance laws are legal.


    You don't have to buy auto insurance if you don't drive. A citizens only option to avoid this tax is to not be alive. The government is making us buy a product.
    You ignored the Medicare argument. One only won’t use health care if they never go to an emergency room, a clinic, a hospital, etc. Insurance is for in case something happens, one is protected to some degree.

    ________________________________________________

    I wish everyone could afford healthcare, I really do. People do not however have a right to healthcare.
    I’m curious. What kind of health insurance do you have? And how much catastrophic care and/or life insurance do you have? And are you going to have around $1.25-2MM in life insurance when you’re older? Do you have tens of thousands in case you get into an accident? Do you have money for surgery? As-is, people currently in their 20s or 30s are going to need to save around $300-400K for the medical expenses in their retirement. And that’s if they aren’t going to have diabetes, heart failure, tumors, etc.

    ________________________________________________

    And because in order to provide this free healthcare the government has to assume powers it was never given in the U.S.
    The 16th Amendment gave the Government the right to impose an income tax. Taxes pay for Social Security and Medicare. Single Payer would simply be a tax.

    We already know that people come from all over the world to this country in order to get medical treatment, many of them coming from countries with free healthcare.
    Medical treatment that most in the United States can’t get.

    Whats happens when the quality of healthcare in the U.S. becomes the same as everywhere else?
    Germany already does certain things better than the United States. And for years Americans have been going to places like India to get surgeries and such that would have cost far more in the United States.

    I would rather have high quality healthcare available to those who could afford it, of which btw I am not one, rather than medium quality care available to everyone.
    You don’t seem to even know how Medicare works. Wealthier seniors get better care than less wealthy ones. Single Payer doesn’t mean that everyone would get the same care.

    And you say that you can’t even afford high quality healthcare and yet you’re against the Affordable Care Act and Single Payer. I can afford high quality healthcare and would rather have a Single Payer system. Companies such as IBM and such already have ‘Single Payer’ because it provides the employees better care and at less cost than paying for individual insurance coverage for their employees.

    Not everyone can afford to live in a mansion, but that doesn't mean we force everyone to live in a townhouse.
    Huh? This sounds like Republicans who were against ‘bailing out’ General Motors and Chrysler but were against eliminating the ‘corporate jet tax-cut’ because some workers at who make corporate jets might lose their jobs.

    ________________________________________________

    Japan is getting increasingly older and their economy isn’t what it used to be. Sony and Panasonic now have junk debt. The United States can afford Single Payer.

    ________________________________________________

    Well, I believe, as our countries founders believed, that our rights from to us from our creator.
    Wrong. Jefferson was pretty much an atheist and Franklin was an atheist. Addams wasn’t that religious. I don’t remember Madison being that religious. The only one I know of who was religious is Hamilton, and he seemed to pretty much want a monarchy in the United States (he was head of the Federalist Party and after Washington died, he would have probably become King). As-is, Hamilton pretty much ran the Government during Washington’s time as President and still had enormous power when Addams was in office. I’m getting sidetracked here. Anyway, God is not listed in the Constitution. The Constitution is not based off of Christianity. If anything, it’s more based off of the Iroquois Confederacy.

    Something like the right to accessible healthcare comes from the government,
    Jesus would support Universal Health Care and would support taxing the rich to pay for it.



    BuffySpike

    I guess if you're rich then who cares if others cant afford healthcare right? Its not directly affecting you or your family.
    People with health insurance and people who pay taxes pay for those who don’t have health insurance. Single Payer would be better simply because employers would no longer be paying for health care unless they want to under an employment contract. And health care costs would be more spread out. A lot of money is wasted on health care because insurance is super expensive and then when something does happen, it doesn’t cover everything anyway. And some kind of tort reform should happen. And doctors should be getting paid for results, not for how much they do. There’s hundreds of billions of wasteful spending every year. And a lot of that wasteful spending is doctors and hospitals dealing with insurance companies.

    ________________________________________________

    here's a world map of free healthcare..America is on par with Africa & India etc...some of the most poverty stricken places on earth.
    India’s government is a mess. It’s technically only ‘poor’ in the way that China is ‘poor’. India like Russia ‘gave’ industries to certain people so India now has a couple of multi-billionaires and still a bunch of poor people.



    KingofCretins

    The thing is... scarcity. It's an immutable fact, and it applies to healthcare just like it applies to anything else. The amount of quality healthcare (emphasis on quality, I'll come back to it) that can be provided with a given supply of providers to a given population is utterly finite. No law can change that. Making all healthcare "free" at the point of sale has a demonstrable effect of raising demand, dramatically. But it has no effect on supply.
    Single Payer works very well in Canada and Germany and there’s no reason it wouldn’t work well in the United States.

    SuperBowl tickets are very expensive, because while probably millions wish they could go and would even pay face value of an NFL game ticket for it, it's only one game and there are only 70,000 of those seats -- so those seats are very expensive.
    This is a silly example. The wealthy and powerful will always be able to have better access to better things than the poor and not-powerful.

    The poor, working class, middle class etc. can go to emergency rooms and that costs far more than if they were given health care in the first place including preventative care.


    * As for the number of medical practitioners, if there’s not enough, the government can subsidize part of their school costs. If there are not enough hospitals, more can be made.

    I could probably pull a dozen waiting list nightmare articles from the last couple years alone from Britain or Canada if I even remotely had the inclination. One of my favorites was a few years ago in Canada a woman needing to be helicoptered, in active labor, to the nearest maternity ward with a bed -- in another province. Yay!
    Huh? Are you suggesting that access to maternity wards should be limited in the United States? Your example simply has it that the maternity wards were filled and the woman in active labor was able to get a helicopter to take her to the nearest maternity ward, which was in another province. Your example simply suggests that that Canada needed more maternity ward space.

    ________________________________________________

    People need food and need shelter just as surely -- if not moreso -- than they need to see a doctor, but scarcity and cost and supply and demand operate in these industries and there seems to be little complaint.
    Huh? Are you against food stamps, SSI, disability, unemployment insurance, welfare-to-work type stuff, etc.? And the complaint stuff comes from Republicans who want to lessen food stamps and this other stuff.

    Let your community efforts be autonomous, municipal collaborations between like-minded interests, not anonymous mega-state bureaucracies
    “Community” doesn’t work if one lives in a poverty-stricken and/or prejudiced place.

    (I always find it puzzling that people seem to intuitively understand how easily they get screwed by dealing with a mega-sized bank as opposed to their local bank or credit union where the President might know them by name,
    This is because most people are gullible and/or unknowledgeable about these things. And how many would bank at a local bank or at a credit union if their deposits weren’t insured up to $250K by the FDIC or the NCUA. However, if you can do private banking, banking at megabank is actually better.

    who can't and don't scrutinize the merit or necessity of grabbing money from one person to give to another.
    Are you against income taxes?

    If you need your neighbor's help, ask your neighbor for it. And, if your neighbor hasn't had as much of his own wealth confiscated, he'll be more inclined to give it. Besides, you and your neighbor have to face each other. That's community, not an arbitrary, faceless Other that takes from one stranger to deliver to another.
    So, where do you live? Are you against the blue states and Texas giving their tax money to the red states (barring Texas)? I live in California. I would have preferred to not pay for ethanol, corn syrup, making farmers rich, Monsanto, and states that don’t have a state income tax. I would preferred to spend my tax money making California schools better, making transportation better in the state, and lowering our deficit.

    ________________________________________________

    [If I get cancer] I'd much prefer knowing that, while one could have to sell every wordly possession, completely change my lifestyle, put myself in debt, beg everybody I've ever met for help... they could make the appointment and get the MRI in a week and start treatment in a matter of days after that. Because healthcare, like divorce, is expensive because it's worth it.
    Depending on the type of cancer, unless you have excellent health care insurance and/or are rich, good luck getting great care. Again, I point to BtVS S5. Joyce had brain cancer and it wiped out her life insurance policy. And her policy was probably over $500K-1MM if she had enough left over that Buffy still completely owned the Summers’ home. And medical care is even more expensive now than it was in 2001.

    ________________________________________________

    have yet to heard somebody dispute the argument laid forth long these 236 years ago --

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed... with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
    You left out “by their Creator”. The Declaration of Independence is a document declaring why the Colonies were declaring their independence from Great Britain.

    Our laws and Government aren’t based off of the Declaration of Independence. They are based off the Constitution.

    But right there -- "that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" -- says all that is most important and entirely true in politics for me.
    What are you getting at? “Consent of the governed” doesn’t mean “consent of everyone in the country”.

    I dream of [Dr. Ron Paul] being handed the job of Treasury Secretary, which will unfortunately never happen.
    Ron Raul is a doctor. What does he know about global finance? I don’t actually care whatever he said to the House of Representatives because it probably won’t have much effect on policymaking. Without being in office, how much influence is he going to be able to have anyway?



    Beck

    It is all well and good to say people don't deserve health care if you can afford it,
    A problem is that probably most who think this actually can’t afford health care. Unless one has great-to-excellent health insurance (which costs tens of thousands a year) and/or if one is rich, if one needs major surgery or gets cancer or something, one is going to become broke and/or bankrupt.



    Mara

    no one should be forced to live in a townhouse when they can afford a mansion but everyone should have the starting point of a townhouse and a townhouse should be affordable to you when your mansion burns down or you can no longer afford one
    What do you mean by “everyone should have the starting point of a townhouse”? You don’t mean that literally, do you? As for one’s mansion burning down, that’s what insurance is for.



    Michael

    The great libertarian Thomas Jefferson
    How as Thomas Jefferson a libertarian?
    Last edited by MikeB; 27-11-12 at 08:59 AM. Reason: I think the thread title should be changed

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    Jefferson had a major hand in the declaration of independence and the constitution and the general rhetoric of freedom i.e "that governs best which governs least"--which show that his vision of the relationship of government and individual freedom was, shall we say, incomplete. He was aware of the glaring contradition between slavery and his talk of freedom. As a student of history I am not unsympathetic to statesman in an age of transition. There are worse things than hypocrisy, but Tom was a humbug. Even so I have visited the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and I was lost in admiration for its design and the designer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Jefferson had a major hand in the declaration of independence and the constitution and the general rhetoric of freedom i.e "that governs best which governs least"--which show that his vision of the relationship of government and individual freedom was, shall we say, incomplete. He was aware of the glaring contradition between slavery and his talk of freedom. As a student of history I am not unsympathetic to statesman in an age of transition. There are worse things than hypocrisy, but Tom was a humbug. Even so I have visited the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and I was lost in admiration for its design and the designer.
    It wasn't hypocrisy. The founders knew they wouldn't have the support they needed from the southern colonies unless they allowed slavery to stay. It was a tactical decision that they made because they understood that what they were undertaking was of such tremendous importance.

    MikeB: . I won't bother going through and refuting your positions point by point since it would be a waste of my time. You seem to believe our country was founded as simply another government to deny rights to people and prop up the rich. That shows what is so wrong with many liberals today. They hate America, view our founders as a bunch of greedy old white men who were keen on oppressing women and blacks and don't seem to fell that there was anything good about the Constitution. It makes me wonder why they bother to stay if they hate it so much here.
    Last edited by PointMan; 29-11-12 at 03:06 AM.
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    "Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good" was pretty much what guided abolitionist influences through ratifying the Constitution. I am honestly exasperated and tired of seeing the document impugned as a big, slavery promoting, white people hate everybody document when it all but guaranteed on its own the eventual collapse of slavery in the US. Two clauses of the Constitution ultimately damned slavery over the long haul --

    1. The 3/5ths clause. Contrary to a lot of profound misunderstanding, this clause does not say slaves are 3/5th of a person; it says that only 3/5ths of the slave population would be counted toward apportioning seats in the House of Representatives for slave-holding states. But the most aggravating thing lost in the mire of historical myopia is that it was the slaveowners that wanted to count the whole slave population. Abolitionists didn't want to count them at all. Because ever slave counted meant more power in the new government for slaveholding states.

    The eventual compromise struck a blow to the power of slaveholding states in shaping national policy.

    2. The 1808 clause. This section seems simple enough, it's a sunset clause that says that Congress could not pass a law banning slavery until 1808 or after. Again, in the mire, that is "pro-slavery" language, but the reality is that the document was written as a very select list of very finite and limited powers for the new central government. Maybe it's how far we've pushed that historical fact away that makes it hard to understand the 1808 -- but if you appreciate the context, you realize that the slaveowning states were forced to swallow a construct by which the new government was given an explicit grant of power to ban slavery, after the date.

    It did take "four score and seven years", give or take, before the inertia took hold, but the Constitution dealt a blow that legalized US slavery could never survive. So what if it wasn't banned immediately and outright? There wouldn't have been a country, and therefore, there wouldn't have been a ban at all.

    It's sheer con law ignorance to suggest that the Constitution was meant to create a central government that subordinates the states. It was to create a central government more coherent than the Articles of Confederation had made and to address certain, specific insurmountable policy obstacles, like competing currencies between the states and tariffs. But there is no ambiguity that the federalist principles of the thing were that the central government would have no more power than was absolutely necessary to accomplish those certain specific goals.

    Here is James Madison on the subject --

    The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
    Federalist #45. Federal government powers are few and defined, state powers are numerous and indefinite. There is no ambiguity here as to what they were setting up. What he describes as the powers reserved to the several States are also known in legal terms as a general police power. The states are recognized as having one, the federal government does not, which is why it always has to bend and warp the commerce clause (or more recently, the taxing authority) into acting as one.

    Madison was also the one that said of the Constitution generally but the 'general welfare' clause specifically, that "If not only the means but the objects are unlimited, the parchment should be thrown into the fire at once." (letter to Henry Lee, 1792).

    History is rich with examples of not only how much effort went into limiting the power of the central government but also how anxious and uneasy the creators were of whether or not it would hold. A couple of my favorite are John Adams saying it was written for a moral people and was unsuitable to the government of any other, or Ben Franklin, of course, and his famously glib answer describing what they had made -- "a Republic, if you can keep it".

    Michael, I think it's not only that the government governs best that governs least, but also that the government governs best that governs nearest. By which I mean, locality, not substance. At every step from the individual to the nation, the level above is meant to have less power over fewer subjects than the one below it, because it's at the low levels that people a) know what the hell they are talking about and b) will be most accountable for how they handle governing. These people were trying to write an antidote for being governed by a near-absolute monarch and a legislature that were 7,000 miles away; it defies all reason that they did this by granting the most and broadest power at the top rung of the ladder.

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    PointMan

    MikeB: . I won't bother going through and refuting your positions point by point since it would be a waste of my time.
    You won’t even concede you are wrong about this?: [Your quote]: “There is a reason that everyone [in the beginning of the country’s founding] was given a right to vote, excluding black people which is a different discussion altogether.”

    You seem to believe our country was founded as simply another government to deny rights to people and prop up the rich.
    Again, “No, only adult white male landowners could vote. You don’t even know that women weren’t able to vote until 1920 with the passage if the 19th Amendment. Blacks were given suffrage in the late 1800s (I had to look up which Amendment it was: It’s the 15th Amendment and it passed in 1870 http://www.infoplease.com/timelines/voting.html ). Back to the landowner thing: Remember, this was at a time when ‘mortgages’ didn’t exist. To own a house, one had to pretty much be able to buy it outright. In effect, this meant that only rich (or those who could get huge loans) adult white males could vote. And Thomas Jefferson died with massive debt (over doing such things as building Montecito) and Alexander Hamilton died pretty much broke.”

    That shows what is so wrong with many liberals today.
    Huh? The Republican Party in the 2012 elections tried to restrict voting for people who were unlikely to vote Republican. And it’s the Republican Party – more than the Democratic Party – that tries to prop up the rich.

    They hate America,
    According to what?

    view our founders as a bunch of greedy old white men who were keen on oppressing women and blacks
    Again, “women weren’t able to vote until 1920 with the passage if the 19th Amendment. Blacks were given suffrage in the late 1800s (I had to look up which Amendment it was: It’s the 15th Amendment and it passed in 1870 http://www.infoplease.com/timelines/voting.html )”.

    and don't seem to fell that there was anything good about the Constitution.
    You didn’t even know what is in the Constitution.

    It makes me wonder why they bother to stay if they hate it so much here.
    It’s wasn’t Democrats or independents who were saying that Barack Obama wasn’t born in America, that Obama is a Muslim, etc. Democrats and independents aren’t complaining about the country no longer being as White male dominant.



    KingofCretins

    The 3/5ths clause. Contrary to a lot of profound misunderstanding, this clause does not say slaves are 3/5th of a person; it says that only 3/5ths of the slave population would be counted toward apportioning seats in the House of Representatives for slave-holding states. But the most aggravating thing lost in the mire of historical myopia is that it was the slaveowners that wanted to count the whole slave population. Abolitionists didn't want to count them at all. Because ever slave counted meant more power in the new government for slaveholding states. The eventual compromise struck a blow to the power of slaveholding states in shaping national policy.
    Washington D.C. is in Virginia because of slavery. The Northerners, like Alexander Hamilton, didn’t want slaves counted because none of the slaves could actually vote. Essentially, the 3/5th compromise gave every White male landowner in the south multiple votes compared to a northern White male landowner. If someone had a few hundred slaves, essentially, that someone had a few hundred votes.

    If only voters were counted toward population, the North would have had a lot more power and the nation’s capital would probably be in New York City. Hamilton negotiated that away in order to get the Constitution passed.

    It's sheer con law ignorance to suggest that the Constitution was meant to create a central government that subordinates the states.
    That depends on what one means by “subordinate”. The Federal Government was created to be more powerful than the States and for federal law to supersede state law.

    Here is James Madison on the subject -- Federalist #45.
    That was one Federalist Paper. And James Madison didn’t have any power in the Governments under Washington and Addams. Hamilton made clear that the Federal Government had power over the states.

    Michael, I think it's not only that the government governs best that governs least, but also that the government governs best that governs nearest. By which I mean, locality, not substance.
    Then why does everyone know who the President is and why do very few even know whom their Congressperson is much less who is representing them in their State Senate and State Assembly?

    At every step from the individual to the nation, the level above is meant to have less power over fewer subjects than the one below it,
    Obviously, this isn’t true.

    because it's at the low levels that people a) know what the hell they are talking about and b) will be most accountable for how they handle governing.
    As one goes on, one gets more experience. A city council member could simply be elected because others don’t want the job. By the time one gets to the Senate, they generally know about government and governing.

    These people were trying to write an antidote for being governed by a near-absolute monarch and a legislature that were 7,000 miles away; it defies all reason that they did this by granting the most and broadest power at the top rung of the ladder.
    It’s fact that they did, at least in that the President is the most powerful person in the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    KingofCretins

    Washington D.C. is in Virginia because of slavery. The Northerners, like Alexander Hamilton, didn’t want slaves counted because none of the slaves could actually vote. Essentially, the 3/5th compromise gave every White male landowner in the south multiple votes compared to a northern White male landowner. If someone had a few hundred slaves, essentially, that someone had a few hundred votes.
    I'm sorry, this is just... abjectly false, blithely unaware of the nature and purpose of the 3/5ths compromise. It is an an unambiguous fact of math and logic, let alone law, that had the full census of slaves in Virginia, for instance, been counted in the makeup of the House, Virginia would have been more powerful in the House. Period.

    Also, what the hell are you talking about, a few hundred slaves, a few hundred votes? The 3/5th compromise pertained to the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. Nobody was getting "hundreds of votes" based on slaves, the 1st Congress never had more than 65 members in the House of Representatives. Again, the only issue was how many slaves could slave-holding states count as citizens/residents for the purpose of apportionment. The slave-holding states wanted to count them all, and didn't get their way.

    That depends on what one means by “subordinate”. The Federal Government was created to be more powerful than the States and for federal law to supersede state law.
    This is again a gross, manifest misstatement of law. Even the Supremacy Clause doesn't say this. The Constitution, federal statute, and treaties were deemed superior in areas of conflict (and preemption doctrine stems from this), but at its inception there weren't many areas of conflict because the subject matter of federal authority was so narrow.

    Then why does everyone know who the President is and why do very few even know whom their Congressperson is much less who is representing them in their State Senate and State Assembly?
    Years of transmitted ignorance? The power of the cult of personality? Personally, I blame the 17th Amendment in part, it was well-intentioned but short-sighted, it all but defeats the point of a bicameral legislature.

    Obviously, this isn’t true.
    Actually, it's emphatically true, it's what is meant by government deriving its just power from the consent of the governed. The people can not delegate to a government powers that they did not have in the first place. You are... really not expert enough in this stuff to be making sweeping assertions like this.

    It’s fact that they did, at least in that the President is the most powerful person in the country.
    But he wasn't at the time, which is the entire point. The President had very few plenary powers at the outset of the United States, and almost all of those related to our interaction with other countries. The President was never meant to be... well, all that relevant to day to day life for citizens.

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    This may be my last post in this thread. It's no longer about Joss on Romney and I'd prefer not to discuss politics on a Buffy Board.


    KingofCretins

    My quote: Washington D.C. is in Virginia because of slavery. The Northerners, like Alexander Hamilton, didn’t want slaves counted because none of the slaves could actually vote. Essentially, the 3/5th compromise gave every White male landowner in the south multiple votes compared to a northern White male landowner. If someone had a few hundred slaves, essentially, that someone had a few hundred votes.

    I'm sorry, this is just... abjectly false, blithely unaware of the nature and purpose of the 3/5ths compromise. It is an an unambiguous fact of math and logic, let alone law, that had the full census of slaves in Virginia, for instance, been counted in the makeup of the House, Virginia would have been more powerful in the House. Period.
    Huh? I said that the 3/5ths compromise made Southern states more powerful in the House than they would have been had only eligible voters been counted toward representation. It also made those states more powerful in the Electoral College than they otherwise would have been.

    Also, what the hell are you talking about, a few hundred slaves, a few hundred votes? The 3/5th compromise pertained to the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. Nobody was getting "hundreds of votes" based on slaves, the 1st Congress never had more than 65 members in the House of Representatives. Again, the only issue was how many slaves could slave-holding states count as citizens/residents for the purpose of apportionment. The slave-holding states wanted to count them all, and didn't get their way.
    This is simple math. Even the Electoral College is based off population. Someone with a bunch of slaves got to ‘vote’ for all those slaves. If someone had 100 slaves, essentially that someone ‘had’ 60 votes to cast.


    My quote: The Federal Government was created to be more powerful than the States and for federal law to supersede state law.

    This is true.


    My quote: Then why does everyone know who the President is and why do very few even know whom their Congressperson is much less who is representing them in their State Senate and State Assembly?

    Years of transmitted ignorance? The power of the cult of personality? Personally, I blame the 17th Amendment in part, it was well-intentioned but short-sighted, it all but defeats the point of a bicameral legislature.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxvii You don’t want voters to choose Senators?

    Actually, it's emphatically true, it's what is meant by government deriving its just power from the consent of the governed. The people can not delegate to a government powers that they did not have in the first place. You are... really not expert enough in this stuff to be making sweeping assertions like this.
    The President has more power over more people than a state assemblyperson. That is fact. As for your saying that I’m not an expert: are you a constitutional scholar, a United States historian?

    My quote: It’s fact that they did, at least in that the President is the most powerful person in the country.

    But he wasn't at the time, which is the entire point. The President had very few plenary powers at the outset of the United States, and almost all of those related to our interaction with other countries. The President was never meant to be... well, all that relevant to day to day life for citizens.
    The people would have let George Washington be King. The Washington Administration was far more powerful than the House and Senate. It sided with England over France. John Addams didn’t go to war with France, but he could have. Such things are very relevant to the lives of citizens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    ...I'd prefer not to discuss politics on a Buffy Board. [/i]
    Which is a funny thing to post on the only place on the forum that is explicitly for political discussion. And which requires having posted specific agreement to the rules thereof before posting at all, incidentally.

    KingofCretins

    Huh? I said that the 3/5ths compromise made Southern states more powerful in the House than they would have been had only eligible voters been counted toward representation. It also made those states more powerful in the Electoral College than they otherwise would have been.
    And if there had been immediate insistence on not counting them, the Constitution would not have been ratified at all. Thereby accomplishing nothing for anyone. Hence the word "compromise" in "3/5ths Compromise". Instead the slave-holding states had to tacitly acknowledge that their status as slave-holders deserved a figurative asterisk in terms of apportioning political power.

    This is simple math. Even the Electoral College is based off population. Someone with a bunch of slaves got to ‘vote’ for all those slaves. If someone had 100 slaves, essentially that someone ‘had’ 60 votes to cast.
    The electoral college is based on the membership of the House and Senate. You are spouting pure nonsense at this point. 100 slaves = 60 votes? I'm chuckling here. Here's how it actually worked. The original House apportionment gave Virginia 10 of 65 seats. Here's how Virginia got to it's 10, in mathematical terms -- X+(.6*Y)=10, where X = free citizens and Y = slaves. At no point in that math does anybody get "extra votes" for holding slaves.

    My quote: The Federal Government was created to be more powerful than the States and for federal law to supersede state law.

    This is true.
    It's true, but only significant on areas where the federal law and state law conflict. I could do your game of quoting myself as authority and pronouncing "this is true" but that's... awkward? The Supremacy Clause was written with an implicit understanding that the federal government was still being given fewer and specific powers and the states had broad, indefinite powers. The only place the Supremacy Clause mattered at the time of its writing was in furtherance of those specific powers -- printing a currency, raising a standing army, etc.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxvii You don’t want voters to choose Senators?
    The Senate was designed to be the representative body of the state governments, i.e. of the states as sovereignties. Ambassadors, if you will, the official representation of the government in Albany or Harrisburg or Richmond in Washington the way that the United Kingdom or France have official representation in Washington. As such, it was up to the state governments to decide how that representation was chosen -- it could be selected by Governors, or voted by state legislatures, etc.

    The 17th Amendment was written as an antidote to Blagojevich/Chicago-style politics where Senate seats were being used as graft. It was well-intentioned, but it cut the legs off the reason for their even being a Senate. Utah and North Carolina and Ohio don't actually have official representation in Washington anymore, because with a popularly elected Senate, the Senate is just sort of a second House of Representatives. And a century on, people can't even understand what the purpose for the Senate was, for a bicameral legislature at all.

    Personally, I think that we have a much higher availability of information, that the kind of graft the 17th Amendment was meant to prevent would now be guarded against by public scrutiny and 24 hour media, so it is essentially moot, and it would be safe to return to the original Constitutional design.

    The President has more power over more people than a state assemblyperson. That is fact. As for your saying that I’m not an expert: are you a constitutional scholar, a United States historian?
    I know more about it than you, unambiguously and without apology. Confining yourself strictly to the language of the Constitution as written, what power do you see that Article II gives the President over the lives of private citizens? The powers in Article I are broader, and the text of the 9th and 10th Amendment by their nature say the rights and powers of the states and individuals are broader still.

    I think I've tried to explain this before, but I will again -- the states enjoy what's called a general police power. That is the generic power to legislate in the interests of the health, safety, and public morality. The federal government does not have that, which is why every act of Congress when tested in Court is tested against one of the express powers in Article I.

    The people would have let George Washington be King.
    George Washington wouldn't have, though, because as he said, he didn't fight George III to become George I. It was not within the law. We are nation ruled by law, not men. At least, we have been. What we are going forward... that is the question.

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