Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.


Teachers and Pro-D

   
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Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
Citation needed. I don't see any clauses limiting freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights. Do you?
Don't know about the Bill of Rights off the top of my head, but you guys do have laws curtailing speech such as fighting words, incitement to riot, etc. The precedent exists, even if it hasn't been advanced yet.

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Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
Don't know about the Bill of Rights off the top of my head, but you guys do have laws curtailing speech such as fighting words, incitement to riot, etc. The precedent exists, even if it hasn't been advanced yet.
Those do not include restricting political speech. Hardly precedent for restriction based on wealth.

It's a president for restricting speech, which you asked for. And if it is determined that allowing unlimited spending from any party with such an interest, something that hasn't been true for the stretch between Teddy Roosevelt's trust busting and Citizen's United, is seriously detrimental to the public good then they could be used to set president in a legal decision vis a vis such restrictions.

But at the end of the day, campaign finance reform is desperately needed and was reasonably well on track until Citizens United moved seriously beyond the original claims of the case that was presented to them. I'll grant that spending money is inescapable. But unless you think that the only criteria for election in your nation is the ability to suck up to people for cash and be the most imaginative in attacking your opponet's flaws then it you want to cap it somewhere. Otherwise, you're essentially saying that a rich person is worth more consideration than some arbitrary number of other persons. If I donate $50 to my preferred candidate and some rich guy donates $50,000,000 to his opponent, is his opinion 1,000,000 times more important than mine?

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Originally Posted by Solaris
That's not a bug, that's a feature. We're the US, volatility is what we do. We capitalize on chaos. If we stagnate, we flounder.
Citation needed.
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You're making the claim that bribery creates a conflict of interest, but you've yet to make your case.
That's an inherent property of bribery, no case needs to be made. Basically you're arguing that's it's okay simply because it's legal and it's legal because it's okay. As least, that's how it seems to be.
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No, that was an example to follow your logic that everyone should have exactly the same influence. I was illustrating that it's human nature for different people to have different levels of influence regardless of whether or not they were qualified for it.
His point, as I see it, is that everyone should have the same influence when it's realistically feasible to control such things. As is the case with money.
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I see I must explain things very, very carefully with you so you don't get lost.
Let's try to keep things civil and polite, shall we?
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You're the one suggesting arbitrarily curtailing the freedoms of others, and you have the gall to speak of the tyranny of wealth because Americans who've succeeded in this country wish to participate in their own government. If I have millions of dollars and I support a cause, why should I be limited to the funds that those who have only pennies to their name can spend on it? What next? If I were spectacularly eloquent, should I be restrained from speaking because I might unfairly persuade others? If I were particularly clever, should I be restrained from thinking because I might unfairly come up with brilliant solutions my political opponents do not? How is one different from the other?

Fun fact: Barack Obama had more funding for his campaign than any president in history. I'd like to remind you that his campaign promises were all about socialism (though the reality turned out to be a bit different) and 'social justice'. Hardly equitable, I know. He should have been limited to what McCain could come up with.
Does being a millionaire make you inherently more right than somebody else? Be careful there, that slope looks a bit slippery. Those things are all different because words and ideas are not commodities. You have them, they are yours, they cannot be physically separated from you.

And there was no campaign finance limiting laws on the books when Obama ran was there? I fail to see the point. He didn't campaign on reforming campaign finance, did he?
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I'm sure they are freer than the States. Honest, I believe those organizations when they say that, I do, and I totally think they don't have any agenda whatsoever. Tell me, in how many of those countries would I still retain the right to bear arms? If you think that isn't the most crucial of all human freedoms...
Lets be realistic, here. The right to bear arms is a platitude. If the political climate were such that the populace were to rise up in violent revolution, would the matter of whether or not your government said it's your right to have those guns really matter? It's a nice sentiment, to be sure, but the most crucial freedom?
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No, they're not mutually exclusive. You see, campaign spending is not buying votes. I could pump billions of dollars into the Nazi party, but I'm just not seeing them as winning any elections any time soon. So basically, what you're saying is that some people are more deserving to be heard than other people - that is to say, the poor are more deserving than the rich, and so you're curtailing the freedom of speech of the wealthy by inhibiting the manner in which they can express themselves.
You are saying that exact same thing! Some people are more deserving to be heard than others - in your case rich people more than poor. I would actually like to see all people heard equally, and that's what we've been trying to get at. I could make glib statements about the Republican party but...well, I'd better not.
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Wait, did you just try to make the argument that people who aren't citizens deserve the same impact in elections as citizens? Or did I mis-read that?
You did mis-read. The point is was getting at (and I probably should have been more direct, in retrospect) was that the 14th Amendment, by omitting the word "natural" before "persons" opened the floodgates of ruling that "natural persons" (ie. humans) and non-natural "persons" (ie. corporations) have equal protection under law to rights. The SCOTUS rulings on that were pivotal in the fostering of the corporate oligarchy that America is swiftly becoming. To put it in D&D terms (well, why not, we ARE here) it was a ruling of RAW over RAI - every law and amendment preceeding made it abundantly clear there was a divide between persons and natural persons regarding inherent rights. Obviously the intent was that this was carried forward in the 14th Amendment, but the omission of the word "natural" created a legal loophole.
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Citation needed. I don't see any clauses limiting freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights. Do you?
See: Bill of Rights
You can express yourself till you're blue in the face. You do not have right to media, unless I missed a clause in there.
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Those do not include restricting political speech. Hardly precedent for restriction based on wealth.
So, you're cool if I go on TV, douse a flag with kerosene, and light it on fire - as long as it's political?

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Originally Posted by kedcoleman View Post
Citation needed.
Reference 1787-present.

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Originally Posted by kedcoleman View Post
Lets be realistic, here. The right to bear arms is a platitude. If the political climate were such that the populace were to rise up in violent revolution, would the matter of whether or not your government said it's your right to have those guns really matter? It's a nice sentiment, to be sure, but the most crucial freedom?
Without an armed citizenry, the government can do whatever the hell it wants to you. It may be unthinkable for the government to abuse such a power - I'm sure it was unthinkable in Germany, early thirties, too, or for the Communist rebels in Russia to turn out to be some of the greatest human rights abusers in history.
With an armed citizenry, they might come after you - but you'll be able to defend yourself. Furthermore, it protects the right to revolution - something our founders, rebels themselves, knew the necessity of.

How can you have any freedoms without the ability to protect them? By depending on others to protect you? By depending on the good nature of those in power?

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Originally Posted by kedcoleman View Post
You can express yourself till you're blue in the face. You do not have right to media, unless I missed a clause in there.
Sheesh, you wanna talk about slippery slopes!
So... basically, you're saying that while what you say is protected, what you say on television should not be. You're also saying that people do not have a right to do with their private property what they will.

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Originally Posted by kedcoleman View Post
So, you're cool if I go on TV, douse a flag with kerosene, and light it on fire - as long as it's political?
Why wouldn't I be?

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Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
You're also saying that people do not have a right to do with their private property what they will.?
That's not news. I can't set up a fracking rig in the middle of a suburb, or pig farm in the CBD. Likewise, Fox News can't turn itself into a 24hr live porn extravaganza and still have the same broadcast rights and obligations they do as a source of news-like entertainment product. There's a whole web of restrictions preventing people from doing what they want with their property as it is. And I don't have a right to play my gigantic stereo set up at all hours at all volumes, even on my own property. That's part and parcel of living as part of a greater society.

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Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
Reference 1787-present.
I guess what I mean is: can you provide some frame of reference for throwing out the baffling notion that America "thrives on chaos" and that this is somehow a good thing?

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Without an armed citizenry, the government can do whatever the hell it wants to you. It may be unthinkable for the government to abuse such a power - I'm sure it was unthinkable in Germany, early thirties, too, or for the Communist rebels in Russia to turn out to be some of the greatest human rights abusers in history.
With an armed citizenry, they might come after you - but you'll be able to defend yourself. Furthermore, it protects the right to revolution - something our founders, rebels themselves, knew the necessity of.

How can you have any freedoms without the ability to protect them? By depending on others to protect you? By depending on the good nature of those in power?
I'm not sure where you';re going with the Germany/Russia references (except for coming dangerously close to Godwin-ing the hell out of this thread). And nobody's threatening your right to revolt, should the need arise. History can show that keeping the populace armed is not necessarily linked to having revolts. Those communist rebels, for instance, or the people of France, or the people of Egypt. Unarmed populace rising up in revolt can arm themselves and overthrow a government.

"How can you have freedoms without the ability to protect them" is an especially appropriate thing to say with regards to campaign spending and speech. The poorer populace (and by this I mean anyone without the cash to bankroll a run at office) have little to no means to protect their freedoms politically, legislatively.

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Sheesh, you wanna talk about slippery slopes!
So... basically, you're saying that while what you say is protected, what you say on television should not be. You're also saying that people do not have a right to do with their private property what they will.
That's precisely not what I was talking about. I'm saying that what you say is protected, regardless of where it's said. However, you have no intrinsic right to be put on television, or radio, or print. You have a right to your voice, your expression, your actions. That's as far as the right extends.


Why wouldn't I be?[/QUOTE]

Why not have the FCC limit the percentage of airtime that communications companies can devote to one side or the other then, rather than put a $ cap on spending? Other than telling a communications company what it can and can't sell as far as advertisements go, which is already heavily regulated, I believe that it achieves a similar effect without all the worries about rights and such.

The argument about the second amendment should really go in a separate thread if it is to be discussed.

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Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
That's not a bug, that's a feature. We're the US, volatility is what we do. We capitalize on chaos. If we stagnate, we flounder.
But it is a 'bug', precisely because this form of volatility is pernicious and actively imperils the democratic quality of your government. It is an obvious Sword of Damocles.


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But not when it's above-board! You see, bribery and graft are going to happen. What we've done is basically told them "Yes, you can do it, but you have to tell us." The difference is that the American voter can look at which candidates have received funding from which organizations, rather than forcing them to go underground and hide everything as you'd have them do. By doing so, the American voter can see which organizations have bought off their candidates - and thus which organizations the voter is really voting for. Don't complain that it's a lot of work - you're a citizen of a Republic, if you don't want to work for good government then go find an absolute monarchy.
Right, murder's going to happen. Theft is going to happen. Embezzlement is going to happen. Fraud is going to happen. Do you propose we legalize or legitimize these things too?

First of all, it is completely fallacious to assert that tighter controls will result in meaningful increases of bribery and graft.

Second, no, not all funding sources are transparent (see 501(c)4 organizations in particular), and even where funding _is_ traceable, sourcing is a convoluted Byzantine maze which no average voter has the time to sort through, and the powers that be know this, as do you. Don't be intellectually dishonest with yourself and others; I sincerely doubt you've waded through fund sourcing on anything approaching a consistent basis, and I doubt you know anyone who has either. In practice this just isn't an effective moderating force (though I certainly wouldn't advocate disposing of it for benefit of the minority who is so vigorous).

Third, SuperPACs and the like are heavily influential without being directly traceable to any candidate or political party.


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You're making the claim that bribery creates a conflict of interest, but you've yet to make your case.
Seriously? Hell, I even broke down in my response to Shorikid exactly how conflict of interest comes about, besides this being pretty much self-evident.

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No, but you're suggesting hamstringing the process even more by selecting against those who do have leadership qualities.
Not at all. I'm suggesting elections that are more free, and more fair via improved campaign finance controls which you in turn frame as 'hamstringing those with leadership qualities'; it is nothing of the sort.

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*Facepalm*
No, that was an example to follow your logic that everyone should have exactly the same influence. I was illustrating that it's human nature for different people to have different levels of influence regardless of whether or not they were qualified for it.
I see I must explain things very, very carefully with you so you don't get lost.
Baseless ad homimem does nothing for your argument.

Second, that's not my logic; that's your strawman framework of my logic. I personally advocate _maximizing_ equality where it is feasible and tenable. Combating the undue influence of money predicated on materialism over merit is both. Restricting personal advocacy is neither. My beliefs on this are very simple and easy to follow.

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Academic to you, of crucial importance to America...
I'm afraid that, until you understand the differences between a republic and a democracy, we're going to have some serious difficulties having a conversation on the subject. Here's the short version: A democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner - it reflects the will of the people, all right, but it sure sucks to be in a minority opinion. A republic has built-in protections against that. The differences are only semantical or pedantic if you're taking a very brief look at the two (vastly) different forms of government (or if you're calling America a democracy in a conversation wherein it's already understood we're a democratic republic).
I understand the difference, and notion of safeguards in place against the 'tyranny of the majority'. No doubt you assert that the relevant 'republic' element which differentiates America's governance from raw democracy is constitutional freedom of speech, but as I'm sure you've noticed, I've gone on to argue that there is both precedence and adequate justification for curtailing freedom of speech, and that it is not indivisible or without exception or caveat. This is precisely why I am stating that the distinction is academic; it is my view, based on the recognition of these complexities that your constitutional objections here are inapplicable.

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You're the one suggesting arbitrarily curtailing the freedoms of others, and you have the gall to speak of the tyranny of wealth because Americans who've succeeded in this country wish to participate in their own government. If I have millions of dollars and I support a cause, why should I be limited to the funds that those who have only pennies to their name can spend on it? What next? If I were spectacularly eloquent, should I be restrained from speaking because I might unfairly persuade others? If I were particularly clever, should I be restrained from thinking because I might unfairly come up with brilliant solutions my political opponents do not? How is one different from the other?
No. I am _championing_ the freedoms of the majority by arguing against the destructive freedoms of an elite few. If you are wealthy, you should be restricted in how much you can fund political causes, otherwise the point of democracy is undermined if not destroyed for a diversity of reasons I have mentioned repeatedly throughout my arguments. Further, I explicitly stated I do not in any way support the curtailing of personal advocacy due to it being both untenable and impossible to enforce. There is an obvious and important distinction between merit based advocacy and material based advocacy.

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Fun fact: Barack Obama had more funding for his campaign than any president in history. I'd like to remind you that his campaign promises were all about socialism (though the reality turned out to be a bit different) and 'social justice'. Hardly equitable, I know. He should have been limited to what McCain could come up with.
This debate isn't about Obama, and I don't support distortive funding for any candidate regardless of how close they are to my political beliefs or not.

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I'm sure they are freer than the States. Honest, I believe those organizations when they say that, I do, and I totally think they don't have any agenda whatsoever. Tell me, in how many of those countries would I still retain the right to bear arms? If you think that isn't the most crucial of all human freedoms...
Besides the point, I know. See, you're suggesting wasting time and money on legislation that even you admit is ineffectual. I can think of a great many offenses in recent years against liberty in the United States, and they're all about exchanging a 'lesser freedom' for a 'greater freedom' - or as we used to say back in the day, trading the reality of freedom for the illusion of security. That's all you're going to get, you see. You're going to get the illusion of 'fairness' without actually being fair.
So you honestly believe that America is ranked at 19th due exclusively or mostly to political biases when that index was prepared by an arguably Libertarian source from Britian? You honestly believe that the right to bear a handgun or rifle is a meaningful freedom, nevermind the most important one given modern weaponry?

That aside, I never admitted anything of the sort. Perfect legislation is impossible. Good legislation is not. I advocate the latter, and have no expectations of the former.

Lastly, do you really suppose all of the countries that ranked ahead of the states experience the 'illusion of freedom'? Further, trading a lesser freedom for a greater one is just that in this case. There is no false equivalency as you suggest. I am in no way advocating 'security' of any kind. Furthermore, what proof do you have that there is anything illusory about the freedom gained when you impose more vigourous campaign finance controls? In support of the idea that there's not, I have indexes and rankings prepared by economists who hail from an internationally esteemed publication that could be argued pro-America, Libertarianism and capitalism if anything. Again, these rate many other first world countries as being substantially more free than the States in 'spite' of socialist economics, and tighter financing controls. Do you have any facts to support your thus far completely unproven assertions?

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Out of curiosity, Surrealistik, how would you figure out the popular vote before an election even takes place? You say you'd divide their campaign funding by popular vote before the election happens, and worse out of the public treasury. Why in the world should I have to pay taxes for politicians to campaign?
You obviously don't. These funds are provided post-vote in the form of rebates and/or subsidies. To preempt the obvious counterpoint concerning new/start up parties, a petition based system could be used to provide capital to such organizations. With the advent of the internet, this is easier than ever to make feasible.

As for why? It should be obvious at this point: to lessen dependence on corrupting private funding.

Murder will happen. We don't legalize it, but niether do we outlaw all civilian guns.
Political speach and private funding isn't corruption any more than owning a handgun is murder.
No, you do not have the right to broadcast your speach. you have to pay for that priveledge.

Now if we reject your a priori assumption that all private money in politics is corrupting, then what point do you have left?




 

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