Automatic Registration and Mandatory Voting?

None of the Above ButtonI was reading through a lot of different things this evening. I was over at the Huffington Post reading some of the hoo ha that is offered there, and I stumbled across an article from Mark Green, President of Air America Media. He was discussing the fact that America has such a dismal voting record, especially at the lower levels of government. And he seemed to be willing to come right out and say that Americans should be forced to vote. He also espoused the merits of automatic registration. Given the vigorous debates that have occurred within this site over whether voting is effective, relevant, or necessary, I found his article to be interesting, while at the same time a bit disturbing. So I figured I would offer the article he wrote to all of you, and offer my thoughts on the concepts he discusses. I am sure Black Flag will have to weigh in on this topic, as will several others. But it seems to me that I can support the thoughts from Green on one part of his topic, but not on the other.

I attempted to put aside my thoughts on Green that jumped out after seeing that he is the President of Air America Media. We all know what a failure that was. And as a prize for its failure we have gotten Stuart Smalley as a United States Senator. Green is, after all a graduate of Cornell and Harvard. So I am sure he has some valid points, but I will let all of you make that determination. Green’s article appears here as it appeared on the Huffington Post:

Mandatory Voting? Automatic Registration? How Un-American!
by Mark Green (via Huffington Post)

Mark GreenIf you have an election where the winner gets four percent of the eligible electorate, is that a functioning democracy? Having just lost such a runoff contest in New York City, I congratulated the winner for running a skillful campaign according to the rules. But are there better rules?

When there were similarly pathetic turnouts in local school board races 20 years ago, such elections were ridiculed and then abolished. When there are 70-80 percent turnouts in British, French, Swedish and Israeli elections — or 60 percent in our own 2008 presidential election — no one questions whether they broadly represent popular will in a functioning democracy. A seven percent turnout, however, risks choosing city-wide officials more in a private selection than a public election.

Instead, let’s expand Instant Runoff Voting and automatic registration, and even consider mandatory voting laws:

Instant Runoff Voting. Under IRV, voters rank their choices for an office, 1 or 2 or 3 depending on how many are running. Then after the first and only round of voting, any candidate with a majority of course wins the election, whether primary or general. But if no one has a majority, second and third and choices are automatically allocated until someone gets 50 percent + 1 of all the votes. With the tabulation occurring electronically, a majority winner is guaranteed on election night.

Besides assuring majority rule, IRV saves taxpayers money and cuts the costs of campaigns since there’s only one primary and no runoff; reduces negative campaigning because candidates will want to be an acceptable second choice for their opponents’ supporters; increases turnout since the electorate needs only to show up to the polls once; avoids winners only working their narrow geographic, racial, religious or organizational niches; and frees people to vote their consciences without the worry of wasting their vote on an admirable though arguable long-shot (a Ralph Nader, a Libertarian) since their ballots will be re-cast for their next choice.

San Francisco has been using IRV since 2004, and recently Aspen, Burlington — and Australia, Ireland, Great Britain and New Zealand — have adopted it. It’s now been used in 46 American elections in six counties, cities or towns. Analyzing the first IRV election in San Francisco, FairVote, the Center for Voting and Democracy, concluded (PDF) that “winners received significantly more votes than winners in [past] December runoffs (and especially more than winners in conventional plurality elections), more votes were cast in the decisive election and winners received more votes both in real terms and as a percent of the vote than the old ‘delayed’ runoff system. And that means more voters had a say in who their supervisor [mayor] is.”

Paris Vote or DieAutomatic Registration. According to recent U.S. Census data, 30 percent of eligible Americans are not registered vote. So instead of hoping that high school graduates will find their way one by one to Boards of Elections to register as all American jurisdictions do, many countries use their census or tax data bases to create a voter registration list or engage in direct mail or even door-to-door registration drives (Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Belgium). According to the Brennan Center for Legal Justice’s report, Voter Registration Modernization, “Although the United States does not have a residence registry or a national health care system [yet] that provides a list of all eligible voters, states have a variety of databases that compile information about their citizens – databases maintained by motor vehicle departments, income tax authorities, and social service agencies. Many of these lists already include all the information necessary to determine voter eligibility…” With everyone registered and then encouraged to vote by mailings and public service ads, turnouts increase.

Mandatory Voting. When I used to routinely ask applying law students in interviews what they thought of this idea simply to test their ability to think on their feet, about 98 percent would object to it as coercive, big-brotherish, un-American! “But if we accept the days it takes to sit on juries as a condition of citizenship, why not the few minutes it takes to vote?” Um, oh. Indeed, Australia (since 1924) regards it as much a part of their civic obligation as we in America (for the most part) do paying taxes.

Other countries which require voting includes Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Ecuador and Switzerland. While rules vary, in nearly all there’s a penalty of some $15, which citizens can avoid paying by providing a legitimate excuse for not voting (religious objections, travel, illness). And voters can still write-in a name or vote for none-of-the-above.

So why bother? Because such a system could help create a habit to use the franchise rather than just cite it on July 4 … help assure that elected officials more truly reflect their constituents … and encourage candidates to concentrate on convincing 50 percent of the total vote, not just pulling out four percent of the eligible electorate. Or as a store window sign down my block once actually put it, “Democracy is like sex — it works best when you participate.”

You can find this article, which was presented in its entirety here, originally at the Huffington Post, or you can go and view it along with a more extensive biography of Mark Green by clicking HERE (will open a new window).

Election Assistance CommissionFirst let me say that I don’t necessarily have a complete grasp on the concept of Instant Runoff Voting. I think I understand it. And if my understanding is correct, I guess I don’t necessarily oppose it. But I will wait and see if someone here can provide a better explanation of how it works. I will reserve my judgement until someone does. Has anyone participated in an Instant Runoff Voting format in the past? If so, what did you think of it?

As for automatic voter registration, I have no issue with it. I have long felt that in a country where you can check a box to give away your organs to donation (but only voluntarily and by your choice, not government’s assumption!!!) while renewing your driver’s license, I fail to understand why every person getting a driver’s license could not automatically be registered to vote. After all, you are already sitting in the dang DMV for hours waiting, the least they could do is let you knock out as many things on your “to do” list as possible in one sitting.

I tend to see the fact that registering to vote has been made to be an extra step as an un-needed hassle for Americans that want to participate in the process. I know it isn’t that tough to do, but it is a step. In the past I have provided voter registration forms to all my employees that they can fill out and I will ensure they get mailed. I don’t look at their information (they would seal it before they give it to me), and I really don’t care who they support or which way they might vote. Even those who don’t plan to vote, I hope to eliminate the last minute decision that they want to participate being trumped by the fact that it is too late for them to register. I have stopped doing this in recent years in an effort to ensure there is no misunderstanding about my bringing politics into the workplace. But I tend to still like the practice.

The bottom line is that being registered to vote allows you to decide whether on election day you want to participate or not participate. It is still your choice. As an extra value for me, the idea allows voters to let politicians know where the population as a whole falls in the political spectrum. I admit that this is self-serving for me. It is my contention that folks who have no party allegiance tend to not register, thus the number of those registered as “independent” would probably be far larger if voting registration was automatic. A much higher number of independent voters would send a more clear message to the jackass and the overweight forgetful elephant that there are more people who don’t agree with them than those who do. As an added benefit, should election day come around with everyone registered and only 10% show up, Washington would get a more clear message that 90% of the people read Black Flag’s blog comments. So automatic registration is a “go” for me.

Nader Still Evil StickerBut when we get to the idea of mandatory voting, I could not disagree more with Mr. Green (a politician of course). There is no way that I can support the idea of mandatory voting. Especially in the format of voting that we see in today’s political spectrum. From a basic standpoint, I vehemently object to being offered two pieces of shit and told that I HAVE to choose one. So from the start there would have to be, no ifs ands or buts about it, a none of the above box so that those who vote can strongly say that both choices are crap and I want none of them. But even with this box, the idea of mandatory voting goes against the very principles of freedom that we espouse here. I am free to participate, or not participate.

Mr. Green offers jury duty as an example of where service is already required. For the record I oppose jury duty as well. Until the day that jury duty pays the same salary of the citizen being forced to serve, I object to government getting in the way of my ability to maximize my earning potential. It seems as though Mr. Green sees the need to legitimize the steps that government takes, even when they have no legitimacy. And I think that forcing the people to choose a leader, in Green’s eyes, means that the leader chosen will be more legitimate. And I can’t help but think that the only folks who want voting to be mandatory are those on the left (I of course have nothing to back that up). And this is because as the left “appears” to be the champion of the poor. And as government works to make a larger percentage of Americans poor with each passing administration, the left thinks this will equate to continued success.

Richard Pryor Was an Honest Candidate

Richard Pryor Was an Honest Candidate

I see it as a continued march towards the famous statement from Thomas Jefferson discussing democracy ceasing to exist when the public learns they can vote themselves money from the public treasury (As a side note I have looked to find this phrase and where Jefferson said it, including all the derivatives of the statement. I don’t think he ever did. The closest thing that I CAN find in this realm is “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.'”)

And for the record, I think a “none of the above” box should be a mandatory addition to the ballot anyway. And it should be tabulated and reported. If “none of the above” has the most votes, neither candidate gets in, and the process has to start over. But I imagine that politicians in America will never allow that to happen, for both sides of the aisle fear the day when one of them is actually defeated by none of the above and the result is that they are no longer eligible for the office they spent their entire term in office working to keep. None of the above is a nightmare addition for politicians in today’s environment where both sides are full of shit and not worth the ink to print their name.

So what say all of you?

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Comments

  1. posting for email comments.

    G!

  2. WELL, NOT A BAD IDEA, BUT I DON’T THINK WE SHOULD BE FORCED TO DO ANYTHING, WE A SUPPOSE TO BE A FREE PEOPLE, AT LEAST WE WERE, AFTER OBAMA, NOT QUITE SURE. I AGREE AOUT NOT ENOUGH VOTING, ONE ELECTION YEARS AGO, ONLY 33 PERCENT OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS, DID VOTE. THAT IS PITIFUL, BUT FORCED?

  3. From the desk of Mrs.Weapon,
    I challenge everyone who says USWeapon is one sided to read this article. I can vow for the fact that Weapon spends many an hours at night researching his articles to bring these articles to the masses every day. The last couple days I have had some associates question whether Weapon is really trying to educate and discuss the issues or just pushing his platform. I will say that Weapon has no platform, except to share his interest with others and see what they think. Those who are too scared to be questioned should go back to their emotional holes because their feelings are hurt! Isn’t the point of a democracy to decide who will serve us? Should we not question all of it? I know I am guilt of not caring sometimes…too busy with work or playing with Weapon Puppy…but this is a perfect example of why I should pay attention. Mandatory voting is a good idea…and I would have never seen it if it wasn’t for Weapon.
    My bathroom radio only has good enough reception to play the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” which is always interesting first thing in the morning. This is I seeing both sides. But I will say I am sick of the pointing fingers and childish crap. Maybe if we did have mandatory voting (with “none of the above” listed, of course), people would participate in our Republic. We need to press the importance of discussion…even if it is a little uncomfortable…. and maybe this will make it happen. But anyone who pays any attention knows the politicians will never allow mandatory voting…they may not have jobs.

    On a side note, I want to thank everyone who participates in this blog daily. It is very difficult, as a wife, to sacrifice my husband 3-5 hours a night. I am selfish and I have no problem saying it (I didn’t even want kids b/c then I would have to share Weapon!) but I have seen an increase in discussion, good and bad, for those who I know who take a moment every morning, to read the blog. This would not be possible without Black Flag, Cyndi P, Just a Citizen, KENT, and even Ray Hawkins. Thank you to everyone who participates in the discussions with my husband every night. All of you are the reason for the success of this blog and I cannot thank you enough. Weapon is the best husband any girl could ask for (does laundry, cleans, takes care of the dog, tells me every day how much he loves me!). I do my best to contribute to his happiness as well. But in reality, you guys are the ones that make it happen. Weapon loves his role he is now serving as an unbiased, reporter to the masses. Thank you for making my house a happy well rounded family of 5 (Weapon, Mrs. Weapon, WeaponSon, WeaponPuppy, and WeaponWonderCat)!

    • Thank YOU Mrs Weapon! I don’t get here as often as I’d like, but when I do, I always learn something new. I surely appreciate the effort put forth by USW. I do know however, it is always a good thing to have a positive influence from home and from the people who care and love you the most, thanks again to you and the rest of your family for sharing.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      “Mandatory voting is a good idea…and I would have never seen it if it wasn’t for Weapon.”

      ????

      I think you meant “not a good idea”?

    • Glad you are feeling better Mrs. Weapon, and good post. USW writes very good, thought provoking articles. Everyone’s continued interest is proof of that!

      G!

  4. I would go out on a limb and say that MOST voters don’t know much about the candidates. If we force everyone to vote, then we are just forcing those who have no interest in politics to step into a booth a pull a lever at random or for the one who looks better or talks better. In my opinion, the age of information translates to a lack of information in voting. People pick their candidate on false or misleading information or none at all, just the one they like more. I can recall watching post-election video of voters claiming republicans were in control of congress in 2008 and those who had no idea who the past associates of Obama were, but knew all about Palin’s family troubles. Increasing the number of voters will do no good if those voters remain uninformed.

    • Right on, Jack!

      Agree 100%.

      I still remember during the 2000 election, my little sister demanded that my parents (I wasn’t eligible yet) vote for Gore. When I asked her why, she said she liked his hair. Admittedly, she was 10 years old at the time, but can anyone here tell me that the average citizen forms their opinions for much better reason?

      • During the 2004 election I told people that would spew partisan politics (usually astroturf liberal types) and not even actually debate that “I am voting for Bush because he likes baseball.” It usually worked and got them to stop talking about politics, because they considered it a waste of time after I already considered it a waste of time.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Well put JB.

    • JB,

      I think you nailed it. I also think it would help the Democrats more than others, so no surprise a liberal thinks this up.

      I would OPPOSE mandatory registration. Agree it could be done at DMV, but should be voluntary. If people don’t want to be involved, it’s supposed to be
      their right. Same for requiring voting.

      Instant Runoff Voting, something doesn’t smell right there. I will say no to that as well until I have seen where it is a really good ideal.

    • Very well put. Also note the NUMBER OF PARTIES in those countries using IRV. Yours is an actual 2 party system. We here in Canada have what amounts to being a 4 party system or 5 if you count the Saskatchewan Party as separate from the rest of the Progressive Conservatives and Ireland as an example is right in line with Canada. This means a great deal when squeezing EVERY SINGLE vote out of a population. Your own system at its absolute worst is what you have right now. Complete polarization of all branches is an UGLY thing as you all now know for a fact and I can’t see forced voting for all those over 18 and under “dead” as being any answer to any question.

  5. Not a huge fan of forced voting. And here’s why:

    People.Are.Dumb.

    I do not want the idiot masses voting.

    Then again……. if we think about it a little bit, it’s probably mostly the polarized voters who vote. If you make the middle vote, they will have more power and thus pull the country toward the center (while simultaneously penalizing partisan hacks who anger the middle). Good in theory at least.

    Adding, the first thing their newly elected officials do in Australia after the election is pardon the non-voters. Thus voting is mandatory only in name. No party would ever vote against this because it angers a lot of apathetic voters.

    • Contrary to what you and Bill Maher may think, I don’t think people are dumb. I think they are just disinterested. With all the partisan squabbling that goes on, I can’t blame them!

      • I don’t like looking both ways before crossing the street, but I still do it. I don’t like eating my veggies, but I still do it. I don’t like taking vitamins, but I still do it. I don’t like apologizing to Emilius even though I’m right and she’s being irrational and imaging perceived slights that never occurred and if they did, they wouldn’t be a big deal anyway… But I still do it.

        Don’t like the partisan squabbling? Change it. USW did.

        Burying your head in the sand is just. plain. dumb.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          You do these things by your own choice because you weigh the consequences of your own actions and decide based upon what will produce the least undesireable consequence.

          You are not forced to do this. You are completely capable of doing it on your own.

          You state that you do not like eating your veggies. The unstated corollary is that you believe that the consequences of not eating veggies are more severe than your dislike of eating them.

          You state that you do not like looking both ways before crossing the street. The unstated corollary is that you dislike the potential (or the actualization) of being run over by a garbage truck EVEN MORE than you dislike looking both ways.

          You state that you dislike apologizing to Emilius especially when you are right and she is acting slighted unjustifiably. The unstated corollary is that you dislike the consequences of not apologizing EVEN MORE.

          Don’t disguise what you are actually saying.

          You are presenting it by saying “we all must do things that we dislike”, which is only partially honest.

          The honest assessment is “We all CHOOSE to do things we dislike, because there are potential consequences to NOT doing these things that we feel would be EVEN WORSE and we REALLY wouldn’t like that!”

      • Bill Maher IS indeed a moron. His last ranting proved him too idiotic for his guests, most of which I’m certain he chooses to prove evolution, to even deal with.

        Most people anywhere on this globe stay away from politics because they are busy LIVING. Up until 2002, I myself had no time for diddling about on the internet as I had money to make and a very active social/community footprint. Forced abandonment of the insane physicality of my old life (thanks to 3 shoulder surgeries) and having accumulated enough wealth for semi retirement have afforded me time to get serious about Saskatchewan’s politico and outside influences on MY economy to which the United States of America is conjoined. While I’m no MENSA member, I’m certainly not an imbecile and I’ll hold that position for Americans busy living in lieu of their being here to defend themselves.

    • Obama voters did not fare nearly as well overall when asked to answer questions about statements or stories associated with Obama or Biden —

      83% failed to correctly answer that Obama had won his first election by getting all of his opponents removed from the ballot, and

      88% did not correctly associate Obama with his statement that his energy policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry.

      Most (56%) were also not able to correctly answer that Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground.

      http://freevoiceonline.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/zogby-poll-obama-supporters-are-uninformed/

      Gee, I knew the answer to all those questions. Might be why I did not vote for Obama. I was informed. Might still be dumb, but informed.

      • You’re only proving my point, LOI. These people voted for him because they liked him, but they. are. dumb.

        If they had read and learned and still supported him (as I did/do), then that’s one thing, but you can do the right thing for the wrong reason and still be an idiot.

        Perhaps he would have lost, and McCain would have won. You probably would consider that a better outcome, no? (better, not perfect)

        So if the idiots had stayed home, or educated themselves, you would have had a better outcome.

        Q.E.D.

        Note, however, that the idiots on the right probably would have stayed home too, so who knows where we would have ended up. Maybe with someone better than either of them? Black Flag could have won by write in. (Or the NOTA).

        • Common Man says:

          Matt;

          How about we also add a manditory law that says you and your wife must first demonstrate a superior level of knowledge on raising children prior to becoming parents. In order to study for this test you are given reading material and DVD’s (developed by the Government) instructing you on everything from breast feeding to disaplining a 17 year old. After spending several hours/days digesting the material you and your wife take the test, but fail.

          Result = you cannot have children. Reason = your’e too stupid to raise children.

          Voting is a right granted to citizens allowing them to cast their support for whomever they so choose for what ever reason they choose.

          Your reason for voting and still supporting obama is yours and it is your Constitutional right to do so even though voting for Barry was ill-informed/stupid.

          If you would have investigated his background, social involvment, his friends and associates, voting record (what there was of it), ideals and plans, logic should have swayed you toward McCain, or better yet NOTA.

          I say this in kind and as an example of another persons perspective given how you are choosing to judge others who vote as they do.

          Self proclaimed intellect is a weakened soapbox from which to preach.

          CM

          • Well, for starters, I am setting the bar pretty low: some basic level of understanding of the matters/people on which you are voting, and some non-partisan research. Not so much to ask, really?

            I do not recognize your right to use an uninformed vote to cancel my informed one.

            If a meteor were hurtling toward the Earth and we had one missile we could launch to intercept it with. We might take a survey to find the best firing trajectory. If we survey scientists, we’ll hit the asteroid. If we recognize the right of any yahoo to vote, we will miss and all die. How is it different with government? Just because you would like to have a beer with the guy does not mean he should be running your economy – he doesn’t drink anyway.

            And, for the record, there are many people who are too stupid to have children, but do anyway. You read about them, usually, when their children die in some horrendous and stupid way. “Oh, I thought it was safe let my little Jimmy (5 year old) play up on the roof.. I didn’t think he’d go near the edge.” No, these people shouldn’t raise children. For that matter, they really shouldn’t breed at all. (See, for reference, Idiocracy).

            What’s the best way to enforce all this? I haven’t a clue, and wouldn’t try. The potential for abuse is (at this stage) prohibitive. Thus breed and vote away, oh teeming masses! But I do think we’d all be better off if they stayed home and watched Ricky Lake instead.

  6. Common Man says:

    All;

    Manditory…the word itself makes me gag, especially when it comes from the government. Adding “None of the Above” to each and every ballot is a great idea, although I don’t think it should go hand-in-hand with IRV, simply because IRV would force a choice; and that would defeat the purpose of NOA.

    Every young person should register to vote, but participating is clearly a personal choice.

    And while we are on the subject the Electorial College should be abolished, especially since half the states don’t mandate the appointed representatives vote as the populas. This would also help ensure that the people are the ones that elect, not appointed lacky’s. It is possible that this would improve voter turnout; especially in the western states.

    CM

    • The Electoral College will never be abolished, despite the fact that I would love for this to happen. Right now, Wyoming gets 3 votes with a population of 495,000. The entire mid-west would be taken almost completely out of the equation and New York, California, and Texas would be the only states worth winning. In a direct vote, Cali would have the equivalent of 65 electoral votes (instead of 55), Texas 43 (34), and NY 35 (31). Wyoming would get 0.93 (vs 3).

      Consider. In Wyoming, the people per electoral college vote is 174,277. In California, it is 668,303. In Texas, this is the worst at 715,499. To abolish the electoral college, you’d need the votes of the states and why would the small (population) states give up the right to be overrepresented by a factor of 4? In Vermont and North Dakota, this is closer to 30%.

      State % Over/Under Represented
      CA 84%
      TX 79%
      NY 90%
      ND 264%
      VT 272%
      WY 323%

      *This is all back of the napkin math.. accuracy of numbers not guaranteed. Void where prohibited.

      • Matt:

        Your words: “I do not want the idiot masses voting.”

        Therefore, I contend that California is grossly “over represented” no matter which method you use.

        Good Day
        JAC

        • Ouch.. I think people here have it in for my state.

          Let me tell you, California is no dumber than the rest of the country. It is (proportionally) equally stupid. Thus, while its idiot masses should not be counted, neither should Alaska’s, Mississippi’s, Alabama’s, or Texas’s. So, scale it down and you’ll find that there are more people capable of forming a coherent, educated opinion in California (if we exclude San Francisco) than any other state, simply because we have so many people to begin with. And then weight that against the electoral college votes and you’ll see that red states are heavily over-represented.

          And you mean to tell me that the average Louisianan is smarter than the average Californian? Prove it, I say!

          • Matt:

            Rest of the country smarter than Californians?

            Hell that’s easy to prove. THEY DON’T LIVE IN CALIFORNIA

            NUFF SAID???

            • Yes, I see how it is much smarter to live away from year-round great weather, beautiful scenery, gorgeous women, and some of the best produce available…

              Oh, and In ‘n’ Out. How is it possibly smarter to choose to live where there is no In ‘n’ Out?! I do it because I love my wife, but there have been times that I’ve considered leaving her for a weekend to go get myself a double-double animal style. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to fly to California and find out). Oh, and the fries are amazing too…. ::drools all over keyboard::

              • Double-double animal style? Holy crap, what are you into?

              • You should go find out. It’s worth the trip, I promise.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Matt – that is the ‘secret menu’ correct? Been a while since I hit one – last was in Vegas a few years ago. Would do well in Philly.

              • Right.. the secret menu is where it’s at. It would kill in Philly or NYC. I imagine the line would be around the block 24×7. (It could be next to Pat’s and Gino’s). I would gladly pay double and wait an hour to sink my teeth into one.. or two.. or three..

                soooooooo good…

              • Matt:

                They have In n’ Out in Nevada.

                So once again, how smart do you have to be to travel to Calif. for a hamburger you can get in Nevada, for less money.

                If you think the girls in Cali are that great you never been in the Rockies much or south of the Mason Dixon line my friend. They’re not only gorgeous but they are still ladies and they enjoy being treated like ladies.

              • They have a few in Nevada, not many. I liked having them close by. And, let’s face it, Nevada is basically an extension of California.

                And who wants the women to want to be treated like ladies? I like women who like to be treated like tramps (Emilius and present company excluded, of course).

              • Matt:

                You continue to prove the old addage that youth is wasted on the young.

              • Jac, I am an old, old man who just happened to be born in 1983.

                I know the worth of a true lady. I married one, after all.

                My youth was not wasted. But I plan to live long enough for medical science to give me another shot at being young – and this time I will waste it.

              • And I bet they are REAL……..

                Not surgically made, color from a bottle, women. Never seen scarier looking, big lipped, frozen faced people as when I’ve visited CA…..although Naples, FL, would come in a close second.

              • It takes all kinds, Kathy.

              • They can’t all be comparable to such a magnificent specimen as yourself 😉

          • Common Man says:

            Matt;

            Californian’s are proportionaly smarter than residents of other states?

            How are you gauging intelligence?

            Is the farmer in Indiana who has successfully managed to turn a profit out of a 1000 acer’s, repair and maintain $250K farm equipment, calculate fertilizer application, manage a multi-million dollar budget ignorant? How about the Charter Captain located in Michigan who spends on average some 200+ days a year on the water searching and catching varous species of fish. He deals with the latest electronics, manages a client base, markets successfully, monitors and stays abreast of local and state DNR laws and some even author articles for various outdoor magazines.

            How about the small business man located ‘anywhere’ that provides a service valued by many, who works countless hours ensuring his customers recieve quality service, all the while managing expences, tax laws, employment and benefits for his employees.

            How about Joe Six-pack that works 8-10 hours a day to support a family, manage a home, ensures his kids get an education, and watches his government continually take more or his liberties, freedoms and hard earned dollars in the name of ‘spreading the wealth’.

            How about the single mother who works two or three jobs to ensure her son and daughter have the funds to ensure a proper college education so that they don’t have to work 3 jobs just to make ends meet.

            These people may not have an East or West coast education. They may not understand how the investor manipulate funds on Wall Street, or even how to manage a P&L, but that does not make them stupid.

            I have had the opportunity to travel throughout this land and meet a great deal of hard working intelligent individuals in all walks of life. And although I have met some ‘below average’ individuals I am not indignant enough to call them stupid.

            Interestingly enough the majority of them are blessed with a great amount of Commmon Sense, and they really understand what matters. They fear the government, question those that represent them, fight as best they can to grind out a life, and believe that the majority seated in Washington are untrustworthy

            Interestingly enough most of them don’t understand the California mentality or lifestyle, can’t understand why anyone would pay $350k for a 900 square foot home on scrub coated hills calling it beautiful. They don’t have a great deal of respect for the majority of Hollywood elites who feel a march mouse has equal rights, or electing an ‘Action Star’ as governor. They struggle with the concept that you cannot hunt mountain lions even though they occasionally kill kids.

            Maybe the majority of those who live outside of California just don’t understand all that the state has to offer; the beauty, the intelligence that is absorbed by living there, or that the state is a fine example of how the government manages everything effectively.

            People across this nation may in fact be under-educated realtive to the ways of progressive’s, but they are not stupid; as a matter of fact I would propose that they have far more common sense.

            CM

            • CM, I’m pretty sure I said the exact opposite of what you think…

              “Californian’s are proportionaly[sic] smarter than residents of other states?

              How are you gauging intelligence?”

              Let me tell you, California is no dumber than the rest of the country. It is (proportionally) equally stupid.

              That said, all I’m asking for is a working understanding of the topics on which you’re voting, and some basic bi-partisan research. This website should be required reading for everyone who wants to vote.

              • Common Man says:

                Matt;

                Enforcing free men and women to study specific informaton prior to allowing them to vote is a violation of their Constitutional rights. Voting is a right ensured by your citizenship and any effort by the government to segrigate voters is also Unconstitutional.

                We don’t need any more laws limiting our freedoms.

                Also, relative to your statement about California women being the most beautiful i would offer you check out Texas, Georgia, and the farm land of Indiana. They have the physical beauty and are also kind, and rarely self-centered plastic ‘valley girls’.

                And now that I know that you are my son’s age I shall take a more paitent approach in my responses.

                CM

              • If Californians are so smart why do they keep electing Democrats to the state legislature. Are we expecting a different outcome? We are broke and have been broke for over 8 years. Enough already. Try somebody, anybody else. I vote for NOTA.

                Matt, some of your statements smack of elitism.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            California, on aggregate, is becoming “stupider” on average faster than almost any other state.

            Most of the productive (intelligent) people are fleeing the State in droves due to the high taxation, horrible business climate, and total bankruptcy of the State.

            Many of those that can easily afford to leave are indeed leaving. The remainder of the population are either the intelligensia that choose to remain for personal reasons, and those that cannot afford to easily leave.

            The number of highly qualified professionals leaving the State at a rapid rate is truly alarming.

            This is ensuring that California will face ever-declining tax revenues with ever-increasing government mandates and social programs.

            Since the State government lacks the willpower to reduce government spending and rescind overly-burdensome regulations and taxes, the government of California has doomed itself to bankruptcy and ensured a vicious downward spiral.

      • I actually support the electoral college. The reason it was instituted is as true today as it was in 1787. The purpose was to keep the large states from dominating the small states. As stated above, abolition of the college means that the large metropolitan cities will dominate the presidential race. The vast majority of the population in the hinterlands will be effectively disenfancised. One look at the county by county map results in the last election is a very telling story. The one change that I make to the EC is to make it vote by congresssional district rather than state wide winner take all. However, I would require before this happens redistricting reform with limits on the perimeter distance to area ratio. This would reduce the gerrymandering.

  7. USW:

    The quote you seek was not made by Jefferson. Some assigned it to Franklin but it was not his either.

    I came across it once in writings by one of the Founders as a “citation” and “quote” from a much older author. But now I do not remember who the person was. Will try to find.

    Just thought I would save you continued searching in the wrong places.

    I think Mr. Green’s piece is VALIDATION of Black Flags position that Govt requires VALIDATION. When you can’t get it voluntarily then devise a scheme to make everyone think you got it.

    Regarding registration: Not all states require nor even allow registration as a member of a Party. Montana is voluntary whether you designate a party. Idaho doesn’t require either. Thus we get cross over voting in primaries, with the intent to screw up the other party’s candidates.

    Voter turn out has constantly increased for national elections for many years. Funny how this is now a concern.

    Best Wishes
    JAC

    • Common Man says:

      JAC;

      I am also suspisious of the idea and that a “liberal” addressed the idea. Initially it sounds realistic, however it could be just another ‘cog’ in the administrations plan to increase their voter numbers. I could see organizations like ACORN getting involved driving people to the DMV all the while plugging their ideals and candidates. Of course it would make sense that the Reps do the same, but then they are inept.

      Forced anything is a “NO!” when it originates from the government.

      BTW:

      Hey JAC, do you read Field and Stream? About 4 pages into this months issue is the picture of the new State, and potential world record, Brown Trout. It was caught on September 9 by Tom Healy while he was fishing Kings on the Big Manistee here in Michigan.

      41 pounds 7.25 oz. You can link to http://www.fieldandstream.com/recordbrowntrout for additional details and pictures.

      For those that don’t know these critters are “Lake-Run” Browns that spend the majority of their lives eating everything in Lake Michigan, but travel into their birthing streams to spawn.

      He caught it on a Rapala Shad Rap.

      Although I normally return browns back this one I would mount.

      CM

      • CM:

        Montana has the DMV registration and it works just fine. That is not the problem. It is the Registration that is allowed up to and including the day you vote. There are many examples of folks being gathered up and driven to the polls by groups like Acorn (both sides by the way)to “register”. The group promises a “free lunch” or “free pack of smokes” if you register. Then just before everyone gets out of the van the driver asks them to vote for the Dem/Repub. Now you are getting a free lunch from the guy who drove you. If you hadn’t bothered to register up until now how do you think you would vote?

        Then of course there is the lack of “identification” needed to register. I have found where litteraly hundreds of voters used the local court house as their residence in order to register and vote on election day. These votes were counted as valid, despite no proof of residency for the town or even State.

        And as for me, college students should not be allowed to vote in a state where they are considered non-residents for tuition purposes.

        The DMV thing is over sold because it is really only convenient for new comers to an area. Many States, in the west, complete auto registration via mail and you don’t have to renew your driver’s license but every 7 to 10 years.

        Don’t get Field and Stream but will check it out next time at the grocery store. That’s one big damn fish. I may just have to make a trip back to Michigan if you keep putting out bait like that. My fly rod would seriously enjoy hooking into some big ones like that.

        Best wishes today for you and family.
        JAC

        • My state also asks about registration at the DMV, and if you move the form to change your DL address also asks if you want them to move your registration for you.

          As for college students, I saw an article about jury duty this last election, that when the students were changing their voter registration they were being called for jury duty in the location their college was and they had to go, vs if they were still registered at home it would be an acceptable excuse to be away at college.

        • Common Man says:

          JAC

          Michigan does have an impressive Brown populaton; greatly due to the Great Lakes where they eat right along side our Kings and Coho’s. We also have a great Stealhead population which is best in late Dec through early Feb.

          If you prefer the flyrod I would suggest a trip during the mayfly hatch in late spring. it is called the hexigena-lambata (spelling) or Giant Mayfly. They hatch predominately at night and you will find many fly fishermen standing in the streams throughout the evening.

          How do you know when you have a strike, you ask? You use your ears and listen for the LOUD “slurpe” and then hang on.

          Also, don’t forget the White and Norfork in Arkansas. There are more browns and on average they are bigger.

          CM

          • Have not forgottent the White. Saved your link to the lodge and I have suggested to number one son we make a trip this next spring or the one after that.

            Any reason a fella couldn’t catch those fall browns on a fly rod? It worked for Silver Salmon in Alaska and Steelhead here.

            Are the steelhead running in the rivers in Dec-Feb?

            • Common Man says:

              Michigan is unique (or so I am told) in that the DNR stocks Kings, Coho, Browns and Rainbows, the majority of which comes from the various rivers here in Michigan. A great deal of those rainbows and browns migrate out to the big water when they are 3-4 years old. Why some do not we don’t know, but those that do grow rapidly. Once they fatten up they return to their birth stream to spawn. typicallly the Kings return in Sept, Coho Nov, browns are more random and the rainbows (Steelhead) in late Dec and Jan. Interestingly the big browns have a tendancy to stick around once they migrate back. I suspect it is because they get fat and lazy when they grow past 8-10 pounds, plus there is less competition.

              Fishing browns on inland rivers and steams closes September 30th throughout Michigan. You can fish them on the great lakes. The season re-opens on the last Saturday of April. The Mayfly hatch is usually May-June depending on weather.

              As far as Arkansas, fall is a great time, but prime is late Feb early March when they open the damns because of the spring thaw. This kills 1000’s of shad living in the ajoining resevoirs. The Browns and bows go crazy gourging themselves for several days.

              CM

    • JAC:

      It’s a quote from some professor in the 1600’s or 1700’s but I cannot remember his name. He was from the British Isles nations (Scotland, Ireland — in that neck of the woods).

      • Bird:

        That is similar to my recollection as well (place and time). But I think once upon a time I may have found an older reference that the fellow you mention used as a quote.

        The wonders of age. Wonderful facts just pop up from memory but without any context or hard reference point. Like swimming in soup.

    • v. Holland says:

      “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

      Benjamin Franklin

      Monday, October 27, 2008
      Voting Themselves Money Will Herald Their Downfall
      On Sept. 18, 1787, after Benjamin Franklin signed the Constitution in Philadelphia, a woman reportedly asked him: “Well, doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” To which Franklin replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.” And regarding maintaining that republic, Franklin is reported at another time to have said, “when the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

      At about that same time, in 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinburgh) is reported to have said this to say about “The Fall of The Athenian Republic” some 2,000 years prior.

      “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

      And finally, from a science fiction writer named Robert Heinlein, and his book called, To Sail Beyond the Sunset:

      “A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. … [O]nce a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so…” They’ll vote themselves bread and circuses every time “until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader [such as] the barbarians enter Rome.” as read on the Rush Limbaugh

      Regardless of who’s saying it, it’s true, once people figure out that they can vote themselves money, then that’s the beginning of the end of that society. So please get out and vote tomorrow, but do not vote for the candidates making the biggest promises to give out money from the public coffers. Vote for “leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest.”

  8. I think that I would be okay with mandtory registration. I volenteer at our City Clerks office during this elections to help get people registered and for early voting. Almost every people who was registering said the same. Wish we could have it all done at the DMV. Our DMV is usually packed and takes hours to get through, so I agree with USW on this one. Get all done in one place, organ donor, voter stuff.

    I have always thought it was horrible the number of people who do not vote in this country. We have this wonderful right, and most people dont use it. But with that said, I am completely agaisnt mandtory voting, because part of having this right, is to choice not to vote.

    Ellen

  9. Morning All!
    I don’t agree that mandatory registration is the way to go. I think that in order to be eligible to vote, one should be required to take a test to determine whether or not they understand what a precious thing it is. You can’t drive a car or get married without a license. It might help educate people before they vote for “the guy with the cute hair” or any other dumb reason. A few of which come to mind from the last election 😉
    Have a great Tuesday! If it doesn’t rain, I’ll be on the patio cleaning the hot tub 😦

    • Wouldn’t a test to register to vote result in something similar to Jim Crow Laws? The group in power would ultimately try to restrict voting to try to allow only the people that vote for them to vote.

      • I would hope it wouldn’t. I have to take a six hour course of con-ed every year to renew my broker’s license. That is a state requirement. I think a refresher course in government for ppl to register would be a good thing.

      • Just as a side note, I also think people should take a class and pass a test before they can have children 😉

        • v. Holland says:

          Okay, you have a smiley, so your kidding right.What would be necessary to enforce this last one scares me.

          • Yes I was just kidding V, but some people that have kids that don’t know how to raise them gives me cause to pause.

      • v. Holland says:

        I’m not for a test-but you don’t pay taxes -you can’t vote-yes I know it would be wrong to do this-it would be the reverse of what our Country is founded on, so we can’t do this but it is nice to dream sometimes.

        • I kind of agree with that V. Having been an owner of rental property in the past, I think that my tenants should not have the right to vote on things regarding property since they don’t own property.

          • But, Willo, what right do you have to vote on what I can or cannot do on my peaceful property, simply because you happen to have land too?

  10. I was over 30 years old when I first registered to vote. I didn’t think it really matter who won the election. I observed politics but did not engage in voting. I was busy working and raising a family and I have 4 children that keep me busy.

    I am opposed to mandatory voting or mandatory anything. I think government is trying to legitimize itself and look forward to Blag Flag’s comments. I think if people are interested in voting then they should register to vote. I’ve moved several times and had to register in each new State. It’s not a big deal but takes a little effort.

  11. USWep,

    Thomas Jefferson discussing democracy ceasing to exist when the public learns they can vote themselves….

    It is from LORD THOMAS MacCAULEY

    “A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government.

    It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

    From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship. “

  12. Common Man says:

    Willo/All;

    I question your logic relative to testing in order to vote on the basis that ‘we’ are required to apply for a drivers, marriage license or Concealed Weapons permit. As Free men and women we are not Constitutionaly required to obtain a license for how we choose to live our lives. Furthermore, the idea that we involve the government to oversee and manage these aspects is not only removal of our liberties, but a catalyst for additional government control.

    The government should not have any authority to tell me who I can marry and if I can carry. It is unConstitutional.

    I do believe that those who apply for a CCW should first take a course instructing them how to handle a firearm, and that course should also involve detailed training on using the weapon, BUT that is not something that needs to be regulated by the government. Private company’s would and do a better job, while maintaining individual confidence. Besides, this would help to stimulate the economy by providing new businesses and additional employment.

    Education should be a part of the criteria taught in schools starting in gradeschool and include ‘proper and accurate’ US History and election/voting rights.

    BTW: Seems you too are a Michigander, whereabouts?

    CM

    • Argentine Township, Genesee county. South west of Flint and north east of A2. Think Fenton, Linden and you are there!

      • Common Man says:

        Willo

        Well, we are practically neighbors, I am in the oxford area. Wife is a Special Education teacher in Flint. Friends spread out around Fenton, Davidson and Ortonville.

        CM

  13. JAC,

    Yes, I see Green’s piece as confirmation of my position – government needs legitimacy.

    And he also raises an excellent point too – which will be addressed in my soon-to-come, and quite-late Part Deux of “How to Get There from Here” – civic politics and grassroots.

    Other than that – my position on the irrationality of voting has been well-documented.

    Matt,

    The People are not stupid. Do not confuse “careless” with ‘care less’, and not caring can sometimes appear to those that do care as an act of stupidity.

    Most people do not have the interest to take any real personal note in the things “going on” around them. They are too busy doing their own ‘thing’.

    However, if one judges that to be ‘stupid’ – you run a very dangerous tactic of underestimating the People – and usually things turn badly upon those that do underestimate others.

    But don’t overestimate them either….

    • The people are stupid.

      A failure to pay attention to the things that directly affect your life is very stupid.

      Most people do not have the interest to take any real personal note in the things “going on” around them. They are too busy doing their own ‘thing’.

      If they didn’t pay attention when crossing the street, they would get hit by a bus. So obviously they are paying attention, but are able to realize that they should be paying attention to this as well.

      Or they have opted to be selectively stupid. Either way, their votes only pollute the votes of informed voters.

      Consider, I am trying to find the distance from here to Barnard’s Star. So I put the question out there and I get twenty replies from astrophysicists who tell me that it is 6 light years away (some say 5, some say 7, so it averages to 6). If I ask that question and get answers from the masses who just vote with their gut opinions, some will say we orbit Barnard’s Star, some will say it’s a million light years away. When I tally the vote, I have found that the answer is now 626.83 light years away.

      Which approach does a better job?

      Why should I concern myself with the opinions of people who are too lazy or too stupid to have an informed opinion? Why should their votes count the same as the physicist who knows the facts?

      Screw the teeming masses. They should shut up and eat their vegetables. Or they should tell me coherently why they shouldn’t – I promise I’ll listen.

      • A failure to pay attention to the things that directly affect your life is very stupid.

        You make a dangerous assumption.

        Because they are not paying attention to what you think is important does not equal that they are not paying attention to what they think is important.

        They can be different things.

        If they didn’t pay attention when crossing the street, they would get hit by a bus. So obviously they are paying attention, but are able to realize that they should be paying attention to this as well.

        Why?

        They don’t believe it is important.

        Government will take care of it, right?

        Or they have opted to be selectively stupid. Either way, their votes only pollute the votes of informed voters.

        They believe your vote pollutes theirs.

        I believe all votes are pollution, and everyone should stop.

        Consider, I am trying to find the distance from here to Barnard’s Star. So I put the question out there and I get twenty replies from astrophysicists who tell me that it is 6 light years away (some say 5, some say 7, so it averages to 6). If I ask that question and get answers from the masses who just vote with their gut opinions, some will say we orbit Barnard’s Star, some will say it’s a million light years away. When I tally the vote, I have found that the answer is now 626.83 light years away.

        Because, other than astrophysicists, no one cares how far away it is.

        Further, if it was 1 million light years or 10 or 2, what difference does it make?

        Answ: None. Unless your an astrophysicist.

        Which approach does a better job?

        Why should I concern myself with the opinions of people who are too lazy or too stupid to have an informed opinion? Why should their votes count the same as the physicist who knows the facts?

        Because you have no objective basis of whose subjective notions of whatever people think of what government should do for them.

        You cannot prove you are more right about the role of government then they can to you.

        Only I can do that. And there is a reason I can, and you -nor they- can not.

        Screw the teeming masses. They should shut up and eat their vegetables. Or they should tell me coherently why they shouldn’t – I promise I’ll listen

        You’ll only listen if they agree with you.

        • Black Flag

          Because they are not paying attention to what you think is important does not equal that they are not paying attention to what they think is important.

          Because they do not recognize its importance makes them stupid or willfully ignorant. Government impacts on numerous aspects of your life. You, of all people, know this. If I don’t think a bus is important when I am crossing the street, it will still turn me into a sticky paste. And I would have been wrong for my assumption.

          Black Flag

          Because, other than astrophysicists, no one cares how far away it is.

          So maybe Barnard’s Star is a bad analogy. But “because they care” is a lousy reason for them to have an opinion. I care a great deal about the Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. This does not qualify me to have an opinion on the nuances of international disarmament negotiations.

          Black Flag

          Because you have no objective basis of whose subjective notions of whatever people think of what government should do for them.

          True, part of the reason I do not advocate for enforcing this policy. However, these people do not have an idea of what the government does for them, let alone what it should do for them. How then, are they qualified to have opinions which may be binding on the rest of us on how it should function?

          The analogy here is taking a poll on whether a painting looks good. Some people may like it, some may not. Their opinions are based on their observations and considered opinions. Blind people should not weigh in on this. Neither should people who are too lazy to look at the painting before deciding.

          Black Flag

          You cannot prove you are more right about the role of government then they can to you.

          I don’t have to prove I’m right. Neither do you. You just need to base your opinion on something resembling facts or research or coherent thoughts. Educated men can disagree. Voted helps resolve this when it applies to government. You and I do not agree, but this is irrelevant. We live in a society where majority rules. If I say government should be large and you say small and we base our arguments on logic, we should not be overruled by someone who does not know anything about the government and does not care to know, but who just outnumbers us.

          Black Flag

          You’ll only listen if they agree with you.

          Hardly. Why do think I’m here? I listen and argue. I may disagree, but you’re still entitled to your opinion. They just aren’t entitled to bind me with their opinions unless they understand their them and base them on something other than their guts.

          I’d like to add: do you remember the Bush/Kerry debate where they kept showing a split screen of the two side-by-side, but Kerry’s height kept changing? It kept changing because people tend to associate height with authority. As a condition of the debate, Bush insisted that the camera angles had to make them appear the same height. Think about that. People might actually have voted for one person over another because he’s taller. Those people need to be ignored.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        Not everyone is qualified to have an opinion on the distance to Barnard’s Star, because the answer is FACTUAL, it is not based on opinion. There is, in fact, one numerical value which happens to be the right answer. Most likely, an astrophysicist would be a good choice for a person to ask for the correct answer.

        In a democracy, or even in a republic, you run the risk of being represented by someone who does not represent your own personal views AT ALL.

        In an oligarchy or other tyrranical form of government, it is even LESS likely that your own personal views will be represented at all.

        This is why the only legitimate form of government is SELF GOVERNMENT. Only you know what is best for you. Only JAC knows what is best for JAC. Only USW knows what is best for USW. Only BF knows what is best for BF. Only Bubba knows what is best for Bubba.

        If you decide that you somehow have the right to decide what is best for Bubba, then conversely, you have also decided that Bubba has the right to decide what is best for you!

        • See, you’re missing it. I don’t require them to be right, or to agree with me. Just informed. Notice that I don’t object to your vote even though it is almost certainly opposed to mine. I object to people voting for the taller or better looking or more friendly or more folksy candidate. I object to people voting red because their daddy voted red, or blue for the same reason. I have no means of saying objectively who should or should not qualify. But, as the supreme court said, “I’ll know it when I see it.”

          That said, as I mentioned elsewhere, the risk for abuse is prohibitive to try to implement this. But I do wish they would stop voting.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Mathius,

            Intellect is a poor arbiter for determining voter eligibility because if only the people with a certain intellect voted, the type of politician they voted into office would favor people at or above a certain intellect level, thus virtually ensuring the enslavement of the “stupid” to the will of those with “above average intellect”.

            Your proposed system bears no resemblance to freedom and liberty.

            If you truly think that government would function better if it were designed and run by smart people, then we should merely do away with the Constitution, do away with voting altogether, and simply have qualifications which state “You may not even hold office in this country without an IQ above 175”.

            Of course, I know a TON of very high IQ people that have no common sense whatsoever and no idea of how to successfully live their day-to-day lives, so intellect on its own is a VERY POOR indicator of the ability to actually do anything practical or useful.

            Some of the smartest people I know have ABSOLUTELY NO ABILITY WHATSOEVER to relate to other people… I would think that relating to other people would be very important in government, no?

            • Well, firstly, I didn’t say anything about the necessity to be a genius to run. It is sufficient to me that you be able to tie your shoes if you make an effort to be informed.

              That said, I propose an experiment. Let us take two identical neighboring islands. On one we shall grant universal suffrage. On the other, there shall be an intellect-ocracy.

              We shall leave the people stranded with nothing but what they can find. We will then return in 10 years and have our answer.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius,

                I propose 3 identical islands.

                One with universal sufferage, one with an intellect-ocracy, and one which is run by people who have demonstrated the ability to run their own lives successfully.

                Lets see which one wins!

              • No fair!

                The first island will starve to death. The second island will build an advanced peaceful society with plenty for all. Your society will be living in caves and polluting recklessly until the waters can no longer support fish.

                Then we’re forced to fall back on our agricultural harvest, but you’ll be hungry, so you’ll come raid our food stores. Then we starve to death while you eat our food. Next year, however, you starve to death, too.

              • Adding.. did you ever read Brave New World? It is one of my favorite novels of all time. At one point, they tell the story of an island that they populated entirely with Alphas (the smartest). They all died. The reason was that nobody wanted to do the menial work. Just some food for thought..

                We need Betas and Deltas, too…

              • v. Holland says:

                As what -slaves to the elite-are they the “Screw the teeming masses. They should shut up and eat their vegetables.”

              • You seem to have skipped the next sentence. “Or tell me coherently why they shouldn’t.” If you can’t be bothered to have an informed decision, insofar as it affects me, I will make the decision for both of us.

                Get informed, and you can make your own choices – even if I disagree with them. Until then, eat your veggies as I tell you.

              • v. Holland says:

                I suspect I would tell you that it isn’t necessary for me to explain anything to you. My freedom to vote does not and should not depend on your opinion. I have the freedom to vote for whatever reason I choose, that is as long as we have a republic/democratic form of government-Do you wish to live under some other type of government?
                I suspect you will say NO,of course not but your words seem to say something else. Just something you might want to think about before you say the elite should rule.

  14. I don’t like the word “mandatory” but do like “none of the above”. In fact, “none of the above” or NOTA should be the new slogan for tea parties and other protest gatherings so all of Washington realizes they are under attack. Thanks to BF’s repeated pounding I do now understand governments need to be validated; still can’t agree to the don’t vote concept, but NOTA would work for me.

    • Kathy. I am strongly against adding None Of The Above to the ballot. And here is why.

      There is strong evidence that many people only look at the first name or two in a list. That is why the names are shuffled randomly, so as to give all options an equal chance at being seen. In the case of presidential elections (perhaps only in NY, I don’t know), the main two party candidates are randomly shuffled, then the third party candidates are shuffled below them. This would, presumably be followed by your NOTA option. However, all options should be placed in a random order so as not to bias in favor of the two main parties and force a NOTA voter to look to the bottom of the list. Thus, if it is not at the bottom, it can’t be None Of The Above.

      But we could still keep NOTA as the shorthand, but it would stand for “None Of These A**holes”

      • Matt, great point! NOTA it is and the A is for “asses” “addlebrains” “addlepates” “airheads” or any other A words that fit!

  15. USW, you mention using the DMV for voter registration, which seems like a reasonable thing and one that DMV should be able to handle. What about this use of DMV?

    You Will Get Health Insurance at DMV — Literally (It’s in the Bill)
    by Terry Jeffrey

    http://townhall.com/columnists/TerryJeffrey/2009/10/14/you_will_get_health_insurance_at_dmv_–_literally_its_in_the_bill#

  16. AS I live in Oregon which has mail in ballots, which for me a disabled person who has to use a walker, works realy well for me, I do not know what percentae vote in Oregon, but I do like the way it is now.

    • Goldie and others:

      I have no inherant heart burn over mail in ballots except it does seem that we could at least stand in line for a while for something we consider so important.

      My problem with this method is that the mail in ballots are exercised far to early in the process. That is why those who want them fight so hard to get them. It is easier to get folks to vote your way before anyone can question what it is you stand for.

      If mail ballots were postmarked on election day they I would be happier with the method. It would also cause the networks to chill………cause they couldn’t call an election for another couple of weeks. Might reduce pressure on ballot counting as well. Allowing hand counts and personal validations of ballots over a two to three week period.

      Just some ideas to add to the mix.

      Goldie, where abouts in Oregon are you located. General idea is OK. I have a son in Corvallis area.

      Best Wishes to you Goldie
      JAC

  17. Here are the facts regarding voter turnout since the 1940’s.

    http://elections.gmu.edu/voter_turnout.htm

    Make sure you click on the “primary” data for 2008 and 2004.

    As I said a week ago or so, it is the turnout at the primary that should be of greater concern. Less than half of the eligible voters select the two or three folks the rest of us get to vote for in the general.

    Also read the explanation of why traditional voter turnout based on voting age population is erroneous.

  18. In my state (WI) poll workers or people working at the city clerks office are not allowed to ask to see ID from the person who is voting. It is agaisnt Wi law to do so.

  19. http://blogs.cfr.org/geographics/2009/10/07/government-debt-financed-by-official-sector/

    Agency debt is Fannie/Freddie Mortgages.

    Banks and People are dumping it, and the FED is buying it.

    The FED has promised it will stop doing this by May next years. I doubt it. It would destroy the mortgage market.

    Also, note who is buying government debt – the FED. This is very inflationary.

    We have yet to see this inflation hit inside the USA. But it has no where else to go….

    • BF:

      I was very much impressed with the volume of Treasuries purchased by “households”. Looks like close to 400 billion. I would expect that to start flowing soon into the market place.

      Despite the Feds pumping the trend is still deflationary. This can only mean that the money being circulated throught debt purchase is still being hoarded somewhere. In other words, niether investors nor families feel they have enough cash on hand to cover what they see as future risk.

      • I 100% agree with that assessment. Cash is being conserved and stuffed into 0.25% T-bills.

        The market is scared – they will not risk any money – even if the returns are 10%.

        This is a measure of great fear.

  20. From another blogster…..

    Mr. Scarcella’s “Prophetic” Warning.

    There I sat, thinking about the good time I had last night [at a class reunion].

    Desperately struggling to maintain the enjoyable moments of that “good time” in my thoughts, my consciousness was under a verbal assault.

    Mr. Scarcella’s voice suddenly became dominant. His emphasis was on economic sustainability should the national debt continue to spiral out of control.

    What on earth was he talking about? How could any of this discussion affect my sheltered, self-centered little world?

    Fast forward fifty years.

    Those “prophetic” lectures to a carefree, egotistical young class of high school seniors has come of age.

    The debt incurred by our government has indeed undermined our very formidably as the most powerful nation on earth.

    We stand on the brink of losing all.

    Life, liberty, pursuit of wealth, property or our own definition of happiness is fast approaching extinction.

    All primarily brought about by the democratic procedure of voting ourselves largess delivered by our corrupt politicians.

    We now await the inevitable eulogies.

    Regretfully.

  21. I say vote or be fined (a big one, too); the fine to go into the greater good pot (national health insurance, etc.). I also like the “none of the above” box (let them know what we think).

    We’re a pathetic voting democracy (which goes to my belief that big business has us right where it wants us).

    Hello to Mrs. Weapon from Charlie and Ann Marie (end of July in North Carolina). Hope all is well by you.

  22. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    Not exactly the quote you were looking for USW, but sums it up pretty well.

    • A statement made during a time when slavery was considered okee-dokee.

      Pete, come on, give us Manning … or at least Bill Polian back. 16 points after 6 turnovers … I upchucked my provoline every five minutes Sunday.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Charlie,

        I believe that you will find that many of the founding fathers had profound conflicts over slavery.

        Jefferson did indeed own slaves. It was a great source of internal (and external) conflict for him, and he emancipated all of his slaves upon his death.

        I do not think it is fair to discount what an exceptionaly wise man says simply because he “lived in a time when slavery was “okie-dokey””. Sorry, but that argument just doesn’t wash, at all.

        You yourself, Charlie, live in a time when slavery is okie-dokie, but you do not even realize that you are a slave, and you perform your duties to your master willingly, and wish that your master were more oppressive to you and the others around you.

        Jefferson recognized slavery, and at heart knew it was evil even though he lived in a time when it was “okie-dokie”.

        You do not even recognize that you and pretty much everyone else are currently slaves, and people like you and Mathius seem to advocate for even more slavery for yourselves and others at the hands of the government. Which is worse?

        • Jefferson did indeed own slaves. It was a great source of internal (and external) conflict for him, and he emancipated all of his slaves upon his death.

          Peter, that is a pretty condescending comment when you think about what it meant to those in bondage. “A great source of internal (and external) conflict for him”? Gee, I wonder how he would have felt if he were in chains? You’re right, though, it sure doesn’t wash (with any credibility).

          I’m no slave, brother, trust me. Well, maybe the last 10 years since I went completely legit I am, but I don’t mind that (working) much at all. I consider the working man in America a slave to big business but that’s another argument for another day. What say you on Manning and/or Polian?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Charlie,

            If you agree that it is ok for anyone (the government, the banks, anyone at all) to use force or to threaten to use force in order to confiscate the fruits of your labor for the enrichment of others, then you are indeed a willing slave.

            Sure, they may not have you in PHYISCAL chains, but you are in chains nonetheless.

            Most of us take on our chains willingly. We figure that we are “paying for services provided by the government” or we are “donating money to the poor by paying taxes”. If you believe that, congratulations.

            As far as Jefferson goes, yes, the man owned slaves. Does that completely invalidate anything whatsoever that the man said about freedom? No, not at all. Does that make him a hypocrite? Yes, it probably does. He also realized that holding slaves probably did make him a hypocrite, yet he did not free all of his slaves until he died. Does this mean we should discount his wisdom on the subjects of freedom and liberty? Hardly!

            As far as Polian goes, Buffalo was silly to let him get away and come to Indy. As far as Manning goes, Indy was a genius for using their first-round draft pick on him when they had the chance, and I highly doubt they are going to let him get away until he retires. I don’t forsee him “doing the Favre”. I think his next contract here will lock him up until he is 40 and that will be the end of it.

            I think Buffalo’s season might have gone significantly differently if they hadn’t given New England that huge gift. I think that game psychologically destroyed Buffalo for the entire year.

            • Not discounting what the man says, but the fact that he said it while holding slaves (or while not championing their cause) is a serious flaw.

              That is a problem proponents of no-government make when they quote the founding fathers, etc. I happen to disagree with his statement but I admit I’m a socialist.

              I don’t buy into your idea of chains and I do see the working man as a slave to his wages (uh-oh).

              Buffalo is the dumbest organization in all of sport. Bar none. Their season is ruined so long as Ralph Wilson stays the owner. The problem will be when he dies, the team will move to Toronto (more outsourcing).

              • Common Man says:

                Charlie;

                I disagree with your statement relative to “Buffalo being the dumbest organization in all of sport”, Detroit Lions hold that honor and have for some many years.

                We have the weakest offensive and defensive line in the game, but yet ole’ man Ford uses the first round draft choice to grab a quarterback.

                As long as Ford holds the purse strings and thinks a star quarterback generates success the Lions will continue to play like sh.t.

                And BTW our secondary sucks as well.

                Go Colts!

                CM

              • CM:

                We gave away an all pro lineman (the only lineman who could block) and then went to a no-huddle/no win offense. We play home games vs. division opponents in December in a dome in Toronto … it is impossible to be dumber than that.

                We are the absolute worst organization in all sport. We had arguably a potential dynasty in the 90’s and allowed Marv Levy to lose 4 consecutive super bowls. Now he’s our GM.

                We win, hands down.

              • Common Man says:

                Charlie;

                At least you guys have been to a superbowl. The closest Detroit ever got was hosting it.

                CM

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              http://angelolopez.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/the-founding-fathers-and-slavery-part-2/

              An interesting viewpoint from someone who admits that they are from the left side of the political spectrum. This is in regard to the founding fathers and slavery and is a very interesting read.

              • “Adams was an outspoken foe of the institution.”

                He was more than that; he had nothing to do with it.

                Where was Jefferson?

                Nope, doesn’t fly. Their emotional angst just isn’t enough because they can never relate to being a slave.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Charlie,

                Neither can you supposedly…

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Charlie,

            One further thing to point out.

            In the past, you have stated that big business controls the government (which is in large part true I believe).

            In this post you have stated that the working man is a slave to big business.

            Does it not then logically follow that the working man is a slave to the government?

            • So long as things stay the way they are, indeed so.

              Listen, I’ll take a no gov’t before having either of these parties run things anymore, but I prefer a socialist paradigm.

              See my blog today, I went after Obama on this $15 dimes (thousand) a plate dinner he’s having. The guy and his party make me sick.

  23. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Thomas Jefferson

    That one…

    And the one that proves that Jefferson was hoping to be a Black Flag:

    “I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.”

    Thomas Jefferson.

    HMMMM… GOVERN THEMSELVES WITHOUT A MASTER…

    Sounds pretty Black Flag/Kent McManigal to me….

    • Govern themselves without a master (except he was a master).

      Come on guys … this is revisionist cherry picking

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ah Charlie,

        Wrong again I see.. sigh.

        The quote says “I have no fear the the RESULT of our experiment WILL BE that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.”

        You see, Jefferson believed that through increasing experience with the concepts of Freedom and Liberty, men would come to fully embrace and understand these concepts and become enlightened to the point that they were fully capable of living under absolute freedom and liberty, that is, capable of governing themselves without a master.

        He believed that through increasing freedom and liberty, responsible self governance would be the logical end result.

        Of course, we did not allow INCREASING liberty and freedom after about the first 50 years (at most) of our government. After that, it was all about INCREASING government power and control, which is anathema to freedom and liberty.

        50 years (at most) was an insufficient time for the natural results of the “experiment” to come about.

        There is no “revisionism” involved except your own….

        • “I have no fear the the RESULT of our experiment WILL BE that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.”

          And in the meantime, folks, you leave me with my slaves and I’ll leave you with yours.

          Come on, Peter. This is stretching and revisionism. How can you quote these guys in support of your arguments about liberty? It’s the same as morality + social darwinism being compatable to lefty’s like me.

    • Yes, Jefferson was a Black Flag …

      …and yes, Charlie – the debate about slaves is similar to Matt’s debate about the unborn – the debate of ‘person’.

      That is one reason I appose Matt’s abortion stance – it is used to deny human rights to humans by declaring them non-persons. Humanity has been there-done that already regarding slavery.

  24. Common Man and G-Man

    I suggest you read the following if you haven’t already. Just some more info for the Afghan files. We can continue on Open Mic tomorrow.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/10/20/michael-yon-afghanistan-winnable-lose-war/

    • Common Man says:

      JAC

      Interesting. I guess my main point is that we need to get out. Can we win the war, any war…I guess you need to first define “Win”. Does it mean that we set up a Democratic government like our current democratic government? I wouldn’t wish that on my enemies; no onoe deserves corrupt liers, thieves representing them while screwing them in return.

      Does winning mean additional soldiers being burried at Arlington…that’s not a win.

      Do we even need to be there…are they a threat to the US…I don’t think so.

      I can understand a humanitary approach set about to assist a nation grow, but only if they want and ask for the help. BTW: Humanitary approach is not like the one that we initiated in Viet Nam.

      I am one that believes we need to bring our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles home, spend the money we would otherwise spend on weapons, on assiting those dealing with the ill effects of war, helping them re-aclimate to society.

      The war in Iraq and Afganistan are government sponsored efforts, and everything that comes via Washington needs to be answered with “NO”.

      CM

  25. v. Holland says:

    Forcing people to vote-Not a good idea-I had a real problem with Acorn going out and trying to force people to register, set up a booth to make it easy and available but then leave it to the individual to decide if they care enough to register. Voting IMO is important but only people who care enough to want to vote, who take some time to determine who they want to vote for and that it’s important, not forcing people to come in and just pull a lever to save themselves a few bucks.

  26. Hi All

    This seems to go with today’s topic.

    Have a great day.

    Judy

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/10/20/ken-klukowski-voting-rights-indiana-court/

  27. posting for comments

  28. Common Man says:

    USW

    Relative to JAC’s post referrencing Michael Yon, do you know him? What are your thoughts realitve to his efforts?

    CM

  29. A few of you have mentioned the “none of the above” box. Can’t you write in names on most ballots? Why not just write that in?
    My husband, Mr. I don’t want to get involved, told me last night that he is thinking about running for the township supervisor position. I think he’s been watching too much Glenn Beck 😉
    But he is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Involvement in local government is exactly what BF would say is the best course of action if you choose to be involved. It is the only place where you can even HOPE to make a difference, and by running for office yourself, you are ensuring that the representative does indeed represent EACH AND EVERY ONE of your views and positions.

      I believe that BF would say “Bravo” to your husband.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Emphasize ‘run for office yourself’ – where I live the political machinery is deeply entrenched and ‘runs’ local County government, including row offices. The more ‘local’ the better.

        • And what you will find locally is that once the machine is in place, it will fight you hard (and get ugly if necessary) to maintain the status quo. Good for your husband, but be prepared for some long frustrating nights.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Yes, I agree whole-heartedly with you on this one Charlie.

            The size and strength of the local machine is highly dependent on the locality.

            Someplace like Milwaukee or Chicago, or Flint, or Detroit, or anywhere that was highly industrialized and is still highly unionized is likely to have a massive machine in place.

            Many southern locales will also have massive machines in place.

            More rural/western areas that are not as densely populated are less likely to have big local political machinery in place.

            Where the machine is in place, assume that your husband will be tilting at many windmills and be extremely frustrated.

            After enough frustration against one of these machines, the likely outcome is either to give in or give up, but there is always the alternative of continuing the fight and trying to destroy the machine.

            People that try to continue the fight and destroy the machine are often made to lead very miserable lives however….

            • Well I am kind of hoping he is serious about this. I haven’t seen him this passionate about how the government is screwing us in years. He is a stalwart dude with lots of business experience behind him. I totally support his decision. Heck, I’ll even manage his campaign. One baby step at a time. Right guys?

      • Yes, Peter, IF you want to eat sewage and play in politics, local is better.

        I’ll discuss more in Part Deux “How to get There from Here”

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          Well, we all do eat a certain amount of sewage every day regardless. However, I attempt to keep my personal consumption to a minimum 🙂

  30. Off topic but more from The Obama File site:

    http://www.theobamafile.com/ObamaLatest.htm

    Moving Forward

    Attorney Leo C. Donofrio appears to be girding his loins for battle. He’s left the following message on his blog:

    I am speaking with various parties who I may provide legal counsel to in the near future. This will require a period of silence from me. The time for legal talk is now over. The time for legal action has begun. Talk is cheap. I’m tired of it. Either litigation will commence or you won’t hear from me again via this blog.

    This blog contains all the tools necessary for people to gain access to information from Hawaii. The UIPA is a very good law providing standing and expedited calendar service to “any person.” Study that law and use it. Request the media and legislature use it as well. They won’t. You know that. But put it in their face anyway.

    I will report back here when I have something of significance to say regarding litigation.

    For now, I will leave you with one salient point made by the DOJ in the hearing before Judge Carter:

    “It’s the way the founding fathers intended.”

    Page 15 of the transcript.

    Since the DOJ is stipulating that the intention of the founding fathers is the proper guideline for this issue, then we ought to hold them to that position all the way down the line. The definition of “natural born citizen” as understood by the founding fathers is certainly the only definition which is legal under Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5. Barney Frank can’t change that and neither can law professors like Tribe and Dershowitz, etc.

    As the DOJ has correctly indicated, the only definition of natural born citizen that matters is the one held by the founding fathers.

    And that’s why everyone needs to read pages 43-44 of the transcript where Judge Carter indicates that even if Obama were born in Kenya, the Judge would not be comfortable in holding that Obama was not eligible to be POTUS.

    Somebody needs to tell this Judge that the law in the US at the time of Obama’s birth stated quite clearly that Obama would not have qualified for US citizenship in 1961 if born in Kenya to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama Sr. That’s very clear according federal law in 1961. If he wasn’t a citizen, how could he be a “natural born” citizen?

    So, if you think Judge Carter is going to decide the British birth issue in favor of holding Obama ineligible if born in Hawaii, then you are really kidding yourselves. This case has no chance at all.

    I don’t believe Obama was born in Kenya. I believe he was born in Hawaii. But I also believe that the state of Hawaii has been playing fast and loose with their own public disclosure laws and that they should not be trusted, especially since they haven’t been put under oath.

    I also don’t believe it would have mattered to the founding fathers if Obama was born in Hawaii since he was a British citizen at birth, and the founding fathers had just fought a bloody war to rid themselves of British influence. To assume they would have allowed a British citizen at birth to become Commander In Chief of the US armed forces is to disgrace the blood of the patriots who earned this nation’s freedoms and liberties by their very lives.

    For all intents and purposes, the “natural born” citizen safeguard given to this nation by the founding fathers is dead. And the entire Constitution is also dying by a cancer attacking all organs. I t will only survive a certain death by miracle. Pray for such a miracle. It is truly your only hope.

    Good luck, Leo.

  31. Off topic, but thought it’s worth sharing. Took long enough for these guys.

    Vietnam Veterans Honored at White House Nearly 40 Years Later

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009
    By Joshua Rhett Miller

    Soldiers display one of the lesser inconveniences of life in the Cambodian jungle.

    Soldiers display one of the lesser inconveniences of life in the Cambodian jungle.

    For Army Capt. John Poindexter, being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for heroism Tuesday marked an “opportunity to close a chapter” in his life.

    “The general feeling is a pretty intense level of excitement,” Poindexter told Foxnews.com just before he and 85 other Vietnam veterans were honored at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.

    “It will mean to me that I’ve filled an important duty to the men who I literally owe my life to, men who supported me in a desperate battle 40 years ago in the jungles along the Cambodian border.”

    Poindexter, 65, was one of 86 veterans of Troop A, 1st Squadron of the 11th Armored Combat Regiment who were honored for defining the meaning of “bravery and heroism,” President Obama said.

    “As these men will you tell you themselves, this isn’t the story of a battle that changed the course of a war,” Obama said. “It never had a name, like Tet or Hue or Khe Sanh. It never made the papers back home. But like countless battles, known and unknown, it is a proud chapter in the story of the American soldier.”

    The group volunteered to rescue an American infantry company surrounded by enemy forces on the Cambodian border on March 26, 1970.

    “Charlie Company, from the 1st Calvary Division, had stumbled upon a massive underground bunker of North Vietnamese,” Obama said. “A hundred Americans were facing some 400 enemy fighterss. Outnumbered and outgunned, Charlie Company was at risk of being overrun. That’s when Alpha Troop’s captain gave the order: ‘Saddle up and move out.'”

    The Presidential Unit Citation, the highest honor given to a military unit, has been issued since World War II and is awarded to U.S. Armed Forces units that display extraordinary heroism in combat against an armed enemy force. It has been bestowed roughly 100 times, Obama said.

    The commander in chief then thanked Poindexter for realizing the unit’s service “had been overlooked” and noted that the veteran spent years tracking down his fellow soldiers and gathering reports to acquire Silver Stars and Bronze Stars for his men.

    “I cannot imagine a more fitting tribute to these men, who fought in what came to be called The Anonymous Battle,” Obama continued. “Troopers, you are not anonymous anymore.”

    Poindexter was 25 at the time of the mission, and he was wounded in the hand, neck and face by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade. He said he still remembers the sensation of being wounded in battle, along with the “looks on the faces” of the soldiers he led into the fight.

    Now a businessman in Texas, he said the honor, nearly four decades after the battle, came not a minute too soon.

    “I’ve been at it for seven years,” said Poindexter, referring to his quest to file for the citation. “It’s a personal fulfillment.”

  32. From last night on whether or not Afghanistan can be won militarily.

    Black Flag said
    October 19, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    You kill a spider by chopping off its head.

    But trying killing a star fish. It has no head. Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan had heads.

    Every leg you cut off – grows a new star fish.
    The Taliban and the Islamics are starfish.

    The Taliban do not rely on a ‘leader’ in the Western Statist sense.

    The USA kills ‘the leader’ of the Taliban and ‘poof’ – 4 more show up.

    The Apache were the same way – they defeated every invasion. The destroyed the Conquistadors of Spain and it took the USA until 1914 to finally defeat them.

    How? The US government found a way to create a ‘government’ leader by appointing one ‘leader’ to allocate cattle – they turned an Apache into a politician.

    Then they controlled that politician. The Apache folded in less than 2 years.

    The Taliban are immune due to religious differences. They will never fall for the ol’cattle trick.

    Ergo, NATO is doomed.
    Reply

    *
    JudyS. said
    October 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    The Apache folded because there were only I believe 31 warriors left, along with Geronimo, who I think was tricked into surrendering, for they never did get their land back.
    Reply

  33. DOJ forces town to put party labels on candidates for racial reasons

    A small North Carolina city is getting a taste of what life is like now that the Justice Department is run by Attorney General Eric Holder. When the city voters decided to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, the Justice Department came down on them like the proverbial load of bricks.

    The Department overruled the decisions of the voters and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without candidates being clearly labeled as Democrats.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/10/doj_forces_town_to_put_party_l.html

    • Hi LOI

      Excuse me, but isn’t the race card always brought up in some way or other? I’d like to know how he plans on stamping out racism. Always been an issue, and always will be.

    • What Holder is really saying is that black voters cannot choose a candidate based on the candidates political platform, without being labelled. This is a very clear statement. As I read this, Holder is saying that black voters are not smart enough to vote without help. This is as racist as anything I’ve heard from a public official. If this were the Bush administration, the NAACP would be screaming racism.

      G!

      • HEY G

        Of course they would be. I’m getting so sick of the race card issue, I can just scream. Wait, I think I will.AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

        There.

        Judy

      • v. Holland says:

        It’s also his way of saying only democrats care about black people.

    • v. Holland says:

      “One by one the penguins are stealing my sanity”

    • This serves as a clear example of how important the votes of the citizens are in that community as well. They voted, and it meant nothing, things remain the same.

      • You know as well as I do, that those who voted for the first time, all those young voters who voted for Obama, didn’t have a clue as to what or who they were voting for. Matthew said at his University during the campaign, they asked people there who they were voting for, they said Obama, he asked why, Because they said he wanted change. Do you have any ideas on what his issues are and what he stands for? NO!, That he just wanted change. So that’s the reason you’re voting for him, YES, they said.

        I think that’s why we’re in the deep doo doo department, people voting for something they didn’t have a clue on.

        That’s my opinion anyway.

    • Wow, talk about the dumbing down of people. That article is incredible.

  34. This should not be made public, this is strictly between a woman and her doctor, and it should not be required for doctors to publicize who had one, but starting in 2 weeks, it will be law.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/20/new-oklahoma-abortion-law-violates-patient-privacy-critics-charg

  35. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    A bit more on Slavery in the US for those who seem to so easily forget (or to not even know History at all).

    Many of us seem to have the illusion that the history of this country started with a flash and a bang in 1776, or perhaps 1789, or perhaps some other date.

    This is wholly short-sighted and wrong. The history of “America” as we know it (the European colonization of America) started long before that.

    It MUST be remembered that under British Colonial Law in America slavery was completely legal.

    Further, under British Colonial Law, slaves were not “people”. In fact, slaves were PROPERTY. This was the original source of the conflict that many of the founding fathers had over slavery. They simultaneously realized that under NATURAL LAW, slaves were, in fact, people. Because they were in fact people, Natural Law must therefore apply to them. That being the case, Slavery and Freedom were obviously contradictory.

    However, under British Colonial Law (much of which was adopted into the articles of confederation and later the constitution), they were clearly property, and under natural law, man has the right to life, liberty, and property. Hence the big contradiction. If the founding fathers had declared that all slaves were in fact people and not property, obviously all slaves would have had to have been freed immediately and recognized to have the same rights as all other people.

    However, it was obvious at that time that such a decision would cause the southern colonies to not ratify the constitution, thus rendering the whole point irrelevant. If the northern colonies had abolished slavery, the southern colonies would never have ratified the constitution, and the United States would never have formed in the first place! States like Virginia would have likely split in two over this.

    So, as a matter of pragmatism, and as a recognition of the fact that under the current law of the time slaves were property and not “persons”, the decision was made to let slavery stand.

    This is seen as one of the greatest evils of the founding of our Republic. It provides a FINE example of the evils of pragmatism.

    Had the founding fathers stood on PRINCIPLE, we would likely not have had a United States as we know it now. We would have had a union of states without slavery, and a second union of states with slavery, and the two might well have been incompatible, or they might have eventually worked things out between them, but the world will never know.

    This is precisely why accusing the founding fathers of hypocrisy is accurate, but also silly.

    They had several conflicting forces going on:

    1. Many of them recognized slaves as people. As such, they recognized that slaves were entitled to freedom and liberty, just like everyone else.

    2. Many of them simultaneously recognized slaves as property which had been bought and paid for, so freeing them would require recompense to those that lost valuable property. The government at the time did not have the resources to provide recompense to the slave-holders who would be deprived of their property. The northern colonies were not about to pay the southern colonies large sums of money in order to abolish slavery.

    3. Many of them also recognized that there would be no union if the effort was made to abolish slavery right then and there. It was decided that the formation of a “stable” union was preferable to attempting to abolish slavery.

    4. Many of the founding fathers recognized that this decision was a terrible one to have to make. Even though it led to the ratification of the constitution, many regretted the “necessity” of maintaining the legality of slavery within the union.

    As we can all see, the whole situation arose from British Colonial Law, far before the revolution ever even took place. Also, we can all see that the situation was far more complicated than people like Charlie would have us believe when he writes something like, ““I have no fear the the RESULT of our experiment WILL BE that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.”

    And in the meantime, folks, you leave me with my slaves and I’ll leave you with yours.

    Come on, Peter. This is stretching and revisionism. How can you quote these guys in support of your arguments about liberty? It’s the same as morality + social darwinism being compatable to lefty’s like me.”

    His analysis is extremely shallow, and does not even begin to scratch the surface of why slavery was permitted to exist in the fledgling United States, and it also does not explain in the least the fact that people like Washington and Jefferson personally owned slaves while at the same time abhorring the whole practice of slavery.

    There were many factors at the time that caused them to continue to own slaves in spite of their own personal objections. Many were family and social. For example, George Washington absolutely HATED slavery, but Martha Washington, and others in George’s family, were perfectly fine with it, and actively fought any attempts he made to free the slaves. Martha actually owned more slaves (through inheritance) than George did. George did not control the fate of most of the slaves on his estate, because legeally, most of them belonged to Martha.

    Now, it is true in an ideal world, that Washington and Jefferson SHOULD have said, “To hell with the evils of pragmatism, we are going to do what is RIGHT and abolish slavery right here and now!”

    They would have been sacrificing the union of the 13 colonies, and perhaps only had a union of 6 or 7 colonies. Perhaps Virginia would have split up, and half would have joined.

    The South would have formed a separate union, with a separate government. The result of this MAY have been that the States would have been too weak and disunified to resist in the war of 1812, and perhaps British rule would have been restored.

    As it is, we will never know. All I do know for sure is that if you say, “I don’t care what Jefferson said about freedom and liberty because that bastard owned SLAVES” is a pretty silly position to hold.

    • “His analysis is extremely shallow, and does not even begin to scratch the surface of why slavery was permitted to exist in the fledgling United States, and it also does not explain in the least the fact that people like Washington and Jefferson personally owned slaves while at the same time abhorring the whole practice of slavery.”

      Once again, how white of you to point out how much personal angst Washington and Jefferson had over owning slaves. You have to be kidding. And trust me on this, I know American History pretty well, thanks.

      The only comment you made above that made sense (to me) was “As it is, we will never know”.

      Nobody called what Jefferson said silly … but you have to admit (maybe not you) it is a bit off the wall considering the man “owned” slaves. Yes, they were property and not persons. Does that create more angst for him? Imagine if he were property?

      There’s no arguing this one out, my friend. His statements about freedom are more than skewed once you take into consideration he was a slave owner. It starts on a completely flawed assumption and rolls along (with the help of you) for nearly 200 years.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “Once again, how white of you to point out how much personal angst Washington and Jefferson had over owning slaves. You have to be kidding. And trust me on this, I know American History pretty well, thanks.”

        Hey Charlie,

        Thanks for the racist comment and the condescention. So far, you have shown that you perhaps “know” American history, but you possess very little, if ANY UNDERSTANDING of it whatsoever.

        I am glad that you make this so apparent to everyone here on a daily basis by presenting ad-hominem attacks such as “how white of you” rather than presenting anything factual for us to debate.

        It simply shows your complete lack of understanding for all to see.

  36. MHO on the voting issue. All my life, my geographical area has always been run by the Democrats. I cannot remember ever a Republican or Independent getting elected to any office, no matter how small.

    For 30 years, the politicians keep promising better times in the “Rust Belt”. For 30 years, the citizens keep voting the Dems in, and the citizens actually got poorer than they were 10 years ago. They keep voting the same party, expecting, each election, that the results will be different. This is insanity at it’s best, so I, based on my own experience believe that voting is useless. It serves no good purpose to the people who vote, but lines the pockets of a select few. More insanity.

    Charlie’s comments on the political machine are correct here as well. They are what controls who gets elected. I don’t have a reasonable answer to cure these problems, as the only way out I see, is unreasonable, Revolution part II.

    G!

    • I agree with the revolution part (even if it comes from polar extreme views) … we’ve been sandbagged by the Dems and Reps and the money behind them. Nothing is going to change (dramatically) in our lifetime unless somebody pushes the wrong button(s).

      I still can’t believe there wasn’t open revolt over the Bailouts … that absolutely proved to me that we (the people) have zero influence. Those bailouts were absolutely criminal.

      • Hi Charlie,

        You said what the problem may be:

        I still can’t believe there wasn’t open revolt over the Bailouts … that absolutely proved to me that we (the people) have zero influence. Those bailouts were absolutely criminal.

        I agree with you here as well, but you answered your own disbelief:

        Nothing is going to change (dramatically) in our lifetime unless somebody pushes the wrong button(s).

        That’s why there was no revolt, too few people to take the chance, and too many weak minded wimps not willing to fight for what is right. Without the numbers, we were forced to yell and hollar, and then get bent over like some prison bitch (still think we aren’t slaves?).

        G!

        p.s. At least we agreed on something!!!

        • Hi guys

          I’m inclined to believe that people are getting dumber by the day, and that they have become Obamabots. Anybody that will start a revolution, I think I’m ready. It’s getting to the point where you can’t trust anybody anymore. I mean government, not you people.

          You know Jim was talking about going to Australia next summer to check things out there, to see if it’s any better there than here. What do you think?

          Judy

          • Better in what way?

            They have government who is doing essentially the same things the USA is doing.

            They have high taxes.

            And they have a lot of spiders.

            • Well, G Whiz there BF, he was just thinking about it, nothing permanent. Guess truth be told, there probably isn’t any place that’s any better then, right.

              And thanks for telling me about the spiders, needed to really hear that one. I know they have spiders, I’m not a big fan. If they’re anything like those camel spiders, I’m staying home.

              • Right now, the US is the best place. Give it a couple of years, then decide which is the better place. If we’re wrong about where the country is headed, then we all stay put. If we’re right, then all bets are pretty much off, aren’t they?

              • Hi Cyndi

                Yea, but who knows what this country will be like in a couple years?

                I just happened to mention the Australia, because of what Jim had said. He just wants to go there next summer to check things out, maybe, it all depends on the finances.

          • A revolution may occur when they cram health care down our throats, pass cap and trade and grant all illegal aliens amnesty. USW and Black Flag think that is the worse thing that can happen. Governments like violence because they can put it down.

            The question I have is will the Army shoot on American Citizens. Is Obama a naturalized born citizen? Will the Army blindly follow orders? Would USW, if he were still in the Army, shoot on American Citizens that just want the Constitution followed as written?

            I’m all for secession. Texas probably would be the first state to go.

            • I believe the American army would fire on Americans.

              They’ve done it before….

              • BF, I will agree, that if the violence starts inside the major cities, which is where I feel that it will, the military would fire on it’s citizens. I also think that if the discontent flows over to the vets and average person, they would change sides. They are required to protect the Constitution, not the government. Besides, there our kids, not the elites kids, and from what I’m hearing, most don’t like whats going on now anyway, and are getting alittle peaved!

                Just my 2 pennies!

                G!

              • But, you don’t think they would shoot to kill, do you? God, I hope it doesn’t come down to that.

              • below

            • “The question I have is will the Army shoot on American Citizens.”

              That’s the key … if we’re ever to the point where we hit a depression (a real one), the military may just side with where they come from … then big money and gov’t are in deep shit. I still don’t see it coming in my lifetime but it’s nice to dream.

              • Hey Charlie How ya doing?

              • Charlie Stella:

                There is a group I believe called “Oath Keepers” that only want the constitution followed. They have police officers and other groups that have signed the pledge not to follow any orders that are unconstitutional in nature. The oath is to follow the constitution, just like all politicians pledge when they are sworn into office. I don’t know how large the group or movement is at this time. It gives me some hope that citizens know what is going on within the government. If some LEO’s are signing the pledge, that’s a good sign. I hope that the military sign the pledge or can be made aware of it. All military personnel already pledge an oath to the constitution but their commander in chief is the president and our current president and other presidents ignore the constitution.

                It’s movements like oath keepers, blogs like this one, tea parties and other events that give me some hope.

        • I don’t think it’s a question of weak minded people or wimps … I truly believe it has to do with being brain-killed by technology and the market (we’re one spoiled people on the whole). Text messaging, etc. seems more important than reading. Our kids (too many of them) will be even more brain dead. They don’t see what’s going on under their noses.

          • Charlie,

            That is what the elite said when paperbacks were printed “It will corrupt the youth!”

            …and what the elite said when newspapers were invented, radio was invented and TV was invented and so on.

            The elite HATE broad communication between free people – “My God – They may get the idea they don’t need government!!”

            The complaint that we ‘have too much stuff’ – that’s called a “personal choice”.

            If your complaint was true, we’d be happier starving to death in a cave. But, by historical knowledge, we know we would not be.

            Stuff doesn’t make us happy or free. But it can make our lives better if we chose.

            Lots of stuff is merely a measure of lots of choices. It does not replace intelligent choices.

            I like lots of choices.

  37. Common Man says:

    All;

    Since we have a great deal of learned folks posting on this site I will ask:

    Years ago a friend of mine suggested a book that tells the tale about a society that deals with an entitlement mentatlity run amuck. As the story goes those that produce a commodity are slowly diminished by those with an entitlement mentality and the government that supports that mentality. As a result those who are still producing gather together secretively and decide to leave the community in the dark of the night, find an island and start over. Initially those left behind don’t notice the departure of the producers until production shortages are an issue and commodities dwindle. Eventually those left behind starve because they have no knowledge how to produce and they begin to feed upon themselves to a point there is nothing left. They never find out where the producers went and as such the producers live prosperously ever after.

    Does anyone know the title of this book and the author?

    Cm

    • Common Man says:

      All

      And BTW…I highly recommend a short read. “Who moved my Cheese”, by Spencer Johnson. It will only take a couple of hours to read, but is a great story relative to dealing with our current national circumstance.

      Things are changing and those of us who wish to maintain our way of life must understand that we cannot set back and wait for things to return to normal. We need to seek alternative avenues and methods for moving forward. We cannot rely on others or the establishment to return things to how they were.

      I highly recommend the book to all and their children.

      CM

    • It sounds a little like Atlas Shrugged.

  38. v. Holland says:

    Super Granny Super Granny

    Super Granny Super Granny: Defender of Justice (True Story)
    An elderly lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle.
    She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at them at the top of her voice, “I have a gun and I know how to use it!
    Get out of the car you scum bags!”

    The four men didn’t wait for a second invitation but got out and ran like mad, where upon the lady, somewhat shaken, proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and get into the driver’s seat.
    She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried and then it dawned on her why.
    A few minutes later she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down.
    She loaded her bags into her car and drove to the police station.
    The sergeant to whom she told the story nearly tore himself in two with laughter and pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale white males were reporting a car jacking by a mad elderly woman described as white, less than 5′ tall, with glasses, and curly white hair, carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed.

    Ah, senior moments!

  39. Taking time to ‘slow down’ is a good lesson for us all…

    Read This Slowly

    Jack took a long look at his speedometer Before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone.
    Fourth time in as many months..
    How could a guy get caught so often?

    When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour,
    Jack pulled over, but only partially.
    Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard.
    Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror.
    The cop was stepping out of his car,
    The big pad in hand..

    Bob? Bob from Church?
    Jack sunk farther into his trench coat.
    This was worse than the coming ticket.
    A cop catching a guy from his own church.
    A guy who happened to be a little eager
    To get home after a long day at the office..
    A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow..

    Jumping out of the car,
    He approached a man he saw every Sunday,
    A man he’d never seen in uniform.

    ‘Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this.’

    ‘Hello, Jack.’ No smile.

    ‘Guess you caught me red-handed
    In a rush to see my wife and kids.’

    ‘Yeah, I guess.’ Bob seemed uncertain.
    Good.

    ‘I’ve seen some long days at the office lately.
    I’m afraid I bent the rules a bit -just this once.’

    Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement.
    ‘Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight.
    Know what I mean?’

    ‘I know what you mean.
    I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct .’
    Ouch.
    This was not going in the right direction.
    Time to change tactics.

    ‘What’d you clock me at?’

    ‘Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?’

    ‘Now wait a minute here, Bob.
    I checked as soon as I saw you.
    I was barely nudging 65.’
    The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.

    ‘Please, Jack, in the car’

    Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard..
    He was in no rush to open the window.

    The minutes ticked by.
    Bob scribbled away on the pad..

    Why hadn’t he asked for a driver’s license?

    Whatever the reason,
    It would be a month of Sundays
    Before Jack ever sat near this cop again.

    A tap on the door jerked his head to the left.
    There was Bob, a folded paper in hand
    Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches,
    Just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.

    ‘Thanks..’
    Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.

    Bob returned to his police car without a word.
    Jack watched his retreat in the mirror.
    Jack unfolded the sheet of paper.
    How much was this one going to cost?

    Wait a minute.
    What was this? Some kind of joke?

    Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:

    ‘Dear Jack, Once upon a time I had a daughter..
    She was six when killed by a car.
    You guessed it – a speeding driver.
    A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free.
    Free to hug his daughters, all three of them.
    I only had one, and I’m going to have to wait until Heaven
    Before I can ever hug her again.

    A thousand times I’ve tried to forgive that man.
    A thousand times I thought I had.
    Maybe I did, but I need to do it again.
    Even now.
    Pray for me.
    And be careful, Jack,
    my son is all I have left.’

    ‘Bob’

    Jack turned around in time to see Bob’s car
    pull away and head down the road.
    Jack watched until it disappeared.
    A full 15 minutes later, he too,
    pulled away and drove slowly home,
    praying for forgiveness and
    hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived…

    Life is precious.
    Handle with care.
    This is an important message;
    please pass it along to your friends.
    Drive safely and carefully.
    Remember, cars are not the only things
    recalled by their maker.

    Funny how you can send a thousand jokes
    through e-mail and they spread like wildfire,
    but when you start sending messages
    regarding the sanctity of life,
    people think twice about sharing.

    Funny how when you go to forward this message,
    you will not send it to many on your address list
    because you’re not sure what they believe,
    or what they will think of you
    for sending it to them.

    Pass this on,
    you may save a life.
    Maybe not,
    but we’ll never know if we don’t try.

    May today there be peace within you.
    May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
    ‘I believe that friends are quiet angels
    who lift us to our feet
    when our wings
    have trouble remembering how to fly.’

    Just send this to (4) people
    and see what happens on the fourth

    The life you save may be .

    Your own child or grandchild.

  40. South Carolina, Maryland to Wear Camouflage Football Uniforms to Honor Vets

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    NEW YORK — The South Carolina and Maryland football teams will wear uniforms with camouflage designs for their games on Nov. 14, two days before Veterans Day.

    An announcement was scheduled Tuesday by the schools. The effort will honor those who have served in the military and promote the Wounded Warrior Project.

    The black and tan camouflage uniforms, designed by Under Armour, will have a Wounded Warrior logo patch. The jerseys worn by the Gamecocks and Terrapins will have words such as courage, loyalty and integrity on their backs.

    No. 23 South Carolina hosts No. 2 Florida on Nov. 14, while Maryland plays at home against No. 15 Virginia Tech.

    The Wounded Warrior Project provides services and programs for injured military men and women.

  41. Not sure if this has been posted here, but I loved this. Bonus points to anyone who can follow the whole thing without using the cheat notes.

    http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfight/index.htm

    • Hi Mathius

      Started watching it at work, got half way through, then had to leave, maybe I’ll finish it in a little while.

  42. Saw this on onenewsnow, it’s about bailing out bus companies, and guess whose footing the bill.

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=729408

  43. I’d like to take ya’ll back to the good ole days for alittle while. In the very early 80’s, cable TV came to town, a great thing back then (not so today, but who knew). In one day we went from 3 channels to 27 channels, including the beginning of MTV (when it was actually good and showed all music and concerts). As a young man, I always like Pro Wrestling, went to see them live since I could remember with Dad and relatives. Saw quite alot in those days. The first year we had cable, we had a channel called MSG (Madison Square Garden). It only showed live events as they occurred.

    I found this 2 part video of a wrestling match from that year, before digital technology, and thought I’d share with all of you. Warning, the second half is not for the weak stomach folks, it’s quite brutal. This came to my mind as I was cutting grass thinking about how mad I was at Holder, I pulled a RAY, LOL

    So for the fans of the past here are both parts:

    • Warning on this part, rather bloody!

      • Hi G

        Watched it fast, kept pushing it to go faster. I had an uncle that was a big wrestling fan. He would get so excited, that he would be at the edge of his chair, in fact he got so excited one day, he fell out of his chair. He was from Spain, and boy, did he used to cuss out those wrestlers, as well as the referee’s.

  44. Another interesting article on amnesty.

    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=729432

  45. Judy, Unless things have changed, shoot to wound is not taught to our troops. They would most likely only defend themselves, I never said that those of us that are somewhat smart are going to take on the military in an armed conflict. I do not wish to shoot at our own kids, no more than they would want to shoot at us. The threat, if considerable, would keep things at the talking table, not the battlefield. Here’s some numbers to think about, 13 million vets, 80 million gun owners, 280 million guns at their disposal. That’s considerable. Violence could be avoided, if intelligent minds can come together and use common sense. D.C. have been underestimating the population for quite some time. We aren’t suicidal, just want to get our freedom back!

    G!

    • I got it G, I was just saying, Well, let’s just hope it doesn’t come down to that either. Scary when you think about it though.

    • G-Man:

      But here is the key question. Your words: “We aren’t suicidal, just want to get our freedom back!”

      My question to you: Who are “WE” and how many of “WE” are there in reality?

      All 13 million Vets are not on the side of Liberty. They may think they are but as we have seen over the past few months, many folks who say they want freedom have no idea what that means.

      My question is not to antagonize but to focus on the reality of the situation and what is needed moving forward.

      Missed you earlier today.
      JAC

      • Good question JAC.

        Kinda wish I knew that answer. I’m at the point where there is a crossroads in many minds. The “what the can we do” crowd, and I equate that to the groups I’ve mentioned. I base this on conversations at work, when I’m traveling into East Central PA, and just listening when I have to do some dreaded shopping, LOL.

        Out in the country areas that I frequent, it’s far different than in the city. The vet’s, farmers and locals have there panties in a twist, compared to what I hear in the city. I would say the “we” is those folks in the country areas, who are far better prepared for this than those in the city.

        Of course, I’m looking at those that can move on without entitlements (which most don’t have, and are not happy with). I reckon that I can identify the “we” as those who are against the entitlement mentallity, or mostly non-city folk.

        Just my perception, nothing more. If there is anyone that posts here that wants to join my “we” crowd, the more the stronger.

        G!

  46. 1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
    2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
    3. From courage to liberty;
    4. From liberty to abundance;
    5. From abundance to complacency;
    6. From complacency to apathy;
    7. From apathy to dependence;
    8. From dependence back into bondage

    The “R” word – Revolution….I keep reading this in blogs & there is a new book out precisely on modern day Americans who, in a small town stand up to federal tyranny & start the 2nd American Revolution. It’s a great read!! (A Time To Stand by Oliver)

    If you want to know what’s coming down the pike, in the nxt 3 yrs. then read it. It’s could be about your town or mine. I recommend everyone to read it cause the near future isn’t going to be pretty.

    http://www.booksbyoliver.com

  47. Mathius

    Well, for starters, I am setting the bar pretty low: some basic level of understanding of the matters/people on which you are voting, and some non-partisan research. Not so much to ask, really?

    Yes, it is too much.

    You are merely providing your subjective view of qualification.

    Why isn’t mine acceptable? Why isn’t the guy across the street’s subjective view acceptable?

    Any time you designate yourself as someone who can determine anothers rights, you run afoul to subjectivity. What makes you right and another opinion wrong?

    I do not recognize your right to use an uninformed vote to cancel my informed one.

    Prove to me you are sufficiently informed to make that claim!

    If a meteor were hurtling toward the Earth and we had one missile we could launch to intercept it with. We might take a survey to find the best firing trajectory. If we survey scientists, we’ll hit the asteroid. If we recognize the right of any yahoo to vote, we will miss and all die. How is it different with government?

    The difference between science and mysticism, Matt.

    You have no reasoned grounds at all to prove government as a moral tool of human action.

    I do have reasoned grounds of science and its ability to understand the universe.

    Just because you would like to have a beer with the guy does not mean he should be running your economy – he doesn’t drink anyway.

    You highlight precisely my point.

    Why do YOU think you have the brains to run an economy? You are no different at all from the beer-buddy. You are both idiots to believe you can ‘run an economy’ – and you are worse – at least he probably knows he is an idiot and you are pretending you are not.

    What’s the best way to enforce all this? I haven’t a clue, and wouldn’t try. The potential for abuse is (at this stage) prohibitive. Thus breed and vote away, oh teeming masses! But I do think we’d all be better off if they stayed home and watched Ricky Lake instead.

    It is to enforce, Matt.

    No person has a right to determine the rights of another person.

    Then, the stupid have no right to tell you what to do.

    And you don’t tell them either.

  48. Hi BF

    Question. Are you in any way interested in astronomy? I was just reading what you had said to Matt, and was just wondering.

    • I built my own telescopes (12″ and a 6″ Newtonian) (with my Dad’s help) when I was 10 years old.

      I ground my own mirrors, built my own stands, clock drives, etc with parts we scrounged from junk yard and garbage dumps. It took about a year for each telescope.

      The only thing I bought was the lenses and paid for the silvering of the mirrors.

      So, yeah – it’s a ‘mild’ interest of mine 🙂

      • HI BF

        I really enjoy looking at the stars on a clear night, just gazing up at them, wondering. Don’t have a telescope to look through though. I love being where there is no city lights, somewhere way out of the city and looking at all the different shapes the stars make. My son told me I should go sit in on one of the classes at the university and listen to the lectures to see if I like it, then maybe join the class.

  49. I find it amusing to listen to people debate how to deal with a democracy – which is merely people voting to violate other people’s rights – with all sorts of twists to try to avoid the inevitable tyranny of violating another person’s rights!

    “Let’s setup a Republic, so to tame the tyranny we have created with democracy!” (Let’s not be a tyranny, oh No! That we cannot do!!!”)

    “Hey, let’s set up an Electoral College to moderate a Republic that is meant to moderate a democracy and its tyranny!” (But, let’s not violate another person’s rights by a vote?? Oh nO! We can’t stop doing that!!)

    “Hey, let’s add a Senate, a Congress, a President and veto’s and that will moderate the government, chosen by an Electoral, meant to moderate a Republic, meant to moderate a democracy and its tyranny!” Yeah, how’s that workin’ for ya??!

    When will the People realize that there is never enough ‘levels’ of protection from evil, if one agrees to the create and believe in evil from the beginning??

    As long as the People believe they have a right to destroy their fellow human being’s rights, does it matter how many moderation are created to try to stop this tyranny?

  50. Sorry folks I do not have time to read everything tonight so I will just post my thoughts and take care of other business.

    1. I find it disheartening that people cannot find the time to go to the county clerks office and register to vote. However, given the desire for simplicity and ease, I would support letting the DMV do the job provided that there is sufficient documentation presented to prove citizenship. I do not support registration by mail. It should be done face to face. Here in CA there was an effort to give illegals drivers licenses that were indistinguishable from permenant residents and citizens. Arnie at least vetoed that.

    2. Voting should remain a voluntary right not a mandated duty. We have an employee in Belgium that must vote or get fined. He goes and then turns in a blank ballot. Why coerce someone that is not interested?

    3. I support NOTA (none of the above) as a permanent candidate for every office. If NOTA gets more than 50% of the vote, all candidates are disqualified and the election is a do over without them. They will be qualified when the current term of office is completed. This allows the voters to send a very clear message rejecting all candidates and stops the lesser of two evisl approach to voting. It is prefered to not voting for the office since that is a not interested or uniformed choice.

    4. We need to stop the gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts. This can be done by imposing a simple mathematical rule limiting ratio of the perimeter length to the area of district. This would stop the snake like districts. The legislatures could still draw the boundaries. If a district fails the P/A rule then a panel of retired judges or maybe even the Supreme Court of the state should then be final arbiter.

    5. The IVR (instant runoff) is a novel approach that I have not experienced yet so do not as yet have an opinion. It sounds like some would apply this to the primary elections but many people skip the primary and wait for the general election. So the elections would need to be resturctured.

    6. I have no problem requiring a photo ID to vote. Years ago, every voter had to have a voters registration card. This provided proof or residency in the district. When you moved and re-registered, the card was collected and sent to the old district to take your name off their roles. A photo ID with residence would eliminate much voter fraud. A drivers license would be acceptable if the DMV required sufficient proof of citizenship prior to issuance. The DL should have check box for citizenship. Citizentship is one of our most prized possessions in this country we should value it and acknowledge it. If we treat it lightly or cheaply, then it has no meaning and those who are not citizens will not strive to earn it.

    7. I fail to see why we had a mad rush to computerized voting machines especially the touch screens after the 2000 election. Why choose an expensive, complex, limited lifetime tool to replace a #2 pencil when it will be used about 3 times a year? It is one more abstraction that removes people from the pleasure of the voting process. The most enjoyable voting experience I had was in Groton, MA in the 1980 election. You x’d the boxes on a sheet of paper, folded it in half longwise, and then inserted it between the rollers on the ballot box. An 80+ year old man then turned a crank pulling the ballot into the box. It was a trip back in history full of tradition and very satisfying. I felt connected to the founding fathers. As a side note, the Federal govenment was supposed to come up with standards for electronic voting machines prior to the ’08 elections. They failed. Just one more reason I do not want them keep my medical records or dictating my medical care.

    Well enough for tonight. Off to take care of the wife.

    • T-Ray – You’re on target there and batting 1000 – too bad that it will be 0 for 7 with our politicians !

      BTW – my town has only one poll location and ONLY paper ballots !! Then again – looks like don;t have that many folks here! population density of 6.30 people per sq. mile for Census 2000 LOL

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