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Author Topic: Mitt Romney's halo  (Read 58263 times)
Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #340 on: October 15, 2012, 05:56:00 PM »
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I suppose you all know that registering to vote is mandatory in Australia, if one is an Australian citizen and over the age of 18.

If one doesn't vote in either a State or National election, one will be fined, unless one has a good excuse. During the last state elections in the State where I live in Australia, I was out of the country at the time. Shortly after returning to Australia I received a letter from the Electoral Office asking why I had not voted. I was given a deadline to reply, after which I would be fined, and also fined if my explanation wasn't acceptable.

Fortunately, my explanation was acceptable. Very reasonable of them.  Grin

If voting is mandatory in Australia, do they include a "none of the above" choice on the ballot? The commonly accepted way of indicating that sentiment is to spoil the ballot, but giving an explicit choice might be an interesting experiment. Of course if that choice won a majority, I'm not sure how anyone would be better off.
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markadams99
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« Reply #341 on: October 15, 2012, 07:26:14 PM »
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Why are you guys so evasive and secretive when it comes to actually spelling out what are those "illegitimate things"? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, school lunch milk, unemployment benefits...? What else would you eliminate?
All of those. The Feds have no enumerated constitutional authority for any of them. The States do.

Franklin Pierce's refusal to release federal land to aid the insane is a superb text on this: http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/misc/1854-pvm.htm

In general compulsory 'charity' is badly done and crowds out voluntary charity as well as introducing socially corrosive perverse incentives.
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RSL
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« Reply #342 on: October 15, 2012, 08:19:14 PM »
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Don't forget Big Bird. There's absolutely no excuse for taxpayers being forced to cough up for NPR. And, as Mark pointed out there's no provision for Big Bird in the United States Constitution.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #343 on: October 15, 2012, 08:24:05 PM »
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Russ, is there a provision in the Constitution to have military budget bigger than all the military budgets of the rest of the world combined?
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Slobodan

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #344 on: October 15, 2012, 08:27:30 PM »
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All of those. The Feds have no enumerated constitutional authority for any of them. The States do...

So, are you against those only at the federal level, but in favor at the states level? Or against them whatever level they are?
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Slobodan

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RSL
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« Reply #345 on: October 15, 2012, 08:32:29 PM »
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Russ, is there a provision in the Constitution to have military budget bigger than all the military budgets of the rest of the world combined?

Article 1, Section 8.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #346 on: October 15, 2012, 08:52:53 PM »
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That's great Russ, but it bypasses my question, which was not about the defense function itself, but about the size of it.

But while we are at the Article 1, Section 8, one thing caught my attention:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; "

I admit I am not a constitutional scholar, so I am sure someone will enlighten me in that respect (no sarcasm here): what does that "general welfare" entail? Sounds awfully close to the "unconstitutional" and "forced charity" things I enumerated earlier, no?
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Slobodan

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #347 on: October 15, 2012, 09:16:31 PM »
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If that's "good company" I'm a cheshire cat.

Hmmm... given that, for you, "best" does not mean "best," "education" does not mean "education," IMF is not conservative... no, I would not agree with your self-chosen characterization as a Cheshire Cat... but you could be quite easily another character from the same pool, say, Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

 Grin
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #348 on: October 15, 2012, 09:17:00 PM »
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Franklin Pierce's refusal to release federal land to aid the insane is a superb text on this

All one can say to that is tht it was also legal to own slaves in 1854.

Times change ... that was the century before last century!

Wake up and smell the modern world ... We settled all that crap in the 1930s.
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Ray
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« Reply #349 on: October 15, 2012, 09:28:24 PM »
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If voting is mandatory in Australia, do they include a "none of the above" choice on the ballot? The commonly accepted way of indicating that sentiment is to spoil the ballot, but giving an explicit choice might be an interesting experiment. Of course if that choice won a majority, I'm not sure how anyone would be better off.

I'm not sure how useful that would be, but it might serve some purpose to get an idea of the extent of the "donkey" vote. At present, for the Federal elections and most State elections, we have a preferential voting system. The ballot paper contains a list of all the candidates for a particular seat, maybe half a dozen or so, and the voter is supposed to place a number in each box next to each candidate's name (from 1 to 6) in order of preference.

When a reluctant voter who may not be interested in politics and doesn't want to think about the issues, places his preference in numerical order from 1 at the top of the ballot paper to 6 at the bottom of the ballot paper (instead of, for example, 314562 which might indicate a thoughtful vote), the vote is described as a "donkey" vote.

However, in situations where there are fewer candidates for a particular seat, the percentage of donkey votes becomes less certain.

The other issue is in the definition of compulsory voting. It's really a misnomer. What is compulsory is attendance at the voting booth. If a voter wishes to fill out the form incorrectly, or deface it, thus making the vote invalid, he's free to do so. There's no-one looking over his shoulder as he fills in the ballot paper.

I believe such 'informal' votes, as they are known, constitute about 4% to 5% of the total votes on average, but who knows how many donkey votes there are! Impossible to calculate precisely.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #350 on: October 15, 2012, 09:31:52 PM »
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That's great Russ, but it bypasses my question, which was not about the defense function itself, but about the size of it.

But while we are at the Article 1, Section 8, one thing caught my attention:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; "

I admit I am not a constitutional scholar, so I am sure someone will enlighten me in that respect (no sarcasm here): what does that "general welfare" entail? Sounds awfully close to the "unconstitutional" and "forced charity" things I enumerated earlier, no?

This is where it gets tricky.  The strictest interpretation has been that the paying off of national debt was the only form of "general welfare" and that unemployment and social welfare programs are for the "specific welfare" of certain individuals, while others have successfully argued a much broader interpretation.

The supreme court ruled Social Security was constitutional ... But Russ will probably remind us that FDR stacked the court ...
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louoates
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« Reply #351 on: October 15, 2012, 09:43:06 PM »
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Here's a good source re "General Welfare": http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/General+Welfare
The original General Welfare term was a very strict one, simply describing paying for expenses directly incurred in the limited scope of the federal government and had no bearing whatever on any other general welfare schemes that the states decided to pass on their own, as they had full and exclusive powers to do so as set out in the tenth amendment.
   As most would observe, the courts haven't weighed in much to keep the federal hands out of our pockets under the guise of General Welfare.
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markadams99
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« Reply #352 on: October 15, 2012, 11:09:19 PM »
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So, are you against those only at the federal level, but in favor at the states level? Or against them whatever level they are?
1. They're all unconstitutional at the federal level.
2. Personally I'd vote against all non-emergency welfare programs dependent on government with a very few exceptions, principally involving a safety net for children.
3. I'm ok with a state democratically voting for welfare programs providing the electorate is confined to those who'd pay for it, ie net taxpayers.
4. If a state acts like a typical blue state in borrowing money for exorbitant government salaries and pensions and load the debt onto our grandchildren, then that's ok by me because sane Californians can migrate to Texas. 
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RSL
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« Reply #353 on: October 16, 2012, 10:06:40 AM »
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This is where it gets tricky.  The strictest interpretation has been that the paying off of national debt was the only form of "general welfare" and that unemployment and social welfare programs are for the "specific welfare" of certain individuals, while others have successfully argued a much broader interpretation.

The supreme court ruled Social Security was constitutional ... But Russ will probably remind us that FDR stacked the court ...

Good for you, Jeremy. Right on both counts. And the battle's not over yet. Once things get bad enough in the US I'd start looking for a return to the principles that made us what we were before the decline of the last 80 years. FDR put us on the path to disaster but that doesn't mean we have to stay on that path.
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RSL
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« Reply #354 on: October 16, 2012, 10:46:06 AM »
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That's great Russ, but it bypasses my question, which was not about the defense function itself, but about the size of it.

Why do you suppose the Soviet Union finally packed it in, Slobodan? Are you suggesting we should let Europe provide for its own defense? If so, I'd agree with you. I'd love to see us pull out and let Europe deal with its own defense problems, many of which are brewing in Afghanistan and Pakistan at the moment. It's laughable when you realize that in Europe a military band is considered an army, but for far too long the US has been willing to put up with that kind of crap and be the shield for the Western democracies. The only reason the Euro hasn't already collapsed is that Europe hasn't needed to pay for its own defense since WW II. Considering your own background it's astonishing to me that you'd even ask a question like that.

I live in a city with Fort Carson at one end, the Air Force Academy at the other end, and NORAD in the middle. I watch the periodic funeral processions at Carson as bodies come back from repeated deployments of our troops who, thanks to the gutting of the military (designated "the peace dividend" by Slick Willie) since the Reagan years, hardly get a chance to say hello to their families before they're on their way back overseas to protect Europe's ass. I'm sick of this kind of bullshit, so be careful that you don't get me started!
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #355 on: October 16, 2012, 10:50:00 AM »
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1. They're all unconstitutional at the federal level.

Not correct.  According to today's law of the land they are explicitly constitutional.

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #356 on: October 16, 2012, 11:06:29 AM »
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... Considering your own background it's astonishing to me that you'd even ask a question like that...

Considering my own background!?

I come from a country known for fighting and winning for itself and by itself (for better or worse), not enjoying anyone's protection or even help, the least of which would be yours. From fighting off the Ottoman Empire and effectively giving Europe a breather in the 14th century, to fighting and ultimately driving out Austro-Hungarian Empire in WW I and Germans in WW II, to fending off Soviet Empire in the late 40s. Even the American Empire did not dare to enter its territory on foot in the 90s, but chose to bravely bomb it instead.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #357 on: October 16, 2012, 11:20:02 AM »
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I agree with everything you said, Slobodan, and I know how many downed pilots owed their lives to the Serbs during WW II. But do you really believe the Czechs would have been able to keep the Germans or the Soviets out in the absence of the US during the war or during the reign of the Soviets after the war? As far as the bombing in the 90's is concerned, have you forgotten whose idea that was?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #358 on: October 16, 2012, 11:22:38 AM »
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Why do you suppose the Soviet Union finally packed it in, Slobodan?...

Once again you are bypassing my question. I was raising the issue of constitutionality, not strategy. Was it "constitutionally enumerated" that the definition of national defense will entail patrolling the world, having military presence in 100+ countries,  with "662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries," (that counts only those outside war zones). If it wasn't enumerated, according to your logic, it must be unconstitutional then.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #359 on: October 16, 2012, 11:31:53 AM »
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Considering my own background!?

I come from a country known for fighting and winning for itself and by itself (for better or worse), not enjoying anyone's protection or even help


only because other countries did the work for your country elsewhere... do you really think that Tito can do anything w/o Axis being annihilated from the East and the West ?  Grin Grin Grin

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