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November 8th, 2006


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01:11 pm - Various Reactions
I'm worried about how much power Joe Lieberman now has, and even if he occasionally votes against evil, the Senate is only barely out of Republican hands. It is also oddly amusing to see jubilation that vast and moronic evil have largely been replaced by mediocre moderates, but perhaps the nation will at least cease getting worse.

Here's an interesting article that analyzes and perhaps explains voting trends based of various criteria. My initial thought was that the article would be more convincing if the Democrats were actual liberals, but given that most people, especially people on the right, consider the Democratic party to be exceptionally liberal (as opposed to mediocre moderates), many of the conclusions make sense.

I'm also once again reminded of a brief quote from our local mediocre-liberal free paper from shortly before the 2000 election, which stated that if the coming election actually featured a candidate who was evil and ruin incarnate, then the fact they were on the ballot was evidence that the situation was already lost. The point of the quote was clearly to reassure liberals that freedom, justice, and sanity would not end if Gore lost, but we all know how wrong that was.

I am however somewhat pleased to be able to say to anyone reading this who was sufficiently foolish or vile to vote for Republicans in Congress: YOU LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In any case, I was exceptionally pleased to see that in Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega is now the president. I only hope he has not lost his old ideals. From everything I read, he was an excellent leader back before he was thrown out in the 80s by the US-backed "Contras", my sincere hope is that he is merely quieter about his Marxism and that he still holds onto his principles.

On a local note, our mediocre and rather ineffective Democratic governor thankfully (and handily) defeated his far right opponent and with the exception of a rather horrid bill that severely restricts government rights to eminent domain and thus further enshrines the selfish vileness that are property rights in the US, all the many horrid ballot measures lost. What little faith I had in the idea of direct democracy vanished after living in CA and OR, where the direct democracy of ballot measures is almost always a tool for the most selfish, hate-filled, and fear-driven driven elements of the US populace to try to punish those they fear or disagree with. Exceptions definitely exist, but they are few and I'd happily vote for a constitutional amendment banning all future state ballot measures (school and library bonds are local issues and are IMHO the only reasonable ballot measures).
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:badgerbag
Date:November 8th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Hear hear! on the "You lost" part!

Ortega is nasty. I'm happier for lefties to win than not, but not happy that Ortega is now all about the "no abortions, ever, for any reason".

[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 8th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Damn, I didn't know that about Ortega. He did a good job back in the 80s, I'm sad to see that he betrayed his principles.
[User Picture]
From:kitten_goddess
Date:November 8th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)

Two comments

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"perhaps the nation will at least cease getting worse."

1. I think that's all the majority are hoping for at this point, at least until 2008, when it's time for the chimp to go!

2. What about the Supreme Court's sweeping expansion of eminent domain? Isn't that enough power for the government? Don't worry. I'm not trying to start a flame war. I'm interested in hearing your point of view about private property, because it's so rarely heard at all in this country. Hypothetically, if the government decided to raze a poor family's house to build a shopping mall, what would you say?
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 9th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC)

Re: Two comments

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What about the Supreme Court's sweeping expansion of eminent domain? Isn't that enough power for the government?

It was not an expansion so much as an acknowledgment of existing practice, and I also wholeheartedly supported that decision. I loathe the idea that people in the US have total control of land they own. Of course, I also dislike the entire idea of private land ownership.
[User Picture]
From:athenian_abroad
Date:November 9th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Two comments

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What about the Supreme Court's sweeping expansion of eminent domain?

Eminent domain has been used for economic development purposes since at least the mid-sixties. (Remember "urban renewal?") That has been settled law for a long time.

The "expansion" in Kelo was simply this: to allow condemnation of property for economic development without finding that the property in question is "blighted."

Or, to put it bluntly: to "expand" eminent domain to property inhabited by prosperous white people, where, in the past, it had been used chiefly to evict low-income Americans of color. (Remember "urban renewal?")

Now, there have been people opposing eminent domain for economic development since the sixties, precisely because of its impact on neighborhoods (which, while perhaps unappealing to suburbanites, were home to actual human beings) and on the displaced individuals themselves. While I don't agree (at least not fully) with their view that this sort of thing ought to have been unconstitutional (not everything bad violates the Constitution), I think their motives are good.

The post-Kelo come-latelies to the cause, on the other hand, have some explaining to do. (And if you don't believe me, check out the number of Kelo-inspired state laws that simply reinstate the "blight" requirement, rather than actually prohibiting condemnation for economic development.)
[User Picture]
From:rjgrady
Date:November 8th, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
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Exceptions definitely exist, but they are few and I'd happily vote for a constitutional amendment banning all future state ballot measures (school and library bonds are local issues and are IMHO the only reasonable ballot measures).

Presumably, if you had the executive powers to do so, you would make it so, yes? And it cuts out the unnecessary step of making people say they are relinquishing something they would want back if they could get it.

Admit it: you're actually the reincarnation of Plato.

I don't like your suggestion, merely because there is no way to ensure future governments will not use their powers even worse than the public.


[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 9th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
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Given that the vast majority of ballot measures I've seen both proposed and enacted have been wretched bad ideas like highly destructive anti-tax nonsense or draconian prison laws, complete idiocy like term limits, or bigoted vileness like anti-same-sex marriage laws, I have far too much evidence that the citizens of the US cannot be trusted to propose or enact ballot measures that are worth having.
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 9th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
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I don't like your suggestion, merely because there is no way to ensure future governments will not use their powers even worse than the public.

That can be done via voting (which I would vastly prefer as something people did for a faceless party with a stated ideology than for individuals). Direct democracy seems to bring out the worst in people and very, very little of the best, even in a liberal state like Oregon.
[User Picture]
From:johnnybrainwash
Date:November 8th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, living in Oregon has smashed my once-idealistic notions of direct democracy.

And schools and libraries shouldn't be ballot measures either- that's only a result of legislative bodies shirking their duties.
[User Picture]
From:heron61
Date:November 9th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
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True, but such bond measures are also common in East Coast states where government isn't quite so odd.

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