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Old 09-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #16
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Amendment 28: Religious views have no impact, bearing or influence on the law of the United States of America.
This is a win-win.

The new Bureau Of Religious Views And Thoughts Compliance along with the building of the jails, reeducation camps and gulags needed to enforce this constitutional gosateizm equates to jobs, jobs, jobs.

And global warming goes away as an issue.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:23 PM   #17
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I want to jump in and clarify my #1, which is actually two ideas crammed into one post. There's the retrocession of states issue, but the more practical objection is that we have a bicameral system in the US states, which seems mostly just imitation.

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The new Bureau Of Religious Views And Thoughts Compliance along with the building of the jails, reeducation camps and gulags needed to enforce this constitutional gosateizm equates to jobs, jobs, jobs.
I am not sure that's in the text of the amendment, but I guess I can go back and read it again:

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Amendment 28: Religious views have no impact, bearing or influence on the law of the United States of America.
Must be subtext.

Thanks for the post, Axver.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:28 PM   #18
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Amendment 28 just makes separation of church and state official.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:35 PM   #19
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Amendment 28 just makes separation of church and state official.
I think a practical objection to that, however, is it's difficult to untangle the values one brings to the table with the religion that influences it.

Let's say someone decides to mandate that liquor stores be closed one day of the week. I'm pretty sure that would fall under normal legislative discretion through licensing and regulation, and it's a choice an atheistic person might reach as well. But what if that day ends up being on Sunday? That's a roundabout way of creating a Blue Law. The enforcement of this Amendment would require a Court to ajudicate the beliefs of the people passing the law rather then the content of the law itself.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:43 PM   #20
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This is a win-win.

The new Bureau Of Religious Views And Thoughts Compliance along with the building of the jails, reeducation camps and gulags needed to enforce this constitutional gosateizm equates to jobs, jobs, jobs.

And global warming goes away as an issue.
95% of the tea party's platform would be obsolete!
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:15 PM   #21
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Get some sanity into it. That would be a good start.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:24 PM   #22
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Thanks for the post, Axver.
Heh, you're welcome, but it wasn't a very good post, marred to no small degree by the fact that I was on the road to inebriation after Essendon were knocked out of the Aussie Rules finals. I was honestly kind of hoping somebody else would have already written an Australia-related post that I could bounce off - Earnie? Kieran? Would love to hear your ideas for how to improve what is, I think, a rather good democracy already; certainly, in a structural sense, I prefer the Australian system over the Kiwi one, even if I find the current Australian political climate much more aggravating than that in New Zealand.

I would like to expand upon one point I made. I'm going to get very tl;dr here:

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As for the Australian House of Representatives, I keep tossing and turning on whether to allow voters under IRV to only preference as far as they want to rather than rank ALL candidates (as is already done in some states). I can see the argument both ways.
I think, fundamentally, I am in support of the status quo of compulsory full preferential voting (CPV) to optional preferential voting (OPV) - although I have an alternative option I prefer to either optional or compulsory preferencing, which I will get to at the end. I suppose my elaboration is going to need some context for international folk though.

Australia at federation used First Past The Post voting to elect the House of Representatives from single member constituencies. By the 1910s, this quickly turned into a problem for the right wing of politics, when the Country Party (today's National Party) and the Nationalist Party (precursor to today's Liberal Party) split the right wing vote and Labour Party candidates would win seats even if they only secured 35% of the vote compared to a combined 65% for the Country and Nationalist candidates. Hence, Instant Run-off Voting was introduced in 1919, where voters are required to rank all candidates in order of preference. If no single candidate achieves 50% of first preferences, second and subsequent preferences are distributed until one candidate achieves a majority. Basically, this amounts to multiple "elections" in one rather than asking voters to return for multiple elections as candidates are eliminated.

Over time, this has worked in favour of both sides of politics - generally due to various splits in the two major parties (the anti-communist Democratic Labour Party splitting from Labour in the 1950s, Don Chipp and the small-l liberals leaving the Libs to form the Democrats in the 1970s, the disenchanted Labour left wing drifting to the Greens today). Federally and for most states' lower houses of parliament, CPV remains in use, but in the nineties, both New South Wales and Queensland switched to using OPV for lower house state elections.

Now, when I'm in the polling booth, part of me starts to wish for optional preferencing - that I could only mark preferences for the parties I like, and leave blank all those who I don't like and don't think deserve even the potential of receiving a preference from me. For instance, we have a bunch of serial cranks called the Citizens Electoral Council, LaRouche-aligned conspiracy theorists, and trying to choose between them and the religious nutjobs of Family First feels like an exercise in futility. In that sense, OPV appeals. It does come across as more fair, in that voters are only required to make as much of the vote as they want and don't have to cast undesirable preferences.

That said, OPV in our current two-party situation would lead to consolidation of that at the expense of minor parties. The robust third party climate in Australia is something I think we need to protect. That alone is enough to make me want to stick with CPV. Moreover, OPV basically allows some people to opt out of some or all subsequent "elections" after their first preference, meaning that the final Two Party Preferred result after preferences is not as representative as the first preferences tally, and it goes against the spirit of compulsory voting. Some Australian political scientists have suggested that OPV would work much better if Australia were a multi-party country - which may just happen if the Greens survive the departure of Bob Brown and continue to gain in strength on the left wing, and if Labour continue to bleed their left wing to the Greens and become a purely centrist party.

I'm honestly dissatisfied with either option though. Although CPV and to a lesser extent OPV avoid many of the flaws of FPTP, both still serve to re-inforce a two party system. The composition of the House of Representatives under CPV only represents about 80% of the vote (I'll reveal my own hand enough to say that I have a vested interest here, being part of the unrepresented 20%). I thus lean at least somewhat towards making the lower house like the upper - comprised of proportionally elected representatives from multi-member constituencies. Thus we could avoid having two electoral systems at a federal level and elect both houses via Single Transferable Vote. It would, however, be a huge upheaval of the Australian political landscape.

PS Before anybody pulls me up on it, I know how the Australian Labour Party chooses to spell "Labour". I don't care for it.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:26 PM   #23
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Your other option is to become a 100% reliable solid-Blue state. (see #10 Make the District of Columbia a state!)

you realize there's more democracy in Kirkuk than in D.C.

but the difference is that DC is (still) a majority black city, so the GOP will do it's damnedest to prevent them from voting.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:29 PM   #24
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I think a practical objection to that, however, is it's difficult to untangle the values one brings to the table with the religion that influences it.

Let's say someone decides to mandate that liquor stores be closed one day of the week. I'm pretty sure that would fall under normal legislative discretion through licensing and regulation, and it's a choice an atheistic person might reach as well. But what if that day ends up being on Sunday? That's a roundabout way of creating a Blue Law. The enforcement of this Amendment would require a Court to ajudicate the beliefs of the people passing the law rather then the content of the law itself.
Why would you close liquor stores on Sundays for any other reason? Why are liquor stores being mandated to be closed one day a week? It makes no business sense.

You're not allowed to walk into Congress and say, "I don't want gays to get married because my religion disagrees with it." You don't get to walk into Congress and say "I don't want abortion to be legal because my Catholic Church says I shouldn't." You don't get to abuse your position in Congress by forcing your religious beliefs into law. Period. End of story. I want smaller social government: we don't tell people they have to be straight to get married. We don't tell people they have to prove their medically unfit to give birth or were raped before they get an abortion. That's my law. I don't care how it's phrased or how it gets done. I'm so fucking sick of election cycles being bogged down in stupid debates over issues that are obvious. I want to hear solutions on the economy. I don't want to hear why DOMA is good, because you're full of shit if you say it is. I don't want to hear why Roe v. Wade needs to be repealed, because you're also full of shit. I want my politicians to come up with solutions on issues that actually have debatable sides, and aren't, at the end of the day, a debate between people who are correct, and people who are reading scribbled bullet points on the back of a Bible they wrote down from their priest's sermon last Sunday.

More specifically, here's how government changes if I'm in control:
- Gay marriage is legal in the United States. Minority rights are not a state issue.
- Capital punishment is no longer used in the United States.
- Major campaign reform. Marcellus Shale is no longer the governor of Pennsylvania.
- We tax Americans as we did during the 1990s. Warren Buffett has this one right.
- One term for every position in government. No one gives a fuck about re-election, they just want to get things done.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:12 PM   #25
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you realize there's more democracy in Kirkuk than in D.C.
You praising the Bush Doctrine, didn't see that coming.
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but the difference is that DC is (still) a majority black city, so the GOP will do it's damnedest to prevent them from voting.
Oh the race card! that is most predictable.

There are constitutional reasons on which to object as well as political.
I'm sure if the panhandle of Oklahoma wanted to secede from the rest of Oklahoma to form their own state and send 2 conservative senators to D.C. Democrats would have no qualms, right?
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:24 PM   #26
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Amendment 28 just makes separation of church and state official.
So you wish to discard this portion of the First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

As well as the No Religious Test Clause:

..."no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Which completely secular government are you wishing us to emulate? I mean, who has this whole "self-governance" figured out so much better than us?

And by which measure do you assume an opinion informed by religion to be less valid than say that of a 20 year-old raised on video games and MTV?
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:49 PM   #27
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I'm sure if the panhandle of Oklahoma wanted to secede from the rest of Oklahoma to form their own state and send 2 conservative senators to D.C. Democrats would have no qualms, right?


do the people in the panhandle of Oklahoma presently have NO senatorial representation? they do. they continuously vote paranoid fanatics into the Senate.

it really is all about politics for the right wing, isn't it?

right now, there are 650,000 people in DC who have NO senatorial representation, and a non-voting member of the House.

and the only reason is that they're mostly a mix of young urban do-gooder kids, gays, Salvadoreans, Ethiopians, and poor blacks. who vote 90% Democratic.

where is their voice? why do the 500,000 white people in Wyoming deserve to have TWO Senators? the 700,000 people in Alaska? the 650,000 in North Dakota?

it's a crime. as are the various random threats by GOP fantatics to destroy legally married gay couples in DC or impose Arizona-style gun laws in a city that already suffers from the lax regulation across the river in Virginia where the mentally ill can easily purchase a semi-automatic firearm and shoot up a college campus.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:51 PM   #28
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And by which measure do you assume an opinion informed by religion to be less valid than say that of a 20 year-old raised on video games and MTV?


if you want to argue for religious viewpoint, go ahead.

just back them up with something other than, "this is what my invisible sky friend wants us to do."
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:02 PM   #29
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do the people in the panhandle of Oklahoma presently have NO senatorial representation? they do. they continuously vote paranoid fanatics into the Senate.

it really is all about politics for the right wing, isn't it?

right now, there are 650,000 people in DC who have NO senatorial representation, and a non-voting member of the House.

and the only reason is that they're mostly a mix of young urban do-gooder kids, gays, Salvadoreans, Ethiopians, and poor blacks. who vote 90% Democratic.

where is their voice? why do the 500,000 white people in Wyoming deserve to have TWO Senators? the 700,000 people in Alaska? the 650,000 in North Dakota?

it's a crime. as are the various random threats by GOP fantatics to destroy legally married gay couples in DC or impose Arizona-style gun laws in a city that already suffers from the lax regulation across the river in Virginia where the mentally ill can easily purchase a semi-automatic firearm and shoot up a college campus.
That's a valid view about not being represented. Unfortunately I forgot part of my post which was to ask why not just allow Maryland to retake all but the Capitol itself? Voilà, full representation.

Well we know why, because that's were politics comes in on the other side.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:19 PM   #30
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That's a valid view about not being represented. Unfortunately I forgot part of my post which was to ask why not just allow Maryland to retake all but the Capitol itself? Voilà, full representation.

Well we know why, because that's were politics comes in on the other side.


the MD solution is a plausible one, but why does it have to be paired with increasing Utah's representation at the same time?

it's quite an interesting thing, as i spend my day going through three entirely different ... areas, for lack of a better word. i live in VA, work in MD, spend most of my free time in DC, take the metro and buses through all of it. it's quite a unique area, and it's a miracle that it works as well as it does (and it doesn't work all that well).
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