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Topic: What's Going on in the Americas? (Read 175782 times)

  • jax
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What's Going on in the Americas?
There are a number of threads from the Old World, any news from the New? Anything American goes.

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1200
Voting as such isn't required of course -- with the exception of North Korea, where votes aren't secret, and presumably there are several states where they claim votes are secret while they actually aren't.

In 1893, when the right to vote was extended to all male Belgian citizens under a conservative Catholic government,[1] voting was made obligatory to prevent employers from pressuring the lower classes into not voting. For Flemish elections (municipality, province, region) this will end starting with the next elections in 2024, but I assume that means the Belgian national elections and European elections will remain obligatory, since that wouldn't be the Flemish parliament's purview. I'd have to look it up. In any case, you can see how a combination of factors (e.g., voting on Sunday, labor laws to ensure a resting day on Sunday) make it so that there's no opposition since the underlying reason is no longer sufficiently relevant.

In the Netherlands it was obligatory to show up to vote from 1917-1970 for a similar reason. It was replaced by employers being mandated to grant a two hour leave to vote on election day.

Bulgaria went against all trends from the past 50+ years by introducing compulsory voting back in 2016, but the Constitutional Court shot it down.

Thailand has apparently directly copied the Belgian system, and also has obligatory showing up to vote.

Australia and Luxembourg are also well-known for having compulsory voting.
I add this to emphasize that we're not talking about a liberal, unionist or socialist-led government.

  • Belfrager
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1201
Australia and Luxembourg are also well-known for having compulsory voting.
Compulsory voting is proper of people who doesn't have the slightest idea about the difference between duties and rights.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1202
While I'm vehemently against the practice, you have to consider it within the 1893 context. It empowered the lower classes to take their right to vote without getting bogged down in court cases that they were probably going to effectively lose even if they won anyway. It may not be the most elegant way to do it, but it was an effective method the reasons for which are no longer relevant in 2020 (or perhaps rather 1960, but oh well).

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1203
those nefarious motives cannot be ruled out
And even your limited formal logic admits, you can't prove a negative.

Also, I still like the admonition: Never ascribe to malice what plain incompetence can explain!
It's not a logic thing. It's a fact thing. And you don't need to prove a negative. You need to disprove a positive. Such as this:
After Thomas B. Hofeller, a Republican strategist, died last summer, his estranged daughter found hard drives in her father's house whose contents revealed that he had written a report in 2015 saying that adding a citizenship question to the census would give Republicans a significant advantage in drawing new legislative district lines.

At the same time that he was pressing the Trump administration to add the question, Mr. Hofeller's files revealed, he also wrote a portion of a draft Justice Department letter arguing that adding the question was critical to enforcing voting rights.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1204
adding a citizenship question to the census would give Republicans a significant advantage in drawing new legislative district lines
i.e., redrawing districts to enhance citizen participation... That's a bad thing? (Well, of course it is! if too many citizens don't vote Democrat... :) )
arguing that adding the question [of citizenship] was critical to enforcing voting rights is wrong, if the votes protected might be for Republicans? :)
I see you remain a fan of the Duranty Times...
And a begger of questions, still! :)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1205
You seem to be operating under the false assumption that I am siding with the Democrats. I don't. Let both parties bicker with each other.

If the question is so important for the Republicans, then why did they not push it through? They have the majority. They were able to block the impeachment, even when everybody knows that Trump belongs to jail or at least under business ban.

Furthermore, I am not opposed to the citizenship question in census. It is a normal thing in continental Europe. The manner in which it is an issue in USA is a problem for the USA.

You may think Repubs have a solution, but apparently they themselves don't think so, otherwise they would have pushed it through. It definitely appears there's some other ulterior motive that they actually wanted to achieve by raising the question, and the ulterior motive got them stuck.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1206
If the question is so important for the Republicans, then why did they not push it through? They have the majority.
The Republican majority is razor-thin, and a vote of 60 or more is required to secure cloture... On top of that, some Republican senators seem to prefer being in the minority!
The House of Representatives has a large Democrat majority...
everybody knows that Trump belongs to jail or at least under business ban
For what crime or offense? (I suspect, for being Trump... :) )

What generally comes of an "everybody knows" assertion is an eventual realization that "everybody" was wrong!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1207
Besides obstruction of justice and extorting the president of Ukraine? One could go on for a disturbingly long time. It's not like "being Trump" in the relevant sense means his hair looks stupid or something.

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1208
To what Frenzie said, I should add that I did not see anybody really defending Trump. Those who voted against the impeachment voted against it just to be partisan, not because the crimes were not there. Some offered the defense that Trump already learned his lesson by virtue of having to face the impeachment procedure (and Trump of course demonstrated that he had learned nothing the next day.)

That Trump brings shame to the presidential office both internationally and internally and is a fatal security threat to his own country was clear to everyone, beyond a shadow of doubt, on his first meeting with Putin at the latest. By then it was too late already. Any of the USA's famous checks and balances have failed to operate.

  • rjhowie
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1209
The man before Trump was no great advantage when it comes to balance. He could be internationally militant and giving the right impression was not something automatically that distant from Trump. Time after time Obama would appear on  a platform with a prospective speech and his shirt sleeves partly rolled up. Childish nonsense and he also often ran up plane boarding steps or down them, ugh. Not very proper for a Head of State meant to act with dignity. At the start of his first term made great ballyhoo about clearing that US army base in a foreign country that didn't want"democratic" America there at all (Cuba).

Doesn't matter who is in the White House of the only two parties allowed in as neither helps the over 40 million poor Americans.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1210
Besides obstruction of justice and extorting the president of Ukraine?
These are legal matters, and I dare say that I'm better qualified to judge them than you...
One could go on for a disturbingly long time.
And indeed many do! But they're mostly pulling crap out their arses (lying; making things up) or referring to policy disputes.
Those who voted against the impeachment voted against it just to be partisan, not because the crimes were not there
Perhaps some few did. But more than a few in the Senate are lawyers and former prosecutors themselves, and know better than "Shifty" Schiff and "Nasty" Nadler.
Did you know that the bill of impeachment passed the House without a single Republican vote? That's the first time in our history that's happened!
Even the report turned in by the So-Very Special Counsel Muller didn't reach that conclusion ("collusion," obstruction or other "high crimes and misdemeanors"), so Muller's stenographer (I suspect it was Weissmann, a lawyer with a history...) punted! (It's a term referring to an American football play: No-one expects it to be recovered...)
I'm sorry to say, the angst and anger really does boil down to "Orange Man Bad," which is to state the un-remarkably obvious: Trump is uncouth, nontraditional, and surprisingly effective, as president of the U.S.! 

[Re: Obama] Not very proper for a Head of State meant to act with dignity.
Of course, you had to chime in... :)
Two things prepared me for his term(s) in office. One, though he'd been editor of the Harvard Law Review and a lecturer at U. Chicago's Law School, he never published a scholarly paper... And, two, when he made his first visit to GB he presented the Queen Mum with -- recordings of his own speeches! Even I thought, "How gauche!"
  • Last Edit: 2020-09-10, 08:18:41 by OakdaleFTL
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1211
These are legal matters, and I dare say that I'm better qualified to judge them than you...
Possibly, I don't know your background. If you're just a layman like me who happens to enjoy reading the occasional court case for the philosophy contained therein we might be less different than you think.[1] ;) My point was simply that you were somewhat facetiously pretending not to understand what @ersi might be referring to.

or referring to policy disputes.
Implementing policy in unconstitutional ways is a dangerous precedent that I believe we should all be against. I for one am against several policies that I broadly agree with for that very reason. (E.g., some of the corona response here in Belgium.) Also it just gives more ammunition to opponents who are against the policy tout court, which is a very ineffective way of getting things done.
For example, Gorsuch produced an excellent philosophical textualist argument recently in https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf that was well worth reading. Being "American" or "Dutch" only gives an uninterested random person on the street a minor starting advantage or perhaps even a disadvantage due to pop culture misrepresentation.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1212
Implementing policy in unconstitutional ways is a dangerous precedent that I believe we should all be against [...] Also it just gives more ammunition to opponents who are against the policy tout court, which is a very ineffective way of getting things done.
Agreed! With a BUT: If you mean executive orders (for instance, Obama's EO creating the DACA...), then, yes; if you mean Trump's EO over-turning any of Obama's EOs, then no; an EO -constitutional or not- is only law until and unless over-turned by the chief executive...whoever he happens to be at the time. Except for the usurpations of the various circuit courts...
(An older and perhaps more problematical tradition is the Signing statement...)

I was not being facetious with ersi, I was being serious... I reject pronouncements of verdicts from the court of public opinion. as a rule. (As a jurist, he'd make a fine lynch-mob leader!) The prosecutors in the House drew up the charges, and argued their case.  The "jury" voted -I believe, on the evidence presented- and failed to convict.
Was their verdict political as well? Of course! Impeachment is a political tool much more than it is a legal indictment; and trying it before the Senate bears scant resemblance to a prosecution in a court of law.
If someone voices his opinion but also presumes to supplant both judge and jury, they should explain their office... And as I've said, the "everybody knows" or "most agree" constructions don't convince or persuade me. They're not evidence pertinent to the charges; neither are charges left un-made by the actual Articles of Impeachment a further indictment. (The House is free to hold more hearings. draw up new Articles, and bring a new impeachment to the floor. I doubt they have the cojones to try, despite the widely held desire among an increasingly powerful bloc of Democrats!)

Your footnote makes a valid point, which I'd evade ("swerve," in Howie-speak :) ) by noting my age, the facts that reading Bastiat and Levi's "Introduction to Legal Reasoning" -among others- while still virtually a lad led me to reviewing and renewing my early familiarity with the U.S. Declaration of Independence (and commentaries co-eval and contemporary) and the U.S. Constitution (likewise) and keeping a keen eye on the doings of our higher courts...
I enjoy reading well-written and well-reasoned decisions and orders from the Supremes. (Scalia, for stolid textual-ism and sparkling wit, often impish! Thomas, for a textual-ism firmly founded in conservatism; and the clearest, purest style I've seen from the Supreme Court!)
Also, note: I grew up in Cambridge! Harvard was a part of my stomping grounds throughout my teens! And occasionally later...
To boot: I've followed the "career" of Joe Biden since Rbt. Bork's nomination... Bork was his generation's premier Administrative Law scholar, and the Senate rejected him! (They tried to reject Thomas too -in the same fashion they tried to prevent Kavenaugh from joining the associates. Their arguments against Gorsuch were, shall we say, trumped up?!) What of John Roberts, you ask? You can easily read about his confirmation battle; you'll recognize at least some few of the players' names! :)
I could bring up Alito, but I believe I've made my point. You wouldn't want me to belabor it, would you?
The pattern's obvious!

(Did my "swerve" let me past your complaint/admonition? :) )
 
  • Last Edit: 2020-09-10, 16:26:35 by OakdaleFTL
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1213
I was not being facetious with ersi, I was being serious... I reject pronouncements of verdicts from the court of public opinion. as a rule.
On the point of impeachment, you reject the opinion that all the Democrats happen to share and you are siding with the Republicans, as if the Democrat opinion were from the court of public opinion, but the Republican side the law. In reality it is just how the balance of partisan powers happens to be at this time. You can hardly get any more facetious, dude!

Even the report turned in by the So-Very Special Counsel Muller didn't reach that conclusion ("collusion," obstruction or other "high crimes and misdemeanors"), so Muller's stenographer (I suspect it was Weissmann, a lawyer with a history...) punted!
First, Muller himself is of the Republican party, so what if everything dubious about him could have something to do with his partisanship? Second, wasn't it so that Muller himself argued that his role was not to reach conclusions?

So what are you saying? By reaching no conclusions, just listing the facts (which fulfill the criteria of collusion[1] just fine), did he carry out his role properly or did he not? In the latter case the matter remains unresolved, not solved, and the people got scammed by the political process yet again. In the former case the matter was duly turned over to the court of partisan opinion and reached its conclusion exactly in that manner.
And don't try to pretend that there is no such legal term or that you don't know what is being meant. The term was chosen to kindly avoid accusing the president of outright conspiracy. Of course, it turned out that it was a bad idea to be kind to the criminal.
  • Last Edit: 2020-09-10, 17:34:50 by ersi

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1214
You can hardly get any more facetious, dude!
The House impeached. The Senate failed to convict... [1]
Mueller himself is of the Republican party, so what if everything dubious about him could have something to do with his partisanship?
Besides the point...
wasn't it so that Mueller himself argued that his role was not to reach conclusions?
Mueller [sorry for my previous misspelling...] followed the remit given him by Rosenstein: his probe was a counterintelligence investigation; even so, he was bound by statute to pursue any crime he uncovered, and seek such indictments as he would

1 Treanor, William Michael, The Case of the Dishonest Scrivener: Gouverneur Morris and the Creation of the Federalist Constitution (February 5, 2019). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 119, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3383183 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3383183
pp.71-75; III. g., i. & ii.


(I obviously don't understand the mechanics of a linked footnote! Help! Someone point me in the right direction? :) )
  • Last Edit: 2020-09-11, 04:04:15 by OakdaleFTL
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1215
The Senate failed to convict...
The courts of law failed to convict Al Capone too, of murder, or of organised crime, or of selling bootleg booze. He was convicted only of tax evasion. Does that mean he was innocent? Does that mean this is exactly how justice is supposed to work?

As you were, dude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1216
The Senate failed to convict. Case over!
As I said, the House is free to try again... (You can claim "prosecutorial incompetence", but -if you read the brief section linked to in my previous post- to confuse that with justice-denied, as though you were an angry god... Such hauteur! I don't know why you don't get it, ersi.)
  • Last Edit: 2020-09-10, 20:30:35 by OakdaleFTL
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1217
The Senate failed to convict. Case over!
When you underline it like this, it looks like you are saying that justice miscarried. I'd say it's a reasonable middle ground. But when justice miscarries, it's not case over in any sensible way.

  • rjhowie
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1218
Wonder if OakdaleFTL was President would that be a help?.....!!
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1219
it looks like you are saying that justice miscarried
No. I'm emphasizing the correct terminology, from the viewpoint of the Democrats.
But when justice miscarries, it's not case over in any sensible way.
New to the real world, are you? :) But nescire quaedam magna pars sapientiae est, no?!

if OakdaleFTL was President
I'm pretty sure I mentioned a long time ago that Bill Clinton took the spot I'd aimed for since I was a boy... Just as well, I suppose. You've seen how some people react to the Donald from Queens. Imagine how they've have dealt with the likes of me? :(
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1220
My Latin phrase book tells me you're quoting Hugo de Groot. Go Dutchies go!  :wizard:

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in the Americas?
Reply #1221
Sir-a, I have always depended upon the kindness of translators! :) Wisdom abounds, and language barriers are fewer and fewer... Good times, for the "independent" (and, perhaps, little-schooled) scholar.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman