PDA

View Full Version : And you think U.S. politics is bad?



KevinBrowning
December 11th, 2004, 01:14 PM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/fc?cid=34&tmpl=fc&in=World&cat=Ukraine

Ukrainian opposition candidate Viktor Yuschenko has had his soup poisoned with dioxin, experts say, and it has left his face scarred and partly paralyzed. Despite all the mudslinging, it really is amazing that our transfers of powers in the USA are so peaceful, and always have been, with a couple of notable exceptions that were not strictly limited to the presidency.

Fyshhed
December 11th, 2004, 01:59 PM
Politics is such a horrible human invention, a basic microcosm of human social nature.

Telex
December 11th, 2004, 08:25 PM
Poltics isn't an invention, just like friendship isn't an invention. It's just something humans do.

Your sentence structure seems to imply that the "basic microcosm of human social nature" is the cause of your feeling that politics is "horrible," which doesn't make much sense. Unless, of course, you feel that human social nature is horrible in itself.

Actually, your sentence doesn't make very much sense. You need a semicolon in there or something.

Fyshhed
December 11th, 2004, 09:48 PM
Poltics isn't an invention, just like friendship isn't an invention. It's just something humans do.

Your sentence structure seems to imply that the "basic microcosm of human social nature" is the cause of your feeling that politics is "horrible," which doesn't make much sense. Unless, of course, you feel that human social nature is horrible in itself.

Actually, your sentence doesn't make very much sense. You need a semicolon in there or something.
This will be the last time you correct my sentence structure...
But yes, I do happen to believe that human social nature is simultaneously horrible and practical. Politics is, in fact, an invention. Politics is the system by which a leader figure or leader figure(s) make a profession out of leading, versus being an active leader/contributor. The case explains different roles. For example, a president has no direct activity in the large-scale operations he orders, but a tribal chieftan might participate in a hunt if he is needed and physically able. Politicians are professionals who do nothing aside from tell others what to do.

Telex
December 12th, 2004, 10:43 AM
Politics is "the making of common decisions for a group of people through the exercise of power by some members of the group over other members." That's right out of a political science textbook.

Politicians are simply people who engage in politics. You seem to be angered more by polticians in this country than by politics. But if we had no people who make it their job to "give orders," what would we do? The days of tribal chiefs leading hunts are gone. Matters of the state have become far more complicated, and forcing politicans to personally analyze/engage in every aspect of the laws which they're voting on is simply impractical. Should every Congressman have to be a lawyer who passed the BAR in order to vote on laws regarding frivelous lawsuits? Should they all have to be MDs too to vote on medical accountability laws? In an ideal world, that would be nice. But iit's simply not able to be done.

As for your view on human nature, there are several philosophers who would probably agree with you. I, however, view human social nature as neither horrible nor perfect. It simply is what it is. And one of its manifestations happens to be the desire to form social groups. And in social groups, decisions must be made in order to run them efficiently. Take a family, for example. The family consists 2 parents and 3 kids. The parents decide when the kids will go to sleep, what they will eat, and what shows they watch on tv. That's politics in a very basic form. As you move into larger social groups, the decisions get more complicated as interactions between the members of the group get more complicated, but the basics are the same.

Edit: Oh, and politics still isn't an invention. Maybe there is an argument for politicians being one, but politics itself is not. It's just a kind of behavior humans engage in.

Zhavric
December 13th, 2004, 06:45 AM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/fc?cid=34&tmpl=fc&in=World&cat=Ukraine

Ukrainian opposition candidate Viktor Yuschenko has had his soup poisoned with dioxin, experts say, and it has left his face scarred and partly paralyzed. Despite all the mudslinging, it really is amazing that our transfers of powers in the USA are so peaceful, and always have been, with a couple of notable exceptions that were not strictly limited to the presidency.

Typical conservative naivite.

Death of a patriot: No more
March 17, 2004

The subject line on yesterday’s email read: “Another mysterious accident solves a Bush problem. Athan Gibbs dead, Diebold lives.” The attached news story briefly described the untimely Friday, March 12th death of perhaps America’s most influential advocate of a verified voting paper trail in the era of touch screen computer voting. Gibbs, an accountant for more than 30 years and the inventor of the TruVote system, died when his vehicle collided with an 18-wheeled truck which rolled his Chevy Blazer several times and forced it over the highway retaining wall where it came to rest on its roof.

Coincidence theorists will simply dismiss the death of Gibbs as a tragic accident – the same conclusion these coincidence theorists came to when anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood died in November 1974 when her car struck a concrete embankment en route to a meeting with New York Times reporter David Burnham. Prominent independent investigators concluded that Silkwood’s car was hit from behind and forced off the road. Silkwood was reportedly carrying documents that would expose illegal activities at the Kerr-McGee nuclear fuel plant. The FBI report found that she fell asleep at the wheel after overdosing on Quaaludes and that there never were any such files. A journalist secretly employed by the FBI, and a veteran of the Bureau’s COINTELPRO operation against political activists, provided testimony for the FBI report.

Gibbs’ death bears heightened scrutiny because of the way he lived his life after the 2000 Florida election debacle. I interviewed Athan Gibbs in January of this year. “I’ve been an accountant, an auditor, for more than thirty years. Electronic voting machines that don’t supply a paper trail go against every principle of accounting and auditing that’s being taught in American business schools,” he insisted.

“These machines are set up to provide paper trails. No business in America would buy a machine that didn’t provide a paper trail to audit and verify its transaction. Now, they want the people to purchase machines that you can’t audit? It’s absurd.”

Gibbs was in Columbus, Ohio proudly displaying his TruVote machine that offered a “VVPAT, that’s a voter verified paper audit trail” he noted.

Gibbs also suggested that I look into the “people behind the other machines.” He offered that “Diebold and ES&S are real interesting and all Republicans. If you’re an investigative reporter go ahead and investigate. You’ll find some interesting material.”

Gibbs’ TruVote machine is a marvel. After voters touch the screen, a paper ballot prints out under plexiglass and once the voter compares it to his actual vote and approves it, the ballot drops into a lockbox and is issued a numbered receipt. The voter’s receipt allows the track his particular vote to make sure that it was transferred from the polling place to the election tabulation center.

My encounter with Gibbs led to a cover story in the Columbus Free Press March-April issue, entitled, “Diebold, electronic voting and the vast right-wing conspiracy.” The thesis I advanced in the Free Press article (www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/834) is that some of the same right-wing individuals who backed the CIA’s covert actions and overthrowing of democratic elections in the Third World in the 1980s are now involved in privatized touch screen voting. Additionally I co-wrote an article with Harvey Wasserman that was posted at MotherJones.com (www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html) on March 5, 2004. Both articles outlined ties between far right elements of the Republican Party and Diebold and ES&S, which count the majority of the nation’s electronic votes.

As I wrote in the Free Press article, “Proponents of a paper trail were emboldened when Athan Gibbs, President and CEO of TruVote International, demonstrated a voting machine at a vendor’s fair in Columbus that provides two separate voting receipts.”

In an interview on WVKO radio, Gibbs calmly and methodically explained the dangers of “black box” touch screen voting. “It absolutely makes no sense to buy electronic voting machines that can’t produce a paper trail. Inevitably, computers mess up. How are you going to have a recount, or correct malfunctions without a paper trail?

Now, the man asking the obvious question, and demonstrating an obvious tangible solution is dead in another tragic accident, a week after both articles were in circulation.

When I called TruVote International to verify Gibbs’ death, I reached Chief Financial Officer Adrenne Brandon who assured me “We’re going on in his memory. We’re going to make this happen.”

Every American concerned with democracy should pledge to make this happen. To beat back the rush for state governments to purchase privatized, partisan and unreliable electronic voting machines without verified paper trails.

Gibbs’ last words to me were “How do you explain what happened to Senator Max Cleland in Georgia. How do you explain that? The Maryland study and the Johns Hopkins scientists have warned us against ‘blind faith voting.’ These systems can be hacked into. They found patches in Georgia and the people servicing the machine had entered the machines during the voting process. How can we the people accept this? No more blind faith voting.”

Dr. Bob Fitrakis is Senior Editor of The Free Press (http://freepress.org), a political science professor, and author of numerous articles and books.

http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2004/853

We do all the same terrible horrible things to one another that other countries do. We're just better at them.

FruitandNut
December 13th, 2004, 11:24 AM
Kev., I do think that US politics have a lot to be desired, but I also think that there are a lot of countries that are in an even worse predicament.

Ibelsd
December 14th, 2004, 02:25 PM
Typical conservative naivite.

[B]Death of a patriot: No more
March 17, 2004


This is actually a funny and amusing read. Suppositions get made and weird connections produced. There is never an actual link to expose wrong-doing. Behind it all are some overlays that show where electronic voting machines are being used. The proof for conspiracy lies in the "fact" that the Bush team most certainly knows where these machines are being used and that they are seemingly used primarily in areas where Bush would more than likely lose. Ohhhh.

Serioulsy, because Karen Silkwood died in a mysterious accident, then so must have Mr. Gibbs??? This is smoke and mirrors.

1. Polling equipment is chosen locally.
2. His death does not prevent the use of his machines which are still being produced.

Kevin is correct. This country has done a pretty good of running peaceful elections. Certainly, incidents of corruption have occured. Even so, our presidential candidates tend to go unpoisoned and the winner takes office peacefully.

Seriously, Zhev, next time you bang on one of the folks in here for being Christian and believing in faith rather than logic, look in the mirror. Your faith in conspiracy theories is your own personal Jesus.

FruitandNut
December 15th, 2004, 04:28 AM
When Zhav hears 'Christian,' he 'sees' a Right Wing 'Full Metal Jacket' or 'Apokalypse Now' gung ho type.

Arch Bishop Romero was hardly a martyr in the cause of Right Wing politics.