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« Ruminations - 9jul13 (updated 11jul13) | Main | “… honor the memory of Treyvon Martin.” (updated 26jul13) »

13 July 2013

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Comments

Ben Emery

George,
Food stamps and most of our welfare programs are a symptom of a dysfunctional system. If we had representatives that set the rules/ laws up so people could earn a living wage not by a mandatory living wage level but by incentives of reinvestment of taxing capital at high rates after high marginal threshold, made in the US blue collar manufacturing jobs with import tariffs, basic infrastructure that gives all citizens a chance at some sort of higher education whether it be university or vocational training, return to having modest pensions, universal health care so people aren't job locked and we could create an innovation boom, and so on.

The government is not supposed to be an other it is supposed to be us. If it represents the people over special interests we would not need such large scale social welfare programs. But those who own our political parties have never done better while the growing inequality is hitting 80 year highs. So I don't expect many changes any time soon.

Isn't it time to discuss the real issue instead of the symptoms of the issue?

MikeL

Ben,
Last time I checked all citizens do have have the optioto go to university. While I agree that the social welfare programs are a symptom of a dysfunctional system , I am sure that you would not agree with me that these programs should be sharply curtailed. These programs should only be used to help the truly needy, such as the mentally or physically handicapped people that can not fend for themselves. I also think that if you are receiving such gubnent assistance them you temporarily give up your right to vote, this way those riding the train can not enslave those pulling.

As far as providing healthcare to all regardless of the ability to pay, I suggest as I have to all good progressives such as yourself, that you personally take on the burden of paying for said healthcare. Just think you could really feel great paying for a hundred or so of the downtrodden and on top of it all you could rid yourself of the overriding hypocracy that most progressives exhibit.

stevenfrisch

"I feel that if you are incapable of 1) correctly allocating your monies (a mental task) to care for yourself, and 2) remain in a chronic situation in which you are under the care of others, then that should impact your franchise as a citizen in some significant manner." --George Rebane

And you call yourself a 'Constitutionalist'?

It is as if the mechanisms established in the Constitution, a body of laws made by a legislature, the interpretation of that body of law by an independent judiciary, and the power of the Executive to exercise limited independent authority and establish implementation policy, in short all history since the Constitution took effect in March of 1789, is wiped away in one fell swoop.

The question posed is pure fantasy; akin to asking, "what if the last 223 of history had not occurred?" It is impossible to even take seriously.

Paul Emery

Once again George how do you determining a persons competency to be a voter? Government review board-test-hearing etc? Would it be at a local, State or Federal level? Would there be a right to appeal? Would it the time limit be?

Until these questions are looked at this is in theory only.

Ben Emery

Mike L,
Give up your right to vote because you are poor. Oh my god what year is this and what country am I living?

Ben Emery

Steve and Paul,
This is why I call George an authoritarian corporatist/ fascist. By the way George, I am not saying it in a derogatory way. I know you like using labels to clarify your positions and so do I.

Literacy Tests, Poll Taxes, we might as well throw slavery back into the mix and make sure those pesky women, especially in Texas get their votes stripped from them because science has proven the male brain is larger thus more superior. White Christian Property Owning Males are the only ones that can be trusted with the vote. I guess this must make George an original intent kind of guy. I have posted this before and will do it again just for kicks

Todd Snider at a conservatarian nightmare, The Hardly Strictly in SF. A great story accompanied with a song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhnf9x-Jfm4

Or just the song in animated form
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhnf9x-Jfm4

George Rebane

I see that the anticipated palpitations are indeed approaching apoplexy.

When our progressive commenters are finished rolling out their stock outrage and address the question within its posed scope, I will be happy to join the conversation. The problem is real, our inability to deal with it is equally real.

stevenfrisch

There is no apoplexy here; only legitimate questions. How do you square your definition of a 'productive and proficient' with a democratic republic that extends the franchise, under established Constitutional law, to the widest possible participants, and who decides who is 'productive and proficient'? I think that's a valid question.

Jeff Pelline

Paul,
How much money has George's "astute" commentary raked in for KVMR's capital campaign? Or better yet how much has it turned away? Back in high school, Mr. Hamshire taught me "All opinions are not created equal." [JeffP, your occasional droppings really underline that you are out of your league here. I leave this little piece of snark dangling for the record. gjr]

Ben Emery

George,
To borrow a phrase you are fond of, we have gone around this barn before. So lets cut to the chase. You believe that only a small few privileged group should have a say in our representative/ republican government, which means only a small privileged few actually have representation. This is very antiquated thinking George.

The other thing you have misrepresented Jefferson's position on education and an enlightened citizenry. Here is a link on a little history of the University of Virginia. http://www.virginia.edu/uvatours/shorthistory/

Here are some actual quotes from Jefferson that smacks down your opinion and promotes what I mentioned in my first comment. There are plenty more but I think you get the point. Public education for all citizens. Jefferson believed higher education should be eligible to all who are capable for free. That is why he started the University of Virginia.

1818 August 4. The objects of this primary eduction [university education] determine its character and limits. These objects are To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business; To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and accounts, in writing; To improve by reading, his morals and faculties; To understand his duties to his neighbors and country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either; To know his rights; to exercise with order and justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciary of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence, with candor and judgement; And, in general, to observe with intelligence and faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these, their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether privet or public, in them should be taught reading, writing and numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration...and the outlines of geography and history."

1820 September 28. (to William C. Jarvis)
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their controul with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."

You hard core right wingers drive me nuts with this kind of stuff.

Bill Tozer

My buddy Ben wrote "White Christian Property Owning Males are the only ones that can be trusted with the vote". Finally, Mr. Ben hits the nail on the head. Truer words have never been posted by Mr. Ben. Kudos buddy, welcome to the sunny side of the street where you stand taller and smell the sweet fragrance of flowering blooms. Its almost intoxicating.

There might be a Constitutional issue with Ben's statement, but then again maybe not. Maybe only property owners can be trusted with the vote. Strike maybe. Property owners can be trusted with the vote for sure, but everybody gets to vote. Even the untrustworthy ones. Not all property owners are white. There are Asians and dark skinned brothers from Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, and even some Black Irish and a couple of Froggies that own US soil. They are mostly trustworthy in exercising the right to vote. Exceptions are the Irish and the French, but if the Irish Americans can stay sober long enough to walk unaided into the voting booth, let them in. Don't now if the Froggies can be entrusted with making informed decisions in the polling place or anywhere for that matter. Might be some rare exceptions out there. After all this is America and them Frenchies don't even celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Whatz up with dat? Ok, keep the French-Americans away on election night, whether they own property or not.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Ben Emery | 13 July 2013 at 09:04 PM

I am with you brother Ben. The founders would roll over in their graves to hear the 'ruminations' of our host. These guys are about the most anti-American bunch ever assembled.

George Rebane

stevenfrisch 840pm - yes, even though "productive and proficient" and "democratic republic" are orthogonal concepts, it is a worthy try at a relevant question.

Our government already decides who is sufficiently productive not to qualify for transfer payments. And the people who do business with the individual to make him productive do at the same time consider him to be sufficiently proficient. No new bureaucracies are needed. Now where were you going with this point?

Returning to my invitation for discussion. Many wiser heads than mine, including our Founders, have written and taught us over the centuries that democracies destroy themselves when the majority discovers that it can vote itself the wealth of the remaining minority. I and many other Americans believe we are firmly on that road now. My post asks if there is anything to be done about that and suggests that a re-examination of the voting franchise could be a useful starting point.

If your answer is NO, then you take yourself out of the discussion, for all you have left is to dun me for bringing up the subject, which rapidly becomes boring.

Ben Emery

George,
When the founders stated those opinions there were no democracies on the planet only tyrannical kingdoms that had subjects not citizens. The US made the crazy jump to having citizens who would participate in the decision making of the laws they were to live under.

Michael Anderson

George claimed:
"Many wiser heads than mine, including our Founders, have written and taught us over the centuries that democracies destroy themselves when the majority discovers that it can vote itself the wealth of the remaining minority."

Yes they did, which kept the Negro from substantially voting for almost 200 years. I know that going back to those bad old days is NOT what you are calling for. But I ask you to seriously consider what it IS that you are calling for, and other respondents so far have already posited that your "tests" will always be unwieldy and repressive, no matter how hard you try to make them fair.

If the Great Divide happens, it will happen with the south attempting to secede once again. But it isn't happening in a million fucking years in California, the world's 7th largest economic powerhouse, so I'd like to hear more about what you have in store for us locally.

But I would like for you to look at another angle. How about the rich folks who, according to Citizens United vs. FEC, are accorded the ability to "vote itself the wealth of the remaining minority" as well? Don't these two shitty situations cancel each other out?

If you say they don't, we will need to "run our horse around that barn" a few times, since I can quote fact and figure as to why a filthy rich silver spoon in Westchester County has a lot more votes than I do, and that this incontrovertible fact pisses me off to no end. Have you ever met a bond broker from Westchester County? They all have more votes than you or me, every one. But I speak as a 5th generation west coast pioneer, whose family has received multi-generational abuse from east coast silver spoons for over 120 years. I would not expect a one-generation American from Estonia to understand any of this unless he had done extensive research on the subject.

George incorrectly predicted:
"I and many other Americans believe we are firmly on that road now."

Sorry bud, we are on no such road. Your wavery Estonian glasses have given you one of the most incorrect views of what is going on in the world regarding socialism that I think I may have ever read. Call me when Denmark falls.

George offered:
"My post asks if there is anything to be done about that and suggests that a re-examination of the voting franchise could be a useful starting point."

As I stated, it would NOT be a useful starting point. It would be a disaster. However, I have an article for you to read that I think you might find interesting. Read it hear: http://www.alternet.org/south-dragging-rest-nation-down?akid=10653.6940.cYrfs1&rd=1&src=newsletter864267&t=9&paging=off

The sad fact is, the south will leave before you do. Are you moving to Alabama anytime soon?

Michael A.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: George Rebane | 13 July 2013 at 10:24 PM

"My post asks if there is anything to be done about that and suggests that a re-examination of the voting franchise could be a useful starting point.

If your answer is NO, then you take yourself out of the discussion, for all you have left is to dun me for bringing up the subject, which rapidly becomes boring."

Seriously George, your questions original premise is flawed; the people who take public assistance AS YOU DEFINE IT, are not the only ones who could be considered not to be 'productive and proficient'. My contention would be that there are a lot of defense contractors, corporate tax break recipients, agricultural subsidy recipients, and recipients of home mortgage deductions, who would qualify as failing the 'productive and proficient' test in my book.

Thus the question becomes 'who decides'.

My basic point is that the whole theory behind a democratic republic is that it encourages full participation and the extension of the franchise to the widest possible group of people possible. If your contention is that our republic is founded on the idea of maintaining the franchise to a narrower set of participants, then you are ignoring the last 223 years of American history. That's why I contend that the entire question is nothing but an Ayn Rand 'conservatarian' fantasy akin to ideological masturbation.

George Rebane

BenE 1113pm - I don't understand the point you are making.

stevenfrisch 640am - A wider reading would inform you that it is neither my nor your definition of public assistance, but the government's and that of the broad school of economists who calculate transfer payments when compiling the GDP which then the government reports.

Your aggregating defense contractors as being among the unproductive and inept is also at odds with the government's assessment. Many, including our historical enemies, believe that our defense contractors have provided the country with kick-ass weaponry unparalleled in human history, but your bringing that into the discussion is revealing.

My readings of the Founders also supports that they intended to extend "the franchise to the widest group of people (citizens) possible." I don't know what you meant by "full participation", a notion foreign to both Founders and the Constitution they gave.

The only concern that the Founders had with the franchise was the wisdom of the voter as evinced by, say, Jefferson and also Franklin's famous "a republic if you can keep it" quotes. It is, of course, the goal of any representative government seeking long-term stability to extend the franchise of its citizens to the widest latitudes possible, and I fully promote that.

Seeing the dire direction that the country is taking as corroborated not only by the Right but also by the Left (see truthout.com anticipating and calling for revolution) and even our own BenE, the question I raise seems to invite sober reflection. Why? because what we are doing is apparently all proper and legal. After all, is it not we, all of us together, who sent those bozos to capitols, state houses, and county administration centers to wield the power and guide us to where we are?

Although I am admirably credited with introducing all these outlandish thoughts, there are many others in the land who have been similarly concerned. I cited Bryan Caplan, who may be accused to view the political landscape through his Jewish glasses, as just one well expressed example. That has drawn a chorus of crickets.

Bill Tozer

Thomas Jefferson's view was that the citizenry must be informed and educated on matters to a certain degree to safeguard against our leaders and preserve the Constitution and our Republic for which it stands.

An educated citizenry is the best medicine, rather than taking the right to vote away from the dumb shats. Which brings up another dilemma, aka, the output of our public education system.

http://tcfir.org/opinion/Thomas%20Jefferson%20on%20Educating%20the%20People.pdf

There are too many quotes here to copy, so read it if you so desire.

fish

George,

Oh my...it's like the "monkeys in the kitchen" scene from charming 90's file "Jumanji" this morning.

This thread provides ample evidence that political thought only devolves....what a wonderful example of entropy.

stevenfrisch

It may surprise you George, since you have a propensity to define anyone who does not agree with you as an illiterate innumerate boob, but I read Caplan's article when it came out in 2007, and have used it several times as an example of oversimplifying the tension between markets and democracy.

"What economists currently see as the optimal balance between markets and government rests upon an overestimate of the virtues of democracy. In many cases, economists should embrace the free market in spite of its defects, because it still outshines the democratic alternative."--Caplan, The Myth of the Rational Voter

With all due respect, falling back on the defense that you are merely following the governments definition of what makes up a 'transfer payment' when your core point is that the government is both inept and incapable of making rational choices in allocating transfer payments, is internally inconsistent with your argument. It also conveniently ignores your history here of defining as transfers of wealth (subsidies) or transfer payments many of the same things I did.

I used the military industrial complex as an example because it is the business you were in for many years, and since you and others here routinely define my business as being blood-sucking, rent seeking collectivism, I wanted to highlight your own history of living off the government transfer payment teat and the largess of the American taxpayer.

If "It is, of course, the goal of any representative government seeking long-term stability to extend the franchise of its citizens to the widest latitudes possible, and I fully promote that" then how do you square the proposal to limit the franchise to only those someone would deem to be 'smart' voters? You have consistently failed to answer the question, here or on the other thread, of who would determine who is a smart voter.

I for one do not "overestimate the virtues of democracy", nor do I seek to elevate markets based on the idea that they "outshine the democratic alternative". My basic contention here is that these ideas are anathema to the founding principles of the United States, and that they once again serve to illustrate that for all your self proclaimed 'Americanism', your ideas are really quite alien.

By the way, in the interest of educating readers, Caplan's article can be found here:

http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa594.pdf

stevenfrisch

"I cited Bryan Caplan, who may be accused to view the political landscape through his Jewish glasses, as just one well expressed example."--George Rebane

Has someone accused Mr. Caplan as having 'jewish glasses'?

Funny, the idea that Mr. Caplan might be Jewish never even crossed my mind.

fish

I for one do not "overestimate the virtues of democracy", nor do I seek to elevate markets based on the idea that they "outshine the democratic alternative".


Careful Steve....you're going to throw out that shoulder again with the vigorous patting of yourself on the back!

stevenfrisch

Fish, perhaps you should stop for a second and consider exactly what George is saying here:

1) That democracy's flaw is that voters are stupid
2) That a more market based society and less popular sovereignty is the preferred alternative.
3) And [from another thread] that the voting franchise should be limited based on who are 'productive and proficient' and who some undefined group defines as not 'productive and proficient'.

I find it odd that people would so mistrust government that they would contend that it is incapable of governing [as evidenced by the moniker at the top of this page declaring presumably the last century as 'the last great century of man'] yet trust government to define the 'takers' and the 'givers'.

Don't you see the inherent internal inconsistency of this argument?

L

How about we just have elgible voters take and pass the same test that a legal immigrant is required to pass when he or she becomes a citizen. Flunk it, you go back and study until you can pass; then you vote.

George Rebane

L 1041am - the first real contribution to this post. Whether acceptable or not, your proposition does move the discussion ahead.

stevenfrisch 930am - you may have missed your thought partner's 115am citing of the problems caused by my "wavery Estonian glasses"

fish

Don't you see the inherent internal inconsistency of this argument?

Yes. Again Steve try not to self congratulate so much.

I find it odd that people would so mistrust government that they would contend that it is incapable of governing [as evidenced by the moniker at the top of this page declaring presumably the last century as 'the last great century of man'] yet trust government to define the 'takers' and the 'givers'.

I suppose it could be as simple as that percentage of the citizenry who contribute more in taxes than they consume could be allowed the franchise. The only problem is that the government in which you have placed so much trust has incurred a debt so large that that would permit an eligible voting pool that might fit comfortably in a standard sized school bus.

George Rebane

Stevenfrisch 922am – Thanks for the comprehensive and illustrative reply. I believe it to be an excellent example of why it’s so difficult for you to advance the debate over the points raised on RR. In these exchanges you primarily seek to debate with yourself, ascribing words to your counterpart and then deconstructing them. Let’s take a look; your remarks follow with my remarks in square brackets.

***********
It may surprise you George, since you have a propensity to define anyone who does not agree with you as an illiterate innumerate boob, but I read Caplan's article when it came out in 2007, and have used it several times as an example of oversimplifying the tension between markets and democracy. [Those are your words not mine. I happen to agree with Caplan and others that voters as a group are irrational, as are the collectivist ideologies and their apologetics arrayed in the comment streams here.]

"What economists currently see as the optimal balance between markets and government rests upon an overestimate of the virtues of democracy. In many cases, economists should embrace the free market in spite of its defects, because it still outshines the democratic alternative."--Caplan, The Myth of the Rational Voter

With all due respect, falling back on the defense that you are merely following the governments definition of what makes up a 'transfer payment' when your core point is that the government is both inept and incapable of making rational choices in allocating transfer payments, is internally inconsistent with your argument. It also conveniently ignores your history here of defining as transfers of wealth (subsidies) or transfer payments many of the same things I did. [I have ‘defended’ nothing, but merely answered your previous question about ‘who decides’. You have misunderstood and misstated my “core point”. And I have not increased the scope of the government’s definition of transfer payments when it comes to supporting your professional efforts; they are what they are.]

I used the military industrial complex as an example because it is the business you were in for many years, and since you and others here routinely define my business as being blood-sucking, rent seeking collectivism, I wanted to highlight your own history of living off the government transfer payment teat and the largess of the American taxpayer. [Calling the sums paid to defense contractors as derived from “the government transfer payment teat” is longstanding collectivist attribution. Neither the government, nor any other ideological cohort in the land defines these monies as transfer payments – it is merely an established part of the leftwing’s redoubt when reasoned argument fails.]

If "It is, of course, the goal of any representative government seeking long-term stability to extend the franchise of its citizens to the widest latitudes possible, and I fully promote that" then how do you square the proposal to limit the franchise to only those someone would deem to be 'smart' voters? You have consistently failed to answer the question, here or on the other thread, of who would determine who is a smart voter. [Your auto-debate continues. I have proposed no requirement for voters to be ‘smart’, and it is a question that you have not asked before. I did attempt to answer your query about who decides adequate levels of productivity and proficiency that you misinterpreted as my minimum standards for the voter franchise.]

I for one do not "overestimate the virtues of democracy", nor do I seek to elevate markets based on the idea that they "outshine the democratic alternative". My basic contention here is that these ideas are anathema to the founding principles of the United States, and that they once again serve to illustrate that for all your self-proclaimed 'Americanism', your ideas are really quite alien. [First, I’m not at all sure that you have understood very many of the ideas I have presented, since your attempts to rephrase them almost always totally change their intended meaning (purposefully or unintentionally?) as also evinced by the comments of other readers. And for the record, you constantly come across as the final arbiter of who is/not an American, and are the first person in my life to ever have doubted the authenticity of my Americanism, as these pages attest. And your belief that “these ideas are anathema (“alien”) to the founding principles of the United States” does no credit to your reading of history and contemporary commentary on our body politic. Nevertheless, your assiduous representation here as an exemplar of progressive thought and intellect is deeply appreciated.]

Paul Emery

George

Can you give us an idea of the ways and means you would implement your ideas expressed in this post? How would it be done? Testing, some judical proceeding. State, Federal local or all of the above......... ????

Ben Emery

Everyone the premise their should be some kind of poll tax is a very regressive approach. I kind of got sidetracked below so I will finish my point here. Republicans have at least half the blame for the lack of civics in our nation as do the Democrats. Once again we have a duopoly or one party tyranny with the illusion perpetuated by corporate media that we have an actual choice. When for a decade congress has an 85% or greater disapproval rating no matter what party controls it tells us we there is a major dysfunction going on in a democratic republic.

I am fast to criticize the Democratic Party because they play the role, very poorly in my opinion, of the party of the people in this dysfunctional government to the highest bidder. Whether liberals not progressives want to admit it or not the Democratic Party are willing to participants whole heartedly in this system. Doesn't anyone find it odd the Democrats haven't said a peep about the "war on voting" since the election? Meanwhile ALEC written legislation is continuously being proposed at the state level all over the nation restricting voting for predominately democratic voting blocks. Just like the Republican Party the D's have their go to issues to get out the vote.

Republicans- Guns, God, Gays, Abortion

Democrats- Voting, Abortion, Environment, Marriage Equality (Biden screwed the pooch when he forced the D's to play that trump card and as we are seeing the country is moving very quickly in that direction)

Both parties when they sit in secure majorities while controlling the executive branch usually do squat on these issues because they need them to show the difference between the part
ies come election season.

George Rebane

PaulE 144pm - Great question Paul, but I hope that you haven't been bamboozled by SteveF and BenE in their efforts to attribute to me their misconstruction of this post. I invited a discussion on the merits of some painfully obvious inequalities among America's franchised voters that could (should?) inform a revised voting franchise to benefit the nation. Beyond that, I have expressed no ideas for a solution.

Nevertheless and as I anticipated, all of the liberal responses have been the usual lambasting the messenger and attributing to him all the usual black marks for bringing up the notion. The only contribution so far has come from L's 1048am.

What are your thoughts on the matter? BTW, a valid response would be to conclude that we should leave things as they are, the republic will do just fine with an ever growing fraction of voters ignorant of the issues, candidates, and pretty much everything else (per Bryan Caplan). On this I also refer you to historian David McCullough's recent interview on CBS.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57591393/journey-through-history-with-david-mccullough/

Applicable quotes from there by McCulloug, "We are raising children today in America who are historically illiterate." "We need to revamp the teaching of the teachers." Given the venue, the gentlemanly scholar was being too kind.

Paul Emery

George

My initial thoughts are that such a system has much more potential for abuse than what we have. Imagine the political influence on setting up the criteria for voting. I was hoping you would have some ideas about ways and means because it was your idea to discuss this. I am reminded of Paul Goodmans famous quote that a "community has as much deviant behavior as it deserves." Thats not very comforting but it is inclusive of the situation.

I could, for example, take great exception for example in allowing certain Christians, Islamic and other religious groups making political judgements for me when in their view life on this earth is just a stepping stone to some eternal bliss for the believers or hell for the non believers. That totally effects their view of the world and I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with that if we were setting up a criteria for voting. . In your view how does that fit in the mix?

Bill Tozer

In the constitution of Spain as proposed by Cortes, there was a principle entirely new to me: ... that no
person born after that day should ever acquire the right
s of citizenship until he could read and write. It is
impossible sufficiently to estimate the wisdom of this
provision. Of all those which have been thought of for
securing fidelity in the administration of the governm
ent, constant reliance to the principles of the
constitution, and progressive amendments with the pr
ogressive advances of the human mind or changes in
human affairs, it is the most effectual.
--Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816.

George Rebane

PaulE 343pm - agree with you on keeping religionists out of selecting voters.

And also agree that any proposed new system that bases the franchise on merits does have a good chance of being abused. But I am among those who feel that our current system is already abused. As with many other things in the public forum that don't work, we remain silent about the operation of our voting franchise. The conversations that I overhear and have with conservatives consists almost all complaints, and few alternative proposals. Most certainly it is also topic too painfully hot to handle by conservatives as we can see how many of them have leaped in here help things out. But then, as you so slyly point out, it's up to me to express the deviant behavior and provide a forum for such issues. I don't think RR has a reputation for sticking with the easy ones.

I am challenged by your invitation for me to propose some approaches that would make a "corporatist/autocrat" (did I get that right?) lick his chops.

Ben Emery

George,
I think my position on the topic is pretty clear. I reject discussing the issue on a public forum giving the idea merit. In a one on one situation or small private group just for philosophical discussions fine but to even consider the idea as legitimate is way over any line I can cross.

George Rebane

BenE 948pm - Since you won't tag the comment you're referring to, I have no idea what you're rejecting here.

stevenfrisch

Posted by: George Rebane | 14 July 2013 at 11:36 PM

Hey George, I think Ben is referring to disenfranchising voters based on a property ownership, or 'recipient' of public largess, or literacy and numeracy test.

As the final arbiter of what "Americanism' is I would say Ben is rejecting your misunderstanding of American founding principles.

Ben Emery

George,
Responding to your 14 July 2013 at 03:21 PM comment.

My response to comment.

"I think my position on the topic is pretty clear. I reject discussing the issue on a public forum giving the idea merit. In a one on one situation or small private group just for philosophical discussions fine but to even consider the idea as legitimate is way over any line I can cross."

Posted by: Ben Emery | 14 July 2013 at 09:48 PM

The idea of having what amounts to a poll tax (burdens to the poor)levied onto registered voters to have the right to participate in our nations laws, rules, and regulations is an outrageous unconstitutional assault on the ideals of what the Declaration Of Independence and what has become the US Constitution through the movements that has increased democracy throughout our history.

George Rebane

BenE 905am - You did have me confused (maybe I still am) about your position. If you're reluctant to discuss this or any other issue on RR of your disliking, why not just remain silent?

Todd Juvinall

Hey what did I miss?

Ben Emery

George 15 July 2013 at 09:37 AM,

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

To allow the conversation to go on like it was legitimate and something worth exploring was just unacceptable for me.

As I have stated here before. I come to RR to give an alternative opinion/ perception to your opinions and discussions for those who might visit but do not participate. Many people have asked how can I stand commenting here? They read what people are saying but would never consider inserting themselves into the conversation.

There is nothing personally to be gained in our back and forth. Early on I thought there might be and tried to move the conversations towards some kind of solution dialogue but was berated and insulted constantly. So what is the point. So I started coming here to put out my opinions and to challenge the so called "conservatives" in their philosophies and ass backwards worldviews.

Ben Emery

Here is another great Martin Luther King Jr speech. I am pretty sure this speech was on April 4, 1967 exactly one year before his assassination.

Silence Is Betrayal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4T0Yq_fYjY

George Rebane

Update - Being asked to give my own thoughts on how the voting franchise should be revised, I have offered a more detailed outline in the 15jul13 update to this post. As always, I invite a critique and/or edits of the ideas presented. And I do recognize that there are many readers who abhor any changes to today's voter requirements save, perhaps, relaxing them even more.

George Rebane

BenE 1126am - Ben, your suffering and sacrifice is duly noted, and should be doubly appreciated by your fellow ideologues. And those of us whom you regularly astound are equally grateful for your comments.

Todd Juvinall

Property owners only on voting. No one in a union or on a government check should be able to vote. There, that is the answer to our problems. Oh, a a photo ID is required.

fish

So I started coming here to put out my opinions and to challenge the so called "conservatives" in their philosophies and ass backwards worldviews.

Good to see that the "healing" has begun.

Paul Emery

Todd 11:44

Are you being serious or sarcastic? Can I quote you on this in the future?

Let's see, cops and fireman and schoolteachers can't vote right? Renters can't vote. Unless you state otherwise I'll take this as your position.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, you are too much. Of course I am being sarcastic. All Americans should vote. LOL!

Todd Juvinall

Reading the update of George's ideas on what should be required I have this opinion. I would suggest that all children in school be taught to read, write and do math (including percentages) and there should be a test every year in their grade. By the time they are a senior in High School they should have been washed sufficiently with the knowledge of voting. There should not be a test for anyone after that except for legal immigrants.

I would also include in the yearly curriculum of the education system the washing of our founding documents, what they mean and the life stories of our Founders. The Revolution and Civil War too. Those items could be inj a civics class, history class or social studies. Every student should pass a test on the documents, write a term paper every year on each Amendment and have "comprehensive" retainment of what they write. More to follow.

For PaulE, what do you think about that? Or should I get your attention by stating that only landowning males should vote? LOL!

Paul Emery

Todd

In regards to curriculum for schools in your view should that be determined by the county, state of federal school juristictions ?

Todd Juvinall

I don't care.

Gregory

Just build in a combined literacy and IQ test into the ballot itself... Make the Butterfly Ballot the law of the land for every election.

All the wet dreams of thwarting the mentally challenged and dependent classes from voting are doomed to failure because they can't pass Constitutional muster, and it's a waste of time to dream about them.

Paul Emery

Pretty important question Todd. Who do we give the responsibility of developing curriculum ? It would seem that Conservatives and Libertarians would want it local as possible. I lean in that direction myself.

Ben Emery

If I had to go off of the commentary here most wouldn't pass a Constitutional test. Right Wing Think Tank and NRA interpretation are stretches to say the least and I would say outright lies in many cases.

George Rebane

BenE 318pm - Again, without a referent it's hard to tell what you are talking about. Small children start out assuming the content of their thoughts are available to all, and have an epiphany when they discover that is not the case. Then they begin to alter their speech to communicate more effectively. Here to attempt to decipher your brevities requires reading all previous comments, assigning possible associations, remembering them, and then going to the trouble of formulating a response to a possibly wrong connection. I decline the effort.

fish

Right Wing Think Tank and NRA interpretation are stretches to say the least and I would say outright lies in many cases.

You are undoubtedly correct Ben. Perhaps one of the many unbiased organizations under the Soros umbrella or as an alternative I'm sure the NEA can be counted upon to develop something fair and relevant to the civics with which all Americans should be familiar.

Gregory

Paul, the classic common school was wholly a local enterprise, helped along by an unfortunate truth that nursing and teaching were about the only two fairly professional occupations completely open to bright women up until the mid 20th century.

A problem with "as local as possible" in our current public schools is it isn't really "local" when unionized teachers are the 600 pound gorillas in the mist, with statewide and even nationwide union agendas that aren't down with actually holding teachers accountable for adequate yearly progress of their students in the aggregate.

Hey, how about turning over curriculum standards nationwide to an unaccountable 501c3 in Washington, DC with strong corporate ties to textbook and test providers. Does that sound good to anyone? Does everybody realize that's the situation as of now?

Todd Juvinall

I am back with my new desktop and Windows 8. Yikes. Forgive my errors.

Greg you are the truth teller. The unions for public employee jobs have to be outlawed. Each "local" school filled with union employees dances to the instructions of the state and national chapters. So local really isn't local.

I say we start with my idea to make America a yearly learning experience with tests of course. I will develop the criteria along with George, Greg and PaulE and it will become a national part of every school. Chief Justice John Roberts will certainly find it constitutional since we will add a one cent tax to the curriculum.

So, what do you say? Let us do this and make it a requirement for all chilln starting after say 2020?

Paul Emery

Todd

Sounds like big government to me. National program hmmmmm

L

Let's try again. In my opinion, the minimum standards required of a would-be voter would be the ability to read and understand simple English, and a basic understanding of our government and how it is structured = literacy + civics. We require this (at least so far) of citizenship applicants. Is it asking too much that the native-born should at least meet this rather minimum standard? L

George Rebane

L 829pm - could you please differentiate your approach with what I have written in this post's 15jul13 update. Thanks.

Michael Anderson

I'll take a crack at it...


• Only citizens may vote.

Check.

• The vote shall not be denied any citizen on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, educational background, ownership of property, status of wealth/indebtedness, or condition of un/employment.

Check.

• No one institutionalized for mental or criminal reasons (including being on parole) shall be granted suffrage. However, once being released, full voting privileges will be restored upon passing the applicable literacy/numeracy test described below.

Parole too? I am currently of the belief that convicted felons should be allowed to vote, once they have done their time. Why can't people vote while on parole?

• Voters shall pass a basic literacy test (similar to drivers’ license tests) before granted suffrage, and periodically (say every ten years) thereafter. Voters must demonstrate ‘functional literacy’ as defined by the Dept of Education (see NAAL, the longitudinal survey of adult literacy conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics). The test shall also include and/or be given within the context of the informational requirements demanded of naturalized citizens as determined by the federal government.

Unconstitutional, as mentioned by GG. Non-starter. Fuhgeddaboudit.

• Voters shall demonstrate minimal numeracy (‘numerical literacy’) skills in basic arithmetic (add, subtract, multiply, divide) including understanding what is a percentage. Again see the NCES longitudinal survey.

Fuhgeddaboudit.

• There is no limit to the number of times the test may be taken.

Not applicable, since this will never happen.

• The voter eligibility status will be reflected on a person’s driver’s license, state issued ID, or other such commonly carried form of identification that can be presented to poll or voter registration workers (or its PIN entered for online voting or by snail mail).

Unconstitutional. Fuhgeddaboudit.

Michael A.

Michael Anderson

One last thought...

Voting rights, privilege, duty, and process are the least of this country's worries. The only reason that you, George, dredged this subject up from the Pit and Pendulum is because you see the handwriting on the wall: tomorrow's voters are not from Estonia, they are from Latin America, and they vote overwhelmingly Democratic! You and your belief systems are totally hosed!!

What we REALLY should be worrying about is how our ancient political system, which was invented when the steam engine was king, is now hopelessly broken. This is a good place to start on that subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/opinion/bruni-dcs-pit-of-despair.html?hp

Sorry George, this is how it's all gonna play out: the deeply tanned people will continue to nullify your vote in America, and our political system will either collapse and be replaced, or it will be reformed into a more socialist, egalitarian, and less-warlike/more kinder nation.

You will be forced to sit on the sidelines and watch your world crumble. You had it great in the 20th century, what with your fat gov't cost-plus contracts. All that is gone now. Welcome to a 21st century that you can either learn to embrace, or die promulgating nonsense that the younger generation uses as starter material for their comedy skits.

A third alternative is for you to go to Burning Man, where you will actually receive an education of which you have never before experienced. Gordon will be glad to fly you over there, and I personally guarantee that you will come away with a different perspective on the world. I even have a bike that you can use.

M.

Michael Anderson

And here's a gratuitous piece that you will certainly enjoy -- "In 1954, 96 percent of American men between 25 and 54 years old worked. Today, 80 percent do. One-fifth of men in their prime working ages are out of the labor force."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/opinion/brooks-men-on-the-threshold.html?hp&_r=0

Bill Tozer

Mr. Anderson. RE: Your last post. All the more reason for suffrage to be granted to an educated citizenry whom the voter can reason, understand the Constitution and vote themselves in leaders who know how to get America back to work. Of course this may fall under the category of duty rather than suffrage.

George Rebane

MichaelA 1226am++ - First thanks for the extended comments and frank rebuttals. Reading them a number of points come to mind.

• I’m sorry that you are so unfamiliar with RR’s contents. Your “gratuitous” information about the trends in America’s workforce demonstrates that you are unaware that systemic unemployment has been a major theme in these pages. And your tutorial on the future face of America confirms it. As they say, you enjoy carrying coals to Newcastle.
• Your ideas about the Constitution and constitutionality seem to be sclerotic in a one-sided manner. As a liberal you and yours have had no problem trashing and end running the document when it has served your collective aims, but then you see it as a brick wall when a new idea comes along that may actually restore and preserve the liberties and individual opportunities of former years.
• There is nothing that I have proposed that is any more impossible to implement in our Republic than that which has already been implemented by amendment and judicial rulings (I leave out executive end-runs). Your arguments stand on improbability not unconstitutionality; and there I agree with you, as again these pages have shown over the years.
• As with most liberals, you continue viewing the matter of the voting franchise on the basis of race and ethnicity, even when any new proposal does not involve those factors.
• Your view of America as being in an asymmetric stasis, seeing progress only in the direction of socialism and bigger government is acknowledged. That future is one that RR rails against.
• You and yours are in the majority, no doubt about it. The tipping point has been passed. The only surprise you may have coming is the millions of Americans that still have the aspirations I share and that are described and celebrated on these pages. As a country we are of two distinct minds that grow farther apart by the day (witness the response to the Zimmerman verdict).
• Your promotion of the sad and growing state of voter ignorance as the salvation of the Republic is in my humble opinion both widespread and in deep error.

fish

Voting rights, privilege, duty, and process are the least of this country's worries. The only reason that you, George, dredged this subject up from the Pit and Pendulum is because you see the handwriting on the wall: tomorrow's voters are not from Estonia, they are from Latin America, and they vote overwhelmingly Democratic! You and your belief systems are totally hosed!!

100% correct Michael. And they'll continue to vote democratic until it dawns on them that they serve a dual purpose. To be yoked for inexpensive labor and milked for for government revenue. You won't want to be in their path when they decide that propping up social welfare programs "invented when all the TVs were black and white" (sorry your steam engine line was better but a guy has to work with what's available) isn't in their interest any longer. Hope you weren't counting on that revenue for a comfortable retirement Michael.

Has the black community been told yet that they're not "Team Democrat" favorites anymore....lord knows that won't be a pleasant break up......let us know how it goes. No justice, No peace and all that!


Sorry George, this is how it's all gonna play out: the deeply tanned people will continue to nullify your vote in America, and our political system will either collapse and be replaced, or it will be reformed into a more socialist, egalitarian, and less-warlike/more kinder nation.

Reformed into a more socialist system? Why not stay in Mexico (or Honduras, or Guatamala, etc.) then?

Kinder nation? You're delusional!

I do agree about a less warlike future.... far too expensive. Partial credit.

You will be forced to sit on the sidelines and watch your world crumble. You had it great in the 20th century, what with your fat gov't cost-plus contracts. All that is gone now. Welcome to a 21st century that you can either learn to embrace, or die promulgating nonsense that the younger generation uses as starter material for their comedy skits.

Good to see the closet nihilist letting his mask slip....very refreshing!

A third alternative is for you to go to Burning Man, where you will actually receive an education of which you have never before experienced. Gordon will be glad to fly you over there, and I personally guarantee that you will come away with a different perspective on the world. I even have a bike that you can use.

Did you use to have to say "Woodstock" when you tried this argument before Burning Man ?

How is "Burning Man" an endorsement of any argument you've made up to this point? "The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance". The "top down", ham fisted, democrat political method that seems to be favored by a certain faction posting at RR is no more popular there than the post WWII structure that you say is crumbling (I agree with this incidentally).

So what is Mike: Socialist or Anarchist?

stevenfrisch

Posted by: George Rebane | 16 July 2013 at 06:57 AM

Yeah Michael, who do you think you are assuming that establishing an unconstitutional literacy and numeracy test has anything to do with 'race and ethnicity"? Can't you see that "any new proposal does not involve those factors"?

It is purely a coincidence that 'conservatarians' are proposing restricting voting rights by establishing tests that it will be more difficult for immigrants to the country [who are 80% of Latino descent] to pass at a time when the predominance of white, Christian, western European voters is declining.

Don't call George and his minions racists! They vehemently deny any such allegation! This is about principles...constitutional purity...it is just common sense...it is a simple little change.

Of course it is also a coincidence that these are the same arguments made in Americas not so distant past about denying the franchise to kIkes, chinks, beaners, bohunks, burr heads, dagos, hippos, japs, krauts, paddys, ragheads, and zipperheads.

Fortunately we still live in the United States of America, where such nativist disdain for immigrants leads to their sons being elected President of the United States

George Rebane

stevenfrisch 751am - the manner of citing your comment gives the reader the erroneous impression that what follows are my words. Which underlines my long held observation that you have great difficulty with dialogues. They always turn out to be a monologues wherein you supply the voices, opinions, and beliefs of both parties - sort of like a puppet theater.

Ben Emery

George,
Another difference between a progressive vs liberal. Remember the definitions I gave a while back. Liberal Democrats are just as bad as conservative Republicans in supporting their team blindly.

Liberal- a person who wants everybody to be able to live comfortably in a corrupt system

Progressive- a person who wants to change the corrupt system so everybody can live comfortably.

Cornell West
Cornel West: Most Liberals Are ‘Morally Bankrupt’
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/07/14/cornel-west-most-liberals-are-morally-bankrupt

Bill Tozer

Mr. Frisch. Your talk of minorities in the US passing a literacy test is racist in and of itself (IMHO). What makes you think that any person is less intelligent or incapable of mastering a literacy test based solely on the color of their skin? I hope you are not implying that Native Americans are less intelligent or have a diminished capacity to reason and improve their minds...or worse yet, that someone cannot/will not posses the ability to understand complex issues because their skin is darker than yours?

If so, then the Bell Curve is valid. As we enter the post-racial era we must remember we judge (as the Conservatives on these pages always have) a person on the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. Witness the many quotes and support of Black Conservatives. We debate issues, not pigment.
And we debate these issues proudly.

As far as immigrants goes, all naturalized citizens must take a test and pass it before having the highest honor of obtaining US citizenship. The test includes understanding English, our liberties, our Constitution, and civic duty by extension. Millions have mastered the citizenship test required to become citizens with the right of suffrage.

Mr. Frisch, a little side note. I noticed you used the term hippos in your list of derogatory terms attributed to white racists. When the young white student at Penn was booted out for yelling "Quiet down you hippos" at a group of loud drunken women outside his dorm room in the wee hours of the night, he was allowed back on campus after he was absolved of being non PC at his hearing. None other that the head of the NAACP sent an affidavit that the term "hippo" was not a racist term, nor has it ever been. Calling a boisterous fat drunk a fat drunk hippo may be hurtful, but not racist.

If I am a racist then I am guilty as charged. If racism means I am superior to others bases solely on the color of my skin, then I am not guilty. In fact, I may be inferior intellectually to others of different races. If this was truly a color blind society based solely on merit, then 70% of the grads from MIT and UCLA Medical School would be Asians, 14% white, 8% Latino, and 8% black.

fish

Fortunately we still live in the United States of America, where such nativist disdain for immigrants leads to their sons being elected President of the United States

Please tell me you were standing on a box orating to a large crowd when you made this statement.

It's not that you don't make reasonable points Steve....it's just that there is so much of the "politician" that leaks out when you post!

Ben Emery

Bill,
Traditionally since people of color were slaves and weren't allowed to attend schools with whites for hundreds of years literacy tests were inherently racist. If we look at poverty in the US and which demographic that has the biggest % of poverty in their ranks it still is people of color. Since our school funding is tied to property taxes those who live in low income housing areas usually have some of the least accessibility to cutting edge programs, thus are at a disadvantage. Making a literacy test that just by coincidence tests to the areas poorer schools have a hard time putting it into the curriculum.

12% of white children live in poverty

38% of black children live in poverty

35% of hispanic children live in poverty
http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

fish

Traditionally since people of color were slaves and weren't allowed to attend schools with whites for hundreds of years literacy tests were inherently racist.

Wow Sherman....how far in the past will you set the "WayBack" machine to make todays argument. There are no segregated schools that aren't that way due to where people live and you can only shovel so much money into poverty programs before "system gaming" makes any further improvements counter productive. Unless you want to force integration in living arrangements what else do you propose (and good luck with that)?

How much does DC spend on its schools on a per pupil basis to produce the same shitty results they've been getting since the 1960s?

Ben Emery

Fish,
Giving historic context to the discussion. But I guess actual history scares the pants of many people who don't like to consider the F'ed up way our flawless founders set up the country to work at the beginning. What was genius about the founders wasn't what they set up for themselves but rather a system that could change with time and opinion. Those who believe in original intent literally are putting themselves back into a time where human beings were considered property of white males, including all women.

So I will put into the a question to make my point.

Who gets to form and write the tests?

I will give you a good but very funny example. Watch this clip and see how many answers you might get correct. My guess it would be very few. Lets say you had to get 70% of the questions correct to be able to vote.
http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/s6ew40/chappelle-s-show-i-know-black-people-pt--1

George Rebane

BenE 941am - Wow! Your citing that 'test' in the context of this discussion reaches the heights of cynicism witnessed in these pages. Were I to put a finer point on it, to judge the utility of such 'tests' as being anywhere near on par with a test in American civics would also qualify it as an expression of racism. But alas, that finer point cannot apply to progressives.

Ben Emery

George,
Actually that clip although meant to be funny is very relevant to the topic. You like the idea of the literacy as long as it is your test. Do you really think people of color see the United States the same way as you do? I don't care how "successful" and educated a person of color is they know what it feels like to be scrutinized everywhere they go.

The point was if a segment of the population isn't exposed to certain information or experiences it is impossible for them to answer questions that pertain to that information and experiences. Did you watch the clip? How many did you get correct? As foreign as "Badunk-adunk" and "Lucy's" are to you is the idea of liberty, equality, and the American dream are for many people of color.

You really don't seem to grasp what the United States and the world look like through the eyes of a population that have been oppressed, suppressed, and discriminated against the entire history of our nation.

fish

You really don't seem to grasp what the United States and the world look like through the eyes of a population that have been oppressed, suppressed, and discriminated against the entire history of our nation.

Sorry dude...hate to spoil the narrative but this isn't the 60's any longer....you need to move on. There are no more Bull Connors turning hoses and dogs on blacks trying to vote and sit at lunch counters. No one around today was ever a slave and not a citizen.

Watch any bay area news reports last night? 45 years ago it would have been "wood shampoo" time. Last night....mild indifference from law enforcement.

No one is asking me anything about 1/2 Irish 1/2 Scandinavian culture to qualify me to vote! I'd have a better chance passing Mr. Chappelles test (I'm serious...I was doing as well as most of the contestants) but if I had to take a test about the basic (and I do mean basic) functioning of this government I could pass the test. Most of the black people I know could pass as well.

Ben Emery

Fish,
Although it was journey was done in 1959 and book published in 1961 I encourage you to read the book "Black Like Me".
http://www.humanitiestexas.org/news/articles/black-like-me

Before you claim we are no longer living in those times as you did in your 16 July 2013 at 10:49 AM comment.

Dogs, fire hoses, and overt Bull Conners aren't to be used for discrimination and suppression to be taking place. 500 years of history and culture doesn't just go away because a few laws were passed in the 1960's.

Ben Emery

correction

Should read

"....Bull Conners aren't necessary for discrimination ...."

fish

500 years of history and culture doesn't just go away because a few laws were passed in the 1960's.


A few laws?

Well then Ben what do you propose? I think we're well into "law of diminshing returns" territory but by all means tell me how we can improve things from this point forward.

Bill Tozer

Good point Mr. Fish, and funny. The point of diminishing returns.

Ben, no one is denying our history of slavery and keeping the slaves uneducated. Much bloodshed was shed under horrible conditions to right this wrong in The War Between The States. Yes, it was a war between the states that an fore-mother (is there such a word?) of mine (Harriet Beacher Stowe) was attributed to starting by no less than Abraham Lincoln.

What I am saying is that all men/women of courage do and can rise above adverse circumstances. Yes, many of our students sadly do not aspire to greater things, and it they do, they lack the will or ambition to make it happen. I blame this primarily on the break up of the family unit. Having 74% of black children born out of wedlock and knowing Uncle Sam will meet their needs has proven to be a modern day plantation, DC style.

On a personal note, one of my most admired people in our history was a black female slave. Seeing her futile future she begged her slave master and his wife to let her take her son to a place where a black kid could receive an education. She respectfully begged and begged until she received permission. She (Miss Mary) took her son and walked 500 miles on a most perilous journey, hiding all they way. A black slave in those days must be most careful when off the plantation. The boy indeed arrived to get a basic education and the mother left him there and returned to slavery as promised.

You may not know the woman's name since she is not even a footnote in our history. Her name was Mary Carver. Her son's name was George Washington Carver. That is the ambition and tenacity I am talking about. BTW, have you seen the price of peanut butter lately?

fish

Although it was journey was done in 1959 and book published in 1961 I encourage you to read the book "Black Like Me".

http://www.humanitiestexas.org/news/articles/black-like-me

Before you claim we are no longer living in those times as you did in your 16 July 2013 at 10:49 AM comment.

Dogs, fire hoses, and overt Bull Conners aren't to be used for discrimination and suppression to be taking place. 500 years of history and culture doesn't just go away because a few laws were passed in the 1960's.

Ben I retract my request for clarification in the matter or rebuttal of any previous statement. I'm beginning to smell the vague stink of sockpuppetry.

Anyone here can confirm the actual existence of Mr. Emery (and that he's not suffering from debilitating mental issues or serious head trauma) and I'll issue an apology.

Published in 1961......?? Really.....?!

stevenfrisch

Posted by: George Rebane | 16 July 2013 at 08:07 AM

I thought my citation was pretty clearly a response to your post. If that was unclear I apologize.

Fish & Bill, I think my meaning is clear--the motivation behind literacy tests, as Ben aptly points out, is restricting the franchise based on race and national origin, and any reading of it any other way denies our 240 year history.

By the way, the term 'hippo' is an ethnic slur aimed at Romanians of Gypsy descent, not 'fat women', just another quaint American term picked up from a misspent youth on the ethnically diverse streets of Chicago.

fish

....the motivation behind literacy tests, as Ben aptly points out, is restricting the franchise based on race and national origin, and any reading of it any other way denies our 240 year history.

Immediately after slavery when the majority of the black population had no access to education (in this instance I'll assume reading and simple writing only)....what's the excuse now? Oh and any white guys who fail the test....well how bout they don't get to vote either?

Bill Tozer

Mr. Frisch.....and Jap stands for Jewish American Princess on the streets of Beverly Hills. Furhtermore, the difference between a Mexican American Princess and a Jewish American Princess is that with the Mexican American Princess the jewelry is fake but the organisms are real.

Ben Emery

Fish,
Yes 500 years of history of tyranny, oppression, suppression, and discrimination against people of color. It started with the genocide of the Arawaks who met Columbus in 1492. It continues still today in different shapes and forms. Wake Up and pull your head out of the sand.

George Rebane

re BenE 713pm - I wonder what should be done when millions in America are judged by BenE to have their heads in the sand about so many things. Is it time for FEMA re-education camps for us?

Todd Juvinall

Hey there BenE, please explain the 1000 years or so of the black Moors in Spain. How about the Turks (people of color) with their enslavement of the Armenians and others in the Caucus regions for six hundred years. You are just too much a self hater to be an honest American.

How do you feel about the drug cocaine BenE? Do you believe it should be legalized? Maybe then there would be less people of color murdered by other people of color? Or is that the white mans fault too?

Ben Emery

No George, that would be your solution. I actually don't support authoritarian style approaches.

So George, am I lying about Columbus? I am I lying about our founders? I am lying about the discrimination of people of color? If I am not lying, how can we say an ingrained 500 year history can be wiped out in a few decades?

stevenfrisch

Posted by: Todd Juvinall | 16 July 2013 at 07:33 PM

Two words Todd: Dark Alliance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Alliance

stevenfrisch

The authoritarian solution would be to deny people the right to vote because you think they are stupid.

Under those conditions if I wrote the test Todd, Greg, George, Russ, Fish, Dirtmover (whatever happened to Dixon), Bill and almost everyone else posting here would not be able to vote.

stevenfrisch

But I must regress to my original statement: The question posed is pure fantasy; akin to asking, "what if the last 223 of history had not occurred?" It is impossible to even take seriously.

Ben Emery

I guess you guys aren't smart enough to figure it out. We are not talking about a single issue. How can it be that in the US the founders felt such little compassion towards other living human beings that they would create laws that would make them property not a person? How could an entire country sit back and allow Jim Crow laws to be put in place for so long? How could it be when Todd was just getting ready to avoid the military people of color were still fighting to get voting rights and civil rights that would make laws apply to them equally as whites? Separate is not equal.

It was taught and ingrained into our culture and society that people of color were less than human, that is how. That doesn't happen with one issue it has to be pervasive in every aspect of society for it to get so ingrained that good people would sit back and allow fellow human beings be treated like chattel.

fish

So George, am I lying about Columbus? I am I lying about our founders? I am lying about the discrimination of people of color? If I am not lying, how can we say an ingrained 500 year history can be wiped out in a few decades?


I'm 50 this year you useless red diaper wearing piece of shit and I'll not grovel before your PC nonsense and neither will any of my children or theirs I pray. For the 50 years of my existence this government has tried to remedy past injustice to the best (in my eyes anyway) of its abilities with multi trillions of contrition forcibly extracted from the taxpayer and we are now no closer to making things better than they were when they started. Nobody who posts (nor the vast majority of the populace) here slaughtered the Arawaks, no one here owned a slave, nor do I think any would if given the opportunity.....but you you miserable groveling cur...if you think that blood sacrifice is required to atone for events 500 years ago then I cordially invite you to pen your apology and eat the barrel. I only hope to learn the location of your final plot so I can visit and empty my bladder on a complete waste of skin!

Ben Emery

Fish,
It is the handed down mentality for those 500 years that people of color are less than human or at least inferior to whites. If you are 50 years old when you were born the civil rights and voting rights act hadn't been passed yet. So once again a couple laws and policies for 50 years aren't going to reverse 500 years of racism, discrimination, and oppression. I don't think blood sacrifice is needed just not more discrimination.

Todd Juvinall

Fish excellent depiction of BenE and SteveF. They are two ungrateful people. As you can see they never answer any of our questions and are really just two very dumb people about real life. But keep up the good work fish, you are a hoot!

Frisch, I have no interest in your interest in violent video games. Keep playing though, it clearly explains your lack of smarts.

fish

You are a fool and not worthy of any more of my time.

Ben Emery

Fish,
You are the fool who thinks affirmative action is reparations for hundreds of years of being property and treated less than human. Being treated as equals is the reparations not needing an affirmative law to mandate quota's. Do you see the difference? One is a band aid and the other is justice. I guess that is what I get for trying to converse with someone who doesn't stand by their opinion enough to use their real name. Unless Fish is your real name.

Bill Tozer

Ben, in the Holy Bible (can I say Holy Bible or am I allowed only to say Holy Koran?, but I digress once again). Hmm. Restart. In the Holy Bible the Children of Israel were slaves for 400 hundred years. When they left Egypt, immediately things got dicey and they clamored to go back. At least in Egypt they knew where their bread was coming from. They knew what to expect, despite horrid living conditions. They had the slave mentality.

God was displeased with them and their slave mentality. He said no one of that generation (even Moses) could step foot in the Promised Land. They wandered around the desert until that generation all died off and only the new generation who did not have the slave mentality was able to enter the Land of Milk and Honey.

That is how the story goes. I see and know your point quite well and I read Black Like Me in grammer school and Malcolm X in jr. high. Yes, there is a black experience that we don't share.

My deep concern is some of the liberal persuasion keep parading the former slaves around and around in the wilderness and they are not entering the Promised Land. Its like they dig up dead slaves to assuage themselves with.

Don't know if it is all white guilt (read Jefferson's adjectives and nouns concerning the savages eating acorns) or trying to make yourself morally superior or what. The longer you make excuses for someone the longer it takes for them to be accountable for their actions. The longer we keep bringing up slavery, the longer our fellow Americans cling to the slave mentality. Where my Obamaphone?

Bill Crosby, Barrack Obama, and countless others have tried to get the black community to stand up and clean house. The NAACP has barred conservative black folk who voice the accountable theme. This should only be discussed in-house, not in public Bill Cosby was admonished. When Candidate Obama voiced the same theme, The Godly and Most Holy Reverend Jackson said he wanted to cut Barrack's dingle berries off with a knife. How violent.

Where my Obamaphone? There is a time to stop making excuses for little Johnnie. Maybe when all those from the Civil Rights Era die off, then real change can be made and we can happily enter the post racial era with a new generation to whom slavery and the slave mentality is in the dust bin
of a foggy long ago bad dream.

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