Piggington minipoll: If the elections were held today, I would vote for

Submitted by Coronita on August 27, 2008 - 8:47am
McCain
33% (46 votes)
Obama
52% (74 votes)
Nadar
1% (1 vote)
Write in Elmer Fudd
6% (9 votes)
Not vote
8% (11 votes)
Total votes: 141
Submitted by Coronita on August 27, 2008 - 8:49am.

Not trying to start a political war here. I'm just curious how this community's poll would end up.

Please, no flame wars here about candidates. Afterall, this isn't a political blog.

I'm just curious how folks who are represent a more financially/economic aware audience more so than the average J6P stacks up against J6P.

Submitted by PCinSD on August 27, 2008 - 9:52am.

fat_lazy_union_worker wrote:

Please, no flame wars here about candidates. Afterall, this isn't a political blog.

FLU, are you serious? In the past 6 months this site has become more of a political blog than anything else. You've posted frequently to the political topics - and just started another one. I noticed in the past you intentionally tried to get the political topics bumped down the list and off the active forum topics. I thought that was kinda cool.

Them's the facts. I'm not saying the posters can't turn this into a political blog, because they already have. Just be honest about what this site has become.

Submitted by afx114 on August 27, 2008 - 10:16am.

You should probably put Ron Paul and Bob Barr up there as options.

Submitted by Diego Mamani on August 27, 2008 - 10:18am.

"Nadar" is Spanish for swim. Can Mr. Nader swim?

Submitted by cr on August 27, 2008 - 10:23am.

Maybe he means Nadal?

The big mystery to me is who is better for the economy. What I read says McCain will lower taxes on the rich and raise them on the poor. Of course they don't qualify those classes, but Obama will of course raise taxes on everyone with his "Social Justice" Manifesto ala Karl Marx, with a heavier burden on those making over $250k.

Even Ron Paul is too isolationist IMO, but that may still be better than the McBama ticket.

Submitted by an on August 27, 2008 - 10:24am.

afx114 wrote:
You should probably put Ron Paul and Bob Barr up there as options.

Agree.

Submitted by Coronita on August 27, 2008 - 10:25am.

Nader...

Sorry, typo on my part, and I can't correct it now, otherwise it resets the poll....

Submitted by Coronita on August 27, 2008 - 10:27am.

pabloesqobar wrote:
fat_lazy_union_worker wrote:

Please, no flame wars here about candidates. Afterall, this isn't a political blog.

FLU, are you serious? In the past 6 months this site has become more of a political blog than anything else. You've posted frequently to the political topics - and just started another one. I noticed in the past you intentionally tried to get the political topics bumped down the list and off the active forum topics. I thought that was kinda cool.

Them's the facts. I'm not saying the posters can't turn this into a political blog, because they already have. Just be honest about what this site has become.

pabloesqobar, i know. But I really just want to see how people on this blog are planning to vote, and not really what people think who is a "better candidate".

I think the audience on this blog are quite different from those of J6P, and was curious if we'd have rough 50/50 split.

Submitted by greekfire on August 27, 2008 - 2:21pm.

afx114 wrote:
You should probably put Ron Paul and Bob Barr up there as options.

I also agree.

Cooprider: I like most of your posts, but I have to point out that there's a difference between isolationism and non-interventionism.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 27, 2008 - 11:55pm.

Since winner-take-all elections cater to 2.5 political parties, referencing the representatives from the 3 highest performing parties (or factions) seems pretty reasonable. The humor entries were pretty funny (y'know for a union worker or code monkey).

Seriously, the only situations in which 3 or more parties are viable are those in which proportional representation is a feature. For example, in Germany, if 20 parties each win 5% of the votes they each get 5% of the seats (hence the rise of a certain fringe nationalist party in the early 30's).

Our system only has 3rd parties to function as a splintering foil (eg: 92 and 2000). The exception to this is when a major party implodes and a 3rd party takes control of most of its factions. The best example of this is Lincoln's rise as the champion of our nation's youngest major party (the Grand Old Party--ironic).

But hey, keep voting for Ron and Bob. As a liberal democrat, I welcome you throwing away your right leaning votes. And the republicans thank Nader as well.

Submitted by greekfire on August 28, 2008 - 12:34am.

urbanrealtor wrote:
Since winner-take-all elections cater to 2.5 political parties, referencing the representatives from the 3 highest performing parties (or factions) seems pretty reasonable. The humor entries were pretty funny (y'know for a union worker or code monkey).

Seriously, the only situations in which 3 or more parties are viable are those in which proportional representation is a feature. For example, in Germany, if 20 parties each win 5% of the votes they each get 5% of the seats (hence the rise of a certain fringe nationalist party in the early 30's).

Our system only has 3rd parties to function as a splintering foil (eg: 92 and 2000). The exception to this is when a major party implodes and a 3rd party takes control of most of its factions. The best example of this is Lincoln's rise as the champion of our nation's youngest major party (the Grand Old Party--ironic).

But hey, keep voting for Ron and Bob. As a liberal democrat, I welcome you throwing away your right leaning votes. And the republicans thank Nader as well.

UR: On one hand you are chuckling to yourself knowing that votes for Ron Paul or Bob Barr will cut into McCain's total; or that votes for Ralph Nader will cut into Obama's total. Then, on the other hand, you are questioning the very system that you have invested everything in as you cast your vote for whomever.

The American governmental system is based on checks and balances divided amongst 3 governmental branches (executive, legislative, and judicial). This contract between the government and its constituents has proven to be superior to any other offered up until this point.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 28, 2008 - 1:11am.

Dear Greekfire

(First, is that a reference to a frat?)

You are correct on all counts.

I believe in working strategically to further my interests using the tools available to me as a member of the effective electorate.

Also I do not think that our current form of government is the only answer. It is my favorite for many reasons but blindly following government seems stupid.

I have not "invested" much. I moved to this country when I was young with my American-born parents. I am a citizen from birth but I don't mythologize our government as you seem to. It has its strong points (eg:it weeds out true extremists) and its shortcomings (eg: it stifles diversity of political opinion).

Also, you don't need to rehash an explanation of our basic government system. I mean, you can if you like, but I did go to elementary school in this country.

And yes I do chuckle to myself as I watch the right become split and therefore less effective at winning elections. I hope for more in fact.

Submitted by jimmyle on August 28, 2008 - 10:14am.

Ron Paul or Bob Barr, but Ron Paul is not on the ballot. Reagan and W. Bush increased our budget deficit more than any Democratic president ever did and I am afraid that McCain is going to do the same thing.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on August 28, 2008 - 10:41am.

I'm voting my ideals. Obama it is.

Submitted by renterclint on August 28, 2008 - 7:02pm.

What does that really mean? "I'm voting my ideals."

It sounds so dreamy...
Does it seem like Obama supporters incorporate notions like "ideals", "hope", and "vision" into their conversation a lot? Maybe it's just me.

It almost sounds like you're saying "If you do not vote for Obama, you're not voting for your ideals."

Pablo E wrote to FLU - "In the past 6 months this site has become more of a political blog than anything else. You've posted frequently to the political topics - and just started another one. "

Don't be too hard on FLU, it is an election year afterall. I love a good debate about the presidential election. Weird, but it's kind of like a sporting event for me. My interest in politics subsides a large degree after the 'superbowl' is over. Then we can really get back into the housing thing 100%.

I do go to political sites occasionally, but in my opinion the intellectual quality of this group that posts here is hard to beat. I have learned a lot from the posters here over the last couple of years & I look forward to what you people have to say. So I say keep the civil, facts-based off-topic political posts coming at least for the next few months.

I'll vote McCain or Obama-rama - not sure yet.

Submitted by afx114 on August 28, 2008 - 8:22pm.

If someone hasn't realized by now that politics, the economy, and by extension the housing market are intertwined, then they are hopeless.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 28, 2008 - 8:48pm.

Wow afx,
Thats so deep, its swimming.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on August 28, 2008 - 9:13pm.

renterclint wrote:
What does that really mean? "I'm voting my ideals."

It means that I'm not calculating on a spreadsheet how it's going to affect my pocket book.

Obama makes me feel young and idealistic again. That's a very powerful feeling.

There is such a thing as being on the right side of history vs. on the wrong side.

People who didn't support universal suffrage and those who were against civil rights were on the wrong side of history.

History has pretty much declared the Vietnam War a terrible mistake. And history will speak on Iraq.

Americans and especially Californians have always been forward looking and ahead of their times.

I feel that voting for McCain is a vote for the status quo.

Voting for Obama is passing the torch on to the next generation (mixed marriage, a new perspective on Black Americans, meritocracy, multi-culturalism, race relations, etc...)

Be honest with yourself and you'll vote for the right candidate.

Submitted by PCinSD on August 28, 2008 - 9:14pm.

afx114 wrote:
If someone hasn't realized by now that politics, the economy, and by extension the housing market are intertwined, then they are hopeless.

Not sure what you mean afx114. If you are implying that all of the political posts are "intertwined" with discussions related to housing - well, you're wrong. In theory, I agree with your statement. However, the reality of this blog begs to differ. Take this post, for example. Has a single poster addressed how their vote for a presidential candidate will effect the Ssan Diego housing market? No. In fact, almost all (if not all) political posts never mention real estate in San Diego. Intertwined in theory - yes. Within the reality of this blog - it doesn't happen. Maybe I'm just hopeless.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 28, 2008 - 10:02pm.

patientlywaiting: History has declared the Vietnam War a terrible mistake? Really? I'd like to read that history book because that opinion is very much at odds with the facts.

Take a hard look at Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos post-April 1975 and tell me what happened when the US exited Southeast Asia. Discuss how the benevolent North Vietnamese dealt with South Vietnam, or how Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouges "re-educated" the people of Cambodia. Remember the "Killing Fields"? The terrible mistake is what happened after we left.

I agree that idealism is a powerful force, and there is no doubting the power of Obama's rhetoric or oratorical skills. But don't let blind idealism guide you at the expense of facts or an objective view of history. Demagogues are all too effective at exploiting that for their own ends.

Submitted by greekfire on August 28, 2008 - 10:34pm.

Urbanrealtor,
I didn't mean to offend, so if I did I apologize. Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire, mostly in naval battles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_fire

Yes, this blog does ebb and flow in the political realm from time to time. This is an election year, so there are a lot of political posts. There has still been a lot of info listed here related to San Diego housing, Rich and others are still providing their expertise for FREE, so it is still serving its purpose well. I certainly am not complaining.

The Republican Party is fractured, as well it should be. I have had numerous discussions on this topic and have come to the conclusion that the GOP is either inept, or they don't think they have a chance at winning in 2008, so they are focusing on 2012. I arrive at this conclusion because Ron Paul got 1.2 million votes in the primaries and the GOP has not only not reached out their hands to his wing of the party, they have marginalized and fought them at every opportunity!

I am predicting that Obama will win in convincing fashion in November. Do I think Obama is a good speaker and effectively markets the "change" message? Absolutely. Do I think he will truly effect change? Not really. My instincts tell me that he is not the agent of change that he is currently being marketed as.

Does Obama talk about true "change" in our monetary and tax policies? You know, getting rid of the IRS, the income tax, and the Federal Reserve and replacing them with nothing? No. Instead he talks about tweaking some tax credits here and closing some loop holes there...just enough surgical moves to make it look like he is pandering to the poor masses while not losing favor with the political/corporate elite and banking cartel that is really in control of the puppet strings. McCain doesn’t talk about true monetary change either.

Does Obama talk about true “change” in our foreign policy? You know, getting our troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Asia, and re-adopting Thomas Jefferson’s policy of “commerce with all nations, alliances with none”. No. Obama talks of sending more troops into Afghanistan, he said he would go at it with Iran if they didn't comply, and has never talked about (to my knowledge) why we still have troops in over 700 bases in more than 130 countries…and how we are going broke and can’t really afford to pay for it. McCain actually wants to expand our overseas military escapades.

I could go on and on, but don’t want to filibuster this thread. The point I stress is not one against Obama or McCain, per se, but rather against our current two party political system. I argue that a strong third party will give American citizens another viable option, one that truly has a chance at winning. The political elite are very astute in realizing that many people vote for those who they “think have a chance to win”, rather than voting on principle alone. A strong third party will provide another opportunity for competition and choice in the electoral process, which will inherently help “check” the other two major parties from stepping too far out of line.

PS: AFFB: I was wondering when you were going to chime in.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on August 28, 2008 - 10:59pm.

Allan, I had a feeling you'd respond to me. :)

I respect your knowledge of history. And I know you're a conservative. I am too in many ways.

However, I believe that this election is exceptional. We, Americans have the opportunity to make history in the eyes of the world by electing a Black candidate and putting the issue of race to rest.

I don't know about you, but when I was young, I wanted to change the world, make it better. It felt great to be idealistic.

I feel some of our board members are too focused on their jobs, their W2s and 1040s, and acquiring their McMansions with matching luxury car.

I can sense a shift in our society the same way there was when JFK was elected.

Look at Obama. His family is the tableau of the future America. His mom was White and his dad Black. His uncle fought during WWII. His grand-parents grew up in Kansas. His sister is 1/2 White, 1/2 Indonesian, and married to a Chinese-Canadian professor.

Obama is obviously very talented. I'm going to give him a chance, if only to make myself better.

The fact that the political establishment has embraced Obama makes him a safe bet. He won't screw-up our country. He has a good of chance of making America great again in the eyes of world.

Imagine how the Europeans, especially the French, will come to admire us again.

Like I said, I'm voting my ideals and my gut instincts. I feel that's the right thing to do.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 28, 2008 - 11:21pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
patientlywaiting: History has declared the Vietnam War a terrible mistake? Really? I'd like to read that history book because that opinion is very much at odds with the facts.

Okay this should be good.
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Take a hard look at Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos post-April 1975 and tell me what happened when the US exited Southeast Asia. Discuss how the benevolent North Vietnamese dealt with South Vietnam,

Okay bullshit Allan.
I don't generally start discussions that way but you are generally not so weak as to be damaged by it. Of course this discussion may prove me wrong.

The part of this you are missing is that we were invaders. The ARVN in the south who stood with us were collaborators.
They were slaughtered.
They deserved to be slaughtered.
If we were invaded and the invaders left and the collaborators were left defenseless I would slaughter them.
That's what you do if you care about your country.
If you don't slaughter collaborators you are not a patriot.
If you would not do that for the US, then Allan, you are not an American.
I have no illusions about what I just said.
And absolutely no apologies.
None.

The bottom line is that we failed to bring western-oriented capitalist democracy
We failed.
We failed because the civilian bosses of the US miltary did not support the war.
We could have bombed or taken over but generally our heart is not in wars of conquest

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
or how Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouges "re-educated" the people of Cambodia. Remember the "Killing Fields"? The terrible mistake is what happened after we left.

The funny thing there is that our campaigns in that country are what empowered the reds in Cambodia. We were okay with the Khmer hurting the Viets. Funny how nationalist oriented socialist movements end up looking a lot like national socialist movements. This is especially true of ones oriented around a cult of personality.
Since there were no killing fields in Vietnam like Kampuchea after our withdrawal from Vietnam, the argument that genocide is caused by our withdrawal does not hold.
I am disappointed by your assertion.
It was weak.
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

I agree that idealism is a powerful force, and there is no doubting the power of Obama's rhetoric or oratorical skills. But don't let blind idealism guide you at the expense of facts or an objective view of history. Demagogues are all too effective at exploiting that for their own ends.

There is no objective view of history. Idealism is not blind. It may be short-sighted at times but it is generally pretty clear on what it wants.

It is not being exploited to vote for who seems to represent achievement of your goals.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 28, 2008 - 11:24pm.

urbanrealtor wrote:

Seriously, the only situations in which 3 or more parties are viable are those in which proportional representation is a feature. For example, in Germany, if 20 parties each win 5% of the votes they each get 5% of the seats (hence the rise of a certain fringe nationalist party in the early 30's).

I don't agree with this... third parties could be viable in a winner-take-all system if we employed a more sensible voting system such as approval voting -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_vo... .

The current system we are all used to (plurality voting) leads to very sub-optimal results for various reasons, in addition to ensuring the stranglehold applied by the two big parties.

(For the record I think the two big parties are pretty well equally ridiculous, and I'm not nuts about any of the third parties either. Which is one of the many reasons I have no interest in these political threads... but the topic of voting systems skirted by UR's post was nerdy enough for me to chime in :-).

Rich

Submitted by gandalf on August 28, 2008 - 11:30pm.

Obama will win.

No more boomers. It's our turn.

(Except for Joe Biden. He can stay. That dude cracks me up.)

Submitted by greekfire on August 28, 2008 - 11:44pm.

patientlywaiting wrote:
The fact that the political establishment has embraced Obama makes him a safe bet. He won't screw-up our country.

What?! PW, I have admired a lot of your posts, but this one is truly wind shear (you heard it here first) to me. The political establishment has embraced him, therefore he is a safe bet? He won't screw up our country? George W Bush was not only embraced by the political establishment, but many GOP'ers would argue that he had a mandate. Your logic tells us that we should embrace him for such? What will it take to get you and others to understand that the political establishment is the main culprit here and not the solution?

patientlywaiting wrote:
Imagine how the Europeans, especially the French, will come to admire us again.
Are they supposed to respect us more if we elect a person simply because they are black? That's the main tone I get from many in the Obama camp. We are due to elect a black man just because he is black and we have never had a black president. This, to me, is the same collectivist attitude that perpetuated slavery and racial segregation, only in reverse.

Meritocracy? That's a system whereby we promote people based on their achievements and merit, not on the color of their skin or the size of their wallet. Who cares how the Euros will perceive us? Yes, I want them to respect us for our ideals, but I don't want to elect leaders or enact policy solely based on skin color or foreigners will perceive it.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 28, 2008 - 11:45pm.

Dan: My assertion was weak? Okay, let's take just one part of yours then, shall we?

That would be that the ARVN were collaborators. That presumes that the North Vietnamese, including the Viet Cong were in the right, and the US supported South was in the wrong. Am I reading that correctly?

The North made no bones about their desire to conquer the South and hence the US intervention. As to our being invaders, my understanding of the Vietnam War (and this would predate our involvement and go back to the partition of North and South) is that we were asked for help by the South against the North, which was actively attempting to subvert the internationally recognized government through insurgency (National Liberation Front) and invasion of their own (North Vietnamese Army).

The North had absolutely no reason to be there and the South Vietnamese government made that abundantly clear. To their detriment, they chose to believe that the US would support them even after we pulled our last combat troops out in 1973 and Congress proved their faith horribly misguided, leading to the fall of the South in 1975.

This is where I want to focus. What happened to the remnants of the Viet Cong and the South Vietnamese Communists, Dan? Hmm? The very people that had supported the Communists of the North and toiled all those years, fighting the US and the ARVNs. I'm sure you know this one, right? They were butchered right along with the ARVN "collaborators". Their families were either killed along with them, or sent into re-education camps or worse. How many millions were displaced following the fall of Saigon? Yet the North had promised "equality" for all Vietnamese and an "enlightened" approach to "unity".

And, yeah, there is an objective view of history, so you can spare me the Graham Greene moral ambiguity, along with the canned Karnow and Halberstam view of Vietnam. Yes, I know about Operation Phoenix, and Air America and MACV/SOG.

The facts speak for themselves and continue to do so. Vietnam remains hopelessly corrupt and led by the same "enlightened" brigands we fought during the war.

Submitted by gandalf on August 28, 2008 - 11:52pm.

Rich, man...

Could you please take your 'economics of game theory 101' to an Econ blog???

Talking politics here.

Prisoner X is renditioned to an undisclosed country in the Middle East and interrogated. He confesses a voting preference for candidate A. Should Prisoner Y agree to vote for candidate B in exchange for a pardon? Will Candidate C obtain enough of the remaining vote to require Candidate A to form a parliamentary coalition with C? If Candidate C promises a pardon to Prisoner Y, will Prisoner Y throw their support behind a coalition government of Candidate B and C? What is the most probable outcome? Explain your answer using traditional principles of game theory.

(Apparently, this was an actual problem appearing on Professor Piggington's final exam...)

Submitted by Shadowfax on August 28, 2008 - 11:55pm.

Ralph Nader is a wacko, egotistical, potential candidate.

Nadar is some arab guy who won't get many votes....

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 28, 2008 - 11:56pm.

PW: This actually has nothing to do with my being conservative, as I ain't voting for McCain neither.

I sincerely hope that Obama proves to be everything he is touted to be. I see the parallels to JFK, but would remind you of JFK's record as President and that he accelerated our mission in that very war (Vietnam) you call a terrible mistake.

I admire voting your ideals, I really do. Sadly, I am too pessimistic by far to think that either party represents "ideals" anymore, rather they are there to support the sprawling American hegemony that keeps us in McMansions and Hummers.

As to French admiration: I am reminded of Jacques Chirac chiding us for our interventionism at the same time as French paratroopers patrolled the streets of Cote D'Ivoire protecting French business interests.

The Europeans will do whatever they have to do to maintain the status quo ante and the events in Georgia show that in spades.

That is not to say that we have some fence mending to do in the world at large, and I think Joe Biden's selection as VP was brilliant. And, I agree with gandalf: Biden's a hoot. A verbose hoot, but a hoot.

Submitted by greekfire on August 29, 2008 - 12:01am.

Maybe it's me, but I personally would think twice before I pissed off AFFB. One of his posts leads to 3 days of research.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 12:26am.

greekfire wrote:
Urbanrealtor,
I didn't mean to offend, so if I did I apologize. Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire, mostly in naval battles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_fire


Sorry. It sounded like Rhinefire or some silly thing like that. Somehow I always think of Greek Fire as having a space. I dunno.
greekfire wrote:

Yes, this blog does ebb and flow in the political realm from time to time. This is an election year, so there are a lot of political posts. There has still been a lot of info listed here related to San Diego housing, Rich and others are still providing their expertise for FREE, so it is still serving its purpose well. I certainly am not complaining.


Not sure about your point here.
Not really convinced about Rich's expertise except that he is adept at pointing out the need to adhere to basic common sense. Not to disrespect him. I just think he raised the level of discourse from blind boosterism and contrarian stupidity. I am pleased certainly but not terribly impressed. I am more impressed with his skill with drupal (which seems to really hurt my brain when I try to fuck with it).
greekfire wrote:

The Republican Party is fractured, as well it should be. I have had numerous discussions on this topic and have come to the conclusion that the GOP is either inept, or they don't think they have a chance at winning in 2008, so they are focusing on 2012. I arrive at this conclusion because Ron Paul got 1.2 million votes in the primaries and the GOP has not only not reached out their hands to his wing of the party, they have marginalized and fought them at every opportunity!

They marginalized him because he was already marginal and they wanted to get the most votes.
greekfire wrote:

I am predicting that Obama will win in convincing fashion in November. Do I think Obama is a good speaker and effectively markets the "change" message? Absolutely. Do I think he will truly effect change? Not really. My instincts tell me that he is not the agent of change that he is currently being marketed as.

I largely agree. I am voting for him because his position more closely match mine than do McCain's.

Any actual change is just icing on the cake.

greekfire wrote:

Does Obama talk about true "change" in our monetary and tax policies? You know, getting rid of the IRS, the income tax, and the Federal Reserve and replacing them with nothing? No. Instead he talks about tweaking some tax credits here and closing some loop holes there...just enough surgical moves to make it look like he is pandering to the poor masses while not losing favor with the political/corporate elite and banking cartel that is really in control of the puppet strings. McCain doesn’t talk about true monetary change either.

Okay can you explain the whole cartel thing for those not in the know of this particular conspiracy theory?
greekfire wrote:

Does Obama talk about true “change” in our foreign policy? You know, getting our troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Asia, and re-adopting Thomas Jefferson’s policy of “commerce with all nations, alliances with none”. No. Obama talks of sending more troops into Afghanistan, he said he would go at it with Iran if they didn't comply, and has never talked about (to my knowledge) why we still have troops in over 700 bases in more than 130 countries…and how we are going broke and can’t really afford to pay for it. McCain actually wants to expand our overseas military escapades.

I am not sure how following an 18th century enlightenment deist would be helpful. I don't see how weakening our military strength globally would be helpful. However on the latter point, I am willing to listen to a good argument or two.

greekfire wrote:

I could go on and on, but don’t want to filibuster this thread. The point I stress is not one against Obama or McCain, per se, but rather against our current two party political system. I argue that a strong third party will give American citizens another viable option, one that truly has a chance at winning. The political elite are very astute in realizing that many people vote for those who they “think have a chance to win”, rather than voting on principle alone. A strong third party will provide another opportunity for competition and choice in the electoral process, which will inherently help “check” the other two major parties from stepping too far out of line.
My ass.
Like I said before, winner-take-all elections (like we have in the US) cater to a 2 party system with a third always on the periphery. I encourage the independent minded conservatives to vote their conscience. That way, they get their principle and I get my candidate. I welcome the independent conservative vote.
greekfire wrote:

PS: AFFB: I was wondering when you were going to chime in.

And you did not expect that this would do it???

Submitted by Shadowfax on August 29, 2008 - 12:31am.

Fresh from a re-run of Obama's speech. I think he answered a lot of questions tonight. Provided some specifics that have been needed. He referred to people losing their homes or struggling to pay their mortgages. And the failed economic policies (among others) of the last 8 years. So politics does tie in to the housing market.

I have to say: for those of you who suspect that Obama will implement too many social programs, my response is there have been social programs galore for the last 8 years! Why is Exxon/Mobil making (still) record profits?!?! Newsflash: Because gas prices are through the roof, genius! Think they could cut into their PPS (profit per share) by bringing PAP (prices at pump) down? If that money were used in R&D for non-petroleum energy sources, I might forgive them, but it wasn't. It went into the pocket of their already filthily rich CEO and a few monolithic shareholders. And companies like that are structured so that the only entity that makes any money (after they write off all their operational expenses carried as losses in wholly owned subsisiaries which nets them, for tax purposes, an operating loss but results in a shareholder gain--go figure) is the one that is organized under the laws of some scum-sucking Carribean island with no income tax and a treaty that keeps the US from getting any either.

So, bottom line, if I have to pay 1/3 of my income in taxes, I'd rather feed some kids, get them some adequate schooling, see the roads paved, pay policemen a decent wage and a pension, INSTEAD of watching that fat fuck Exxon CEO make ANOTHER billion dollars that he will use to stuff his fat face and buy another Mazerati! Guess that makes me a socialist. fine with me.

I didn't feel any difference in my wallet when Bush's tax cuts were implemented. Being solidly upper-middle class, I just didn't feel it. Net gain/loss was the same. My parents, who are life-long working class (despite college educations) and near the poverty line sure as hell didn't! But I bet Bill Gates did. And I really could have done without a rebate check in May of this year. The pittance really didn't effect my life much, but in the aggregate, could have been a nice pay down of our national debt.

There's the "welfare" that helps people survive and there's the corporate welfare that I find reprehensible. Go Obama--I have to have some sort of faith that someone will break the cycle of corruption or I will really just go mad (or move to Canada--wasn't that #97 on What White People Like?)

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 12:33am.

Rich Toscano wrote:
urbanrealtor wrote:

Seriously, the only situations in which 3 or more parties are viable are those in which proportional representation is a feature. For example, in Germany, if 20 parties each win 5% of the votes they each get 5% of the seats (hence the rise of a certain fringe nationalist party in the early 30's).

I don't agree with this... third parties could be viable in a winner-take-all system if we employed a more sensible voting system such as approval voting -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_vo... .

The current system we are all used to (plurality voting) leads to very sub-optimal results for various reasons, in addition to ensuring the stranglehold applied by the two big parties.

(For the record I think the two big parties are pretty well equally ridiculous, and I'm not nuts about any of the third parties either. Which is one of the many reasons I have no interest in these political threads... but the topic of voting systems skirted by UR's post was nerdy enough for me to chime in :-).

Rich

True Rich.
If the political system were totally different it would not be the same.

You only assist my point that American winner-take-all (which is, by definition, plurality based) is geared towards 2 primary tier and a single secondary tier party.
I actually used to have a roommate who did his dissertation on this. His final number was 2.41 political parties for any single office.

Thank you for the assist.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 12:38am.

gandalf wrote:
Rich, man...

Could you please take your 'economics of game theory 101' to an Econ blog???

Talking politics here.

Prisoner X is renditioned to an undisclosed country in the Middle East and interrogated. He confesses a voting preference for candidate A. Should Prisoner Y agree to vote for candidate B in exchange for a pardon? Will Candidate C obtain enough of the remaining vote to require Candidate A to form a parliamentary coalition with C? If Candidate C promises a pardon to Prisoner Y, will Prisoner Y throw their support behind a coalition government of Candidate B and C? What is the most probable outcome? Explain your answer using traditional principles of game theory.

(Apparently, this was an actual problem appearing on Professor Piggington's final exam...)

Don't be obtuse wizard.
Game theory is the primary focus of the most renowned poli sci program in the country (UCSD).

UCSD's profs (most notably Matt McCubbins) consider game theory to be essentially extended logic. While I think that goes a bit far, the reality is Nash, Von Neumann, and Morganstern were instrumental in creating a vocabulary for discussing motivation and incentive structures.

Submitted by gandalf on August 29, 2008 - 12:56am.

Game Theory??? HAH! I laugh at your Game Theory.

I write code for Diebold. }-]

Submitted by Shadowfax on August 29, 2008 - 12:58am.

urbanrealtor wrote:
True Rich. If the political system were totally different it would not be the same.

Wow, Dan, that's deep....and obvious.
(haha)

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 1:00am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Dan: My assertion was weak? Okay, let's take just one part of yours then, shall we?

That would be that the ARVN were collaborators. That presumes that the North Vietnamese, including the Viet Cong were in the right, and the US supported South was in the wrong. Am I reading that correctly?


Nope. I am not asserting a moral rightness.

I am asserting that we were invaders.
We came in as the French left and supported a faction that was born of, and rooted in, the old colonial government.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

The North made no bones about their desire to conquer the South and hence the US intervention. As to our being invaders, my understanding of the Vietnam War (and this would predate our involvement and go back to the partition of North and South) is that we were asked for help by the South against the North, which was actively attempting to subvert the internationally recognized government through insurgency (National Liberation Front) and invasion of their own (North Vietnamese Army).

The partition was an artificial construction of colonialism. I do not acknowledge that there were 2 distinct countries with legacies that were distinct. I do acknowledge that there were, briefly 2 distinct state units in a single national geographic region.
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

The North had absolutely no reason to be there and the South Vietnamese government made that abundantly clear. To their detriment, they chose to believe that the US would support them even after we pulled our last combat troops out in 1973 and Congress proved their faith horribly misguided, leading to the fall of the South in 1975.

See previous for the first sentence.
See Afghanistan in the 90's for the second.
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

This is where I want to focus. What happened to the remnants of the Viet Cong and the South Vietnamese Communists, Dan? Hmm? The very people that had supported the Communists of the North and toiled all those years, fighting the US and the ARVNs. I'm sure you know this one, right? They were butchered right along with the ARVN "collaborators". Their families were either killed along with them, or sent into re-education camps or worse. How many millions were displaced following the fall of Saigon? Yet the North had promised "equality" for all Vietnamese and an "enlightened" approach to "unity".

To them it was a civil war that had foreign powers as a major component.

In any civil war, final conquest has to be absolute. Hence the existence of people like General Sherman.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

And, yeah, there is an objective view of history, so you can spare me the Graham Greene moral ambiguity, along with the canned Karnow and Halberstam view of Vietnam. Yes, I know about Operation Phoenix, and Air America and MACV/SOG.

The facts speak for themselves and continue to do so. Vietnam remains hopelessly corrupt and led by the same "enlightened" brigands we fought during the war.

Have you been to Southeast Asia?
Vietnam is a well developed and beautiful country.
They are fiercely independent and consider the Americans to be the weakest of the invading entities they have endured (squarely behind the Chinese and the French).

They are doing well and don't really take communism all that seriously.

Not entirely sure how you can consider our defeat there (sorry, tactical withdrawal) as a victory.

I am also not sure how our failure can be considered bad when you consider the current situation there. Their GDP is growing at between 6 and 8.5% annually. That would be nice to have here right now.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 1:01am.

gandalf wrote:
Game Theory??? HAH! I laugh at your Game Theory.

I write code for Diebold. }-]

Really?
A code monkey on Pigg?
I never would have guessed.

So do we blame you for the voting machines?

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 1:17am.

Shadowfax wrote:
urbanrealtor wrote:
True Rich. If the political system were totally different it would not be the same.

Wow, Dan, that's deep....and obvious.
(haha)


Yeah I go for the gold that way.

But seriously, to say that our political system would work if we changed the nature of voting is like saying Ayn Rand would make sense if the world she envisioned was true. Thats the kind of logic that inspires one after the 3rd bong hit. And yes, I just called Rich a stoner. Not that I actually believe that but its funny to imagine (I don't get out much since the baby).

While were at it, Budweiser would be good if Guinness brewed it. This I can actually attest to because they do that in Ireland. Its killer.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 29, 2008 - 7:54am.

Dan: Vietnam is a beautiful and well-developed country? Let's look at some external sources to rebut that. Starting with Global Integrity's ranking of Vietnam: http://www.globalintegrity.org/reports/2....

I went out and grabbed some articles at random about Vietnam's corruption and ill run governance and the Communists are still large and in charge, thank you very much:

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/07/05/Worlda...

From The Economist: http://www.fva.org/200209/story03.htm (Note the mention of the government's restriction on personal freedoms and juxtapose that with your assertion that they "don't take communism all that seriously").

BBC report about the reaction of Vietnamese officials to a UN report on religious freedom(s) in Vietnam: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pa...

As to America being the weakest of the invaders (and you forgot to mention the Japanese in there), I urge you to read General Giap's memoirs closely, especially the part about the 1972 bombing campaigns over Hanoi and Haiphong (Operations Linebacker I and II). Or an even better book is "My Vietcong Memoir" by Truong Nhu Tang, a founding member of the Viet Cong: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0394743....

Tang's book will debunk a lot of your misconceptions about the war and from both the American and Vietnamese Communist perspectives.

As to conflating the behavior of the Vietnamese Communists with General Sherman's "March to the Sea" (I am presuming this is what you're speaking of): Puh-leeze. Sherman's directive was to deny aid and sustenance to the Confederate forces (part of the "total war" doctrine that was emerging with the Union forces) and that is what he did. He did not, however, round up all the members of the South and execute them out of hand or subject them to torture. Sherman's campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas were brutal to be sure, but don't even hold a candle to what happened when the North Vietnamese assumed power over the South in 1975. Speaking of weak assertions.

In your previous post, you mentioned that an "American Patriot" would have slaughtered his opponents after victory. Yet, following the American Revolutionary War, we didn't put all of the Loyalists or Tories to death, did we? Nope.

And following the cessation of hostilities in the American Civil War we didn't execute all of the survivors of the Confederacy, either.

Vietnam is a beautiful country, to be sure. It is not, however, "well developed". It is endemically corrupt, repressive and poorly run.

As to US support of the Khmer Rouges, I think you are confusing Lon Nol with Pol Pot or perhaps Prince Sihanouk. I can't be sure because it was an offhand comment that was left undeveloped.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 29, 2008 - 8:00am.

Dan: Budweiser in Ireland isn't better because it's brewed by Guinness, it's better because it has like 4x the alcohol.

And, why in the name of God would you drink Budweiser when in Ireland?!? You are surrounded by some of the best beers in the world, including Guinness, Harp, Murphy's and Smithwick's, and you drink Bud?

Geez, Dan, you are supposed to be an erudite member of San Francisco's cultural elite and you are quaffing Buttwiper? No, no, NO! Say it ain't so!

Are you secretly drinking Sutter Home Chard, too? What sort of plonk do you and the missus guzzle when the help isn't looking?

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 29, 2008 - 8:51am.

urbanrealtor wrote:
Shadowfax wrote:
urbanrealtor wrote:
True Rich. If the political system were totally different it would not be the same.

Wow, Dan, that's deep....and obvious.
(haha)


Yeah I go for the gold that way.

But seriously, to say that our political system would work if we changed the nature of voting is like saying Ayn Rand would make sense if the world she envisioned was true. Thats the kind of logic that inspires one after the 3rd bong hit. And yes, I just called Rich a stoner. Not that I actually believe that but its funny to imagine (I don't get out much since the baby).

While were at it, Budweiser would be good if Guinness brewed it. This I can actually attest to because they do that in Ireland. Its killer.

Dan, you said "Seriously, the only situations in which 3 or more parties are viable are those in which proportional representation is a feature." (as opposed to a winner take all system, which you mentioned as the alternative the prior paragraph).

I pointed out that 3rd parties could be viable in a winner take all system with a not-too-radically different system of collecting and tallying votes.

Somehow, you have turned this around to say that I helped prove your point (which I didn't) and also that I am on hallucinogens. With a gratuitous shot at me in another post thrown in for good measure.

Seems like you are just being argumentative for the sake of it at this point.

Rich

Submitted by sdnativeson on August 29, 2008 - 10:51am.

I can't believe UR comments would generate this much of a response.

I see some lucid replies to his posts but given the incongruity of a large part of his statements why would anyone bother?

Submitted by greekfire on August 29, 2008 - 10:54am.

Urbanrealtor,

urbanrealtor wrote:
Okay can you explain the whole cartel thing for those not in the know of this particular conspiracy theory?

No conspiracy theory here. The Fed, composed of private member banks, are essentially a cartel. OPEC has oil, the drug cartels have drugs, the Fed's commodity is money.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 12:14pm.

sdnativeson wrote:
I can't believe UR comments would generate this much of a response.

I see some lucid replies to his posts but given the incongruity of a large part of his statements why would anyone bother?


Uh yeah.

This is what I get for being facetious.

I clearly need to delineate when I am joking better.

I guess I just have a less developed sense of humor than some here.

While I stand by what I said for some stuff (which is and will be the focus of other posts) I thought it obvious that the silly stuff was not serious.

Poor judgment on my part apparently.

Submitted by svelte on August 29, 2008 - 12:19pm.

It has been fun watching the see-saw vote count for Obama / McCain in this thread...and this is a strongly Republican county!

It is clear with McCain's choice today he went "all in". It was a bold, bold move. It's gonna pay off big time, or tank big time. I'm going to be glued to the news for the next few weeks. :0D

Submitted by urbanrealtor on August 29, 2008 - 12:44pm.

Rich Toscano wrote:

Dan, you said "Seriously, the only situations in which 3 or more parties are viable are those in which proportional representation is a feature." (as opposed to a winner take all system, which you mentioned as the alternative the prior paragraph).

I pointed out that 3rd parties could be viable in a winner take all system with a not-too-radically different system of collecting and tallying votes.

Somehow, you have turned this around to say that I helped prove your point (which I didn't) and also that I am on hallucinogens. With a gratuitous shot at me in another post thrown in for good measure.

Seems like you are just being argumentative for the sake of it at this point.

Rich


It was meant to be playful but since it confuses the debate I will refrain.

The point I was making is that plural voting is, in my opinion, radically different.

I don't know that debating this specific point will prove fruitful; it really is arguing opinion.

Our current brand of democracy is limited to one vote and winner-take-all. My only point was that your assertion that more than 2 parties would have success if we changed the basic structure of electoral representation doesn't really take us anywhere. I would not discount a switch to such a system but it does nothing to address what I was saying: that our existing winner-take-all system favors 2.5 parties.

While my attempt at joking was poor (yeah I suck at that), the obvious corollary to this is that getting 3 or more parties to be viable means actual structural change of electoral representation. You suggested structural change.
So I think we are making the same point.
Would you disagree?

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 29, 2008 - 1:26pm.

I recognized the joke part as such. But I was disagreeing with a very specific declarative statement you made (third parties are only viable in proportional representation systems) by citing another example in which they might be viable (approval voting in winner take all systems). You cited one alternate system in which they'd be viable (and said that was the only possible alternate system in which they'd be viable). I cited another in which I thought they'd be viable. That was the entirety of my point.

So I don't see the big deal with the fact that the system I cited isn't actually the system we have in place given that A) it's irrelevant to the point I was making and B) the system you cited isn't the system we have in place either.

That was my confusion. Yes, I agree with you of course that third parties would require structural change -- but I never said otherwise. I was specifically replying to your statement that there was only one such alternate structure. No hallucinogens necessary.

Rich

Submitted by patientlywaiting on August 29, 2008 - 2:05pm.

Quite a thread here.

I thought it was about the elections?

Allan, on Vietnam, America should not have intervened at all in the beginning to support the French efforts after WWII. The country would have become independent then, after the Japanese defeat. We should have supported an independent, unified, nationalist (not communist) Vietnam. That's what I mean about being on the wrong side of history. Back then we took the safe bet by supporting our ally, France. But we got into a quagmire that killed thousands of Americans.

On the partition of Vietnam it was Diem (South Vietnam's US supported president) who violated the Geneva Accords calling for national elections. Of course, we then assassinated Diem.

I won't go further into this topic otherwise we should start a separate thread.

---------

On Obama, the reality is that we can only vote for 1 of 2 viable choices.

I believe that a vote for Obama is being on the right side of history.