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Messages - I_Kicked_Kennedy

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46
But there's a little part of me that thinks a strict reading of constitutional law does in fact make this specific provision unconstitutional*.

Want to elaborate on that?  Because amendment XV is pretty fucking clear on the subject.

So, that amendment says that no one can be prevented from voting based upon race. Good. That's should have gone without saying, you know, with the "...all men created equal" which turned out to be lip service, so yes we had to make an amendment that says "To be clear, black people and any other citizen, no matter what race, can vote." The provision that was struck down did not say "Black people have the right to vote," but rather, "There are some states that aren't treating black people fairly, so any time they want to do something to change the laws, they need to check with us first."


You now might consider reading article VI, the part about the constitution (alongside federal law and ratified treaties) being the law of the land.  And article I's granting of the power to congress to pass such laws as are necessary to permit the executive branch to enforce this.

The entire 1965 law is constitutional.

I guess this is where I'm a bit concerned. The Supremacy Clause you are referring to was the same one that rejected Ableman v. Booth, in that it said since federal law supported US Marshall apprehending fugitive slaves, the state was not allowed to interfere. Now, I will grant that it is a superb argument that the provision in the Voting Rights Act was constitutional (and one I will be happy to use in support of it, as I had said before that I support it from a personal standpoint), but I think this case is an example of when the opposite is at play: when a law can be created as constitutional, but morally repugnant. If the federal government is taken over by fascists, what rights do states have to protect themselves? Reminder: Slavery and involuntary servitude was not in the constitution until the 13th amendment, and we have the 21st which effectively repealed a previous amendment. Now prohibition was bullshit, but what's to prevent a theoretical fascist set of elected representatives from adding amendments that cancel out previous amendments, then passing laws that inhibit states' efforts to fight these, since those measures would now be considered "constitutional."

47
But there's a little part of me that thinks a strict reading of constitutional law does in fact make this specific provision unconstitutional*.

Want to elaborate on that?  Because amendment XV is pretty fucking clear on the subject.

So, that amendment says that no one can be prevented from voting based upon race. Good. That's should have gone without saying, you know, with the "...all men created equal" which turned out to be lip service, so yes we had to make an amendment that says "To be clear, black people and any other citizen, no matter what race, can vote." The provision that was struck down did not say "Black people have the right to vote," but rather, "There are some states that aren't treating black people fairly, so any time they want to do something to change the laws, they need to check with us first."

 Just to remind everyone, they didn't strike down the entire Voting Rights Act of 1965. Just this part. This provision is where things get hairy. Now, since I've posted it, I've noted that there is some debate over this specific matter, and it may not be as clear cut as I initially thought. To start, Amendment 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Meaning, that anything not mentioned in the constitution that isn't prohibited by the constitution is up to the states. Article 4 of the constitution gives states the right to govern their elections provided that it works within the framework of the constitution and the amendments. Now, at the time, these states were doing everything they could to circumvent the efforts of minorities getting to the polls, so this did provide Congress with the ability to prevent that without having challenge every law until it got to the federal appeals or Supreme Court (a lengthy process that would have done little to prevent harm in the short term, or correct elections it screwed up... seeing as it would have possibly sent segregationists into Washington, further hampering efforts of equality), but we'd be getting into the idea of the law's intended effect, rather than it's establishment as a precedent.

In the rejected provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the federal government imposed extra oversight to the bad apple states, while not applying the same scrutiny to other states.
Necessary? Yes.
Morally sound? Certainly.
Integral in preserving democracy? Without question.
Constitutional? Well...

Look at it this way. Article III outlines the judiciary, and in 2020, after the reactionaries of the GOP taken over everything, they decide that California's Supreme Court isn't making decisions as they like (or deem "proper interpretation of the law", blah!), they say "Ok, the Supreme Court of California must, from this point on, have at least two justices from either Texas or South Carolina to keep their decisions in order." Well, that would be unconstitutional and unfair. Granted, this is a terrible example, bordering on straw man, but it's not entirely different than what the provision did with the voting.

Now, if these states do something unconstitutional or impose laws that do prevent minorities from voting, that's when [ideally] the federal oversight would step in, or the Supreme Court would reject the measure(s). I acknowledge our system is far too broken, and the processes would prevent timely correction of the matter, but this is how it's supposed to work. The reason for the state v. federal distribution of powers is to provide a balance in the event either realm has become monolithic in it's viewpoints. Again, those that passed the law in 1965 (and again in 2006) had moral intentions, but in the event they didn't, we would agree they were doing something terrible. If it were the opposite, meaning, if the US Congress passed a law in 1965 that said the northeastern states' voting laws had to be approved by the rest of the country (which had shifted to a more racist viewpoint), we'd be losing our shit.

I don't like the decision, and if it were 5-4 the other way, I would have been very pleased. But I would have been hesitant, if asked, to say if they made the "constitutional" decision. On the other hand, if I'm looking at the long ball game, this could work in favor of progress, too. The ACLU, SPLC, and every other pro-democracy group has their lawyers at the ready to challenge these in court. This would get the obstructionists and prejudices of lawmakers and judiciary members on record and in full view. This may motivate minorities in droves to the polls in 2014, similar to 2012, despite GOP's efforts. That is, if their gerrymandering and voter ID bullshit doesn't effectively snuff out the movement. I'm curious to how it plays out.

Scalia can eat a bag of AIDS infested dicks, as far as I'm concerned.

48
I'm 98.25% angry about this.

Mostly, I feel that SCOTUS made the morally wrong decision here. I think that provision was important, and if left to their devices, most of those states would do everything they could to keep minorities from having their vote. It was completely necessary in 1965 and, sadly, it still is.

But there's a little part of me that thinks a strict reading of constitutional law does in fact make this specific provision unconstitutional*.

That same part of me says "We need an amendment or two, then." I guess I won't fault those 5 justices for their decision, but I'm still allowed to think they're total dickbags.

*At first glance. I'm going to read up on constitutional law to see if I'm wrong.

49
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Koan Nebula
« on: June 02, 2013, 06:11:04 pm »
Under the red hot moon of Phoenix, Illinois, Gilby the Surfboard Supplier was the featured speaker at a PD meetup. From the aft of the room, a voice proffered:

"Though I work as a maths teacher at a prestigious private school in Maryland, I intend to cut my hair into the style commonly referred to as 'Mohawk.'"

The voice was Vinansayanabindarayanan of East Sayeeeed Bitchez. Gilby looked upon the man and calmly informed him: "There was a time when the starlets of pornography would shave their features in a similar fashion, commonly referred to as a Landing Strip. Still, in certain anarchist circles, the hair cut is referred to as the 'Portland Crewcut', and in Portland, they call it the 'Anarchomullet.'"

And in that moment, Vinansayanabindarayanan decided to part his hair to the left and use less conditioner.

50
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Koan Nebula
« on: June 02, 2013, 05:24:45 pm »
A soldier came to the master Barbatus the Elder and asked: "Master, tell me: is there really a heaven and a hell?"

"Who are you?" asked Barbatus.

"I am a soldier of the great Private Equity CEO's personal guard."

"Nonsense!" said Barbatus. "What kind of CEO would have you around him? To me you look like a beggar!" At this, the soldier grabbed Barbatus by the collar, to which the master replied, "Oh hai. This your idea of foreplay, ya big sissy?"

At this the soldier could not hold himself back. He drew his pistol and threatened the master, who said: "Now you know half the answer! You are opening the gates of hell!"

"Damn right," said the soldier, and then he promptly put two bullets in Barbatus's head, calmly placed the gun in the deceased master's palm, and called his supervisor to wire $50k to the local coroner's office.

51
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Koan Nebula
« on: June 02, 2013, 03:18:55 am »
^
What's really sad is that I was "smart" enough to recognize the formula, but took WAY too long to get the gag. "Why did she put the volume formula for a cone? Must be an inside joke I've missed..."

I don't do so well without nicotine.

In any event, I'll start touching up a few koans and see if they're any good. Actually, they're pretty much done, I just have a rare 45 minutes in an empty house, so I'm gonna beat my dick like it owes me money. Be back in a bit.

52
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Koan Nebula
« on: June 02, 2013, 02:10:47 am »
I remember the Chao Te Ching, but did we ever start compiling a series of Koans?

Search is not helping.

53

I'm more or less a rigid moralist in some regards, though not the same way a Baptist or a Catholic would understand the term.

From the years I've been reading your stuff, I don't know if "moralist" is the word I would use. I agree that, denotatively, you could be considered such, but the connotative meaning of the word could make some folks balk at the idea.

If I had to settle on philosophical term to describe you, it would be a quality somewhere between Consequentialism and Absurdism (in the French tradition, not Kierkegaard). Maybe something closer to Two-Level Utilitarianism.

Am I in the ballpark?

54
Here's a slightly edited mirror:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwA3dprmCeg

Doesn't make it any less nauseating.

55
The key thing to take away is:


In short, although today I play libertarian, when the republican I inevitably vote for finally wins, I'll be reading marx and calling for his blood and citing fallacious arguments about value theory of labour, entitlement and privelege and all sorts of things that today-me finds abhorrant.

tl;dr I'm really a hard-line contrarian....

Which makes you just as brainless as those who mindlessly bow down to whatever letter they think looks best next to politicians' names.

The other thing I must point out that there is a BIG difference between what Libertarianism actually is, and what people who call themselves Libertarians are.

What Libertarianism actually is:
It is where personal liberty is held as the ideal, but differing from anarchy in that personal liberty must also be preserved with a small state existing only to protect the populous from foreign aggression, collective dissent against personal liberty, and people breaking agreed upon contracts. Corporations would not be allowed because a) They are, supposedly, a form of a libertarian offshoot called "Libertarian Socialism" that is a bastardization of the name (to ask a Libertarian), and b) because the ownership of property is shared and collectivized

People who call themselves Libertarians are:
Petty children who want the state to be a cool big brother that will give them roads, an impressive infrastructure, and educated workforce, and protection from foreign and domestic threats, and help them sue another guy for free.

Bonus fun fact: Mussolini referred to Fascism as "Corporatism."

56
I'm sorry if this vid put anyone in a bad way, but I just...

I don't know. The hardest part about watching something like this is how powerless I feel when I watch it. Even more so because the one person who could have done something about it literally turned to look the other way.

Part of me is under the sick impression that if enough people see this, maybe something will happen, or this will prevent the next one. Silly me...

57
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Your irregular China round-up
« on: April 29, 2013, 10:07:44 pm »
Oh, and I forgot the huge elephant in the room:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-06/china-local-debt-may-top-estimates-former-minister-says.html

Supposedly, the major difference between the US's municipal debt and China's is that these debts are "...mostly domestic." However, their growth has been hingent upon the massive investment in infrastructure. If that falters, foreign investments dry up, and their currency loses. Meaning, debts they hold over other countries can be bought off for a smaller percentage. To believe this is any less than a potential disaster for China is beyond shortsighted.

58
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Your irregular China round-up
« on: April 29, 2013, 09:40:06 pm »
What scares me about this is that it is usually indicative of a power structure that is slowly losing its grip. Look at corruption in the states. Fewer bodies (for the most part). If you step out of line, you either end up on page six with a torrid homosexual affair "brought to light", or you find yourself on the main page of CNN after suffering a "mental breakdown", or some financial structure cashes in their chips and empties out your war chest. If the tentacles truly do reach every pipe; it's real easy to cut you off without too much blood.

Usually, they'll even take the plata o plomo approach, which is "hey, you can leave with a few bucks in your pocket, a private "consulting" practice, and a nice place in West Virginia if you hold a press conference and claim you want to spend more time with family. Just play the game, and no one ends up face down in puke on a curb in Kenilworth.

The reason why this scares me is because, as someone with a lot of friends still working in the Shanghai area, there is an increasingly tense unrest in the population, formerly reserved to the young adult demo. At the same time, a large part of the anti-government sentiment comes from those of the NeoMaoist disposition, which is slowly gaining a foothold in the growing industrial class. It's one thing when the government is keeping tabs on a specific group of people, but when there's multiple agitators, with some crossover in areas, it's much harder to do so.

Plus, the things they would need to do to appease these groups would be the direct undoing of the structure. The technology industry has, historically, been funded by having at least a tangential interest in improving the surveillance apparatus which is, by all accounts, massive. To accept the terms and open up the Great Firewall of China would put hundreds of thousands of very intelligent Chinese who have add direct access to a lot of sensitive info on the street, looking for the highest bidder. If they were to appease the Maoists by redistributing the assets of the insanely rich ogliarchy, they would lose the support of many well-financed industries, moving millions of jobs to the DPRK, Vietnam, or anywhere they can get cheap labor... Not to mention the fact many members of the politburo are either the ogliarchs themselves, or reliant upon their backing.

It becomes a ticking time bomb, and too much of the world economy has made themselves dependent on a semi-stable but corrupt China. If one too many heads roll, the cards fall down, and not a single economy won't lose a large amount of their trade in the process.

My friend just wrote a 40 page doc on the coming Great Fall of China. I don't know if I can get access to anything other than the abstract, but if I do, I'll be sure to put it here. He's having trouble getting it published because many replies have come back with a similar "...great work, but is it possible the publication would be the straw that breaks the camel's back? As a scholarly journal, we don't intend to play such an influential role..." (Translation - "Our board of directors could stand to lose serious funds if people buy into what you're saying.")

It's not just stories like the one Cain referenced. And it's not just the dangerous housing/infrastructure bubble. Watch carefully the way the commodities market is shifting. One of the unspoken understandings is China both relies upon and produces obscene percentages of the world's raw material. If the market starts raising or lowering prices at too fast a rate, China's currency will become increasingly difficult to manipulate which is, by all accounts, one of the pillars of their economy's power. Plus, the growth of personal savings is slowing (which, thanks to the nuked numbers suggests it may even be decreasing). Citation: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100678048

TL;DR - I think it would behoove us to keep an eye on some peculiar news coming out of China. They may be the cracks in foundation.


59
Caution: Potential trigger for sexual assault victims.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zTrEDaPs8k

Summary of vid: Woman is illegally searched in family court by a bailiff, in front of her very frightened daughter, sexually assaulted, judge does nothing, then the woman is fucking arrested for "making false allegation against police officer" (a statute that does not exists).

After vid: The guy loses his job, and files wrongful termination suit which he may actually win because the judge did nothing to stop it which, by some severe oversight in the law, means he cannot be held accountable. The woman is filing a lawsuit against the county, because (if you note the previous sentence) the guy is not going to be arrested or charged with his crimes, the defendants are now his superiors, who may or may not have tried to cover up the deed.

Punch line: The taxpayers are in the awful position where they will have to pay both the victim and the perpetrator of a particularly nauseating crime.

Article for further rage:
http://www.8newsnow.com/story/21859858/i-team

Again, the video will leave you shaking and wanting blood. Do not watch if you we're having a nice day, or (if you're like me) and you have daughters. 

60
Apple Talk / I just awarded this video an Oscar
« on: April 27, 2013, 02:57:11 pm »
This video ->  http://vimeo.com/64687161

EDIT - Sorry, forgot this warning: NSFW and NSFE (E=Epileptics)

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