Barlow essay on Burning Man and Schwartzenegger

All things outside of Burning Man.
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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:22 pm

I think that was a much better and more useful expression of your take on things than this one:
aforceforgood wrote:I think the healthiest thing we can probably do next election is throw out ALL INCUMBENTS, no matter what.
Personally, I say leave the incumbents, but do a <u>real</u>, i.e. draconian, reform of campaign finance. I think all candidates should get equal time on the airwaves, and be totally unable to spend or raise private money to campaign. A set, low amount should be made available from the public coffers and that is it.

I think this would take us closer to your goal of responsible representation than anything else. It is the business of politics that distorts the governance IMO.
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Post by aforceforgood » Sun Nov 23, 2003 6:27 pm

Don Muerto wrote:Personally, I say leave the incumbents, but do a <u>real</u>, i.e. draconian, reform of campaign finance. I think all candidates should get equal time on the airwaves, and be totally unable to spend or raise private money to campaign. A set, low amount should be made available from the public coffers and that is it.

I think this would take us closer to your goal of responsible representation than anything else. It is the business of politics that distorts the governance IMO.
I couldn't agree more with the idea of campaign finance reform. It's absolutely necessary for honest government. As is true transparency in budgeting. We need to have our government provide us (perhaps a yearly report published in the propaganda newspapers-...whoops, I meant those independent objective newspapers) with a line-by-line accounting of how our money's spent.

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Post by DE FACTO » Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:11 pm

aforceforgood wrote:
Don Muerto wrote:Personally, I say leave the incumbents, but do a <u>real</u>, i.e. draconian, reform of campaign finance. I think all candidates should get equal time on the airwaves, and be totally unable to spend or raise private money to campaign. A set, low amount should be made available from the public coffers and that is it.

I think this would take us closer to your goal of responsible representation than anything else. It is the business of politics that distorts the governance IMO.
I couldn't agree more with the idea of campaign finance reform. It's absolutely necessary for honest government. As is true transparency in budgeting. We need to have our government provide us (perhaps a yearly report published in the propaganda newspapers-...whoops, I meant those independent objective newspapers) with a line-by-line accounting of how our money's spent.
"thank you for flying Delusional airlines."

You guys are kidding right? An honest government? Ha.

This post should be under the "clueless" thread.

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Post by Badger » Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:13 pm

Thanks for sharing.

(PLONK!)
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Post by DE FACTO » Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:17 pm

Badger wrote:Thanks for sharing.

(PLONK!)
I love sharing. It's great to share.

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Post by Don Muerto » Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:52 pm

DE FACTO wrote:I love sharing. It's great to share.
-A principle your head and ass agree with heartily.
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Post by aforceforgood » Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:45 pm

DE FACTO wrote:thank you for flying Delusional airlines."

You guys are kidding right? An honest government? Ha.

This post should be under the "clueless" thread.
Ok, so maybe a 100% honest government is unlikely- would just a more honest government be something you'd desire and think is possible? Or should we just throw up our hands, bend over and take it in the ass without protest for the rest of our lives, let our government run wild, killing and throwing its wieght around as those in power seem to love to do?

Or let me put it another way- it's an analogy for those who might need that in order to understand why it's important for us to force our government to go in the right direction.

You've got a family member who likes to defraud people and sometimes kill them to get his way. Do you defend him because he's family, or do you turn him in so that he can't hurt others? I should mention that this family member looks a lot like you, so you might get killed if someone looking for revenge mistakes you for this guy who's done so much wrong. Or do you just ignore the whole mess hoping someone else will handle it, and what are your rationalizations for doing that?

We have the most freedom in the world, and therefore I feel we have the greatest responsibility to make our voices heard about what our government does in our name, because like it or not, it does reflect on us.

And it will only get more expensive/difficult to effect change as time goes by, so if you're lazy and think that it's too much hassle, just think about how much worse it can get. And will if you do nothing.

And don't think it takes a lot to effect change. Small things can build into much larger things, but that first step must be taken.

I called into a radio station's comedy show a while back, I forget the exact topic they were on, something regarding stupidity, made my little joke, and then veered wildy off topic onto how stupid thinking we could "win" a "war on terrorism" is... "Well, this is why we're asking for you to push through our one thousand billion dollar emergency war powers bill, so that we can GUARANTEE that no one does anything crazy, anywhere in the world, ever again." They were slow with the edit button, and my little political satire got onto the air, though they quickly hung up on me. I felt a little rejected, but was overjoyed when on their next show- THEY POKED FUN AT HOW STUPID AND TRANSPARENT OUR GOVERNMENT'S LIES ABOUT THE WAR ON TERRORISM ARE!

One little phone call. I'd say that snowball reached probably a million+ people.

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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:03 am

You know, upon reconsideration, I think De Facto is right. Despite the political nature of this thread, we shouldn't be talking about changing the way things are or trying to imagine a better system of governance. Why waste the bandwidth? Let's use this board the way it was meant:


I love when I say nothing. soon you might get it to

:shock: :lol:

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Post by Patience » Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:40 am

I advocate a system in which political leaders are required by law to lead lives of poverty commensurate with their level of power. Presidents would have to swear to lifelong pauperdom. That way, only unselfish people truly dedicated to helping people would dare run for public office.

That, or psychos so bent on controlling people that they'd lose everything they own for it. And you can usually tell those people by the black clouds theat gather around them.
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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:00 am

I advocate a system where voting is licensed, like driving a vehicle. Only people with critical thinking and philosophy training would be given permits, and each election would require renewal. This would enforce Eisenhower's "intelligent and informed" electorate.
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:14 am

That is *such* bad juju, Tom.
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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:47 am

Don Muerto wrote:That is *such* bad juju, Tom.
Hehe, I don't mind bad juju. And I think it focuses attention on the part of the system that's really broke.

And if Gen. Franks is right, it'll ultimately be moot anyway.
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Post by Patience » Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:02 am

Yeah, that's what we need! Fewer people voting!
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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:27 am

Patience wrote:Yeah, that's what we need! Fewer people voting!
Absolutely! If we have a relative handful of Really Smart People voting we'll save money. Same goes for driving, too.
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Post by Kinetic II » Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:43 am

Whoa! Hold it! I like low voter turnouts. They work great for ramrodding petition initiatives through. I can marshal up a hundred to a thousand supporters and on some of the elections we can almost guarantee a win. It's great for City Hall too..they can force excessive tax increases on us and say the majority approved it. It's wonderful that the system can be leveraged like this.

Of course in KC they get things approved and are too stupid on how to spend the money. Then we hire a consultant to help the new City Manager figure out where the money is, how much they have, and why funds that have been accruing for years are not being spent? And these are the same fucks that get on TV and bitch...we can't build a new fire station or police academy, the cameras in our cop cars don't work, our bridges are crumbling, our water mains truly give us more fountains than Rome....meanwhile millions of dollars sit there not being used. And they want us to approve more taxes. And they'll sneak it in on one of those low turnout votes and get it....

/end rant.

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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:51 am

Hey, now, just because you have a low voter turnout doesn't mean that the best qualified to vote voted.
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Post by technopatra » Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:56 am

TestesInSac wrote:
Patience wrote:Yeah, that's what we need! Fewer people voting!
Absolutely! If we have a relative handful of Really Smart People voting we'll save money. Same goes for driving, too.
Hmmm...if "really smart people" is only defined as those who had access to higher education in critical thinking and philosophy, then we are truly fucked, as that would be disproportionately white, moneyed, conservative and male.

I advocate a system of government that:

-provides tax benefits for voters, or some other visceral incentive for voting
-follows Don Muertos' guide for campaign finance reform
-has no electoral college
-funds education and healthcare with corporate taxes
-publishes an annual report just like every other corporation who is accountable to their shareholders

Unfortunately, I feel it's a chicken-egg dilemma. The key is to have mroe informed voters. But unless they are educated to understand both the importance of voting, and the critical thinking required to vote in a truly informed manner, they won't press for better public education funding. And unless public education is properly funded, that fewer and fewer people will have the will or understanding to vote.

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Post by DE FACTO » Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:08 pm

TestesInSac wrote:I advocate a system where voting is licensed, like driving a vehicle. Only people with critical thinking and philosophy training would be given permits, and each election would require renewal. This would enforce Eisenhower's "intelligent and informed" electorate.
I think that advocation should be reserved for polititions.

Kinetic II

Post by Kinetic II » Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:09 pm

Why not have Chicago style politics where the dead vote, and with a few green pics of Ben even the vote can become irrelevant?

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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:14 pm

technopatra wrote:Hmmm...if "really smart people" is only defined as those who had access to higher education in critical thinking and philosophy...
Why wait 'til "higher ed"? Start the training in grade school, which is mandatory for all kids. By graduation from HS, they should be able to switch sides comfortably in a discussion. Those that can't don't vote. They'd just end up partisans anyway.
technopatra wrote:Unfortunately, I feel it's a chicken-egg dilemma. The key is to have mroe informed voters. But unless they are educated to understand both the importance of voting, and the critical thinking required to vote in a truly informed manner, they won't press for better public education funding.
Better motivation doesn't really require better funding, nor does better funding create motivation. The dot-coms Enron, Worldcom, etc all had great funding. Theoretically.
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Post by technopatra » Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:40 pm

TestesInSac wrote:
technopatra wrote:Unfortunately, I feel it's a chicken-egg dilemma. The key is to have mroe informed voters. But unless they are educated to understand both the importance of voting, and the critical thinking required to vote in a truly informed manner, they won't press for better public education funding.
Better motivation doesn't really require better funding, nor does better funding create motivation. The dot-coms Enron, Worldcom, etc all had great funding. Theoretically.
Hmm..having a hard time seeing that example as valid. It's a matter of where the funding goes.

I think I can safely say that if public education were provided with a fraction of what Enron & Worldcom (who, btw, were/are not in any way dotcoms) had moneywise, and were able to offer teachers salaries that were in any way comparable to other professionals, more smart people would be attracted to teaching and they could build more schools, which would reduce class sizes, would be able to provide currently cost-prohibitive resources like computers and alternative texts.

This is not a critique of teachers. Most of the teachers I know are incredibly intelligent people who care more about the future of our civilization than their won paycheck. But we need to attract people who are incredibly smart and want to do better than just eke out a living.

My dad is a school psychologist in a relatively conservative district. A few years ago, as a leader in his local chapter of the CTA, he helped fight the motion to remove a critical thinking class from high school graduate requirements. They actually had the class, but parents wanted to make it an elective because it encouraged kids to make their own choices about sex & drugs. Having more enlightened teachers did, imo, save at least one class of kids from their parents narrowmindedness.

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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 1:13 pm

technopatra wrote:
TestesInSac wrote:Better motivation doesn't really require better funding, nor does better funding create motivation. The dot-coms Enron, Worldcom, etc all had great funding. Theoretically.
Hmm..having a hard time seeing that example as valid. It's a matter of where the funding goes.
It's a counter example to the idea that funding <==> motivation, which obviously shouldn't be taken too seriously, as I missed a comma between "...dot-coms<u>,</u> Enron,...". So, I didn't mean to imply that they were dot-coms, even if they were part of the same bubble.
technopatra wrote:I think I can safely say that if public education were provided with a fraction of what Enron & Worldcom (who, btw, were/are not in any way dotcoms) had moneywise and were able to offer teachers salaries that were in any way comparable to other professionals...
The CA 2003-2004 budget calls for spending of $53 Billion on k-12 ed for 6.2 million students. That's $8500 per student. I figure if a teacher's salary was dependent on class size, larger is better. Isn't that how the larger universities do it? Anyhow, the budget is more than just a small fraction of Enron's and Worldcom's peak valuation, albeit with a much higher headcount.
technopatra wrote:My dad is a school psychologist in a relatively conservative district. A few years ago, as a leader in his local chapter of the CTA, he helped fight the motion to remove a critical thinking class from high school graduate requirements. They actually had the class, but parents wanted to make it an elective because it encouraged kids to make their own choices about sex & drugs. Having more enlightened teachers did, imo, save at least one class of kids from their parents narrowmindedness.
See, I don't see critical thinking as a class, it's more of a track that should permeate the k-12 experience. Students either succeed in the track or become fast food management. But I see the chicken or egg thing re:narrowmindedness.
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Post by aforceforgood » Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:42 pm

TestesInSac wrote:The CA 2003-2004 budget calls for spending of $53 Billion on k-12 ed for 6.2 million students. That's $8500 per student. I figure if a teacher's salary was dependent on class size, larger is better. Isn't that how the larger universities do it? Anyhow, the budget is more than just a small fraction of Enron's and Worldcom's peak valuation, albeit with a much higher headcount.
That money ain't getting down to that level. So to answer Don Muerto's question of whether I'd fire everyone including down to admins, yeah, I would, probably down to but not including the principals of schools.

"What, you actually believe they pay $5,000 for a hammer, $10,000 for a toilet seat?"

As for the intelligent voter license, it's an idea I fantasize about and rhetorically lust for, but in reality, it's unworkable for many reasons. As much as I can poke fun at the guy who called talk radio to brag about how he voted for Bustamante because he had "higher" sexual morals than Arnold, (though I still think it's a lot easier to have "good" sexual morals if you're fat, ugly, and stupid) he's got a right to have his own reasons and opinions for why he votes, even if they're as imbecilic as that.

And "intelligence" can be measured in many ways, so inevitably the same sociopaths who corrupt everything else would twist it to mean "intelligence" meant you agree with them, because obviously they're right...

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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:54 pm

aforceforgood wrote:And "intelligence" can be measured in many ways, so inevitably the same sociopaths who corrupt everything else would twist it to mean "intelligence" meant you agree with them, because obviously they're right...
Since I haven't corrupted anything yet, the voters should let me decide how to measure intelligence.
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:58 pm

TestesInSac wrote:I am my own sock puppet.
I can tell you had a slow day at work today, Tom.
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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:23 pm

Don Muerto wrote:
TestesInSac wrote:I am my own sock puppet.
I can tell you had a slow day at work today, Tom.
True, but that's not all bad. See, I work for the State of CA, so a slow day here is easier on the taxpayers.
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:25 pm

Bullshit, you will spend that budget whether it amounts in tangible benefits or not!
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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:10 pm

Don Muerto wrote:Bullshit, you will spend that budget whether it amounts in tangible benefits or not!
Actually, I'll only spend the budget if it results in tangible bennies to me. If not, I let other people spend it.
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:19 pm

Either way, it will be spent and have nothing to do with you sitting around here all day stirring the pot!
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Post by TestesInSac » Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:28 pm

Don Muerto wrote:Either way, it will be spent and have nothing to do with you sitting around here all day stirring the pot!
Right now, looks like we're the only two in this pot. Fortunately, I have DSL, so there's room for lots of arm-flapping.
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