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Capone Reincarnated?

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  • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
    My argument is based on propping up falling numbers of people who bother to vote, mainly in that segment who want accuracy with less BS. If the numbers voting go low enuf, it is game over for the republic. I chose one topic -an improvement in reporting on positions during election cycles. As you note, there are other reasons people don't vote, but access to summaries (on judges -this hardly even exists) should be readily available. You claim that they are "available", but my position is based on readily available, rather than a wade thru multiple articles over time, sorting out facts from opinions.
    Well, for starters, that is not very many. Polls (example: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0df502a4e419f) show that only 2.7% eligible voters who do not even register cite "Not familiar with candidates/Lack of information/Uninformed" as their reason for not even registering. 11.4% of Registered voters who don't vote give that as the reason. So only between 2.7-11.4 percent of eligible voters who don't vote give that as a reason. We can further assume that many of those feel that way because they themselves make little to no effort to become informed, and that only a subset fall into this category because they are "dissatisfied" with the available sources of information. That is a pretty low portion of eligible voters who don't.

    Further, I would argue that given the abundance of information available, people who are uniformed are so because they just can't be bothered to make a reasonable effort to get informed. Forgive me, but I do not fetishize voter participation. I would bet a years salary that no less than half of those people couldn't even name their U.S. Representative and both of their Senators. I don't WANT to cater to the lowest common denominator of our eligible voters (we do far too much of that already). I simply do not see a benefit to society to make it easier for the woefully unmotivated feel like they should vote. Hell, if it were my benevolent dictatorship, you would have to pass a 10 question quiz (randomly chosen out of a set of 200) questions about basic civics and candidate's/office holders just to get a ballot: For example:
    1. Name the current U.S. Representative for your District
    2. Name the Speaker of the House
    3. What are the three branches of the U.S. Federal Government?
    4. Name three justices of the Supreme Court
    5. Name the two U.S. Senators currently representing your state
    6. What document does the phrase "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal"?
    7. Name a U.S. State that begins with the letter "A"
    8. Who was President when World War II officially ended?
    9. Who said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"?
    10. Who is most credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence?
    And just for shits and giggles:
    A. Are you a U.S. citizen?

    I would even allow for spelling mistakes, yes, I am THAT benevolent!

    Again, willing to place a substantial bet that even for these basic FACTS which are not subject to any sort of information bias, the subset of eligible voters we are talking about could not answer 6 out of 10. (and that the question democrats would most vehemently object to is the last one *grin*).


    Originally posted by radcentr View Post
    Two stops. One gets bias position #1, fills in facts that were unavailable in the first site by browsing over bias site #2. That should be downright attractive improvement by the voter who is tired of looking for edibles in scat. It won't improve the voting citizen score to 100%, but it should keep it from sagging as much as it has. We were aware of bias back in the "good old days", and the NY Times and WS Journal existed back then. What changed since then is a press that claims "unbiased" as their main pitch, rather than the more accurate "all the news of the day". Add in today's social media, and we have "news" that presents bias (not necessarily bad) with a story that has "most" of the facts. Problems come up when the less-informed comments and less serious reporting drive the narrative, and dominate the news story. That's scat, fit for the latest in Hollywood, but DC and the state capitol need a better quality report.
    Again, on what objective basis should we presume that low voter turnout is a bad thing for society?

    In terms of ready, easy access to information with as much or as little detail about the candidate(s) or issue(s) voters car about, we already have an amazing one-stop shop...it is called the Internet. Even with Google's arguable political bias having some influence on basic search results, it is not so rampant that someone with basic critical thinking skills (again, if you don't posses a modicum of critical thinking ability, I would argue that we should not be encouraging you to vote) and self-motivation can get all the information they want on truly important issues (as determined by the voter) without a tremendous amount of effort. The key messages here are: A. I don't WANT people of such low self-motivation who need information spoon fed to them to vote; B. I don't WANT people who lack the critical thinking skills mentioned before to vote either.


    Originally posted by radcentr View Post
    Last point: Who decides the most important issues? The candidates and voters, same as always. With two sites to report to (one, if a candidate prefers to deal only with their preferred bias), they can give one summary and elaborate on issues the website & candidate deem important. Site #2 fills in the blanks that the candidate "left out" for political reasons. If a given voter doesn't see the issue listed, and no other issues matter to him, the summary strategy won't work for him. He's in luck, sort of, because his favorite issue is covered on the WWW. It might be buried under a lot of bad reporting and opinion, but if he digs long and deep enough, he'll be able to piece together an accurate picture of each candidate's stance. Fortunately, it's one issue, because finding the latest on 10 issues would take a lot more time.
    First of all, you got the answer as to who decides wrong (in terms of how it currently is), you left out the media. Second, the correct answer for who decides is each individual voter for themselves. Your "summary" approach is in and of itself fundamentally flawed in my view. As mentioned above, I do not see any crucial need to help those too lazy to access the vast amount of information available on candidates and issues to anyone who has even a small amount of personal motivation. AIn my opinion, anyone thinks that a summary of information makes them informed enough to vote is just as big (if not a bigger) issue than low voter participation (which I do not see as being inherently problematic...particularly not because they are people lacking in self-motivation to inform themselves.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post

      Well, for starters, that is not very many. Polls (example: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0df502a4e419f) show that only 2.7% eligible voters who do not even register cite "Not familiar with candidates/Lack of information/Uninformed" as their reason for not even registering. 11.4% of Registered voters who don't vote give that as the reason. So only between 2.7-11.4 percent of eligible voters who don't vote give that as a reason. We can further assume that many of those feel that way because they themselves make little to no effort to become informed, and that only a subset fall into this category because they are "dissatisfied" with the available sources of information. That is a pretty low portion of eligible voters who don't.

      Further, I would argue that given the abundance of information available, people who are uniformed are so because they just can't be bothered to make a reasonable effort to get informed. Forgive me, but I do not fetishize voter participation. I would bet a years salary that no less than half of those people couldn't even name their U.S. Representative and both of their Senators. I don't WANT to cater to the lowest common denominator of our eligible voters (we do far too much of that already). I simply do not see a benefit to society to make it easier for the woefully unmotivated feel like they should vote. Hell, if it were my benevolent dictatorship, you would have to pass a 10 question quiz (randomly chosen out of a set of 200) questions about basic civics and candidate's/office holders just to get a ballot: For example:
      1. Name the current U.S. Representative for your District
      2. Name the Speaker of the House
      3. What are the three branches of the U.S. Federal Government?
      4. Name three justices of the Supreme Court
      5. Name the two U.S. Senators currently representing your state
      6. What document does the phrase "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal"?
      7. Name a U.S. State that begins with the letter "A"
      8. Who was President when World War II officially ended?
      9. Who said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"?
      10. Who is most credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence?
      And just for shits and giggles:
      A. Are you a U.S. citizen?

      I would even allow for spelling mistakes, yes, I am THAT benevolent!

      Again, willing to place a substantial bet that even for these basic FACTS which are not subject to any sort of information bias, the subset of eligible voters we are talking about could not answer 6 out of 10. (and that the question democrats would most vehemently object to is the last one *grin*).
      A 10% bump -or a 10% slowdown in the sagging voter numbers- would be an improvement. The two-step information source is one response to those who are "dissatisfied" with the media source, those numbers already discussed in a previous post. Another way of looking at what many voters feel about the current press ...similar to the way a lawyer's client feels when the lawyer presents 200 pages of contract information, and then states, "It's all in there, look it over". It's called information overload, especially frustrating when critical parts of the information are based on opinion or outright lies. -And the client has to parse that without much help from the lawyer, who the client is convinced might have gotten his law degree from Sketchy U.

      Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post
      Again, on what objective basis should we presume that low voter turnout is a bad thing for society?

      In terms of ready, easy access to information with as much or as little detail about the candidate(s) or issue(s) voters car about, we already have an amazing one-stop shop...it is called the Internet. Even with Google's arguable political bias having some influence on basic search results, it is not so rampant that someone with basic critical thinking skills (again, if you don't posses a modicum of critical thinking ability, I would argue that we should not be encouraging you to vote) and self-motivation can get all the information they want on truly important issues (as determined by the voter) without a tremendous amount of effort. The key messages here are: A. I don't WANT people of such low self-motivation who need information spoon fed to them to vote; B. I don't WANT people who lack the critical thinking skills mentioned before to vote either.
      The people who use the internet? About 75%. Link: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator...S?locations=US ...Sounds good, until we go back to the figures on respect for "clean" political reporting, among adults in the US. Viewed in that light, the internet remains one among other sources of political reporting, all sources considered half-assed on the credibility scale. As for low voter turnout, that argument is for either a "decaying" constitutional republic, or an established oligarchy with elements of a republic. My response to that: A decaying republic is to be avoided; I don't know of any in history that made a comeback from letting their institutions "go to seed". The oligarchy with elements of a republic can advance, however. That is arguably what happened in the US when voting rights were expanded, from white male landowners to the rest of the adult population. That was the advance starting with the Magna Carta in Great Britain. Critical thinking skills for voting is a good point; that can be remedied by a flat-funding formula for public (non-profit) education. Funding based on a school district's prosperity only holds back poor districts. The public sector needs to take a lesson from the best capitalists in this case: Invest what is necessary to get quality results. Go cheap on Research and Development, and results will more often than not be disappointing. State-wide funding -same investment per student/year- should be the next step to give all students the same opportunity.


      Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post
      First of all, you got the answer as to who decides wrong (in terms of how it currently is), you left out the media. Second, the correct answer for who decides is each individual voter for themselves. Your "summary" approach is in and of itself fundamentally flawed in my view. As mentioned above, I do not see any crucial need to help those too lazy to access the vast amount of information available on candidates and issues to anyone who has even a small amount of personal motivation. AIn my opinion, anyone thinks that a summary of information makes them informed enough to vote is just as big (if not a bigger) issue than low voter participation (which I do not see as being inherently problematic...particularly not because they are people lacking in self-motivation to inform themselves.
      The media does decide what we see, you are correct. More troublesome, since we don't very much trust the media, an issue they avoid for obvious reasons. I'd never try to steer an issues list that all voters must consider; that is something a demagogue would attempt. My argument is this: The frustrated voters will visit two different sites, who serve candidates running for office. Only one site operates now (LWV), but with another site providing right-wing bias, it might inspire the vast media to clean up their operation. I'd be fine with voters who relied on two sources; ironically, they might be able to provide a more accurate candidates summary than the poor sod who waded through 200 pages over the year, trying to pick edibles out of all that scat.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
        A 10% bump -or a 10% slowdown in the sagging voter numbers- would be an improvement. The two-step information source is one response to those who are "dissatisfied" with the media source, those numbers already discussed in a previous post. Another way of looking at what many voters feel about the current press ...similar to the way a lawyer's client feels when the lawyer presents 200 pages of contract information, and then states, "It's all in there, look it over". It's called information overload, especially frustrating when critical parts of the information are based on opinion or outright lies. -And the client has to parse that without much help from the lawyer, who the client is convinced might have gotten his law degree from Sketchy U.


        The people who use the internet? About 75%. Link: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator...S?locations=US ...Sounds good, until we go back to the figures on respect for "clean" political reporting, among adults in the US. Viewed in that light, the internet remains one among other sources of political reporting, all sources considered half-assed on the credibility scale. As for low voter turnout, that argument is for either a "decaying" constitutional republic, or an established oligarchy with elements of a republic. My response to that: A decaying republic is to be avoided; I don't know of any in history that made a comeback from letting their institutions "go to seed". The oligarchy with elements of a republic can advance, however. That is arguably what happened in the US when voting rights were expanded, from white male landowners to the rest of the adult population. That was the advance starting with the Magna Carta in Great Britain. Critical thinking skills for voting is a good point; that can be remedied by a flat-funding formula for public (non-profit) education. Funding based on a school district's prosperity only holds back poor districts. The public sector needs to take a lesson from the best capitalists in this case: Invest what is necessary to get quality results. Go cheap on Research and Development, and results will more often than not be disappointing. State-wide funding -same investment per student/year- should be the next step to give all students the same opportunity.



        The media does decide what we see, you are correct. More troublesome, since we don't very much trust the media, an issue they avoid for obvious reasons. I'd never try to steer an issues list that all voters must consider; that is something a demagogue would attempt. My argument is this: The frustrated voters will visit two different sites, who serve candidates running for office. Only one site operates now (LWV), but with another site providing right-wing bias, it might inspire the vast media to clean up their operation. I'd be fine with voters who relied on two sources; ironically, they might be able to provide a more accurate candidates summary than the poor sod who waded through 200 pages over the year, trying to pick edibles out of all that scat.
        I for one have never lost confidence in MSM unlike the folks here who find the truth in the slimy sites that truck in vast conspiracy theories.

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        • Originally posted by redrover View Post

          I for one have never lost confidence in MSM unlike the folks here who find the truth in the slimy sites that truck in vast conspiracy theories.
          As I stated in post #174, I'm less concerned about bias in the press -that was arguably there since the beginning of the press in the US. The problem that has grown over the years is the press selling something, but they don't deliver -unbiased news. Start with that lie sold as truth, leave ever larger gaps in the news, mix in opinion to the point that it belongs in the op-ed portion rather than the news.

          I believe we need to be specific in our criticism of the news, rather than just throw labels ("drive by media", "hit piece", etc.) Add falling trust in the press, with sub-50% trust in other major institutions -the WH, the Congress. I agree with you that MSM (from Fox to MSNBC) is more reliable that the conspiracy sites. I would disagree that the MSM has no significant issues. Their elephant in the room is the extremely light treatment of their negative public opinion. No soul-searching, no attempt to correct their trend in the wrong direction. How long does a republic last, if those conditions (declining trust in gov't. and media) persist?

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          • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
            As I stated in post #174, I'm less concerned about bias in the press -that was arguably there since the beginning of the press in the US. The problem that has grown over the years is the press selling something, but they don't deliver -unbiased news. Start with that lie sold as truth, leave ever larger gaps in the news, mix in opinion to the point that it belongs in the op-ed portion rather than the news.

            I believe we need to be specific in our criticism of the news, rather than just throw labels ("drive by media", "hit piece", etc.) Add falling trust in the press, with sub-50% trust in other major institutions -the WH, the Congress. I agree with you that MSM (from Fox to MSNBC) is more reliable that the conspiracy sites. I would disagree that the MSM has no significant issues. Their elephant in the room is the extremely light treatment of their negative public opinion. No soul-searching, no attempt to correct their trend in the wrong direction. How long does a republic last, if those conditions (declining trust in gov't. and media) persist?
            How does the media report on a sleazeball like Trump without appearing to pick on him?I can hardly look at him without being overcome by waves of revulsion. I'm sure many reporters feel the same thing. Not to mention what poor Melania must endure.

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            • Originally posted by redrover View Post

              How does the media report on a sleazeball like Trump without appearing to pick on him?I can hardly look at him without being overcome by waves of revulsion. I'm sure many reporters feel the same thing. Not to mention what poor Melania must endure.
              The people who have buyers' remorse, as well as those of us who always thought the current president should have stuck to a job as a carnival barker, have arrived at the same conclusion: Trump is his own worst enemy.

              But you bring up a good point: The press and how they deal with it. You were a teacher, right? The work-around for the class clown who refused to be quiet enuf to let the other students concentrate, was placed in another class. The solution for this prez is to find a way to get business done with minimal input from the clown. I would like the press to try that, as well. Sure, train wrecks always make the news, but the public could use information on how DC (and the rest of the world) gets things done while "that person" is tweeting or something.

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              • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                The people who have buyers' remorse, as well as those of us who always thought the current president should have stuck to a job as a carnival barker, have arrived at the same conclusion: Trump is his own worst enemy.

                But you bring up a good point: The press and how they deal with it. You were a teacher, right? The work-around for the class clown who refused to be quiet enuf to let the other students concentrate, was placed in another class. The solution for this prez is to find a way to get business done with minimal input from the clown. I would like the press to try that, as well. Sure, train wrecks always make the news, but the public could use information on how DC (and the rest of the world) gets things done while "that person" is tweeting or something.
                Teachers have effective measures for dealing with the class clown, but this case is very unusual in that Trump can be seen as the teacher and the class has decided to move forward by sidestepping the buffoonery. This is why I consider Trump the weakest president in history. He's not even in command of his own staff.

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                • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                  A 10% bump -or a 10% slowdown in the sagging voter numbers- would be an improvement. The two-step information source is one response to those who are "dissatisfied" with the media source, those numbers already discussed in a previous post. Another way of looking at what many voters feel about the current press ...similar to the way a lawyer's client feels when the lawyer presents 200 pages of contract information, and then states, "It's all in there, look it over". It's called information overload, especially frustrating when critical parts of the information are based on opinion or outright lies. -And the client has to parse that without much help from the lawyer, who the client is convinced might have gotten his law degree from Sketchy U.


                  The people who use the internet? About 75%. Link: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator...S?locations=US ...Sounds good, until we go back to the figures on respect for "clean" political reporting, among adults in the US. Viewed in that light, the internet remains one among other sources of political reporting, all sources considered half-assed on the credibility scale. As for low voter turnout, that argument is for either a "decaying" constitutional republic, or an established oligarchy with elements of a republic. My response to that: A decaying republic is to be avoided; I don't know of any in history that made a comeback from letting their institutions "go to seed". The oligarchy with elements of a republic can advance, however. That is arguably what happened in the US when voting rights were expanded, from white male landowners to the rest of the adult population. That was the advance starting with the Magna Carta in Great Britain. Critical thinking skills for voting is a good point; that can be remedied by a flat-funding formula for public (non-profit) education. Funding based on a school district's prosperity only holds back poor districts. The public sector needs to take a lesson from the best capitalists in this case: Invest what is necessary to get quality results. Go cheap on Research and Development, and results will more often than not be disappointing. State-wide funding -same investment per student/year- should be the next step to give all students the same opportunity.



                  The media does decide what we see, you are correct. More troublesome, since we don't very much trust the media, an issue they avoid for obvious reasons. I'd never try to steer an issues list that all voters must consider; that is something a demagogue would attempt. My argument is this: The frustrated voters will visit two different sites, who serve candidates running for office. Only one site operates now (LWV), but with another site providing right-wing bias, it might inspire the vast media to clean up their operation. I'd be fine with voters who relied on two sources; ironically, they might be able to provide a more accurate candidates summary than the poor sod who waded through 200 pages over the year, trying to pick edibles out of all that scat.

                  Again, you continue to conflate things that are not necessarily related, based on polls that do not necessarily (particularly when compared to people's ACTUAL behavior) support what you claim they do. You then compound these fallacious leaps of logic by making certain assumptions (that lower voter turnout is bad). Access to the vote is a very different principle from turning out to vote. If (and even with regard to who should be permitted to vote there are areas of legitimate debate). What is crucial to a healthy republic is that there be no undue restrictions on who can vote, or unfair hampering of the ability to actually cast their eligible votes, not necessarily that everyone enfranchised actually chooses to vote.

                  In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, a whole bunch of really stupid adults started proposing that we start to allow really stupid (and even more ignorant) teenagers to vote, If we blindly accept that expanding the franchise is good, then why not lower the voting age to 5 years old? The same holds true for voter turnout rates, just because we as a society have deemed it is wrong to prohibit voting by various groups, does not mean that we should be going out of our way to actively encourage everyone who MAY vote, TO vote. As I have pointed out previously (only partly tongue-in-cheek) if you can't name three Supreme Court Justices, I don't think you are informed enough about our basic civics to cast a thoughtful vote. I would not seriously propose preventing those people from voting, but I sure as hell will argue (rightly) that we should not be bending over backwards in trying to get them to vote.

                  I would even go one step further, in many instances, lying to try and trick people into not voting (flyers giving out incorrect election dates and locations) is a crime. I don't think it should be. If you are too stupid, ill-informed, or unmotivated to find out when and where you can legitimately vote, shame on you and if you are fooled, so be it.

                  I already think we cater too much to the ill-informed and lazy (both physically and mentally), I don't think party affiliation should appear anywhere on a voting ballot.
                  Last edited by Marcus1124; 6 days ago.

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                  • Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post


                    Again, you continue to conflate things that are not necessarily related, based on polls that do not necessarily (particularly when compared to people's ACTUAL behavior) support what you claim they do. You then compound these fallacious leaps of logic by making certain assumptions (that lower voter turnout is bad). Access to the vote is a very different principle from turning out to vote. If (and even with regard to who should be permitted to vote there are areas of legitimate debate). What is crucial to a healthy republic is that there be no undue restrictions on who can vote, or unfair hampering of the ability to actually cast their eligible votes, not necessarily that everyone enfranchised actually chooses to vote.

                    In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, a whole bunch of really stupid adults started proposing that we start to allow really stupid (and even more ignorant) teenagers to vote, If we blindly accept that expanding the franchise is good, then why not lower the voting age to 5 years old? The same holds true for voter turnout rates, just because we as a society have deemed it is wrong to prohibit voting by various groups, does not mean that we should be going out of our way to actively encourage everyone who MAY vote, TO vote. As I have pointed out previously (only partly tongue-in-cheek) if you can't name three Supreme Court Justices, I don't think you are informed enough about our basic civics to cast a thoughtful vote. I would not seriously propose preventing those people from voting, but I sure as hell will argue (rightly) that we should not be bending over backwards in trying to get them to vote.

                    I would even go one step further, in many instances, lying to try and trick people into not voting (flyers giving out incorrect election dates and locations) is a crime. I don't think it should be. If you are too stupid, ill-informed, or unmotivated to find out when and where you can legitimately vote, shame on you and if you are fooled, so be it.

                    I already think we cater too much to the ill-informed and lazy (both physically and mentally), I don't think party affiliation should appear anywhere on a voting ballot.
                    I'm not arguing for a mandatory voting law (fe, Australia). I'm arguing to support voluntary methods to correct poor voter involvement, to keep the vote somewhere close to or above 60%, and nowhere close to 50% or less. One method for doing that is cutting thru media noise.

                    As for lying about election dates, throwing common names off registration rolls, and other practices that interfere with an election. Why not introduce a law that makes all that stuff strictly legal? Maybe you'll build up a large base of citizens who will see how valuable it is to keep only clever people who know who to call, or where to check to make sure they are still registered.

                    ....Or maybe you'll be in that group of politically active partisans, who managed to nail their own coffin shut and bury themselves deep, because they foisted a growing number of cynical tricks to keep people from voting. The last thing a constitutional republic needs, on top of a growing pile of decaying politicians in office, is to add the "fool as many as we can" strategies to the mess. Where do you come up with these ideas?

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