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-   -   Decision 2016 (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=53250)

ollie September 20th, 2016 08:45 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2110803)
My cousin and uncle recently got married...

I thought this was going to be a cautionary tale illustrating the importance of the government setting some limits on marriage...

Ranior September 20th, 2016 09:12 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nukatha (Post 2110777)
All of which, save the tax benefits, (which I also disagree with), can easily be written down in a legal agreement between any two persons, outside of the government or any legal marriage.

Dad_Scaper, tradition doesn't make something right. "The way we have always done things" is an incredibly weak argument.

So, to get this straight, you want a system in which two interested individuals can legally sign a document so that they are conferred rights such as inheritance, hospital admitting privileges, ability to file taxes jointly, etc, and presumably have the government oversee this program and administer it. You simply don't want this program called marriage, and want to overthrow the entire system we currently have in place just so it's not called marriage?

I have to assume I am missing a deeper point, but I really do not understand you. What exactly is it about the government conferring legal benefits unto married individuals that you disagree with? It seems like you agree that everyone, including gay couples, deserve the legal benefits that marriages provide, but you simply don't like the fact that it's called marriage?

I'm just really confused what your point is here. Do you think gay couples deserve the same legal benefits as "traditional" couples? My sense is you do, so I think many here are talking past you as most of us are assuming you're here to argue gay marriage shouldn't be a thing.

If that is so, then what are you arguing? You basically want the legal rights (such as hospital admitting privileges, filing taxes jointly, inheritance, etc) to be allowed for all couples, but create a new and separate system for couples to obtain that where it isn't called a marriage?

I guess my main point is that I'm confused what you are arguing here, and that means a lot of us are talking past each other I think. Could you possibly make two things a bit clearer:

1. Do you think gay couples deserve the full legal benefits and rights that "traditional" couples receive?

2. What is it about the government granting these benefits through a marriage certificate/license that bothers you so?

Dad_Scaper September 20th, 2016 09:32 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I could be wrong, but the "government should get out of the marriage" line was routinely offered by people in quiet opposition to legalizing same sex marriage, in the form of an excuse to say no. So I addressed the point the same way I did then. You can't have his argument without an implicit rejection of the cause of same sex marriage. He's attacking Loving, too, which just demonstrates how naive the whole thing is.

It's just as naive - it seems to me - as the simplistic approach to campaign finance, above.

In the real world, people's right to marry comes under attack and marriage is intertwined with relationships with the government and third parties. No document signed between those two people will sweep all that away. No rule that "all campaign contributions must indicate who is making them" will work as intended.

Our standard of living and economy and safety are all very high in this country. Let's not get suckered into thinking that ongoing, incremental improvements aren't good enough.

Ranior September 20th, 2016 09:38 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I think you are wrong--but I don't blame you. Nukatha is one of the very few HSers I have every met in real life, and I know him to be a very smart guy. From other post on these forums, and particularly this thread he seems to be a pretty staunch libertarian, which makes me assume that he would support equal rights for all people.

To be fair, I may be the one making the wrong assumptions on those points. I totally understand why you and others here seem to assume he doesn't think gay couples deserve the same rights, and perhaps you are correct--but I simply cannot tell by what he is writing here which is why I want the clarification of exactly what it is he wants or is arguing.

With that being said, whatever it is he wants I would agree it seems naive--marriage and the government are intertwined, and there would seem to be no benefit of separating them. Certainly not one that would actually be worth the fairly massive cost it would take to scrap the current system and erect a new one.

Dad_Scaper September 20th, 2016 09:57 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Hmm. Well, he can speak for himself, but I've never thought of "staunch libertarians" as defenders of human rights for all. It's always seemed to be more slippery than that, when talking to a libertarian. As Samantha Bee said, months ago, to Gary Johnson, "the problem is that I agree with about every other thing you say."

Rich10 September 20th, 2016 10:20 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ollie (Post 2110808)
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2110803)
My cousin and uncle recently got married...

I thought this was going to be a cautionary tale illustrating the importance of the government setting some limits on marriage...

I'll admit that I first thought that your cousin married your uncle.

Marriage has a social component, a religious component and a legal component.

As far as the social component is concerned, people can decide who they wish to be with.

As far as the religious component is concerned, you might wish to stop going to a church that doesn't agree with your viewpoint on marriage. But it is the religion's right to decide which marriages they wish to support.

From the legal component, marriage has a number of benefits. These include social security, tax, and employment plan benefits. Is there really any reason to exclude LGBT people from receiving these benefits?

Since Gary Johnson has been brought up, As a libertarian, wouldn't Gary Johnson support the rights for LGBT people to get married?

Rich10 September 20th, 2016 11:00 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dok (Post 2109930)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2109915)
Setting up a home email server as opposed to using the government servers is in my humble opinion, a bunker mentality where you control the information. I could be fired if I did this. How about you? If in your job, you bypassed corporate security and used personal emails, without all of the requisite security, what would the reaction of the company that you work for?

If I sent a ton of work e-mails using my gmail account? Eh, probably nothing for a while. Maybe eventually some sysadmin would notice and complain. Maybe my supervisor would notice and complain. If I kept doing it after being warned not to do so, then I might get fired.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2109915)
Yes, I admit that it is impossible to prove a negative. Do you admit that the appearance of taking so much money (whether to their foundation or to speaking fees for Bill) is unwise for a government official?

Bill Clinton was not a government official when he did those things. I don't think there's anything unwise about a private citizen collecting lots of money for a charity that does good works.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2109915)
Even if the Clintons weren't influenced by the $150 million +, doesn't this create the appearance of a conflict?

It can, sure. Money going to a charity is far less worrying to me than the run-of-the-mill legal campaign contributions, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2109915)
This "comically benign" method seems to have been successful.

Wait, what? How does it "seem" that way? You're assuming a quid pro quo. Show me something!

Where's the evidence here? Maybe you can't show me an attorney general declining to prosecute after getting a $25k campaign contribution, but can you show me anything that smells even comparably fishy? Something more than a meet and greet with donors? I'd like at least see some smoke before I yell fire.

You'll actually have considerably more success noting that Hillary worked as a senator for causes that were supported by her campaign donors. That's actually quite easy to demonstrate. And again, that's run-of-the-mill, utterly banal, legal corruption that's built into our system. This is what makes the Clinton foundation stuff so laughable to me. Why would anyone try such a strange way to influence a politician when there are such easy, direct, legal ones?

(To be fair, there's always a chicken-and-egg problem with campaign contributions. Are politicians voting a certain way because the interest groups give them money, or are the interest groups giving money to politicians because those politicians vote the way they like? Proving causality is very hard. But either way, it's very easy to make the connection - far easier than with the Clinton Foundation stuff.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2109915)
Quote:

Originally Posted by dok (Post 2109885)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2109878)
As for the media, excluding Fox News, it is hard to suggest that the "salacious news media" (most of the salacious reporting was about Bill, not Hillary;)) is biased against her. Do you really think that there is a conservative bias in the news media?

There is a bias towards creating the appearance of parity. There is a bias towards not appearing to take sides. When one candidate is easily the least qualified and most scandal-ridden candidate of my lifetime, attempting to portray the problems each candidate has in the same light amounts to a massive bias. And yes, that's what we're seeing. "He said, she said" reporting only works when there's roughly an equal amount of rightness and wrongness on both sides. And there isn't; not even close.

Donald Trump's "charitable foundation" gave a $25k contribution to the PAC of the Florida attorney general while she was considering whether to press charges against Trump over Trump university. The foundation later claimed this was a clerical error and they had intended to give the money to a charity in Utah with a similar name (one they have never given money to before or since). Riiiiiight.

Go ahead, try to find one story in HRC's history that suggests anything even close to the same level of quid pro quo as that story. And yet, that story has gotten extremely little coverage, because it's lost in the whirlwind of insanity that is the Trump campaign. Meanwhile, the e-mail scandal just keeps coming around and around, largely because there's just not a ton of other questionable stuff to talk about.

A combination of journalistic laziness and journalistic cowardice has led to a false balance that is actually, yes, quite biased.

If you don't think that there is a liberal bias to the media (excluding Fox), we will just have to agree to disagree.

To be blunt, this is a very broad, easy, lazy response. You're falling back on something you take as granted ("liberal media") without addressing what I wrote. I explained a very specific mechanic. Do you dispute that that mechanic is in play?

You yourself have admitted that Trump is a ridiculous, unqualified figure. So, go watch your NBC/ABC/CBS nightly news for a few nights. Watch how many segments are spent on negative stories on each candidate. Watch how much focus is given to each candidate's "gaffes" and "scandals".

What you will find is "balance". An obsession with covering the horse race. Equal weight given to both sides. Equal time spent on each side's critiques and failings. No real effort to play referee and say that one side is more right or wrong than the other. In an environment where one candidate actually is wrong more often, and actually is less qualified, by almost every reasonable measure, that's not balance. That's cowardice. That's hiding behind the veneer of balance by saying, "we are letting the viewer decide."

I don't dispute that the majority of mainstream media professionals are left leaning. That's well known. The question is whether that means that, in practice, they are biased towards the left in how they report the news. And the reality is that, particularly when it comes to election coverage, they are heavily biased towards making each candidate sound equally reasonable.

Let me start by saying that my heart really isn't in this debate. While I'm not a Clinton fan, I don't find Trump to be qualified to be president.

Regarding the personal servers, I think it was unwise (at best) to avoid the government servers. As I said, I could be fired for actions like this, and I'm certainly not Secretary of State.

Regarding the $153 million in speaking fees, this is not money going into a charity (although that has a different set of issues), this is about fees being paid (primarily to Bill Clinton) directly into the Clintons' bank account. It has been reported that the fees increased after Hillary became Secretary of State. http://www.politifact.com/punditfact...im-about-bill/
I don't know if Hillary was influenced by this money (although personally, I would be influenced by $153 million). I'm not saying that what was done was illegal. I'm saying that it is unwise because even if it doesn't influence your decisions, it creates the appearance of impropriety. I expect more from someone who will likely be the president of the US.

Should I expect more? Was Hillary truthful when she said that there were no classified emails on her server? How about when she said that she didn't know what the "(c)" on confidential emails meant (although she used it herself)? How about Clinton's statement that the Benghazi attacks were caused by, “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” when other emails showed that she knew it was a terrorist group. How about when she apparently confused a girl who gave her flowers for sniper fire in Bosnia? There is a reason that in a recent NBC poll, only 11% of Americans say Clinton is honest and trustworthy (and yes, Trump is almost certainly worse).

Finally, after all of this (and much more because I'm just not willing to spend any more time on this), Hillary still doesn't suck as much as Trump.

vegietarian18 September 20th, 2016 11:18 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2110818)
Hmm. Well, he can speak for himself, but I've never thought of "staunch libertarians" as defenders of human rights for all. It's always seemed to be more slippery than that, when talking to a libertarian. As Samantha Bee said, months ago, to Gary Johnson, "the problem is that I agree with about every other thing you say."


The way that I have been able to make sense of it is to change perspective on what left and right are. The left, progressivism, is the vector of public thought. Our population's thoughts and perspectives on issues change through time, and the left usually represents what they change towards. (Although political parties have shifted names, America's political belief has gone leftwards through time. If today you held the political and social beliefs of Americans in 1916 [pro-segregation, against women's suffrage], you would be called far right.) However, the other vector, the right, is different. It only opposes the leftwards vector, it does not try to make a path of its own. As the leftwards vector goes straight left, the right vector opposes the left but not strictly. Each movement in the right oppose a different aspect of the left.

This why the right is so fractured, with the alt-right, conservative, and libertarian perspectives blending together in their arguments and identity. Each opposes a different consequence of progressivism. The alt-right opposes “political correctness” and the general change in the way people can speak that progressivism causes. The conservative right opposes the general societal shift away from religion and its societal norms that progressivism causes. The libertarian right opposes the general increase in government as a result of the social programs progressivism causes. The right is ideological perspectives that arise to oppose the shifts in public opinion, where the left is just public opinion as it shifts. That's why you agree with about half of what Libertarians say; they don't disagree with everything you say either.

Dad_Scaper September 20th, 2016 11:30 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Oh, sure. I'm not trying to be disagreeable about everything Libertarian, and there's no reason why I should try. Why shouldn't we agree on the stuff we agree on? It's just that the disagreements are frequent and important enough that I don't care to take that path for myself.

I believe, as I said (I think) way upthread, that I understand the surface appeal of Libertarianism. I just think that it's a shiny sports car made out of plastic. Looks great on the showroom floor, but it's not built to handle the trials of every day wear and tear. Real-world perils - money, oppressive majorities, the danger of corruption - are too much for it. Its advocates claim the current system is corrupt, but their idea for campaign finance reform is to allow unlimited contributions, as if some pie-in-the-sky "transparency" would stop unlimited contributions from phony righteous-sounding causes.

Imagine: "Americans For A Living Wage" just gave $1.2 billion to a candidate who wants to dismantle the EPA, and not to the other candidate, in favor of raising the minimum wage. Sounds legit! And yet the Libertarian platform would have no problem with the making or receiving of the contribution, despite its cries of corruption in the current system, because the name of the giver is known.

Thanks, but no thanks.

vegietarian18 September 20th, 2016 11:47 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
With regards to environmental issues, I'm not sure there is a good libertarian anewer at all. At its core libertarianism holds that personal incentives can more effectively guide people to the right thing, but I don't think that's the case with environmental issues. It's kind of a Prisoner's Dilemma where an individual can agree that long-term protection of the planet is a priority, but if someone else wants to take their own success as a priority, then the environment still suffers. Pure libertarians might argue that consumers will choose the environmentally friendly product if that issue is important, but I don't think that's a reality.

Dad_Scaper September 20th, 2016 11:57 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Right. For the same reason, you run into problems with developing new medicines, for instance. Why would you spend a fortune and years developing a new antibiotic, when there is no reason to think you'll ever get a return on that investment? And yet, new medicines have to come from somewhere.

Nukatha September 20th, 2016 12:28 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranior (Post 2110812)

So, to get this straight, you want a system in which two interested individuals can legally sign a document so that they are conferred rights such as inheritance, hospital admitting privileges, ability to file taxes jointly, etc, and presumably have the government oversee this program and administer it. You simply don't want this program called marriage, and want to overthrow the entire system we currently have in place just so it's not called marriage?

I have to assume I am missing a deeper point, but I really do not understand you. What exactly is it about the government conferring legal benefits unto married individuals that you disagree with? It seems like you agree that everyone, including gay couples, deserve the legal benefits that marriages provide, but you simply don't like the fact that it's called marriage?

I'm just really confused what your point is here. Do you think gay couples deserve the same legal benefits as "traditional" couples? My sense is you do, so I think many here are talking past you as most of us are assuming you're here to argue gay marriage shouldn't be a thing.

If that is so, then what are you arguing? You basically want the legal rights (such as hospital admitting privileges, filing taxes jointly, inheritance, etc) to be allowed for all couples, but create a new and separate system for couples to obtain that where it isn't called a marriage?

I guess my main point is that I'm confused what you are arguing here, and that means a lot of us are talking past each other I think. Could you possibly make two things a bit clearer:

1. Do you think gay couples deserve the full legal benefits and rights that "traditional" couples receive?

2. What is it about the government granting these benefits through a marriage certificate/license that bothers you so?

I haven't been very eloquent on here I suppose. I do often type a bit faster than I think.

Honestly, its entirely the principle of it. From what I've seen in trying to do a bit of historical research on the subject, marriage licenses were generally not a thing prior to the civil war. Following that, and between the civil war and the success of the civil rights movement, the entire existence of marriage licenses in many states existed for the sole purpose of preventing 'interracial marriages'. I feel like I accidentally set up a few straw men by saying this, as licenses did exist in several locations before that, but any location that established marriage licenses on the basis of controlling who can and cannot get married is built entirely on a false, misguided base.

So, I have two, semi-conflicting opinions on the matter. First, the federal government can, and ought to be limited strictly to the powers enumerated to it by the states in the Constitution.
To quote the 10th amendment: "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."
Taken at face value, this means to me that all government authority regarding marriage is in the hands of State governments, so long as they act with the consent of the citizens of said State.
Unfortunately, that opens up States to pass discriminatory laws on their own. So, I throw Occam's Razor at it, and decide that it is simplest to do away with it altogether.

It seems weird to me that we have an institution that provides distinct financial and legal benefits simply to any two people who want them. Mainly, my wife and I paid significantly fewer tax dollars last year than if we had filed separately. (I'd be stupid not to take advantage of this fact). But I don't understand why. We would still be together without that benefit, and from my vantage point, it looks like an unfair tax on single individuals.

If the point of institutionalizing marriage is to ensure a healthy, stable environment for raising children (which is the premise I work from) that tax benefit seems like it should extend to any household with children, regardless of the gender of the adults in the household, but not merely any couple.

And if you can refrain from rolling your eyes for a moment: I honestly expect that in around 15 years or so you will see a strong push from a number of people desiring marriage benefits for groups of 3 or more consenting adults. At what point, if any, does the government suddenly receive the right to decide what goes on in the bedroom? At what point is the government suddenly correct to impose its morals on what what constitutes a marriage? Again, it seems to me that this potential debate is one that we don't even need to have. If you just throw out the government's role in defining marriage, and instead focus on the benefit to society from offering some assistance to ensure kids are raised in a stable household, the whole civil rights argument just goes away.

Now, that's certainly not a 'true' Libertarian position, believing that it benefits the nation and society to subsidize child-rearing, but it does adequately sum up my opinion on the subject.

I'm at the point where I see government control actively harming many legitimate institutions.

No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core, and pretty much every other federal attempt to standardize and control educations seems to not have had actual benefits to the students. I have anecdotal evidence for this, with my wife being a public school teacher. She and her co-workers are actively pressured by the higher-ups (principal, executives, etc.) to allow failing students to pass courses so that the school looks good, despite doing a disservice to said students by forcing them into an even more difficult curriculum that they will certainly not be able to handle. On the occasion that a student performs so poorly that a teacher actually decides to fail said student, it takes an obscene amount of paperwork to do so. And even then you wind up with garbage like this http://www.kgun9.com/news/investigat...grade-changing

The fact that jerks like Martin Shkreli and Heather Bresch are able to price gouge old medications like Daraprim and epinephrine auto-injectors is a testament to artificially high barriers of entry into production of said medications. The patents expired ages ago, but it remains difficult for 'generic' pharmaceutical companies (the unknown guys who supply, say, the 'Great Value' brand or 'Wal-' brand products at Walmart and Walgreens) to actually break into production of said products.

Government subsidies of student loans, I would argue, are a leading contributor to high education cost. Pretty much every student can get approved for such a loan, which has no statue of limitations regarding collections. The total out of pocket cost over time can be multiple times the original cost of school, and that money just pads the pockets of people over at the likes of Sallie Mae. As with the housing market, where the prices of houses outpaced inflation at the same time loans were being given out like candy, I see the government-guaranteed student loans doing the same thing to tuition prices. If anyone can go to school now and pay later, they can attend any college without actually thinking about the out-of-pocket cost down the road. This lets a university raise their rates. Frak, I'm working at a university right now, and on the off chance where I just decide to ask a student how much they're paying for the class I'm teaching (usually because I'm incredibly disappointed at their lack of effort) they usually can't even give me a good ballpark number. Basically, as with the government encouraging banks to give out sub-prime loans back in the day, I see this same government intervention as running the young population of the USA into severe debt.

Bottom line for me is this: I'm not a hard-core Libertarian. I want government oversight to protect the public. Government infrastructure like Interstates, local public power/water infrastructure, the FDA/OSHA ensuring safe food and working conditions. The NSF/NASA support amazing technological advancements that few private individuals would consider backing, (due to the huge time/money investment necessary to develop said technologies before they actually turn into something an investor could make money from). But I see dozens of problems in this country that have been caused in part or in whole by government overreach, and I believe the best thing to do in our situation right now is to scale back the involvement of the federal government in those aspects of life. If it goes a bit too far, then we can always reinstate specific programs later. A four-year term of Gary Johnson would push America in that direction, where I honestly see Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump as pushing for more programs that, even with good intentions, would have the opposite effect they hope for. (EX: I honestly believe that NCLB/RTTT/CC were are developed with good intentions, but they just haven't worked). Couple that with my reservations regarding the moral standing and personal values of said two leading candidates, I cannot vote for either.

Now to find out if I exceeded the character limit. Oh cool, I didn't Yay!

Since I can't think of any better way to end this, here's that cute emoticon of the bunny with a pancake on its head.

:whocares:
EDIT: Check out these statements by each candidate in response to sciencedebate.org's 20 question survey
Website format
http://sciencedebate.org/20answers
.pdf
http://sciencedebate.org/goods/2016answers.pdf

I've only skimmed it so far, but it looks like a good read to familiarize yourself with each candidate's stance on science.


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