Fla._Refuses_to_Obey_DOJ_Will_Continue_Voter_Suppression_Claiming_Non-Citizens_are_on_Voter_List_

Earth is the center of the solar system, it is flat, and voter ID laws do not suppress votes
by Pete Johnson

Something we all should be concerned about, simply because we are citizens in a Democratic and free society is the way new voter IDs—usually requiring a photo, are being peddled almost exclusively by Republican controlled States, with Republican Governors—under the pretense that they are only a matter of common sense. We should be concerned, because the old, “this just makes sense tactic” is often used not just to promote genuinely needed laws and policies, but also to justify some of the most incredibly dishonest propaganda possible! Just recently the State of North Carolina used its Republican controlled political machine to pass one of the strictest and most dishonest photo voter ID laws in the entire country!

As always, such claims that they only satisfy common sense, are really examples of wolfs in Sheep’s clothing, which take the wool off of their eyes, and then pull it over the eyes of the public. Indeed, the new law contains a number of measures—such as providing free State IDs at local offices of the DMV—provided the recipient is registered to vote, or registers when applying for the ID, and if a voter lacks prerequisite documents such as a birth certificates or a marriage license, a North Carolina County Register of Deeds must furnish them free. The actual IDs required in order to get a photo ID, make up a list of pretty reasonable documents, such as; A NC driver’s license, a learners permit or provisional license, as well as a US passport, a military or veteran’s ID, or an enrollment card from a recognized NC Tribe, and, those who are non-drivers may receive a free non-drivers “special ID card,” which requires, again, that they are registered, or will register, when applying. So far so good—nothing seems too unreasonable here, but wait until we investigate a little further!

Beginning on Jan. 2014 North Carolina poll officials will ask voters for a photo voter ID, even though no ID will be required until 2016, and though North Carolina’s Republicans, will probably sell this misinformation as being required in order to give extra time to voters, presumably, voters who lack the necessary photo ID, might tend not to vote because they may think that the new IDs are required by 2014, and therefore, may think that their ships have already sailed in the 2014 election—if they don’t have one by then. And voters CAN cast a provisional ballot, BUT, they must present an acceptable ID to the County Board of elections by noon the day before the election canva — and then things really starts to get interesting”

The new ID laws allow for cutting early voting by a week, and even though all polling sites in a county must be open at the same times, except for the County Elections office or its alternative—in lieu of decreasing the time window concerning how long early voting is allowed, NC Republicans advance the argument that more polling places will be available and will make up for the reduction in time—since extra locations will, theoretically, result in providing equal accessibility. However, those who work certain hours or intend to cast early votes, are not limited by space, as much as time. What difference would it make if their polling places tripled but they just could not be off work early enough anyway? The shortened opening time would still be in effect, and therefore, the work schedules of many voters may still prevent them from casting a ballot, even if many more polling places are available.

Same day registration will be cut, and voters must register at least 25 days before the election — another requirement which may interfere with schedules of minorities and result in their veritable disenfranchisement.

Also, minority groups are not always up on the laws, and, might be disqualified even if they have voted in many past elections.

Get this one: straight party voting will also NOT be allowed! Voters must vote for a specific candidate, and, as many of us know, voting a straight tickets enables us to vote effectively for candidates from our own party, rather than playing Russia Roulette with unknown names and offices that we may not be familiar with—otherwise our votes may mistakenly be cast for politicians who are supported by, and who obey, wealthy Republican contributors—merely on the basis of name recognition!

Oddly even pre-registration drives for 16 and 17 year olds will end. Also, Citizens Awareness Month, and required registration drives in High Schools will be eliminated!—possibly reducing the interest of young voters (who most often support Democrats) once they are old enough to vote.

Polling hours can no longer be extended by County election boards, if there are problems such as a delay in opening, only the State Boards of Elections can extend hours to compensate. So, in any State which is predominately run in ways that satisfy Republican interests, this may amount to one more opportunity to put the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse! And, even those who are doing voter registration drives, will no longer be paid on the basis of how many completed forms they submit, but only for their time—hummm?

The handiwork of NC Republicans is also apparent in minor procedural changes like allowing any voter to challenge the legitimacy of another’s if also residing in the same county as the contested voter. Previously challenges were permitted only from voters who lived in the same district, so, this expanded rule could enable mass challenges and embolden vigilantes who want to influence the vote.

Incredibly, programs that provide Judicial and executive branch candidates a chance to qualify for public financing are now prohibited, and so candidates will be dependent on private funding—which gives wealthy and connected candidates an unfair edge— one that will surely prevent voters who are attempting to vote as others, from casting fraudulent ballots—Really?!

And, of course in the interest of preventing non-existent fraud, NC Republicans are increasing the contribution limits to local or State candidates—PACs will now be allowed to make $5000 donations instead of only $4000 ones, and limits for judicial nominees will jump from $1000 to $5000: a 500% increase!

Changes in disclosure rules will enable outside group to make unlimited donations and run negative ads against opponents, or, for other, “electioneering,” expenses, and they will not be required to reveal either the amounts of their donations of where they come from. New laws also end requirements that print ads and mailers by outside groups should include a list of their top five donors. Apparently these changes are made possible by a SCOTUS, which so valiantly defined money as free speech, and helped end election fraud by giving those poor, rich and powerful corporations, a chance to throw unlimited cash at the candidates they support—otherwise how could we ever avoid corruption in politics?

Amazingly as of Jan. 2014, a new State Supreme Court ruling requires that records to and from private Attorneys hired by legislators for the redistricting process will not be subject to open records laws—damn right! Every crooked political maneuver deserves to be kept from the prying eyes of those that will be affected by them! Protecting the right to use unfair gerrymandering is just common sense!

Along with the Republican theme that all of these changes, which come along with new photo IDs are only “common sense,” one of my personal most favorite creatively devious ways to promote fraud is that now, NCs “Stand by Your Ad” law will end. So, this means that no longer will candidates be required to state their names and say, “I approve of this message.” Instead, they will bear the burdensome requirement of having a small photo appear in their ads for at least 2 seconds (a veritable eternity) but they will not be required to include similar acknowledgements in radio ads, or ads funded by those darn “independent outside groups.” Lord knows that any forthright candidate should never be accused of making false statements which really come from these “non-affiliated sources,”—wink, wink…right?

As already stated, the basis for defending all of these valiant attempts to prevent kinds of fraud which are really less possible than being struck by lightening, benefit from that “indisputable” claim that they represent only “common sense.” Those in favor are quick to point out that almost every activity we do, or every right we exercise, commonly requires an ID for the user. Thus the Constitutional protections for one of the most important and cherished personal freedoms—the right to vote—are placed on the same level as acquiring a library card or a fishing license. Isn’t it obvious that freedoms which potentially enable every American to choose who will be in the government, and how it shall be run—as well as which laws will affect all of our daily lives—are obviously no more exempt from impediments to their free use—than a library card, or that all important fishing license?

Republicans are so fond of spreading the myth that Democrats are eager to commit fraud, that they are fond of implying that, we would spare no expense, when bribing (presumably thousands of voters) who might be required to affect the outcomes of important election — along with the massive total amounts of money that would be needed to bribe them, or, that we would encourage these thousands of well paid fraudulent voters to risk being charged with a felony, just to help a party they may not even care about anyway!

The new ID laws are specifically intended to prevent in person voter misrepresentation fraud, which happens only in a handful of cases nationwide.

But, they may actually prevent, only say, three or four actually fraudulent cases of this type out of millions of legitimate votes. Their supporters are generously willing to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer’s dollars to prevent voter fraud from influencing North Carolina’s elections—only from the goodness of their hearts! Never mind that almost all of these photo ID laws are being promoted by States with Republican Governors — Governors who also have the nearly unlimited advantage of working with rubber stamp Republican legislatures! And never mind that the vast majority of the minorities which could possibly be disenfranchised, are those which traditionally have voted heavily for Democrats!—who are we to suggest subterfuge from a party committed to making such a noble gesture?

History is rife with examples of Republicans who have stuffed ballot boxes, sent misleading robo-call—which deliberately misstate the times and places required for voting—as well as perpetrating many other incredibly devious attempt to manipulate the outcomes of close elections. So, are they really qualified to portray Democrats as just itching to risk committing felonies by doing something which probably would involve no more than a handful of successful attempts out of millions of votes?

We are most likely all aware of the fact that Democrats stole the 1960 Presidential elections with the help of former (Mayor Daily Senior) of Chicago, and we are usually knowledgeable of the fact that he accomplished this in part, by adding the names of scores of deceased voters to the voting rolls. We also are likely to admit that it only makes sense that Democrats have also engaged in other types of fraud as well. But compared to methods like ballot box stuffing, misleading robo-calls, telephone intimidations, or electronic manipulation of voting machines, etc., in person voter misrepresentation fraud, is an extremely less effective type of fraud to undertake — therefore to try and implement it on a massive scale, would not exactly speak well for the level of intelligence among Democrats, who are supposedly hell bent on using it to their advantage.

Regardless of all of these impediments, Republicans have busily spread the unsubstantiated myth that voter ID laws are necessary to “preserve the integrity” of fair election.

One of their most famous efforts to implicate Democrats of actively pursuing fraud is the case of ACORN (a community activist organization which among other things conducted voting registration drives) which supposedly encouraged fraudulently registering voters to steal the 2008 elections. And despite that their other activities include, improving housing, wages, access to credit, and public education, Republicans were only interested in the fact that ACORN may have encouraged the “wrong” kinds of voters i.e. Democrats! They supposedly proved this by using a video created by James O’Keefe, which allegedly revealed a sinister underground effort by Democrats to fraudulently register voters. But the video is widely discredited for using deceptive editing and involving entrapment of those who appear in it. If one actually views the video, as I did, it becomes apparent that parts of it were deceptively edited, and that, O’Keefe asks leading questions which encourage a Democratic campaign worker to humorously go along with discussing a hypothetical preplanned fraud —never mind that firstly, this case involved registration fraud—not election fraud, and that the fraud was committed AGAINST ACORN by a few self-centered employees who tried to stuff their own pockets—not the ballot box.

And, although ACORN did (as critics claimed) report many phony names that these unscrupulous employees used to register voters –because such disclosure was required by law — more importantly, it was really ACORN that originally flagged them for scrutiny. So, paradoxically, ACORN was accused of voter fraud, as the result of its own efforts to expose such fraud! And, though rigorous investigations did eventually clear them of all charges, few in the supposedly “liberally biased” media even bothered to report Acorn’s exoneration.

Another notorious case involving Republicans tampering with elections on a large scale was perpetrated in Florida between May of 1999 and Election Day in 2000. Two secretaries of State—who were protégées of Governor Jeb Bush—ordered almost 58,000 ex-felons, who were prohibited from voting under Florida law, to be struck from voter rolls. But the really devious scam that ensued was made possible because the voters whose names had to be removed, matched the gender, birth information, race or names, of one of tens of millions of ex-felons in the United States—You see there were 35 states, which, at that time, allowed ex-felons to vote, and 90% of these could be expected to vote for Democrats. Since these voters, who were stuck from Florida’s rolls, were selected because their names were the same as felons found in other States, no extensive research was done to verify the matches.

In fact 325 names on the Florida voter’s purge list, involved future conviction dates, even though that meant they were not really felons at the time of the elections. Even Madison County’s elections supervisor, Linda Howell refused the purge list because her own name was discovered on it! All of the sordid details are included in an article by Greg Palast, an investigative reporter whose book—“The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” became a New York Times bestseller, He can be reached at: http://www.gregpalast.com.

What we as voters need to realize is that we are being told about voting scams by a GOP which could be considered the king of Cons itself. And, by using an argument that insists that a sacred right such as voting should be considered as no more important than a fishing license, at least as far as the ID information required is concerned. This particular scam involving individual personal voter misrepresentation is one of the least successful election scams, and has not even been proven to exist in some of the States seeking to implement voter ID requirements.

So in essence the Republican Party wants to spend large sums of money to ensure that something which almost never happens will continue not to happen.

As it does this, it places numerous impediments in front of minority voters who need the photo ID to vote, and, who suspiciously, tend to vote largely for Democrats. I also can’t help but mention, that the paradoxical requirements concerning other valid IDs, which can be accepted as qualification for obtaining the new Photo IDs, begs the question, “Why then, are the prerequisite IDs not acceptable in and of themselves—as they usually have been in most polling places in the past?

Some proponents for the new law, site court cases in which these laws have been approved by certain states, but they fail to mention that even liberal judges, respect the need for already established precedents, which could definitively prove that such new photo ID laws really do impede voters—ironically they cannot do that, because most of these new laws represent brand new policies that have no previous records which might be used to establish such a precedent! So essentially they are approved on the ground of referencing a catch-22 like argument.

No doubt all of these fraudulent efforts by Republicans to unfairly tip election scales have been made much easier because of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, and, by Republican controlled legislatures in States run primarily by Republican Governors. And, despite the fact that what they involve is really a fraudulent attempt to convince voters that such photo voter IDs are politically harmless — only making use of “common sense, — these new IDs really represent an unnecessary and corrupt attempt to control the outcomes of elections.

In reality, there is nothing common or sensible about them. So think twice before you fall for this outrageous hype which we are being spoon fed by Republicans.

Peter Johnson is a senior citizen who has become much more interested in what is happening in America and the world, than he was as a young man. He’s interested in poetry and expository writing, and has had letters to the editor published in Time magazine, Newsweek and Playboy magazine. He is concerned about ignorance and indifference that has been circulated concerning the significance of man made global warming and is dismayed dismayed by the way political lies and corruption are being used to influence the public (apparently free from any penalties or adequate culpability). He frequently writes letters of opinion to the editors of his local newspapers.

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JSpencer
Guest
JSpencer
3 years 1 month ago

Excellent post. There is nothing “common sense” about creating impediments to American citizens who wish to vote. Doing so is just as transparent in it’s attempt to distort the process as is redistricting. What’s next, a requirement that citizens must meet a basic minimum income before being allowed to vote? No doubt there are people whose definition of “common sense” would include that as well.

ELIJAH SWEETE
Member
3 years 1 month ago

The attack on voting rights, given how hard the fight to secure those rights has been, has no place in the America we all hold out as an example to the world. My view.

samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago
If we really want everyone to vote we should mandate it. In Peru, for example, one must vote to validate his/her I.D.- a valid I.D. required for check cashing and almost any gov’t service application. Progressives should ponder this. I object to the premise that nothing but good results flow from allowing the least restrictive voting policies. Uninformed and illiterate voters should be barred, as they are least likely to be able to discern where their own interests might lie. (Literacy tests were widely abused in the South, but any voting procedure can be abused by corrupt officials, consider Chicago’s… Read more »
sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 1 month ago
Hard to believe that in 21st Century America, people still have to fight for the right to vote. This is where Democratic/Independent organizations need to fight as fiercely to ensure the vote as Republicans do to block it. ” uninformed and illiterate voters should be barred, as they are least likely to discern where their own interests lie”. I disagree. I would bet they can ascertain that some asshole who thinks they shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they aren’t INFORMED enough on the issues, should have his mouth duck taped. Careful what you wish for Sam…they may ask for… Read more »
samujohn
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samujohn
3 years 1 month ago

Let’s see what an analysis of your comment shows:
1. outrage
2. hostility
3. insult
No arguments are advanced. I suspect that you are one of those who live in a bubble, never conversing with those who differ with your assumptions. Try debate, you might learn something.
SWJ
J.D.

The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
3 years 1 month ago

Some like to debate ideas opposite to their own, some like to deny that any other idea has been advanced. It depends on whether someone can discern an opposing argument when it occurs.

samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago

Please enlighten me as to my oversight. I only ascertained the items listed.

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 1 month ago

I believe my statements convey the entire point of my argument. I see no merit in what you propose. I find it actually insulting that you believe yourself to be in a position to judge others in some arbitrary fashion of your design.

Outrage?..every American should be and HAS been by your argument for literacy testing…which is why we no longer have it!
Hostility? …I find your attitude toward others in this country hostile
Insulting?…Oooo, I hope I have been. But not nearly as insulting as what you propose.
Done with MY end of the debate!

The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
3 years 1 month ago
”uninformed and illiterate voters should be barred, as they are least likely to discern where their own interests lie”. I disagree. I would bet they can ascertain that some asshole who thinks they shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they aren’t INFORMED enough on the issues, should have his mouth duck taped. Our SK’s arguments are passionate and to the point which may be offputting to those used to a more sophist method. But, SK can speak for herself – very competently. My intervention was only to alert you that dismissive remarks don’t fare well here. See the commenting rules.
sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 1 month ago

LOL Thanks for the reminder T_O. I do get quite passionate about some issues and this whole VRA decision has been like someone gently poking a pin in me until I finally blew up. Sorry everyone. Sorry Samujohn. You are entitled to your opinion of course.

samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago
“(4) Our comment space is reserved for focused comments that relate to each post’s topic specifically, not to or about the writer, not what the commenter thinks the writer should or shouldnt write about, not about TMV as a site or the commenter’s fantasy about TMV’s “real” intent, not the other commenters’ lives or character or brain power. The key word for commenting is civility. Civil discussion, civil debate, civil teaching, presenting ideas and opinions in a civil manner.” Does this fit the required standard of civil discussion? “some asshole who thinks they shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they… Read more »
petew
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petew
3 years 1 month ago
samujohn, “I object to the premise that nothing but good results flow from allowing the least restrictive voting policies. Uninformed and illiterate voters should be barred, as they are least likely to be able to discern where their own interests might lie. (Literacy tests were widely abused in the South, but any voting procedure can be abused by corrupt officials, consider Chicago’s notorious mayor Daily in the 1960 presidential election.) As for splitting the ticket, it is a very progressive step to ban straight party voting. The excessively long Jacksonian ballot is in desperate need of review and revision. I… Read more »
The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
3 years 1 month ago
sheknows – Passion may have become underrated, lately. I understand how you feel about voting rights being curtailed. Anyone who was an adult in the 50’s and 60’s and watched the non-violent civil rights marches, white and black activists walking shoulder to shoulder, and saw the police and police dogs barely leashed from reaching the marchers; who learned that black and white activists were murdered in the dark of night, should be appalled that this right should be threatened again in any way. The right to vote that every American has, doesn’t have to “earn”, is the very foundation of… Read more »
samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago

I wrote the above before SK’s latest remark. I am sorry that my natural inclination to be contrary was upsetting. We lawyers are accustomed to opposing views vigorously expressed. I once blew up at a prosecutor and the next day returned to apologize. He was gracious and remarked, “It’s OK, this place gets to everybody.”
cheers,
Sam

The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
3 years 1 month ago

Very gracious, Sam. Lawyers are trained to be confrontational; in a courtroom that works well, in a forum like this … not so much. Now, hopefully, we can all move on and debate the original premise.

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 1 month ago
Samujohn, I am surrounded by attorneys. My daughter, son in law, his mother and one of my best friends. I should not have name called, that was a mistake and I apologize sincerely. However, I found your argument personally offensive simply because my daughter works for legal aid here and my son in law has before private practice. They are extremely familiar with the “disadvantaged” and forgotten of our society. Many of these people, especially the elderly, have fought in wars for this country and should never be subjected to the sort of testing you advocate. Where does one draw… Read more »
samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago

Petew
Your thoughtful post deserves a considered reply. I will take a little while and try to compose one.

dduck
Guest
dduck
3 years 1 month ago

Before this argument runs the risk of being deleted, let make one BIG correction: it is DUCT TAPE, not duck tape which may be a brand, but not correctly descriptive.
Whew.
And, SK, since you are worried about not so intelligent Reps being disenfranchised, let me propose mandatory voting, just like we have mandatory jury duty, especially at the national levels, and give everyone a free universal ID card, which I also think will come in handy for some folks under ACA. (Ooooo, Big Brother, strikes again.)

Willwright
Guest
Willwright
3 years 1 month ago

All of this will ultimately backfire on the GOP. 80% percent of the population will see this as unfair and discriminatory and the GOP will be identified with these practices. They can’t make their party competitive by alienating voters and shrinking their base of support. Is anybody in the GOP thinking long term? I think not.

cjjack
Guest
cjjack
3 years 1 month ago

What was it again about NC’s voting process that was so horribly broken it needed such a massive overhaul?

“Prevention of voter fraud” can’t be it, because by all accounts the incidence of voter fraud – not only in that state but nationwide – is vanishingly small.

It is worth noting that these changes were instituted within nanoseconds of the Voting Rights Act being gutted by the Supreme Court. Coincidence?

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 1 month ago

Thanks dd…Yes it is duct tape, not duck. I am sure you don’t want to be involved in my reply anymore than you have to be :)

As for mandatory voting…I am all for it! Guess which political party would definitely not want that in a thousand kajillion years? They are trying to prevent the majority of voters in the country now.

dduck
Guest
dduck
3 years 1 month ago

I know very well now, but who knows 50-100 years from now.

ELIJAH SWEETE
Member
3 years 1 month ago
You can wrap a duck with duct tape. Whether you can wrap a dduck with duct tape is unknown, except perhaps among certain inhabitants of New York. People have a constitutional right to choose NOT to vote: for religious reasons, or as an expression of protest. Freedom of expression and religion are both protected at Amendment I. Finding no candidate worthy of one’s vote, or wishing not to vote for the lesser of two evils, i.e. not supporting a two party system, or choosing not to waste a vote on a write-in can all be considered forms of expressing a… Read more »
sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 1 month ago

Technically Elijah, you would be correct. I am certain that when the day comes, the law will allow for conscientious objectors. :)

dduck
Guest
dduck
3 years 1 month ago

Es, you would vote, just on the “No Vote” line. Same as jury duty, most show up, fewer actually serve. I still view it as responsibility as registering for the draft.
I going to duck the duct taping of ducks since it is too personal and I want to spend more time with my family and consider other opportunities.

samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago
I emphatically disassociate myself from any partisan efforts to push for an advantage in the upcoming elections. I abhor gerrymandering. We desperately need election reform, starting with removing the power of those in elective office to redraw election districts. Our State representatives spend more time on this and on fund raising than they do on considering and working on legislation. re:Specific comments by peterw “you seem to be condoning that somehow, uninformed or illiterate voters should not have the same rights as everyone else” A voter has a moral obligation to inform himself. Citizenship is more than just taking. It… Read more »
slamfu
Guest
slamfu
3 years 1 month ago
Can you imagine trying to swing a nationwide election using voter impersonation. Have any of these guys actually thought about how tough that would be? First, you gotta have extra people, lots of them. Then you gotta know the people that aren’t showing up to the polls to vote, and be prepared to impersonate those people. The amount of effort you have to expend, and the amount of exposure goes up dramatically with scale so that its simply not practical even if it was going on, which it isn’t for precisely the reasons just mentioned. So much easier to do… Read more »
dduck
Guest
dduck
3 years 1 month ago

I have been voting for over 55 years and I still don’t know what the candidates really believes. I just an hearing what he says to get elected. Now it’s true, I am not the smartest guy, the sharpest discerning mind, but I would probably pass the voter intelligence test. I am glad your cat is paying attention, they are smart and a paw on the candidates picture is a great endorsement.

petew
Guest
petew
3 years 1 month ago
samujohn, I agree with your dislike of elected office holders who redraw election districts to protect partisan interests. But I also hope you’ll agree that claiming the need for voter photo IDs that are meant to prevent a type of fraud that is actually so rare that it will certainly NOT influence the outcomes of elections, and which had no application for protecting us from fraud, is worth spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money to implement anyway! However, your belief that uninformed or ignorant voters lack the ability to make reasoned judgement is not what I would call, indicative… Read more »
samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago
Petew, It is good that you are thinking about these important subjects. I suggest that you read about the Athenian democratic experience and the Roman Republic. Both of these were uppermost in the mind of the participants in the American Constitutional Convention. Edward Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, was published in February 1776 and virtually every educated person had a copy. (I strongly recommend volume one of this book to you. Ignore those who say more modern books are better.) Our upper chamber is called the Senate, after the Roman institution. The venerable… Read more »
petew
Guest
petew
3 years 1 month ago
samujohn, I have read a bit about early democracy in Greece, but I would hesitate to have my thinking about the effects of literacy, concerning the ability of the pubic to adequately deliberate before acting. So, how is modern day America, supposed to be a society that is similarly lacking an adequately informed electorate, such as Greece of the Roman Empire, thousands of years later? With the advent of newspapers (digital and paper copies) television, magazines, the internet, radio, smartphones, as well as a populace which actively discusses many important issues with friends and family,the game has been significantly changed.… Read more »
petew
Guest
petew
3 years 1 month ago

samujohn,

The first part of the first paragraph in my most recent post, should read something like, “But I would hesitate to have my thinking about the effects of literacy, concerning the ability of the public to adequately deliberate before acting—become the last word, or the only correct authority about informed thinking.”

Lately I have been making a lot of structural mistakes in my sentences. Please accept my apologies.

samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago

Petew,
I note that you do not cite any source books. Have you not read the “Federalist Papers”? Plato’s “Republic”? Thucydides “History of the Peloponnesian War “? Have you argued with these authorities? You can believe me when I say that everything that you “know by osmosis” {“it is known!”) is wrong! Only that which one has dug out for one’s self can be relied upon. The conceit of modernity is seeing ourselves as the progressive outcome of History, as if our ancestors were ignorant children, and not of the same species as ourselves.

zusa1
Guest
zusa1
3 years 1 month ago

“The conceit of modernity is seeing ourselves as the progressive outcome of History, as if our ancestors were ignorant children, and not of the same species as ourselves.”

Well put.

samujohn
Guest
samujohn
3 years 1 month ago

One claimed “I am the way, the truth, and the light.”
Another claimed to be “the most ignorant man in Athens”.
I sought out the latter, and made my home nearby.

SteveK
Guest
SteveK
3 years 1 month ago

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. – Socrates

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.” – Michael Crichton

zusa1
Guest
zusa1
3 years 1 month ago

More good quotes, SteveK.

dduck
Guest
dduck
3 years 1 month ago

I like to talk about wine, but I’d rather drink it- Carlo Rossi

SEN. JACK S. PHOGBOUND
I’ll bet you were wondering what I’ve been doing up there in Washington, D.C. these past eighteen years.
MAMMY YOAKUM
We didn’t care, as long as you was there and we was here!

petew
Guest
petew
3 years 1 month ago
samujohn, “I note that you do not cite any source books. Have you not read the “Federalist Papers”? Plato’s “Republic”? Thucydides “History of the Peloponnesian War “? Have you argued with these authorities? You can believe me when I say that everything that you “know by osmosis” {“it is known!”) is wrong! Only that which one has dug out for one’s self can be relied upon. The conceit of modernity is seeing ourselves as the progressive outcome of History, as if our ancestors were ignorant children, and not of the same species as ourselves.” For you to emphasis the fact… Read more »
SteveK
Guest
SteveK
3 years 1 month ago
Excellent reply petew and I agree a response to your questions would be nice. The conceit of modernity is seeing ourselves as the progressive outcome of History, as if our ancestors were ignorant children, and not of the same species as ourselves. Considering the literacy rate in the United States today is 99% and, the literacy rate in Ancient Athens was between 10% and 20% I’m surprised anyone could have difficulty with the concept that our ‘common folk’ ancestors were comparatively ignorant children to us ‘common folk’ today. Regarding the flippant ‘not of the same species’ dig, I don’t think… Read more »
samujohn
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samujohn
3 years 1 month ago
“WE WILL BELIEVE IN OURSELVES, WE WILL BELIEVE IN OURSELVES,!” So ignorance is celebrated, how we feel about the truth matters more than the truth itself. I see truth as not necessarily liberating and fulfilling, but (to paraphrase) like an outlaw waiting with a club in an alley. I lived in public housing as a child for five years (my father was a failure), worked as a juvenile jailer after college (a local school back in the days when one could work and make enough to pay the tuition -graduated and attended night law school while working full time to… Read more »
samujohn
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samujohn
3 years 1 month ago
Hi SteveK, Here is my original comment in full: If we really want everyone to vote we should mandate it. In Peru, for example, one must vote to validate his/her I.D.- a valid I.D. required for check cashing and almost any gov’t service application. Progressives should ponder this. I object to the premise that nothing but good results flow from allowing the least restrictive voting policies. Uninformed and illiterate voters should be barred, as they are least likely to be able to discern where their own interests might lie. (Literacy tests were widely abused in the South, but any voting… Read more »
petew
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petew
3 years 1 month ago
samujohn, When I mention subjective emotions, I am not referring to the wild swings in feelings that many of the mentally ill feel. You certainly have a point when you point out that feelings can deceive and may not accurately gauge reality, however, I do not want to sell human emotions downriver (so to speak) because I don’t think they are ALWAYS DECEPTIVE, even in the minds of the mentally ill. Other than disagreeing that a certain type of citizen, who has superior knowledge and the capacity for reason should be the only type of citizens that can actually exercise… Read more »
SteveK
Guest
SteveK
3 years 1 month ago
Hello samujohn, I’ve read your original comment, twice now and it struck me the same the second time. I suggest you read the Wikipedia article: Voter suppression because Voter Suppression is what you seem to be promoting… Voter Suppression of ‘others’ I should say. For them it’s: “Uninformed and illiterate voters should be barred, as they are least likely to be able to discern where their own interests might lie.” But for yourself it’s: I am “still unable to be familiar with all the persons and constitutional issues on our ballots.” Well, if you believe the first statement and admit… Read more »
sheknows
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sheknows
3 years 1 month ago

I am not sure how you would employ this voting “guideline” to make it feasible samujohn. It is not suppression that is being promoted necessarily,it is “selective” voting. Only those that fit the definition by UNESCO as determined by a set or series of tests I presume designed by who….you?

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
3 years 1 month ago

BTW, the literacy rate for the United States as of 2013 census is 99%.

petew
Guest
petew
3 years 1 month ago
samujohn, The simplest way to put this travesty concerning who is qualified to vote and who is not, seems to be (as you might also put it), that, “All voters are equal but some voters are more equal than others.”—if I may take the liberty of slightly rephrasing George Orwell’s chilling ending to animal farm? The only possible deviation you might make from Orwell’s statement is that you don’t believe all voters are equal to begin with—I daresay that the upper crust in most societies is far more arrogant than the other classes, so, it could be said that they… Read more »
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