Thursday, April 16, 2015

Open Thread

I haven't had any free time for blogging this week, sorry to say.

So please continue to use the comments feature to discuss whatever ails, frightens or excites you.... or just leaves you uttering a big fat Meh.

I'll be back, eventually.


Cynic Pearl said...

What ails, frightens and worries me is Hillary's high praise for Elizabeth Warren. This must mean that many liberals may not be planning to support or vote for Hillary and how will this play out? The whole thing smells and I hope this galvanizes Warren to consider running who says to give Hill a chance to tell us where she stands on the issues. However, with all the money and power Hill has, along with frightened liberals it could be used to silence Warren. Our only hope now is that Hill will run, not get enough democratic votes, have a Republican in the Oval Office and then wait and hope our grandchildren's generation will begin organizing. PHOOEY and YUK!!!

Equally Cynical Zee said...

@Cynic Pearl--

It seems to me to be unlikely for Warren, Sanders or O'Malley to mount any kind of credible primary threat to Hillbillary.

They haven't the money OR the following, IMHO.

What seems more probable to me is that each is hoping to make enough noise along the way to be offered a place in the Hillbillary administration (read: circus), e.g., VP or a cabinet position of some consequence, most particularly Treasury.

As VP, especially, any one of the triumverate could "balance the ticket," buying off many angry Progressives who might otherwise be seriously opposed to Hillbillary and either sitting the election out or voting third-party.

Think about it. These are, after all the Clintons with whom we are dealing...

"Keep your friends close but you enemies closer."--"Michael Corleone," The Godfather Part II

Will said...

Okay, I'm just about back to normal after finishing my taxes at the very last minute yesterday. So stressful! Anyhoo, as y'all know, normal for me involves posting really serious stuff like people comparing the IRS to a human anus. Wait, what? Just watch the video already. John Oliver's the best!

annenigma said...

Oh goody. The Pentagon is helping the Voting Industry to push email voting in the States, without having to certify identities or even requesting them! The Pentagon used to be against that officially, but that was before had to pretend to be subservient to the civilian government. Since the Pentagon's NSA has crawled into every digital nook and cranny, it's all theirs now so why bother faking it. Besides, they have the massive responsibility of running the ever expanding world-wide empire (now including Africa, aka Africom), so it only makes sense.

Wall Street saw their success with national politicians by winnowing the field and picking winners with campaign cash, but on the state level and local levels it's a bit trickier, so I'm sure they're in on the unverified email voting game too. The fact that there is even such a thing as the 'Voting Industry' says it all.

Zee said...


I would oppose online voting in any form, because of the obvious, manifold opportunities for voter fraud.

But--if you'll allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment--every time the "right" proposes voter ID laws in order to prevent voter fraud, they are told by the "left" that voter fraud is negligible to nonexistent and that requiring some form of "identity certification" is just an obvious plot to inconvenience and disenfranchise the poor.

So, regardless of the method by which we vote, should we or should we not require some form of "voter ID?"

It seems to me that if some form of "voter ID" is good for on-line voting, well, it's good for the others, too.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Oh yes, let's have more ID voter laws, for sure. Thirty states down for it already, twenty more to go. So reasonable, fair and wise. Who would complain? Surely not the reasonable, fair and wise right-thinking conservatives who have been pushing it along for years.

Zee said...

Jesus, Jay--

Don't feign ignorance of Canada's Voter ID laws:

After all, you live there don't you?

To vote in a federal election in Canada, one must either:

(1) Show one piece of government-issued ID. It must have your photo, name and current address. Examples: a driver's licence, or a provincial or territorial ID card;


(2) Show two pieces of ID, one piece with your name, and one piece with your name and address. Examples: a health card and phone bill, or a debit card and bank statement;


(3) Take an oath. Show two pieces [of ID] with your name, and have someone who knows you attest to your address. This person must: show proof of identity and address, be registered in the same polling division, and only attest for one person.

Sounds pretty “restrictive” to me.

But when did I last read of accusations of “voter suppression” in Canada's federal elections?

As I understand it, most states will provide a state identification card to the poor for minimal cost, all of $10.00 in New Mexico.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Aw c'mon, Zee,

If you keep sliding the conservative line into your comments, other sardonickists will have a hard time believing you came here ages ago, not as a troll, but professing merely to further refine your balanced view of the world. What happened to your ideal melding of the compassionate conservative and the skeptical progressive?

Let's see if I understand your previous comment stated a little differently.... If you settled up here in Canada, you would push to maintain (or bolster) tough voter ID laws across the provinces? And one of your strongest arguments would be to point south and say that the US does it too in most of its states? ''We should do X because they do it" is a curious rationale for advancing a measure that, on the merits, is suspect.

Honest people who turn out to vote are effectively being turned away by voter ID laws. Obstacles intentionally placed in the path of millions on their way to the voting booth raise the low voter tally. Should we blame voters or the legislators who placed obstacles in voters' way? Is it purely accidental that most of those turned away for lack of layered documentation are poor or near poor and minorities who come from––sigh––"certain backgrounds."

Voter fraud by individuals is next to nothing in the line up of real electoral problems. Among the problems we should be obsessed over are the wholesale purchase of our legislators, the disfranchisement of minorities, the mysterious "finds" and "losses" of uncounted ballots by party machines, and a mainstream media that peddles propaganda.

The question before people who possess a sense of proportion boils down to the following: Do voter ID laws cause more harm than good?

Try to answer after you pop an empathy shroom and wake up magically, say, as a low-income minority oldster long prevented from or hindered in reaching a voting booth.

Two more questions deserving of time by searchers after truth: (1) WHO––and from which party––is so busy now advancing voter ID laws? And (2) WHY?––not the faux reasons 'why' but the real 'why'?

My previous link to the ACLU's report on voter ID laws may not be convincing enough for a genuine seeker like yourself, because the ACLU is just so predictably one-sided about protecting the Bill of Rights.

So, from a different source (University of Illinois) straining for objectivity, here's a telling fact––which is also a test of pattern recognition.

"[E]very state that has passed stricter Voter ID laws has done so under a Republican-controlled legislature."

Jay–Ottawa said...

Holy Beelzebub, Zee--

I forgot to address your charge that I was "feigning ignorance" of Canadian voter ID laws. So my focusing on the US issues is really a coverup for Canada in this matter? Gosh. Or is your charge an irrelevant distractor from restrictive voter ID laws in the US?

You listed three super cheap and easy ways to vote in Canada then conclude: "Sounds pretty “restrictive” to me."


Every Canadian receives, no charge, a credit card sized picture ID from his or her province for use in the healthcare system. The card is renewed almost automatically about every five years. And––eat your heart out––it's the only thing one needs to pull out of one's wallet to get medical attention at the doctor's office or a hospital.

That and a bill of some kind with your address is all you need to vote. Items (2) and (3) you listed are also pretty cheap and easy to come up with as alternatives.

In sum, nothing wrong with simple voter ID laws here or there. But some laws encourage registration and voting; others discourage potential voters.

The problem for US citizens comes when they have no universal ID issued by the government, as is the case with universal health coverage in more advanced countries, and must then buy or retrieve, always on their initiative, a special array of documents beyond their limited capacity to pay for them or obtain them. That's a new form of poll tax, isn't it?

For whole subsets of American citizens those new ID laws can be sufficiently restrictive, especially when they're not phased in gradually over a period of four or five years.

Good Samaritans in your community have begun helping minorities and immigrants so challenged by new voter ID laws. I encourage you to join the effort. You might thereby demonstrate your solidarity with the disadvantaged and help them meet the new regulations in time for 2016.

Zee said...

“If you keep sliding the conservative line into your comments, other sardonickists will have a hard time believing you came here ages ago, not as a troll, but professing merely to further refine your balanced view of the world.”—Jay-Ottawa


I think that when I came here “ages ago” it was to see if there was some common ground—and I think I've found some—to be identified between conservatives and progressives; not necessarily to march in lockstep with progressives at every turn.

Nor did I think that “refin[ing] my balanced view of the world” meant that I had to be “seen and not heard” here at Sardonicky.

If I have seriously misunderstood my “place” here, perhaps Karen or other commenters would care to explain it to me.

And if that's the concensus position—that my presence here is just too, too, too disruptive for you and perhaps others, to tolerate (perhaps you need a “safe” place without the likes of me)—well, I can certainly leave. I have some new causes in my life that are increasingly taking up my time.

But insofar as I can recollect, you are the only one to refer to me as a “troll” in this forum, along with some other uncharitable descriptors that I won't repeat, lest I transgress—more than I'm currently doing—against Karen's rule that her forum not be a place to nurse personal grudges.

I could comment further on Canadian voter ID laws, the point I was trying to make, and other issues, but I won't, lest I wear out my welcome with Karen. Maybe I already have.

But I will say this: Don't you dare lecture me about the ACLU and respect for The Bill of Rights.

I belong to the ACLU, albeit as a recent member, because I value the Bill of Rights, and my civil rights, beyond almost all else. But I also know that even the ACLU sometimes gets it wrong ( e.g., the Second Amendment), and, IMHO, it also has it wrong regarding the relationship between voter ID laws and “voter suppression.”

Even the ACLU has to sometimes whip up hysteria to keep its funding stream flowing. You should know that.

But still, I belong to the ACLU because it does some good things, too, and, unlike you, I don't demand cheek-by-jowl “solidarity” between me and the ACLU to find some good in the organization.

PS: I'm forwarding my most recent receipt for ACLU membership to Karen for vetting, lest, as in all things else, you accuse me of being a deceitful “troll.” In fact, I think that I will forward her a “pdf” of my actual receipt, including date of renewal.

PPS: Why don't we make a pact. I won't read or reply to your comments, if you won't read or reply to mine.

PPPS: This is an open thread, so, I think, neither of us can be accused of “distraction[s].” Don't bother me further on that point.

Jay–Ottawa said...

In the end I hear huffing and puffing but no rebuttals to arguments put forth against the imposition of more restrictive voter ID laws.

One is left to conclude it's the power of reactionary forces––not reason, justice, history or numbers––that explains the revival of restrictive voter ID laws.

Karen Garcia said...

Zee, you are a true master of flame-throwing.

You specifically diss "the left" for criticizing racist voter i.d. laws, and then -- right on cue -- take personal umbrage when another commenter calls you out. Waving your ACLU bona fides in my face to prove your innocent intentions, and then practically daring me to ban you from commenting on the site is part of a continuing pattern that is getting tiresome, to say the least.

It kind of sucks all the oxygen out of the room. It probably also chases away other commenters, few of whom have contributed to the two posts following this one.

You've been warned before, and I've found myself having to delete your comments on more than one occasion. These warnings work for awhile, and then the pattern resumes itself.

So I think it's best that you move on.