[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

fangblackbone wrote:

Well it certainly is a prime case why we should afford property owners and landlords no political positions of power...

Yeah!! Shouldn’t public servants serve the public? Well they don’t. They serve themselves… wealth and power.

fangblackbone wrote:

Well it certainly is a prime case why we should afford property owners and landlords no political positions of power...

Didn't the residents vote down the measures for assessments to fix the building and pushed the problem off to future owners?

Sounds just like our non-Democratic Democracy.

Mixolyde wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:

Well it certainly is a prime case why we should afford property owners and landlords no political positions of power...

Didn't the residents vote down the measures for assessments to fix the building and pushed the problem off to future owners?

Sounds just like our non-Democratic Democracy.

Yes, from the outside it looks like a myopic, self-inflicted wound. But I wonder how informed the residents were of the conditions and risks. Were they intentionally misled by supposedly trustworthy people who knew better?

Sounds like another problem with our "democracy".

Mixolyde wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:

Well it certainly is a prime case why we should afford property owners and landlords no political positions of power...

Didn't the residents vote down the measures for assessments to fix the building and pushed the problem off to future owners?

I don't think it was the residents although they aren't blameless. I thought it was the condo-board putting stuff off and ignoring repairs due to expense, then putting them off again because it got more expensive. Rinse and repeat until it was crazy expensive. Last minute letters from the board finally go out talking about needing to jack up rates and pay for the repairs, but by then it was too late and bad things happened

Mixolyde wrote:

Sounds just like our non-Democratic Democracy.

Accurate.

Get out and vote! Unless, of course, you're cool with fascists taking over and rewriting the history that is taught to the next generation. This is how it happens...


Local school boards emerge as hot races in November election

Across the U.S., local school board races have emerged as an intense political battleground in the Nov. 2 elections, with much at stake for students.

Parental protests over COVID-19-related mask mandates, gender-neutral bathrooms, and teachings about racial history, sexuality and social-emotional learning are being leveraged into full-fledged board takeover campaigns that will get their first widespread test in just a few weeks.

JC wrote:

I don't think it was the residents although they aren't blameless. I thought it was the condo-board putting stuff off and ignoring repairs due to expense, then putting them off again because it got more expensive. Rinse and repeat until it was crazy expensive. Last minute letters from the board finally go out talking about needing to jack up rates and pay for the repairs, but by then it was too late and bad things happened

Florida law allows condos to kick repairs downs the street just as long as a majority of unit owners at a meeting vote that way. The Surfside residents repeatedly did just that.

And it wasn't really the board, either. Less than a year after the initial engineer's report came out there was a mass resignation from the board because those people were frustrated that condo residents were balking at the dollar amounts, repeatedly raising issues that had long-been discussed and settled, etc.

Washington Post wrote:

Anette Goldstein was among five members of the seven-member board to resign in two weeks that fall, according to minutes from an Oct. 3 meeting, at a time when the condo association in Surfside was consumed by contentious debate about the multimillion-dollar repairs.

“We work for months to go in one direction and at the very last minute objections are raised that should have been discussed and resolved right in the beginning,” Goldstein wrote in a September 2019 resignation letter. “This pattern has repeated itself over and over, ego battles, undermining the roles of fellow board members, circulation of gossip and mistruths. I am not presenting a very pretty picture of the functioning of our board and many before us, but it describes a board that works very hard but cannot for the reasons above accomplish the goals we set out to accomplish.”

Debate over the cost and scope of the work, along with turnover on the volunteer board, dragged out preparations for the repairs for three years, according to previously unpublished correspondence, condo board minutes and other records kept by the homeowners association.

And the only reason the board sent out that letter--and arranged for a line of credit to start the repairs--is because the residents kicked the can to the end of the road. 2021 was the 40-year deadline to have their building re-assessed and re-certified by the city and it couldn't have passed in the condition it was in.

In fact the 2018 engineering report that kicked all of this off was the then-board being proactive about the building's 2021 recertification. They ordered the report so they could figure out what they needed to do to get recertified by the city.

At this point I'm convinced that the worlds only chance of salvation is if a benevolent dictator takes over by force.

JC wrote:

Get out and vote! Unless, of course, you're cool with fascists taking over and rewriting the history that is taught to the next generation. This is how it happens...


Local school boards emerge as hot races in November election

Seems like voting’s the easy part. How are we going to get enough rational, sane candidates who are willing to subject themselves and their families to the stress of constant bullying and threats, and not insignificant possibility of being a victim of violence?

I think one of the biggest issues around political democracy is that it has convinced a large group of people that everything should be democratic. When there are people who know and people who don’t, it should not be a democratic process, because, as is said, your ignorance isn’t as valuable as my knowledge.

Want to participate in setting the general direction of your country? Awesome. Want to participate in structural engineering discussions? Unless you’re a structural engineer, your “opinion” is irrelevant at best and dangerously wrong at worst.

gewy wrote:
JC wrote:

Get out and vote! Unless, of course, you're cool with fascists taking over and rewriting the history that is taught to the next generation. This is how it happens...


Local school boards emerge as hot races in November election

Seems like voting’s the easy part. How are we going to get enough rational, sane candidates who are willing to subject themselves and their families to the stress of constant bullying and threats, and not insignificant possibility of being a victim of violence?

Yup. If this movement is good at anything, it's very, very good at identifying the Republic's soft spots.

strangederby wrote:

At this point I'm convinced that the worlds only chance of salvation is if a benevolent dictator takes over by force.

I'm convinced that Free Speech is a suicide pact.

strangederby wrote:

At this point I'm convinced that the worlds only chance of salvation is if a benevolent dictator takes over by force.

strangederby wrote:

At this point I'm convinced that the worlds only chance of salvation is if a benevolent dictator takes over by force.

~mod~shaming people in all caps is not it. Thanks. - Amoebic

This is a dangerous fantasy that will never work out how you hope it will.

:: insert gif of Aniken Skywalker explaining to Padme how he plans to solve the problems of the Galaxy ::

edit
hb-housered

hbi2k wrote:
strangederby wrote:

At this point I'm convinced that the worlds only chance of salvation is if a benevolent dictator takes over by force.

Oh it’s so good!!

It's a cliche because it's true: democracy is the worst form of government, except for every other form of government we've ever tried.

And the current situation is better because?

Just as a quick analogy - prior to 1860, Lamarckism was the worst explanation for the origin of species…except for every other explanation we’d tried.

And then someone wrote Origin of the Species. So I don’t consider “it sucks, but it’s the best we got” to be a compelling argument for keeping a system of government.

Especially considering we will never be as intelligent as a species as we are now, and there is a minimum baseline for intelligence at a population level for democracy to work.

Seth wrote:

I don’t consider “it sucks, but it’s the best we got” to be a compelling argument for keeping a system of government.

No, but I consider it a compelling argument for not wishing for "benevolent" despotism, considering we've tried that and know for a fact that it sucks worse.

hbi2k wrote:
Seth wrote:

I don’t consider “it sucks, but it’s the best we got” to be a compelling argument for keeping a system of government.

No, but I consider it a compelling argument for not wishing for "benevolent" despotism, considering we've tried that and know for a fact that it sucks worse.

We do? We know that it has not and cannot work? Because that sounds a lot like how we knew that the North American Indians were a savage primitive people that needed raising up, or that the Moors were barbarians and heathens that needed the Word of God, or any absolute that people have used to enforce a status quo.

I'm sure it’s not hard to find examples of despotism that went poorly for most people involved.
a) That hardly makes it “fact”.
b) How ya doin, Murrica?

1. When did we try it?

2. The current system has people refusing to get vaccinated. Politicians and companies refusing to save the environment and a march towards being ruled by the not benevolent far right.

At the risk of channeling my 8th grade self, hbi2k is right. We’ve tried “benevolent” despotism, just never benevolent despotism.

(“communism would work we’ve just never tried it” —my 8th grade self)

We missed our chance to try [EDIT] geitonocracy -- rule by Fred Rogers.

Seth wrote:

At the risk of channeling my 8th grade self, hbi2k is right. We’ve tried “benevolent” despotism, just never benevolent despotism.

(“communism would work we’ve just never tried it” —my 8th grade self)

Despotism always seems benevolent to the people who put the despot in power.

The problem with our system of government is not that it's too democratic. It's that it's not democratic enough. You want to improve it? Work to enfranchise more voters, correct gerrymandering, curb corporate / special interest lobbying, etc., not find the "right" strongman to put in charge.

And get more than 2 parties like we used to have, and most (all?) other democracies do have.

Instead of libertarians masquerading as rebuplicans they should have some % of Congress. Same with Green party instead of just a presidential joke run every 4 years. And then yeah they will caucus with Dem/GOP on some issues but on others, cross that Isle.

And maybe we get the big 2 powers broken up a little bit and actually have compromise legislation again.

As recently as 1968 we still had a 3rd party candidate getting 40+ electoral votes for president. Need to get back to having more choices.

The problem there is that the two main parties passed a bunch of laws that require third parties to waste a large portion of their time and money on the big races they shouldn't be bothering with yet in order to be allowed to run for the smaller races they actually have a shot at. It varies by state, but in mine at least there's a performance metric involved in maintaining their status as a state-recognized political party, which bypasses a whole bunch of signature gathering and filing deadlines in order to get their candidates listed on the ballot.
In order to obtain and maintain official state-recognition they must achieve 5% of the state vote in every gubernatorial and presidential election, and they must maintain a certain number of voters registered with their party. So they have to run campaigns they have no shot at winning and act as potential spoiler candidates in order to run for lower offices. Maintaining registered voters is another problem, because it means that their voters can't participate in the primary process for any other party, so they have no say in who the main candidates will be.
The Libertarian party finally attained state recognition few years ago, but almost immediately lost it. Greens have had an easier time of it, but even that's looking doubtful as they focus more and more on the presidential race and don't give people a local reason to stay in the party. With the battle between progressive and centrist democrats happening in the primaries, more and more Greens are changing their registration to Democrat so they can have an actual say.

So while third parties are currently a joke, it's because the Republicans and Democrats came together in a rare show of bipartisanship to make them have to become a joke in order to continue to exist so they'd stop threatening their two party system. It's also why threats from Repiblicans to split the party over Trump will only ever be threats. They know the system is set up for two parties, not three, and they aren't willing to risk that they won't be one of the two that survives.

Yeah those % things suck. And we probably need first past the post voting to start to gain 3rd (and 4th and 5th) party viability. But a voter can dream.

We finally got ranked choice voting in the state through a citizens initiative, but it only helps for the presidential campaign part of the % requirement (it helps for many other races though). It'll take an amendment to the state constitution to be able to use it for the gubernatorial race, and Republicans flat out refuse to let that happpen because they know that they won't have a chance in hell at winning if they can't rely on a third candidate to split the vote.
The voter registration problem still exists though.

strangederby wrote:

1. When did we try [benevolent dictatorship]?

Which ‘we’ are you referring to at this point? I’m not the one putting forth an absolute - “dictatorship does not and cannot be a workable system of government “. That tends to go along with “democracy is the best system of government”.

Democracy has been around for roughly 2500 years. Homo sapiens have been around for roughly 300k years. The unblinking assertion that democracy is _the best_ system of government is straight up political exceptionalism.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
strangederby wrote:

1. When did we try [benevolent dictatorship]?

Which ‘we’ are you referring to at this point? I’m not the one putting forth an absolute - “dictatorship does not and cannot be a workable system of government “. That tends to go along with “democracy is the best system of government”.

Democracy has been around for roughly 2500 years. Homo sapiens have been around for roughly 300k years. The unblinking assertion that democracy is _the best_ system of government is straight up political exceptionalism.

All the arguments that seem to work for benevolent dictatorship seem to always compare it against a poorly educated and divisive democracy. Assuming that a dictator can be benevolent, why can't we assume also that a democracy CAN be educated and reasonably committed to the good of society?

Paleocon wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:
strangederby wrote:

1. When did we try [benevolent dictatorship]?

Which ‘we’ are you referring to at this point? I’m not the one putting forth an absolute - “dictatorship does not and cannot be a workable system of government “. That tends to go along with “democracy is the best system of government”.

Democracy has been around for roughly 2500 years. Homo sapiens have been around for roughly 300k years. The unblinking assertion that democracy is _the best_ system of government is straight up political exceptionalism.

All the arguments that seem to work for benevolent dictatorship seem to always compare it against a poorly educated and divisive democracy. Assuming that a dictator can be benevolent, why can't we assume also that a democracy CAN be educated and reasonably committed to the good of society?

Reality.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Democracy has been around for roughly 2500 years. Homo sapiens have been around for roughly 300k years. The unblinking assertion that democracy is _the best_ system of government is straight up political exceptionalism.

In 30 years or so we can give control of society to the AI Helios to function as our benevolent dictator. At least that’s the one out of three endings I chose.