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Vote? Sure, as soon as you punch yourself in the nuts. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-10-25 00:14
  Subject:   Vote? Sure, as soon as you punch yourself in the nuts.

The media continues to prattle about the big "revolution" that will take place this November 7th. In order to encourage our participation in this biennial charade, we are being told that the American people have had enough of the duplicity; special-interest corruption; lying; and engorged appetites for police-state surveillance, secret trials, and torture. These same Americans will march to the polls, we are further advised, to vote the Republicans out of power and replace them with Democrats.

But when a Tweedledum Republican is opposed on the ballot by a Tweedledummer Democrat, even a handful of the Faux-News faithful may recognize the fungible nature of the various Republocrats. I have, in recent years, discovered only one member of Congress who is an exception to this, namely, Ron Paul from Texas. It is instructive that Paul – a philosophically principled Republican – has long been vigorously opposed by both the Republican and Democratic chieftains, a phenomenon that ought to be a tip-off to the identity of the real interests in any election.

I suspect that, like myself, those who have lost their innocence about politics will also be staying home on November 7th. After years of playing the carnival shell-game and losing their egg-money to clever sharpies, many Americans have finally experienced the working definition of "insanity," namely, "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."


So go on - vote. And continue to pretend like it matters. Pretend like it will actually cause some kind of actual, measureable change in the government.

I'll apologize for this rant *only* if Bush is impeached. Otherwise, fuck all the "you've gotta vote!" idiots. I tried voting when it actually mattered; in 2k4, before the President and Congress colluded to pass a (blatantly unconstitutional and anti-freedom by any standard) "torture and disappear" law that shreds the Bill of Rights to confetti. Unfortunately, the American electorate is not worth saving, and more than enough of you stupid fuckheads willingly believed the lie that Kerry could have somehow fucked over this country worse than Bush has. And so they voted Bush into office. Again.

So don't tell me to fucking vote. I tried that shit. IT DOES NOT WORK.

Moreover, the 52% who put Bush in office a second time richly deserve what they're going to get. I refuse to stand in the way of the semi truck barreling towards them. They have earned it. When the terrorists declare victory because we've destroyed our own freedom and done their dirty work for them, I for one will NOT be confused about where the blame lies.

Fuck you, America. My disloyalty to this broken, corrupt system did not come to me magically in an instant. It was forced upon me, relentlessly, over a period of multiple years. By the same bad system you insist that I should buy into, as mindlessly as you do.

Now, those of you inclined to look more critically at government and voting might enjoy one of Tooch's better rants on this subject. And if you need a sound-bite to understand, then maybe the words of Albert Einstein - "We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that created them" - will resonate.

What, you want an easy answer to all this? You want someone to spoon-feed you "the truth" on a silver platter? You want to be spared from the *crushing effort* of actually having to think for yourself for once?? Sorry, asshole - you are not ready for knowledge. I'd tell you, but you'd just call me crazy. And I don't have to take that kind of abuse from you! I've got hundreds of people waiting to abuse me! ;]

You wanna vote? Fine. Your choice. Have at it, with my blessing. I appreciate your idealism, even as I mock your naivety. But don't get on MY case about consciously and intentionally not voting - I will tear you a new one. Your collective pathetic, unthinking sheepitude on this issue pisses me off to no end.
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  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2006-10-25 06:19 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Yeah I'm in agreement with you there.. voting was pretty futile and agravating.. I just hope that in the further years of this nation we who thought Bush was a horrible choice will not be punished right along with those who thought otherwise.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-10-25 06:59 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The very worst thing about collective bargaining is that it punishes the virtuous and innocent right alongside with the evil and corrupt. In fact, it can't even tell the difference between the two, by design.

I am truly sorry for all the people who tried to make a difference. I hate how futile trying to create a reasonable political system is. Anyone who tried to enact change in '04... beer's on me.
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Willow: Evil Willow
  User: willow_red
  Date: 2006-10-25 14:32 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:Evil Willow
Roughly nine times out of ten, I agree with your rantings against the government, sheeple, etc. However, this is the one out of ten where I disagree. Don't like the candidates offered up for a particular office? Fine, leave that one blank. Don't care to rubber-stamp some judge you've never heard of? Fine, give that one a pass too. Politicians are not the only things on the ballot, particularly this year in Colorado. This is quite probably the longest ballot I've ever seen in my ten years as a voting citizen. Why is it so long? Because there are issues, petitions, and proposals as long as your arm on this thing.

While most of the people whose names are listed on the ballot are likely nothing more than rich, corrupt reprobates, I won't spend much of my voting time concerning myself over them. I will, however, with enthusiasm, vote for things that I find important, such as raising the minimum wage to something one can at least pretend to live on, and granting basic legal rights to domestic partnerships. Heck, as a libertarian, I'm shocked you aren't planning to vote to legalize marijuana.

Yes, the American electorate is rife with sheep who have no interest in their own destiny. But when it comes to things like *my* property taxes, I'll be damned if I'm going to let the sheep decide without even the tiniest effort on my part to do what I think is right.

Don't like the system? Fine, I'm right there with you. But IMHO, the way to protest is to send in a blank ballot. That way, your disgust with the candidates has an actual impact on their numbers. Otherwise, you end up looking like all the other morons who were too busy drinking beer and watching football to remember that citizenship comes with not just rights, but responsibilities as well.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-10-25 23:17 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
While most of the people whose names are listed on the ballot are likely nothing more than rich, corrupt reprobates, I won't spend much of my voting time concerning myself over them. I will, however, with enthusiasm, vote for things that I find important, such as raising the minimum wage to something one can at least pretend to live on, and granting basic legal rights to domestic partnerships. Heck, as a libertarian, I'm shocked you aren't planning to vote to legalize marijuana.

You have a good point, and I should disclaim: The above rant applies only to the National Elections, e.g. that enourmous goddamn cluster-fuck known as DC.

The *local* elections in Colorado have been surprisingly good for the last two election cycles. Guess they're trying to make up for taking hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars three cycles ago to build Invesco Field and then turn the profits over to the private owner. :P

I very much like the Reduction of Property Taxes for Disabled Vets, Decriminalization of Marijuana, and Term Limits for Judges amendments. These are all excellent.

Possibly surprisingly, I'm very much in favor of the Colorado Minimum Wage amendment as well, though maybe not for the reasons one might expect. My support for it comes from the fact that I think minimum wages need to vary from place to place. One size absolutely doesn't fit all when it comes to MW. We have a Federal minimum wage, but I'd by far rather see a higher MW in places it's very expensive to live (like NY or LA) and a lower one in, say Pigknuckle, Arkansas. In fact, I'd really like to see MW set on a COUNTY basis, because standard of living varies so much even within a state. This amendment looks like a good first step towards that.

I'm very much opposed to both Amendment 43 and Referendum I. They're both attempts to get the government to interfere in marriage, which I see as a matter for individual citizens and possibly individual churches if said citizens are so inclined. I can see no good reason why the government should have any say what so ever in whether or not person X or Y should be allowed to marry. Both Federal and State governments need to be told to butt the hell out of their citizens' private family decisions.

I'm all for equal rights for gays. Equal rights for everyone, in fact. And I see a real opportunity here to not only ensure equal rights for everyone (by ensuring the government can't interfere in their private marriage decisions) and also decreases the government's power to intrude in private lives at the same time. This is one place where I think legislation of any kind is really a bad solution. The best solution is to tell the government to take its wrong-headed social engineering attempt, and shove it.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-10-26 20:52 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Believe it or not, I am not opposed to raising the minimum wage nation wide, as long as we don't increase taxes at the same time.

I'm all for lowering taxes, especially at the Federal level. Though, I would like that to have some teeth in our Federal budget to prevent deficit spending. I might be in favor of a very short term tax increase if the odds are very good that it will help eliminate debt. But in general, lower taxes = better for everyone.

State taxes don't bug me nearly as much. I am totally good with paying for the roads I drive on, the clean air and clean water I consume, paying the police, paying the guys who pick up my trash, etc. There's also a matter of magnitude - my state taxes have consistently been 1/10th of my Federal taxes for several years running now. So it seems pretty obvious to me where my money is actually doing something good, and where it's going down a rathole.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-10-26 21:19 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Not particularly for the legalization of Marijuana, we have enough problems with addictions over alcohol, cancer from death sticks, and illegal access to drugs to think about this now, imho, but it's not a hill I care to die on.

I just have a general philosophical difference there. My feeling is, if freedom means anything, then it means that people need to have the right to make bad decisions straight along with the good ones. As long as they don't hurt anyone else, we need to grant people the freedom to do self-harm. Because, as Spooner wrote, "vices are not crimes."

And honestly, I don't think pot can do any harm to society that alcohol hasn't already done. In fact, in most ways I think we should treat them the same: No driving while stoned. No toking up in public. Sellers must be licensed, and have a place of business. Etc.

Nicotine is another matter. I'm still baffled as to how we can justify it being legal by current standards. A historical accident and a very rich lobbying force behind it, I guess.
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May 2015