Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lord, Forgive Me. I'm Talking About Politics.

I started voting with my parents when I was four years old. My mother would take me into the booth and she would have me pull these little switches for each candidate that she was voting for and then at the end she would let me pull this massive lever that would punch the voter card. Every election my brother and I would go in with one of our parents and vote. When I got old enough to drive I started campaigning for people I liked. I met state representatives and senators; their national versions too. I even sat on the Lt. Governor's desk and told him a dirty joke. 

I've voted in every primary and election since I was of age. It's important that I keep active because as turnouts continue to decline my vote's importance continues to increase. So when I tell you that I'm going to vote in a primary against a man I want you to understand that it's because I've got an extremist in the running and I won't ignore his foolish attacks against a reasonable man.

Politics doesn't mean zealot-like partisanship. It means compromise; where each of us work together to get things done. Politics is a great thing. It gave us roads, schools, and has helped us take care of those who couldn't take care of themselves. But it only works when we have people who believe in the system and are willing to work with each other.

We need reasonable people who will work together. We need people who remember that they're adults and that an argument about an issue isn't a personal attack. We need people who understand that there are actual repercussions for the reality that they want to see enacted through regulations and laws. 

I'm voting today because I am against a man who believes that politics is personal. He believes that we shouldn't pay for anything. That we shouldn't honor our debts and that we shouldn't work across the aisle. I'm voting against a fool in favor of a reasonable man.

46 comments:

  1. Our system is rotten. it has chased a lot of the people who can actually govern and see compromise as a tool not defeat out of politics.
    Don't be fooled by folks that claim they "want compromise" when they really mean, i want to nudge things my way and give nothing meaningful for it.
    It's not really an issue of one party over another as both big parties seem to be equally at fault.
    We the voters have let the hacks run away with government for far too long, it'll take a good long time for us to fix it. We need to stop playing the Team "R" vs team "D" game that the media so fraudulently passes off as an issue to make their workload easier and cheaper and focus on the genuine issues we care about and select individuals based on actual merit an performance not on how they are handling the tide of news-spin and special interest noise.

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    1. Extremism is the problem JDJarvis, not that the system is rotten. That argument has been made since the first days and it is always used as a way to discourage people from participating (because what's the point). If we want to change it then we need to vote and vote for moderates. Extremists kill everything with their false calls to compromise while never giving an inch.

      "We the voters have let the hacks run away with government for far too long, it'll take a good long time for us to fix it. We need to stop playing the Team "R" vs team "D" game that the media so fraudulently passes off as an issue to make their workload easier and cheaper and focus on the genuine issues we care about and select individuals based on actual merit an performance not on how they are handling the tide of news-spin and special interest noise."

      You're absolutely right. We do need to stop focusing on the letter and start focusing on the issues.

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  2. Good for you, man. I vote for many of the same reasons and wish more did the same.

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  3. well so much for my comments, a couple paragraphs and when I clicked publish, it logged me in under my google account and killed what I had typed. Handy.

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  4. Point well made and taken.
    I avoid talking politics at all on the web. I just feel it's the worst environment for actual conversation.

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    1. Talking politics lately has become toxic in every way. People treat the conversations like they're talking about revealed truths and that opposing views are heretical. That's crazy, people.

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    2. Oh, and I think that if people are genuinely open to discussing a topic than the web can be one of the best places to talk about politics. The problem is that so few are these days. :[

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    3. I agree on both points, If you find some one open to discussion, some one else buts in and ruins the whole conversation. I have a very real love hate relationship with the internet.

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  5. I must disagree with the assertion that politics is a great thing Politics is, at its root, about the use of violence in society: Who shall be compelled through force or threat of force to do what for whom. As a voluntaryist, I believe that the initiation or threat of violence against otherwise peaceful people is immoral, that no majority can make legitimate the taking of an individual's just property without his consent, much less the assault and murder committed on a daily basis by government agents, and that all necessary goods and services can be provided more efficiently and effectively by individuals interacting voluntarily, without the coercion or central planning of a state. I don't know whether or not that makes me one of your "extremists," but I'm not blocking anyone, and I enjoy a good clean debate.

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    1. No Eric, that doesn't make you an extremist, it just marks you as someone who has a vastly different opinion of what politics is from me. There's nothing wrong with us having a difference of opinion here.

      That said, what brought you to that conclusion about politics and how did you become a voluntaryist (I confess I've never heard that term before)?

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    2. It's the result of a long process of rooting out all the uncomfortable cognitive dissonance in my mind regarding politics. I evolved from the wishy-washy quasi-leftish position that seems to be the norm in public schools, through an uneasy period of calling myself conservative, then to libertarian, and finally to voluntaryism/anarcho-capitalism. My studies of economics, especially the Austrian school, and inquiry into the questions of what rights are and where they come from, have ultimately led me to that position. Individualism - the reality that only the individual thinks, acts, feels, and values, and that "society" is merely an abstraction which does none of those things and has no existence of its own separate from that of the individuals who comprise it, was another important realization. So, what we have in the end with government is some people imposing their own values and preferences on others by force. Sorry that this is coming off a bit muddled; it's always difficult to explain it all in one go, especially when it's a completely foreign viewpoint to the other person, and I get a little over-enthusiastic when someone actually seems open to learning about it. If your'e interested, I'd recommend Murray Rothbard's "Anatomy of the State" as a fairly good primer. Pretty easy read, and available as a free PDF online.

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    3. Although that sounds nice, volunteers don't pave roads or pick up trash. I like what you stand for, but realistically I don't think volunteerism could support our society.

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    4. Not volunteerism, voluntaryism. That means not that everything should be done by people volunteering to do it without compensation, but that it should be done without force or threat of force - i.e. voluntarily, by the uncoerced choice of all those involved in the transaction. I certainly wouldn't work at my job without pay; I do it voluntarily because my employer voluntarily offers compensation. It's a win-win, or else it doesn't happen. What you, nick salai, seem to be suggesting, is that human beings would not build roads, which are beneficial to them, without being forcibly compelled by the state. Sorry, but I just can't make that compute. Likewise, the removal of trash is something which people desire. My workplace is clean because the business owners recognize that their employees and customers prefer it so, and that they would risk losing both if their standards of cleanliness were lax. The same goes for my home. I prefer it to be at least somewhat neat, so I voluntarily remove trash.

      I think the problem you may be describing is actually what's known as Tragedy of the Commons, which occurs in cases when property rights are nonexistant or poorly defined. A property owner has a strong incentive to protect the current and future value of his property. A non-owner has an incentive to use a good, but little or no incentive to maintain it. The Tragedy of the Commons is a problem primarily in those areas in which people are forbidden from owning something by government, ostensibly because it "belongs to the public" (which is an absurdity in itself.)

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    5. Except sometimes they do: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/shortcuts/2014/aug/04/private-toll-road-bristol-bath-a431

      It would probably happen a lot more often if governments didn't go so far out of their way to make it illegal or at least extremely inconvenient.

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    6. Eric, I did misunderstand.

      Is our society not voluntaryism? Do you not voluntarily go to work now? Or is your stance more that paying taxes should be voluntary? I can't imagine what else could be COERCED upon you. Because I'm afraid that won't work either. How would we fund paving those roads? Private entities manage them? Then EVERY road would be a toll road as the companies would have to fund their construction. And we are back to being forced into paying to use something. I guess you could ride your bike, then they'd toll that to make up for the lack of drivers. So now we walk, until they toll the sidewalks, because now no one is riding their bikes because of the tolls. There are reasons we have taxes and are forced to pay them, because without them certain amenities in our lives would not exist.

      Sorry, but there is no free lunch.

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    7. ubiquitous tolls might not look so bad if you could even begin to calculate what you are paying to use the roads now, and what crappy service you are getting for your money.

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    8. You're missing an important distinction. Yes, there are building and maintenance costs to every road, and thus it's probable that privately-owned and operated roads would require some sort of payment to use (not necessarily direct tolls, though tolls are certainly one possible method.) However, there would not be the near-monopoly on roads that governments currently enjoy - in other words, competition would tend to push road owners toward providing the type of roads drivers prefer at costs they're willing to pay. Costs would also tend to be paid by those who actually use the roads, and in proportion to their use. Transparency of costs would also be greater. How much are you paying right now per mile driven? Currently, not only is that a difficult question to answer, but even if you did answer it, you have little control over whether or not you wish to pay that much, and no alternative providers to which you might turn if you find it unsatisfactory.

      In the current centrally-planned government model of roads, there is no competition, and the costs are largely hidden from consumers and distributed arbitrarily. This tends toward ever-increasing inefficiency and non-responsiveness to consumer demand. It lacks the vital signals of profit and loss that guide businesses in a competitive market toward efficient satisfaction of consumer desires.

      No, our current situation is far from voluntaryism. Though there are voluntary aspects, there are very few areas of human activity that are free from violent coercion. Taxation is one example - you pay, or you get put in a cage. I would also invite you to try to build a house, start a business, or hire an employee without seeking the permission and inviting the interference of the high muckety-mucks, and see where that gets you.

      I don't understand your remark that there is no free lunch. Of course there isn't, and I don't think I've implied anything contrary to that. Your assertion that certain amenities are impossible without the violent coercion of taxation and central planning is just that, a bald assertion and a non-sequitur which is not implied by your premise. Please provide supporting argument.

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    9. Eric,

      Monopoly on roads...? I'm sorry I didn't know that there was a big push to start owning roads?

      Do you own a vehicle? Do you drive? Would you pay individually to use EVERY road? No one could afford it if every road was tolled/taxed per person per mile.

      Your idealism, it's not functional, taxes are a must. In your scenario only the elite would have the ability to use a roadway. Maybe that's OK on the East Coast where you can walk everywhere, but it's far from OK out here in the West. Now that you've just crippled the workforce you can enlighten me on how the economy will function when no one can afford to get to work.

      We haven't even addressed items like the social services (police and fire), the military, justice system, etc

      No, sir, you have an ideal but nothing more.

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    10. I'm sorry, but none of that makes the least bit of sense. Yes, there's a near-monopoly on roads, because only the government has the power to extract funding from "customers" without their consent, and then pretend the service is free. Anyone else attempting to operate a road would necessarily have to charge over and above what you've already been forced to pay. Very few people are going to be willing to pay twice, and a good many operate under the delusion that the system they've paid for in taxes is "free." In economics, this is an example of government crowding out potential competitors.

      You're demonstrating a remarkable lack of imagination in your insistence that the only way to pay for private roads is a per mile toll. There are many possible business models that might be viable. You don't pay separately for every TV show you watch, do you? Some of it is provided by advertising revenue, and some is paid in bundled form via a cable of satellite TV subscription. Similar things might be done with roads, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

      On what basis do you presume that nobody could afford to pay for the use of roads if they were charged a fee for services used rather than taxed in a lump sum? A competitive free market invariably is more financially efficient than a monopoly. It's basic economics. The fact of the matter is that we are already paying for roads, and likely a lot more than we'd pay if we had road companies competing with one another for our business. Please explain the economic mechanism by which you believe a competitive market in road services would be more expensive than an opaque government monopoly.

      You, sir, have bald assertions based on unexamined articles of faith, and no more. If you can't even articulate an economic theory to support your assumptions, then I'm afraid I'm beaing my head against a metaphorical brick wall, and it's time to turn my attention in more productive directions than this discussion.

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    11. As you like Eric.

      There are plenty of toll roads in this country that the user must pay above and beyond taxes. Because the local government contracted out the work and that company owns the road. I know the E-470 in Denver is this way, $2.45 per booth, spaced every 2-4 miles apart. I know the Dulles toll road in DC is similar, $2.50 per booth. I know these from personal experience. These are private companies, NOT the government. There's your free market at work...

      So more advertising on the road will pay for roads?

      You think the government paves the roads? That they have a fleet of people? They currently accept bids and contract it out to private companies. And the price agreed upon is all public knowledge.

      1. Do you own a vehicle?
      2. How does your system pay for fire and police services?
      3. How does your system pay for military?
      4. How does your system pay for the justice system?

      If this discussion is beneath you I apologize for not being up to your standards.
      I have no bald assertions, what I have is a grounding in reality.

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    12. So you're opposed to transparency of costs, or what? How much do you pay per mile to drive on government roads? Give me that figure, and then we'll decide whether or not it's an egregious insult to pay $2.45 every few miles. (Apparently the people who use those roads find it to be worth the price, and a lot more might too, if they weren't forced to pay for government roads whether or not they want to use them.)

      Once again, I'm not sure what your point is. So government contracts out the paving of roads? It still has no competition, and it is able to take funding for those contracts without the consent of the people from whom it's taken. "The price agreed upon" is a nice little obfuscation. Who agreed to it? The government - the people who can rob you, so price is not much of a concern - and the contractor, who's happy to get as fat a government contract as it can get away with, and doesn't care a bit about who has to pay for it. See, in the free market, the people who must agree to a transaction before it can happen are the ones actually paying the costs. That's kind of an important point. People tend to be much more frugal with their own money than they are with that of anonymous strangers.

      Your argument is essentially argumentum ad ignorantium. Because you, personally, cannot envision any way in which these things might be done without force and coercion, you conclude that the system of force and coercion is the best of all worlds, and that nothing can be accomplished without it.

      Question number 1 is utterly irrelevant to the discussion, but I'll humor you and answer it in the affirmative. Yes, nick, I own a vehicle. The simple answer to questions 2-4 is: I don't know. That's the point of having a free market. It's a process of discovering the best and most efficient means of doing something. It's analogous to sports teams actually playing their games rather than deciding them based upon polls or the opinions of "experts." Nobody can know the outcome in advance with any certainty. That said, I can speculate about how things might be done...

      Fire and police services might be provided on a subscription basis, similar to an insurance policy. Fire and defense agencies would have an incentive to keep their clients safe, so as not to pay out lots of money in claims. Clients would have an incentive to do all in their power to keep themselves safe from fire and crime, because they would likely receive discounts on their premiums for doing so. The clients' self-interest and the firm's pursuit of profit harmonize in the provision of the best possible service at the lowest possible price.

      A military as you understand it would probably be unnecessary, for reasons that can't really be explained concisely enough to fit in a comment post. Go research "defense in a stateless society" if you want to know more.

      Courts might be run by the same defense agencies providing policing and defense services, or might be separate entities. They could be paid for by subscription or policy fees, on a case-by-case basis, or by the loser of a lawsuit. You'd probably say that "we" can't afford this, but the simple truth is that "we" are already paying for our current system, and it's very difficult even to find out what my per capita share of the costs are. The odds are not good that an opaque, coercively-funded monopoly is less costly than a transparent competitive free market.

      And just in case you sincerely want to know how roads might work without government, an economist has actually written an entire book on it, and it's available as a free PDF: https://mises.org/document/4084/The-Privatization-of-Roads-and-Highways

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    13. I sincerely wonder about you... contractors still have bidding wars for jobs, governments have budgets and must adhere to them. As such, they have a set price to pay for services, such as building roads.

      As for the costs, all we have to do is figure the number of people taxed and the amount of money the government actually spends for roads and we have our figure. In the 2009 the US government spent $41 billion on roads, highways, and their infrastructures. In 2009 we had a population of 305 million people, of that approx 14% or 42 million paid neither income nor federal taxes. So we assume approx 262 million paid taxes, that gives us $156.49 per tax paying person per year goes to roads, divide that by 365 days gives us .43 cents a day! Albeit that's rough math, I'm sure there is some pencil sharpening in there. A far cry from $2.45 per toll booth.

      I'm not against transparency. When the city declares an expansion to the freeways here, they list how much and how long the project is.

      I'll admit, you sound educated, but not experienced.

      Subscription to fire and police... well there goes the poor and destitute, dead due to lack of ability to pay for help. Brilliant. Just roll that into the ACA while were at it...

      Right, no military.... Gotcha. As Russia does more flybys with nuclear bombers, this in todays news, from the Alaskan coast... LOL Yeah we should end this discussion.

      Have a good weekend sir.

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  6. Charles, you seem like a man with strong convictions, many of which I probably disagree with. Good for you. More often than not I find myself voting against people. It is a luxury when there is actually someone that I can vote for.

    I too have been politically active for pretty much my whole life, probably as a side effect of having the Watergate hearings preempt my daytime cartoons for months when I was a child. And actually watching much of it... I tormented my parents for explanations of issues that I might have understood better than they did.

    Everyone should learn at an early age that politicians, in general, are liars and criminals that they may be forced to negotiate with, but should never trust.

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    1. Tom, I would argue that many people enter into politics with good intentions but the system we've allowed soon corrupts them.

      Lately, it does seem that I vote the lesser of two evils... which in itself is really sad but a reality of the "First to Poll" system we employ.

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    2. Blaming the system is the ultimate cop-out. I would love to see our plurality based elections replaced by an Instant Run-Off system with "None of the Above" as a required option on every ballot, but it ain't gonna happen. Even if we throw the bums out, the best we can hope for in most cases is a new set of bums.

      As Thomas Jefferson may have said: "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." And the average voter is not living up to their end of the bargain. It is criminal that our so-called representatives vote to pass laws that they have not even bothered to read, but it is our fault as well because we do not punish them for their malfeasance. Why do we ask them to swear an oath of office if we are not going to hold them accountable for perjury when they almost inevitably violate it?

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    3. @Tom

      "Charles, you seem like a man with strong convictions, many of which I probably disagree with."

      That's the glory of democracy - we can disagree about what's going on but I we don't have to dislike each other. ;)

      "Everyone should learn at an early age that politicians, in general, are liars and criminals that they may be forced to negotiate with, but should never trust."

      I think it was Regan who said, "Trust, but verify." I always thought that was a bunch of noise. I prefer, "Trust no one, verify everything" when it comes to politics.

      "the average voter is not living up to their end of the bargain."

      Absolutely.

      Yet I couldn't tell you how to turn this around. Not only are our political representatives entrenched behind ideological bullshit, but our media presents this as the normal sort of behavior and reward it by providing the most entrenched with the most air time. Something needs to change, I just don't know how to do it.

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    4. Quoting Thomas Jefferson once again, "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

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    5. Differences of opinion while still being able to engage with each other are great. If all I wanted to do was be arround an awesome sychophant I'd stay home and talk to myself.
      I kid you not: there was one social click I was loosely connected to years ago that included a skinhead, a jew, an activist lesbian, a hindu, and a born again. Their common bond was helping other people and punk rock music. When that group had parties it was really interesting (it was also 20 years ago).

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    6. No, Tom, it's not. The current First to Poll that we use with INVARIABLY degrade to a 2 party system with no REAL representation of the people.

      Thomas Jefferson, while intelligent, did not face the lobbying groups that Washington has now. They direct more votes than the people. Look up how many times the Electoral College has voted against the popular vote, it's staggering.

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    7. 1876, 1888 and maybe 2000. I'd hardly call twice in 226 years "staggering".

      So if you don't like the system, quit whining and do something about it...

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    8. Ah, good catch Tom, it's in how you or in this case I word it. I said popular when in fact I should have said MAJORITY.

      In the last 38 elections since the Republicans and Democrats first faced each other, the winner DID NOT GET A MAJORITY of the popular vote almost 1/3 of the time.

      Yes, a third of our elections, I would call staggering.

      Now THAT is the same old tired argument... "So if you don't like the system, quit whining and do something about it..."

      Pray tell, how does one person do that in our current system ...

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    9. So what is your point, Nick? All I see is another Red Herring, and more whining about how powerless you are.

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    10. Really? How am I misleading or distracting? I argued that they system is flawed, and gave my stance when lambasted by you. Your rebuke was to call me a whiner. I then asked how I should change the system, your rebuke was to call it a red herring argument.

      Nice.

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    11. Ok let's recap:

      So I'm in the process of writing a a comment to Charles' post, when a thread or two above, you blast Eric with a the most stunning and innovative rebuttal of libertarianism the world has ever seen ... "Who will build the roads?" Off the top of my head I cite an anecdote about some guy who built a road as a half a million dollar gamble that his local government had no intention of doing its job any time soon. You ignore it and go back to demonstrating that you are definitely not an advocate of limited government, while I go back to my original comment.

      You disagree with my comment on the grounds that people go into politics with good intentions, but are turned evil by "First to Poll" [sic} elections. (And by the way, "First to Poll" is a meaningless nonsense phrase, but I let it slide because I realized that you probably meant to say "First Past the Post")

      I agree with you that our current election method is less than ideal, and propose Instant Run-Off as a better alternative. Proposing a solution is more useful than whining. But I note that it is unlikely to be adopted any time soon and that we need to work with what we've got and hold elected officials accountable for their actions instead of blaming the electoral system.

      You disagree, and reiterate that it's OK to blame the system as long as it's First to Poll [sic]. You say it degrades to a 2 party system that isn't representative of the people's wishes. (but you were not interested in discussing Instant Run-Off, which avoids the "wasted vote" and allows you to vote for the candidate you really want w/o fear that by doing so you will help elect the "greater of 2 evils", thereby being more representative of what the people really want) Instead you go off an a tangent about Jefferson not having to deal w/ lobbyists (who get more votes than people). As supporting evidence you tell me to look up the staggering number of times the Electoral College has voted against the popular vote. That is both a Non Sequitur and a Red Herring.

      But since I already know that answer and I'm pretty sure you're clueless and think it is actually a large number, I call your bluff. Then I accuse you of whining.

      You confirm that you had no idea by not saying anything resembling "What about John Q Adams vs Andrew Jackson in 1824?" Then you try to play off your error by pretending that all along you meant to say something entirely different from Electoral vs Popular votes. (and if you had actually been interested in making sure candidates won with a majority before you needed to duck & cover, you might have been interested to note that another of the desirable features of Instant Run-Off, which you declined to discuss above, is that it requires a majority to win) Then you whine some more, "how does one person do that?".

      Well Nick, one way is to talk about solutions instead of just whining. If other people agree with what you say, you are no longer just one lone voice.

      On the other hand, if you keep shifting the focus of your argument so often that even the most determined person can't follow the point you are trying to make, you might as well just give up.

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    12. Actually Tom, lets clear a few things up.

      1. I never saw your statement in Eric's post, so I apologize that you feel butt hurt that you think I ignored your comment.

      2. I am not a fan of big government, but I do see the insanity of trying go it alone as individual states. We need government, just not in the capacity it has become.

      3. Yep, I did mean First Past the Post

      4. I am a fan of Instant Run-off, I didn't read/see you type that in any of your comments. Not one.

      5. I don't blame the electing system for corrupting new politicians, I blame the lobby groups and the long term reps/sens for coercing the 'new blood' into the old systems ways. I wish we could kick them all out and install term limits. Being a representative of the people should be a civic honor, not a long term career.

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    13. Perhaps it is your reading, writing & arithmetic skills that need honing more than your politics ;-) With regard to your numbered points:

      1) I am not hurt. I don't care if you ignore me. I may be starting to wish you would, so this inane argument could just die. I merely cited an interesting story that seemed germane to the topic. Read it if you want.

      2) you have an odd way of expressing it, but maybe I'll address this later. my answer is more complex than I feel like dealing with at the moment

      4) You need to read more carefully. It will save you the embarrassment of denying things that are plainly obvious.

      5) Perhaps I missed a subtle nuance, but your comments above strongly imply that you do in fact blame the election system.
      And should I assume that you also missed my comment on the futility of throwing the bums out?

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    14. You sound hurt. Now my math is off? Interesting... You did mention it before! Nice! Sorry, I check the blog from work and as such I tend to skim a lot and tab between screens. So, my comments aren't always coherent as I'd like them to be as I have to focus on estimates too, damn work getting in the way.

      I don't blame the current election system as much as you infer. I do not like it, but there are other factors that have precipitated us getting to where we are now. A lot of it our own laziness. I read somewhere sometime ago about herd mentality or some such, seems applicable here. That, and who votes out those who feed you government welfare...

      Anyways, since you are angry (you shouldn't type angry) I will bid you ado. Smile more, Tom.

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    15. Ok, maybe my muscles do hurt a bit from laughing so hard ;-)

      Your math is just comically naive in its assumptions that: Federal Highway spending is relevant, because State and Local governments pay for the vast majority of road construction and repair; and that an arithmetic mean (as opposed to a median) can be usefully applied in your example.

      I didn't mention it before because it was someone else's turn to shred that particular feeble argument. I am not so vindictive as to follow you around and make fun of everything you say, it's just that math so nicely completed the "3 R's" in my comment above.

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    16. Tom, state and city government pay for local roads and state routes. They do not pay for the interstates. I clearly stated that it was rough math at best, and since he and I were discussing FEDERAL taxes I felt it was only smart to keep to the subject matter.

      The math is not naive, the actual math is quite accurate. Was it a over generalized equation lumping everything together for simplistic reasons? Absolutely. I, nor you, or Eric have the time or desire to document and calculate the exact spending on roads. And, in my figures, the listed amount spent ($41 billion) also includes infrastructure which could be argued doesn't go towards the roads themselves. So, I felt for the purpose of the argument it would be sufficient.

      Since, apparently, you and Eric are mensa candidates I figured you'd at least be able to understand that. Heaven forbid anyone disagrees with your superior 'intelligence'.

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  7. Extremists are to politics as munchkins are to D&D.

    Discuss. ;)

    --Dither

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    1. I disagree. It is the entrenched career politicians that are the munchkins. They almost never face a real challenge. they have more money & power than they deserve, and they behave like spoiled children when someone dares to question them.

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  8. The problem is BOTH parties are guilty of this. Many just turn blinders on when it comes to their pet party refusing to negotiate.

    In any case, the whole show is a sham. They drum up all kinds of frenzy over minor issues, but both parties agree on all the really important stuff (like give Saudi Arabia billions every year).

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