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an interesting discovery. [Oct. 14th, 2004|11:42 pm]
I was very intrigued by the fact that the vice-presidential debate involved a segment where the debater was asked to not use the name of the other member of the ticket. I thought to myself, "what an odd request", but was not terribly surprised that Edwards was unable to comply with the request and broke the rule 3 times in about 2 minutes, even after acknowledging the rule out loud.

It turns out, as I have discovered, that this is related to a rule in the Senate, whereby :

Every Senator when speaking shall address himself to the Chair. No Senator shall be shall be named in debate, but may be referred to by mentioning the State he represents or by alluding to his place in the House
( from http://www.constitution.org/ac/maclay/journal_rules.htm )

This may be coming from Roman times, as from this excerpt:

When I began to touch upon the charge, and point out the person I intended to accuse (though as yet without mentioning him by name), I was attacked on all sides.
( Pliny the Younger, Letters. CI. To Quadratus, from http://www.bartleby.com/9/4/1101.html )

I dug this info up after seeing mention of the rule referring to Margaret Chase Smith's 1950's rebuke of McCarthyism, ( from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy ), McCarthyism being apparently why for a time Edgar Codd left the USA to live in Canada. ( from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_F._Codd ).

It is interesting, though: kind of like a trick interview question, as if to the intelligentsia, to say: this man is not qualified to lead the Senate.

It is also odd: read this quote from Smith's "Declaration of Conscience":

Today our country is being psychologically divided by the confusion and the suspicions that are bred in the United States Senate to spread like cancerous tentacles of "know nothing, suspect everything" attitudes. Today we have a Democratic Administration that has developed a mania for loose spending and loose programs. History is repeating itself -- and the Republican Party again has the opportunity to emerge as the champion of unity and prudence.

The record of the present Democratic Administration has provided us with sufficient campaign issues without the necessity of resorting to political smears. America is rapidly losing its position as leader of the world simply because the Democratic Administration has pitifully failed to provide effective leadership.

The Democratic Administration has completely confused the American people by its daily contradictory grave warnings and optimistic assurances -- that show the people that our Democratic Administration has no idea of where it is going.

The Democratic Administration has greatly lost the confidence of the American people by its complacency to the threat of communism here at home and the leak of vital secrets to Russia through key officials of the Democratic Administration. There are enough proved cases to make this point without diluting our criticism with unproved charges.

Surely these are sufficient reasons to make it clear to the American people that it is time for a change and that a Republican victory is necessary to the security of this country. Surely it is clear that this nation will continue to suffer as long as it is governed by the present ineffective Democratic Administration.

Yet to displace it with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny -- Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.

I doubt if the Republican Party could -- simply because I don't believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. Surely we Republicans aren't that desperate for victory.

I don't want to see the Republican Party win that way. While it might be a fleeting victory for the Republican Party, it would be a more lasting defeat for the American people. Surely it would ultimately be suicide for the Republican Party and the two-party system that has protected our American liberties from the dictatorship of a one party system.

(Margaret Chase Smith, from http://www.mcslibrary.org/program/library/declaration.htm )

Substitute Republican for Democrat (terrorism for communism... ad nausea), and I think you have no more apt a resounding of my feelings right now.

[User Picture]From: bovril
2004-10-15 03:44 am (UTC)
So we are supposed to let Bush bugger and swagger for another four years, simply so that the 2008 Democratic victory is a landslide? (As it would be).

By that time, the poor will be poorer and the rich richer, hiding in gated communities. The Baghdad Green Zone a fortified nest of power surrounded by US troops and an orgy of hatred. More pollution and more McJobs in the US. All over the world people spitting at the Stars and Stripes.

You want to bring us to this, just to get a resounding victory?
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2004-10-15 04:20 am (UTC)
what is odd to me, is that sounds like the same mcworld we've been threatenened with for the thirty or so years I've been around. Some years better, some years worse.

I don't see a compelling reason why this year is different than any other year, nor do I see Kerry bringing an end to that world.
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2004-10-15 04:52 am (UTC)

what I want to see

I don't believe that we've given Bush enough of a chance to prove his mettle. I think we've seen some bad signs, true, but no more than other years. I don't believe that anything done will be be irreversibly undoable in the next four years.

I think that the best analogy I can give is that Bush is a republican Carter: a possibly decent leader who's been dealt a shitty hand. The disaster of the last four years is not of Bush's making, but of Clinton's. I think people were so horrified by the events during Carter's administration that they never gave them time to bear fruit before pulling out the trees. Reagan had his good points, in the long run, but I don't believe he "caused the USSR to collapse" or whatnot, and in the long run, Carter was moving toward the metric system and legalization of marijuana and we forsook those admirable goals by not letting the administration's policies take root. We forsook Carter bacoming the greatest president alive, because we were too fickle about our leadership.

What I want to see is to let the evil shrub bear its fruit, for better or worse. We will be better able in four years to evaluate the situation. I predict that either the doomsday scenario which has people so riled will come to pass, or not, no matter what the outcome of the election. I forsee it not happening, and people being shocked by that. If I'm wrong, we shuffle again in four years anyway.

Kerry/Edwards just look like a power hungry opportunistic duo, who have no plan, no better plan, for healing the scars of the last four years.

Again: I'm not arguing to change people's vote- I'm arguing to take a harder look at what may be positive about a Bush reelection. It might happen. For me, when given the choice between two bad choices, you stick with the one you've got until the right choice comes along.

And furthermore, I'm trying to be scientific about it. How can you evaluate whether or not an experiment is working, or not, when you're constantly changing all the variables?
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2004-10-15 10:55 am (UTC)

Re: what I want to see

Interesting to see that you referred to Roe v Wade. This is a very interesing law, because it explicitly gives states the rights to prohibit abortion in the third trimester with an exception for women's health, and in the second trimester with an exception for health and "well being". Roe actually places well defined and reasonable limits on laws against abortion, and in many states that had very strict laws they now have *no* laws because they refuse to write something which could easily restrict things and still stay within Roe. So, basically, from what I can tell from reading the Roe decision (along with the Doe and ... class action suit that it was linked with) is that the issue is about which side can be more rational, and there's nothing rational about anti abortion nutjobs.

I don't believe Roe is at any risk from the Republican presidency, irrespective of political bluster aimed at duping ultracons into giving endorsement. It is about having to pull together a party base, which is an unfortunate side effect of two party politics. I don't think it's a bad thing, compared with the alternatives.

As for the so called rights of privacy, I don't buy the whole argument that people are being "called out" somehow by participating in protests etc. by the FBI showing up at home or work. People love to refuse to accept consequences for their own actions. I should know, I was young and stupid once, too. But what I learned was not how to be more closeted, but about when it is appropriate to be out.

If anything, what this world needs is more intelligence, not more privacy. But: intelligence in the right hands. I'm a strong believer in "getting it all out in the open". But irrespective of my admittedly weird views about the right to privacy, I just don't see how protesting a political convention, whether in your face or in free speech zones, represents an effective usage of speech. I also don't see where speech has been "stifled" in the media, the press, or on the internet, in ways tht would not have been equally enforced by a Gore or a putative Kerry andministration, anyway. My barometer for free speech is when both conservatives and liberals are squawking equally about the trampling of their rights- and that about sums up how I see things.

But- I don't see you as the kind of person who would spend more than a few seconds actively listening to conservatives speak, so maybe it's not as useful a barometer for you.
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2004-10-15 11:58 am (UTC)

Re: what I want to see

No, I don't believe "they did", mostly because the article never said that it happened- ony that it was a policy decision that was considered, then suspended, for implementation.

As for chipping away at "abortion rights"- I think that they should! There's nothing appealing about the act of partial birth abortion. The government should be trying to formulate better laws, as long as they stay within the (IMO) excellent formulation of Roe.
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[User Picture]From: hbergeronx
2004-10-15 12:36 pm (UTC)

Re: what I want to see

The article is so *completely* scare tactics. She's trying to argue that because it is made illegal it will be made rare, so that the few people who legally need to have such a procedure done won't be able to find a good doctor when it comes to need.

Such a procedure is not called abortion, and even the author admits that extracting a dead fetus from the womb would *never* be made illegal. But, yes, the procedure is one of many possibilities including induced labor that could be used to perform the surgery, and that due to inexperience, a doctor might choose a "less desirable" procedure to the patient. Which would make that patient's experience with medicine and doctors just like every other patient's. There's zillions of similar examples: like the doctor who gives you Prozac for antidepression because the sales rep "just showed up" with free samples and has them to hand. There's no good scientific rationale for giving one med over the other except on anecdotal evidence, and a not-as-experienced doctor might make a convenient or apparent choice even though such a choice was ill-informed. There's too much to need to know for every doctor to make the right decision: it has to be an informed and ongoing dialogue. And, medicine is a maze of tough choices, any one of which might be a compelling but wrong hypothesis.

As for the lack of credibility: it is extremely non-credible. I'm not trying to say because I see no Jews, there is no Holocaust here, but the hushed "evidence" of a politician trying to make a point through allegory is extremely suspect, and no better than water-cooler rumour.

He tries to mention it as an afterthougt proof for something he's already self-discredited. That's not honest debate.
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