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  #551  
Old 07-31-2012, 11:17 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by Evil Captor View Post
The Things Lance And Adaher Want Us To Believe:

In order to accept Lance and Adaher's notion that unlimited political contributions are NOT a clear and present danger to democracy, we need to accept a central notion, and it's a REALLY difficult notion to accept: that multiimillionaires, billionaires and corporations write half a million dollar checks without some specific notions of what they intend to get for those checks, and that the politicians who get them are not the least concerned with who is writing them and have no intention of repaying them once they get into office.
That is a legitimate concern. But you have to analyze it in the context of other possible ways of dealing with campaign finance. I think we can both agree that when Sheldon Adelson could just write a $1 million check to the RNC, that this was a bigger problem, correct? It was a direct donation to a political party. By having to advertise independently, the bribery is no longer direct. Maybe it still exists, but it's better than the direct approach. Okay, so we've dealt with the direct bribery, how do you deal with the indirect bribery? Therein lies the problem. In order to restrict independent political speech, you have to do it in a way that applies to everyone equally. Once you start putting in exceptions, you have the favored/disfavored problem and the law gets struck down. So let's make this simple: write me a simple, amendment-length law that deals with the problem and doesn't give the government broad censorship powers over whatever it pleases.



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Lance and Adaher state that they do not believe that these huge donations make much of a difference in who gets elected, so you would also have to share in their belief that advertising does not work, at least, in elections.
It is important, about as important as a baseball team having the biggest payroll. IT's just not decisive on its own. You cannot buy an election anymore than you can buy a pennant. Or you can, sometimes, if everything goes your way.


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They say that limiting political contributions is a violation of the First Amendment so profound that you might as well ban speech of all sorts, by all sorts of people. And that corporations are people. They do not say corporations are the very best sort of people, but you kinda get the idea that they might think that.
Contributions are not the problem, it's the speech itself. SCOTUS has upheld contribution limits again and again. The problem is that reformers have moved the goalposts, defining speech in favor of a candidate as a contribution. So I'm making a contribution right here, albeit a small one.


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Lance and adaher have pretty much admitted to all these beliefs, though they have yet to offer anything like convincing proof of them. I personally find their professed beliefs so nonsensical that I flatly reject them. It seems to me that they have made a number of extraordinary claims here, the sort of claims that require extraordinary proof. They both use the First Amendment as a sort of shield, to hide the naked ridiculousness of their beliefs.
Well, if we're talking about burden of proof, it's actually more on your side. Citizens United was an unpopular decision, and I believe people can in good faith dispute that decision. However, you want to go way beyond even the liberal jurisprudence on campaign finance reform. There has never been a law limiting individual independent advocacy. Soros, Adelson, and whoever have been able to donate unlimited amounts their whole lives, as long as those donations aren't to candidate campaigns or political parties. Given the precedent of Buckley v. Valeo in 1976, which struck down limits on individuals' ability to finance their own campaigns, it is very, very unlikely that a limit on individual expenditure would hold up in court.

If you want to keep the discussion strictly about corporate political speech, then we can have a pretty contentious argument in which both sides have a lot of merit. But if you're talking about individual limits as well, you'd have to change the way the 1st amendment has been interpreted since the campaign finance era began 100 years ago. So as far as that part of the debate goes, the burden's all on you.
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  #552  
Old 07-31-2012, 11:28 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Captor View Post
The Things Lance And Adaher Want Us To Believe:

In order to accept Lance and Adaher's notion that unlimited political contributions
This isn't about contributions to candidates. I hope you finally get that.

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are NOT a clear and present danger to democracy, we need to accept a central notion, and it's a REALLY difficult notion to accept: that multiimillionaires, billionaires and corporations write half a million dollar checks without some specific notions of what they intend to get for those checks, and that the politicians who get them are not the least concerned with who is writing them and have no intention of repaying them once they get into office.
No you don't. You can believe that if you want to. I don't mind at all. It's often true. Not nearly as often as you think, but of course it is. Straw man number one.

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You also have to believe that the prospect of wealthy donors determining who gets elected with their huge checks
There's your problem right there.

For the millionth time: money doesn't determine who is elected. The voters do.

Until you accept this undeniable fact, you will not get anywhere.

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Lance and Adaher state that they do not believe that these huge donations make much of a difference in who gets elected, so you would also have to share in their belief that advertising does not work, at least, in elections.
Straw man number two. Of course they make a difference. (Careful with that donation word again - we're talking about speech and spending on speech and donations to groups that only spend it on speech). Duh.

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They say that limiting political contributions is a violation of the First Amendment so profound that you might as well ban speech of all sorts, by all sorts of people. And that corporations are people. They do not say corporations are the very best sort of people, but you kinda get the idea that they might think that.
Straw man number three. Corporations are not people and I've never said they are. That's silly.

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Lance and adaher have pretty much admitted to all these beliefs,
False. I've repeatedly said the exact opposite, as I'm doing again here. Don't misrepresent my beliefs. Stop reading what you want to read and start actually listening to what I'm saying.

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Oh, yes, Lance says he's a democrat.
Yep. Lifelong, active one.

Also a member of the ACLU, which supported the Citizen's United decision and filed an amicus brief in support of it. You gonna deny that inconvenient truth too? You gonna ignore or distort or completely misrepresent their beliefs too?
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  #553  
Old 07-31-2012, 11:55 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post

False. I've repeatedly said the exact opposite, as I'm doing again here. Don't misrepresent my beliefs. Stop reading what you want to read and start actually listening to what I'm saying.
I actually like it when posters do that, it makes the job of debating even easier, I think. Especially when even the STRAW MAN is right. That's when you know you're in bad shape, when you can't even beat the straw man.


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Yep. Lifelong, active one.

Also a member of the ACLU, which supported the Citizen's United decision and filed an amicus brief in support of it. You gonna deny that inconvenient truth too? You gonna ignore or distort or completely misrepresent their beliefs too?

That's the thing I don't get, why do they treat it as a litmus test of what it means to be a Democrat? I'm not a Democrat, I'm a libertarian, but last I checked, the opinion of the ACLU was taken very seriously by Democrats. Is it implausible that many Democrats would side with the ACLU in this debate?
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  #554  
Old 07-31-2012, 12:59 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I actually like it when posters do that, it makes the job of debating even easier, I think. Especially when even the STRAW MAN is right. That's when you know you're in bad shape, when you can't even beat the straw man.
Confuses them even more though.

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That's the thing I don't get, why do they treat it as a litmus test of what it means to be a Democrat? I'm not a Democrat, I'm a libertarian, but last I checked, the opinion of the ACLU was taken very seriously by Democrats. Is it implausible that many Democrats would side with the ACLU in this debate?
It's a form of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

Of course, I cite the ACLU at the risk of implying that support for the ACLU, or every decision it makes, is a litmus test too. It is not. I cite it because I hope it makes them stop and think, instead of reacting so much.
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  #555  
Old 07-31-2012, 01:02 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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As a libertarian, the ACLU belongs to my side. You can borrow it sometimes. Just be nice to it.
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  #556  
Old 07-31-2012, 01:46 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
As a libertarian, the ACLU belongs to my side. You can borrow it sometimes. Just be nice to it.
My ACLU membership card begs to differ. Though it's expired now.
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  #557  
Old 08-01-2012, 04:27 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaher
The law either applies to all corporations or it applies to none.
False dichotomy. See sjres 33.

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Originally Posted by adaher
The democratic legitimacy of elections shouldn't be in question.
Yet, the majority of people think unlimited expenditure on electioneering communications does call the democratic legitimacy of elections into question.

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Originally Posted by adaher
They can and do peruse them with corporate electioneering communications present.
Then they can do without the electioneering communications.

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Originally Posted by lance strongarm
It is the opposite, in fact - your logic is exactly what the First Amendment was written to forbid.
Christ, you keep talking as if we're actively violating the first amendment. Protip: speech does not violate the first amendment. We're not members of Congress.

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Originally Posted by lance strongarm
The winner is whoever gets the most votes.
Electoral college votes, to be pedantic.

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Originally Posted by lance strongarm
It is exactly what the BCRA did, and you know it.
No, as you pointed out, voters have unfettered access to sources of political speech outside of electioneering communications.

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Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Again, it's exactly what happened and you know it.
Not even. It was a time restriction on the movie being shown. Since the movie wasn't an advert, I do think it's blocking was an overly broad application of the law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
If you think that's bad, tough. The voters decide how and why to vote, not you. Stay out of their business.
For a purported ex-member of the ACLU, you seem absolutely terrified of speech. Let's hope the voters decide an amendment is in order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
And the case for BCRA simply was not, nor can it be made so.
According to ~56% of Supreme Court Justices.
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  #558  
Old 08-01-2012, 05:06 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post
False dichotomy. See sjres 33.
Not so. The amendment covers all for profit corporations. That would include the NY Times, Miramax, book publishers, etc. this grants Congress the power to limit any and all electioneering, which would include things like the Rachel Maddow show. That doesn't mean Congress WILL censor those things, but those products, being from for profit corporations, would lose 1st amendment protections.
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  #559  
Old 08-01-2012, 08:12 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post
Yet, the majority of people think unlimited expenditure on electioneering communications does call the democratic legitimacy of elections into question.
Says who?

And that's an appeal to popularity.

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Then they can do without the electioneering communications.
First Amendment says otherwise.

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Christ, you keep talking as if we're actively violating the first amendment.
Your position on this issue does.

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Protip: speech does not violate the first amendment. We're not members of Congress.
I don't understand this point.

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Electoral college votes, to be pedantic.
Yes, we're all aware that there is one election every four years that involves electing electors to the electoral college instead of directly for a candidate like the thousands of other elections.

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No, as you pointed out, voters have unfettered access to sources of political speech outside of electioneering communications.
Yep. So let's not hear any more of this nonsense about the voters not having access to as much speech as they want.

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Not even. It was a time restriction on the movie being shown. Since the movie wasn't an advert, I do think it's blocking was an overly broad application of the law.
A time restriction on political speech violates the First Amendment.

A political advertisement is political speech and also may not be restricted.

You simply cannot limit political speech except in very very narrow and specific circumstances, perhaps, which you haven't even come close to.

No.

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For a purported ex-member of the ACLU, you seem absolutely terrified of speech.
Really? That's as fucking absurd as anything you've said. No, that's you who is terrified of speech. YOU.

I wonder if you're an ACLU member. I wonder if you've read the ACLU's amicus brief.

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Let's hope the voters decide an amendment is in order.
I'm quite confident this country will never feel the need to take back any freedoms in the Bill of Rights, especially First Amendment ones.

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According to ~56% of Supreme Court Justices.
Again, so what? Reverse appeal to authority.

Last edited by lance strongarm; 08-01-2012 at 08:13 AM..
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  #560  
Old 08-01-2012, 08:34 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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He does have a point that the public is against us. Not that it matters for purposes of our discussion, but it is something we have to consider.

But here's why it won't matter in the long run: writing an amendment is impossible. Let's say SJ Res 33 became the amendment of choice to reverse Citizens United. The attacks on that one write themselves: first, there is no media exception, so pretty much the entire media would mobilize against it until it was changed. But once you add a press exception, anyone can use it and the amendment is effectively nullified.
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  #561  
Old 08-01-2012, 10:24 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
He does have a point that the public is against us. Not that it matters for purposes of our discussion, but it is something we have to consider.
Here's the problem, though - these guys are busy telling us how stupid the voters are sometimes, and how they can't handle certain speech, etc. and need the government to step in and control what they see and hear to manipulate public opinion. Yet here they are appealing to public opinion. So they are in another bind they can't dig themselves out of, because the root of their views is total disrespect for democracy and the intelligence of the voters.

(And, of course, a huge number of people are confused and think this is about donations to candidates).

In any event, sometimes the voters have contradictory views depending on what angle you approach a question. For instance, in the 1990s, some districts voted in favor of term limits for Congress - while at the same instance electing incumbents to terms exceeding those limits! I think if you ask people if political speech, absent any porn or insurrection or libel or other accepted exceptions, should be banned, most would say no.
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  #562  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:08 AM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by Terr View Post
Two can play this game. "Advocating violating of the first amendment is directly analogous to sedition".
I'm not playing a game. I'm making an argument.

The overthrow of the government is very much similar to the buying control of said government.
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  #563  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:11 AM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
Gotta prove sedition. gotta prove an election is being bought. In order to do that you, first have to prove that a particular buyer has more influence than anyone else. If you can make the case that Sheldon Adelson has more influence than Barack Obama, then you can plausibly accuse Adelson of buying an election. Not really, but I'll grant it for arguments' sake. However, Barack Obama clearly has a ton more influence on the election than any third party spender, and more money.
Advertising works. Unlimited advertising can sway close elections to the side with the 20 to 1 spending advantage.

A 20 to 1 spending advantage is okay if one side is vastly more popular than another. But when it is the money of one man that outweighs millions of normal voters, that one man has more push than he ought to in a democracy.

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Let's compare Sheldon Adelson to Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbagh has loyal followers who hang on his every word. Sheldon Adelson does not. Rush Limbaugh reaches millions year around. Sheldon Adelson buys 30-second ads around election time. Can you seriously prove that Adelson's influence is outsized compared to those he is competing with to get his message out?
Rush has to be sought out. Advertising hits people who do not seek it.
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  #564  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:13 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post
I'm not playing a game. I'm making an argument.

The overthrow of the government is very much similar to the buying control of said government.
Advocating the violation of the First Amendment is alot closer to sedition than that. That was his point. And you let it go right over your head.

And enough with this idiotic "buying control of government" crap. It's complete bullshit. If the voters want to vote for whoever spends the most money, that's not thwarting democracy, that IS democracy.
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  #565  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:16 AM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post
Limiting speech is almost always unconstitutional, including the way that the BCRA did. Okay?
Almost always? Hey, we're making progress!

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No, I address it.
Hardly, you're chanting, not arguing.

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Yes, and for the millionth time, this is not even close enough to being an allowable exception.
In your opinion. It's actually directly analogous to sedition, because it's about yielding control of the country to a group of billionaire oligarchs.

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It is the opposite, in fact - your logic is exactly what the First Amendment was written to forbid.
It was written to allow the expression of ideas. Not the drowning out of one's opponents with dollars.

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Buying elections is impossible. The winner is whoever gets the most votes.
Then you don't believe in advertising.

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You are equating speech about politics to sedition. This is why I say you are exactly who the founders feared when they wrote the First Amendment.
The founders feared the creation of a monarchy, which is what you are stamping your feet demanding.
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  #566  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:17 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post
Advertising works. Unlimited advertising can sway close elections to the side with the 20 to 1 spending advantage.
Yep. That's democracy. The voters hear whatever they want and decide who to vote for. That's how it is supposed to work.

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A 20 to 1 spending advantage is okay if one side is vastly more popular than another. But when it is the money of one man that outweighs millions of normal voters, that one man has more push than he ought to in a democracy.
You don't get to say who has "more push than he ought to." You have no right whatsoever to decide who should have "more push." That is up to the voters to decide. Again, that's democracy. Deal with it.

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Rush has to be sought out. Advertising hits people who do not seek it.
Plenty of speech hits people who do not seek it. Speakers have a right to go out and speak wherever and whenever they want and try to "hit" people. They can go protest with signs on the street too. That is part of their right. Again, you have absolutely no right to say they can't.

You just can't seem to get this whole democracy/free speech thing.
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  #567  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:22 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post
Almost always? Hey, we're making progress!
No, I'm accommodating your silly need to acknowledge irrelevance.

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In your opinion. It's actually directly analogous to sedition, because it's about yielding control of the country to a group of billionaire oligarchs.
Then the voters are committing sedition by the act of voting.

This is how ridicuous your argument is.

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It was written to allow the expression of ideas. Not the drowning out of one's opponents with dollars.
It was written to allow speech. Period. It did not disallow any speech for any reason, including "too much" speech or "drowning out" or spending money. Just speech. If you dont' like it, amend it.

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Then you don't believe in advertising.
Advertising buys ads, not governments.

Unless you think the people are idiots who vote for whoever they are told, in which case you don't believe in democracy.

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The founders feared the creation of a monarchy
And they trusted the voters to hear any speech at all as an essential part of preventing that. It's too bad you don't respect that.

It's monarchs and tyrants who limit speech simply because it doesn't like the outcome of elections, not free republics.
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  #568  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:31 AM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post
Yep. That's democracy. The voters hear whatever they want and decide who to vote for. That's how it is supposed to work.
If the only thing voters can hear is one side of the story, because some billionaire is flooding the airwaves, that's a bad thing.

But you are very possibly unable to understand that, so I'll go on.

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You don't get to say who has "more push than he ought to." You have no right whatsoever to decide who should have "more push." That is up to the voters to decide. Again, that's democracy. Deal with it.
No, it's monarchy. Unlimited dollars wasn't intended to be unlimited influence. On the upside, it would stimulate the economy.

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Plenty of speech hits people who do not seek it. Speakers have a right to go out and speak wherever and whenever they want and try to "hit" people. They can go protest with signs on the street too. That is part of their right. Again, you have absolutely no right to say they can't.
I have a right to advocate for democracy, like your right to advocate for a corporate hell-hole state where your rights are decided upon by the highest bidder.

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You just can't seem to get this whole democracy/free speech thing.
I appear to understand it far, far better than you. You'd let it burn to the ground and set us up for a permanent corporate lock. You're literally advocating the end of the American experiment and the beginning of Wallyworld™.

As an aside, the family that owns Wallmart has more money than the bottom 40% of the population.

With unlimited money in politics, that means that the Waltons have as much political push as what, a hundred and twenty million people?

This is the world you're fighting for. A world where corporate interests enshrine law after law to make them more profitable and you less relevant.
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  #569  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:10 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post
If the only thing voters can hear is one side of the story, because some billionaire is flooding the airwaves, that's a bad thing.
The voters can hear whatever they want. They have full access to all kinds of information.

But maybe it's a bad thing if someone has more speech. Doesn't make a ban on speech constitutional.

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No, it's monarchy. Unlimited dollars wasn't intended to be unlimited influence.
Says who?

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I have a right to advocate for democracy, like your right to advocate for a corporate hell-hole state where your rights are decided upon by the highest bidder.
Nobody's rights are decided upon by the highest bidder. That's completely false.

And you're not advocating for democracy. You don't like the voters' choices so you want to manipulate what they see and hear to try to change it. That's not democracy.

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I appear to understand it far, far better than you. You'd let it burn to the ground and set us up for a permanent corporate lock. You're literally advocating the end of the American experiment and the beginning of Wallyworld™.
I respect free speech. You don't. I respect the choices of the voters. You don't.

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As an aside, the family that owns Wallmart has more money than the bottom 40% of the population.
Yep. We voters should reject whatever they have to say, shouldn't we?

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With unlimited money in politics, that means that the Waltons have as much political push as what, a hundred and twenty million people?
No. Dollars are not equal to "push."

Did you respond to my proposal that we ban the speech of celebrities because they have more than their "fair" share of push too? Should we?

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This is the world you're fighting for. A world where corporate interests enshrine law after law to make them more profitable and you less relevant.
No, I'm fighting for a world where the voters decide what world we have, instead of you deciding.

Tyranny with good intentions is still tyranny.

Last edited by lance strongarm; 08-01-2012 at 12:11 PM..
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  #570  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:31 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post
I'm not playing a game. I'm making an argument.

The overthrow of the government is very much similar to the buying control of said government.
Not if the buying is done through persuasion of the public. A government that is able to gain public support has public support, whether it was earned in an open marketplace of ideas, or through a controlled propaganda regime.

The fact is, our officials are elected with popular support. if you think rich people "bought" the public, then that's fine.
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  #571  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:33 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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Okay, let's find out where the goalposts are now.

Is the issue only advertising? If so, that's easy to fix. Just ban all political advertising. Including that of the candidates and parties.

Also, are we wanting to stop unlimited corporate spending, or also unlimited individual spending? Because there is no way around the latter without full repeal of the 1st amendment.
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  #572  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:34 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
Not if the buying is done through persuasion of the public. A government that is able to gain public support has public support, whether it was earned in an open marketplace of ideas, or through a controlled propaganda regime.

The fact is, our officials are elected with popular support. if you think rich people "bought" the public, then that's fine.
I'll restate it, since you didn't follow:

Persuading the public because you have a million supporters who donated $100 is awesome.

Persuading the public because you have one supporter who donated $100,000,000 is less awesome.
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  #573  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:43 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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I agree, but democracy cannot involve regulating the discourse. If people believe lies, then that's just how democracy works.

If you could prove a real drowning out effect, then that might be something, but I have yet to see it in practice except in local races where an incumbent destroys an unknown challenger. I never see a ballot initiative or race between two plausible candidates where one side fails to reach me with its message several times. The fact that one might reach me more isn't going to make a difference.
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  #574  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:46 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post
The voters can hear whatever they want. They have full access to all kinds of information.

But maybe it's a bad thing if someone has more speech. Doesn't make a ban on speech constitutional.
Since the first amendment has limits based on strong reasons (fire in theater, sedition) the question is actually if unlimited spending is bad enough to warrant a similar treatment.

You're arguing like someone who thinks that the second amendment grants the right for home possession of nuclear and biological weapons.

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Says who?
Anyone who values democracy.

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Nobody's rights are decided upon by the highest bidder. That's completely false.
So you don't think advertising works?

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And you're not advocating for democracy. You don't like the voters' choices so you want to manipulate what they see and hear to try to change it. That's not democracy.
I want a limit that applies to everyone to preserve democracy.

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I respect free speech. You don't. I respect the choices of the voters. You don't.
I am the one advocating for the process to remain clean. You're advocating the entire country becoming a company store.

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Yep. We voters should reject whatever they have to say, shouldn't we?
So, you don't think advertising works?

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No. Dollars are not equal to "push."
You should explain that to the people wasting money on political donations. Because they're meaningless, according to you.

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Did you respond to my proposal that we ban the speech of celebrities because they have more than their "fair" share of push too? Should we?
I don't think a celebrities words should be limited. Just the amount they can spend on advertising. Much like I don't think a billionaire's words should be limited, just the amount they spend on advertising.

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No, I'm fighting for a world where the voters decide what world we have, instead of you deciding.
You may not understand what you're fighting for. I'm not saying you have bad motives. I'm saying you don't see what you're fighting for accurately.

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Tyranny with good intentions is still tyranny.
Which is why my stance against tyranny is the one you should cleave to.
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  #575  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:50 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I agree, but democracy cannot involve regulating the discourse. If people believe lies, then that's just how democracy works.

If you could prove a real drowning out effect, then that might be something, but I have yet to see it in practice except in local races where an incumbent destroys an unknown challenger. I never see a ballot initiative or race between two plausible candidates where one side fails to reach me with its message several times. The fact that one might reach me more isn't going to make a difference.
You are already partisan. There are independent voters in the middle who base their decisions on things like advertising. And as Republicans have taught us with Death Panels and Swiftboating, repetition of a lie drills it into the head of a large population.

I'm not saying that Nancy Pelosi will lose her district, it's too safe. But if even 10% are swayed over time, that will lock control to one side, the side that kowtows the lowest to big business.

I would limit all spending, corporate and individual. Because unlimited spending, in my opinion, rises to the level of threatening the president or planning to overthrow the government.
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  #576  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:53 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post
Since the first amendment has limits based on strong reasons (fire in theater, sedition) the question is actually if unlimited spending is bad enough to warrant a similar treatment.
That's true. But since 1st amendment exceptions have to pass strict scrutiny, the burden of proof is on reformers to prove that unlimited spending is causing substantial harm. Because right now their arguments are all over the place. What kind of harm is caused? Is it bribery? Okay, then that wouldn't apply to ballot intiatives or self-funded campaigns like Meg Whitman's.

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You're arguing like someone who thinks that the second amendment grants the right for home possession of nuclear and biological weapons.
The 2nd amendment allows for regulation, while the 1st amendment's prohibition on Congress regulating or restricting the freedoms listed is absolute. Of course, the courts haven't agreed with that and the founders themselves violated it, but the principle is that gun ownership can be regulated in the public interest, speech exceptions have to survive much greater scrutiny.


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I don't think a celebrities words should be limited. Just the amount they can spend on advertising. Much like I don't think a billionaire's words should be limited, just the amount they spend on advertising.
That just means the media decides who gets a soapbox and when. That's not exactly healthy either.
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  #577  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:55 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post

I would limit all spending, corporate and individual. Because unlimited spending, in my opinion, rises to the level of threatening the president or planning to overthrow the government.
The President has already spent an effectively unlimited amount on his own campaign. he spent $8 billion to postpone Medicare Advantage cuts until after the election, when they were scheduled by law to go into effect in October.

I highlight that example to show that incumbents have all sorts of ways to directly buy an election that are not available to challengers.
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  #578  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:57 PM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by Lobohan View Post
Since the first amendment has limits based on strong reasons (fire in theater, sedition) the question is actually if unlimited spending is bad enough to warrant a similar treatment.
Yes, that is the question.

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You're arguing like someone who thinks that the second amendment grants the right for home possession of nuclear and biological weapons.
Comparing the two amendments like that is impossible.

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So you don't think advertising works?
Once again, of course it works. Doesn't make it sedition, or an exception to the First Amendment. Lots of speech works.

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I want a limit that applies to everyone to preserve democracy.
A limit on speech isn't democracy by definition.

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I am the one advocating for the process to remain clean. You're advocating the entire country becoming a company store.
Nope, I'm saying if the voters want to buy something from the store, that's their right, and you should stay out of it. They aren't forced to buy. If they do, too bad.

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You should explain that to the people wasting money on political donations. Because they're meaningless, according to you.
Once again, a straw man.

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I don't think a celebrities words should be limited.
But then you're a hypocrite, because celebrity gives people "more push" than average folks just like money does. Why do you support a celebritocracy? Why do you want Tom Cruise to run our country?

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You may not understand what you're fighting for. I'm not saying you have bad motives. I'm saying you don't see what you're fighting for accurately.
And I'm saying you have good motives, but they are irrelevant.

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Which is why my stance against tyranny is the one you should cleave to.
Go out and convince the voters. They decide.
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  #579  
Old 08-02-2012, 06:44 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proposed amendment
do not limit the freedom of press
And that's an appeal to popularity.

When discussing questions of democracy, an appeal to popularity is permitted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
First Amendment says otherwise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
through easily-available and free means like the Internet, campaign events, and the media, all the information from all sources to make an informed voting choice. You think they just sit on their couches and wait to be told who to vote for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Your position on this issue does.
No, it doesn't. The first amendment limits the powers of Congress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
I don't understand this point.
Take a civics class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
A time restriction on political speech violates the First Amendment.
Advertisements cannot be aired at the same time as other advertisements. People can not be on the podium at the same time as the president. These are simple, insurmountable restrictions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
I respect the choices of the voters.
Except when they elect politicians to craft laws or amendments you disagree with (which is also democracy).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobohan
So, you don't think advertising works?
If it doesn't, then intervening to prevent waste would preserve money that could be spent on more productive products. If it does, then allowing the rich to have a disproportionate voice is inimical to democracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
They decide.
Actually, one Supreme Court justice was the decisive factor in whether or not these limitations on electioneering communications were constitutional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Why do you support a celebritocracy?
Can you cite an instance of a politician supporting the cause of a celebrity over the objections of the majority of the population, without receiving some kind of pecuniary compensation?
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  #580  
Old 08-02-2012, 07:06 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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If the concern is bribery or quid pro quo, that's going to call for different regulations than a concern over someone having too much influence. If the issue is quid pro quo, then unlimited spending on ballot initiatives or self-funded campaigns isn't a concern.
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  #581  
Old 08-02-2012, 07:18 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I agree, but democracy cannot involve regulating the discourse. If people believe lies, then that's just how democracy works.
Why can't it? We regulate the hell out of all other types of advertisements, and no one freaks out over freedom of speech there. Heck, there's actually a law against false advertising.

Sure, opinions can't be regulated, but statements of fact sure as hell can be. In fact, I'd say it's required for democracy to function--an electorate that can be lied to is an electorate that is not actually in control--the propagandist is in control.

Last edited by BigT; 08-02-2012 at 07:19 AM..
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  #582  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:26 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post
And that's an appeal to popularity.

When discussing questions of democracy, an appeal to popularity is permitted.
Then you should stop complaining about the outcome of elections.

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No, it doesn't. The first amendment limits the powers of Congress.
That's what I mean. Stop the semantics.

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Take a civics class.
I know more about civics than you ever will, I'm pretty confident of that.

Your point was unclear. Please explain what you meant.

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Advertisements cannot be aired at the same time as other advertisements. People can not be on the podium at the same time as the president. These are simple, insurmountable restrictions.
So what?

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Except when they elect politicians to craft laws or amendments you disagree with (which is also democracy).
No, when they violate the Constitution.

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If it doesn't, then intervening to prevent waste would preserve money that could be spent on more productive products.
Now you think you can decide how other people spend their money based on what's more productive according to you?

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Actually, one Supreme Court justice was the decisive factor in whether or not these limitations on electioneering communications were constitutional.
Do you believe in judicial review? Yes or no?

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Can you cite an instance of a politician supporting the cause of a celebrity over the objections of the majority of the population, without receiving some kind of pecuniary compensation?
First one to come to mind, but I'm sure there are many more:

http://rtfitchauthor.com/2012/04/26/...rse-slaughter/

But it doesn't matter - celebrities clearly have more than their fair share of influence on elections. By your standards, their speech should be limited.

Last edited by lance strongarm; 08-02-2012 at 08:27 AM..
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  #583  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:40 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Why can't it? We regulate the hell out of all other types of advertisements, and no one freaks out over freedom of speech there. Heck, there's actually a law against false advertising.
Lying isn't really the issue here, it's quantity, and quantity of commercial advertising is not regulated.
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  #584  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:48 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Why can't it? We regulate the hell out of all other types of advertisements, and no one freaks out over freedom of speech there. Heck, there's actually a law against false advertising.
Please educate yourself about the doctrine of different levels of protection for commercial speech vs. political speech. The fact that both are ads is irrelevant. One is selling soap, the other is the absolutely most protected form of speech there is.

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Sure, opinions can't be regulated, but statements of fact sure as hell can be. In fact, I'd say it's required for democracy to function--an electorate that can be lied to is an electorate that is not actually in control--the propagandist is in control.
You want the government to decide what is true and what is a lie about political issues and to regulate speech accordingly?

No. This is exactly what the First Amendment was designed to prevent.

The people can decide what's true.

Imagine Obama sending the DOJ to ban Romney ads whenever he believed the facts in them are false. This is simply not a power we give to our government, and the reasons should be obvious.

Last edited by lance strongarm; 08-02-2012 at 08:49 AM..
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  #585  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:51 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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With commercial speech, disprovable claims have to be backed up. With libel the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove that a lie was told. Political speech being the most protected speech there is, if we did have a law against lying, it would have to be so narrow as to make almost all political ads exempt. I've seen what fact checkers call "pants on fire", and even when it's someone I don't like getting raked over the coals I see some ambiguity.
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  #586  
Old 08-03-2012, 03:15 AM
adaher adaher is online now
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I have an idea. How about no major contributor can receive federal grants or contracts from the government?

That solves a lot of the direct bribery problems, where campaign contributors invest $10,000 to get $1 million in taxpayer money.
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  #587  
Old 08-03-2012, 08:16 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I have an idea. How about no major contributor can receive federal grants or contracts from the government?

That solves a lot of the direct bribery problems, where campaign contributors invest $10,000 to get $1 million in taxpayer money.
Well, you're either unaware that this is already the law, or I spoiled your trap. Either way, federal contractors are already banned from donating.

It doesn't solve the problem of the thousands of other ways one can get "favors," from tax breaks to locating a federal facility a certain place to pushing certain policies that favor a certain kind of business (like health care boosts hospital business, for example). In other words, politics. These people want to completely eliminate politics, but they only notice politics and only see a way to eliminate it when there is money involved.
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  #588  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:37 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Then you should stop complaining about the outcome of elections.
I'm not. I'm not even really complaining about the Supreme Court decision. I think it corresponded to some of the precedents established. I'm complaining about your justification of their decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Please explain what you meant.
My speaking cannot violate the first amendment. If I were in Congress, it could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
So what?
So, time, place and manner restrictions are permissible. No Supreme Court decision has contradicted that view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
No, when they violate the Constitution.
It is representative democracy if the majority of the population want the laws. The rule of judges against the popular view is krinocracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
according to you?
According to the people's representatives and to the majority of citizens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
By your standards, their speech should be limited.
Where have I even said something resembling that?

Anyway, I wouldn't have a problem with a channel with public funding dedicated solely to showing electioneering communications. Either party or any candidate could produce one and it'd be shown on the channel. That way candidates get even more speech compared to the current set up, but the electorate have to seek the speech, rather than have it foisted on them.
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  #589  
Old 08-03-2012, 11:06 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post
I'm not.
When you complain that someone has too much influence on voters, you are complaining about the outcome of elections.

Quote:
I'm not even really complaining about the Supreme Court decision. I think it corresponded to some of the precedents established. I'm complaining about your justification of their decision.
My justification is the same as is in the opinion itself.

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My speaking cannot violate the first amendment. If I were in Congress, it could.
Whoa. You're saying members of Congress don't have First Amendment rights now? Please elaborate on that one.

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So, time, place and manner restrictions are permissible. No Supreme Court decision has contradicted that view.
Of course time place and manner is permissible. This is not even remotely about time place and manner.

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It is representative democracy if the majority of the population want the laws. The rule of judges against the popular view is krinocracy.
Do you support the limits in the Consitution on government power or not? Do you support judicial review or not?

The government may not do certain things, even if the people want it to. That's how our system works. And that is a good thing.

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According to the people's representatives and to the majority of citizens.
See above.

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Where have I even said something resembling that?
You haven't, but that's what your standards support.

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Anyway, I wouldn't have a problem with a channel with public funding dedicated solely to showing electioneering communications. Either party or any candidate could produce one and it'd be shown on the channel. That way candidates get even more speech compared to the current set up, but the electorate have to seek the speech, rather than have it foisted on them.
Sounds like a great idea. Of course, most can now simply go to the internet and get the same thing. The candidates have websites with lots of detail on their positions on issues, and you can view them at any time, as little or as much as you want.

But you couldn't take the ads off regular TV. First Amendment and all that. Stop with this "foisted" thing. If the people have a right to commercial-free TV, then go try to pass a law banning all commercials or something.

Last edited by lance strongarm; 08-03-2012 at 11:08 AM..
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  #590  
Old 08-03-2012, 12:28 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post
Well, you're either unaware that this is already the law, or I spoiled your trap. Either way, federal contractors are already banned from donating.
I was unaware.

Quote:
It doesn't solve the problem of the thousands of other ways one can get "favors," from tax breaks to locating a federal facility a certain place to pushing certain policies that favor a certain kind of business (like health care boosts hospital business, for example). In other words, politics. These people want to completely eliminate politics, but they only notice politics and only see a way to eliminate it when there is money involved.
There are many other ways to get favors, but the most direct favor is simply money. You invest thousands, you get millions. There's no better investment in the world.
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  #591  
Old 08-03-2012, 12:30 PM
adaher adaher is online now
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Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post

So, time, place and manner restrictions are permissible. No Supreme Court decision has contradicted that view.
That is true, and that was John paul stevens primary argument in his dissent. I think the issue for the conservative justices was that BCRA was actually overly broad. The government claimed the power to ban books, and according to accounts I've read, this visibly shook the justices. It was a game changer. The government backtracked on the argument when the case was reargued, but they couldn't unsay what they said.

A law that applied ONLY to television advertisements over the airwaves, equally applied, would probably hold up. At least I think so, given the specific objections in the Kennedy decision.

Last edited by adaher; 08-03-2012 at 12:31 PM..
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  #592  
Old 08-04-2012, 06:10 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
You're saying members of Congress don't have First Amendment rights now? Please elaborate on that one.
I'm saying the speech of Congress is restricted under the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not restrict the speech of others. For example, Congress can not inform some population that they have no right to practice their religion without demonstrating compelling interest (as long as doing so constitutes an undue burden). A non-Congress member can say that someone can't practice their religion, as long as they do not break any laws in doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Do you support the limits in the Consitution on government power or not? Do you support judicial review or not?
Not as it currently stands. If the constituent parts of the constitution were actually ratified by referenda and any amendments required a strong majority (60%), then I'd have no problem with such a check on the power of the legislative branch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
The candidates have websites with lots of detail on their positions on issues, and you can view them at any time, as little or as much as you want.
You keep affirming that advertising doesn't work to change people's minds, thus the only reasons for keeping it are to inform the populace and that restricting advertising would be antithetical to liberty. If the populace can be reasonably informed to other venues, that leaves the liberty of people to advertise. I don't consider that right as fundamental as you do.

Last edited by gamerunknown; 08-04-2012 at 06:11 AM..
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  #593  
Old 08-05-2012, 10:45 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post
I'm saying the speech of Congress is restricted under the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not restrict the speech of others. For example, Congress can not inform some population that they have no right to practice their religion without demonstrating compelling interest (as long as doing so constitutes an undue burden). A non-Congress member can say that someone can't practice their religion, as long as they do not break any laws in doing so.
Sure Congress could inform people of that. It just couldn't enforce it as law.

This is a really strange and inappropriate use of the First Amendment. It demonstrates your inability to distinguish speech and action.

It's similar to the notion that public school teachers are exercising freedom of religion when they require prayers in their classrooms.

Quote:
Not as it currently stands. If the constituent parts of the constitution were actually ratified by referenda and any amendments required a strong majority (60%), then I'd have no problem with such a check on the power of the legislative branch.
Well, I'm glad we have courts to protect our civil rights no matter what. Our history is full of times when the vast majority of people were dead wrong.

Quote:
You keep affirming that advertising doesn't work to change people's minds,
No I don't, and I'm not discussing this further until you stop this stupid straw man version of my views.
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  #594  
Old 08-05-2012, 11:00 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Sure Congress could inform people of that. It just couldn't enforce it as law.
Bricker disagrees, here.

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Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Our history is full of times when the vast majority of people were dead wrong.
I'd like a cite of court decisions far more progressive than majority opinions (with links to polling figures at the time of the court's decision, if possible).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
No I don't
Oh yeah, sorry, it only works on drooling idiots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
I hear a whole lot more voices urging me to buy a Lexus than I do the voices telling me to not buy one, or to buy a used car or a bike instead.

Yet I haven't bought a Lexus.

The reason I haven't bought a Lexus is because I'm not a drooling idiot.
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  #595  
Old 08-05-2012, 11:33 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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I'd like a cite of court decisions far more progressive than majority opinions (with links to polling figures at the time of the court's decision, if possible).
You can't be serious. Did you miss the entire frickin' Warren court?

Quote:
Oh yeah, sorry, it only works on drooling idiots.
No, it works on regular people too, right? So if someone said you shouldn't see an ad because you would make a decision based on it that they don't like, would you say "okay, sure" or would you be insulted that they think you're a drooling idiot?

Come on, tell us - are you incapable of handling certain speech? Yes or no? If you think others are, why not you?

(Re the quote - I was making fun of your belief that people are drooling idiots. I hope you got that.)

Last edited by lance strongarm; 08-05-2012 at 11:33 AM..
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  #596  
Old 08-06-2012, 02:36 AM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post
You can't be serious. Did you miss the entire frickin' Warren court?



No, it works on regular people too, right? So if someone said you shouldn't see an ad because you would make a decision based on it that they don't like, would you say "okay, sure" or would you be insulted that they think you're a drooling idiot?

Come on, tell us - are you incapable of handling certain speech? Yes or no? If you think others are, why not you?

(Re the quote - I was making fun of your belief that people are drooling idiots. I hope you got that.)
Only a drooling idiot fails to understand the real and vast effect advertising has on our society.
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  #597  
Old 08-06-2012, 05:54 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm
Did you miss the entire frickin' Warren court?
I don't think the majority of citizen supported segregation, let alone the vast majority - not throughout the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance strongarm
I was making fun of your belief that people are drooling idiots.
You're making the assumption that there are two categories of people, those immune to the effects of advertising and drooling idiots. You're then projecting that dichotomy onto me and using it as a strawman. I've made no such comment myself, I've recognised all humans have certain cognitive biases which make them susceptible to all sorts of irrational impulses.
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  #598  
Old 08-06-2012, 07:59 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by Untoward_Parable View Post
Only a drooling idiot fails to understand the real and vast effect advertising has on our society.
Wow.

You managed to make my point for me. You have no respect for the intelligence of others. Your comment drips with arrogance.
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  #599  
Old 08-06-2012, 08:04 AM
lance strongarm lance strongarm is offline
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Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post
I don't think the majority of citizen supported segregation, let alone the vast majority - not throughout the country.
Vast majorities in several states supported it. Should we have respected that in those states?

And the Warren Court did ALOT more than tackle segregation, you know.

You delude yourself over and over. The Constitution limits the power of government, even when that goes against the will of the people.

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You're making the assumption that there are two categories of people, those immune to the effects of advertising and drooling idiots.
No, that's YOUR assumption.

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You're then projecting that dichotomy onto me and using it as a strawman.
Bullshit. That's what you think and you can't escape it. You believe that other people are drooling idiots who need the government to protect them from ads. You believe certain elites, including you, are immune.

Quote:
I've made no such comment myself, I've recognised all humans have certain cognitive biases which make them susceptible to all sorts of irrational impulses.
So you think you're a drooling idiot too? So you don't believe in free speech at all, and think the government should control what we all see and hear? (Because the government is run by people without bias or irrational impulses?)

Either you respect the dignity, rationality and free will of all the people in a democracy, or you don't. No middle ground, no compromises.
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  #600  
Old 08-07-2012, 02:42 AM
Untoward_Parable Untoward_Parable is offline
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Originally Posted by lance strongarm View Post
Wow.

You managed to make my point for me. You have no respect for the intelligence of others. Your comment drips with arrogance.
Arrogance is proof of being incorrect? That' a nice thought you have there. Free speech is not a black and white issue. I can't go into a courthouse and shout "Fire!". Nor can I defame someone with false accusations except under certain narrow exceptions. There are plenty of ways we shape the franchise of speech that make sense if you want a society that works instead of a monument of zealous corpses. Your yelling about absolutes just makes you sound like a fanatic.

Last edited by Untoward_Parable; 08-07-2012 at 02:43 AM..
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