Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:42 pm

Calamitus wrote:Mironov is considered as "puppet opposition" and they are not "America-friendly". Glazyev is an advisor of the president actually. His idea was "destroy Ukrainian army before it will pose a threat in future". I'm pretty sure common people now hate U.S.A because of what happens on Ukraine, rather than sanctions against politics.


On the first point, I'm not in much of a position to judge. I live in northern China and have contact with only a handful of Russians and Russian expats who tell me very different things about the country's politics (when they want to discuss it at all). Mironov's public persona is one of moderation and accommodation with the government, and he hasn't been as strident in his rhetoric against the US as other Russian politicians have. If you say he's 'puppet opposition', you are probably right about that.

On the second point, though, I'm not sure that it is so recent a phenomenon. Our support of Yeltsin has not endeared us to many Russians, particularly elderly or rural Russians who were left in the most precarious position by his hamfisted larceny. Quite frankly, I don't blame them. Admittedly, our involvement in the Ukraine hasn't helped matters much either, though...

Sun Fin wrote:The same way we justify the House of Lord's in Britain. An entirely elected system is dangerous as it has the potential to led to mob rule. Your supreme Court and our Lords is the final protection if a Nazi or communist party ever actually managed to get elected.

A threat that is becoming increasingly real across Europe right now.


Amen to that!

DGL, an elected Supreme Court is a horrific idea. As political as the SCotUS is now, can you imagine the sorts of vulgar ploys and lobbying that would happen in a SCotUS where the justices had the additional motive for corruption of raising funds for re-election?! I agree with Shik and Sun Fin on this - at the present stage, making the Supreme Court elected would only deepen and strengthen the influence of corporate money in politics.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:37 pm

In regards the un-elected thing, I do prefer having some sort of bulwark against the extremes of the majority or when, due to security scares and such like, a government goes too far. Over here, we have an unelected second chamber called the Lords as Sun Fin says, which is scrupulous at it's duty as a revising chamber and considers party line as more of a vague guideline then anything it has to hold to. We also have unelected judges all the way up to our own supreme court and a bigger, more controversial, judiciary called the European Court of Human Rights.

I do think you need some sort of unelected body to act as a check to government, one whose avoidance of electioneering and party loyalties allow it to act as a protector. Of course, there are issues if the unelected body gets out of control, I'm not pretending having an unelected body is not without it's problems but overall, I would say it is necessary.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:06 pm

Shikanosuke wrote:For one businesses are made of people, who are constituents. They have lobbies who work on their behalf to persuade the elected representatives. There are lobbies for a variety of issues from business, to environmental protection, to foreign interests.

Even if you say lobbies are based on 'greed' that 'greed' is very often the 'greed' of the people. You should note that lobbies come In a variety of shapes and sizes (not just the NRA) and exist not only at the federal level but also at the state level.


I was speaking specifically about the oil and arms lobbies. You can't say with seriousness that they care about anything but money. They profit from suffering.

Shikanosuke wrote:While it's true that justices often vote along a similar trajectory that trajectory isn't always on a party line but on a particular approach to the constitution (wrong or right ). Also you statement is under minded when often you have either a) all the court agreeing on certain constitutional issues or b) members reaching conclusions outside their perceived trajectory.


Which is an extremely rare occurrence and almost never happens on the really big issues.

Shikanosuke wrote:To begin with your conclusion is a presumption and in my opinion wrong. Secondly, it's suggestion of reach is both inaccurate and not the point. Lastly. And to make sure im not putting words in your mouth, you're saying as far as what we should consider 'worse'..a Supreme Court precedent extending corporate personhood is worse than a case denying citizenship based on race?


I'm saying, specifically, that Citizens United is thus far the worst Supreme Court decision in American history. The case you cited was horrendous, yes, but it did not cause the kind of calamity that Citizens United has and is causing. By virtue of cause and effect and how many people are being harmed, Citizens United is worse. Corporate personhood is asinine, insane, illogical, and goes against the spirit of the Constitution not to mention what it means to actually be a person.

If corporations get personhood, I demand my cat get personhood as well.

Shikanosuke wrote:With all due respect I don't think this reply is much different than the first. It's fine if you think the decision is wrong and it's fine I you don't want to engage with the courts substantive arguments. You can say so and we'll move on. But I was not inquiring if you saw them but which ones you disagreed with and why.


They have no substantive arguments. I disagree with all of them because it's absurd,

Shikanosuke wrote:Well, if by justify you mean by authority then the answer would be article III of the US Constitution (IIRC). As for the reasoning sun fun addressed this. Allowing justices to be voted for would only increase the likelihood they'd be prone to make decisions for political reasons instead of trying to isolate and protect them from worrying about how their decisions will effect their chances next election.


No I don't mean by law, I mean how do you logically justify lifetime appointments? It's wrong. Right now, the Supreme Court answers to no one. I disagree with it 100%. Honestly, if they're not to be elected, there needs to be some change. Perhaps they can be replaced by the President if Congress agrees by 2/3 majority or something. Anything to get rid of lifetime appointments.

Dong Zhou wrote:On the oil/lobby debate

I seriously doubt the chair of powerful companies get up each morning planning to shaft America or want people to suffer as such.They probably weep patriotic tears and at the church collection, probably put in their money as they want to do their bit and think they are helping.

The problem (and they are far from the only ones who do this) is they inevitably believe that what benefits their business will also benefit the country. That tax break is not only good for OilCorp 2000 but good for every citizen of the US and couldn't have been better used. That squeezing every inch of profit will, for a variety of reasons, help the wider god even if it requires changing some employment law or regulation. They believe what they do and ask for will help the people of America and the people they talk to are likely to think the same so reinforcing their belief in their efforts.

What they think is best for the country (which being human, nearly always is also in their best interests) is not always the best thing for the wider country. Lobbies have skewed perspectives and governments can be too scared or too trusting to just tell them no which is where my criticism tends to be.


Basically, you're claiming that they're delusional rather than greedy and evil? I'm not so sure I agree with that. When they do what they can to support going to war, corporate tax breaks (which only helps the 1% and does nothing for the average citizen), and rampant uncontrolled capitalism that has led to inflation in the United States being some of the worst in the world, it's hard not to think they're doing it on purpose.

Shikanosuke wrote:and his actions are generally popular. When he next goes for election, even without the inevitable issues that arise, he will likely win heavily. Again, Putin as the big bad dragon, as much as I may not like him, is going to ignore the underlying issues


I'm not saying he's not popular in Russia. That doesn't make him less bad, it makes the citizens of Russia overall bad. Sadly, I don't know how to change a whole country.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:00 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:I was speaking specifically about the oil and arms lobbies. You can't say with seriousness that they care about anything but money. They profit from suffering.


They also profit from providing gas to you when you drive to work in the morning or from shipping your products across country, or for providing medical evacuations to both civilians and soldiers. And they also profit from hunters bagging a buck, or a young individual honing their marksmen skills for a tournament. Trying to paint these lobbies as evil without noting all the functions they serve and who they serve is meaningless.

EDIT: This doesn't even touch, by the way, the profit and jobs that come along by the way.


Which i an extremely rare occurrence and almost never happens on the really big issues.


A quick trip through the SCOTUS decisions of the last twenty years will show an entirely different picture.


I'm saying, specifically, that Citizens United is thus far the worst Supreme Court decision in American history. The case you cited was horrendous, yes, but it did not cause the kind of calamity that Citizens United has and is causing. By virtue of cause and effect and how many people are being harmed, Citizens United is worse. Corporate personhood is asinine, insane, illogical, and goes against the spirit of the Constitution not to mention what it means to actually be a person.

If corporations get personhood, I demand my cat get personhood as well.


First of all, you're equating a decision which denied a liberty (now protected by an amendment to the Constitution) that all humans enjoy to whether or not corporations can throw cash at candidates. That is what it boils down to, no amount of utilitarian perspective will alter that. You may disagree with Citizens United but to act as if its the worst case in the history of the SCoTUS reflects either a narrow-minded focus or a lack of knowledge of SCoTUS precedent.


They have no substantive arguments. I disagree with all of them because it's absurd,


Yeeaaa, with all due respect, thats not really a better answer, but a mere deflection. Both sides of the Citizens United case (as well all the amicus briefs filed along with it) contained voluminous substantive arguments. (These differ in nature of course than procedural and semantic arguments.) You can think them absurd, it doesn't make them not substantive arguments for either the SCOTUS or for this conversation. You can either deal with them on the merits or you can admit youre not going to. Repetitively restating that you disagree with them and throwing pejoratives at them (asinine, illogical, etc) does not further constructive dialogue in any meaningful way.


No I don't mean by law, I mean how do you logically justify lifetime appointments? It's wrong. I disagree with it 100%. Honestly, if they're not to be elected, there needs to be some change. Perhaps they can be replaced by the President if Congress agrees by 2/3 majority or something. Anything to get rid of lifetime appointments.


If you will, please see the extremely logical rationale explained in simplistic terms by every other poster thus far on this issue. This consensus isn't by happenstance. If you wish to challenge the paradigm, fine. Lob decent arguments against it instead of merely restating 'i disagree with this!' or 'this has to change!' or' its so stupid how can you like it?'. These aren't arguments. They're meaningless affirmations of your unexplained opinions.

Right now, the Supreme Court answers to no one.


This is incorrect and displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the separation of powers of the three branches. They're answerable to the legislative branch (and by extension the people). Ask Samuel Chase about that. Supreme Court justices can be impeached, in certain areas their jurisdictions may be refined, and the laws they apply may be changed through certain legislation or constitutional amendments. I mean this with no offense intended, but this is basic American government 101.

Dong Zhou wrote:Basically, you're claiming that they're delusional rather than greedy and evil? I'm not so sure I agree with that. When they do what they can to support going to war, corporate tax breaks (which only helps the 1% and does nothing for the average citizen), and rampant uncontrolled capitalism that has led to inflation in the United States being some of the worst in the world, it's hard not to think they're doing it on purpose.


What he's claiming is that these lobbies aren't headed by greedy evil monolithic tycoons who wake up in the morning wondering how they can inflict pain and suffering on the world and profit from it. They're people and individuals. Often times they are in fact very charitable and philanthropic people. They are also people who wear many hats (which bring differing duties) from citizen, father, husband, brother, clergymen, CEO, shareholder, etc.


I'm not saying he's not popular in Russia. That doesn't make him less bad, it makes the citizens of Russia overall bad. Sadly, I don't know how to change a whole country.


We could start by not labeling an individual (and now entire population) as 'bad' because they simply have a different opinion than yours. I believed we've covered this ad nauseum.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:29 pm

DGL wrote:No I don't mean by law, I mean how do you logically justify lifetime appointments? It's wrong. Right now, the Supreme Court answers to no one. I disagree with it 100%. Honestly, if they're not to be elected, there needs to be some change. Perhaps they can be replaced by the President if Congress agrees by 2/3 majority or something. Anything to get rid of lifetime appointments.


Most of Europe, in some form, certainly the UK and the US are quite happy to justify life-time appointments that act as a barrier against the excess of the executive and the majority. As four of us have said

Basically, you're claiming that they're delusional rather than greedy and evil? I'm not so sure I agree with that. When they do what they can to support going to war, corporate tax breaks (which only helps the 1% and does nothing for the average citizen), and rampant uncontrolled capitalism that has led to inflation in the United States being some of the worst in the world, it's hard not to think they're doing it on purpose.


I would say I'm claiming they are human.

It is very easy to think they aren't plotting some evil scheme 24/7. Of course the arms industry will be pro-war and be full of "liberal interventionists", pacifists don't tend to aim to get to the top of the arms industry. Corporate tax breaks are lobbied for by nearly every industry and even governments talk of the need for them, it is hardly surprising that people running around in that world think corporate tax breaks are a good thing for the wider economy and the people. So and so on.

I'm not saying he's not popular in Russia. That doesn't make him less bad, it makes the citizens of Russia overall bad. Sadly, I don't know how to change a whole country.


I suspect that could have been phrased better as it does come across as saying 143 million+ people are bad.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Jordan » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:05 am

With regard to checks on the Supreme Court, I remember an issue coming up once about whether or not the Supreme Court hearings should be televised, which I believe is currently disallowed?

I always thought there was some degree of lack of transparency with the idea that cameras weren't allowed to film supreme court hearings. I mean yeah they do provide other means for the public to see what occurs in the Supreme Court, but I think the hearings should be televised too.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:43 am

I honestly can't figure out how anyone could be duped into thinking corporate tax breaks help the average citizen. That thinking is absolutely insane.

Of course, lifetime appointments are also insane. What do you do when one of your lifetime appointments turn rotten, but still stay within the boundaries of the law?
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:33 am

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:I honestly can't figure out how anyone could be duped into thinking corporate tax breaks help the average citizen. That thinking is absolutely insane.

Of course, lifetime appointments are also insane.


These two statements are examples of what I mentioned before. They're meaningless affirmations of your opinions with attached pejoratives. They possess no arguments and address no substantive points. They're repetitive and pointless.

What do you do when one of your lifetime appointments turn rotten, but still stay within the boundaries of the law?


If they're within the bounds of the law, they are not 'rotten'. If you believe them rotten, you either impeach them or change the law. It isn't a foreign or difficult concept.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:51 am

That's not true and you know it. They can certainly be rotten without technically breaking the law.

How about this idea: if a Supreme Court Justice is consider to no longer be suitable to sit on the bench, the President puts it up to a popular vote. It wouldn't be simple majority, no. The people would vote, and if 2/3 of all voters vote to boot a judge from the bench, they lose their job. A new judge could be determined as normal.

I think anyone should be able to be fired for something big like incompetence or corruption, regardless of if laws were broken.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:45 am

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:That's not true and you know it. They can certainly be rotten without technically breaking the law.


No. And you're not really addressing the points I'm bringing up.

How about this idea: if a Supreme Court Justice is consider to no longer be suitable to sit on the bench, the President puts it up to a popular vote. It wouldn't be simple majority, no. The people would vote, and if 2/3 of all voters vote to boot a judge from the bench, they lose their job. A new judge could be determined as normal.


So if a SCOTUS judge makes a decision the President disagrees with he can put that judge up for a popular vote? and if the majority of America agrees with it (regardless of its constitutionality) they can boot the judge?



I think anyone should be able to be fired for something big like incompetence or corruption, regardless of if laws were broken.


They are. Its called impeachment.
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