Friday, June 03, 2011

Hither and thither 6/3/11

Out of town, back, extra responsibilities at work, very full week: so, brothas and sistahs, this is what I got:
  • First, a reminder that willpower is not necessarily proportionate to size:

  • DJP Crazy Idea of the Week: new feature. Here's the first: I think we should make a law — alter the Constitution, if need be — that would suspend voting privileges for anyone accepting any government funds, or for anyone employed by the government. Thank you.
  • Courtesy of DAOD: chocolate and bacon maple cupcakes, mm mmm.
  • Oh my goodness: how do you practice something like this? (Thx Chris Carney)
  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Evidently 0 doesn't.
  • FBI caught a couple more Baptist terrorists named Bob Frankelman and Manuel Herrera.
  • Just kidding. They're actually named Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, and I don't think they're Baptists. Meanwhile, the TSA continues to harass folks like DAOD and Phil Johnson every time they see them. Make sense to you? Me neither.
  • What a mess. Dwayne Warren found that an adulterer like Schwarzeneggar who fathers a child by another man's wife is financially unobliged.
  • I really want to see that X-men movie that comes out today... but I don't think I get to.

  • Well... time to go!

  • Leaving you with:


Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Good for Rev. Coghill

Chocolate and Bacon Maple Cupcake?... I want one... NOW!

If Sarah Palin is as dumb as some say she is, then just how dumb are those she makes fools of? lol

Thanks for the H&T

Tom Chantry said...

My thoughts on today's H&T:

"Close, but no G'kar."

Kay said...

I really had to work to get the camoflage kitteh, superb hiding skillz.

Al said...

"Holy Ground"--- Dear Sacred Sandwich, your services are no longer required. Thanks, First Baptist Dallas.

al sends

The Blainemonster said...

That triple only practice that ONCE...:)

Mike Westfall said...

Palin's Magical Mystery Tour really does drive 'em nuts! Great entertainment, it is!

Sir Aaron said...

Dan doesn't want me to vote?

The Paternity laws are unfair because they are based on moral presumptions that no longer exist. I know that if it happened to me, I'd have to make a life verse out of "Vengenance if mine" says the Lord.

Frank Turk said...

DJP has a blog?

... he should write a book ...

RT said...

I really want some of that sacred dirt. Does it have any miraculous properties I wonder. Like Peter Popoff's miracle water and handkerchief I suspect the miraculous "sacred" character of the dirt is found principally in its ability to bring prosperity to the one giving it out rather than to the one receiving it. Anyway, I already have a reliquary with a bone from Mary Magdalene and one from St. Benedict, so this would be a perfect addition to my collection.

DJP said...

I love it when the VIPs drop by!!

Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

DJP has a blog?

... he should write a book ...

Nah, he’s too busy writing letters. ;-)

Rhology said...

suspend voting privileges

I'm quite in favor of a minimum intelligence test for voting.

(Word verification: manifes. Exactly.)

DJP said...

I hope to get a little more interaction on my crazy proposal; but Aaron, if I could just have folks like you vote, that's one thing. But who was it said that disaster would follow folks discovering that they could vote themselves monies from other people's pockets? I'd rather see those not on the government teat voting. Imagine the sweeping changes.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Didn't that suggestion (losing voting privileges going along with accepting gov't money) pop up in your comment stream a few weeks ago?

I'm for it. Not sure where to draw the line with gov't employees though. I mean, the police are gov't employees, right? Your firemen and EMT's? Not sure that's what you intended.

I'm getting vertigo, watching that guy on the bike. And you CAN practice that... into a lake.

Love the camouflage kitteh.


RT said...

I suspect that folks in military service might object to losing their vote. The notion that risking one's life is ok, but voting . . .? Not sure that would fly very far. Of course, given the choices most elections I find myself sorely tempted to stay home anyway.

Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

In relationship to Dan’s crazy proposal about voting and government workers, get this.

I just went online to see about having my fathers social security auto-deposit moved from where it is currently being deposited to another account. First step, apply for a temporary password (brace yourself) which will be mailed (yes mailed) within the next 15 days! Once I (he) receives it, we can then proceed to get a permanent password and then proceed from there.

This is the way the government does things. I can’t even come up with words to describe how ridiculous I think this is.

Now, what does this have to do with Dan’s crazy proposal? Everything! IOW, when compared to the way the government does things, is his idea really that crazy?

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind...” – Romans 1:28

trogdor said...

The voting question makes me think of the question of whether voting rights should be restricted to landowners (or net taxpayers, or whatever). Basically that those who contribute should be the ones who have a say in how the money forcibly taken from them is spent. The big potential problem is that the haves could theoretically vote for systems that limit upward mobility for have-nots. But considering how far we are in the other direction now, that's a chance I'd be willing to take for a few election cycles.

As for the government dole issue, I certainly see a lot to it. I would question how far you'd take it, though. As stated, it would block military personnel from voting - if there's anyone who should always be allowed to vote, it's them. What about companies that do work for the government? Would all employees lost voting rights (this would include me - my company does a few government jobs every now and then). Would it only apply to federal funds, or would all state/local funds count as well? Is there a dollar amount limit?

If it went to the extremes - all government employees at all levels, all employees of companies that do government work, and all receiving government aid/subsidies - about the only people left who could vote are the unemployed who are too stupid/lazy to get aid. And that should shock us to think about how far the government tendrils reach.

DJP said...

Good thoughts. Obviously, I wouldn't deprive the military.

How about a suspension of voting priv's for those receiving handouts at working peoples' expense, such as food stamps, welfare, etc.?

Robert said...

Glad to see the pastor step down in good conscience. Hopefully this will become a trend for other denominations who compromise the Bible.

As for the voting proposal...what if it only applied to all elected and appointed employees of the government?

trogdor said...

A big potential stumbling block would be Social Security. I can't imagine anything like this passing if retirement means a loss of voting rights for so many. Along with that, we lose the wisdom of the aged from the electorate (Rehonoam-esque), but we also lose the most vocal proponents of the largest parts of our (theoretical, thanks to cowardly dems) budget.

And a thought just occurred to me - would this make euthanasia more likely (whether active or backdoor through denial of health care)? Seniors are expensive, and it would be far too easy to victimized them in greed if most of them could no longer vote.

I guess no matter what system you use, there are possible sinful consequences. Part of being in a fallen world. We can't be paralyzed waiting for a perfect proposal - form the best one we can, and go with it.

Sir Aaron said...

@DJP: supposedly, Benjamin Franklin said it.

@trogdor: There will definately be euthanasia if we go to a single payer or government controlled system. This is exactly what happens in other countries that have it. They simply deny treatment or in the case of Oregon, outright pay for it (via assisted suicide). The problem ultmately is, there are hard choices to be made with health care. In my opinion, those hard choices are best made locally in conjunction with your own doctors, family, and church not by a government employee. And BTW, ion my experience, the government employee often doesn't get to make a decision. He is bound by some policy made by a bureaucrat or politician or law.

jmb said...

"How about a suspension of voting priv's for those receiving handouts at working peoples' expense, such as food stamps, welfare, etc.?"

Does this include the disabled? Or do you believe that if a disabled person is able to vote, he is able to work?

Susan said...

Dan said: "How about a suspension of voting priv's for those receiving handouts at working peoples' expense, such as food stamps, welfare, etc.?"

There are people who receive such aid but who really do need help for the time being, or they are elderly who have no more relations to support and help them and cannot survive on their own. I don't think they should be stripped of their right to vote. The question then becomes: What kind of system can we come up with to keep track of these people? And even if we do keep track of them, what if over time, they become abusers? It would take so much effort--would it be worth it?

(My idea is kind of half-baked and kind of worldly. I'm obviously not thinking about the role of the church in taking care of the poor in this situation.)

Robert Warren said...

Hey, don't be to hard on the sacred dirt church; they probably earned it the old-fashioned way: marching around it sever times.

On a more serious note, let's be careful with stuff like intelligence tests for voting (even though it certainly sounds poetically just). Those kinds of qualifiers were a historical realty for black folks at points in our history, a history I hope we don't want to repeat.

Paula said...

So where would this proposal leave members of Congress?

After reading this epic quote from Mark Steyn, I'm thinking we should relieve at least some of them of their right to vote:

[Rep.Anthony Weiner said,]"You have statements that my office has put out... ."

"Herein lies the full horror of American politics in the death throes of the republic: A Congressman has nothing better to do of an evening than Tweet his crotch to coeds, but he requires an "office" with "staffers" to "put out" "statements" on the subject.
When Weiners have staffers, it's very difficult to have limited government: You cannot have a small state run by big Weiners. If you require an "office" to issue "statements" about your Tweets, it's hardly surprising you're indifferent to statist bloat elsewhere."

I say we send Trump to Hawaii to see if he can find Steyn's birth certificate tucked away somewhere.

But back to the subject....when it comes right down to it, there is almost no one who doesn't accept government funds in one way or another.'d have to define "accepting any government funds." Would that include attending public schools? Driving on highways funded by stimulus money? Visiting National Parks? Purchasing foods grown with farm subsidies? The government has it's hands in nearly everything we do. I'm afraid we've all got doo-doo on our hands.

Stephen said...

It's a shame that the nation's "experiment" on using a literacy test to grant voting privileges was conducted as a means to subjective, aberrant racism. I can think of little bad that would occur if states used tests like this one from Alabama in the 1960's in a pure objective manner:
It could be a great parallel to our driver's license exams: before you can drive with the big boys on the street you have to prove you know at a basic level the rules for crossing on red and passing on the left. Unfortunately, such tests were shams and pretenses, with no set "passing score" and instead some officials would meet secretly and decide if you passed or not, such that the dumbest of whites would pass while the smartest of blacks would be deemed "failed"... And I don't think in our politically correct era that any government could hope to even bring up such a measure.

Robert Warren said...

In analogies, we probably would want to keep the distinction between driving and voting in mind:

- Driving is a privilege
- Voting is a right

Privileges are earned/maintained; rights are lost only by the action of the holder (felony, etc.).

What I might have added to my previous comment is that, being a Southerner whose heart on racial issues has been changed by the Holy Spirit, I might be a little more sensitive to these matters. I am sympathetic to the idea of qualifying voters so we can ameliorate things like this:

But, that has been made impossible for the reasons Stephen detailed.

Chris Bloom said...

The idea of suspending voting rights for those on the govt teat sounded great in a knee-jerk kind of way, until I remembered that:

a) I'm unemployed, and
b) I depend on my monthly GI Bill check to not only pay for seminary, but to help feed my kids as well.

Therefore, I'm basically an unproductive member of society who gets a check from Uncle Sugar every month, and under this plan would thus be ineligible to vote. That bothered me more than a little, until I also remembered that:

I've been too disgusted with the candidates to vote in any elections since 2008. So I guess it doesn't matter if I have the right to vote, since there's no one I'd vote for anyway. :P

DJP said...

A very conflicted comment, Chris.

So what's the better idea? We seem to have accepted the unspoken proposition that every taxpayer is obliged to allow the government to take his money at gunpoint to filter a fraction of it to people who are sick, injured, out of work, going to school... unwilling to work, unwilling to budget, unwilling to pursue financial solvency over passtimes, and so forth.

I see that as a prescription for voters who will continually vote for greater tyranny in their pursuit of a greater share of other peoples' freedoms and fruits of labor.

Which means we're doomed.

So what's the better idea?

DJP said...


1. Please supply an "or" between each of those categories.

2. I signal, by calling it the Crazy Idea of the Week, that this is not a finished proposal but a point to discuss. Which is what you've done. Bravo!


Pierre Saikaley said...

Half the fun of H&T is the comments. :-D

Doug Hibbard said...

How about discounting the votes of people who cannot:

1.) Provide positive identification of their identity.

2.) Pass a drug screen. (Develop a breath-test or something very non-invasive that checks for marijuana, cocaine, and meth.)

I wouldn't want to see an invasive test, but how about that? That would not deprive those who are truly working for the government nor those who are in difficulties and using the safety net systems as they were intended. It would cut out those who really, really shouldn't be voting: those high on drugs and the dead guys that vote twice in Memphis.

It was against the Arkansas Constitution to allow "idiots" to vote, but we just recently changed that law. It apparently stopped being enforced back in the 1978 Governor's Race.

Paula said...

In Ohio they recently passed this voter ID bill. You have to show some sort of official government photo ID to vote (will be provided free to the poor). Democrats are howling that it's a poll tax that will take us back to Jim Crow days, forcing blacks to the back of the bus. They claim it's too burdensome to make these people go out and obtain a photo ID at the BMV (and they think they're going to go out in November in Ohio to vote???). Never mind that people can still vote absentee by merely providing the last four numbers of their SS#.

So good luck with that proposal.

Maybe as a start we could go back state legislatures appointing U.S. Senators. John Jay in Federalist No. 64 reasons that this would would prevent flaky celebrity candidates from taking over the government:

"This mode has, in such cases, vastly the advantage of elections by the people in their collective capacity, where the activity of party zeal, taking the advantage of the supineness, the ignorance, and the hopes and fears of the unwary and interested, often places men in office by the votes of a small proportion of the electors...

"... it confines the electors to men of whom the people have had time to form a judgment, and with respect to whom they will not be liable to be deceived by those brilliant appearances of genius and patriotism, which, like transient meteors, sometimes mislead as well as dazzle."

IDK, could that work? "The Party" is everything in Ohio. If you're not part of the establishment, you can't get elected to a state-level office or to Congress. The Wild Cards are the state legislatures. They have to be accountable to the people and even better...they're term-limited. If they were responsible for appointing Senators, that could really shake things up.

Mike Westfall said...

No VUI (Voting Under the Influence)! I like that idea.

Trouble is, the "influence" that too many are under can't be measured by examining the breath or the blood...

Wendy said...

I don't like the idea of automatically restricting certain groups of people from voting, but I do like the idea of "allowing" people to restrict themselves.

What about a test similar to the citizenship test to be allowed to vote in state elections and a more in-depth version for presidential elections? A passing grade gets you a voter's registration card; a fail doesn't. You have to re-take the test every 9 years (so you could vote in 2 presidents on one test). You'd want to make them multiple choice so 1) they could be run through the reader-machine-things quickly and 2) it wouldn't disqualify people who's native language isn't English or who do not write well.

The in-depth test could cover current budget issues or hypotheticals that could very well happen in the next 10 years, or something like that.

Rachael Starke said...

I struggle to see a flaw in restricting voting privileges to those who've earned them by contributing to the common welfare in at least some measurable way. IOW - federal tax payers and the military. No representation without taxation. (A soldier's "tax" is his/her service.)

Wendy said...

But then you're back at the point where those on Social Security/SS Disability don't pay taxes. Do they still get to vote even if the last time they "contributed to the common welfare" was 30 years ago, for instance? Or if you make less than what's required to file taxes?

Should we restrict people based on their material circumstances or their ability to make educated decisions/understand current events?

Sir Aaron said...

Just a FYI, soldiers pay income tax too. Unfortunately, they are a good target for scammer type return preparers.

Robert Warren said...

At the risk of belaboring the point, I must remind again:

Voting is a right; it isn't a privilege. Rights are things the government can't take from us unless we actively disqualify ourselves, such as in committing a felony. Rights are not earned.

Voting is quite a bit different from things that require a license such as driving, fishing, selling Fuller Brushes door-to-door, etc.

I don't like the idea of a bunch of dim bulbs and sponges collectively determining the fate of our republic anymore than anyone else (see YouTube link in comment above), but erring on the side of unhindered suffrage is part of the price of a free society.