Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

I like this article

I've always believed that war should be put to a national vote, and anyone who can be drafted who also votes for the war, should be considered first if there is a draft. Give war some teeth on the homefront.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Mark, not that I necessarily disagree, but how would you justify putting war up for referendum and not any other particular issue?

I only ask because for any issue that we could take a gander at, there's always someone who thinks it should be put to the public vote, rather than place it in the hands of the govt that was voted into power (setting aside arguments about how fair those elections might be perceived).
Permalink Joel Goodwin 
August 19th, 2005
Typical American schizofrenia. Like I said before, in the UK the war in Iraq is a non-issue because it's a purely professional army and people are happy to spend a bit of money to ship off all the psychos to the desert to shoot at somebody else. In the US, people seem incapable of understanding the difference between a war to protect the homeland and a war to protect geopolitical interests.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 19th, 2005
It's not that we can't understand it, it's that we can't admit that we're in a war to preserve our geopolitical interests and we're not really defending ourselves from any imminent threat (in the case of Iraq).
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
>Mark, not that I necessarily disagree, but how would you
>justify putting war up for referendum and not any other
>particular issue?

Because arguably the decision whether or not to go to war is one of the most important decisions a government can make.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 19th, 2005
The war in the UK is a non issue?

Ummmm, nope its not.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 19th, 2005
We have war for geopolitical interests all the time. Whether it was by chance or planned, we managed to pull off a pretty major war. That is, whether Bush intended to invade Iraq all along and used 9/11 as justification, or he siezed the opportunity of 9/11 to invade Iraq.

The American people still believe in a sort of isolationist America that only attacks if provoked. A purely political war would be unjustifiable.

Or, more likely, we all know what's going on, but allow ourselves to pretend to be hoodwinked so we can feign innocence while still accomplishing our goals.

As for why we should vote on a war when we don't vote for anything else.... we're at the point where our elected officials (emphasis on the plural) aren't even voting for war, the President has all the power, and he's not supposed to. At this point sending a war vote to Congress seems like a giant step in the right direction, but we can't even do that. The President is supposed to submit his budget to Congress for approval, but each year he really gets a blank check because Congress is unwilling to do what it would take to reduce the deficit - shut down branches of government, not repay some debts.

I'm not even sure why we have a congress. They do something right?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
That statement was based on a Sky news poll, before the election, of how many people were going to base their voting decision on Iraq. It was something like 8%.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 19th, 2005
I think the amount of seats Labour lost and the swing to the Liberal Democrats was indicative of how strongly it did influence things. The problem with polls is that they ask questions that no one ever asks themselves and to which there is rarely a yes or no answer.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 19th, 2005
Maybe it's because the government doesn't care what it's citizens think. The closest they have to public opinion polls is the president's approval ratings. They do what they want, and then buy their way into office again when their time is up. Nobody knows what they do in between.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Oh, they know, but they're so easily distracted by bright shiny objects that whatever atrocities happened just don't matter come election time.

It's to the government's benefit to have a heavily medicated ADD/ADHD population.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
With the advent of modern technology, particularly the internet, I do not see why we shouldn't expect a more complete version of democracy with regard to people actually voting on the day-to-day actions of the government.
Permalink I am Jack's weekend wings 
August 19th, 2005
So we can literally Flash mob the polls.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
Jack - because people don't give a shit.

Estonia has been drooling about an e-voting system, and the dry run was a vote for Tallinn residents on where to erect the new Independence Monument. Fourty-nine people voted.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 19th, 2005
Just have voting kiosks setup all over. You can stop by, swipe your national ID card, and vote on the issues of the day, or the week, or something. We'd need time set aside in the business day or otherwise to actually educate people on the issues. I don't really think people could follow things and make informed decisions otherwise. But then, that wouldn't be all that different than things are now anyway. :)
Permalink I am Jack's weekend wings 
August 19th, 2005
"Coming soon! Vote at www.diebold.com! You can trust us! Really!"
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
About a week after immediate electronic referendums were established in the US, public executions for gays would be voted in and gynaecologists hung drawn and quartered.

One of the purposes of government is to protect the populace from itself, voting is just the way of choosing those with the responsibility it has almost nothing to do with issues.

Pn the other hand, it sounds like the people of Talinn are extremely intelligent not to want yet another monstrous public statue.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 19th, 2005
The same argument is used for the electoral college.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Ah, knew it was here somewhere. Here we are:
http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?off.9.172648.54#discussTopic172658
Permalink Joel Goodwin 
August 19th, 2005
"I've always believed that war should be put to a national vote"

If that had been the case in 1941, Europe would be speaking German today and NYC would be a smoking crater.

War is just like any other "take your medicine" aspect of having a republic - there are things that you don't like that the nation has to do (taxes, going to war, cutting entitlements, etc)

The big group you all need to be blaming are Congress for when they voted to support the war in Iraq, and the budget increases they keep voting for (not just partisan, either - lots of Democrats voting in favor as well). Next year anyone who opposes the war in Iraq needs to vote anyone who voted in support of those measures out of office.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 19th, 2005
True.

Roosevelt supported England for years, in their fight to survive against Hitler, AGAINST the will of the majority of the American people. We were very isolationist and anti-semitic at the time (following WW-I, many people saw our involvement in 'foreign wars' in a very negative light).

We were also broke, in the middle of the depression.

All of this changed overnight December 7, 1941, "a day that will live in infamy". But if Roosevelt had not been ramping America up into a war footing before that, we would not have been able to react so well. And England would have fallen before we entered the war.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 19th, 2005
You can ramp up prior to declaring war.

Anyway, the line between police action and war is as muddle as the line between geopolitical interest and defense issue that it doesn't matter who votes.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
There's not much evidence that the UK would have been invaded after 1940, Hitler turned his attention to the Eastern Front and it was that that lost him the war. We would not have been speaking German if the US hadn't entered the War in 42 but most of the Continent would be speaking Russian.

The War would undoubtedly have gone on for many more years than it did if the US hadn't entered the war but the outcome was inevitable once the Eastern Front was opened.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 19th, 2005
The first rule of wars. Don't try to invade Russia.
Permalink Jared 
August 19th, 2005
At least not from the west. Genghis Khan invaded from the east and was more successful than most.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
I prefer to invade Russians from behind.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
haha...

Muppet that brings up something that I've said for a long time. Russian women are either really really hot, or really really ugly. There are no mediocre russian women. I don't know why, but I have yet to meet an "okay" looking russian chick.
Permalink Jared 
August 19th, 2005
Jared, what is your environment for meeting Russian women?

"Pn the other hand, it sounds like the people of Talinn are extremely intelligent not to want yet another monstrous public statue."

We have an Independence Square (the military holds a parade there every year on Independence Day, otherwise it's a parking lot), and on it we have an Independence Clock, known affectionately as the two-headed phallus.
http://www.kesknadal.ee/news_img/24dets03_tallinn_vabaduskell1.jpg

The gov't has actually rehashed an old plan for building a giant statue of Kalevipoeg, the national mythical hero, and submerging it in the bay, so all the tourists coming over on ferries can see it.

What can I say. The government has too much fucking money.

As for invading Russia, yes, you can't successfully invade and conquer it - but you can beat it in a war, which numerous countries have done over the years.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 19th, 2005
I like to invade, conquer, AND beat my Russians.


from behind.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
Is your fiance' Russian, by any chance?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
Or does she just say "Nyet! Nyet!"

:)
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
Nope she's Irish.

But she could still beat me up.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
Irish...Catholic, too?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
raised Catholic but not practicing.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
There ya go. Must be the repressed-too-far-now-gone-wild type, and not the other one.

I knew I hated you for a reason. Well, not so much hate as envy.

Bastard.

:)
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
:-)
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
Flasher,

For a time, went to international school which surprisingly had a large majority of russians.

I currently study russian military art which also has many members who are russian, obviously.

http://russianmartialart.com/
Permalink Jared 
August 19th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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