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Comment: Re:Not in my state (Score 1) 607

by gfxguy (#49735145) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
The best of the last 50 years was when Republicans owned the house and a democrat was president (Clinton), so I used to believe that having opposing parties in the branches was the best solution... until Bush won; then there were a few years where Republicans spent so much, were so bad fiscally, they'd make democrats blush (while the democrats were actually demanding more conservative fiscal policy). Then when democrats won midterms, I was hoping it would get better again... but it got worse. Those last few years of Bush's presidency were terrible.... then it got worse again when democrats owned both branches, and it's still not any better with a republican edge in the house. It never got better - it didn't matter who owned which branch, it only ever got worse.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 607

by gfxguy (#49735053) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

I understand your point, but I have to agree with ganjadude (nice name). It's an interesting name and leads us to the first point, for example - I complete support people's right to ingest whatever they hell they want to as long as it doesn't violate the rights of others. ANY drugs, not just ones people arbitrarily pick and choose, and any fats, salts, or any volume of sugary carbonated beverages they want. But just because I think people should be able to choose certainly doesn't mean I would, and I certainly wouldn't advocate it. I think a good politician, almost by definition, should be able to keep their private lives separate and actually govern by the laws spelled out in the constitution.

That doesn't mean they would, it just means they should, so again, I understand your point, but I think someone with a libertarian philosophy is a lot more likely to be able to lead like that.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 607

by gfxguy (#49735013) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

As a "little-L" libertarian, while your post is not all inaccurate, it doesn't really explain a difference. I would like to think little-L libertarians believe in theory the full Libertarian philosophy, but understand reality gets in the way and many of the principles are not tenable. There's also some dilemmas that a lot of people like me have, although I can't speak for all libertarians.

An example of untenable policies would be privatizing the roads and all transportation, and being militarily isolationist, having to provide our own security (police). An example of the dilemmas we face are that while we think people should support themselves, we realize that it's simply not always possible. The government should foster an environment where the nation can thrive (which is what my interpretation of providing for the general welfare is), but even if everyone who can work does work, there are still those who can't.

Anyone who thinks any kind of libertarian supports slavery is a complete idiot... they believe the philosophy is essentially every man for himself, and the strongest can subject the weakest. That's completely wrong - the general philosophy is one of liberty, not slavery. Unfortunately, as AC pointed out, there are a lot of people out there who claim to be libertarian who believe they should be able to do whatever they want, and sometimes people who don't actually know what libertarianism is believe those people are actually reflecting libertarian philosophy.

Most libertarians understand a government is necessary, but one of my favorite pundits sums it up like this: you have the right to life, liberty and property; the government should only make laws to protect those rights from threats of force or fraud.

That covers a LOT more than people think it does at first glance. Sure, the laws would be there to try to protect your person, your home, your car; but it also covers things like scams, like fraudulent advertising, and companies that would sell you dangerous products without disclosing how dangerous they are (although it should always be your choice, ultimately, whether or not to use that product).

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 607

by gfxguy (#49734907) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
I'd have agreed with you in the first Obama election - I was keeping an open mind, but after McCain chose Palin as VP, and wanted to increase spending without having a way to pay for it (while, at least, the Obama "plan" would pay for it), it was actually an easy choice for people to vote for Obama (I didn't, but I completely understand why). After he proved himself an even worse president than Bush Jr., though, I can't understand how people could possibly have voted for him again. He was worse in one term than Bush was in two.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 607

by gfxguy (#49734891) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
You didn't have to post AC, I'm right there with you and am not afraid to post with my account - the only reasonable debate is until what point should abortion be legal, not "if." Obviously a clump of rapidly multiplying cells is not sentient, there's no nervous, no heart, no brain, no pain... and some point - long before birth - those things all exist. Religion has nothing to do with it. And while I agree that abortion should be legal up to a point, the "right" view that allows exceptions for rape and incest is just plain hypocritical.

Comment: Re:Not in my state (Score 3, Insightful) 607

by gfxguy (#49725277) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
You're delusional (tainted by confirmation bias, no doubt) if you don't think democrats pull the same crap. I remember when voting for Bush would bring us back to the days of back-alley abortions. They both pick inconsequential things to motivate their bases - sometimes it works, sometimes not. Anyone that votes on a single issue should stay the %$R#@ at home.

Comment: Re:One Assumption (Score 1) 607

by gfxguy (#49725249) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

That's true and not... unfortunately there are segments that alienate one group or another, and they are all republicans so it looks like all republicans feel that way. There's a huge generally libertarian sect of the republican party that doesn't care what color you are or who you're sleeping with... but they are a vocal minority and try to ignore the idiocy and vote for republicans on policy... but then get associated with the idiots.

The democrats have segments, too, but have marketed themselves as the party of inclusion (unless you're a wealthy white person, despite the fact that the majority of democratic politicians are wealthy white people). It's just marketing though. I think if you really dig deeper, you find there are just as many racists (especially via the "soft bigotry of low expectations") in the democratic party.

Ultimately both parties have too many douchebags to want to associate with either.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 4, Interesting) 607

by gfxguy (#49725165) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
Yes - the problem with ubiquitous media and the ability for parties and pundits to use social networking is that they concentrate on dividing us when, in fact, the parties are more alike than not. They pick their single issues they can use to "motivate their bases," things that really have had no consequence in the last forty years (like the abortion "debate").

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 4, Insightful) 607

by gfxguy (#49725153) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

A modern JFK would be labeled pro-war; the party would complain about wasteful spending trying to outdo Russians; JFK was more conservative than most conservatives are today - and yet not ultra religious, racist, and bigoted the way most republicans come off (whether they are or not). JFK was for a stronger economy and realized that you needed successful businesses to do it.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 153

by gfxguy (#49723371) Attached to: Closing This Summer: Verizon To Scoop Up AOL For $4.4 Billion

Excuses excuses. Population density doesn't explain why places like Seattle have such shit Internet - or many other urban areas with similarly shit access, for that matter.

It doesn't have to in order for it to be true elsewhere.

Existing middle-mile routes have plenty of capacity (dark fiber, spare wavelengths or even simply unused megabits, depending on who is selling) available on them, and it's not terribly expensive in the grand scheme of things.

"Terribly expensive" is a relative term - if you're the cable company and could spend the money that would bring faster speeds to 1000 people, or even faster speeds to a million living in a highly populated area, you make the best choice for your company, because as of yet, the infrastructure is NOT a public utility.

The public isn't necessarily asking the telcos to run last-mile fiber to Joe Ruralman's ranch from the nearest town which could easily be 50+ miles away - Joe Ruralman probably has satellite or something - 99% of the public is merely asking for decent access in their town, and if it's a town with more than some arbitrary number - say 1,000 households - there aren't that many excuses that can accurately justify why those households don't have better access.

Of course there are when there's hundreds of cities across the U.S. that have populations of hundreds of thousands or millions, unlike your little "northern European" nation that's as big as Rhode Island. BTW, I didn't say the total population density, I'm saying the U.S. is so large compared to Europe that you must break it down into highly populated (which accounts for 95% of the people) and lowly populated areas. If the companies haven't gotten to that last 5% yet, too bad - it's one of the prices you pay for living in the countryside. The 95% that live in highly populated areas, with few exceptions, has decent internet access.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan