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Comment Re:Is it bribery? (Score 2) 317

Is it bribery or do companies donate more money to politicians that agree with their policies?

In this case, and many others, probably bribery.
On a more general note Lawence Lessig has a good amount to say about reducing corruption in American politics.
http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html
I don't remember if he covers it in that talk but somewhere I have heard him give an example where a state(?) imposed a system that judges, when running for election, (yes judges do in some states) could only accept donations under a scheme where

  1. A) they could not see how much money was donated
  2. B) even if told it didn't matter because the donator could withdraw their amount (in some time frame) so it was unverifiable and
  3. C) the donation was spit out to their campaign in random amounts over several bursts combined with other donations, further obscuring donations

I believe this was eventually cancelled because judges suddenly weren't getting any campaign contributions.
If someone could give some links to those points I'd appreciate it. I'm just going by a half remembered ted talk and daily show interview.

Companies/individuals could claim that they were merely supporting the politicians because he/she already believed as they did and not that those companies/individuals were bribing the politicians into a new position, which other commenters have pointed out.
What seems like a good solution (and I believe is more or less what LL advocates) would be a combination of,

  1. 1) only individuals (human beings) can donate to campaigns,
  2. 2) all contributions must be donated via an anonymous system as above,
  3. 3) the amount a person can donate is not only fixed but in fact paid for by the government from taxes -- each person has the same $$$ to donate.

To not fix the amount a person can donate at a flat rate, is a triumph for capitalism but a deep wound for democracy. Which do you value more?

Comment The world's not as bad as you think... (Score 1) 256

We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism? Project PYRRHO, Specimen 46, Vat 7. Activity recorded M.Y. 2302.22467. (TERMINATION OF SPECIMEN ADVISED)

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