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Comment Re: Meh (Score 1) 262

I use it too, but I get some of the hate.

It's got a whole lot of non-playlist shit going on (movies/TV Shows, the Store, etc.) that adds bloat. I mostly use it, and it's 100-150 MB RAM Footprint, to do the same thing I used a 3-4 MB program for back in 2000. They also retool the interface every few years because fuck customers.

And if you're one of them fancy-schmancy LINUX geeks you can just get download an open source music player from the internet, which has no bloat because it plays music and literally nothing else, and never changes the interface because that would involve work on the boring part...

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 1) 331

Constitutional Conventions are inherently flexible, thus if the PM decides to do something like Prorogue Parliament earlier then he should do by convention, specifically to prevent the Opposition from firing him, the Governor General [wikipedia.org] doesn't have to rule that he can't do that shit.

The Canadian constitution doesn't give the PM that power, but rather to the Governor General. It is convention which effective gives the PM the power to prorogue the Parliament via "advisement". And what happens when a PM abuses that power like Harper did in 2008 and 2009? And glancing at the above Wikipedia page, I notice a court did indeed have to rule that someone couldn't interfere with the PM's "advice".

However, the Federal Court of Canada, in a 2009 ruling, found that tampering with the Crown's prerogatives could not be done via normal legislation, requiring instead an amendment to the constitution pursuant to Section 41 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Exactly.

Instead of being a matter for the Courts to decide via their (by definition) rules-lawyering, it was a matter of convention. Somebody tried to being the rules-lawyers in, and they said no.

Interestingly enough, most countries have Court systems that are much more powerful then the Canadian. Typically Prosecutors will be ensconced in the Judicial branch, it's not unusual that whether a given official is the Prosecutor or the Judge in a case is luck of the draw, and rather then lengthy arguments about standing before any hearing on an interesting topic they'll just have the damn hearing. Which can be quicker then having months of hearings on standing, then appeals of those hearings, appeals of the appeals, etc.

As for how well the system works, it works quite well in America. We like legalistic bullshit. We really like that, since the Judiciary is too weak to change most rules (and refuses to change the rules it can change), the system is game-able. Other countries that try similar systems tend to collapse. Which is why nobody has a Judicial system like ours.

What is bizarre here is your insistence this is somehow different than other countries. I have given examples both of gaming of the judicial system in Canada and a case where a Canadian court had to rule on the legality of interfering with a legal convention. Further, not having a multi-century old constitution is not a strength. I bet there will be several constitutions that get recycled over the next half century due to having become unworkable, France, Italy, and the EU come to mind as likely candidates.

What is the problem with the US is the laws not how the courts rule on them. It wouldn't be any different anywhere else. When they create the same laws that they will reap the same problems.

Except that I just described the Inquisitorial System, which is a Civil Law system, and virtually nothing like the Common Law system we use. Even among Common Law countries we tend to be an outlier in the amount of rules-lawyering. Many of their rules will be by convention, rather then written down, and the Court will typically have the power to comment on legal situations that are not actual cases or controversies which in turn means that instead of waiting for a specific case with unique "facts and circumstances" to guide all future cases you just get a ruling on the letter of the law.

For example, you know that San Bernandino phone thing with Apple? There's no precedent set in that case because no final decision was made by a Court that can set Binding Precedents. The Feds won two preliminary hearings and nothing else, but it's not binding. There's also no precedent from the drug-phone case in NYC because that case didn't get to a Court that can set binding precedents. Which means that, due to rigorous rule lawyering re: the Case or Controversy clause we have no fucking clue whether the Feds can find some circumstance that would allow them to use the All Writs Act to force a company to hack it's own security.

There are not a lot of countries where the Courts would let that go unknown. But here they figure that maybe they'll never have to rule, so they'll just let it go unknown.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 1) 331

Canada's Constitution, for example, gives no opportunity to argue over whether a particular action was within the powers of the Prime Minister because it does not actually mention the Prime Minister.

That's not a compelling argument. You just dumped the mess of an executive officer into convention rather than constitution. How do you interpret or alter convention?

In this particular thread the argument is they're less rules lawyerey then us.

Constitutional Conventions are inherently flexible, thus if the PM decides to do something like Prorogue Parliament earlier then he should do by convention, specifically to prevent the Opposition from firing him, the Governor General doesn't have to rule that he can't do that shit.

Whereas in the States she would have to rule he can't do that, even though it was early December and there's been an election in late October; and the Opposition had only agreed to fire Stephen Harper not agreed on a new PM, thus ensuring a January election; that she was gonna put up with Harper's bullshit for another month in the hopes that either a) he made peace with the Opposition, or b) the Opposition got it's act together and agreed on who was going to replace him.

Since it also gives the Court system the right to rule on the Constitutionality of theoretical actions, it follows that a Canadian ObamaCare would be declared Constitutional or not prior to implementation rather then requiring years of litigation over the exact details of very specific cases.

I wouldn't brag given the power and in some cases glaring power tripping of Canadian tribunals (the first tribunal which declared that it didn't have jurisdiction, but decided to strongly imply that the defendant was guilty of certain human rights violations just the same (without any sort of proper hearing). In that second link, there was another example of a tribunal officer, Jennifer Lynch making public statements on the same complaint before her tribunal. This unprofessional behavior wouldn't occur in a US courtroom without the judge being taken off the case.

And no US Judge has ever power-tripped?

I agree commenting on the case would be strongly frowned upon in the US, but this isn't always a good thing. Remember when the NYPD was doing warrantless searches on every black man in the City, and the Judge who threw that shit out was disciplined for talking about it afterwards?

Also by requiring parties to have standing before involving the courts, it cuts down both on the power of the courts and on attempts to waste the time of the courts. The "multi-century old texts" work. That's why they're still around.

Interestingly enough, most countries have Court systems that are much more powerful then the Canadian. Typically Prosecutors will be ensconced in the Judicial branch, it's not unusual that whether a given official is the Prosecutor or the Judge in a case is luck of the draw, and rather then lengthy arguments about standing before any hearing on an interesting topic they'll just have the damn hearing. Which can be quicker then having months of hearings on standing, then appeals of those hearings, appeals of the appeals, etc.

As for how well the system works, it works quite well in America. We like legalistic bullshit. We really like that, since the Judiciary is too weak to change most rules (and refuses to change the rules it can change), the system is game-able. Other countries that try similar systems tend to collapse. Which is why nobody has a Judicial system like ours.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 1) 331

Rules Lawyering, based on rigorous adherence to a multi-century old texts is everything here.

We could always do what I say, that would be better. But if for some strange reason you want the benefits of a nation of laws, then you need to live in one.

Keep in mind that many countries have less rules-lawyerey legal systems, and function quite well.

Canada's Constitution, for example, gives no opportunity to argue over whether a particular action was within the powers of the Prime Minister because it does not actually mention the Prime Minister. It mentions a "Chair of the Privy Council," who is always also Prime Minister, but the Chair's role seems to be more shuffling paperwork between an all-powerful Queen Victoria and an angry and obstreperous Legislature then anything Trudeau actually does. Since it also gives the Court system the right to rule on the Constitutionality of theoretical actions, it follows that a Canadian ObamaCare would be declared Constitutional or not prior to implementation rather then requiring years of litigation over the exact details of very specific cases.

In either Canada, or Europe, the court system, when faced with a party that wanted to use both public money and public election officials for it's primary while controlling whom could vote, would probably decide much differently.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 1) 331

In the general.

But Ohio has a semi-open primary. So unless the slacktivist is willing to declare himself a Democrat on election day, he does not get the same vote I do. At which point his name gets added to our party list and I'm more then happy to share my vote with him.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 2) 331

You have a right to vote in November.

You do not have an absolute Right to vote in the primary. Note the capital. I am not referring to the rights you think you have as an American, because those fond delusions tend to be more the result of unreasonably patriotic Grade School educations*, but rather the ones you actually have in Court. And in Court, the Supremes have very consistently ruled that people like me (who run the parties) have the capital-R-Right to exclude people like you from their partisan primary.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 1) 331

Who said anything about open or Democratic?

He bitched about the unfairness of the public paying for this shit, and in Canada Party leadership is determined by an internal party process. As of today (thanks to Harper) no public funding is involved, altho I rather suspect Trudeau will "fix" that soon enough.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 1) 331

If you're in any state that has primaries, then it's a requirement if the party wants it.

It's true there is no Federal requirement for primaries, but until voters stop bitching about the thing they can't fix (ie: whether the primary is closed or open), and start bitching about the thing the state can fix (that there is a primary at all) that's hardly likely to happen, now is it?

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 331

What do you think Trump wants from the media? His entire political persona is based on being the Big Important Guy whose fighting the elites for you.

It's a neat bit of political jujitsu. If the media is complaining about him that just proves he's who he says he is, and you should vote for him if that's what you want in a President. If the media is supporting him then he's obviously gonna be a great president. Every second he's on TV is good for him.

The difference between this run and the 2008 run is that he managed to be the center of attention longer, and the rest of the party never coalesced around an alternative.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 2) 331

Bernie's problem isn't that he's outside the party. He's actually been one of my favorites since High School. Several state Democratic parties actually do not have the label "Democratic party," notably Minnesota's "Democratic-Farmer-Labor," and North Dakota. One of Maine's Senators is also officially an independent who caucuses with the Dems, as was Joe Lieberman. And (except for Lieberman, who, IMHO, has no soul) they're all fine.

Bernie's problem is different. Many of his supporters are the kind of people who disdain large institutions as terribly ineffective. In some ways this is true (they never finish the to-do list), particularly in politics; in other ways it's silly (you know "Checks and Balances"? designed to stop political parties from finishing their to-do lists).

But it means some of his guys tend to refuse to re-register as Dems to vote for him, others don't plan far ahead enough to re-register in time (and yes, I will agree New York's re-registration deadline was ridiculous), and they tend to blame the large institution. When they could have easily avoided the problem by simply registering with the party they knew they were gonna vote in the first damn place.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 1) 331

I hate to break it to you, but the Supreme Court has ruled that publicly-funded closed primaries are a First Amendment requirement. The party nominee is not listed as independent left-winger on the ballot, they're listed with the party name, therefore they are considered to be speaking for the party membership, so the party membership gets to decide how they are chosen. That's why the Cali GOP Presidential primary is a closed primary but the Democratic primary is open.

Now in your state you could change your local laws so that there's an open primary, and most state parties will go along with the default, but even if you do that the parties retain their Capital-R-Right to insist on a closed primary.

In other words if you wanted to live in a country where anything vaguely resembling fairness was involved in public policy, you probably shoulda moved to Canada long the fuck ago. This is the United Fucking States. Rules Lawyering, based on rigorous adherence to a multi-century old texts is everything here.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 331

To the extent the media pushes anybody consistently, it pushes Trump. He gets eyeballs, therefore they give him as much free time as he asks for.

On the Democratic side they tend to be schizo because each time there's a lead change it's news and they can get eyeballs. Bernie's odds haven't really changed much at any point during the process, they've always been low (but not zero if he can win some big states by enough votes); yet if you were watching the media you'd have thought that he was winning at several points, and that Hillary had knocked him completely out at several other points; because that story gets more eyeballs then "Bernie wins Michigan by enough votes to tie at the convention if he hadn't blown it in Dixie" is not a particularly compelling news story.

Comment Re:Explicit goal of the Democratic party system. (Score 4, Insightful) 331

Bernie's not a grassroots Democratic candidate. He loses self-identified Democrats, and closed primaries, generally by extremely large margins. He's a grassroots left-wing independent candidate.

Now you might believe that encouraging such candidates is a good idea. But as somebody who has actually participated in the fairly complex, thankless, and completely unpaid work of getting all the cats in the same herd I kinda resent that a bunch of slacktivists think they should have as much influence over said coalition as I do despite the fact many of them are unwilling to change their voter registration to the Democratic party.

Comment Re:What? No, this is wrong! (Score 1) 215

Interesting factoid:
Everyone says this, but you know actual rules your ass actually has to obey or your ass will go to fucking jail? Every single Right that will be recognized in Courts is one of the enumerated ones. Even when given a very easy case (ie: that abortions by pill are protected as Rights under the 9th Amendment), the Courts will insist on using one of the explicit Amendments rather then the 9th (ie: that somehow stoping you from taking said pill is a "search" or seizure").

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