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FarmerLaborers

Equilism Member
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About FarmerLaborers

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    Ambassador
  • Birthday 12/06/1988

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    ndem2004
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  • Location
    Massachusetts
  • Interests
    Politics, left wing stuff, reading, pondering the great questions of our time, making a complete fool of myself, getting angry at computers, being confused, watching the Daily Show, recycling, dreaming, playing strategy games, writing about my interests, concealing my real identity, flying, hugging trees.
  1. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    Chainik, I've drafted a similar post you can use next time we discuss a government's right to declare war! Hope you find it useful Liberal democracies are based on a trust in democracy (gasp, what a concept!) and the ability of elected leaders to lead rationally. What I find most troublesome about "classical liberals", and I'll say it again on behalf of myself and Canada6 (who has been making the same arguments), is their fundamental distaste for republican government, their intrinsic mistrust of the American electorate, and their penchant for narrow intellectual orthodoxy at the expense of reason. Please, I beg of you, as a smart person, JOIN THE HIPPIES! We're much more reasonable.
  2. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    I suppose this could be true if second hand smoking were a minor health concern. A reasoned opinion on this decision would have to hinge on the danger second hand smoking poses to the health of customers (a danger I don't feel like learning about right now). My point originally had less to do with smoking itself and more to do with the right of the government to regulate the conditions under which private businesses operate. Government should have the right to ban something in a private business that poses a serious health risk to a customer. A private business does not have a right, IMO, to operate under dangerous conditions which might harm the health and safety of its customers (and employees). Obviously discretion, practiced by a democratically elected government, would have to determine what constitutes a serious danger. Essentially I believe that private businesses are not protected by the same logic that protects private homes. A business, participating in trade between individuals, should fall under the regulatory powers of a government ensuring safety and fairness in transactions. My problem with this argument is in the bold-faced statement, and that's why I was arguing that appropriate regulation can actually make a market freer. African-Americans were less free when private businesses could refuse to serve them. They were more free and more equal when private businesses were forced to serve all people equally. The market essentially became freer for them after the civil rights movement, in large part because of government intervention. Ensuring equality contributed to a net gain of freedom, admittedly at the expense of the freedom of vendors. Am I not understanding that properly? Frankly I'm much more confused than when I joined this conversation, but it is interesting to hash out some of these arguments that I've been having in my head for a while. I hope you'll answer Chaucerin, because I'm remembering how useful and enjoyable our debates were back in the day. Arguing with you is way more useful than school. All the better to further the goals of global free socialism, my dear (*hopes someone will catch the subtle reference to Little RED Riding Hood*). A clever disguise on my part.
  3. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    I invented the concept of public-private space to distinguish a business from a private home. Logic which protects one's actions in a private home (ie smoking) should not be applied equally to protect one's actions in a private business which provides a service to the public (not including a membership club that provides a service to members of a club). That's why logic that protects your right to keep white people out of your own home does not protect a "right" to keep white people out of your business. I don't really think I'm blurring the lines, I think I'm clarifying a logical difference that has considerable backing in precedent. As for the "free market" statement, I think I'm right. Society is more free when the interaction between individuals is done on a level playing field, where the safety of both participants is ensured. The consumer is more free when she has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, with her safety guaranteed no matter what. The consumer is also more free when all businesses are open to her, regardless of her race, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, blah blah blah, you get the idea. A freer market through regulation. Yay! As for being a hippie, that's a first for me. No one has ever called me that before, although that's partly because I look like a boring conservative in real life. In which case, hooray for the internets!
  4. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    Did I mention I found a candidate? Al Gore. Yay! Assuming Gore doesn't enter the race (which I highly doubt), the Democrats will probably nominate Clinton and the Republicans Romney. Romney's got the money-raising potential, and flip-flopper or not, he's much closer to the base on most issues. I'd bet on any Democrat over a Republican at this point. Bush is going to be, in Ann Coulter's words, an anvil around the neck of any Republican hopeful. The GOP itself is so divided that it'll be a miracle if it can win half the states it won in 2004 (look for most of the western states to flop except for Utah and a few of the nuttier ones, as well as Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa, Missouri, and possibly Arkansas and Indiana). Obama probably won't go anywhere this time around. I think Chauce is right on him. Bloomberg will run with a Democrat if he runs. He was a Democrat all his life until it was temporarily inconvenient. There was an interesting Newsweek article about him maybe running as a Democrats' VP.
  5. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    Interesting arguments on the whole, seem to be settling on the usual property rights thing. I'd like to throw some of your own logic back atcha before I concede. I don't know how to use the quote function properly, so the following aren't attributed to anyone, hope you know who you are. Doesn't really matter anyway, you all agree on the same argument. Consider it a general radical liberal rebuttal to freedom's trio (Chaucerin, Canada6, Chainik Hocker - the 3C's). First, I think that any responsible argument has to separate all space into three categories: public (government), private (homes and membership-clubs), and public-private (restaurants, any venue for commerce). The government obviously has a right to ban smoking in the public space. And government probably doesn't have a right to ban smoking on truly private space (at least I won't argue that until I'm sure of where I stand - would have something to do with the children if I did argue it). However, I think there is an argument for banning smoking in the public-private arena, even if it's a liberal argument that largely goes unrepresented when the seemingly undeniable logic of private property is invoked. A public-private space is anything that engages in trade between individuals. A space for such trade, IMO, falls under government's right to regulate in order to protect the community. That's the logic behind every other health regulation that vendors today have to abide by. If smoking in a restaurant, for example, is as bad to everyone's health as eating there without any shoes, it should be subject to regulation as decided appropriate by the people's representatives. If it's as bad as selling home-grown eggs without being inspected by the local health board (I have some experience here), it should be regulated. If such regulation becomes intolerable, those representatives could be replaced. However, I think government's right to regulate smoking, backed by the confidence of the community, exists, and has a firm grounding in every other health regulation as precedent. That's a fun line, but I don't think it's reasonable. By the same logic every other health regulation would be thrown out the window, along with most civil rights laws pertaining to commerce. It's as ridiculous as me saying "But no one is forcing the individual to sell his wares. Let the pro-smoking gestapo find another country that caters to their for-profit agenda." The greatest flaw I find with "classical liberalism" (a funny concept, considering these so-called liberals have clung unflinchingly to ideas and arguments some two centuries old) is its ideological purity, and its lack of faith in the democratic process. "Classical liberalism" so restricts the right of government to regulate as to permit discrimination and blatant oppression on the grounds that private trade and commerce should remain entirely free of regulation. Trade by its very definition is an interaction between individuals, as is crime. Both should be regulated as needed. Crime, clearly being bad, should be banned. Trade, usually rather good, should be regulated just enough so as to prevent it from being used as a tool for force and to protect the foundation of a truly free market. Liberal (good, sensible, modern, "unclassical") arguments focus on the use of the state to promote a truly free market - one where regulation ensures safety - tempered by reason, in which narrow intellectual orthodoxy does not rule. Regulating/banning smoking in restaurants is a perfect example. It is not the first step on a slippery slope to a state sponsored hippie-Gestapo. It is a reasonable approach to ensuring safety in the interaction between individuals in a public-private space (assuming of course that second hand smoking is actually dangerous, a fact I have yet to research and one that is entirely irrelevant to the underpinnings of our argument).
  6. FarmerLaborers

    Libertarianism

    Recommend it?
  7. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    Luckily no one has yet required me to be exposed to second hand smoking, but if I want to go to a restaurant and everyone there is puffing away, I am in effect being prohibited from dining there, aren't I? If I go I get all the nasty smoking side-effects (I have no idea what that includes, but this could be a fun argument, so I'll just go with it). BTW, would you be alright with people shooting poison into the air at a restaurant?
  8. FarmerLaborers

    Libertarianism

    I didn't really like the Soros one, but this one is good. Are you reading that?
  9. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    It's not preference if it's a danger to my health.
  10. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    If second-hand smoking is detrimental to one's health, shouldn't smoking be illegal in public places? I think I'd support a ban on smoking anywhere outside of one's own home, just because I'm sick of smelling like smoke when I walk down a city street.
  11. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    Someone made a funny comment once about Dennis Kucinich. It was something like they'd vote for him if ugly people weren't automatic losers. But ya, I'm kind of despairing at present. Everyone talks about how the Democratic candidates are really good, but honestly they suck. Now that my Clinton high is wearing off I'm really in the dumps about the whole mess. If only Bernie Sanders would run! I'd work for that dude. Bernie and I are going to have to have a chat eventually about his presidential run. That's my new life goal. I want to run that funny Vermont socialist's campaign. And mark my words, it will happen.
  12. FarmerLaborers

    Frakkin' Ron Paul, Yo!

    No I was just trying to underline my claim. I knew someone would ask that. :X
  13. FarmerLaborers

    Frakkin' Ron Paul, Yo!

    I thought the guy writing the exposee was more insane. Nazi's=left-libertarians. Right.
  14. FarmerLaborers

    2008 American Elections

    Well I've been looking at history and it seems to me that the "liberal" or more tolerant approach tends to beat out the "conservative" or status quo approach. That's why we won't see pro-slavery arguments, prohibitionist advocates, male supremacists, racists, or opponents to gay marriage return to the political mainstream again (unless society starts devolving dramatically). You won't see a mainstream "conservative" candidate support segregation in the Republican primaries this year, even though a "conservative" candidate would take that position thirty years ago. Twenty years from now no ambitious conservative politician will want it to be known that they once opposed gay marriage. Those things don't change once society becomes more tolerant (unless it starts devolving). In Massachusetts conservative politicians now have to apologize for their opposition to gay marriage. On a few issues I'm less confident of this being true. Things that directly involve life (abortion and cloning come to mind) might be issues for a long time, and laws could go back and forth. They're less issues of tolerance though and so I tend to remove them from "social" questions like gay marriage and civil rights. Phil I can't believe I'm reading this! : P Beside the fact that he was an awful governor for my dear People's Republic of Massachusetts, and beside the fact that he ran around the country mocking us, and beside the fact that he is a slimey cornball, and beside the fact that he is a shameless panderer on almost every issue... We're talking about Mitt "double-the-size-of-Guantanamo" Romney, right? The Mitt Romney who said, "if Saddam Hussein had opened his country to IAEA inspectors and they'd gone in and found that there were no weapons..."? Phil I'm horrified.
  15. FarmerLaborers

    Frakkin' Ron Paul, Yo!

    By the way Chainik, that link you gave "exposing" Paul's supporters is kind of bizarre. I like how the author constantly refers to Nazi's as "left-libertarians", whatever that means. I also liked this line: "a vote for Paul is a vote for crypto-fascism, “Libertarian Socialism” and White Nationalism." Can you say "huh!"?
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