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Author Topic: Multilateralism works with N. Korea!
Pete at Home
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That's more rational, but not quite true either.

It's possible that Iran and Iraq could both fragment, and Kurdistan be born politically, and Kurdistan would probably be friendly towards Israel.

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RickyB
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"There is absolutly ZERO chance that a government with friendly intentions towards Israel will ever ever ever ever be formed in any way what so ever.
Ofcourse, that still means that some Iranis like Israel.

However, the probability for a government in Iran, today, or in the future (which does not have to represent the entire 70 million people of Iran) that will want to destroy Israel and kill the Jews is ONE.

Is this politically correct enough for you ? "

First, it's not about PC. It's about accuracy. If you don't want to be corrected, don't say silly things. To you a country's perceived hostility toward Israel may be the only thing worth discussing about it, but to the rest of the world this is not so. Calling this slightly more complex worldview "PC" doesn't make you look any better than the original inane statement did.

Second, Why not? We used to be very friendly with Iran. Iran is a natural enemy to the Arab countries between us and them. Any regime but an Islamic one would most probably seek productive relations with Israel. Of course, ending the occupation would greatly facilitate this, since even if the regime isn't Islamic, the people will still be Muslim and will not support friendly relations with a country oppressing other Muslims. For that matter, ending the occupation would do wonders for the fight against Iran's nuclear program as well.

Your bleak, strident worldview, utterly unsupported by the facts, does nothing but guarantee more and more war. Ever heard the phrase "think outside the box"? You should try it.

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Hannibal
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"If you don't want to be corrected, don't say silly things"

I don't think that what I said is silly, and in a very unpredictable manner, I think that what you said is very silly, and that you are a delusional man who stares at the giraff and thinks its something else.

I am not going to "change" the way I write. I am not going to watch myself in every sentence that I write. When I participate in this forum, I take several assumptions (maybe I am incorrect in these assumptions) that the people I talk to for like I donno... 7 YEARS, have known me enough by know to understand what I say in a deeper level than the literal value of my wordings.

Nobody with even a remote chance of getting any power in Iran has called for normalization with Israel, sure we hear lots of single people here and there, so what? Its a muslim country, just go two threads down and learn from Mostafa what it means to be in a Muslim country.

"Your bleak, strident worldview, utterly unsupported by the facts, does nothing but guarantee more and more war. Ever heard the phrase "think outside the box"? You should try it."

You are a truely unbelivable person Ricky.
"unsupported by facts" ? The only fact I use for support is our current world History, which pretty much shows that a muslim dominated country is not friendly (understatement) to Israel.

Iraq... They should not have anything against Israel, Saddam is ousted, they are supposed to be "democratic" and all goodie two shoes, and they still want to destroy Israel and kill the Jews. and that is AFTER a regime change by our most trusted ally the USA.

what more facts do you need?

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RickyB
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"I don't think that what I said is silly,"

Conflating multi-ethnicity with position toward Israel isn't just silly, it's downright moronic. When this was pointed out to you, you retreated into passive-aggressive whining about "PC". Not only is Iran multi-ethnic, it treats its ethnic minorities far better than Israel does. Again: When a non-Jew can become the highest ranking political leader in Israel (the way a non-Iranian is in Iran), feel free to cast aspersions on Iran's multi-ethnicity. Until then, kindly refrain from that particular subject and content yourself with other, more accurate avenues of criticism (of which there is no shortage).

"I am not going to "change" the way I write. I am not going to watch myself in every sentence that I write. When I participate in this forum, I take several assumptions (maybe I am incorrect in these assumptions) that the people I talk to for like I donno... 7 YEARS, have known me enough by know to understand what I say in a deeper level than the literal value of my wordings."

Sorry, when you say things that are idiotic, nobody is going to assume you mean something else, especially not when you entrench in your error after being alerted to it politely rather than conceding the point. Words mean things.

"Nobody with even a remote chance of getting any power in Iran has called for normalization with Israel,"

Neither did Saadat when he assumed the leadership of Egypt. So? Calling for normalization with Israel under the current regime is a pretty certain way of not being allowed to run, so anyone who truly wishes to do so can't be expected by anyone with a shred of gray matter to say so before actually being elected.

I am not disputing that the current regime will most probably never normalize relations with Israel. I'm saying that the current regime is not the only one possible in Iran, and that change can happen even if not announced from the rooftops in advance. You refuse to understand this.

"The only fact I use for support is our current world History, which pretty much shows that a muslim dominated country is not friendly (understatement) to Israel."

What do you mean by Muslim dominated? Where most of the population is Muslim? Cause then you're wrong. Where the regime is Islamic? Cause then you're right. Again: The Islamic regime is not the only one possible for Iran. Plus, of course, there's the little matter of the occupation. As long as we occupy a mostly Muslim population, stealing its land and water daily and trying in all sorts of underhanded ways to expel its population, killing people for little to no reason with impunity, no Muslim-majority country can be expected to be friendly toward us.

"Iraq... They should not have anything against Israel, Saddam is ousted, they are supposed to be "democratic" and all goodie two shoes, and they still want to destroy Israel and kill the Jews. and that is AFTER a regime change by our most trusted ally the USA."

See above. Plus your expectation that Iraq should be infinitely grateful to the US and follow its lead in all things is about 7 years outdated.

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Hannibal
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Whatever.


Keep talking and apeasing Iran.

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RickyB
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"Whatever"

I accept your concession. [Big Grin]

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KidTokyo
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RickyB & Hannibal,

I think you both misconstrued the nature of the comparative statement I was making.

I was not asserting that Iran is "like" Israel or as democratically sound as Israel.

I was making the rather obvious and irrefutable point that Iran is more like Israel than it is like North Korea, in much the same way that the New York and Tampa are more alike than New York and a sack of hamsters.

Iran has obvious flaws, but it is not a "farce" to call it a parliamentary democracy when it has a parliament and elections, of which North Korea has neither. Is it currently corrupt? Possibly, yes, but at least there's something there to be corrupted.

As a society, Iran still has all the hallmarks of a contentious, messy democracy. North Korea has brainwashing, mass starvation, concentration camps, and levels of state secrecy which make Iran look like San Francisco.

Iran is a theocratic democracy with some grave election issues.

North Korea is a cult masquerading as a state.

Comparing Iran to North Korea is delusional.

[ November 28, 2010, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Hannibal
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Sure, Iran is a democracy (with problems) and Obama is a Communist.
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RickyB
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Iran's parliament and elections are shams. Syria has elections. Assad gets 90% plus every time. hooray!

Yes, NK is many planes more totalitarian than Iran. Still does not make the statement about Iran being a parliamentary democracy not terminally flawed. Only you compared Iran to NK. Well, maybe the Carthaginian here did too and I didn't notice, but that wasn't the thrust of the objection.

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JWatts
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And Cuba has elections with the Party always winning. Sham elections, don't a Democracy make, flawed or otherwise. It's too easy for a dictator or oligarchy to claim legitimacy by creating fake elections for that to be a benchmark of legitimacy.
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RickyB
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What Iran is, is a parliamentary theocracy. Kinda like a constitutional monarchy, just the pageantry isn't as cool. It has a parliament. Isn't a democracy.
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Hannibal
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The fact that Iran is "more transparent" to the world is not a good indication regarding Iran, its a bad indication about the western world.

Iran should be in the same state as NK is, that is completley isolated and embargoed by the outside world.

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KidTokyo
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I understand the issue with the most recent election, but are you both contending that Iranian elections in general, for the last 30 years, are all a sham? I'm sorry, but I see shades of gray here. More importantly, I see nothing in Iran that is even remotely as threatening as North Korea.

People throw around the "sham" word too easily these days. Florida threw the election to Bush 10 years ago by a fraudulent purge of "felons" from the voter rolls.

Is American democracy a sham?

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Pete at Home
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There are shades of grey, but there's also a bright line, Kid.

The difference between a fraud-riddled democracy and an outright fradulent democracy is that the latter uses force to suppress discussion of the fraud.

"for the last 30 years"
Straw man.

[ November 30, 2010, 10:39 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
People throw around the "sham" word too easily these days. Florida threw the election to Bush 10 years ago by a fraudulent purge of "felons" from the voter rolls.

Is American democracy a sham?

A) That's a false argument without factual basis. There is no evidence felons were purged fraudulently and in any case you are referring to a fraction of 1% of eligible voters. In addition you are making an implicit assumption that felons would have strongly identified with Al Gore and voted for him in overwhelming numbers.

B) It's an invalid comparison in any case. The US has Federal Elections every 2 years which are generally free of corruption. Iranian elections are widely regarded as predetermined before the vote.

quote:
Some called the controversial election results a coup. Widespread editorial analyses assert that the 2009 election marks the official end of the Islamic Republic and the beginning of the Abadgaran Regime. All three opposition candidates claimed that the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged, and candidates Mohsen Rezaee and Mousavi have lodged official complaints. Mousavi announced that he "won't surrender to this manipulation" before lodging an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on June 14
Link
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KidTokyo
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Pete said:

quote:
There are shades of grey, but there's also a bright line, Kid.

The difference between a fraud-riddled democracy and an outright fradulent democracy is that the latter uses force to suppress discussion of the fraud.

while JWatts said via wikipedia:

quote:
. All three opposition candidates claimed that the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged, and candidates Mohsen Rezaee and Mousavi have lodged official complaints. Mousavi announced that he "won't surrender to this manipulation" before lodging an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on June 14
Big time cognitive dissonance here!

Now, addressing your points individually.

Pete,

If by "discussion" you mean candidates and their supporters complaining of fraud, then clearly JWatt's link disproves that.

If by "discussion" you mean instead the government's reaction to protesters -- in that scenario I'm hard-pressed to think of something the Iranian government has done that hasn't also occurred in the U.S. at some point.

Shooting and killing protesters? Our government has done that.

Use of police to control and arrest activists en masse? Our government has done that.

Putting political activists in jail on trumped up charges? Our government has done that too.

In fact, the extent of fraud in the last election in Iran has been the subject of considerable debate, and even among international analysts there is hardly a consensus. I do not take anything as a given when there is no definitive proof before me. Neither allegations by candidates nor the aura of "terror" with which the American media describes every happening in Iran justify your view of Iran as an obvious and utter sham-democracy. I concede as I have from the beginning that it is theocratic and faces grave problems, but I insist again that there are shades of gray.

JWatts,

quote:
There is no evidence felons were purged fraudulently and in any case you are referring to a fraction of 1% of eligible voters. In addition you are making an implicit assumption that felons would have strongly identified with Al Gore and voted for him in overwhelming numbers.
I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly, but you seem to be acknowledging that voters were in fact purged incorrectly, just not "fraudulently."

Or do you dispute that tens of thousands were incorrectly removed? Because that is settled fact.

African-Americans, who leaned heavily towards Gore, were four times as likely to be singled out by the process as whites. So no assumption is necessary.

Link

quote:

It's an invalid comparison in any case. The US has Federal Elections every 2 years which are generally free of corruption. Iranian elections are widely regarded as predetermined before the vote.

I doubt that you have any evidence to share that *all* Iranian elections are *widely regarded* in Iran as "predetermined."

...unless your definition of "predermined" more or less comports with the U.S. version, when many elections are predetermined by gerrymandering. By which I mean -- to be clear -- that in many perfectly democratic societies there are still many elections whose outcomes are inevitable by virtue of demographics and other "normal" factors.

Don't tell me I'm saying there's no difference between the U.S. and Iran, btw. But it's light gray and dark gray.

[ December 01, 2010, 10:25 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Pete said:

quote:
There are shades of grey, but there's also a bright line, Kid.

The difference between a fraud-riddled democracy and an outright fradulent democracy is that the latter uses force to suppress discussion of the fraud.

while JWatts said via wikipedia:

quote:
. All three opposition candidates claimed that the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged, and candidates Mohsen Rezaee and Mousavi have lodged official complaints. Mousavi announced that he "won't surrender to this manipulation" before lodging an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on June 14
Big time cognitive dissonance here!

Now, addressing your points individually.

Pete,

If by "discussion" you mean candidates and their supporters complaining of fraud, then clearly JWatt's link disproves that.

No, it doesn't disprove what I said. I didn't say suppress ALL discussion. Newspapers have been censored and people arrested for speech in this matter.

quote:
African-Americans, who leaned heavily towards Gore, were four times as likely to be singled out by the process as whites.
That's disingenuous unless you're comparing black and white felons.

70% of blacks voted in Florida 2000, compared to less than 50% of whites. Many of that election's problems came from the fact that hundreds of thousands of people were voting for the first time, getting bussed and pressured to vote by lefty groups.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
If by "discussion" you mean instead the government's reaction to protesters -- in that scenario I'm hard-pressed to think of something the Iranian government has done that hasn't also occurred in the U.S. at some point.

Shooting and killing protesters? Our government has done that.

Use of police to control and arrest activists en masse? Our government has done that.

Putting political activists in jail on trumped up charges? Our government has done that too.


Does not affect my bright line unless the government was doing these things in response to peaceful post-election protests.

Were activists put in jail on trumped up charges in response for denouncing the results of Bush v. Gore? If not, what you've said is irrelevant to my bright line distinction between a fraud-ridden democracy and a fradulent democracy.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
"for the last 30 years"
Straw man.

*Isn't* a democracy, to me, means more than "the last presidential election was fraudulent." One bad election endangers democracy, but it does not obliterate it.

So when someone says "Iran isn't a democracy" I cannot accept that they mean only that the last presidential election was fraudulent. Even absolute proof of one defrauded election does not justify such a categorical statement.

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Pete at Home
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(wake me up when you get around to addressing my bright line rule.)

Additionally, even if Iran's last election was not a sham, Iran's democracy is fradulent because the elected government only has as much power as the unelected government decides to give it. If the people make the "wrong" choice, the Ayatollatalitarians tighten the leash and essentially turn the elected government into window dressing.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
No, it doesn't disprove what I said. I didn't say suppress ALL discussion. Newspapers have been censored and people arrested for speech in this matter.
You said there was a bright line, not shades of gray.

Where's the bright line?

Is it your contention that discussion of the election is now banned in Iran? Because my understanding is that Iran's censorship was targeted at protesters considered violent, and that it was temporary.

Their "anti-terror" measures are clearly far, far too excessive. But to my knowledge, there is no blanket ban on discussing the validity of the election.

quote:
That's disingenuous unless you're comparing black and white felons.

70% of blacks voted in Florida 2000, compared to less than 50% of whites. Many of that election's problems came from the fact that hundreds of thousands of people were voting for the first time, getting bussed and pressured to vote by lefty groups.

Nonsense. Read the Palast article I linked to, or any of his investigative reporting on the matter.

quote:
Between May 1999 and Election Day 2000, two Florida secretaries of state - Sandra Mortham and Katherine Harris, both protegees of Governor Jeb Bush- ordered 57,700 "ex-felons," who are prohibited from voting by state law, to be removed from voter rolls. (In the thirty-five states where former felons can vote, roughly 90 percent vote Democratic.) A portion of the list, which was compiled for Florida by DBT Online, can be seen for the first time here; DBT, a company now owned by ChoicePoint of Atlanta, was paid $4.3 million for its work, replacing a firm that charged $5,700 per year for the same service.
and

quote:
Two of these "scrub lists," as officials called them, were distributed to counties in the months before the election with orders to remove the voters named. Together the lists comprised nearly 1 percent of Florida's electorate and nearly 3 percent of its African-American voters. Most of the voters (such as "David Butler," (1); a name that appears 77 times in Florida phone books) were selected because their name, gender, birthdate and race matched - or nearly matched - one of the tens of millions of ex-felons in the United States. Neither DBT nor the state conducted any further research to verify the matches.
and

quote:
Wallace McDonald (5), sixty-four, lost his right to vote in 2000, though his sole run-in with the law was a misdemeanor in 1959. (He fell asleep on a bus-stop bench.) Of the "matches' on these lists, the civil-rights commission estimated that at least 14 percent - or 8,000 voters, nearly 15 times Bush's official margin of victory - were false. DBT claims it warned officials "a significant number of people who were not a felon would be included on the list"; but the state, the company now says, "wanted there to be more names than were actually verified." Last May, Florida's legislature barred Harris from using outside firms to build the purge list and ordered her to seek guidance from county elections officials. In defiance, Harris has rebuffed the counties and hired another firm, just in time for Jeb Bush's reelection fight this fall.
Pete also said:

quote:
Does not affect my bright line unless the government was doing these things in response to peaceful post-election protests.

Were activists put in jail on trumped up charges in response for denouncing the results of Bush v. Gore? If not, what you've said is irrelevant to my bright line distinction between a fraud-ridden democracy and a fradulent democracy.

Now you're using the old lawyer trick of going from extremely broad pronouncements to extremely narrow criteria.

You're going to contend that there is a "bright line" between American democracy and Iranian democracy, but exclude from the discussion anything other than a comparison of the 2000 U.S. presidential election to the 2009 Iranian election?

I thought the whole point of a democracy was the freedom of citizens to protest the government and demand a redress of grievances.

American activists have been put in jail plenty of times for protesting the policies and acts of various administrations.

Now you're telling me that I may only consider the government's response to a protest of an election outcome in evaluating your supposed "bright line" between American democratic freedom and the supposed complete absence of any political expression or freedom whatsoever in Iran.

You're not playing fair anymore.

[ December 01, 2010, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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KidTokyo
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quote:
(wake me up when you get around to addressing my bright line rule.)
Wake up. And please not via time signatures that we essentially cross-posted. I was not ignoring you. I added a second post spontaneously -- your recent responses appeared as I was writing it.

quote:
Additionally, even if Iran's last election was not a sham, Iran's democracy is fradulent because the elected government only has as much power as the unelected government decides to give it. If the people make the "wrong" choice, the Ayatollatalitarians tighten the leash and essentially turn the elected government into window dressing.
Replace "Ayatollah's" with "Corporations" and "Iran" with "America." How does your sentence read then? Fairly accurate, I'd say.

Don't believe me?

Have a look!

Additionally, even if America's last election was not a sham, America's democracy is fradulent because the elected government only has as much power as the unelected government decides to give it. If the people make the "wrong" choice, the corporations tighten the leash and essentially turn the elected government into window dressing.

One can think of a dozen examples before breakfast.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly, but you seem to be acknowledging that voters were in fact purged incorrectly, just not "fraudulently."

I'm saying that there was no fraudulent purging of felons.

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Or do you dispute that tens of thousands were incorrectly removed? Because that is settled fact.
Link

This is hilarious. Your own source contradicts your statement.

quote:
Between May 1999 and Election Day 2000, two Florida secretaries of state - Sandra Mortham and Katherine Harris, both protegees of Governor Jeb Bush- ordered 57,700 "ex-felons," who are prohibited from voting by state law, to be removed from voter rolls.
There was no fraudulent action. It was a perfectly legal action that took place before the election.

The word fraudulently implies actual fraud. Words have meaning.

quote:
You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Don't tell me I'm saying there's no difference between the U.S. and Iran, btw. But it's light gray and dark gray.

So what's your frakkin point then? That the US isn't perfect. So what, no country is.

There are substantial differences between the functional democracy of America and the dysfunctional theocracy that makes up Iran. Attempting to equate the two is basic demagoguery. And pretty stupid too, nobody with any intelligence believes the comparison is remotely app.

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KidTokyo
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JW

My statement was as follows:

KidTokyo said

quote:
Florida threw the election to Bush 10 years ago by a fraudulent purge of "felons" from the voter rolls.
Do you see those quotations marks I put around around "felons"? That means that they weren't actually felons, just mistaken as felons, which you would've grasped if you'd read the link.

You removed the quotes and changed my meaning.


quote:
This is hilarious. Your own source contradicts your statement.
You obviously didn't read much of it. The article describes how thousands of people who should not have been removed were removed because they had the same name as a felon. The scrub lists were sloppily composed, distributed just months before the election and most counties did not double check them to verify their accuracy, nor inform the voters in question that they were removed, which is why many arrived at the voting poll only to discover then that they couldn't vote.

Here are some of the sentences you did not read.

quote:
Most of the voters (such as "David Butler," (1); a name that appears 77 times in Florida phone books) were selected because their name, gender, birthdate and race matched - or nearly matched - one of the tens of millions of ex-felons in the United States. Neither DBT nor the state conducted any further research to verify the matches. DBT, which frequently is hired by the F.B.I. to conduct manhunts, originally proposed using address histories and financial records to confirm the names, but the state declined the cross-checks.
and

quote:
Harper's found 325 names on the list with conviction dates in the future, a fact that did not escape Department of Elections workers, who, in June 2000 emails headed, "Future Conviction Dates," termed the discovery, "bad news." Rather than release this whacky data to skeptical counties, Janet Mudrow, state liaison to DBT, suggested that "blanks would be preferable in these cases." (Harper's counted 4,917 blank conviction dates.)
and

quote:
Madison County's elections supervisor Linda Howell refused the purge list after she found her own name on it.
and

quote:
Texas is among the thirty five states where ex-felons are permitted to vote, and the "full faith and credit" clause of the U.S. Constitution forbids states to revoke any civil rights that a citizen has been granted by another state; in fact, the Florida Supreme Court had twice ordered the state not to do so, just nine months before the voter purge. Nevertheless, at least 2,873 voters were wrongly removed, a purge authorized by a September 18, 2000 letter to counties from Governor Bush's clemency office. On February 23, 2001, days after the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights began investigating the matters, Bush's office issued a new letter allowing these persons to vote; no copies of the earlier letter could be found in the clemency office or on its computers.
and

quote:
Of the "matches' on these lists, the civil-rights commission estimated that at least 14 percent - or 8,000 voters, nearly 15 times Bush's official margin of victory - were false.
JW also said:

quote:
There are substantial differences between the functional democracy of America and the dysfunctional theocracy that makes up Iran. Attempting to equate the two is basic demagoguery.
You really are failing to read here. I have repeatedly stated that I was not drawing an equivalence between Iran and the U.S.

My point, as I have stated at least three times by now, is that it is equally stupid to draw an equivalence between Iran and North Korea.

My point is that categorical statements and "bright lines" placing the U.S. and Israel on one side of the Great Democracy Fence and Iran and NK on the other side is a distorted, self-aggrandizing view of reality, and that in fact there is a continuum, and that despite Iran's many flaws it is nowhere in the vicinity of being a threat to the world in the same manner as NK.

Is this making sense to you now, JW?

[ December 01, 2010, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Pete at Home
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I've been consistent about my criteriion, and it's a thin but bright line between shades of grey. Use of force/coercion to suppress or punish discussion of election fraud.


quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
quote:
No, it doesn't disprove what I said. I didn't say suppress ALL discussion. Newspapers have been censored and people arrested for speech in this matter.
You said there was a bright line, not shades of gray.

Where's the bright line?

Is it your contention that discussion of the election is now banned in Iran?

No. Why don't you look at what I said? It's pretty clear.

There are shades of grey, but there's a bright line running through the mess. Use of coercion to punish and/or stifle discussion of the fraud.

Doesn't have to be consistent. Don't have to shut down the whole debate. Just some folks thrown in jail or dissapeared, clearly in retaliation for their objection to election fraud.

quote:
Now you're using the old lawyer trick of going from extremely broad pronouncements to extremely narrow criteria.

Now you're using the white trash lawyer trick of saying aw shucks, all this thinking is hurting my head but the truth is clearly x. [Razz] And you may be a young lawyer, but the dirty rhetorical trick you used is LITERALLY the oldest one in the book, from Corax v. Tisias, which I believe is the earliest court case that we have preserved in writing.

[ December 02, 2010, 02:16 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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KidTokyo
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quote:
I've been consistent about my criteriion, and it's a thin but bright line between shades of grey. Use of force/coercion to suppress or punish discussion of election fraud.
But I'm asking why I have to accept your criterion. Your criterion is both inapplicable and arbitrary.

Here it is again:

quote:
The difference between a fraud-riddled democracy and an outright fradulent democracy is that the latter uses force to suppress discussion of the fraud.
Imagine that this were a constitutional test written by a supreme court majority. It would be pretty useless, wouldn't it? "Uses forces to suppress discussion" is written without qualification, so its plain-text meaning is any force towards any suppression of any discussion. You wish to distinguish this from a "fraud-riddled" democracy. But voter fraud by definition requires the suppression of information to prevent it from being discussed. So you are making a distinction without a difference.

Your criterion would be applicable and sensible if you had written that the latter uses force to completely suppress all discussion. Well, then you'd have a bright-line.

But you didn't, so you don't.

I've already pointed out to you that discussion of election fraud continues in Iran. Therefore, it is not suppressed, but only restricted in some cases.

And I've also pointed out to you that most of the documented government abuses appear targeted at more violent/extreme protesters. I'm not defending these tactics, but it does mean that Iran is an imperfect democracy rather than a non-existent one.

quote:
Doesn't have to be consistent. Don't have to shut down the whole debate. Just some folks thrown in jail or dissapeared, clearly in retaliation for their objection to election fraud.
I am familiar with how it works and what happens in Iran. But the whole point of voting is to support a candidate who advocates for a desired policy change. In a free society, you are free to criticize the government -- but there is no special circle around particular topics of criticism, is there? In one country, you are thrown in jail for protesting the government's election results. In another, you are thrown in jail for protesting racially discriminatory voting laws. Why is the former democracy a sham and the latter merely flawed?

Furthermore, you continue to assume as proven fact that Iran's election results were obviously the result of massive fraud -- still an unproven assertion. This is an important distinction where in many countries the fraud is easy to prove conclusively.

Even accepted that there was fraud in Iran, it is another question as to whether it was determinative.

And even accepting the last two, you accept as settled fact that no discussion of it exists in Iran and that the clashes between protesters and police were solely the result of evil police.

All of these are assumptions, unproven.

quote:
Now you're using the white trash lawyer trick of saying aw shucks, all this thinking is hurting my head but the truth is clearly x. And you may be a young lawyer, but the dirty rhetorical trick you used is LITERALLY the oldest one in the book, from Corax v. Tisias, which I believe is the earliest court case that we have preserved in writing.
Cute. This only holds true if I accept your formulaic framing of the issue in the first place, which I don't. You are making a fundamental error by engaging in overly categorical thinking. I.e., assume a few "definitive" traits about country A by which country A may be classified, and then once classified all that can be said about countries B,C, and D in the same class can also be said about A.

I am not trying to "win" a case in court. I'm trying to explain why, in pragmatic terms, you are engaging in rhetorical nonsense from the get-go.

A country is a democracy when it has the definitive features of a democracy. To the extent that those features do not function fully, it becomes a limited/flawed democracy -- like every democracy in the world, as there isn't a single one which hasn't at some point coerced or defrauded or imprisoned or bilked the public on a reasonably massive scale.

You may assert that there are gradations between a good democracy and a crappy democracy and we can debate about the extent of the crappiness, but you cannot compare a country with the features of a democracy as if it is the same as a country like North Korea which has none.

There's your bright-line, bub.

[ December 02, 2010, 05:59 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Is this making sense to you now, JW?

I've always understood what you are saying, I just happen to disagree with it. You are trying to ignore substantial differences in order to create false equivalencies.

You said:

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
As a political and cultural entity, Iran has much more in common with Israel than it does North Korea.

NK: A homogenous totalitarian state based on slave-labor, collective brainwashing, racial mythology and the deification of an all-poweful Big Brother figure.

Iran: A multi-ethnic society with a parliamentary democracy and a blow-hard for a president.

Israel: A multi-ethnic society with a parliamentary democracy and a blow-hard for a prime minister.

No one disputes that there are similarities between Iran and Israel. What is disputed is classifying Iran's "parlimentary democracy" as similar to Israels or America's democracy.

Furthermore, you tried to equate Iran's well known dysfunctional election system which resulted in millions of protesters across the entire nation followed up by governmental raids and imprisonment with a 10 year old partisan election dispute, that was resolved in a democratic and civil faction.

quote:
The election for presidency took place on 12 June 2009. Unlike the election in 2005, the 2009 election featured high participation. The official results were rejected by all three opposition candidates, who claimed that the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged. The last presidential election had already been controversial, but this time it escalated.

Ahmadinejad called the election "completely free" and the outcome "a great victory" for Iran, dismissing the protests as little more than "passions after a soccer match".

According to an analysis by Professor Walter R. Mebane, Jr. from the Department of Statistics of the University of Michigan, considering data from the first stage of the 2005 presidential election produces results that "give moderately strong support for a diagnosis that the 2009 election was affected by significant fraud".[58] The UK-based think-tank Chatham House also suspected fraud in the voting process for a number of reasons

On Saturday 13 June after election results announced that Ahmadinejad had won, supporters of Mousavi took to the streets to protest. The next day, protests grew, as did violence. On the night of 14 June the pro-Ahmadinejad Basij paramilitary group raided Tehran University, injuring many. On 15 June protesters marched on Azadi street and Mousavi made his first post-election appearance.

On 16 June protests continued, and the Guardian Council announced a partial recount would be conducted; however, the vote was not annulled. On Wednesday 17 June another large protest occurred; some members of the Iranian national football team wore green wristbands in support of Mousavi during their game against South Korea. On Thursday, 18 June more than 100,000 protesters held a candle-light vigil in Tehran following Mousavi's call for a day of mourning for those killed in protests. The Guardian Council invited the three major challengers to meet to discuss their grievances.
Millions of Protesters, Tehran, 15 June

On Friday, 19 June Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini spoke during religious services, saying the election was legitimate called the large voter turnout and resulting victory (for Ahmadinejad) a "divine assessment" andprotests would no longer be tolerated. However, the opposition did not accept this, and the protests occurred albeit on a smaller scale. The next day, 20 June fewer protesters took to streets. At the protests that did occur, said to number in the tens of thousands of people, much violence occurred, causing many would-be protesters to stay in their homes the next day, Sunday, 21 June. On 20 June a young Iranian woman, identified as Neda Agha-Soltan, was shot by the Basij and died in front of cameras on Kargar Avenue in Tehran. Highly graphic amateur videos of the killing rapidly spread virally across the internet after being posted to Facebook and YouTube. On 22 June riot police broke up the main rally in Tehran with tear gas and live fire into the air.

During Friday prayers broadcast live on television on 26 June Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami is reported to have said that "Anybody who fights against the Islamic system or the leader of Islamic society, fight him until complete destruction". and called for the execution of leading demonstrators as they are "people who wage war against God".

On Monday, 29 June 2009, the Guardian Council certified the results of the controversial election.
...
On the weekend of 13/14 June, in a series of raids across Tehran, the government arrested over 170 people, according to police officials.[70] Among them were prominent reformist politicians,..

Link

Do you happen to see the very substantial difference between the US's presidential race (from 3 elections ago) and the recent "sham" election in Iran?

Do you notice the difference between an election, where millions protested in the street, dozens were killed/injured and the police arrested hundreds of people in targeted raids vs how the 2000 election in the US went?

It is a fundamental difference (not a shade of gray) between shooting, calling for their execution and/or arresting the opposition vs having a court certifying a recount.

You can equivocate the two in your mind, but that doesn't make it true.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
quote:
I've been consistent about my criteriion, and it's a thin but bright line between shades of grey. Use of force/coercion to suppress or punish discussion of election fraud.
But I'm asking why I have to accept your criterion.
Accept, nothing. Up to this point, you'd yet to show that you'd contemplated it.


quote:
You may assert that there are gradations between a good democracy and a crappy democracy and we can debate about the extent of the crappiness, but you cannot compare a country with the features of a democracy as if it is the same as a country like North Korea which has none.
I don't recall making such an assertion. If all persons arguing with you are starting to blur into each other, then take a breather; you're punch-drunk. It happens to the best of us.

quote:
Your criterion is both inapplicable and arbitrary.
[perks up] Gee, that sounds like the start of structured reply to a law school exam. Will Kid actually follow through and analyze the criteria this time? If so, I'll reply substantively. If not, then I'll answer in the same spirit, and give you a Kaplan form analysis.

quote:

Here it is again:

(bad form, time-wasting pedantry. Just jump into it)

quote:
The difference between a fraud-riddled democracy and an outright fradulent democracy is that the latter uses force to suppress discussion of the fraud. Imagine that this were a constitutional test written by a supreme court majority. It would be pretty useless, wouldn't it? "Uses forces to suppress discussion" is written without qualification, so its plain-text meaning is any force towards any suppression of any discussion.
Use of force, not of "forces." Ahminejab is not a fundamentalist wiccan evoker, Kid. If you must make typos, don't make them distractingly hilarious, and if you must make your reader laugh, make it with you not at you.


quote:
You wish to distinguish this from a "fraud-riddled" democracy.
Yes, but you're just mouthing the words. For full points, show that you understand the intent, by rephrasing, getting to the core of the idea. In other words, is the fraud systemic?


quote:
But voter fraud by definition requires the suppression of information to prevent it from being discussed. So you are making a distinction without a difference.
You're using law exam buzz-words and Kaplan structures, without addressing the substance of what was said. Bad Kid, no cookie. You've clearly been the beneficiary of a very expensive education, but here you're clearly using all that to avoid the question.

Information is not discussion of information. Fortunately this is not a law school exam so you can try again.

quote:
I've already pointed out to you that discussion of election fraud continues in Iran. Therefore, it is not suppressed, but only restricted in some cases.
Which triggers my bright line.

Is discussion of election fraud suppressed in any cases in the USA? You've attempted to blur on the line by saying that the fraud itself = forceful suppression of the discussion of fraud, and some examiners may appreciate that illustration of the classic Chewbacca defense. But some points witheld since there's a nagging suspicion that you haven't fully understood the question.


quote:
And I've also pointed out to you that most of the documented government abuses appear targeted at more violent/extreme protesters.
You did? Where? That would have gotten some points. Violent protest is not "discussion." Suppression of violence is suppression of violence and does not invoke the bright line rule.

But big red circle around the words "most," and also around your ghastly "violent/extreme" lumpage. As the ACLU has thankfully taught us, extreme points of view, however repugnant to our sensibilities, are in no way equivalent to actual violence. Let the peaceful Nazi speak, so long as he keeps the peace; attack him with words, not the law.


quote:
I'm not defending these tactics, but it does mean that Iran is an imperfect democracy rather than a non-existent one.
It does? Even if you had defeated the bright line rule, you'd still not have shown that the Iranian people govern their own country. Do you literally believe that a group of Iranians without government position or religous credentials, constituting 51% of the population, collectively hold more political power than Ayatolla Khameni?

Could you really make such an assertion with a straight face?

(you might reply that it's not true in the USA two, to which I'd give you a quarter-point, and reply, "America cannot be a fraudulent democracy when it has never asserted in the first place that it was a democracy, you big goof. The numbers are different when the question is whether we are a fraud-ridden federated republic or a fraudulent federated republic.")


quote:
Doesn't have to be consistent. Don't have to shut down the whole debate. Just some folks thrown in jail or dissapeared, clearly in retaliation for their objection to election fraud.
[distinguishing from retaliations to violence]

quote:
I am familiar with how it works and what happens in Iran. But the whole point of voting is to support a candidate who advocates for a desired policy change.
Ah, now here we're getting to a problem with Iran that's even more important, although murkier, than the issues addressed by the bright line rule.

Voting =/= democracy. A tyranny may amuse itself by allowing people to vote as a purely advisory matter. This occurs in some high school student counsel elections. The school will turn over maybe $200 in budget for the student counsel to allocate, but the adults are always ready to jump in even if that tiny allocation of power is used in a way that subverts adult authority. That's how Iranian "democracy" works.

What we have in Iran is a school where traditionally, the Ayatollah/principal has allowed the students to elect a student president and student counsel. Elections are highly supervised in terms of who's allowed to run and what they are allowed to say, and everyone understands that the principal is really in charge.

Substantively, voting provides students/Iranians only with the limited power to advise the principal/Ayatollahs. It's more of a safety valve, let the kids express themselves ...

[break here]


quote:
In a free society, you are free to criticize the government -- but there is no special circle around particular topics of criticism, is there? In one country, you are thrown in jail for protesting the government's election results. In another, you are thrown in jail for protesting racially discriminatory voting laws. Why is the former democracy a sham and the latter merely flawed?
Nice. That was substantive. Beaucoup points. Yes, under my bright line rule, Iran might be comparable to some southern states circa 1960.

quote:
Furthermore, you continue to assume as proven fact that Iran's election results were obviously the result of massive fraud -- still an unproven assertion.
Where did I assume that?

gah! I need to start getting ready for court. Will wrap this up later.

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Pete at Home
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quick distinction btween NK and Iran as presently constituted:

Iran is a school where the principal's adored daughter just got elected class president, and consequently the principal has whimsically decided to let the class president really run things. And when it looked like she might lose re-election, measures were taken to ensure results and to some extent, to suppress discussion thereof.

North Korea OTOH isn't even the appearance of Democracy. What we have there is a sham government. It doesn't have citizens, it has human shields and hostages. It's like the Taliban, we have a hostage situation masquerading as a country.

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Brian
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Pete, are you arguing for or against Kid's statement that Iran's government is more similar to Israel's than it is to North Korea's?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quick distinction btween NK and Iran as presently constituted:

Iran is a school where the principal's adored daughter just got elected class president, and consequently the principal has whimsically decided to let the class president really run things. And when it looked like she might lose re-election, measures were taken to ensure results and to some extent, to suppress discussion thereof.

North Korea OTOH isn't even the appearance of Democracy. What we have there is a sham government. It doesn't have citizens, it has human shields and hostages. It's like the Taliban, we have a hostage situation masquerading as a country.

quote:
Originally posted by Brian:
Pete, are you arguing for or against Kid's statement that Iran's government is more similar to Israel's than it is to North Korea's?

Neither. It's a null question. North Korea doesn't have a government.

If it wasn't a null question, I would consider it a pointless question. More like Israel than North Korea in what respect?

In quality of food? No. Persian and Korean food kicks ass. Israli food is so-so.

In religious-political conflict? Yes.

In terms of its relationship with the USA? No.

In the mental stability of its chief executive? No.

In the ability of the people to change how the government runs? NO. Iranians wanted change, which Ahminejad's predecessor (I forgot his name, the sane one) was unable to deliver because he had no power to act contrary to the will of the Ayatollatalitarians.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
And even accepting the last two, you accept as settled fact that no discussion of it exists
Clearly not true. Right above on this thread, I "accepted as settled fact" that discussion of the alleged fraud DOES actually exist, because I took your word on it.

(Because despite some sloppy argument habits, you have proven yourself honest and well-informed, which is why I find you worth arguing with even when you sometimes make it painful. I reckon that we're engaged in a mutually beneficial exchange; I catch up on all the news I haven't watched, and you, well, rather than flattering myself, I assume you're getting something out of it as well, since like me you seem to love knowledge and mental challenge for its own sake, and unlike me, you do not seem flawed by vanity or bitterness.)

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
in Iran and that the clashes between protesters and police were solely the result of evil police.

Straw man. My argument did not hinge on such an assumption; I actually suspected the contrary, and as stated above, I'd take your word for the fact that some of the clashes were the result of overzealous crowds or malicious agitators. Correct me if I'm wrong (and if you dare respond to what I'm saying rather than the straw man you've made of me) but Ahminejad isn't just the enemy of Iranian civil rights; the wealthy see him as a threat to their wealth and station. Actually my uninformed impression is that he's more sinned against than sinning in the narrow issue of the class warfare. That to some extent, like Caesar and Augustus, he does champion some of the legitimate grievances of the poor.

(While I sympathize with what I perceive as his economic agenda, I don't see championing of some legitimate grievances as all-pardoning. After all Hitler championed legitimate German grievances against Versailles I and Caligula championed legitimate gladiator grievances when he threw some of the booing spectators into the arena to see if they could do any better than the gladiators that they were back-seat driving).

quote:
All of these are assumptions, unproven.
Whose assumptions? Not mine.

quote:
Now you're using the white trash lawyer trick of saying aw shucks, all this thinking is hurting my head but the truth is clearly x. And you may be a young lawyer, but the dirty rhetorical trick you used is LITERALLY the oldest one in the book, from Corax v. Tisias, which I believe is the earliest court case that we have preserved in writing.
-------
Cute.

Thank you. That was my intent, and I appreciate your showing me that you are paying attention to my style. If you'd do the same for the substance of what I said, I'd appreciate it:

quote:
This only holds true if I accept your formulaic framing of the issue in the first place, which I don't.
Red circle around "This" and "the issue."

"THIS"
I assume you aren't suggesting that your age of a lawyer or that the history of Corax v. Tisias depends on your acceptance of my framing of the issue. So what only holds true if you accept my formulaic framing of the issue?
  • That you are using the white trash lawyer trick of saying aw shucks, all this thinking is hurting my head but the truth is clearly x?
  • That the dirty rhetorical trick you used is LITERALLY the oldest one in the book, from Corax v. Tisias?


Please clarify what you meant by "this."

"THE ISSUE"

What is the issue, from your point of view?

"That Multilateralism works with North Korea?"

"That Iran is more like Israel than it is like a Writing Desk?"

How is your understanding of the issue less "formulaic" than mine?

I thought that you and I were arguing about whether the difference between Iran and the UNITED STATES (IIRC that's where Bush v. Gore occurred, not in Israel or North Korea) with respect to democracy was simply a matter of shades of gray, or whether the US was chartruse and Iran was infra-red.


quote:
You are making a fundamental error by engaging in overly categorical thinking. I.e., assume a few "definitive" traits about country A by which country A may be classified, and then once classified all that can be said about countries B,C, and D in the same class can also be said about A.
Straw man and demented exaggeration. "All"?? Good hell, man; saying that Iran's government is not a democracy does NOT BEGIN to say ALL THAT CAN BE SAID about a country.


quote:
A country is a democracy when it has the definitive features of a democracy.
Shallow. [Crying] A country is a democracy when it has the definitive *functions* of a democracy. Obviously, like I said, even if we set aside the issues posed by the bright line rule, even if Iran's elections were perfectly free, fair, and transparent, Iran would still not constitute a democracy, since most genuine power resides in a non-elected authority.

If the Queen of England routinely exercised the power she technically has in writing, to override or to shut down Parliament, then England would not be a Democracy either.

------
quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
I am not trying to "win" a case in court.

I am not trying to "win" a case in court either, nor to persuade you. But you set the adversarial tone when you tossed the "old lawyer trick" grenade (a vacuous shibboleth if I ever saw one). That's crass behavior coming from an intelligent person like Kenmeer, it's worse coming from someone like Tom who has actually been educated, but coming from you, the beneficiary of a legal education, that borders on unpardonable.

Bad Kid no cookie. [Razz]

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RickyB
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"I understand the issue with the most recent election, but are you both contending that Iranian elections in general, for the last 30 years, are all a sham?"

Not to the same degree, but sure - in that these elections are inherently pre-rigged. I don't understand how you can regard as democratic elections in which an unelected body, not responsible to voters in any way, direct or indirect, can and does routinely disqualify about half of all candidates for insufficient fealty to not just to the regime but to specific policies.

In the US in 2000, the system was subverted and manipulated. In Iran, no manipulation is needed because the it's built into the system!

Also, if you really have doubts as to the fraud, in elections where I'madonof**** miraculously won by the same 62% margin in all regions, where the Lur candidate ostensibly got less than 10% in his own home district... I don't know what to tell you.

While Iran isn't as insane or evil or totally detached from public sentiment as NK, it is much, much more meddlesome in the affairs of its neighbors. NK isn't running militias in other countries, one of which killed a PM and is currently threatening to drown its own country in blood if anyone dares say that it did. In addition, there is a problem with the messianic tendencies of many key figures in Iran's top echelons.

What I will grant you is that Israel is continuously drifting downwards towards greater comparability with Iran.

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Pete at Home
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Ricky, do you concur with my proposition that even if Iran's elections were perfectly honest, that the democracy is a sham because the elected government holds some or no power depending on the whim of unelected Ayatollalitarians?
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KidTokyo
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JW,

quote:
You are trying to ignore substantial differences in order to create false equivalencies.
You see, that's the thing -- I'm *not* drawing an equivalence. I think I've stated several times that I see a continuum without discrete boundaries, upon which Iran is closer to Israel and the U.S. than it is to NK.

This thread began with an equivalence drawn between NK and Iran, and I have since been arguing against all equivalences by showing that "likeness" is not the same as "sameness." You've been misreading me all along.

quote:
Furthermore, you tried to equate Iran's well known dysfunctional election system which resulted in millions of protesters across the entire nation followed up by governmental raids and imprisonment with a 10 year old partisan election dispute, that was resolved in a democratic and civil faction.
The point is that, from an objective outside observer, the differences are not as great as you presume. You are the one arguing for categorical "us vs. them" differences, maintaining that there is some special point at which America is a full democracy and Iran is utterly false. There are millions in the U.S. who protested Bush as illegitimate throughout his two terms. I do not recall any being killed this time, but many were rounded up and arrested en masse. I know this happened, having been there.

I'm just trying to debunk the reflexive, categorical thinking that pervades our view of Iran, and which has been fostered by our media.

quote:
Do you happen to see the very substantial difference between the US's presidential race (from 3 elections ago) and the recent "sham" election in Iran?

Do you notice the difference between an election, where millions protested in the street, dozens were killed/injured and the police arrested hundreds of people in targeted raids vs how the 2000 election in the US went?

Yes. Yes.

quote:
It is a fundamental difference (not a shade of gray) between shooting, calling for their execution and/or arresting the opposition vs having a court certifying a recount.
As isolated circumstances in comparison, yes.

But if you are arguing a fundamental difference between the nations as a whole, your sample is far too narrow on both sides.

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Pete at Home
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to amend JW's statement: you're ignoring neon and technicolor bright lines, in order to assert that the distinction consists of shades of grey. All cats are grey in the night, but surely, even with the lights off, you can tell whether you're having sex with a human being or with a cat.
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KidTokyo
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Pete,

quote:
(Because despite some sloppy argument habits, you have proven yourself honest and well-informed, which is why I find you worth arguing with even when you sometimes make it painful. I reckon that we're engaged in a mutually beneficial exchange; I catch up on all the news I haven't watched, and you, well, rather than flattering myself, I assume you're getting something out of it as well, since like me you seem to love knowledge and mental challenge for its own sake, and unlike me, you do not seem flawed by vanity or bitterness.)
I appreciate that, Pete. Yes, I am getting something out of it. And I apologize for occasional long gaps between these posts -- my life has had some major demands of late.

quote:
Straw man. My argument did not hinge on such an assumption; I actually suspected the contrary, and as stated above, I'd take your word for the fact that some of the clashes were the result of overzealous crowds or malicious agitators. Correct me if I'm wrong (and if you dare respond to what I'm saying rather than the straw man you've made of me) but Ahminejad isn't just the enemy of Iranian civil rights; the wealthy see him as a threat to their wealth and station. Actually my uninformed impression is that he's more sinned against than sinning in the narrow issue of the class warfare. That to some extent, like Caesar and Augustus, he does champion some of the legitimate grievances of the poor.

(While I sympathize with what I perceive as his economic agenda, I don't see championing of some legitimate grievances as all-pardoning. After all Hitler championed legitimate German grievances against Versailles I and Caligula championed legitimate gladiator grievances when he threw some of the booing spectators into the arena to see if they could do any better than the gladiators that they were back-seat driving).

Indeed, and I don't consider myself an apologist for Ahmmy. I'm just very concerned about the color of the lenses through which we view Iran, as compared to much of the rest of the world.

quote:
Red circle around "This" and "the issue."

"THIS"
I assume you aren't suggesting that your age of a lawyer or that the history of Corax v. Tisias depends on your acceptance of my framing of the issue. So what only holds true if you accept my formulaic framing of the issue?
That you are using the white trash lawyer trick of saying aw shucks, all this thinking is hurting my head but the truth is clearly x?
That the dirty rhetorical trick you used is LITERALLY the oldest one in the book, from Corax v. Tisias?


Please clarify what you meant by "this."

"THE ISSUE"

What is the issue, from your point of view?

"That Multilateralism works with North Korea?"

"That Iran is more like Israel than it is like a Writing Desk?"

How is your understanding of the issue less "formulaic" than mine?

I thought that you and I were arguing about whether the difference between Iran and the UNITED STATES (IIRC that's where Bush v. Gore occurred, not in Israel or North Korea) with respect to democracy was simply a matter of shades of gray, or whether the US was chartruse and Iran was infra-red.

Corax-Tisias actually contains more than one trick, but the one I had in mind requires that opposite outcomes produce the same conclusion.

Since you had argued for a bright-line between Iran and US, and I argued against the proposition they were opposites in the same way "good lawyer" is the opposite of "bad lawyer," I felt that you were seeing me as playing a tick only because you insisted as viewing them as opposites.

Put it this way -- many of my arguments here on Ornery are "meta" in that I argue against the premise or the criteria implicitly shared by both sides, rather than arguing for a side. I think this gets missed a lot. It's party my fault in this case, as I chose an over-simplified way of illustrating my point, which suggested I saw Iran as being simply more like A than B. I also was fending off JW and you at the same time.

I admit, I'm a little unclear as to what exactly is the trick you think I pulled. What terms do I substitute in the Corax dialogue?

quote:
A country is a democracy when it has the definitive *functions* of a democracy. Obviously, like I said, even if we set aside the issues posed by the bright line rule, even if Iran's elections were perfectly free, fair, and transparent, Iran would still not constitute a democracy, since most genuine power resides in a non-elected authority.
To clarify -- I would argue that this is true in virtually every "democracy" in the world. I view democratic republicanism in the modern era as choosing your intermediary who will negotiate with the oligarchs.

quote:
"All"?? Good hell, man; saying that Iran's government is not a democracy does NOT BEGIN to say ALL THAT CAN BE SAID about a country.
Classified as democratic, or not.

quote:
I am not trying to "win" a case in court either, nor to persuade you. But you set the adversarial tone when you tossed the "old lawyer trick" grenade (a vacuous shibboleth if I ever saw one). That's crass behavior coming from an intelligent person like Kenmeer, it's worse coming from someone like Tom who has actually been educated, but coming from you, the beneficiary of a legal education, that borders on unpardonable.

Bad Kid no cookie.

Not one? Well, I felt you were hedging me into the very premise I was trying to debunk.

Ricky,

quote:
Not to the same degree, but sure - in that these elections are inherently pre-rigged. I don't understand how you can regard as democratic elections in which an unelected body, not responsible to voters in any way, direct or indirect, can and does routinely disqualify about half of all candidates for insufficient fealty to not just to the regime but to specific policies.
Insofar as there are still candidates with differences large enough to drive millions into the streets, my point is and has only ever been that Iran is closer on the spectrum to Israel and America than it is to NK, where nobody protests anything, ever, or ever casts a vote. That is all.

quote:
Also, if you really have doubts as to the fraud, in elections where I'madonof**** miraculously won by the same 62% margin in all regions, where the Lur candidate ostensibly got less than 10% in his own home district... I don't know what to tell you.
I know only that there have been interesting cases made on both sides of this argument. I find it very difficult to find consistent findings. Every investigation proposes something different. So, it is hard to come to a conclusion.

quote:
While Iran isn't as insane or evil or totally detached from public sentiment as NK, it is much, much more meddlesome in the affairs of its neighbors. NK isn't running militias in other countries, one of which killed a PM and is currently threatening to drown its own country in blood if anyone dares say that it did. In addition, there is a problem with the messianic tendencies of many key figures in Iran's top echelons.
That is an arguable point. NK has kidnapped hundreds of Japanese civilians, and imprisons (usually disappears) any human being who passes too close to its borders. And, as you well know, it makes plenty of threats.

I grant you it does not meddle with armed groups in the way Iran does. It's too control freakish for that.

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Pete at Home
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NK, like I said, is a hostage situation masquerading as a country, and it does have ambitions on SK, but as Ricky points out, it does NOT project itself as a regional powerhouse.
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KidTokyo
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It doesn't?

That's news to me.

Perhaps I'm unclear as to what you mean by the verb "project."

[Confused]

[ December 09, 2010, 11:19 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Pete at Home
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I mean it doesn't fund the spreading of its values to other countries like Sweden does in a good way, like America does in an ambivalent way, and as Iran does in a decidedly evil way.
quote:
NK has kidnapped hundreds of Japanese civilians, and imprisons (usually disappears) any human being who passes too close to its borders. And, as you well know, it makes plenty of threats.
At some level you must realize that's completely non-responsive to Ricky's assertion that unlike Iran, NK doesn't "meddle" in the "affairs of its neighbors." Kidnapping Japanese actors was in order to start a NK film industry, not to meddle with Japan.
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