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Member since: Tue Sep 11, 2012, 10:00 AM
Number of posts: 1,235

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Should Jury Pools be Larger?

I was thinking about this, while perusing GD and Meta today, and wondered ... would the jury system work better with a larger selection than 6 jurors?

Before they get mentioned, I'll cut off some likely comments:

- No, I'm not whining about something of mine that got locked. If something of mine was locked, I was probably being a jerk.
- I'm not advocating arbitrarily large juries

What if they were, say, 11 or 13 jurors? In most cases, a larger sample size gives a more accurate depiction of a larger population, si a larger set of jurors would more precisely mimic the prevailing sensabilities of thr DU community, whilst making it harder for a few bad seeds to swing a vote. Instead of 2 or 3, 5 or 6 dissenters would need to be picked. Still possible? Absolutely. Less likely? Certainly. (I picked odd numbers because, well, annoying ties are annoying, and most jury systems are odd numbers for a reason)


American Austerity

In Europe, a bubbling struggle against "austerity measures" (or "conditionalities" as the IMF is delicate enough to say) is threatening to boil over into rampant violence and protest.

This last week, protests in Greece against new Austerity measures turned violent[6]. Some 30 000 Greeks took to the streets of Athens in protest as part of a general strike that locked down most of the nation's transit system[2]. Greece is now in it's fifth year of recession and has seen unemployment soar to a mind-boggling 25%. No wonder they're angry. The feeling among many of the protesters is one of rage, against outside forces levelling massive cuts in the name of austerity on the lower- and middle-classes already battered by years of an economy in free-fall and unemployment.

Elsewhere in the EU, public sentiment is catching up to the anger of the Greek people. Spain and Portugal are both also reeling from crumpled economies, facing severe "conditionalities" pushed on them by forces outside, as are others. Protests have begun anew in those countries[1], and others[7], including in the UK[5]. A joint labour action has been scheduled for November 14th of this year between workers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

So what does all this mean? Though somewhat of a special case, there are similarities between the movement to slash programs ("austerity" to corral deficit over runs there and here. We can see this in the proposals from the Republican party (gutting medicare, social security, cutting off PBS, etc), all in the name of staunching the deficit. But this, outside the Eurozone, all runs contrary to "both Keynesian macroeconomics as taught to first-year undergraduates and the state-of-the-art Keynesian macroeconomics used by central banks tell us that the optimal response to the twin problems of deficient demand in the short run and excessive debt in the long run is a fiscal stimulus today followed by spending restraint or tax increases when the recovery is assured."[3] The basic principle being that when economies slump is the worst time for cutting spending and the best time for increasing spending; once economies recover, spending can be trimmed back to allow the private sector to take over again. We've seen this sort of recession spending before, and seen how effective it can be, during the 1930s. The Keynsian model works.

We also must make note of the differences in economic climate between the Eurozone and our own. "Individual eurozone countries, because they cannot print their own currency, are uniquely vulnerable to self-fulfilling debt crises. High interest rates on debt in countries like Spain and Italy are telling us that there is a basic design flaw in the eurozone. They are not a call for the rest of the world to undertake immediate austerity. Elsewhere, low interest rates reflect the fact that consumers around the world are saving more, and that raises the demand for government debt. This is the standard Keynesian story of a recession, and with monetary policy largely spent, it requires the Keynesian remedy of fiscal stimulus."[3] We must reject comparisons and allegations that deficit stimulus spending here will turn America into another Greece, that "austerity" measures are needed here, and that to do otherwise is fiscally irresponsible.

1. http://business.financialpost.com/2012/10/19/anti-austerity-protests-strikes-start-up-again-in-eurozone/

2. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/18/world/europe/greece-strike-austerity/index.html

3. http://falseeconomy.org.uk/blog/the-case-against-austerity

4. http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Spanish+unions+call+general+strike+stoppages+also+scheduled+Portugal+Greece/7415954/story.html

5. London Anti-Authority Protests

6. Greek Anti-Austerity Protests get Violent

7. Same, with Italian Students

Electoral Precedent - XKCD


Not only all of that

...the lengthy poster above nailed a lot of it...but she was a pretty bad writer. I've read a few of her books, including Anthem, and they're not great. Anthem has a hackneyed plot that could be found in any scifi anthology mag of the time. If i werent on my phone I'd go into more depth.

I will say that Anthem is less overtly extreme, but its in there. You know what, you should really read Atlas Shrugged. Don't simply take our word on Rand, experience the full force of her twisted, insane view on humanity.

Interesting blurb from Washington Post

It's buried about halfway down the article. Obviously it's hard to believe that a room full of people managed to be completely nonpartisan and undecided, but at least 3 of the people tapped to ask questions were registered Republicans, apparently.

Mary Follano asked about tax credits and deductions, Phillip Tricolla asked about gas prices, and Kerry Ladka, as we most certainly remember, asked the Libya question. Is this simply coincidental, were they simply concerned voters, or did they come into the event hoping to spike the punch and softball questions for Romney that he could use against Obama? If that's the case, Ladka failed spectacularly at least.

Little information was made available by the Commission on Presidential Debates about the questioners. But public records revealed a Mary Follano, for instance, who is 54, lives in Oceanside, N.Y., and works as a respiratory therapist. She is a registered Republican. [Phillip] Trocolla is a Republican, too, aged 52 and the owner of a club. Kerry Ladka, 61, is a registered Republican and said during the debate that he works at Global Telecom Supply in Mineola. His question, he said, came from his “brain trust” at the office.


The Most Laughable Tweet From Fox in a While

#BiasAlert: CNN host goes to bat for Obama campaign: http://fxn.ws/T6Ex7B #2012 #debate

From the Linked Article:
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was never known for being soft on journalists during his time in office. On Monday’s "Starting Point" on CNN, Giuliani pushed back at CNN morning anchor Soledad O’Brien, who started their interview typically by offering the Obama talking points for Giuliani’s reaction.
But when O’Brien started insisting that the word “cover-up” was going too far, and started asking her assistant Miguel for all the Obama transcripts, Giuliani asked, “Man, am I debating with the president's campaign? I mean, the defense of the president is overwhelming.”

Fox calling out Soledad O'Brien for having an Obama bias is sort of like Lance Armstrong moaning about Mark McGuire's home run totals. Also, does anyone really give a shit what Giuliani has to say about anything anymore?

The "Moderate Mitt" Myth [NY Times OpEd]

"The way a presidential candidate campaigns for office matters to the country. A campaign should demonstrate seriousness of purpose and a set of core beliefs, and it should signal to voters whether a candidate shows trustworthiness and judgment. Those things don’t seem to matter to Mitt Romney.

From the beginning of his run for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has offered to transfigure himself into any shape desired by an audience in order to achieve power. In front of massed crowds or on television, he can sound sunny and inclusive, radiating a feel-good centrism. His “severely conservative” policies and disdain for much of the country are reserved for partisans, donors and the harsh ideologues who clutter his party’s base. This polarity is often described as “flip-flopping,” but the word is too mild to describe opposing positions that are simultaneously held.

The best way to judge candidates is not by the popular way they describe their plans near the end of a campaign; it is by the most divisive presentations of themselves earlier on. A candidate’s political calculations when fewer people are watching is likely to say far more about character than poll-tested pleasantries in the spotlight.

That’s what is disingenuous about the “Moderate Mitt” in recent speeches and the first presidential debate. He hasn’t abandoned or flip-flopped from the severe positions that won him the Republican nomination; they remain at the core of his campaign, on his Web site and in his position papers, and they occasionally slip out in unguarded moments. All he’s doing is slapping whitewash on his platform. The immoderation of his policies, used to win favor with a hard-right party, cannot be disguised."


I'm very worried

Concerned, you might say. After watching tonight's debates, and seeing some of the reactions, knowing there's two more presidential debates on the horizon.

What really worries me, though, is what's Paul Ryan going to do for a job after November? Poor guy doesn't really have much experience beyond this last job he's about to get fired from...it's a pretty lean resume.

Romney Silent on Bain Off-Shoring

"Man is the only kind of varmint sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it." - John Steinbeck


Mitt Romney's company, Bain Capital, is outsourcing 200 manufacturing jobs in Illinois to China. Romney's response, despite outcries from the soon-to-be-displaced workers? Nothing. Not a word. How hard would it be for him to get on a microphone and say "hey, you know, this shouldn't happen here." Hell, he could even try to lay it at Obama's feet for 'creating the environment for this to happen' - as laughable as that would be. Its not like like Bain has any compulsion to do what Mitt suggests, he hasn't been directly connected to Bain management for years. He won't even make a hollow statement for these people for political points. Christ.

Ryan Shrugged

Lawrence O'Donnell did a rather scathing rant on Paul Ryan's flip-flops and "reimaginings" about some key aspects to his personal politics:


"In tonight's rewrite, Paul Ryan continues to rewrite Paul Ryan, on the many things Paul Ryan can no longer say now that he's Mitt Romney's running mate.


"I grew up reading Ayn Rand...it's required reading in my office for my staff. The reason I got into public service, if I had to credit one thinker, it would be Ayn Rand." When I had to point out Ayn Rand was an athiest, Paul Ryan was then forced to say this: "I reject her philosophy. It's an athiest philosophy."

Which was exactly what we were hoping he would say. In that same speech where Paul Ryan swore his devotion to an athiest radical Russion philosopher, he said this about Social Security: "Social Security right now is a collectivist system." So there was Paul Ryan, an elected Republican congressman at the time, calling this country's most popular public program a Communist system.

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