Thursday, September 16, 2010

Overheard in the Hallway:

RX: "Remember, ballot access in Indiana is kinda weird and tied to how many votes someone gets for Secretary of State, so if you like the Libertarians, you kinda have to vote for their Secretary of State candidate."

Me: "I imagine I'll probably be voting for lots of Libertarians anyway. Except for Congress, because Dr. Marvin Scott isn't too bad for a Republican and has a shot at winning, and Andre Delenda Est."

RX: "Oh, yeah; Andre has to go. To give him his due, he seems smarter than his grandmother was."

Me: "That's damning by faint praise. I've seen things growing on a damp piece of bread that seem smarter than his grandmother was."

I hate the very idea of voting. The fact that there are basic human rights that have been left to the the vagaries of snout-counting strikes me as a very basic flaw in our entire system of government. November should consist of a few dull Cincinnati dragged unwillingly to the meanest of public service by a handful of loyal followers, whereupon they will look out their office windows for a term and pine for the day when they can get back to doing something meaningful with their lives.

I have been, in the past, an only intermittent and unenthusiastic part of the electorate. However, now that the rowboat is going over the falls and nobody seems inclined to pull over to the side of the stream and let me out, I feel compelled to stick my oar in the water again. After all, these things keep getting won by the people who bother to show up. (Quick: Name your County Commissioners or City Councilmen!)

My biggest worry is that, in times of national crisis, when nobody's working and everyone's afraid the currency will blow up, people want to vote for someone who promises to make the trains run on time without ever asking where exactly those trains are headed.

30 comments:

trebor1415 said...

"people want to vote for someone who promises to make the trains run on time without ever asking where exactly those trains are headed."

...or who have been shoved in the boxcars.

Tam said...

trebor1415,

Well, I didn't want to be too blatant with my allusion and invoke Godwin's Law straight off. :o

Gewehr98 said...

There was a message buried somewhere in that Karl dude's rant, I guess. He kinda lost me on the prisons vs. consensual adult contact thing, though. Condensed, I'd have to paraphrase his screed the same as all the other myriad sites portending as harbingers of the impending apocalypse (not unlike APS circa 2009): I kan haz Civul Wor nao? k'thanx, bye!

In the meantime, I'll be over here, getting fitted for a custom face colander. I've been wanting one since I ventured too close to Fighting Bob Fest in my hometown last week, anyway. Not exactly on the James Wesley, Rawles list of must-haves, but damnit, if we're all supposed to go it alone into the brave new world we may as well dress the part...

TJIC said...

> make the trains run on time without ever asking where exactly those trains are headed.

I'm used to professional grade levels of snark here, but that Axis two'fer was world-class.

I'm in shock.

Bravo!

Tam said...

G98,

I'm not buying straps for the colanders here at Roseholme, but at the same time, I've stopped being shocked when I hear someone predicting breadlines or even localized unrest.

After all, it's only been 70-some-odd years since the one and 40-some-odd years since the other.

Firehand said...

Ex-wife once said the proper way to select a President was to start going down a list chosen at random, knocking on the door and saying "You've been chosen to serve as President for four years." Anyone who just says "Ok!" or- worse yet- some variation on "Cool!" to be immediately disqualified; you want someone who says "I've got a family/business/friends to take care of, go away." THEY'RE the one to drag to DC.

8Notch said...

TJIC, while I agree "that Axis two'fer was world-class", I have to give more though to the Cato reference.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase some jerk, we'd probably be better govered by picking people randomly.

I'd make one qualification: you paid more in taxes that you recieved bene's.

Mind you that'd eliminate about 50% of the electorate or so, so that's probably a decent filter right there.

Heh, it'd be worse that an IRS audit.

"You have been selected to be congress critter, president, etc..."

Most reactions: Oh, god , how have I offended thee?

Ken said...

Bless you Tam, I thought I was the only one who felt THIS way: " November should consist of a few dull Cincinnati dragged unwillingly to the meanest of public service by a handful of loyal followers, whereupon they will look out their office windows for a term and pine for the day when they can get back to doing something meaningful with their lives.". Here in Northern Tamaulipas, Texas most people say "Sin who" when I express that sentiment.

Tam said...

TJIC,

Spread it, my brothah.

We apparently need to get just 149,999,999 other Americans thinking that way. ;)

Ken said...

I hate the very idea of voting. The fact that there are basic human rights that have been left to the the vagaries of snout-counting strikes me as a very basic flaw in our entire system of government. November should consist of a few dull Cincinnati dragged unwillingly to the meanest of public service by a handful of loyal followers, whereupon they will look out their office windows for a term and pine for the day when they can get back to doing something meaningful with their lives.

Two out of two Kens surveyed agree...and herewith place in nomination for President of these here United States, one Tam.

Especially if you don't want it.

Tam said...

If nominated I will not run, and if elected I will not serve.

Further, you've gotta catch me if you want me to hang. ;)

D.W. Drang said...

Ken
I already tried. IIRC, I was proposing she and Bobbi for Pres and Vice, either way.
They threatened to nuke me from orbit.

Asimov did a short story in which electoral decisions were made by The Computer selecting one (1) who, on The Day, was made to go downtown and spend the day answering an endless series of seemingly nonsensical questions, which were used to select every "elected" official.

theirritablearchitect said...

"The fact that there are basic human rights that have been left to the the vagaries of snout-counting strikes me as a very basic flaw in our entire system of government..."

I think it equally flawed that there a people (I use the term loosely) who think that by performing the very snout-counting (PIGS!, Oh how very apropos!) you mention, they can deny someone else their rights.

Then one brings up the concept of what a right is to the unwashed, and the morons then turn off their brain.

I've given up on trying to convince idiots that they are what they are, in need of seeing things more clearly, and from a less self-obsessed point of view. I'm opting for the knife to the throat routine, if it ever comes to that.

Screw 'em all.

Stranger said...

I have known two families and a dozen survivors who were shoved in the boxcars - and two who spent six years living as feral animals hiding from the National Socialists.

Everything considered, a nice quick death is preferable to being stripped naked, any gold or silver in your teeth extracted without anesthesia, then forced to march to a ditch and unceremoniously shot.

With the bonus that with any luck at all you just might be able to take some of the bastards with you.

Stranger

Nathan said...

"...people want to vote for someone who promises to make the trains run on time without ever asking where exactly those trains are headed."

Er, excuse me, but isn't that what 57% of the electorate voted for in 2008?

The Jack said...

"Er, excuse me, but isn't that what 57% of the electorate voted for in 2008?"

Sure. "Boooosh Bad. I not Boosh! Anything you want I solve."

The quesiton is what happens when people realize their unicorn isn't coming.

Odds are they'll flock to the next confidence man who promises one with even more sparkles and rainbows.


Well at least in the US voting is still a choice. We could be like the Aussies (I think) and have it be mandatory.

Justthisguy said...

There's an SF story called "Ticket to Tranai", by Robert Sheckley, I believe. It describes a perfectly just, rational, and right scary polity. If you are a good shot, and brave, you can be an officer of the State on the eponymous planet. That medallion of office can be a motherfucker, though.

Bobby prolly has a copy in her collection.

Oh, there's a Piper story along similar lines, and it's on Gutenberg.

perlhaqr said...

Further, you've gotta catch me if you want me to hang. ;)

When's the next Blogmeet? *looks innocent*

Bubblehead Les. said...

What's that Heinlein quote? Oh, yeah, now I remember: "There may never be someone you could vote for, but there's always someone you can vote against" (or words to that effect). Of course, after watching how my fellow citizens have been voting for the last few decades, I'm really kinda wondering if we can get the Franchise set up ala the Starship Trooper Model. Remind me to bring it up at the Constitutional Convention....

Steve Skubinna said...

I don't support the Starship Troopers model (and I wouldn't assume Heinlein did, either - he wrote fiction, remember), but I would support some qualification for exercising the franchise.

Say, paying taxes.

CounterClckWise said...

I understand the Kantian moral imperative argument to this voting thing, I think. I guess my issue is that the people are a mooing mass of stupid and no amount of politiking is going to fix that. It's not the system that's the main problem, it's the citizenry. We all have our pet fixes to make everything work right again, but those ideas are just deck chairs on the Titanic. This system is just unworkable with an ignorant, entitled, and barbaric population.

wolfwalker said...

The fact that there are basic human rights that have been left to the the vagaries of snout-counting strikes me as a very basic flaw in our entire system of government.

Indeed. "Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -- Winston Churchill

Stranger said...

Democracy is what it has always been. Per Aristotle, "Government by the poor, because there are so many of them."

Unfortunately, today's "democratic" "progressives" have only two basic tenets. The first is equality in poverty for those not of the political class. The second is state control of everything.

Extrano

roy in nipomo said...

We really need to have being an elected official as popular as jury duty: a civic duty, but not financially rewarding.

Anonymous said...

I plan to enjoy voting this November. My mantra will be "no incumbants". Then I'll go home, enjoy an adult beverage, pick up a good book, turn on the stereo, and wait calmly for the Apocolypse.

Tom

(note to self: buy ammo.

Shrimp said...

"Snout-counting?" Turtledove?

Roberta X said...

Steve S: You don't support the "Starship Troopers model?" Why not?

markm said...

Roberta: Perhaps Steve served with too many idiots. That's not my personal experience, but the Air Force put me in a field that skimmed the cream of the enlistees, as defined by their ASVAB test scores for mechanical and electrical ability. And even a few of those guys were total fools, although certainly not anything like the percentage that not only voted for Obama, but were happy doing so.

markm said...

Roy: "We really need to have being an elected official as popular as jury duty: a civic duty, but not financially rewarding."

The problem is, being on a jury would be financially rewarding if jurors knew half as much as Congressmen about selling their votes and getting away with it. Or if, like Congress, they got to write recipes for getting away with corruption and call them "ethics rules". Not to mention campaign finance laws that are both roadblocks for opposing candidates and blueprints for legally bribing Congress.