Campaigns/Elections

Two Parties Good, or, McObama Makes Texas Ballot in a Non-Squeaker

|

In perhaps the week's least surprising news, Bob Barr's lawsuit to get the state of Texas to hold to their deadlines and bar the two major parties from the presidential ballot was tossed out with no comment.

NEXT: Hank Paulson's Countdown to Armageddon

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Dem-och-rah-cee? HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHA!

  2. Jeebus, that’s disgusting.

    Of course, the reason there was no written opinion is that there is no basis that can be articulated in writing for denying the suit.

    I don’t know if there is an appeal to the Supreme Court possible, but if not, there should be. If they could take the Florida election to SCOTUS, why not Texas?

  3. I call bullshit on that.

  4. Texas joins Jersey in election shenanigans. What distinguished company.

  5. I believe the implicit reasoning of the court was “because we can”.

  6. What a shocker. Now I respect these laws a lot more — and the Texas judiciary. This was one of Barr’s few sensible campaign-season lawsuits, too…

  7. The Official Parties of the United States of America?.

  8. They’re all crooks!

  9. I knew better than to expect the law to be respected by the Texas judiciary.

    But I at least hoped to be entertained by whatever absurd reasoning they chose to use to justify ignoring the law.

    They have denied me my entertainment! Fuckers!

  10. “For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”
    –Thomas Paine

    I never pictured myself as the type to quote the Founding Fathers as if their words were topical and their argument self evident. What’s in this Kool-aid, anyway?

  11. EVERYONE should be talking about this every chance they get. C’mon, don’t you all have blogs to rant on?

  12. What’s odd here is that when Tom Delay screwed up ballot access for the Republicans in 2006, state courts ruled in favor of the Democrats, who argued that since the deadlines had passed, the law was the law, and no Republican should be on the ballot in his district. As such, the only candidates on the ballot were the Democrat Nick Lampson, and the Libertarian Bob Smither, and the eventual Republican nominee had to run as a write-in. So Bob Barr, I think, was justified in at least thinking there was a snowball’s chance in hell, based on that precedent. At least in the New Jersey case, their supreme court went to the trouble to author a decision. A very poorly reasoned one, mind you, one which made explicit reference to the importance of the “two-party system”, but they at least gave you that. It’s such a cop-out here to not provide a written justification for the Texas Supreme Court’s holding, and I suspect it’s because they can’t rectify it with the Tom Delay case.

  13. I never pictured myself as the type to quote the Founding Fathers as if their words were topical and their argument self evident.

    Me either. Besides, to be pedantic, Paine is articulating a theory of logical positivism, which is teh stoopid, so we are all saved from having to take him seriously at face value.

    Still, law is supposed to be a *partially* sovereign force, even if it doesn’t rest on its own foundations. Texas can’t justify it’s actions here; that’s why they didn’t bother to.

  14. Take that, law!

  15. Two Parties Good

    Four parties bad.

  16. “EVERYONE should be talking about this every chance they get. C’mon, don’t you all have blogs to rant on?”

    You folks are nuts! Sorry for the ad hominem, but really, what other explanation can there be when what you’re hoping for, with all of your schoolgirl might, is the de facto disenfranchisement of the people of Texas?

  17. Reading this, I heard the echoing “tick” marking the latest advancing of my personal Doomsday Clock. I think it’s like 2:25 now.

  18. is the de facto disenfranchisement of the people of Texas?

    What are you talking about? They can still write in McCain or Obama. They just won’t be able to pull a lever instead.

    If Barr had failed to get on the ballot in time the LP would be fucked, with the GOP and the Dems doing the thrusting. It’s only fair to try and fuck them back–without the decency of giving them a reacharound, seeing as the Texas Supreme Court did that.

  19. the de facto disenfranchisement of the people of Texas?

    it’s certainly worth a try…

  20. Laws are for the little people.

  21. “the de facto disenfranchisement of the people of Texas?”

    The U.S. Constitution already beat you to it. Presidential electors are “appoint[ed], in such manner as the Legislature [of each state] shall direct.” State legislatures could pick the electors themselves. Or they could cut the voters in on the action by giving them a choice among various candidates. The Texas legislature took the latter option, giving voters a choice among those candidates who registered by the deadline. The Texas Legislature doesn’t think that’s generous enough? Let *them* change the law.

  22. I checked out the write-in law, and it seems that the filing deadline applies to write-in candidates, too – though of course I could be wrong.

  23. Disenfranchised?

    Hey, why do they have a deadline at all? All states have them. I can guarantee you if Barr had missed the deadline, he wouldn’t be on the ballot.

    Ballot access is not a birthright – third parties have been jumping through hoops for decades while the major parties throw spike strips in their path. Why should the monopoly parties get a pass when they screw up.

    By definition, disenfranchisement is taking away someone’s right to vote. No one would have had that happen to them, and people can vote for whomever they like, regardless of whether they are on the ballot.

  24. “”For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”
    –Thomas Paine ”

    Idealism precedes experience. Cynicism is what follows.

    – David T. Wolf

  25. “Hey, why do they have a deadline at all?”

    Good question.

    “I can guarantee you if Barr had missed the deadline, he wouldn’t be on the ballot.”

    Because beyond the fringe, no one really cares.

  26. “What are you talking about? They can still write in McCain or Obama. They just won’t be able to pull a lever instead.”

    That’s what I meant by, “de facto”

  27. It’s almost like the system is rigged to favor the major parties, or something.

  28. “If Barr had failed to get on the ballot in time the LP would be fucked, with the GOP and the Dems doing the thrusting. It’s only fair to try and fuck them back–without the decency of giving them a reacharound, seeing as the Texas Supreme Court did that.”

    Thank heaven for little girls
    for little girls get bigger every day!

    Thank heaven for little girls
    they grow up in the most delightful way!

    Those little eyes so helpless and appealing
    one day will flash and send you crashin’ thru the ceilin’

    Thank heaven for little girls
    thank heaven for them all,
    no matter where no matter who
    for without them, what would little boys do?

    Thank heaven… thank heaven…
    Thank heaven for little girls!

  29. “We don’t follow election laws. Only the little political parties follow election laws …”,

  30. Well, at least the two major parties can’t virutally keep Barr out of the debate!

  31. That’s what I meant by, “de facto”

    And that’s why you’re still wrong. It’s a serious stretch to say that because you have to write a name that you’re disenfranchised.

  32. “”We don’t follow election laws. Only the little political parties follow election laws …””

    Then what you need to do is ask yourself why that is? How did the Nineteenth-Century Republican Party pull it off and yet, with all of your fantastic modern communications technology, you can’t?

  33. Four parties bad.

    You’re not kidding. Any more than two major parties is way too confusing. Just ask a Canadian; they’ve got 5!

    And nobody –nobody– wants to be as confused as Canadians.*

    *Except maybe the Cato Institute.

  34. “You folks are nuts! Sorry for the ad hominem, but really, what other explanation can there be when what you’re hoping for, with all of your schoolgirl might, is the de facto disenfranchisement of the people of Texas?”

    Texas’s reprehensible law re: write-in candidates is responsible for disenfranchising Republicratic Texans. Otherwise, they could just write “John McCain/Sarah Palin” or “Barack Obama/Jospeh Biden”. Except for the ones too dumb to know there’s party’s candidate, but I don’t see a big loss for democracy there.

  35. for a sleepy guy you sure do post a lot.

    it must be that ironing thing all the kids are talkin’ about.

  36. “And that’s why you’re still wrong. It’s a serious stretch to say that because you have to write a name that you’re disenfranchised.”

    Or produce a valid ID?

  37. It’s a serious stretch to say that because you have to write a name that you’re disenfranchised.

    Then you wouldn’t complain if we removed all your favored candidates from the ballot?

  38. “for a sleepy guy you sure do post a lot.”

    Matt’s not here.

  39. “Then you wouldn’t complain if we removed all your favored candidates from the ballot?”

    Thanks, TallDave. I agree.

  40. Correct me if I’m wrong, but both Repubs and Dems nominate by a convention (thus, they also fall under Chap. 181 and the 5% threshold)?

  41. That’s what I meant by, “de facto”

    But that’s bullshit. If you are such a partisan hack that you don’t even know the name of your candidate to write in, well…fuck you.

  42. That should have said “If you are such a partisan hack that you don’t even know the name of your candidate to write in and were going to just vote straight party ticket, well…fuck you.”

  43. “But that’s bullshit. If you are such a partisan hack that you don’t even know the name of your candidate to write in, well…fuck you.”

    My! How refreshingly cogent!

  44. “That should have said “If you are such a partisan hack that you don’t even know the name of your candidate to write in and were going to just vote straight party ticket, well…fuck you.””

    Guess I spoke too soon.

  45. My God, Sleepy, you’re either stupid or a troll, but I’ll feed you anyway.

    It should be completely self-evident that one of the reasons small parties can’t “pull it off” is precisely because of rulings like this.

    Right now, I have mind-splitting rage over this issue and the bailout issue, and nowhere but here to try to get it out. Normally, I avoid the mind-splitting stage by having very low expectations.

    Like Fluffy mentioned for the Barr case, I at least expected to be entertained by absurd, twisted logic that we could make fun of. But the no comment, “Fuck off!” decision almost makes me want to join the anarchists in saying that any faith placed in the “rule of law” is misplaced. The “law” is utterly irrelevant to the people in power.

    Someone has said that we’re in that awkward stage – to late to work within the system but too early to buy huge stocks of ammo. I don’t know, the events of this week make me think about clearing out some space in my closet.

  46. what you’re hoping for, with all of your schoolgirl might, is the de facto disenfranchisement of the people of Texas

    They’re not disenfranchised. They’re free to vote for anyone who made the ballot. Actually, I can’t make that argument. It sounds too much like, “gays have equal protection under the law because they can marry someone of the opposite sex, just like straights can.” But weighed against the Rule of Law, the disenfranchisement of Texas Democrats and Texas Republicans seems pretty minor.

    What I’m actually hoping for, with all my schoolgirl might, is a review of ballot access law. When laws are so onerous and complex that even the privileged and powerful can’t comprehend or abide by them, it means the law needs to change. What I don’t want to see is the privileged and powerful getting a bye while the little guy gets reamed. c.f. tax code; congressmen and drugs; non-black people.

  47. Then what you need to do is ask yourself why that is? How did the Nineteenth-Century Republican Party pull it off and yet, with all of your fantastic modern communications technology, you can’t?

    I’ll assume you are not being ignorant merely for rhetorical purposes. The Republican Party didn’t topple anything or arise as a third party. It was created to replace the Whig Party, after that party split up into regional blocs, largely due to disagreement over slavery, and then basically disintegrated.

    American politics has always drawn its English model and favored a dual-party system. Only for a period of about 12 years after the disintegration of the Federalists did the Jeffersonian Republicans have a monopoly. But that party rather quickly split up into the Jacksonian Democrats and the Whigs.

    There has never been a case in American history where a third party engaged successfully for any length of time or overtook an established party.

  48. My! How refreshingly cogent!

    Reading comprehension must make you sleepy too. Have a Red Bull.

  49. If you are such a partisan hack that you don’t even know the name of your candidate to write in and were going to just vote straight party ticket, well…fuck you

    I was going to vote 100% along race/gender lines. Demographic info won’t be on the ballot?!? How will I know who has a vagina and who doesn’t?

  50. But the no comment, “Fuck off!” decision almost makes me want to join the anarchists in saying that any faith placed in the “rule of law” is misplaced. The “law” is utterly irrelevant to the people in power

    You really should join us, you know. We are the coolest.

  51. Regardless of the history, the Texas decision sucks. Ballot access laws, in general, suck.

  52. Have a Red Bull.

    I don’t think shilling for both Big Cocaine and Big Energy Drinks is allowed, you know.

  53. How did the Nineteenth-Century Republican Party pull it off and yet, with all of your fantastic modern communications technology, you can’t?

    Classic, almost Grade-A troll. Take a case with superficial similarities to the current situation, draw a mocking comparison to taunt your interlocutors, and then do whatever it is that trolls do to celebrate the successful delivery of their intellectual crapulence payload.

    In the mid-Nineteenth century the two party system had *collapsed* with the implosion of the Whig party. A political duopoly is stable because people can be mollified by the appearance of choice. That wasn’t the situation when the GOP was created; people were looking for options and found one in the newly minted, mostly *western* (i.e. frontier) party.

    Not only is there a stable duopoly, now, but the only place that something fresh and new can come from these days is fucking Alaska. (And see how well that turned out.)

  54. You really should join us, you know. We are the coolest.

    Anarchists are like emos, only they cut *other* people.

  55. “Right now, I have mind-splitting rage over this issue and the bailout issue, and nowhere but here to try to get it out. Normally, I avoid the mind-splitting stage by having very low expectations.”

    I’m not a troll. My comments and questions are legit.

    I’m curious, have you personally done any door knocking for Barr? Or are your efforts towards advancing the Libertarian party confined to self-rage and low expectations?

    BTW, I am a registered Independent who has voted Libertarian most consistently. It’s why I find this incessant ranting so disturbing and impotent.

  56. Then you wouldn’t complain if we removed all your favored candidates from the ballot?

    Why would I care? I know for whom I want to vote…disenfranchisement is taking away the right to vote, not to vote for whom you want, especially when that individual flouts or ignores the law.

  57. You really should join us, you know. We are the coolest.

    It’s kind of like the fact that all my life, I’ve hung out around smokers, because they seem to have the right attitude, even though I think smoking is a really dumb thing to do.

    I’ve always thought the anarchists were cool, but I always had this article of faith that, of course, you need the rule of law to have a non-chaotic society.

    That’s were my rage comes from. Rulings like this put a huge strain on that article of faith for me, but I’m not ready to give it up.

  58. Damn you, ChrisO, with your typing speed and your cogent analysis!!!!!

    πŸ™‚

    Actually, for the record, the populist party did very well to co-opt both major parties in the 1890’s to get their agenda passed *even though* they did not survive as a party.

  59. I was going to vote 100% along race/gender lines. Demographic info won’t be on the ballot?!? How will I know who has a vagina and who doesn’t?

    Well said. Better put religion on there too.

    I don’t think shilling for both Big Cocaine and Big Energy Drinks is allowed, you know.

    “I may have been a centaur in my past life.”

  60. “Someone has said that we’re in that awkward stage – to late to work within the system but too early to buy huge stocks of ammo. I don’t know, the events of this week make me think about clearing out some space in my closet.”

    Impotent, would sum this up nicely.

  61. Anarchists are like emos, only they cut *other* people.

    You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, dude.

  62. I’m not a troll. My comments and questions are legit.

    It is not the point that makes one a troll. It is how that point is presented. When your moniker itself is purposed to insult someone, it doesn’t start you on the right foot for being taken as something other than…just another troll.

    If it sounds like a troll and writes like a troll and acts like a troll…

  63. Then you wouldn’t complain if we removed all your favored candidates from the ballot?

    Wait, I got this one. See, I don’t vote–so it would be fine.

    I’ve always thought the anarchists were cool, but I always had this article of faith that, of course, you need the rule of law to have a non-chaotic society

    Rule of law never applies to everyone, so you never really have it. Good to see you’re figuring this out.

  64. You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, dude.

    Anarchists can’t have guns. They don’t believe in the validity of money! “Anarchists” who have traded federal notes for ammo are just fucking poseurs.

    Nice try, though.

  65. “Not only is there a stable duopoly, now”

    Are you certain about that? Are things really all that stable in America? And if so, is it fair to lay all of the blame at the feet of the Texas Court’s usurption of Texas law?

  66. “When your moniker itself is purposed to insult someone, it doesn’t start you on the right foot for being taken as something other than…just another troll.”

    But he does

  67. “Nice try, though.”

    Sweet!

  68. Anarchists can’t have guns. They don’t believe in the validity of money! “Anarchists” who have traded federal notes for ammo are just fucking poseurs

    Anarcho-capitalist, not pure anarchist.

    Nice try, though.

  69. And if so, is it fair to lay all of the blame at the feet of the Texas Court’s usurption of Texas law?

    You can *always* correctly blame those who act, or who are charged to act but refuse to do so. So, yeah. You can blame the Texas court. That’s not to say they are all alone…

    Are things really all that stable in America?

    Cute fallacy of composition. When did “party system” become “things”? Much *can* collapse without damaging the duopoly. Witness, if you will…well, hell, witness the Great Depression.

  70. “I may have been a centaur in my past life.”

    I think you were a prostitute, but only “to old fancy rich ladies who want to do classy, exotic, fancy things with me.”

    [concedes that not only is it Always Sunny day, but that everyday should be]

  71. Anarcho-capitalist, not pure anarchist.

    Nice try, though.

    That doesn’t get you out of the woods, as the “money” was fiat/debt-backed government scrip, which Anarcho-Capitalists don’t (generally) believe is valid as money.

    Did you buy the guns with bullion? Just admit it! You are an anarchist dilettante! ;0)

  72. Did you buy the guns with bullion?

    Or bartered for them, in exchange for the other kind of booty?

  73. I think you were a prostitute, but only “to old fancy rich ladies who want to do classy, exotic, fancy things with me.”

    “Every pimp has a chalice. This one’s the shit.”

    [concedes that not only is it Always Sunny day, but that everyday should be]

    Excellent. (rubs hands) My evil plan nears fruition.

  74. You folks are nuts! Sorry for the ad hominem, but really, what other explanation can there be when what you’re hoping for, with all of your schoolgirl might, is the de facto disenfranchisement of the people of Texas?

    Troll for sure (“schoolgirl”), but…

    The other explanation, which seems totally outside your realm of possibility, is that folks here really, really believe in the rule of law — even when it’s hugely inconvenient to abide by such.

    Nobody here wants the good citizens of Texas to be disenfranchised, but we accept that following the rule of law can often lead to undesireable situations in the name of a greater good.

    Strict adherence to RoL creates a huge disincentive for bad laws such as the Texas filing deadlines.

  75. My evil plan nears fruition..

    Actually, I was going to count this one as using your power for good. Unless I missed another memo about sacrificing virgins.

    “I don’t want hit you, baby. So please don’t make me, okay? You’re my one and only. You’ve got to do right by me, okay?”

  76. The good citizens of Texas (myself included) would not be disenfranchised if we had to write 10 or 11 letters for either president instead of pulling a lever.

  77. Did you buy the guns with bullion? Just admit it! You are an anarchist dilettante! ;0)

    I can only operate within the system as it stands.

    Or bartered for them, in exchange for the other kind of booty?

    I’m a whore. It’s true. πŸ™

  78. Actually, for the record, the populist party did very well to co-opt both major parties in the 1890’s to get their agenda passed *even though* they did not survive as a party.

    That last part is the key, as I’m sure we both agree. Whenever a third party gets a tailwind, it gets co-opted by one of the major parties.

    The two-party system seems to be almost universal, I’d say. Wherever a political system is based on “pure choices” between ideologies and agenda, that system seems to default to two major parties. People seem to like dichotomies. Countries with multi-party systems all seem to have substantial regional, ethnic or religious distinctions that add further layers of political complexity, such as Italy or Israel. And even in those states most national elections boil down to a choice between two major (albeit shifting) parliamentary blocs, with smaller excluded parties acting primarily as spoilers or kingmakers.

  79. I knew better than to expect the law to be respected by the Texas judiciary.

    Actually, this court wrote an excellent opinion kicking the Texas CPS in the nuts for seizing all those kids at the FLDS ranch.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but both Repubs and Dems nominate by a convention (thus, they also fall under Chap. 181 and the 5% threshold)?

    From the link:

    The only problem with that defense is that Chapter 181 doesn’t apply to Democrats or Republicans because that chapter deals with political parties that nominate by convention, like the Libertarian Party.

    The Democrats and Republicans nominate by a primary process, which puts them under Chapter 172 of the election code, which has no loophole for five percenters.

    I’m no expert on Texas elections law, but:

    (a) if the major parties get in for having 5%, why didn’t the court just say so?

    (b) a quick look at the statute reveals nominations by conventions means nomination by a state convention held on a specific date, not the national convention. It also has its own set of deadlines, as follows, which I doubt that the major parties met, either:

    ? 181.033. FILING DEADLINE. (a) Except as provided by
    Subsection (b), an application for nomination by a convention must
    be filed not later than 5 p.m. on January 2 preceding the
    convention.
    (b) A political party by rule may extend the filing deadline
    for applications for nomination for an office for which a candidate
    who has made an application withdraws, dies, or is declared
    ineligible.

  80. Barr must have filled out some of the paperwork for the lawsuit incorrectly.

  81. Actually, I was going to count this one as using your power for good

    I wouldn’t.

  82. I wouldn’t.

    Fair warning. That’s very considerate, but you must know that giving the appearance of being a gentleman is extra-evil.

  83. “That last part is the key, as I’m sure we both agree. Whenever a third party gets a tailwind, it gets co-opted by one of the major parties.”

    That’s not what happened to the Reorm Party in Minnesota after Ventura won the governorship. Ventura left the partty mid-term, and it imploded.

  84. “Troll for sure (“schoolgirl”), but…”

    …but Episiarch’s “Fuck you”‘s are just civil discourse? Wierd set of rules you kids follow.

  85. rhywun gets the thread win at 1:33

  86. “Barr must have filled out some of the paperwork for the lawsuit incorrectly.”

    Bob Barr can’t even fill out paperwork correctly.

    Bob Barr. Wrong filling out his paperwork. Wrong for America.

  87. That’s very considerate, but you must know that giving the appearance of being a gentleman is extra-evil

    Of course I do πŸ˜‰

    but Episiarch’s “Fuck you”‘s are just civil discourse? Wierd set of rules you kids follow

    Boo-hoo. Would you like a hankie?

  88. Reform Party not Reorm Party. Sorry.

  89. but Episiarch’s “Fuck you”‘s are just civil discourse? Wierd set of rules you kids follow.

    Boo-hoo. Would you like a hankie?”

    Just a compare and contrast thing. Or is that anethema around here too?

  90. MWMMS:

    Epi is an established part of teh H&R online community and has a track record of understanding mainstream libertarian thought.

    I cannot recall Epi having ever insulted the entire H&R community. Your first post characterized us all as “schoolgirls.”

    You get from the process what you put into the process.

  91. but Episiarch’s “Fuck you”‘s are just civil discourse? Wierd set of rules you kids follow

    It’s not that weird. Episiarch’s got a lot of social capital built up around here. He can blow some on the occasional, “fuck you.” You haven’t contributed to the community, so your schoolgirl crack ruffled feathers. His fuck you was directed at acephalic voters. Your crack was directed at us. So fuc…

    Would someone with more social capital please tell him, “fuck you?”

  92. Tonio, if you had used the preview feature, you could have fixed your ‘teh,’ and my post would seem much more insightful.

  93. Would someone with more social capital please tell him, “fuck you?”

    Sure: Matt Welch Makes Me Sleepy, blow me.

  94. Thanks Episiarch.

    Now, MWmms, before you get the wrong idea, your brand of derisive condescension could actually do quite well here. But try directing it at specific posters instead of libertarians as a whole. If find the opportunity, use the phrase “You should read before you embarrass yourself further.”

  95. Evil board code swollowed my angle brackets.

    “You should read $highbrow_tome before….”

  96. …but Episiarch’s “Fuck you”‘s are just civil discourse? Wierd set of rules you kids follow.

    You know, when you wander into the middle of a movie you can’t expect someone to explain the plot and identify the characters for you.

    In fact, Donnie, you’re out of your element, so shut the fuck up.

    (p.s. it also helps the credibility along when you spell really long words, like “weird”, correctly.)

  97. His fuck you was directed at acephalic voters.

    I thought at first you wrote anopheliac. That’s what MWMMS is. The male kind of course with a sphincter for a mouth.

    Come on y’all, read some China Mieville for crying out loud!

  98. “It’s not that weird. Episiarch’s got a lot of social capital built up around here. He can blow some on the occasional, “fuck you.” You haven’t contributed to the community”

    So what you’re saying is that this blog is some sort of cult with an established hierarchy. Kind of like what I learned from last night’s National Geographic special on PBS entitled “Killer Stress” It drew parallels between Baboons and British civil servants. It all makes sense now.

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/nglive/washingtondc/f2008/films/stress.html

  99. “I cannot recall Epi having ever insulted the entire H&R community. Your first post characterized us all as “schoolgirls.””

    The schoolgirl reference was in regard to might not total personhood.

    Also, Tonio, given that my comment predated your arrival on this thread, so you are mistaken to think it had anything to do with you.

  100. Sleepy reminds of the time, way back at the dawn of forums like this (~96-98) where I blustered into some den of mainstream Republican geezers and started blathering on about how the Repubs where the same as the Chinese communists (i.e. economic freedom but no social freedom, still a good point, I think).

    Anyway, all they would say to me is “Shut up FNG!”. I didn’t get it at the time.

    Social constructs, man!

  101. I just realized how stupid it was to say that it’s still a good point that Repubs what economic freedom.

  102. Apparently, MWmms just discovered that human beings, in groups of sizes > 2, compulsively and productively create hierarchical communities.

    And he wants to be taken seriously. Heh.

  103. Sure, call us all a cult of baboons if you want to, but comparing us to civil servants? You’ve gone too far.

  104. “Apparently, MWmms just discovered that human beings, in groups of sizes > 2, compulsively and productively create hierarchical communities.”

    I saw the show too and we learned that’s not always true. When TB tainted meat killed off all of the alpha males in one of the baboon group, the quest for hierarchy ended. The group became more nurturing and their stress levels dropped dramatically. Young males joining the group adapted to the new structure in about six months. The group has remained this way for twenty years.

    What I took away from this is that the world would be a better place if we just killed all of the alpha males. This is very much in line with what I was taught in the Women’s Studies classes I took as electives.

  105. “What I took away from this is that the world would be a better place if we just killed all of the alpha males. This is very much in line with what I was taught in the Women’s Studies classes I took as electives.”

    YANKEE LIES!!!

  106. That’s not what happened to the Reorm Party in Minnesota after Ventura won the governorship. Ventura left the partty mid-term, and it imploded.

    That’s because the Reform Party stood for nothing more than electing Ventura, as well as Ross Perot on a national level. Very much the same as Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party. Pat Buchanan’s attempt to hijack the Reform Party and turn it into a paleo-con organization is one of the more interesting and amusing episodes in American political history.

    The Populist Party and the Dixiecrats were comparatively idea-driven parties that both had a certain amount of success for short periods, but their agendas were both co-opted by one or both of the major parties. As such, they had nothing to stand on for long.

  107. When TB tainted meat killed off all of the alpha males in one of the baboon group, the quest for hierarchy ended. The group became more nurturing and their stress levels dropped dramatically. Young males joining the group adapted to the new structure in about six months. The group has remained this way for twenty years.

    Seriously? And they still function well? That’s weird. And awesome.

  108. What I took away from this is that the world would be a better place if we just killed all of the alpha males.

    I imagine they’d be rightly fucked if they ever met an entire other tribe of baboons.

  109. “Seriously? And they still function well? That’s weird. And awesome.”

    Yes. I was really impressed. If you get a chance to see the program, do so.

    What impressed me about the British civil service part was the guy whosaid he’d worked for the BCS for three years and during that tme, missed work about half of the time.

    The show said that due to the national health care system being equally available to all, it made the BCS a great control group for the study of stress. Low and mid-level workers were sick much more often and died at an earlier age than top-tier employees.

    Here’s a link.

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/nglive/washingtondc/f2008/films/stress.html

  110. American politics has always drawn its English model and favored a dual-party system

    From a game theory perspective, US election rules pretty much guarantee a two-party system. Having more than two parties is only locally stable.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.