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  #1  
Old 10-13-2018, 06:04 PM
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ebacon ebacon is offline
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Michigan Prop 2 -- Gerrymandering Again

I am still so goddamn pissed off over the political noise in America that I can't stand myself. Fuck. Fuck. I need to scream. Here is my attempt at articulating more than screaming FUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!

Sorry.

__________________________________________


Michigan Prop 2 - Gerrymandering

I will vote no to prop 2. Why?

Gerrymandering is a red herring in Michigan politics. It does not matter where the lines are drawn every ten years. The bigger issue IMO is still in first amendment contrasts between types of speech, e.g. political, commercial, private, and the like. I don't know all the hairs on that animal. But what I do know is that speech is persuasive when it is done well.

The lines can be drawn anywhere in Michigan and it will not change a single thing. All that will happen is Michigan taxpayers will be saddled with financing another committee and the lawyers that feed from its infighting.

We need to take a step back from the problem and ask a different question. First we need to define the problem. What is the problem that Michigan is trying to solve with Prop 2? What is it that we are frustrated with when it comes to the outcome of our politics? What physical thing can we point to and say that, that thing, I wish was different? For me the answers are articulable. I wish that our town centers have pedestrian zones instead of ever-widening Main Streets.

I am not Main Street America. I am a different animal. Do you feel me? Do you want to Tweet or Facebook that emotion to try and grow it? If so then you are gerrymandering in mind space instead of cartography space.

Silicon Valley, NYC, and Washington DC are making a mess with their pervasive databases and their ability to persuade us minute by minute through cell phone apps and cable television. It is noisy and we know it but we can't put our finger on what is pissing us off. It's their noisy speech.

Michiganders are paying taxes for politicians to make good decisions and they are letting us down. Our politicians do not understand how fast the computers churn speech and money in Silicon Valley, NYC, and DC. Prop 2 suggests that all we need is one more layer of people on the Michigan dole. Just ten or fifteen more leeches and then the pain will go away.

It wont.

It will not go away until we build things that we like to live in and maintain. We need to bring Up North back down south. That message hints at a federal speech issue. Not a state gerrymandering issue.

A solution can manifest with sweeping our commons instead of loudly blowing them with leaf blowers and hosing them with city water. Let's make our neighborhoods quiet like campgrounds. Of course an occasional loud party is allowed. That is the spice of life. Parties are fun.

Peace!
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:41 AM
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There is sometimes a danger of being so frustrated with 16 big problems that you don't see the use in solving one.

Lets say it was legal and constitutional for the state to pass a law that said in some districts only Democrats can be on the ballot, and in others, only Republicans. And lets say the Republicans could and did pass such a law, set-up their way. See anything sort-of wrong with this?

Gerrymandering pretty much achieves just the effect of such a law. The chance to at least partially solve a problem like this doesn't come along every day, and should be taken.

15 problems is better than 16.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:27 PM
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donquixote99,

I feel your pain. Everyone wants to have a say. Republicans, Democrats, Women, Men, Chinese, Indian, Native American Indian, Stereotypical Mustachioed Mexican, Successful Mexican Soccer Player, Tire Mounter, Tire Maker, the list making goes on Ad infinitum in search of popular votes.

My opinion might be more succinctly stated as this -- the list makers and their profiteers, most importantly their profiteers, need to articulate what it is that they are trying to build and why future generations would want to maintain that. They need to be articulate in the time dimension of beauty. I am fatigued of the flashes in their pans.

I appreciate your want for 15 problems instead of 16. All I ask of you is to tolerate my vote against Prop 2. In my software-writing experience with Cartesian thought the common outcome has been that when one bug gets killed then two come to its funeral. If that is statistically true then Prop 2 will not reduce 16 to 15, but rather grow to 17.

This voting stuff is hard. Thanks for having a spine.

Peace!
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:19 PM
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It is your right to vote against Prop 2, and it is my duty to tolerate your doing so. As regards me, you are on safe ground as to all that.

Again I see you wishing for wider reform, a desire that list makers and other powers be more clear and honest about what they're up to. I'm all for that, but it's a big problem, and many changes will have to happen on the way to achieving such transparency, accountability, etc. I actually think more competitive legislative districts is a step in the right direction, and suggest you consider the anti-gerrymandering proposition in that light. But getting responsive and responsible policy is not a thing that can be achieved quickly or easily, with, say, just one effective reform. It's more like a never-ending struggle.

Need more evidence that attempts to solve problems should always be expected to cause more problems than are solved. On the face of it, that seems to be an argument for never attempting any sort of improvement of things.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:44 PM
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donquixote99,

Thank you for your reply.

Here is my rub with Prop 2 and how you have persuaded me to soften my position. My initial rub was that Prop 2 could seed another round of profiteering through advertising and political adversaries. Joe Public Michigan would be fascinated with the debate of the fallout and everyone would profit as the game played out. A redneck reduction of the situation might be, "who'da thunk it?". That is an expansion of my 16 becomes 17 worry given my software background.

Where you have struck me as a trustworthy source of opinion is not your opinion itself, but how you have presented it. We have been careful to not quote each other in this thread. Why? You may be courteous out of habit, but for me discussing a vote of this gravity has been a lifelong lesson of writing software and watching managers fight and profit over the bits. Prop 2 scares me as just another bit.

On the other hand you comfort me with your position that this is a dance and will not become another Hillary Clinton e-mail debacle. Hillary needed elbow room to discuss things in private. The law allowed for that. As I understand the law Hillary only needed to save e-mails related to writing legislation.

Not her e-mails related to the heartbreak of voting.

Thank you for taking votes seriously.
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