Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More Daily Idiocy

The DI is at it again. The latest dose of Daily Idiocy? Attacking Champaign and Urbana’s citizens for using the democratic tools available to them to state their opinions about our current war and its presiding commander-in-chief.

The editors at the DI seem to think that free speech is within the jurisdiction of a select few. They fail to recognize that by putting advisory referenda on a ballot, the townships allow all citizens a voice. Whether or not the people with real decision-making power listen, at least the citizens can say they spoke. Isn’t this better than disagreeing and doing nothing?

The DI would like our citizens to express their views in only one way, a phone call to Congressman Johnson. These news hacks were up in arms when their free press rights were called into question over the offensive cartoons published earlier this semester, but they have no problem advocating for limiting the way others use their free speech. Shame on the DI for establishing such a double standard!

The DI correctly states that the referenda will not stop the war or impeach the president. So? When I go to the ballot box, I don’t expect that my one vote will sway the election.(Though it may.) Does that mean I shouldn’t use it? Or, do I have a responsibility as a citizen to use every opportunity given to me to be a part of the larger picture?

I may not agree with the intent of those people who put the referenda together and placed them on our November ballots, but I applaud them for actively seeking a voice.

8 Comments:

Anonymous reed said...

"Whether or not the people with real decision-making power listen, at least the citizens can say they spoke. Isn’t this better than disagreeing and doing nothing?"

Let's play devil's advocate. *Why* is it more productive?

"These news hacks were up in arms when their free press rights were called into question over the offensive cartoons published earlier this semester, but they have no problem advocating for limiting the way others use their free speech."

Just as the cartoons wasn't a free press issue (did the DI make it one? I thought Acton's stance wasn't about free press as much as it was about not letting the sensitivities of others dictate the news), this isn't a free speech issue.

The DI isn't a government body. As such, they are not subject to the 1st Amendment. Try reading the Constitution before you invoke it.

"The DI correctly states that the referenda will not stop the war or impeach the president. So?"

Is it not reasonable to suggest that acts which confer zero benefits yet extract costs (in this case, taxpayer dollars involved in running the meeting) ought not to be questioned?

"When I go to the ballot box, I don’t expect that my one vote will sway the election.(Though it may.) Does that mean I shouldn’t use it?"

"Should" or "shouldn't" are words best not applied to individual choices that do not infringe upon the rights of others.

"Or, do I have a responsibility as a citizen to use every opportunity given to me to be a part of the larger picture?"

Citizens have a right, not a responsibility, to vote.

"I may not agree with the intent of those people who put the referenda together and placed them on our November ballots, but I applaud them for actively seeking a voice."

Are those individuals going to compensate those who had no motivation for the exercise, yet had to pay for some of it? Equity seems to demand it.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Don said...

*Why* is it more productive?
Did I say productive? No...I said better. Not the same thing. Better is subjective. You can disagree if you want. That's what subjectivity is all about.

As such, they are not subject to the 1st Amendment. Try reading the Constitution before you invoke it.
If the DI suggests someone shouldn't speak, then they are opposing someone's 1st Ammendment rights. I didn't say the DI was limiting someone's free speech; I said they were advocating that someone shouldn't use their rights. I've read the Constitution, thank you. Simmer down.

Is it not reasonable to suggest that acts which confer zero benefits yet extract costs (in this case, taxpayer dollars involved in running the meeting) ought not to be questioned?

Your question lacks clarity. A double-negative? Surely you can do better than that. If this is how you communicate, perhaps it's a good thing that you rarely speak at LAC meetings. Alas, I will interpret your question to mean, "Shouldn't we avoid using tax dollars to pay for an activity that generates no benefits?" (If you meant something entirely different, you'll need to state it clearly for those of us who speak English.)


Zero benefits to whom? Those who disagree? Some people feel a benefit was achieved. Some don't. Who gets to decide? [By your implied logic, anyone who opposed the war shouldn't have to pay for it. Hmmm....can I get my tax dollars back? I doubt it.]

"Should" or "shouldn't" are words best not applied to individual choices that do not infringe upon the rights of others.

That's a ridiculous notion. For instance, when I poop and then realize I am out of toilet paper, I might ask myself, "Should I use the Newsweek or the DI to wipe my ass?" Should seems to be a fine word in this situation. I suppose I could use "shall" or "will" or "might," but I prefer "should." The alliterative effect with "shit" seems all too perfect to let it pass, so to speak. (By the way...I choose the DI. A good Newsweek SHOULDN'T be wasted.)


Citizens have a right, not a responsibility, to vote.

Such a lawyerly reply. A jurist would agree. However, I will leave it to my own sense of rightand wrong to determine what my personal responsibilties are, thank you. Legally, I am not required to vote. Morally, I may be. This, of course, depends upon my moral code.

Are those individuals going to compensate those who had no motivation for the exercise, yet had to pay for some of it? Equity seems to demand it.

Hmmm. I don't know. I doubt it. It's not the American way. Will Bush pay anti-war citizens back? Will the Republicans repay the tax dollars spent on the Clinton impeachment fiasco? How about Rumsfeld's salary? I don't like how he's managed the war....should I have to help foot the bill? And state taxes for universities! Hell...there are some law students who really piss me off. Should I have to help pay the cost of their schooling?

9:52 PM  
Anonymous reed said...

Did I say productive? No...I said better. Not the same thing. Better is subjective. You can disagree if you want. That's what subjectivity is all about.

How is it better? What was the benefit?

If the DI suggests someone shouldn't speak, then they are opposing someone's 1st Ammendment rights. I didn't say the DI was limiting someone's free speech; I said they were advocating that someone shouldn't use their rights. I've read the Constitution, thank you. Simmer down.

No, they aren't. One's 1st Amendment rights regarding free speech are narrowly confined to freedom from government restrictions on speech. The DI was not opposing this freedom; they did not advocate government restriction.

Zero benefits to whom? Those who disagree? Some people feel a benefit was achieved. Some don't. Who gets to decide?

I'm still waiting for you to articulate what those benefits were.

That's a ridiculous notion. For instance, when I poop and then realize I am out of toilet paper, I might ask myself, "Should I use the Newsweek or the DI to wipe my ass?" Should seems to be a fine word in this situation. I suppose I could use "shall" or "will" or "might," but I prefer "should." The alliterative effect with "shit" seems all too perfect to let it pass, so to speak. (By the way...I choose the DI. A good Newsweek SHOULDN'T be wasted.)

Charming.

I don't think it's anyone's business what you wipe your ass with. Similarly, it's no one's business whether or not you vote.

Neither of these infringe upon me or others. However, when people choose to use up my tax dollars for unproductive demonstrations, I do consider it an infringement.

Such a lawyerly reply. A jurist would agree. However, I will leave it to my own sense of rightand wrong to determine what my personal responsibilties are, thank you. Legally, I am not required to vote. Morally, I may be. This, of course, depends upon my moral code.

Should individual moral causes receive tax dollars? Why?

Hmmm. I don't know. I doubt it. It's not the American way. Will Bush pay anti-war citizens back? Will the Republicans repay the tax dollars spent on the Clinton impeachment fiasco? How about Rumsfeld's salary? I don't like how he's managed the war....should I have to help foot the bill? And state taxes for universities! Hell...there are some law students who really piss me off. Should I have to help pay the cost of their schooling?

Imagine how silly it would sound if a pundit dismissed such criticisms by saying such things are "subjective," and as such, they shouldn't be questioned.

If you don't want to continue to pay for public Universities or this administration, you can voice your concerns to the proper legislature. If you voiced them to the City Council, I have little doubt that it would accomplish nothing. If the city spent resources in hearing you, it would waste some money.

I have no problems with citizens voicing their concerns. If you went to Springfield to protest the support for Universities, even if it accomplished nothing, it would at least be a worthwhile exercise in that the legislature has heard from its constituents on issues which they can address. A worthwhile expenditure of public funds in the name of democracy. However, when that possibility does not exist, it is merely a subsidized soapbox. I don't think questioning subsidization of a soapbox qualifies as "idiocy."

12:25 PM  
Blogger Don said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Don said...

How is it better? What was the benefit?

Well. Let’s see. You got fired up about it. So did the DI. Thus, some level of awareness about the issues may have been raised. Emotions, for sure. In addition, perhaps those with power to decide will see this as another voice and take it under advisement. It’s a possibility. I mean, unless Tim Johnson says he will completely ignore the results of the referenda, then it is safe to think he might take a peek to see what some of his constituents are thinking. There are other ways to get that job done, but this was among the options and some taxpayers chose to use it.

Of course, if you as a taxpayer feel such an exercise is a waste of time, you might work to make sure this legal option is no longer available. Perhaps if you attended a township meeting next year, you could have a referendum placed on the ballot by November 2007! Were you at the meeting this year to speak against it? Were the DI editors? If not, was that a mistake? Isn't this akin to skipping an election and then whining when you don't like the results?


One's 1st Amendment rights regarding free speech are narrowly confined to freedom from government restrictions on speech. The DI was not opposing this freedom; they did not advocate government restriction.
I never said oppose. Why must you put words in my mouth?



re: my pooping analogy, "Charming."

Thank you. I was quite impressed with my analogy. I thought of it while reading about Bambenek’s burrito.

I don't think it's anyone's business what you wipe your ass with. Similarly, it's no one's business whether or not you vote.

Agreed. It's nice we can find common ground.

However, when people choose to use up my tax dollars for unproductive demonstrations, I do consider it an infringement.

And again, I suggest going to that township meeting to complain.



Should individual moral causes receive tax dollars? Why?

Ask Terri Schiavo.


Imagine how silly it would sound if a pundit dismissed such criticisms by saying such things are "subjective," and as such, they shouldn't be questioned.


I have no problems with citizens voicing their concerns. If you went to Springfield to protest the support for Universities, even if it accomplished nothing, it would at least be a worthwhile exercise in that the legislature has heard from its constituents on issues which they can address. A worthwhile expenditure of public funds in the name of democracy. However, when that possibility does not exist, it is merely a subsidized soapbox. I don't think questioning subsidization of a soapbox qualifies as "idiocy."



Can we get an analysis of the costs here? How much money did this require?

You keep repeating the same argument. By that, I mean to say you say the same thing over and over. It’s as though you are repetitive. Quit that. Stop. End. I express both my gratitude and my thanks.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous reed said...

Well. Let’s see. You got fired up about it. So did the DI.

Not about the substantive issues. The DI didn't spend that much time debating the merits of the positions of those at the meeting. Neither have I.

As for what Tim Johnson does, this seems an inefficient way to get to that result. I suppose you could convince the city to spend millions of dollars to use a laser to burn the words "OUT OF IRAQ NOW" in a large lot. Maybe Tim Johnson would see it on Google Maps.

Of course, if you as a taxpayer feel such an exercise is a waste of time, you might work to make sure this legal option is no longer available. Perhaps if you attended a township meeting next year, you could have a referendum placed on the ballot by November 2007! Were you at the meeting this year to speak against it? Were the DI editors? If not, was that a mistake? Isn't this akin to skipping an election and then whining when you don't like the results?

I could have, but that would have been a cost as well. Is there no way I can avoid this? I can't stop stupidity everywhere.

they have no problem advocating for limiting the way others use their free speech

I said they were advocating that someone shouldn't use their rights.

I never said oppose. Why must you put words in my mouth?

Again, the right is only to be free from government restriction. The DI did not advocate limiting this right (meaning others should subject themselves to government restrictions).

In fact, the DI did not address or implicate the 1st Amendment right in the slightest. But you thought it would add some vigor to your post.

Ask Terri Schiavo.

So you believe that was a worthy cause? I wouldn't have expected you to take that side. Personally, I disagree.

Can we get an analysis of the costs here? How much money did this require?

Well, city has a payroll of people who provide technical support to the meeting. There's also the possible cost that local issues were not addressed because those who wished to speak on them simply could not endure the long, pointless meeting.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Don said...

As for what Tim Johnson does, this seems an inefficient way to get to that result. I suppose you could convince the city to spend millions of dollars to use a laser to burn the words "OUT OF IRAQ NOW" in a large lot. Maybe Tim Johnson would see it on Google Maps.

Apples and oranges. Did the city spend millions? Thousands? Hundreds? How much would you have saved if this hadn't occurred? Maybe the DI can do an investigative report to reveal the true cost. I mean, we're talking cost-benefit analysis here, and we don't know the costs.



I could have, but that would have been a cost as well. Is there no way I can avoid this?

No. Freedom isn't free. Haven't you heard?

I can't stop stupidity everywhere.

Damn. I was hoping you could. Since your powers are limited, could you maybe begin with ending the madness that is USPD?




Again, the right is only to be free from government restriction. The DI did not advocate limiting this right (meaning others should subject themselves to government restrictions).

In fact, the DI did not address or implicate the 1st Amendment right in the slightest. But you thought it would add some vigor to your post.


Among your powers, the ability to know my thought process. Impressive. What am I thinking now? Hmmmm?


Ask Terri Schiavo.

So you believe that was a worthy cause? I wouldn't have expected you to take that side. Personally, I disagree.


Perchance you missed the sarcasm. You and I agree on the Schiavo issue? Wow. More common ground.


Can we get an analysis of the costs here? How much money did this require?

Well, city has a payroll of people who provide technical support to the meeting. There's also the possible cost that local issues were not addressed because those who wished to speak on them simply could not endure the long, pointless meeting.


A dollar figure?

Oh! And how many frustrated citizens left without speaking of streets and sewers and other "relevant" issues?

If you're going to speak of wasted resources, I think it would be nice to know what they were specifically.

___________________________________

The irony here is this: If this were a referendum designed to save Unofficial or speak out against gay marriage, would you be making the same arguments? Perhaps so. Just wondering.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous reed said...

If this were a referendum designed to save Unofficial or speak out against gay marriage, would you be making the same arguments? Perhaps so. Just wondering.

Unofficial - no, whether to save it or eliminate it. That's something the city can address.

Gay marraige - yes, the city can't do anything about that. Not that it's relevant, but I have no interest in supporting anti-gay marraige groups.

7:57 PM  

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