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11 March 2013


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Of course they mean amnesty, much like they mean "gun confiscation" when they go on about "common sense gun control".

Nancy K

We would all just fight about districts instead of states or regions in a state. There is no getting around it rural and urban just do not get along well.
My transition from CA to NC has been relatively easy as we live near Raleigh Durham and Chapel Hill so we pretty much went from one liberal urban to another.
I have sincerely tried to be nonjudgmental of other's beliefs, political and religious, can't say I've always succeeded but I keep trying.
I think one of the big reasons I love your website is because I think it is important to be open to how intelligent people with outlooks different than mine think and their rational for believing that way.
I have very thick skin and have thankfully been tolerated by you on this site for a number of years.

Nancy K

Tyler, much of my family live in the greater LA area,as I did for 66 years. None live in gated communities. I definitly did not. We are all middle class. I have a daughter living in Boston, one living in LA, one in Lima Peru, definitly not "whitopias". None of our children or grandchildren go to private schools. Somehow we survived in this hellhole you paint all big cities as. Maybe we are just made of studier stuff, or maybe it just isn't so bad.


nancy K

"this hellhole you paint all big cities as." Go out in the country in NC and tell me how comfortable you are. You are a stranger in a strange land. pl


Nancy K,

I didn't mean to single out you in particular, but my experience in Florida was that a majority of retirees moving south had the 'you owe me' attitude. Somewhat like teenagers, finished the chores, don't need no more learning and 'where's my allowance'. Even my neighbor here in Michigan has the bug. He moved in a couple years ago yet last election had all the Ann Arbor politician's signs out front. I hope he figured out that John Dingel wasn't on the ballot because he's now living in a different congressional district.

Nancy K

I am a stranger in a strange land, but as a psychiatric nurse and a public health nurse I learned to blend and not make waves. I may not agree with life styles but I also know when to pick my battles and this is not one of them. I have not been sent to convert people to my way of thinking.


nancy k

Then you will be welcomed. pl


Sorry Nancy the plural of data isn't anecdote.

How many liberals live in the urban cores of Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Philly, Birmingham, New Orleans, Atlanta, etc and don't send their kids to private schools?

Hint: Extremely few. Its laughable you're trying to claim otherwise.

William R. Cumming

This turned into a very interesting post and thread IMO!

Peerhaps a few thoughts mixed with facts [hoping some of each]!

First as to the Germans! The mother who adopted my mother was German-American. Spoke only German until she was 17 growing up in Chicago.

In Europe today [at least west of the URALs] almost 500M people speak German or are culturally Germanic. A significant block.

Most of legitimate business in Russia is controlled by German Banks.

As to our federal system I have long suggested a permanent standing joint committee in the Congress that like the CBO issues a federalism analysis of each pending piece of legislation. Why? Even SCOTUS is all over the place in its federalism analysis and difficult for nonexperts to understand our federal system. For example, even elections to federal office are controlled by the STATES and these are not immune to corrupt practices.

Within the next several decades several states will have such drastic problems that it is unlikely anything short of a federal solution will solve them. Water issues e.g.

Few of the Governors are willing to contest federal power especially that of the federal fisc. There are many other examples. I think a federal system makes sense but few understand the deep divide in culture that differentiates many states.

And the STATES have not really worked out as Jefferson's laboratories of democracy. Nor has the federal government.


This I gotta ask my lady friend in Manitowoc...


Col. sir,

I wish I could be as proud of the country of my birth or the citizenship which I presently hold.

Ridiculous clause in passport [I have currently in possession]: " To all countries except israel".


They've offended the "No. 1 Superpower of the World"/"The Big satan"

[Maybes they should allow the palestinians to reside in THEIR land? Adding up to the list of existing myriad social problems due to introduction of raghead populations from across the globe...]

Mark Kolmar

To PL's and elkern's points --

The tendency has been for one party to absorb the third party's main issues. Since World War II, not more than 2 seats at a time in each chamber were held by independents or third parties. No third party candidate has ever won the presidency. So the U.S. has two main, stable, but shifting coalitions over the past 160 years or more, and they transfer power peacefully. Any system that does that has much to recommend it. I would not suggest we mess with it to the degree of a constitutional convention. The egg can't be unscrambled after a thing like that.

Because the states can pick their Electors any way they like, in theory that would allow a lot of flexibility without throwing the election to the House very often. A ranked-preference system might work like this, if states with a large majority of the electoral votes were to adopt it:

1. For each state, allocate the Electors in proportion to the candidates' shares of that state's popular vote by 1st preference. Except for a case like Reagan in 1984, the president usually would not be chosen this way.

2. For each state, allocate the Electors to the candidate with the most 1st-preference and 2nd-preference votes. As almost all the states are winner-take-all, this is pretty much how it works now. With multiple parties, this could still throw the decision to the House unless the states coordinate. If no candidate has a majority yet, use 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-preference votes.

3. If no candidate has a majority yet, repeat steps 1 and 2, except use the nation-wide vote totals instead of the in-state vote. (Another possibility is first to allocate by an average of the national and in-state votes, proportionally, before going to the national totals.) Unless the parties were weak, fragmented, and/or regional, most likely a candidate would have a majority of Electors by this point in the process.

4. Finally, go to the House as described in the 12th Amendment and continue from there.

Over a period of time, coalitions might become fluid enough to provide an opening for stronger, third parties. However, the two dominant parties now have a disincentive to do that. Fanciful as it may be, at any rate I believe this would not require changes to the Constitution.


I'm sorry, but New York being asked to back California bonds is an entirely inapt anlaogy.

Rather, it is as if a few fortunate states had de facto veto power over the ability of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to cooperate in running sufficiently large deficits to keep Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid checks flowing to California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, et al., despite their local budgetary difficulties.

The EU lacks such a common fiscal authority, enjoying the ultimate backing of the monetary authority. In the U.S., by contrast, the monetary authority is, constitutionally speaking, a creature of Congress, hence at least in principle subject to democratic control by the nation as a whole.

There is no analogous democratic constraint on the monetary sovereignty of the ECB. If there were, the nations of the southern periphery would not be subject, without hope of appeal, to the pointless suffering currently being inflicted on them.


I think it all comes back to the money.

The best thing the states could do is get off the federal teat, but someone will likely turn that into the state wanting to see grandma starve while freezing in the dark, your kids to get a third world education, and getting rid of roads.

Unfortunately I do not think the state of things will change until the money runs out. However, I think that time is getting closer every day.

William R. Cumming

Tyler! If it does come down to money, IMO meaning taxes by whatever level of government, could it be argued the low tax states are the largest beneficiaries of federal funds?

If so you could graphically depict this and promote interstate competition.

Virgina for example is one state that has had success feeding at the federat teat! Certainly in the top i


"Within the next several decades several states will have such drastic problems that it is unlikely anything short of a federal solution will solve them. Water issues e.g."

I once read an article that posited the reason we are actually in Columbia fighting the drug cartels is to secure the water there.


The argument that red states use up a disproportionate share of taxes from the Feds is one that the left loves to trot out (not saying you are making this argument, just building to a point). As I told nemsinnyc: overlay maps of where the most minorities live with where the most tax dollars go, and suddenly things become a lot murkier. There's also the fact that many retirees tend to live in the Sun Belt, and many of those retirees are getting govt pensions and the like. Again, its like the "40%" argument the leftists make about gun sales.

You mentioned water issues in the West, which is a legitimate concern. However, its a little disingeneous to separate the concerns over water while the Federal Government is trying to shoe horn in another 20 million plus illegal aliens into the same Southwest corridor.

The many environmentalists on the left refuse to make this connection. Remember, the Sierra Club had a split in the 90s after a Jewish businessman gave them a multi million dollar annuity to never ever speak against the environmental issues that immigration causes.

And one only needs look at DHS releasing thousands of illegal aliens into "red" states, attempting to use it as a club to beat the Republicans into accepting more tax hikes. Also, the not so small matter of the US govt suing Arizona over enforcing immigration law while it ignores the issues going on at the border.

I'd take a bit more self sufficiency in my life if we could break free of the federal yoke.


From my vantage point as a "Swamp Yankee" here in rural New England, I don't think this would work at all; in fact, it really bothers me a lot, the whole idea of it. It seems to be a crazy kind of Jacobinical super-rationalism, so ostensibly rational it's irrational. Vermont and New Hampshire would never consent to be ruled by any part of New York State; and what would happen to our Town Meetings if Syracuse was holding sway over the Green Mountains?

And how entirely removed from reality does someone have to be to think that Cape Cod would tolerate rule from Hartford?

A lot of the commenters here would no doubt disagree with me and my neighbors out here among the pine trees and cranberry bogs on a number of issues (though not others, we do heartily hate the Isle of Manhattan and its rich colonists of our beaches and mountains); but I think we all would agree that you can't just undo four centuries (in the case of Mass. or RI or VA or MD, e.g.) of lived experience -- that the States are real, are products of authentic historical experience, and can't just be wished away for the political expediency of metropolitan elites.

Precedents matter, especially in a Common Law country like ours. We don't get a blank slate to write on as we please.

And no Cape Codder worth his salt will ever consent to be governed by Connecticut!


Woops -- I was apparently thinking of a different recent map on these lines I saw that had CT ruling Cape Cod and Syracuse in charge of VT and NH. But my larger point stands, even with this (slightly different) map. Maine and Albany aren't the same place, and the Berkshires aren't going to be happily melded with New Haven.

Again, the whole idea behind these maps strikes me as somewhat offensive.


A lot going on in this thread.

The Senate is not going to be altered; the only appropriate measures would be to reform the filibuster and holds.

But, while the structure of the Senate was a compromise, it was also predicated on their being equal representation in the House. This has been completely overturned by the cap placed on the number of representatives to 435, to the detriment of the more populous states. Congress is supposed to represent people, not land.

It's interesting what Madison had to say about the two-vote Senate while it was being debated:

"[Madison] enumerated the objections agst. an equality of votes in the 2d. branch, notwithstanding the proportional representation in the first. 1. the minority could negative the will of the majority of the people. 2. they could extort measures by making them a condition of their assent to other necessary measures. 3. they could obtrude measures on the majority by virtue of the peculiar powers which would be vested in the Senate. 4. the evil instead of being cured by time, would increase with every new State that should be admitted, as they must all be admitted on the principle of equality. 5. the perpetuity it would give to the preponderance of the Northn. agst. the Southn. Scale was a serious consideration. It seemed now to be pretty well understood that the real difference of interests lay, not between the large & small but between the N. & Southn States. The institution of slavery & its consequences formed the line of discrimination. There were 5 States on the South, 8 on the Northn. side of this line. Should a proportl. representation take place it was true, the N. side would still outnumber the other; but not in the same degree, at this time; and every day would tend towards an equilibrium."

The compromise was perhaps hurried along when Delaware's Gunning Buford Jr. said this: "If you possess the power, the abuse of it cannot be checked. You dare not dissolve the confederation; if you do, the small states will find some foreign ally of more honor and good faith who will take them by the hand and do them justice." (How anyone could say this after the Revolutionary War is beyond my understanding).


On the federal spending topic...

This is one of biggest reasons for liberal exasperation and resentment. 'Red' states tend to proclaim their independence, and yet they receive a disproportionate share of federal revenues. California, for example, receives a huge amount from the federal government, but not as much as the tax revenues it provides. It's absurd to assert independence - "get government out of Medicare" sort of thing - while feeding from the trough filled by their wealthier - and chiefly liberal - states.

This unbalanced distribution hasn't changed over the years.

2005: http://taxfoundation.org/article/federal-spending-received-dollar-taxes-paid-state-2005

2010: http://visualizingeconomics.com/blog/2010/02/17/federal-taxes-paidreceived-for-each-state/

2012: http://visualizingeconomics.com/blog/2010/02/17/federal-taxes-paidreceived-for-each-state/

The funds are not simply Social Security, Medicare, and pensions. They include vast agricultural and DOE subsidies, DOD, education, and Medicaid and other health services, and - most essential in those barely populated states - transportation and infrastructure.

The liberal mindset accepts these allotments as part of being one country, but we can't help but deeply resent those who speak against liberalism while enjoying its fruits. And then, add insult to injury, the unbalanced representation only serves to fill the trough for those 'red' states while denying a fuller measure of revenues provided by larger states to meet their own needs.


Your state should secede, then you can keep all your money.



nemerinys lives in Tucson, Arizona. pl



this is getting interesting. I am now receiving threats from people who call themselves liberal. pl

John Minnerath

Better stock up on some high capacity clip thingies for that 9mm :)

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