@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

BeautifulMind

@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world

Late-diagnosed autistic, special interest-haver, dad, cyclist, software professional

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Kansas Constitution does not include a right to vote, state Supreme Court majority says (apnews.com)

The Kansas Supreme Court offered a mixed bag in a ruling Friday that combined several challenges to a 2021 election law, siding with state officials on one provision, reviving challenges to others and offering the possibility that at least one will be halted before this year’s general election....

BeautifulMind,
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Isn’t the requirement only that the government be “republican”? A republican government doesn’t necessarily have to be representative. It only needs to not be a monarchy.

That’s the requirement of the Guarantee Clause (article 4, section 4) of the constitution- in its time, it was about barring non-democracy states from statehood, it was a guarantee of protection of any state from foreign invasion, and protection of any state from internal coup or rebellion.

But, if you look at section 2 of the 14th Amendment, it’s a banger: if the right to vote is denied to citizens qualified to vote, the state doing it will lose its federal representation (as in, it will not just lose its electoral college votes in federal elections, its congressmen will not be seated). The purpose for this section of this amendment was to prevent confederate states from denying the formerly-enslaved the right to vote, and it should certainly apply today if Red-State legislators try to use their power to strip their citizens of their ability to meaningfully vote

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

For your consideration, here is the text of section 2 of the 14th amendment:

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

A literal reading of this text, apart from the anachronism by which voters must be male and 21 (which should be overridden by the 19th amendment, which enfranchises women’s vote, and the fact that voting age today is 18) says that if your state doesn’t let its citizens vote and abide by the result, its electoral college votes won’t count either, and neither will its congressional delegation be seated.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

The US Constitution, on the other hand, does not oblige the federal government to recognize the electoral votes or congressional delegates of a state that does not enfranchise its citizens and submit to their will in the form of their votes.

The Guarantee Clause (article 4, section 4) of the constitution requires that state governments take the form of a republic, versus that of a theocracy or monarchy or dictatorship. (All republics involve some degree of democracy). Section 2 of the 14th Amendment says that if states deny citizens the right to vote, those states shall lose their representation at the federal level- that is, if you’re not a democracy that submits to the will of its voters, you can do that but in the process your electoral college votes and ability to send congressmen to DC goes away- and your state will lose its ability to influence federal law and to elect federal officials.

Of course, the current SCOTUS is likely to find some way to assert that anything giving the GOP political advantage must be what the framers would have wanted no matter how many ways they told us unambiguously they fucking wanted government derived from the consent of the governed.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

Yes, that was the wording then, it was the qualification to vote (male, citizen, over 21). Since the adoption of the 19th Amendment (which happened after, and supercedes this text) that standard has included women and today you just need to be a citizen and over 18. The proportionality of loss of EC votes and congressional seating (these are apportioned on the same basis, after all) was about states like South Carolina and Mississippi, whose population of enslaved people exceeded that of white citizens- if these states didn’t respect the new citizenship and voting rights of most of their citizens, they’d lose more than half of their federal representation, and that in turn would cost them and their confederates influence in the resulting federal government.

My prior comment, made in the context of a Kansas court declaring that voting is not a right according to the Kansas constitution, was intended to point out that if nobody has that right in Kansas, that may be well and fine in Kansas politics, but if Kansas conducts itself in that way it will cost them influence federally, and that sets the stage for another round of Voting Rights Acts that can be used to guarantee voting rights federally even if states don’t want to do it themselves.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

I enjoy the schadenfreude as much as the next guy, but there is a frame in which this kind of confusion does actually make sense.

It’s the frame in which you acknowledge that our system of justice isn’t about holding everyone equally accountable to the law, it’s instead been an institution to keep the poor and marginal in their places- that is, it’s about enforcing an unspoken social, class, gender, and racial hierarchy that a lot of the MAGA folks take for granted and really want to defend and uphold.

That is the order they’re talking about when they say ‘Law and Order’. The order is a social, racial, gender, and class hierarchy, and the law is the means by which the hoi polloi are kept in whatever the powerful in it regard to be their ‘rightful places’.

For these people, the idea that the law might actually apply to everyone is an attack on the basis of order as they understand it. Of course they’re mad.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

At what point does this sort of thing stop being politics and start being organized crime? So now I halfway-hope the vigilantes that try to do this will end up facing criminal charges for it

But, I also halfway-expect cops and prosecutors to look the other way if the victims of this kind of crime ends up being the kind of people they’d be disproportionately policing and convicting anyhow

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

Wow. Conflicting feels. On the one hand, it’s a pretty good look

On the other hand, that looks like a lot of work

BeautifulMind, (edited )
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

It’s been maddening to watch people call price-gouging “inflation”, honestly.

That’s not fucking inflation when someone in the supply chain made things more expensive and pocketed the difference as a wider profit margin; it’s the symptom of non-enforcement of antitrust laws.

I mean, most foodstuffs markets (in the supply chain between farm and grocer or farm -> restaurant) are controlled by very few people or corporations; when the farmers get less for their products but the grocer must pay more for them, that’s not inflation. It’s price-gouging, the symptom of the kinds of market failures that follow regulatory failures to prevent corporate mergers that would reduce competition in those markets.

When you look at food, fuel, housing, the enshittification of basically everything, the acquisition of yesterday’s hot-fresh-streaming services and re-packaging them to be just as predatory as the cable was when you cut the cord and went to streaming- it’s all what we get when private equity owns a piece of everything and they’re running it all to squeeze more out of everyone they can, and they also ensure regulators don’t do a damned thing about it.

There was once a time when regulators had the will to block corporate mergers, and they had the will to tax windfall profits at 100%.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

If inflation isn’t based on most prices increasing… What is it based on?

It’s the devaluation of currency that happens when too much of it chases too few goods in the marketplace. It’s purely a monetary thing, you get that when the supply of money grows more quickly than the value of real goods in the economy does.

Ideally, we print money (and take it out of circulation) at a pace that keeps the money supply more or less balanced to the value of available goods and services in the economy. If we were to print too much money, or not take enough out of circulation (note: paying taxes does this; when you pay taxes the money doesn’t go into some account somewhere, it’s used to zero out the bonds issued to create it), the amount of money in circulation would become greater than the amount of real valuable goods in the economy. When that happens, the resulting bidding contest to secure those goods (after all, money doesn’t have intrinsic value, it’s only good for buying things that do) drives up the price of those goods in monetary terms.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

Its consistently worse than home cooking. But not everyone has the luxury of a functional kitchen or a stocked fridge or the time to prepare the meal.

You’re not wrong here. It’s not good food, but it’s easy and touches the makes-me-crave-it neurons, it’s often available in food deserts (where it’s legitimately difficult to really stock a kitchen) and sometimes it’s only cheap in the context of whether or not you have that home infra and time to use it or not.

I just use my privilege (I have a pretty functional kitchen and the ability to stock it mightily) to not fund a business model that looks to me like it’s hostile to labor (yeah you, McDonalds and most of the rest), tends to give money to politics I can’t abide (looking at you, chick-fil-a), and I really prefer to patronize businesses whose employees don’t have the energy of beaten animals. I get that it’s my privilege to do that, but being someone with that to work with, using it appropriately seems the right thing to do.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

…thus showing that the “Law and Order” party was never about law, they just want a particular kind of order- that is, a hierarchy wherein people below them on the status-ladder know not to try to hold them accountable to anything, including the law or even plain decency.

To them, the law is the cudgel to keep the poors and plebes in their place- low in the order- never to be applied to them.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

OK, so now I halfway-hope the vigilantes that try to do this will end up facing criminal charges for it

But, I also halfway-expect cops and prosecutors to look the other way if the victims of this kind of crime ends up being the kind of people they’d be disproportionately policing and convicting anyhow

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

While on the one hand I can agree there’s a place and time to be present and participate appropriately, on the other hand it’s so goddamned tiring to see politics that in situations of nuance zoom in on ‘control them’ as a thing everyone can rally to as if the solution of phone control was really going to be simple and accomplish its objectives.

I mean, criminalizing drugs seemed on its face to be a simple-enough thing to do, and a good idea- who could object to that, right? Who favors addiction, right? What could go wrong? Fundamentally, the ask for enough power to ban anything isn’t a trivial ask, and it shouldn’t be undertaken lightly.

BeautifulMind,
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It’s not so bad once you’ve got your teeth into the problem

assuming you can code, that is

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

Fun fact: spreading conspiracy theories about the evils of fluoride in the water (it’s mind control! pollutes our precious bodily fluids!) was one of the talking points that crypto-fascists threw against the wall to see if it would stick- if you recall the line about your “precious bodily fluids” in Dr. Strangelove, that was a nod to that particular vein of conspiracy theory that was making the rounds in the far-loony fringes of what was then the Republican party

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

Translation: “We can’t have it how I want it because you fucking people don’t want that”

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

Where is Russia 2 miles from Alaska?

The international border goes between the islands of little and big Diomede. Both of these islands are remote from land in either direction, and they are situated about midway in the narrowest part of the Bering Strait.

Since you asked where, here it is on a map

Yep, that’s pretty close, but nope, that’s not really tactically meaningful.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

I’m pretty sure California could defeat Russia

California has more blue-water navy in San Diego than Russia has in the world. It also has more air force stationed there than Russia has.

(granted, these are US forces, not California forces, but there is no real-world scenario right now in which California would face invasion without the full military support of United States and NATO)

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

All of these locations (Alaska, California, Hawaii, much of eastern Europe) are ones that Russia has at one point in its imperial or soviet history had either outposts or territorial claim to. Of course, much of Eastern Europe was as recently as the 1980s under the Kremlin’s direct control, either as puppet states or as territory Russia or the USSR directly claimed. Finland and Poland in particular have both been completely invaded by Russian forces multiple times, but at the moment they are built up defensively in ways that Russia quite honestly has zero chances of winning against.

Alaska was territory that imperial Russia claimed before any European country did. It was sold to the US during the Crimean war (1853) because Russia needed the money and in all likelihood it was going to lose it to Britain. Russia established early trading outposts in Alaska and California but sold or abandoned them after wiping out the fur animals they’d come to harvest and trade.

This talk for the benefit of Russian audiences is about reminding Russians of former imperial or soviet glory, but the problem with that historically is that it wasn’t actually glorious.

The current propaganda push to get Russians thinking they really have a shot at rolling back the map changes since Imperial times is just an effort to sustain Russia’s modern project: dismantling the post-WWII order in which the West (the US, in particular, but NATO and much of the UN) upholds alliances that Putin sees as against Russia’s interests.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

You mean something like a third Reich?

Well, yeah. In very real ways WWII was about upending the post-WW1 order (which was punitive of Germany generally). It’s really interesting to understand how crazy the flows of money were, and how badly the US in particular bungled its role as the issuer of the world’s de facto reserve currency at the time- in the aftermath of WWI, Germany and its allies were made to pay reparations, France occupied the industrial territory on their border, and any money France or Belgium or Holland received in reparations promptly went to American banks, to repay war bonds borrowed to finance the fighting (which had, in turn, been spent in American factories on war materiel, weapons, munitions, etc).

www.theatlantic.com/international/…/384034/(sorry this is paywalled now, it was a really good read when it was available so I’ll summarize briefly)

By the end of the first world war, all of the belligerent nations’ economies were in tatters, their leadership were forced to inflate their currencies to make payments- but the US declined to inflate its own currency to make it workable for them- and when the US didn’t think about its new role in maintaining a viable world order, it put everyone that owed it anything in the position of paying their debts not in their own inflated currencies, but in US dollars. This essentially collapsed the German economy and its currency, and it was just unnecessary.

BeautifulMind,
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Sorry- I didn’t know that part off the top of my head But since you asked, Russia’s presence in Hawaii was sort of like its presence in Alaska and California: early 1800s outposts established by agents acting on behalf of the en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian-American_Company, which the Russian Crown had granted a monopoly on operations in North America and the Pacific but was unable to back or support such claims.

BeautifulMind, (edited )
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

Grew up in a rural red state. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to really understand their politics, and as best I can summarize, here it is:

  • They are angry about how life has gotten worse for them, economically and culturally.
  • They have very good reason to be angry about that, because it has.
  • They are misinformed about what changed since the 50s and 60s, and too many of them seem to think more racism and sexism will restore their prosperity and dignity
  • They have decided the only thing to do about it any more is to burn everything down until they get the respect they feel entitled to
  • They are sincerely sad and angry it hasn’t worked yet

The shorter story here, of course, is that the establishment GOP of the late 70s underestimated the willingness of its fascist wing to not die and completely didn’t do the necessary things to prevent the party from being almost completely taken over by fascists

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

23k is the max annual contribution

If you’re over 50, you can put $30,500 in your 401k, the extra $7500 per year is called a ‘catch-up contribution’

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

I wonder why we can’t just decode the term ‘settler’ for what it is:

“terrorist”, but with state aegis and pliant media cooking up anodyne narrative cover

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