OpinionIn the US, there are too many state laws passed which are detrimental, e.g. anti-abortion and anti-evolution. These things should be legislated for the whole country, and not be subject to the whims of the lobbyists.
      – Lee J Haywood, 2009-03-13 at 10:33:18   (37 comments)

On 2009-03-13 at 11:51:02, Thelevellers wrote...
Agree. Really hard.
On 2009-03-13 at 15:18:23, Baslisks wrote...
Can't do it. Those laws you are talking about are exclusively state bound laws. You take that away you take away a big basis of our law system.
On 2009-03-13 at 16:55:01, Lee J Haywood wrote...
And? So what? Actually, when you have a president passing dumb laws for 8 years with little oversight it's clear that federal law isn't necessarily an improvement over state laws.
On 2009-03-13 at 18:33:42, BorgClown wrote...
Boy, I agreed at first, but Lee's right. Not having state laws would give stupid (more like corrupt) federal lawmakers too much power. It's better to spread the political power instead of concentrating it.
On 2009-03-13 at 18:33:56, BorgClown wrote...
Disagreed
On 2009-03-13 at 18:36:46, Baslisks wrote...
state laws and federal laws fight, even county laws can fight state laws. Denver has a amersterdam like law that fights federal law. Local cops won't touch pot smokers if they are following the law. State and feds will. Weird stuff.
On 2009-03-13 at 18:40:21, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: No, that wasn't me changing my mind. I don't care that the federal laws need oversight too - but I'm saying that the system is broken if stupid laws can be passed, at any level, without making the whole country seem backward. I guess we're all subject to the glacial speed of the zeitgeist, whichever country you live in. Some countries take longer than others to get their act together, but you have to hope that eventually all will see sense on the big issues. I was trying to work out earlier which laws deal with slavery in the US, but I couldn't work out which level it's controlled at. You only have to imagine what the world might be like in the future, e.g. being more tolerant, to see what direction the law will eventually go in - it's just a question of social acceptance.
On 2009-03-13 at 18:47:00, DigitalBoss wrote...
The founding fathers meant for the states to be powerful and the federal government to be weak.
On 2009-03-13 at 18:47:12, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: I see. Even with stupid laws, it's better not to have one group rule them all. It's a pity that evidently good laws, like same-sex marriage, euthanasia or crime-cracking, are usually the lame attempt of some politician to gain brief notoriety and not an actual attempt at making things better. Improvement wouldn't be so glacial if there was a way for making politics more transparent, and politicians accountable for their actions.
On 2009-03-13 at 18:50:54, BorgClown wrote...
@DigitalBoss: I've seem that shift recently in my country. Before we had all-powerful presidents, now the state governors are very powerful on their jurisdiction. It's a novelty not seen before ten years ago, some states feel like a small embedded country.
On 2009-03-13 at 18:51:09, BorgClown wrote...
*seen
On 2009-03-13 at 18:57:57, Lee J Haywood wrote...
In some ways it's an impossibility. If you have the population vote on an issue, to harness the wisdom of the crowds, you get things like Proposition 8 going the way that the religious lobbyists want. Alternatively, you could rely on a president (a 'director') to provide some sort of forward progress and counter the insanity, but that doesn't work because all individuals have their own ideas and even they could be torn on issues that aren't clear-cut.
On 2009-03-13 at 19:06:32, BorgClown wrote...
Also, crowds are not that wise all the time. The crowd might vote for laws against speeding, yet the bulk of the population is guilty of it.
On 2009-03-13 at 19:10:31, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Oh, yes - I didn't mean to suggest that crowds are actually wise (or at least, not reliably so). I'm not sure what your example is supposed to mean though. Laws against speeding are a good thing, right? It's not unwise to vote for laws that you yourself might break.
On 2009-03-13 at 19:18:47, BorgClown wrote...
What about "if a law makes criminals of most of the citizens, it's the law what's wrong". Maybe crowds would vote to up the speed limits, currently they are so low anyone breaks them almost daily.
On 2009-03-13 at 20:07:50, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Richard Feynman encountered that issue, in a sense - he suggested that if at least half of people agreed with a rule, it should become law. So you could argue that if over half of people will break a rule, it should be a law - but I don't think that's the case. Are speed limits really too low? Certainly they are on some roads - you do have to be a regular user of a road to have an idea of what is a sensible limit. But most of the time safety is more important than the speeds people actually travel at. We drive according to the conditions, and sometimes speed a little when the conditions are favourable. But we're also mindful of the fact that we're taking risks - both in breaking the law but also in endangering others.
On 2009-03-13 at 20:08:59, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Obviously I meant, "So you could argue that if over half of people will break a rule, it should'nt become a law".
On 2009-03-14 at 06:15:57, Baslisks wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: The laws for slavery are a federal law as it has to deal with international trade. Yes they are people but they were products for many many years and got dealt with as so. State laws represent the supposed needs/wants of a state. Imagine a state where the population of males is relatively lower than the population of females. 1:20. Would you uphold normal child welfare laws or would you move them to better suit your environment? Our country is massive. It goes, Russia, China, Canada, and than USA. We also have some of the warmest weather to the coldest along with some of the largest ethnic diversity in capita's. Having a flexible state government provides us with a better way to regulate, while federal laws take care of trade. Why is weed an illegal crop? Because cotton growers thought it threatened their trade and trade is a federal deal. Stuff like that still exists because government is a motherfucking manatee.
On 2009-03-14 at 09:29:48, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I don't think anyone would argue that you shouldn't have state laws. But the idea that access to abortion should be allowed to vary from state to state is a ridiculous notion and contrasts basic rights with religious ideals. The same goes for the idea that it's okay to even consider teaching creationism over evolution. Sure, teach Religious Education (as we do here in the UK), but have consistency between states on fundamental issues. Variations in the weather are one thing, but variations in religious belief should be irrelevant to law.
On 2009-03-15 at 00:15:17, BorgClown wrote...
That's a nice line you drawed there. Define Universal Rights and make Federal (or even World-wide) laws regulate it. Local laws can regulate the rest.
On 2009-03-15 at 00:15:39, BorgClown wrote...
*takes notes for his island utopia*
On 2009-03-15 at 07:13:15, Baslisks wrote...
I would love to have a basic set of laws and rules that go to education. Knowing is half the battle!
On 2009-03-15 at 21:53:31, Thelevellers wrote...
I always kind of assumed that the American state/federal devide WAS like that (Lee's idea), but I was/am obviously wrong! It makes good sense like that, it's kind of how the European union should/could/is trying to work! Indeed, with that kind of setup you could potentially use the UN for a global basic system. (I guess we kinda do already, what with the human rights bits etc...)
On 2009-11-24 at 12:01:39, Lee J Haywood wrote...
http://www.newser.com/story/74400/texas-accidentally-bans-straight-marriage.html
On 2009-11-24 at 19:37:49, DigitalBoss wrote...
There are just too many law everywhere, period. We don't need anymore stinkin laws.
On 2009-11-24 at 19:39:28, DigitalBoss wrote...
Marriage is a religious institution, the government never should have gotten involved with it in the first place. Just like government to want and stick it's nose in wherever it can.
On 2009-11-24 at 23:43:15, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@DigitalBoss: Today's marriage is both a religious ceremony and a legal contract. The religious lot can refuse to marry gay couples and claim that it's traditional, but the government cannot reasonably claim that discrimination in the legal side makes any sense at all. I don't really know what the marriage contract involves, other than when it comes to divorce. I know there are welfare benefits, etc., linked to marital status so it's relevant to gays just as much in that sense.
On 2009-11-26 at 15:19:31, DigitalBoss wrote...
Today's marriage is a government bastardization of what it once was, a religious institution. I told you, and you just don't get it, government screws up everything it touches.
On 2009-11-27 at 01:44:13, BorgClown wrote...
The legal contract is very convenient, though. It makes inheritance much more easier to distribute. That doesn't mean it isn't hell to do it, but it would be worse.
On 2009-11-27 at 01:46:00, BorgClown wrote...
Religious marriage can have all its former shine and glory, believing couples can simply refrain from marrying legally and hope they don't hate each other in 10 years.
On 2009-12-23 at 09:48:51, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Yay for Mexico City. http://jezebel.com/5432158/mexico-city-legalizes-gay-marriage
On 2009-12-23 at 22:14:17, BorgClown wrote...
It was a very ardent topic, the conservative (and religiously influenced party) currently governing didn't want it to pass, the former governing party mostly abstained. It was the leftist parties who joined forces and saved this law. We have more important laws stalled, like a comprehensive tax reform, so gay marriage is just a show for the populace to forget about those. Recently, a bunch of progressive laws have been debated because the legislators don't want to tackle the hard ones, we've made social progress by avoiding economic progress, ironically as it is.
On 2009-12-24 at 12:06:49, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I suppose that such tactics will come to an end once you've got a perfect social system. (-:
On 2009-12-24 at 22:02:43, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Might be, that's why we reached a pacific transition to democracy: the economic system was a crash after another, but the electoral system got gradually better. Now, the current president is doing a great job fighting organized crime and corruption, I hope the next one continues his work. With less corruption, the important matters should be easier to tackle.
On 2009-12-24 at 22:10:59, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The problem is defining what constitutes corruption. It's obvious in extreme cases, but the US has turned state-sponsored corruption into an art form - the government are at the mercy of vested interests, and they lack the legislation to prevent 'gifts' as a form of payment. At least that's the way I see it.
On 2009-12-24 at 22:25:27, BorgClown wrote...
Might be a capitalist extreme. Here the state assigns a budget each year to political parties so they don't need private monies to proselytize, but private (and crime) money has its way of reaching the right politicians.
On 2009-12-24 at 22:25:55, BorgClown wrote...
Or should I say, the "receptive" politicians?