Minutiae
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The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
--Cornelius Tacitus (c. 116 A.D.)

Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Government: A necessary evil, to be expressly limited, constantly patrolled and periodically reviewed.

So today is election day. Again I'm horrified to find myself in the position of being forced to vote republican. Gah.

I overheard two girls at school today one was saying "But you have to vote..." The other was muttering something contradictory. If anything could drive me to tear myself bald it's people who don't get that. You don't have to vote. You get to vote. Of all the people who have ever lived on this planet we are among the tiny lucky few who actually get to choose who will make the laws we follow, who will represent our interests.

"Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an 'inconvenience.' We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy. We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there." - Frank Zappa

"Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." - H. L. Mencken

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent . . . the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." - Justice Louis D. Brandeis, United States Supreme Court, 1928

"If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for . . but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.
If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time on it that truly intelligent exercise of franchise requires."
-Robert Heinlein

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time." -Winston Churchill

Go Vote.

posted by Rachel 11/5/2002
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As usual Lileks gets the salient points out of the debate.
If you didn't hear it please go listen before you vote. Don't just read the summaries, listen.
posted by Rachel 11/5/2002
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Hear that sound:
It's the
world's smallest violin...
posted by Rachel 11/5/2002
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Again, NOW it's news after all the admonishments about uneccessary paranoia.
Two things:
a) Rational actors wouldn't use smallpox because the world is too small a place for such a thing, it would spread, there isn't enough vaccine, and it would hit the third world poor the hardest. This is only comforting if you feel safe assuming that it'll stay in the hands of rational actors.
b) All this talk about 300 deaths seems excessive. That assumes that everyone would get it. (plenty wouldn't, it'd be a voluntary program.) Plus, as callous as it sounds, people die and develop autism from adverse reactions to vaccines every year. The only difference is that we can't quantify the actual risk of this particular disease because were it to occur it would be at the hands of madmen.
I know I'm getting it the moment it's offered. I'll take partial lifetime immunity anytime. You can't stuff the genie back in the bottle.
posted by Rachel 11/5/2002
. . .
Well this isn't news although it's finally being carried on Drudge.
posted by Rachel 11/5/2002
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