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Zelaya Ouster

Volkov
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7/9/2009 12:00:34 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
http://www.cbc.ca...
http://www.cbc.ca...
http://www.cbc.ca...

If you're unsure about the current situation pertaining to President-in-name Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, please take a gander at the links above.

Today during a wonderfully delicious dessert at my grandparent's, my grandfather and I got into an argument over the legitimacy of the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, the installation of Interim President and former Speaker of the House Roberto Micheletti.

The argument revolved around two facts; the ouster of Zelaya was in fact a constitutionally sanctioned event, and the referendum that Zelaya was proposing.

The first point my grandfather had me on. According to the Honduran constitution, the ouster was legal. The military can assume an interventionary role during times of crises. Now, to note, this crises came around due to the Supreme Court's constant rulings against Zelaya, with the final straw being the firing and reinstatement of the Honduran army chief, General Romeo Vasquez. Vasquez was fired by Zelaya due to his refusal to have the military force the referendum to proceed, regardless of the Supreme Court's rulings.

The referendum itself was something that I could not back down on. To explain, the referendum Zelaya was proposing was to stay in power beyond his constitutionally-mandated one term limit. The referendum was designed to allow the populace of Honduras a chance to vote on whether the referendum should take place on the term limits, not a direct vote on whether the presidential terms be expanded.

I personally believe that Zelaya, outside of his actions regarding General Vasquez, had every constitutional right to have the referendum, and that the Supreme Court was only trying to cut down on Zelaya's power and stop another Chavez-like power grab from happening. Regardless of reasons though, it wasn't right.
My grandfather said that the constitution said that there were to be no changes on the presidential terms - no debate, no questions, nothing. This was something I couldn't stand, as any constitution is subject to the approval of the people, and referendums are the only way in this instance to have the people vote on changing it.

But anyways, I was wondering what other's thoughts on this subject were.
TombLikeBomb
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7/25/2009 1:20:20 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
If you're unsure about the current situation pertaining to President-in-name Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, please take a gander at the links above.


Today during a wonderfully delicious dessert at my grandparent's, my grandfather and I got into an argument over the legitimacy of the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, the installation of Interim President and former Speaker of the House Roberto Micheletti.

The argument revolved around two facts; the ouster of Zelaya was in fact a constitutionally sanctioned event, and the referendum that Zelaya was proposing.

The first point my grandfather had me on. According to the Honduran constitution, the ouster was legal. The military can assume an interventionary role during times of crises. Now, to note, this crises came around due to the Supreme Court's constant rulings against Zelaya, with the final straw being the firing and reinstatement of the Honduran army chief, General Romeo Vasquez. Vasquez was fired by Zelaya due to his refusal to have the military force the referendum to proceed, regardless of the Supreme Court's rulings.

The referendum itself was something that I could not back down on. To explain, the referendum Zelaya was proposing was to stay in power beyond his constitutionally-mandated one term limit. The referendum was designed to allow the populace of Honduras a chance to vote on whether the referendum should take place on the term limits, not a direct vote on whether the presidential terms be expanded.

I personally believe that Zelaya, outside of his actions regarding General Vasquez, had every constitutional right to have the referendum, and that the Supreme Court was only trying to cut down on Zelaya's power and stop another Chavez-like power grab from happening. Regardless of reasons though, it wasn't right.
My grandfather said that the constitution said that there were to be no changes on the presidential terms - no debate, no questions, nothing. This was something I couldn't stand, as any constitution is subject to the approval of the people, and referendums are the only way in this instance to have the people vote on changing it.

But anyways, I was wondering what other's thoughts on this subject were.

When does a constitutional injustice, in this case the entrenched articles, justify unconstitutional behavior? The U.S. was founded unconstitutionally, and yet I've not seen one right-winger explain what made George Washington's violent breach of the law more justifiable than Zelaya's peaceful (alleged) violation of the law.

Chavez' "power grab" was a normal referendum, internationally monitored. Americans should be so lucky to be able to ammend our constitution directly. And it's not at all clear that term limits are democratic. It's democratic when people willingly vote a leader out of office, not when it's mandated.

If Zelaya was justified in ordering the non-binding referendum, he was justified in firing Vasquez. He is, after all, the head of state. If the President doesn't have authority over the military, no coup is needed: it's already a military dictatorship.

The proposed referendum made no mention of term limit extension. It referred to a constitutional convention, which would not have been illegal. The scheduling of the referendum would've been incompatible with re-election anyway, and Zelaya supported another candidate.

The Honduran Supreme Court is notoriously corrupt. They're nominated by certain entrenched organizations, and the selection process lacks transparency. They are of course ideological opponents of Zelaya. It's funny to see right-wingers lament "judicial activists" like Sotomayor while at the same time condoning the executive/legislature/judiciary the Honduran Supreme Court. While the removal of Zelaya from power was legal as long as Zelaya had proposed term limit extension (he hadn't), his exile certainly was not. Even the coup regime admits it may have been illegal. The argument that the military can assume control in case of crisis holds up only if the military is not responsible for said crisis.

Micheletti, the coup's chosen replacement, is actually guilty of proposing term-limit extension. It is therefore difficult to believe that Zelaya's removal was anything but politically-motivated.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Volkov
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7/25/2009 5:05:08 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/25/2009 1:20:20 AM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
When does a constitutional injustice, in this case the entrenched articles, justify unconstitutional behavior? The U.S. was founded unconstitutionally, and yet I've not seen one right-winger explain what made George Washington's violent breach of the law more justifiable than Zelaya's peaceful (alleged) violation of the law.

Good point, though you'll have to explain more about how the US was found unconstitutionally. If you're referring to any British documents, then name which ones.

Chavez' "power grab" was a normal referendum, internationally monitored. Americans should be so lucky to be able to ammend our constitution directly. And it's not at all clear that term limits are democratic. It's democratic when people willingly vote a leader out of office, not when it's mandated.

Chavez's power grab referendums were an interesting cacophony of legitimate exercise in democratic change, and a large mob-mentality vote which he tried so very hard to get through, including by shutting down some TV stations. I don't think anyone can say with a straight face that a referendum conducted by Chavez is completely legit.

As well, I can understand why term limits exist, don't you? It is especially so in more volatile countries like Honduras, because if one candidate gets elected legitimately, who knows if the next one will be. It is very easy to rig a vote. Term limits, enforced by the courts of the land, can stop that possibility.

If Zelaya was justified in ordering the non-binding referendum, he was justified in firing Vasquez. He is, after all, the head of state. If the President doesn't have authority over the military, no coup is needed: it's already a military dictatorship.

No, he wasn't. Vasquez was fired because he refused to use military power to enforce the referendum. Zelaya wanted to use the military to force a referendum on the country that the Supreme Court, wrongly or rightly, declared illegal. That is almost the definition of an abuse of military power.

The proposed referendum made no mention of term limit extension. It referred to a constitutional convention, which would not have been illegal. The scheduling of the referendum would've been incompatible with re-election anyway, and Zelaya supported another candidate.

There is conflicting reports on that. Like Chavez, Zelaya didn't want to extend the term limits for his successors - he wanted to do it for himself. Had what you said been true, then that clearly isn't as bad as most people believe, because if he wanted it for his successors, it isn't a power grab.

But, you're right in saying the referendum was not illegal through the constitution. It was allowed as it was only a referendum on the proposal to have a referendum on extending term limits.
TombLikeBomb
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7/25/2009 1:03:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/25/2009 5:05:08 AM, Volkov wrote:
Good point, though you'll have to explain more about how the US was found unconstitutionally. If you're referring to any British documents, then name which ones.

I'm referring to the informal but well understood British constitution: absolute regal sovereignty, to which a number of formal exceptions had been made, none of which included the right of unilateral separatism. That should suffice, but there are also the numerous implications of king's powers in the Magna Carta et. al. The office of American President (democratically elected, at the time, only by the broadest definition of "democracy"), by contrast, was a newly imposed office. It was therefore appropriate to its make its powers explicit as those of, say, the British Parliament.

Chavez's power grab referendums were an interesting cacophony of legitimate exercise in democratic change, and a large mob-mentality vote which he tried so very hard to get through, including by shutting down some TV stations. I don't think anyone can say with a straight face that a referendum conducted by Chavez is completely legit.

It's typical for politicians to "try very hard to get through" their legislation, whether it is good legislation (as in Chavez' case) or not. The "mob-mentality" of the affirmative vote appears to be nothing more than that it was "large". Would you have been more satisfied by a constitution by a smaller mandate? As for shutting down TV stations, you're confused. Chavez lacks that authority and has never used it. What you may have in mind is the failure of the Venezuelan equivalent of the FCC to renew the expired network broadcasting license of the Venezuelan equivalent to FOX News (RCTV). This occurred subsequent to the ratification of the new constitution and, crucially, subsequent to RCTV's material support and public backing of the 2002 coup attempt. Treason is punishable by death, and neither the U.S. nor any other nation would reward it with renewal of private access to public airwaves. Like Zelaya, Chavez at no point during his presidency faced less than an exceptionally oppositional media environment. Thus, the public had more than ample opportunity to be pursuaded to reject the constitution--obviously more than, say, Americans' opportunity to reject constitutions and ammendments thereto.

As well, I can understand why term limits exist, don't you? It is especially so in more volatile countries like Honduras, because if one candidate gets elected legitimately, who knows if the next one will be. It is very easy to rig a vote. Term limits, enforced by the courts of the land, can stop that possibility.

Yes, and cutting off everyone's arms can stop people shoplifting. But have you considered that one need not be an incumbent to have a vote rigged in his favor. The notorious 2000 U.S. election, remember, involved no incumbents. The same people who decry the right of Hondurans to re-elect a tested leader will quickly agree that Putin, for example, has maintained power despite the change in President. Notice that we have not even gotten into the continuation of POLICIES, which has plagued nations in general and Honduras in particular, even without a continuation of PERSONS. If there were term limits on neoliberalism and corruption, for example, Honduras would not be in its current crisis and would not have needed Zelaya.

No, he wasn't. Vasquez was fired because he refused to use military power to enforce the referendum. Zelaya wanted to use the military to force a referendum on the country that the Supreme Court, wrongly or rightly, declared illegal. That is almost the definition of an abuse of military power.

Given that the execution of elections is one of the Honduran military's normal duties, "military power" was rather the only appropriate means, not to "enforce the referendum" (a non-binding referendum cannot be enforced), but to enable the vote. Apologies to "the country", "forced" to choose whether or not to choose whether or not they would support a theoretical constitutional convention. o forward. is in fact in charge of organizing elections in Honduras. Question: Was it an abuse of military power for Washington to go against the British equivalent to the Supreme Court? Does it matter if the Supreme Court is a bunch of crooks?

There is conflicting reports on that. Like Chavez, Zelaya didn't want to extend the term limits for his successors - he wanted to do it for himself. Had what you said been true, then that clearly isn't as bad as most people believe, because if he wanted it for his successors, it isn't a power grab.

First you say there are conflicting reports, and then you flatout declare Zelaya was guilty. The 1961 Venezuelan Constitution, unless I'm mistaken, was similar to the American Constitution in that it neither entrenched term limits themselves nor the impermissibility of a President extending his own. Thus, for Zelaya to extend term limits would be quite UNlike Chavez. Also, read the Honduran constitution. Is it illegal to "want to" extend term limits? You'll find that it's illegal only to propose it. The Supreme Court, speculating as to his ulterior motives, has not pointed out a crime.

But, you're right in saying the referendum was not illegal through the constitution. It was allowed as it was only a referendum on the proposal to have a referendum on extending term limits.

Read the proposal. Do you see anything about term limits?

I can't believe you're making some of the arguments you're making. I wonder what principles underly them. Just a hearty love of debate, I suppose.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Volkov
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7/25/2009 3:15:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/25/2009 1:03:04 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
I'm referring to the informal but well understood British constitution: absolute regal sovereignty, to which a number of formal exceptions had been made, none of which included the right of unilateral separatism. That should suffice, but there are also the numerous implications of king's powers in the Magna Carta et. al. The office of American President (democratically elected, at the time, only by the broadest definition of "democracy"), by contrast, was a newly imposed office. It was therefore appropriate to its make its powers explicit as those of, say, the British Parliament.

Alright, I understand, and that does make sense because the United States was a British colony, and by default any constitutionality of its creation would be under the auspices of the British constitution. But, that is why it is called the "American Revolution," and not "The Movement Towards Responsible Government," as Canada did later in history.

It's typical for politicians to "try very hard to get through" their legislation, whether it is good legislation (as in Chavez' case) or not. The "mob-mentality" of the affirmative vote appears to be nothing more than that it was "large". Would you have been more satisfied by a constitution by a smaller mandate?

I personally find these popular-vote referendums to be flirting with mob-rule. As a federalist Canadian, I'm deftly afraid of referendums, due to Quebec's history of it.

This is why it shouldn't be as easy for a government to go to the people, make them choose a side, and say that was that. Populism is great, and sure, "power to the people" is a fundamentally good idea - but you have to draw the line somewhere, and in the case of these "President for life" scenarios in certain Latin American countries, the line should have been drawn several referendums ago.

You can't allow the government to reign supreme based solely on popular will - Hitler comes to mind.

As for shutting down TV stations, you're confused. Chavez lacks that authority and has never used it. What you may have in mind is the failure of the Venezuelan equivalent of the FCC to renew the expired network broadcasting license of the Venezuelan equivalent to FOX News (RCTV). This occurred subsequent to the ratification of the new constitution and, crucially, subsequent to RCTV's material support and public backing of the 2002 coup attempt.

That doesn't seem a little suspicious to you?

Treason is punishable by death, and neither the U.S. nor any other nation would reward it with renewal of private access to public airwaves.

The United States has no limits against what news sources say, even if they start backing the Communist party or something. Sure, it is frowned upon, but they can't legally shut down any of the broadcasters. No country should silence a broadcasting source unless it is calling for violence specifically against a group. There is grounds then, but not just for saying "we support this group."

Yes, and cutting off everyone's arms can stop people shoplifting. But have you considered that one need not be an incumbent to have a vote rigged in his favor. The notorious 2000 U.S. election, remember, involved no incumbents. The same people who decry the right of Hondurans to re-elect a tested leader will quickly agree that Putin, for example, has maintained power despite the change in President. Notice that we have not even gotten into the continuation of POLICIES, which has plagued nations in general and Honduras in particular, even without a continuation of PERSONS. If there were term limits on neoliberalism and corruption, for example, Honduras would not be in its current crisis and would not have needed Zelaya.

Zelaya was originally a conservative President, you know. But that is besides the point.

I never said I necessarily disagreed with what Zelaya wanted to do, just so you know. But, I can see why the Court wanted to stop him in the process of it.

Question: Was it an abuse of military power for Washington to go against the British equivalent to the Supreme Court? Does it matter if the Supreme Court is a bunch of crooks?

It actually was an abuse of power for the US to organize an army and go against the British empire. But, that is, again, why it is called the American Revolution, and not the Secession-by-Law Meeting.

The Supreme Court may be a "bunch of crooks" in your own eyes, but they are the ruling body, a body that even the President must abide by. By going against it, Zelaya has in fact called for instability and revolution. Whether or not you agree with his side is unimportant - the discussion here is that the Supreme Court is the ruling body in judicial matters, of which referendums on laws is, and they ruled against what he was doing. The buck does not stop with Zelaya.

Is it illegal to "want to" extend term limits? You'll find that it's illegal only to propose it. The Supreme Court, speculating as to his ulterior motives, has not pointed out a crime.

He actually said what his intentions were, so I believe they can reasonably assume what was going to happen.

Read the proposal. Do you see anything about term limits?

It doesn't have to specifically refer to the extension of term limits for the Supreme Court to understand the intention of the vote.

Clearly, Zelaya isn't going to call a referendum on whether or not to hold a referendum, if he didn't have an idea of what that proposed referendum people are voting on whether or not to hold is.
TombLikeBomb
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7/27/2009 1:57:57 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/25/2009 3:15:06 PM, Volkov wrote:
But, that is why it is called the "American Revolution," and not "The Movement Towards Responsible Government," as Canada did later in history.

These vague comments and the stonger ones below are remarkable. Short of an explanation as to why the old British Empire in particular deserves our respect, you appear to arguing for absolute and universal obedience to authority. Does it matter that British authority, being typical, was not itself established by such srupulous behavior? Does it matter the violent Canadian uprisings--not to mention the demonstration effect of the American Revolution--which immediately preceded the crucial first steps toward independence? Perhaps we should reconstitute the Soviet Union, its dissolution too having been the direct result of illicit rebellion.

As a federalist Canadian, I'm deftly afraid of referendums, due to Quebec's history of it.

Be more specific. If you're speaking of mere allegations, it's a moot point as in Venezuela's case there were international monitors. In Honduras' case, in fact, the OPPOSITION would have been in control of the elections, hence the referendum. Added to which, your specifically Canadian point is unclear, as the "popular-vote referendum" system is likely what saved Quebec from secession. Would you have rather left the decision to the pro-secessionist provincial government? It's also unclear why your personal opinion on a particular proposal should trump that of those most affected by it.

This is why it shouldn't be as easy for a government to go to the people, make them choose a side, and say that was that. Populism is great, and sure, "power to the people" is a fundamentally good idea - but you have to draw the line somewhere, and in the case of these "President for life" scenarios in certain Latin American countries, the line should have been drawn several referendums ago.

Term limits are quite rare, actually. So by "'President for life'(you're certainly not quoting a referendum) scenarios" you must be referring to the deserved popularity of reformers like Chavez. As a Canadian, are you familiar with the long U.S. history of "'President for life' scenarios"? "Made" to choose between Roosevelt--a scholarly and popularly adored president--and any other candidate they wished, the populace chose for Roosevelt to serve what would in modern America (and modern Honduras) be an illegal number of terms. Would it have been better for the people to be (truly) made to choose between unknowns in the midst of WWII? In fact, both Roosevelt and Lincoln, commonly believed to be the greatest American presidents, served for life and a greater number of years than would have been permitted by the Honduran Constitution. Earlier, "made" to choose between Grant's 3rd term and another's first, Americans booted Grant out of office. Why? Because Grant had proven that a president needn't wait until his third term to be a crooked failure.

You can't allow the government to reign supreme based solely on popular will - Hitler comes to mind.

He shouldn't. Hitler reigned based on government will. By the time Hitler won his referendum, he was already legal dictator. Thus, the referendum system if anything had potential only to remedy the situation, certainly not to cause it or be critical to its continuation. Regardless, your anecdotes are tedious. Clearly, you're not arguing that no referendum has ever been consequentially good. If you're attempting to make a general assessment that can be taken seriously, you have a lot of work ahead of you. It would involve, for example, considering all of the horrible things that government has done that the public has been OPPOSED to. It might be more feasible for you to make a specific argument regarding the country in question (e.g. a reason Zelaya shouldn't be re-elected). Incidentally, I'm anti-majoritarian almost as much as I'm anti-minoritarian, and so I welcome the unveiling of your system, which you've been keeping secret, that's always better than democracy. Presumably, it's the one where you yourself pick the "representatives".

That doesn't seem a little suspicious to you?

What are you implying? Please, read the whole post before responding to pieces of it. This vague question appears to be uninformed by the hindsight of your next comments.

The United States has no limits against what news sources say, even if they start backing the Communist party or something. Sure, it is frowned upon, but they can't legally shut down any of the broadcasters. No country should silence a broadcasting source unless it is calling for violence specifically against a group.

It's clear to me you're unfamiliar with not only U.S. law and FCC guidelines, but those of your own country as well. For Christ's sake, they can't even curse on American network TV. You think they could advocate treason? The Communist Party was spared illegality because it advocated UNSPECIFIC (theoretical, in other words) revolution. You'll find that in the Supreme Court history. The 2002 coup was obviously more than theoretical. And again, RCTV wasn't "shut down". Their license wasn't renewed, probably because, as the FCC would put it, it wasn't in the "public interest" to have a military dictatorship. RCTV WAS calling for "violence specifically against a group". Given that such group included the elected government, such a call for violence was treasonous.

Zelaya was originally a conservative President, you know.

It's a good thing you're here to educate me. Incidentally, that Zelaya was originally "conservative" should make his case stronger. His opinions changed as the facts changed, a rare trait. For example, the U.S. had proved itself a duplicitous partner, and the civilian airport had proved itself incredibly dangerous. But Zelaya's party was perfectly willing to let innocent people die, and the economy suffer, so that the U.S. could have it's outpost.

You seem to believe the Court wanted to stop him for legal reasons. In this case, the legality issue, whomever it may favor, did not factor into the Court's calculus. Sure, included in the evidence is that Zelaya plainly had NOT acted illegally. But there is also the fact that the Court has admitted that Zelaya's exile may not have been legal but continues to justify it. Then there is the corruption issue, which I encourage you to look into as I believe it would end this debate immediately.

The Court did not intervene because ELECTIONS IN PARTICULAR are judicial issues, but because ALL issues are judicial issues as long as the Supreme Court is willing to declare something unconstitutional. If the question were only "Did the Court MISTAKENLY rule the referendum unconstitutional," I might agree that Zelaya should have deferred to their authority whether he agreed or not. But what if the Court DIDN'T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT CONSTITUTIONALITY when it made its ruling? Then we would be talking about protecting an actively unconstitutional, effectively dictatorial Supreme Court from the "abuses" of those branches of government who would dare to assert their constitutionally-provided powers. "Who watches the watchmen?" seems an adequate response to your judicial philosophy.

Since when is even the surest speculation of intent enough to convict someone BEFORE THE ATTEMPT OR ANY OTHER CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED? Your judicial philosophy now reminds me of a certain Tom Cruise movie. Even the dubious doctrine of preemption is only supposed to apply to dangerous situations. What's the danger in a non-binding referendum? And that's non-binding spelled N-O-N-B-I-N-D-I-N-G. So no, it's not even a referendum on whether to have a referendum. It's nothing more than an opinion poll. If you can't imagine what, besides term limits, could be the focus of a constitutional convention, I recommend the 1999 Venezualan Constitution for your reading. Notice the reforms ignored in the media.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
I-am-a-panda
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7/27/2009 2:17:10 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Lol, people think that eliminating term limits makes Oligarchies. Although I personally support term limits, I support the view of the people more. What people don't realise:

1) No term limits simply mean if the people want the same president, because he does such a good job, they can vote him back in.

2) A referendum means no-one is forcing it on the people. Term limits can simply be defeated by not voting the same guy back in.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Volkov
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7/27/2009 3:55:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/27/2009 1:57:57 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
These vague comments and the stonger ones below are remarkable. Short of an explanation as to why the old British Empire in particular deserves our respect, you appear to arguing for absolute and universal obedience to authority.

I never said that at all. You either don't understand my contention, or are trying to misconstrue it.

I don't believe "absolute and universal obedience to authority" is good. I believe it always imperative to question what your government is doing, and how they do it. You should only accept authority when it is clear that the authority is there to benefit you, and not themselves.

Would it have been better for the people to be (truly) made to choose between unknowns in the midst of WWII? In fact, both Roosevelt and Lincoln, commonly believed to be the greatest American presidents, served for life and a greater number of years than would have been permitted by the Honduran Constitution.

You seem to have mistaken my opinion on term limits. I am not necessarily for or against them - but I am against allowing current leaders to hold these referendums to benefit themselves, and not the people they are supposed to represent.

He shouldn't. Hitler reigned based on government will. By the time Hitler won his referendum, he was already legal dictator. Thus, the referendum system if anything had potential only to remedy the situation, certainly not to cause it or be critical to its continuation.

Hitler's reign, before the war, was quite popular. I doubt the "referendum" system would have helped anything. You're arguing almost as if Hitler had no support in Germany - he had tonnes. He shifted blame to a group that people already thought were crooks, he helped employ Germans and create jobs and prosperity in a country that had been battered and bruised since 1917, etc. He did many amazing things for the people of Germany, and they loved him for it.

This is sort of similar to Chavez, no? I'm not saying he is a Nazi or that he's a bad fellow, but he has done many good things for the poor and disenfranchised of Venezuela. He's helped bring much needed revenue to that class of people. But while doing it, he's stifled free media and nationalized companies that frankly, didn't have to be nationalized. Then he asks to be President for longer, and longer, and longer... it benefits him, it doesn't benefit the country. His party could easily continue the same policies. There is no need for him to stay on.

Clearly, you're not arguing that no referendum has ever been consequentially good.

Double-negative. You'll have to explain this sentence.

Incidentally, I'm anti-majoritarian almost as much as I'm anti-minoritarian, and so I welcome the unveiling of your system, which you've been keeping secret, that's always better than democracy. Presumably, it's the one where you yourself pick the "representatives".

As am I, and I don't know where you got the idea I was coming from any other position.

My "system" is one where major policy that can affect the territorial integrity or the means of how we elect or government is voted on through referendum. Those kinds of referendums I have no problems with, as they should be examined and decided upon by the voting public.

But, I do have an issue when clearly, such referendums are used to extend an administrations grip on power.

It's clear to me you're unfamiliar with not only U.S. law and FCC guidelines, but those of your own country as well. For Christ's sake, they can't even curse on American network TV. You think they could advocate treason? The Communist Party was spared illegality because it advocated UNSPECIFIC (theoretical, in other words) revolution. You'll find that in the Supreme Court history. The 2002 coup was obviously more than theoretical. And again, RCTV wasn't "shut down". Their license wasn't renewed, probably because, as the FCC would put it, it wasn't in the "public interest" to have a military dictatorship. RCTV WAS calling for "violence specifically against a group". Given that such group included the elected government, such a call for violence was treasonous.

Then it was correct for them to be shut down. Advocating violence should by no means be tolerated. But, make no mistake - RCTV was "shut down," as it was a specific decision to not renew their broadcast permit.

But, would you not agree that there should be an opposing voice to the government in the media, especially if the other stations are biased towards the government? That is what I would like to know.

As well, your ranting about the FCC proves a point of mine. No government agency should regulate what the media says, even if it is supposedly "treasonous." The only time a government should intervene is when there is specific calls for violence against a group.

Blah blah blah, ranting, ranting ranting, misconstruing Volkov's opinion, etc. \
So no, it's not even a referendum on whether to have a referendum. It's nothing more than an opinion poll.

That is complete crock, to be frank. It was clear what the referendum was about, and what it was aimed for. If it were nothing more than an "opinion poll," the government wouldn't hold a referendum - they would call a polling company!

But that is besides the point. You're mistaking my opinion. I know that corruption pervades the Honduran justice system, and I have no doubts that their decision was not completely based in legality.

But, either way, in this case the Supreme Court has the final say.

Do I like it? No. Do I agree with it? No.

But, do I run around, assuming their actions and call them "dictatorial," while the person I'm backing calls for a literal "revolution" to occur? No.

I believe that what "watches the watchmen" is the public. If the public finds that this is an issue, then they should help weed out corruption. They shouldn't just sidle themselves one way or another - in this case, pro-Zelaya or against Zelaya.

If the public has issues with the Supreme Court, then they should put down this partisan crap and work to make sure the Court is unbiased and uncorrupted. The thing going on right now though, is that Zelaya is trying to rally people against the interim government and the Supreme Court.

This is what politicians do that I most disagree with. They say "side with us because we want this." They don't say, "get involved and do what you want to do that helps you."

I don't see any evidence so far from Zelaya, and Chavez as well, that says their goals are to promote the latter. They seem to promote themselves, not the people that put them in there.

You should take your own advice, and look a little deeper into what I'm saying.
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7/27/2009 6:40:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/27/2009 3:55:38 PM, Volkov wrote:
I never said that at all. You either don't understand my contention, or are trying to misconstrue it.

I believe you used the term "Secession-by-Law" as opposed to "abuse of power", in order to distinguish Candian Independence which the British consented to from American Independence with they did not. If I "misconstrued" something, and if you still believe you have a relevant point, please clarify.

I don't believe "absolute and universal obedience to authority" is good. I believe it always imperative to question what your government is doing, and how they do it. You should only accept authority when it is clear that the authority is there to benefit you, and not themselves.

Then by implication you think the current Honduran Supreme Court is there to benefit Zelaya? Or by "you" do you not mean the person considering whether to reject authority? Perhaps "you" means the people? Do you think the Supreme Court is there to benefit the people? What if the authority believes something because they are delusional or do not really care whether it's true or not, such as when George W. Bush believes (and I believe he does) in God or that the Patriot Act protects Americans? Hitler, I'm sure, honestly believed he was in the right. Wake up: the Honduran Supreme Court thinks about the law even less than you do. Or should we let the authority decide whether it's there to benefit us?

You seem to have mistaken my opinion on term limits. I am not necessarily for or against them - but I am against allowing current leaders to hold these referendums to benefit themselves, and not the people they are supposed to represent.

But I wasn't responding to the you who's "not necessarily for or against" term limits. I was responding to the you who characterized them as the road to dictatorship. Don't make me quote you. As for Zelaya "benefitting himself", it's not at all clear that risking his life as he is is now has a rationally self-interested advantage over the comfortable life he could have lived towing the party line. Again, I find it amazing you presume to know better than the people of Honduras what's best for them.

Hitler lost the presidential election, despite the alternative. You "doubt the 'referendum' system would have helped anything" because you have the twin benefit of hindsight and an anecdote of your choosing. But a referendum not helping anything is not the same as a referendum causing the problem. What about Pinochet? Do you think he would have survived a referendum? Or are you a fascist?

This is sort of similar to Chavez, no? I'm not saying he is a Nazi or that he's a bad fellow, but he has done many good things for the poor and disenfranchised of Venezuela. He's helped bring much needed revenue to that class of people. But while doing it, he's stifled free media and nationalized companies that frankly, didn't have to be nationalized. Then he asks to be President for longer, and longer, and longer... it benefits him, it doesn't benefit the country. His party could easily continue the same policies. There is no need for him to stay on.

And there's no reason for him not to stay on. The difference between him and an anonymous member of his party is that he is a proven leader and, as we've seen recently in Honduras, there is a lot to separate members of the same party. As for stifling free media, you've offered no evidence that he has. I don't know your background in economics, but I agree that the oil industry needn't have been nationalized. It could have remained in the hands of the oligarchy, to the great disbenefit of the people.

Double-negative. You'll have to explain this sentence.

A double negative is the use of two negatives within a SINGLE CLAUSE. My 2 negatives were in 2 different clauses and were essential to the sentence. If you didn't understand it, I fear it doesn't apply, so I'll phrase it as a question: Do you believe that no referendum has ever had a positive result.

As am I, and I don't know where you got the idea I was coming from any other position.

"Mob-rule".

But, I do have an issue when clearly, such referendums are used to extend an administrations grip on power.

That isn't how the Honduran Supreme Court ruled. Perhaps if the law was as you would have it, Zelaya wouldn't have wanted to change it, as your version seems reasonable. But how can your cynical assessment of Zelaya's motives be "clear" when they contradict the timeline of events?

Then it was correct for them to be shut down. Advocating violence should by no means be tolerated. But, make no mistake - RCTV was "shut down," as it was a specific decision to not renew their broadcast permit.

Fair enough.

But, would you not agree that there should be an opposing voice to the government in the media, especially if the other stations are biased towards the government? That is what I would like to know.

I agree completely, and that is why I oppose media consolidation whether by corporations or governments. Incidentally, Venezuelan media was then and remains to day mainly oppositional, which is typical in case of a left-wing government. So for example, even after the RCTV shut-down, the proportion of private to public stations was higher than in the U.S., the supposed center of the free market universe.

As well, your ranting about the FCC proves a point of mine. No government agency should regulate what the media says, even if it is supposedly "treasonous." The only time a government should intervene is when there is specific calls for violence against a group.

In this case, there were specific calls, material support, and finally immediate recognition of the short-lived junta. But I agree that the FCC regulates speech too much.

That is complete crock, to be frank. It was clear what the referendum was about, and what it was aimed for. If it were nothing more than an "opinion poll," the government wouldn't hold a referendum - they would call a polling company!

Why? Why would that be better than holding it at elections, as long as you've got the country there voting and don't have to deal with the kinds of biases polling companies have to deal with? Anyway, when I say it would be like an opinion poll I mean it would have the same legal standing. As far as I know, no referendum would have been needed in order to hold a constitutional convention.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
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7/28/2009 1:52:41 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/27/2009 3:55:38 PM, Volkov wrote:
But, do I run around, assuming their actions and call them "dictatorial," while the person I'm backing calls for a literal "revolution" to occur? No.

Since when is a revolutionary necessarily dictatorial? Again, was George Washington dictatorial? Was the Paris Commune dictatorial? What's wrong with a revolution to implement, in this case restore, democracy? And since when do I "assume" the Supreme Court was acting dictatorially? I offered objective reasons, reasons that you evidently agree with, having "no doubts" that the Court acted illegally. When the Court goes beyond its constitutionally provided power and begins declaring WHATEVER IT WISHES unconstitutional (i.e. ruling in bad faith) and playing executive with regards to the military, doesn't that fit the formal definition of "dictatorship"?

I believe that what "watches the watchmen" is the public. If the public finds that this is an issue, then they should help weed out corruption. They shouldn't just sidle themselves one way or another - in this case, pro-Zelaya or against Zelaya.

How do you propose the public "weed out" Supreme Court corruption? The public has no power to impeach Supreme Court justices, much less nominate new ones. And what happens when the coup government has left you no way other than revolution? Those who are "pro-Zelaya" at this point include those who didn't vote for him, even many who WOULDN'T vote to re-elect him. They want him back because any other alternative is a crime against democracy, which crimes Latin America has had too many of.

I don't see any evidence so far from Zelaya, and Chavez as well, that says their goals are to promote the latter. They seem to promote themselves, not the people that put them in there.

You've already admitted that their policies have been beneficial, so I'm not sure what you mean by this. In what ways are Zelaya and Chavez more self-serving than other elected leaders? And isn't the term "evidence" a bit grandiose, given that you clearly only consume media by hostile corporations and hostile governments? If I'm wrong, give me some examples.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.