Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zero here, one there

Dmitri Surnin writes:

According to the official results of the Regional Voting Commission 1701 (where he worked as an observer), these were the local results of Russian elections (party names are loosely translated):

  1. KPRF (Communists): 285
  2. United Russia (Putin's party): 271
  3. Just Russia: 218
  4. Apple*: 167
  5. LDPR (ultra-nationalists):  133
  6. Right Path: 16
  7. Patriots of Russia: 15

The above are the results that the local commission signed and sealed.

These are the results that were officially posted:

  1. United Russia: 662
  2. KPRF (Communists): 295
  3. LDPR (ultra-nationalists):  133
  4. Just Russia: 118
  5. Apple*: 67
  6. Right Path: 16
  7. Patriots of Russia: 15
Apple (Yabloko), by the way, is the only party that is even worth mentioning (it's probably as bad as American Democrats, but at least it's not as bad as Hitler or Mao, represented by the top two choices). As we can see, Apple was the one at whose expense Putin's United Russia (I know, sounds like an airplane company) rose to the top (plus, some "dead souls").

On the other hand, the situation is the same as in Republican primaries: all of the candidates suck, with the exception of Ron Paul. Choosing between these parties is like choosing between two weevils.

I remember how my rabbi's father explained the difference between Catholic and Protestant church: when you're riding in a horse-driven cart, sometimes the horse does its business on the road. And sometimes the wheel drives through the horse's present and divides it in two. Now, what's the difference between the right half and the left half? That's basically the difference between Newt and Romney, between Communists and Putin in Russia, and between Democrats and Republicans in the US.

How anyone can even consider anyone besides Ron Paul as a serious choice for the president of this country boggles my mind. How do you choose between one sleazeball and another? I am not even talking about the ideas: just look at the people themselves.


Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is slightly insane... He is definitely better than Newt or Romney, but he is not prize himself... I would love it if Chris Christie would run.

(The best thing about Ron Paul are his ads

Certified Ashkenazi said...

>Ron Paul is slightly insane...

In what way?

>I would love it if Chris Christie would run.

What about him is better than the candidates?

The best thing about Ron Paul is that he is a supporter of freedom, unlike every other candidate.

Anonymous said...

Well, even the idea of him running for president is slightly absurd. He has zero chance of winning but does it anyhow...Some of his policies are reminiscent of the types of things Barry Goldwater tried implementing. Great ideas, but outta wack.

Christie has bipartisan support and great ideas which he has been able to implement in new jersey. (I dont like that he endorsed mitt romney, but whatever...)

Il grant you that. Paul has also stood by his guns for years, which does give him some credibility.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Well, which of Paul's ideas make him out of whack? What exactly are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

His ideas for budget cuts and abolishing departments are great. All Reagan style cuts, they just arent realistic. he will never be able to pull any of them off. The thing he is useful for is to make sure republican candidates dont stray too far "left".

Certified Ashkenazi said...

So, it's not that he is nuts, but that most of the people are pathetic. In a world of thieves, an honest person is an oddball. But his ideas are normal, mainstream libertarian ideas. It's quite obvious that we need to get rid of most governmental departments.

As far as libertarians are concerned, he is on the left. Or, rather, down. True libertarians believe we'd be better off without a centralized government.

mor said...

Mitt Romney isn't a sleazeball; he just isn't particularly conservative. He could just as well be a right wing Democrat.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

So, someone who believes in stealing is not a sleazeball?

mor said...

I don't think that Terach was a sleazeball just because he worshiped avodah zarah. You know what I mean? It was wrong for him to do it, but doing it didn't make him a sleazeball. A sleazeball is a person who flouts the moral and ethical system on which he was presumably raised.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Would you call a slave-owner a sleazeball?

Anyway, I think most people in the Western culture are taught that to rob (take property away from someone by force) is immoral. Just not everyone thinks it through to apply this concept to the government.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

I am not even going into Romneycare, etc.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

It's interesting that most people would find Paul's behavior in this story praiseworthy, but in reality he was not being a tzaddik; he was being a beinoni. Not stealing (or accepting stolen money) does not make you an exceptional person; it just makes you a normal person.

mor said...

I would not call a 19th century or earlier slave-owner a sleazeball. That is exactly my point.

And since most people don't think that the prohibition of stealing applies to government, Mitt Romney is not a sleazeball for going along with the crowd.

I am not disagreeing with your objective evaluation of right and wrong, I just think that it is a mistake to call someone who goes along with "unenlightened" conventional morality a sleazeball.

mor said...

I think that what was special about that story was that he routinely provided a service to poor people without requesting or expecting renumeration.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

> His ideas for budget cuts and abolishing departments are great. All Reagan style cuts, they just arent realistic

Why not? Especially if they are Reagan-style?

I still haven't heard what is attractive about Chris Christie's ideas. The fact that both left and right may vote for him doesn't mean anything. You can approach left and right from the position of weakness (using negative things that are common to both) or position of strength, like Ron Paul. He has something attractive both to the left -- reducing defense budget, pulling out of foreign countries, government not involving itself with private lives of citizens, etc. -- and the right -- deregulation of markets, abolishing idiotic departments of education, health, transportation, G-d knows what. This is a strong position, rather than the "moderate" position of the likes of Mitt Romney.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, people wont vote for Paul. Christie wants t cut taxes, eliminate wasteful spending - he did that in NJ by starting with a zero budget, he cut the size of the governments size there as well. In general he has a pretty good thing going there.