This tag does not yet have a description

Total topics: 9

In another TOPIC I argued:

  • "but to the the extent that logic is always dangerous to tyrannies, pure logic doesn't enjoy the freedom of expression that only healthy democracies guarantee.  Logic depends on democracy for validation and correction for public policy applications.  Strictly logical decision-making is unsustainable in a democracy because not all logic is reasonable.  Infinity is logical but not reasonable.  The Sermon on the Mount is not logical but it is reasonable."

52 10

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Republicans barred transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr from the House floor for the rest of the 2023 session on Wednesday in retaliation for her rebuking colleagues – and then participating in protests – after they voted to ban gender-affirming care for children.

The punishment marks the first time in nearly half a century that Montana lawmakers have sought to censure one of their own. It caps a weeklong standoff between her and House Republican leaders and formalizes their decision to not let Zephyr speak since she said those supportive of such a ban would have blood on their hands.

Zephyr will be able to vote and participate in committees, but not discuss proposals and amendments that are under consideration with the full House. The legislative session is set to end in early May.

The fight over Zephyr’s remarks has brought the nationwide debate over protest’s role in democracy to Montana, where lawmakers punished her for voicing dissent, an increasingly prevalent move in statehouses. In supporting Zephyr’s attempts to regain her voice, protesters interrupted proceedings earlier this week by chanting “Let her Speak” in a boisterous rally that came after they protested outside the Capitol and unfurled a banner that read “Democracy Dies Here.”

After days of rebuffing Zephyr’s request to speak, Republican leaders finally granted her the floor to give a statement before they ultimately voted to censure her Wednesday. She said her initial “blood on your hands” remark and subsequent decision to hoist a microphone into the air toward protesters in the House gallery were an effort to stand up for the LGBTQ+ community and her 11,000 constituents in Missoula.

House Speaker Matt Regier’s decision to turn off her microphone, she said, was an attempt to drive “a nail in the coffin of democracy.”

“If you use decorum to silence people who hold you accountable, then all you’re doing is using decorum as a tool of oppression,” Zephyr told her colleagues.
House Republicans who supported barring Zephyr from the floor have accused her of placing lawmakers and staff at risk of harm for disrupting House proceedings and inciting protests in the chamber on Monday.

But lawmakers were on the floor Monday when protesters were in the gallery, and there have been no reports of damage to the building.

“Freedom in this body involves obedience to all the rules of this body, including the rules of decorum,” House Majority Leader Sue Vinton said.

Authorities arrested seven people in the confrontation, who Zephyr said were defending democracy. Her opponents said ensuring government can conduct business on behalf of the people without interruption was a critical precedent to set.

“This is an assault on our representative democracy, spirited debate, and the free expression of ideas cannot flourish in an atmosphere of turmoil and incivility,” Republican David Bedey said on the House floor.

The episode comes weeks after two Black lawmakers, Tennessee state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, were expelled for participating in a protest in favor of gun control after another school shooting. Similarly, Zephyr’s punishment has ignited a firestorm of debate about governance and who has a voice in an elected body during this politically polarizing time.

Post-expulsion, the fate of the two Tennessee lawmakers were sent to their county commissions, which swiftly voted to reinstate them. Zephyr told The Associated Press after the vote that Republican leaders were likely aware that a similar sequence of events could be triggered, had they expelled her.

“My community and the Democratic Party in Missoula would send me back here in a heartbeat because I represent them and I represent their values by standing up for democracy,” she said.

The censure comes two days after protesters later packed into the gallery at the Statehouse and brought House proceedings to a halt chanting “Let her speak” as Zephyr lifted her microphone toward them. Seven subsequent arrests galvanized both her supporters and those saying Zephyr’s actions constitute an unacceptable attack on civil discourse.

“There needs to be some consequences for what he has been doing,” said Rep. Joe Read, who frequently but inconsistently used incorrect pronouns when referring to Zephyr.

He claimed Zephyr gave a signal to her supporters just before Monday’s session was disrupted. He declined to say what that was other than a “strange movement.”
“When she gave the signal for protesters to go into action, I would say that’s when decorum was incredibly broken,” Read added.

Zephyr told the AP that she felt the moment was calling on her to stand up for democracy.

“Every time that one of these votes came; every time the speaker refused to allow me to speak; when the protesters came and demanded, my thought was twofold,” she said. “Pride in those who stood up to defend democracy and a hope that in some small way, I could rise to that moment individually and do the work they sent me to do.”

Current events
18 8
DebateArt added a HISTORY category to the Forum on Feb 16th with this announcement

Minor changes
- Removed letter spacing in multiple places, now the "fonts" may look a bit better.
- Added "History" category to the forum, as it's been requested by several people on several occasions.
-Further optimized performance, the website should feel more snappy now.
PS The history category is empty, but I am sure we already have some existing topics that would fit into that category, so the mods please feel free to move some stuff around :)
02.16.2023 12:21AM
While not inaccurate textually, this announcement certainly fails to acknowledge the long journey this category took to inception.

  • Let's recall that DebateArt offered to create a HISTORY category June 14th,  2021 stating that it only took 10 minutes worth of effort and agreeing to deliver in the next few days.
  • After no follow up for the next 13 months, I decided to test Whiteflame's claim that any user could precipitate a functional change on DART with a successful MEEP demonstrating popular support.  For the first two week of August 2022, I conducted an election on the proposition of a HISTORY category and at the end announced a successful campaign, receiving more populat support than the latest presidential election.
  • I submitted a formal request documenting overwhelming popular support and requesting that 10 minute piece of work be completed sometime in the last 20 weeks of the year.
    • DebateArt, WF, and Vader never made any reply or acknowledgement of the MEEP simply ignored the request for the rest of the year.
    • Therefore, to now characterize that popular campaign by the DebateArt community as "requested by several people" without any acknowledgement of the Democratic seems downright petulant if not outright contemptuous.
    • In spite of their roles as moderators, neither Whiteflame or Vader ever made the least acknowledgement of this, the first user initiated MEEP.
      • To the extent that it took more than two and one half years to effect a popular 10 minute change, I think we have give DebateArt a failing grade for effort.
      • To the extent that part of my intention was to test Whiteflame's claim that anybody can effect a change on DART via a MEEP, I think Mods complete dismissal and lack of attention to this democratic effort transformed another very positive community-based project into another humiliating farce.

9 7
Opinion: The Republican blueprint to steal the 2024 election

Opinion by J. Michael Luttig
Wed April 27, 2022

Editor’s NoteJ. Michael Luttig, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, formerly served on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 15 years. He advised Vice President Mike Pence on January 6. 

Nearly a year and a half later, surprisingly few understand what January 6 was all about.

Fewer still understand why former President Donald Trump and Republicans persist in their long-disproven claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Much less why they are obsessed about making the 2024 race a referendum on the “stolen” election of 2020, which even they know was not stolen.

January 6 was never about a stolen election or even about actual voting fraud. It was always and only about an election that Trump lost fair and square, under legislatively promulgated election rules in a handful of swing states that he and other Republicans contend were unlawfully changed by state election officials and state courts to expand the right and opportunity to vote, largely in response to the Covid pandemic.

The Republicans’ mystifying claim to this day that Trump did, or would have, received more votes than Joe Biden in 2020 were it not for actual voting fraud, is but the shiny object that Republicans have tauntingly and disingenuously dangled before the American public for almost a year and a half now to distract attention from their far more ambitious objective.

That objective is not somehow to rescind the 2020 election, as they would have us believe. That’s constitutionally impossible. Trump’s and the Republicans’ far more ambitious objective is to execute successfully in 2024 the very same plan they failed in executing in 2020 and to overturn the 2024 election if Trump or his anointed successor loses again in the next quadrennial contest.

The last presidential election was a dry run for the next.

From long before Election Day 2020, Trump and Republicans planned to overturn the presidential election by exploiting the Electors and Elections Clauses of the Constitution, the Electoral College, the Electoral Count Act of 1877, and the 12th Amendment, if Trump lost the popular and Electoral College vote.

The cornerstone of the plan was to have the Supreme Court embrace the little known “independent state legislature” doctrine, which, in turn, would pave the way for exploitation of the Electoral College process and the Electoral Count Act, and finally for Vice President Mike Pence to reject enough swing state electoral votes to overturn the election using Pence’s ceremonial power under the 12th Amendment and award the presidency to Donald Trump.

The independent state legislature doctrine says that, under the Elections and the Electors Clauses of the Constitution, state legislatures possess plenary and exclusive power over the conduct of federal presidential elections and the selection of state presidential electors. Not even a state supreme court, let alone other state elections officials, can alter the legislatively written election rules or interfere with the appointment of state electors by the legislatures, under this theory.

The Supreme Court has never decided whether to embrace the independent state legislature doctrine. But then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in separate concurring opinions said they would embrace that doctrine in Bush v. Gore, 20 years earlier, and Republicans had every reason to believe there were at least five votes on the Supreme Court for the doctrine in November 2020, with Amy Coney Barrett having just been confirmed in the eleventh hour before the election.

Trump and the Republicans began executing this first stage of their plan months before November 3, by challenging as violative of the independent state legislature doctrine election rules relating to early- and late-voting, extensions of voting days and times, mail-in ballots, and other election law changes that Republicans contended had been unlawfully altered by state officials and state courts in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Michigan.

These cases eventually wound their way to the Supreme Court in the fall of 2020, and by December, the Supreme Court had decided all of these cases, but only by orders, either disallowing federal court intervention to change an election rule that had been promulgated by a state legislature, allowing legislatively promulgated rules to be changed by state officials and state courts, or deadlocking 4-4, because Justice Barrett was not sworn in until after those cases were briefed and ready for decision by the Court. In none of these cases did the Supreme Court decide the all-important independent state legislature doctrine.

Thwarted by the Supreme Court’s indecision on that doctrine, Trump and the Republicans turned their efforts to the second stage of their plan, exploitation of the Electoral College and the Electoral Count Act.

The Electoral College is the process by which Americans choose their presidents, a process that can lead to the election as president of a candidate who does not receive a majority of votes cast by the American voters. Republicans have grown increasingly wary of the Electoral College with the new census and political demographics of the nation’s shifting population.

The Electoral Count Act empowers Congress to decide the presidency in a host of circumstances where Congress determines that state electoral votes were not “regularly given” by electors who were “lawfully certified,” terms that are undefined and ambiguous. In this second stage of the plan, the Republicans needed to generate state-certified alternative slates of electors from swing states where Biden won the popular vote who would cast their electoral votes for Trump instead.

Congress would then count the votes of these alternative electoral slates on January 6, rather than the votes of the certified electoral slates for Biden, and Trump would be declared the reelected president.

The Republicans’ plan failed at this stage when they were unable to secure a single legitimate, alternative slate of electors from any state because the various state officials refused to officially certify these Trump-urged slates.

Thwarted by the Supreme Court in the first stage, foiled by their inability to come up with alternative state electoral slates in the second stage, and with time running out, Trump and the Republicans began executing the final option in their plan, which was to scare up illegitimate alternative electoral slates in various swing states to be transmitted to Congress. Whereupon, on January 6, Vice President Pence would count only the votes of the illegitimate electors from the swing states, and not the votes of the legitimate, certified electors that were cast for Biden, and declare Donald Trump’s reelection as President of the United States.

The entire house of cards collapsed at noon on January 6, when Pence refused to go along with the ill-conceived plan, correctly concluding that under the 12th Amendment he had no power to reject the votes that had been cast by the duly certified electors or to delay the count to give Republicans even more time to whip up alternative electoral slates.

Pence declared Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States at 3:40 a.m. on Thursday, January 7, roughly 14 hours after rioters stormed the US Capitol, disrupting the Joint Session and preventing Congress from counting the Electoral College votes for president until late that night and into the following day, after the statutorily designated day for counting those votes.

Trump and his allies and supporters in Congress and the states began readying their failed 2020 plan to overturn the 2024 presidential election later that very same day and they have been unabashedly readying that plan ever since, in plain view to the American public. Today, they are already a long way toward recapturing the White House in 2024, whether Trump or another Republican candidate wins the election or not.

Trump and Republicans are preparing to return to the Supreme Court, where this time they will likely win the independent state legislature doctrine, now that Amy Coney Barrett is on the Court and ready to vote. Barrett has not addressed the issue, but this turns on an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, and Barrett is firmly aligned on that method of constitutional interpretation with Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch, all three of whom have written that they believe the doctrine is correct.

Only last month, in a case from North Carolina the Court declined to hear, Moore v. Harper, four Justices (Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) said that the independent state legislature question is of exceptional importance to our national elections, the issue will continue to recur and the Court should decide the issue sooner rather than later before the next presidential election. This case involved congressional redistricting, but the independent state legislature doctrine is as applicable to redistricting as it is to presidential elections.

The Republicans are also in the throes of electing Trump-endorsed candidates to state legislative offices in key swing states, installing into office their favored state election officials who deny that Biden won the 2020 election, such as secretaries of state, electing sympathetic state court judges onto the state benches and grooming their preferred potential electors for ultimate selection by the party, all so they will be positioned to generate and transmit alternative electoral slates to Congress, if need be.

Finally, they are furiously politicking to elect Trump supporters to the Senate and House, so they can overturn the election in Congress, as a last resort.

Forewarned is to be forearmed.

Trump and the Republicans can only be stopped from stealing the 2024 election at this point if the Supreme Court rejects the independent state legislature doctrine (thus allowing state court enforcement of state constitutional limitations on legislatively enacted election rules and elector appointments) and Congress amends the Electoral Count Act to constrain Congress’ own power to reject state electoral votes and decide the presidency.

Although the Vice President will be a Democrat in 2024, both parties also need to enact federal legislation that expressly limits the vice president’s power to be coextensive with the power accorded the vice president in the 12th Amendment and confirm that it is largely ceremonial, as Pence construed it to be on January 6.

Vice President Kamala Harris would preside over the Joint Session in 2024. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have any idea who will be presiding after that, however. Thus, both parties have the incentive to clarify the vice president’s ceremonial role now.

As it stands today, Trump, or his anointed successor, and the Republicans are poised, in their word, to “steal” from Democrats the presidential election in 2024 that they falsely claim the Democrats stole from them in 2020. But there is a difference between the falsely claimed “stolen” election of 2020 and what would be the stolen election of 2024. Unlike the Democrats’ theft claimed by Republicans, the Republicans’ theft would be in open defiance of the popular vote and thus the will of the American people: poetic, though tragic, irony for America’s democracy.
94 9
April 22,  2022
In a keynote address at a Stanford University Cyber Policy Center symposium entitled “Challenges to Democracy in the Digital Information Realm,” former President Barack Obama outlined the ways in which technology challenges democracy, and suggested a set of principles to chart a new path forward.

"Hello, Stanford. It is great to be in California and back in beautiful Palo Alto. Coming here always makes me want to go back to college, although an 18-year-old Barack Obama would not have gotten in. I got more serious, later.
I want to thank the Cyber Policy Center here at Stanford for hosting this event. I want to thank Tiana for that outstanding introduction, and for all the work that you are doing. I want to thank a great friend and a remarkable public servant and Ambassador of Russia, during very difficult times, and one of my top advisors, Michael McFaul, for being here.
Michelle and I set up the Obama Foundation to train the next generation of leaders, and I think you saw in Tiana, the example of the kind of remarkable leadership that’s out there, with the talent and vision to lead us forward, as long as old people get out of the way.
During some of the darkest days of World War II, American philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr, wrote the following, “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”
We’re living through another tumultuous, dangerous moment in history. All of us have been horrified by Russia’s brutal invasion of the Ukraine. A nuclear-armed despot’s response to a neighboring state whose only provocation is its desire to be independent and democratic. An invasion of this scale hasn’t been seen in Europe since World War II, and we’ve all witnessed the resulting death and destruction, and the displacement, in real time.
The stakes are enormous, and the courage displayed by ordinary Ukrainians has been extraordinary and demands our support. Unfortunately, a war in the Ukraine isn’t happening in a vacuum. Vladimir Putin’s aggression is part of a larger trend, even if similar levels of oppression and lawlessness and violence and suffering don’t always attract the same levels of attention if they happen outside of Europe,
Autocrats and aspiring strongmen have become emboldened around the globe. They’re actively subverting democracy, they’re undermining hard-won human rights, they’re ignoring international law.
Worse yet, democratic backsliding is not restricted to distant lands. Right here, in the United States of America, we just saw a sitting president deny the clear results of an election and help incite a violent insurrection at the nation’s Capitol. Not only that, but a majority of his party, including many who occupy some of the highest offices in the land, continue to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the last election, and are using it to justify laws that restrict the vote, making it easier to overturn the will of the people in states where they hold power.
But for those of us who believe in democracy and the rule of law, this should serve as a wake-up call. We have to admit that, at least in the years since the Cold War ended, democracies have grown dangerously complacent.
That too often, we’ve taken freedom for granted. What recent events remind us, is that democracy is neither inevitable nor self-executed. Citizens like us have to nurture it. We have to tend to it and fight for it, and as our circumstances change, we have to be willing to look at ourselves critically, making reforms that can allow democracy, not just to survive, but to thrive.
That won’t be easy. A lot of factors have contributed to the weakening of democratic institutions around the world. One of those factors is globalization which has helped lift hundreds and millions out of poverty, most notably in China and India, but which, along with automation has also upended entire economies, accelerated global inequality, and left millions of others feeling betrayed and angry at existing political institutions.
There is the increased mobility and urbanization of modern life, which further shakes up societies, including existing family structures and gender roles. Here at home, we’ve seen a steady decline in the number of people participating in unions, civic organizations and houses of worship, mediating institutions that once served as a kind of communal glue.
Internationally, the rise of China as well as chronic political dysfunction, here in the U.S. and in Europe, not to mention the near collapse of the global financial system in 2008, has made it easier for leaders in other countries to discount democracy’s appeal. And as once marginalized groups demand a seat at the table, politicians have found a new audience for old-fashioned appeals to racial and ethnic, religious or national solidarity.
In the rush to protect “us” from “them,” virtues like tolerance and respect for democratic processes start to look, not just expendable, but like a threat to our way of life.
So if we’re going to strengthen democracy, we’ll have to address all of these strengths. We’ll have to come up with new models for a more inclusive, equitable capitalism. We’ll have to reform our political institutions in ways that allow people to be heard and give them real agency. We’ll have to tell better stories about ourselves and how we can live together, despite our differences.
And that’s why I’m here today, on Stanford’s campus, in the heart of Silicon Valley, where so much of the digital revolution began, because I’m convinced that right now one of the biggest impediments to doing all of this, indeed, one of the biggest reasons for democracies weakening is the profound change that’s taking place in how we communicate and consume information.
Now let me start off by saying I am not a Luddite, although it is true that sometimes I have to ask my daughters how to work basic functions on my phone. I am amazed by the internet. It’s connected billions of people around the world, put the collected knowledge of centuries at our fingertips. It’s made our economies vastly more efficient, accelerated medical advances, opened up new opportunities, allowed people with shared interests to find each other.
I might never have been elected president if it hadn’t been for websites like, and I’m dating myself, MySpace, MeetUp and Facebook that allowed an army of young volunteers to organize, raise money, spread our message. That’s what elected me.
And since then, we’ve all witnessed the ways that activists use social media platforms to register dissent and shine a light on injustice and mobilize people on issues like climate change and racial justice. So the internet and the accompanying information revolution has been transformative. And there’s no turning back.
But like all advances in technology, this progress has had unintended consequences that sometimes come at a price. And in this case, we see that our new information ecosystem is turbocharging some of humanity’s worst impulses.
Not all of these effects are intentional or even avoidable. They’re simply the consequence of billions of humans suddenly plugged into an instant, 24/7 global information stream. Forty years ago, if you were a conservative in rural Texas, you weren’t necessarily offended by what was going on in San Francisco’s Castro District because you didn’t know what was going on.

Current events
10 3
By Ilia Krasilshchik

TBILISI, Georgia — “Wake up, Sonya, the war has started.” These were the first words I said to my girlfriend on the morning of Feb. 24, as Russian missiles rained down on Ukraine. The words I’d never thought I’d have to say.
No one in Moscow believed there could be a war, even though it’s painfully clear now that the Kremlin had been gearing up for it for years. Were we, the millions of Russians who were openly or secretly opposed to President Vladimir Putin’s regime, merely silent witnesses to what was happening? Even worse, did we endorse it?
No. In 2011, when it was announced that Mr. Putin would return to the Kremlin as president, tens of thousands took to the streets in protest. In 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and fomented war in the Donbas, we held huge antiwar rallies. And in 2021 we took to the streets once more throughout the country when Russia’s main opposition figure, Aleksei Navalny, was arrested after his return to Moscow.
I want to believe we did everything in our power to rein in Mr. Putin. But it’s not true. Though we protested, organized, lobbied, spread information and built honest lives in the shadow of a corrupt regime, we must accept the truth: We failed. We failed to prevent a catastrophe, and we failed to change the country for the better. And now we must bear that failure.
The Russians who oppose the war now find themselves in a terrible state. It’s not just that we couldn’t stop this senseless and illegal war — we can’t even protest against it. A law passed on March 4 makes the expression of antiwar sentiment in Russia punishable by up to 15 years in prison. (Already, about 15,000 people have been detained for antiwar actions since the invasion began.) Facing an intolerable future, thousands have fled the country. Those who stayed have lost much of what remained of their freedom. After Mastercard and Visa suspended operations in Russia, many can’t even pay for a VPN service to get independent media.
It is as if we’re being viewed as criminals not only by our own state but also by the rest of the world. Yet we are not criminals. We did not start this war, and we did not vote for the people who did. We did not work for the state that is now bombing Ukrainian cities. Time and again, we raised our voices against the government’s policies, even as it became ever more dangerous to do so.
It wasn’t easy. Over the past decade, a plethora of repressive legislation cracked down on public protest, decimated the free press, censored the internet and suppressed free speech. Independent outlets were blocked, journalists were labeled “foreign agents” and human rights organizations were shut down. Thousands were detained and beaten. Prominent critics were driven to exile or killed. Mr. Navalny was imprisoned and could remain in jail for many years. We paid for our defiance.
Even so, it is up to us to start the conversation about what has happened. The invasion of Ukraine marks the end, definitively, of Russia’s postwar era. During the 77 years since World War II, Russia was regarded — no matter what other perceptions it carried — as the country that helped to save humanity from the greatest evil the world has ever known. Russia was the heroic country that defeated fascism, even if that victory forced 45 years of Communism on half of Europe. Not anymore. Russia is now the nation that unleashed a new evil, and unlike the old one, it’s armed with nuclear weapons.
The primary responsibility for this evil lies squarely at the feet of Mr. Putin and his entourage. But for those who opposed the regime, in ways big and small, the responsibility is also ours to bear. How did it happen? What did we do wrong? How do we prevent this from happening again? These are the questions we’re facing. No matter where we are — in Moscow, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Riga, Istanbul, Tel Aviv or New York — and no matter what we do.
Responsibility is the key. There was a lot of good in the country I grew up in, the one that stopped existing two weeks ago. But responsibility was what we lacked. Russia is a very individualistic society, in which people, to quote the cultural historian Andrei Zorin, live with a “Leave me alone” mind-set. We like to isolate ourselves from one another, from the state, from the world. This allowed many of us to build vibrant, hopeful, energetic lives against a grim backdrop of arrests and prison. But in the process, we became insular and lost sight of everyone else’s interests.
We must now put aside our individual concerns and accept our common responsibility for the war. Such an act is, first and foremost, a moral necessity. But it could also be the first step toward a new Russian nation — a nation that could talk to the world in a language other than wars and threats, a nation that others will learn not to fear. It is toward creating this Russia that we, outcast and exiled and persecuted, should bend our efforts.
Mediazona, an independent website that covers criminal proceedings and the penal system, has a haunting slogan: “It will get worse.” For the past decade, that’s been a grimly accurate prediction. As Russia bombards Ukraine, it’s hard to imagine things could be anything other than awful. But we must.

9 4
Just a reminder to all those members of DebateArt advocating for Putin's invasion of Ukraine that debate is an invention and an instrument of DEMOCRACY. 

Dictators, by definition, can never permit entirely free speech and without free speech the pretense of fair debate is cruelly mocked. 

Vladimir Putin specifically is the sworn enemy of fair political debate, poisoning to death those who out argue him, and the greatest contemporary threat to free speech globally, interfering  by unlawful subterfuge with democratic processes worldwide.  Ukraine won its freedom from Russia in 1991 after suffering the calamity of Chernobyl- a disaster who's root cause was discovered to be in the absence of free speech and the fear of reprisals that prevented engineers from speaking out about known system failures.  The result of that suppression of free speech was 4,000 dead and the collapse of the Soviet Empire. 

Unlike Russia, Ukraine has fought hard to preserve her democracy through the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014.  Ukraine has earned her freedom of speech and independence from Russia.

You can endorse the free and fair practice of debating or you can endorse Putin's unlawful invasion of the democratic Republic of Ukraine but you can't do both and remain ideologically consistent.

If you believe that debaters and debating should be free and fair throughout the world then you oppose that belief's most potent enemy Putin, plain and simple.
97 9
Hi, I'm Kristin Urquiza. I'm one of the many who has lost a loved one to COVID. My dad, Mark Anthony Urquiza, should be here today, but he isn't. He had faith in Donald Trump. He voted for him, listened to him, believed him and his mouthpieces when they said that coronavirus was under control and going to disappear, that it was OK to end social distancing rules before it was safe, and that if you had no underlying health conditions, you'd probably be fine.

So in late May after the stay-at-home order was lifted in Arizona, my dad went to a karaoke bar with his friends. A few weeks later, he was put on a ventilator. And after five agonizing days, he died alone in the ICU with a nurse holding his hand. My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life.

I am not alone. Once I told my story, a lot of people reached out to me to share theirs. They asked me to help them keep their communities safe, especially communities of color, which have been disproportionately affected. They asked me, a normal person, to help because Donald Trump won't.

The coronavirus has made it clear that there are two Americas, the America that Donald Trump lives in and the America that my father died in. Enough is enough. Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his irresponsible actions made it so much worse.

We need a leader who has a national coordinated data-driven response to stop this pandemic from claiming more lives and to safely reopen the country. We need a leader who will step in on day one and do his job-- to care. One of the last things that my father said to me was that he felt betrayed by the likes of Donald Trump. And so when I cast my vote for Joe Biden, I will do it for my dad.
17 6
If you observe what this website runs on, it is not democracy in theory and yet the populace is respected by those in power. DART is a benevolent dictatorship and is proof that it can actually be done and thus that democracy itself is not the highest importance in a political system but instead respect for all is the utmost priority.

This is not proof that Republicanism is superior to Democracy, as this site is also not actually a Republic since each MEEP and discussing in threads that led to the rules and continues to shape them isn't how a Constitution with 'irrevokable rights' is formed or regarded.
48 13