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Donald Ball 
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Re: “Why I’m against Hillary Clinton

Support a progressive candidate in the primary, and the Democratic candidate in the general. Duverger's Law seems to be an accurate observation. Not voting or spoiling is an immature response to a seriously dysfunctional political system. Voting is not adequate, but it's better to both vote and agitate for change.

17 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Donald Ball on 05/06/2015 at 9:02 AM

Re: “A summer of mayhem courtesy of the N.C. Legislature

Brandon: More Democrats voted against fracking than in favor, so, all things being equal, replacing one Republican with a Democrat does give you better than even odds that fracking doesn't pass. Call it 50%. Two seats gives you 75%. Three gives you 87.5%, and so on.

I have no love for the anodyne corporate NC Democratic party, but I recognize which party is closer to my interests.

So what do you do? Three things:

* Agitate without the system for a change in voting systems. You *cannot* have a successful third party without this. Voting third party without it may make you feel morally pure, but it's a fantasy. Witness Bush v. Gore, 2000. Nader asserted there was any difference between those candidates, but there are a few hundred thousand dead Iraqis who may beg to differ, or would have, were they alive to do so.

* Support the most liberal electable Democrat in the primaries.

* Vote for the Democratic slate in the general.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Donald Ball on 07/20/2012 at 11:18 AM

Re: “A summer of mayhem courtesy of the N.C. Legislature

Brandon: Until we get instant runoff or another preferential voting system, voting for the party which better, if imperfectly, represents your interests is the most effective action you can take within the system. I agree that it is not sufficient, we should also work without the system to change it, but not voting, or voting for a third party winds up helping the party that opposes your interests more strongly. That's just the way the math works out in a winner-take-all voting system.

I'm sorry that you're not enthusiastic about voting, but part of being a responsible adult is accepting that the least bad outcome is the best you're going to get, and acting accordingly. Look, hate on the Democrats all you want, there's plenty of criticism to go around, but if there'd been just *one* more Democrat in the assembly instead of the Republicans this go round, there's a better than even chance fracking would remain illegal.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Donald Ball on 07/20/2012 at 10:23 AM

Re: “The agenda behind the sea level rise bill: from the Carolina coast to the Kochs

Bill, it may surprise you to learn that the earth was demonstrated to be round by scientists thousands of years ago. Eratosthenes was clever enough to estimate its size within 10% in 240 BCE. Your claim regarding the "flat earth" consensus in the Middle Ages is wrong. You should have tried to make your case with the geocentric model of the universe, but even that wouldn't work since it was papal decrees enforcing it, not the consensus view of the scientists of the age.

The rest of your comment is similarly factually challenged.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Donald Ball on 06/20/2012 at 10:33 PM

Re: “The agenda behind the sea level rise bill: from the Carolina coast to the Kochs


A more careful reading of my comment should clarify that I know that developer and investor are not synonyms, but that the distinction isn't relevant to the topic at hand.

Your refusal to engage with the substance of any critiques tells me you're deeply unserious; a typical global warming denialist, in other words. The defensive, contemptuous tone you adopt; the fact that you're here, in the comments section of a small alternatively weekly, trying to cast doubt on the reporting, suggests that you know you're in the wrong.

Still, congratulations on your legislative victory, Mr. Canute. Let me know how long that keeps the tide at bay.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Donald Ball on 06/18/2012 at 2:47 PM

Re: “The agenda behind the sea level rise bill: from the Carolina coast to the Kochs


I think you're going to need to be a bit more specific about the dozen factual errors if you're hoping to discredit this reporting. The ATI Fellows page claims you to be a real estate investor:…

Unless their page is incorrect, you seem to be hanging your hat on the distinction between investor and developer, a fine line and not at all at odds with the implied conclusion: your interests are served by permissive coastal building policies.

Your complaints with the Guardian piece seem to be similarly trivial, and demand a standard of precision which your own piece does not demonstrate.

Taking the broad view, your group has successfully subverted the public policy apparatus by imposing a blinkered view of the data and demanding a linear model which isn't supported by either the theory or the data. You pretend to be a scientist; you should be ashamed of yourself.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Donald Ball on 06/18/2012 at 1:46 PM

Re: “Myth-busting Social Security's alleged dire state

Hear hear. If you eliminate the cap on the payroll tax, you eliminate the problem. If you raise the rate by .1% a year for 20 years, you eliminate the problem. Fixing Social Security is trivial.

Posted by Donald Ball on 03/10/2011 at 3:53 PM

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