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I have found it useful to employ the device called "Ignore Users"

Go to "My Controls", then "Manage Ignored Users" KEY IN THE NAME OF ANYONE YOU WISH

This is a very good way to limit your interaction with questionable and provocative members.

It will lower the Volume in more ways than one........

<_<:ph34r::ph34r::(:ph34r::):D

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I imagine you are talking about Tim Gratz. However, are you blocking his posts or the threads he is posting on. I have believed for some time that this is the reason why Tim posts on these threads. I suspect that many members avoid these threads once he appears in them. It is worthwhile going to these threads to see why he is trying to hijack them. In virtually every case he is trying to redirect the focus of the thread.

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I imagine you are talking about Tim Gratz. However, are you blocking his posts or the threads he is posting on. I have believed for some time that this is the reason why Tim posts on these threads. I suspect that many members avoid these threads once he appears in them. It is worthwhile going to these threads to see why he is trying to hijack them. In virtually every case he is trying to redirect the focus of the thread.

John,

You seem to be going to a great deal of trouble in dealing with Tim. My question is why? You run an excellent forum and there are many quality researchers posting here reguarly, then why are you compromising it with the likes of Tim and spending so much energy battling him? Wouldn't it be much simpler to remove him from the forum? His threats are hollow. He has no grounds to file on you and it is obvious that you will be supported by a high majority of the forum. I would gladly submit an affidavit in your behalf in case he had the guts and know how to file such an international suit against you.

Al

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You seem to be going to a great deal of trouble in dealing with Tim. My question is why? You run an excellent forum and there are many quality researchers posting here reguarly, then why are you compromising it with the likes of Tim and spending so much energy battling him? Wouldn't it be much simpler to remove him from the forum? His threats are hollow. He has no grounds to file on you and it is obvious that you will be supported by a high majority of the forum. I would gladly submit an affidavit in your behalf in case he had the guts and know how to file such an international suit against you.

I agree about his constant attempts to hijack threads. Only yesterday he posted the word "No" on the: "Is America a Democracy" thread. I would have thought he would have been willing to defend George Bush against the claims that he is the most corrupt president in history. However, he does not appear to find the words to do so. Instead he posts on the thread in an attempt to block off others who might be interested in reading the thread.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4347

I am getting close to the idea that I should delete these obvious attempts to hijack these threads. He often uses silly jokes to do this.

I still tolerate him because I am still trying to persuade him to tell us what he knows about the dirty tricks campaigns for Nixon in 1972. So far he refuses to explain his political views in 1972 or why he has lost the right to be a lawyer. But I will keep trying. For the importance of this see:

Nixon, Watergate and the JFK Assassination

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4558

Operation Sandwedge: Jack Kennedy and George Wallace

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4487

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Hi John

I am an editor and moderator on several poetry forums and I have no problem about removing any posts that I view as being inappropriate or of a troublemaking nature. As Al Carrier stated, I believe the majority of the forum would support you in whatever such actions you undertake for the benefit of the forum. If Tim Gratz is the troublemaker you say, the answer is to ban him from the site.

Best regards

Chris George

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Hi John

I am an editor and moderator on several poetry forums and I have no problem about removing any posts that I view as being inappropriate or of a troublemaking nature.  As Al Carrier stated, I believe the majority of the forum would support you in whatever such actions you undertake for the benefit of the forum.  If Tim Gratz is the troublemaker you say, the answer is to ban him from the site.

Best regards

Chris George

Gentlemen:

I doubt very much that Tim's hollow junk-food posts irritate many people as much as they do me.  What infuriates me is not that he takes a contrary position, or even one for which there is so little evidence.  It is that Tim will not marshal what little evidence there is for his position and present it for debate.  Instead, we hear that some Cuban guy's aunt thought he might have been involved.  Voila - ironclad proof.  How does someone who refuses to present any meaningful evidence or insight expect to be taken seriously?  Which raises the topic of what motivates him.

However, the best remedy for guys like Tim is not silence, but sunlight.  If it is shown here daily that there is no intellectual heft to his posts; if the flaws and weaknesses of his assertions are questioned daily, then even entry-level students and newbies will realize his game and give him the consideration that his posts should rightly earn for him.  So long as he does not violate the rather loose rules of the Forum, one cannot simply excommunicate him for being a nuisance poster.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, not the ability to silence one's adversaries.  The former allows us to illustrate the evidentiary bankruptcy at work in Tim's posts.  The latter is straight from the Joe Stalin/Karl Rove totalitarian playbook and is unworthy of so excellent an academic forum as this.  So, let us continue to swat at the annoying gnat, rather than resort to a howitzer.

In the marketplace of ideas, Tim has no new tale to tell, no convincing story to sell.  Let us deal with him accordingly.

FWIW.....

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I agree about his constant attempts to hijack threads. Only yesterday he posted the word "No" on the: "Is America a Democracy" thread. I would have thought he would have been willing to defend George Bush against the claims that he is the most corrupt president in history. However, he does not appear to find the words to do so. Instead he posts on the thread in an attempt to block off others who might be interested in reading the thread.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4487

Tim's saying "No" was quite possibly not a joke. You may not be aware of this overseas, but the right-wing in this country (often called red-staters) has made it clear that they do not want the U.S. to be a Democracy (where one man=one vote) and take great pride that this country is in fact a Republic (where small states have greater power per person due to the electoral college). Thus, they are proud to be Republicans and not Democrats. When W supposedly won in 2000, due to the electoral college, there was quite a lot of publicity given to the fact that THANK GOD we're not a democracy--otherwise we'd have Al Gore as president and the red staters and small towns would be held hostage to "Jew York" and "La la land." This country, united we stand blah blah blah, is in fact quite divided. The south is getting their revenge for the civil war, and for civil rights, and for women's rights, and for abortion rights, and for gay rights, and for the teaching of evolution ("my granddad weren't no monkey") and it hurts.

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I have found it useful to employ the device called "Ignore Users"

Go to "My Controls", then "Manage Ignored Users" KEY IN THE NAME OF ANYONE YOU WISH

This is a very good way to limit your interaction with questionable and provocative members.

It will lower the Volume in more ways than one........

:o  :D  :D  :(  :D  :D  :D

Great to see you back, stranger.

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I agree about his constant attempts to hijack threads. Only yesterday he posted the word "No" on the: "Is America a Democracy" thread. I would have thought he would have been willing to defend George Bush against the claims that he is the most corrupt president in history. However, he does not appear to find the words to do so. Instead he posts on the thread in an attempt to block off others who might be interested in reading the thread.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4487

Tim's saying "No" was quite possibly not a joke. You may not be aware of this overseas, but the right-wing in this country (often called red-staters) has made it clear that they do not want the U.S. to be a Democracy (where one man=one vote) and take great pride that this country is in fact a Republic (where small states have greater power per person due to the electoral college). Thus, they are proud to be Republicans and not Democrats. When W supposedly won in 2000, due to the electoral college, there was quite a lot of publicity given to the fact that THANK GOD we're not a democracy--otherwise we'd have Al Gore as president and the red staters and small towns would be held hostage to "Jew York" and "La la land." This country, united we stand blah blah blah, is in fact quite divided. The south is getting their revenge for the civil war, and for civil rights, and for women's rights, and for abortion rights, and for gay rights, and for the teaching of evolution ("my granddad weren't no monkey") and it hurts.

"You may not be aware of this overseas, but the right-wing in this country (often called red-staters) has made it clear that they do not want the U.S. to be a Democracy (where one man=one vote) and take great pride that this country is in fact a Republic (where small states have greater power per person due to the electoral college). Thus, they are proud to be Republicans and not Democrats. When W supposedly won in 2000, due to the electoral college, there was quite a lot of publicity given to the fact that THANK GOD we're not a democracy--otherwise we'd have Al Gore as president and the red staters and small towns would be held hostage to "Jew York" and "La la land." This country, united we stand blah blah blah, is in fact quite divided. The south is getting their revenge for the civil war, and for civil rights, and for women's rights, and for abortion rights, and for gay rights, and for the teaching of evolution ("my granddad weren't no monkey") and it hurts."

And, all the more reason to abolish it, see below.

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----

HISTORY, SLAVERY, SEXISM, THE SOUTH, AND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE:

Part One Of A Three-part Series On The 2000 Election And The Electoral College

By AKHIL REED AMAR AND VIKRAM DAVID AMAR

----

Friday, Nov. 30, 2001

This is Part One of a three-part series by the authors on the electoral college, the parts of which will appear on this site every other Friday. - Ed.

On the first anniversary of the very odd election of 2000, it's hard to look back without fixating on Florida and the courts. But these absorbing soap operas should not obscure the other historical headline: the national popular vote loser nonetheless won the electoral college vote.

Is this a flaw in our Constitution? Should we scrap the electoral college in favor of direct popular vote? Practically speaking, can we do so?

Our analysis proceeds in three parts. Today, we will critique standard historical accounts of, and justifications for, the electoral college. In our next column, we will consider prominent modern arguments on behalf of the current system. In our final column, we shall show how Americans could adopt popular election without amending the Constitution.

Let's begin by considering why the Philadelphia Framers invented an intricate electoral college contraption in the first place, and why, after its gears jammed in the Adams-Jefferson-Burr election of 1800-01, the Twelfth Amendment repaired the thing rather than junking it. Why didn't early Americans simply opt for direct national election of the President? The typical answers taught in grade-school civics miss much of the real story, both by misreading the evidence from Philadelphia and ignoring the significance of later events, especially the Twelfth Amendment.

The Electoral College Does Not Really Help Small States - Nor Was It Designed To

It's often said that the Founders chose the electoral college over direct election in order to balance the interests of big (high population) and small (low population) states. The key Philadelphia concession to small states was the Framers' back-up selection system: if no candidate emerged with a first-round electoral-vote majority, then the House of Representatives would choose among the top five finalists, with each state casting one vote, regardless of population. According to the standard story, although big states would predictably dominate the first round, small states could expect to loom large in the final selection.

But as James Madison insisted, the deepest political divisions in early America were not between big and small states as such; rather, the real fissures separated north from south, and east from west. Moreover, once the modern system of national presidential parties and winner-take-all state contests emerged-a system already visible, though not yet entrenched, at the time of the Twelfth Amendment-the big states obviously had the advantage.

With two national presidential parties, one candidate almost always had an electoral majority in the first round, rendering the Framers' pro-small-state back-up system irrelevant. (Three or four strong candidates, in contrast, might have split the vote so that no one garnered a majority.) And winner-take-all rules - under which a candidate who won a state got all of its electoral votes, not a number proportional to the extent of his win - compounded the advantage of big states.

Indeed, before the Civil War Amendments (which changed the electoral college yet again), only one of the sixteen presidents hailed from a small state-Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire. And of the twenty-six men to hold the office since the Civil War, only Bill Clinton of Arkansas claimed residence in a small state.

In sum, if the Framers' true goal was to give small states a leg up, they did a rather bad job of it. (We shall suggest below, however, that their chief goal was something rather different.)

How the Founders' Concern About Voter Information Was Rendered Obsolete

Another Founding-era argument for the electoral college stemmed from the following objection to direct election: ordinary Americans across a vast continent would lack sufficient information to choose intelligently among leading presidential candidates.

But, that no longer applies today, what with the internet and other high-speed information systems accessible and in place. [my emphasis. TM]

This objection is sometimes described today as reflecting a general Founding distrust of democracy. But that is not quite right; after all, the Framers required that the House be directly elected every two year, sharply breaking with the indirect election of Congressmen under the Articles of Confederation. Many leading Federalists also supported direct election of governors.

The key objection at Philadelphia was thus not to democracy per se, but to democracy based on inadequate voter information. The Founders believed that although voters in a given state would know enough to choose between leading state candidates for House races and for the governorship, these voters would likely lack information about which out-of-state figure would be best for the presidency.

This objection rang true in the 1780s,when life was far more local. But the early emergence of national presidential parties rendered the objection obsolete by linking presidential candidates to slates of local candidates and national platforms that explained to voters who stood for what.

The 1800-01 Election and the Twelfth Amendment's Transformation of the Electoral College

Although the Philadelphia Framers did not anticipate the rise of national presidential parties, the Twelfth Amendment (proposed in 1803 and ratified a year later) was framed with such parties in mind in the aftermath of the election of 1800-01. In that election, two rudimentary presidential parties--Federalists led by John Adams and Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson--took shape and squared off. Jefferson ultimately prevailed, but only after an extended crisis triggered by several glitches in the Framers' electoral machinery. In particular, Republican electors had no formal way to designate that they wanted Jefferson for President and Aaron Burr for Vice President rather than vice versa. Some politicians then tried to exploit the resulting confusion.

Enter the Twelfth Amendment, which allowed each party to designate one candidate for president and a separate candidate for vice president. The Amendment transformed the Framers' framework, enabling future presidential elections to be openly populist and partisan affairs featuring two competing tickets. It is the Twelfth Amendment's electoral college system, not the Philadelphia Framers', that remains in place today. Yet the Amendment typically goes unmentioned in standard civics accounts of the Constitution.

The election of 1800-01 also helped allay another early anxiety about a popularly elected President. At the Founding, some saw a populist Presidency as uniquely dangerous-inviting demagoguery and possibly dictatorship with one man claiming to embody the Voice of the American People. The dictator/demagogue concern was greater for a president than a governor, given the president's broader electoral mandate and status as continental commander-in-chief.

But beginning with Jefferson's election, Americans began to embrace a system in which presidential aspirants ran national campaigns, sought direct voter approval, and claimed popular mandates upon election.

The Key Role of Slavery in the History of the Electoral College

The biggest flaw in standard civics accounts of the electoral college is that they never mention the real demon dooming direct national election in 1787 and 1803: slavery.

At the Philadelphia convention, the visionary Pennsylvanian James Wilson proposed direct national election of the President. But in a key speech on July 19, the savvy Virginian James Madison suggested that such a system would prove unacceptable to the South: "The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes."

In other words, in a direct election system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many slaves (more than half a million in all) of course could not vote. But the electoral college-a prototype of which Madison proposed in this same speech-instead let each southern state count its slaves, albeit with a two-fifths discount, in computing its share of the overall electoral college.

Virginia emerged as the big winner-the California of the Founding era-with 12 out of a total of 91 electoral votes allocated by the Philadelphia Constitution, more than a quarter of the 46 needed to win in the first round. After the 1800 census, Wilson's free state of Pennsylvania had ten percent more free persons than Virginia, but got twenty percent fewer electoral votes. Perversely, the more slaves Virginia (or any other slave state) bought or bred, the more electoral votes it would receive. Were a slave state to free any blacks who then moved North, the state could actually lose electoral votes.

If the system's pro-slavery tilt was not overwhelmingly obvious when the Constitution was ratified, it quickly became so. For 32 of the Constitution's first 36 years, a white slaveholding Virginian occupied the Presidency.

Southerner Thomas Jefferson, for example, won the election of 1800-01 against Northerner John Adams in a race where the slavery-skew of the electoral college was the decisive margin of victory: without the extra electoral college votes generated by slavery, the mostly southern states that supported Jefferson would not have sufficed to give him a majority. As pointed observers remarked at the time, Thomas Jefferson metaphorically rode into the executive mansion on the backs of slaves.

The 1796 contest between Adams and Jefferson had featured an even sharper division between northern states and southern states. Thus, when the Twelfth Amendment tinkered with the electoral college system rather than tossing it, the system's pro-slavery bias was hardly a secret.

Indeed, in the floor debate over the amendment in late 1803, Massachusetts Congressman Samuel Thatcher complained that "The representation of slaves adds thirteen members to this House in the present Congress, and eighteen Electors of President and Vice President at the next election." But Thatcher's complaint went unredressed. Once again, the North caved to the South by refusing to insist on direct national election.

How the Electoral College Hurt Women's Suffrage, As Well

The Founding fathers' electoral college also didn't do much for the Founding mothers.

In a system of direct national election, any state that chose to enfranchise its women would have automatically doubled its clout in presidential elections. (New Jersey apparently did allow some women to vote in the Founding era, but later abandoned the practice.)

Under the electoral college, however, a state had no special incentive to expand suffrage-each state got a fixed number of electoral votes based on population, regardless of how many or how few citizens were allowed to vote or actually voted. As with slaves, what mattered was simply how many women resided in a state, not how many could vote there.

In light of this more complete (if less flattering) account of the electoral college in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Americans must ask themselves whether we want to maintain this peculiar institution in the twenty-first century.

After all, most millennial Americans no longer believe in slavery or sexism. We do not believe that voters lack proper information about national candidates. We do not believe that a national figure claiming a national mandate is unacceptably dangerous. What we do believe is that each American is an equal citizen. We celebrate the idea of one person, one vote-an idea undermined by the electoral college.

Of course, it remains possible that a system with dirty roots nevertheless makes sense today for rather different reasons than the ones present at the creation. In our next column, we will canvass clever modern arguments for the college. Stay tuned.

What Do You Think? Message Boards

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar are brothers who write about law. Akhil graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School, clerked for then-judge Stephen Breyer, and teaches at Yale Law School. Vikram graduated from U.C. Berkeley and Yale Law School, clerked for Judge William Norris and Justice Harry Blackmun, and teaches at U.C. Hastings College of Law. Their "brothers in law" column appears regularly in Writ, and they are also occasional contributors to publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Jointly and separately, they have published over one hundred law review articles and five books.

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John

I still get the threads but the content

of the IGNORED USED is deleted.

That is the way I like it.

This Forum is for the Member's individual

enjoyment, and this editing helps me enjoy

the FORUM

Thanks to all........

Shanet

:D:D:D:o:(:D:D

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I have found it useful to employ the device called "Ignore Users"

Go to "My Controls", then "Manage Ignored Users" KEY IN THE NAME OF ANYONE YOU WISH

This is a very good way to limit your interaction with questionable and provocative members.

It will lower the Volume in more ways than one........

:o  :D  :D  :(  :D  :D  :D

I could not agree more Shanet, I have been using this technique for a few months now and let me tell you the blood pressure has remained steady ever since. 240 posts in a month and a half will turn into 2507 before you know it. You can ignore as many members as you like. I have a funny feeling that if more people chose this route those number of posts will not continue to grow as rapidly as they have been in the past. Good call Shanet :(

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Pat got it correct. I said"No" to the question: "Is America a Democracy?" because it is in fact a republic and was so intended by our founding fathers. The differences go far beyond the elecotoral college.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Greg

Yes indeed this is the way God intended..........

:D:D:D:o:D:D:(

(His lips move but I can't hear what he is saying)

Edited by Shanet Clark
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Pat got it correct.  I said"No" to the question: "Is America a Democracy?" because it is in fact a republic and was so intended by our founding fathers.  The differences go far beyond the elecotoral college.

Are you imposing a republic or democracy on Iraq? Or is it the intention to add Iraq to the American Empire?

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