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The Philosopher's Journal - Archives
Posted by The Philosopher in GLBT
Mon Nov 14th 2011, 11:21 AM
As long-time posters know, there have been problems between the DU Admins and the GLBT Forum regarding the moderation of bigoted/attacking posters. For a long while we've discussed with them that there is a problem and some solutions were offered, but things (as we're all aware of) went quiet. This pretty much upset GLBT Forum members.

So instead of waiting for DU3 any longer (not knowing he was about to release the release date), I asked Skinner to let us have one of the solutions offered and he agreed. The only condition so far is that we get it in gear quickly as things will be different under DU3.

You can read it all here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...

So we've got our chance to improve things.

I say we give ourselves the deadline of Monday, November 21st, of having the positions filled and their roles/powers adequately described. I proposed an odd-number of people who use a majority vote to enact the heavy punishments, but the actual number can be decided between now and next Monday. The position would be basically OUR set of moderators, who can delete and lock posts or even ban posters from coming into the forum if they keep being disruptive. The position would also enable us to have a stronger voice when going to the Admins, so instead of having to go to the ATA to ask a question, the person in the position can do it and we can at least feel a bit more trust in the answer received.

As Skinner says, this is just until DU3. According to him, the position will be inherent in the design. So this gives us a way of testing out if it will work or not in keeping the GLBT Forum a safe place for not only regular posters, but those who haven't signed up yet and only read the posts; those who are in the closet and needing a positive place to give them hope.

I think we should nominate names and then have a poll to select the people who fill the position. Someone will have to handle that poll, because I'm unable to post one myself. If anyone is interested in that, let me know.

So what say everyone?


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Posted by The Philosopher in General Discussion
Wed Mar 09th 2011, 11:55 PM
I've always been a hardcore union supporter (as everyone in my family is, except for that one sibling whose soul is damned forever in Hell among the Tea Party!). However, there's been one thing that's always caused me to be silent: closed-shops.

How do you answer someone who complains about paying union dues, being "forced" to pay dues, or else lose their job? Superficially, I don't find the practice agreeable. But I realize that the union is weaker without it. Or is it? Is there an alternative that doesn't involve disbanding unions altogether?

I can pretty much defend unions on every other stance, from striking tactics to collective bargaining. But I come up with nothing with being forced to pay dues.
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Posted by The Philosopher in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Oct 18th 2010, 12:37 PM
Early voting starts today in Texas. As a lover of elections, I just wanted to let you know that all you need to know as a voter is here at VoTexas.org.

However, as a volunteer for election duties as an election Judge, Judge Alternate, and clerk, I want to point a few things out:

1. You have the right to vote. You cannot be denied. You CAN be told you're at the wrong polling station, you CAN be told you're not registered to vote; but you CAN'T be told you cannot cast your vote.

2. If you aren't registered, if you're at the wrong polling station, or if something else is wrong, you will vote PROVISIONALLY. You will be given a paper ballot and upon filling it out you will put it into a secret envelope, seal it yourself, and it will be placed in a larger envelope where your information will be written upon. This ballot is then reviewed after the polling stations close, NOT by election Judges and clerks, but by the county voter administration. If they determine your vote is legal, they count it. If they determine it isn't legal, it is not counted. You can always follow up about it by calling that night, around an hour or two after the polls close.

3. Bring your voter's card. If you don't have one, you will need a photo ID (your driver's license). You will probably need to verify your address, but as long as you have a driver's license you're okay.

4. You have the right to have assistance. Generally, anyone over 18 can vote. I've seen people who can't talk, can't walk, and who can't even write their name come to the polling station. Guess what? They voted. All you need is a friend or family member. They will have to sign an oath. They can't vote for you, but they can do what you can't. If you have no one to help you, ask the clerk for help. It's what we're there for.

5. If you do not speak English, you can vote. Sometimes the Election Judges/clerks aren't bilingual (I'm not, unfortunately), but that doesn't mean you can't have help translating the ballot into a language you understand. This is not about immigration status or whether or not the US should be an English speaking country. It's about understanding the ballot as thoroughly as possible. You may be able to speak English, but that doesn't mean you'll understand English that's on the ballot. Trust me. Many elections native English speakers don't know what the hell the ballot's saying.

6. We may not influence your vote. We can't answer questions, we can even go as far as provide the morning paper (if we remember to get it) that talks about what's on the ballot. But we may not tell you who or what to vote for. That's your decision. Don't let it be anyone else's.

7. Remember most of all, the Election Judge, the Alternate Judge and the Clerks are VOLUNTEERS. Often this will be their first time. They may not be able to answer your question. They may make a mistake. Don't go insane on them and don't be rude. If you need something one and they can't do it, you can always call the voter administration office in your county. We have the number, we don't mind. But if you notice a lot of people in the polling station, have a little patience. You're not the only one voting today.

8. NO CELL PHONES. That can't be emphasized enough. Cell phones may not be used within the polling station. You probably even can't use it within a certain distance (any electronic device), but I can't recall.

9. Don't be loud, don't talk about politics, don't wear political t-shirts or buttons (or hats). Other people are voting. You're not allowed to influence their vote, disrupt their vote, or interfere with the polling station. You may sit with a friend or family member and quietly discuss the ballot. You may even bring in something to help you remember what to vote on. Just be quiet, be discrete about it. If you're not, just remember: the election Judge IS a judge for that day. They can arrest you. If you scoff at this and leave after being put under arrest, the cops will find you and you'll be charged with evading arrest.

10. If you're not sure where to vote, call your county voter administration office. Early voting often pools together polling stations, so it won't be where you might think. Calling ahead of time not only saves you time, but also makes sure your vote will be surely counted. While you're at it, you can also ask them if you're registered, clear up any problems, and even volunteer for future elections (we're always needing volunteers).

11. Your employer CAN'T keep you from voting and they can't punish you for voting. If your employer gives you problems, document it and call the voter administration's office. You have the right to vote. Don't let anyone stop you.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
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