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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I really really hate advice along these lines. Yes, the system is completely corrupt, and no one of true integrity can get far enough to be voted for. So what should we do?

    Simply saying "don't vote for Obama" is spectacularly useless. The question is not what we shouldn't do, but rather what we can do to change things.

    My take on this is that this year, if you care about improving the world a little, you might as well vote for Obama. He sucks, but sucks a little less than McCain, and there's no other viable choices. In 2000 I did vote for Nader, because I thought the Green Party stood a chance of getting 5% of the popular vote in my state, which would've given them major party status, a major milestone.

    That said, in your local elections, there are often better choices from third parties, and those candidates may well be viable. For example, for my state representative, I will be voting for Farheen Hakeem of the Green Party [farheenhakeem.org]. My district is quite lefty, so the race is really between her and the Democratic candidate.

    Even more important than voting, however, is getting involved in some sort of activism aimed at improving the world. Real change won't happen because of a politician like Obama who repeats "change" over and over. It happens when people get together and make a concerted effort to change people's minds, and work towards real justice.

    I've been very involved in animal rights activism [exploreveg.org] over the past 12 years or so. I spend many hours each week helping my animal rights organization. I hope that this contributes to making the world better.

    I hope you're doing something too, besides just telling us who to note vote for.

    • of course, i buy natural/local or grow food myself, go everywhere by bike i can, educate myself and other people, also bit involved in spirituality. shure its counterproductive to tell others what to do but i wanted to keep this shout short and not discuss every pro and con. it was just a short reaction when i saw how many perl monks where too blind to see obamas new clothings.
      • the real solution i see in spirituality, which in fact translates into the love and caring about the people you know and see.
        • I don't consider myself a spiritual person, and yet I care about people. People will have different paths towards similar ends.

          The best way to change the world is to advocate for practical change. Saying "be spiritual" is useless, and may even be counter-productive if you're talking to an empiricist like myself. Saying "care about others" is no better.

          Instead, you can say "The environment is a major issue, especially global warming. If global warming continues we will all suffer. Here are a few steps you ca

          • my point was that it is spiritual to care, no matter how you name it.

            and thats really the way to heal and solve our problems. to waste time with that election is no solution. i just wanted to maybe help somebody to see that fraud, because you must be first aware of these things and be able to recognize these when they come in new clothes so you can't be tricked. Global warming and many othe sudo problems distrac to many people.

            you have to trust yourself and heal you from psychic problems before you ca
          • allright, i could start with the simple stuff: clean your body. eat the least meat you can do, no soft drinks, no junk food, no industrial sugar or salt, tooth paste without floride. organic food is not only more healthy but it tastes also much better. but thats the usual stuff you can read everywhere.

            what i really believe is most powerfull way to empower yourself is connect to god. when you calm down, thoughts are still and you know god from inner experience. Since i do that, i feel more like myself, mo
            • As I said, I'm not spiritual, I don't believe in god, and I don't think that the "feeling of love in your heart" means anything. I disagree with almost everything you're saying (except eat less meat and eat organic), but at least it's something people can do.

              I'm sure what you say would resonate with some people, though, and at least it's more positive than "don't vote for Obama, that's not smart".

    • He sucks, but sucks a little less than McCain, and there's no other viable choices.

      That attitude is why there are no other viable choices.

      I can't, in good conscience, vote for either McCain or Obama, because I believe they both:

      • Deliberately misunderstand the purpose of the presidency (why should the chief executive have a legislative agenda?)
      • Have spent the past two years ignoring their elected responsibilities to run for president (who's represented the people of Arizona and Illinois since January 2007?
      • I like your point, even its just a part of the issue, but shure can't adress eversthing here.
      • I'm not disagreeing. Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice. Hopefully you do more than _not voting_ to further your social agenda, though.

        Again, instead of saying "don't vote", you could say "don't vote, there are many more important things you could do instead, here's a few of them you can start doing right now ..."

        • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

          I'm not voting for McCain or Obama. That leaves plenty of other candidates for whom I could vote.

          Hopefully you do more than _not voting_ to further your social agenda, though.

          Indeed I do, but I don't want credit for it, and I try not to call attention to it. Perhaps that leaves me open to charges of grandstanding or hypocrisy, but answer me this: why spend so much time and money and worry hoping that "change" will happen after you elect a guy who has, at bes

          • I don't disagree with anything you said.

            My original point was that telling people "don't vote for Obama", absent any other advice, is a terrible thing to do, and it pisses me of.

            How about saying something with more substance ...

            Voting for Obama or not isn't that important. There are lot of things you can do which will have a much greater impact on the world right now. They're a little harder than voting, but they also have a much greater impact. If you care about social change, you can help make it happen,

            • How about saying something with more substance ...

              I agree completely. I would consider more seriously any candidate who said that and whose campaign actually demonstrated that attitude with actions.

        • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

          This is a fiction. Not voting says you don't care. It's not making a statement that none of the parties are good enough for your vote. It's not telling the politicians that you're sick of their rubbish. It's saying you don't care enough to vote. That you're happy with whoever the people who do vote pick.

          There is no way to distinguish between people who are too lazy to vote and people who think they're making a statement, thus everyone who doesn't vote m


          • Not voting is a perfectly acceptable choice.

            This is a fiction. Not voting says you don't care. It's not making a statement that none of the parties are good enough for your vote. It's not telling the politicians that you're sick of their rubbish. It's saying you don't care enough to vote. That you're happy with whoever the people who do vote pick.

            Or it could just be that you've reached the not unreasonable conclusion that voting is not an effective way of changing the world.

            I didn't say it was a statement. I agree, it's not a statement, because very few people will ever know why you didn't vote. But it is a reasonable choice given the choices voting allows.

            Again, if all you do is not vote, you're not doing anything useful. If you're involved in real activism and you also choose not to vote, that's fine. As I've said several times in this thread, voting is not activism, and if that's your sole contribution to changing society, it's near useless.

            Nonetheless, I will be voting tomorrow. I'm not very motivated by the presidential race, but we do have a few good local candidates, including a Green Party candidate for state legislature who could possibly win. I live in a ridiculously left area (one of the leftiest parts of a very lefty city (Minneapolis)).