What Happened to Reason and Values in This Country? Part 1

stand-up-for-americaI have been sitting around thinking about this subject all day. I knew last night that I was going to write this article. I kind of know what I want to say. And I will hope that it comes out the way that I want it to come out. Let me say up front what I want to accomplish with this piece. I want to set a few things straight for some of the folks that frequent the site. I have had this feeling over the last couple of weeks as I read the comments and discussions that I could not put my finger on. Something just didn’t feel right to me, no matter how detailed some of the responses were or how intelligent the people making them were. So for a couple of weeks I have tried to put my finger on what feels “wrong”. After some introspection, I think I have it figured out. And it isn’t just about the people on this site. It is about people everywhere in this country. It isn’t the left or the right (although lately it has been the left in charge and the left most guilty of forgetting what I am going to talk about). The fact is that the American public needs to wake up and get a grip on the absolute group of morally bankrupt idiots in Washington.

Let me be clear in where I am going here. This is going to be a tough talk about what has happened and what is happening in Washington DC and in the minds of otherwise intelligent American people. As I begin writing this piece, I am unsure as to whether I can cover it in one article or whether I will have to split it into two parts. As you read this you already know the answer by whether there is a “Part 1″ up there in the title. I am also going to be very specific about some topics and some comments that I have heard on this site. I do not do so as a means of “calling out” anyone. But I do hope that those I mention will offer some further insight into what they are thinking so I am better able to understand where they are coming from. I apologize in advance if anyone gets offended. That is certainly not my intention. But this is a really important issue for me and I don’t want to mince words or dance around truths.

Wow Our Congress SucksWashington DC sucks. That is as honest as I can put it. And I don’t mean it sucks now that Democrats have control. I mean that it sucks. Period. As many of you know, Several years ago I left the Republican party. I know that Ray for some reason believes this is a ploy to pretend I am unbiased and thus put forth my conservative viewpoints. I assure you it is not. I despise the Republican party almost as much as the Democratic party. But I don’t hide that I like the Dems less. And that is because I think they have their head slightly further up their ass than the Republicans. Allow me to be clear that I mean the politicians, not the citizens. I think the citizens have lost their way, while I think the politicians have slowly removed the bread crumb trail that was supposed to make sure that didn’t happen, while simultaneously letting loose wolves into the forest which they will later “save” Hansel and Gretel from.

The entirety of the United States Congress, White House, Cabinet positions, etc. are leaches on the soul of America. Can I say that any more clearly? There is not one good one, with the possible exception of Ron Paul. Why do I say this? Because he is the lone person that has come forth, declared Washington a fraud, and worked to act with integrity even when he feels that doing so will change nothing. The number of votes he has lost 99-1 show me that. Other than him, not a single one of these leaches has come forth to tell us the truth about Washington. They only step to the microphone to tell us the “truth” about the wayward opposing party.

What has changed in Washington?

What has changed in Washington?

And it starts at the top with the President. President Obama is a proven liar. We have discussed many of his lies on this site and there are many others that we haven’t discussed. President Bush was a proven liar. We haven’t discussed him all that much because he is irrelevant now. President Clinton was a proven liar. I can keep going through at least 20 other Presidents. And no matter how much protesting the liberals and conservatives want to do over my saying so, I will stand by what I say. The Presidents have all been liars. I know it, and so do you. You know it even as you open your mouth to protest my coming out and saying it. I really did “Hope” that I would see a man go to Washington and offer some real “Change”. But instead of changing Washington, he has done nothing more than get in bed with the same progressive gangs and work to change the foundation of America. Hope and Change my ass.

Nothing has changed for the betterment of the people of the United States for 100 years in Washington DC. Both parties have slowly increased the size and scope of Government. Both sides have slowly taken a little bit more of our money away from us. Both sides have continually stripped us of our freedom and our liberty. I have done my fair share of ranting against the far right and the far left in America. But the reality is that those are the only people in Washington DC these days. There are no “moderates”. And even if there were, they aren’t doing anything that helps slow down the rate of our freedom being siphoned off through a rubber hose.

Illinois 4th District - A perfect example of gerrymandering

Illinois 4th District - A perfect example of gerrymandering

I have stated before that it absolutely baffles me that Congress continues to get re-elected. Their approval rating has wavered between 12% and 30% for the last 10 years. So when asked whether they approve of the way Congress is working, at best 3 out of 10 Americans say “Yes”. Despite this, incumbents are re-elected at a staggering 90+% rate. How is this even possible? There are many ways that the politicians manage to make this happen. Gerrymandering is a big part of the equation (if you want an explanation on that just ask, if you don’t then I know you know I am right on this one). But beyond that I am dumbfounded. The only explanation that I have is absolute laziness on the part of the American public. Along with that laziness, the other cause has been that of seeking the easy path to a better life. We all want a better life. Very few Americans seem to be willing to work for it.

It is well documented that Benjamin Franklin was asked what they had given the American people by a woman as he exited the building and that he answered, “A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.” And in the 200+ years since that day we have not lived up to our end of the bargain. We have allowed that Republic to be stolen from us bit by bit. Each party taking a little bit more away, while the mindless public on their side defends their actions to the mindless public on the other side. Black Flag, Just A Citizen, PeterB, and others here have all argued over the role of government and discussed the flaws that existed in the original plan that allowed this to happen. And I agree, the original Constitution was not a flawless document. I think you all know the respect I have for the people that frequent this site and offer their limitless knowledge from both the left, right, and center perspectives.

But I point out that the only way that document could be subverted from its original start was for the “people” to allow it to happen. In the beginning the people were given the power. And they were given the tool to keep government in check. They did not do their job. The founders all wrote extensively about how it was going to be up to the people to keep what was given to them. I am not talking about their rights. We all agree that those rights are ours, and are not granted by any government. I am talking about a government that could be controlled by the people. That is what was given, and the founders all knew that the people would have to take great steps to ensure that they didn’t lose that remote control that could turn government off. A few of their quotes:

Jefferson Change We Can Believe InGod forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. Thomas Jefferson

The citizens of the U.S. are responsible for the greatest trust ever confided to a political society. James Madison

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. Patrick Henry

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. Thomas Paine

No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. James Madison

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. Thomas Jefferson

Give Up LibertyWe have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God. James Madison

Government is not reason; it is not eloqence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. George Washington

The founders warned us again and again that we would have to remain diligent in keeping the power of the federal government from growing out of control. We did not heed their words and we failed in our mission. And what exactly have we allowed to happen to our country? We have allowed our Constitution to be bastardized to the point of non-recognition. We have allowed politicians to line out whatever sections get in their way and interpret its words in whatever form is most convenient in order to serve their purposes. We have allowed them to use every conceivable crisis to subvert our freedom. My God, the Chief of Staff came right out and stated that we should never allow a crisis to pass without taking the opportunity to do things that we would otherwise be unable to do, and people didn’t bat an eye. There should have been a march on Washington and an immediate removal of everyone who felt that way. We did NOTHING! The left said it was no big deal, the right raised a stink for a week and then forgot. Well I didn’t. It was a candid admission that politicians are looking for every opportunity to take advantage of the situation to usurp my freedom.

Cheney Tactic FamiliarWe have allowed the politicians to divide and conquer. Again, this is the tactic for both sides of the aisle. Look back to history. Every major bad occurrence has led to a reduction in freedom, no matter who was in power. The Civil War took away state sovereignty. The Great Depression took away so many freedoms I cannot list them all. Let’s look a little closer to now. The attacks on 9/11 led to the Patriot Act. The economic crisis is leading to government control of business, increased welfare, cap and trade, and possibly a corrupt version of something the government is trying to tell us is health care reform, but in actuality is nothing more than increased government control. The examples in history are endless from both parties. Yet we still have those who stand firm and defend the party lines, throwing reason to the wind, and more important, allowing ideology to trump our values.

Oh I know how the liberals are going to wet themselves at the use of a quote from Glenn Beck, but I feel I must use it anyway. Because it shows how our reason has been lost. Beck notes, “You cannot take away freedom to protect it, you cannot destroy the free market to save it, and you cannot uphold freedom of speech by silencing those with whom you disagree. To take rights away to defend them or to spend your way out of debt defies common sense.” Think about what he is saying here and tell me where he is wrong, oh great and lefty sages. Yet you espouse those solutions each and every day. It makes no sense. And these are the tactics that both of the two parties use as justification for increasing government, spending out of control, and snatching freedom from the grasp of free men.

Our government has lost its ever lovin mind. Yet we allow them to continue down this path that is both devoid of reason and values. And we allow it by rationalizing what they are doing. Providing health care is a good thing. Punishing others to do so is as evil as watching the poor die in the street. Protecting our freedom is a good thing. Usurping our rights to do so is as evil as selling our safety to the enemy. Helping a man who is down is a good thing. Forcing someone else to help him instead is as evil as cutting his legs out from under him. If you fail to understand these basic tenets of real core values, then you are intentionally ignoring your reasoning ability in order to serve a government that will not serve you when you are in need.

Thus, as you can see, I have found that a two part article is going to be the path for this one. While I have done my best to introduce the topic of what our government has become, I have not yet begun to touch the reasons for why it has been allowed to happen. What I am talking about is what those who are most vocal on this subject, BF, JAC, and Peter, constantly attempt to remind us about. I am talking about values and principles. Today’s America seems to have lost them completely. At a minimum we have for some reason decided that we are OK with an entire government populated by men and women who have blatantly shown us that they don’t even know how to spell the word values. And that is what I will discuss Sunday Night/Monday Morning in Part 2.

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Comments

  1. Good Article USW!

    Pass on a get well soon to the MRS.

    I really enjoyed reading the quotes used within the article, seems as those who said them could almost foresee what we discuss here each day. As I was rudely awoken at 4:30 am this morning by gunfire somewhere very nearby, I can’t help believe that this country will not go through a violent change.

    I will say that I am fed up with the lawless innercity youth that surrounds me. Their ignorance is only sustained by law enforcement, and government. Helping the ignorant on their journey to hell cannot happen until a REAL crisis occurs, one that takes the control from government and is returned to the people. The people will then serve justice, the way justice should be served.

    As I can’t post from work, I do read along.

    PEACE!

    G!

  2. Beck notes, “You cannot take away freedom to protect it, you cannot destroy the free market to save it, and you cannot uphold freedom of speech by silencing those with whom you disagree. To take rights away to defend them or to spend your way out of debt defies common sense.”

    Amen. Loss of Freedom is the punchline of every joke passed by the fools in Washington.

  3. bottom line says:

    Thus far, this is my favorite article by you USW. I look forward to part 2. Complacency is the REAL enemy in this country. The fact that we accept the the things they throw at us, is saddening and disgusting. What we have done as a society is contemptuous of, and in direct conflict with our founding principles. There is a certain brilliance in our form of governance, however, it’s fatal flaw is a complacent populace. Ol’ Ben said it right when he said…“A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.” !!!LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC!!!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      “LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC” sounds great, but in reality it died about 150 years ago. Ressurecting it from the dead is not the worst idea in the world, provided you can figure out a way for the people to actually keep it this time around, but there may be even better ways to go than that perhaps.

    • bottom line

      Complacency is the REAL enemy in this country

      Complacency?

      What does that mean to you?

      80% voter turn out is not complacency. It is deep involvement.

      Nearly every person receives some sort of government money without earning such money. Is this complacency? Or is it deep involvement.

      I hope you aren’t defining complacency as merely someone voting in a manner or receiving government goods is a manner you don’t like – while you are voting and receiving loot in a manner you do like

      • bottom line says:

        “I hope you aren’t defining complacency as merely someone voting in a manner or receiving government goods is a manner you don’t like – while you are voting and receiving loot in a manner you do like” – BF

        Of course not.

        “Complacency?
        What does that mean to you?” – BF

        COMPLACENCY – com·pla·cen·cy
        n.
        1. A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.
        2. An instance of contented self-satisfaction.

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/complacency

        What I meant was that instead of questioning our government and demanding what has been protected by our constituion, we have as a whole society, taken a passive and indifferent approach.

        “Nearly every person receives some sort of government money without earning such money. Is this complacency? Or is it deep involvement.” – BF

        You tell me.

        “80% voter turn out is not complacency. It is deep involvement.” – BF

        Yes, but IMHO, a misguided deep involvement. The complacency is in the acceptance of candidates that have no respect for our constitution, or interest in representing the will and best interest of constituants.

      • BF,

        Gotta take some issue with your contribution only insofar as it simply does not sound like you. Semantically we can go over and over definitions until we’re blue. All one needs to do is sojourn to So. California’s Orange County to experience ‘complacency.’

        On two of my sites’ Mission Statement I use the word ‘efficacy’ the notion of actually doing something that we believe will have an effect. Before I quoted anything vis-a-vie voter turnout (and I wouldn’t btw) I would have to be absolutely certain that the organization who reported such was legit; and though they try, where are they getting their data from.

        Seriously now, to this day authorities are still finding vans, storage lockers, and such filled with ballots; furthermore, as long as anyone sanctions ACORN for anything — they alone would be suspect.

        Have you ever stopped to consider why the government gives money away? Marx said ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses…’ and maybe in his time it was; I don’t know of this ‘free money’ you refer too, however, I will admit this…if the majority of people in this nation had the option of receiving full government subsidies or go to work…well, that’s an easy one to answer. Ostensibly then, I would argue that money is the opiate of the masses in America.

        I only request that you take that notion into consideration when you think about voter turnout or free money versus deep involvement. Cheers mate!!

        jps

        • Jon-Paul

          And, yet, I agree with you, my friend – voters do come out to agree to the system

          … and that is what it really means …

          When one votes – it is to agree to be ruled.

          And you point out that for many – they depend on the continuation of ‘free money’ from government – therefore they vote for the system. They are legitimizing the system for their own self-interest (but serious moral hazard).

          So, are we agreeing with each on the color of the coin though perhaps different sides or is it a different coin I’m looking at vs. you?

          • BF,

            Ahh! How lovely it is to openly discuss various issues with those who are learn’ed. As for my couple of cents—sense and I do hope this reaches you by either email or notification of some sort…perhaps Weapon can assist us.

            I am in agreement with 50 percent of your statement regarding ‘…voters come out to agree with the system — albeit just as indicated by the last general election, many voters came out because they didn’t like or agree with the system and therefore, changed it. Furthermore I agree wholeheartedly with your notion of the agreement to be ruled notion, however more by default.

            I quite agree with your assessment vis-a-vie ‘free money’ and how a person may vote. It should not be a mystery to anyone in this country – or world for that matter – pursuant to which political parties are a bit more free handed when it comes to money.

            Great observation with the ‘legitimizing’ the system for their own self-interest'; Whew! Brilliant minds do think alike…however, I would hasten to add that this government–people–money– legitimating process is indeed an opiate, better still, I refer to them as ‘magnets’ that draw the people from everywhere. Same coin same side, I believe we are in total agreement.

            Oh yes…for all of us; it seemed as though originally there was some real difficulty accepting the word choice of complacency; after much reflection, I thought lethargy, apathetic, and a lackadaisical attitude worked equally as well.

            jps

  4. USW:

    Excellent article. However, I would like to pick one little nit if you will. It is a minor error but one tht can grow if we are not careful in our wording. You wrote:

    “Yet we still have those who stand firm and defend the party lines, throwing reason to the wind, and more important, allowing ideology to trump our values.”

    “Yet we allow them to continue down this path that is both devoid of reason and values.”

    “I am talking about values and principles. Today’s America seems to have lost them completely.”

    We often claim these tyrants have no values but that is not the case. They have values that are contrary to those of freedom and liberty. It is not that they allow ideology to trump values but that their ideology is different than our ideology and thus the values and principles are different.

    Best Wishes Today and Give the Mrs. a Big Hug for Me.
    JAC

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I agree JAC,

      It is easy to make the mistake of assuming that someone has “no values” if their values do not agree with your own.

      As you so accurately pointed out, everyone has values. Some person’s values may seem so absolutely strange and foreign to you or me that it is easier to assume that they simply have none, but the reality is, as you pointed out, that they simply value other things (such as power and control perhaps), and as such, freedom and liberty are not even in their lexicon of values other than perhaps as things to give lip-service to. This is a very important distinction.

  5. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    George Washington put it as directly, succinctly, and CORRECTLY as humanly possible. It is the BEST definition of government that I have personally ever seen:

    “Government is force.” Whatever definition of government you have in your brain, I strongly suggest that you throw it out, and substitute this definition, because this is the ONE TRUE DEFINITION of what government is. It IS force. Nothing more, nothing less. When this force is used against the non-violent, no matter what the cause, no matter what the justification, no matter who the target, no matter what the reason given, it IS EVIL.

    The Constitution was designed to ALLOW THE PEOPLE THE POWER TO PREVENT GOVERNMENT FROM COMMITTING EVIL ACTS. In this, the people have abjectly, totally, and wholly failed. Part of the reason for this is that the people, for many generations, have been taught many generations virtually any other definition of government than the correct one that Washington gave.

    People have been taught to believe that because our government is the “government of the free” that our government is “good”. However, that is only true in cases where the government actually SUPPORTS FREEDOM AND LIBERTY. When was the last time our government did that in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER???????

    People have been taught to trust government. Our founders would have advocated that the people be taught a profound, deep and lasting distrust of government.

    The government of this country does not even vaguely resemble, and has not resembled for about 150 years, a Constitutional Republic. The reason for this is not that the government failed (although it has), but the reason is that the people have failed.

    The biggest barrier to any hoped-for restoration of a Constitutional Republic in this country is that we now have many elitists, both on the “left” and on the “right” that truly believe that the “people” are too stupid to know what is good for themselves anymore, and therefore, a Constitutional Republic is not even desireable.

    Never mind the fact that it is government “education” that has TAUGHT THE PEOPLE TO BE IGNORANT, along with all of the propaganda put out by the government under the guise of “news” which has been designed to teach the people that they are incapable of handling the “vast and complex problems of the world” and that government is the only body that can possibly, under any circumstances handle these problems.

    Of course, 99.999% of all of the “problems” are purposely created by the government so that they appear to be the only ones who can solve it, but that is, obviously, beside the point.

    My feeling is that there is a very large number of people, both on the “left” and the “right” that have bought into Statism hook, line, and sinker. That is why when BF or Kent or I talk about Libertarianism or even Anarchy, the majority of people react by saying, “Well now… THAT would NEVER WORK”. You see, they have been educated so effectively that GOVERNMENT IS GOOD, that they believe that without it, the country and the world would immediately descend into Chaotic Hell. I am glad to see that the majority of you have had such an effective education!

    You should have all been educated by the masters such as Washington and Jefferson and Franklin. Government is force. It is a tool to be used for the organization of a free society, but use that tool improperly and let it get out of the control of the people, and it will control the people instead.

    Anarchy, once again, does not mean Chaos. It means “no rulers”. It means that the only time force is acceptable is in response to force. Government uses force ALL OF THE TIME, regardless of the situation. Anarchy asserts that IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF HUMAN INTERACTIONS, NOT ONLY IS FORCE TOTALLY UNNECESSARY, IT IS TOTALLY COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE, AS WELL AS UNJUST. Notice that I did not say ALL human interactions. Some human interactions do indeed involve the initiation of force against the non-violent, and in these cases, the use of appropriate force is indeed justified.

    So, in closing (for now anyway :)), a lot of people here seem to be advocating a return to a small government, controlled by the people using a document such as the Constitution, as a way of organizing our society. I guess I am sort of ok with that concept, provided all of you with that viewpoint can GUARANTEE that the tool of force, known as government, will be kept on the tool-rack in the garage unless it is absolutely needed in response to force.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of people, even on this very blog, that think that government is the greatest tool invented since “the wheel” and they want to use it all the time for any possible application where they see it “might be useful”. These are the very people that make the re-emergence of a Constitutional Republic damn near impossible. I don’t think it is a complete impossibility, but it is going to be much harder than any of us think.

    One of the first projects, if anyone truly desires a return to a Constitutional Republic, is to teach the people, over and over again, that the ONLY VALID definition of government is:

    Government is force.

  6. I think that we have become not only complacent but complicit in what the government is doing. We don’t know how to stop them(or don’t want to) so many have basically decided to join them by having the wrong attitude-such as-the government is taking all my money so I’m gonna get my part.Or why should I pay for it, if the government will give it to me for free. Or I’m been mistreated so the government owes it to me.

    Until the people in this country realize that our justifying our bad behavior on the governments bad behavior only makes the situation worse and people who want the government to grow for the greater good start realizing that the only way the people who truly need help will ever get true help and not just be forever on the rolls of welfare, we have to get the people off the rolls who aren’t really needy, just programmed to believe that it’s the smart thing to do or that the country owes them something or they are incapable of taking care of themselves.

    These attitudes are destroying our country-and they started IMO -when the government started handing out money. So as guilty as our politicians are-I have to say it’s the American peoples complacency and their complicit behavior that has caused our problems as much as the politicians selfish desire for power and to be re-elected at whatever cost.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      To bring up one of the Thomas Jefferson quotes from the article again, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. Thomas Jefferson”

      Government was NEVER INTENDED to take your money and give it to someone else who had not earned it. Jefferson knew that this was theft and was evil, which is exactly what he was saying in the above quote.

    • V.,

      That is exactly what I was hoping bottom line would reach as a conclusion – complicit (not complacent).

      People have come to see government as their provider – instead of the dangerous evil that it is.

      When one looks to the devil to provide their needs, you suddenly discover — you are in hell.

      • Yes, bottom line we are complicit but I hold the opinion that our complacency also makes us complicit. I know you disagree with this opinion -so -it is not my intention to blame you or anyone who holds a true conviction that it is better to do nothing that would legitimize the government but there are a lot of people who don’t hold this belief and still do nothing.

        • bottom line says:

          Thank you VH. In regard to todays subject matter…complacency IS complicity. It is our responsibility as citizens to protect our own rights. Failure to do so is complicit in any contrary efforts. Freedom has to be maintained, and never taken for granted. Was my elaboration to your satisfaction Prfessor BF? lol.

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    REALITY CHECK!

    ALL of us have been taught that it is absolutely necessary to use the threat of force or actual force to get people to behave in a “civilized manner”. We have all been taught to believe that most people are wholly incapable of comporting themselves in a civilized manner absent the threat of force or the use of force.

    In order to truly support freedom and liberty, you must reject this dogma as incorrect.

    A lot of people will not reject this dogma, because they are convinced that it is factual. We can all point to cases where SOME people behave uncivilly, and we are willing to accept this as the excuse for treating EVERYONE as incapable of behaving in a civilized manner. We see it as “safer” to treat everyone as an uncivilized savage in order to protect ourselves against those who truly are uncivilized savages. If you are willing to accept this premise, then you will always believe that government is “good” or that it is, at worst, a “necessary evil”.

    If you fall into the “government is good” camp, then you and I are probably not going to agree on much of anything. If you fall into the “government is a necessary evil” camp, then you are going to have to convince me, 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are only going to take that tool out of the garage in response to people who really, truly are uncivilized savages, and that you are not going to use that tool for any other purpose whatsoever. Good luck convincing me that that is possible :)

    • There is one idea you said that I believe to be more correct than any other and that is government is a tool.

      Like any tool it can be used for good or bad. Guns, knives, axes, cordless drills, etc. all these tools have their good uses and their bad uses. What is important is who is using them and their motives behind using it.

      Government is neither good or evil those are human traits. The people involved in government are good or evil. Saying Government is evil is like saying guns are evil.

      • Agree 100%

        Though I once had a cordless drill that may have been evil.. I would charge it and would always die on the last screw and make me do it by hand.. I just know that it was laughing at me behind my back

      • Government is not a tool.

        Men are not tools.

        Government is not a mindless piece of machinery – it is operated by and on desires of men.

        Men desire government because it legitimizes coercion, force and violence to enforce edicts.

        It is desired by men who have failed by reason or by articulation to convince their fellows of the value of their ideas.

        Men who seize government are not inarticulate men.

        Therefore, men who seize government are unreasoned men.

        They need to use coercion and violence to force upon their fellows ideas that their fellows have discarded as unreasoned

        All government action is unreasoned and violent.

        • I know some people I would call “tools” and their common trait is laziness both physical and mental. 200 years ago these people’s own habits would have assured their demise. Unfortunately, and yes I know this appears “heartless”, our technological evolution has afforded society the means to not only accept mediocrity but promote it.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          I would actually disagree with you when you state that government is not a tool.

          A tool is a construct devised by a man or men, in order to facilitate the achievement of a goal.

          Simply because the government is comprised of men, and men are not tools, it does not automatically follow that government is not a tool.

          That is like saying that the space shuttle is not a tool devised to get men into space, simply because men are required for its operation.

          Tool has many definitions. One of these definitions is “anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose”

          • A tool – by my definition – has no mind of its own.

            The Shuttle does not fly without humans – true.

            The Shuttle exists without flying – true.

            The Shuttle exists without men using it – true.

            Shuttle is a tool.

            Fire is used by men – true.

            Fire exists without men – true.

            Fire exists without men using it – true.

            Fire is a tool.

            Government, made up of men, have minds.

            Government exists without men – false.

            Government, by definition, is not a tool.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Fire exists naturally without man, so by your definition it is also not a tool :)

              Does a tool, by your definition have to be a construct of man? If so, does that construct have to by physical, or can that construct be ideological?

              i.e. is something like “Education” a “tool”?

              Is philosophy a “tool” that enables us to better understand the universe?

              Let us further explore this definition, because right now, you and I have not agreed upon a consistent definition of tool between us, so I want to make sure that we can come to an agreement of what constitutes a “tool” and what does not, so that it won’t muddy up the discussion.

              • Fire — I’ve already shown is a tool.

                A log on the ground is a tool – called a ‘club’

                —–
                Construct: No, a tool exists without a brain.

                Education:
                No, it is a process.

                Philosophy:
                No, it is a manner of thought

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Ok, so just for further clarification, http://www.dictionary.reference.com gives the following as one of the definitions of the word “tool” and its use in a sentence:

                5. anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose: Education is a tool for success.

                You personally would reject this definition and example, yes?

              • I would, but I would also accept it as YOUR definition if you made it so.

                A definition is merely a means for us to achieve a basis of understanding – so that you know what I am saying and I know what you are saying.

                If you call that a “tool” I know what you mean – but when I call something a tool, you also know what I do not mean.

        • BF,

          Men desire government because it legitimizes coercion, force and violence to enforce edicts.”

          While this may be true for some men, it is not true for all men. I, in no way, desire government because is legitimizes coercion, force, and violence. You must be careful to not lump all men’s reasons into the same train of thought.

          USW

          • Sir, I suggest you do.

            You are merely justifying which edict is worthy of such violence, coercion and force.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Not necessarily BF,

            USW may be agreeing with George Washington’s definiton that government is force, and force is a tool. There are, even by your own definition, legitimate uses of force.

            You are rejecting Washington’s definition that government is force on the basis that government is made up of men who have minds, thus coming to the conclusion that the government has a mind, and it is therefore not a tool.

            So, the source of confusion seems to be that USW has accepted the definition of Washington that government is force, and force is a tool, while you have not.

            However, from many of your dissertations in the past, it seems that you BELIEVE that “government is force” is a valid definition, yet now you seem willing to reject that.

            I am confused by this.

            You say that we must clearly and correctly define what government is… ok, I am good with that.

            Do you accept the definition given by Washington that government is force, or do you reject it? Or do you claim that government is ONLY “coercive force” and not merely “force”?

            Please provide clarification.

            • Washington’s definition is accurate but an oversimplification given the nature of discussions here.

              Government is an entity that has a monopoly on the use of coersive force within a given geographic area.

              His definition is a reduction of the definition to its core content: namely the essence of government is force.

              I find your two arguments regarding a “tool” as irrelevant. The greatest tool I have is my mind. But unless I use it and use it correctly it can not contribute to my survival but only my destruction.

              Govt at its core is “power” but it is even more than that. It is the “Monopoly on the Power to use coersive force”. Thus the only time such a Power can be used for good is when it is limited to those actions where the use of “coersive force” are justified.

              Come on Matt, time to jump in.

              JAC

          • If you do not need coercion to be legitimized for your purposes, then you do not need government to accomplish it. In that case you can choose to do things with only voluntary participation.

            • Exactly.

              A politician is a man who has failed by reason to convince his fellows of the merits of his ideas.

              His only recourse (in his mind) is to use violence to force his ideas on his fellows.

              • Au Contraire.. A politician is a person who has convinced enough people of the merits of his ideas to get elected.

              • USwep

                Not quite true.

                If that was the case, they would not need to use violence to manifest it.

                A politician has failed in reason.

                He has not failed in rhetoric.

      • And no one forces EVERYONE to carry a machine gun with them everywhere they go, whether they want it or not.

    • I do not reject that “dogma” entirely. I would simply modify it:

      We have all been taught to believe that some people are wholly incapable of comporting themselves in a civilized manner absent the threat of force or the use of force.

      So, here’s a problem: how do you apply laws only to those who need them?

      We cannot afford the risk of allowing a small minority of “savages” to run rampant. The cost to the rest of us would be staggering. It takes years and huge sums of wealth to create, but to destroy and steal takes moments and is free.

      I’m going to use against you the same arguments that people use against communism. If there is no government, then a few people will choose to act savagely. This will penalize those who do not act in this way. Just as you would argue that, under communism, the productive workers will eventually choose to become unproductive, in a system without any government, those who behave civilly will eventually become less civil. No, this does not mean that I think you, personally, will eventually become a violent criminal, but many would and the cost to you would be severe. Many more would become uncivilized in their personal and business lives (embezzling, lying, cheating, etc). And businesses* would not act morally either (fair hiring practices would be rarer, minimum wages would disappear, unsafe working environments, etc). And also, without government, there’s nothing to stop businesses* from polluting recklessly and endangering the health and well being of you and yours. If you incentivize non-civility, the non-civility will ensue.

      *Businesses are relevant because they are run by people. If the people running them chose to act ethically, so would the business, but failure on the part of the people to do so causes a failure on the part of the other.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “If there is no government, then a few people will choose to act savagely.”

        Mathius,

        Certainly this is true. However, I can show you a mountain of evidence that the following statement is ALSO 100% TRUE:

        “If there is a government, then a few people will choose to act savagely, and it is highly possible that some of these savages will be the ones who desire to control the mechanism of government.”

        Respond to that if you will…

        • Not only is it possible Pete, but I submit that that is in fact what has, and continues to happen.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          Yes, we indeed agree upon both #1 and #2. However, I think that your corollary belief that MORE people would act like savages in the absence of government is not NECESSARILY true.

          I think that it COULD be true, but that it has not been demonstrated that it IS true. In fact, I think that many MANY people use government as their primary excuse to act like savages.

          I would recommend that you take a look at what I wrote in #13 and give it some thought.

          You may not agree philosophically with what I stipulate in #1 through #4 in the first part of the post, but for the sake of the proposed exercise there, go ahead and at least pretend that you agree with those premises, and see where that takes us :)

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            This response was meant to go BELOW what Mathius said… not above it…

            Oh well… hopefully people will realize that so it still makes some sort of sense :)

      • So now we have two statements which we both accept as certifiably true:

        1. Without government, some people will act immorally.

        2. With government, some people will act immorally.

        But I would argue that without government, substantially more people would act immorally. This would likely be to such an extent that you could not comfortably exist in this society.

        And certainly some (many) politicians are savages. (Q. How do you know when a politician is lying? A. His lips are moving. – old joke, but still great). But a small group of savages is, in my opinion, holding at bay a far larger and more dangerous group of would-be savages.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          I meant to respond to this here, but accidentally placed my response above. Please take a look.

        • Matt:

          “But I would argue that without government, substantially more people would act immorally. This would likely be to such an extent that you could not comfortably exist in this society.”

          In order for your hypothesis to be TRUE you will have to PROVE that the presence of Govt has in FACT reduced the number of people acting immorally. Given our current situation…..Good luck.

          You also missed the subtle but most imporant difference in the two positions as described by Peter. If Govt is present then the immoral will seek the power of govt to carry out their goals. The power of govt is absolute and we know what absolute power does, don’t we?

        • I would argue that immoral people are goind to act immoral regardless of government presence. What is lacking is a way to punish those people. Although I believe immorallity to be its own punishment.

          • Seed

            What is the goal of “punishment”?

            • I realize the point of this question is to get me to see that punishment is a way to force one entity’s will on another.

              I would like to believe we can agree that we should be free to do what we want as long as it does not interfer with the rights of others.
              I would also think we can also agree that there are those that seek to interfer with the rights of others.

              Should we not as a society respond to such action in a manner that shows interference of ones rights is not acceptable?

              The reaction is the punishment.

              What I should have stated above is that without government there is no rule as to what is an acceptable punishment.

              Should we not have rules as to what is acceptable punishment, else we have those that kill someone as punishment for stealing say an ear of corn?

              • Your example of killing someone who is stealing an ear of corn- That isn’t “punishment” it is defense of property. Maybe a little extreme, but I would never second-guess if I wasn’t there.

        • So now we have two statements which we both accept as certifiably true:

          1. Without government, some people will act immorally.

          2. With government, some people will act immorally.

          First, moral is undefined by you.
          This is dangerous. For your definition could include merely things that disgust you, but do not affect you, and since you are willing to attack people who are immoral, you are justifying attacking non-violent people simply because they disgust you.

          Second, there are more statements that need to be considered.

          3. Evil legitimized in a society will make society unsustainable.

          4. Centralizing evil increases its effectiveness. Decentralizing evil decreases its effectiveness.

          But I would argue that without government, substantially more people would act immorally.

          And your proof, sir?

          I look upon my family, friends and neighbors and see no government. I see little or no evil.

          Thus, by observation of nature – I see opposite your claim.

          This would likely be to such an extent that you could not comfortably exist in this society.

          Proof, sir.

          . But a small group of savages is, in my opinion, holding at bay a far larger and more dangerous group of would-be savages.

          The opposite, sir.

          You have centralized access to violence – and then, legitmized it.

          We know evil because it is illegitimate violence.

          We do not condemn the man defending himself with violence from violence – that is a legitimate use of violence

          We condemn the man who is attacking with violence and initiating violence – that is illegitimate use of violence.

          By government, you have taken savages (those that initiate violence) and legitimized it.

          This is far worse scenario for it fools people like you into accepting evil (violence on non-violent people).

        • “But I would argue that without government, substantially more people would act immorally. This would likely be to such an extent that you could not comfortably exist in this society.”

          I agree with this statement, most immoral, violent people are cowards and when you take away the fear of government enforcement of laws they will come out of the wood work and come together to create chaos because they feel power in numbers.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            V. Holland,

            Most immoral, violent people are in power when you put into society the fear of government enforcement of laws.

            When people fear the government enforcement of laws, the immoral and violent will seek to control the reigns of government, thus ensuring that THEY are the ones who are making the “laws” and insuring that they can hide within the woodwork of the government and “legitimately” control the people.

            • Basically two different subjects 1. the dangers of government 2. the danger of no government.

              Your argument doesn’t make the statement untrue and your belief that the world would be safer without a government doesn’t mean you should discard a legitimate truth. It means that you should show how this truth can be overcome-if you can.

              • V. Holland

                I will have to make a guest post demonstrating why “showing how no government would do…(this)” is impossible.

                You’ll just have to accept my claim – because you cannot prove negatives nor infinitely complex systems to be (this vs that).

                However, we can produce a basis by which we can best provide opportunity for good to occur – it does not guarantee it – (it cannot be guaranteed) – but it provides the optimum for it to occur.

                You agree (I assume) that “Do evil begets evil” and “Do good begets good”.

                Therefore, to organize society with a premise of evil will beget evil.
                Organize society with a premise of good will beget good.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                V. Holland,

                The important thing is that you got the point, which is that yes, living without government presents a danger, BUT, living with government also presents a danger.

                There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can construct a society in which ALL DANGER WILL BE ELIMINATED.

                You seem to believe that having government mitigates risk better than not having government would mitigate risk, yet there is no way to provide proof of this assumption.

              • What I believe-I believe that as selfish as it may be-people generally see the dangers of government as not immediate or they have hope that they can be stopped-but they see the idea of a gang of savages showing up on their doorstep as a more eminent danger-a more scary danger, a danger that hits closer to home and means imminent death to them and there family-so if you want to convince people that government is more dangerous-you must show how you see it working-how you think problems can be overcome-your ideas have to stand on there own not just be promoted by saying government is bad-I think most people know that our government has grown into a monster-we just aren’t convinced that society can work without it or that we can’t fix it.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                V. Holland,

                Once again, you have not provided any EVIDENCE that without government there would be a “pack of savages” appearing on my doorstep!

                Where is the proof of this assertion?

              • I never said you had to prove this-it isn’t possible to promise bad things won’t happen-I just said you need to give some kind of outline of how a society without government would work. I ‘ve gotta go- my husband is going to have a fit if we don’t leave now-will check back later

              • Peter,

                History shows that this has happened in this very country. We have the “wild west”, where in the absence of legitimate government, there were in fact gangs of thugs who roamed around taking what they want and doing what they want.

                I admit that government, at this point, is no better, as they do the same, only with some form of legitimacy. However, people fear that while paying the ransom to government will appease the beast, doing the same to thugs will not save their skin.

                Make Sense?

              • USWep, you read too many Lous Lamour novels.

                The Wild West wasnt’ that wild.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                USW,

                You claim that the gangs of thugs roamed the “wild west” because of the “absence of a legitimate government”

                However, was this truly the reason for the presence of the gangs of thugs?

                Also, how widespread and well organized were these gangs of thugs, and what was their actual impact? Certainly I do not think that there was evidence that they over-ran everyone’s doorstep, and I am certain that there were many cases of people successfully defending themselves against these gangs of thugs.

                Was the situation ideal? Of course not. However, there has to be a way to create an organization which is not a “gang of thugs” in order to help to protect people from other “gangs of thugs”

                I guess that is my point. We have replaced de-centralized gangs of thugs with a centralized and more powerful (and supposedly “legitimate”) gang of thugs. I am not certain that that was a good trade-off.

          • Thanks, V.

            I knew we’d see eye to eye on something sooner or later :)

            • :)

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Yes, Mathius,

              You and V. Holland AGREE that “there would be a pack of savages arriving at everyone’s doorstep” in the absence of government.

              Yet, neither one of you provide any evidence to back up this claim!

              BF provides plenty of evidence that large groups of people are perfectly capable of getting along with each other without the need of any government intervention whatsoever. He also makes it perfectly clear that whether you have a government or not, there is NO WAY TO GUARANTEE that bad people are not going to do bad things, but, in spite of this, on a daily basis, most of us get along just fine without any intervention from the government whatsoever.

              Perhaps you and V. Holland believe that we get along with each other because we fear what the government would do to us if we did not “play nice”, and that the natural tendency of man is to behave like a raving savage.

              I prefer to believe that the natural tendency of man is to behave in a way which preserves his self-interest, and that man is intelligent enough to know that the best way to preserve his own self interest is by allowing you to preserve your own self-interest as well, so the natural tendency of man is to play nice with each other, because in that way, they are able to succesfully preserve their own self-interest.

              I suspect that you and V. would accuse me of being too much of an optimist.

              I would accuse you both of being far too pessimistic :)

              • And I would say that the truth lies somewhere in the middle, LOL

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Well USW, you probably have a point there.

                One of the key things for us to decide is how do we deal with the people that are simply not going to behave in a civilized manner no matter how society is organized.

                That is one of the key questions.

                I certainly will not say that ALL men are going to play nice with each other, because yes, the truth is, that is not going to be the case.

                However, I do not personally support tyranny as the means of controlling those who refuse to play nice, because the result of tyranny is that EVERYONE gets controlled, whether they have the innate ability to play nice with each other or not.

  8. JAC,
    A few days ago, you asked me why I thought Capital Punishment, AKA, The Death Penalty, was moral and just. And why it was Justice and not simply revenge. I had a virus by the next morning and was out of work. And after that well, no excuse except the truth. I was busy and I also have the memory and attention span of a Gnat. Too many left-handed cigarettes in my past. So after remembering today, I thought I would give it a try. This won’t be a hijack of USW’s blog because you have your beliefs and I have mine and I don’t think anyone’s mind can be changed from their original position. I’m am simply finishing telling you and the others why I feel as I do, NOT to start another discussion on CP.
    The Death Penalty is Justice and moral because: The Law, at least in theory, is blind. The Law states that if you commit XXX crime, and are caught, found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and are found to merit that severe a punishment, then you are to forfeit your life. At least in some States and the Federal Law in some cases. I will NOT discuss cases from the past where people have not deserved the Death Penalty, There WAS reasonable doubt, and especially not cases from old pasts where people were executed for relatively minor crimes because that was the law at the time. I am referring to the present Law we have now. The Law now, as stated, in THEORY, is blind. It does not operate from Emotion. It does not seek revenge. It simply goes by the facts presented before it and makes it’s judgement. We can argue for months that the jury is human and that this fact alone is a flaw in the justice system. IMO that is pure horseshit. I had rather be tried before a jury of my peers than be tried by a lone or panel of Judges
    As far back as the 80’s there could in some cases be made a reasonable doubt. I don’t say all because when a murderer is caught red-handed or outright bragged about what they had done, there is no doubt. Also crazy is no defense. I submit that you have to have a mental deficiency to commit that kind of crime to begin with. Societal upbringing is not a defense either. There are many examples where people have pulled themselves from a bad neighborhood, or were abused, and still became productive members of society. Once again, I believe that you also have to have some mental problem to begin killing to start with. And also, when you have a mad dog, you kill it. I realize we are not animals persay, but I also submit to you that in some cases this is merely semantics. I would not look upon John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, or others like Ted Bundy as anything BUT animals who needed to be put down.
    Also, in this age of DNA evidence, if obtained, that takes away all doubt of guilt or innocence, as we have seen with people being released from prison because the new DNA evidence absolved them.
    I do think that if there is ANY doubt whatsoever of guilt, then the Death Penalty should not be used. Even if there is enough evidence to convict, there should be no doubt whatsoever of guilt. There are more than enough cases where this is so.
    Finally, as Justice is unemotional and blind, if you are found guilty and sentenced to die, the moral aspect is clear IMO. Morally, they should die. A life for a life, or several lives. In this time of History we see far too many Serial Killers. A serial Killer is a mad dog. It cannot be immoral to put this particular animal down. And even if they are NOT a Serial Killer, Capital Punishment is reserved for particularly heinous murders. There are lots and lots of murder cases where the Law does not demand the Death Penalty. If it is given, it is deserved. I personally wish they would bring back the public hanging in the on the Courthouse Lawn. But that is just me. I can see where some may have a problem with bar-b-queing somebody in a chair could be construed as inhumane, but since they have gone to lethal injection the person merely goes into that long sleep before his slide down the chute to hell. Or, if God has since saved his soul, it is his responsibility to have mercy on them, not the States.
    Well I think I put down all I wanted to say on this and certainly did my best to give a clear and unemotional reply to your query. I would entertain question from you, but I do not wish to get in a discussion with several people. You and they have your opinions of this and I and others have ours. There is no sense in starting a big discussion AGAIN over it. The simple fact is that the majority of citizens are FOR the Death Penalty, The Fed left it to the States, and the States who want it have it. Those who don’t, don’t. I’m sure Charles Manson and his fellow killers are glad.

    USW. I don’t mean to hijack your post and don’t want to get into a discussion with this. I simply wanted to answer JAC while I had it on my feeble mind before I forgot again. Yo’s Truly, EHG

    • Essom:

      I agree we should let this lie for now and appreciate your response.

      Let me add this one little note though regarding the mentally ill. I like Idaho’s solution. Insanity is not a defense against committing the crime. But it IS a defense against being executed by the State.

      But it requires professional certification of true mental illness. Not your standard run of the mill temporary insanity.

      Nuff said on this for now.

      The best to you and yours this AM
      JAC

      • JAC, Thank you and I agree on the part of mental illness that you said. I meant but did not state clearly that more than mental illness I should have just said crazy as hell. :-)

    • I know you don’t want to get into this today, but I can’t really help myself.

      You’ve seen my litmus test:

      1. The crime is of suitable severity.
      2. The punishment will function as a deterrent.
      3. The conviction is solid and there are no trial irregularities which may have resulted in an incorrect verdict.
      4. The criminal cannot be rehabilitated.
      5. The criminal is of sound mind.

      My thoughts on each
      1. Rape/murder is pretty much all I’d allow this for. Maybe voting for Pelosy.
      2. Hard to determine, but I would disqualify crimes of passion. Future criminals would have to consider the risk/reward of committing the crime so that this execution can serve to increase the “risk” part.
      3. This should go without saying. This is a non-reversable error, so we should be very sure.
      4. I have no idea how to establish this. A history of recidivism? Lack of remorse? I defer to psychologists.
      5. I have no idea how to establish this. Understanding of right/wrong? IQ? Education? I defer to psychologists.

      If all of these conditions are met, I would say that the individual is responsible for the act(3), was criminal in committing it(5), has forfeited his right to life(1), has almost no chance of re-earning his right to life (4), and can save future victims by serving as an example(2), then an execution is justified and moral.

      And if all this saves me money by not having to pay to lock him up, I’m ok with that too.

      • If you support Capital Punishment, you support the killing of innocent people.

        There are those convicted of capital crimes that are innocent.

        As a supporter of C/P you are killing a person as punishment for that person killing an innocent.

        You, as a support of C/P are culpable in the killing of innocent people.

        Thus, are you – as a support of C/P – going to submit yourself to the same punishment for your crime as you have dealt upon others?

        • BF, I find myself agreeing with a lot that you have to say these days. But this ain’t one of them. CP is NOT killing innocent people. CP is putting mad animals down, pure and simple.

          Me and Matt BOTH have stated that there needs to be undoubted PROOF of guilt before we support the Death Penalty. Just because you feel that once they are in prison they are no longer capable of violence does not make it so.

          And to say that we would deserve the same punishment because we support it is pure horseshit fresh from the anus.

          We are not culpable for the law being enforced. I know you don’t believe in any sort of Government, and apparently Law either. But there must absolutely be Laws that men live by. Even if that Law is simply personal law.

          You may call them rules, or give them any other name you want to establish, but they are still basically laws.

          • Sir,

            There are people who have been killed by Capital Punishment that are innocent.

            You are a supporter of Capital Punishment – by your support you legitimize it.

            Thus, you have legitimized the killing of innocent people.

            You have stated – explicitly – that the killing of innocent people is a Capital crime.

            Thus, you – by your own argument are culpable in the killing of innocent people – hence, you are as guilty as those that do the killing.

            I ask – you are also willing, then, to suffer the same punishment you give to those that kill the innocent?

            • “There are people who have been killed by Capital Punishment that are innocent.” – BF

              Yes Bf, there are people in the past that were innocent and were killed by CP. A very few. Still doesn’t make it right though. But you are arguing the past. And furthermore, let me state for the record tha line you keep missing.

              IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, MATT AND I BOTH DO NOT SUPPORT PUTTING SOMEONE TO DEATH.

              ONLY WHERE THERE IS NO DOUBT OF GUILT WHATSOEVER

              Ex. Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Ted Bundy, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, and those convicted with RECENT DNA evidence that absolutely rules out innocence.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                In an adversarial system of justice, even using the best forensic evidence available, CAN YOU EVER BE 100% CERTAIN BEYOND ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER that a person is guilty?

                I would submit that if you are only 99.999999% certain, then you cannot put the person to death, because there is still a 1 in a million chance that you blew it and they are innocent.

                So, how do we PROVE 100% certainty of guilt?

            • Flag, when Esom and I agree, it says something..

              That said, let’s assume you had a confession and the person met the rest of my criteria.. where do you stand?

              • There are ample cases where men are on death row for admitting to a crime they did not commit.

                There exists no sufficent evidence, claim, proof, etc. that can justify capital punishment. There will always be a case where an innocent man will be killed by it.

                As long as you will stand up and face the same ‘punishment’ you have given to others for killing innocent people then I agree to YOUR support of Capital Punishment.

                I do not agree to Capital Punishment because I refuse to justify the risk in killing innocent people.

              • A man walks into a the UN general assembly hall during a conference. He kills an unarmed ambassador in front of a room full of witnesses. He is filmed on live tv and simultaneously viewed by millions. Afterward, he sits down and waits to be arrested. At no time is he lost to view between the act and when the guards handcuff him. For good measure, he explains that he is making a political statement and that he is fully cognizant of his actions and would do this again if the opportunity arose. Cameras follow him to the police car and then follow the car to the jail where his is kept in supermax and is on camera every second. When he is taken out of his cell for trial, he is followed by media camera every second so there can be no accidental switch. After his conviction, he is taken back to his cell. On the assumption that he is never lost to view, between then and the execution, where do you stand?

              • Nope.

                Film can be altered.

                Digital reprocessing can change faces.

                AND, maybe he knows the dead man had a nuke under his chair ready to blow up….and the story has been covered up by the CIA.

                Too much risk and doubt.

              • I forgot to mention.. he said the reason is because he felt that man he murdered was trying to create a system of nationalize health care. This was filmed and broadcast live by more than a dozen news sources.

                Incidentally, the cop who arrested him had rare trait of never needing sleep and having no personal live. This cop stood next to the man and watched him with his own two eyes from the moment he murdered the man (he witnessed this personally) until he was executed.

            • Let the sleazy lawyer stand in his place, if we did that everyone benefits. Will make them really want to get it right :wink: :grin:

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              In many capital murder cases, the defendant does not have the means to afford their own lawyer.

              In those cases, who provides the lawyers who carry out the prosecution?:

              The State.

              Who provides the lawyers who carry out the defense of the accused?:

              The State.

              Do you not at least see the POTENTIAL for a conflict of interst here?

    • People do change their minds when presented with good arguments or evidence as long as they are not hanging onto false ideas due to a religious-type sense of “this is just the way it is and NOBODY is gonna change my mind”. I know because that is how I finally morphed from a “small helpful government” believer into an anarchist. The evidence and rational arguments were overwhelming, and I didn’t get my identity from my belief in any sort of government, so I was able to grow beyond that.

  9. I never understood why Congress is re-elected time after time with no results. I have joined and left both parties due to their lack of sense and vision. People talk about the run away dishonesty, corruption etc in our government. My view it is there because we have allowed it to be. We as a whole have allowed them to run our country a stray. Because the same people keep getting into office, why would things change?I agree with you USW, most Americans want the great life without actually having to work for it.
    I recently went to a business meeting, were one of the speakers was a man who took over his dad’s liquor store when he retired. He turned one store into a multi billion business with over 150 stores nationwide.
    He made a statement that is true. If you work 8hrs a day, that is the out put you are going to receive. If you work hard for 16hrs a day, the output will be more in the end. Most people in the crowd could not understand that. They wanted what he had, with out all the work he put into to get there.
    That is what is wrong with America in a nutshell. The easy dollar or fortune.
    Ellen

    “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter”. by George Washington.

  10. A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.
    Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

    As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them.
    Tench Coxe, An American Citizen, No.2, September 28, 1787

    Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.
    Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787

    In planning, forming, and arranging laws, deliberation is always becoming, and always useful.
    James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791

    Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.
    Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

  11. Stuck in Ohio says:

    Fantastic article USW. Can’t wait for Part 2. This (and the comments) should somehow be required reading for everyone.

    I have a feeling that the majority of those out there that are fed up with government don’t really know why they are of that opinion, this would certainly help in that regard. Why don’t they already know this or why can’t they figure it out? Partly because history is not taught in the manner that it used to be we many of us were in school. Students today never hear the information that you quoted in your article.

    Young people today learn little or nothing about how this country began or the Constitution. The Federalis Papers? Find a high school or college student who has an inkling of what they are.

    Not to go on and on, but I really and truly think that a total lack of understanding of the principles on which this country was founded and the role of government as it was intended has contributed greatly to the situation that we find ourselve in today. I may be way off base here, and yes, you are correct in your statements as to how long this has been going on, but the vast majority of Americans today have an extremely poor knowledge of how and why this great country of ours came to be.

  12. Mike M. Houston Texas says:

    This strikes a certain chord in me. My family continues to get upset and tell me “the world is going to hell in a hand basket”. While this is true they are missing one very important point. It has been going to hell in a hand basket for a long time now. Only due to the advent of the information explosion are we bombarded with so much “bad news” that it seems worse. Did back things happend before the advent of the telegraph. Yes they did but no one knew about it or the news was so stale by the time they got it the impact was nill. So we are at a point in our progression where the bad news of the day is just a click away.

    That feeling that something is wrong is very real.

    Additionally, and I have spoken with USW on this in a side topic is today “we are judged on our response and not the event”. Let me explain. You disagree with Obama. You are called a racist or any other name. Never mind your comment was dead on and you were right as rain. The focus is on the response and not what happened to drive your response. While I am not a war monger by any account. I hear all the time Bush led us to war. We are judging him by his response. Did we forget that we had no intentions of going to Afghanistan or Iraq on say 9/10. But again he is judged by what his response was. Two African Americans broke into a house here in Houston. Being a good neighbor the man who lived next door pulled out his gun and shot them both. Jesus Christ we had every black organization on the planet in his front lawn protesting and bitching at him. It was about his response and not the fact that these two were “STEALING” something they did not earn.

    So that “feeling” USW in my humble opinion is two faceted. We have so much bad news at our fingertips that we are overwhelmed by it. If you focus on the problem the problem becomes larger. We like to make mountains out of mole hills. Those that try to do something about it are judged on their response. The tea party march in Washington. It was not about “WHY” they were marching it was “the right wing nut bags, and a bunch of old people and they had guns, and they did this and they did that”.

    The reason there are so many ads for depression medicine? Here is a ton of bad news, on a daily basis, if you respond like a normal person does, by getting pissed off then you are the bad guy because your response is not what “the fine moral upstanding, high road, response” Who the hell are those people. Our response to taxation without representation was the tea party in Boston lo those many years ago. It is viewed in a positive light as are the many other things that were done in that era. Go try that today and you will be roasted, arrested, and stoned in the city square while being broadcast real time on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, CSPAN, and 1 billion internet sites.

    Basically that feeling is “your gonna take it up the @#$ and oh yeah by the way “you better not be upset about it”.

    So you want to change it, are bombarded by bad news, and cannot have a rational pissed off response that truly changes things. Do you feel handcuffed yet?

    We must change the game. There is no way to win this one.

  13. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    REALITY CHECK, PART 2, and a homework assignment:

    I don’t know that all here will agree to this, but for the sake of this exercise, stipulate the following:

    1. Government is force.

    2. Force, in and of itself, is not “evil”

    3. Force can be used in response to an intiation of violence against the non-violent. Any other use of force would indeed be “evil”.

    4. Government (force) is a tool. This tool’s only legitimate use is to protect the non-violent against any initiation of force against them.

    Here is where government fails:

    1. All people are capable of acts of savagery and violence.

    2. Because all people are CAPABLE of acts of savagery and violence, the SAFEST COURSE OF ACTION is to assume that all people are, in fact, violent savages.

    3. Because of the assumption that all people are, in fact, violent savages, the government is justified in either threatening to use force against, or actually using force against, every single person.

    Ok, so we have a connundrum. By allowing the “safest” assumption, which is that all people are violent savages (because all people are capable of acts of savagery), this allows government to assert power and control (force) over ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE. This allows government to continually amass more and more power and control, in the name of “safety” and “protection”

    However, this allows for the total destruction of “freedom” and “liberty” which are exactly the things that this tool, government, was SUPPOSED TO PROTECT.

    So, how do we escape the connumdrum?

    1. We must assume that although all people are capable of acts of savagery, the VAST AND OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of people are going to behave towards others in the way in which they wish to be treated BY others, the VAST AND OVERHWHELMING MAJORITY of the time. This means that we must stipulate that although all people are capable of acts of savagery, almost all of the time almost all of the people are going to be behaving in a civilized manner towards each other.

    2. Because most of the people most of the time are going to be behaving in a civilized manner towards each other, the government CANNOT and MUST NOT be allowed to use the threat of force or the use of actual force against everyone, all of the time. To threaten to use force or to actually use force against people who are behaving in a civilized manner is barbaric.

    3. Concrete and unwavering determination must be then made as to when this tool government (force) may actually be used. Any innapropriate use of this tool must be handled in such a way that future inappropriate use of this tool will be HIGHLY DISCOURAGED.

    So, your homework assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to design this tool government (force) in such a way that it can only be used when appropriate, and that there are fail-safe devices built in so that if this tool is used for any other purpose other than the defense of freedom and liberty against the threat of violence or initiation of violence is bascially impossible.

    Your time starts….. NOW!

    • OK…I’ll bite.

      If the only force that can be used against anyone is to defend peoples liberty and freedom seems to me that basically your describing some form of police or military force to be brought out and used ONLY when somebody has wronged somebody else. Kinda like a posse from the old west using local citizens.

      Example 1: Johnny steals Adam’s chicken. Call out the police to either get the chicken back or get some kind of compensation for Johnny’s lost chicken.

      Example 2: X Company pollutes the local water table. Call out police and shut X Company down until they clean up the water and correct the pollution issue before they can reopen for business.

      Simplistic I know but I’m suffering from a Nyquil hangover today and the brains not working on a full charge.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Kym,

        I appreciate the bite :)

        Ok, now, let’s say that I am Adam, and Johnny has stolen my chicken. I could talk to Johnny directly and ask that he either:

        A) Return the chicken to me or
        B) Provide me appropriate recompense for my chicken (provide me with something of equivalent value which I want, or provide me with labor for an agreed-upon period of time which will constitute equivalent value of the chicken)

        If Johnny refuses to do either A or B, I will refuse to have any further commerce with Johnny, and I will be sure to let all of our friends and neighbors know exactly what Johnny has done, including his refusal to compensate me for my chicken in any way, which will cause many of them to think twice before having any further commerce with Johnny.

        No police required!

      • Kym

        OK…I’ll bite.

        I hope not ;)

        If the only force that can be used against anyone is to defend peoples liberty and freedom seems to me that basically your describing some form of police or military force to be brought out and used ONLY when somebody has wronged somebody else. Kinda like a posse from the old west using local citizens.

        Yes.

        However, we are not stupid either.

        I will not wait for a man’s knife in my heart before I act.

        It’s called Clear and Present Danger doctrine.

        I bet you’ve heard of it before.

        Example 1: Johnny steals Adam’s chicken. Call out the police to either get the chicken back or get some kind of compensation for Johnny’s lost chicken.

        Sounds fair

        Example 2: X Company pollutes the local water table. Call out police and shut X Company down until they clean up the water and correct the pollution issue before they can reopen for business.

        Sounds fair

        • Oh I bite…but only when asked nicely :grin:

          And I’m all for defending ones self and will do so with a vengence if the need arises.

    • Hmm.. for the sake of this homework assignment, I will accept your premises. I do not actually accept them all.

      Liberty is defined by our friends at dictionary.com as freedom from government control. Freedom is defined as having the power to determine action without restraint.

      Interestingly enough, this does not imply freedom from observation.

      So, you want a state where the government does not threaten or use force except where necessary to preserve the liberty and freedoms of it’s citizens and to protect them from physical harm or the threat thereof. The answer seems simple: watch everything that everyone does all the time and respond only where necessary.

      Now, of course this is a tall order. To do so would require massive surveillance outlays and the man power to monitor the feeds. This might require a camera in every room in America (or several to get all the angles), and the capacity to centralize all the feeds. The solution is probably to encourage the use of tracking devises on the citizens (these would monitor basic vitals and convey first person view to the government – ie a heart monitor with a shoulder mounted camera with wireless transmission capacity). When an individual’s heart rate rises or when in proximity to another individual, then the surveillance would be activated. Now, of course, this cannot be forced on the citizens (since that would infringe on their freedom to choose not to use this devise) so the understanding would be that the government will protect you only if you use this devise, otherwise you will be considered to have opted out of government protection.

      Citizens will have to pay for the device to offset the costs of operations and monitoring. This way the “tax” is voluntary and not forced on anyone. Because there is still a huge amount of data required, an AI would probably be required, or advanced logic anyway, to filter for the relevant stuff. Additionally, if you choose to use the equipment to summons emergency medical assistance, that would a service which you could sign up for as well. No one without a devise would be permitted on publicly funded roads or property as they would be paid for on a per usage basis. Specifically, this devise would track your usage of roads and public facilities and bill you accordingly. Thus, if you choose to pay for roads, you only pay for the share you use – otherwise they don’t cost you anything.

      The fail safe is that the feed monitors will have to report their requests for action through a third party of your choice. They will not be permitted or able to use this data on their own and cannot access your identifying information or geographic location – only a unique pin number. This pin and the perceived threat will be sent to third party which will have your preferences for action on file.

      For example, you may choose to have the government intervene to protect you from assault, but not the threat of assault. As such, your heart rate rises and the government turns on your video feed. They see a threat of violent crime in progress against you. They send this information and your pin to your third party which determines whether to take any action based on your stated preferences. The third party watches. Because you do not want any action taken over a threat, they do nothing. As soon as actual violence ensues, they summons the police. (Note you pay for the police on a usage basis, you may subsequently sue the assailant if you are not at fault to defray this cost – compliance with a financial judgment is, however, voluntary since the government cannot force citizens to pay).

      A third party which fails to meet your satisfaction or which is too intrusive on your freedom and liberties would simply be changed out for one you like more.

      Additional checks could be added by preventing your third party from accessing your feed without government permission in the form of a pin. Issuance of this pin would grant the third party a specific time window to view your feeds and notification that this was granted would be automatically sent to you. Thus the third parties would be unable to infringe on your liberties or spy on you.

      How’d that work out? Did I get an A on the assignment? It was a lot more fun than my usual homework.

      • Let’s work on the freedom ‘definition’.

        It is important, Mathius – because you do not define freedom in your thoughts – you intellectualize it.

        We need to do a lot of work to fully understand what ‘freedom’ really means in the reality of our world.

        For example, the definition of freedom to be “…without restraint” has an embedded problem, its called the Universe.

        You are restrained by the Universe. You cannot fly like a bird nor can you score goals like Wayne Gretzky.

        So the definition is incomplete or incorrect or ill-defined.

        Thus, clarity – here – is key.

        • Sure, you are free, in this scenario, to act in any way which you are physically capable of acting with the provision that it does not cause or threaten harm to another person or their freedoms and liberties. Again, I would add theft to the prohibited actions, but this is not part of the assignment.

          That said, this “government” functions like a private subscriber company where you may opt out at any time of any or all parts and you only pay for what you use. Thus payment is non-compulsory and no force is used against you.

          The third party ensures a check to keep the “government” from oppressing you.

          (And I absolutely can score goals like Wayne Gretsky – he has, if I recall correctly, serious knee problems these days)

          • That said, this “government” functions like a private subscriber company where you may opt out at any time of any or all parts and you only pay for what you use. Thus payment is non-compulsory and no force is used against you.

            So let’s not use the word ‘government’ since that concept requires the use of initiation of violence for enforcement.

            It’s like saying “Well, it’s like ‘water’, except it’s not made up of either H or O, and holds none of the properties”

            • Fine, but it’s a very large centralize company which fulfills many of the same functions.

              Any other objections?

              • Not yet.

                But knowing you ….

              • What do you mean “knowing me”? I’m a denizen of the cave, remember? I saw the light and the error of my ways! I’m one of you now, see how I’m proposing replacing the government in a way that is consistent with our beliefs and ethics regarding force and freedoms? It’s ok, you can trust me.. put the sword and musket away.. lower your guard..

                (Insert malicious sounding laugh here)

              • There is an echo in this cave that is distrubing :)

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Hmm… I cannot give you an “A” for the assignment, because you have still fallen into the trap that most people cannot be trusted to behave on their own, so massive, total, and complete surveillance of all of their activities becomes necessary under your scenario.

        You also seem to be making the assumption that if an interaction between two people is uncivil, it will require outside intervention, and that the people will not have the capability of working out the conflict on their own.

        So, in order to acceed to your vision, I would have to buy into the premise that the only way that people are going to behave themselves is by constant surveillance (if mommy and daddy aren’t constantly looking over their shoulder, the children will OF COURSE misbehave) and that the people in general completely lack any tools for working out conflict without massive outside invervention.

        I don’t buy it. I believe that the majority of adults are capable of behaving like adults.

        I am, however, glad that you enjoyed the assignment :)

        • I think you missed the assessment.

          In order to be protected, you sign up for the device.

          You then set your own threshold for intervention. In the example, you would only want outside intervention if someone attacked you, otherwise the government stays out of it. So if you’re behaving within the bounds deemed acceptable by the both parties in an interaction, there will be no interference. It is only once one party feels that intervention is necessary that the government steps in.

          I make no judgment (here) about the general morality of people. I am just offering a solution where you can be completely free to act, but that people are still protected.

        • You are quite free to take your chances with the general morality of people if you do not wish to utilize this service.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          I must admit that this service you postulate is actually somewhat intriguing.

          I see some potential problems that would need to be addressed:

          1. Who has access to the information gathered from this constant surveillance, and what can this information be used for?

          2. What method of redress is available in the case where the use of any gathered information violates the terms of the agreement?

          In the past, such a system would not have even been feasible, so such as discussion would have been merely hypothetical, but with current technology, this could actually be accomplished. However, I am sure that you are quite aware that such a system could EASILY degenerate into “Big Brother is watching you” if strict controlls on the allowed uses of the information gathered by such a system were not in place.

          This is why I would probably opt to not participate in such a system, and would instead rely upon personal responsibility.

          Too much potential for abuse in the system that you describe :)

          • 1. This information can only be used in compliance with the terms with which you agree and for the services to which you have subscribed. If you choose to access public property (roads) and are willing to pay for that service, but to not wish to be monitored for personal safety, then that is as it would be. Terms of the agreement are such that the “government” has no idea who you are or where you are. Only your third party knows this, but they are unable to watch you unless the government considers that there is a concern. Whenever the government gives your company this ability, they notify you. Because of this, there is no way the company can spy on you and the government’s watching is irrelevant because they do not see you – they see a number which they are powerless to control/identify. Perhaps there would be an option to issue a report to you any time your feed was watched by the government, and a copy of what they saw. This would provide for greater control on the individual’s part. If the individual does not like the service they receive, they are free to opt out.

            2. You are free to opt out. Or you may change third party providers. The government would not be in the business of gathering data. They would have video, and records of what public facilitates you’ve used, but you chose to allow them to gather this data. If you did not wish them to log this, you would simply choose not to wear the device.

            Strict controls would be absolutely essential, as well as substantial transparency in the workings of both the government and the third parties. This would be handled by independent watch-dog groups who you would pay for this service. Because you pay them, they work for you. (You could, I suppose have a group check up on the watch-dog groups and so on until you are completely comfortable).

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Hmm.. once again, an intersting proposition…

              You seem to be advocating for corporatism as a substitute for personal responsibility.

              To me, that doesn’t seem all that different than the current government.

              I would be interested to see what effect you think that your proposed system would have on freedom and liberty.

              It seems to be ok, given that it is voluntary, has safeguards, watchdog groups, etc. But it still seems to me that unless it was perfectly constructed by perfectly honest people, it would be subject to potentially HUGE corruption and subversion.

              For that reason, I think I would still favor freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility.

              Still, and interesting proposal to address the problem… maybe you do get an “A” after all, at least for effort and creativity :)

            • In no way is this a substitute for personal responsibility. It is no different from purchasing insurance. I can ensure that I will drive safely, but I cannot control the other drives – as such I want to make sure that I am protected if they hit me. Likewise, I can ensure that I will behave civilly, but I cannot control people out there (nor do I have any right to do so). As such, I contract to have someone watch and protect me to the extent that I feel I need protection.

              It is a corporate-like structure. I call it government only because it fulfills many of the same functions.

              You would be, in a very real sense, completely free. Because no one will force you to pay taxes, or to pay for services you do not wish to receive, your property is safe. Because you are watched 24/7 by an entity you can trust, you are physically safe (or as safe as you wish to be). You may go anywhere, do anything (provided it does not cause harm or a threat thereof to other people or their liberties).

              • Matt:

                We already have the survellience part. Private companies do that now.

                What I want to know is who do they call when the alarms go off?

              • There would have to be a network of local private security services who they would utilize based on where you were at the time. I would suggest small firms to prevent a large firm from applying pressure on the third party companies to call in false alarms. However, a third party would be entirely allowed to use a large firm, but this would probably make them less desirable to subscribers. Thus they would fail.

                To pay for these, you would have to maintain a deposit with the third party. This would be placed in an interest bearing account and would be used to pay for services such as emergency security response. They would spend as much time protecting you as necessary up to the limit of your deposit – after which time, you would need to pay more. This is necessary to ensure that you do not stick the company with the bill.

                Emergency medicals alters would work in a similar fashion.

              • As convenient as they are, publicly funded police and medical services would require the imposition of payment upon its citizens. This is not permissible under the rules of this assignment. Thus all services must be provided on a voluntary payment basis. This would necessitate your having a deposit held to ensure payment since they cannot compel you to pay after the fact and you may not have the money.

                Conversely, I see no reason why you could not purchase insurance to cover your fees exactly as you have now and in lieu of this deposit. This effectively spread the fees to a wide enough base that it is tantamount to public funding with the important exception that participation is voluntary.

            • There is definitely some concern regarding the need to make sure the system is set up properly, but this should be self-correcting given the watch-dogs. If the setup is incorrect, people will opt out. If they opt out, the government will have to adjust or risk losing more paying subscribers.

              Score one for Adam Smith.

      • Matt:

        Sorry my young friend but in your attempt at making a hilarious funny you have failed. Of course it is presumptuous of me to assign grades as this is not my test. So I appologize but in my obnoxious and forward manner will forge ahead anyway.

        You see Govt is not even required for survellience. The people have many more eyes and ears and they don’t cost the other citizens a plug nickle.

        And you don’t need actual violence to occur before calling for the police. Remember, clear and present danger is the criteria for action. The action however, must be rational. It should fit the danger. Tasering an 80 yr old man who has no weapon for example, would not be an appropriate rational response.

        Hows the love life Matt? Any Monkey bites?

        Hope your Friday is progressing on track.
        JAC

        • You’ll note that I put government in quotes once or twice because this system would function very much like a private company.

          The people may have lots of eyes and ears but (A) they aren’t always around (B) they aren’t always willing to intervene if necessary.

          Violence was not a requisite of summonsing the police in this scenario. Threat of violence was sufficient. I would add theft but it was not part of the original assignment.

          Love life’s ok, the missus has been sick (I think maybe The Swine Flu), but otherwise good. No monkey bites that I know of..

          Friday is on track, thank you. Hope all is well in JAC-Land :)

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Actually JAC,

          I think that Mathius has made an interesting attempt at addressing this particular problem. Still not sure if it is the answer that I would personally go with, but I do find it kinda intriguing… :)

  14. Great Article USW. Once again IMO you have shown a real talent for getting good values and principles across to your audience. I believe that we lost our Constitutional Republic around the start of the Civil War. Certainly afterwards it was gone. And it has steadily declined away from a Republic and further towards something else ever since.

    I say something else because I don’t know quite what we HAVE become. It’s not Socialist. YET. It’s not really quite Fascist. And at best it is only marginally Democratic. To truly Democratic more than 35 to 40 percent of the public would actually need to vote. And we never were a true Democracy anyway. I always laugh whenever a news commentator says we are supposed to be a Democracy. Glenn Beck usually makes it plain when people say that on his show that, No, we are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic. If he is so out there Politically for people to dismiss him it is only because he comes far to close to the truth of most thing for the Comfortability of the Progressives in Power.

    I am no longer going to call Democrats and Liberals wrong or dismiss their views. At least I am going to try. The ones I and others here should have a problem with are the “Progressives” in Government. If we want smaller, unintrusive Government, then the first thing we must do is get the Progressive movement out of power. They are the dangerous ones. It is they who seek to take our rights and dismiss us as “the Fringe”.

    Another major obstacle in the way of Smaller Government is weaning people off of the Government tit. This is in fact going to be a HUGE problem. That is this present Government’s goal after all, to get us ALL dependent on the Government for everything in our life. It is also what will destroy us.

    One problem I have with Ray, Matt, Chris, and Todd is the fact that, if you do all this for the “Greater Good”, then where is the stopping point? Do we stop at Universal Health Care? Cap & Trade? Deciding how much people can be compensated? How far does the Government go before even you liberals say ENOUGH? What do they (GOVT) have to do or how far does their control over your life have to go before even you start to not like the yoke around your neck? This is not a criticism of them. This is an honest and serious question to a liberal philosophy that I cannot understand. I don’t refer this to GG because I already know what he thinks. He is, after all, an staunch Socialist, or so he says. He believes that Government involved in every facet of our lives is just dandy. Do the rest of us? Do the four of you?

    Patrick Henry said: “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

    I would say to you that we have come to the point now where the Government is beginning to “dominate our lives and interests” now. And it has been getting worse for at least the past 150 years. And in the past 20 or so, has swiftly become intolerable.

    • Esom,

      Your post reminded me of the The Thinkers and The Doers discussion. I’m not trying to start anything here, but it seems the collective ‘we’ has returned to the ‘thinkers’ mode. Have I missed something??????

  15. Good article USW and one I completely agree with.

    I do believe it is the people that have failed this country and not the Constitution that has failed. Yes, I know government is people, but it is the citizenry at large that stopped questioning and instead started accepting what the government was doing. We have a lot of work ahead of us to undo the damage, however, I do believe it can be done.

    Looking forward to Part 2.

    High school homecoming here and playing our biggest rival in football, so a weekend full of parades, bonfires, pep rallies, tailgates, football, dances, pictures, etc. Should be lots of fun (and even more so with a Victory!).

    Make the most of your day!

  16. Good morning USW, I trust that you are taking care of the Mrs. and that she is recovering as comfortably as you can make her.

    I have long held the belief that most people in our nation have lost their minds as well as their way. I confess that I cannot comprehend why someone would allow a form of government to take hold in this country that I and many others like me have fought against all our adult lives. To me, at least, it is very clear that Communism, Socialism, and Fascism, along with Imperialism are the opposites of what this nation was intended to be in the first place. Why we, as a people, have allowed this disease to infect us and destroy the way of life that has been given to us is completely beyond any sane reason that I can think of.

    I will end my rant on that note. Keep up the good work, young man.

    • I can explain it to you, G.A

      By giving People access to legitimized violence, the People have used this violence to obtain the goods and services they need and want for their lives.

      You can obtain your needs and goods by only two ways.

      You can earn them.

      You can steal them.

      Government legitimizes theft and violence.

      It becomes no surprise that if the People have general access to legitimized theft, they will use theft to obtain their goods/services.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      G.A.

      I don’t believe that the people have “lost their minds” as such. I believe that they have allowed themselves to be convinced that there are many more important things than freedom and liberty; such as “security” and “comfort”. As such, many people actually seem to favor government action that reduces freedom and liberty, as long as they see it as a way to increase their security and comfort.

      You see, with freedom and liberty, you are responsible for providing your own comfort, as well as a good deal of your own security. It is much easier to simply let the government provide security and comfort for you in exchange for giving up your freedom and liberty, thereby allowing you to abdicate your personal responsibility.

      It is kind of like a mom and dad who say, “Son, don’t worry about providing for yourself, we will continue to put a roof over your head and food on the table, and a comfortable place for you to sleep, and all you have to do is agree to continue to live by our rules!” People who agree to let the government be the sole provider of their comfort and security have agreed to continue to live in mom and dad’s basement in perpetuity and never grow up.

      • Kristian Stout says:

        Peter,

        I think that is the best analogy that I have heard to describe the citizens of this country. At least those of us who believe that government is the best way. Personally I couldn’t wait to get out of mom and dad’s house and do it on my own. It’s hard work and sometimes I don’t want to do it, but if I want to live by my own rules, then I have to. I wish that it could be explained that simply to everyone.

  17. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Virtue is defined as goodness, righteousness, the ability to abide by moral principles.

    Why did I just bring that up?

    1. We are systematically taught that the majority of people are incapable of behaving virtuously.

    2. We are simultaneously taught that all ideas of morality are “morally equivalent”. We are taught that one “version” of morality is not, and cannot be superior to another.

    3. We are taught (quite correctly) that it is virtuous to provide for the needy. There is a Christian hymn which states, “When I was thirsty you gave me to drink, when I was hungry you gave me some food, now enter into the home of my father.”

    4. Because of the contradiction which we are taught (it is virtuous to provide for the needy, but the majority of people are incapable of behaving virtuously) this then justifies the government to use force to confiscate from me and give it to you, in the name of you needing it. Forcing me to do this is not virtuous.

    5. Being simultaneously taught that most people are incapable of behaving virtuously and that all outlooks and philosophies are “morally equivalent” can easily be used as the excuse for the government to use force to do anything whatsoever that it wishes to do. Anything can be pointed to as a “virtue” if everything is morally equivalent. Because most people are incapable of behaving virtuously, this then justifies the government to use force to get us to do anything that it happens to be promoting as “virtuous”… which could LITERALLY BE ANYTHING, since all outlooks and philosophies are morally equivalent.

    Are you starting to feel the jaws of the trap that you have allowed yourself to be placed squarely in the middle of yet?

  18. I am taking a Criminal Justice class right now. I am shocked at how many rights people are willing to give away. My class is online and most of the people are in my age group. Unbelievable.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Once people are convinced that by giving up their rights they can be made more safe and secure….

    • Ellen, it is interesting that I now pay more attention to words that end in “ism” and phrases that have “Justice”.

      Do you chat with the other students? Can you ask some questions as to why they are willing to give up freedom and what they expect in return? I am always just interested in learning why people would do this.

      • Kathy

        I have tried to explain about our rights, and that they are just giving someone the power over them to run their lives. But they truly believe that the will be safe as the result of this. We have had long conversations about this. At the end, I just shake my head.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          So, in essence, what you are saying is that the majority of these people have truly been convinced that the best way to ensure their safety and comfort is to give up their freedom and liberty (or to allow their freedom and liberty to be taken from them).

          Yeah, I would have to shake my head after talking with them too… can’t blame you :)

          However, this provides a great illustration of the lenghts that the government has gone to to TEACH PEOPLE that freedom and liberty are “dangerous” and by giving up your freedom and liberty you can be “safe”.

          Everyone that reads this should be completely disgusted by it. If you are one of the people who BELIEVES it, well, I am sorry. The Government that you believe in so vehemently has failed you utterly, but you do not (and perhaps cannot) realize it.

          That is a great shame.

    • Ellen:

      Try explaining to your class mates that they CAN NOT give up their rights. Unalienable means they can not be given nor taken, they are intrinsic to us as humans.

      What they are doing is SURRENDERING to someone the power, or by inaction ALLOWING someone to TAKE the power, to IMPEDE (can also use PREVENT) them from exercising their rights. In either case they are SACRIFICING their freedom or ability to exercise those rights.

      When they start thinking in the harsher terms perhaps it will start to sink in.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        By taking the approach that JAC has suggested, you will probably get a fair number of people that react with, “Huh? I don’t get it!”

        The hope is that at least some of the people WILL get it :)

      • Maybe if you could get some people to pop the government titty out of their mouth long enough to listen, they might have a chance. WE might have a chance. But I am not optomistic. A lot have been at the Government trough for so long that they don’t want to be shown a better way and would become angry if you took it away.

    • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

      I get the tenor of dont give up your rights. However, there is a blury line here. How much authority do we give to the CIA FBI? (Their virtues/non virtues can be discussed seperately). In order to stop something from happeing. A) someone has to know its going to happen B) have the means to stop it and C) take some rights away to have the ability to accomplish “A”.

      I for one don’t assume that either organization is great nor are they full of buffoons. There are some people there trying there best to do what is right. If we dont give them the ability to accomplish “A” are we saying we are more willing to allow our enemies to plot against us unabated? If so at what point will someone start asking “how do we stop these attacks?” Or are we willing to let hundreds or thousands die so my conversation with grandma about how good her thanksgiving turkey is going to be is kept super secret because I dont want my righs violated.

      • Mike. Not to worry. Obama and Holder are busily destroying the CIA and rendering the FBI an incompetent beauracracy.

        Pretty soon the only thing the FBI will be good for is truly spying on it’s own citizens. The CIA won’t even be good for that.

      • Mike M.:

        Let me get down to reality for a second. I know, its shocking but I really can.

        CIA: Legitimage “intelligence gathering” organization whose sole role is to collect information on the defense against attack by outside forces. Intelligence not limited to overseas but is strictly controlled within our borders.

        FBI: Unconstitutional, and unnecessary.

        CIA can share information with all State law enforcement agencies, foreign law enforcement agencies and military depending on location of threats.

        State Law Enforcement: Legitimate investigative and enforcement organization. Powers strictly limited to criminal actions with even stricter controls over its use of force on citizens.

        Along this line, NO KNOCK rules: Unconstitutional and to be stictly prohibited.

  19. Good article USWep and I look forward to part 2.

    Below is an article out of American Thinker:

    September 25, 2009
    Obama and the Last Hurrah of Liberalism
    By Steve McCann
    Sometimes in the history of a nation what appears to be an action that could lead to long term disaster may, in fact, be its long term salvation. A case in point: the election of Barack Obama as President and the Democrats in full control of the Congress. To be certain the far left domination of government was not a situation to be wished for but in a perverse way one that was necessary.

    Over the past fifty years, regardless of who was in the White House or in charge of Congress, no one has been able to halt the incessant spread of left-wing radicalism in our institutions and the uncontrolled spending and growth of government. When a President as accomplished as Ronald Reagan was unable to do so it is apparent that no future Republican President or Congress, short of major national catastrophe, will ever be able to fully turn back this tide as they cannot overcome the apathy of the people and the hostility of a partisan media, entertainment establishment, academia and federal bureaucracies.

    A long as the American people remained largely disengaged the damage done to the society as a whole and to the long term financial health of the country was unknown to the vast majority of the population. This indifference has begun to show some change as the reality of the nation’s future comes into focus, but that reality has started to come to the fore only as the result of the policies being perused by a far left government.

    Today, thanks to a confluence of two factors, the opportunity exists to reverse the course we have been on and change the political power structure in the country.

    The first: the emergence of alternative news sources to once and for all break the stranglehold of the dissemination of news by the traditional outlets dominated by the left.

    The second: The election of a radical left-wing President and a Congress controlled by the same radical element of the Democratic Party.

    President Obama is an offspring of the 1960’s radical movement. He has spent most of his life surrounded and tutored by members of this group. He is the culmination of the ideal stealth candidate able by his gift of rhetoric, race and good timing to ascend to the office of President. The left found, as Joe Biden put it “a clean and articulate” nominee with surface charm and charisma able to fool enough citizens into voting for him.

    A trait common to those on the far left is an inability to have any humility; there is an intense conviction of superiority both intellectually and in their capability to rule the masses. The true believers are incapable of hiding their philosophy and, once elected, are convinced that nearly everyone does or should share their dedication to the power of a central government. Those that do not conform will be demonized. These extremists will move heaven and earth to achieve their ends regardless of any long term consequences and cannot avoid shouting from the rooftops what they are doing as tribute to themselves.

    The determination of Obama and the Congress to exploit the financial and economic crisis in order to pass their radical agenda has had the effect of kicking over the rocks and exposing for all to see the undermining of the social and fiscal foundation of the nation by the left-wing radicals in Congress, the Administration and within many of our institutions.

    Would the country be as aware of the following if not for an extremist government in power in Washington? Acorn and the “community organizer” groups have been revealed to be nothing more than corrupt partisan hacks exploiting the poor and the taxpayers. The unions and their leaders exposed as power hungry ideologues with no interest in the long term well-being of their members. The mainstream media’s willingness to lose all credibility with the vast majority of the public with its not so subtle cheerleading for their preferred politician has become obvious to all. The Democratic Party, at one time the self-declared defender of the little guy, has openly declared war on small business and capitalism. The Democratic members of Congress have been revealed to be indifferent to the voters, incapable of reading bills and fully in the pockets of liberal special interests groups

    Further the Administration has blithely declared a tripling of the national debt over the next 10 years as if it were immaterial. President Obama has championed “health care reform” and a “carbon tax” in an attempt to control the day-to-day lives of the American people. There are now 32 advisors (czars), to the President, most being left-wing ideologues, with the power to implement his agenda, none of whom have been approved by the Senate.

    While the readers of the American Thinker, viewers of Fox News and the listeners to Rush Limbaugh may be expected to be aware of these factors, now with the backdrop of unfettered spending, the high jobless rates and the potential for national bankruptcy more and more of the general public has become aware of the radical nature of the present government.

    President Obama and his Party have failed to understand the basic character of the American people and the many polls taken over the years showing this to be a right of center country. They further underestimated the power of the alternate media before they had an opportunity to silence it. While the timing may have been there to have to have a “moderate” Barack Obama elected President, the timing to turn the United States into a bastion of socialism was not. The infiltration of the various institutions by the left has not been in place long enough to change the character of the majority of the population and the use of the strategy of guilt to intimidate the American citizens has run its course, it has been overused.

    To date the damage done has been considerable, but it is not irreversible. In essence Barack Obama and the Congress won their offices too early in the history of our nation to achieve all their objectives; by doing so and overreaching this left wing government has given the country an opportunity to awaken from its 50 year slumber and repair the foundation. Only a radical Presidency and Congress could have achieved this before it was too late. The only questions that remain: will the aroused and more knowledgeable populace continue to be aware and elect those that will make the changes necessary and will we as a nation take advantage of this potential reprieve?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The only flaw in this article is the assumption that Reagan or the “Republicans” have any desire to “reverse course”. It can be shown that ALL of them, Reagan included, were part of the problem, and not a potential part of the solution. It also says that it has only been a 50 year slumber, when in reality it has been much more like a 150 year slumber. Both parties are technically “on the left” because both parties are Statist.

      Other than that, it does make some good points.

      • PeterB:

        I agree that both parties are Statist and I also agree with you that the problem goes back around 150 years. The Progressive Movement really started both parties moving toward statism, the Democrats just faster than the Republicans.

        • Lets not forget though that the Republicans started it all rolling.

          Remember when Mr. Obama cited Teddy Roosevelt in his speech the other day?

          These guys hang the fruit right out there for all to see and reach, but the chickens just keep looking down, scratching at the dirt.

          The article was a good read Birdman. Thanks.

          • http://www.independent.org/publications/article.asp?id=360

            Very interesting article and it loosely ties into our topic today.

            It discusses how the Republicans help start big government.

            • Bama Dad:

              Good article. The Civil War was the start of the big government process and then the Progressive Movement and regulation.

            • Good one Bama.

              The only thing I disagree with was the conclusion that the Progressive movement took a break during WWI.

              Wilson was a progressive himself as were many in his cabinet.

              Many also forget Hoover was a Democrat who turned Republican in order to win election.

              • Did you notice that the article also stated that the Republican and Democrats roles hve been reversed? I argue with that also. Maybe to a certain extent, at one time, but now they are the same.

              • Esom:

                That was the main point I tried to make way back when I first came to this site.

                That and we had been living under a fascist system not a socialist system since the days of Teddy R.

                This article provides the factual basis for all this.

                Remember, the Dems were strongest in the South after the Civil War. It was in fact the party of racism. They used the states right as their shield for the racism that grew there.

          • Glenn Beck is taking alot of grief for stating that John McCain would make a worse president than Obama. McCain’s hero is Teddy Roosevelt, a progressive republican, and Glenn would rather have a radical like Obama in the office because it brings Obama’s radical liberal statist agenda to the front of the line (the frog in boiling water versus the frog in cold water with the heat slowly building). Conservatives like Mark Levin and other blogs are attacking Glenn for this statement. I think Glenn gets it that both parties suck and openly states the same on his show. Both parties are guilty of taking away our liberty and freedom.

            • Bman. How did you like the controversy about whether or not he really boiled that frog?

              I think he did it just to show the Liberals that the Conservatives weren’t the only ones to get tore up over nothing. (Obama’s school speech)

              • I thought the frog skit was really funny. He knew it would be used against him and cause a controversy. He talked about it on Thursday’s show.

            • Remember a week or so ago I said Beck would be a declared Libertarian by Christmas. After listening to his show yesterday, or day before, he may not make it that long.

              • He already said he was a libertarian when John Stossel and Penn (or Teller — I get them confused) were on his show a few months ago. I thought he was an admitted libertarian. However, I also heard him say he was an Independent and that took me back because he already said he was Libertarian.

        • Birdman,

          Off topic here, but real quick. A few months ago you mentioned you were job hunting. Did you manage to gain employment?

          • Cyndi P,

            I’m still looking for a job. It’s a very tough job market. I’ve had 3 interviews but did not get an offer. I have a telephone interview next week which I hope will lead to an on-site interview.

            • What job do you do (or did or want to do)

              • Black Flag,

                I work in Human Resources and Labor Relations. Most of my experience is working in Labor Relations with Unions. There are not that many Labor Relations jobs around these days. There are Human Resources jobs but most want local candidates to avoid relocation expenses. I can work in either field and continue my job search on a daily basis. It’s hard to stay positive about finding a job but I’m keeping my chin up. I’m still under consideration for a few jobs but they were placed on hold due to budgetary reasons and the economy.

            • Birdman,

              I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling to find work. I hope you find something soon.

              The company I posted you the link to is really cutting back. Not only have they reduced positions, all employees are now required to take 5 days unpaid time off before the end of the year, with most being required to be unpaid Christmas week. No one is allowed to use their vacation days during that week.

              Is that writing I see on the wall?

              • Cyndi P,

                I did apply on that job and was contacted to fill out an employment application. I think they eventually filled it but wouldn’t be surprised if they elected to hold off.

              • I think you’re right about the position being filled. Its seems I heard something about that. I was wondering if it was you that got the job. Hang in there though. Things might get better, but who knows. Some of us here, but by no means most, are starting to pay more attention to what happens outside our little community. They are considering relocating for a number of reasons. Some are Obama fans who think everything is just peachy-keen in the job market. I say, let ‘em go. ;)

  20. bottom line

    “I hope you aren’t defining complacency as merely someone voting in a manner or receiving government goods is a manner you don’t like – while you are voting and receiving loot in a manner you do like” – BF Of course not. “Complacency? What does that mean to you?” – BF COMPLACENCY – com·pla·cen·cy n.1. A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.2. An instance of contented self-satisfaction.

    So, you believe the people are complacent – yet, are voting for change – marching on Washington – out provocating for or against the current regime….

    I believe you have the wrong word. The People are not complacent at all – they are, in fact, very active and unsatisfied on all sides of the political circle.

    What I meant was that instead of questioning our government and demanding what has been protected by our constituion, we have as a whole society, taken a passive and indifferent approach.

    You jest.

    People are not ‘passively’ voting when they vote for ‘change’.

    People are not ‘passive’ when they march on DC.

    People are not ‘passive’ when they attend ‘townhall’ meetings.

    The People are not, have never been and will not be in the future – passive.

    The People can be wholly misguided however.

    “Nearly every person receives some sort of government money without earning such money. Is this complacency? Or is it deep involvement.” – BF You tell me.

    Involved. Since government did not begin with offering all this largess as they do today – it has to be instituted – which requires action – which requires involvement.

    “80% voter turn out is not complacency. It is deep involvement.” – BF Yes, but IMHO, a misguided deep involvement.

    Bingo.

    The complacency is in the acceptance of candidates that have no respect for our constitution, or interest in representing the will and best interest of constituants

    You are making an ill-informed and ill-considered judgement

    Because People have voted in a way or manner you disagree with does not automatically make them idiots, weak, stupid or complacent – It merely means they disagree with you.

    They are using precisely the same methods of violence as you – you are merely disagreeing with it use.

  21. PeterB in Indianapolis

    Not necessarily BF, USW may be agreeing with George Washington’s definiton that government is force, and force is a tool. There are, even by your own definition, legitimate uses of force.

    Again, the conflict of definitions.

    I hold that Washington’s to be incomplete.

    As you offer, there are many uses of force – but we do not describe the definition of “government” to those uses.

    You are rejecting Washington’s definition that government is force on the basis that government is made up of men who have minds, thus coming to the conclusion that the government has a mind, and it is therefore not a tool.

    I reject it since it is incomplete.

    So, the source of confusion seems to be that USW has accepted the definition of Washington that government is force, and force is a tool, while you have not. However, from many of your dissertations in the past, it seems that you BELIEVE that “government is force” is a valid definition, yet now you seem willing to reject that. I am confused by this.

    The definition offered is incomplete.

    Building an argument on an incomplete definition is fraught with error.

    Again,

    Government is the monopoly of initiation of violence (force/coercion) within a geographical area.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ok,

      Let’s go with your definition then, that government is the “monopoly of initiation of violence (force/coercion) within a geographical area.”

      I think that I can certainly agree with that definition.

      Now it gets to be MY TURN to ask the questions for a minute :)

      1. Do you believe that it is possible to create some organization of people with the purpose of only using legitimate force in response to the initiation of violence against the non-violent?

      2. If you answered yes to #1, by your definition, we could not call the organization described in #1 “government”, because this would not be in agreement with your definition. So, for the sake of reconizeability and convenience, is there something that we COULD call such an organization? (Try not to come up with something too wordy and flowery here… usually one word to describe such an organization is far less confusing and easier for the general public to accept and use :))

      3. Because of the propensity for centralized power to become corrupt exponentially faster than de-centralized power, would you advocate limiting the type of organization defined in #1 and #2 to “local” areas only? If so, I assume that the limits of what defines a “locality” would have to be agreed upon by the various localities which had such an organization?

      I think that is a good start to my questions for now… I don’t want to overwhelm everyone :)

      • Let’s go with your definition then, that government is the “monopoly of initiation of violence (force/coercion) within a geographical area.”

        I think that I can certainly agree with that definition.

        1. Do you believe that it is possible to create some organization of people with the purpose of only using legitimate force in response to the initiation of violence against the non-violent?

        Yes.

        Been done before therefore can be done again.

        2. If you answered yes to #1, by your definition, we could not call the organization described in #1 “government”, because this would not be in agreement with your definition.

        Correct.

        So, for the sake of reconizeability and convenience, is there something that we COULD call such an organization? (Try not to come up with something too wordy and flowery here… usually one word to describe such an organization is far less confusing and easier for the general public to accept and use :) )

        CoPs

        Citizens on Patrol.

        3. Because of the propensity for centralized power to become corrupt exponentially faster than de-centralized power, would you advocate limiting the type of organization defined in #1 and #2 to “local” areas only?

        I, personally, cannot imagine how CoPs in New York would be able to enforce themselves in Dallas.

        If so, I assume that the limits of what defines a “locality” would have to be agreed upon by the various localities which had such an organization?

        Correct.

        I use a real example in Somalia. It wasn’t as a lawless as many try to make out (prior to being assaulted by nearly every major Western power on earth)

        It was next to impossible to enforce retribution upon a member of another tribe.

        This fact risks inter-tribal warfare for even mere disrespect and slights.

        So the tribal leaders met and agreed that each tribal leader would put up a large sum of money to be used as collateral against inter-tribal crime.

        If a crime occurred, the tribal leader had to pay the offended tribe. That leader then would use the tribes defined processes to punish the offender because now the leader took the loss.

        It was powerfully effective. There was very, very little inter-tribe crime.

  22. seed

    I realize the point of this question is to get me to see that punishment is a way to force one entity’s will on another.

    Yes, there is force required – but, IMO, it is more than that.

    It is revenge.

    It is a need to see another human being suffer.

    Seeing that other human being suffer makes the punisher ‘feel good’.

    I cannot think of a sicker psychological disease then enjoying human suffering.

    Should we not as a society respond to such action in a manner that shows interference of ones rights is not acceptable?

    Wholly agree.

    The reaction is the punishment.

    There is a infinite difference between “making whole what was lost” (retribution) and “making punishment” (suffering)

    What I should have stated above is that without government there is no rule as to what is an acceptable punishment.

    I agree.

    It requires government to legitimize suffering. It is among the many reasons why I hold government to be evil.

    Should we not have rules as to what is acceptable punishment,

    There can never be acceptable application of violence to cause suffering.

    else we have those that kill someone as punishment for stealing say an ear of corn

    That is not PUNISHMENT.
    (1 suffering, pain in recompense for loss
    2 severe, rough, or disastrous treatment)

    Getting back what you lost is RETRIBUTION.
    (1. Something justly deserved; recompense.
    2. Something given or demanded in repayment)

    • BF,

      It is revenge.

      It is a need to see another human being suffer.

      Seeing that other human being suffer makes the punisher ‘feel good’.

      Again I think that you make too much of a generalization on this one. For many it is not about enjoying another’s suffering. It is about their mind’s version of justice. I am not arguing the right or wrong of capital punishment at this point. I am merely pointing out that you are allowing your thoughts on a portion of a group of people to become your definition of how the entire group thinks. Much like the statement on government earlier where I pointed this out, it is both dangerous and wrong to generalize in this way.

      USW

      • Again I think that you make too much of a generalization on this one. For many it is not about enjoying another’s suffering. It is about their mind’s version of justice

        No.

        ‘Feel good’ is extremely subjective. I am unable to exactly articulate what I mean here – if I thought about for an hour I may – but I don’t have an hour.

        By ‘feel good’ – some watch a man suffer and accept it because they believe ‘they are cleansing his soul’ and ‘saving him from eternal hell’. They are satisfying themselves with his suffering – they are satisfying what they believe God wants.

        Some watch a man suffer and accept it by saying “That SOB ‘deserves’ it – let him feel what it feels like to hurt”. They are satisfying their need to ‘educate with pain’ – they are not thinking what is ‘best’ for the anguished – they are comforting themselves with the knowledge that they are not suffering alone.

        We have all had thoughts of revenge. Study your own feelings when you have such thoughts.

        They are not about the other ‘guy’ – they are about making yourself ‘feel good’.

    • That being said I think the majority of the misunderstanding is using the wrong term in the wrong place. Punishment as defined was not what I intended.
      Retribution is a much better term, for what I hold to.

      I still ask though who ensures that the Retribution takes place. When something is taken who ensures that it is returned. If society holds that this action is a matter between the victim and the perpitrator, then that is a rule or a regulation by which the society is governed, hence a government.

      • Seed

        Define government.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          We make the statement from time to time that there are “laws which govern the universe” which of course are natural laws.

          However, by your definition of government, we can no longer use the work “govern” in the above sentence :)

          • Govern:

            To control the actions or behavior of: Govern yourselves like civilized people.
            4. To keep under control; restrain: a student who could not govern his impulses.
            5. To exercise a deciding or determining influence on: Chance usually governs the outcome of the game.

            As a verb the word is fine.

            When it is a noun is when the problem starts.

        • Government is that by which something governs itself. It is the body of laws, customs, rules and possibly people which instruct, rule, lead, or even coerce an entity into action. A group of people cannot exsist together very long without some criteria for interaction. Where ever a group of people are there is a government even if it is not formal or specifically defined.

          • For example this blog is governed by USWeapon. He maintains control and has rules he can choose to enforce. He and the rules he has set in place are the ruling body or government of this blog.

            We the people who post are those that have loosely constented to that rule therfore become the governed.

            • He governs this blog – true (govern as a verb)

              He is not a government (noun).

              He does not monopolize violence.

              He prohibits it for everyone – and (most important) does not exclude himself from such a prohibition.

              I do not confuse USWep with Congress.

              • I dont confuse USWep with Congress either.

                The members of congress (not the concept of congress itself)use government to gain power.

                USWep does not use his authority to gain power. He is a good example of how a person who “governs by rules set forth” (i.e. government) can be used for good.

                Government does not necessarily have to monopolize violence, that is a stereotype of government.

                Common examples of what people abuse government to do, does not define the government itself. Hence why I said government can be niether good nor evil. It is the people that use government that can be good or evil.

  23. EsomHillGazette

    “There are people who have been killed by Capital Punishment that are innocent.” – BF

    Yes Bf, there are people in the past that were innocent and were killed by CP. A very few. Still doesn’t make it right though. But you are arguing the past.

    There are men on Death Row who are innocent.

    Are you claiming that in the future no innocent men will be put to death by Capital punishment?

    Are you willing to guarantee this claim with your own life?

    And furthermore, let me state for the record tha line you keep missing. IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER, MATT AND I BOTH DO NOT SUPPORT PUTTING SOMEONE TO DEATH. ONLY WHERE THERE IS NO DOUBT OF GUILT WHATSOEVER

    And, therefore, sir, if a man is put to death – where you have claimed “there is no doubt” – but then to be PROVEN that he was innocent….

    are you willing to be put to death for your culpability of killing an innocent man

    Ex. Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Ted Bundy, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, and those convicted with RECENT DNA evidence that absolutely rules out innocence

    First, it has already been shown that DNA evidence is very easy to corrupt and have huge inaccuracies.

    It will be a matter of future jurisprudence – but a number of jurisdictions already will not convict on DNA, but will allow DNA as demonstration of innocence.

    It should never convict you, it should always set you free.

    There is never 100% ‘for sure’ in matters of life and death for the guilty. Only death is permanent.

    You make a mistake – there is no “oopps, sorry, can I have a do-over?” with Capital Punishment.

    Thus, you support the killing of innocent men.

    Will you submit to the same punishment you dealt to these men

    • Hi Guys

      You can scratch Susan Atkins off your list, she died from brain cancer.

      • I knew she did Judy. I just used her name because I
        thought about her, because she just died yesterday.

        “There is never 100% ‘for sure’ in matters of life and death for the guilty.”

        BF, come on now. I know good and damn well that you know for 100% sure that some people are guilty. Even you, especially you are not that niave. The names I named were 110% guilty as charged for some of the worst serial murders in U.S. History.

        Hell, just to be nice, I’ll even give you DNA evidence. But those guys (and gal)?

        • Oh, and to answer the question you’re not going to quit asking until I do apparently.

          Not only no, but hell no.

          I will not submit to the same punishment. I didn’t make the law, I just approve of it. Whatever you say, that still doesn’t me me culpable. You can say it till you turn blue. That still don’t make it so.

        • I’m staying out of this one. Not after the last conversation about this subject. I got beat up right and left. So, I’ll just sit back and read, and if, only if I need to say something I will.

          Hope your day is going good.

  24. Has anyone ever watched the HBO show Deadwood? It ran for 3 seasons and can be rented on DVD. The series starts out with the camp living on Indian land in 1876 with no laws or government. The early settlers know that the government will eventually take them in to some territory or state and some state officials periodically visit the camp. The government officials are totally corrupt and the settlers distrust the government. One nare-do-well geologist who works for Hearst states, “I may be a sinner and I don’t expect to be forgiven but at least I’m not a government official.” I love their view and distrust of government back in 1876. They viewed government as evil. Too many citizens lost that distrust of government today through 100 plus years of indoctrination in public schools and through the mass media.

  25. Matt and VH,

    I have been following all day and have a question or two.

    1) With our current in place from government, whom do you believe is protecting you from the immoral?

    2) How are they prtecting you, and why would anyone suddenly turn immoral without government?

    G!

    • Allow me to answer a question with a question:

      Why do you believe that productive people would cease to be productive under communism? When you tilt the balance in favor of laziness (as in communism) or immorality (as in anarchy), people will behave that way. An absence of government would make it easier to get away with being immoral. Since being immoral grants certain substantial benefits (easy money by stealing, etc), the thing that holds many in check (ie the threat of the government catching and punishing you) is taken away.

      That said:
      1. The police. If someone wants to steal my stuff, they may not because of the threat of being arrested by the police. For different crimes, you can add here the FBI, NSA, CIA, DEA, ATF, et cetera.

      2. Answered above. You remove the check and the balance is gone. You know how children will do naughty things (like taking toys they shouldn’t, or hitting their sibling) that they won’t do if mommy is watching and threatening punishment? Same concept, only the naughty things are worse (stealing, assault, etc).

      This goes to Mathius’ Razor: People.Are.Selfish. If they want to steal (and realistically, who doesn’t want to just take things?), many will if they think they can get away with it.

      And with that, I am out of here. A good weekend to all. Good night, and good luck.

      • Anarchism = immorality? Really? Which is more important, being “moral” or being “ethical”? Anarchism is the only ethical system out there, and you worry about it being “immoral”. Hmm. OK. Since “ethical” and “moral” have nothing to do with one another, and can actually be at odds, you could be right. Every act is probably “immoral” by someone’s standards, but ethics (don’t attack people- don’t steal) remains constant except in people who have been brainwashed or damaged. If you don’t believe that, move into any community or family anywhere in the world and try to act on your beliefs. Now, where some go wrong is when they consider “others” less-than. They then use that lie to justify horrible coercive acts- either of “government” or freelance thuggery. Ethically there is no difference.

        Communism would probably lead to “laziness”, though. Would you go to your job and put in the same amount of effort every day, year after year, if the outcome was exactly the same if you slacked off or even stopped going to work? That is the reality of communism.

        I have absolutely zero desire to steal, even if I think I could get away with it. I am smart enough that I am certain I could steal things without getting caught. Yet, I don’t. Ever.

      • Hi Matt!

        Hope today finds you well.

        Let me begin:

        (Why do you believe that productive people would cease to be productive under communism)

        I’ve never said that, as I have no idea what it is like to live as a communist, nor do I would want to.

        ( An absence of government would make it easier to get away with being immoral.)

        I disagree totally. The absence of government would allow the free, moral people to destroy immorality, until it is extinct, without the protection government gives to the immoral.

        (Since being immoral grants certain substantial benefits (easy money by stealing, etc), the thing that holds many in check (ie the threat of the government catching and punishing you) is taken away.)

        It also grants the moral the freedom to protect themselves from the immoral, without restrictions, leading to the extinction of the immoral.

        (1. The police. If someone wants to steal my stuff, they may not because of the threat of being arrested by the police. For different crimes, you can add here the FBI, NSA, CIA, DEA, ATF, et cetera.)

        Not one of the agencies you mention are responsible for your protection, nor can they be held liable if you become a victom of the immoral. The threat of incarceration, and/or the death sentence has done little to stop the immoral. Government continues to empower them!

        2. Answered above. You remove the check and the balance is gone. You know how children will do naughty things (like taking toys they shouldn’t, or hitting their sibling) that they won’t do if mommy is watching and threatening punishment? Same concept, only the naughty things are worse (stealing, assault, etc).

        When the immoral understand that death is what their actions will get them, at the hands of the moral, who are defending their property and life, the checks and balances will be far greater than the fairytale the government wants us to believe.

        (This goes to Mathius’ Razor: People.Are.Selfish. If they want to steal (and realistically, who doesn’t want to just take things?), many will if they think they can get away with it.)

        Many will die trying, until there are none left. Your razor is the solution to our many problems.

        G!

      • ) With our current in place from government, whom do you believe is protecting you from the immoral?

        2) How are they prtecting you, and why would anyone suddenly turn immoral without government?

        I have a nephew who is a savage, the only thing that keeps him in any kind of line is the fear of jail-he is as a matter of fact in jail right now but I honestly believe if we didn’t have the police to call and the court system to put him in jail someone in our family would have been forced to kill him by now. Having this person in our family has shown me that savages are cowards,they do things in secret if at all possible because they know if, in my families situation, the rest of the family finds out what he is doing that we will stop him. Unfortunately we cannot be everywhere at the same time to stop him, but being able to pick up the phone and call for help comes in very handy, being able to tell him that if he doesn’t stop we will call the police and get him locked up for the rest of his life-which we are told will happen if he is arrested for anything else, helps. Now I look at this boy,who I will not call a man even though he is an adult by age, who I still love mostly because of memories of the sweet child that he once was and I imagine what he would be like if whoever he is tormenting at the time cannot call the police, if he couldn’t be put in front of a judge and be placed in jail where he cannot hurt anyone- I am horrified- because as much as I hate it this person, my blood, my sisters child is not fit to remain in society-he is a danger to society -If he was put into a world where he was just FREE-he would create chaos-he would ignore the “not impose” guideline. He would come together with people like him and do whatever he could get away with and the treat of death would not scare him, he has tried to commit suicide several times but jail, jail scares him-he still does bad but his fear of spending the rest of his life in jail has so far kept him from killing someone. Actually, I think he would welcome death because as much heartache and unhappiness that he causes-he is the one who is the most unhappy. (Just a note, if it was in my power he wouldn’t come within a hundred miles of our family or anyone else as far as that goes but my sister, just can’t seem to accept that not helping him is the right path to take.)

        So if you want me to agree that society is better off without an enforceable legal system, is better off without a trained police department, you are gonna have to show me how it can work. Not just tell me that government is bad.

        As far as people suddenly being immoral-no, that is not what I believe-I believe that there are immoral people who simply don’t go through with what they want to do because they are afraid of the consequences but if they suddenly find themselves without enforceable laws-they will get with others like themselves and create chaos.

        Consider this-Freedom loving men and women(the majority of our population IMO) would be so happy without government. They would live in there homes and everything would be great but the evil among us would find each other because they are cowards and to act against people who are prepared to defend themselves they need others with them to feel powerful-Now without government-people either have to have some sort of system to call for help or we have to live in protected communities because it doesn’t take a great number of bad to out number an average family. And having to live in a protected community doesn’t sound like freedom to me.

        I suspect I am rambling so I am going to stop now but I would like to say one more thing -your words-“It also grants the moral the freedom to protect themselves from the immoral, without restrictions, leading to the extinction of the immoral.” also works in reverse.

        • Please don’t think I am criticizing you; no one can choose their relatives (most of mine are “religious-right” after all).

          I think that government is the only reason people like your nephew are still alive after victimizing a few people. People in general have been brainwashed into believing it is “someone else’s job” to defend themselves and other innocents from predators. People are even punished by the twisted “legal system” when they take responsibility for their own defense. This is not only wrong and evil, it has the effect of teaching predators that as long as they can avoid arrest, they will probably be OK. Most thugs also fear arrest a lot less than encountering an armed target. After all, jail is where they learn new skills for their “trade” and are taken care of until they get out to put their new education to use. Running into an armed and determined non-victim will cut their career short.

          • I don’t think people are brainwashed into thinking it’s someone else’s job, I think most people simply don’t want to live in a kill or be killed world-I won’t talk for everyone else but I will make the assumption since there have always been governments that most now and in the past agree with me that we need a structured society with enforceable laws, so that we aren’t reduced to the life style of the animals. If you can show that a non-government existence can supply that on a local level and also handle the dangers and problems internationally -I’m all for it.

            • If you can show that a government can provide that, without becoming the dangerous thugs they pretend to protect us from, then (while I will still never consent) I will acknowledge that it could work. 5000 years of human history seems to prove it is an impossible Utopian dream.

            • V. Holland,

              I do not understand why you continue to repeat that Kent and I do not believe in enforcing law.

              Can you show one place where either of us has said that.

              You always confuse law with government – when they are two, very separate, things.

              Break out of your illogical paradigm and understand -intimately- what law is and what government is.

              • I have repeatedly stated that I think it is evil to enforce Counterfeit “law”. Almost every “law” that government spends an effort enforcing is in this category. True laws need no special enforcers, since almost anyone with a sense of right and wrong will help enforce them. And no innocent people are harmed during the enforcement of this kind of law as long as no government tax-eaters are involved.

              • When I sit down and contemplate our government-I have the Constitution to read and help me understand how government was meant to be, I also can see what it has become, I can use these two things to at least try to determine what I think we should do-When I sit down and contemplate how anarchy is supposed to work, I have government is bad so lets try something else and vague ideas of private security and reparations instead of jail, and circular conversations where it some times seems like it is your intention to be vague-Give me some meat, give me a general outline of how problems like my nephew would be handled -give me something besides questions.

  26. Hey, anybody hear about the $400 million that Obama is giving to that Kadafi? Heard it on the news this morning.

  27. Myth of the Wild West

    * In Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell, for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides. This equates to a rate of approximately 1 murder per 100,000 residents per year.
    * In Abilene, supposedly one of the wildest of the cow towns, not a single person was killed in 1869 or 1870.

    Zooming forward over a century to 2007, a quick look at Uniform Crime Report statistics shows us the following regarding the aforementioned gun control “paradise” cities of the east:

    * DC – 183 Murders (31 per 100,000 residents)
    * New York – 494 Murders (6 per 100,000 residents)
    * Baltimore – 281 Murders (45 per 100,000 residents)
    * Newark – 104 Murders (37 per 100,000 residents)

    It doesn’t take an advanced degree in statistics to see that a return to “wild west” levels of violent crime would be a huge improvement for the residents of these cities.

    • Kinda kills the need for big government to protect folks. Based on these stats, the moral citizens were safer, without all this we need big brother bullcrap!

      Good post!

      G!

      • YEA! When do we start?

      • Believe me, I’d rather have Kent with his rifle carried in his arm walking down the street than some thug hiding his knife in his pocket ready to jump me.

        I can see Kent coming – knowing what he has – and seeing he isn’t about to use it

        vs.

        Not seeing what is coming, don’t know what he has and not knowing anything regarding the danger that is about to fall on me.

    • Don’t think that handguns in the wild west were quite up to par with what we have now.. Show me a comparative stat on murders per 100,000 on the Pakistani border or anywhere else where there is no viable government.

  28. Is Obama Meeting the Threat From Terror?

    Authorities say Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi’s alleged plot to carry out a series of bombings in New York City is the most serious domestic terror threat since the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition, two other men were arrested after attempting to detonate what they thought were bombs outside a Texas courthouse and an Illinois skyscraper. Do you feel the Obama administration is adequately meeting the threat of terror?

    You decide:

    • Hi Judy!

      Most people know that Obama is a weak, bleeding heart, environmentalist sissy, even the bad guys!

      G!

      • Almost started at 4:30 this morning here, gunshots rang loud, and I came up fully armed. Don’t know exactly what happened, but I didn’t shoot noone. Oh well, maybe tonight! LOL

        G!

        • Hey G

          Let’s hope you don’t have to shoot any one. I heard gunfire up in the mountains behind us about 2 weeks ago, around 3 in the morning. Woke me up out of a sound sleep too. Took a while before I could get back to sleep, by the time I did, it was time for me to get up anyway.

          And I agree with what you said about Obammy. Just a matter of time I think before we or someplace else gets hit.

  29. Esom

    BF, come on now. I know good and damn well that you know for 100% sure that some people are guilty.

    Only those I have seen with my own eyes.

    After that, I have to take the word of someone as sometime.

    The latter is wholly insufficient for me to agree to killing a human being.

    Even you, especially you are not that niave. The names I named were 110% guilty as charged for some of the worst serial murders in U.S. History. Hell, just to be nice, I’ll even give you DNA evidence.

    DNA evidence is inadequate. There is ample scientific demonstration that it is insufficient to determine guilt – but wholly sufficient to prove innocence.

    Same with fingerprints.

    All of these methodologies not only contain significant scientific uncertainty in their claims, they are administered by human beings who make lots of mistakes.

    If there is any uncertainty – one cannot kill another human being for fear of killing an innocent man.

    Killing an innocent man makes you guilty of the very crime you are killing a man for.

    Therefore, are you willing to stand for the same punishment as you dealt to another for his crime as for yours

    • bottom line says:

      Only those I have seen with my own eyes.-BF

      I concur, otherwise there is resonable doubt. The only REAL proof is first hand experience.

  30. I just approve of it. Whatever you say, that still doesn’t me me culpable

    Legal definitions are:

    1. A person acts intentionally with respect to a material element of an offence when:
    1. if the element involves the nature of his conduct or a result thereof, it is his conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result; and
    2. if the element involves the attendant circumstances, he is aware of the existence of such circumstances or he believes or hopes that they exist.
    2. A person acts knowingly with respect to a material element of an offense when:
    1. if the element involves the nature of his conduct or the attendant circumstances, he is aware that his conduct is of that nature or that such circumstances exist; and
    2. if the element involves a result of his conduct, he is aware that it is practically certain that his conduct will cause such a result.
    3. A person acts recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and intent of the actor’s conduct and the circumstances known to him, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation.
    4. A person acts negligently with respect to a material element of an offense when he should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the actor’s failure to perceive it, considering the nature and intent of his conduct and the circumstances known to him, involves a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation.

    In more than one instance, you are culpable.

    You know innocent men will die. You agree to it.

  31. bottom line says:

    So, you believe the people are complacent – yet, are voting for change – marching on Washington – out provocating for or against the current regime…. – BF

    – No, I meant the complacent people.

    I believe you have the wrong word. – BF

    -No, I meant “complacent”.

    The People are not complacent at all – they are, in fact, very active and unsatisfied on all sides of the political circle. – BF

    – Again…I meant the compacent people.

    You jest.

    People are not ‘passively’ voting when they vote for ‘change’.

    People are not ‘passive’ when they march on DC.

    People are not ‘passive’ when they attend ‘townhall’ meetings. _ BF

    – I meant the complacent people, you know the ones that are passive.

    The People are not, have never been and will not be in the future – passive.-BF

    Correction: ALL OF The People are not, have never been and will not be in the future – passive,…but many have.

    “The complacency is in the acceptance of candidates that have no respect for our constitution, or interest in representing the will and best interest of constituants” – BL

    You are making an ill-informed and ill-considered judgement – BF

    Making judgement? Perhaps. So? Ill-informed and ill-considered? Hardly.

    Because People have voted in a way or manner you disagree with does not automatically make them idiots, weak, stupid or complacent – It merely means they disagree with you. – BF

    I dont think that because people vote differently that it automatically makes them stupid, weak, complacent idiots. I think it means they came to a different conclusion than me. I think they are complacent if they willfully make an uninformed decision out of carelessness. Hense the term “vote-tard”.

    I’ll give an example. I remember seeing a youtube video of a bunch of Obama supporters being interviewed during the election. The interviewers were asking questions like…”Do you support Obama’s policy of X ?” Only “X” would be replaced with one of McCain’s policies. The O-bots would support anything that they thought was Obama’s. They would come up all of these good reasons why McCain’s policy was way better than McCain’s. They weren’t voting for him because they genuinely thought he was the best man for the job. They didn’t even have enough info to make that determination. They were voting for him for some other reason, or else they would have taken the time to research the candidates and their positions. Willfull ignorance is a form of stupidity and a lack of reason to such an important decision is IMHO, complacency.

    • Bottom Line
      Given that a vast majority of people voted – the vast majority are not complacent.

      The minority – in this matter – are irrelevant.

      There are many reasons a person makes to vote for this person or that person (or no persons).

      There is no ‘right way’ to chose.

      For example,

      Since we know that all politicians lie, what policy they may or may not support and articulate during a campaign is moot. We no know nothing more after than before a politician speaks. Since there is no consequences on a politician to not keep his word, we cannot tell if he is lying or not. We know nothing.

      So picking a candidate to vote for based on his articulated policies is, IMO, stupid.

      So people who pick on ‘hero worship’ or ‘tarot cards’ or ‘because he looks nice’ is precisely the same level of differentiation as picking him based on some lie.

      • Republicans = carrots
        Democrats = onions
        Independents = potatoes

        No matter who you choose to vote for, they all end up in the same pot of stew, and that is what is served.

        G!

      • bottom line says:

        There are many reasons a person makes to vote for this person or that person (or no persons).

        There is no ‘right way’ to chose. – BF

        In principle, I don’t disagree. We are all free to decide who and why. But there is a point that crosses into the realm of ridiculousness. If you are voting for someone because they look nice, then you are, IMHO, a complete and utterly stupid vote-tard.

        So picking a candidate to vote for based on his articulated policies is, IMO, stupid.-BF

        I concur. One should consider a better basis such as what the candidate has proven, instead of what is simply articulated. I.E. Has the candidate proven that they truly support the articulated position with a past voting record?

        So people who pick on ‘hero worship’ or ‘tarot cards’ or ‘because he looks nice’ is precisely the same level of differentiation as picking him based on some lie. -BF

        Again, I concur. All mentioned are, IMHO, not very good reasons.

        • I would suggest that past voting history is meaningless.

          Example: Patriot Act – many representatives in previous acts resisted assaults on freedom. However, all but one (Ron Paul) voted ‘yes’ to this assault.

          There is no significant consequence that can be brought to bear upon a representative to enforce the People’s wishes or demands in government.

          Thus, IMO, there exists no available criteria by which to chose a representative

          You will always, as a voter, be wrong.

          • bottom line says:

            I would suggest that past voting history is meaningless.-BF

            Not necessarily meaningless. I wouldn’t rely on it completely, but it’s somewhat indicative.

            Example: Patriot Act – many representatives in previous acts resisted assaults on freedom. However, all but one (Ron Paul) voted ‘yes’ to this assault. -BF

            Good example. This is a clear demonstration of deduction. One possibility remains.

            There is no significant consequence that can be brought to bear upon a representative to enforce the People’s wishes or demands in government. – BF

            Tell that to Benito Mussolini

            Thus, IMO, there exists no available criteria by which to chose a representative

            You will always, as a voter, be wrong. -BF

            I have my own issues and inhibitions when it comes to voting, so I won’t argue. When I made my above post(#3), When I said complacence, voting wasn’t really what I had in mind. What I had in mind was the many day to day type things that we can all do to stay aware and on top of things instead of just being so dismissive and unengaged. Doing SOMETHING is better than nothing. Even if its as simple as taking a few minutes to write a letter, or volunteer for something you believe in… whatever it is that you think is suitable and worthy investment of your time/whatever… But sitting back and saying “phukit” isn’t always without it’s consequences.

            • Bottom Line

              Doing something FUTILE is pointless and worse, doing something BAD is far worse than doing something.

              By agreeing to the process, you perpetuate a ‘bad’

              All actions, including no action, has consequence – so what?

              The action one attempts is not to confirm evil but to negate it.

              Not voting negates evil.

  32. Where Have All the Christians Gone?

    The number of people who claim no religious affiliation, meanwhile, has doubled since 1990 to fifteen percent, its highest point in history.

    AP

    Christianity is plummeting in America, while the number of non-believers is skyrocketing.

    A shocking new study of Americans’ religious beliefs shows the beginnings of a major realignment in Americans’ relationship with God. The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) reveals that Protestants now represent half of all Americans, down almost 20 percent in the last twenty years. In the coming months, America will become a minority Protestant nation for the first time since the pilgrims.

    The number of people who claim no religious affiliation, meanwhile, has doubled since 1990 to fifteen percent, its highest point in history. Non-believers now represent the third-highest group of Americans, after Catholics and Baptists.

    Other headlines:

    1) The number of Christians has declined 12% since 1990, and is now 76%, the lowest percentage in American history.

    2) The growth of non-believers has come largely from men. Twenty percent of men express no religious affiliation; 12% of women.

    3) Young people are fleeing faith. Nearly a quarter of Americans in their 20’s profess no organized religion.

    4) But these non-believers are not particularly atheist. That number hasn’t budged and stands at less than 1 percent. (Agnostics are similarly less than 1 percent.) Instead, these individuals have a belief in God but no interest in organized religion, or they believe in a personal God but not in a formal faith tradition.

    The implications for American society are profound. Americans’ relationship with God, which drove many of the country’s great transformations from the pilgrims to the founding fathers, the Civil War to the civil rights movement, is still intact. Eighty-two percent of Americans believe in God or a higher power.

    But at the same time, the study offers yet another wake-up call for religious institutions.

    First, catering to older believers is a recipe for failure; younger Americans are tuning out.

    Second, Americans are interested in God, but they don’t think existing institutions are helping them draw closer to God.

    Finally, Americans’ interest in religion has not always been stable. It dipped following the Revolution and again following Civil War. In both cases it rebounded because religious institutions adapted and found new ways of relating to everyday Americans.

    Today, the rise of disaffection is so powerful that different denominations needs to band together to find a shared language of God that can move beyond the fading divisions of the past and begin moving toward a partnership of different-but-equal traditions.

    Or risk becoming Europe, where religion is fast becoming an afterthought.

    • This might be a response to all the BAD issues involving religion. The Muslim radicals hate everyone, especially the Jews, the Jews hate them. The protestants and catholics have been at each other in Ireland for ever. Catholic priests have an issue with little boys. There are som many different ideas of christainity and so many different churches. Reverend Wright might ring a bell!

      People are going in the closet with their beliefs. can’t pray in school, display the Ten Commandments on public property and on and on.

      Sad!

      G!

    • Judy, I can tell you “why” in my case. “Belief” or not, Christianity just did not meet my needs.

      I was raised in a very Christian, and not at all hypocritical, home.

      At a young age the inconsistencies within Christianity (more of which I am aware of now) began to bother me, but I “played along” in order to keep peace in the family. As a young adult I usually kept my opinion quiet (much to my internal distress at times). The creationism mess just really emphasized the whole dishonesty of Christianity to me. I stopped attending church altogether after a video series on creationism was shown there. Even without a heavy background in science history and such I was able to deconstruct their arguments. I was also made aware of just how far the creationists would go to try to discredit science. I thought “if they are willing to lie so blatantly in order to support their claims about creationism, what else are they willing to lie about?” I have not gone to church since then.

      Whenever bad things have happened in my life, my mother tells me it is because I am not “living in God’s will”. I finally responded to that once with “Thanks, but if I need your advice, I will ask for it”. She didn’t speak to me for 3 or 4 months after that. It is good I didn’t send the long letter saying exactly what I really thought about Christianity. I still have the email I wrote at that time.

  33. Seed

    Government is that by which something governs itself. It is the body of laws, customs, rules and possibly people which instruct, rule, lead, or even coerce an entity into action.

    Can live with the spirit of the definition – but let’s clean it up a bit.

    Do you believe the Rotary Club is government. Do you confuse the Rotary Club with the Congress of the USA?

    Do you believe the Boy Scouts is government. Do you confuse the Boy Scouts with the US Marines?

    A group of people cannot exsist together very long without some criteria for interaction.

    Absolutely agree.

    Where ever a group of people are there is a government even if it is not formal or specifically defined

    Absolutely disagree – by definition.

    Do you use violence on your wife to make her conform to your edicts?

    • Rotary club and the Boy Scouts use some form of government they have a ruling body as I defined of some form. A government does not have to be the head of a state. No I do not confuse them with the congress or marines. The difference is what they govern. Government does not require violence, and no I dont use violence on my wife nor do I make her conform to my edicts.

      However as a family there is a basis for interaction, by my definition of government not yours there is a government in my family.

      I appreciated the debate until your last question
      “Do you use violence on your wife to make her conform to your edicts?” That was a little to far for anyone there are better examples that are less offensive.

      Keep in mind that we have different definitions of government mine does not require violence.

      • Seed
        Re: Wife question.

        I use for specific reasons.

        1) Since you claim organizational entities are the same as government, a reference to an intimate organizational entity is necessary to demonstrate the failure of your definition

        2) By your definition is “laws, customs, rules and possibly people which instruct, rule, lead, or even coerce an entity into action”

        You added in the coerce yourself. Since you claim your family is a government – and you admit to coercion as a feature of government – my question holds significant validity.

        If you do not coerce – by your own definition, you are not a government.

        Hence, you contradict your own definition

        3) It woke you up.

        Because I knew you would vehemently deny such coercion upon your wife, I was assured you would respond this way. I admit, it was a trap. I knew you would respond and in this way – and, directly – by your own words – contradict yourself.

        I apologize if I offended you.

  34. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090925/ap_on_re_us/us_marine_guantanamo

    The Marine commander who built the Guantanamo Bay prison said Thursday the U.S. lost the “moral high ground” with its brutal treatment of prisoners, and the facility should be closed as quickly as possible.

  35. Man sues BoA for “1,784 billion, trillion dollars.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090925/us/usreport_us_bankofamerica_chiscolm

  36. I’m sorry, but this should not be allowed anywhere. I don’t care about the first amendment in this case, or they stay within 100 feet from the funeral. We went through this about 4 years ago with a local boys funeral, but lucky for us, that church group never showed up, WAYYYYYYYYYYY too many people there for the support for the family of the fallen soldier.

    I think if anything happened to my son when he was in Iraq, and had to bury him and this church group showed, I think I would have really layed into them, and it wouldn’t have been very nice. Whats wrong with these people when they have to protest at a military member’s funeral? My God, leave these families alone and let them bury their loved ones in peace.

    Court nixes $5M verdict against funeral protesters
    Associated Press – 9/25/2009 5:50:00 AMBookmark and Share

    RICHMOND, Va.- A federal appeals court has overturned a $5 million verdict against protesters who carried signs with inflammatory messages like “Thank God for dead soldiers” outside the Maryland funeral of a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq.

    A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the signs contained “imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric” protected by the First Amendment.

    A jury in Baltimore had awarded Albert Snyder damages for emotional distress and invasion of privacy. The 2006 funeral of Snyder’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was among many military funerals that have been picketed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

    Albert Snyder’s attorney says he’ll appeal Thursday’s ruling to either the full appeals court or to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    • bottom line says:

      Maybe some folks should visit their church with picket signs right in the middle of sunday service. Maybe they’ll get the point.

      • Hi Bottom Line

        And maybe they wouldn’t get the point. That is one despicable group, and I really wish they could be disbanded. Yes, I know, freedom of speech. Not that kind.

  37. seed

    I dont confuse USWep with Congress either. The members of congress (not the concept of congress itself)use government to gain power. USWep does not use his authority to gain power. He is a good example of how a person who “governs by rules set forth” (i.e. government) can be used for good. Government does not necessarily have to monopolize violence, that is a stereotype of government. Common examples of what people abuse government to do, does not define the government itself. Hence why I said government can be niether good nor evil. It is the people that use government that can be good or evil

    You, as typical of many people, confuse government with organizations.

    Though they may embodied the same verb they are NOT the same thing.

    For your claim to be true, we would refer to Exxon as a government – but we do not. It has corporate governance – the verb – but it is not a government – the noun.

    All governments require monopoly. It is with this monopoly that government takes on another defining factor – the ability to tax.

    A government resists, with all its might, competition to itself.

    To prevent competition to itself, it must initiate violence on any one attempting to create an alternative to any of its goods, services or access to its means of survival (ie: taxation)

    (For more indepth discussion, please refer to Hans Hoppe’s best seller “Democracy: The God that Failed” for entire chapters explaining why a government cannot survive competition.)

    Essentially, government – being coercive – is the least efficient and effective means of obtaining good and services. People, naturally, avoid and/or mitigate coercion and thus, strains the effectiveness of providing goods and services. In competition with organizations that do not use coercion in providing such services, eliminates the strain and people, naturally, do not avoid it since there is no coercion.

    Therefore, in competition to free market, government can only provide an inferior service. This fact of economics applies to all government service including judicial and defense services.

    Since government requires judicial and military force to extract taxation, it cannot brook any competition to itself in these areas. Thus, it must initiate violence upon any person or entity which attempts to break its monopoly on violence.

    • I have responed to your last statement. I am done, we disagree, with no confusion on my part about what each of us believe. I will keep that in mind with future conversations.

      • I will predict this with certainty.

        In an argument over ‘government action’, you will insist on your definition.

        As this action is shown to be evil, you will change your definition of government to avoid the evil.

        As another action of free men, which will produce a good, you will replace that definition with another one more reflecting your current position.

        You will, then, propose that government is necessary to produce good, claiming that no case exists to discard government.

        It is the typical bait-switch encounter many times over many discussions.

        You are not alone.

      • Another consideration Seed

        If you believe the Boy Scouts are a Government, what territory and whom do they Boy Scouts claim they govern?

  38. This is for everyone who has had the occasional bad day!

    G!

  39. seed

    Rotary club and the Boy Scouts use some form of government they have a ruling body as I defined of some form.

    They have governance (verb)

    They are not a government (noun)

    You are claiming by extension that people go around as say “The Government of Boy Scouts” or the “Government of Rotrary Club”.

    Ask anyone with a brain this question

    “Who is the Government of the Boy Scouts of America?”

    Are you really seriously telling me you expect people to say “the board of directors”? Or will you be honest and tell me they would say “The United States of America”

    A government does not have to be the head of a state.

    It is not the head of state. That is a part of a government

    Government does not require violence, and no I dont use violence on my wife nor do I make her conform to my edicts.

    A Government must use violence – for it cannot exist without it. (See previous post)

    Keep in mind that we have different definitions of government mine does not require violence

    No.

    You are attempting make the concepts of “organization” to be the same as “government”.

    However, they are two – distinct- things.

  40. Seed

    Here is some external assistance to help

    Absoluteness

    An important factor of government is its degree of absoluteness. A government has absolute sovereignty if it has the unlimited right to control everything and every kind of activity in its territory.

    Exclusivity

    The key element of government in the legalistic sense is that of exclusivity of jurisdiction. Specifically, when a decision is made by a government, it cannot generally be overruled by a higher authority.

    De facto vs De jure

    1. Does the governing power have sufficient strength (police, etc.) to compel its subjects to obey it? (If so, a type of de facto government exists.

    2. Are the subjects of the governing power in the habit of obeying it?

    It is generally held that government requires not only the legal right to exercise power, but the actual exercise of such power.

  41. Once you decide it is OK to tell others how to live, even if their actions are not harming any innocent third person, it is only a matter of degree as to how far it will go. It can be used to justify taking their property to use against them or to give to others (taxation). It can be used to justify killing them when they do not cooperate. Until people understand this simple ethical precept, there is no real debate going on.

    • Many people are wise enough to look ahead down a path to see where the bread crumbs are leading.

      They do not like where it is leading. For some, they are afraid. Others, do not trust it.

      But that is where the path leads. There is only one other choice, and its the world they suffer.

      It is a choice that excludes the other – what you have or what you want.

      A person cannot exist in two places at the same time. It is one or the other.

      It is freedom of man or it is slavery of government.

    • Hi Kent,

      Nice to here from you again. I agree with the concealed weapon issue you mentioned. Hope you are well today and in the future!

      G!

    • Kent, you had a link to a video on your site today about The Philosophy of Liberty. I could not figure out how to copy and post it here but I thought it was a good video.

    • Hi Kent

      Don’t they already have that right to take another person’s property, called eminent domain?

      • No one has the right to steal the property of another. Governments assert the false “authority” to do it, but theft by any name is still the same act.

        • I always felt that is so wrong too. How would they feel if it happened to them? Probably could care less.

          BTW, how ya doing lately? Hope all is going well with you Kent.

  42. Poker night

    You guys can fight among yourselves tonight!

  43. Some what off topic here but Big Hollywood has this today. I think we covered it the other day..

    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/lscott/2009/09/25/school-kid-video-creepy-obama-worship/#more-235378

  44. Hi Ya’ll!

    I’ve been posting links, like many of you, and today I did something different, and did a test.

    The results are easy. When you have a vidoe up, then copy to paste, don’t minimize the site you are copying. Maximize this site then paste in your comment, the video is right there. If you minimze the site you are copying, it just shows the link.

    There, I learned something today, and thats a good thing!

    G!

    • Thanks G No wonder nothing works for me when I try to post video’s. I’ll have to try that and see if it works for me. Hey, I’m like the Charlie Brown here when it comes to computers sometimes. Doesn’t always work.

  45. Well, I’m out for the night.

    Good night all.

    BTW G, I left you an e mail message, I’ll check back with you tomorrow.

    Good night

    Judy

  46. Greatergoodcs says:

    Beck notes, “You cannot take away freedom to protect it, you cannot destroy the free market to save it, and you cannot uphold freedom of speech by silencing those with whom you disagree. To take rights away to defend them or to spend your way out of debt defies common sense.” T

    First great liberal sage refutation: Habeas corpus was suspended by Lincoln (a Republican) to aid the war effort.

    Second great liberal sage refutation: destroying the free market? Whatever does he mean? I suspect it’s something nonsensical like regulation. I wonder how Mickey Mantle felt about the illustrious free market when his boss reduced his salary because he didn’t win the triple crown two years in a row. There are more heinous examples of abusive labor practices toppled by unions, but I’m sure the great conservative sages won’t be able to comprehend them.

    Third great liberal sage refutation: freedom of speech. So let me get this straight. It’s okay to yell fire in a theatre when there is none?

    Forth great liberal sage refutation: Beck is sounding redundant …see the first great liberal sage refutation.

    Firth great liberal sage refutation: Finally, even an imbecile like Glenn Beck makes sense.

    I missed you guys … hope all are doing well. Been very busy holding up the fort of capitalism in Manhattan … the bloodsucking lawyers are back to making green off the backs of the masses …

    By the way … this country was founded by educated men of wealth (so they represented themselves) and that’s how we’ve come to the mess we’re in today … nothing much has changed except back then at least a few of the men of wealth had some compassion. Today’s men of wealth, for the most part (certainly not all) are as compassionate as a Great White Shark.

    • Hi GG

      Nice to here from you again, glad to hear you are doing well!

      (the bloodsucking lawyers) You must mean all of them, which is what makes up our lousy government. They are not good.

      Hope all is well with you and your family!

      PEACE!

      G!

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Yes, G-man, I do mean all of them. Oh, I’m sure there are some decent lawyers out there, but for the most part, they’re arrogant, socially retarded and extremely spineless. There’s nothing quite like watching one of them explode on one shy secretary (driving her to the point of tears) and then watching them back down like a street punk when confronted with someone unafraid of bullies (I watched a mail room guy glare at one the other day and I thought the lawyer would shit his pants). The lawyer had told the mail room guy to “get that fucking cart out of the way”. The mail room guy (a stocky black dude with very well defined muscles and a sense of dignity to match it) turned around and glared at the lawyer. It was priceless. The lawyer turned pale and stepped out of the way, then nodded with a phony smile.

        Tort reform is more than necessary, my friends on the right (no doubt about it) …

    • GG,

      It is utterly bizarre to complain about Mantle.

      You believe a man should be forced to pay a certain rate regardless of the agreements set forth by these two parties.

      For if they listened to you regarding Mantle, Mantle wouldn’t get paid anything because no one would be playing baseball.

      If, ever, any society actually manifests your ideas – that society will collapse completely.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Bizarre? My man, you should know the word well. I have to assume since you think the owner should be able to pay the worker whatever he deems fit, that should the owner decide the work conditions are fine and dandy, the worker (if he wants to eat) should go down that mine shaft.

        Seriously, what world do you live in?

        • Yes, the owner does pay the worker whatever he deems is fit.

          Otherwise, the owner does not offer the job.

          The worker decides whether to accept the offer or not.

          Human labor, GG is an economic commodity like everything else valued by humans. It obeys the laws of Economics like everything else does too.

          The owner is the consumer and holds, in trade, the most valuable and desired commodity in an economy, money

          The woker is the supplier and holds, in trade, something that he does not desire as highly as he wants money (probably because he has as much of his commodity as he wants, and there is an excess in his possession), typically, his time and skill.

          In free market economic -which is the optimum economic systemCash is King – therefore, the owner as the consumer, dictates the commerce – but cannot force it.

          Now, I know your world is different – you want to screw up economic calculation.

          The terminus of your system is total collapse – a total withdrawal of commerce and exchange.

  47. I hope alright if i just use small not caps. I have 2 neighbors, they complain but do not vote, i hire a girl to help me as I am disabled, she doesn’t vote. I have a Morman friend who says, don’t get involved in politics, is it too messy. I don’t like surprises, but one year, many years ago I read that in a presidential election only 30% of the voters voted. Now i call that manybe lazy. I watched Hannit interview 2 young ladies in Pittsburg who hated capilaiam (sp) but I noticed well dress, articulate and possible good education, where did the money come from, to buy the clothes, to educate them, they bring all kinds of Obama ideas, the Corp. should not pay their CEOs so much, give the money to the poor, Christ said to his disciples, the poor will be with you always, so judge accordingly. Take care of poor, old disabled, but also small businesses create jobs, during the election I saw article on Fox that showed 2 black teenagers, “we voted for Obama, he is black as we are” where did racism come from, I voted for character, not color. One suggestion, change voting age, for the military keep at 18, for teenagers and all else, raise back to 21, kids in school are not mature enough to realize who they are voting for. And I believe the vote in 2009 was not legal as ACORN did some pretty strange antics, voter fraud etc. not sure, but so many weird events are taking place. Now if Isreal bombs Iran, we should shoot down Israel plance, lighten up, let Israe do what she has to. One last point, when will the people in the congregations wake up, leave the pews and know just how this man if weakening USA, messing with FBI, CIA and cancelling the anti-missile system in Poland, he has only one objestive to make USA a Muslim country where he can be the chief imman.

    • Hi Goldie,

      Yes, there is so much hypocrisy among those that discount capitalism while living the benefits of such. The biggest (no pun) right now out there is Michael Moore, reaping Millions from his movies.

      In earlier posts today several posters mentioned complacency – it sounds like your neighbors, your hired help and friend fit that description.

    • Goldie,

      Wish more folks would just listen to our elders, as there is much to learn.

      May God bless You!

      G!

  48. USW, a good start. I have spent much of the evening trying to catch up with the discussion. As it progressed however, I got more disappointed. It morphed into a trivial discussion of definitions, anarchy, etc. The question is what has happened to reason in government? I see very few suggestions as to why 537 men (members of the species homosapiens) have seemingly forgotten the fundamentals of our government (freedom and liberty) and are hell bent on destroying those attributes in favor of increasing central control. I see even fewer suggestions on how we can alter the direction.

    There was much discussion about the goodness and evil of man and how government or the lack of it can control the evil. It was stated that most men are good and moral. This leaves the deviants as the evil ones. In statistics they are called outliers (greater than 3 standard deviations from the mean). It was also stated that government was evil. But government is made up of men which we have just stated are 98% good and moral. How then can a body of good and moral men be collectively evil. What makes them evil in the collective?

    Is it our two party winner take all system? Is it the heat of the battle, i.e. gamesmanship? How do 537 men collectively miss the fundamentals of why our government was founded and why they were elected? Does the quest for power squash the 98% good people and leave only the 2% deviants in power? Have they become so dillusional with their power and status that they can not see the train wreck coming, $11T debt, entitlements bankrupt, loss of freedom…?

    Legislation seems to be about volume not quality. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is a foriegn concept to them. They seem to be falling all over themselves to see how fast they can increase and distribute the national debt to their favorites, be it the poor, wealthy, labor or business.

    I have been reading this site looking for some answers. Anarchy is not the answer. BF’s family concept has a fundamental flaw. Most families involve an alpha male and an alpha female. Scaled up to the next level it is a tribe with a chief and a shauman. Scaled up even more, you get a dictatorship. Yes, you can present in many different forms but show me an example that works and has survived the test of time. It is an idealistic solution that is doomed to fail and does not and will not meet the needs of our complex society. It will fail for the same reason the Indian tribes could not withstand the organization of the white man.

    Our founding documents state government is instituted by consent of the governed. Jefferson supported revolutions every twenty years as a means of refreshing that consent. We have that power now in the vote. We can revoke our consent from all of the current 537 men in just 7 years. The first 468 can be gone next year. Of course there is no guarantee the next batch won’t be corrupted by power too.

    The map USW posted is one example of reason gone awry. There is a simple solution to gerrymandering and that is to require a maximum circumference to area ratio. (KISS principles.) Would a letter writing campaign to pols and MSM bring sanity back to this process? The CA legislature has promised redistricting reform but welched on it each time it comes up. The unions have managed to kill any initiatives on the subject.

    The general discussion here on what government is, should b,e and where it has gone wrong are great. However, they often spiral into a debate on definitions or other trivia. I ask everyone to please provide positive suggestions on how go correct the current situation.

    Well it is almost 1 am (4 am) for right coasters, so I will sign off and go to bed now.

    • I’m a little conflicted right now-I think voting all the incumbents out would send a strong message but I think that using our vote in the 2010 elections to balance the power in Congress in order to slow this train wreck down might be more important right now. I also see the second option as more doable. Of course we would need the Tea Parties and other protests to continue hopefully with a clear message of what we expect from our representatives-namely that they must follow the Constitution-all the way to the 2012 elections with the additional message to both parties-you either follow the Constitution-or you will find no party loyalty -incumbents who don’t vote in line with the Constitution are gone. By waiting until the 2012 election it would give the people more time to get the idea out that we should vote out any or all incumbents who aren’t voting in line with the Constitution. It is so important that the people don’t stop Standing Up -if we become quiet after the coming elections we are doomed.

    • T-Ray,

      You state: How then can a body of good and moral men be collectively evil. What makes them evil in the collective?

      I don’t know if I can answer your question in a few sentences. F. Hayek, in his book The Road to Serfdom, explains how this happens in any centralized government (Socialism, Statism, Facism, Communism). He wrote an entire chapter on how scum rises to the surface in such societies. Basically, people with principles and values and strong morals cannot or will not make the difficult decisions that need to be made. If elected they will not stay because they are ethical and are shocked by the behavior they see. It takes people with poor morals and values like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Ted Kennedy, etc. to survive and do what needs to be done because the end justifies the means. Good people will not do this. In stronger totalitarian societies, like Hiter’s Germany, it took a special type person to be willing to kill Jews or others. The same applies to Soviet Russia.

      I would suggest that you read The Road to Surfdom to get an idea on how strong governments work and why democracy cannot survive in such societies. Hayek has chapters on democracy versus centralized planning, legislation and the rule of law. I now know why Congress did not write the Health Care Bill (written by the Apollo Group) — Congress is not capable of writing such detailed legislation for a planned take over of 1/6 of our economy. Hayek’s book was not easy for me to read but I learned alot from reading it.

  49. Moderates do not save freedom. Moderates, by definition, are in the middle. and don’t stand for anything. Sam Adams and Thomas Jefferson were not moderates. What we are missing today are strict Constitutionalists. We are missing real Statesmen; smart, successful, principled people who have no reason to run for political office, but do so for love of country and to be servant leaders. People who don’t care if they get booted out in the next election because they did not vote as dictated by moneyed special interests or along party lines. It’s time for some of you folks to consider running for something- whether it be local or state level political office. Edmund Burke said something along the lines of “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

  50. I am not too good at government, I didn’t know anything about the New World Order until my son explained he and his friends in the 1960s had mentioned it, I too bus working, taking care of him and my mother, but I should have listened, wish I had not become so disillusioned, seems to be I too small to take on any government, I even likes FDR and even know now he was not good, he was one of the rich, I don’t believe in redistribution of wealth, just wish I had woke up earlier. I feel like such a fool, heard today the water in Camp LeJeune where I served my first year of service in Marine Corps. the water contaminated and so many young men developed breast cancer and when they asked government to pay for the surgeries, no, the government said it didn’t effect their military service, and I used to like the government, not to be my nanny, but as what the founders put here to start us on the road to take care of ourselves. Such an idiot I am, not to be aware of problems I might could help fix, the water in San Joaquin valley turned off, because of a minnow gets caught in the pipes, but God gave man dominion over fish, fowl and all creatures on earth, Sen.Feinstein voted to keep water shut off because of the little fish, humans more important than fish, 40% unemployment, people taking handouts of food, all because of the f——government has to protect a tiny fish, take a few fish, breed them, turn water on, later can turn fish loose someplace else and the people can still grow their fruits, vegs, etc and we will still have the food, fish can be bred later. why not?

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