The Best Course of Action Is…. Nothing?

I have watched this debate in the comments under several different articles over the last couple of months. There are those here who are fed up with the tactics of those in Washington who feel that the time has come for action. Then there is the train of though that says we should just do nothing. Don’t vote, don’t participate. BlackFlag is usually the one pushing that process. I thought it might be a good idea to have this debate as an open topic. So I asked BF to write an article that addresses the idea from his perspective. And I have done the same from my perspective. I will post them both below and then you can all let us have it for our perspectives. 

I see it working just like the “Left” vs. “Right” points of view we have seen from publications out there in the past. So without further delay, the debate on change through action versus change through inaction:

avatar-flagUSWeapon: Ignoring Them is How We Got Here

I have watched the debate unfold time and again that we should be simply ignoring the politicians and the government. We are told to not vote, not participate, and overall, just ignore them and they will lose their legitimacy and go away. I think this frame of mind could not be further from the truth. Not only is that an irresponsible tactic, it is a dangerous one. After all, ignoring the government because we have “more important” things going on in our world is how we got here in the first place. 

Washington is broken. There is no doubt about that. Both parties are screwing us over pretty evenly (even though right now it seems like it is the Dems, just because they are in power). We have watched the systemic dismantling of the Constitutional Republic that was the foundation of this nation’s greatness. Americans have been lazy when it comes to politics. They get fired up, get involved, and then go back to their apathy. This cycle has allowed the politicians to exploit these tendencies to their benefit. It is a constant cycle. Rahm Emanuel said “never waste a good crisis” and that upset people, but it has been the mantra of politicians for 150 years. 

The Great Depression made people pay attention, and FDR used it to expand government, saying government would solve the problem. He knew that people would stop paying attention once the crisis passed. He was right. 9/11 made people pay attention, and GW used it to impede on citizen’s rights with the Patriot Act, saying government will protect us from the evils of the world. The corruption of the business world and the financial industries made people pay attention, and Obama used it to do the most massive government expansion and spending in history, saying government will save us from the corrupt wealthy in America. I could go on for days with examples from both sides of the aisle.

What do all the examples have in common? Well a few things. In every case the government was the cause of the crisis at hand. Not one party, both parties. In each case people began paying attention and believed that the government was the savior that would get us out of trouble. Most important, in each case government was able to cause the problem because the people had stopped paying attention and holding government accountable, and in each case when the crisis passed the people went right back to that apathy. 

Ronald Reagan said it best when he stated in his inaugural address that “government is not the solution, it is the problem.” But no politician will ever utter the words of what the solution really is. The solution is the people. Us. Free Markets, civic duty, charity, involvement. We have to be engaged in the process. The only answer to government running out of control is the people educating themselves on the power they have, and using that power to hold government accountable to us.

Ignoring them won’t make them go away. The news of the last 50 years is littered with stories of those who decided to ignore government, not recognize its legitimacy, and the ways that government moved and used violence to show those people that ignoring government won’t work. The key fallacy in the ignoring them stances is that it is a mistaken belief that the government depends on your recognition to be relevant. They don’t. They see themselves relevant regardless of what anyone says, or doesn’t say.

The recent moves of the Obama administration are prime examples of this. The economic stimulus bill was passed despite public outrage over it. HR1388 was passed practically behind closed doors. The government is doing their best to hide from the public all of the moves that they are making that spin this nation towards a socialist state. They do this because they don’t care what American citizens think. And they do this because they know that if exposed, the American attention span is far too short for government to have to worry about being held accountable.

Despite claims to the contrary, government doesn’t seek legitimacy. They impose it. BF’s argument that government does all they can to increase the number of people who vote in order to legitimize themselves is a fallacy. They do all they can to get people to vote only when they feel that they have successfully manipulated the public into supporting whatever savior moves they are preaching at the moment.

For example, Obama did a phenomenal job of using the media and emotion and great speaking to create a new round of intense class warfare. Once he knew he had riled up the masses into effectively believing he was the answer to the class inequality, it was in his interest to make sure those masses voted. Politicians get people to vote only when they feel doing so will help their side of the argument. It has nothing to do with legitimacy.

So the answer is this: Get involved in every way that you can. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and family. Get them to pay attention. Educate them on what is going on. Force them to stop making the priority of their life to post a new “my kid is sick” message on facebook. Hound them until they pay more attention to what Washington is doing than to what happened on American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. Teach your children to participate in the process and to think critically about what is being said. The public schools are creating robots, it is up to parents to do the reprogramming that is needed.

Engage your political foes with respect and logic. Talk through the issues. Accept that you may be wrong, and really hear what they say. If you are wrong, change your mind. It is OK to do that, it is part of the learning process. If you are right, change theirs. But do all of this with integrity, respect, and honesty. Really try to see the opposite side of the topic, it will help you to better understand your stance as well.

Hold politicians accountable. If they don’t do what they say, call them on it and then do everything in your power to see that they are not reelected. But under no circumstances should you do nothing.

Our vote is all that we have. It is the only piece of power offered to us. We have for far too long allowed politicians to manipulate that one thing. Use that vote. If you fail to use it you are simply allowing government to go unabated. Politicians don’t need your vote to legitimize government. They fear that your vote will one day control it. Help that fear become reality.

blackflagsymbolBlackFlag: Stop Giving Them Legitimacy

Introduction

The critical problem we face today is the same one all mankind has faced in history: the State.

How to control the State is the most critical problem of all sound political thinking.

The State has a monopoly on the printing and use of money; it has a monopoly on the exercise of violence within and upon society; it retains the right to inflict violence upon other States; and it is abusing that power at our expense.

How does voting change the situation? Neither of the parties wants to do anything about all these problems as it would require for them to admit that the State – themselves – were the cause.

On the contrary, they seem to want to make it worse. This is for a reason. The State owns the “voting process” as surely as it owns the Departments of Labor and Defense and uses it in ways that benefit the State and no one else.

On the other hand, we do have the freedom not to vote. No law forces us into the voting booth. I suggest that we exercise this right not to participate as it is one of the few rights we have left.

Non-participation sends a message that we no longer believe in what is being done to us, and we want no part of it.

Many say that this is ineffective. But what effect does voting have? Voting gives the State what it needs the most: a mandate. Non-participation helps deny that to them. It is the greatest fear of the modern State that they are ruling us without our consent.

This is all to our good. The government should fear the people. Not voting is a good beginning toward instilling that fear.

There is no lesser of two evils. In the modern American State, there is only a choice between socialism or fascism. The true American spirit should guide every voter to have no part of either.

Theory of the Vote

The basic theory of the vote is that within a voluntary organization, the members (either by representation or directly themselves) determine the objectives and action of the organization with their vote, with the majority in decision becoming the entirety of the objective and action.

In other words achieving, say, 60% of the vote – a clear majority – initiates 100% of the actions and 100% support of the objectives. Achieving less than 50% of the vote is 100% a halt to the action and 100% withdrawal of the objective.

Why is the concept of voluntary important?

Because the vote determines 100% of the action, if a member still disagrees with the outcome of the vote, he remains free to disengage from the organization, which unbinds himself from the consequences of the actions and goals of that organization has chosen.

However, within the State, there is no mechanism by which a citizen can disengage himself; in fact, it is considered the most serious of capital crimes against the State – rebellion and insurrection – to even attempt such. Thus, there is a serious (and potentially deadly) limitation to a citizen’s ability to unbind himself from the consequences of the actions that are committed by the State.

Mandate

The concept of a mandate is vital to the modern State because, in the end, the modern State exists by the consent of the governed.

“Consent of the governed” is a political theory stating that a government’s legitimacy and moral right to use state power are, or ought to be, derived from the people or society over which that power is exercised. (Warning to all: I will use this concept regularly in many of my arguments against government)

A short sample of news articles from the MSM describing the last three Presidents seeking of mandates:

US President Bill Clinton’s second mandate has sown the seeds….

President Bush staked his claim to a broad mandate and announced his top priorities at a….

 

In contrast, a clear mandate would give President Obama and the Democrats a….

The mandate is deemed to represent the totality of the will of the people and thus a mandate is vital for a government to act with legitimacy.

It is the government’s proof that it has a right to act; and further, proof that it can act in any manner necessary to achieve the mandate.

As Basiat put it, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

The desire to impose costs on others is virtually limitless. Thus, governments tend to grow over time.

But the modern western government suffers if it cannot act without consent. Therefore, it must at all times manufacture consent if it wishes to act without constraint.

Modern State Dynamics

If one studies a modern, western, election in progress, one can see the powerful dynamics of the State to manufacture the consent that is vital to its existence.

The moment is complicated as some people are distracted by the circus of between one candidate vs the other and all the characters associated with that silly battle. What they are looking at is really the veneer. It is a covering designed to prevent you from seeing what the State is and why it matters.

The party system and the elections lead us to believe that we live under conditions that Martin Van Creveld call sin his book, The Rise and Decline of the State, the “personal State”.

This is the ancient form of the State under which all the resources the State owns are the personal property of the king or ruler. The ruler is the State. If he dies, the State dies with him.

It is very much in the interest of democracy to perpetuate this idea that we are living in a personal state. This way all credit for the well-being of the nation falls to one person or persons.

They are elected.

If things go badly, people are encouraged to blame these elected officials and vote them out of office. New people are given a new chance to do better. The point being, the State does not suffer. It simply exchanges one figure head with another to deflect the blame.

The truth is that the personal state is long gone from history in the developed world. We have the impersonal state, which began to emerge in the 17th century.

Under the impersonal State, the ruler does not use his own resources. He is a manager. If he dies, nothing changes. The State itself takes on a permanent form. It is not elected. It is hired and lives on regardless of the changes at the top.

The U.S. has developed a permanent bureaucracy. It developed a money machine and monopolized and created its own currency. It began to host its own unelected military that was a “professional” fighting force and not a citizen militia. It became home to a million hangers-on who made the State their careers and their source of economic security.

Today, the State embodies all the worst features of the unaccountable, impersonal leviathan that had been the goal of every evil dreamer in world history. The people making the decisions and conducting policy were not elected by anyone. They report to no one. They represents certain private sector interests among the elite. They conduct their policies based on their private assessment of what is good for those they represent, and they do it in cooperation with the permanently entrenched bureaucracy and financial managers who rule the country.

In this sense, who wins or who doesn’t win the election doesn’t matter as we are led to believe. It’s true that Bush started a war when he didn’t have to. Someone else might have done better. It is also true that Obama could fire up a range of new regulations and programs and that McCain might have started ever more wars.

It is also true that even without a sitting President and without a Congress, the State would function pretty much as it does today.

Whether Team A or Team B wins in the end is really neither here nor there for the American people, who understand at some level that it really doesn’t matter, that the elections may be great sport, but ultimately have no bearing on the quality of life. The people who cheer the loudest have the greatest stake in the outcome, namely those whose livelihood depends on it, meaning that they are hooked into the State apparatus at some level.

What does matter is the manufacture of consent. By granting a vote to elect anyone, the appearance of control of government by the people is offered.

But it is an illusion.

The vote is merely a consent to the State; the individuals either in the chair of President or in Congress matters not one wit.

The bottom line is that there is no good system for managing a government that is out of control and, most importantly, no system of government that successfully restrains the State.

But, there is nothing more dangerous than the State with a mandate. If it can obtain a mandate, by deceptively manufacturing consent, the State has achieved near total power to act in any manner it wishes at any time it wishes.

Some people say that voting is still a good idea if only to apply a measure of justice for the criminals currently in charge. Toss them out and teach them a lesson! That sounds like a good idea but the problem is that voting against someone always means voting for someone else. Everyone who winces at what Bush did to this country and to its image abroad is now shuddering with Obama.

Conclusion

All of this doesn’t mean that caring about public affairs is a waste of time. What restrains the State and all states in human history ultimately comes down to public opinion, that is, the people’s consent and mandates.

By refusing to participate in the State’s artificial process of manufacturing consent by the election process, the people remove their mandate from the State and its actions.

To the extent that you refrain from contributing to the belief that anyone has the right to rule anyone else, you have done your part to break the chains that enslave us.

So there you have the argument from both sides. Now comes the fun part. You all get to pick at our thoughts and debate the issue. I look forward to everyone’s thoughts.

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Comments

  1. In the beginning there were tribes.Mine lived on a island north of present day Scotland and they were totally free from any government.Any alligience was to the tartan,nothing else.They lived in stone huts with a firepit in the center and a hole in the roof where the smoke finally escaped.Their life was hard and life expectancy was short.Without any government we would regress to this state of affairs in short order,but we would be truly free in every sense of the word.I’m afraid that’s where Black Flag’s theory would take us.I don’t want to regress quite that far.

    My idea of dealing with government is to try to vote for the person that is going to do the least amount of damage to my lifestyle.I’ve long given up on the idea that I can vote for a person that is actually going to help.Last electon I voted for Mc Cain because I knew where Obama was going to go.The most liberal Senator was not going to change when he became elected President and he hasn’t.

    I like to think that I am a well informed voter and that the people that voted for Obama are simple sheep,not realizing until too late what they’ve done.But what if they’re not?What if they really want what Obama has to offer?This country is changing and maybe the voters are realy voting their minds.

    We have a two party system in this country whether anyone likes it or not.It’s going to remain that way for the foreseeable future.The only way to work with this system is to be involved and vote.It is not designed to be ignored and it is not designed for a fringe party protest vote.That has a tendency to get a group in power that you really don’t want.Like right now.

    In Australia everyone of voting age must vote.It is the law.
    I have pondered this and have never been able to reach an opinion.Good or bad?Don’t know.

    I would like to see all polls surrounding any aspect of elections banned.I think the results should be a total surprise.Then,just maybe,a vote for Bob Barr would be a legitimate option.

    One final thought for now.Ronald Reagan said that government couldn’t solve the problem,it was the problem.Then he went on to add to the problem.

    • Ron said
      April 3, 2009 at 1:46 am

      “I like to think that I am a well informed voter and that the people that voted for Obama are simple sheep,not realizing until too late what they’ve done.But what if they’re not?What if they really want what Obama has to offer?This country is changing and maybe the voters are realy voting their minds.”

      Oh, I think they ARE voting their minds. The minds created by indoctrination in our public schools the past few decades.

      • There must have been quite a few conservatives go through the school system in the past few decades as well because the country is pretty well polarized,voter wise.You surely aren’t trying to hint that conservatives and others don’t go to school are you?

        • Of course we went to school. I can only speak for myself, but kooks in school could not overcome the fundamentals I was taught at home. By “home” I’m including extended family (Grandparents, etc), the “By God, keep the government out of my life” types.

          Then again, maybe I watched one to many John Wayne movies:)

          • John Wayne’s ancestors came from the same clan as mine.Same island.I have most of his movies.

            • So you are of Scottish ancestry?

              If so, me too:)

              Now, maybe we are on to something, maybe it’s all in the genes?…

              I always thought my Dad looked a lot like John Wayne, especially through the eyes.

        • Karl from Esom Hill says:

          Ron, most of the conservatives went through school in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, when there was still a lot of conservative thought. Liberal Hippies were an abberation from Californy (and that explains Californy today don’t it?). Now those same Liberals have invaded our schools from bottom to top and are training more of them. As far as voting their minds goes; What minds? Most of them are mindless drones.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi Dee,

        I do believe that the indoctrination conducted at our public schools is “lefty-loony” and outrageous. The only observation that I’d like to make is that the timing of the left agenda in our public schools in just the last ten years has totally outpaced the previous decades (just like Obama as spent more in 100 days than every President since George Washington combined). I’d also like to point out that it seems this past year alone the timing has increased even more.

        I know most people here like to have facts to quantify/qualify what I’m saying…I don’t have any…its a matter of “vibes or feelings” that I get.

        An example of this is the Gay-Lesbian movement that is fully supported in our schools via clubs which require administration sponsorship. 10-15 years ago, this was unheard of — in addition, most kids would have totally censored “club” members. Somehow (overnight it seems) the movement became acceptable and sponsored at school — even the “cool” way to be.

        I really do feel like I’m living in some alternative dimension.

        • This was in our local paper this week:

          “EVERY CHILD IN ***** County deserves to be healthy and successful. That is the vision of ***** County Empowerment. Empowerment is an effort to create a partnership between communities and state government with an emphasis to improve the well-being and quality of life for children from birth to five years old and their families.”

          Seems they can’t get ’em young enough, now they want to get their mangy hands on them at birth.

          Oh, “and their families”…just as well brainwash everyone while they’re at it.

          • Obama has been talking about taking over pre-K education, to “improve” our school system. Can’t brain wash them in 13 years, add more years and a “volunteer” corps.

    • Black Flag says:

      Ron

      To simplify your argument, you believe government is the cause of civilization. However, there is no credible evidence to show this.

      Government is contrary to civilization – it is not its creator. The battle has been civilization against government. Even in the reminder of your post, you admit such “..My idea of dealing with government is to try to vote for the person that is going to do the least amount of damage to my lifestyle….

      • While government may not be the creator of civilization,it is absolutely necessary for it’s advancement.

      • Black Flag says:

        Why?

        What do you believe government is?

        • Alan F. says:

          The current winners of a popularity contest Black Flag? The sales pitch was of course whatever was deemed necessary to win over the populace in that time. As for civilization, it came with success/growth as a race/nation. The Sumerians had a nice one given their time period and that was under what rule? The idea of government came about to take care of that which was necessary to keep those in positions of power able to maintain such without having to micromanage things themselves.

          As for the value of these in government today, name a (one single solitary) politician who removed themselves from office for their own failings in their duties. I’m not talking using drugs, talking bribes, sex with their staff, tax fraud or such just plain old working in their own interest. I’ve never found mention of one anywhere.

          • Black Flag says:

            As for civilization, it came with success/growth as a race/nation.

            We agree!

            As the people became prosperous, a class of people found it more profitable to steal their living, than earn it.

            Today, that class of people is what we call government.

            There are two ways a man gains the resources he needs to survive:

            1) He earns it – called the economic method.

            2) He steals it – called the political method.

            (Alfred Jay Nock)

            The idea of government came about to take care of that which was necessary to keep those in positions of power able to maintain such without having to micromanage things themselves.

            Yes, government exists to keep government in power.

            It has nothing to do with managing “the people”.

  2. Ok, boy, you guys are tough. Both arguments have merit. If I had to “vote” for one, it would have to be USW. But I don’t have to vote…so here goes:

    USW:
    Has a great grip on our problem. Apathy is certainly an issue in how we got where we are today.

    My whole life, Presidents have made a mockery of the office. Kennedy (Marilyn, you know, and others if rumor holds true), Nixon (Watergate), Carter (Poster child for idiots),Clinton (Monica for starters), GWB (not the sharpest pencil in the box, who is Katrina?, what $4.00 gas?, never heard of THAT!)

    I won’t even get into the crooks and pervs we have had AND currently have in Congress, and multiple Government agencies.

    No wonder our expectations are rather low, no wonder we are apathetic. Who wants to babysit our elected officials, watch their every step? Who gets a kick out of being humiliated in front of the whole world? That all makes for apathy and a sense of defeat. Who has time to keep watch? After all, most of us have to work hard to survive after being taxed to death. Come election time, we get our hopes up, only to be lied to yet again, see the grand promises broken, yet again.

    I agree 100%, Dems and Republicans have become equally arrogant, equally dangerous, and equally corrupt. While we don’t really have ONLY a 2 party system, it is essentially just that. There would have to be a grassroots based write in campaign to unseat the 2 main parties. There is not time to build a new 3rd party, or enhance an existing party to unseat current Dems and Republicans. This is the only way I can think of…massive write in votes for alternatives. And yes, I know how complicated and impossible that is.
    Just electing the least of the 2 evils, well that isn’t working either, if we want to be free. All we get is more regulation, more government, less freedom.

    Black Flag: Ok, I have to admit, some of what you say makes sense to me, and that worries me…lol.

    The essence of your thoughts, to “ignore government – don’t vote” is nice on a philosophy level, but of course, not practical. And if government truly has a life of it’s own, even if we elected NO President and NO Congress, then NOT voting wouldn’t solve the problem, we would still have the beast, running about headless.

    To truly ignore government, to deprive it of legitimacy, we would have to end it. Cut off all funds, fire all employees. Command it to cease to exist…GOVERNMENT, YOU SHALL NOT EXIST FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD. YOUR FIRED!

    How? Beats the heck outta me, but one idea: Invent a new, parallel government. (I know, best to have NONE, but again, not happening)

    Declare the old government broken and obsolete, and retire the National Debt with it. Start over. I reckon that means a Revolution.

    Anyone else not sleeping well these days?

    • Black Flag says:

      The only difference between government and the Mafia is the former has legitimacy.

      Government gains that legitimacy from your consent. You do not consent to the Mafia, therefore they are not legitimate and you do not see them as the government.

      The fact that they exist without your consent does not eliminate the Mafia. If you remove your consent from government will not eliminate the criminals. But that is not what I said it would do either.

      What it would do is eliminate the illusion that they are there for you! You would see them as criminals and deal with them in that way.

      • Kristian says:

        BF,

        We already know that they aren’t there for us.We know that they are criminals, but by voting we get an opportunity to try to put someone in there who may, and I’m quoting here, “Do less damage to our lifestyle”.

      • Black Flag says:

        Can you demonstrate any such example that this has occurred?

        As a decades long student of politics, I cannot find one.

        We are on the edge of an abyss so large that it threatens the entirety of western civilization – this did not occur overnight.

        • Kristian says:

          I think that the only way to point to an example that demonstrates that would be if I could see the endgame of both politicians in any given race. By that I mean that you can never tell what they are going to do until they actually get into office, which is unfortunate. But as I said, we are not under the misguided notion that these politicians are in this for anyone but themselves. When I was reading your part of the original post I found myself agreeing with alot of what you said, and in a perfect world, ignoring them would probably work. This is not a perfect world, you know that, and even if we ignore them the things that they do still have an impact on our lives. Shouldn’t we do what we can to at least lessen that impact?

      • Black Flag says:

        By that I mean that you can never tell what they are going to do until they actually get into office, which is unfortunate.

        Doesn’t that demonstrate that who is elected is immaterial?

        The State cares not what is promised or not – they need your vote.

        You give it to them – they declare “Mandate!” – and act in any way THEY (not you) deems necessary to achieve that mandate including destroying you… to achieve the mandate they believe you gave them.

        It is more than unfortunate – it is deadly.

        what you said, and in a perfect world, ignoring them would probably work. This is not a perfect world, you know that, and even if we ignore them the things that they do still have an impact on our lives.

        I am not debating that.

        But the Mafia exists without your consent too.

        But there is a fundamental difference.

        You do not consent to the Mafia – and therefore, they are relegated to the edges of society.

        You do consent by voting for government, therefore, they are core to your existence. You can’t even go to the bathroom without the State’s permission.

        Shouldn’t we do what we can to at least lessen that impact?

        My point is, supporting the system with your consent cannot lessen, let alone change, the system you agree with by your vote.

    • Ed from Richardson, TX says:

      Ron, Dee, I am in agreement with both of you in that you have both mentioned the necessity or validity of government, especially in the way it operates today. I do believe in “cycles of life” where history is repeated, repeatedly. Does anyone remember reading about monopolies like Rockefellers and Carnegies and the regulations required to reign them in? Does anyone remember “Noblemen” and “Czars” and their treatment of the people? I voted for Obama, not because I agreed with him, but to speed up the “end game”. The Republican party (who I have voted for since 1980) betrayed me and the Democrats have never been a supporter of me, the person who works every day. I’ll ask a question of everyone; what has the government given you personally for all of the revenue collected from taxation and fees and fines, and any other money grubbing gadget our elected “representatives” have created? I have never received food stamps or welfare or a grant; when I lost my job to India I was forced to use 401K funds (which I am now heavily in debt to the US Treasury for surviving and taking care of my family and I’m still waiting for my stimulus money… What would you consider legitemate spending of a government of the people? Self defense (and I’m not referring to the defense of Georgia or Iraq), only the homeland. Maybe roads and a transportation system but I see those as local issues, not federal. How about another consideration; that any civil right law passed in the last 40 years has been to crush the white male and any financial regulation has been manipulated to benefit less than 5% of the population. Anyway, I know I’m all over the place but my bottom line is I’d like very much to not participate in this 2 party farce and in fact don’t feel I should be governed by anyone or any institution, including the church. I do not advocate anarchy but much smaller, local communities that collectively enact the rules as needed by the community, where the “average” guy still can have a voice. I’m sorry to say but the time is coming, the people are armed and they can take just so much, too bad, this used to be a GREAT country… Have a great day all!

  3. I don’t believe that ignoring and/or not voting is even possible. History tells me that mankind, even in it’s infancy, always had a hierarchy, as it has been and always will be human nature to have a semblance of order. Even the most primitive tribes living in the rain forests have a hierarchy.

    Many foriegn governments have been overthrown in my lifetime, and I don’t believe that this type of action would serve us well. I feel that our govt is out of control, corrupt, and believe themselves to be above the law and cannot be held accountable. I think we can all agree that this is the problem that really needs fixed. So, in a sense, voting is not really the solution to the problem, but a continuance of the status quo.

    I could not legitimize my unhappiness of our govt, had I not voted. But voting, it provides a legitimate right to openly complain. Ignoring govt.and not voting would then, in my mind, make me a sheep, and a blind one at that.

    • Karl from Esom Hill says:

      Ar least we CAN vote, complain, and voice our opinions. FOR NOW ANYWAY.

  4. Bama dad says:

    Non-participation sends a message that we no longer believe in what is being done to us, and we want no part of it.

    Many say that this is ineffective. But what effect does voting have? Voting gives the State what it needs the most: a mandate. Non-participation helps deny that to them. It is the greatest fear of the modern State that they are ruling us without our consent.

    Not voting would not work. If every person in this country did not vote then the politicians would just vote for themseleves and continue as normal. At least when we vote we have a chance to make a change

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      I agree Bama Dad – you make a great point that the politicians would vote for themselves.

      It really does suck that our election process for the Legislative Branch has become a Beauty Contest where the candidates are all vying for Ms. Popularity. Nothing but fake teeth, fake charm and silicone! All an illusion.

  5. Good morning all,
    Very thought provoking conversation today! Have to go with Weapon on this, though I value many of Flag’s points. Theoretically, I agree with Flag. However, until we have ourselves a “Galt’s Gulch” to go to, we must live in the world we have. This means that USW’s plan is the way to go, lacking any alternative. My largest fear is that, under our current system, the “looters” & “moochers” have become such a large percentage of the voting block (and getting larger every day), those of us who are the producers will soon be outvoted. Even though we may be a majority, we will not be a voting majority. There are enough “producers” out there who buy into the Kool-aid that we could not achieve a majority.
    Being from NH, I have looked into the Free State Project, both here and Ken Royce’s effort for Free State Wyoming. I find the idea fantastic but don’t see either of them becoming what they hope to become; NH because it is an Eastern state and has already been over-run with liberals from MA,CT,NJ; Wyoming because there is simply not enough word out there and no one seems to want to put the word out there. I (perhaps naively) thought that a free state’s success could be shown to the country as a model of what capitalism could do. I now think that not enough people care.
    It is not socialism, fascism, or communism that will be our end; it is ignorance and apathy.

    • Black Flag says:

      The challenge, however, is by participating in the current system prevents any alternative from existence.

      You can not both stay where you are and move somewhere else at the same time. One excludes the other.

      The same with human organization. One cannot support by one’s actions the current system while attempting to change the system.

  6. While pretty much I agree with USW on most of his views on this issue, I certainly see where BF is coming from. I agree that our government is constantly in a ploy to legitimize itself and simply convinces us not to think for ourselves to accomplish this goal. This is certainly true at the federal and many times the state level. That being said, I certainly see the ability to change things at the local level – city and county that is: especially when you live in a small town and/or county.

    It makes me absolutely sick to see politicians from the two parties convince the American public that we must vote for one of them or we are throwing our vote away. As much as I feared Obama, I could not bring myself to vote for McCain because I knew he would not usher in real change. He is part of the DC machine and if fully indoctrinated into their system.

    I agree with Ron that banning all polls would be a major step in the right direction. Strict and short term limits would also help. I would also like to see the US congress limited to about a month long session each year to take care of the basics and get the heck back home to their real jobs – No career politicians. But we basically have this machine that is the federal government and MSM that is working in cahoots to be sure that they control the country. They are very good at manipulating us and they use the polls to do so.

    It just feels like our hands are tied. Perhaps USW’s methods could possibly lead to a grass roots effort to institute real change. I just don’t see it happening.

    I do pray to God that He will do something to shake things up. However, I have a gut fear that it will take something like a major natural disaster or other catastrophe to do it. I should probably be careful what I ask for.

    • Just re-read my 2nd paragraph above and it almost sounds like a voted for O’prompter. I didn’t want any of you to get that impression.

    • Black Flag says:

      I enjoy that people believe that tinkering with the system will fix it.

      But even more so, what mechanism do you believe exists that allows you to tinker?

      It’s a great dream to believe that “imposing term limits” would do something…that banning(!!! – gasp, let’s reduce human freedom even more!) polls would accomplish increasing (reducing?) voter ignorance…

      But how do you believe you could do these things?

      Ah! Voting! The very mechanism that prevents change is the mechanism you are told can enact change! Have you ever wondered why those in total power continuously offer voting as the mechanism of change.

      Answer this question – why would those in power offer a mechanism for you to use to remove their power?

      • “But how do you believe you could do these things?” – I don’t think we can.

        I think term limits and lack of polls would help, not totally fix the problem. Do I think these will ever happen – Nope! I still think our hands are basically tied on these issues.

        Our current government feels like a runaway train. Eventually it will crash and burn. When the leviathan falls, many will indeed be crushed by it’s weight.

      • Term limits have been imposed in some states and have at least removed some contentious figures from public life.In my state they have been fought tooth and nail by the poiticians and so far the voting public has remained firm in their belief that term limits are necessary.Voting in this case has worked.Whether term limits are a good thing or a bad thing depends on who you talk to.I should say that opinions vary.

      • Answer this question – why would those in power offer a mechanism for you to use to remove their power?

        Try reading the United States Constitution.

      • Black Flag says:

        The Constitution is, arguably, the reason the mess exists today.

        It changed the right of process – from the states as the authority into the federals system as the authority.

        Whenever a concentration of power is ingrained, tyranny expands.

        Whenever a retraction of the extent of power, tyranny is degraded.

        The Constitution centralized power – and replaced the Articles of Confederation which maintained the distribution of power.

        The great challenge of Constitutionalists is – please show, after 200 years, how the Constitution actually prevented the explosion of the State. Of course, the Constitution failed, so the Constitutionalists are in a tough position.

  7. I too can see the merits of both arguments. The issue as I see it is that Americans are doers. We cannot sit by idle when the only tool we have to determine election outcomes that make us feel we are doing something is to vote. The apathetic who believe they can change nothing will not vote, and there are those like BF, who are not apathetic per se, but believe they are doing something by doing nothing, in my opinion.

    As a nation we can either detach, or become involved, those are the only two ways to effect change. Both are near impossibilities to achieve 100% participation in. I happen to believe that more people will tend to get involved than will detach simply because it is in our nature to do…something.

  8. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Both US Weapon and Black Flag bring valid points to the table.

    I feel that I must vote…Even if it is to vote for the lesser of two evils! (Yes, it does seem contradictory – I don’t support evil, so why would I choose a candidate if having a suspicion of evil.)

    I’m pretty sure I get what Black Flag writes…the absence of voting will send the greater message. I just don’t think it is realistic because people (with different values, views, etc.) will always vote and I want to do my best to get the candidate closest to my values, views get into office.

    I NEVER write in a name for my vote…I feel it is useless.

  9. How about a mix of the two; we continue to vote, but refuse to pay our taxes? Is this feasible? If, say 10% of the population doesn’t pay, can they prosecute all of us? Could we get 10% to do it in a grass roots effort? Black Flag, want to hear you thoughts on this. I know you won’t go for the voting, but how about the tax issue? A literal, rather than virtual, tea party.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi CZ,

      While I think that idea to be a likeable idea, I personally am not interested in going to jail, then getting out of jail, losing everything that I’ve worked for and becoming and Indentured Servant because my tax bill has now increased 5,000% due to penalties, late fees, etc. Not to mention the other personal consequences that I would have — would give the ex-a$$hole all kinds of ammo against me to “get the kids”…Frankly, I’m scared about that already because of my views are considered kooky-right and his are lefty-loony (loony is more in line with our Justice system)!

      Maybe I should just change my name to “Sheep in VA”. Soooooo, I guess I’ll just continue paying my “protection” money to the DC Mafia because I don’t like their punishment for non-compliance.

      Find me a way to become a Sheep Herder where the consequences aren’t extreme and I’ll buy-in 100%.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Wow…just re-read my post…I sound like a scardey-cat…Well Guess what…I AM!

        If I didn’t have responsibilities to my children, then I wouldn’t have to be a participant in this damn game that I must play carefully! I wouldn’t be a pawn. I’d be a knight on the offensive…I wouldn’t be a serf enslaved to the fuedal lords of today’s society.

      • I guess that’s the point of my post…at what percentage would prosecution become nearly impossible for the government? (Just for discussion of course. LOL! I haven’t wrapped my computer in tin-foil, perhaps I should!!)
        In reality, the amount that we “average joes” pay probably wouldn’t be enough to hurt the coffers, but what would? Who are the biggest tax payers? Are they the Gates & Buffett’s of the world? or the larger firms like insurance/banking/etc.?

    • Karl from Esom Hill says:

      My reply to you CZ, and you RS, is this. The only way refusing to pay taves would work IMO is for at least about 40 to 50% of us refused to pay. RS, like you and we others, the Liberals know they can attack us through our families. WE have too much responsibility to them to let the idiots do that. That’s what they are counting on! Not calling you a scaredy-cat though. I am the same way.

      • Karl, my stepdad back in the 50’s decided that he would not pay any taxes at all. The end result was that I had to take leave and bail him out of fed jail. The family lost everything, lock stock and barrel(the business he operated for over ten years, our family home, and his collection of antique autos). Two of my older brothers and me moved them to another city and got him a job. He never learned his lesson. I returned from an assignment only to find that all of my childhood memories(photos that my mom had taken over the years) had been confiscated and what could not be sold was destroyed. End result is that I pay my taxes.

    • Black Flag says:

      Yes, withholding taxes would send a violent message to government; and they would act that way. Resisting taxes threatens government to its core, and it will act as if you wrapped your fingers around its neck.

      This would work if 10% or more of the population did this – remember it was merely resisting 1% tax that caused a King to land troops to “pacify” those ignorant colonists.

      However, you can chose not to vote. That still (for now) is legal. You can send almost an equal message by doing that, without bringing upon yourself the full weight of government violence.

      But you must not advertise that you did not vote. It will attract unnecessary attention, and can be used to define you as a ‘terrorist’.

      And do not think yourself “chicken” because you wish to avoid being pummeled to death by government.

      You cannot win, by yourself, any fight against government – there are too many who depend on the government for their livelihood – even if you could battle at 1 to 100 odds, you’d lose eventually – and so bad it would destroy your family too.

      Be prudent – garnish your resources carefully, and wait for the right moment – the leviathan will crumble all by itself and you’ll need every thing you’ve got to save yourself from being crushed by its fall.

      • Black Flag,There are a large number of citizens that don’t vote now.The message that they are sending is not being received.Republicans are losing voters in droves and their response is to require voted ID at the polls.I know for a fact that this is costing them more votes because some people don’t want to be bothered with this extra requirement.

    • Wow – I was just thinking about this topic and realized it would be very difficult to stop paying taxes. You’d have to give up a normal job or go to work as an independent contractor. In normal jobs they take a portion off the top to start with in the form of income taxes, medicare, and social security. I guess you could mess with your W-4 and get as little taken out as possible.

      You could also stop paying property taxes.

      But then they’d just go after you with sales taxes and taxes on gasoline, cigs, alcohol, etc. You’d basically have to go back to living off the land and generally stop buying things altogether.

      • F. Paul Wilson has a great series about a Repairman Jack, who “fixes” peoples problems, and who has lived his whole adult life without paying taxes, no drivers license, etc. A little occult thrown in, but a great action read that makes you think, what would I do? The Tomb is the first in the series.

    • The Government already has the “I’m not paying my taxes” thing covered.

      That is why they started withholding, rather than collecting taxes directly. That is also why, if you are short (beyond a certain percent) at tax time, you pay a penalty. They want their hands on a much $$$$ as possible, as soon as possible.

      If any significant number of people upped the w-4 number to avoid withholding, the Government would just change the rules. They would take what they think you “should” be paying anyway.

      For many years, there has been talk of a cashless society. We are nearly there, with EFT, ATM cards, and Direct Deposit. I think the take over of the banks is another step in that direction. At that point, you will not be able to EARN or SPEND a SINGLE PENNY without the Government knowing about it. They will even be able to track what you spent your money ON (guns, ammo, food, etc.)In that case a barter system will come into play, but they have that covered too, or soon will have.

      In a cashless society, what would be the most bartered item? FOOD. There are already systems being designed to control the entire food supply. The Food Safety Act (controls produce, even your garden) and the National Animal Identity System – NAIS (Controls ALL livestock, cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry (even guineas and peacocks), horses, llamas, and more. Horses and Llamas, we don’t eat those! But in a meltdown, they could be used for transportation and as pack animals, and yes, even food. (Be aware of the scare tactics being used to make the case for these programs….highly publicized food poisoning cases, mad cow disease, bird flu..etc.)

      So as far as being able to escape taxes, that wouldn’t last long. Barter for goods? Nope, they are getting that covered.

      So we have things things in the currently in the works or ALREADY passed as legislation:

      Bama Camps for kids

      Know Your Customer – (Your bank is required to turn you in if they see any transaction that is “out of character”. No dollar amount required, just anything your “bank” considers unusual.)

      NAIS (Animal owner has 24 hrs to report to the USDA the movement OFF the premises of ANY animal for ANY reason. Penalty for each day of NON-REPORTING is $1000 / day.

      Food Safety Act (Just as ominous as the NAIS, check it out)

      Real ID (Federal Drivers License)

      FBI plan to palm print and eye scan EVERY US citizen.

      2nd Ammendment – always under attack

      Concentration Camps? (Need to get more info on this)

      Nearly ALL of these “programs” were in the works before Obama, some long before. However, the current state of affairs in Washington will put them on the fast track.

      Especially the NAIS and Food Safety Act will put small, local farmers out of business. That will concentrate our food supply in the hands of Big Agri…think Cargill, Monsanto, Tyson, etc.

      THEN think about what just happened at the G-20. A GLOBAL entity will now be able to take over “firms” that are not “functioning properly”?

      Not sure Voting vs. Not Voting can fix any of this.

      • BTW – You are pretty close to right on that tax thing. Any company that has an employee that competes a W-4 with 10 or more withholdings on it (bascially to avoid having withholding taken out) they are required to fax a copy of that form to the IRS. Also, if the IRS discovers that you are not having enough withheld from your paycheck and contiuously owe large balances then they can force your employer to withhold more taxes on your behalf. An employer that neglects/refuses to comply get a personal visit on their front porch.
        Like you said, they got it covered!!

        • They got it covered all right.

          If we would get fed up and say, “OK fine, the government is taking most of my income in taxes, I just won’t work, there will be nothing to tax. I will barter my time for what I need, and live off the land. Everything will be off the record, and MINE to keep.”

          If they are tracking all animals and vegetables, they will tax you. Or fine / jail you for “non-compliance”.

          Also, if you plan on using gold, they can put a stop to that as well. There was a time when it was illegal for individuals to own gold (above a minimal amount in jewlry). That was when gold backed the dollar. I remember people talking about it when I was a kid.

          There is nothing to stop them from making it illegal again, whatever it takes to totally control and enslave us.

          I bet Black Flag would have some good thoughts on the gold backed dollar….what do you say Black Flag?

        • Black Flag says:

          Please review my guest post (thanks, again, USWep) under the title:

          “A return appearance”.

          In the followup discussion, I talk about gold and its purpose for the individual in our near future.

          • Yes, I have all of your advise copied for future reference:)

            What I meant above is your opinion of the gold backed dollar vs individual ownership of gold….specifically the likelihood of the Government making gold illegal for individual to own, as a way of control, both of the economy, and people.

        • Black Flag says:

          The government is not likely to do another “FDR” on gold.

          Gold, from the point of view of governments, is no longer money.

          From 1971, when Nixon closed the “Gold Window” of the Federal Reserve, gold ceased to be “money” from the definitions of government.

          Gold is just another commodity to ‘them’ – no different then coffee and pork bellies.

          Gold is different, though to the people. It takes more than Nixon to cancel out 10,000 years of the concept of value of money out of Gold.

          I’m a “Mises Disciple” on the Theory of Money. Money is, simply, the the ‘thing’ that is the most desired commodity to trade.

          In prison, for example, cigarettes is money. That is perfectly valid – it exists, in their society, the most desired and tradeable commodity.

          Gold is still that – with or without government acceptance. But it is not necessarily ‘the only’ money.

          I believe in the free market creation of money – the people will chose it on their own; maybe sand, seashells, gold, oil, wheat….whatever.

          Gold will always retain, even on historical basis, value as a store of wealth.

          I believe people should have some store of gold in hand, as a hedge against inflation. Government has huge debts. Inflation consumes debt with time. Therefore, you know that government supports inflation so to eat away at its debt.

          Gold tends to be immune to inflation and may be an important component in retaining long term, liquid, wealth.

          Thus, to protect your wealth, some store in gold (10% to 40% of your cash reserves, depending on your personal situation) maybe prudent for the future.

  10. I came across a post from last night in the comments section for an article about “Cap and Trade” on Foxnews.com, that should impact this discussion. I actively write my elected officials often about legislation that I’m concerned about. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D, OH) has responded with an e-mail to me on every issue,and I give him alot of credit for that. In short, I wrote in opposition to the “Cap and Trade” legislation, and stated that I would have a difficult time voting for him in the next election if he were to support “cap and trade” legislation.

    I’m not the only one in Ohio that feels this way, so here’s a quote from the post. Ohiovet Apr 2, 11:36 pm. “Ohioans have made it clear to Sherrod Brown (d) Ohio that he will not be elected next term if he votes for cap and trade. He has since changed his mind. He also stated “we can stop sending letters…I got the message”. The post continues on about the issue from there.

    While the “Cap and Trade” issue will be debated and voted on later, I will send another letter in protest to this legislature. Sen. Brown’s vote has yet to be cast, but he is getting the message.

    This shows that being involved can make a difference, where ignoring them could have a negative impact in our lives.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      G-Man,

      That is wonderful! I’m looking forward to hearing about Brown’s final vote to see whether or not he’s pandering to his constituents. I hope he has the nerve to stand up to Reid. If he does indeed have the nerve, then kudos to him!

      I also think that EVERY SINGLE Ohioian (sp?) who wrote him should follow-up with a letter that either:

      a. praises him for voting for his constituents, or
      b. denounces him for not voting for his constituents

      People do tend to get riled up over something that doesn’t seem to be right to them…they write letters, make phone calls, lobby, etc. One of the problems is that when the issue is resolved to their satisfaction, they don’t follow-up with a Thank You for doing that (which really cements to the person taking action that they did the right thing).

      Great Job G-Man!

      • I will be all over this, and if in fact Sen Brown votes against it, I will thank him. He needs to know that we do care, and will vote accordingly.

    • Arkansas’s Senator Mark Pryor has responded that he is against Cap and Trade, but will listen to their side of it. So I will continue to write him and keep that symbolic pressure on him.

  11. This post is a suggested read at, http://aresay.blogspot.com/

  12. Kristian says:

    The whole concept of “ignore it and it will go away” is one that makes no sense to me. That is equivalant to sticking one’s head in the sand. By doing nothing you legitimize those who do go out and vote. Government isn’t going away whether I vote or not. I’d rather have my voice heard.

    • Kristian – I couldn’t agree more. There is no chance that the “majority” is simply going to ingnore government. That said, the only way we can make a difference is to get involved, be knowledgable on the issues, share our knowledge with everyone we come across and ultimately make the difference by voting. This falls in line with previous statements of voting for the lesser of two evils but I don’t see another option. I refuse to stand by and let the “dumb masses” flush our country down the toilet.

      First post by the way. Love the site USW.

  13. I think US has won the debate.

    Dee has put he cherry on top. “Don’t vote is nice on a philosophy level, but not practical.

    My argument against Flag yesterday was the Spiderman analogy. To stand by and do nothing when you see a crime committed is against the PRINCIPAL’S of civilized man. And to look at this in absolutes, black and white only. All government is a form of corruption, violence and oppression. I see the validity of that except the “ALL” part.

    Our first settlements had government. Why? They were trying to get away from an oppressive government. So why did they feel the need to have any kind of government? Logic says there was a reason. That it was not just to keep a tradition, or for some emotional need. There was a physical, practical need that could only be met be the community organizing and agreeing on how they would interact.

    Genghis Khan is a good example of why governments are needed. Add Hitler to the list. And if we could do away with all governments in the world, what would stop another madman from organizing a group of barbarians that could take what they wanted from even the strongest individual.

    Like an ostrich burying its head is a poor defense from lions. Standing on a corner waving a sign ” THE END IS NEAR “, is also a poor defense against government. They have the power. They will use whatever force needed to enforce their will. Our only defense is to try to elect people who will fight them through the system started by our forefathers. Hopefully people who will try to shrink government to its smallest practical size, as our founders intended.

    Interesting reading, H. Beam Piper’s “Lone Star Planet” Sci fi story of a planet colonized by Texas, where it is legal to shoot a politician, if it is for a justifiable political reason, such as proposing an income tax.

    In closing Flag,

    I see you’ve got your list out
    Say your piece and kiss off (always thought it was get out)
    Guess I got the gist of it
    But its alright
    Oh well anyway
    Sorry that you feel that way
    Every silver linings got a
    Touch of Grey

    Grateful Dead

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Very, very interesting…

      Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day working on my family’s “Run” Plan (This was based upon other opinion pieces at this site where Black Flag was urging folkes to be prepared.)

      BTW…Our run to place is in the Mtns. where we own some property (16 acres). There are neighbors (all with larger tracts of land) on the road…

      Okay,

      So, I like to be organized (developing my plan is no different).

      I started out by copying recipes for making soap, laundry detergent, etc. (I like to brainstorm and find stuff, then organize as I go along)…

      Anyway, I started developing some spreadsheets. One for foods (broken down by category of course along with how many people one can of corn would feed, etc. — yes…I’m a bit anal).
      Others for medical supplies, guns & ammo, etc…you get the picture I hope.

      I’m the type of person that likes to look at a summarized picture, then drill-down to subsets of data…So I quickly saw that I needed to develop the one spreadsheet that was the summarized picture…

      I started working on it…I had a column called Category. The categories in that were things like Medical, Safety, Animals, Gardening, Food, etc. The next column was high-level topics under those subsections — for Food, it was like Inventory of foods on hand (which would reference to one of my detailed spreadsheets).

      Don’t worry…I’ll get to my point in a minute!

      Of course, in my family, I know who cooks the best and I know who can repair things the best, etc.!

      So, then I started thinking more…what if our “run” plan involved a longer duration than say 30 days and we started running out of stuff and there was anarchy and we couldn’t replenish our supplies…GASP! We may need to depend on the neighbors that are regionally situated along the road! We might all need to come together and support each other…

      So, I added another column to my spreadsheet…This one is titled “Expert”. Afterall, there might be someone in the neighborhood that can work wonders with rice and gravy…at least better than my mom, right!

      Then I had the epiphany that folks may not be “Experts”, but they may enjoy doing something, so I added a column for “Volunteers”.

      Voila! I have just created a “Government”.

      I threw my arms up and went to bed. I was like how could I take something so benign as “planning to survive” and turn it into a Government?????

      I guess it’s just human nature to congregate and want to help each other…

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hmmm…maybe after it’s all said and done, I can find a job as a community organizer…

        Can’t wait to cry in my beer tonight.

        • Just curious, do you have a list of food that can be canned and preserved?

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Good Question…

            I would have to defer to the expert on that one…My Father…

            I know that he cans just about everything that grows in a garden. He also cans Venison. It’s like his hobby…Not sure where he gets his recipes, but if I can get them, I’ll forward them to US Weapon if okay with him and ask that he forward to you.

            • That’s great, thanks

            • USWeapon says:

              Richmond,

              That would be no problem. Happy to help.

              USW

            • You can find canning procedure just by googling. Canning Meat…Canning Fruit…Canning Vegetables. County extension services, various universities and the USDA guidelines should pop up for you.

              There are standard guidelines, just pay attention to your altitude, to make sure you are following what is safe pressure and time for your area. When I moved a short distance, I found the elevation changed just enough to need to increase the lbs. of pressure and the time.

              You can can darn near anything.

      • I think one of Flag’s suggestions was to look for a community or neighbors that could be organized for mutual defense. So if I’m remembering correctly, he said we should go form our own small governments (but lets not call them that). And its a great ideal, if you live next to a doctor, he/she may be a lousy mechanic, or hunter or farmer. I’m about two miles out of town, small neighborhood of about ten households. I am looking to buy some hunting land. But that is thinking there could be two to ten years of a major depression. All that said, I think the chance of it becoming that bad is less than 10%. I will use the hunting land either way, and should be a good investment.

      • Calf Roper says:

        Spitfire,

        I think there are two things that are causing you to look beyond just relying on yourself to survive:

        1) Fear of the unknown
        2) Desire to do maximize effectiveness and efficiencies (i.e. create convenience)

        You look to your neighbors for help when you fear that you may run out of food.

        You desire to find people who are good at certain things and trade with them with what you are personally good at to create convenience.

        It’s just basic human nature and it is why in general our government will never go away. It may be replaced with something else, but the State will always exist.

        Just my thoughts.

      • Spitfire, your government sounds better that the dookey we have now!

    • Black Flag says:

      To stand by and do nothing when you see a crime committed is against the PRINCIPAL’S of civilized man.

      No.

      The principle of civilized man is to not impose upon another.

      As I argued back,

      1) you do not know if a crime has been committed. Using your story, how are you sure that the Fight Promoter didn’t steal that money from the man you claim is the crook. You already had a previous encounter with the Promoter, would reneged on his deal with you. There is very good chance his the crook.

      2) Your case of perfect future vision is not correct. Your actions create consequences into the future that are unknown. Acting or not acting in that case predicts nothing, and cannot be used as a proof.

      It is not strange to see that the Founder’s attempted to rearrange the formation of government. No more than it is strange that the first schism from the Catholic church (a religion) was to create a new religion (Protestants). Once that schism was complete, all sorts of different systems sprung up, including non-religions (spirituality, atheism, etc.)

      It is a process. There was no proof in the 18th century that there could not be some restraint on the power of government. There were many intellectual theories of government – including no government – but just like having no religion was too large a step for Luther to even conceive, the step of no government was too far for the 18th century society either.

      They took the step of redefining its purpose.

      But, if you read their writings of the time, many did not even believe that they were able to restrain government at all, even then.

      All government is a form of corruption, violence and oppression. I see the validity of that except the “ALL” part.

      Begs the question – What is your definition of government and does your definition match what you see this government’s action?

      • I’m curious, are you saying you should never interfere when you see a crime being commited or that it’s just not really your responsiblilty to do so? So if you where to see someone assaulting a child. (I don’t want to be graphic, so just imagine something really heinous and wrong.) Would you really need to know the whole story? Would you not feel obligated to help the child who could not defend itself or even ask for help?

        • Black Flag says:

          I’m curious, are you saying you should never interfere when you see a crime being commited or that it’s just not really your responsiblilty to do so?

          The latter – not my responsibility.

          It is my moral judgment that I would almost always assist a child in need – but it is not my responsibility to do so.

      • So if we don’t KNOW a crime is/has been committed, inaction is appropriate. Conceded. When we KNOW a crime is being committed, what then. Government is violence as forceful imposition of their will in place of yours. Your stance of not participating will have no effect. Even if Barney Franks is the only person to vote, he wins, and we all lose.
        And you have no response for the ostrich. You cherry pick what you respond to.
        Admit it, you can’t defeat my Touch of Grey argument

        • Black Flag says:

          If I could understand the Touch of Grey argument, I might ‘touch’ it….

          😉

          • That was intended as simple humor. If logic cannot prevail against you, I am willing to employ illogic.
            You have refuted my Spiderman analogy, and though we have never met, I can picture you in spandex and a cape. Or perhaps Rorschach of the Watchmen?

            A book I am sure you would like, “An Enemy of the State” by F. Paule Wilson. The character overthrows
            an oppressive government by manipulating their economy.

            • Black Flag says:

              Unlike the Watchman character, I do not believe in punishment….and ‘good and evil’ are terms that are easily thrown around, but few have defined them well.

              But the cape and spandex … you looked in my closet didn’t you??? 😉

              • What else? I am a “Shadow” type character. How else to know what evil lurks in the hearts of men.
                Or what Mrs. Robinson was buying at Victoria’s Secrets.

                So back to what passes for logic for me, you maintain voting for anyone makes no difference. McCain = Obama, Hitler = Churchill or FDR. Yes, FDR & Churchill did things that were atrocious. But they did not try to conquer and enslave the world. Their difference is a shade of gray compared to absolute darkness.

                You said yesterday,

                “By voting for a politician,you are admitting that solutions to human problems requires violence and force upon all the citizens.

                If you believe that solving human problems requires voluntary agreement, and working together non-violently, then voting for government is a contradiction.”

                I would have to answer YES, it is the only real answer in today’s world. We need a government that “forces” us to provide for the common defense.
                I like to drive fast (140+). Is that OK with you or most of the others here? Or do you need the government to force me to drive more reasonably?

                And your “voluntary agreement”?
                Islamic extremist want me to die as I am an infidel. I do not agree to do so. Obama wants to negotiate with them. I believe that will make things worse. You don’t reason with a rabid dog. McCain would not talk to such Hitler want-a-be’s.
                So where I can understand your logic and the principal, I feel reality requires us to interact with this government and to try to shift it course back to a more limited form.

          • Black Flag says:

            So back to what passes for logic for me, you maintain voting for anyone makes no difference. McCain = Obama, Hitler = Churchill or FDR. Yes, FDR & Churchill did things that were atrocious. But they did not try to conquer and enslave the world. Their difference is a shade of gray compared to absolute darkness.

            I was talking with a good friend of mine about how this upcoming economic reckoning was the West’s payment for their folly of World War One.

            “Say what??” he said… and two hours over a couple of pints I related the historical perspective of economic and military history and how we got here.

            I’d love to do that, here too – but that is a book of writing.

            However, let me tickle a bit.

            The US involvement in WW1 arguably is the starting point to the destruction of Western society.

            It’s involvement created the Soviet Union.

            It’s involvement turned an armistice into a surrender of Germany.

            It’s involvement created the seeds of the Third Reich.

            It’s involvement set the conditions of the bankruptcy of Europe and the Great Depression – and to avoid the Depression, the seeds of the Inflationary spiral that now threatens the destruction of the global economy.

            The actors and players in all of this either contributed to this history or were pulled along by it.

            But each played a destructive role, adding to the pile of tyranny.

            So, each in their own way is responsible – because each had the same core immoral belief I call government.

            The politicians – all of them – acted in ways contrary to the best interests of their citizens with the result of the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, and (soon to be) the destruction of the Western culture.

            In this matter, I see only evil.

            (I’m kind of partial to ‘dark’ and ‘black’ as signs of ‘good’ and not ‘evil’ 😉 )

            I would have to answer YES, it is the only real answer in today’s world. We need a government that “forces” us to provide for the common defense.

            By what right should I give up my life for the State?

            If I believe the State is ‘bad’, why should I be forced to give up my life or my treasure to defend it?

            If it is worthy of defense, then – perhaps – I my fight for it. But it is my choice.

            By the fact it is not my choice (either by theft of my treasure to pay for it, or by conscription) proves that it is not worthy of defense and should crumble.

            I like to drive fast (140+). Is that OK with you or most of the others here?

            Why not?

            What harm have you done?

            Do no harm, no harm is done – therefore why should I harm you?

            Now Clear and Present Danger allows free people not have to wait until disaster strikes – but it must be:

            Clear – not foggy, unseen, diffuse, nor measured by merely a ‘perhaps’.

            Present – now, not later; this instance, not every instance; current, not past nor future.

            Danger – exists, not theoretical.

            So, you going 140 on an open highway with no one else – go ahead.

            Go 140 in a school zone during recess – big problem.

            Personally, I believe I am infinitely smarter than a stupid sign. I know my ability, I’ve trained myself, I know my car, I have a car built to perform, I know the road and I know I am safe.

            I know a sign is simply… a sign.

            And your “voluntary agreement”?
            Islamic extremist want me to die as I am an infidel.

            No, they don’t.

            They want your government to leave them alone.

            You don’t reason with a rabid dog.

            Turning human beings into rabid dogs so you can justify killing them is evil.

            They have children, wives, husbands, brothers, fathers and mothers as you do.

            There is no mystery to them. Their basic desires are the same as yours.

            I feel reality requires us to interact with this government and to try to shift it course back to a more limited form.

            As in my post, there does not exist any process to limit government. This is now proven with the American experiment.

            The great Jurist, Black, stated:

            “Government must have rules, but it is Government that makes the rules it wants to follow”.

            There is no way and no how to limit government – except to prevent its existence.

  14. Calf Roper says:

    Government will continue to grow no matter who is in power, and the majority of people will lay down their freedom for protection and convenience.

    Black Flag is ultimately correct. In the perfect world, the State wouldn’t exist, we would live free. However, in this world, I really don’t think humans in general truly want freedom. Too many rely on what the State gives them – protection from other States, an institutional framework with laws for everyone to follow, a road system that allows us all to travel great distances, a unit of value that we all can use in our transactions with one another, etc, etc.

    If we all had true freedom from the State, we wouldn’t have these things. The wild, wild West was probably one of the last free eras in this country. It required individuals to make hard choices for themselves. Required them to choose between allowing someone else to kill, rob, or rape or to take it upon themselves to police the actions of the killers, robbers, and rapists. There was no central law or policing force, not in the earlier days; only the individual with his firearm and his moral backbone.

    How many of us are truly ready for that? Are you ready to not have the police to call if someone threatens or attacks you? Are you truly ready to grow your own food knowing there will be times when you go hungry, or your children go hungry?

    My overall point is this, as long as more than one human gathers together; there will be government of some form. It is human nature. The strong will always take advantage of the weak in the name of the common good, it’s what makes them strong. You can’t change human nature. I, for one, would love to be free. I am personally willing to give up police protection, fire protection, roads to travel on, money in my pocket to be truly free.

    However, I think that very few people in the world are ready for that. Therefore, nothing will change. Government will continue to grow no matter who is in power, and the majority of people will lay down their freedom for protection and convenience.

  15. Would any one argue that even in the smallest group of people (single family) that there is a hierarchy established.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Yes…there is a hierarchy in family.

    • Black Flag says:

      Hierarchy is not government.

      I think you guys need to define what you think government is….

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Black Flag:

        Your intelligence (you are indeed eloquent) scares me because I sure don’t want to look in the mirror and feel ignorant! With that said, if I am indeed ignorant, I do desire to learn and am open-minded to you.

        Maybe familial hierarchy grows to become a “loose” form of government as the family grows into branches. The term “Big Brother” does have a family ring to it.

        • Good answer, in my opinion, once the family hierarchy is established, the leader then engages in some form of government type action to make decisions that affect the family. The leader say “family vacation is the first week of July” thus engaging in a dictatorship style of government. Or, the leader, could ask “what week should we go on vacation this summer?” engaging a form of democracy. Even at the family level, a form of government activity is always in our lives.

        • Black Flag says:

          No one confuses the Boy Scouts with the US Marines, nor the Lions Club with the NYPD, nor the Red Cross with the IRS.

          So, all of the above have hierarchy and leadership – but why are we clear that one group is consistent with “government” as we know it and the other group is not?

      • Your right BF, Hierarchy is not government in its true definition.

      • Government is a body of persons to whom we in a democracy loan the right to direct us,the people in our day to day endeavors.we expect that this government shall be responsible for maintaining law and order,protecton from enemies and to generally oversee the population that it not infringe too heavily on each other.In a Democracy we reserve the right for the people to rescind their authority at any time by a vote of one more than the opposition.

        To get rid of government totally it is only necessary for you to convince one more person than half the population to vote with you.

  16. Flag, I’ve got another for you. How do you reconcile your view with the Burke statement that “All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing”?

    • Black Flag says:

      Ah! Good question!

      My answer, which always starts with a question 😉 :

      Where have you found me saying “Do nothing at all”?

      I have offered a plethora of paragraphs offering lots of “do somethings”!!

      I am saying “Do nothing with governmen“, and unless you believe government is all things (which it is trying to be)…. there is plenty of do-things that are available and far more powerful than playing footsie with government.

  17. Munich27 says:

    I decided to join this little fray, because anarchist arguments fascinate me. The crux of Black Flags argument is this

    “Non-participation sends a message that we no longer believe in what is being done to us, and we want no part of it.”

    As a pragmatist first and foremost, i read that same sentence and came to entirely different interpretation.

    “Non-participation sends the message that we approve of what you’re/ or for the more nuanced argument…is what you are doing is not abhorrent/objectionable enough to motivate me to remove you.” BF is right, that a mandate is the state’s strongest weapon, but not participating does not any way remove that weapon. At least by voting you get the opportunity to shape that mandate.

    Notice i also used the words “remove you”. Ultimately, unlike monarchies, our system does allow you to remove people you find objectionable.

    Is our system flawed…DUH!
    Can government fix all of our problem…NOPE!
    However, public outrage and involvement does provide one more check to the STATE.
    All public officials want to remain in power, it is the nature of the struggle between parties.
    When the public gets sick (FDA), killed (9/11), or sent to bread lines (depression, NOW)It forces our elected officials to action, and yes sometime mob rule becomes law, but sometimes there are good policies that come forth. Active engagement can also shape those policies.

    The sky is not falling.

    • Black Flag says:

      As I posted, there is no removing anyone. Removing the paint on the wall does not remove the wall.

      Your vote does not shape the mandate.

      Please point to one thing Obama has changed from Bush.

      He is still at war – in fact, increasing the war effort.

      He is increasing the financial destruction.

      He is utilizing the full force of the Patriot Act, he is not removing it.

      …there is nothing but cosmetic changes in the change of power.

      • He is utilizing the full force of the Patriot Act, he is not removing it.

        Might be interesting as to how Hollywood reacts to that. In recent years TV shows like the very popular “Law & Order” and “CSI Miami” have used that theme in their Bush-Bashing episodes. Now that a liberal is in there doing it even worse, I wonder how they will write that into their shows – Or just choose to ignore it altogether . . . 😉

    • Munich, my thoughts are more in line with yours – by not voting, we are saying that we either don’t care what happens to us or that we are in agreement with what is going on so we are not going to oppose it.

  18. Andrew Gabriel says:

    First let me begin by congratulating both of you on your arguments. USW and BF its great to see how both reasonings are intelligent and hold weight, yet equally interesting is to see how both BF and USW want the betterment of our country; yet their views to get there are so different. These are two people that apparently have very good intentions for all of us; which one can safely assume whichever proposed change would in some way help and not make the situation worse. Now imagine how it is when the parties involved (REPUBLICANS) and (DEMOCRATS) are equally corrupt and only want their own benefit. We arrive at the United States of America today.

    I find the answer to this dilemma in both arguments. Complete loss of faith in the system and its institutions does ultimately make those institutins obsolete. Yet I believe if their is total neglect for the government by the people and the government feels threatened, it will just accelerate its fascist, socialist, communist, whatever agenda. Government seeing its existence in jeopardy will just adopt a policy of subjecting its population by military force, and ultimately consolidate all its power and infrastructure in one full sweep, crushing all opposition without regard and in plain view. It will no longer need a mandate or consent to rule, the illusion of democracy being no longer useful will be disregarded. The system will rule by fear and violence.

    Now on the other hand, voting as we have seen has become irrelevant in forwarding democracy, when the choices we have are, as mentioned by BF “There is no lesser of two evils. In the modern American State, there is only a choice between socialism or fascism.”

    I have mentioned before, that I do not believe that all politicians are corrupt, but when it comes to high offices in the government, I truly believe BF is right on the money.
    So neglecting the government and its policies is a great idea, but without a clear alternative and a clear plan on how to fill that void, the government will crush us or their will be anarchy.

    Their is no perfect system yet in place to have a peaceful society that can have people live in harmony and that its only purpose is the betterment of humanity and not only profit and greed. Before we go and get rid of this broken system, we need to know what will transition and how, getting rid of our system is just half the battle.

    • Black Flag says:

      Your fear of government no longer requiring legitimacy to act is well placed. In fact, that is its goal.

      It is within the circular stages of government already well defined in political theory – that all government evolves (devolves?) into tyranny.

      There are, therefore, two paths available at this time:

      1) continue to legitimize government as it meanders through its evolution (de-evolution?) into tyranny or

      2) remove the legitimacy while it has effect upon government.

      I believe all politicians are corrupt based on definition of the reasoning of politics.

      I, however, do not necessarily see them as evil.

      For example, USWep wants to be a politician – but I do not see him as evil. I see him as confused (in a good way).

      He has been indoctrinated for his entire life to act as a moral human being but given tools that contradict moral action. He probably represents a large percentage of politicians – especially at the local/state levels.

      Your statement regarding ‘clear alternative’ is interesting and compounding.

      With every paradigm shift, there is always this conundrum. To shift a position or belief requires one to abandon the one where one is.

      The destination is wholly unknown because if it was known, it would not be a new paradigm. New paradigms do not have all the answers; they need to be developed, because the new paradigm is new and undeveloped.

      Thus, one must abandon the known and move to the unknown if a paradigm shift is to occur.

      So for someone like yourself to demand a clear alternative before you actually shift ensures that no shift will happen for you.

      This is, usually, a good thing.

      The mechanism prevents wholesale leaps into the unknown by human society – as most of these leaps would be disasters. Paradigms exist because they worked and moving from a working system to a unknown system should be avoided. Human society survived by not leaping easily into the unknown – it survived by avoiding the unknown.

      However, paradigms also can be very destructive – especially if they are premised on contradictions and immoral concepts. These paradigms may have solved some short term problems, but have equally (or more so) made many far worse and more dangerous.

      Therefore, a paradigm shift requires a logical, reasoned and moral philosophy first! With that, one does not need to know all of the answers – one simply needs to known the moral formula to derive the answers.

      So many argue with me by providing specific circumstances and demand “how would your society handle this?” and they find my answers frustrating.

      I do not answer the specific, as it is wholly hypothetical, it is impossible to account for all the circumstances (A good example is Life of Illusion’s Spiderman scenario – where the hypothetical, perfect, future knowledge is used as a proof, whereas in real life, no such ability of perfect future knowledge can exist.)

      So my answers are a description of the process of calculating the answer – and not a direct answer in of itself. As Marx said “I built the kitchen – what meal may be made in the kitchen I do not know”.

      Of course, for those that demand to know what meal will be cooked on March 21st, 2025, my answer of “If you have potatoes, you can make this, but if you have carrots, you can’t make what you can with potatoes” seems to be no answer at all.

      So as far as the new paradigm, the only answer can be the process by which to achieve a moral outcome. You can only achieve a moral outcome by using moral means.

      My reason to shift paradigms is because this current paradigm of government does not use moral means, and therefore its outcomes cannot be moral as well. The basis of civilization is predicated on moral means and out comes.

      “Take care of the means, and the ends will take care of itself”.

      Finally, the goal is not a society of peace, nor harmony (though, that would be a benefit).

      The goal is Freedom…..because without freedom, no other goal has any possibility of attainment.

      • Andrew Gabriel says:

        BF have you ever heard of “The venus Project”?
        I would like to know your thoughts on it.

      • BF
        Does this mean we can’t run you for President in ’12
        “I believe all politicians are corrupt based on definition of the reasoning of politics.” and I was thinking we might have a good canidate.

        • I think you would probably make a pretty good one…sure you won’t change your mind?

      • Black Flag says:

        Like Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, do not tempt me with the Ring of Power.

        I would, as he said, use the Ring to deliver great good upon the people – but using the Ring is using a Great Evil, and from Evil only Evil can be done. The greater the bearer of the Ring, the greater the evil done.

        Gandalf recoiled in fear – for his good would be far greater a terror than Sauron delivered upon Middle Earth.

        As would my “good”. Can you imagine a super-genius, seizing the reigns of legal violent power? Can you imagine Fredrick the Great, without the constraint of a small, desperate, army? Can you imagine a Stalin with a Napoleon’s military genius?….Welcome to Black Flag as your President.

        No, no, no, no!

        Do not wish that for me.

        • Amazed1 says:

          LOL….at least you stick to your principles…most people throw them out at the first chance….especially if money or power is concered.

    • USWeapon says:

      Great Response Andrew,

      I agree with your assessment of both my and BF’s positions. I would never make the claim that what he wants is something bad for the country. We both want to make things better…. in different ways, although not always as different as it initially seems!

      You are correct in assuming that a total neglect of the government would not “de-legitimize” them in their eyes. It would only accelerate the madness and race towards fascism.

  19. Wow!! This is a very insightful and engaging post.

    My heart sides with USWeapon, but my mind agrees with Black Flag. Since my past actions are pretty much in line with USWeapon I will spend my time discussing how I felt after reading Black Flag’s entry.

    I agree with Black Flag, but fear to “not vote”. I do not like either party. My voting has always been with what “I viewed” as the lesser of two evils knowing that I would not like the one I voted for, but I would be even more upset if the guy that “I did not like” were to win and impose their ideas on me. In the end I feel like I am in a lose-lose situation.

    Not voting and thus not giving consent is a very interesting alternative. I think people are viewing “not voting” as doing nothing. What I gleamed from Black Flag is don’t give consent by voting, but this does not mean do nothing. He (BF) is not “doing nothing” … We can still evangelize our ideas, dissappointments and desires for change without giving consent.

    I will be thinking on this for awhile.

    Thank you both for the brain food.
    mb2

  20. I have to go with US also,even though BF makes for some interesting thought. I was raised and believe in voting and your right and duty to it and the Nation. I cannot simply refuse to vote. However, having said that, I do agree that there is a problem with voting for “the lesser of 2 evils” that the political process has become. While I know that there are a (very) few good officials out there, corruption and decay in the Legislative process has become the rule rather than the exception. One problem is the length in which members of Congress stay in office. I too, am for term limits. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The biggest problem of them all though is that the American public as a whole has become stagnant and apathetic towards the whole government issue. Anytime you have 30 to 40% of the people making election decisions for 100% of the country, you have a problem. IMO MORE people need to vote, not LESS! Folks need to get involved in their government and use the power of their voice to FORCE change. That though will take a 100% effort. Not 40%. Even with all the Obama hype and talk, still only somewhere around 40% of people in the U.S. actually showed up and voted. Even of those, a lot accepted the “it’s all Bush’s fault” and “McCain will be 4 more years of the same” Propaganda of Obama and the MSM. Some who voted had no idea of the issues, nor what Obama even stood for or against. Some even had no idea that Congress had been controlled by the Democrats for two years! But there were just too many smart, knowledgable people who voted for him for all of them to be swayed by the “new messiah” message others of his supporters were vomiting. Another MAJOR problem with the election process is the MSM. We can NEVER have a fair election with Media plainly biased and favoring one candidate over another. The last election brought this point home with devastating force. I have never seen such blatant, venom and obvious favoritism hate from anyone in all my life! And a lot of the public swallowed what they were fed without even a grimace, some grinning the whole time. The only chance McCain had, was to go on a vicious attack spree himself, and even that probably would have back-fired on him thanks to the Media. Some of the MSM should have been brought up and convicted of Libel and Slander charges for the bulldookey they were saying and even worse, repeating and spreading around. The fact that now, some people, and even some of the MSM, are now turning on The Chosen One just goes to show how wrong and stupid the whole lot of them were. And it’s only getting worse. Imagine what the election in 2012 or even as early as 2010 will be like!

    B B B Baby you just ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO)

    • Karl,

      I agree with every point. I have been wondering if instead of writing politicians, we should be writing the “news” stations protesting their lack of professionalism and bias. Pick the worst one, like Matthews and tell them every week we will not watch their station as long as he’s there. Send same such letters to their advertisers? Its a shame the Republican party is so clueless. If its members would organize like that, it could have a real effect. Likewise, they should be asking all Republicans to attend a “Tea Party”.

      And this has been something I ain’t never gonna forget

  21. Bama dad says:

    Well said Karl. Saw a news program just before the election where the voters were asked simple questions about their candidate, most could not answer where their guy stood. Most voters were sheep lead by the media. American voters need to be informed and educated and everyone needs to participate not just 40%.

  22. USW and BF did a great job with this subject, very thought provoking. I asked myself yesterday why there have been no liberal trolls posting on this blog. I honestly don’t think they could comprehend what Black Flag says, and therefore, just go away! Keep it up BF!

    On subject, regardless of what method you employ of the two choices in todays discussion, at what point do we say “the problem is identified, now what is the direction to take to fix the problem? What subject do we attack first, accountability, the bias MSM? What legal method is available to do this with?

    Maybe this could be a good discussion down the road.

  23. Black Flag says:

    I’m really impressed by how well this particular blog turned out – fantastic, heartfelt responses and thoughts!

    I accepted this debate/blog format with USWep knowing that my position would be in the far great minority (probably only held by me 🙂 ).

    My goal was not to ‘convince’ anyone, but stir debate and, of course, to generate thoughtful introspection upon one’s own held positions. Rarely do we actually test why we believe what we believe. Many times this test is enlightening.

    I’ve often been asked why I don’t have my own blog.

    If I did, it would be exactly like Kent’s – and I don’t think I could do better than him.

    Additionally, only people more suited to my beliefs would participate at my blog – and just like at Kent’s (whose blog and articles I review daily) it would end up mostly with “Yep, I agree” posts. Those with contrary views would hunt elsewhere to get their acceptance.

    My participation here (sometimes called ‘hijacking’) is purposed. It gets me involved with intelligent debate with those who hold a wider range of opinions on political topics.

    This friction generates a lot of heat on both sides of the debate; however, this particular blog seems to have evolved into a tone of adult dialogue without the adolescent name calling that pollutes many others. Big kudos to USWep for attracting this crowd!

    I hope we can do this format again!

    • So, who are you? What do you do? I read your entries and I’m, like WOW, this guy knows his stuff and even more importantly, backs it up!

      • Black Flag says:

        You can see my pic on USWep’s Blog facebook

        http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70733480733

        I’m a homeschooling Dad, Mensa member, and an international technology consultant who enjoys playing high-stakes poker tournaments!

        • OMG! Your just a kid! I had you pictured, well older…Harrison Ford type maybe but with shaggy white hair, white beard….LOL

          • By the way, I meant that as a compliment, that someone relatively young has mastered so much history and philosophy.

            And laughing at myself…my vision of a wise ole sage.

          • Black Flag says:

            You guys flatter me! I do admit I am aging quite well. Comes with a murderously hectic lifestyle and multiple closes calls with death! (I guess)….

            That pic was only 4 years ago at the World Series of Poker Tournament.

            Cardplayer Magazine was doing a piece on me – I play the WSOP for a charity that builds waterwells in Africa (I sit on the board of that charity) – so they were following me through the tourney as a ‘human interest story’.

            I will not expose my age directly, but I was old enough to watch the Walter Cronkite tell the world Kennedy was dead.

            • Well then, you have indeed aged gracefully! I was in kindergarten when Kennedy was shot.

              We do have the poker thing in common too, but I will never get to play in the World Series of Poker…just local tournaments now and then. Texas Hold “Em, mostly.

              I bet playing at a table with you would be quite an experience:)

            • Black Flag says:

              Gus Hansen did not enjoy his time at my table 🙂

              • USWeapon says:

                You wouldn’t enjoy your time at mine, LOL!

              • Have watched Gus many times. That is awesome that you got to play against him.

                Somewhere, I heard a quote by a guy that didn’t like to play against women. He said, “You can’t tell what they got, and they don’t CARE what you got”…

                That’s how I play, I don’t try to psycho analyze the opponents, I just play my cards.

                Who knows, someday maybe we will play a hand or two…me, you and USW.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      BF, I don’t know how anyone else feels, but, I wouldn’t want you to NOT be on here! Although I rarely agree with everything you have to say, I also rarely disagree with all of it either. Your ideas are very thought provoking, as are US’s. I actually wish we could have a world without gov’t. Where everyone lived in the country together and discussed differences with rational thought and had decent morals. Where justice was fair but swift. All laws were reasonable, and most people were honest. I’m afraid my friend that you world, as well as our ideal world, will never, ever, exist, except in our minds. And that’s a crying damn shame!

    • Kristian says:

      BF,

      I have to agree with Esom on this, I can’t imagine this blog without you on it. You make me think about things that I normally wouldn’t. While I can’t say that it is always comfortable it is very enlightening. You told me once that your goal was not to change my mind but to find out why I believe the way that I do. Talking with you has done that, it’s made me take out these ideas and really look at them and ask myself why. So, thanks. It is appreciated.

    • Flag

      I enjoy the discussions and thoughts provoked in their course. I will respectfully cling to my adolescent behavior. Sometimes the arguments get too intellectual. Makes my brain hurt. I’m not a MENSA member, I.Q. better than Obama, less than Biden.

  24. esomhillgazette says:

    G-Man I don’t think most Liberals could comprehend what any of us conservatives have to say, much less BF or US. They walk through life with blinders and rose colored glasses on and live in their own little world. Or on their own Planet! There’s no reasoning or even talking to them without them resorting to ugliness or violence. I guess logical, insightful thought drives them crazy! LOL

  25. I have read and re-read both sides of the argument as posted by USW and BF.

    I have concluded that no one can clearly and honestly make an unbiased comment on either side. Having said that, I clearly side with USW because his side of the argument more closely follows my own personal opinion that we voters should remain involved in our governmental processes.

    I do not feel that BF made his case clearly enough. Quoting writers and philosophers from the past, referencing ancient forms of governments, and showing their obvious faults did nothing to convince me that totally ignoring any government is the right way to go.

    My own personal belief is that it is the political parties that are the problem, that and the very obvious apathy of the American public have allowed these parties to get a death grip on our country. One party trying to outdo the other has shown them that if they get closer together in their philosophies that they will eventually obtain total control over every person in this country. I, for one, will do everything in my limited power to prevent that from happening.

    Separating the three branches of government, removing the influence of the political parties, removing our politicians from their ivory pedestals, resetting the control of the judiciary to the voting booth, and finally replacing the singular office of the presidency with a multi-member presiding council would be my way of returning control of our government to the people.

    Re-establishing our national heritage by choosing a national language and removing the concept of the hyphenated American, returning responsibility of raising our children to the parents, instilling personal responsibility to the individual for the choices we all make during our lives, and emphasizing American history and progress within how people in this country are actually free to choose our own path in life would go a very long way in boosting American pride in our country.

    We need to be proud in what we, as a nation, and as individuals have been able to accomplish in the short span of this country’s existence.

    We Americans are unique in this world.

    Remember that.

    • Black Flag says:

      philosophers from the past, referencing ancient forms of governments

      Interestingly, you want to re-invoke these “philosophers of the past” ideas once again – though shown to be unable to restrain government.

      • Ah, BF,

        It is not the philosophies(or philosophers) of the past that restrain government, but the actions of the present population.

        Again, I say, we here in the present need to rise up together and restrain and re-form this government of ours.

        To do nothing is national suicide.

        • Amazed1 says:

          Without a viable government will we end up like Samolia?

          • Yep!

            THAT is Anarchy in its purest form.

            Is that what BF wants? I really think not, I really think that BF doesn’t understand what anarchy really stands for or what it will result in if it happens here in this country.

            Please do not misunderstand me . . . I am not putting BF down, I am just saying that from what he has written that I have read, I do not think he has full comprehension of the consequences of anarchy.

            Thank you for mentioning Somalia. I do not know why I haven’t thought of it even though they are in the news almost every day with their nice little swashbuckling pirates and all. I wonder why the MSM hasen’t reported on the murders that they have committed during theur hijackings for ransoms?

            • Well I can’t take all the credit….it was your “national suicide” and BF’s “reform government” that brought Somalia to mind…it is rather pitifully what is going on in that country…I really would hate to think that America would ever come to that.

          • Black Flag says:

            Before the US backed invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia

            ..which country had the lowest long distance telephone rates in the world?

            ..which country had the cheapest water per gallon – delivered – in Africa?

            ..which country had the cheapest, and most, abundant food staple supply in Africa?

            The current pirate explosion is directly related to the US supported invasion of Somalia – and as Ethiopia withdraws (with its tail between its legs) and another US intervention gone bad slowly dissipates – so will the piracy.

            • Amazed1 says:

              It really was not my point to question how Somalia got into the shape it is in…I was just looking at the result of no effective government.

            • Black Flag says:

              And it was better for it

              ..with government, the people couldn’t buy food or water and there was no phone service.

              With “no government”, it had the cheapest food, water and phone service in Africa (and in some cases, the world).

              • Amazed1 says:

                Sorry to say it is not all good…if it were there would not be pirates…..
                wouldn’t have to steal

      • Black Flag says:

        Reform government from what, to what, with what moral base?

        • BF,

          NOT reform . . . . . re-form.

          Two entirely different meanings!

          Please re-read my post, the explanation is there.

          Remember . . . to do nothing is national suicide!

          National suicide would be to let our country out to whoever decides to invade and take whatever they like. Our government is not the only government on this planet, and there are those who would invade this land in a heart beat once it was realized that we did not have a standing military and governmental body to protect us. Your logic is flawed.

          You know that I believe that anarchy is nothing but absolute chaos. Remember, I posted a video on my blog that explains the differences between anarchy, oligarchy, democracy, etc., etc.?

          To deny that anarchy is nothing but chaos, to me, is like denying the nose on your face.

        • Black Flag says:

          The video, though spending a third of its time trying to dissuade “anarchy”, in the end, tied it to “Republican” beliefs. I was impressed.

          That is but an aside, however.

          You have STILL refused to define the moral basis of your reform.

          DO you agree or disagree on the use of violence upon non-violent people to enforce your vision of government?

          • BF,

            “You have STILL refused to define the moral basis of your reform.” What “moral basis”? What we have now and what it will be turned into in the very near future is the basis for the re-formation of our government. FYI – you are STILL using the wrong word.

            “DO you agree or disagree on the use of violence upon non-violent people to enforce your vision of government?” Here lies the crux of your flawed logic. You seem to say that government uses violence, on a daily basis, on our citizenry just to make them adhere to some sort of predetermined code of conduct in which they have had no input on.

            Do YOU still deny that in these United States of America, we the people have had absolutely no freedom to accept or deny anything in the process of configuring our laws? Our own acceptance of what is or is not “moral” behavior?

            I am not putting you down, BF, but I do not understand your logic in your ideas. You constantly ask me if I believe it is right to inflict violence on someone to make that person follow my beliefs. That is not what this is all about. I have said, more than once, that as a group we Americans have agreed to a set of acceptable behavior patterns (Moral, if you wish) that we have set into law. Voted on and accepted by a simple majority, this agreement is accepted by all. Those who do not wish to accept our rule of law are free to leave and seek residence elsewhere where the laws are more to there liking. What is wrong with that?

            Other than you, as an individual, not wanting to have any government at all, what is wrong with our way of life? What is so wrong with a notion of people agreeing to a set of laws that cover our behavior for the betterment of all?

          • Black Flag says:

            G. A. Rowe

            You still haven’t answered the question

            What is your moral basis?

            “DO you agree or disagree on the use of violence upon non-violent people to enforce your vision of government?” Here lies the crux of your flawed logic. You seem to say that government uses violence, on a daily basis, on our citizenry just to make them adhere to some sort of predetermined code of conduct in which they have had no input on.

            You still did not answer the question:

            “Do you agree or disagree on the use of violence upon non-violent people to enforce your vision of government?”

            I am not putting you down, BF, but I do not understand your logic in your ideas. You constantly ask me if I believe it is right to inflict violence on someone to make that person follow my beliefs. That is not what this is all about.

            In fact, that is exactly what it is about

            If you believe you can use violence to enforce your opinions (that is, your morals) then you cannot complain when someone does that to you

            Yet, you complain!

            So, you are inconsistent – and thus, whatever you are trying to accomplish will not happen in the form you wish it.

            I have said, more than once, that as a group we Americans have agreed to a set of acceptable behavior patterns (Moral, if you wish) that we have set into law. Voted on and accepted by a simple majority, this agreement is accepted by all.

            No it’s not.

            Again, you contradict yourself.

            I do not accept it.

            Why do I need to accept the decisions of others?

            What right do you have to decide for me?

            Those who do not wish to accept our rule of law are free to leave an

            d seek residence elsewhere where the laws are more to there liking.

            Because I live here.

            By your logic, If I, and 3 others vote you out of your house, you will leave, right???

            You had a vote, but the majority rules, right?

            When can I claim my new house?

            Other than you, as an individual, not wanting to have any government at all, what is wrong with our way of life? What is so wrong with a notion of people agreeing to a set of laws that cover our behavior for the betterment of all?

            Because you cannot claim that ‘betterment’!

            You have no moral basis from which to claim your way is better than anyone else.

            So, why should anyone believe you?

            By what gift from God did you achieve the ability to know what is good for me?

  26. Black Flag says:

    An interesting comment from another blog:

    What is the State?

    It is the group within society that claims for itself the exclusive right to rule everyone under a special set of laws that permit it to do to others what everyone else is rightly prohibited from doing, namely aggressing against person and property.

    Why would any society permit such a gang to enjoy an unchallenged legal privilege? Here is where ideology comes into play. The reality of the state is that it is a looting and killing machine. So why do so many people cheer for its expansion? Indeed, why do we tolerate its existence at all?

    The very idea of the state is so implausible on its face that the state must wear an ideological garb as means of compelling popular support. Ancient states had one or two: they would protect you from enemies and/or they were ordained by the gods.

    To greater and lesser extents, all modern states still employ these rationales, but the democratic state in the developed world is more complex. It uses a huge range of ideological rationales—parsed out between left and right—that reflect social and cultural priorities of niche groups, even when many of these rationales are contradictory.

    The left wants the state to distribute wealth, to bring about equality, to rein in businesses, to give workers a boost, to provide for the poor, to protect the environment. … The right, on the other hand, wants the state to punish evildoers, to boost the family, to subsidize upright ways of living, to create security against foreign enemies, to make the culture cohere, and to go to war to give ourselves a sense of national identity. …

    So how are these competing interests resolved? They logroll and call it democracy. The left and right agree to let each other have their way, provided nothing is done to injure the interests of one or the other. The trick is to keep the balance. Who is in power is really about which way the log is rolling. And there you have the modern state in a nutshell.

  27. Amazed1 says:

    OK…time for my two cents….in 2004 we had 216 million eligable voters in the US and 126 million voted. In 2008 we had 212 million (don’t know what happened to the other 4 million)eligable voters and 134 million voted. So if under BF’s therory had half chose not to vote because they were indifferent to government then the government would not be given legitimacy. Well if you follow the numbers the nearly 100 million that did not vote changed nothing. The people who did vote for “change” did accomplish something we are now governed by one party. Your ability to vote is the only voice you have it is the only way we have influence it is the only way you have of expressing your opinion. If you give up your right to vote then some nut would give us a king….how ya gonna influence him?
    Is our system becoming corrupt? Yes! Do we need an overhaul? Yes. Starting with the electorial college.
    If I offered every voter a million dollars to give up their right to vote for ever….alot of people would take me up on it. They are like BF in that they believe it does no good to vote and the money woud do them better. But if you offered to someone who had plenty of money they probably would not give up their right to vote because to them it is power….they and a few others would control the government.
    Not voting changes nothing…look at all the people who did not vote…if they were voting conservative then another 100 million votes would have given a conservative hue to the congress and under BF’s argument would have given legitimacy to a very powerful government body who probaby would have acted just as this one is.
    My question is…how many rights are you willing to give up? Is not every right we have precious to us? At what point do you choose not to be indifferent to your rights? There is no way that any governing body could make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time….so if you are one of the 10% that are not happy does that mean you become completely indifferent to your ability to use the only weapon you have? Apathy is the word…..do we become a nation of complete voter apathy?
    What we have in so many ways is better than alot of other countries have it, are we willig to throw it in the garbage because we do not care? Our forefathers set us up a republic…it has gotten to the point it is now because of indifference and apathy.
    You make some wonderful points BF but I will not be silenced, I will not sit quitely by and watch my only mechinism for change be squashed. It maybe futile but it is the only way I have any influence.(as little as it is).

    • Well said & an excellent point!

    • USWeapon says:

      Excellent points. One question, however. What percentage of those that didn’t vote were not eligible to vote? Non-citizens, underage, etc. The percentage of eligible voters is a number I would be more interested in. I hate to make this point as I think it will support BF’s position, but I must.

  28. Amazed1 says:

    While I am at it I would like to thank USW for this site….I really enjoy getting to read and hear people’s points of view given in such rational manners. Bf has a natural talent for pulling readers into a state of questioning why they believe what they believe and what the affect of those beliefs are. In short no matter which side of the arguement you take USW and BF make you think. Thanks to all of you for such a good forum. If anyone of ya’ll were missing this forum would not be the same. I really enjoy reading all of your comments. Thanks everyone for allowing me to be apart.

    • USWeapon says:

      We are quite glad to have you here Amazed1. You also count as one who adds to the value of the discussions. Don’t leave yourself out.

  29. I would like to say that this site is mind boggeling at times. The insight from everyone is remarkable. If this were here when I was 17, and smokin pot, what a ride it would be!!!!
    Now I’m old and clean, but it sure is fun. I hope that all of you can remember your youngers years with joy, I sure do. Then I grew up, and here I am. Miss those days, don’t you?

  30. SFC Dick says:

    I Find I disagree with most of every part of USWeapons arguments about voting but at the same, he and I are brothers; even in all I find to disagree with, I believe he and I share a close bond of dedication to the same small set of hard and fast principles. I find I have allowed a certain “trust’ in him, this is not the institutionalized trust forced by military circumstances, I have not only lost that, I have stridently become to reject it prima facia; I find the trust comes from reading his writings and seeing a consistency on his part to think, reason, engage in thoughtful debate and allow his opinion to be adjusted by persuasive logic.
    I began reading Black Flags’ arguments and at initial blush thought him to be a typical devil’s advocate who uses ambush of circular logic fueled in the antiestablishment biases of some Berkley moon baby who again found relevance in standing up against the “man” George Bush. HA! How wrong I was. I find myself becoming more and more allied with his well reasoned, if not completely “radical” arguments. I read him as one who is more concerned with the rights of everyman, agreed or not, almost altruist in philosophy.
    Our country was established by men just like these two. These two men who at times seem polar opposites, were the very same type, I say again, VERY SAME TYPE that gave us this country. Read about Adams and his fight/debates with Jefferson. What these 2 were able to do was put aside ideas driven for personal gain and work for a real better thing, a greater thing.
    I begin this way because I am not going to argue whether voting is correct or not. It almost seems a no win situation. I would argue that most people vote to “get” something, every group I know of votes to “get” something; a law that disallows someone some “thing” is as much a “get” as a law allowing someone to “get” something. We either voted and screwed it up or didn’t vote and allowed it to be screwed up. Blah blah blah, the monster is upon us. I therefore and in summation of, in reference to and hereto for agree that we are the problem.
    The only solution I see is revolution, for all you government types, look up revolution, I did not say armed revolt, neither do I rule it out. For any revolution to be successful people have to MYOGD

    “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable
    watching.”

  31. Black Flag,

    I think you’re a little off mark with this comment:
    A comment from Life of Illusion: “Islamic extremist want me to die as I am an infidel.”

    You: “No, they don’t. They want your government to leave them alone.”

    I respectfully disagree. From its very beginning, Islam has been violently expanding. The Koran tells muslims, that all the earth must, and will one day, submit to Allah. No mention of American foreign policy there. That said, however, I do believe they are reacting to what we do. Doing nothing would force them to come up with another excuse for their violence, at most. Same with the state of Israel. Muslims would find another excuse to kill Jews. Islam has bloody borders everywhere Islam dominates. Do you mean to say all those people bring the wrath of Islam on themselves? Its a bit like blaming the abused wife for the beating her abusive husband gives her, after all, if she hadn’t done X, then he wouldn’t have had to do Y. You may want to check out Jihadwatch.org. Robert Spencer does a wonderful job of explaining Islam. I know this post if a little off topic, but you’re smart fella Black Flag, and can handle a bit more information. :o)

    • Cyndi,

      Islam was created to oppose all other religions, specifically Judaism. You are right, they want everyone in this world to conform to Islam or die. It is in the Koran(no matter how it is spelled) that a follower of Islam must convert every non-believer(infidel) or kill them. There is no other choice. The foreign policies of any and all nations do not mean anything to them, just the contents and instructions in the Koran.

    • SFC Dick says:

      Cyndi P, respectfully
      I know you addressed this to Black Flagg but I would like to add some things here.
      As far as “that all the earth must, and will one day, submit to Allah” I find no real problem there. Their God is the same as our God same as the Jews God, we all recognize that, I think it somewhere in the Christian bible says something to the fact that God rules all earth. We Christians expanded most violently; I bet I would have been in on the crusades. We just did a better job than they. I think there is something in the Christian bible that some very mainstream sects find that requires them to preach to the non believers and convert them. These folks are most adamant about” have you been saved”,” do you know Jesus Christ” etc, they of course, do not blow people up, which is nice. I find there is something in Islam that is completely flawed and detrimental to mankind. I do not know what it is exactly, I can make a couple of guesses, but I can’t drill down on it chapter and verse. My bona fides as proof is look at every Muslim state and society around the earth, they are backwards barbaric types. That being said, to deny Christian atrocities is disingenuous.
      LTC David Hackworth, my hero, wrote something in reference to our adventures here and in Iraq and stated, I paraphrase “ we need to drill oil, develop energy and get out of the middle east, let them go back to making money selling dates and nuts”. A better part of the bad guys money comes from oil folks, screw opium profits, that is a straw man perpetrated on the U.S for political gain.
      Were it not for our self loathing and stupidity terror would never get any traction on U.S soil. Were a good group of passengers armed on the flights of 9/11 buildings never would have been hit.”What, you want people armed on an aircraft?! You want some nut, some child to be armed?!”…”yeh, I want Chuck Manson, isle seat with a Thompson sub gun loaded with exploding tips and the infant behind me to have a Mark IV rig strapped to his chest loaded with extra-high explosive bunker buster rounds”. There is significant information pointing to the fact that many terror cells are already on U.S soil, but when the commanders try to activate these cells, asking these dudes to martyr themselves, the terror dudes give the old “wrong number bub” routine, and sit it out. These guys come over, live the most basic, simple existence here in the U.S and they are so happy, contented with the little life they have, they no longer want to blow people up. Mark Barnet has a piece written, a theory about us ”winning” this global war by treating the world as a community that needs to be persuaded, much as in the early days of this republic as we attempted to persuade states. I never was a globalist, but he makes a fascinating argument.

      “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

      • USWeapon says:

        Hackworth is someone that I admire greatly as well. A true patriot and ever the skeptic, he alerted many of us to the truths we didn’t want to see.

    • Black Flag says:

      No different an interpretation as of the Christians to “evangelize” Jesus

      – and remember, it was the Holy Roman Empire that invaded their nation via the Crusades – holding it in domination for 100 years with brutal violence – slaughtering women and children as sport – before Saladin pushed “Christianity” back.

      Indeed, much of what we find “civilized” comes from the Arabic world.

      Our letters – the very things we type today – is Arabic in orgin.

      Our number system and the characters we use as “numbers” and mathematics – the bizarre, but vital concept of the “Zero” – is Arabic.

      Astronomy is Arabic.

      Theory of physics and light is Arabic. The first “western” scientist is Arabic.

      St. George, patron saint of England and America, is Arabic.

      Navigation via the stars is Arabic.

      Arabs imported “paper money” from China, and we took that from them (the Knights Templar was the West’s first ‘bankers’ – based on “paper money”, a concept they learned from the Muslims/Arabs).

      The first concept of the modern equality of rights of man and woman is in the Kor’an.

      Of course, I can point to countless abuses of men upon their wives – and all of them “Christian” too. It is very common to use one’s beliefs, twist religious righteousness, into a justification of violence. It is not just an Islamic issue – every religion is at least as guilty.

      And remember, Islam sees Jesus as a great Prophet. Judaism does not recognize Jesus at all. Islam sees its basis as a continuation of the teachings of Jesus and Christianity – their belief is that Mohammad is the “last prophet”, next after Jesus. Christianity says Jesus is the last prophet. Judaism says the last prophet has not yet arrived. All of these religions trace their roots to Abraham.

      Strange, huh?

      Today was the 60th anniversary of the Nabka – the “Great Suffering” of the Palestinian people…their violent expulsion from their own country of Palestine by the Hagana – the forerunners of the IDF – Israeli Defense Force.

      • Black Flag says:

        PS: Islam means “I submit to God”.

      • So if all those religions are based on the same God, and the only dispute is who was (or will be) the last Prophet, why so much venomous hatred and brutal bloodshed?

        • Black Flag says:

          That is the question of the century, isn’t it?

          It is merely my opinion, but Judaic based religions – as a psychology – requires exclusion of other believes, no matter how trivial.

          “Believe as I believe, everything else is wrong”

          I think it comes from the root of the Judaic belief system – “the chosen people of God”.

          The story the forms the basis of Islam, Christianity and Judaism is that of Abraham. God tell Abraham that he the Father of the Chosen people, from his loins comes “God’s people”.

          But his wife (Sarah) is barren, so Abraham fathers a son from his handmaiden, Hagar, the boy is named Ishmael.

          But amazingly, in their late years, Sarah gives birth to Issac.

          Now we have a problem – which son is the chosen one?

          Sarah forces Abraham to throw Hagar and Ishamel into the desert – which he does – and Issac (the father of the Jews) becomes the “chosen son”.

          But wait! God says to Abraham, do not weep for Ishamel, for his numbers will dominate all over the Earth! Ishamel is the father of the Arabs!

          So, if you are very religious, and hold this story to be true, we have to – competing – belief systems originating from the same -completely agreed to- core, where both claim exclusivity to God.

    • Cyndi

      I agree with you. Flags points about the Crusades are correct, but leaves out the Arab’s had invaded a thousand years before that. Bottom line, they have been fighting each other since before Allah, and are not likely to stop.
      Ever.

      I believe the US could “BUY ” peace for ourselves for a period of time, ten to fifty years, maybe. All we have to do is denounce Israel and withdrawal our support. I don’t favor watching that genocide being committed. And a few years after Israel is destroyed, they would be back to attacking us.

      • Black Flag says:

        Err, the Arabs lived there – unless you count invading yourself.

        Early Semitic peoples from the Ancient Near East, such as the Arameans, Akkadians and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia and the Levant; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed.[19] Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of the Middle East to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language remained the lingua Franca of Mesopotamia and the Levant. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as the Middle East’s prestige language following the conquest of Alexander the Great.

        The first written attestation of the ethnonym “Arab” occurs in an Assyrian inscription of 853 BCE, where Shalmaneser III lists a King Gindibu of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Proto-Arabic dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated “Arab”: Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. The Hebrew Bible occasionally refers to Arvi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as “Arab” or “Arabian.” The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic tribes in the Syrian Desert and Arabia.

        The deadly problem:

        Whereas most of Europe sees Israel as an American colony, most of the rest of the world sees America as an Israeli colony.

        America does not see any of this at all.

        So we are very blind to the issues of the region – whereas those neck deep in trouble in the region see American and Israel, one way or another, to be the same thing.

        Thus, if America attacks – it is Israel attacking. If Israel attacks – it is America attacking.

        To make peace in the Middle East, America must disengage itself from Israeli interests.

        This does not mean abandoning Israel to be attacked by her injured neighbors seeking revenge. Disengagement will most certainly mute the Israeli offensive actions and bring her to the peace table. Arabs will never be able defeat even a disengaged Israel, and are eager for peace too.

  32. Gee Whiz. I went to see relatives for a few days of spring break then got back and did my taxes. Look at all the fun I missed.

    I agree with all in thanking US and BF for the time they spend working on their ideas and arguments so that we may all engage. To that end it is my turn to offer a thought on this matter.

    Many here are impressed with Mr. Flags arguments, his logic, his making them think, his ideas, etc, etc.. Some even admit to beginning to change their views based on his arguments. The strength of his arguments lies in the fact that he has formulated a philosophy from which he operates. This forms the foundations for his debate and brings consistency, at least the appearance of consistency. Most everyone else debates BF’s various points from a softer philisophical base than the one he uses. That is why so many express surprise when they start to agree and doubt in themselves, or anger when they disagree but can’t express why.

    After reading the entire post and all the comments I, if I were judging this debate, would have to declare Mr. Flag the winner. Why??? Look how many of you stated that you agreed or understood or even sympathized with his points, then declared he was wrong. Because US’s position simply fit better with your own. In essence you declared BF’s argument to be true then announced your opposition to the truth, “just because”. That is an irrational position and irrational positions eventually lead to the destruction of those who hold them.

    Now don’t get me wrong here. I happen to think BF’s philosophy is wrong and that is why I disagree with his position on voting. Not because I don’t want to give up my right to vote, “just because”. In fact I don’t have a right to vote. What I have is a right to Liberty. The right to vote is something that comes later when free men and women decide to organize something called government and set down rules for choosing those that will take care of the business of governing (representative republic), or choosing what to do about various issues (democracy).

    On the other hand, while I believe US has the right answers I am not sure he, or others here, arrived at the answer by applying the proper formula (to borrow a math example) for the problem presented. What philosophical truth or truths support your view?? You can’t just rely on the Constitution because it is not a primary. It is derived from other philisophical and ethical positions, arguments and principles. Have you tested them to see if they are still valid.

    If you doubt my point, go back and read the comments on the sin tax blog, especially by Mad Mom. She was not the only one, just perhaps the most surprising, that supported sin taxes because she drew the line at smoking hazards. For others it will be seat belts or child seats or bike helmets or handguns or axes or traps or trampolines. I think you get the idea. In fact if I remember Mad Mom made a comment to the effect that it was OK with her if it was in the Constitution. But what if what is in the Constitution is not consistent with oUr underlying philosophy? But how would we know if it was or wasn’t?

    Our discussions often follow those of the engineers arguing over the use and utility of various alternative car parts without having a blueprint of what it is they are building, which happens to actually be a ship.

    Before we can launch a successful revolution we must settle some of the issues I have seen raised here, especially by Mr. Flag. For you see, if his positions on government and the state regarding their inherent corrupt nature are true then his conclusions may also be valid. That in turn would mean we are all doomed to futile failure. I for one have no intention of becoming an martyr for a futile cause. THAT WOULD BE ILLOGICAL!!

    It is time to go mining to find the golden motherload, the source of all the veins that flow from it. So let me offer first.

    Neither govt nor the state exist as an entity idependent of man. Govt consists of individual human beings acting to carry out various goals, objectives and agendas. Thus govt’s can not be inherently violent or corrupt unless the men who comprise the govt are violent or corrupt. If corrupt men are required then obviously it does matter who is put in the govt. It must follow that honest men would make up an honest govt. So the real question must now be, can honest men exist? The obvious answer to me is YES. Can we not assume that at least some honest men are elected to govt positions? If so, and yet history can show us no honorable govt then we must ask what causes honest men to eventually act in dishonest ways? Or, is it that just the majority of men are always subject to corruption. If this is true then why? Perhaps the answer to these questions would do more to help resolve the debate over whether a govt of free men and women is truly possible.

    This discussion of man’s corruptability was in fact a major focus of the debates over our constitution and the proper form of govt for a free people. Therefore, I think it must be even more appropriate today.

    I will go the extra mile and submit that it is my opinion that most men and women can be corrupted and the reason is that they are not operating from a sound philosophy that is based on reality and reason. How do I know? “I am a pragmatist” is a comment made by those who will do what is necessary to address the brush fire of the moment, not realizing that such a philosophy eventually leads to use of coersion if required, can anyone say Patriot Act. Many comments made in the sin tax blog fit another example of an irrational philosophy, altruism. The sacrifice of a few for the good of the many. This philosophy always leads to statism (fascism, socialism, communism, monarchy) but not to freedom. It’s derivative ethics almost always leads to violence and always results in use of coersion against the citizens. I have heard many here say they want our constitution restored. But as time has gone by I see them making arguments to support the status quo for certain issues. Note that Mad Mom the other day stated that the Tea Parties were about reducing taxes and stopping the crazy spending (not a quote). If a generic statement of reducing taxes and govt spending is all we can agree on then BF wins the debate. The Republicans already have that one. By the way, reduce spending to what level and for what? Reduce taxes to what level and who is going to pay them? You see, we can not begin to answer the more difficult until we can build a foundation to stand on.

    That foundation must be a philosophy that supports the right of the individual to exist, to learn, to think, to own the fruits of his efforts, and to act as needed to support himself as he chooses. The right to Life, Liberty, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Such a philosophy will not tolerate pragmatism or altruism or any variations of these ideas that support statism. Such a philosophy leads to an ethic that precludes the use of coersion by one man on another because to do so would violate the vary tenants contained within the foundation.

    But before you all start cheering and climbing on the wagon, I warn you. This foundation can only support a grand and prosperous nation state that is run by a modicum of the federal govt we have today. You see, a philosophy that puts the liberty and responsibility of the individual first can not tolerate a govt that does anything but support and protect those rights. Those who think we can preserve our liberty while only shrinking or tweaking the existing govt (a little, some, only where needed, etc etc) are grossly mistaken and are supporting a contradiction. And as Mr. Flag once said, contradictions can’t exist in the universe. And as I would say, that is not logical Captain. That means something must give, and my bet it is liberty that gets sold down the river, which is how we got to where we are today!

    Sorry, I have been a little long winded here. I had planned to put most of these thoughts in a guest piece for US and still intend to do so. But I felt it was time to at least begin to address the deep underlying issues raised by Mr. Flag and others. There are a lot of fed up people on this site and a growing number across the country. But do you really think a majority of them would support returning our federal govt to a role as described in the constitution? Based on the discussions here and others I have witnessed, I doubt it. But until they do, there is no chance they will ever achieve the changes they openly state they want.

    Its getting late so until tomorrow, Best Wishes
    JAC

    • Black Flag says:

      Bravo, JAC, Bravo!

      You’ve grasped the essence of my point of view, and I believe, that of USWep as well.

  33. SFC Dick,

    I never absolved Christianity of its past behavior. Nor have I heard of terrorists in the US changing their ways because they’re so happy with life in America. There maybe cases but I don’t know of any. I do know human nature, and it is the nature of some to control others. I’ll go with saying that not all muslims are a threat. But it doesn’t take many. Also, I don’t believe the muslim version of God is the same as ours. Also, I have no desire to live under Sharia law. Take a look at what’s going on in Europe. Scary stuff…..

    • SFC Dick says:

      These terror groups don’t change their stripes once in the U.S, they just have a standard of living that they have never experienced before, this is a great persuader against martyrdom that is so appealing when living the life of futility they have lived. Heck, were I living over here, no beer, no western women with loose morals, no weed…wait WTF? Weed doesn’t even pacify these dues, you get my point. These guys don’t come over and say “hey, ya know, you dudes are really cool, never got that before” they just get “corrupted” and, as I say “fat-n-happy”.
      A lot of people used the terror alerts that did not materialize into terror acts to slam Bush, well…. These folks in DC were not the great manipulators that they were made out to be. They saw it counterproductive to spin people up on a regular basis; they want the populace to go about the day to day without a constant fear of being blown up. Remember all the folks slamming Bush for saying something to the effect of …fight this “by going out shopping” as you normally would? These terror alerts came from many different, credible, Intel sources, these were real. Think what the response would have been had a bomber blown up 100 folks shopping at mall of America. The 9/11 commission and all the finger pointing after 9/11 would have looked like a love fest compared to the public excoriations the administration would have faced; even a hint that the administration had prior knowledge and did nothing. Oh my.
      I don’t follow the local war on terror much, too much politics and CRAP; but, I don’t recall a sleeper group ever being busted open. I remember some cats getting stopped at the border that were planning on blowing up the space needle ( come on now,….the space needle, that’s the best ya got?) and some dudes plotting an attack on Fort Dix, but weren’t those Fort Dix brain donors kinda new in town? Didn’t they get caught because they started making a bunch of photos of Dix and then drop them off at 1 hour photo? Yeh, then there are those dudes down in Florida that got tied in because of the money trail, but weren’t they finance guys? And, wasn’t one found not guilty? I’m not trying to be a smart ass. I get no greater satisfaction then wading into these knuckleheads and stacking them like cord wood, but I think the fact that a great many sleeper cells, that we have much evidence exist, never activated. I want to win the global war on terror, I’ve got a personal stake, but I think some of the answers might be in the theory ( so far, hard to prove a negative) that given a little stability, food and internet, these guys become pacified enough not to blow themselves up.

      “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

  34. My position is “Modified Ignoring Them”.

    In most cases I feel the dictates of the state should be ignored. The exception to this is when you are cornered and you need to act in self defense. That may mean voting in self-defense against a proposed ordinance or something that infringes on the rights of people (rights are NEVER subject to majority rule). I don’t think that when choosing between evil socialist candidate “A”, and differently evil socialist candidate “B” (and don’t fool yourself; those are the only choices there EVER are), voting will ever “work” for liberty.

    Then, when the voters have spoken and voted to restrict freedoms, or the elected parasite starts behaving in anti-freedom ways in opposition to his promises (and in complete compliance with his nature), it is time to go back to the more useful tactic of living your life, in liberty, without permission.

  35. Black Flag says:

    Arrggg…!!!

    One more time….

    So, Ron

    Government is a body of persons to whom we in a democracy loan the right to direct us,

    So by “loan”, I would infer you mean “grant” or “delegate”?

    Further, if I “loan” you my car, I have the full right to take it back whenever I want, right? It is my car, after all.

    As well, I cannot “loan” what is not mine – such as, I can’t loan you someone else’s car, right?

    Do you ‘own’ the right to inflict violence on non-violent people?

    If you don’t, how did you ‘loan’ that right to government?

    In a Democracy we reserve the right for the people to rescind their authority at any time by a vote of one more than the opposition.

    But what if I don’t agree democracy is a good idea (which I don’t, by the way)?

    Why does a group still demand I participate in something that I don’t want to participate in?

    When does a man not have to follow what another man writes on a piece of paper?

    To get rid of government totally it is only necessary for you to convince one more person than half the population to vote with you.

    But I didn’t agree to the whole process in the first place, so why must I use a process I didn’t agree with to convince those who did agree with the process to stop using the process to which they seemed to agree?

    Isn’t that asking for something bizarre?

  36. Black Flag and others:

    I’m really not interested in who did what to whom a couple of hundred years ago. Islamic societies of old may have made some great contributions to humanity. It doesn’t matter now, particualarly if all they do is DESTROY. So far as I can tell, that’s pretty much all they do these days. You and they, can make all the excuses that come to mind. I DO NOT accept them. Just for the record, I believe in live and let live. I’ve read a lot of interviews, seen videos and read articles that tell me what the extremists are saying. I am convinced they will never leave us alone until we convert, submit, or die. They will not let us live in peace. I understand perfectly well what the mind set is. I survived an abusive childhood and an abusive marriage. I know how it works. I will never submit. I know BS when I see it, and Islam is BS. Just look at ANY Islamic country today and tell me how superior it is to anything.

    • Cyndi P-

      Notice how with the substitution of one thing, your statement becomes more like Black Flag’s (and mine):

      “I’m really not interested in who did what to whom a couple of hundred years ago. Governments of old may have made some great contributions to humanity. It doesn’t matter now, particualarly if all they do is DESTROY. So far as I can tell, that’s pretty much all they do these days. You and they, can make all the excuses that come to mind. I DO NOT accept them. Just for the record, I believe in live and let live. I’ve read a lot of interviews, seen videos and read articles that tell me what the pro-governmentextremists are saying. I am convinced they will never leave us alone until we convert, submit, or die. They will not let us live in peace. I understand perfectly well what the mind set is. I survived an abusive childhood and an abusive marriage. I know how it works. I will never submit. I know BS when I see it, and government is BS. Just look at ANY government today and tell me how superior it is to anything.”

      The thing is, when ANYONE violates your self determination for any reason, unless you are harming innocent people, they have become the bad guys and richly deserve to be killed in self-defense. No matter what funny hat they wear.

    • Black Flag says:

      Ibid Kent’s post.

      Further, in particular to current events, one must pierce through mere MSM messages to see the cause.

      They are no different from you, Cindi. They love their children too. They may do other things differently, but that does not make them evil.

      We have invaded their nations since after WW1 – colonized them, put and still hold dictators over them – overthrown their elected governments – seized their resources and impoverished them.

      When we leave them alone – they will pick up what little remains of the pieces of the lives and carry on without bothering us.

      But are hell-bent on not leaving them alone.

  37. I’m ALL for leaving them alone. Let’s start with exiting the UN, then ceasing ALL muslim immigration to none muslim countries. BAN the practice of Islam in non muslim countries. Encourage ALL muslims to leave and NEVER return to any non muslim country. We cut off the jiyza, I mean financial aid, cut off ALL trade, including food and medicine. Cut off ALL weapons sales. Cut ALL ties with muslim countries. I’m all for it. Now just try to impliment any one of those things I just mentioned and see what happens. Really Black Flag you need do do some research. Start hear: http://www.jihadwatch.org/ Be sure to scroll down and see what the UN has been up to most recently. Everyone else is welcome to have a look. I hope you. Sorry USW, I don’t mean to get off topic here. Maybe you can tackle this discussion another day.

    • Black Flag says:

      I have done research – very personal research.

      They are no different then you, Cyndia. They love, bleed, cry, laugh.

      Their culture, in many parts, formed the basis of civilization. In comparison, we are still tots.

      It doesn’t make them right or wrong – it does mean we need to respect them as human beings.

    • SFC Dick says:

      Heck, Cyndi P
      I’m with ya, I just don’t try to make any type of argument for it. I’m so much with ya I’m killing these bastards DEAD. I am all for banning Islam in the U.S except for the fact that I know well that this would be another evil act on top of many prior. If you came to me and said ” you must vote now, we have a tied vote, you are the last one, do we ban Islam in the U.S?” I believe I would vote “ban” I also know well all the 2d order stuf this imoral act on my part would generate. Good thing it aint up to me.

  38. So, what exactly is so disrespectful about my post? I know they are people too. That’s why I understand them. That’s why I know this isn’t about being left alone. When someone wants to be left alone, they disengage, completely. The Islamic world shows no indication of disengagement. They in fact, engage at many levels. If it were about disengagment, they would not be involved in the UN, sort of like your position of voting. Instead, they have suceeded in stifling free speech in non Islamic countries, at least as far as countires that obey the UN go. They immigrate in large numbers (see Europe) and then make DEMANDS (see UK). They accept our aid. They sell us their oil. They buy our technology. Nope,I don’t see any disengagement there, Black Flag. Look, I’m not an unreasonalbe woman. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. You’re smart. Come up with a plan of disengagement, something workable. Go on line to the extremest recruiting websites and make the presentation to them. If disengagement is all they’re after, you should make good progress pretty quickly. After all, they love, they bleed, they laugh. What’s not to respect about that?

    • Black Flag says:

      So, what exactly is so disrespectful about my post?

      Nothing – I was talking in generalizations. Respecting other people goes a long way to making peace.

      When someone wants to be left alone, they disengage, completely.

      How do you expect them to disengage when we are in their country?

      I am very confused by what you expect them to do?

      They sell us their oil. They buy our technology. Nope,I don’t see any disengagement there, Black Flag.

      You demand this of France? or the Chinese?

      Be careful on what you are asking – they were of the mind to let the US sink – but the US did demand the oil – and did demand that they ‘bank’ the US$ so that you live well. They complied.

      Now you complain about it?

      You’re smart. Come up with a plan of disengagement, something workable.

      Simple. Bring the troops home.

      You don’t see “jihadists” attacking Russia, now that Russia left them alone, right? And Russia is right next door – an easier target than half a world away.

  39. Russia has made a deal with the Devil. The trouble will begin again as soon as it is conveinient for the muslims to start (see Israel and the Palistinians). And don’t tell my its all on those mean Isreal’s fault. There’s plenty of real estate thoughout the ME to make a good and peaceful home for the Palis, if that’s what its all about. As for bringing our troops home, YES! And let’s secure our bourders and STOP ALL muslim immigration. No non muslims in muslim countires, and no muslims in non muslim countries. Please, let’s do it. As for China and France, and all the others, yes! Let’s all do the same thing together. We can look at as doing the muslim world a huge favor by allowing them to prosper on their own. As for oil, let’s use our own while we devlope fuel cells and the required infrastructure. We can use solar, wind and tide. As for the lower standard of living, Obama has been promising that since being elected, and the sheeples seem to think its a greeat idea! Do you want to know what my standard of living is? I pay for house that I cannot afford to live at the moment. So I’m overesas living in a room that is less than 400 square feet. I ride my bike to work and everywhere else I need to go, regardless of the weather. I eat in the chow hall. This is a US Military base so the only store we have is the base exchange. There are 1200 people on this island and the store is small due to lack of volume. We get one trip a year to the US. Now, that being said, I’m quite content for the time being. My friend and her husband live in my house and pay the utilities, while I pay the mortgage. It works for both of us. My family can’t understand why I have chosen to do what I have done. They don’t see how I manage to be happy inspite of what happened in my life preceeding my accepting this job and circumstances. My point of this, is to inform you that I understand what would happen to the American lifestyle if we stopped using muslim oil. They don’t supply all of it. There are other sources. Still, the industrialized world would notice the difference and would have to adjust accordingly. I’m willing and quite able to put my living standard where my mouth is. I’m sure most people would be too if they knew there was to be an improved outcome.

  40. Black Flag says:

    The trouble will begin again as soon as it is conveinient for the muslims to start (see Israel and the Palistinians).

    You force motives upon a group of people, without justice. Imagine if I did that to you?

    How they may or may not act in the future, once our boot is off of their neck, is uncertain.

    However, I can imagine how they will act as long as our boot is on their neck.

    There’s plenty of real estate thoughout the ME to make a good and peaceful home for the Palis, if that’s what its all about.

    So, you would have no problem for, say, Hindu’s to come into the USA, push off you violently off your land while saying “Gee, there’s lots of land in Canada for you – why are you so angry??”

    As for oil, let’s use our own while we devlope fuel cells and the required infrastructure. We can use solar, wind and tide.

    I have posted by multitude of paragraphs why such “alternatives” are no alternative at all.

    Briefly, it has to do with the “density of energy” held in each of these sources. Nuclear wins – however, it is nearly impossible to make mobile in any meaningful sense.

    Next is oil.

    It is physics and chemistry, Cyndi. No amount of money will change the laws of nature.

    However, from the rest of your post, I glean that you are in the military, or working with such.

    I sense your focus on your ‘enemy’ – my point is, they were not your enemy to start with, but manufactured as such.

    I will not suggest that you look past this illusion, because your life may, one day, depend on you looking at them as your enemy so that you may fight for your life.

    However, hold a part back in your being – and understand – it is an illusion.

  41. BF,

    I am not forcing motives on anyone. I judge them by their words AND actions. My mind is mind up about these people. The only boot on the necks of muslims, belongs to Muhammad. As for this comment:
    <>

    If poor, innocent, law abiding, peaceful Hindus were being murdered, I would support them being INVITED and setup financially and encouraged to become self sufficient, by us in the west. People who feel so strongly shouldn’t have any trouble putting up the resources to do it. There is plenty of personal wealth available to help out. I mean these are INNOCENT VICTIMS we’re talking about, right? There is plenty of open space in Islamic countries, and plenty of oil wealth that they are currently spending on murdering Jews and assorted infidels. If they took those resources and used them to make a good life for the Palistinians throughout the ME, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If it we’re just about Israel, then what explains all the other violence muslims are involved in? What, are they just misunderstood? Are we all just a bunch of racists? Please, tell me, what RACE, exactly, is Islam? The muslims aren’t interested in peaceful co-existance. Just ask the few non muslim people who try to exist in islamic countries. Find out how they are treated. Find out about Sharia law. Find out how old Muhammad’s favorite wife Ayisha was when he married her. Find out the justification for girls as young as eight years being married off to grown men. Start reading the news articles on the Jihadwatch website. Go to the news organizations linked to there, and read the stories from overseas. Then tell me that Islam just wants everybody to live and let live. I’m not manufacturing my distain for Islam. The things that go on under Sharia law are a threat to all people, not just women. I will not submit to them.

    As for energy, I acknowledge that there are challenges, but I believe we can overcome and succeed.

    I am no longer in the military, but I work for a contractor. I use my own criteria to determine who my enemy is. I’m perfectly capable of doing my own thinking, as maddening as some people find it. I don’t believe muslims are my enemy because some evil Jew told me, I believe muslims are my enemy based on their OWN words AND ACTIONS. Those ‘moderate/peaceful’ muslims are pretty low profile for one of two reasons. Either they support what the extremists are doing, or they are terrified of the extremists. If they are terrified of the extremists, I should be too, don’t you think? And if they support what the extremists are doing, then they threaten my way of life. If you think the violence of muslims is manufactured, I suggest you travel to the tribal areas of Pakistan or Afganistan, or any stan and apologize for being so mean and horrible and promise not to do it again. Or you might appeal to the collective intellect of the islamic world and tell them the US meanness has been manufacted just to control them and keep them aggitated and manipulated. If you come out alive, tell me about it. I’m not try to be an A-hole here, I’m just tired of seeing violent/bad behavoir excused. Maybe it came from being abused by someone who claimed to love me, and turned around and did the most horrible things to me. Abuse is about power and control. I see alot of abusive things going on in Islamic countries. I don’t see how they can treat women and children the way they do and be full of love for the rest of us.

    • “I’m just tired of seeing violent/bad behavoir excused.”

      No one is doing that. Not for either side. But it seems like you want to condemn bad behavior in Muslims, while advocating bad things against them yourself. Things like “not allowing” any Muslims to move to non-Muslim countries or any non-Muslims to move to Muslim countries. Who gave you the authority to dictate where other people live as long as they are not trying to take your house from you?

      Just to be clear, I find all religions disgusting, primitive, and in most cases, violent, including Islam. The world would be much better off if people refused to believe in god-myths of ANY kind. I don’t see it happening anytime soon, since the myths are “comforting” or “empowering” to too many people.

  42. Black Flag says:

    I am not forcing motives on anyone. I judge them by their words AND actions.

    Then your judgment upon the USA must be very harsh, I would think.

    My mind is mind up about these people.

    I can see that.

    If poor, innocent, law abiding, peaceful Hindus were being murdered, I would support them being INVITED and setup financially and encouraged to become self sufficient, by us in the west.

    Yet, I don’t see you make any offers to the Palestinians, nor Somalis, nor the Mexicans….

    However, that wasn’t what I asked – I said, quote,
    …push off you violently off your land

    This is no ‘inviting’ – it a was seizure of the land..YOUR LAND.

    You ok with them saying “…Lots of room in Canada for you!!”…are you ok with that?

    How do you think the Canadians would feel? I mean, a group comes over, violently throws you off your land, and then pushes you it Canada and then says “Hey! Canada, they’re your problem now!!”

    There is plenty of open space in Islamic countries, and plenty of oil wealth that they are currently spending on murdering Jews and assorted infidels.

    Plently of that in Canada too! Speak the same language to boot!

    SO you have no problem, then? Oh, by the way, leave all your belongings behind too…you can’t take them with you, when you’re being forced out of your home because, heck, you’re running for your life!

    If it we’re just about Israel, then what explains all the other violence muslims are involved in?

    Hmm, like what?

    Secondly, why is it your business? You don’t live there, so why does it matter for you?

    The muslims aren’t interested in peaceful co-existance. Just ask the few non muslim people who try to exist in islamic countries.

    Like me?

    Find out how they are treated. Find out about Sharia law. Find out how old Muhammad’s favorite wife Ayisha was when he married her. Find out the justification for girls as young as eight years being married off to grown men.

    So, you’re ready to wage war on Utah and the Mormons, then, right? Oh, no? Why not, because they’re Christians!!

    I don’t see how they can treat women and children the way they do and be full of love for the rest of us.

    I can find millions of examples of Christians doing as bad – but I doubt you’ll boycott Christianity.

  43. You talk like I defend Christianity. I do not. I don’t think what Mormons in Utah are doing is right either. I believe they should obey the laws of the US and be prosecuted accordingly, or find some country more tolerant of their life style, maybe an Islamic one since Islam is wonderful and Christianity is evil. See, yet another of your incorrect assumptions. Come on BF, I thought you were smarted that than. Good grief, you sound like a Obama liberal. You make many incorrect assumptions about me. And the Jews, too. I guess you forgot that Jews lived in the ME long before there were muslims, eh? They didn’t push anybody off their land. The Palistians made the mistake of voluntarily leaving their land so the mighty Arab armies could kill every jew in a week or two. Then, the victorious Arabs could move in and have the land of the dead Jews. But, that isn’t quite how it turned out. Your violent ‘invaders’, the Jews of old, pretty much built old Jeruselem, didn’t they? Wasn’t that the capital city? They didn’t push any body off anything.

    The muslims decided that to have any other faith having control over them is intolerable. So, tell me what muslim country do you live in? Are you honestly tellimg me that muslims and others of different faiths get along splendidly? No threats, no false accusations? As for muslim violence, what do you know of what’s going on in Somalia, Darfur, the Phillipnes, Thailand, the Maldives, etc? Are mean Christians just picking on the poor muslims? So what are your informed opinions on what’s going on in the UK? Wait, let me guess, everybody is just picking on the misunderstood muslims who just want to assimilate with the native Brits, right? Before you tell me that the racists are the problem please know that I lived in the UK with my British (then) husband with no ties to the evil US Government to pollute my mind, and am in regular contact with a friend who is a native Brit. He tells me what’s going on. There’s a pattern here and choosing not to recognize it is your right. Keep not answering my questions, and go on the attack. Don’t foget to start name calling too. That way you don’t have to think about my position and questions, and then you can write me off as a racist, right winger, Bush lover, whatever. Go ahead and equate Christianity to Islamic extremism. You’re hatred for Christianity/organized religion clouds your ability to recognize what Islam is about. Islam is an IDEOLOGY, with a religeous component. Ignore what CAIR and and the UN are doing. Ignore that muslims immigrate to non muslim countries and then DEMAND that we honor Islamic law and custom. Never mind that as Americans we are expected to bend over backward to respect the laws and customs of other countries when we visit. Which by the way, I think is a wonderful idea. That’s why I think visitors/immigrants to our country should return the courtesy. Take the intellectual high ground and do nothing. It is your right. I hope you like dhimmitude, because that is our future if people don’t wake up soon.

    As for your theoretical argument about Hindus and Canada,the only relgion that is engaging in world wide (including Canada) violence is Islam. I could make the argument that violent Hindus are merely reacting to the violience of muslims, so now their violence is okay. Do I have that right? I mean, Jews are violent towards muslims, so muslim violence is okay; therefore violent Hindus are merely reacting to muslim violence. So violence in response to violence is okay? Actually, Im fine with that. Violence is the only language some people understand. So, if that’s the only form of communication left, by all means, use it, and use if wisely and effectively. Yes, yes, tell me I’m arrogant. I am. So what. The beauty of being an arrogant A-hole such as myself is very few people have the back bone to do anything more that call me arrogant. Its a little like countries whining to the UN about something some other country did that they don’t like. Makes them feel beeter but accomplishes nothing. My take on the matter of my arrogance is “Hello pot, this is Kettle!”

    • “I guess you forgot that Jews lived in the ME long before there were muslims, eh? They didn’t push anybody off their land.”

      So I take it you have never read the Bible, then.

      I haven’t see ONE place where anyone says “Islam is wonderful and Christianity is evil“. You are going off the deep end like nothing I have ever seen. All I see is you going completely berserk when someone says the blame isn’t one-sided. All religions, if really followed, are disgusting and lead to genocide. Including Islam.

      Right now, at this point in history, Islam may be the worst, but it hasn’t always been that way. Anytime someone starts saying “don’t let ‘them’ move here.” “Keep ‘them’ out of our country” or starts saying the sorts of things you have written right here for all to see, it is a short trip to start seeing ‘them’ as less-than human. Yes, the Muslims are guilty of that. But you are showing how easy it is for non-Muslims to fall into the exact same trap of blind hatred. You sound like a Muslim cleric declaring a jihad.

    • SFC Dick says:

      Ok, I’m diggin’ Cyndi P

    • Black Flag says:

      Cyndi P

      I believe they should obey the laws of the US and be prosecuted accordingly,

      So, Cindy, you do, and would obey any law of the US, not matter what?

      I guess you forgot that Jews lived in the ME long before there were muslims, eh?

      Err, no.

      The Egyptians were there first – so if you want to pull the “who’s on first” game…..

      They didn’t push anybody off their land. The Palistians made the mistake of voluntarily leaving their land so the mighty Arab armies could kill every jew in a week or two.

      “Voluntarily leaving”?? Where did you get this idea?

      Then, the victorious Arabs could move in and have the land of the dead Jews.

      You really believe this? I am intrigued on what reference you are using to make this claim.

      So, tell me what muslim country do you live in?

      Morocco.

      Are you honestly tellimg me that muslims and others of different faiths get along splendidly?

      Yes.

      No threats, no false accusations? As for muslim violence, what do you know of what’s going on in Somalia, Darfur, the Phillipnes, Thailand, the Maldives, etc?

      You know what is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan?

      Are mean Christians just picking on the poor muslims?

      No, just the government of the United States.

      Before you tell me that the racists are the problem please know that I lived in the UK with my British (then) husband with no ties to the evil US Government to pollute my mind, and am in regular contact with a friend who is a native Brit.

      Much as I’ve heard about Mexicans in Southern USA, and Negros in the North, and Irish, and the Scots and the Chinese, and…..

      This is common attitude upon all minorities, as I’ve found.

      You’re hatred for Christianity/organized religion clouds your ability to recognize what Islam is about.

      I’m always amazed how so many people claim “I hate…” when I’ve never used that word as a statement on this site.

      You’re becoming a bit irrational on this topic – for reasons I do not know.

      Islam is an IDEOLOGY, with a religeous component.

      No different than Christianity, Judaism or any other religion.

      As for your theoretical argument about Hindus and Canada,the only relgion that is engaging in world wide (including Canada) violence is Islam.

      Billions of people would say it would be Christianity.

      …Hindu…

      My goal was to demonstrate your apparent inability to understand the motives of other people – thus, a hypothetical idea to see how you would feel if it had been done to you.

      Obviously, my attempt missed by a mile.

      So violence in response to violence is okay?
      Actually, Im fine with that. Violence is the only language some people understand.

      So, when the Hagana slaughter over 200 unarmed men, women, and children at Deir
      Yassin, they deserved it?

  44. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon

    You wouldn’t enjoy your time at mine, LOL!

    As long as the game is square, I’m game!

    Dee

    Have watched Gus many times. That is awesome that you got to play against him.

    He’s a great guy. Always had time for his fans. Taught me an important part of poker – he records every hand he plays so to review it later. I started to do the same.

    Somewhere, I heard a quote by a guy that didn’t like to play against women. He said, “You can’t tell what they got, and they don’t CARE what you got”…

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but women are usually immune to male intimidation as they face it all the time. So at the poker table, the best women players tend to play “dumb blonde”, bat their eyes and twitter away, and face down the biggest bully at the table with usually the best hand 😉

    Who knows, someday maybe we will play a hand or two…me, you and USW.

    That would be fun…. bring lots of money 😉

  45. BF,

    I have done much reading on the Isreali/Muslim conflict. I don’t keep a catalog of it all, but I believe the Palistians left at the behest of the Arab armies when the state of Israel was created back in, what 1948? K-gal, I don’t believe I’ve gone off the deep end. As for advocting that muslims are less than human, I didn’t. BF posited that they merely want to be left alone. I posit they don’t behave like they want to be left alone. I don’t care at all about what christians did to muslims a thousand years ago. All I care about is what is going on NOW. I don’t care what their excuse is. If you do, then go ahead and try to please them. BF, if many people claim you hate, you might spend a little time thinking as to why people get that impression. My experience with people who equate Islam with Christianity, DO hate Christianity for whatever reason. I’m pretty fed up with self righteous Christians telling me I’m going to burn in Hell for whatever complaint about me they have. Whatever. I don’t care what they think. I just want them to leave me alone, thus, I don’t attend church, and I keep my interaction with that type of Christian to a minimum. Some Christians are very tolerant of others and those are the ones I associate with in a non religeous way. As for Morocco, I haven’t heard much about exteremsim from there. I’m guessing that’s because the government doesn’t encourage extremism. Fine, you get a point, but you’ve not ansered my question. If muslims just want to be left alone, why do they come to the West? Why do many still cling to their faith and culture and then complain that the host country offends them, and then make demands of the host country? If they don’t want western influence in their countries, why not organize boycotts and honor them? Now I admit their governments WANT the westerners there. They want the money and technology we have. Like I said earlier, I’m all for cutting off all ties to the muslim world. They stay in their part, we stay in ours. It won’t be long before Israel is destroyed, so we’ll have our answer on whether or not muslims just want their land back. Personally, I think it’ll just encourage them to come after more, but you might be right. Only time will tell.

    As for this comment:
    <>

    I understand much better than you think when it comes to the motives of other people. What you fail to understand, is I DON”T care what the motive is. I don’t live in a hypothetical world, I live in the real world. If someone is pointing a gun at me, I’m not going to stand ther wondering, ‘Gee, why is he pointing a gun at me? Did I do something to upset him?’ I’m going to have a reaction that I believe will keep me alive. Do you understand what I’m saying here? All this lofty talk is a great mental exercise. Its good to give things some thought, but at the end of the day, the objective is to stay alive and prosper if you can. If dialog doesn’t work then stronger measures are required. That’s what I care about, not some hypothetical situation.

    • “What you fail to understand, is I DON”T care what the motive is. I don’t live in a hypothetical world, I live in the real world.”

      You may live in the real world, but (judging by your words) you are sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes, and saying “La la la …. I can’t hear you!” You are not dealing with the reality of the real world you inhabit.

      What you fail to understand is that motives build the real world. They have real effects. They are not hypothetical. I get tired of hearing people claim that their version of reality, where they ignore whatever makes them uncomfortable, is the only reality. If someone is pointing a gun at you (which I doubt anyone is at this moment), deal with that person now. Don’t then go to his house and smack his family around because of his actions or you just may find yourself staring down the barrel of a gun again. Because you gave them a motive. Ignore motives now and you will face consequences later. That is why you had better care about “hypotheticals” and motives. Real world consequences.

  46. Black Flag says:

    but I believe the Palistians left at the behest of the Arab armies when the state of Israel was created back in, what 1948? K-gal, I don’t believe I’ve gone off the deep end.

    Does that make sense to you? People voluntarily abandoning their homes because of … why again?

    If I may be so bold, I believe you think all “Arabs” are the same. They are not.

    They are a separate people – Lebanese are not Persians who are not Iraqi who are not Moroccan who are not Egyptian who are not Palestinian who are not Syria, etc.

    What you are claiming is that, as an analogy, that the French voluntarily left their country because Russian Cossacks said they should.

    Again, I am unsure of your sources, however, I am not aware of any source that offers such claim of Palestinians “leaving voluntarily” –

    – January 14, 1948: Haganah concludes $12,280,000 (paid for by American Jewish Community) arms deal with Czechoslovakia, including 24,500 rifles, 5,200 machine guns and 54 million rounds of ammunition.

    – February 14: Ben-Gurion issues orders to Haganah commander in Jerusalem for conquest of whole city and its suburbs.

    – February 18: Haganah calls up men and women aged 25 – 35 for military service.

    – March 19: Ben-Gurion declares Jewish state dependent not on UN partition decision but on Jewish military preponderance.

    – March 25: President Truman secretly receives Chaim Weizmann at White House and pledges support for declaration of Jewish state on May 15th.

    – March 30 – May 15: Second coastal “clearing” operation carried out by Haganah Alexandroni brigade and other units.

    Attacks and expulsions drive out almost all Palestinian communities from coastal area from Haifa to Jaffa prior to British withdrawal.

    On May 15, Israel declared independence, which was immediately and first recognized by the United States.

    The deployment of armed forces, 1948
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab-Israeli_War

    On the eve of the war the number of Arab troops likely to be committed to the war was about 23,000 (10,000 Egyptians, 4,500 Jordanians, 3,000 Iraqis, 3,000 Syrians, 2,000 ALA volunteers, 1,000 Lebanese and some Saudi Arabians), in addition to the irregular Palestinians already present.

    The Yishuv had 35,000 troops of the Haganah, 3,000 of Stern and Irgun and a few thousand armed settlers.

    All I care about is what is going on NOW.

    Me too. The lopsided support for Israel and her atrocities, the introduction of troops, and the constant machinations of US mercantilism in the region will, eventually, devastated this country

    you might spend a little time thinking as to why people get that impression.

    I am not in command of your opinions of me. Those are yours, solely, to hold.

    I am in command of my own actions and words. If you wish to distort them with your opinion, you will miss vital shared knowledge and understanding – at your loss.

    My experience with people who equate Islam with Christianity, DO hate Christianity for whatever reason

    I offered the factual history of both religions – they are the same in their core belief – even the leaders of these religions admit it. It would be strange, actually, to deny it.

    To recognize that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all share significantly in their beliefs does not equal loving or hating one versus the other. That is not reasonable.

    As for Morocco, I haven’t heard much about exteremsim from there.

    Again, history, Cindy.

    Morocco fought viciously for its independence from France (there’s that entangling again – amazing how foreign invasions makes the locals mad, huh? And it is not merely an American issue – no more than you’d be joyful if the Chinese decided to make your home their colony).

    And, just like your discourse, the French propaganda portrayed the Moroccans as savages … because they didn’t appreciate French culture – the beasts!

    When French eventually had enough and left, the violence ended. Weird, huh?

    If muslims just want to be left alone, why do they come to the West?

    Same reason people from the West go there (peacefully) – to find opportunity.

    Why do many still cling to their faith and culture and then complain that the host country offends them, and then make demands of the host country?

    Same reason you cling to your faith and culture and complain about your country and make demands on your government.

    Because you are free to do so.

    If they don’t want western influence in their countries, why not organize boycotts and honor them?

    Because the last time they threatened that, we threatened to nuke them.

    I understand much better than you think when it comes to the motives of other people. What you fail to understand, is I DON”T care what the motive is.

    If we fail to understand why people act as they do, we will always fail in living in harmony with people, and therefore, all of us will suffer.

    If someone is pointing a gun at me, I’m not going to stand ther wondering, ‘Gee, why is he pointing a gun at me? Did I do something to upset him?’

    After you dispose of this person the first time, and it keeps happening to you over, and over, and over, and over again …..

    – I would strongly suggest you spend some time to figure out why people keep pointing a gun at your head, because one day, you will fail in defeating them and you die.

  47. Here you two go again, with your hypothetical situations and a litany of tit for tat, and Christian atrocities. I still don’t care about what all happened in the past. If I had the time and inclination to argue it I could. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. Personally, I get along well with others. On the rare occasion I do have a problem with a certain person, many others have a similar issue with that individual also. So K-gal, I’m not closing my eyes and singing la-lalla with fingers in my ears. I know what is going on and still don’t care what the other person’s excuse is. Excuses are like belly bottons- everybody’s got one. On every day issues, I don’t have problems with the individuals I deal with on a persoanl basis. That must mean I know how to play well with others. So I’m done addressing you and your cluslessness about just what type of person I am. You will never undertand my position. That is your right. Black Flag, your wonderful muslims have had problems with Jews ever since the time of Mohammad, so I’m thinking that maybe it ain’t all about the state of Israel, but I could be wrong. Again, we’ll see soon enough once Israsel is destroyed. I’m looking forward to the day when Islam lives in peace with the rest of us, and we don’t have to put up with the evil Zionists and Christians and it’s all Islam all the time. What a wonderful world we will have. I’m mean just look at the Islamic world today! With out Jews and Christians messing things up, things will be wonderful, just like in Morocco! So, now that I’ve told what you want to hear, will, you move on, or is that not good enough?

  48. “Here you two go again, with your hypothetical situations”

    We are not the ones being “hypothetical” here.

  49. Black Flag says:

    Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution.

    Iran hosts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim-majority country.

    After Israel, it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Jews

    • Black Flag says:

      The Constitution of Iran says that Jews are equal to Muslims.

      Imam Khomeini visited with members of the Jewish community and issued a decree ordering the adherents of Judaism and other revealed religions to be protected.

      Jews are entitled to self-administration and elect their own representative to the 290-seat Majlis.

      Jewish burial rites and divorce laws are accepted by Islamic courts.

      Tehran has over 20 synagogues. Iran has one of only four Jewish charity hospitals in the world.

      The hospital has received donations from top Iranian officials, including President Ahmadinejad.

      Kosher butcher shops are available in Iran.

      There are Hebrew schools and coeducation is allowed.

  50. I’m sure the Jews of Iran are good dhimmis. If they were’t they’d be dead. I still disagree with you. I don’t trust the Islamic ideology. I want no part of it. I want total disengagement. You say the Islamic world wants disegagement with us. It should be workable if enough if disengagement is what this whole mess is about. Your statements of Jews in Iran, doesn’t explain what’s going on in Europe. In any case, what’s written down and what is practiced are probably not the same. There have been attacks on Jews in the UK. Jews in the UK haven’t violently forced anyone, muchless muslims, of their land. so what gives? Muslims are just responding to injustice, right? If you insist that I ‘accept’ your ‘Islam is great, we all should love it and move on’ point of view, I can tell you what you want to. In my mind, it means nothing, just words. If I had the inclination to list crimes the muslims have committed and the excuses that go with it, we’d go back and forth for eternity. So, you have not changed my position. I will act/vote/fight according to my beliefs. I guess we can spare US Weapon, and others, our discussion on this and politely agree to disagree.

    • Black Flag says:

      And there are Christians who attack Jews, Jews who attack Muslim,….. people attack people all the time. The news rarely leads with “Christian attacks Jew, steals his wallet….”

      I am not insisting any religion is better (or worse) than any other.

      I am insisting that PEOPLE, anywhere in the world, are very much like you.

      I believe when we leave “them” alone – whether they are Iraqis, Afghanistani, Palestinian, Somalian, Vietnamese, Bolivians, Colombians, Georgians, etc., they will leave us alone, and deal with us peacefully.

  51. SFC Dick says:

    Black Flag, Sir

    “I believe when we leave “them” alone – whether they are Iraqis, Afghanistani, Palestinian, Somalian, Vietnamese, Bolivians, Colombians, Georgians, etc., they will leave us alone, and deal with us peacefully”.

    I don’t think at this point, where we stand from near and ancient history that is an option. I would love to just leave’em be. I think we need active engagement (minus guns, bullets, bombs). I’m pulling for a Barnett aproach.

    As counterintuitive and crazy as it sounds, what I am trying to do here now is just that, altho I do have to engage knuckleheads sometimes and drop them, BTW, interesting fact. To date,(including last tour, the real locals were the easiest to deal with, go to the Malik, or Mulah, stick around for security so once they come on board with me the bad guys don’t roll in and kill them all, use US$, pay a handfull to do busy work, no more IEDs, no more rockets) I have not been attacked by one honest to God local, they’ve all been “out of towners”. Those Chechens will make a believer out of you KA-WICK, they are some bad ass fighters.

    “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.” (I can fix em when I see em for ya…USW)

    • Black Flag says:

      You may be right in your opinion (re: engagement without bombs etc.) At least its a start.

      When lil’ bro’ was in Bosnia, all he had to do was deal with drunk Serbian and Bosnian regiments wanting a piece of each other, and him as well for good measure.

      I can’t imagine the mess you have to deal with.

      • SFC Dick says:

        I read an AAR that said something to the effect “the artillery begins about 1 hour after cocktail hour. They sit on the ridge, start drinking late efternoon, then when good and drunk, begin the artillery”

        There, some of those dudes, complete , total savages. The hague is too good for them, bringing them before it is an insult to me, oh yeh, they are Christians

        “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

    • SFC Dick says:

      damn, I forgot

      “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

  52. BF – Local and state elections here today….and I voted, HOWEVER, I did think of you all the while driving to the voting station; never before would I even have thought of not voting!

    • Black Flag says:

      Though I would not myself, nor concern myself with such games –

      I’ve said many times to USWep – if people, even after all the evidence of futility has been offered – wish to involve themselves in the political process, the most effective way is with local politics. The closer the politician is to the people, the more likely his words and actions will align.

  53. I know this comment is very delayed but I have been reading and learning from these blogs and finally would like to participate and comment on the positions taken by USWeapon and Black Flag in the “The Best Course of Action…”

    A couple months ago I started reading Leo Donofrio’s “Natural Born Citizen” blog. His relentless pursuit and crystal clear explanations of Constitutional Law with respect to Obama’s eligibility for POTUS, separation of powers, Vattel, Marbury vs. Madison, etc. have motivated me to read and learn. For the first time I can remember, I READ the Constitution – it is a FACINATING document. I watched the 10 minute video on the Glenn Beck’s 912PROJECT web site explaining the difference between political systems. Our political system is a Republic (a nation of laws). Why do MOST people say we are a Democracy (effectively mob rule)? The Founding Fathers rejected a Democracy and made our political system a Republic for a reason.

    I agree with USW that we CAN’T IGNORE them (the “government”) and we MUST LEARN how to participate. My reading and learning have excited and motivated me to learn more, to talk to my family and friends, and hopefully have the courage to actively participate in our Republic.

    At first it was difficult to get past BF’s writing style – almost freeform poetry but… with careful reading I learn a lot. I agree with the position that voting gives legitimacy to the State. Voting in a Communist country where they have one choice provides legitimacy to the government. We may have 2 choices but the result is the same.

    The problem I see with BF’s position is… by NOT VOTING, we make it easier for the “winner” to claim a “broad mandate” to take whatever action they want. The non-voters are also identified as “apathetic” citizens that don’t care.

    We are left with a difficult dilemma – if you vote, you legitimize the State (which may not be working for the people) and if you don’t vote, it is easier for the “winner” (the State) to control the people with a “broad mandate”.

    Some responders have suggested third–party candidates or write-in candidates. The problem I see is these votes are usually regarded as “spoilers” (i.e., they hurt another candidate) or they are ridiculed as votes for a candidate on the “fringe”.

    This may have been suggested before but I think a simple voting option would eliminate the dilemma – “None of the above”. It would FORCE the vote to be counted WITHOUT LEGITIMIZING the State and at the same time MAKE IT HARDER for a “winner” to claim the illusion of a “broad mandate”. I don’t know if it could be a write-in or an option on the ballot or even if it would be legal.

    What do you think about “NONE OF THE ABOVE”?

    • The “winner” may claim a “broad mandate”, but as fewer and fewer people agree to participate, the clearer the lie becomes. (Do you have any idea how few people actually vote for the “winning side” in even the biggest election?) If you feel you must vote, “none of the above” is probably the best choice, however you are still legitimizing the system: the pretense that it is OK to tell others how to live as long as a majority agree to it.

      The US may have been established as a “republic” but that is dead and gone. The “laws” that were to restrain government (the only ones that matter in a republic) are routinely ignored and violated without consequence. Counterfeit “laws” passed by a criminal government to violate the rights of the people are given the “Constitutional OK” by the black-robed traitors of the Supreme Court.

      Either the Constitution set the stage for the mess we have now, or it did nothing to prevent it. Either way, it is dead and gone and in most cases forgotten.

      Non-voters are identified as apathetic, just like gun owners are “identified” as dangerous lunatics. Both cases are flat-out lies.

      Do what you feel is best. The older I get, the more I see behind the curtain to look upon the twisted maniac pulling the levers. No such thing as a “good government”.

      • USWeapon says:

        Kent,

        I disagree. I think that the participation, especially with a vote of “none of the above”, isn’t an endorsement of the belief you stated. It is a belief that a republic is what we want. I know that isn’t what you want, but many do. I agree it isn’t there now. I think a massive NOTA vote would send a much more clear message that we are fed up with the system and its practitioners than simply staying home. A dwindling vote can be explained away by a biased media in any of 100 ways that would benefit the system. 40 million votes saying we want none of what is being offered sends a message the media will have a much tougher time spinning. Plus it would eliminate the best of two evils phenomenon. Imagine a vote where none of the above won… actually garnered more votes than the two candidates. That would send a powerful message to Washington. I am not pretending it is possible, just talking theoretically. Then again it is more likely than even thinking we could reach the point where even 70% of the eligible voters will just walk away from the process.

        • I suspect the government will always interpret whatever message however they choose to; whichever way it will further their agenda most effectively. They might decide that neither candidate was socialistic enough, and declare they have a mandate to abandon all forms of capitalism and private property … after all, “the voters have spoken”. It wouldn’t be the first time they have used this tactic.

  54. Fred, older-than-dirt says:

    Sir:
    The following story, is in a way to refute BF’s assertion, that the best thing to do is NOTHING.

    I have voted in every election!! If there is a space for a write in candidate I write in a name, if not I leave blank. Since I first became eligible to vote in 1960. I have voted for a Republicrate or Demican candidate only once, that was in the last election. Congressman voted against the bank bailout twice. I do not plan to make a habit of that abnormal behavior. If there is a scheme by the government to raise taxes by a bond issue, I vote NO.
    Next, April 15th is just been another day on the calender like any other day. I have not played the governments game, it is a no win game.

    I was IM’ing, with my son the other day. We were talking a little bit about the fact that he was going to start a new job-job after not working for a paycheck for a little over 1+ years. His own decision!!! I think what really got to him was the $1100.00 a month, plus, plus for Health Insurance. That was more than his house payment!!! I made a joke about being a SLACKER, As I really did not have a job-job from 1975 till about 2001 when I pulled the plug.

    He said NO, that I was a PROFESSIONAL SLACKER, 26 years in the Major Leagues of
    Slacking. A career!!!! I had worked very hard at staying off the governments radar and supporting my family. Some of the dates and places are wrong on purpose, so as not to divulge information.

    That is not as bad as it sounds, my two kids did not really do without. We moved to, Northern Minnesota, just south of the Canadian Border. They both learned to downhill ski, they went most every weekend in the winter. My son is passing this on to his kids, as he lives an works in Big Sky country.

    This was after we had been informed that the local Elementary School was being converted to a Special Education School and that as 2nd and 4th graders they would have to traverse Drug Dealers to cross the street to a new integrated Elementary and JR High School. The principal said there was nothing he could do as the Drug Dealers were not on school property.

    The rest of the year I was involved with them in what ever activities they were pursuing, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little League what ever. They got what kids need the most from a parent, TIME, NOT STUFF!! My daughter would say she was going for a bike ride, an come back 4+ hours later after doing a ride of about 52 miles round trip. Who would let their daughter do this now??

    When it became very evident that the local public schools were not going to meet their educational requirements, we looked around and found a private boarding school. My son went there starting in the 8th grade, my daughter skipped 5th and 6th grade and started in the 7th grade.

    I made the decision that a basic education, was more important, than a lousy Public Education, an flunking out of college later. That decision cost me close to 60k a year, by the time the both had graduated from High School, I was step ahead of being bankrupt.

    They both are very self reliant. When my daughter lost her college scholarship. She went to work selling cookies, in a store at age 17. My son payed for his College with student loans.

    My daughter jokingly says she now knows how I must have felt being the dumb one in the family. Her child tends to make her feel dumb, some of the time. My daughter will write a memo, get it back, with words circled and a ??? mark. So she writes it again with her English dumbed down!!!

    Since in the US talking about the amount of renumeration that one makes is not a topic of conversation. I can only guess as to the amounts, my kids receive, my daughter gets well North of 100k a yr without a college degree, needs to finish needs about 1 year plus. My son, since just starting a new job more than likely a bit South of 100k a year, with a college degree. They both are very very good at what they do.

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