Starting Basic… Defining What We Seek

Government 2 point 0Some interesting conversations have been swirling around the last couple of days between BF, JAC, and others. This conversation seems to be focused around trying to define what government is and is not. It is an interesting conversation to have. More important, this is more than an interesting conversation, it is an absolute necessity. We discuss on this site daily the ways that we are dissatisfied with our federal government. We talk about things like “getting back to basics” and “returning to the principles of our founding fathers”. In short we are discussing what is right and moral, what is desired and deserved. We are talking about government; its purpose, its scope, its actions and its future. As we do so, we miss an important step in the discussion process…

We forget to define our terms. Think back to the “March Towards Socialism” series and the “Building a Foundation” series that we are part way through. What was the first thing that both I and Just A Citizen did before we launched into discussions about these subjects? We defined our terms. I stated up front what the terms socialism, fascism, democracy, liberal, and conservative meant to me so that as we moved forward you would all be clear that these would be the definitions we would use as we go forward in our discussions. I believe that the time has come for us to do so again. We are discussing “government” every single day on this site. And while we do so, we are all operating with different ideas of what government is or what it should be.

Love Country Without GovernmentAnd the outcome is that we are chasing each other around the blog, re-defining terms and agreeing that because our definitions are so different, we are not having the same argument that we thought that we were having. Black Flag often asks the question of those debating him: What is your definition of government? This is an important place to start. While we are not yet through the philosophy series that will ultimately help us to determine what we want government to be going forward, we are at a place where we can take a moment to reflect on and define what government is to us. I can at least take the time to help you understand what it is to me.

Government, in my opinion, is the organizational structure that we put in place to make society work effectively and to provide for things that the people cannot provide for themselves. Now I know that the Black Flags out there are just waiting to pounce, to rail on about how there is nothing that government provides that we couldn’t do without them, that we were doing all those things prior to the government being put into place even in this country. But I disagree, and I will discuss why in a moment. First, let’s address the first part of my statement.

Government SolutionsGovernment is the organizational structure that we put in place to make society work effectively. Government is there to create and enforce laws. Does that mean that they use “violence” to enforce those laws? Sometimes it does. I believe in personal freedom and individual liberty. In fact they are the cornerstones of my belief system in regard to government. But that does not mean that I don’t value law. Government exists to empower and serve its citizens. In theory that is the fact of the matter (although I am aware that in practice it usually devolves to what we have today). People should be able to do what they like so long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. But this leads to an awful complex situation. I could sit and list hundreds of examples of where the line blurs, but that is what other individual posts are for.

I don’t believe it is government’s purpose to make things fair for all people. Life isn’t fair. Deal with it. I know it goes against the “liberal creed”, in which we as a collective come together and make sure that everyone’s life ends happy and wonderful. But that isn’t real life, and to be honest it is why I think the ultra far left consists of childish fools living in a hippie dream world where every child gets a free unicorn at age 10. The folks rallying against the “birth lottery” who think that children should not have the advantage of being born to parents who succeeded financially for whatever reason need to grow up. That’s life. If your parents didn’t work hard and get ahead, blame them, not government or the “rich white men” or Wall Street. It is not government’s job to even the playing field in any way or to make things fair for anyone, despite what the Messiah has preached you into a fervor about.

Government Oversight BullshitGovernment does not exist to “regulate” business. They are there to enforce law, however the laws that fall into government jurisdiction should be quite limited. I know there are arguments about different standards throughout the different states. If companies want to do business in other states, believe me they will figure out a way to get their procedures and practices in line, and they will do so far better and more efficiently than any of the government “regulations” do now. I know there are arguments that big business will “screw the people” without being controlled. I disagree. Free the people to deal with the situation effectively, and big business will realize that they are doomed if they do so.

Government’s job is organization. Make things workable and then let the people do the rest. They will do it far better than government ever could. Stop thinking that you have to provide all things to some people and you will be amazed at how well they do on their own. Remember that this country went from start to great in a very short time. During the period that this happened people didn’t have government as a crutch to fall back on. If they failed, they died. As a result we saw people rise to the occasion and accomplish feats that we still marvel at today. Do you see any of that now that we have taught the majority to live off the government teat and depend on government to do everything from raise their children to solve every problem? No. America’s greatness began to die with the beginning of the Progressive movement at the turn of the century.

Jefferson Bumper StickerNow there are those very few things that government does that I feel is in their scope. Providing for the common defense falls into this. I know the argument that a militia served us prior to big government. But these are different times and different circumstances. Weapons are different. Tactics are different. We need a massive, organized military to protect us from the multitude of threats out there who have no interest in devolving into militias as BF or Kent would have our country do. As I have said, I know war. A single team like those that D13 and I worked on would wipe out your militia fairly quickly. Hell, at a basic level, that is what we were trained to do. Government is needed to negotiate and create treaties with other nations. They are needed to help ensure that the laws put in place are enforced and given the proper scrutiny.

Government We Use GunsSo that is the long version of what government is to me. The short version is that government is the structure we put in place to make society function, to make people with vastly different ideals and desires coexist peacefully and effectively. In its purest form, government will not do much more than ensure that individual liberty and personal freedom are enjoyed by everyone. There will be some violence, regardless of what anyone says, but that isn’t necessarily the “evil” that BF and some others believe it to be. Where there are humans, there will be violence. Ideally government helps to keep it to a minimum, which means they don’t have the right to use the coercive force that BF rails against. His definition and mine are quite different, but share many ideals. You will see more of that later when we have a bigger discussion…

…which leads me to the final point I want to make before we all begin discussing this. I don’t think we are ready yet to jump out there and start answering the question of what we would like to reform our government to look like. I know some have some solid ideas in their head on this. But I ask you to refrain. It will all make sense in the end. Like performing a heart bypass, you have to follow the steps if you want to have a successful operation. Step one for us is to define what government is for each of us. It will allow us to clarify and refine how we define government. And in the end I think there will be more agreement than some of you may believe. So let’s talk about what “government” is. Not just the government of the United States, but government in general. Then we will move to step two, which will help us to see where the founders missed the mark and what mistakes we need to endeavor to avoid. So stick to a couple of questions for today:

How do you define government?

What do you think government should be responsible for?

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Comments

  1. Cyndi P says:

    Welcome home, USW. I’ll have to ponder the defintion of government for awhile….I did however, have a look at “You can always leave if you don’t like it here.” I’ve been seriously considering leaving America for good since the Commies/Leftists took over. I think the final decision will be made when America is just another crap hole like all the other crap holes on the planet. So my question is: what if everyone who loves the Old America (not Obama’s America), left the USA for other countries? Suppose we could find one or two that still values what we have to offer? If I have to live in a crap hole, it may as well be a crap hole of my choosing. I have my reasons for wanting to leave. I believe my life may well depend on it in the not too far off future. There is a lot of hate directed toward whites (I’m Hipanic but of very fair complextion) in general, and conservatives in particular. This is being done from the top, right down to the lowly citizen. I wonder what this might eventually lead to if left unchecked. Now that about seven months of Obama’s rule has past, this might be a topic for discussion sometime in the future. Do you still have the same perspective as when you wrote your essay?

    • First I am a Vietnam Vet, my citizenship is fully paid. I bailed out when I retired at 62.5. I could not even begin to survive there. Where I am now I pay about $100.00 a month for both sides of a duplex, electric cost about $65.00 a month, my wife and I live fairly comfortably, even have a maid for about a dollar a day, plus room an board. That is the going rate.

      If I were younger and was an independent business person, making around 100k a year. I would head for Switzerland, relocate my business, in a heartbeat if not sooner. There are enough political parties that all governments are coalitions.
      It is probably the closest thing to a “Direct Democracy” that exists in the world today.

      If just a worker bee, with good skills, then my choice would be New Zealand. About 4 million people, 8 political parties, a Westminster type Parliament system, about 120 members, part of the UK Commonwealth.

      I would not go to Canada as the US Government has been screwing over them as long as it has been screwing over its own. At lot of people heading there, as it is quick an easy. This has been going since “The Shrub”(small bush) took over. Now with the second coming, it will probably accelerate.

      Just remember, if you are a producer of goods an services at some point THEY will limit your choices.

      • Interesting. Where do you live now?

      • Black Flag says:

        Living in Switzerland is incredibly expensive – it is probably more worthwhile if your up around $500,000/annual income.

        You can negotiate a personal tax treaty with the Swiss government for about $50,000/yr., so it probably only makes sense for incomes greater than $500,000 – and the higher the income, the lower your effective tax rate becomes. But Geneva is among the highest cost living in the world, and the rest of Switzerland isn’t much lower.

        New Zealand is not bad, but as the significant smaller trading partner with Australia, it suffers (and gains) in magnitude with the ups and downs of their much larger nation.

        Canada and USA have the same dynamic in asymmetrical trading partners.

        Canada is better able to sustain themselves – hewers of wood and drawers of water – as resource-based economy (particularly in the West) will overcome economic trouble. However, Fred is right on the political/economic front. It is the established policy of the Bank of Canada to discount the CAD$ to the USD$ by 20%. When the USD% tanks, CAD$ will tank 20% faster. What a mess….

        • Black Flag says:

          Oh yeah, New Zealand is overrun by eco-nuts; expect weird Carbon tax issues there to interfere with business.

  2. I know you are going to get upset with me on this one, USW – But that is just the way it has to be . . .

    I don’t know what happened here, but you are beginning to sound like one of those “One World Government” characters that keep popping up every so often. This world just isn’t ready for that sort of thing just yet . . . Maybe in a couple thousand years or so, but not now.

    If you want the best definition of government that I have ever seen or heard of, then read the Preamble to the United States Constitution.

    What I think government be responsible for? There isn’t enough room or time to write it in one sitting or one day . . . However, you can start with the safety and security of the people of this nation, our national currency, our national language, and our history and heritage. Perhaps I could better describe what I think our government should NOT be into – My bedroom, my home, my wallet, my thoughts, my church etc. etc.

    I think you are going to get a lot of different things in this discussion today.

    And here is one thing that I figure you would expect me to say . . . Having these inane discussions day in and day out while all that garbage is going on up in DC is akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burned. We need to be figuring out how to stop Obamacare, Sotomayor, Cap & Trade, and the devolving of American currency into something like the Euro but for a “global currency” instead. We need to work on THAT stuff much more than philosophy.

    But then, that is just my not so humble opinion . . .

    • GA:

      Please explain why you believe USW is writing as if he was a “One World Government”. I don’t understand. US is advocating for a small government that focuses on national defense, and peace between us and other countries. I fail to see how this equals one world government.

      I agree that some of these discussions are on the same level of Nero’s music making, but if we do not know where we are at, how we got here, and where we are going. If all we do is oppose the O’s policies without offering up solutions to the problems that O is trying to address, then we are just going to be labeled as obstructionists and ignored.

      • First, it is the overall tone of his writings. Try looking at the big picture. My comment is not putting him down, only questioning his overall end game. I believe that USW is intelligent enough to understand my question.

        The tactic of our internal enemy is to keep people guessing and to overwhelm all of us to instill a feeling of helplessness in order to ram through all of their agenda before we realize what the internal enemy has done. Sitting around discussing philosophy day in and day out is EXACTLY what our internal enemy wants.

        Definition: Internal Enemy = All the Socialist Democrats and Socialist Republicans that are currently deeply embedded into our legal, educational, and political systems within this country.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      G.A.

      No matter what we on this site do, we are NOT going to stop some version of Obamacare… it is coming.

      We are NOT going to stop Sotomayor from getting seated on the Supreme Court… it is coming.

      We MAY get lucky on cap and trade and it may die in the Senate, but I suspect that they will make some compromises and it is coming.

      If your purpose is to stop these things, I believe you are already too late.

      It takes a LONG time to stop a freight train that is running at full speed, and if you do not do it carefully, the whole train will derail. We not only need to stop the freight train, but once we get it stopped we need to massively downsize it and switch tracks, then maybe get it going in the right direction. I understand your desire for this to happen YESTERDAY, but I defy you to explain how it is going to happen yesterday, let alone tomorrow.

      The majority of the people in this country are brainwashed sheep that WANT the government to do what it is doing. There are a LOT of things to overcome before we can end up on a better path. I am not saying we should be doing NOTHING, and sometimes it feels like we aren’t getting anywhere at all, but I certainly don’t want to be there if the freight-train derails at full speed.

      If you have any ideas on how to stop Sotomayor, Obamacare, and Cap & Trade, fire away! I would be interested in seeing how anyone thinks that those can be stopped at this point in time. I think the best we can hope for is a whole bunch of BS gets scrapped in the future, and even that is going to be a tough struggle to get to.

      • Not trying to toot my own horn here, but have you ever read anything that I have written on my blog?

        Also understand this: I do not advocate violence. I understand that civil violence is NEVER the answer, but adds to the problem exponentially. (“if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem” means that there are no innocent bystanders here)

        CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE is one answer. We need to get enough people to gather in DC (even without a “Parade Permit”) to voice our opposition to Obamacare, Sotomayor, and cap and trade. THAT is how you get there attention. That is the ONLY thing that will scare them into doing what we elected them to do. That will not derail the train, but it will put the brakes on in the caboose and start the slow down processes.

        As long as we are involved in the wasteful process of discussing the philosophy of replacing our government with an entirely new one we are condemning to death all of those who formed this current form of government. We need to understand that they DID build the tools and mechanisms to correct the ills of a runaway government – BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE UP AGAINST WITH KING GEORGE! Read our Constitution! The tools are there. All we need to do is use them!

        • Black Flag says:

          No, GA Rowe.

          The Constitution was not used against King George.

          The Constitution has no tools to constrain the entity of government – which depends on the Government enforce the Constitution upon itself. With no surprise, it doesn’t feel the need to enforce on itself what it does not desire.

          There is no way you can force rules upon a sovereignty, GA Rowe!

          If you could, it isn’t sovereign and not a government.

          And if you can’t, its a government and you have no hope but tyranny.

          • You are wrong, BF . . . You are an intelligent man and I do not believe that you have NEVER read nor have NEVER understood or comprehended the Constitution.

            I believe that you are espousing your own wishful thinking since you have claimed to be an anarchist.

            • You have confused TOOLS with what is needed to FIX.

              If it were not for the tools given our choice would be guns. Of course if the govt chooses to ignore us using the tools then guns remain the only choice. That or submission.

              But to use the tools provided you must have a majority across many states, all of whom vote.

              Of course you also have to know what it is (FIX) that you want to impose by using the TOOLS.

              And Stop Obama is not a Fix, nor is Balance the Budget, or Reduce Spending, or Pass Term Limits. The first is a slogan, the rest are just bandaids on an infected wound.

              • With the TOOLS provided we can prevent this train wreck from happening.

                With the TOOLS provided we can move this train – once slowed to a safe speed – to another track, i.e. the RIGHT track.

                With the TOOLS provided we can embed the necessary safety mechanisms to prevent this train from becoming a runaway train ever again.

                The TOOLS are in our Constitutional guarantees to the right of lawful peaceful assembly to effect CHANGES in our government – NOT JUST THE RIGHT TO VOTE!

                With an overwhelming majority of physical presence – the right to a peaceful assembly – in DC we can garner the attention of those elected officials and cause them concern vs what they are now trying to do by instilling fear in us. If we show no fear of them, then they will become concerned over our interest in what it is that they are trying to do. A reversal of fortune, if you will.

                Only then will we be able to use the power of our votes to place further safeguards into the system.

                I know it ain’t philosophy, but I believe it is a workable solution . . . and it WILL remain a work in progress just as it was intended to be from the gitgo!

              • Black Flag says:

                Of course, GA – you’re energy in demanding change is one of your best assets and is admirable.

                However, unless we KNOW what our moral base is, we are – essentially – pissing into the wind.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I would argue with you on a few points here:

          First of all, the power of King George III was already pretty severely limited by the British Parliamentary System. The King was a convenient scapegoat as a symbol of absolute power/absolute monarchy, but in reality he had nowhere near absolute power in the British system.

          However, it was a lot easier to demonize one powerful man (the King of England), than it would have been to attempt to demonize the whole British system.

          Also, I believe that many of the founders (Jefferson especially) realized that ANY form of government was doomed to slide into tyrrany over time, even the form of government we put in place here. This was BOUND to happen, because the system that they put in place was flawed, and they knew it!

          By saying it was flawed, I am not saying they did a horrible thing… far from it! I think they gave us a system that was best they could do using the most enlightened philosophy of the time, yet even they recognized that the system they put in place would be corrupted over time.

          What you seem to be saying is that what we have isn’t really broken, we just need to go back to the way it was supposed to be.

          I agree that there are quite a few elements of the way it was supposed to be that are pretty darn good, but don’t confuse the Constitution of the United States with some sort of infallable religious document… it is not that.

          • First of all let me say that even though my children truly believe I was around to greet Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, I am not really that old . . . Which means that I wasn’t around to listen to the discussions about our declaration of Independence nor the Constitution . . . So it is with tongue in cheek that I say that I am unwilling to debate the case with someone who seems to state his argument as if he were actually there.

            All kidding aside, with what I have read on the subject – and by no means am I a scholar on that subject or any other historical political subject – I honestly believe that the framers of the Constitution KNEW that what they had designed was not flawless and that is why they put the tools in it for us to correct the problems as they became apparent. THAT is the reason I am totally against scrapping what we have been given to us by much, much more intelligent men than we are. The tools are there, all we have to do is use them!

        • G.A. Rowe:

          I couldn’t agree with you more; however, I do at times wonder if “making our requests known” is civil disobedience or civic responsibility. And for some reason I believe that a lot of the motivation behind what the Founder’s worked so hard to accomplish was out of responsibility rather than disobedience. They’d had enough!

          Without question I support the approach of non-violence; however, when I look through the lens of history I must admit that the greatest changes have come at the cost of violent protest. It is ugly, it is inhumane, it stinks, and it sucks, but we all must be truthful to ourselves and realize that since Day One either in the Garden or wherever, humankind cannot seem to live a day without fighting.

          Domestically I bring attention to the Watts, Los Angeles, Birmingham, Chicago, and Selma riots that although the ‘civil libertarian’ at the time preached for non-violence, I must say that “the dog that barks the loudest will get fed first.” A nation was changed by these folks who just said, “No more and get whitey!”

          The Civil War changed a Nation, albeit, at this time I’m not advocating any such thing; however, before these lunatics in D.C. take another dime of our money without at least a confirmation advice or certificate of our ownership thereof, something needs to be done. The history of America is littered with societal change from John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, to Shay’s Rebellion; furthermore, in the 1960’s and 1970’s as people were placing flowers into the muzzles of weapons and that gesture alone drew enough attention to make significant waves not to mention the naming of an era.

          I agree it is shoddy to have millions mobilize in the form of Tea Parties and not get appropriate media coverage; moreover, the media made a mockery of the Tea Parties. The situation we have in Washington D.C. is abhorrent and I, like you, support a “March on Washington” albeit, with teeth.

          Love your writing, Cheers!

          jps

          • If, by the end of this week, an overwhelming majority of people should suddenly arrive at the DC Mall with signs and loudspeakers proclaiming that Obamacare, cap & trade, and Sotomayer in the Supreme Court is nothing but a death sentence to honest hardworking Americans, the political tide in this country would begin to change.

            Then if we all do the same thing in our respective states to call for a constitutional convention to put in place Constitutional amendments to safeguard our individual liberty and freedoms, we would prevent this trainwreck that we are now heading to at full steam ahead!

            I, as an individual, do not have the power nor the means to effect something of that nature and am looking for someone or a bunch of someones who do have the power and means to do that.

            “We The People” need DESPERATELY to make our voices heard!

  3. While I agree with a lot that you have said, USW, I think in order to properly answer the questions you pose, we need to be more specific. A definition of government is lacking in one very important point, we should be defining what a “good” government is. Government in general, in my opinion, is a body that removes rights from the people in order to protect “higher” rights (life, liberty, etc.), but this definition changes depending on the type of government. Different types of government protect and remove different things to reach different goals.

    Though this stretches a bit to a future topic, I believe it is necessary to say that a “good” government must come from the people. Let me clarify this. In order to have true authority to remove rights, the people making up the government body must be members of the public. I will go even further to declare that they should not be career politicians. They must be ordinary folks who know the meaning of hard work, the value of a dollar, etc. Hence, what I think of as “good” government is a body, made up by the public, that represents the public (not just one party btw), and removes only such liberties that are deemed necessary to ensure the “higher” rights like life, liberty, etc. It also takes care of the things that ordinary people cannot do. Needs some work, I know, but it’s a start.

    • Black Flag says:

      JB

      Interesting start, since it raises many undefined and vague thoughts.

      First thought: no right ever supersedes another right. If it does, the one that is superseded isn’t a right.

      So, this points to a misunderstanding of ‘what a Right is’.

      The massive challenge is understanding concepts and definitions. Even USWep, in his typical well-articulated topic introduction, still misinterprets these concepts, IMO.

      For example, law. The implication is that only a government makes law.

      Yet, this is untrue. Laws are made by nature, religion, and by agreement between individuals – indeed, the latter (over all the rest) tends to align more closely with Natural Law.

      There are more shots coming as this blog develops….

      • As always, BF, you keep us thinking.

        Pretty much everything that you point at here brings us back to my point about the government coming from the people. I believe that, in government, a “right” is nebulous. 200 years ago no black people had the right to liberty. Forming a government out of the citizens of a state means that the citizens can define what is a right and which rights must be given up in protection of other rights. By giving up the right to, say kill my neighbor, I have decided that doing so is no longer my right. So you are right in that the rights superseded are no longer rights, but they were before I gave them up… Kinda confusing, but I think we’re just bickering over terminology now. You see my point.

        You speak very justly that a government is not the only purveyors of the law and rights, but a “good” government is created by people freely giving the government the authority to define rights and laws. While it creates problems, it is a step towards safety and civilization.

        • Black Flag says:

          Government moves us away from safety and civilization.

          It’s root premise is in contradiction to civilization.

          As far as Right – the blacks and slaves always had their rights and criminals acted in ways that impeded their ability to exercise that right.

          You have a right to freedom, but a criminal can kidnap you and hold you hostage. Your right is undiminished. Your ability to exercise it has been compromised.

          If the people are, in fact, granting government a right – the rights they grant can only be the rights that they, the People, initially hold. I cannot grant what I do not have.

          If granted freely, a grant can be revoked. Hence, it is the People, individually, who claim sovereignty. If so, then the “government” cannot legitimately be the ultimate authority

          Hence, it cannot be a ‘government’ by even the common definition!

      • Bee in my Bonnet says:

        BF,
        What do you consider ‘what a Right is’?

        You stated that ‘ no right ever supersedes another right. If it does, the one that is superseded isn’t a right.’
        Would you not consider a ‘right’ as a subjective issue? Citizens left on their own to determine what a ‘right’ is will sink into anarchy as all would claim their own ‘rights’ as supreme. Pedophiles feel it is their right to have access to children (see NAMBLA – North American Men Boy Love Association), many feel that abortion is their right, many feel that it is their right to include faith in everything that they do, including having it in government, others do not.

        If you break it down to the basics, human nature dictates that we act in a selfish manner, putting our own needs (rights?) above others. So is it up to government to decide what a ‘right’ is, for the good of society? This is the conundrum. If the answer is ‘yes’, then the people have spoken and Obama and his ilk get to decide. If the answer is ‘no’, then we are back to what is the role of government.

        • Black Flag says:

          No.

          Rights are very specific and objective.

          A Right is anything you do that does not impose upon another person.

          Test any action. If it imposes upon another, it is not a right.

          If it doesn’t, you have a right to do it.

          • Bee in my Bonnet says:

            If you live in isolation. Anyone can challenge your definition as many are very good at twisting something to their own advantage.

            • Black Flag says:

              No, living in isolation or among others.

              You still do not have a right to impose upon me, Bee!

              Whether some is mentally unfit and wishes to distort definitions, meanings, intent and act in malice – this is simply not in my control.

              Just because there are evil men does not mean we need to have an evil system.

              It does not mean we justify ourselves in using evil, either.

        • Howdy Bee, been a while.

          Your statement “If you break it down to the basics, human nature dictates that we act in a selfish manner, putting our own needs (rights?) above others” contains a common misconception.

          That is that acting in a “selfish” manner is putting our needs “above” others. What it does is place our needs formost in our thoughts and actions. In simplicity, I am my priority.

          It does not place those actions above anyone. That would mean I am “the” priority.

          What true nature driven self interest does, is it places our individual needs on equal footing with the needs of everyone else. Each of us is our own priority.

          In order for this “natural order” to work a little thing called Freedom must be present. That is that each of us must be able to pursue our own interest relatively free from fear of the initiation of force against us. If someone holds power to initiate force against us then we are no longer free to live to our fullest potential as provided by our creator.

          Thus, FREEDOM is a pre-requisit to Man’s survival and ultimate development as Man.

          Nice to see the Bee is buzzing around today.
          We need the Bees to maintain our beautiful world.
          JAC

          • Bee in my Bonnet says:

            Hi JAC,

            I buzz around everyday. Today, I have time to land and partake in this great conversation.

            Even our Creator created boundaries by which we must live. Do these boundaries prevent us from having true freedom? Are the boundaries that we accept different than boundaries that are imposed apon us. Once again, we have a quandary. The boundaries I accept may feel imposed by someone else, so who decides? One person feels like they have freedom where another person feels as if they are being shackled by the same rules.

            This goes back to the conversation with BF. If there is to be governance by moral principle, who decides what is moral, given that we live in a society that thrives on moral relativity?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              There is no moral relativity. Moral relativity is a construct of those that wish to behave in an immoral way and still have you approve.

              🙂

            • The natural boundries you describe are imposed by the universe or god or our creator however one chooses to describe them. To act and move and think within those bounds I would say is freedom. Anything less is not.

              But one of those laws or boundaries is that we can not initiate the use of force on others. For if we do, we upset the natural balance and man is no longer free and man will eventually fail. The apple on the tree was the decision to initiate force on others. We were cast from the garden for our stupidity.

              We decide what is moral as well as ethical, but to be truly moral it must be consistent with the reality of the universe. That was the argument previoiuly presented regarding the Law of Identity, nature of reason and the nature of man.

              If your freedom is constrained then those constraints are either imposed by yourself or by others. They are not imposed by God or the universe. You reference rules obviously in the context of man’s rules. So yes, those who do not understand the essence of freedom may be tricked into thinking they have something they do not.

              I think you will find the concept of governance incompatible with True moral principles.

              You are trying to construct a circle where non exists. The philosophy of relativism. You are trying, it appears, to make the case that since morality and ethics are in the eye of the beholder then there is no true morality, thus moral principles and governance is relative and can not be defended.

              The flaw, in my view is to ignore the core. Man is man and according to man’s nature in order to survive, to exist to his fullest potential, man requires to live free from the effects of coersive force imposed against him. But to have such freedom required that all have the same. For if one does not have such freedom then eventually, none will.

              And there lies the destruction of the circle. It stops at the initiation of force against innocents. The ultimate and true moral principle, that supports the existence of man as nature and/or god intended.

            • Black Flag says:

              Simply, Bee, how do you want to be treated?

              When you figure that out, do this:

              Do unto others as you wish done unto you.

              That becomes the moral core of human action.

              Does this mean all men are moral? No. But are you going to use that as an excuse to be immoral too?

  4. Black Flag says:

    As far as militia et al;

    Obviously the military is completely incapable of bring to heel two, small, nations population – who by the most extreme measure only numbers in under 10,000 fighters.

    It is inconceivable to assume that any military could dominate a nation of 300 million people, with perhaps 30 million ‘fighters’.

    The greatest threat to liberty is a standing army. Honduras demonstrated that recently (whether or not you think the Pres there was right or not, the power of the military left no doubt where, in fact, political power resides)

    • On the militia concept.

      First. BF the military is completely “capable” of eliminating the force it opposes. It can not and will not for political reasons, not military reasons. The action to eliminate would more than likely cause major political problems, in turn expanding the need for more military actions, and so on, and so on.

      Second. USW you are wrong on the militia concept because you are tied to some traditional notion that a militia is a bunch of untrained ex or wanna be soldiers with nothing but simple weapons. Expand your concept and tell me why a well trained and armed army, airforce and navy of volunteers, funded privately, would not pose a formiddable defense against attack. The change in weaponry, technology, is a relative matter for all militaries throughout history. Our original militia had the same weapons but in smaller numbers.

      Now if funding of military technology was done by private funding do you think we would have F-22’s or other such things even considered seriously? Our military technology would be the most effective needed for our goal of defense and it would come at the least cost. Of course that is my opinion and hypothesis.

      • Black Flag says:

        …thus, short of genocide, the military in its current iteration is incapable of victory as long as the people refuse to surrender.

        The Swiss during WW2 were completely militia based.

        The German Army calculated that investing 1 million casualties would succeed in occupying the country, and another 5 million, perhaps more, in pacifying the Swiss.

        And that was with the Germans sharing the border.

        Imagine an invasion over an ocean….with 30 million armed citizens.

        As Yamamoto said: “A rifle behind every blade of grass….”

  5. Government: the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration.

    That is what the dictionary says. I would add that a Government (at any level) contains a limited number of laws established by it’s people designed to ensure peaceful harmony, absolute moral freedom, an effective and efficent social infrastructure and security.

    A National Government should be responsible for protecting its citizens against foreign or domestic transgressions, which entails a national military and local police and fire departments. This body should be made up of individuals elected by citizens, not an electorial college. Those elected should be chartered with administering only those laws approved by the people.

    States should have a like version again made up of individuals elected by state citizens and chartered with administering state laws.

    The national Government should not interfere with State government, although the state should be allowed to suggest legislation on a National level.

    Taxes should be collected by both the National and State Government to fund infrastructure, support the military and administer law. I would suggest a flat tax per individual regardless of income, both at the National and State level.

    The military should be managed on a National level, governed by a senior, overseen by those representing states. The military cannot be allowed to or invoked to police its citizens.

    A legal system should be established at the state and national level and each should be limited to it’s specific jurisdiction.

    International trade should be conducted as a ‘free market’ driven by consumer demand. Certain guidelines should be administered by the states where trade is being conducted. Taxes from proceeds should be collected by the state with a portion (small) going to the National government.

    • Black Flag says:

      Common Man, let’s simply hold onto the definitions before you launch into what you think government should do – I believe you’ll find you are contradicting your goals – 1) Liberty vs. 2)”Government in action”

      You will only have one or the other. You cannot have both.

      So, back to your dictionary definition.

      There is nothing particularly wrong with it – except in its unstated, implications.

      The words that gives it away are “political” and “control”.

      So let’s get some reference frame to understand this.

      Government is sovereign in its action – and it is here we can understand its structure.

      The key element of sovereignty in the legalistic sense is that of exclusivity of jurisdiction.

      Specifically, when a decision is made by a sovereign entity, it cannot generally be overruled by a higher authority, usually another state.

      Government power, as sovereign, is the final authority for legal action. (But remember, the concept and definition of legal is totally circular – that is, definition of legal is whatever action the government says is legal.)


      De jure, or legal, sovereignty is the theoretical right to exercise exclusive control over one’s subjects.

      De facto, or actual, sovereignty is concerned with whether control in fact exists. It can be approached in two ways:

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

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

      It is generally held that sovereignty requires not only the legal right to exercise power, but the actual exercise of such power. That is, “No de jure sovereignty without de facto sovereignty.” In other words, neither claiming/being proclaimed Sovereign, nor merely exercising the power of a Sovereign is sufficient; sovereignty requires both elements.

      Here exists the entire essence of government – the power to compel obedience – coercion to force the people to obey its edicts.

      Now, what makes a government requires the second part as well – if only the first exists, it is merely a criminal street gang.

      The second part is the ‘habit of obeying’ – that is, legitimacy to act with coercive violence.

      Legitimacy is the illusion created by a habit, that is, people are used to being ‘pushed around’ and believing that they are the party in error, instead of the bully.

      When understanding what government is – which needs to be reinforced solidly in the minds of anyone thinking about how to fix the nation, these concepts must be foremost.

      Pretending government is your ‘friend’ will not make it so.

      If you wish to implement an society organization that sustains freedom, you cannot do so while attempting to hold on to the basis of government sovereignty

      • v. Holland says:

        Okay, I have to ask this question-If the government doesn’t have sovereignty wouldn’t that make the establishment of a government useless, wouldn’t it just lose all it’s power and if I believe that a government is necessary isn’t sovereignty necessary?

        • Black Flag says:

          You understand that perfectly.

          So, if you want ‘government’, Government requires sovereignty – which means specifically, it is immune to any law or rule over it, and claims exclusive authority over its subjects.

          Thus, any attempt to restrain government is futile, since it is sovereign, it acts on its own desires without respect to your constraints.

          Thus, with government you will always suffer tyranny.

  6. forgot to check the box for follow up

  7. Black Flag says:

    And to repeat;

    People seem to be confused between what they wish government was, and what government is.

    USWep calls it an organization force that is ‘needed’.

    Yet, we have an overwhelming number of examples of organizations that aren’t government. So organizing society with government is wholly unnecessary.

    Infringing rights between individuals;

    Again, there cannot exist a right that infringes on another’s right – if it does, one or the other is not a right. (Or the infringing individual is a criminal (again, another definition – that of ‘criminal’)

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The biggest illusion people have is this whole “hierarchy of rights” thing. The government has basically convinced people that such a thing exists, and the people have bought it whole-hog.

      The point that BF is making is CRUCIAL. A right is a right. If something can supersede a right, then it wasn’t a right in the first place, it was a privelege.

      Dumb example- many 16 year old children will claim that they have a right to drive a car.

      • Millions of adults think they have a “right” to vote.

        • Black Flag says:

          And they’d be right – in a legal sense – however, (as you know), it is not a Human Right, nor does it grant the people the right to vote away another person’s rights.

          • And if it is not a Human Right then it is not an “unalienable right endowed by our creator”.

            That would make it a privelege.

            • Black Flag says:

              Yes, if one agrees a government is a ‘privilege’ to begin with…. 😉

              Of course, no one wonders where I sit on that!

              • Govt is not the privelege, it is the King that grants the privelege.

                Without a King there is no vote. Thus the existence of the King brings with it the possibility of a vote. Thus the vote is a privelege created by the King, if he chooses.

                The same goes for Habeus Corpus. Without the govt it does not exist. Therefore, it is a product of govt, and thus a privelege. Not a natural right.

              • Black Flag says:

                I’d agree.

                Since being arrested for breaking a government law is both an act of government twice over – creating the law and enforcing the law – any rules it applies to itself exists, by definition, by a grant of government.

                Thus, when it decides to suspend such rule, it is perfectly correct to do so – since it is the creator and determiner and enforcer of its own rules on itself.

                In other words, the government can do what ever it damn well pleases.

              • Unless the bars on the cage are constructed of carbon nano-fiber technology, and the cage is kept so small the beast can not turn around.

                But alas poor Flag, before we spend time asking whether we can be free with the beast, shouldn’t we address THE question.

                To be free or not to be free, that is THE question.

              • Black Flag says:

                WE cannot be free with the beast

                and freedom is the goal.

              • Perhaps it is time you reveal your “ring” analogy for all to see.

                To live free with the beast or to destroy the beast, that is the debate at hand.

  8. You can take it to the bank that I will respond, USW. I really need to think this through and offer how I see it and define and back it up with reason and forethought. What would the world of D13 be like….wow.

    Have a great day and I will be as concise as possible.

    D13

  9. Ray Hawkins says:

    Deconstructing……..

    “Government is the organizational structure that we put in place to make society work effectively”

    – To me this implies a heavier hand for government than I think you probably intend. Perhaps the idea is to “….enable society to work effectively”

    – Also, ask ‘what is effective’? My initial swag is that something that is effective is something that works most (90% ?) of the time but may break down from time to time.

    “…….I know it goes against the “liberal creed”, in which we as a collective come together and make sure that everyone’s life ends happy and wonderful.” and on to “……..It is not government’s job to even the playing field in any way or to make things fair for anyone, despite what the Messiah has preached you into a fervor about….”

    – well, ok – you start off objectively then devolve into childish name calling and idiocy (“unicorns? – I mean, c’mon?). Anyway, it is not my creed to make sure everyone’s life end happy and wonderful. Most of us (liberals), recognize that even if you hand people all the same tools and a block wood, you’re not going to get the same sculpture. Moreover, the idea is not to make things fair for everyone – but your idea of a level playing field is being construed in the wrong manner. Some weeks/months ago we debated heavily regarding what to do with so many decaying cities and broken families that have been cycled into being married to the government and needing of any and all handouts (which speaks to multiple problems of crime, education, joblessness, drug addiction, etc). I think (maybe I am wrong), that most erred on the side of enabling these folks to get access to the same or similar resources that many others take for granted – level a playing field only such that they can get on the field, wear the same uniform as everyone else, have practice swings and then – its up to them to hit the ball. Provide a safety net that has an expiration date. After the safety net is gone, than its gone.

    “Government does not exist to “regulate” business. They are there to enforce law, however the laws that fall into government jurisdiction should be quite limited. I know there are arguments about different standards throughout the different states. If companies want to do business in other states, believe me they will figure out a way to get their procedures and practices in line, and they will do so far better and more efficiently than any of the government “regulations” do now. I know there are arguments that big business will “screw the people” without being controlled. I disagree. Free the people to deal with the situation effectively, and big business will realize that they are doomed if they do so.”

    – I think the last two sentences – wow – blows my mind. We can take one giant example in the manipulation of gas prices last summer by the likes of Goldman and Merril in the commodities market – exactly how do we “free the people” to deal with that situation effectively? I say the regulations & laws were broken. Price spikes due to dickhead bankers trading contracts in a market they should not even be in. The consumers and the overall economy suffer as a result – good old supply and demand lost out to greedy Wall Street / Big Business that was able to circumvent and knock down controls – and you support that? Brakes help a car go faster USW, not slower.

    “We need a massive, organized military to protect us from the multitude of threats out there who have no interest in devolving into militias as BF or Kent would have our country do”

    – Massive is the wrong word here. You need an effective, efficient military that can meet threats of today. This is a typical conservative leaning faux pas – you hate big government but you love big military (which I know you know, as do I, often functions like a big government).

    “…..to make people with vastly different ideals and desires coexist peacefully and effectively”

    – Again, I hope its a mistake to say the government is going to “make” us coexist – make implies action and involvement you are generally against.

    I will seek today to answer your questions – I just want to ensure you understand where I am coming from and to redirect your framing.

    • ” I think the last two sentences – wow – blows my mind. We can take one giant example in the manipulation of gas prices last summer by the likes of Goldman and Merril in the commodities market – exactly how do we “free the people” to deal with that situation effectively? I say the regulations & laws were broken. Price spikes due to dickhead bankers trading contracts in a market they should not even be in. The consumers and the overall economy suffer as a result – good old supply and demand lost out to greedy Wall Street / Big Business that was able to circumvent and knock down controls – and you support that? Brakes help a car go faster USW, not slower.”

      Ray, if the people of the US were freed from the bonds of the US Government to explore and extricate those resources at home rather than abroad, this would cease to be an issue…IMO.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I agree with quite a few of your points here Ray! I especially agree that USW’s use of the word “make” implies force or coercion, which generally tends to prove BF’s point about the nature of government in general in his above posts.

      The main point where I disagree with you is the economic side. You need to realize that it is the GOVERNMENT, and the way the government has chosen to enable corporations that allows corporations like Goldman Sachs to manipulate the markets (most recently Oil and Gas).

      You also need to realize that because of government actions, Goldman Sachs is pretty much the only surviving mega-investment-bank that still exists. This is no coincidence, as Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve are practically the same entity.

      Without “big government”, “big corporations” could not exist. In a free market, there would be no such things.

      I also tend to agree with you that an effective and efficient military would be preferable to a “massive” military.

      Good post… very thought provoking.

      I did disagree with you on one thing though… I think USW is basically right on the Unicorns issue 🙂

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks Peter – although I would not call the Commodity Futures Trading Commission big government as much as I would call it grossly ineffective or even ‘hidden’ government – just more sycophants that turn a cheek.

        • Ray, you need to do some very deep meditating on the connection between the essence of govt and the ultimate behaviors we see exposed in the business world today. It is that connection at the deeper level, one that has existed for over 100 years, that is responsible here. You keep looking at the superficial, such as todays regulators.

          Ask yourself why they would act this way. And Greed is a cop out in my book because greed without the ability to act in any manner desired to quench its thirst is harmless.

          Here is my clue: If generations of children are raised by parents who display lack of moral character and judgment then how will those children and their heirs behave?

          And just as a reminder, that is why have have consistently stated that while I absolutely believe free market capitalism is the only moral economic system, and the best economically speaking, it can not be implemented immediately and certainly not today. That is why every attempt by free market thinkers, like Reagan, fail. You can not remove chains from the immoral and suddenly expect moral behavior. And that forms the conundrum of moving forward. Our existing system is leading us to destruction. A complete change is required for prosperity. But the new system can not be implemented immediately. Yet we are suffering greatly now.

          So where does this lead me? Your goals regarding govt EEE should be viewed as “Short” term goals to reduce the negative effect of what we have. In time, however, it must give way to Laissez-faire Capitalism. This conversion will require a massive education effort in our schools to instill moral principles (do not initiate coersive force)and a govt that is behaving accordingly.

          Hope your sleep allotment is doing well.
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            You’re selling me short JAC – in using a manifestation of what is, I try to decompose why. That I do not tend to do it as Hobbes or Fromm may, may rub some the wrong way but I will resist being funneled into a particular philosophical bend based on how I answer riddles (meditation?) versus simple questions. If I follow your line of thinking – you are advocating a ‘massive education effort in our schools to instill moral principles” which raises some very interesting concepts for me that do not appear consistent with what is denounced as overbearing or immoral government, trade and economic policies and the like, because:

            1. A ‘massive education effort’ – is what? Centrally planned? Broadly executed? Consistent regardless of location, need or utility? How else does one accomplish massive education to indoctrinate an entire population on one set of beliefs. I don’t want to get all Black Flag on you – but since when has massive education ever worked and worked consistently?

            2. Who defines what is moral? You? Me? A Department of Education?

            You’re suggesting that if we all were products of the same moral training (but not fiber – that runs against the very grain of the individual no?) than there becomes no need for government intervention, interference, regulation, whatever-you-are-calling-it with respect to such damaging consequences as I provided example of? Wow – I’m feeling Thomas More here which is really creepy. I think you may taking too broad an interpretation of when I refer to safeguards and controls and regulatory oversight. For example, I do agree with Friedman and Von Hayek with respect to Hoover and Roosevelt using the wrong type of intervention which many think lengthened the great depression, however, I am far more inclined to think Laissez-Faire Capitalism (aka “It Ain’t My Problem Capitalism”) was more directly connected to most of the bubble bursts we’ve seen over the last century.

            • Ray:

              I do not sell you short. If I didn’t think you capable I would not have made the comment. I do think your criticizms are tied to the modern paradigm and that is what must be broken to see the whole picture.

              For example, you comments regarding education immediately presumed some centralized govt sponsored effort. Not at all required and not how it happened for millenium, until the govt decided it needed to start educating everyone.

              You and I and everyone else, engaged in open debate will define morality. And yes there will be differing versions. But if there is one that holds Truth I am confident that human nature is to discover and follow it. Not all, but many and perhaps most.

              You can not regulate away criminal or immoral behavior. The more you try the more you eliminate risk and the personal results of bad or lazy behavior. The more you encourage immoral behavior. Why is it that so many can see the linkage between welfare and the destructive culture it creates yet we think the same does not apply to the business world.

              That is the paradigm shift that is needed. A return to direct consequences. Govt regulation and control has removed true risk from the market place. Punishment is spread to the masses while the rewards of bad behavior are reaped by the few. Including those who write the rules that indirectly cause such behavior. Govt interference has created a culture of coruption. The children behave just as their parents.

              I wish that your comments regarding bubbles burting and Laissez-faire capitalism were true but it is not. The strong arm of govt is ever present in the market place. It creates distortions that eventually lead to where we are. And, unfortunately to where we are going if we can’t stop it.

              So Ray, am I to assume you do not want Freedom?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC – good dialogue here:

                “For example, you comments regarding education immediately presumed some centralized govt sponsored effort. Not at all required and not how it happened for millenium, until the govt decided it needed to start educating everyone.”

                – Perhaps I erroneously assume that “massive education effort” implies government. In terms of instilling a common moral through any formal or informal process I am interested in hearing how that is accomplished through a different vehicle or why it would not reek of of centralized planning. Be careful what you mean by “everyone else” when you entertain defining a “one morality” – hundreds if not thousands of years of history are littered with the results of what happens when a “one morality” is defined that not “everyone” agrees with.

                “You can not regulate away criminal or immoral behavior. The more you try the more you eliminate risk and the personal results of bad or lazy behavior. The more you encourage immoral behavior. Why is it that so many can see the linkage between welfare and the destructive culture it creates yet we think the same does not apply to the business world.”

                – Your suggestion that we must define and implement a common morality by default defines that one does not exist. I agree with you there. As stated previously, history has shown us to be so diverse a species that I fail to see how one ever defines a common morality applicable to everyone, which for me, insinuates one does not exist. Taking this back to the example – the financial houses run off of risk models no? Are you telling me then that if parameters are not fiduciarily implemented and enforced then they will do this themselves? Its precisely when the controls are lifted is when they run amok! You’re not going to regulate away criminal or “immoral” behavior, but you’ve already set forth that we do not all possess the same morals. The system must have some risk in it – the degree of risk permitted should be controlled – less the principle of interference be violated no? What you suggest seems lacking in practicality. So a Goldman trader trades an oil futures contract for the 15th time, knocking the end price up 200% before it ever see a gas tank. How do you create a direct consequence for that trader JAC? I say don’t allow that trade to happen in the first place. Are you saying let the trade happen, let everyone pay 6 bucks a gallon a gas and we’ll do what?

                I want freedom JAC – but what we define as acceptable sacrifice seems incongruent.

              • I have to run some errands so let me address just a little quickly.

                You are using “risk” differently than I am. The oil futures would provide a good example of what I mean by risk and punishment.

                The commodities market had one golden rule that created great risk to speculators and did not prevent but curbed their effect. If they got stuck with a contract they had to take delivery of the product. This creates great risk and kept things from getting entirely away from the acutal producer/consumer in the market. That is why I couldn’t understand why everyone was blaming speculators on the oil prices. Eventually they would have to eat the oil.

                I have since read somewhere, and you mentioned rule changes, that the requirement for delivery was dropped for some of the investment banks. Thus the controls exerted by natural Risk were removed.

                What I do not know is why they were removed. Was there some new govt initiative or threatened penalty for not doing so? Or was it once again plain stupidity.

                If you choose freedom Ray then you must accept all the inconvenience and stormy seas that come with it. But that is what gives life its edge. Freedom is lost to comfort and supposed security. I don’t mind the occassional severe weather. It is part of LIFE.

                I agree, good discussion here.

                Will continue upon my return. Feel free to leave me one at the bottom in the meantime.

                JAC

    • USWeapon says:

      To me this implies a heavier hand for government than I think you probably intend. Perhaps the idea is to “….enable society to work effectively”

      Correct, your choice of wording better states my true thought. In both instances where I used the word “make” I was not implying coercion. Change those words to how you worded it and it works better for me.

      Also, ask ‘what is effective’? My initial swag is that something that is effective is something that works most (90% ?) of the time but may break down from time to time.

      This is a great question and one we should endeavor to answer. I will have to think on it a bit.

      well, ok – you start off objectively then devolve into childish name calling and idiocy (”unicorns? – I mean, c’mon?). Anyway, it is not my creed to make sure everyone’s life end happy and wonderful….

      I don’t think it is your creed Ray. Notice in that paragraph you missed the one word being italicized: the word FAR. I don’t think you are a ultra far left liberal, so this paragraph was not directed at you at all. Yes I did call some folks out on this one, but the ultra far left needs to be called out for the idiots that they are. So does the ultra far right. Sorry it offends you that am fed up with the extreme 10% on both sides and that I am willing to call them the jackasses that they are. I would hope that you realize by now that I don’t lump you into that category. Everyone always gets upset with my use of the unicorn for humor…. can’t figure that one out.

      I think the last two sentences – wow – blows my mind. We can take one giant example in the manipulation of gas prices last summer by the likes of Goldman and Merril in the commodities market – exactly how do we “free the people” to deal with that situation effectively? I say the regulations & laws were broken. Price spikes due to dickhead bankers trading contracts in a market they should not even be in.

      This is a tough one to discuss Ray. Federal government and its regulation of business does absolutely nothing to slow down or stop the types of abuses that you point out here. That is the problem. Therefore, government regulating business does nothing except create the illusion that business is being regulated, when it is not at all. Because the illusion exists, the people stop paying attention because they think government is doing it for them, when they aren’t.

      The consumers and the overall economy suffer as a result – good old supply and demand lost out to greedy Wall Street / Big Business that was able to circumvent and knock down controls – and you support that? Brakes help a car go faster USW, not slower.

      No I don’t support that at all Ray. But these things happen despite massive government “regulation”. In your own words, “that was able to circumvent and knock down controls”…. So government regulation obviously isn’t the answer. Government not only claimed to regulate when they don’t, they also removed the citizens from the equation. In today’s information age, it would be easy to identify who does this. Put the power back in people’s hands instead of an inept government. You would be amazed with how effective the solutions they come up with would be. Despite your faith in government being the regulators, the situations simply get worse and one or two people get prosecuted and subsequently replaced with new criminals. Your answer has been proven ineffective, so why are you so quick to say mine is crazy. Brakes make a car able to go faster. Faulty brakes make the results of that speed catastrophic.

      Massive is the wrong word here. You need an effective, efficient military that can meet threats of today. This is a typical conservative leaning faux pas – you hate big government but you love big military (which I know you know, as do I, often functions like a big government).

      Yes massive was the wrong word. Effective and efficient works well. My point was that we need something more than a militia in order to stand up to the big tyrants out there when they decide to flex.

      Again, I hope its a mistake to say the government is going to “make” us coexist – make implies action and involvement you are generally against.

      This was the other “make” that can be replaced by enable. Coercion was not my intent. My use of the word make was only a word, not meant the way that it was read, so thanks for pointing it out.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Its a start right? Perhaps I am simply stubborn – if regulatory safeguards work 90% of the time are the effective? Ugh – now I am pissing myself off. I know the regulatory game, I know it can work, it frustrates me to no end when it does not.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray,

          In many cases, the regulatory game is rigged in favor of the largest participants. Goldman Sachs was able to manipulate both the housing markets and the energy markets in such a way that they were able to cause the economy of the country to implode.

          What punishment did they get for this behavior from their regulators? A boatload of government cash, and a position as the only remaining mega-investment bank still standing after the mess that they largely caused!

          Sounds like those regulations worked out REAL well….

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            I don’t disagree with you – but I also don’t like the idea of giving guys like Goldman a completely blank check and hoping they do the right thing.

            • Yet if they weren’t the only ones allowed to do such a thing then maybe the competition would drag them all down to an acceptable level.

  10. Ray Hawkins says:

    How do you define government?

    I will lean on simplicity here (and wiki): A government is the body within an organization that has the authority to make and enforce rules, laws and regulations. I would add something that a college professor once drilled into my head (I was undergrad as public administration but couldn’t stomach the thought of working for the government – boy did it suck to be me at graduation).

    Government should be efficient, effective and economical. Its good that I come back to this as these are principles I have live by in the private business sector – odd that so many can come from business and screw it up in public service. Anyway, if a process, or organization, or department, or ……. is not EEE – then something different can and should be done. I challenge the idea that government cannot be EEE – it usually is not that they cannot – it is that they will not. As a proponent of oversight in the financial markets I was sickened when I learned that the SEC knew all along what Bernie Madoff was doing. It was not that they could not act – they choose not to – which for me is as criminal as the act itself. When I look at conglomerates such as the Department of Education – I say to myself – I still do not understand what they do – why they need a $70 billion dollar budget and why they need 5000 employees. Economical? Look – I’m no genius on healthcare by any stretch, but if there is not clear linkage in showing how a change is going to pay for itself then why do it? This may roil the faithful here – but I’m watching news last night (NBC) and there was some segment regarding all the “noise” that is happening and how the administration is pissed that they may not “get Healthcare done in three weeks”. I heard this and nearly choked on my grilled shrimp. Get healthcare done in 3 weeks? That literally defines that what we end up with will not meet the EEE test.

    What do you think government should be responsible for? We could go hours making the list of what should and should not be part of government. What is missing for me in the entire debate and the administration I helped vote in – is what are we getting rid of? AS stated – do we need a Dept of Education? HUD? US Forest Service? What happened to ID’ing where we don’t need to be?

    • Black Flag says:

      A government is the body within an organization that has the authority to make and enforce rules, laws and regulations.

      …again, the definition is ‘fine’ for purposes here…

      …but the implications are huge, and they are hidden in mild mannered jingoism.

      Authority

      Make

      Enforce

      Unless one appreciates the deep and intense meaning of these words, they will miss the entire issues of government.

      “efficient, effective and economical”

      God help us if government ever achieves even a small portion of efficient, effective and economical – we’ll all be dead or imprison.

    • Ray,

      Well said! I am trying to organize my thoughts before posting. Very impressed with how you are looking at this. I do agree with Peter, Unicorns rock, you should not go there.

    • I pretty much agree with the EEE concept. The problem with current, and recent past government is that their concept of EEE means Empowered, Enlighened and Everlasting.

    • Ray:

      I completely understand the concepts of efficiency and effectivness relative to govt. However, could you explain what you mean by economical?

      Thanks
      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Sure – debits equal credits. Who is gonna pay for all the crap being passed today? Hedging bets that something big and positive will come along and rescue our finances down the road is dangerous thinking.

        • Black Flag says:

          SO economical government has nothing to do with being economical.

          It has to do with, in Ray’s idea, the ability to seize (or steal) or print enough loot to pay for what it spends.

          • Ah yes, the “balanced budget”.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            I was giving a drive-by example in between meetings. Sheesh! Anyway – you can state that it should use minimum necessary for maximum effectiveness. I believe that to be the hardest of the three.

            • Black Flag says:

              Since neither the max or the min is quantifiable by any economic measure when discussing politics, there can be no way to judge ‘effectiveness’.

              It is futile to economically constrain an entity of politics without economic constraints. Since by definition, political means are not economical means, it is cannot be constrained by economics measure – and will always end up bankrupt or worse.

      • JayDickB says:

        The organization I used to work for was either the originator or an early (1950s) user of the EEE construct. The way we defined it, economy partly duplicated efficiency, but not completely. We defined efficiency as input compared to output or costs versus benefits. Economy was overall costs; to be economical, you should not spend money unless you really had to. Thus, economy affects efficiency, but one could be efficient without being economical.

        How’s that for bureaucratic BS? I still have a little bureaucracy left in me.

      • When I went to work for Uncle the term Economical was a general termed used to include one or both of the other two, depending on the nature of the decision at hand. When identifying projects or programs the term economical was then used with budgets to select projects based on cost/benefit, PNV and total value for budget expenditure. In other words, a process to select the best basket of projects given the budget that did not allow all projects to go forward.

        Eventually, Congressional targets and mandates eliminated the need for this process. No need for analysis when you are told what to do and how much to spend doing it.

    • JayDickB says:

      EEE in government? Forget it. Can’t happen. Why? Government is ruled by politics and laws. It is thus inflexible and quite prone to doing the wrong thing because of political considerations or poorly written laws and regulations.

      I observed government close up for over 30 years from the inside. It took me a while to figure out why government cannot be efficient, etc., but it cannot. Moreover, if a government organization performs poorly, what happens? Nothing bad. If a private business performs poorly, what happens? Nothing good.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        jay – I agree and disagree with you. I have seen and worked in EEE government before – it is rare like Bigfoot. What usually gets in the way is people get greedy, look out for themselves (gross exaggerations of individualism) and loose all sense of responsibility and accountability.

        • JayDickB says:

          Is bigfoot real?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          The reason EEE government does not work is not greed, greed is merely a symptom of the problem.

          The system is designed to be inefficient, and also designed to be resistant to change. This is the root cause of the problem.

          The founders invisioned a system which was inefficient and resistant to change to be a good thing, because the inherent inefficiency and resistance to change would slow the inexorable march towards tyranny.

          However, the inefficiencies allow for exploitiation by the greedy and the creation of entrenched systems which become even more resistant to change. Exploitation of these systems is routine, because generally the punishment for exploitation of these systems is nil.

          • Very good Peter. I had not thought of it in exactly that way before.

            Although, most of our founders never conceived of numerous and large federal agencies. They did however build “gridlock” into the system.

  11. Black Flag says:

    There are only two possible ways to liberty within any society and its organizations.

    For the purpose of this topic, we’ll use some of the common dictionary definitions “government” since they are close (though almost everyone still haven’t grasped the essence)

    First issue – what constitutes a moral edict?

    The power to create law is part of the definition. The problem always comes into “what constitutes a moral law?”.

    This question invokes even a deep question – “what prevents government from creating an immoral law?”

    Any solution to that question invokes discussion of sovereignty. If government is sovereign, there cannot exist any prevention against the creation of immoral law.

    So, to invoke such protection against immoral law, government must lose its ability to act as sovereign – and therefore, loses its ability to be a government.

    Here is the line of reasoning that creates my long repeated mantra – if government survives, the People are doomed to tyranny, since there cannot be any constraint on government’s ability to create immoral law.

    To constrain government must mean the loss of its sovereignty, thus means government can no longer exist.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      We have created a huge mass of people that would have no idea what to do in the absence of a government. The vast majority of people WANT to be ruled. The vast majority of people WANT someone else to make big decisions for them.

      My feeling is that it is going to be impossible to dispose of government since there are such a large number of people that do not even know what individual liberty actually is, and if they did know what it was, they wouldn’t want anything to do with it!

      Think about it… how many people would have no idea how to get roads built, sewer systems and water treatment plants built, bridges repaired, snow removed, etc. if it wasn’t for the government? The people are (for the most part) willing slaves. They willingly forfeit their freedom so that they can have minimal responsibility. This makes them feel comfortable in their ignorance.

      “Who cares if I do not know how to fix a bridge or that I don’t even know who I would talk to about getting a bridge fixed… the government handles that!”

      Unless we can rid people of that attitude, government WILL exist.

      So, how do we convince people to be free when they are so happy being willing slaves?

      • Black Flag says:

        You cannot convince the masses.

        They are the mindless herd – and rightfully so, more concerned with their meager lives, earning a living and maintaining their children until adulthood – so that they can then ‘retire’, do nothing, think nothing, and then die.

        Do not concern yourself at all with them. As you note, they’ll simply nod and follow who ever is waving the highest flag.

        The real battle will be over moral action. The ‘enemy’ is committed to tyranny, control, violence and ultimately slavery or death.

        What are we committed to?

      • We point out that govt doesn’t build sewers, water works and roads. The people do all of this right now, today. In fact govt even contracts the engineering work. All govt truly does is TAX everyone to pay their wages and fees.

        Perhaps once they realize they do know how, they will stop asking mum and dad how to do it.

        I am willing to bet that if Govt were gone tomorrow, there would be alot of folks with required expertise who would step up and start making things work. Those who wish to be sheep would remain sheep and just go along.

        You said “Unless we can rid people of that attitude, government WILL exist. So, how do we convince people to be free when they are so happy being willing slaves?”

        Totally agree to #1 and in my view what we are doing here is the first step to #2.

        The question is how do we take what we are doing here to the larger arena. Or have we already?

      • Bee in my Bonnet says:

        I have always told my kids that there are leaders and there are followers. It is up to them to decide what they want to be. Choose, then don’t complain about the choice that they made.

        We cannot make people who want to be followers into leaders. We have to decide if WE want to be leaders, then take the reins and, well, lead. I sense that many on the site are leaders. Now, what are you going to do about it?

  12. Black Flag says:

    Notes from Hans Hoppe’s essay:

    On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution

    “…A state, in accordance with generally accepted terminology, is defined as a compulsory territorial monopolist of law and order (an ultimate decision maker)….”

    “…the American Constitution — and the explanation as to why this Constitution, rather than being a legitimate source of pride, represents a fateful error…..”

    “The Americans not only did not let the inherited royal institutions of colonies and colonial governments wither away into oblivion; they reconstituted them within the old political borders in the form of independent states, each equipped with its own coercive (unilateral) taxing and legislative powers.

    While this would have been bad enough, the new Americans made matters worse by adopting the American Constitution and replacing a loose confederation of independent states with the central (federal) government of the United States.

    This Constitution provided for the substitution of a popularly elected parliament and president for an unelected king, but it changed nothing regarding their power to tax and legislate.

    To the contrary,while the English king’s power to tax without consent had only been assumed rather than explicitly granted and was thus in dispute, the Constitution explicitly granted this very power to Congress.

    Furthermore, while kings — in theory, even absolute kings — had not been considered the makers but only the interpreters and executors of preexisting and immutable law, i.e., as judges rather than legislators, the Constitution explicitly vested Congress with the power of legislating, and the president and the Supreme Court with the powers of executing and interpreting such legislated law.

    In effect, what the American Constitution did was only this: Instead of a king who regarded colonial America as his private property and the colonists as his tenants, the Constitution put temporary and interchangeable caretakers in charge of the country’s monopoly of justice and protection.

  13. Good morning everyone

    A friend of my son’s sent me this this morning via email, thought maybe you might be interested in reading this. Don’t know if it’s true or not, but you decide.

    Judy

    Whatsad loser of a man

    I checked this on http://www.truthorfiction.com and they say it is true. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see it)
    Typical of someone that has done nothing his entire life and certainly never gave a thought to the military. He is pathetic.
    Subject: OBAMA IS SURPRISED
    I don’t care what your political views are…you must read this. Another look at our president, unbelievable!!!!
    *******************
    HERE IS HIS RESPONSE WHEN HE BACKED OFF FROM HIS DECISION TO LET THE MILITARY PAY FOR THEIR WAR INJURIES………WHAT A EMPTY HEADED PERSON HE MUST BE….SEND THIS TO EVERYONE TO SHOW JUST WHAT HE THINKS OF OUR MILITARY WHO FIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY AND GET HURT PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM!!!
    I HAVE ANOTHER NAME FOR THIS CREATURE BUT AM TRYING TO STOP USING THAT WORD FOR HIM….IT IS NOT NICE..

    Bad press, including major mockery of the plan by comedian Jon Stewart, led to President Obama abandoning his proposal to require veterans carry private health insurance to cover the estimated $540 million annual cost to the federal government of treatment for injuries to military personnel received during their tours on active duty.
    The President admitted that he was puzzled by the magnitude of the opposition to his proposal. “Look, it’s an all volunteer force,” Obama complained. “Nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? It doesn’t compute.” “I thought these were people who were proud to sacrifice for their country,” Obama continued. “I wasn’t asking for blood, just money. With the country facing the worst financial crisis in its history, I’d have thought that the p atriotic thing to do would be to try to help reduce the nation’s deficit. I guess I underestimated the selfishness of some of my fellow Americans.”

    Please pass this on to every vet and their families whom you know.

    Dell Studio XPS Desktop: Save up to $400 – Limited Time Offer

    • Simply amazing how selfish our military is!

    • Judy and Everyone:

      Be CAREFUL here. These words do not sound like those of the man who has been grooming and running for office these past 4 years. While they may be his thoughts we will never know.

      If there is irrefutable video with unaltered sound then it is what it is. If not be careful.

      Something is very disconnected here. This is akin to throwing the curtain back to find the Wizard is a Troll.

      Again I say, something seems very wrong with how these words are constructed compared to all that have come before.

      JAC

      • Bee in my Bonnet says:

        I agree with JAC. Obama is too polished to say anything that stupid. Only from his lips to my ears, will I believe that he said that!

        We need to be very careful not to fall into the same trap that many who listen to the MSM fall into.

        Bee

        • Sounds to me that anytime anybody might mention what Obama might say, you think it sounds like there’s a conspiracy theory behind it. Why can’t you believe that he said that? If I recall, he did mention that a couple months ago, but backed off because of all the flack he got from the vets and then some. I can’t believe that everybody out there just puts a load of crap together and shows it on the news, or puts it in the paper just to make him look foolish. If that’s the case then why even bother to do that, if it’s not true? Makes no sense to me at all.

          • Well lets start with the most recent, video of Mr. Obama supposedly oogling some young girls backside. The first round was nicely spliced to support the accusation.

            You are jumping to conclusions regarding my use of caution. There are very nasty people playing very nasty games. Some are working together and others are just doing what they do. We must all use caution with these types of things, regardless of who is the target.

            The internet is powerful, and those who wish to destort (combination of distort and destroy) know it and use it. I am willing to bet that more people today think Mr. Obama did oogle that girl because the first video is still flying around and the true one has not caught up. I received the first twice yesterday in my email from friends, along with their comments expressing disgust at Mr. Obama. Despite the fact the whole thing was debunked days ago.

            In this day and age we would all be better off if we require to see it or hear it personally and to require that we see/hear it in its entire context. Not clips of speeches or video of something. The entire thing. And in the case of audio/video we may even want to have someone credible certify authenticity.

            Sorry, but that is the world we live in today. And Judy, everybody is not putting “crap” out there. It is only a few. But that is all it takes given the power of the internet.

            And why do it if its not true? See my comment above about the oggling. If it sticks with a bunch of people it will have served its purpose. Doesn’t matter what the truth is. It will have taken hold like a bad virus and will not let go.

            Note, I did not say it was not true. I ony urge caution when seeing this stuff pop up on the internet or in the media. Let it fester before passing it on as Truth.

            And this probably makes no sense to you because you are still a moral and relatively innocent person. Others are not. Please don’t change. Just be more careful.

            JAC

            • Well, I’ll do my best just for you JAC, As for the oogling thing, I say so what if he looked. Hey, he’s a man, and what man doesn’t look, besides, they did show the whole video that he was helping another girl there, but it still looked like he was checking the other one out. Just because he’s president doesn’t mean he’s not human, and what human doesn’t check out others? I know I do. I know, shame on me right. But if I see a good looking guy out there, yes, I will check him out, so what. Doesn’t mean I’m out to try and get him for Pete’s sake. Heck, even my husband checks out all the girls out there, doesn’t mean he’s going attack them. Nothing wrong with looking as long as you don’t follow through.

              • “Nothing wrong with looking as long as you don’t follow through.”

                Maybe so Judy, maybe so…but if I catch my husband gawking at stranger’s female body parts, front or rear, he’s gonna get his ears boxed…guaranteed!

    • Judy not everything you read on the internet or what you get through your email is true. If you do believe that I implore you not to respond to emails from Nigerian Princes you will receive. Do you honestly think that Obama would say “Look, it’s an all volunteer force, Nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? It doesn’t compute.”??? If he did say that would it not be repeated on FoxNews constantly?

      • I never open emails from Nigerian princes. I only open emails from people I know.

  14. Black Flag says:

    So, in summary, the issues:

    Government, to be the government by commonly held definition, requires two essential things:

    1) Sovereignty – the ultimate authority to make law, and immune to restriction to make law.

    2) Legitimacy – seen by the people to be ‘rightful’ in exercising sovereignty.

    Any attempt to ‘limit’ government will contradict the definition of government OR must ultimately be futile in its attempt to ‘limit’ a sovereign authority.

    The choices that remain:

    – redefine and change the understanding, meaning and definition of ‘government’

    or

    – dispense with the entire notion all together, and establish an organization of society based on moral premise

    OR

    – admit that slavery and obedience to the State is ultimately the only course, and fight like hell (using any and all means) to obtain control of the levers of political power so to empower action in one’s own favor and against all others.

  15. Morning JAC:

    This is in response to you last night, about whether or not we want our freedom.

    I don’t want to lose my freedom, as I’m sure no one else does either. But, I feel that it is slowly being taken away from us little by little, one grain at a time, by what Obama is doing to this country. I don’t like the idea of him wanting to take control of our lives, and by trying to take control of everything out there.

    If I want to live in a dictating country, then I would move to one. But, I don’t, I love this country and take pride in it, and all that she stands for. I am heartsick at what the master is trying to do to her, and to the people who fought and died for their freedom, to make this country what she is today. If we lose that freedom, then I feel we lose everything. Please don’t ask me to explain, it’s just how I feel.

    My Regards

    Judy

    • And there in lies your confusion and thus anxiety.

      Stop blaming Obama. You had very little freedom, and per my definition you had No Freedom, when Obama was elected.

      Your supposed freedom was forfeit along time ago. What remained was the power to do certain things within a society run by a govt that controls everything. It is the illusion of freedom and liberty.

      Mr. Obama is just the latest manifestation not the anti-christ. He is the mouthpiece of a large group. He is not the dictator you believe him to be. If he steps out of line there will be a new mouthpiece put in place. It is the hive that is in control.

      You must let go of your Obamafobia and look deeper. Then you will realize there trully is hope. Albeit, very dim at the moment.

      The best to you today
      JAC

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Judy S.

      As I argued above, I think that there is a LARGE number of people in this country that DO NOT WANT their freedom. With freedom comes responsibility. With State Control comes a total lack of personal responsibility.

      The State caters to the inherent laziness of the vast majority of the people. The more the government “takes care of”, the less the people have to worry about. Far too many people are willing to trade their freedom for comfortable mediocrity.

      There are basically 2 kinds of lazy people:

      Lazy person type 1 wants everything done for them by someone else. This type of person at worst hates freedom, and at best is totally indifferent to it.

      Lazy person type 2 will come up with the best possible solutions to problems ON THEIR OWN so that their own life will be easier in the future. This generally has a corrolary effect of making other people’s lives easier as well. This type of person loves freedom.

      • So, am I wrong in feeling the way I do? I am not a lazy person who expects things handed to me on a silver platter, and no, I didn’t say you’re calling me lazy here, so please don’t misinterpret that okay. I work hard for what I have, and do the best with what I have. If I come to an obstacle in the road, I will either go around it, or try and remove that obstacle. If I can’t come up with a solution to a problem I have, I will stop and ponder the situation and then I will eventually figure it out. I don’t expect anybody to fix the problem that I may have caused for myself, I’ll just going at it until I get it right or done.

        As for me already losing my freedom a long time ago, I guess I still don’t quite understand that part. I thought that what this country was built on. As for my feelings of the way I think Obama is trying to take over, isn’t that my choice to have that freedom to think that way? I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way either. Why do I have to believe otherwise? That’s how I feel, and if I’m wrong, then I will be the first to admit it.

        • Black Flag says:

          It is an illusion that you had freedom.

          Government repeats that mantra to sooth the worried – as long as everyone says “they are a free people”, the people inside their golden cages begin to believe the bars make them free.

          It is hard to see through the illusion – it has been built upon, layer by layer, for a hundred years.

          • Judy S. says:

            Okay, then if it’s an illusion that we have freedom, then how is it that we have the freedom to make the choices we make? Or is that an illusion too?

            • Black Flag says:

              Do have the free choice to take into your body or use your body in what ever way you wish?

              Don’t confuse some activities yet not made illegal with being free.

              A dog in a pen can pee in the corner whenever he wants – too. One can hardly claim the dog is “free”.

              • Bee in my Bonnet says:

                So how do we have true freedom, while living peacefully within the boundaries of a society? Do we completely dismantle the government? Do we put something else in it’s place? It would just be another form of government. How do we get large numbers of people living with each other without imposing a rule of law that isn’t offensive to someone?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                The use of the term “offensive” is interesting here.

                Offending someone is not the same as imposing upon their freedom.

                If I am doing something that does not harm anyone else in any way, shape, or form, and they choose to be “offended” that is fine…

                If THEY, in turn, choose to make a law preventing me from doing what I was doing even though it did not harm anyone in any way, then THAT is a problem.

              • Bee in my Bonnet says:

                But that is the point. Many laws have been imposed to prevent offending others under the guise that it may promote violence against another. Look at hate speech laws. Look at the proposed Fairness Doctrine. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

                So my question is, who decides? What standard must be used to form a government?

              • Bee in my Bonnet says:

                Who will be the standard bearer? How will the standard carried out? These questions must be answered before we can address what government is.

              • Absolutely not.

                A generic definition of description of what govt is can easily be achieved without addressing those questions. It is generic.

                You are alluding to what is the type of govt. The who decides changes with type, but it does not change the essential power or essence of all govt.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Judy,

          I am not saying that all people are lazy, just that the vast majority of people are.

          Lazy person type 1 simply wants someone else to take care of all of their problems.

          Lazy person type 2 will actually be extremely productive, especially when confronted with a problem, because lazy person type 2 will look for the most efficient, effective, and repeatable solution to the problem ON THEIR OWN. It is this type of lazy person that invents all of the cool stuff that the rest of the people think is just fantastic.

          There are also people that are not lazy at all… they work hard almost all of the time. I personally don’t understand that personality type (but that is just me :))

          As far as the “losing our freedoms” idea, I can agree that at one point we were closer to freedom than we are now, and that Obama is mashing the accelerator in moving us farther away from freedom.

          • Try and explain that to some people, and you get an argument, explain it to others, and they agree. Get my point here?

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Well, if you try to explain to people that Obama is mashing the accelerator and moving us farther away from freedom more quickly, the argument that you generally get is not that you are WRONG, the liberals will simply argue that what he is doing is NECESSARY and that the whole freedom argument is irrelevant.

    • Bama dad says:

      Judy:
      Citizens of this nation began losing their freedom before the ink dried on the Constitution. As the years pasted more and more freedoms were lost. Freedom took a big hit in 1865 when the Federal Government declared itself as master of all States (look past slavery and what you were taught in “pubic school”). That is when the Federal Government said “I am supreme”, and started to tell you “I know what is best for you”. From that time forward the Fed has used wars, depression, recession, the 1960’s Great Society Programs and terrorist attacks to slowly strip away your freedoms. They done it all the while saying it was for your benefit and safety. They did it so slowly we, like frogs put in cold water and gradually heated, have not realized we have had our freedoms slowly cooked away. The only thing different about Obama and this Congress is they are cooking a lot faster than their predecessors.

      • Judy S. says:

        Now, for some reason, I understood that. Maybe it was the way you explained it to me, in simple layman’s terms. Thanks Bama Dad.

        Judy

      • Thanks, Bama Dad! Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

        Those of us living now, and for several generations before us, have never really known freedom, I don’t think we can really even grasp what that would be like. My Grandpa, born in 1894, knew what government was, and he detested it.

      • Dee – you’re quite lucky – My father was born 1902, Mom 1908 – so I’m a baby boomer – 1946 – so when I talk to some folks, their perception is that of a great granfather at the turn of the century !! I have to look it up, but I vagiely recall that my great grandfather was like 1810-20 – LOL wish I really knew then.

  16. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    My definition of government is this:

    Government is the entity that most people are convinced is necessary to ensure orderly progress within a society and to protect the society from outside threats.

    The people that are convinced of this are misguided.

    I would agree with BF that we need to redefine what government really is and change people’s understanding of it or dispense with it altogether and organize society based on moral principles.

    The way BF worded this, even he seems to feel that society must have some form of organization (since he used that word himself), but the word “organization” simply implies that it is organized, not that there has to be some over-arching and controlling “organization”. Correct me if I am wrong on that point please BF.

    • Black Flag says:

      Exactly.

      Anarchists are not against organizations. Family is an organization, for example, and all the ‘anarchists’ I know have and support families.

      Organization is a good thing when created within a moral premise. Red Cross, Lions Club, Rotary Club, etc. are common and appropriate examples.

      However, that does not imply that said organization has a ‘right’ to rule, nor impose, nor steal, or attack non-violent people.

    • While I don’t think your first two points are a definition per se I do agree with their content and conclusion.

      I do take exception to the third, however: “I would agree with BF that we need to redefine what government really is and change people’s understanding of it or dispense with it altogether and organize society based on moral principles.”

      It is not a “redefining” that is required. It is an accurate definition or explanation, if you will, of what the essence of govt is. Yes, we do need to change the understanding as most do not see what the essence of govt is. No, we do not dispense with it as an alternative to the people understanding. It is their understanding that may actually make dispensing with it a viable option.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Perhaps redefining isn’t quite the correct term.

        Generally the problem (as we have discussed on previous days), is that a person has an “ideal of what he thinks government is” rather than an actual definition of government.

        So clearly, most of us are either delusional, or this was intentional at some point. It seems obvious to me that how most of us define government really bears very little resemblance to what government actually IS.

        So, we either need to change the definition to define government AS IT REALLY IS (rather than what we wish it was), or we have to create a system that actually fits the definition.

  17. JayDickB says:

    I like USW’s definition and description of government.

    BF points out that if a government is not sovereign, it is not a government. A government that is really controlled by the people is not sovereign and is therefor not a government. Do I have that right?

    So, what would you call an organization that looks like a government but is really controlled by the people?

    • Black Flag says:

      What does a government ‘look like’ when its not a government?

      What color does ‘blue’ look like, when it’s not blue?
      Any other color except blue.

      Just like color, there isn’t one color that doesn’t look like blue. There are 65 million (or more) such colors. Pick one or any other.

      There are many, many, many excellent ways to organize society without the need of immoral violent and coercive law and force.

      Start from your moral core premise – articulate that first, then we can start to build your society.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      It is my feeling that there can be no organization that looks like a government but is really controlled by the people.

      The main reason for this (as I have said in earlier posts) is that the vast majority of people really don’t give a crap and just want to live out their day-to-day lives without really putting that much effort into it.

      So, in my opinion, we have a conundrum. Society needs to at least be organized, and should be organized under moral principles. Most people will be in this organization “passively”, just as they are in the current organization. Therefore, the organization must be made up of the people that are actually willing to work to assure that the society really is organized using moral principles.

      So the question is, is it possible for such people to organize society under moral principles without being corrupted by the desire for power and control. If it is possible, then that is what we should be working on. If it is not possible, then anything that anyone comes up with is going to end up being a “government” which seeks power and control over the people.

      • Black Flag says:

        So, after months, we’ve arrived at a semblance of a plan.

        First, we need the moral principle.

        Then, we will begin see its consequences.

        Concurrently, (and finally, to the relief of GA Rowe) an action plan in the face of the current impositions of the existence of government, its absolute consequences, and the conclusions that derive from that.

        We will know where we will end up, and know where we want to go.

        • Bee in my Bonnet says:

          BF,

          I will ask you the same question that I asked JAC (see #3).

          If we are to have moral principle, who decides what is moral, as our society thrives on moral relativity?

          • Black Flag says:

            “No man has the right to impose upon another.”

            Thoughts?

            • Bee in my Bonnet says:

              Who defines ‘imposition’. One may feel that they are being imposed apon, another may not.

              • Black Flag says:

                Imposition is easy to understand.

                Do you by force make me do something against my will.

              • Bee in my Bonnet says:

                So it is only about the individual? Even if it is detrimental to society as a whole?

              • Black Flag says:

                What is not harmful to an individual but harmful to society??

              • Bee in my Bonnet says:

                I will go back to another point that I was trying to make. Pedophiles feel that they are not harming the children that they are preying upon but freeing themselves of the laws imposed on them by a repressed society. Are their actions harmful to society? You bet they are! So we initiate, by force if necessary, laws to prevent them from acting on their personal beliefs or their perceived rights. Granted, I put forth an extreme case to make my point but the same argument can be applied to just about anything.

                So who decides?

              • Black Flag says:

                Clarify:

                Do you by initiation of force make me do something against my will.

  18. How do you define government?

    Government is an organization created by the people it is to serve, to act on their behalf. It should be limited to its stated goals, realizing its power is given from the people, and it has no right to assume other powers or functions without the people recognizing and agreeing to such need.
    ( I am awarding myself bonus points for writing my own definition, instead of using dictionary or other sources, even if Ray’s is better, mine is original )

    What do you think government should be responsible for?

    As little as possible. First, national defense, both foreign and domestic, against any invasion or armed attack on any portion of the United States.

    Second, general welfare, meaning roads, disaster relief, police and emergency services. It should be encouraged for all of these functions to be moved to the private sector.

    Will try to add more later.

    • Black Flag says:

      So, by your definition, if a person does not agree, he is therefore not bound by such government rules?

      • Well no Flagster, you want to play, you gotta pay. If a democratic government is established by the will of the people, to form a republic, and you do not agree to adhere to the agreed upon principals and laws, I foresee conflict. Assuming you are not violent, no criminal activity. You use the streets, are protected from foreign invaders, etc.. I expect you to pay for your share of this burden, or to leave. I feel our current laws are unjust, that it should not be legal for the government to take your property or imprison you for failure to pay taxes.

        If you or yours are in a car wreck, do you expect someone to come and safely remove you from your car, and transport you to the hospital? Will you wait for this accident, and while bleeding to death, call someone to come transport you, or will you pay someone to stand around waiting to see if you have an accident, and need help?

        Tell me where I am wrong here, you want emergency services available to treat your wife and daughter, yes or no. You are willing to pay in advance for the possible need, yes or no. If you agree to this, you have willingly joined the rest of us.

        • Black Flag says:

          By what right do I have to live by your rules?

          And yes, if ‘you’ impose upon me there will be conflict. But ‘you’ started it.

          You state that ‘no violence’ = ‘no criminal’ – but ‘you’ demand the right to steal from me (taxes). Therefore, ‘you’ admit you’re a criminal.

          By what measure to hold to be ‘unjust’. What is your tool to evaluate this?

          If you or yours are in a car wreck, do you expect someone to come and safely remove you from your car, and transport you to the hospital?

          This has nothing to do with government or our topic.

          However, in a free market system, there are a multitude of services that would do exactly that.

          I do not need to ‘pay in advance’ for my food. It is provided at my point of need.

          Why do you assume this is not the case in other economic goods?

        • LOI

          Many on this site use police, firemen and emergency services as rationalizations for govt. I can only say they must have never lived in the country. Where is Essom when I need him.

          I have lived many places where we were our own police and the fire and emergency services were all provided by volunteers. Equipment paid for by fundraising among the community, which sometimes stretched over miles.

          The first fire departments were privately run. I do believe Mr. Franklin started one himself.

          • bama dad says:

            Fire and rescue is all volunteer in my neck of the woods. Law enforcement is from County Sheriff.

    • JayDickB says:

      Good thoughts, but please don’t use the words “general welfare”; they’re too dangerous and lead directly to big government.

      • Perhaps, or not. My thought is to stay as close to the founders principles as possible, correcting where their intentions have been perverted. This would include redefining the meaning of words and principles.

        • Black Flag says:

          What principle do you refer too?

        • JayDickB says:

          More seriously, the way I read the constitution, the preamble (including promote the general welfare) lays out objectives, not powers. Thus, the government does not have the power to promote the general welfare, but must use only enumerated powers to achieve it. If that fails, the government must ask for different powers.

          • Jay D gets a big Gold Star.

            That is exactly what that statement was intended for. It was the “style of writing” at the time. At least per the scholars I have discussed this with. The doucment contains broad goals and salutations that were the norm. Kind of like adding an exclamation point to their language.

    • Once again this is your type of govt.

      It does not capture the essence of what makes govt different from other organizations or individuals within a geographic area.

      • “It does not capture the essence” JAC, you and your damn details. LOL, sorry, not much time, but meant as basic introductory statement, details were to follow, likely when we get to the philosophical articles again.

        • WE ARE DEEP WITHIN THE CONTINUATION OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL ARTICLES.

          We just never got to post the article. Right now I see little need except to keep spurring the horse onward.

          You have never lived until you have been on the back of a run away horse with nothing but a prairie full of gopher holes ahead of you.

          JAC

          • Black Flag says:

            And just in case there aren’t enough of those holes to avoid, there are all those Black Flags digging bigger ones…. 😉

  19. Black Flag says:

    Bee in my Bonnet

    I will go back to another point that I was trying to make. Pedophiles feel that they are not harming the children that they are preying upon but freeing themselves of the laws imposed on them by a repressed society. Are their actions harmful to society?

    No, their actions are an imposition upon the child. As you said, they are ‘preying’.

    What part of “no right to impose” are you missing?

    You bet they are! So we initiate, by force if necessary, laws to prevent them from acting on their personal beliefs or their perceived rights. Granted, I put forth an extreme case to make my point but the same argument can be applied to just about anything.

    So who decides?

    It is not a matter of ‘who decides’.

    Your case is clear – they are imposing upon the child. They, therefore, are criminals.

    One needs only one law – thou shalt not impose upon another.

    Yes, there are insane men who are unable to understand simple words and simple laws. But that exists in a government-society too.

    • Bee in my Bonnet says:

      But they would disagree that they are imposing and in many cases, the children are groomed so that they don’t even feel as if they have been imposed upon.

      So in this case, YOU (and government) have decided that they are imposing.

      My point being is that ‘to impose’ is a relative term.

      Is there an absolute standard that can be used?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Bee,

        It already IS an absolute standard.

        The pedophiles, by grooming the children so that they do not feel as if they are being harmed in any way, are attempting to get around that absolute standard through brainwashing the children, which is, in and of itself, imposing upon the children/harming them.

        You can come up with any scenario you like where people are behaving in a manner that the sane would equate with evil. In all cases, there is SOME POINT where an imposition is happening.

        The other consequence of a free society (and this is the one that scares the hell out of most people), is that there is no way to force someone else to “do the right thing.”

        http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-5723-Albuquerque-Libertarian-Examiner~y2009m7d7-What-if-people-dont-do-the-right-thing

      • Black Flag says:

        “Impose” is not relative – I’ve already defined it well.

        You’re trying to deform the definition so to inject an example that does not fit.

      • He who is being imposed upon knows he is being imposed upon even if the attacking government – oops, I meant “criminal”- denies it.

  20. Black Flag says:

    Bee in my Bonnet said

    So how do we have true freedom, while living peacefully within the boundaries of a society? Do we completely dismantle the government? Do we put something else in it’s place? It would just be another form of government. How do we get large numbers of people living with each other without imposing a rule of law that isn’t offensive to someone?

    You statement is, frankly, strange.

    You demand that Freedom give you peace because government gives you peace.

    Oh, sorry, government does not give you peace either!

    So why do you claim freedom fails if it does not either?

    Freedom is not peace. Freedom is freedom.

    Peace is not the goal. Slaves are peaceful.

    Freedom is the goal. Government contradicts freedom.

    If government is immoral, do you wish to still keep it?

    What do you think is the consequence of immoral effort?

    If we replace one immoral systems with another immoral system, what do you believe we have accomplished?

    There is nothing “fair” in Human Rights, except that everyone has exactly the smae rights.

    So my question is, who decides? What standard must be used to form a government?

    Standard – a moral standard.

    Who decides? You do. (as does every other individual)

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      But… but… BF!!!

      If I, and every other individual, get to decide, then that cannot be FAIR!!!

      Sorry, I apologize… ghost of my old liberal-arts-college wacko self made a brief appearance there… LOL 🙂

    • BF,

      What do you find does not meet your requirements in the following Ayn Rand quotes on Government? Chapter & Book Name follow quotes.

      A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.

      ………………………………….“The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 107.

      If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules.

      This is the task of a government—of a proper government—its basic task, its only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government.

      A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws.

      …………………………………..“The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 109.

      The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.

      But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of protector to the role of man’s deadliest enemy, from the role of policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his.

      …………………………………………Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 183.

      The source of the government’s authority is “the consent of the governed.” This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent *of the citizens; it means that the government as such has no rights except the rights *delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose.

      ……………………………..“The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 110.

      The difference between political power and any other kind of social “power,” between a government and any private organization, is the fact that a government holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force. This distinction is so important and so seldom recognized today that I must urge you to keep it in mind. Let me repeat it: a government holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force.

      No individual or private group or private organization has the legal power to initiate the use of physical force against other individuals or groups and to compel them to act against their own voluntary choice. Only a government holds that power. The nature of governmental action is: *coercive *action. The nature of political power is: the power to force obedience under threat of physical injury—the threat of property expropriation, imprisonment, or death.

      ………..“America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 46.

      The fundamental difference between private action and governmental action—a difference thoroughly ignored and evaded today—lies in the fact that a government holds a monopoly on the legal use of physical force. It has to hold such a monopoly, since it is the agent of restraining and combating the use of force; and for that very same reason, its actions have to be rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no touch of whim or caprice should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power. If a society is to be free, its government has to be controlled.

      Under a proper social system, a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as he does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally permitted.

      This is the means of subordinating “might” to “right.” This is the American concept of “a government of laws and not of men.”

      …………………………..“The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 109.

      • Boil it all down Garth and what do you get?

        But leave out Rands justification for Govt, or summary of how it should work, for now. Just focus on boiling down the description of what government entails, its essence.

        What do you get?

        • A government is an institution that holds exclusive power.

          • Very Good

            I would add that not just any kind of power but the power to use force. And this power is not necessarily “exclusive” as some others may use force but its primary is to be the only one with the power to apply force to everyone. That is why the word monopoly is used by many in this description. It is the major controller but can not prevent others from using force. But it is the only entity that assumes the right to use force as it deems necessary and on whom it deems necessary.

            Thus it holds a monopoly on the use of force (or coersive force) against others. It is the dominant, Alpha Male. Others may use force but the big dog will kill them to retain its monopoly. Unless the others are working to benefit the big dog.

            And I suggest you add, “within a specific geographic area”. After all, all govts try to control real estate in conjunction with the people.

            Now Garth, is your primary principle Freedom?

            And if it is, do you see the struggle we now face to assure freedom through government, once we now recognize the essence of all govt?

            • I can agree that the government that our founding fathers established failed and needs to be replaced but do not believe that it can be done thru the ballot box as Altruism (each individual vs the collective) is running rampant.

              It would be nice if we could take the knowledge we have gained and were able to turn back the time. I think the Constitution could possible be changed to give us a better chance at getting it right for a much longer time. But this could only be done, if some of the principles were: Taking from Peter to pay Paul was illegal at all levels of government, there was a way to remove any political figures (including and especially the Supreme Court) from office based on abuse of the first principle and I am sure there are other things needed. BUT, WE CAN’T.

              The best chance for the future is that the system will fail so miserably and the ending of Atlas Shrugged becomes a possibility.

              What makes me sad is that so many frogs are going to be served up as frog legs, even sadder that they don’t even know it is happening and I reserve my sadest feelings for those who see what is happening but are unable to turn off the stove.

              If I were a knowledgable young person today, I would have to find Galt’s Gulch.

              I have been lucky enough to live during a period when there was some chance for the individual.

              Since,

      • Black Flag says:

        Of course I wrote a huge response and then it disappeared (sigh)

        Nothing like that to drain one’s energy.

        Essentially, Rand fails at the same point as USWep (which is a compliment to USWep).

        She fails to recognize that sovereignty and legitimacy are intertwined.

        For her, if the government attacks non-violent men, they lose legitimacy and are no longer a government.

        But as Hans Hoppe showed, that a government requires a monopoly – that is, it must prevent – by violence – any competition to government.

        If by Rand, the government is constrained to use such violence, the government will find competition from other governments sprouting within the same area, organized by different groups of men.

        Since such ‘sprouting’ is non-violent, the ‘government’ has no legitimacy to act against them.

        The consequence, as Hoppe details, is a multitude of governments within a geography – essentially contradicting one of the parts of the definition of government – that is, its monopoly.

        If a ‘government’ does act violently to suppress competition, it acts – according to Rand and USWep – illegitimately. By initiating violence, it has lost its moral base.

        So, we have a quandary – no matter how we cut the cake, we end up with either a tyranny or no government.

        Thus, the readership here now can understand my mantra and immutable stance – there can not exist a moral government.

        Either we are moral in our organizations, or we will forever suffer tyranny.

        What’s your choice?

  21. Black Flag says:

    Ring Analogy:

    Since Tolkien considered himself a conservative anarchist, it should come as no surprise that while trying to answer his publisher’s questions regarding the symbolism hidden in his magnum opus, he suggested to “…make the Ring into an allegory of our own time… an allegory of the inevitable fate that waits for all attempts to defeat evil power by power.”

    The gist of the LotR was that no one can seize the power of violence without becoming a tool of evil. Even the character Gandalf – the wisest man – saw that with the ring he would use it to do good – and become the greatest evil and tyranny of them all.

    The extent that the Ring of Power gives its bearer strength to rule the world, it also overcomes him.

    It is an entity whose nature is to control everyone and everything.

    Thus, if the ring were to be worn by Gandalf or any other of the great heroes, it would become a terrifying implement of destruction, since anyone who slips it on his finger stops being himself and becomes instead a mere servant to the ring.

    Gandalf cries: “No! With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly! Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe, unused.”

    Quoting from FEE:

    “The Lord of the Rings shows not only the great danger associated with all attempts to defeat evil power by power, but it also teaches that collectives do not really exist, that every one of us is the hero of his own individual story, and that law and order can easily exist without the state.

    Tolkien disliked imperatives.

    He hated the outlook that if something can be done, it has to be done, and once even admitted that the greatest deeds of mind and spirit are born in abnegation.

    Lord of the Rings clearly denounce the so-called imperative of action, that is, the belief that a system can easily be changed from within. Though the story is not of passivity resistance, but an active fight – the fight is outside the system. The evil of power can only be destroyed by destroying its very essence – the need of power to compel action.

    In The Lord of the Rings, there is no “great plan for the world”; Middle-earth is inhabited by many different races — elves, dwarves, hobbits, men, ents, etc. — who all live, albeit separately, in tolerance, sometimes even friendship, but as a rule not interfering with each other.

    There is no government, central or local,] no industrial revolution and no uniform vision of progress or future.

    Even in the face of a terrible war, it is extremely hard to create a coalition against Sauron.

    That is most likely the reason his characters do not look for great challenges, nor wish to change the world, and instead live quietly, fulfilling Voltaire’s dictum Il faut cultiver notre jardin. (Tend your own garden).

    This is what makes The Lord of the Rings a wonderful means for conceptualizing the ideas of freedom.

    Reading Tolkien helps realize that, even after the “end of history,” the world and society can move in the direction of Merry Old England rather than a soulless homogenized mass of atoms.

    Moreover, The Lord of the Rings conveys an extremely important and optimistic message, namely that a plurality of many different cultures, languages, societies and visions, all existing together, yet separate and independent of each other, is still viable — not in a democratic regime, but in the new world of Hoppean natural order.

  22. Black Flag says:

    From another blog:

    The man in charge of the U.S. science policy is John Holdren. I knew that they wrote a lot of nonsensical predictions e.g. about hundreds of millions of Americans dying of hunger before 2000 with another megacrackpot, Paul Ehrlich.

    But what I didn’t know – and what Marc Morano had to tell us – was that they have also had very explicit plans to deal with the world’s soaring population, a system of policies that would bring holocaust to a brand new, larger, universal, mainstream level. In the book “Ecoscience” co-authored by Holdren and two Ehrlichs, eugenics is subtly combined with some far-left ideas. They proposed that

    * Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
    * The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
    * Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
    * People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” – in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
    * A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives – using an armed international police force.

    Welcome to your government!

  23. Judy S. says:

    Profound Statements

    #1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
    John Adams
    ____________________________________________________________________

    #2. If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.

    Mark Twain
    __________________________________________________________________

    #3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But then I repeat myself.

    Mark Twain
    _________________________________________________________________

    #4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

    Winston Churchill
    _________________________________________________________________

    #5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

    George Bernard Shaw
    _________________________________________________________________

    #6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.

    G. Gordon Liddy
    _________________________________________________________________

    #7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on who to have for dinner.
    James Bovard, Civil Libertarian
    ___________________________________________________________________

    #8. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries torich people in poor countries.

    Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University
    _________________________________________________________________

    #9. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

    P.J.O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian
    _________________________________________________________________

    #10. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

    Frederic Bastiat, French Economist ( 1801-1850 )
    _________________________________________________________________

    #11. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: It it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, Subsidize it.

    Ronald Reagan ( 1986 )
    _________________________________________________________________

    #12. I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

    Will Rogers
    _________________________________________________________________

    #13. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

    P.J.O’Rourke
    __________________________________________________________________

    #14. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.

    Voltaire
    ___________________________________________________________________

    #15. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you .

    Pericles ( 430 B.C )
    ___________________________________________________________________

    #16.No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.

    Mark Twain ( 1866 )
    _________________________________________________________________

    #17. Talk is cheap…except when congress does it.

    Anonymous.

    Thought these might or might not fit in with today’s government.

    • Black Flag says:

      And then I wonder:

      It is almost universal the opinion of nearly everyone about “government”

      It is evil, or wasteful or a waste of time or is stupid or gets in our way or ineffective, inefficient, destroys the economy, destroys family, can’t teach, can’t maintain the simplest infrastructures, breaks down, destroys our rights, imprisons the innocent, frees the guilty, kills unarmed kids, refuses to save endangered people, etc.

      It does no good ….Yet, almost no one can seem to want to part from it….

      • BF
        One day there will be a government we can all live with. It will be a monarchy.
        I guess in one form or another man has always tried to live under a form of government…..I suppose it is in our nature to strive to do better. Thus our “not wanting to part from it”. It is like the automobile I guess….we want to improve it not go back to walking and riding horses.

        • Amazed 1,

          Have you seen the brain donors walking around with the “King Obama” t-shirts?

          • Amazed1 says:

            No I have not…but I can not een imagine Obama as a KIng…..That is scary!

            • If you really want to see something scary, take a good look at the type of person wearing the King Obama shirt, and give some thought as to what sort of society/government that person supports. 😦

        • Black Flag says:

          Interestingly, monarchy is the government that Hans Hoppe suggests is ‘the best of the worst’.

          It attaches specific responsibly (unlike diffuse responsibility of democracy) with limited justification (unlike democracy-majorities unlimited justification).

          So, you’re in alignment of one of the best minds of modern political thought!

  24. Hello fellow VLDG members!! 🙂

    I am going Friday to my Congressional members office to protest Universal Health Care. Not him, because he is already voting against it. He even approves our general protest.

    But the City of Rome says we can’t do it. We can’t stand on their sidewalk across from the Fed bldg. The Federal Bldg. says we can’t be on their property.

    We’re going to protest anyway so my family may have to bail my ass out of jail friday afternoon. This protest is being held by my Tea Party Association. This is going to be held at every Congressional members offices in the State. If I go to jail for peacefully assembling for a redress of my grievances against the Government then SO BE IT.

    Gotta go for now. I’ll check back in sometime after Friday to tell you how it went.

    • My wife and I are doing the same down here in Texas.

      Hope they arrest me. A new experience is always exciting.

      Those of you who are interested in slowing things down should also do the same.

      I know it won’t stop the immoral acts but it could slow things down. Don’t know if you haven’t tried.

      BF, I know you think it is futile but here I go anyway.

    • amazed1 says:

      Esom….you live in Rome TX ????? you have got to be pulling my leg. Spent a Christmas there a couple of years back at a A Bed and Breakfast while visiting friends. Wonderful place.

  25. Good topic today, USW.

    Government is force, coercion. That is it’s purpose. Why else would need it but to force our neighbors to behave or refrain from behaving in a particular way?

    I believe we need the force of government to protect the objective Rights that BF speaks of. But it’s a dangerous game to play with such fire and we must be vigilant. That’s why government has turned out so badly in every place on earth in the past and present. The US Constitution was and is the best hope of mankind, but it is not adequate to the governance of any people, but a moral one, as one of the Founders said. (I forget who right now, and I don’t feel like looking it up.)

    By the way, you people all on the internet and commenting on blogs and such during work crack me up!

    • Judy S. says:

      Hi Michelle

      About commenting and blogging while at work. I work with my husband and brother in law, and if there isn’t anything to do, then I do this. They don’t mind because they do it themselves. But if there are things to do, I do them then get back on here. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my work, then I’m okay. I guess that’s the advantage of working with family.

  26. Judy S. says:

    Okay, I thought this would be a good time for a joke here. Maybe some of you heard, and maybe not, but here goes.

    A woman brought a her limp duck in to veterinary surgeon.

    As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

    After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, I’m sorry, your duck Cuddles has passed away.

    The distressed woman wailed, Re you sure?”

    Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead, replied the vet.

    How can you be so sure? she protested..I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything.

    He might just be in a coma or something.

    The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever.

    As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom.

    He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

    The vet patted the dog on the head and took him out of the room. A few minutes later, he returned with a cat.

    The cat sat back on it’s haunches, shook his head and meowed softly, and strolled out of the room.

    The vet looked at the woman and said, I’m sorry, but as I said, this is the most definitely 100% certifiably, a dead duck.

    The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys, and produced a bill, which hd handed the woman.

    The duck’s owner still in shock, took the bill. $150.00 she cried, $150.00 just to tell me that my duck is dead.

    The vet shrugged I’m sorry. If you had just taken my ord for it, the bill would have been only $20.00

    But with the Lab report and the Cat scan, it’s now $150.00.

    Thought that was good for a chuckle to lighten up a bit.

    Judy

  27. TexasChem says:

    While pondering the implications of the current presidentials plan to rob Peter to pay Paul (wealth re-distrubution)I realized something profound.The middle class working citizen has been coerced into living a life in debt.

    Our entire economy has produced this living indebted lifestyle.Not only does living indebted force citizens to continue to pay taxes it allows the government to control your actions.Defining indebted to me includes being indebted even if your home, vehicle and land is paid for SIMPLY because it never truly is because you are taxed on it constantly.Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax on EvERyThiNg!The government then has the audacity to spend this collected tax money on agendas not my own.

    EXAMPLE: I work to maintain my families standard of living and therefore do not have time to spend protesting my governments actions.I as a working man have become accustomed to my government making decisions for me and my community based upon my school years being taught they would “always” take the correct course of action on my behalf.It is now blatantly obvious this is not the case and I am thankful for the speed at which this current administration has pushed their agendas down my throat to open my eyes.

    It seems as if we have super indebtedness as well with the citizens living on governmental aid.Sad thing is they do not even know they are living indebted.They think it’s all jus’ free money!

    Random thoughts:

    1) This has been happening for many years.

    2) I have no clue as to who instigated it or why.The generation that started this has surely passed on so why the continuation of these policies?Who is really calling the shots?

    3) It is progressively getting worse.

    4) I am fed up with it.

    5) I am not my brothers keeper.Although I do not mind being charitable; it should be on my terms not forced upon me.

    6) I want to end this but have been unable to determine how to accomplish this feat.

    7) I believe the loss of morals in society an action of cause by those that caused this indebted living lifestyle as a control method.

    8) I truly believe the silent majority is stirring.

    9) I fear this “stirring” due to the potential for civil mayhem.

    10) TAXES=Indebtedness=Slavery

    • TexasChem,

      It has occurred to me that if we were to figure up ALL the federal income tax, social security, medicare, and any state income tax we have paid during our working life, the average person would have little to no debt. The mortgage and credit card companies would not have so many folks by the …. (fill in the blank there.)

      Throw in all the hidden taxes, sales tax & property taxes…what a chunk of change that would be.

      Remember, back in the 50’s & 60’s when most families could live nicely on one income? How many can do that now? Think I heard once that the U.S. has the largest percentage of two income households.

      So I agree, taxes have enslaved us, yet slavery is illegal and abhorrent on any OTHER level.

      The government has instilled in us the duty and responsibility to pay our fair share, without whining, so that we only question the AMOUNT of tax, not the process.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Also, the government has instituted the practice of taxation through withholding, which means they steal a big chunck of your money before you ever see it, so that you “don’t miss it”.

        If we were paid our full paycheck and then billed every month for our income taxes rather than having them automatically deducted from our pay every week (or two weeks or twice a month or monthly or whatever your pay schedule happens to be), there would be open revolt.

        The same goes for sales tax. It is added on to our purchase right at the store. Sure, we could check the receipt and see exactly what we are paying for every purchase, but it is still RELATIVELY PAINLESS for most people.

        If we were instead to receive a bill every month that stated “You purchased X $ worth of taxable goods this month, please send us X x 6% of this amount as taxation on your purchases” that would cause a revolution as well.

        They bury all the taxes they can by either stealing from us before we ever get the money, or rolling the amount into an amount we were already spending (thereby increasing that amount we are spending extremely slightly) so that we do not miss the money and do not overthrow the government in sheer outrage over how much money they are stealing from us.

  28. Government = control. Legitimate government = self control.
    What government should be responsible for: Taking care of oneself (that one self being the one who is self-governing) and not harming any innocent person. And that is all.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Thank you Kent!

      Nice to see you commenting on this site! I read your site fairly regularly. Very thought provoking articles which tend to make a whole lot of sense.

      • I read this site pretty often, but don’t often comment because I don’t have time to get caught up in long discussions right now. I just thought this topic was nice and simple and could be answered quickly. I see that some have tried to make it a lot more complex than it needs to be.

        Thanks for reading my Examiner column. Every penny counts. 🙂

  29. Birdman says:

    I missed the discussion yesterday but scanned through the comments.

    Black Flag: If you were appointed as a Temporary Dictator, could you describe in detail how you would change the government of the USA? What would you begin to dismantle? How would you change the 100 years of liberal fascism along with all the government agencies, bureaucracies, etc.? There is a huge government apparatus in place.

    JAC: Same question.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Birdman,

      I am not trying to be flippant here, but BF would never take a position as dictator, even if it was supposedly temporary!

      With that power, he would become a power too great and terrible in spite of his desire to do good!

      Now JAC on the other hand has already expressed his desire to be King for at least 1 year, so maybe he can answer the question 🙂

      • PeterB: You are probably correct that BF would never become a temporary dictator. The scenario can be changed to, “If you had a magic wand, how would you reconstruct the government of the USA.” How would we systematically dismantle this huge government system?

      • Peter and Birdman:

        Sorry I did not check back here until now. So missed this yesterday.

        I hope you know my request to be King was in jest, a sarcastic remark aimed at using modern government as the definition. I have made such a comment a couple of times but always in the same manner. Generally along the lines of “well if you want this kind of govt then I might as well be King, because I can sure use that power just as well as the next guy”

        But there in lies the test, the challenge I lay down when I make the comment. So far no one has seen it. That is why I asked BF to share his analogy of Tolkiens Ring of Power. For if I were to try and use the power for good, I would in the end do great evil, for the power of the ring is evil and results in nothing but evil.

        Now, I am curious why so many want to jumpt to whatever TYPE of govt either BF or I have in mind if they don’t share the same core principles.

        The whole purpose of the definition discussion is to get everyone to understand what the basic nature of government is. I will share that BF and I are not exactly in alignment here but very darn close.

        You see I am more concerned with desribing the basic power of govt as that is the corruption.

        I think BF prefers to seek a definition as opposed to just a description. You see if the definition can be shown to be evil there is no need to go further in seeking the thing you have defined as evil, unless of course you want evil.

        I recognize layers of soveriegnty within a govt where as it looks like BF recognizes only the whole. And there in lies the question of whether the beast can be contained. If BF is correct about the nature of govt then it can not be contained.

        If I am correct in the nature of govt, then it can be contained. At least for awhile. It is after all a beast and wishes to be free to rule over the rest of us.

        And somewhere in this discussion we must revisit the question of what is it that corrupts all men who touch it. Can we stop that corruption from happening? Is it the ring or is it part of the nature of man?

        Sorry for evading an answer but I am reluctant until we chase down some solid conclusions with more folks on these other questions. I will say that I don’t intend to put you off much longer but I would like some others to have a chance to get their feet planted firmly first before we go to the examples.

        Otherwise the debate and discussion over our examples will nothing more than superficial.

        For example, do you remember my answer to Bob the other day on Health Care? If not go back and find it and I think you will know what I mean.

        Sorry guys, I am fading so will cut off here. Reading back looks like I am wandering. Catch you on USW’s Wed night post.

        JAC

  30. Black Flag says:

    Birdman

    Been away for a bit… family business.

    So those that have spoken for me have done very well 🙂 Impressive – it appears the transparency that I’ve worked hard to achieve in my point of view has done well!

    I would never take the Ring of Power – for the sake of humanity.

    I would be the worst of them all – (blow my own horn) Deadly smart and crafty – deadly opinionated – deadly ‘know what’s right and you don’t attitude’ – in other words, very deadly to all mankind.

    JAC is also right – I wish to reach a common, consistent definitive definition of that ‘which of we speak’.

    My experience has shown that people hold the wish, and the ‘bait-and-switch’ to pretend that this is what it is. When you attack the ‘what is’, the hold up their wish – and pretend there are no problems with it (or worse, that they are ‘fixable’). They never hold onto any definition that represents the reality.

    Until we do that – we spin in circles.

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