Defining What Government Does… or Doesn’t

Government 2 point 0I was reading through the comments on last night’s open mic throughout the day today. Some good stuff there. An interesting discussion with Ray about racism that is forcing me to think hard about my definitions and my perceptions, which is a good thing. I look forward to continuing it. But I was really struck reading the back and forth between BF and Chris Devine concerning government, and the ensuing thoughts that were offered by PeterB. A couple of weeks ago we had a discussion about defining what government is, and why it is important to do so. But this conversation I was witnessing today went a little further than that and I felt it warranted some more discussion amongst us all. If you would like to first review the discussion from the other week, you can do so HERE . There were some interesting discussions. But I want to attempt to refine the conversation, specifically with Chris and BF, as I think differently than both of them…

DebateBefore I begin I want to add a thing or two to some of what I said in yesterday’s replies. First to BlackFlag. I tend to understand what you are attempting to accomplish. As you know, we often don’t agree. I can understand Chris’s frustration in discussing the issue with you. You have a tendency to sometimes over-simplify and to sometimes link past performance that is not relevant. I will attempt to keep you from doing so in this conversation. I will do this in this case not to be argumentative, but to be fair. So be prepared for that. My responses may be short and to the point when I try to reign it in, but they will be there. The request I make of you is that you refrain from the responses that sound like rhetoric and provide evidence to back your theory. For example, we know you believe government is evil, but an obtuse statement like “government only exists through the ability to alone hold the right to inflict violence”, while possibly true, renders the debate dead (and not because it is true and undebatable). And I want some real conversations on this subject because I think it is important.

Next, to Chris Devine. I know that BF is frustrating. As I said yesterday, the one thing that I can say about him is that he NEVER strays from his core principle, and that is something that I cannot say about myself or most of the folks who post here. When he makes his offhanded comments that are not in line, offer a simple “not buying it” and move on. Stick to the moral or ethical argument with him, explain your reasoning and I think you will do well. That is not my attempting to tell you what to do. But I think you have A LOT to add to this conversation, and I think that you attempt to operate from a good moral base. I would ask one favor: make an honest attempt to consider what he says about the moral or ethical place he is coming from. I think we could gain greatly from your intellect if you focus on challenging him there.

There were two separate comments that were made yesterday that caught my attention. The first was from Chris. I promised to ponder it and have been doing so for the remainder of the day. Chris said:

The fact remains that private enterprise has even less accountability and no more willingness to serve the benefit of all. At least government has a mechanism (however flawed) to make the appropriate changes. Private enterprise is only interested in concentrating wealth. To it service is a means to an end. With government service is the end. I propose that you have an issues with the means.

Prosecuting Free MarketI think where I agree is that there seems to be little accountability for private enterprise. While I espouse the freedom of the free market, and I do believe that it would work if actually allowed to, in today’s environment, no such free market has existed in the last 100 years. I understand you frustration with what we see in the news today. But I caution that we allow our perception, and politicians pontifications about business, cloud our judgement. The Small Business Association website states: In 2007, there were 27.2 million businesses in the United States, according to Office of Advocacy estimates. Census data show that there were 6.0 million firms with employees and 20.4 million without employees in 2005. Small firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.9 percent of the 27.2 million businesses (including both employers and nonemployers),as the most recent data show there were slightly more than 17,000 large businesses in 2005.

I don’t have an actual count, but let’s say maybe 100 big businesses over the last ten years have done all the bad things that are plastered on the news and carted out as examples of “business gone wild”. Let’s stretch that to 200 companies. That is roughly 2% of the big companies out there. That is roughly 0.0000007% of the businesses in the United States. You read that right. Seven millionths of one percent of all businesses in America. Because of that miniscule amount of businesses, the other 99.9999993% of businesses should be forced to comply with ridiculous regulations and limitations offered by politicians who are “looking out for us”? Talk about punishing the many for the few. Government is strangling American businesses in the name of “regulating the monsters”. And you have no problem with that? Would it be justified if we decide that government should put a camera in every home to monitor for child abuse if only 207 (that is 0.0000007% of 300 million people) people beat their child. After all, they would be looking out for the “common good”. But it sure would look a lot like “1984”.

But on to what I wanted to say about the summation of the statement: Private enterprise is only interested in concentrating wealth. To it service is a means to an end. With government service is the end. I have been thinking about this all night. And I disagree. With government service is not the end. If it were, even in your utopian world where “we all sacrifice for the good of all”, I submit that it wouldn’t look ANYTHING like it does today. If government had any interest in really making service the end, would we see things like:

  • Government SolutionsA move to send soldiers to war, but to require them to pay for health insurance to cover battle injuries
  • A repeal of the Clinton Welfare reform that was working
  • An article like the one the other night espousing the genius of sneaking education reform under the noses of the people
  • Politicians refusing to allow windfarms and solar farms to be built in their district (off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and in the Mojave Desert)
  • A push from the President who claims to care to get health care done fast, not right
  • An “emergency” economic stimulus bill with over 9,000 earmarks
  • The Patriot Act…. Need I say more?
  • Barney Frank and Company lowering the standards for home loans and now attempting to make the same debacle with condominiums
  • 40,000 Lobbyists, and those lobbyists writing legislation for Congress
  • A complete disregard for the concept of tort reform as a start to fixing health care costs
  • The Fairness Doctrine… Need I say more?
  • The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
  • Partisan politics where whomever has control is unwilling to even listen to propositions from the other party
  • The move to eliminate an effective and popular School voucher program in Washington DC
  • Cap and Trade
  • Tremendous tariffs on imported goods (after all cheaper goods, regardless of source, would be a good “service”
  • Imminent Domain would not exist, as a person’s property is THEIR property. How are THEY served by seizing it?
  • Finally, and this one is big, a complete lack of honesty, transparency, candor, etc by any government official in regard to any policy, regulation, investigation, or legislation in the public forum

I submit that we would not. Government’s “end” for the last 100 years has been to service itself and its own interests. If they were interested in “serving the public”, why would they not simply be up front in their dealings in legislation? Let the people read and hear the truth and let them decide. But that NEVER happens, because government does not have service for the people as its end. That stopped happening the day after the Constitution was signed. So the premise that you made in your statement does not hold when compared against the facts of what the current government does. It makes perfect sense as long as we don’t look at government’s actions, and instead only focus on the rhetoric of what government should be. I look forward to your thoughts on this, Chris.

The second statement that I was thinking about all night was this from PeterB in Indanapolis:

The FACT is, if government were here to serve the people, it would do its level best to ensure that ALL OF THE PEOPLE were absolutely, positively maximizing their potential to be successful human beings.

CopperfieldThis would not involve taking away from one person to make up for the shortcomings of another, and it would not involve dumbing down a class so that the intellectual children in the class were bored but the others in the class could “get it”.

If government was the servant of the people, each individual person would be encouraged to become the best that they could be at the things which they were good at, which would be of great benefit to society as a whole.

This is what most people WISH government would do. This is what most people TRY TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES THAT GOVERNMENT IS DOING, BECAUSE IT IS WHAT THEY WISH IT WOULD DO.

All I can say to you people is open your eyes. Government cannot and will not do what you wish it would/could do. It simply wasn’t designed for that. That is like asking an Edsel to take you to the moon (which it might have if you were in the back seat with your girlfriend/boyfriend), but clearly, that Edsel was never going to ACTUALLY make it to the real moon.

The other thing that some of the people on this site still have to realize is that all men are born free, and all men are created equal, but all men do not have the same intellect, the same talents, and the same abilities. Government attempts to homogenize us and treat us all the same. We most certainly are NOT!

BRAVO Peter! I am, alas, disappointed that I have not made my belief of those things clear enough that you did not lump me with BF and JAC. What we should strive for is equality of opportunity in this country, not equality of outcomes. In today’s world, there are those that get and embrace this sentiment and those that do not. I actually believe that Ray and Chris and Todd (who I think really has left this site for good, unfortunately) all DO embrace this concept. The difference for them is that they do not believe (and please any of you three correct me if I am wrong here) that the equality of opportunity exists in the US today. I tend to agree with them when they say that. I think just about all of us would agree with them that equality of opportunity is not currently where we would like it to be. I think most of America would agree with this statement although I also think it is closer to fruition than it was 50 years ago.

Love Country Without GovernmentAnd I think where the left goes with this concept versus where the right goes with this concept is where battle lines are drawn. I think the left goes way too far in over-stepping while trying to create this unicorn, and the right goes too far as well, but not quite as far. Where I think that the left falters is in the belief that we must provide everything for everyone (I know that is an exaggeration, so don’t get upset left leaning folks, just trying to generalize). Because the left sees that equality of opportunity does not exist, they see their mission as providing for those that didn’t have the equal opportunity to provide for themselves because of status, race, conditions, etc. And they are willing to sacrifice to provide. And they think that anyone who doesn’t have that willingness to provide is heartless or doesn’t care. And that is a mistake.

I am not heartless. I would love to see everyone get health care. But I am also acutely aware that government is not capable of providing health care to everyone. Government has not one instance of success in implementing and successfully administering such a thing. So while I empathize with what those on the left are trying to do, I am aware that it is a futile effort and ultimately a costly one to our liberties, and our well being.

And that is what the point of this article is: a hearty salute to Peter’s idea that most people confuse what government is with what they wish government was. Government, at this time, in the words of Ronald Reagan, the problem, not the solution. If we really want to look towards the future and determine what it is that we want government to do, we have to take a realistic look at what the current situation is. Continuing to allow government to act based on what we wish government was instead of what it actually is, would be insane, careless, reckless, and futile.

So that is the question of the day. What IS government in its current form in America? Not what it is supposed to be, not what we would like it to be, but what it IS.

Jefferson Bumper StickerTo me government is control. Somewhat of the type that BF talks about. They do hold for themselves the right of violent action, whether we like it or not, and whether they are entitled to or not. We may not agree that government has to hold that for themselves, which is where BF and I often part ways. I do believe that government can exist in a way that does not use violence, does not kill liberty. BF does not. But I hold no illusion that government does exist the way that I believe it can, not today in its current form. And I certainly don’t have the answers to how to change that quite yet. But I think that it can be achieved.

To me government is bureaucracy. Too many hands in the pot. Too many chiefs. Too much wasted money. This is why it seems insane to me that folks like Chris are willing to turn over the best health industry in the world to government. Our government has proven itself 100% of the time to not be the most efficient or effective when running a program. They CANNOT manage a budget. They never have. Not once. They cannot operate efficiently. They cannot make a program better than the one that exists in the private sector, no matter how much we wish it were so. Just look at the economic failure of every single enterprise that government has ever “taken over”. Is there a single instance where the US government did it better, cheaper, faster, more efficiently, or more effectively than it can be done in the private market?

Government Montage PhotoNow that is not to say that I am ready to scrap government altogether. And that is where I disagree with Peter’s statement that government CAN’T do anything. I simply want VDLG. Because I think that the benefits that could be provided in a VDLG world would be worth the sacrifices that I make in allowing it to exist. Private roads may be able to be a reality, but the convenience of the current system is worth the price. And I guess in that way, I am willing to sacrifice a teeny bit of freedom or liberty for convenience and order. The Constitution was flawed because it allowed government to become what it has become. Imagine a world though, where government was actually limited to the literal translations of the restraints placed in the Constitution. That is my utopia. Because in that world, the right to impose on another person does not exist. Is my world a pipe dream? Perhaps. But no more a pipe dream than BF’s world with no government or Chris’s version of what government is today (at least based on my assumptions from today’s conversation, but I am open to learning otherwise).

Government is intrusion. Government feels that at any point they have the right to stick their nose into anything, and they can find a way to justify it every time “for the public good”, even though as I outlined above, they are not interested in the public good.

As for what government should be. That is a whole different discussion for another day. And trust me that day is coming soon. But for now let’s focus on what government is, because I think piercing that myth is the key to the debate that Chris and BF were having in the first place. I have talked about the left above only for the purpose of discussion, not as a partisan attack. I actually think this is a very non-partisan subject and would like to keep it that way. So let’s avoid comments like “government is communism under Obama”. Let’s focus on government in general, regardless of which party is running it at any given moment. So let’s talk.

And please, for the love of Jesus, NOBODY bring up astronomy.

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Comments

  1. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    One thing that strikes me so far in the article is that USW, like Chris, holds the illusion that somehow Government has more accountability to the people than private enterprise does. How is this the case?

    If I get a product or service from a private company that I am unhappy with, I can generally return the product, call the company to comlain about problems with the service they rendered, and generally obtain a refund or settle the problem in a manner which is acceptable to both me and the private company. If I do not get a solution which I find acceptable, I will not do business with that company again, and I will recommend to anyone that I know to not do business with that company again. If the company has enough dissatisfied customers, it will lose profits, perhaps even to the point where it has to close its doors.

    If I obtain a product or service from the government which I am unhappy with, what recourse do I have? For example, I have no desire for government health care, and no desire for my energy bill to go up due to Carbon Cap & Trade, yet there is a pretty good possibility that these measures will make it through congress in some form.

    If I say to the government, “Hey, I don’t want that product or service, and I am not gonna pay for it!” what is the government going to do? Are they going to offer me a refund on the product or service that I do not want? Are they going to offer some solution to the problem that we both might find mutually acceptable? If I convince enough of my family and friends that the product and service is bad, do they have the option to boycott the producer of that good or service? Will this cause the government to go out of business? NOPE! If I tell the government I do not want their product or service and I am not going to pay for it, they are going to tell me, “You WILL pay for it, or you WILL go to JAIL!”

    The only recourse that we supposedly have is to vote different people into office, yet, demonstrably in the long run, this MAKES NO DIFFERENCE!

    So please, explain to me again how government has more accountability than private entities?

    • Chris Devine says:

      I admit that government is flawed (just like every human institution). Regardless, the purpose of government is to serve its citizens, even if it doesn’t live up to that purpose as often or as fully as it should. Our memories are so short, we are so easily distracted, and we can be goaded into perpetual partisan bickering. We can be talked into spending so much of our time and energy arguing over flag burning amendments and gay marriage, or abortion and hate crimes, that we often lose sight of the things that actually make a difference to each and every one of us on a daily basis. Voting is just the first step. Showing up at the polls doesn’t give you a free pass to abstain from civic duty until the next election.

      Regarding the ability to return a product or demand a refund, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the companies who will do so as a matter of principle (and without a hassle) are few and far between. The ones that still do are big enough to absorb the loss. We live in a world of automated phone systems where speaking to an actual person (who isn’t sitting in a phone bank on the subcontinent) is getting more difficult every day.

      Maybe the problem is that all of our institutions are getting too big. But as long as some companies have the resources of whole countries we need a government big enough to keep them in check. The difficulty is that we must work extra hard to keep that government in check as well. If we want convenience in the marketplace (in addition to fairness and safety) we need big government. If you don’t want big government then you need to push for smaller companies. Sound reasonable?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        Your arguement for big government SOUNDS reasonable, which is precisely the problem with the argument. I will discuss this further below.

      • USWeapon says:

        Fair enough argument Chris. A question for you. Wouldn’t a society of people diligent enough to keep government in check the way that you envision also be diligent enough to keep big business in check?

        It seems to me that the reason we have giant companies is because government helped them to get that way. We ignored our civic duty in restraining government and government subsequently helped business get big enough that you would need government to control it. It would appear that government and business today are in this together, on the same side, with the people as opposition.

        Therein lies the crux of what frustrates me in your argument. What makes you believe that big business is the villain and government is the potential hero? What if they are both villains and one is just doing a better job of fooling you?

        • Chris Devine says:

          Perhaps, but I would point out my original assertion that government is in the business of serving it’s citizens, whereas corporations are in the business of making a buck. I agree with you that the distinction between business and government is thin at best. The last administration gave more access to the policy machine to the industries they were supposed to regulate, but that’s nothing new. Joe Kennedy was put in charge of the SEC because it was figured that someone who knew all the dirty tricks would be able to spot corruption much easier.

          I don’t see big business as necessarily being a villain. I just don’t think that they should be in charge of taking care of things I consider basic needs of a society (like protection and health care). I also don’t see why government should necessarily be perceived as ‘them’ or a separate entity. Granted, the people in our capitals are often part of a new aristocracy (as opposed to the old world aristocracies). I wish we could severely limit the influence of money in politics by fixing campaign finance rules and by pushing for complete transparency when industries and other powerful interests are consulted during the policy-making process.

          I subscribe to a lot of non-partisan watchdog groups and get daily updates on legislation and other pressing issues. If more people did the same and went beyond just complaining (e.g., torment their representatives and write letters to newspapers) this would be a different world. In the meantime I’ll do what I can.

    • USWeapon says:

      Peter,

      I am unsure where you got that from what I wrote that government has more accountability in its current form than private enterprise.

      However, given the Constitution, government was supposed to have more restraints and accountability than private enterprise. This has not happened and we ended up with the opposite.

      Now the rest of your statement makes sense, but only to a point. I agree that government is what you claim in your statements above in terms of what we can do in regard to a product. But I think you drastically overreach when you make the pure free market claim that you make about business. While your tactic of not doing business and telling your friends will work on a dry cleaner in the neighborhood, it will not work on a global company. Try telling Verizon that you are unhappy with dropped call rates and you want your money back. They will laugh the same way government does. While they cannot send you to jail, refuse to pay your $100 past due bill, and they will drop 100 points off your credit score. Bad credit score? Then you cannot get credit…. or a job, since many jobs now illegally include credit checks in the hiring process.

      I love the idea of customer sentiment forcing business to behave. But in today’s world where people have the attention span of a ADHD kid on steroids, it doesn’t work in practice. In my town, during the gas issues last year, 7 gas stations were outright price gouging. They were shamed and shunned on the news for a week straight. They were protested for two weeks. But you know what, I drive past them now and all 7 are still there and there is a car at every pump. People don’t have the time or the attention span to follow through on the demands needed to control government. What makes you think they will have that time and attention needed to control business? With government the control mechanisms are written right there in the Constitution, yet no one uses them. For business they are not written at all, so even if one wanted to, they cannot. Your argument will make BF proud, but it doesn’t stand up to historical realities any better than the concept of a “good government” does.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        USW,

        The reason the large corportations became the way that they are now is that they were enabled to become that way by the government.

        This is where your argument falls apart. The government WILL NOT PROTECT YOU AGAINST VERIZON, because the government allowed and enabled Verizon to come into existence is the form which is has!

        A “Good Government” would never have allowed this in the first place.

        Therefore, we must seek to undo what “Bad Government” has allowed to happen, which was a perversion of the free marketplace.

        • USWeapon says:

          In this we are in agreement Peter, as you can see from my other replies to Chris.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Yup! I see that.

            You see, I am not necessarily in the “No Damn Government Whatsoever” movement here. I simply think we need to define (or redefine) government so that it only has two tasks:

            1. Protect me
            2. Ensure my individual rights (my life, my liberty, my property).

            By the way, it DOES NOT MATTER WHO “ME” is….

        • That is where you and I agree completely Peter. Businesses were allowed to become too big; by the Government. Now the the Govt would have us believe that theses same businesses are evil because they are too big, oh, and let’s throw the rest of the businesses in there with them and say they are ALL evil.

          The evil is big Government. I too USW am for VLDG for now. Bur my flag keeps getting darker and darker, beginning to shade to black as the goings on in Washington continue.

          I have lost faith in the American way. Why? Because that way has become corrupted by politicians and theives. There is no longer an American way unless you are a favored minority or political party.

          In the last few months I have realized, not ONLY have we elected an avowed and taught from birth racist and socialist who has said that very thing several times in public (deny this all you want, I’ll bellieve my own eyes and ears first). Not only did we elect this bastard. But we are also going to go ahead and institute his Socialist policies despite the majority of the public being against it.

          The MAJORITY of the public is going to be ignored and the policies will be put in place. Then where will we be? At the mercy of the Liberalist, Socialist agenda? Then told that it’s all been done for our own good and that we can get over it. We’re all gonna be one big happy Country!! Kumbaya!!!!!

          Not as long as I breathe air.

  2. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    USW,

    I guess I should clarify and state that government, IN ANY OF ITS CURRENT FORMS, cannot do what you wish it could do. Perhaps there is some form of organizing free society in a way which would provide the benefits that we with government would provide without all of the detriments. If such an organization exists (other than free men associating freely), I do not think we have even come close to finding it yet.

    I do not know that if we discovered such an organization we could call it “government”, for that would probably be too confusing to the general populace.

    It would be VERY difficult to make huge lists of all of the things that we would want this organization to do, and all of the things we WOULD NOT want this organization to do, but I submit that such a list would be a good place to start. I strongly suspect that the list MOST of us come up with wouldn’t be all that different.

    Once we come up with our lists, we would have to evaluate each item on the “WANT this organization to do this” side of the list and see if there was a way for this hypothetical organization to accomplish that goal without violating our natural rights.

    If there was no way that we could figure out for the organization to accomplish list item A without violating rights, we would have to move it to the other side of the list.

    You see, I am most certainly NOT against all forms of organization. Most people LIKE to be organized in some way, shape or form. However, we have yet to implement the organization which does not limit freedom.

    Also, some people fail to understand that freedom does NOT mean, “I’m free to do what I want any old time!” It does mean I am free to do what I want, provided it does not infringe the freedoms of others.

    • USWeapon says:

      Peter,

      I guess I should clarify and state that government, IN ANY OF ITS CURRENT FORMS, cannot do what you wish it could do. Perhaps there is some form of organizing free society in a way which would provide the benefits that we with government would provide without all of the detriments. If such an organization exists (other than free men associating freely), I do not think we have even come close to finding it yet.

      So then what is your answer? Have you completely raised your black flag as well and decided that the answer is to give up? The issue that I always have with BF’s arguments, and now with yours as presented here, is this:

      You are using the term freedom as defined by you. I like your concept of freedom. It is the ideal. It is what we should strive for. What happens when 50% of the people have a different idea of freedom? You can’t fight them. You can’t change them. Without some form of government, you have no protection from them. Unless we push the world re-set button, some people are going to start with more resources than others. How do we hold them accountable? You just want to grow your food and feed your family. What do you do when those with the resources to hire 1000 free men to take your food show up? You don’t have the resources to stop them, and no amount of empathy is enough that you can quickly raise 1000 men of your own willing to die to protect your food. This is why I constantly challenge BF on the concept of the world that he says can exist. His is a world where survival of the strongest is inevitable. Prove to me that a world without government is capable of not devolving into something resembling the wild west and you have me on BF and your side. Until then, I still believe that at least some government is necessary, and if done right can be good.

      But even your idea of freedom requires cooperation. Can we agree on this point? If we can, we can can proceed with our debate. If we can’t, I am at a dead end with this aspect.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        USW,

        I dislike the terms “require” and “must” because they imply limitations to freedom.

        And no, raising a black flag does not, in any way, imply giving up. If you think that that is the case, you are VERY mistaken.

        You state that if we simply hit the reset button at this point, we will all start out with differing amounts of resources, and we need a mechanism to hold them accountable. That sounds good, but we have to be careful in HOW WE DESIGN the system which holds people accountable.

        If we design the system in such a way that it takes resources by force from the people that have them and gives these resources to people who do not have them, we have not done anything differently.

        There are 2 BIG problems as I see it:

        Problem #1 Resources are not allocated equally to all people to begin with. This is normal and natural.

        Problem #2 Under the system that we have, through the use and perversion of law, some people have been allowed to amass far more resources through legal plunder and unpunished illegal plunder than they could have amassed through means which did not involve violation of other people’s rights. How do we correct this situation without further violating individual rights? I am sure that we can devise a way, but it has to be a way that ensures that in the future, respect for individual rights is paramount.

        There are mechanisms which do not involve force or coercion which will naturally encourage the cooperation of free men in a free society. The defense of individual rights does not automatically imply “every man for himself”.

  3. Chris Devine says:

    USW, even though I think your numbers are a bit exaggerated, I will concede that most of the harm perpetrated by private enterprise is done by a small fraction of companies. However, much like those who comprise the top tier of earners in this country pay a huge percentage of the taxes (and control a similar portion of the wealth thereby using a greater portion of our common resources), the tiny fraction of companies who are horrible corporate citizens actually control a huge percentage of the market. Furthermore, there is a race to the bottom when companies like Wal-Mart force other companies to commit the same abuses in order to remain competitive.

    BTW, as funny as the cartoons you post are, they usually oversimplify the issues. Price gouging, predatory business practices and collusion involve more than just a price tag.

    Just to be clear, I think all human institutions are as inherently flawed as we are individually. That’s why we must cooperate to ensure that they stay on the straight and narrow without hurling us off a cliff.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Chris,

      You have some great ideas and some great points, but at least on one point you start from the wrong place, and therefore reach the wrong conclusion. The reason private corporations wield so much power and influence is that the government allows and even encourages them to exist and wield power and influence.

      “That’s why we must cooperate to ensure that they stay on the straight and narrow without hurling us off a cliff.”

      That I can certainly agree with; however, FORCED cooperation is no longer cooperation. Forced cooperation becomes slavery. However, in a free society (which we do not currently have), you, as a free man, have mechanisms to encourage cooperation which do not involve the use of force. Does this mean that everyone is going to cooperate? Of course not. People already do not always cooperate under the system which we currently have, and no matter what system you choose, there is no system other than absolute dictatorship with 100% enforcement in which you could hope for complete cooperation. Even in that case, you would not get complete cooperation… you would get a percentage of society that would do what you wanted because you were forcing them to and a percentage that wound up in jail because they refused to “cooperate”.

      In order to get true cooperation, you have to convince me that what you want to do is not simply for your benefit, or for the benefit of some nebulous “greater good”, but is of direct benefit to ME PERSONALLY.

    • USWeapon says:

      Chris,

      Oh yes, the cartoons oversimplify for sure, that is part of what makes them funny to me. They aren’t meant to tell a story, they are really there to simply break the monotony of reading 2500 words.

      I see your point about the size of the corporations being an issue. However, I think that when we look at how we got to the situation we are in, it has been government itself that has allowed, enabled, or encouraged that to happen. Let’s take even a smaller business in order to show the point. Given the amount of our individual wealth that is taken in the form of taxes, it is difficult for the average American to save enough money to take a vacation. Want to open your own bar? Liquor licenses can be in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars. That is a small example of government getting in the middle of a transaction between two private entities. I find beer and provide seat and music, you purchase beer and sit and listen. Government makes millions off our transaction.

      In this way it is government that hampers business and further, allows only some companies to grow into mega companies. The giant financial institutions that we see now would not exist without government assistance. Before government interfered, small town banks did the job better and more efficiently.

      I think that this is what gets lost in the debate much of the time. Government is said to be needed to control “Wall Street”. Wall Street in its current form was created BY government. Insistence that government will somehow now control it is like saying someone who has raped 100 children is now ready to safely babysit your kids.

      The race to the bottom comment is interesting. Can you expand on it. What abuses is Wal-Mart guilty of, in your opinion?

      • Chris Devine says:

        I’d say the worst thing Wal-Mart does is selling cheap plastic crap produced in third world sweatshops. People on limited budgets are willing to overlook this because they can buy more ‘stuff.’ Wal-Mart runs businesses into the ground by undercutting them and then raises their own prices once that competition is gone. I”m sure you can find plenty of things to ponder at sites like http://walmartwatch.com

        Feel free to take everything they say with a grain of salt if you must, but you’ll see that the claims they make are pretty well documented. There’s also a few books like In Sam We Trust and How Wal-Mart Is Destroying America. Movies like Wal_Mart, the High Cost of Low Price spell it out pretty well, too. I don’t expect you to believe everything or even agree that some of the things Wal-Mart is accused of are necessarily bad. However, I think you will agree that given Wal-Mart’s massive resources they could doing a whole lot more than just lining the pockets of the Walton family.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          When I lived in a small town in Northwest Colorado, the opening of a huge Walmart in the town was actually a boon to the majority of other businesses in the town, because people from all of the surrounding towns would come to our town to shop at Walmart, and then would patronize the other stores, restaurants, and other local establishments after shopping at Walmart.

          That being said, I do agree with a lot of the things you point out about Walmart Chris.

        • USWeapon says:

          Thanks for answering that Chris. I do condone some of the things that Wal-Mart has done, but only on the smart business side of things. The things that you point out are nto acceptable. I will go and check out the site you recommended when I get home tonight. I am interested in understanding more from your point of view, after all.

        • Chris….do I understand you correctly. Walmart goes into other countries where their government invites them in and fosters the sweatshop mentality. Then Walmart takes those goods, as cheap as they are, and brings them to the United states and sells them under the price of American manufactured goods. Your complaint is that because other countries allow the sweatshop mentality and allows the lower taxes to companies like Walmart, then we, the US should regulate our businesses and not allow this to happen. Before I go on, let me be perfectly clear about one thing…I do not go to Walmart. Period. I do not believe in their policies.

          But it seems that IF you are saying that we should regulate business from participating in lower costs on the backs of the population of another country, then are you going against the very principle of free enterprise? So if Walmart can produce a product, undercut their competition, create a monopoly, then you are against allowing that? Is that not what your VDLG movement supports? No government interference in private enterprise? Or is it that you support government interference when your ox is getting gored? I ask in this manner, because you and BF and others are confusing.

          If we, the US, thinks another country is providing sweatshop labor, then are you advocating some sort of tariff or trade war to level the playing field? IF so, does that not go against your belief that we should not interfere in another sovereign country’s way of life? Leave them alone? Or are you now saying, that sweatshops are an exception to the rule? Is this not against the VDLG movement?

          Are you saying that because there are different economic classes of people and some go to a Walmart or other store that is similar, because they have to and, therefore, it is now ok to level the playing field so that they do not have to go to these stores? Is that not against the VDLG movement of pure freedom of choice? If the answer is ” there is no freedom of choice because the poor do not have the same access to money, therefore, they have no choice “, then I submit that ANY change that is advocated there is also against the VDLG movement you support.

          Any regulation by the government, or any control of resources by the government, or any blockade by the government, or any fiscal punishment by the government should be wrong, according to the VDLG movement…yet I see that it is ok in some instances. I am confused.

        • Alan F. says:

          Wrong-o! Think of it this way. If you’ve ever bought anything based upon PRICE, you have perpetuated the very business model you condone. Picking WallyWorld out is far too simplistic for this bunch and I’d expect such from lesser blogs. It occurs all around you.

          Capacitors are made in countries where their levels of contamination to the factories surrounding environment would make it unacceptable in an ecologically active nation. This occurs throughout the production of electronic base components in Pan-Asia and extends to the finished boards used in every single bit of electronics you see around you. Always start off with this happening in all manner of production fresh in your mind before heading off on this subject.

          Want a 100% made in America iPhone for real? So how many thousands of dollars are you willing to spend and what service contracts are you willing to sign?

          The union mentality in a 100% American made environment is “strike-get paid more-afford more” but forgets that the good manufacturers see “strike-pay out more-raise cost of goods to offset” and back to “strike-get paid more-afford more” you go. The only “out” here is for the government to mandate acceptance to one party or the other under penalty of hostile action of one kind or another. Anyone really want that?

          Comprehend that in order for business to exist, profits need to be realized. Only the government is able to acquire wealth without creating any which is why you’ll always hear of those who don’t GENERATE WEALTH working to steal it from those who do.

  4. The constitution was an implementation of Very Damn Little Government (VDLG) and much individual liberty.

    History has shown that it has snail-paced itself into Too Damn Much Government and little individual liberty.

    The current government is trying to up the snail-pace so that we will shortly have Only Government and no individual liberty.

    The only way to stop it is for the producers to decide that they are not going to be slaves to the non-producing.

    GarthD
    Taking from Peter to pay Paul is immoral and unconstitutional

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      GarthD,

      See #5.

      The Constitution was an ATTEMPT at Very Little Damn Government and much individual liberty, yet we still ended up where we are now….

  5. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I have an easier time telling everyone what government IS by describing to you all what it is NOT.

    First of all, let us stipulate that the intention of the Founding Fathers was to design a system which would provide organization to society and protection of that society while still ensuring that the individuals in that society had individual rights and freedom. This certainly seems to have been their intent, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt here.

    Obviously, this is not what we ended up with, so I surmise that there were flaws in the system. Some of you will say, “Well, if we just went back to what the Founding Fathers INTENDED, that would solve the problem, so we just need to return to the Constitution! The constitution has just been perverted to the extent that it no longer resembles what was originally intended!”

    I submit that this is indicative of at least one of the flaws in the system. There is something in the Constitution, or missing from the Constitution, which allows it to be perverted into what we have now. If this were not the case, we would not HAVE what we have now, right? So, to use my analogy from yesterday, the Founders tried to make a moon rocket, and instead they somehow made and Edsel. An Edsel is still alright I guess, but it won’t do what it was intended to do, which was get to the moon 🙂

    So, what government IS, is a flawed system.

    As far as the argument by Chris that many private companies are now too large and unresponsive to even be affected by consumers:

    Please ask yourself what allowed (and even encouraged) these companies to become the way that they are now? I will give you a big hint: the answer is government. These companies did not become irresponsive and irresponsible mega-corporations IN SPITE OF the government, they became that way BECAUSE OF the government.

    The government has interfered with the normal economic mechanisms which would ensure that companies behave responsibly through tax laws, regulations which discourage competition, and outright subsidies. The bigger these corportations became, the more power they had to lobby the government to enact legislation which was favorable to these mega-corporations.

    I would submit that this is indicative of another flaw in the system. Clearly, the system was not intended to enable companies to become mega-corporations with so much power and influence that they could do whatever they wanted and the consumer be damned! However, this is precisely what we have, so something is wrong with the system.

    So, to those of you that say we need to return to the Constitution, I say, “It looks great on paper, but it doesn’t work in reality.”

    I think we all remember what Ayn Rand says about the phrase, “It looks great on paper but it doesn’t work in reality.” 🙂

    So, am I saying we should scrap the Constitution altogether? Perhaps not. Maybe there is a way to redesign the Edsel for space flight without scrapping the whole design entirely. However, we are going to have to go back to the original design and see where the flaws are that allowed the Edsel to come into being in the first place instead of the moon rocket, and then see if there is a way to fix the flaws so that the moon rocket not only gets built, but works as intended. If the true intent of the Founding Fathers was indeed to provide organization and protection for a free society, then it should be possible to actually create such a thing using elements of their original design with the flaws fixed.

    If it turns out that that was not really their original intent, then fixing the flaws will only build a better Edsel.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Mega-corporations came into existence because they were able to rig the system while nobody was watching. We were too busy fighting over dirty words in rock music. To get rid of those horrible corporate citizens we don’t need to get rid of government. We do need to make it more accountable to us by giving up our petty differences and getting our priorities straight.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        If these mega-corporations were allowed to rig the system while no one was watching, would that not indicate a flaw in the system?

        • Chris Devine says:

          No, it shows how the participants are flawed through their apathy and complacency.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Chris,

            But what allowed the participants to become apathetic and complacent? I believe that what allowed this was the failure of the system to work as intended back when the majority of people actually were active participants! Lack of results, in spite of your best effort, will ensure that you become apathetic and complacent and no longer put forth the effort. I submit that this is precisely what happened.

            • Chris Devine says:

              Didn’t you write an article on this very blog titled, Bread and Circuses? We have been living in relative prosperity for too long and we haven’t been forced (or allowed) to see the repercussions of our actions.

              Let’s just say that if we all had to visit a slaughterhouse or a feedlot at some point we’d either have a lot more vegetarians or more pressure to get back to farms where the animals have names instead of numbers. The same is true in politics. If we were all made to see how dirty it actually is (and not just ‘the other side’) we’d push for change. Instead we get reality TV and cop dramas. If you can’t get justice in your own life you can experience justice vicariously through cop shows. We’re all lazy. Democracy doesn’t come with cruise control or autopilot.

      • USWeapon says:

        Chris,

        Do you really think this is true? Do you really think no one was watching? Is that even plausible? Or did mega corporations come into existence because government wrote the laws in a way that made such a thing possible, and looked the other way when needed.

        I don’t believe for a second that giant mega corporations are a result of mere slight of hand or apathetic consumers not watching.

        • Chris Devine says:

          There’s more to it than people just not paying attention, but if people were paying attention it might not have happened (or not been as bad).

    • Chris Devine says:

      Nothing is wrong with the system. You can’t blame an oil tanker for crashing into the rocks when the captain was drunk at the helm and the crew were too afraid to say something.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        In your example, the captain and crew are not the oil tanker and the oil tanker is not the captain and the crew.

        However, do we not SUPPOSEDLY have a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people? If that is the case, are the people not supposedly the government? If the people are the government, and the government derives its power from the people, yet the government is crashing into the rocks, something IS wrong with they system!!!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        We have 2 possibilities:

        Either there is nothing wrong with the system; therefore the system is working as intended, so everything we currently have was intentional…

        OR

        The system is not working as intended; therefore there are flaws in the system that allow it to work in ways that were not intended.

        • Peter B says: The system is not working as intended; therefore there are flaws in the system that allow it to work in ways that were not intended.

          This is the first thing said, so far, that has made any sense.

        • Chris Devine says:

          There is no perfect system. That’s why the Constitution is considered a living document and why civic participation is an absolute necessity. There is no government that can be devised which is immune from corruption if people don’t stay vigilant.

    • Peter:

      I just sent an email to Simon Properties group for expelling a company from one of its North Carolina malls for selling products that indicate opposition to Obama’s stand on terrorism. I also asked my 401k administrator to sell the approximately 10,000 shares I hold in Simon Properties Group. I will also no longer go to any malls owned by Simon Properties.

      It is Simon’s right to do as they wish, but, I do not have to support them.

      I think that this supports your example of the method to handle improper business practices.

      Soon, the commercial real estate market will come crumbling down and we shall see how many malls they have to close.

      GarthD
      Stand Up for Liberty

      • Chris Devine says:

        What were they selling? Details, please.

        • Bumper stickers that said:

          Al Quaida’s (sp?) Best Days 9/11/01 and 11/04/08

          Impeach Obama

          No Osama, Obama or Chelsea’s Mama

          Obama Wins, they celebrate in Iran, Do you get it?

          Vote Obama, Change Al Quaida can believe in.

          According to the business owner (Loren Spivak), other business owners are selling pro Obama products.

          GarthD
          One of my bumper stickers: A Moral President Does Not Pull Race Card Without Facts

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            In this case, Simon Property Group is clearly engaging in censorship, since they are kicking this vendor out of their mall for selling these bumper stickers.

            However, as a private enterprise, that is their right to determine what they allow and do not allow to be sold on their property.

            We, as consumers, have the right to not go to Simon Malls if we disagree with this policy. We also have the right to boycott Indiana Pacer games (the Simons own the Pacers). Also, I would highly encourage anyone to LET MEL AND HERB SIMON KNOW how you feel about this decision on their part, and let them know that you will no longer be a patron at their malls:

            http://www.simon.com/about%5Fsimon/

        • USWeapon says:

          Chris,

          Here is a link to the story. One of my good friends is a manager in the mall in question Concord Mills Mall in Charlotte). This kiosk was located right near her store. I have been following this story for about a week.

          First a link from a conservative site that echos my frustration with this siutation:
          http://www.charlotteconservative.com/index.php/2009/07/concord-mills-censorship/

          And one from the paper in Charlotte:
          http://www.charlotteobserver.com/244/story/847019.html?storylink=omni_popular

          and one from the web Fox news site:
          http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534989,00.html

          And one from A more liberal news site:

          Oh I forgot none of the liberal media had a story on the conservative kiosk being denied a lease. 😉

          • USW:

            Thanks for the research on this.

            Hope Simon Properties gets what they deserve.

            GarthD
            One Must Always Renounce Immorality

            • They own an outlet store that I shop at; I will no longer stop there and have advised them why they are losing a customer.

              • Kathy:

                Thanks for striking back at immorality

                GarthD
                A Real President Doesn’t Apologize For The USA

          • Chris Devine says:

            This is pretty much a non-issue as far as I can tell. If you don’t want to shop there, that’s fine with me. But seriously, giving air time to something like this is exactly the type of petty partisan bickering I’ve been talking about. I wouldn’t care if the roles were reversed, either (in case you’re wondering).

            This kind of stuff is easily (and frequently) handled by chain emails or word of mouth.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Chris,

              That is the point! This sort of thing IS usually easily handled by chain emails and word of mouth. It doesn’t require government regulation and intervention for us to let Simon Property Group know how we feel about the issue 🙂

              By George, I think you got it!

              • Chris Devine says:

                The reason it doesn’t require the government is because no law was broken.

            • Chris:

              I don’t consider this partisan from my side. The person who wrote in and complained was obviously partisan and did not care about free speech.

              The owners knew what this vendor would be selling and allowed them in. To change their minds based on a partisan complaint is their right but it is
              immoral to me and shows either bias or no backbone.

              It is the little things that turn into larger things.

              Anybody know what the first unconstitutional law, that took from Peter to pay Paul, was and when it was passed.

              GarthD
              Give Me Liberty Not Debt

              • The kiosk was pulled by Simon because the owner of another kiosk. One (1). Was offended by the bumber stickers and other Anti-Obama material and wanted it gone. She said the owner of the kiosk was selling racist items. He did not have one single racist item for sale.

                1 month after they threw the Anti-Obama kiosk out the other kiosk left anyway.

                Seems she made a big deal about nothing and Simon properties backed her up.

                You’re right Chris. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but alas, it was made one by a single proObama liberal racist asshole.

              • Esom:

                “You’re right Chris. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but alas, it was made one by a single proObama liberal racist asshole.”

                I wish you wouldn’t pull your punches.

                You probably think turning the other cheek is correct.

                GarthD
                A Moral President Doesn’t Play The Race Card Without Facts

              • Hey Garth…turning the other cheek only gets that one slapped as well.

              • Chris Devine says:

                I’m pretty sure that’s what Jesus had in mind.

  6. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I feel kinda bad that JAC is missing out on all this fun, but I hope he is having a GREAT vacation!

    🙂

    • I was thinking the same thing….but you are doing an awesome job!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Thanks Kathy,

        I am trying 🙂 I hope that JAC would approve of my efforts!

        I am sure that BF will chime in on what I have been saying at some point today… seems like he is having a busy day elsewhere so far.

      • Black Flag says:

        Peter,

        You’ve been pounding them out over the fence – I couldn’t add much of anything to what you’ve said.

        Chris,

        The government makes big companies – it makes laws onerous on the smaller operator with labor laws, accounting requirements, minimum wage demands, etc.

        The costs of law weighs far heavier on small business – the lawyers and accountants still cost the same per hour no matter the size of the company.

        The more regulation, the larger the corporations in society will become.

  7. As soon as you have more than one individual sharing the same location, and trying to live together, it becomes not individuals, but a community. And the needs of the community is greater than the individual. That is the moment when individual “freedom” or “liberty” becomes invalid. The larger the community, the more complex and diverse needs of the community arise.

    • DaveE:

      The needs of the whole are not more important than the needs of the individual. For the whole is comprised of individuals.

      Peter:

      You will find it next to impossible to reestablish a constitution that would properly allow for a subservient government as long as there are so many with Altruistic views. Would be interesting to see what would happen if a constitutional convention was convened. Could the results be any worse than what is happening now?

      GarthD
      Individual Rights are the Cornerstone of Freedom

      • Chris Devine says:

        But the needs of the group are as important as the needs of any individual in that group. That is why compromise is necessary and unavoidable.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Chris,

          The needs of the group could be said to be as important as the needs of the individual, but the needs of the group can (and will) be met by free men acting freely.

          Dave E.

          Freedom, Liberty, and Individual Rights NEVER EVER become invalid, regardless of the situation. We have unalienable rights, and among these rights are life, liberty, property, the pursuit of hapiness, etc.

          IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION IS, EVERY INDIVIDUAL ALWAYS HAS THESE RIGHTS!

          That is what “unalienable” means!

          • Chris Devine says:

            Why does everybody quote from the DoI as if it were a binding document? I know it’s real inspiring to think of some rights as coming from some supernatural being and that the rights of individuals supersede all others, but as Dave astutely pointed out the second you decide to live among others you must be willing to compromise on a great deal of things. Otherwise go live by yourself in the wilderness.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Chris,

              You are engaging in a fallacy again. The fallacy that you so desperately want to hold onto is that people cannot live together with each other without some form of overarching control of an agency that knows better than the people do.

              The problem with that is that any overarching agency controlling the people is going to be made up of…

              wait…

              hold your breath…

              close your eyes for a minute…

              THAT’S RIGHT! PEOPLE!

              • Chris Devine says:

                There’s 300 million of us living in this country. Without some major planning and organization we are going to have more problems than those caused by any bureaucracy.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Chris,

                I am in no way advocating a complete lack of planning and organization.

      • Chris Devine says:

        You guys really need to read something besides Ayn Rand:

        http://www.cracked.com/funny-304-ayn-rand/

        • I have read others but do not believe in their philosophy.

          By the way, Ayn Rand was not the only one — try “The Law” by Frederic Bastiat (1801 – 1850).

          http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

          From the Section: About the Book and Author

          “When a reviewer wishes to give special recognition to a book, he predicts that it will still be read “a hundred years from now.” The Law, first published as a pamphlet in June, 1850, is already more than a hundred years old. And because its truths are eternal, it will still be read when another century has passed. Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before — and immediately following — the Revolution of February 1848. This was the period when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism. As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism. But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic. The Law is here presented again because the same situation exists in America today as in the France of 1848. The same socialist-communist ideas and plans that were then adopted in France are now sweeping America. The explanations and arguments then advanced against socialism by Mr. Bastiat are — word for word — equally valid today. His ideas deserve a serious hearing.”

          GarthD
          Fight For Individual RIGHTS

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I have to say that “The Law” is a simply fascinating read, and makes a whole darn lot of sense!

            Love it!

      • Sure, any community is composed of individuals. But they have to be able to live together, to function without conflict in order for them to realize the goals of the community. In order for individuals to function together, individual “freedoms” have to be sacrificed.
        For example, let’s imagine a small scale scenario where a small village requires a source of water. To pay for a well and the water distribution system, money has to pay for it, and somehow the community does it through taxes of one form or another. Everyone needs water, each individual surrender some of their personal property to realize that goal.
        As long as people choose to live together, the needs of that community outweigh the needs of the individual. Most of the time there is no conflict, but when it becomes a matter of choosing between the individual or community, the community always wins.

        • Those that want to belong do so.

          My mother-in-law has her own well so does not participate in the county system or pay for its support.

          How does your system work for those who do not – like my mother-in-law – need the community system?

          Fine with me if they form a co-op and get their water as long as those that do not receive any of the benefit are not charged to support those who do benefit. Besides, this can all be put together without the involvement of government. It was in the past and can be in the future.

          The community only wins if it has the power to enforce its will on individuals who do not wish to participate. Call out the cops!! Fine that old woman who tooks steps to control her own life.

          Come to think of it, cut off her water as she is too old and does not need it as much as the family with four kids who have no interest in working but need water.

          GarthD
          Its Time for the Producers to say: GET OFF MY BACK

          • I’m pretty sure your mother-in-law drives, and uses the roads. Imagine if she wanted, for her own happiness, that whe wanted to drive on the left side of the road? This is just one example, but every day we do things because they are in the better interests of the community. In this case, traffic laws apply to everyone.
            My point is, as I have stated, is that whenever people form some kind of community, individual “freedoms” become secondary to the needs of the community.
            It’s nice to have a firm belief in a piece of paper, but your expectations and goals have to be realistic. We all have to obey traffic laws.

            • DaveE:

              Still missing your answer to my question in my last post.

              Changing the example does not answer the question. What about my mother-in-law. How does your system handle her case.

              GarthD
              Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do To You

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              DaveE,

              As we all know, there are plenty of countries in which people drive on the “wrong” side of the road (and they all think that WE drive on the “wrong” side of the road.

              Would it be confusing as hell if one community determined that people should drive on the left side of the road and a neighboring community determined that people should drive on the right side of the road? Could this potentially be unsafe? Sure it could. The question is, which do you prefer, community A and community B working it out between each other and either standardizing it between them or providing appropriate warnings that you must switch sides of the road when leaving community A and entering community B… or would you rather have a big government telling community A and community B that they both HAD TO make laws saying that the right side of the road was the “right” side to drive on?

              For an extreme hypothetical example, let us say that Great Britain was directly on the border of Washington D.C.

              Should Washington D.C. have the authority to tell the British that they are driving on the wrong side of the road and they need to immediately change all of their traffic laws?

            • USWeapon says:

              DaveE,

              Thanks for the set-up on this one. I like that you chose to use this particular traffic law as an example. Do you really think that you need a “law” enforced by government, or is driving on a certain side of the road something that society would do on its own as a matter of common sense. How many people who drive on the wrong side of the road get a ticket? Probably less than get a hearse. Your example is a great example of government not being needed for that one particular “rule”.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          DaveE,

          ” individual “freedoms” have to be sacrificed.”

          Individual freedoms NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE SACRIFICED.

          If you sacrifice your individual freedom, you just agreed to sacrifice your neighbor’s freedom, his neighbor’s freedom, and everyone else’s freedom.

          What you are implying is that people are unable to cooperate absent coercion. What you are implying is that people will not act in a way that will mutually benefit each other without BEING FORCED TO DO SO.

          You may, in fact, actually believe that. If so, you do not believe that cooperation exists, you only believe in coercion and slavery.

          • Wow PeterB, low blow. I am putting forth my opinion, and you state I believe in slavery.

            Really, really low.

            You’re not worth a response.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              DaveE,

              Re-read what I said. I said that IF you believed that people could not cooperate without being FORCED TO DO SO, then you believed in slavery.

              Forced cooperation is NOT cooperation.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              If you took my response in any other way and found it offensive, I sincerely apologize. My point was to get you to think, not to offend you.

            • DaveE:

              After what % of your earnings are forcibly taken by the state would you consider yourself a slave to the State.

              I consider it to be any % that was taken for something that was not constitutionally allowed to the federal government.

              Consider HealthCare – HealthCare is not a RIGHT – this was left to the States and the people.

              Social Security, Medicare and Medicade are unconstitutional. They are not for the common good but for specific groups.

              GarthD
              Taking from Peter to pay Paul is immoral and unconstitutional

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        GarthD,

        I think if a Constitutional Convention were convened now, it might not go as a lot of us hope it would.

        I believe that the people who do not support the basic ideas espoused by the Constitution currently posess enough power and influence that it would subvert the whole process and we would end up with something even farther away from what was originally intended than what we currently have.

        • Peter:

          I agree.

          But what fun to sit back and watch all the parasites try to get a spot on the back of the public dog. Parasite on parasite on parasite. The top dog is a parasite.

          GarthD
          Where in the hell did my water bowl go

    • Bama dad says:

      “What IS government in its current form in America?”

      I’ll throw my two cents in for everyone to tear apart. BTW I didn’t know we had so many closet Spock fans in this group. Spock said “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” which I guess is the same as “the needs of the community is greater than the individual”.
      I was reading a story a while back about self sacrifice and I think it can help me explain how I define government as I see it in its current form. The story was about a young man in an infantry squad in a combat situation. To cut to the chase, a grenade was thrown in amongst the squad and this particular individual by his on free will threw himself on it and sacrificed his life for his comrades. He did it freely for reasons known only to him but I kind of believe he realized the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few. IMO we need to understand he made his decision and was not forced by anyone else. Now how does this relate to government? I submit that if the infantry squad was operated like government exist today, when the grenade was thrown in, to serve the needs of the many the squad (government) would have grabbed one of there number and thrown him on it by force. Is this not what is being done today in the name of the many? I am not saying that we don’t need some form of government, just less. Keep government out of anything that can be done by free enterprise.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Sacrifice is only sacrifice if it is voluntary. If a soldier throws himself on a grenade of his own free will and saves the rest of the squad, he is a hero. If the squad leader forcibly throws a member of the squad on the grenade in order to save the rest of the squad, the squad leader is a murderer. Admittedly, less people may have died or been injured than if the squad leader had done nothing, but he is still a murderer.

        • Well, the squad leader could have jumped on the damn grenade himself couldn’t he? If he wanted less people to die then it’s up to him to make the sacrifice. Not sacrifice another.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “As soon as you have more than one individual sharing the same location, and trying to live together, it becomes not individuals, but a community. And the needs of the community is greater than the individual. That is the moment when individual “freedom” or “liberty” becomes invalid. The larger the community, the more complex and diverse needs of the community arise.”

    This is THE common flaw in reasoning that leads to the sort of system which we currently have.

    There is NO PLACE, NO TIME, AND NO REASON why our unalienable rights ever become invalid. What you are saying is that Natural Law is invalid, which is an impossibility.

    • Natural law? I can give countless examples of where this applies. A wolfpack, a herd of elephants, ants, bees, muskox, name any social animal and the theme is the same. Only in the case of individuals do they enjoy “freedom”, but at the sacrifice of the security of the herd.
      I guess your “unalienable rights” comes from the “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” stated in the US Constitution. What if I got my jollies by shooting people in the back? That’s what makes me happy, so I am entitled to it? NO because my actions are detrimental to the community.

      • DaveE:

        “Natural law? I can give countless examples of where this applies. A wolfpack, a herd of elephants, ants, bees, muskox, name any social animal and the theme is the same. Only in the case of individuals do they enjoy “freedom”, but at the sacrifice of the security of the herd.”

        Animals don’t think – they react. Be as they are if you want but others will THINK.

        GarthD
        The herd of individuals can come together anytime they want to defend their liberty.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        DaveE,

        The reason you are not allowed to get your jollies by shooting people in the back IS NOT BECAUSE IT IS BAD FOR THE COMMUNITY!

        IT IS BECAUSE IT VIOLATES THE NATURAL RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE PERSON YOU ARE SHOOTING!

  9. “As soon as you have more than one individual sharing the same location, and trying to live together, it becomes not individuals, but a community. And the needs of the community is greater than the individual. That is the moment when individual “freedom” or “liberty” becomes invalid. The larger the community, the more complex and diverse needs of the community arise.”

    This is THE common flaw in reasoning that leads to the sort of system which we currently have.

    There is NO PLACE, NO TIME, AND NO REASON why our unalienable rights ever become invalid. What you are saying is that Natural Law is invalid, which is an impossibility.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  10. USWeapon:
    “the best health industry in the world to government”

    Please define the criteria you have used when you made that statement.

    • USWeapon says:

      Where people from your country come when they can’t get fixed there

      😉

      • USWeapon says:

        And that was just a joke Bob. I will provide an answer as soon as I have another free moment.

      • Thats interesting because I know Americans who come over here when they cant get fixed over there.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Yes Bob, I am sure that is the case. I personally know people from Great Britain, Canada, and Germany who have all come here for medical treatment because they could not get it in their own countries.

          In the most extreme case, the woman I know from Germany was told that she had about 3 months to live without a heart transplant, but the waiting list to have the transplant operation done was 2 years, so she came here.

          I also know quite a few people that go to Canada to get their prescription drugs because the drugs are far cheaper in Canada than they are in the US.

          I even know of people that go to Eastern Europe for surgery because they cannot get approval for it from their insurance company here and the surgery is so much less expensive in Eastern Europe.

          Sounds to me like none of the systems are ideal.

          • No system is perfect, the NHS is far from perfect but it has been a great benefit in my life and my families. The US has some of the best specialists in the world and I also know people who have been to the US for treatment. Would it not be better having a system where everyone was able to see a doctor?

            I know what you are getting at with the woman from Germany but cmon, you dont just find human hearts lying on the ground. I cant see a way past that unless the German government want around and had compulsory euthanasia and I think they had their fill of that a few years ago.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              I am not totally sure what the point of my story about the German woman was either. All I KNOW is that in Germany, she was told that she had 3 months to live (she was about 21 years old at the time) and that she would have to wait 2 years for a heart transplant.

              She immediately came here, and within weeks her heart transplant was done.

              All it is is a true story of a person I personally know.

              Take whatever point from it you will.

              • Transplants are a problem no matter where you go, here in the UK they were talking about presumed consent with organ donations, I doubt it will pass though.
                One of my friends was lucky to get a kidney from someone who had been mangled in a car wreck (not lucky for them), but organs only last about 4-6 hours after the person has died.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Bob, as I understand it, the problem was not that there were a lack of hearts available for the transplant, but that all of the transplant surgeons were already booked solid for the next 2 years in the case of my German friend.

              • Chris Devine says:

                If that’s the case you can hardly blame the health care system. Sounds more like bad timing. I’m sure you could find plenty of people everywhere who died because the resources weren’t readily available at the time they were needed. For-profit health care isn’t going to fix that scenario.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                But it did! She had the money to pay for the operation here, and it fixed her problem! She is alive today!

              • I dont know all the circumstances of your friend but usually it is always a lack of organs that cause problems, we have waiting lists here for transplants and it is not the surgery that is the problem its the lack of car accidents and people not carrying donor cards.

                You have 4-6 hours after death to put the organs back into someone else and then sometimes organs are just incompatable anyways. Getting a successful transplant is a rare thing and the moons have to be aligned in your favour. I just cant see how a system could be booked up with transplants when a transplant (especially with a heart) is completely determined by chance and luck (for you not for the donor). Again you have a 4-6 hour window before the heart is useless you cant bung it in the freezer and thaw it out a few months later unfortunately.

    • Black Flag says:

      The problem with that those who promote socialist health care is that when the system collapses (as it must), they will not be the only ones wiped out.

      All their (false) compassion for the suffering of others will have come around to witness the suffering of almost everyone in society -except for the elite.

      But economic nonsense is no barrier to political action. The health plan will go through.

      For the rest of us not part of the elite, time is now to organize your affairs in preparation for a considerable and most probably disastrous drop in health care.

  11. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    What many of us here seek is going to indeed be difficult. We surmise that the INTENT of the system that we currently have was to organize society in such a way that it would revere and protect the individual liberty, rights, and freedom of man.

    We see that that hasn’t worked out so well over the past 230 years or so, but we also see that the original system had some potential.

    So, what we have tasked ourselves with is:

    1. Figure out where things went wrong and try to fix it so the same things don’t go wrong in the future.

    2. Figure out what inequities in resources were naturally caused vs. what inequities in resources were directly or indirectly caused by flaws in the system, and then figure out what, if anything, we can do to correct the “unjust inequities” without creating a system which simply perpetuates further violations of individual rights.

    3. Figure out a way to actually get this system implemented without it becoming a perversion of itself prior to implementation.

    Sounds like a tall order, no?

    • PeterB:

      Look at this site for one idea on how to change things.

      http://www.blowoutcongress.com/?mn=0

      I know this won’t stop the slide but it may put some sandpaper on the slide.

      Can someone give me a name of a Congressman that needs to be kept.

      GarthD
      Looking For Those Special 535 Someones

      • Good site – like the language and the daily to do list. Will forward on.

      • No, I cannot give the name of anyone in Congress that NEEDS to be kept. That would be a rare animal indeed.

    • JayDickB says:

      PeterB – I read all the above comments; good job.

      Devising any “system” to prevent the kind of mess we have today might be impossible. The constitution has flaws that contributed to the mess, but power-hungry politicians are quite adept at finding ways to subvert any system to get/hold/expand power.

      For any system to be durable, it would have to very severely restrict the power of the central government. Seems to me that decentralization for most government functions has enormous benefits. If nothing else, it puts states/localities in competition with one another and allows people to move to a jurisdiction more to their liking.

      Sometimes, I have sympathy with Black Flag’s views that government is inevitably evil. But then I think that we need at least a little government to prevent all-out chaos. So, I guess where I come out is that government is a necessary evil. Hence, my support for VDLG. And, it should be decentralized to the maximum extent possible.

      Central government’s essential functions:

      1. International affairs and defense.
      2. Adjudicate disputes between states.
      3. (Maybe) validate/protect basic individual rights. This may give too much leeway (opportunity for real evil) to the central government. States could handle.

      I can’t think of anything else. Can anyone else?

  12. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    As usual, what we have here is a failure to communicate.

    We still have plenty of people claiming that individual freedom and liberty and natural rights means,

    “I can do whatever I want and to hell with anyone else!”

    That isn’t what it means AT ALL!

    It means you can do whatever the hell you want AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT IMPOSE ON ANYONE ELSE OR VIOLATE THE RIGHTS OF ANYONE ELSE IN ANY WAY!

    So, examples such as “Why can’t I run around shooting people in the back?” and “Why can’t I go joyriding in my neighbor’s car without his permission?” are all invalid. They all involve violating someone else’s rights. So, it is not because these actions are “bad for society” or “bad for the community” that they are against the law, but because they violate the rights of an individual.

    • BF – you gotta be proud of this guy!!! Here it all comes back to “committing violence on a non-violent person” or whatever that quote is of yours that used to get me so PO’d!

      Peter, again, great job. I’m enjoying following along today; it is all making such clear sense to me!

      NOW – how do we move foward?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Kathy,

        Now you have done it! You asked THE BIG QUESTION!!!

        Heehee…

        I presume that USW, JAC, BF, and the rest of us are going to at least ATTEMPT to come up with the answer to that one, but it is going to take some time, because it is critical that we do our best to get the answer right, or the solution will just be as bad or worse than the problem.

        I know it is frustrating to not just be able to say, “Oh, that is easy, we just do XYZ and BAM everything is all better!” I wish that were so, but reality is far more complicated than that.

        Rest assured that we ALL want to move forward AND make sure that forward is where we want it to be, so to speak 🙂

  13. Everyones tends to knock the Constitution as a flawed document. Well of course it is!! It was written by men wasn’t it? Ordinary men with ordinary faults such as everyone in humanity has. But let’s look at a few things.

    First. We the People of the United States. Not “We the GOVERNMENT of the United States, but WE THE PEOPLE!

    The Government did not write this thing the people did. It was written “to form a more perfect union”. If our founders could see what we have become, they would be all for dissolving this union. Because it sucks.

    “Establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Now this last part I guess you could call flawed. Because they didn’t say it in small words a two year old could understand!!!

    Establish Justice – We all need laws to protect the citzenry.

    Insure domestic tranquility – another good thing, and one I’m sure we can all agree with

    “Promote the general welfare” – Ah, a sticky part! For those of you morons who think this justifies welfare, it doesn’t. Hell, welfare was not even supposed to be permanent. It was supposed to be a program to help folks get back on their feet durung the depression. By all rights it should have been stopped during or after WW2. But it was a Progressive Government program. Once started it was fated only to grow.

    “Secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”. – The blessings of Liberty! Been a long time since we’ve seen that stuff!! And them there belssings of liberty are getting smaller and smaller every damn day!

    I submit that the problem is not the Constitution. The problem is the modern GIANORMOUS Government we have running the Nation and the Morons who are happy with this fact.

    • Oh Yeah. If this diatribe offends you, then maybe you NEED to be offended. Personally, it offends me that so many of you out there are ready and willing to let the Federal Government take over your entire lives from cradle to grave. That is not what America was founded for, and it is not what America is supposed to be.

    • Since the Constitution created the Government we have now, or otherwise allowed it to exist, then does not the fact that you find the current Government to be flawed necessarily mean that the Constitution itself is flawed?

      • In fact no. The Government is flawed because the politicians flawed it almost from the day it was made.

        Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        Oh, and the Constitution did not create the Federal Government we have now. Before the War of Northern Aggression we didn’t have the Government we have now. Before Teddy Roosevelt we didn’t have the govt we have now.

        Basically DKII, our govt now does not resemble the one the Constitution set up.

  14. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Cooperation: an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit; joint action.

    I don’t see any indication of force being used here, so why are so many people convinced that force is required in order to ensure that cooperation happens?

  15. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    THE REASON WHY THERE IS SO MUCH CONFUSION WITH SOME OF THESE IDEAS:

    Everyone seems to agree that a fundamental right that everyone has is a right to life.

    So, let’s say for the sake of argument, that your name is Jim, and I have no earthly idea of who you are. You are not me, you are not a member of my family, you are not one of my friends. In fact, you may live 2000 miles away from me. In short, I do not know Jim from Adam.

    Jim happens to be out of a job. He is also a heroin addict. Due to his joblessness and his heroin addiction, he is completely broke. He is homeless, he has no food, he has no idea where he is going to get his next fix, and sadly, that is his biggest concern at the moment, in spite of the fact that he is starving.

    Now, SOME of you would say that since Jim has a basic right to life, I should provide Jim money because he is unemployed, he is a drug addict, and he is starving, and he might well die without my help. In fact, if I don’t give Jim some money, some of you might just authorize the government to take money from me through taxation so that the government could give money to Jim. After all, Jim has a right to live, right?

    First of all, I don’t know Jim. He is not me, he is not a member of my family, he is not one of my friends. I HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE ANYTHING WHATSOEVER FOR JIM! Does this make me an uncaring asshole? NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! I have no responsibility for Jim’s choices, actions, or situation. Jim was a free man and was acting on his own behalf. NO ONE ELSE is responsible for the choices that Jim made. I am NOT violating Jim’s rights by totally ignoring the fact that he exists at all if that is what I choose to do. I might even donate money to a charity that helps people like Jim. If Jim happens to actually live in my area, perhaps he is already getting benefits from the organization that I choose to donate to.

    The important thing to realize is that admitting that you have no responsibility for someone who is not yourself and is not a member of your family does not make you an asshole! I apologize for my continued use of that word which some people will find offensive, but I am really trying to get my point across here!

    The minute that YOU decide that I MUST provide anything for Jim in this scenario, and that if I do NOT voluntarily provide for Jim, you will use the government to FORCE me to provide for Jim, YOU have violated MY rights and YOU have become the (you know what word I am gonna put in here).

    Certain people will use the “false compassion” argument. They will say that the only way to ensure that Jim’s right to life is protected is for the government to tax people and then give some that money to Jim, because his family, his friends, his community, etc. are probably all a bunch of heartless bastards that wouldn’t help him out unless they were forced to. By using this argument, the government convinces us that IT IS OK for them to violate OUR individual rights, because, after all, they are just looking out for JIM’S rights!

    It is alarming how often this false argument works on people.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Well how about Jim’s kid? Jim’s kid did nothing to deserve the scumbag father he’s stuck with. He’s starving because his old man spends all the money he gets on smack. What should we just tell Jim’s kid or anybody else who is suffering through no fault of their own?

      In other words, what about REAL compassion?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        I can CHOOSE whether or not to offer my real compassion to Jim and/or his kid.

        However, if you FORCE me to “help” Jim or Jim’s kid, it is no longer compassion, it is theft.

        This is EXACTLY where the confusion lies. You CANNOT force people to make sacrifices and you CANNOT force people to be compassionate… those have to be choices. If I choose not to help Jim or Jim’s kid, you are free to consider me an a-hole if you wish, but it is still my choice.

        The minute that someone decides that I must be forced to take care of Jim by taking money from me without my consent, then that someone becomes the a-hole.

        In a worst-case scenario, Jim dies and his kid becomes fatherless. I think that we would ALL agree that that is a horrible thing and it is sad. In spite of that, the fact remains that I do not have any responsibility for anything that happened in that situation whatsoever, so logically I cannot be held financially responsible for any of the situation either unless I choose to assume any or all of that responsibility.

        The part where the left gets to accuse the right (incorrectly) of being heartless is the part where I say that it makes no material difference to me whether Jim lives or dies in this situation, and it makes no material difference to me what happens to his son. There, call me heartless.

        The problem is, I AM NOT THE ONE BEING HEARTLESS! It is Jim himself, Jim’s family, Jim’s friends, and anyone else who was directly affected by the situation that should have had the heart to help Jim, not me.

        If I had been Jim, or one of Jim’s family members, or one of Jim’s friends, or even an associate of Jim’s from church, previous work, or whatever, you bet I would have done what I could have to help Jim.

        If no one that was actually connected to the situation helped Jim in any way, why does that suddenly become my fault or my problem?

        • JayDickB says:

          PeterB

          1. You are a Heartless Libertarian and I agree with you.

          2. “Asshole” is a perfectly good word. I use it often.

        • Peter:

          “In a worst-case scenario, Jim dies and his kid becomes fatherless. I think that we would ALL agree that that is a horrible thing and it is sad.”

          When Jim died it was a blessing to Jim’s kid. There is now some chance that the son will not be visted with all the sins of the father. There is a better chance that someone in the family or a different family will be willing to take a chance on helping the kid. Easy to ignore a scumbag with a kid but not so easy to ignore a homeless child.

          “The problem is, I AM NOT THE ONE BEING HEARTLESS! It is Jim himself, Jim’s family, Jim’s friends, and anyone else who was directly affected by the situation that should have had the heart to help Jim, not me.”

          Now, now Peter it sounds like you are making a moral judgement against Jim’s family, Jim’s friends, and anyone else affected by using the word should rather than might. They have the same right as you not to get involved.

          GarthD
          It is immoral to force others

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I suppose you are right, although I could have said “must” instead of “should”. Must implies no choice at all. Should at least still gives an option.

      • I wonder what would happen if, say, instead of a 30% tax on your income, the government simply mandated that you donate 30% of your income to the charities/services of your choice. People still get helped, you choose to pay for what you want. Probably would be massive fraud and corruption, but we have that anyway do we not?

  16. What Government IS????????

    Come ON, usw, no one can tell you THAT!

    Here is what government is NOT . . . or rather what government SHOULD NOT BE TO THE INDIVIDUAL!

    1. Government should not be your babysitter from the cradle to the grave. If that is what you want it to be, then you have a serious mental problem.

    2. Government should not be your entitlement teat. If that is what you want, see #1 above.

    3. Government should not be the dictator of your thoughts. Again see #1 above.

    4. Government should not be your “American Idol”. I will not repeat myself on every line – you should get the picture by now.

    5. Government should not be in your wallet. If we wish to support our government financially it should be a minimal contribution that the overwhelming majority should agree on by the process of a national vote.

    6. Government should not be in your bedroom. I refer you to #1.

    By now any reasonable individual who is reading this can figure out that I do not like the thought police idea of hate crimes, the money police idea of high taxes on anything and everything from soup to nuts, or government run welfare programs ad infinitum!

    All this talk of what is or is not the responsibility of government is utterly useless!

    Here is my final statement on this subject – well maybe not forever, but for now it is – GOVERNMENT IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE WHO ARE GOVERNED BY THAT GOVERNMENT!

    If you cannot understand that statement, well then I suggest that you go back to #1 and read all of it all over again!

  17. Judy S. says:

    Hi All

    Got this emailed to me, thought maybe you all would be interested in reading it.

    Hope everyone’s day is going great.

    Judy

    ________________________________________________________________-
    Having practiced medicine for 49 years, knowing how devious and vindictive governmental agencies are, Dr. Rodos should be awarded a medal for supreme courage for stepping out and declaring what so many of us know, but do not know how to correct.

    Fuller Royal, MD, HMD

    J. J. Rodos DO,DSc.,FAANP,FRSH,DABPM,DABFE

    Clinical Professor of Behavioral Medicine

    Midwestern University

    Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Social Medicine

    Ohio University

    20320 S Crawford Ave

    Matteson, IL 60443

    708-748-6000

    545 vs 300,000,000

    EVERY CITIZEN NEEDS TO READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS JOURNALIST HAS SCRIPTED IN THIS MESSAGE. READ IT AND THEN REALLY THINK ABOUT OUR CURRENT POLITICAL DEBACLE.

    Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.

    545 PEOPLE

    By Charlie Reese

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them..

    Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

    You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does.

    You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

    You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

    You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

    You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

    I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

    I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

    Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

    It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red ..

    If the Army &Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they want them in IRAQ

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

    Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

    They, and they alone, have the power.

    They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

    Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

    We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

    Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

    What you do with this article now that you have read it……….. Is up to you.

    This might be funny if it weren’t so darned true.

    Be sure to read all the way to the end:

    Tax his land,

    Tax his bed,

    Tax the table

    At which he’s fed.

    Tax his tractor,

    Tax his mule,

    Teach him taxes

    Are the rule.

    Tax his work,

    Tax his pay,

    He works for peanuts

    Anyway!

    Tax his cow,

    Tax his goat,

    Tax his pants,

    Tax his coat.

    Tax his ties,

    Tax his shirt,

    Tax his work,

    Tax his dirt.

    Tax his tobacco,

    Tax his drink,

    Tax him if he

    Tries to think.

    Tax his cigars,

    Tax his beers,

    If he cries

    Tax his tears.

    Tax his car,

    Tax his gas,

    Find other ways

    To tax his ass.

    Tax all he has

    Then let him know

    That you won’t be done

    Till he has no dough.

    When he screams and hollers;

    Then tax him some more,

    Tax him till

    He’s good and sore.

    Then tax his coffin,

    Tax his grave,

    Tax the sod in

    Which he’s laid.

    Put these words

    Upon his tomb,

    Taxes drove me

    to my doom…’

    When he’s gone,

    Do not relax,

    Its time to apply

    The inheritance tax.

    Accounts Receivable Tax

    Building Permit Tax

    CDL license Tax

    Cigarette Tax

    Corporate Income Tax

    Dog License Tax

    Excise Taxes

    Federal Income Tax

    Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)

    Fishing License Tax

    Food License Tax

    Fuel Permit Tax

    Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)

    Gross Receipts Tax

    Hunting License Tax

    Inheritance Tax

    Inventory Tax

    IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

    Liquor Tax

    Luxury Taxes

    Marriage License Tax

    Medicare Tax

    Personal Property Tax

    Property Tax

    Real Estate Tax

    Service Charge T ax

    Social Security Tax

    Road Usage Tax

    Sales Tax

    Recreational Vehicle Tax

    School Tax

    State Income Tax

    State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)

    Telephone Federal Excise Tax

    Telephone Federal Universal Ser vice FeeTax

    Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes

    Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge=2 0Tax

    Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax

    Telephone State and Local Tax

    Telephone Usage Charge Tax

    Utility Taxes

    Vehicle License Registration Tax

    Vehicle Sales Tax

    Watercraft Registration Tax

    Well Permit Tax

    Workers Compensation Tax

    STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

    What in the hell happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

    And I still have to ‘press 1’ for English!?

    I hope this goes around THE USA at least 100 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!

    GO AHEAD – – – BE AN AMERICAN!!!

    • papadawg says:

      “What in the hell happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’”

      No.

      Spell “A-P-A-T-H-Y” then spell “L-A-W-Y-E-R-S” then spell “P-O-L-I-T-I-C-I-A-N”

      Put them altogether and you have an apathetic lawyer who became a politician . . . BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA!

      • Chris Devine says:

        Apathetic? Really?

        I’ll buy the ‘lawyer’ and ‘politician’ parts, but ‘apathetic,’ nope.

        • papadawg says:

          Sorry bout that . . . it should have read P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C P-O-L-I-T-I-C-A-N = BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.

          Happy now?

          • I’m not sure personal insults of that level are really productive, actually.

            • papadawg says:

              Please do not confuse personal insults with blatant facts. Barack Hussein Obama IS a pathetic lawyer that turned into a politician.

    • Chris Devine says:

      Do you know when that Charley Reese article was written? During the Reagan administration.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Chris,

        I can well believe that. It applied to the situation VERY well back then, and it applies to the current situation VERY WELL today also, don’t you agree?

      • USWeapon says:

        Yes, I would say that it applies to government regardless of what administration over the last 50 years we are talking about.

  18. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Sadly, what we must all realize is that there are plenty of people… even ones living in this country right now… that believe that the concepts of Liberty, Freedom, and Individual Rights are a boatload of crap that needs to be disposed of as hazardous waste lest it become fertilizer for ideas.

  19. Kristian Stout says:

    I am probably going to get skewered for this but here goes anyway:

    We all live our lives on a daily basis with little to no interference from the “Government”. We go to work, we eat, we sleep and we play without giving a thought to the governemnt until they do something that affects our lives personally. They seem to be doing a lot of that lately. I think that VDLG is better than no government and this is what I think VDLG should look like.

    No more social programs. IE; Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    Government should be for nothing more than maintaining the military and national security. Income tax should be reduced to cover only this.

    As for Fire and Police, these should be maintained by the states. This would require a state tax to cover these services but it be for these services only. Communities would be responsible for education and the more citizens that can home school the better.

    This is basic and probably doesn’t address all of the issues but I think that a lot of the “issues” that we are faced with these days are manufactured issues to begin with and do not warrant the “crisis” label they have been given.

    Ok, there it is. Tear it apart that’s ok, I read this post earlier this morning and I have been giving this a lot of thought. I don’t know how to make it simpler.

    • Good assessment, and I refer you to #16 above. I happen to agree with you, but I can say with a definite certainty that BF and Chris will not.

      Hang in there and don’t give in!

    • It’s a start. But you’ll always have people who don’t want to pay for some things you listed, and others that think that everyone should pay for others you haven’t listed.

      If I can protect myself and my family, do I really need police services? Should I still have to pay for them?

      If I live in a brick home and keep no flammable materials around, and can put out small fires on my own should I be paying the same for fire services as one who lives in a wooden home filled with highly flammable insulation who routinely leaves the kitchen burners on and throws lit cigarette buts in the trash?

      If I support the idea of national defense for border security, should I be forced to pay for hundreds of military bases maintained outside our borders, or for wars that have little to do with national security?

      I think that there are solutions for these problems that do not involve coercion, but they are not simple ones, and once you open the door for one thing you tend to let in several others at the same time.

    • Judy S. says:

      So, are you saying that people should not pay into social security, medicare and medicaid. What about when you retire, are you not suppose to collect social security, or receive medicare? Isn’t that what medicare is for, for when and if you need their services.

      I don’t quite understand what you are saying there Kristian. If and when a person retires, how are they going to live then.
      Maybe I’m on the dunce side here, I don’t know, maybe you can explain better.

      My mother receives social security, and medicare after working 30 years at her job, now she will be 87 next month, and if they do away with what you said, how will she survive?

      Judy

      • In theory, the money that was paid into social security and medicare would’ve been put into a locked box that would then be available to the individual upon retirement.

        In reality, that money was stolen for other programs and does not actually exist, and cannot be paid without first taking more money from others.

        In a perfect world, such programs would never have existed, and your mother would’ve been setting aside what was paid into social security and medicare into her own savings accounts/investments, so that the money would actually be there upon retirement.

        Which brings up another point, the whole idea of retirement is somewhat of a fallacy. There is no right to retire at age 65. You retire when you feel like you have enough money to support yourself for the remainder of your lifespan. If you save more, you can retire earlier. If the average lifespan is increasing, people will need to retire later or save more.

        Perhaps someone could set up a charity that takes donations to take care of the elderly funded mostly by young working couples with few expenses, and that would have the same net effect as the current social security system. Such a charity might already exist, or have more publicity, if the expectation that the government would take care of anything wasn’t already there.

        • Judy S. says:

          Well, the problem is, my mother has Dementia, and lives with us, and as far back as I can remember, she never, ever took care of a checkbook, my dad always done that, and he died 11 years ago. Now it’s my sister who takes care of all the bills because she and my mother have a joint checking account, and my mother never knew how to even write a check.

          She depended way too much on my dad for everything, including paying the bills, and anything else that had to do with the house. It’s sad really that she never knew how to do any of these things. Now,she can’t remember what you told her 5 minutes ago. See, that’s where Medicare and her insurance comes in handy, they would pay for her to go into a home, but not for senior day care.Me and my sister can not afford that, because they charge any where from $500.00 to $700.00 a week, and we swore we would never, ever put her in a home unless we really really have to.

          It’s not that her memory is totally lost, just short term. She knows who everybody is, just can’t remember what you tell her. But she has one hell of a long term memory from years ago.

          • Judy:

            Prepare for that spanking for the thing you did that you think she forgot about.

            GarthD
            Spare The Rod – Spoil The Child

            • Judy S. says:

              You’re Funny. My mother never spanked any of us kids, and believe it or not, neither did my dad.

              My dad used to get the crap beat out of him on a daily basis from his mother, only because she used to get beat all the time, and she thought that’s how you raised kids. Of course we’re talking back in the 20’s and 30’s here too.

              • Judy:

                Have you asked your mother whether she wants to go into a home? Sometimes they want to but don’t want to tell their caretakers.

                I know she does not remember what you say but she just might answer in the future when it become long-term memory.

                GarthD
                Thanks for the memories

              • Judy S. says:

                Yes, we did, and she’s afraid that we are going to abandon her, and she will never see us again.

                When she came to live with us 10 months ago, she looked like death warmed over. Now she has color to her, and she is a little more active, because we make her. Before, she was home alone all day while my sister was at work. She would call her about 30 times a day, to make sure she was still at work, and to make sure she was coming home. All my mom did everyday, was smoke like there was no tomorrow, and lay around and sleep. She doesn’t so that anymore, because I bring her to work with me here at the lab, and she even looks forward to getting out of the house everyday.

                This past weekend we went to a pow Wow, and she really enjoyed herself.
                we go out to dinner at least once a week, and she really enjoys doing that.
                Fuuny thing is, is that when she lived with my sister, she never wanted to go anywhere, strange isn’t it.

      • Kristian Stout says:

        Judy,

        That’s what savings accounts and 401k’s are for. You shouldn’t need the government to retire. More later.

        • Judy S. says:

          Kind of late for my mother now, isn’t it. They didn’t have 401K’s back then, and as for a savings account, my parents didn’t make that much to be able to put away into a savings account.They were lucky they had enough to get by on then. You know, living from week to week, making sure everything was paid, and if you were lucky, one of us kids maybe got a new pair of shoes, or we got to go somewhere special when my dad was home. Mom didn’t know how to drive, and dad was on the road for 3 to 4 , maybe 5 days a week. He drove for Greyhound Bus Lines, and wasn’t home for very long.

          • USWeapon says:

            Judy,

            I don’t think anyone would be looking to cancel your mother’s social security, or even yours. Hers is already paid for by her. You are well into paying for yours. You both deserve it. Elimination of social services such as this would, in my opinion, be something that starts with a new generation who hasn’t yet paid in.

            If I haven’t said so before, I admire that you are taking care of your mom the way that you do. I know personally how hard it can be.

            • Judy S. says:

              Thank you Usw, I guess maybe I might have misunderstood what Kristian was talking about. I thought she was saying something like eliminating it ASAP.

              Yes, taking care of my mother can be trying at times, but my sister did it for 10 years after my dad died. Since she has Dementia now, not a severe case, but enough not to be left alone, anyway, we made the arrangement to have her come live with us, so she isn’t all by herself all day long.

              Since I work with my husband and brother in law, there isn’t any problems. Even our clients know why she’s down there with me everyday, and it doesn’t bother them in the least.

              Thank you for you kind words USW, I do appreciate it more than you know. It’s nice to hear.

              Since my sister took care of her for so long, I figured it was my turn now. Hey, at least now my sister doesn’t have to worry about our mother being left alone all day.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Judy,

        In a free-market economy where Social Security and Medicare did not exist, it would be the responsibility of the individual to save money for medical insurance after retirement, and spending money after retirement.

        This is what some people THINK that the government is doing with social security and medicare… forcing people to save money for health insurance and spending money for after they retire.

        This is not the case however, as the money which is supposedly for these programs goes into the general fund, where it can be spent on anything.

        One of the things which your money which you are currently “putting into” social security and medicare is currently going to is that it is PAYING THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CURRENTLY RETIRED!

        So, YOUR money is not going into some government-sponsored savings account with your name on it that is earning interest for you and is going to provide you with spending money and medical insurance when you retire… it is going TO PAY SOMEONE ELSE WHO IS ALREADY RETIRED! Alternatively, it may be going to line the coffers of some 3rd world dictator who the US is financially supporting. It could be going to just about anything.

        The reality is, since the government consistently spends far more than it takes in in revenue, the money you are paying into these “systems” is really just being swallowed up by a black hole and disappearing.

        This is theft.

        If the government passed a law stating that you manditorily HAD TO invest $5,000 per year into a retirement account starting at age 25 and only ending when you retire, you would have plenty of money to cover all of your expenses at retirement, including medical, and the government would not have to collect social security or medicare tax from anyone.

        Of course, that will never happen….

    • Kristian:

      Too late in the day to take this on now. In USW’s article he said we will take this on soon. I am sure he is also planning on taking this on piece-meal.

      GarthD
      The Sun Shall Also Rise Tomorrow — If Not, We Will Not Be Around To Care

    • Kristian:

      “The Skewering of Kristian Stout”

      A great title for the subject. Your name could go down in history.

      GarthD
      A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

      • Kristian Stout says:

        Garth,

        I didn’t get skewered nearly as badly as I thought that I would,but then the day is still young! Thanks for the rose by any other name, that was sweet and it will soften the blow when I do get skewered.

        Judy,

        I did not mean that the elimination of those social programs should start asap, that would cause more problems than it’s worth. I think that when this government eventually fails that what we put in place of it should resemble what I described above. I’ve always felt that the simpler you keep things the less chance there is for something to screw up. You know, apply the KISS method to life and more specifically government, Keep It Simple Stupid.

        Do you remember the show The Walton’s? I do and it seems to me that worry about our elders would be eliminated because they would live with us the way that grandma and grandpa Walton did. It shouldn’t even be a question. What you are doing with your mother is what all children should be doing with their parents. I am in the same boat more or less but it’s my sister in law. I could put her in a home but that wouldn’t benefit anyone but me. She’s my family and family takes care of family, at least that’s how it should be.

  20. I am sorry to change the subject but this was such an amazing article that I had to share it…

    Martial Law and the Militarization of Public Health: The Worldwide H1N1 Flu Vaccination Program
    Michel Chossudovsky
    Global Research
    July 30, 2009

    People are misled on the nature and history of the New World Order.

    “The flu season is upon us. Which type will we worry about this year, and what kind of shots will we be told to take? Remember the swine flu scare of 1976? That was the year the U.S. government told us all that swine flu could turn out to be a killer that could spread across the nation, and Washington decided that every man, woman and child in the nation should get a shot to prevent a nation-wide outbreak, a pandemic.” (Mike Wallace, CBS, 60 Minutes, November 4, 1979)

    “The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children. According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children….

    “It’s hard to calculate the damage to our country — and to the international efforts to eradicate epidemic diseases — if Third World nations come to believe that America’s most heralded foreign-aid initiative is poisoning their children. It’s not difficult to predict how this scenario will be interpreted by America’s enemies abroad.” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Vaccinations: Deadly Immunity, June 2005)

    “Vaccines are supposed to be making us healthier; however, in twenty-five years of nursing I have never seen so many damaged, sick kids. Something very, very wrong is happening to our children.”( Patti White, School nurse, statement to the House Government Reform Committee, 1999, quoted in Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Vaccinations: Deadly Immunity, June 2005)

    “On the basis of … expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic have been met. I have therefore decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from Phase 5 to Phase 6. The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic. … Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), Press Briefing 11 June 2009)

    “As many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009)

    “Swine flu could strike up to 40 percent of Americans over the next two years and as many as several hundred thousand could die if a vaccine campaign and other measures aren’t successful.” (Official Statement of the US Administration, Associated Press, 24 July 2009).

    “The U.S. expects to have 160 million doses of swine flu vaccine available sometime in October”, (Associated Press, 23 July 2009)

    “Vaccine makers could produce 4.9 billion pandemic flu shots per year in the best-case scenario”, Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), quoted by Reuters, 21 July 2009)

    Wealthier countries such as the U.S. and Britain will pay just under $10 per dose [of the H1N1 flu vaccine]. … Developing countries will pay a lower price.” [circa $400 billion for Big Pharma] (Business Week, July 2009)

    War without borders, a great depression, a military adventure in the Middle East, a massive concentration of wealth resulting from the restructuring of the global financial system.

    The unfolding economic and social dislocations are far-reaching.

    People’s lives are destroyed.

    The World is at the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.

    Bankruptcies, mass unemployment, the collapse of social programs, are the untold consequences.

    But public opinion must remain ignorant of the causes of the global crisis.

    “The worst of the recession is behind us”;

    “There are growing signs of economic recovery”,

    “The Middle East War is a ‘Just War’”, a humanitarian endeavor,

    Coalition forces are involved in “peace-keeping,” we are “fighting terrorism with democracy”

    “We must defend ourselves against terrorist attacks”

    Figures on civilian deaths are manipulated. War crimes are concealed.

    People are misled on the nature and history of the New World Order.

    The real causes and consequences of this Worldwide economic and social collapse remain unheralded. Realities are turned up side down. The “real crisis” must be obfuscated through political lies and media disinformation.

    It is in the interest of the political powerbrokers and the dominant financial actors to divert public attention from an understanding of the global crisis.

    How best to achieve this goal?

    By artificially creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation which serves to weaken and disarm organized dissent directed against the established economic and political order.

    The objective is to undermine all forms of opposition and social resistance.

    We are dealing with a diabolical project. The public must not only remain in the dark. As the crisis worsens, as people become impoverished, the real causes must be replaced by a set of fictitious relationships.

    A crisis based on fake causes is heralded: “the global war on terrorism” is central to misleading the public’s understanding of the Middle East War, which is a battle for the control over extensive reserves of oil and natural gas.

    The antiwar movement is weakened. People are unable to think. They unequivocally endorse the “war on terrorism” consensus. They accept the political lies. In their inner consciousness, terrorists are threatening their livelihood.

    In this framework, the occurrence of “natural disasters”, “pandemics”, “environmental catastrophes” also plays a useful political role. It distorts the real causes of the crisis. It justifies a global public health emergency on humanitarian grounds.

    The Worldwide H1N1 swine flu pandemic: Towards a Global Public Health Emergency?

    The Worldwide H1N1 swine flu pandemic serves to mislead public opinion.

    The 2009 pandemic, which started in Mexico in April, is timely: it coincides with a deepening economic depression. It takes place at a time of military escalation.

    The epidemiological data is fabricated, falsified and manipulated. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an epidemic of worldwide proportions now looms and threatens the livelihood of millions of people.

    A “Catastrophic Emergency” is in the making. The WHO and the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) are authoritative bodies. Why would they lie? The information released by these organizations, although subject to statistical errors, could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be falsified or manipulated.

    People believe that the public health crisis at a global level is real and that government health officials are “working for the public good.”

    Press reports confirm the US government’s intent to implement a mass H1N1 vaccination program in Fall-Winter of 2009. A major contract for 160 million doses has been established with Big Pharma, enough to inoculate more than half the US population. Similar plans are ongoing in other Western countries including France, Canada, the UK.

    Volunteers are being recruited to test the swine flu vaccine during the month of August, with a view to implementing a nationwide vaccination program in the Fall.

    Manipulating The Data

    There is ample evidence, documented in numerous reports, that the WHO’s level 6 pandemic alert is based on fabricated evidence and a manipulation of the figures on mortality and morbidity resulting from the N1H1 swine flu.

    The data initially used to justify the WHO’s Worldwide level 5 alert in April 2009 was extremely scanty. The WHO asserted without evidence that a “global outbreak of the disease is imminent”. It distorted Mexico’s mortality data pertaining to the swine flu pandemic. According to the WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan in her official April 29 statement: “So far, 176 people have been killed in Mexico”. From what? Where does she get these numbers? 159 died from influenza out of which only seven deaths, corroborated by lab analysis, resulted from the H1N1 swine flu strain, according to the Mexican Ministry of Health.

    Similarly in New York city in April, several hundred children were categorized as having the H1N1 influenza, yet in none of these cases, was the diagnosis corroborated on a laboratory test.

    “Dr. Frieden said. Health officials reached their preliminary conclusion after conducting viral tests on nose or throat swabs from the eight students, which allowed them to eliminate other strains of flu.”

    Tests were conducted on school children in Queen’s, but the tests were inconclusive: among theses “hundreds of school children”, there were no reports of laboratory analysis leading to a positive identification of the influenza virus. In fact the reports are contradictory: according to the reports, the Atlanta based CDCP is the “only lab in the country that can positively confirm the new swine flu strain — which has been identified as H1N1.” (Michel Chossudovsky, Political Lies and Media Disinformation regarding the Swine Flu Pandemic, Global Research, May 2009, last quotation is from the New York Times, April 25, 2009)

    Influenza is a common disease. Unless there is a thorough lab examination, the identity if the virus cannot be established.

    There are numerous cases of seasonal influenza across America, on an annual basis. “According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the flu kills up to 2,500 Canadians and about 36,000 Americans annually. Worldwide, the number of deaths attributed to the flu each year is between 250,000 and 500,000″ (Thomas Walkom, The Toronto Star, May 1, 2009).

    What the CDCP and the WHO are doing is routinely us re-categorizing a large number of cases of common influenza as H1N1 swine flu.

    “The increasing number of cases in many countries with sustained community transmission is making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for countries to try and confirm them through laboratory testing. Moreover, the counting of individual cases is now no longer essential in such countries for monitoring either the level or nature of the risk posed by the pandemic virus or to guide implementation of the most appropriate response measures. (WHO, Briefing note, 2009)

    The WHO admits that at a country level laboratory testing is often absent, while emphasising that lab confirmation it is not required for data collection, with a view to ascertaining the spread of the disease:

    A strategy that concentrates on the detection, laboratory confirmation and investigation of all cases, including those with mild illness, is extremely resource-intensive. In some countries, this strategy is absorbing most national laboratory and response capacity, leaving little capacity for the monitoring and investigation of severe cases and other exceptional events. … For all of these reasons, WHO will no longer issue the global tables showing the numbers of confirmed cases for all countries. However, as part of continued efforts to document the global spread of the H1N1 pandemic, regular updates will be provided describing the situation in the newly affected countries. WHO will continue to request that these countries report the first confirmed cases and, as far as feasible, provide weekly aggregated case numbers and descriptive epidemiology of the early cases. (Ibid)

    At a June 2009 WHO press conference, the issue of lab testing was raised:

    Marion Falco, CNN Atlanta: My question may be a little basic but if you are not, and so forgive me for that, if you are not requiring testing in the countries that already have well established numbers of cases, then how are you distinguishing between seasonal flu and this particular flu. I mean how are you going to separate the numbers?

    Dr Fukuda, WHO, Geneva: It is not that we are recommending not doing any testing at all. In fact when the guidance comes out, what it will suggest is what countries are to do is tailor down their testing so that they are not trying to test everybody but certainly keeping up testing of some people for exactly the kinds of reasons that you bring up. When people get sick with an influenza-like illness it will be important for us to know whether is it caused by the pandemic virus or whether is caused by seasonal viruses. What we are indicating is that if you ratchet down the level of testing we will still be able to figure that out and so we do not need to test everybody for that, but we will continue to recommend some level of testing – at a lower level of people who continue to get sick. See Transcript of WHO Virtual Press Conference, Dr Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment, WHO, Geneva, July 2009, emphasis added).

    “Figure that out”? What the foregoing statements by the WHO suggest is that:

    1) the WHO is not collecting data on the spread of H1N1 based on systematic lab confirmation.

    2) the WHO in fact discourages national health officials to conduct detection and laboratory confirmation, while also pressuring the countries’ public health authorities to duly deliver to the WHO on a weekly basis the data on H1N1 cases.

    3) The WHO in its reporting only refers to “confirmed cases” It does not distinguish between confirmed and non-confirmed case. It would appear that the “non-confirmed” cases are categorized as confirmed cases and the numbers are then used by the WHO to prove that the disease is spreading. (See WHO tables: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_07_06/en/index.html)

    The swine flu has the same symptoms as seasonal influenza: fever, cough and sore throat. What is happening is that the widespread incidence of the common flu is being used to generate the reports delivered to the WHO pertaining to the H1N1 swine flu. Nonetheless, in the tabulated release of country level data, the WHO uses the term: “number of laboratory-confirmed cases”, while also admitting that the cases are, in many cases, not confirmed.

    Worldwide Pandemic

    The WHO establishes trends on the spread of the disease, essentially using unconfirmed data. Based on these extrapolations, the WHO is now claiming, in the absence of laboratory confirmation, that “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” In turn, in the US, the Atlanta based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that “swine flu could strike up to 40 percent of Americans over the next two years and as many as several hundred thousand could die if a vaccine campaign and other measures aren’t successful.” (AP, July 24, 2009).

    How did they come up with these numbers?

    The CDC estimate has nothing to do with an assessment of the spread of the H1N1 virus. It is based on a mechanical pro-rata extrapolation of trends underlying the 1957 pandemic, which resulted in 70,000 deaths in the US. The presumption here is that the H1N1 flu has the “same transmission path” as the 1957 epidemic.

    Creating a Crisis where there is No Crisis

    The underlying political intent is to use the WHO level six pandemic to divert public attention from an impending and far-reaching social crisis, which is largely the consequence of a deep-seated global economic depression.

    On the basis of … expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic have been met. I have therefore decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from Phase 5 to Phase 6. The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic. … Calling a pandemic is also a signal to the international community. This is a time where the world’s countries, rich or poor, big or small, must come together in the name of global solidarity to make sure that no countries because of poor resources, no countries’ people should be left behind without help. …The World Health Organization has been in contact with donor communities, development partners, resource poor countries, and also drug companies as well as vaccine companies. Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), Press Briefing, 11 June 2009

    How best to tame the Nation’s citizens, to rein in people’s resentment in the face of mounting unemployment?

    Create a Worldwide pandemic, instil an atmosphere of anxiety and intimidation, which demobilizes meaningful and organized public action against the programmed enrichment of a social minority. The flu pandemic is used to foreclose organized resistance against the government’s economic policies in support of the financial elites. It provides both a pretext and a justification to adopt emergency procedures. Under the existing legislation in the US, Martial Law, implying the suspension of constitutional government, could be invoked in the case of “A Catastrophic Emergency” including a the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

    Martial Law

    Legislation inherited from the Clinton administration, not to mention the post 9/11 Patriot Acts I and II, allow the military to intervene in judicial and civilian law enforcement activities. In 1996, legislation was passed which allowed the military to intervene in the case of a national emergency. In 1999, Clinton’s Defense Authorization Act (DAA) extended those powers (under the 1996 legislation) by creating an “exception” to the Posse Comitatus Act, which permits the military to be involved in civilian affairs “regardless of whether there is an emergency”. (See ACLU at http://www.aclu.org/NationalSecurity/NationalSecurity.cfm?ID=8683&c=24 )

    The issue of a pandemic or public health emergency , however, was not explicitly outlined in the Clinton era legislation.

    The Katrina disaster (2005) constitutes a dividing line, a watershed leading de facto to the militarization of emergency relief:

    “The disaster that struck New Orleans and the southern Gulf Coast has given rise to the largest military mobilization in modern history on US soil. Nearly 65,000 US military personnel are now deployed in disaster area, transforming the devastated port city into a war zone,” (Bill Van Auken, Wsws.org, September 2005).

    Hurricanes Katrina (August 2005) and Rita (September 2005) contributed to justifying the role of the Military in natural disasters. They also contributed to shaping the formulation of presidential directives and subsequent legislation. President Bush called for the Military to become the “lead agency” in disaster relief:

    “…..The other question, of course, I asked, was, is there a circumstance in which the Department of Defense becomes the lead agency. Clearly, in the case of a terrorist attack, that would be the case, but is there a natural disaster which — of a certain size that would then enable the Defense Department to become the lead agency in coordinating and leading the response effort. That’s going to be a very important consideration for Congress to think about. (Press Conference, 25 Sept 2005 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUS20050925&articleId=1004 )

    Militarization of Public Health: The Avian Flu

    The 2005 bird flu crisis followed barely a month after Hurricane Rita. It was presented to the US public as an issue of National Security. Following the 2005 outbreak of avian flu, president Bush confirmed that the military would be actively involved in the case of a pandemic, with the authority to detain large numbers of people:

    “I am concerned about avian flu. I’m concerned about what an avian flu outbreak could mean for the United States and the world. … I have thought through the scenarios of what an avian flu outbreak could mean….

    The policy decisions for a president in dealing with an avian flu outbreak are difficult. …

    If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?

    … One option is the use of a military that’s able to plan and move. So that’s why I put it on the table. I think it’s an important debate for Congress to have.

    … But Congress needs to take a look at circumstances that may need to vest the capacity of the president to move beyond that debate. And one such catastrophe or one such challenge could be an avian flu outbreak. (White House Press Conference, 4 October, 2005, emphasis added)

    On the day following Bush`s October 4, 2005 Press Conference, a major piece of legislation was introduced in the US Senate. The Pandemic Preparedness and Response Act.

    While the proposed legislation was never adopted, it nonetheless contributed to building a consensus among key members of the US Senate. The militarization of public health was subsequently embodied in the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007.

    “Public Health Emergency” and Martial Law: The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. H.R. 5122

    New legislation is devised. The terms “epidemic”, and “public health emergency” are explicitly included in a key piece of legislation, signed into law by President Bush in October 2006.

    Lost in the midst of hundreds of pages, Public Law 109-364, better known as the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007″ (H.R.5122) includes a specific section on the role of the Military in national emergencies.

    Section 1076 of this legislation entitled “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies” allows the President of the United States the deploy the armed forces and the National Guard across the US, to “restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States” in the case of “a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency”:

    SEC. 1076. USE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES.

    (a) Use of the Armed Forces Authorized-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Section 333 of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    `Sec. 333. Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law

    `(a) Use of Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies- (1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to–

    `(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that–

    `(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and

    `(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or

    `(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).

    `(2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that–

    `(A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that State or possession, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or

    `(B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

    `(3) In any situation covered by paragraph (1)(B), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.

    `(b) Notice to Congress- The President shall notify Congress of the determination to exercise the authority in subsection (a)(1)(A) as soon as practicable after the determination and every 14 days thereafter during the duration of the exercise of that authority.’ (See ext of HR5122 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c109:6:./temp/~c109bW9vKy:e939907: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-5122&tab=summary

    These far-reaching provisions allow the Armed Forces to override the authority of civilian federal, state and local governments involved in disaster relief and public health. It also grants the Military a mandate in civilian police functions. Namely the legislation implies the militarization of law enforcement in the case of a national emergency.

    “Catastrophic Emergency” and “Continuity of Government,”:The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20

    Coinciding with the passage of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, a National Security Presidential Directive was issued in May 2007, (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20) .

    NSPD 51 /HSPD 20 is a combined National Security Directive emanating from the White House and Homeland Security. While it is formulated in relation to the domestic “war on terrorism”, it also includes provisions which allow for Martial Law in case of a natural disaster including a flu pandemic.

    The thrust and emphasis of NSPD 51, however, is different from that of Section 1076 of HR 5122. It defines the functions of the Department of Homeland Security in the case of a national emergency and its relationship to the White House and the Military. It also provides the President with sweeping powers to declare a national emergency, without Congressional approval.

    The directive establishes procedures for “Continuity of Government” (COG) in the case of a “Catastrophic Emergency”. The latter is defined in NSPD 51/HSPD 20 (henceforth referred to as NSPD 51), as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”

    “Continuity of Government,” or “COG,” is defined in NSPD 51 as “a coordinated effort within the Federal Government’s executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency.”

    The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination. (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20, emphasis added)

    This Combined Directive NSPD /51 HSPD 20 grants unprecedented powers to the Presidency and the Department of Homeland Security, overriding the foundations of Constitutional government. NSPD 51 allows the sitting president to declare a �national emergency� without Congressional approval The adoption of NSPD 51 would lead to the de facto closing down of the Legislature and the militarization of justice and law enforcement.

    NSPD 51 grants extraordinary Police State powers to the White House and Homeland Security (DHS), in the event of a “Catastrophic Emergency”.

    A flu pandemic or public health emergency is part of the terms of reference of NSPD 51. “Catastrophic Emergency” is broadly defined in NSPD 51 as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions”

    “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination. (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20, emphasis added)

    The directive acknowledges the overriding power of the military in the case of a national emergency: The presidential directive”Shall not be construed to impair or otherwise affect… the authority of the Secretary of Defense over the Department of Defense, including the chain of command for military forces from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the commander of military forces, or military command and control procedures”.

    Since their enactment two years ago, neither the John Warner Defense Authorization Act nor NSPD 51 have been the object of media debate or discussion.

    NSPD 51 and/or the John Warner H.R.5122 could be invoked at short notice following the declaration of a national health emergency and a nationwide forced vaccination program. The hidden agenda consists in using the threat of a pandemic and/or the plight of a natural disaster as a pretext to establish military rule, under the facade of a “functioning democracy”.

    A d v e r t i s e m e n t

    Vaccination: From H5N1 to H1N1

    A nationwide flu vaccination program has been in the pipeline in the US since 2005.

    According to the Wall Street Journal (Oct 1, 2005), the Bush administration had asked Congress for an estimated $6-10 billion “to stockpile vaccines and antiviral medications as part of its plans to prepare the U.S. for a possible flu pandemic.” A large part of this budget, namely 3.1 billion was used under the Bush administration to stockpile the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), of which the intellectual property rights belong to Gilead Science Inc, a company headed by Don Rumsfeld prior to becoming Secretary of Defense under the Bush administration.

    Consistent with its role as “lead agency”, more than half of the money earmarked by the Bush administration for the program was handed over to the Pentagon. In other words, what we are dealing with is a process of militarization of the civilian public health budget. . Part of the money for a public health is controlled by the Department of Defense, under the rules of DoD procurement.

    “The US Senate voted [September 3, 2005] yesterday to provide $4 billion for antiviral drugs and other measures to prepare for a feared influenza pandemic, but whether the measure would clear Congress was uncertain.

    The Senate attached the measure to a $440 billion defense-spending bill for 2006, according to the Associated Press (AP). But the House included no flu money in its version of the defense bill, and a key senator said he would try to keep the funds out of the House-Senate compromise version. The Senate is expected to vote on the overall bill next week.

    Almost $3.1 billion of the money would be used to stockpile the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), and the rest would go for global flu surveillance, development of vaccines, and state and local preparedness, according to a Reuters report. The government currently has enough oseltamivir to treat a few million people, with a goal of acquiring enough to treat 20 million”

    (CIDRAP, http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/news/sep3005avian.html)

    The threat of the H5N1 bird flu pandemic in 2005 resulted in multibillion dollar earnings for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. In this regard, a number of major pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, California based Chiron Corp, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc, Novavax and Wave Biotech, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding, had already positioned themselves.

    In 2005,.a Maryland-based biotechnology company MedImmune which produces “an inhaled flu vaccine” had positioned itself to develop a vaccine against the H5N1 avian flu. Although it had no expertise in the avian flu virus, one of the major actors in the vaccine business, on contract to the Pentagon, was Bioport, a company part owned by the Carlyle Group, closely linked to the Bush Cabinet with Bush Senior on its board of directors.

    Vaccination under a Public Health Emergency. Multibillion Financial Bonanza for the BioTech Conglomerates

    The 2005 bird flu hoax was in many regards a dress rehearsal. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic is a much larger multibillion dollar operation. A select number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies have been involved in negotiations behind closed doors with the WHO and the US Administration. Key agencies are the Atlanta based Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which have close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The conflicts of interest of these agencies is brought to light in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s detailed study entitled Vaccinations: Deadly Immunity, June 2005:

    “The story of how government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of thimerosal from the public is a chilling case study of institutional arrogance, power and greed. I was drawn into the controversy only reluctantly. As an attorney and environmentalist who has spent years working on issues of mercury toxicity, I frequently met mothers of autistic children who were absolutely convinced that their kids had been injured by vaccines. … “The elementary grades are overwhelmed with children who have symptoms of neurological or immune-system damage,” Patti White, a school nurse, told the House Government Reform Committee in 1999. “Vaccines are supposed to be making us healthier; however, in twenty-five years of nursing I have never seen so many damaged, sick kids. Something very, very wrong is happening to our children.” Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Vaccinations: Deadly Immunity, June 2005.

    The WHO is planning for the production of 4.9 billion dose, enough to inoculate a large share of the World’s population. Big Pharma including Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca have signed procurement contracts with some 50 governments. (Reuters, July 16, 2009). For these companies, compulsory vaccination is a highly lucrative undertaking:

    “The WHO has refused to release the Minutes of a key meeting of an advisory vaccine group “packed with executives from Baxter, Novartis and Sanofi” that recommended compulsory vaccinations in the USA, Europe and other countries against the artificial H1N1 “swine flu” virus this autumn.

    In an email this morning, a WHO spokesperson claimed there are no Minutes of the meeting that took place on July 7th in which guidelines on the need for worldwide vaccinations that WH0 adopted this Monday were formulated and in which Baxter and other Pharma executives participated.

    Under the International Health Regulations, WHO guidelines have a binding character on all of WHO’s 194 signatory countries in the event of a pandemic emergency of the kind anticipated this autumn when the second more lethal wave of the H1N1 virus “which is bioengineered to resemble the Spanish flu virus” emerges.

    In short: WHO has the authority to force everyone in those 194 countries to take a vaccine this fall at gunpoint, impose quarantines and restrict travel.” (Jane Burgermeister, WHO moves forward in secrecy to accomplish forced vaccination and population agenda, Global Research, July 2009).

    On May 19th, the WHO Director General and senior officials met behind closed doors with the representatives of some 30 pharmaceutical companies.

    “In a perfect world the planet’s leading pharmaceutical companies could produce 4.9 billion H1N1 swine flu vaccinations over the course of the next year. This is the World Health Organization’s latest assessment. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan met with 30 pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday and briefed reporters on a WHO plan to secure vaccinations for poor countries who lack sufficient infrastructure to fight a possible pandemic. (Digital Journal, 19 May 2009)

    According to recent report in Business Week, “Wealthier countries such as the U.S. and Britain will pay just under $10 per dose, the same price for the seasonal flu vaccine. Developing countries will pay a lower price, (Business Week, July 2009). The WHO suggests that the 4.9 billion doses will not suffice and that a second inoculation will be required.

    4,9 billion doses at about ten dollars ($10.00) a shot and somewhat less in the developing countries, represents a windfall profit bonanza for Big Pharma of the order of 400 billion dollars in a single year. And the WHO claims that one dose per person may not suffice…

    Dangerous Life Threatening Vaccine: Who owns the Patent?

    While the production has been entrusted to a select number of companies, it would appear that the intellectual property rights belong to Illinois based pharmaceutical giant Baxter. Baxter is central in the negotiations between the US Administration and the World Health Organization (WHO). Moreover, “a full year before any reported case of the current alleged H1N1″ Baxter had filed for a patent for the H1N1 vaccine:

    Baxter Vaccine Patent Application US 2009/0060950 A1. (See William Engdahl, Now legal immunity for swine flu vaccine makers, Global Research, July 2009). Their application: states:

    “the composition or vaccine comprises more than one antigen… such as influenza A and influenza B in particular selected from of one or more of the human H1N1, H2N2, H3N2, H5N1, H7N7, H1N2, H9N2, H7N2, H7N3, H10N7 subtypes, of the pig flu H1N1, H1N2, H3N1 and H3N2 subtypes, of the dog or horse flu H7N7, H3N8 subtypes or of the avian H5N1, H7N2, H1N7, H7N3, H13N6, H5N9, H11N6, H3N8, H9N2, H5N2, H4N8, H10N7, H2N2, H8N4, H14N5, H6N5, H12N5 subtypes.”

    The application further states, “Suitable adjuvants can be selected from mineral gels, aluminium hydroxide, surface active substances, lysolecithin, pluronic polyols, polyanions or oil emulsions such as water in oil or oil in water, or a combination thereof. Of course the selection of the adjuvant depends on the intended use. E.g. toxicity may depend on the destined subject organism and can vary from no toxicity to high toxicity.”

    With no legal liability, could it be that Baxter is preparing to sell hundreds of millions of doses containing highly toxic aluminium hydroxide as adjuvant? (Ibid)

    The Los Angeles Times has reassured the US public with an article entitled: What are the odds that H1N1 will kill you? One might also ask, what are the odds that the H1N1 vaccine will kill you?

    National Emergency Centers Establishment Act: H.R. 645

    There are no indications that the Obama Adminstration is planning in the forseeable future a Public Health Emergency which would require the imposition of martial law. What we have emphasised in this article is the existence of various provisions (legislation and presidential directives) which would allow the President of the United States to instigate Martial Law in the case of a Public Health Emergency. If Martial Law were to be adopted in the context of a Public Health Emergency, what we would be dealing with is the “forced vaccination” of targeted population groups as well as the possible establishment of facilities for the internment of people who have been quarantined.

    In this regard, it is worth noting that in January 2009, a piece of legislation entitled the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645) was introduced in the US Congress.The bill calls for the establishment of six national emergency centers in major regions in the US to be located on existing military installations, which could be used to quarantine people in the case of a public health emergency or forced vaccination program.

    The bill goes far beyond previous legislation (including H.R 5122). The stated purpose of the “national emergency centers” is to provide “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster.” In actuality, what we are dealing with are FEMA internment camps. HR 645 states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.” (Michel Chossudovsky, Preparing for Civil Unrest in America Legislation to Establish Internment Camps on US Military Bases, Global Research, March 2009)

    There has been virtually no press coverage of HR 645, which is currently being discussed by several congressional committees. There are no indications that the bill is on its way to being adopted.

    These “civilian facilities” on US military bases are to be established in cooperation with the US Military.

    Once a person is arrested and interned in a FEMA camp located on a military base, that person would in all likelihood, under a public health emergency, fall under the de facto jurisdiction of the Military: civilian justice and law enforcement including habeas corpus would no longer apply.

    HR 645 could be used, were it to be adopted, in the case of public health emergency. It obviously bears a direct relationship to the economic crisis and the likelihood of mass protests across America. It constitutes a further move to militarize civilian law enforcement, repealing the Posse Comitatus Act.

    In the words of Rep. Ron Paul:

    “…the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras and a domestic military command is not enough… Even though we know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt-based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next.” (Daily Paul, September 2008, emphasis added)

    The proposed internment camps should be seen in relation to the broader process of militarization of civilian institutions. The construction of internment camps predates the introduction of HR 645 (Establishment of Emergency Centers) in January 2009.

    “Military Civil Support”: The Role of US Northern Command in the Case of a Flu Pandemic

    US Northern Command has a mandate to support and oversee civilian institutions in the case of a National Emergency.

    “In addition to defending the nation, U.S. Northern Command provides defense support of civil authorities in accordance with U.S. laws and as directed by the President or Secretary of Defense. Military assistance is always in support of a lead federal agency, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    Military civil support includes domestic disaster relief operations that occur during fires, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. Support also includes counter-drug operations and consequence management assistance, such as would occur after a terrorist event employing a weapon of mass destruction.

    Generally, an emergency must exceed the management capabilities of local, state and federal agencies before U.S. Northern Command becomes involved. In providing civil support, the command operates through subordinate Joint Task Forces.

    (See US Northcom website at http://www.northcom.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=s.who_civil ).

    The Katrina and Rita hurricane disasters played a key role in shaping the role of US Northern Command in “military civil support” activities. The emergency procedures were closely coordinated by US Northern Command out of the Peterson Air Force Base, together with Homeland Security, which oversees FEMA.

    During Hurricane Rita (September 2005), US Northern Command Headquarters was directly in control of the movement of military personnel and hardware in the Gulf of Mexico, in some cases overriding, as in the case of Katrina, the actions of civilian bodies. The entire operation was under the jurisdiction of the military rather than FEMA. (Michel Chossudovsky, US Northern Command and Hurricane Rita, Global Research, September 24, 2005)

    Northern Command would, as part of its mandate in the case of a national emergency, oversee a number of civilian functions. In the words of Preident Bush at the height of the Rita hurricane, “the Government and the US military needed broader authority to help handle major domestic crises such as hurricanes.” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff subsequently classified Hurricane Rita as an “incident of national significance,” which justified the activation of a so-called “National Response Plan”(NRP). (For further details, consult the complete document at http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/NRPbaseplan.pdf

    Within the broader framework of “Disaster Relief”, Northern Command has, in the course of the last two years, defined a mandate in the eventuality of a public health emergency or a flu pandemic. The emphasis is on the militarization of public health whereby NORTHCOM would oversee the activities of civilian institutions involved in health related services.

    According Brig. Gen. Robert Felderman, deputy director of USNORTHCOM’s Plans, Policy and Strategy Directorate: “USNORTHCOM is the global synchronizer – the global coordinator – for pandemic influenza across the combatant commands”(emphasis added) (See Gail Braymen, USNORTHCOM contributes pandemic flu contingency planning expertise to trilateral workshop, USNORTHCOM, April 14, 2008, See also USNORTHCOM. Pandemic Influenza Chain Training (U) pdf)

    “Also, the United States in 1918 had the Spanish influenza. We were the ones who had the largest response to [a pandemic] in more recent history. So I discussed what we did then, what we expect to have happen now and the numbers that we would expect in a pandemic influenza.”

    The potential number of fatalities in the United States in a modern pandemic influenza could reach nearly two million, according to Felderman. Not only would the nation’s economy suffer, but the Department of Defense would still have to be ready and able to protect and defend the country and provide support of civil authorities in disaster situations. While virtually every aspect of society would be affected, “the implications for Northern Command will be very significant.”

    “[A pandemic would have] a huge economic impact, in addition to the defense-of-our-nation impact,” Felderman said. The United States isn’t alone in preparing for such a potential catastrophe. (Gail Braymen, op cit)

    Also of relevance, was the repatriation of combat units from the war theater to assist US Northern Command in the case of a national emergency including a flu pandemic. In the last months of the Bush administration, the Department of Defense ordered the recall of the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team from Iraq.

    The BCT combat unit was attached to US Army North, the Army’s component of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). The 1st BCT and other combat units would be called upon to perform specific military functions in the case of a national emergency or natural disaster including a public health emergency:

    “The Army Times reports that the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is returning from Iraq to defend the Homeland, as “an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.” The BCT unit has been attached to US Army North, the Army’s component of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). (See Gina Cavallaro, Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1, Army Times, September 8, 2008, emphasis added).

    • Too bad that this is interspersed with enough truth to make it all sound like the gospel truth – it just isn’t.

      The first clue is the reference to the ACLU. That one reference proves to me that what you have here is nothing but communist propaganda at its worst.

      I could go into a long BF type of dissertation in an attempt to discredit this post, but actually it really isn’t worth the effort.

      Just garbage, that’s all it is, just garbage.

      • I am glad you didn’t take the time to dissect it. Which means to me that you didn’t take the time to review all the crediable sources that came with the literature. You just took it at face value and didn’t do your own research from the references provided. How many references were from ACLU…better yet, how many uncredible sources did you find in this literature? GA Rowe instead of calling the article garbage, you should research these laws, policies, and regulations and read them yourself. I don’t put information anywhere unless I have thoroughly researched the issue myself. Why would I come on this site and lie and just make up s-it. I don’t get off on this GA. I am not the govermment, I am not about fear mongering. I am not your policitian…I don’t need to lie to keep votes coming in. I am about truth and I am about carrying out the mission of God. You should stop enjoying the media summary of what is going on in the world, and find the truth for yourself. I have notebooks, textbooks, and boxes full of literature of the same things I try to get you all to see. I am not new to this as I have been researching for years. So again, before you decide to dismiss information that you don’t agree with, research it first.

        • Black Flag says:

          Don’t fret…

          Keep at digging – while knowing that almost everyone will see you as strange.

          “If the American people knew what we have done, they would string us up from the lamp posts.” George H.W. Bush
          Saturday June 30th 2007, 12:19 pm

          “The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”

          -J. Edgar Hoover,

  21. BlackFlag says:

    A topic dear to my heart – but no time to spend on it today….

    …maybe tomorrow~

    -BF

  22. Black Flag says:

    USWep

    it will not work on a global company. Try telling Verizon that you are unhappy with dropped call rates and you want your money back.

    Au contraire, old friend – it is incredibly powerful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

    “United Broke My Guitar”

    This short youtube video caused a United Airlines shares to drop 10% – with United now suddenly awake, fixed the issue, and used it to now enhance customer service.

    The power of the dollar on business – even if it is a dollar – is the most powerful force a consumer has. The consumer in a free market is the king.

    • BF:

      Thanks for the link.

      Laughed my *** off.

      Maybe there will be a song called Simon Says Get Out

      GarthD
      The Bigger You Are – The Harder You Fall

  23. “The fact remains that private enterprise has even less accountability and no more willingness to serve the benefit of all. At least government has a mechanism (however flawed) to make the appropriate changes. Private enterprise is only interested in concentrating wealth. To it service is a means to an end. With government service is the end. I propose that you have an issues with the means.”

    Accountability. What does that word really mean? An Atlanta security guard was the FBI”s primary suspect during the Olympic bomb incident. He was fully cleared after his life was ruined. No apologies. Ruby Ridge was settled with paying an undisclosed sum to the surviving victim’s. The government admitted doing nothing wrong.

    A friend recently was arrested for a hot check and failure to appear(he was never served). He has not had a checking account for three years. He appeared before a judge twice, first to plea(not guilty), told by his honor”come back in two weeks and bring money or there will be a problem.” He asked to see the check,”you can see it in two weeks when you come back”. I advised him to get an attorney, who was some help, sent him to the hot check prosecutor, who made him fill out three checks as he would have written the hot one, and then gave him a copy of the “hot check”. Written six years ago, for eight dollars. The P.A. told him to go to the sheriff’s office and fill put a report on the forgery, if he failed to co-operate, he would still be charged. He made the report, and was told to contact a deputy the next day. No answer after several attempts.

    Attorney meets us on court day, goes and talks to someone in private. Tells us the charges will be dropped. Judge calls my friend, drops charges, calls next case. The statue of limitations in our state is three years for checks for more than $500, one year for any less than $500. He was arrested, cuffed, missed two days of work. When asked if anything could be done for the false arrest and such, his attorney replied, you can try, but it won’t do you any good. No one cares.

    The judge issued an illegal warrant.
    The P.A. filed illegal, false charges.
    The sheriffs office failed to investigate.

    Accountability? From the IRS, FBI, have you ever delt with Blue Cross?

    “To me government is control. Somewhat of the type that BF talks about. They do hold for themselves the right of violent action, whether we like it or not, and whether they are entitled to or not.” True words US. Good article.
    Beer 30.

  24. Black Flag says:

    USWep

    I do believe that government can exist in a way that does not use violence, does not kill liberty. BF does not.

    Correct, for a very, straightforward reason.

    A government requires its monopoly to attack non-violent people so to enforce that monopoly.

    If it does not enforce its monopoly, there will be competition as other ‘government’ organizations pop up. Hence, it will cease to be a government over any geographical area.

    Thus, USWep a government -at its core and essence- must initiate and attack non-violent people to enforce its monopoly.

    There can be many different organizations created to ‘serve’ citizens – but they cannot be called government.

    Chris

    Maybe the problem is that all of our institutions are getting too big. But as long as some companies have the resources of whole countries we need a government big enough to keep them in check. The difficulty is that we must work extra hard to keep that government in check as well. If we want convenience in the marketplace (in addition to fairness and safety) we need big government. If you don’t want big government then you need to push for smaller companies. Sound reasonable?

    Chris’ complaint about corporations always makes me laugh.

    Here is the fellow, on one hand, proclaiming the beauty in the beast of government, then on the other raging against the very instrument that the beast has created to do its beautiful work.

    If there is one particular topic that highlights the turbulent storm in the Statist mind, its government’s birth child – corporations.

    However, he does -going backwards at it- describe precisely the issue at hand.

    Large companies do not spawn large government.

    Large government spawn large companies.

    If Chris wishes to see corporations shoved back into the genie bottle, first and foremost, government needs to be shoved back into the genie bottle first.

    Large companies evolve out of large government for exactly the same reasons – centralization of institutional power. Governments can exercise massive mercantilism when the company in favor of such exercise can actually utilize the militarized market place.

    Big mercantile companies need a big army that comes out of big government.

    Small government, small army, very small ability to achieve a mercantile control over a foreign market.

  25. Black Flag says:

    I do believe that government can exist in a way that does not use violence, does not kill liberty. BF does not.

    For a very specific reason, USWep.

    A government requires the use of violence upon non-violent people so to enforce its monopoly within its geography.

    If it did not, competing ‘government’ organizations would pop up in direct competition to it (for a loose example, watch Hezbollah vs the Lebanese government).

    The government – if unable to enforce its monopoly – would find itself out competed for citizens by a more efficient free market organization and disappear.

    Therefore, a government in its essence and its core use violence on non-violent people to enforce itself on the people.

    Government must use violence against free people or it cannot exist.

    This doesn’t mean some other societal organization wouldn’t appear – it just wouldn’t be a government.

  26. Black Flag says:

    Maybe the problem is that all of our institutions are getting too big. But as long as some companies have the resources of whole countries we need a government big enough to keep them in check. The difficulty is that we must work extra hard to keep that government in check as well. If we want convenience in the marketplace (in addition to fairness and safety) we need big government. If you don’t want big government then you need to push for smaller companies. Sound reasonable?

    I laugh every time Chris rages against corporations.

    Here is a smart guy who holds that there is beauty in the beast (somewhere), and the rages against the very tool the beast creates to express its beauty!

    His point is true enough -though he figures it out backwards.

    Big companies do not make big government.

    Big government makes big companies.

    Like all institutional centralization, big governments need big corporations to fund itself – and big corporations need big armies of big governments to enforce their mercantile aims to get those funds.

    If Chris wants to stuff big corporations back into a bottle, first, big government needs to be totally dismantled.

    Without big government, there is no big army, and without a big army, mercantilism is stagnated, and will dissolve.

    • Judy S. says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I’m reading this like it’s about a gangs,okay. This is what I get out of this.

      You have all these big gangs , and are trying to disburse them so to speak, then if you get rid of the heads of the gangs, then little by little maybe they will start to disburse. Am I reading that right, or am I way off base?

      Please, if I am wrong in my thinking, then please by all means straighten it out so I can understand better.

      Thank you

      Judy

      • Black Flag says:

        Mercantilism is a means by which companies use military force to compel business.

        Example, US Marines invading Latin America – who dared to believe they could sell bananas to someone else other then Dole.

        Mercantilism exists solely by government – it is the government army. It benefits large corporations (Mom and Pop corner store aren’t interested in invading Panama for their bananas) – and from the benefit, corporations offer government two valuable things: 1) money 2) extension of their power into another territory.

        So, if someone rages against large mercantilism corporations (like Chris), the solution starts with reducing the power of the government. Reduce the size of the army and turn it into a militia (whose duty is not to the government, but the citizens).

        Large corporations cannot compete against well organized smaller companies – the latter are too mobile and flexible to the constant changes of the marketplace. Without mercantilism, large corporations would start to dissolve.

        • So, what I’m getting here, again correct me if I’m wrong. Isn’t that like with, say, big supermarkets who move in the neighborhood, and then the mom and pop shops go out of business? Maybe I’m getting more confused than I thought.

          • Black Flag says:

            Not necessarily.

            Many companies obtain very cheap products on the back of mercantilism – they go out and compel by use or threat of military force – to get products at large discounts.

            Some of the cases that Chris infers (sweatshops) could be examples of that.

            A large company moving into a neighborhood – in a free market – is a good thing.

            Usually such a move breaks a market constraint of supply – usually small town business lacks the ability to attract supplier attention. A large major, who has numerous stores can attract supplier attention by requiring the supplier to ship and supply goods at the same price uniformly for the larger company’s stores – no matter where they are.

            Paying less for the same good/service is known as a “good deal”.

            It also changes the marketplace – Mom and Pop survive (and often thrive) by refusing to compete on the basics, and become specialties – the latter of which tends to offer superior margins anyway!

  27. Black Flag says:

    Sorry for the multi-post.

    I thought my original was destroyed … guess it wasn’t.

    Well, if you like me once, you’ll love me twice! 😆

  28. Black Flag says:

    Climate Revolt: World’s Largest Science Group ‘Startled’ By Outpouring of Scientists Rejecting Man-Made Climate Fears! Clamor for Editor to Be Removed!

    Scientists seek to remove climate fear promoting editor and ‘trade him to New York Times or Washington Post’

    http://climatedepot.com/a/2213/Climate-Revolt-Worlds-Largest-Science-Group-Startled-By-Outpouring-of-Scientists-Rejecting-ManMade-Climate-Fears-Clamor-for-Editor-to-Be-Removed

  29. Black Flag says:

    Moving forward….

    As I suggested to many here before, it is very easy to move forward – as long as you follow just one rule.

    When shifting paradigms, you are not allowed to fall back to the old paradigm for answers

    The common failure is that when the solutions begin to get complex, there is a tendency to suddenly fallback to ‘shoot it with a gun’ mentality.

    And another important understanding (which will grate Chris to the end of his days).

    Human suffering will always be with us and there will be no moral solutions to resolve the suffering.

    It is hard to accept this – but it is a fact.

    Any attempt to solve human suffering by using immoral means will increase the suffering and/or transfer the suffering to innocent people.

    So, whenever anyone is ready….

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I am ready, but I will probably make the error of falling back on “the old ways” from time to time… I am sure you will scold me where appropriate 🙂

  30. Judy S. says:

    Hi BF

    First of all, I thought you didn’t have time for today, but glad you’re here.

    Second, would you please explain these two sentences, and what you mean?

    Thank you

    Judy

    Human suffering will always be with us and there will be no moral solutions to resolve the suffering. Any attempt to solve human suffering by using immoral means will increase the suffering and/or transfer the suffering to innocent people.

    • Black Flag says:

      As the Christ said “The poor will always be with us”.

      All Human suffering cannot be solved. It is a permanent condition of mortal man.

      The best we can do is solve the very few we can.

      But any solution we used in an attempt to solve a human problem must be a moral solution.

      Attempting use immoral solutions to solve human problems will 1) make more human suffering and/or 2) change the suffering from those that are suffering now to innocent people.

      For example, Group A are suffering a lack of health. Solution: Steal money from Group B.

      Group A is not suffering. But now Group B is suffering.

      The theft causes an additional problem – it creates a society that justifies theft – now, any group, pointing to Group A as their proof for action, begins to loot everyone else.

      The suffering has not been resolved, and on top of that, even more thieving.

      You can see this throughout our own society now – called politics – where some believe they have a right to force others to pay for them. All that happens is the pain is transferred to someone else – as well as everyone else starts forcing others to pay for them too.

      As Bastiat said, “Government is the great fiction which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else

      Thus, all our solutions must be moral – that is the only way the solution is sustainable.

      It will mean that some problems must be left – sadly – to those that are suffering them.

      • Judy S. says:

        Thank you BF, I think I understand better now.

        Let’s try this one, and see if I’m on the same page as you here.

        Take my sister for example:

        She works for the Oakland Police Department, has been for 11 years now. When they were doing their cut backs, she got her hours cut, which meant a cut in pay.

        Now she is having difficulty in making her payments, not only on her house, but other ones as well. She sometimes has to rob Peter to pay Paul in order to keep up with things.

        She can’t sell the house because she is upside down on it, and she feels stuck there for the time being. She wants to retire, but feels she can’t, because of her situation. She has applied for several second jobs, but hasn’t had any luck.

        She is doing all she can to make things better, but isn’t having any luck. We, on the other hand are doing okay, able to meet our monthly payments. We told her several times, she is more than welcome to move in with us, but she refuses to even think about it.

        Now, would this be considered kind of the same thing as what you’re talking about or not? Or, am I misreading it? I know she is suffering because she never seems to have enough money for what she needs it for. I know with her hours cut, and her pay cut didn’t help any. Yes, she lives in Calif., so I know that doesn’t help any.

        Are we considered immoral because we offered to help her or what? sometimes I can understand you’re thinking and the way you put it down, but then sometimes I can’t, like with this, what I just aksed.

        • Black Flag says:

          No, you voluntarily helping is moral and good.

          It is also sustainable – because YOU CHOSE the amount of money you wish to send to your sister.

          You make that determination based on YOUR ability – you know what you can do and what you can’t. It helps no one to put yourself into bankruptcy trying to save your sister who would then follow you into bankruptcy.

          But as soon as a Bob or a Chris believe they know how much you ‘should’ pay, the trouble starts. (I’m not picking on them personally – I am making a point of the position in the argument).

          The government of Bob and Chris have no clue of your goals, desires, and wants. They don’t know you from anyone else.

          But based on some (as I say) God-given power, they know exactly how much they can take from you to help your sister.

          Heck, they can’t even know how much would help your sister. They hold that as long as she gets ‘more than nothing’, it must be helping. But that is not necessarily so. Pouring your money along with hers down a toilet does not help anyone (for example).

          So, when you do so voluntarily you know yourself and what you can do. You also tend to find out what you can really do on a personal level with those you help – so that you can make it appropriate.

          (We often hear of government sending frozen meat to the middle of deserts with no refrigeration…etc.)

          So, voluntary charity is a powerful moral good.

          Forced-charity (compulsion) produces no sustainable good and always a large evil.

          • Like what the government wants to do now, right? Like how they want us to pay for those who can’t, no matter what it is, am I right or not?

            • BTW, I think this government doesn’t have any morals.

              You think I got it now?

            • Black Flag says:

              Nicely on both accounts.

              • Yeah!. Finally.

                Like I said BF, sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t. I think it depends on what it is, and how you put it. Sure do appreciate you helping me to understand things better.

                I don’t understand why a lot on here give you such a hard time about things, I am inclined to think that’s what and how you believe the way things are. Am I right on that or no?

              • Black Flag says:

                I would say most people have not spent the time to understand why they think the things they do – and their consequences.

                For example, if said this to Bob.

                “Bob, I’ve decided to help the sick. I want to pay for their health care and the operations. I am committing millions of dollars to that goal!”

                Well, Bob would be very happy and say “BF, you surprise me. Well done!”

                Then he’d notice I’d be loading up my AK47, putting on a ski mask, and about to walk off to the nearest bank!

                “WHOA! BF! What are you doing??”

                “Well, Bob – I need to get money. You didn’t think I have the millions to pay for all of that! I’ll just go over there and steal it – its ok, right? It’s worth it, right?”

                Well, Bob would say “NO! You can’t do that! That is stealing – and you might hurt someone. You can’t commit evil, even it if is to help someone else!”

                …..

                But that is what he doesn’t say, right? Chris and Bob say it is alright to steal – because their cause is worth it.

                But I doubt neither would allow me to steal from the bank….

                ..so the contradictions continue….

              • Black Flag have you ever used a public service? If you have do you not feel dirty for having stolen money from others to be able to do so?

              • Black Flag says:

                Yes – because the government has forced all other alternatives out – they are the only ones left.

                And, no, because I pay for what I use. I just know I’m over-paying tremendously – but (shrug) they are the only game in town.

                A famous riverboat gambler, called Canada Bill was once rebuked by a friend of his.

                “Canada! Don’t you know you’re playing in a crooked game!”

                “Yes”, he replied, “but it is the only game in town.”

  31. BF, answering you down here. squishy spot, don’t like.

    I understand completely what you’re saying. It’s the same way with this government, and that’s exactly what they’re doing or want to do, wanting us to pay for someone else, even though we might not be able to afford it. Why would this be so difficult to understand? Even I know stealing is wrong.

    It would be like if someone broke into our home and took our belonging and gave it to someone else who doesn’t have anything. Now, if I HAD the money to help someone who might need surgery , and I wouldn’t miss that money, then I would gladly help them. But I don’t have that kind of money, so I can’t. That’s a simple case close kind of thing, if you ask me.

    • BF I’m getting off for the night, and thank you for helping me to understand things a little better now. I really appreciate it when you do.

      Have a restful and peaceful night BF

      Take Care

      Judy

  32. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hello All,

    This morning I got up and anxiously ran downstairs to see what the Topic was today! Everyday with you folks here is like Christmas morning to me!

    Anyway, I read USW’s article and started a Word File, thinking that I would get around to putting my thoughts into it. The Title of my document is, “What is Government Today” and underneath that I typed BE OBJECTIVE in bold letters. I never got around to typing up anything though…

    I have not read anyone’s postings here today, so if I am repetitive to any other postings, then I apologize. I didn’t read them because I really didn’t want others’ opininions to cloud my objectivity.

    BUT, even though I haven’t “prepared” anything, I have thought about this throughout the day…this is where my thoughts led me…

    What is Government today:

    Government today is so pervasive in our everyday lives. Almost EVERY single thing that I touch, that I do, that I see, that I hear has the fingerprint of government on it. Think about it. I go to sleep in a house that I must pay taxes on. I sleep on a bed that has regulations and that corporation that made that bed must pay taxes. I pick a flower from my yard and that flower has grown on land that I pay taxes on; that land isn’t even under my control – if I allow the grass to grow too tall, I will get fined.

    If my child misbehaves, I have to “consider” the consequences of whatever punishment that I hand out – if I were to spank my child, then I may get a visit from Social Services and be accused of child abuse.

    I get into my car and drive to the doctor. The doctor must follow government regulations in regards to how he/she treats me. Hey…the doc couldn’t be a doc unless he/she followed government edicts on required education, certification, licensing, etc.. Plus, I’m driving on roads and stopping at red lights that our government has supplied. God forbid if I happen to speed.

    If I go to my therapist and mentioned that I happened to spank my child because he/she did something really rotten, then the therapist is required by law to report me.

    If I go to the grocery store, then every single item I buy there has been taxed (and I’m taxed also for buying it) and the FDA has had their fingers into ensuring what I’m buying is safe.

    If I have a cold, I can’t simply go to the drugstore and buy a cold medicine anymore unless I go to the counter and request it…God forbid…I might be peddling drugs.

    I want to watch a movie on TV…well government has their finger in that also (in so many ways).

    If I’m in the woods and need to pee…better hope that no one sees me…I’ll be arrested for indecent exposure and I’m sure they’ll accuse me of polluting.

    Everytime I turn on the light switch in my house, I’m using the government in one way or another.

    My pets are even governed — think licensing and must be fenced in if outside – don’t forget rabies shot.

    Even what I’m doing right now…posting on a blog is governed.

    Folks…you do know that I could go on and on and on…

    If you live a “normal” life and you can think of anything that has not been touched by our government in one way or another, PLEASE let me know.

    I know that my thoughts are my own…but it seems that with indoctrination, we may even be losing that.

    Best regards to all,
    RS

    • Hi Rs

      I think you about covered it all, I can’t think of anything.

      But the sentence you said about being in the woods and having to pee, then getting arrested for indecent exposure made me laugh. Thanks

      Have a good night

      Judy

  33. This doesn’t mean some other societal organization wouldn’t appear – it just wouldn’t be a government!

    BF, This is the one thing I always wanted to hear from you. I doubt I’m alone, but a sociatal organization would be needed in any case. I made a statement yesterday to this effect.

    Nubian, Long post!!! The flu crap is just that, without all the BS. I work in healthcare, and will not take a flu shot, and haven’t for decades. I have not had the flu in over 20 years. As I wrote a few days ago, fear is our biggest enemy, eliminate it from your life, and you cannot be controlled.

    BF, (again), Thought much of your “don’t feed the beast” comment from a few days ago. Our end result might be the same, I just feel a different approach. I’d rather kill the beast than ignore it! We have had different lives, and thats OK with me.

    Chris, I posted on the healthcare mess yesterday, hope you read it!

    Judy, Glad your sons are safe!, and thank them for their service to our country fro me, a fellow vet!

    LOI, Living For Tommorrow “live” by the Scorpions, in Russia no less, what a treat! Worth a listen off “LIve Bites”.

    USW, Keep doing what your doing, and relish your time with your son! Worth every second!

    Ellen, Live the life you choose, and always fight the good fight!

    To all I have not named directly (Ray, JAC, ESOM, D13 and everyone else) thanks for the wonderful and interesting comments. Despite some of the differences in opinion, each one of you have an important role in our future, and may God Bless all of you!

    PS. If I missed your name in this post, I’m sorry. God is Great, Beer is good, and I’m sometimes crazy!

    Peace!

    G!

    • G

      Thank you and I will pass that along to my son’s.

      You’re right God is Great, Beer is good, and we’re all a little crazy

      Judy

      • Amen my friend, Amen!

        • G-Man

          Always a pleasure talking with you, I truly enjoy it. Was wondering if you by any chance read any of my answers to you last night. Sorry, but I got a little silly and couldn’t help myself with some of those goofy answers I gave you. Was just in a good and silly mood.

          Have a great night my friend and will talk with you tomorrow.

          Peace be with you G

          Judy

  34. Black Flag says:

    Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man.

    There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.”

    Indeed it would not be far wrong to describe the best as the common enemy of all decent citizens.

    But here will be small hope of gaining adherents to this idea as long as government is thought of as an independent and somehow super-human organism with power rights and privileges transcending those of any other human aggregation

    H.L. Menecken

    So nicely laid out by Menecken.

    And he hits the nail on the head.

    As long as people continue to see government as an answer, it will be impossible to create a society on a moral basis.

    As long as people ‘hold on’ to even the smallest thread of the paradigm of government, no meaningful conversation about how life would be without government is possible.

    These people would, on an instant, fall back into the paradigm when faced with even a modest effort of thinking over a problem.

    • USWeapon says:

      That, my friend is a very arbitrary and unfair statement. The second you believe that you are enlightened and that anyone who doesn’t agree with your notion of “no government” is unable to think over a problem or that no meaningful conversation can be had with someone who holds on to the “smallest thread” of government, you have limited yourself to a conversation with yourself eternally.

      I personally find it insulting that because I believe differently than you that you would feel I would “on an instant, fall back into the paradigm when faced with even a modest effort of thinking over a problem.”

      There is much deliberation that can be had on the differences we have between us, but to insinuate that I am unable to create a society on a moral basis because I am thus far unconvinced that no form of government is needed, is insulting. It may make my challenge greater to do so on a moral basis. But to insinuate that your version of what must happen is the only moral one…..

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        USW,

        There are many forms of organizing society which MAY be moral, if designed morally and executed morally.

        As BF, I would be hesitant to call such a structure “government” simply because of the connotations that government currently has.

        The main connotation that the word “government” has is that it takes from those who have, ostensibly to give to those who have not, and it enslaves both those who have and those who have not. This is what I believe BF means when he says that all government is immoral.

        He is not saying that society cannot be organized in a structured and moral way, I think he is just saying that this cannot be done by anything that we currently call “government”.

        I could be wrong, but that is what I derive from the things he has said.

        • USWeapon says:

          And that might be what he is saying, but he should be more clear about it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not emotionally damaged, LOL. I don’t think it matters what it is called. Call it government, call it organization, call it a better society group, call it whatever. The point is that we have to find a way to make it moral. If I still call it government, it won’t be any less moral than if I call it a “good people group”. So he should rail against morality lapses, ethical breaches, etc, instead of focusing on the word government. In my opinion we can create a government that is moral. He believes the same thing, he just wants to call it something else. He is well aware of what I think, so it would make his attacks on government when discussing it moot, since he knows that I mean something different and moral, yet he persists in comparing what I want to find a way to create to what has been done in the past.

          • Black Flag says:

            I am clear about.

            Unlike almost everyone, I have provided by specific definition of government which matches ‘to a T’ exactly what government is in our society.

            The best you’ve offered is a dream of what you want.

            But your dream – as I’ve offered above – cannot happen, since government MUST enforce its monopoly.

            So, as Peter says – what you want is not government; the problem stems because you constantly demand that you have to call it that.

            It’s the bait and switch – you are calling a weed a rose, wishing a weed was a rose, and when someone says a weed will never be a rose, and says “quit dreaming that it will be a rose” you get all mad. You want to call a weed a rose.

            Now this wouldn’t be a problem EXCEPT that when others show up with weeds, pretending they are roses, people are buying them thinking they will turn into roses one day.

            It perpetuates the myth of ‘good and moral’ government – an impossibility.

            I suggest you make up a new word other than government for your definition – again until you offer a definition which matches the reality that exists of government there will always be this massive confusion.

      • Black Flag says:

        As far as the paradigm slide:

        It is my experience – that as long as a thread is still tied to the old paradigm – when the going gets tough, the people quit, and go back to the ‘old way of doing things’.

        This is why change is so difficult. The known (even if it is wrong) is generally preferred over the unknown.

        Maybe you might be different…. I don’t hold a whole lot of hope, but I’ve been surprised before.

  35. You dont need to play the game Black Flag. Right now you are stealing money from others and you shrug your shoulders and complain about the government limiting options. Do you not acknowledge yourself as the thief that you are and would it not be best to move somewhere that allows you to have true and complete liberty with no government involvment? I hear Somalia promotes all the virtues you are looking for in a society.

    • Black Flag says:

      Oh Bob,

      I pay for my goods, and you say I’m stealing.

      There isn’t a better highlight of the Statist mind then that….

      • The minute you drive on a public road, use the postal service, step into a park etc. you are stealing Black Flag. Sorry I am using your definitions here.

        • Black Flag says:

          I can’t avoid the tax already on fuel.

          I buy my stamps.

          I pay the entrance fee to parks.

          • Course you can avoid it, you dont use gas. You really think the price of the stamp covers the cost of sending the letter? Every single park in America has a fee to enter? Ever walked on a sidewalk?

            Sorry Black Flag according to your definitions you are a thief. Your stealing money from others to pay for services you benefit from. I thought you would at least admit to this and say you were trying to change things from the inside. The fact you cant see this is complete hypocrisy.

            • Black Flag says:

              Course you can avoid it, you dont use gas.

              But I do buy gas, so its paid.

              You really think the price of the stamp covers the cost of sending the letter?

              If a business wants to sell under its cost, good for me

              Every single park in America has a fee to enter? Ever walked on a sidewalk?

              It’s owned by the people.

              I am ‘a people’.

              I own it.

              Sorry Black Flag according to your definitions you are a thief. Your stealing money from others to pay for services you benefit from. I thought you would at least admit to this and say you were trying to change things from the inside. The fact you cant see this is complete hypocrisy.

              I have no problem stealing back my money from thieves, if need be.

              • Fair enough as long as you acknowledge you are a thief that was all I was after.

              • Black Flag says:

                A man reclaiming his wealth from a thief is not a thief.

              • Sorry Black Flag I honestly didnt think it would be this hard for you, what about the money you have stolen from people to drive on the public roads, did you pay for all the roads you drive on? Did you pay for all of the sidewalk you walked on. No you stole money from others to benefit from that service do you not see?

              • Black Flag says:

                Public road – we went over this already, do try to keep up.

                And yes I did. I am part of the “Public” who, supposedly, owns them.

                Or do you pay for things that you own over and over again?

                And, as I said, I am reclaiming my wealth that was stolen. Because you took my jewellery and turned it into cash – I’d probably take the cash back just as well -or would you just let the thief keep his loot?

  36. Black Flag says:

    Years ago, while completing my project on one of the islands, I got to know the local government socialists quiet closely.

    The leader of the Socialist party was the brother of my on-island partner, and I got to meet him occasionally at dinner parties.

    One incident, he was furious!

    His government had demanded that the cruise ships not port on the island on any Sunday.

    He said ‘the people need a day off!’.

    So the cruise line agreed – by not porting on Sunday or any other day of the week! They lost the cruise ship business – which was devastating.

    He stomped around (literally), yelling “How dare they! And how dare the islands of (…) allow the cruise ships to land on Sunday. All the islands voted and the majority said that they all would support the “No Sunday” rule! These islands HAVE TO LISTEN to the majority!”

    I, of course, loved to antagonize this guy (to the humor of his brother). I asked “Why do the islands HAVE TO listen to your vote?”

    Him: “Because the majority said so!”

    BF: “How are you going to MAKE THEM?”

    Him: (Fury growing in his face) “They should obey democracy!”

    BF: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting for lunch.”

    Him: “Then it is better to be the wolf”

    About a year later, his government went begging to the cruise lines to come back, even on Sundays. The cruise lines eventually did, but after two years, and huge grants.

    …….

    He was instigating a new tax the financial sector. A 1% tax.

    Him: “It is so small, they will not leave the island. It is too good here for them”

    BF: “They will leave, and its not because of the tax. It is because the government broke their word. What will stop you from raising it to 10% next year?”

    Him: “I gave them my word”.

    BF: “You did that already and now you’re breaking it”

    Him: “It’s only 1%!!”

    He put in the tax, and the financial sector – overnight – left. It devastated the island – the ripple effect. The locals working in that sector were among the highest paid – and they were all unemployed. The effect on the economy was total.

    He went on TV, with him going into a housing project that the occupants were now suffering over 75% unemployment.

    With the camera right in his face, he proclaimed:

    “See, this is why we needed the tax… so the government can help these people….”

    A year or so later they repealed it. Nobody came back. He couldn’t understand that it wasn’t the tax – but the breaking of the government’s word, that was the issue.

    Sometimes when I read Bob or Chris, this guy’s face pops into my head.

  37. Oh dear Black Flag please do try and answer the question straight for once. Who pays for the development and upkeep of the roads you drive on?

    • Well I will speed things up a bit, the roads get paid for by taxes. There may be people who do not use the roads but their money is still going towards them, you use the roads so are in effect stealing money from them as you benefit from using the roads when they dont. Without the taxes the roads would fall to disrepair and would be good for no one. I think you should find out where those people who dont use the roads live and pay them for the money you have stolen from them.

      • Black Flag says:

        Roads by gas taxes and toll fees. I use gas. Sometimes I cannot avoid tolls.

        How the thieves justify the loot expenditures makes no concern.

        Without taxes, free market would run the roads. True, government prevents such, but that is not my fault nor the marketplace’s fault.

        • No BF if you think that taxes on gas pay for all the roads in the US you would be wrong. Roads are expensive, your bog standard 2 laner will run you about $300,000 per mile excluding labour. How would a free market handle rural communities that need new roads or re laying of roads?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            The standard 2-laner runs about $300,000 per mile because of government monopoly. There is no competition to drive the price down.

            The government and the contractors working for the government to make roads can charge whatever they want and convince us that it is a “good deal”. However, this bears absolutely no resemblance to what the market price would be to build a road.

            • Wait isnt the job given to the lowest bidder? Government says they need a job doing and then contractors will bid for the job. Isnt that competition?

      • Bob

        That makes no sense. why should BF have to find the people who don’t use the roads and pay them back the money as you say, was stolen from them? Where do you get the idea that money was stolen in the first place? Hey, I don’t have any kids in school, but yet I’m pay taxes to cover the cost of schools for repairs and in to building new schools for incoming kids, and Since I don’t have any kids in school, should I demand my tax money back? I’m not using the schools, so why should I pay for them? Sounds like the same thing. I guess my money is stolen too then, right?

        • Taxes = stealing from you. You should demand all your tax money back as any public services provided is in fact taking away from your wealth and giving it to someone else.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Now you are STARTING to get the idea Bob.

            • Its also a pretty bad one. Anarchy hasnt done so well when you look back through history. Again Somalia is probably the closest you would get to anarchy at the moment, would you move there Peter?

  38. OOH<OOH<OOH, Question for BOB

    Today is payday for me, and it's the money I earned working, I get paid on a monthly basis. So, now my question for you is this. Since I do the work, and I get the paycheck, and I go to the bank to deposit it at my bank in my account. Now, do you consider that stealing from other people who don't have a job? Should I give back my paycheck because of those people who don't work. My answer is, a big fat NO. Why, because I worked for it, not them. Why should I give my money to somebody who didn't earn it?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Judy,

      You don’t earn any of your money. The government prints all the money (well, the federal reserve does) and then you labor for the good of the country, and out of the shear generosity of the government, they allow you to keep a portion of the money you think that you are earning as payment for your services. They are also generous enough to provide you with roads to drive on, sidewalks to walk on, and cheap stamps! If you don’t consider that generosity on the part of the government, you are just a greedy capitalist pig! 🙂

    • How would you be stealing from someone with no job. Please clarify.

  39. I put up another post right after this one, but it looks like it went into the twilight zone somewhere. Hope it shows up sometime.

  40. I’ve been searching for a way to get most people working towards common, if not the same, goals. This is where I am at this time.

    Victor Morris [http://www.constitution2011.com]
    Oregon, USA
    July 2009

    Proposal: Renew the Constitution of the United States and use it as the focus for redesigning the government’s role and responsibility in supporting the Constitution.

    Overview: This is possible due to the availability of the internet for open and rapid communication, performed by volunteers. All done online, with volunteers. Citizens could go to voting centers as usual to vote when needed for extended input and final decision making. All citizens should be required to learn how to use the internet.

    Step 1: Set up a central communications system whereby any citizen can provide input, modify input and vote on final statements. All aspects of the project will be transparent to every citizen.
    The Wikipedia approach provides a very workable model for collecting, disseminating, approving and archiving the input for this project.

    Step 2: Begin developing statements of RIGHTS to be included.
    The current Bill of Rights provides a good model. As individual descriptions of Rights are collected they will be categorized and made available for input/modification a la Wikipedia to the public at large.
    It seems that there will likely be as many as 50 different categories of Rights. Volunteers will join one or more category designations to provide input.
    This might produce a working list of upwards of 1,000 specific Rights. Cross-referencing will permit easy access to the information.

    Step 3: Starting with the working list of Rights, move to developing RESPONSIBILITIES appropriate for each of the Rights. The intent here is to identify all possible Responsibilities for all citizens for all Rights. It is likely that the list of Responsibilities will be longer than the list of Rights.
    Step 4: Create an ‘order of importance’ for Rights and Responsibilities. We will need some approach to setting values for Rights make decisions when conflicts arise.

    Step 5: The next effort will be to describe when an ABUSE of Rights and Responsibilities occurs. How can one have Rights without corresponding Responsibilities?
    Different categories of abuses might include not only civil and criminal, personal and public, business and arts, and perhaps moral and ethical.
    Step 6: When an abuse occurs, what is the appropriate penalty?
    A proactive approach should be developed to help citizens avoid abusing others. One requirement could be that every citizen be able to go online to a ‘Rights and Responsibilities Forum’. This Forum would be operated similarly to those that currently provide feedback concerning problems with computers.
    Types of penalties can include punishment, incarceration, isolation, re-education, etc. Under what conditions does a citizen have the Right to choose to abuse other citizens?
    Step 7: Develop the public structures that are most appropriate for meeting the needs of the citizens based on the above.
    If this model is followed (and continually improved by using the same or a similar process) then the structure needed to ‘preserve, serve and protect’ should be much simpler than the current one.

  41. Black Flag says:

    Bob

    Wait isnt the job given to the lowest bidder? Government says they need a job doing and then contractors will bid for the job. Isnt that competition?

    Competition, yes.

    But the question is, What is the competition?

    This is not the free market. There is no penalty for government if they chose badly. There is more to choosing a product than mere price. But because government suffers no direct consequences of bad choices, it confuses low cost with the best choice. The number of disasters this has caused is huge.

    Bob

    Its also a pretty bad one. Anarchy hasnt done so well when you look back through history. Again Somalia is probably the closest you would get to anarchy at the moment, would you move there Peter?

    Bob, Bob…. You live in anarchy right now!

    Does government dictate how you treat your friends, family, neighbors? You need a law to tell you to treat people with respect? You live so much inside anarchy already, you can’t even see it.

    And Somalia is a good example.

    With government, the people had limited access to clean water and food, and almost no phones. With the fall of government, they had the cheapest fresh water in Africa, abundant cheap food and the cheapest long distance and cellular service in the world.

    Of course, the governments couldn’t have that – so they supported Ethiopian invasions, et al. USWep, I’m sure, can enlighten you on US involvements.

    • Contractor does a bad job they dont get hired again, it is in the best interest for the government to get a good job done.

      So yes BF with Somalia approaching the level of government involvment you are looking for would you move there?

  42. Black Flag says:

    Bob

    How would a free market handle rural communities that need new roads or re laying of roads?

    First, let’s get some real numbers.

    Input values for the cost of new construction to construct one lane-mile of a typical 4-lane divided highway can range from $3.1 million to $9.1 million per lane-mile in rural areas depending on terrain type and $4.9 million to $19.5 million in urban areas depending on population size.

    The answer to your question is these questions.
    “How does the free market handle providing food for you every day?”
    “How does the free market design, build, store, ship and make available to you that gallon of gas for your care, every day?”

    Building a road is absolutely trivial for the free market. The real question is “Why doesn’t the free market build roads?” Answer: governments don’t allow them to.

    And gas taxes more than pays for roads, Bob in fact, so much so there is a surplus of funds. The real question, then, is why are the highways eroding so badly, then? Government is so poorly run, that it has to absorb all the funds from fuel taxes to pay for its entitlements. Bizarre!

    In the UK, gas taxes amount to 222% of the price of fuel.

    In 2006, the USA collect $37 billion in gas taxes. The average amount of tax was 50.8c per gallon.

    The budget of the Dept. of Transportation was $17.2 billion (2007). As you can see, Bob, that there was a surplus of $20 billion – which obviously didn’t reach the roads.

  43. Black Flag says:

    Bob

    Taxes = stealing from you. You should demand all your tax money back as any public services provided is in fact taking away from your wealth and giving it to someone else.

    I’ve tried – but thieves rarely give back the loot they stole just because you say ‘please’.

  44. Black Flag says:

    Bob

    Contractor does a bad job they dont get hired again, it is in the best interest for the government to get a good job done.

    Whose best interest, Bob?
    What part of government?
    And how does government know it has done a good job?
    What does it use to measure itself, since it cannot use price or consumer demand?

    So yes BF with Somalia approaching the level of government involvment you are looking for would you move there?

    No, because the rest of the world won’t leave them alone.

    Just dont pay taxes or move to somewhere with little government involvement.

    Why should I move? I live here.

    How about this idea – the thieves go somewhere else!

    Ah fuel good point, how would the free market handle a fuel monopoly for instance?

    Well, there’s a problem.

    Monopolies cannot exist in a free market – All monopolies exist by writ of government

    For a monopoly to exist in the free market, the business would have to be perfectly run, which is impossible. There always exists some constraint in every system, and therefore perfection cannot be achieved.

    Hence, in a free market, monopolies could not exist. It may be such that certain businesses approach the perfect marketing, thereby dissuade competition – but they cannot prevent competition.

    Only government can prevent competition.

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