A Thought on Dividing the Discussions…

avatar-flagI have been sitting around the last couple of days thinking about the direction of the site. For anyone who has not done so, I have to say that it is really daunting to write your own blog, especially when it concerns something of substance. What I mean by that is that writing a blog about your dog is easy. Writing a blog about college life is easy. Writing a blog about politics…. NOT so easy. Especially when I have managed to bring together some really intelligent people from all over the political spectrum. From one angle I have those coming from the point of view of BlackFlag and Kent. Two highly intelligent guys who challenge me on every principle and force me to seek true freedom. I also have Just A Citizen and PeterB.(although Peter is quickly moving more towards BF than JAC! LOL), who are similar in their intelligence and principles, but slightly different in their political views. Folks like these four routinely challenge me in great ways to stick to principles and morals, even when doing so makes my task a hundred fold harder.

My Butt HurtsThen add to that the folks on the left. Chris Devine, Mathius, and now a new reader Greatergoodcs. Again intelligent folks who are willing to stand their ground in the face of massive opposition here. We have Ray and Todd (although I really do think I pissed him off enough that he abandoned the site), moderate left leaning, who are well read, highly intelligent, and principled in a different way than BF or JAC (and that is not meant to be an insult to either side of that equation). On the right I have a massive group of regular readers, all with insight and intelligence that also challenges me and brings principled dialogue to the table. I couldn’t begin to list them all. There are so many that fall into that group. Rest assured I know every one of your names and I appreciate every single one of you. I feel bad that I cannot possibly list you all, as you all add so much to my site and consequently to my life. And you all fall into different subsections of “the Right”. Which means you all fall into challenging me in different ways.

And finally I have my true brothers. The Veterans. A lot of you as well. D13, who shared many of the exact same experiences as I did, given that we did the same job. G-Man, who is after my own heart with his willingness to go it alone and survive no matter what (and when the shit hits the fan, I will be heading for your compound my friend. I will earn my keep there, rest assured). G.A. Rowe, the old Marine who challenges me to stick to the founding principles or give a damn good reason for changing them. And all the other Veterans. For all the obvious reasons… the shared experiences, the understanding of what we have been through, the choice of serving something greater than ourselves, and the constant support and respect we offer to one another. The Veterans will always have a spot… well, I don’t even have to tell them. They know how I feel because vets just have an understanding between each other.

Blame Bush PosterAnd of course Mrs. Weapon gets her own paragraph. She is such a big supporter of what I do. The hours I spend writing, which she is sacrificing so that I can do something I love to do. It is of course, nice to know that she will still like me no matter how stupid the previous night’s post was. And believe me, she will tell me if it is stupid. That she follows and reads and talks with me about politics when they are the last thing she wanted to be involved in is a testament to the support that she offers. I am forever grateful to her.

So let me tell you that every single person on this site means something to me personally. I don’t view the people here as just readers of my ramblings. I view each and every one of you as friends. From those offering viewpoints from other cultures (AlanF and Bob come to mind) to those who espouse a culture we have never seen before (yes that is you BF), I truly enjoy being challenged and praised and scolded by each and every person here. When I began this blog, I never thought that I would be expanding my mind so much, or gaining so many friends that I feel I could depend on if I needed to. I long to visit with so many of you.

JAC, even though I don’t drink, I would pay the money to fly out there just to sit and have a few beers and discuss the world while watching that big sky. D13, the same goes for getting some of that Dr. Pepper (with the real sugar) and sharing a meal. Esom, I believe I heard you mention something with Peaches? Ray, the next time I am in Philly, I am looking you up. BlackFlag, I would love to sit at a poker table with you (bet you didn’t know that I have played with many of the same folks you have!). The point is that you all really do mean something to me. Every single person who reads and comments and participates here. Because you are what gives purpose to what I do… and because you all do it with respect and integrity which makes me like the people that you are.

Victimhood CalvinBut because of what you all are, the intelligence here is daunting. And I feel the responsibility of having to provide accurate and reasoned articles. I feel the responsibility to do so regularly lest I let anyone down. I feel an obligation about writing this blog that I didn’t expect to feel. I am not complaining at all, don’t get the wrong impression. No, what I am saying is that my respect for everyone here, and my desire to do this well, make the task that much tougher to accomplish. And I thank you all for that. Because it means that the pride I feel in running this site is so much greater than I ever thought it would be. When I began I thought if I had 100 visits a day, I would be happy to have gotten there. Now I have thousands and days where I get so many comments I struggle to even read them all (over 600 today alone). And I love every minute of it. Because the conversations are amazing.

It also means that whenever I start to think about where I am going with the site, or what I will cover next, I get a little anxious. I hope to not let anyone down. And I want to make sure that the direction that I head will further the learning and the discussions. I want to make sure what I am writing or discussing is going to help this country that I dearly love.

To that end I want to suggest that there are two different types of articles that you will see coming from me in the future. Obviously I would like everyone to participate in both. There are articles that are focused on the things we need to do going forward in order to make the country what many of us believe that it should be. That is a subject that we have often covered here. The other articles are more focused on the current situation in the political world.

For the first type, I like the idea of focusing on the things that we need to change, and the ways to get to where we want to go. Most of you know that I am not happy with the way our government runs. And you know that I am a believer in the concept of Very Damn Little Government (VDLG). It may not be “government” that is the ultimate answer to our problems. I don’t have the answer. But there are many conversations that we have here that are working in that direction. And I think they are very important. Because we need to figure out how to have a society that operated in a morally and principled way, with or without what we now call government. Freedom and Liberty are the cornerstones of what we are trying to accomplish. And failure to ensure true freedom is a pure and outright failure of what we want to accomplish.

ChangePosterFor the second type, we have to remember that we have to live with the reality of what we face today. While we want to get to a better place, we are here right now. And we are facing very difficult issues and problems in today’s America. No matter where we want to get to, the fact is that we have two major parties, a government that is what it is, a Congress and President that we have to deal with whether we like them or not. Lobbyists, bad businesses and good ones. A health care system that is flawed. A dependent class in America being perpetuated by the same government that claims to want to help them. Massive government deficits, energy policy that is pure lunacy, and partisan games at the expense of the governed. And we have to talk about them in a very different way. Because the America we want is not the America that has to deal with today’s problems. So we have to deal with them under the rules and realities of what America is today.

As an example, the health care reform is a major issue that we are going to be covering soon. This falls into the second type of article and discussion. It would be too easy to discuss it as a type one issue. We can debate all day whether government should or should not even be involved, and BF will present a sound argument as to why they should not. But we have to deal with the fact that they are going to be involved, whether we here agree with it or not. So we need to discuss what is good, what is bad, what is real and made up. The health care discussion, for the most part, is a discussion of how we move forward in the world we live in right now. There can be a different article discussing what health care would be in the VDLG world. Does that make sense?

Journey ends badlyIt comes down to this: take an election. We are presented with two jerk-offs and told that we have to choose the lesser of the two evils presented. The first type of article would discuss how we need a better system for selecting candidates or how we need a third party or how voting is useless. The second type of article would focus on the reality of today, that we have to choose between two jerk-offs, and discuss which of those jerk-offs we are forced to choose between is the better jerk-off for the time being. That is until discussion type one renders discussion type two irrelevant.

What I want to avoid is the fact that dealing in the reality of today often means that we are discussing two choices that violate the principles or morals of what we would like the world to be. While I think the choices offered are both morally wrong and against my principles, they are the only choices we are going to have at this moment. So it is not hypocritical to discuss which shitty option is better or worse (unless your reason for liking one choice or the other is a direct contradiction to what you have stated you believe, of course). This DOES NOT mean that I want to change the discussions as they occur right now. That is not what I am looking for. BF will certainly still be challenging folks whether the article and discussions are of type one or type two. And I LIKE what our discussions are and what we learn from them. I merely mean to offer an explanation for the two types of articles that I want to move forward with.

Faulty LogicAnd for the record, no, the pictures accompanying this article are not meant to make any sense in the context of the actual article. I often find things out there that don’t fit into something I am writing about and yet I want to share them. So I took the opportunity to share the random stuff I found funny or interesting.

Now I will hit submit and await the thoughts from all of you, my readers, who really hold the power to dictate what I write in some ways. What do you think of what I have written here? Does drawing this distinction help us to focus discussions?

I understand that I have not given you the fodder for debates such as yesterday’s open mic had flourishing. As a consolation, I have posted a second open mic thread. In it, you can copy a comment over and continue the conversations that you are having. That will help with alleviating the scrolling forever to find your discussion among 600 others. I will be copying some discussions over later today that I wanted to respond to.

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Comments

  1. Hey There USW,

    I’ve been wondering how you have the time and stamina to devote to this blog. I think you do a great job of it. I get exhausted physically and mentally when defending myself agianst attacks over a long period of time. I’m quite impressed that you’ve managed it all so well. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Cyndi.

      It is definitely trying sometimes, and it is certainly time consuming. But I love writing it. And I love interacting with all of the people here.

      USW

  2. USW, Thanks for the kind words, and kudos to you for what you do here. It is daunting to keep up with all the comments each day, but sure is enjoyable. Things get crazy sometimes and that sure makes it fun as well.

    Fight the Good Fight!

    G!

    p.s. If you and Mrs Weapon head up this way, bring some warm clothes, the winters can be brutal. Hopefully we can meet under better circumstances then when the fan gets dirty LOL.

    • G,

      I originally grew up splitting my time between Pennsylvania and Worcester, Massachusetts, so I am OK in dealing with the cold, and Ohio weather is actually the same as where I grew up. As for Mrs. Weapon, she lived in Buffalo, Indiana, and Missouri, but went to college at the University of Dayton, so she has 4 years of history already dealing with Ohio winters.

      USW

  3. Mother in Law says:

    It is a honor to be your mother in Law. I have learned so much by reading your articles. It has given me a whole new light on the subjects. Given my age I have been around and seen a lot but I think we have come so far that we can question our government and that now more than ever they have to be accountable for there actions.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Dear Mother In Law…

      I too would be very proud of him…I wouldn’t know him if I saw him on the street, but darnit…I know him…and he’s great.

      Every morning when I get up, I run downstairs to see what Santa has left me at this site.

      Best Regards,
      Richmond Spitfire

  4. I visited this site several months ago after visiting Mad Mom’s blog and looking through her blog list. I abosolutely love reading your blogs. It’s a must read every day. Every one of them are thought provoking and makes me really wrestle with what my true principles are. I feel like I know some of you personally. I think BF and PeterB have great sense of humors. By the way PeterB, I’m from Indiana too.

    This is my first post. I’ve been very hesitate about posting a response to some of the issue but seeing how everyone is very respectful on this site maybe I can begin to respond.

    Keep up the excellent work USW. You’ve got a great thing going!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      LoriP

      Please, participate!

      As JAC says, “We won’t bite… we just nibble a little.” 🙂
      Don’t feel intimidated by anything here. The more voices we have the more likely we are to come up with answers.

      Write your ideas, feelings, thoughts, humor, everything. I promise we will challenge you, but we will do our darndest to not insult you in any way.

    • I am really glad to see you posting Lori!

      Please don’t hesitate to jump into the discussions. There are no dumb questions or thoughts. It will take all of us to right this listing ship.

      USW

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    I think as you pointed out in sidebar/offline – most of the time most of us have a level of agreement – just different paths of getting there. The challenge/responsibility of a reader (something I am guilty of forgetting) is to remember the work that goes into this each time – for that I do applaud you – it takes nads – its far too easy sometimes to over-read and go down a rathole (me=guilty). The opposite is a Bob Cesca or Michelle Malkin that use the hit and run style and are rarely obligated or inclined to ‘back it up’.

    As a sidenote – while most of you may (or may not) dismiss Rolling Stone as akin to P-House Forum in the way of journalistic integrity – the most recent issue includes a stellar piece by Matt Taibbi on the Healthcare reform debacle. Now – before you dismiss – Taibbi can be very acidic and may have been thought to be a POTUS nuthugger – but this article was the first thing that I have read that crystalized a lot of unknowns for me – and while on the highest of levels I may look at a single payer system and say “yeah, I like” – Taibbi’s article really caused me to sit back, get really pissed off, and firm up a thinking that boy has this round of leadership really screwed this up. I am not naive – I just knew next to nothing about the debate and machinations, and pardon the pun, but was avoiding it like the plague. Taibbi may surprise some of you – I encourage you to grab a copy and read the article – it would give you more than ample ammo to have the right conversation with your reps without being dismissed as nuts or crazy. I perhaps want this nonsense stopped for different reasons – but the manner in which the parties in scope have essentially colluded to ensure nothing more than a piece of shit legislation may get passed scares the crap out me. I am disgusted and disappointed and pissed – but glad Taibbi finally gave this the right voice (the funny question now is if Jann Wenner ever asks him to write another article!).

    This isn’t a link to the full article but some interesting vids by Taibbi – the full article you still have to buy in the store: http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs/index.php/2009/08/19/matt-taibbi-on-health-care-reform-sick-and-wrong/#

    • Ray:

      I will make a point to find and read said article.

      I offer this for your consideration and perhaps it fits.

      I have been arguing this issue for a year with many progressives and conservatives alike. I come back to these points everytime.

      1. What are the real problems?
      2. Given the real problems, do the proposed solutions match up?

      Insurance is always used as an example. Dropping clients, failure to pay, etc etc.. And of course, “profit motive is not consistent with health care”.

      Then I point out that the STATES have full authority to regulate the insurance industry. If failure to adhere to a policy was the issue why isn’t the state Att. General taking action?

      If the STATES have the power then why are we seeking a Federal solution? Who in fact is pushing for a Federal solution? What we find is the insurance companies want Federal protection from the states. They want a Federal govt sanctioned and protected “larger pool” to reduce their risk of losses. They want uniform policy requirement, across the country to reduce expenses.

      Why are medical costs increasing so rapidly? This is criticaly important to understand. Yet nobody is talking to doctors and nobody is talking about the real situation. All we get is rhetoric and examples of someone with a unique ax to grind. Doctors I talk to identify three major factors in their costs.

      1. Increased rents and building costs, due to both the real estate bubble and govt requirements for medical buildings.

      2. Increased payroll burden to deal with insurance, medicaid and medicare filing requirements and procedures.

      3. The cost of liability (errors and ommissions) insurance. Once office was 150,000 per year another was 200,000 per year. Assuming the doctor works 75% of all available hours, we have 1560 billable hours to cover this cost. That means 96/hr just to cover the 150,000 insurance cost. Assume a 20 minute visit and you get $32.00 of your doctor bill to pay for insurance. This assumes one doctor for the office.

      I am guessing from your post that you too are waking up to the reality of what is going on here. I do think there are some real short to medium term solutions that do not involve a big govt involvement. But that will require the politicos getting out of the way with their agendas.

      As you are the “more effective and efficient” guy I am looking forward to your ideas on this. And as soon as I can get the summary of the Health Care Symposium held in Bozeman, MT two weeks ago I will get it to USW and you if you like. I understand they are going to put out a DVD. The symposium was supposed to present discussions of the real problems and propose market based solutions. It will be interesting to see what was presented.

      Unitl then
      Best Regards as Always
      JAC

      • That’s the same reason that I pay more in New Jersey for car insurance than I did in Pennsylvania, even though I drive less now. Its state requirements and regulations that are driving up the cost, not the pressures of a (non-existent) free market. Get the governement (at ALL levels) and there WILL be a free market.

  6. USW,

    I read you everyday, and most times I don’t comment. When I do, I try to be civil, and I know that the only reason I can be is because of the anoymity (sp?) of the site. I’m afraid that if I were to get into some of these discussions in person, we’d both end up in the pokie.

    I’m looking forward to the VDLG discussions. I also agree that regardless of where we think we SHOULD be right now, we have to address WHERE we are NOW, regardless of of we got here.

    I’ve been wondering how we could have accomplished some of the good things that have helped to make the US what it is today WITHOUT the government taking a lead role. Preserving the land that is in our national parks and forests(it is a fact that we now have MORE tree cover than we did in the mid 1850s), our interstate highway system, the cheap electricity that we enjoy through the large hydo projects in the west and the nuclear plants, the access to computers and cheap medicine that we enjoy. It was government investment that lead to these things. Nuclear energy, the interstates, our airline system and the very internet that we are using to communicate wouldn’t have been built using traditional business models because the risk of return was simply to high. Where would we be if all these things had been left individuals?

    • Redleg:

      How funny you should bring this up. Was thinking of offering an article on this.

      My version of “connections” from the old History Channel series.

      Comments about such things these past weeks triggered the idea. You see we always want to use the “apparent benefit” of these govt projects as evidence for the need for govt. We fail to look at two things.

      1. Could they have been done by State, local or private.

      2. What would have been the effect if the “benefit” had not been built by the Feds.

      It is the second one that is intriguing and no one ever talks about.

      As a teaser lets use the hydro system on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Lets assume it never got built.

      First of all, much of the deserts of eastern WA and southern Idaho would not be irrigated and thus there would be less food for people and animals. Probably higher food costs but farmers would be able to make a living wage due to higher prices. There would not have been cheap power to allow the industries to grow around Portland and Seattle and Tricities. Bad news you say?

      The small agriculture and lumbering communities would have remained, small and vibrant. Life would be simple, slower and much more rewarding.

      The salmon and steelhead runs would be thriving and massive numbers of people would travel west to see the miracle of migration and pay big money to catch one or two. The natives would eat more fish.

      Less farm ground would mean less impact to wildlife habitat. The natives would eat more antelope, mule deer, and grouse.

      The billions of dollars taken from the tax payers in the east would have stayed in their communities. To be used for those things desired and needed by those who lived there. Perhaps there would be less poverty and more industry if that money had been used to their advantage instead of OURS.

      I think you get the idea. I am looking forward to working on this and bet you might like to pitch in.

      I’ll let you take a shot at putting down a few thoughts on “what if the Feds never funded the highway system”.

      I have to go now for a few days. I am heading up north to Glacier Park and central MT for the last trip of the summer. But I hope you offer some ideas of your own on this here. I would like to read them upon my return.

      Have a great week Redleg, whats left of it.
      JAC

      • Well remember that the primary impetus of the that particular hydro system was to supply the MASSIVE amounts of electricity needed for the Hanford site to build our first atomic bombs.

        On the highway system, I’ll have to take some time to write more, but at first thought, before the feds got involved in building an interstate, you had 2 interstate quality roads that I know of, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the New Jersey State Turnpike. Both were great roads, and made travel WITHIN their state quisk and easy, but they didn’t connect to anything else of the same quality. Most likely we’d still have a viable railroad system, both passenger and freight, BUT that system would most likely not have been built without the intervention of the federal government. There is also a good possibility that he car culture that we have in america never would have taken hold the way it has. More later.

      • JAC and Redleg. Have you seen the Pixar movie Cars? It gives and interesting view of how the highways may have effected travel and the very way we view our country.

        • That’s why our next great family road trip is going to follow the “Mother Road” Route 66, which by the way is the very first US highways, and was truly what led to the boom in population in California in the 30s and 40s Sonoma, Napa and Imperial Valleys wouldn’t be what they are today without it.

          • Red

            I have a son who lives in New Mexico and I have traveled some of Route 66. For an Alabama boy the trip was an adventure.

    • I agree that we need to look at where we are and where we want to go or be as a country. No doubt. But I always have believe that looking at our past mistakes and gains will help us see the future for us. Now looking at our past, I believe we need to do it without all the finger pointing and screaming. Lets face it, everyone from both parties have made mistakes and have done good. And move on from there

      • Certaintly not trying to point any fingers. We are where we are. Its really a philosophical discussion to help me wrap my head around where some of the people a coming from. I know that Black Flag believes that ALL governement is evil, but I’d like to hear his thoughts, and reasoned arguments, to get the same standard of living and conviences that MOST of us here on this board enjoy. Do we really believe that we would have gone to the moon or have an internet WITHOUT the government funding of the basic research that led to those things?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I can’t speak for BF, but I can certainly speak for myself here,

          If people were either

          A) curious enough about the moon

          or

          B) convinced that there was a large enough economic benefit to going to the moon

          Then we most certainly would have gone there in spite of a non-existence of government.

          I am pretty sure man didn’t have government when he invented “fire” or “the wheel”.

          Man did require government in order to invent “the pyramids”.

          The ability to use and control fire for our benefit while preventing the destruction and harm it can cause was a HUGE leap forward.

          The wheel was a HUGE leap forward.

          The pyramids are cool looking and mathematical marvels, and they teach us quite a bit about the culture at the time of their construction, but mostly they are gigantic monuments which serve no particular purpose other than to glorify the leaders of the government at the time of their construction. Not nearly as useful in all of our day-to-day lives as “fire” and “wheel”.

        • Black Flag says:

          Redleg, please see below

    • Redleg,

      I don’t think I have responded to one of your posts yet, just want to say I have been impressed with the thoughts behind them, hope you will weigh in more.

  7. Greatergoodcs says:

    USW. Not sure if you got back to me regarding when a free market existed (or the kind you’re a proponent of). My theory is the numbers are too great (population wise vs. resources) for one (free market) to survive the 21st century. That’s not to say it should be abandoned en masse, but that it needs to be curbed enough (here it comes again) the greater good. I am confused about your statement regarding it (a free market) already existed. When? Just some reference point will do.

    • Black Flag says:

      Fallacy #1 – Resources are constrained. The Earth is REALLY BIG, there is no lack of resources. Simple review of commodity prices shows a century long downtrend – which indicates that commodities are more plentiful now then in the past. (Do not confuse the economic turmoil of today –caused by government inflationary actions- with long term trends. Oil prices today, considering inflation, are lower than in 1970)

      Fallacy #2 – Too many people. All wealth is created by human action. It takes a man to turn forest into a field. It takes a man to turn dirt into a brick. It takes a man to turn a brick into a building. It takes a man to turn a building into a factory. We are wealthier today because there are more people.

      Free market systems provide the optimum strategy to increasing prosperity and wealth for all people. It is the individual who best knows his own capacity, capability, needs and wants and is the best judge on which is more important at any point in time.

      The socialist model destroys economic calculation – and as such, will ALWAYS be vastly inferior to supporting the needs of the people.

      It is under Socialism that too many people are a problem.

      It is under Socialism that there are never enough resources.

      Under Socialism, there is an ever increasing number of labor-less mouths to feed with an ever decreasing number of workers.

      No one is a willing slave, and those that earn but only to provide for those that do not will not willingly do so, and become themselves non-workers. As such, resources dwindle.

      Socialism is the death of humanity – we should oppose it at all costs.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        Fallacy #1: You know what you spew.

        I’m not going to get into a semantic argument with you again, BF. I think your premise is faulty and see no point in discourse with it.

        There is history to dispute your claims regarding socialism.

        The earth is really big is supposed to be a response? Please.

        Your math regarding the number of humans is absurd and I’m not going to debate with you why. It is more than obvious.

        Put the two together (resources vs. # of people) and it blows up.

        Peace.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Greatergoodcs,

          I LOVE how you always avoid the absolutely critical part of an argument by dismissing it as semantics.

          It’s great, keep it up!

        • Black Flag says:

          Let us suppose GG was right, and human population size is a problem.

          In 1970, there was 3.7 billion people.

          Today we are approaching 7 billion.

          If GG was right, nearly 3 billion people would have to die to hold equal the prosperity of 1970.

          However, we see we are MORE prosperous today then 1970 – with nearly twice the population.

          So, if GG was right, would should more the half as prosperous as 1970 – that is, along the lines of 1890 level.

          Therefore we can reject the arguments of GG .

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            More prosperous today?

            You’re funny. I’ll give you that.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              So you argue that overall we are NOT more proseperous today than we were 40 years ago?

              Ok.

              I disagree with you completely, but ok.

            • Black Flag says:

              Really, is this the best you can do?

              That is the extent of your argument and reason?

              • Murphy's Law says:

                Dang, BF. I agree completely with you on this one.

                Not the first time it has happened, though it may be the first time I have said so.

        • “There is history to dispute your claims regarding socialism.”

          I would be curious to hear . . . where has long-term socialism benn more successful than a capitalistic democracy?

      • Put the two together (resources vs. # of people) and it blows up.

        What you are forgetting is the ability of people to make innovations to better use the resources that are available. Example 100 years ago if you told a farmer that he could consistanly produce year after year 30 to 50 bushels of wheat per acre a year he would have laughed in your face and called you a liar. However most places today 30 to 50 bushels per acre is low. The difference is the innovation that is available to farmers today that helps keep their resource “the field” in prime shape.

        A more accurate comparison would be (resources and resource innovation vs. # of people) you will find that it is pratically stable.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          What you are forgetting, respectfully, is that with that innovation (technology) jobs were eliminated. What do you do with all the excess workers (what’s happening today) once the jobs dry up (for whatever reason)?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            More innovation does not lead to less jobs, it leads to MORE jobs. Someone has to MAKE that thing that didn’t exist before, don’t they?

            Higher efficiency can lead to less jobs in one particular field, but that is different.

            Also, you fail to realize what causes jobs to “dry up”.

            If there is no longer as big of a demand for a certain product or service, less people will be needed in order to provide that product or service, so jobs in that sector of the economy are lost.

            Basically what you are saying is that when the automobile was invented, everyone who made horse-drawn carriages lost their jobs.

            I agree that that probably sucked for the people that made horse-drawn carriages, but at it’s height, General Motors employed more than 600,000 people. I doubt the horse-drawn carriage industry ever employed anywhere near that many people.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Hey, buddy, the only person “failing” to anything here is you and BF.

              Duh, how many does GM employ now?

              • Yeah it sucks that those GM employees lost their job. But innovation is not the culprit in that situation. If it was there would be other jobs readily available needing to be filled. The job loss was more than likely caused by an unefficent use of resources. Which is the opposite of what innovation and technology provide.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Ah yes, but even though “liberals” support the unions, “liberals” believe that large corporations are evil, so you are supposed to celebrate the fact that GM has gotten so much smaller and can no longer provide a living for so many people!

              • GM forgot that there WAS a quasi free market in the auto industry. If you don’t market something that consumers want for a price that they want it fir, then they won’t buy your product. You can’t make somebody buy something.

              • ‘Scuse me GG, how many unfunded government mandates were forced on all of the car companies?
                Back to that Greater Good thing huh?

              • GG;

                GM is where it is today because of a number or reasons, but mostly because they started running the company more like a socialist nation some years back. Union mentality and rule was the catalyst.

                GM, like the government is top heavy with mgt, most of which don’t need to be there. They are far to diverse, lacking focus on what they are there to do; make cars people want to buy.

                They were far more interested in being the biggest then they were in delivering a quality product.

                They came to believe that they could influence demand and dictate market need.

                They spent far more than they made.

                They adopted an elitist mentality.

                Having the government step in and take them over is just delaying what should have happened some 3-4 years ago; bankruptcy.

                Had that happened some 3-4 years ago they would have restructured and had a better chance of coming back as a profitable capitalist company.

                As things look now they will most likely not survive the long term unless the government maintains a constant cash flow.

                Bottom line: The country as a whole would have been far better off had they filed 3-4 yeas ago.

                CM

              • Murphy's Law says:

                I wish I could remember where I read this recently, but it was a good article on all the bombs GM has put out that helped seal their fate. It listed each model that they had lost huge bucks on through R&D, production, and advertising, and hardly anyone wanted them.

          • You’re absolutely right that innovation does eliminate some jobs. Lets continue my example of farmers being able to produce more through innovation. That will drive down prices of Goods and elminate some farming jobs. We need to look at how the farmers are more productive though. Farmers now have better seeds to plant. Those seeds came from Biologists who have newly created jobs to fill that need. Farmers now have tractors more advanced than 100 years ago that came from newly created jobs to fill the need. Farmers now have firtilizers that required new jobs to be created to fill that need, and so on. Innovation doesn’t remove total number of jobs avaliable, it requires people to adapt to new jobs. Do you think candle and lantern makers were excited about the electric light bulb. Probably not Im sure it drove alot of them out of business. I am pretty confident thought that there are more jobs created because of the light bulb then were eliminated.

          • Black Flag says:

            GG,

            Your position is irrational.

            In 1970, 203,302,031 lived in the USA

            Today, it 305 million

            That means 102 million more people.

            If, by your claim, they should not have jobs.

            On top of that, by your claim, most of the 203 million should not have jobs.

            YET, this is not the case.

            Again, your argument is faulty and can be discarded.

            • Greatergoodcs says:

              Young Will Robinson. Irrational.

              Oy-vey …

              Unions? I guess that free market had nothing to do with it, huh?

              You guys kill me.

              • Black Flag says:

                Unions, as an organization of VOLUNTARY association, is in fact a free market phenomena.

                Unions, by coercive membership, and use of law to pervert property rights is evil – and destructive to an economy.

                GM was crushed by unions.

                Unions, as we know them, will change. The ability to avoid the hostage-taking that Unions engage in will be mitigated by the power of moving overseas.

                GM is only the first – their echo will be heard throughout the Unionized world for decades to come.

              • From your lips to Gods ears 😉

    • GreaterGood,

      Did you know most of us should already be dead? A study//book in the 70’s showed population growth would lead to mass starvation by 2000. I haven’t seen billions dying in the street lately.

      The US deer population in 1900 was 500,000. Today its 20 million, making them the most dangerous animal to humans (auto accidents)in the US, costing more lives than bears, sharks, snakes and spiders combined.

      Its funny also, they keep talking about running out of oil, but keep finding more, increasing the supply.

      I have come up with a theory on population and resources. I think the mega-cities are not economically viable, and are only still going due to massive subsidies. Consider how long it takes to commute into and out of L.A. every workday, they cannot build enough freeways or mass transit.

      • Greatergoodcs says:

        “A study book in the 70’s” doesn’t quite hold up to a credibility test.

        Are you suggesting (regarding deer) that the more people there are (requiring food, etc.), they’ll always be even more of a supply? Maybe I’m not understanding your point.

        Your theory may well be right. If so, what happens? Do you let (for instance) 8 million New Yorkers rot? Take away the subsidy and what happens? They flourish? 16 million deer show up to save them? I don’t understand your point.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          That’s ok… most of us usually don’t understand your points either 🙂

        • I am saying,

          Black Flag said

          Fallacy #1 – Resources are constrained. The Earth is REALLY BIG, there is no lack of resources. Simple review of commodity prices shows a century long downtrend – which indicates that commodities are more plentiful now then in the past.

          I have challenge Flag on some of his statements. But, he is rarely wrong. The 70’s study, like one during the same time period warning of the coming ice age, there are doomsayers poping up constantly.

          The mega-cities need to be weaned of subsidies, and allowed to evolve, or to die(that means people move to where they can survive). Detroit is an interesting case, high unemployment, one of the lowest school graduation rates in the country, yes, let it die.

          8 million New Yorkers (liberals),16 million deer show up?
          I think I will bet on the deer. hehehehe

          • Greatergoodcs says:

            And that’s why there are 20 of you here patting each other on the back and the rest of the world dismisses you.

            I was having fun visiting. You are amusing.

            You’re also scary (but before you beat your chests, I don’t mean one should fear your false bravado).

            You bet on the deer, brother. I’m sure you’ll communicate fine with it.

            • My deer communication is usually a short conversation, involving:
              150lb crossbow
              .50 cal muzzleloader
              7mm, magnum rifle
              12 ga. slug shotgun

              Pretty sure those are not popular in NYC.
              I noticed you did not respond to G!’s post. Let me help.

              G-Man said
              August 25, 2009 at 3:11 pm

              Just some thoughts, IMHO, there is no such thing as the “greater good”. The term and any use of it is imagined and not real. It is an opinion, unexplainable and therefore completely false in nature.

              A quick poll: How many could survive with a “no-government” society if it were to happen next week? Simple answer of “Can” or “Cannot”.

              I CAN

              G!

              • Life of O

                Nah. 243 with hand loaded 95 grain partition bullet does about right on bambi.

              • Bama,

                Its a little strange here,
                my county does not allow
                modern rifle, has a limited shotgun(two 3day), so archery or muzzleloadings the only way to have a decent season. I now go to the next county for most hunting.

                Agree on the 243 being about the perfect round,
                I think they screwed up
                picking the 223 over it, but the seven can reach out there almost
                as well, and has a hell of a lot of knockdown.

              • Life of I

                Sounds like liberals wrote you folk’s hunting laws. In Alabama if it is a center fire cartridge you are good to go.

              • Life of I

                Checked my reloading book and find that as long as you stay at a bullet of 130 gr. or below, your 7 mag has almost the same ballistics as a 243 using a 95 gr. bullet. I did find that the 7 mag cartridge to be very pricey compared to a 243. I am ready for deer season to get here so I can repay those pesky deer that ate up a lot of my garden. They ate my food so I am going to turn them into food.

              • LOI

                2 points to a questions and a statement:

                Deer 3-4 annually, which is what it takes to ensure me, my family and friends have ample venison. And yes, very well if we had 0 government.

                I prefer a compound set at 75 pounds using RAptor broadheads which slip straight through. The deer jumps like they were slapped on the rump, trot about 30-40 yards, stop get dizzy and then fall over; Whack em and Stackem as my friend Ted says.

              • CM,
                You are a true sportsman,
                I know my limits, and would not want to injure
                one, to suffer a poor shot.

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                Very macho.

                Give yourself a medal.

              • I learned a little as I’ve lived. Watching sports especially, you hear these armchair quarterbacks saying how they would do this or that. I can dive from a three meter board, ice skate, and a few other things. You can tell when someone who has never done those things, will sit on their @ss and criticize.

                You mock what you do not understand. A liberal is supposed to be “free from prejudice, tolerant.”

                Does that describe you?

              • Greatergoodcs says:

                I mock you because you make it so easy.

              • So, you are not a liberal?

              • No, you mock because you have no argument. You mock because there is nothing else that you can do. You mock because you have nothing better to do. That is all.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Ahhh GGcs… do I detect someone who would starve if others did not kill your food for you?

              • Peter, ignore it. It won’t go away but ignore it.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                It is so much more fun to play with it than to ignore it 🙂

  8. v. Holland says:

    You have a great site, I came here after reading your post on FoxNation, decided a site where you could converse without the nastiness sounded great and it is. 🙂

    My husband is happy because I don’t scream at the TV anymore and because I talk to him less about politics-he gets madder than I do so not talking about it a whole lot is a good idea.

    Thank you for giving me a civil place, with nice people to share my frustration, my ideas, and to learn. V

  9. I came to this site to find interesting conversation without the nasty, below the belt comments that you find on other sites. I love that there is a wide range of views, it really gives everyone a chance to see each side. As a moderate gay women who is a veteran, I usually am lost in the mix. But here I am happy to voice my thoughts and see where everyone is on the topic.

    I think people on all ends(except maybe the very far ends) are getting tired of government being in everything. I know my friends and family ( who are on all sides of the topics) are feeling like they are going to have the governments approval for everything, and they are not liking that at all.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      Ellen, you’re an interesting mix. How do you feel about the gov’t not providing you with equal rights regarding marriage?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Greatergoodcs,

        The government does not and cannot “provide rights”.

        Your question should be, “How do you feel about the government deciding to recognize marriage for certain people and deciding not to recognize marriage for others.”

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Peter, I’m not going to play that game with you and BF again. I asked a question of Ellen. Not you. The question is a direct one. The government does provide rights (as well as refutes them) through voting.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Peter, mia culpa. I just reread your positing of my question. Good job.

          And you’re right. It doesn’t recognize equal rights for all.

          10 points to you, brother.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Greatergoodcs,

            I wholeheartedly agree with you that the government does not recognize equal rights for all.

            I wholeheartedly disagree with you that the government has any ability to “provide rights” whatsoever.

            But, at least it is a start, we DO agree on the first thing! 🙂

      • I agree with PeterB in Indianapolis said that rights are not given. But its the governement not recognizing rights for everyone.

        Well I see both sides on this topic. Yes I wish that the government would see my relantionship as equal and recognize us as that. But I always see where people have a hard time with calling it Marriage. To most people marriage is a man and woman in a church getting married. So I understand the push agaisnt it. I also see that some people just dont believe we should have these recognized due to their beliefs. Which is their right.
        I dont care what it is called ( civil unions, domestic partnerships) but yes as a American, I do wish that the governement would recognize us. I feel that it is a fight that will continue for sometime in the future.

        • Greatergoodcs says:

          Thank you.

        • Hi Ellen

          Just wanted to let you know, that starting October 1st that Nevada is going to start recognizing domestic partnership. They had that on the news here the other night.

          I agree with what you said, and have always believed in rights for everybody. What difference does it make how you choose to live your life, and I for one think you should not be judged by it. I feel it’s nobody elses business on whether you are straight or not. I wouldn’t want to be judged on my way of life either. Ellen, you have my blessing on any way you choose.

          God Bless you.

          Judy

        • That is why I’d argue for a complete seperation of the churches ability to marry people (however that particular church defines marriage) and the legal contract that the state defines as marriage.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            I would argue that the State should not be in the business of defining marriage at all 🙂

            • The states role in marriage is that same as it has in any other legal contract. If you’re saying that the state (any governement in general) doesn’t have a role in regulating contracts, then your statement is consistent, otherwise not. Do you think that the governement (at any appropriate level) has any role in legal contracts?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I think that the way things currently are, the State has tons of roles in regulating contracts of all kinds.

                The question you did not ask is whether I think the State has a LEGITIMATE role in regulating contracts.

                My answer to that question is “no”.

              • That is a consistent answer, and we’ll have to have a discussion on it.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I am sure that we will have many, and I welcome the opportunity 🙂

              • Black Flag says:

                Redleg,

                No. Government has NO RIGHT to regulate contracts.

                If the contracting parties wish to voluntarily and mutually engage a party of arbitration, they most certainly can do that.

              • What power does the arbitrater have to ensure that the two parties abide by the agreement?

              • Black Flag says:

                None, directly.

                HOWEVERBelow

              • Black Flag says:

                I meant see below – obvioulsy TOO squishy

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I used to align myself with the “right” when they attempted to use the force of government to mandate what marriage is and what marriage is not.

          Now I align myself with Kent’s Bullseye and I realize that government has no business mandating what marriage is and what marriage is not.

          It is strange when you realize that what you once thought was “immoral” is actually moral and suddenly you have to deal with that reality.

        • bottom line says:

          Live and let live is what I say. I have a hard time understanding why so many people are against gay marriage/partnership/civil unions. Who or what does it hurt? How does it adversely affect society? It doesn’t in my opinion. With ALL due respect Ellen, I think homosexuality is odd and a little un-natural, but that doesn’t mean I should be intolerant. I’m not even sure that tolerance is a word that best describes something that I have no issue with. The problem with the gay marriage issue, as far as I can tell, is the fundamentalists christians that try to impose their puritan values on everyone else, thus steiffling our sociological evolution. The self righteous mentality that lends to the train of thought that “I’m better than you and I know whats best for you” is complete and utter bullshit. This country is supposed to be about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…for EVERYONE.

          • Bottom Line I can understand your position. Most people I meet are not bothered by my life, because it doesnt affect theirs. To me a civil union is a contract between myself and my partner. Two adults, putting their wishes down on paper. Marriage to me is a religious symbol, and I am not asking for someones religion to approve of my life. If that makes sense.

            • bottom line says:

              It makes perfect sense. We are in agreement. You say that you’re not asking for someone’s religion to approve of your life. That’s pretty much what I was getting at…I take the stand that the values of others and how they veiw you is(or should be) irrelevant. It gripes me that CA. held a referendum. We are a republic that protects & holds individual rights above all. You should be respected for who you are and not judged by others that hold you in contempt of their beliefs. I’m guessing that you don’t go around telling people that they’re in some way wrong for being straight. And when I said “odd and un-natural”…I was by no means trying to be derrogitory. I just meant that we should accept others in spite of how we see them. Even if someone thinks of you as morally inferior(or whatever other BS they come up with), they should accept you and your way of life none the less. Whether you wanna call it marriage or something else, you should have that right. And I reiterate…Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s all yours baby! You go girl!

  10. USW,

    I also try to read everyday but dont always comment. Somedays I just dont have the time to formulate all my thoughts into a good coherent post.

    All the time and effort you put forth is seen and recognized. Sometimes I think people get out of hand or rude but by and all its a pretty safe place to voice your views.

    • v. Holland says:

      What I have noticed is if people start out being rude, and the only response they receive is politeness and a reasoned response-they stop being rude or they seem to leave or US diplomatically steps in. Of course there are those that will let one instance of rudeness or assumed rudeness(passion), upset them and they leave-which is a shame.

  11. Black Flag says:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32580048/ns/business-us_business/

    I never wish undo harm to any man even those that do evil, so Stanford going to hospital gives me no joy.

    However, I am human too – revenge is instinct and that feeling sometimes does feel good when those that tried to destroy you become strangled in their own web.

    James. M. Davis – hope hell is hot.

    • I agree I dont wish harm on anyone. Is not right to do so. But I do believe in Karma. Sometimes Karma comes back to bite you in the butt if you have not right with your life.

  12. USW

    Every morning after I do what I have to do, I come here to see what the topic of the day is. I may not always have something to say, but when I do, I’ll jump in and put my 2 cents worth in, whether people agree with me or not.

    I agree with what everybody here has said, how nice it is to come, chat with others and have discussions about everything. It’s nice to be able to have discussions without the name calling, or having someone put you down because they might not agree with what you said. I like the civility of everyone here. I too have come to consider these people my friends, and I appreciate the fact how nice they are. My husband asks me every night if I have sore fingers from being on here for so long throughout the day. He makes fun of me because he says I don’t let anybody else have a chance to get on the computer. I always tell him, first come, first serve.

    Keep up the good work USW, because we all know how much effort you put into doing this on a daily basis. Tell Mrs. Weapon thank you as well, for the sacrifices she makes in letting you do this.

    Take CARE
    Judy

  13. USW:

    I offer this thought on your question. What you propose is necessary and in fact has been occuring without purpose.

    I suggest that you put the “fixing it” articles together on a tab, like the series so that we can refer back to them as a group.

    I would also like to wrap up the philosophy series and make sure that is together for reference. I think the nature of this has perhaps changed as we have been including within the discussions for the last month or so. I am curious where most of the other readers are on the scale of building a “system” from which to defend Liberty.

    I have to run for now as I am off to Glacier Park and surrounding country for the last trip of summer. I will send you a note when I return. In the meantime feel free to let me know your thoughts on the philosophy wrap up. Chris never did provide the other side he suggested. I would be interested in seeing it if he was still willing to pull it together. I would like to see a philosophical system or basis presented for the “greater good” view point.

    Anyway, Ta Ta for Now.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    JAC

  14. Thank you USW for all the time and effort you put into this site, your doing a great job!

    I look forward to reading your article and everyones ideas everyday. I don’t post often and most of the time I do it is because something in my life has to do with whatever the subject is. I read alot of different news sites and blogs daily to try and get as much information as I can to form my own opinion and this is by far the most respectful site I have seen. I enjoy the thought provoking questions raised by everyone here and it helps me alot to understand politics and what is going on in todays society.

    Thanks again,

    Kym

  15. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    USW,

    I think it would be great if you divided the topics into the “philosophical” vs. “here is what we have right now, and barring some sort of miracle, how do we deal with it under the current system”.

    I am all for that if you want to divide things up that way.

    Just be prepared for the answer to sometimes be “There is no moral solution to the current problem within the current system.”

    I will try not to pull that one out on you too often, because I realize that your desire is to come up with the best possible answer that can practically be implemented given what we have to deal with currently, so I will try to provide answers that you will actually find helpful as much as possible.

    • Makes perfect sense to me. I’ve participated in other discussions (not necessarily here) where people can’t get past “d!@#$t, its supposed to be that way” and get down to the business of trying to come up with pratical solutions. Those solutions aren’t always comfortable, and they’re often not pretty.

  16. What would today be without a funny! Since healthcare is a big issue:

    MEDICAL JOKE

    A Russian doctor says, “In my country medicine is so advanced we can take half a heart out of one person put it in another and have them both looking for work in six weeks.”
    A German doctor says, “That’s nothing, we can take a lung out of one person put it in another and have him looking for work in four weeks.”

    An Israeli doctor says, “Medicine in my country is so advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man put it in another and have him looking for work in two weeks”.

    The American doctor, not to be outdone, says, “You guys are way behind … We just took a man with no brain out of Illinois, put him in the White House and now half the country is looking for work!”

    Couldn’t resist!

    G!

  17. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    BF, please go take a look at #7 in the “Open Mic Continuing Conversations 8/26/09 page.”

    I am sure that you will also simultaneously laugh and cry at the concept that a government agency can give itself a right.

    The rest of the article that I linked is pretty tragi-comic as well.

    • Black Flag says:

      It’s worse than that

      “.. it slapped a failing grade on 1,882 banks…”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/business/economy/23gret.html

      The FDIC has consumed almost all of its funds – it will need more from Congress.

      The net effect on the economy is zero.

      Bank A fails, taken over by BIG 5, depositors paid out of FED treasury. Nothing changes.

      What is changing is that the big banks – essentially nationalized by the government – are consolidating all the little banks.

      It will be soon that loans will be made for political, not economical, reasons.

      Capital is escaping to Asia.

  18. GGsc, Your quote:
    Are you suggesting (regarding deer) that the more people there are (requiring food, etc.), they’ll always be even more of a supply?

    I’ll take a stab at explaining how this is a fact of our existance. As our population grew over the last decade, people have in fact ensured that resources would match our needs throughout the course of time. Deer, is an excellent example of this. While deer are not bred like cattle as a staple food source, deer and their habitat have been managed very well by biologists. There are now more deer in Pennsylvania alone than existed in the whole country in 1900.

    My point is, our resources will always grow with the needs of the population. In fact, there are farmers being paid to NOT grow food on their land.

    Thought that might help clear up some things.

    G!

    • G!

      The silence is DEAFENING. I have brought your post forward twice now, so it has been asked three times now. I have not yet seen an answer to
      I can or cannot, from anyone who supports the government using force to take from its citizens, to provide for all.

      Does this mean we are divided not as liberals or conservatives, but by those who view self sufficiency as a core value, and those who look for someone else to always provide for them? Or does it mean they don’t like questions like that?

      • I answered the other day I can survive. I got the garden, got canned food, can hunt and can fish. I and my tribe will be ok.

      • I’ve been watching and waiting myself.

        Does this mean we are divided not as liberals or conservatives, but by those who view self sufficiency as a core value, and those who look for someone else to always provide for them? Or does it mean they don’t like questions like that?

        I’ve been wondering about the first question about division. I’m noticing, through many conversations, that what you asked may in fact be true, we are divided, those of us who can do for themselves, and want it that way. Then there are those that want from those that can, either because they can’t or choose not too!

        Your last question is easy, no they don’t like these questions, because they are realiziing that what they think they believe, and their values might not be in their best long term interest.

        To change their mindset, so they too can survive and prosper, even in the toughest of times, requires the toughest of questions.

        With all that said, wonder if I lit any fires?

        G!

  19. Here is a funny my son just sent to me.

    _____________________________________________________
    WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN

    Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama go to heaven.

    God addresses Al first. “Al, what do you believe in?”

    Al replies: “Well, I believe that I won that election, but that it was your
    will that I did not serve. And I’ve come to understand that now.:”

    God thinks for a second and says, “Very good. Come and sit at my left.”

    Then God addresses Bill. “Bill, what do you believe in?”

    Bill replies: “I believe in forgiveness. I’ve sinned, but I’ve never held a
    grudge against my fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me.”

    God thinks for a second and says: “You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at
    my right.”

    Then God addresses Barack. “Barack, what do you believe in?”

    Barack replies; “I believe you’re in my chair.”

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE

  20. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    A word about frame of reference:

    Beware of being convinced that just because things are the way that they are, that is the only way they could have been, or the only way they SHOULD be, or the only way they MUST be, or the only way they are GOING to be.

    As an old science teacher of mine once said, “The only constant in life is change.”

    Things are going to change whether you want them to or not, and not all change is necessarily bad. BUT IF YOU WANT TO HAVE THINGS CHANGE FOR THE BETTER IT REQUIRES EFFORT.

    Saying something along the lines of “What BF says sounds great but it would never work” is a cop-out.

    “What BF says sounds great but it would require a lot of work” is a far more accurate statement.

    The first thing you must work on is your own mind. If you truly believe that the only way that you have individual rights is by having them granted to you by the government, then your mind may not even be capable of the work necessary to see any other viable option.

    If you believe that we all have unalienable (unable to be taken away) rights endowed to us by the Creator, and you have an understanding of what this really means, then you already have a good head-start on the work required.

  21. USW

    Thanks for all the work you do to promote debate and thinking. I stumbled in here about 9 months ago thinking my way was the only correct way. Boy was I mistaken. I feel I have come closer to a new core value by reading and debating some very smart people here. Some days all I can do is just read everyone else’s post and not participate, but I do read. Anyway thanks to you and everyone that posts here, as it has changed my core principles to where I better understand my philosophy concerning freedom.

    • bottom line says:

      It’s refreshing to know that at least someone in this world is open minded and humble enough to re-contemplate their core principles instead of stubbornly defending them against good sound logic. Good for you brother! I bet you have a ton of friends.

    • Hey Bama Dad, It’s seems we share much in common! I echo your words, and like you, my tribe will be fine as well.

      G!

  22. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    A QUICK SURVEY:

    Proposition A:

    Most people are capable of reason, logic, and enlightened self-interest, and therefore, most people are capable of living “in a civilized manner”

    Proposition B:

    Most people are basically savages, so the people who are actually capable of reason, logic, and enlightened self-interest MUST use some combination of carrots and sticks in order to force the rest of humanity to behave like civilized human beings.

    Proposition C:

    You have a right to food simply because you are alive.

    Proposition D:

    You need to work for your food, it isn’t simply going to show up on your plate merely because you exist.

    Proposition E:

    If someone is down on their luck, most people are willing to lend a hand.

    Proposition F:

    If someone is down on their luck, most people will ignore the person and simply let them suffer.

    If you want to write a big response to this, feel free. If you want to simply answer with “I’d go with B, D, and F” or something like that, that’s fine too 🙂

    • Hi Peter, I’ll say A, D, and E.

      G!

      • Black Flag says:

        Ditto!

      • ADE. You bring up an interesting area of thought, Peter. I have noticed a pattern on this site that contributors that lean left seem to have little faith in people, from distrusting in their goodness and willingness to do right to Mat’s “people.are.greedy.”

        I don’t think this way and never have and I’d be curious to hear from Ray, Mat, Chris, GC – where do you think these feelings came from? Your upbringing, family, community, education, co-workers,……and why do you have little faith in the American people, yet seem to have great faith in goverment?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I wonder this too… how is it logical to have no faith in people yet have great faith in a government which is run by…

          PEOPLE!

          If government was run by the gods I might understand 🙂

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Ditto for me too

    • Im going to go with
      A: except most people choose not to use reason and logic but hey at times Im just as guilty of it as anyone else.
      C and D: C until you are able to provide for yourself. A baby cannot work to provide its own food.
      E: no stipulations

      • Well thought out Seed! When your a baby and scream your head off when your hungry, I’d call that work, at least baby work. LOL

        G!

      • In my world, there is a young woman who cannot hear well, is barely verbal, and will always function at the level of a smart toddler. She will always require 24×7 supervision. For her sake, I will stand with Seed with the caveat that those who can have a responsibility for those who cannot. I have no sympathy for those who will not. c

    • OK…I’ll give my 2 cents worth…

      A: I think the majority of people do have common sense and a working knowledge of right and wrong. So they could get along in a civilized manner. Its the few rotten apples that screws it up for the rest of us.

      B: There are always going to be those people who beleive they know whats best according to their way of thinking and would use any means at their disposal to coerse (sp?) others to do things their way.

      C: Nobody has a right to anything, you need to earn what you get be that food, clothing, shelter or whatever.

      D: Yes, everybody has some kind of skill and would be able to earn what they get.

      E: Yes, it has been proven time and time again that most people are willing to help out those who need help in a situation. The only time this doesn’t happen is when someone isn’t willing to change whatever needs changed to improve their situation. Then they become a burden on society because the expect everything to be handed to them with no intention of bettering themselves to avoid the problem in the future.

      F: There are always going to be those few people out there who feel its not their problem so they won’t get involved and let someone suffer. I believe the vast majority though would help in time of need.

    • bottom line says:

      I’ll submit to you that we are all, all of the above. I say this in reference to the Freudian concept of fundamental human behavior regarding the relationship between the ID, Ego, and Super-ego. Propositions A,D,& E are representative of the “Super-ego” and demonstrates self awareness…While Propositions B,C,& F are just plain “ID”-ish. All humans have the capacity to be either/or. I think it depends on the situation. Under normal circumstances we may be one or the other, but put any of us under the right type of pressure and that could easily change. I’ll give an example…My concience/super-ego wouldn’t allow me to let my fellow man starve if I were in any kind of position to help(E). However, If I myself was hungry, I would instinctively be selfish, purely as a means of self preservation(F). Then again, I can argue that it is better to share even if you are hungry because it serves a dual purpose of looking out for your fellow man and at the same time creating safety/security in numbers. Feed your brother today and he might just feed you on a day when you’re hungry.

    • Greatergoodcs says:

      B & F.

      Class dismissed.

      • GG, I wish I could understand why you are so angry with society. It’s just my opinion, but I don’t see your responses and mindset as being healthy. It’s none of my business, but I’m always willing to talk with people. I work with vets who deal with PTSD, so listening is one of my better attributes. USW can give you my E-mail address if you wish. If not, I will not worry further.

        Peace!

        G!

    • A, D & E

  23. Black Flag says:

    Redleg said
    August 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Redleg

    I know that Black Flag believes that ALL governement is evil, but I’d like to hear his thoughts, and reasoned arguments, to get the same standard of living and conviences that MOST of us here on this board enjoy. Do we really believe that we would have gone to the moon or have an internet WITHOUT the government funding of the basic research that led to those things?

    As Peter said, IF there was a reason to go to the moon, free men would do it. Government ‘went’ to the moon for purely political and military reasons – not economic. That entire investment has been lost. It is estimated that if USA wanted to go to the moon, it would take 15 years….and why longer than the original? Because of the new environmental laws would prevent building the super-large lift capacity necessary…go figure!

    Internet was not “invented” by government. DARPA ran a project, and the process of this project, unlike other government projects, was to poll INDUSTRY and Research for answers (called RFC or Request for Comment).

    DARPA ended their experiment and what was left was turned over to free enterprise – and then, and only then, did what we call the “world wide web” explode into what we have today.

    Now, to what you called conveniences and standard of living….

    Bluntly, much of the standard of living of many people would fall – because they have been held up by government seizure of wealth and from artificial injections of currency into the economy.

    But, the standard of living is going to fall anyway since the above is unsustainable.

    The goal we need to strive for is sustainable economic prosperity – not illusionary.

    Free market provides brilliantly for sustainable economic prosperity – and free market must be free – without government.

    Redleg, to put it another way. Free market systems always win.

    If the free market is perverted, it responds by decreasing economic output, tossing the people into poverty. The degree of poverty equals the degree of perversion. It will keep them there until the people get tired of being poor, and then change the force on them, and free themselves. Then prosperity reappears.

    If the People really want to go to the moon, they will invest their OWN money to do so.

    The use of government is by those people, who cannot convince the people by reason (re: GG) or rhetoric (re: Chris) of the value of their idea.

    Thus, the use government FORCE to push what then must be called an unreasoned or badly articulated program. But a politician is where he is BECAUSE he can articulate well – he achieved the tens of thousands of votes – THEREFORE, the reason he needs government is because his ideas is UNREASONABLE

    So if the people, voluntarily, do not want to go to the moon, it is the voice of the people speaking frankly and correctly. When someone can convince the people by rhetoric or reason, then the people will VOLUNTARILY commit the resources to that goal.

    • BF,

      Thanks for your comments. The problem that I am having wrapping my head around you statements that the free market always wins is that the primary driver for technological innovation over the last 100 years has been the government throught the military. You yourself admit that it was DARPA funded research that led to the internet that we know today. Would that basic research have been done without that impetus? The satellite communications that we have today were driven by technology derived from that space race that got us to the moon. Microwaves, radar, jet engines, cellphones, lasers, GPS; all were either developed directly by the governement or from basic research paid for by the military.

      I’d like to think that the free market would have led to these things, but is some cases there WAS no market until the the military applications were already in the field.

      The car that you drive today is cleaner, gets better mileage, has more power, handles better and is safer than a car of the same size from 20 years ago because of many of those regulations that you deplore. Woud the free market have led to these? American cars didn’t have seat belts until forced to, by the government. The free market had the public convinced that they were dangerous.

      I think that SOME government is necessary, but my problem is deciding where that happy medium is.

      • Black Flag says:

        The problem that I am having wrapping my head around you statements that the free market always wins is that the primary driver for technological innovation over the last 100 years has been the government throught the military.

        I absolutely disagree. It has been the knowledgeable consumer.

        Computer revolution has been driven by video gamers – who demand higher resolution graphics and faster response and more detailed and complex games.

        You yourself admit that it was DARPA funded research that led to the internet that we know today. Would that basic research have been done without that impetus?

        Yes – fiber optic communication was invented by Alexander Graham Bell – the fax machine was invented in 1870 – but both were not necessary, because the CONSUMER did not need international communication or information that fast. It held no value to get a document (at that price of delivery via fax) in an hour. The recipient was ‘just fine’ to get the real document in a week or two — fax machine and fiber optics sat for a hundred years until commerce required them.

        The satellite communications that we have today were driven by technology derived from that space race that got us to the moon.

        Rockets were invented by the Chinese – modern rocket technology was initially developed by Dr. Goddard – not the military.

        Microwaves,

        Invented by Tesla

        radar,

        Discovered and invented by Heinrich Hertz in 1887

        jet engines,

        Invented by Sir Frank Whittle. He had to persist his research on his own initiative and received his first patent on turbojet propulsion in January 1930.

        With private financial support, he began construction of his first engine in 1935. This engine, which had a single-stage centrifugal compressor coupled to a single-stage turbine, was successfully bench tested in April 1937.

        cellphones,

        Dr Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, is considered the inventor of the first portable handset and the first person to make a call on a portable cell phone in April 1973

        lasers,

        Invented by Gordon Gould at Columbia University.

        GPS; all were either developed directly by the governement or from basic research paid for by the military.

        Maybe GPS, (though it was ACTUALLY invented by Professor Bradford Parkinson and Ivan Getting of the Raytheon)

        I’d like to think that the free market would have led to these things, but is some cases there WAS no market until the the military applications were already in the field.

        The car that you drive today is cleaner, gets better mileage, has more power, handles better and is safer than a car of the same size from 20 years ago because of many of those regulations that you deplore.

        Let us be perfectly clear.

        It is government law that allows pollution!

        You have no right to poison me.

        In a free market system, the right to poison DOES NOT EXIST – and if your car has been found to harm me, you are found to be attacking my right to live. You would be subject to the same law that protects people from those that destroy human rights.

        Woud the free market have led to these? American cars didn’t have seat belts until forced to, by the government.

        This is not true.

        Seat belts were always an option in any car. It was the consumer that made the choice to buy or not to buy.

        The free market had the public convinced that they were dangerous.

        I do not believe this is true – source?

        I think that SOME government is necessary, but my problem is deciding where that happy medium is.

        I get the impression you believe some RULES are necessary and confuse GOVERNMENT with RULES.

        But let us delve into the essence of this conversation.

        As we have seen, many things are discover/invented but are not useful at that time – this is actually very common.

        Do you believe that it is worth the violence and coercion of government to bring into use an invention before the people as consumer see its value, or allow the free market to provide such goods/service without coercion or violence at a point in time that the consumer demands such goods?

        I guess, what is so “vital” to ‘hurry up’ about GPS that made it so important to a consumer that is was worth threatening violence on free men to make it real?

        • Short answer, I don’t know if the violence that was perpetrated was worth it. I do know that a pratical application for radar was developed because of violence being perpetrated on Britian by Germany. It was the military that first put a Jet engine into a plane. The military wanted a more relaible means of navigation rather than RDF (Radio Direction Finding). It was the impetus of the Cold War that took Dr Godddards work and the work of German scientists in WW2 and put us into space.

          Maybe I am confusing RULES with GOVERNEMENT, but how do you reconcile the difference the your town’s rules are different from my town’s rules? Do you contend that it isn’t necessary to write down those rules which govern the relationship between your town and my town? You cannot count on someone always remembering those rules, and writing things down helps to relieve confusion and misunderstandings.

          There are different layers of rules as each society gets larger. Hammurabi is called the “law giver” because he was the first (that we know of) to write down the rules into laws so that everybody knew them, and they could be consistenty applied. The Magna Carta codified the rules that the English nobles related to theier king with and therefore restricted the rights of the King. The Founders wrote the Constitution to restrict not the people, but rather the government. I belive that the Constitution has been perverted over the last 225+ years, and we need to get back it as it was meant to be. Once we are there, THEN we can discuss getting rid of the governement completely.

  24. Hello Peter

    I’ll say A, C, D, E. Although there are some, won’t say most about F.

  25. USW, I don’t have a lot of time today, but wanted to get my 2-cents in. Your site and the posters here have provided me with education, reflection, humor, frustration, brain exhaustion and most importantly, self- evaluation. The logic, reason, intelligence displayed here is amazing and I am so glad to be a part of it.

    • You said it very well Kathy. US, you have my admiration and thanks for providing this forum. Kathy — you & V get the gold star and bonus points — the number was 13631 …

  26. Yes, what Kathy and everyone else said. I am thankful to have found this site and all of you. Thanks USW.

  27. Mike M. Houston Texas says:

    GG your argument against technology ousttipping the jobs is flawed. Take this in any 20 year increments you like. There are inventions yet the jobless rate remains steady even in the face of an increasing population. In the 80’s computers were invented. There were maybe 1,000 people making the ONE univac. Now there are millions profiting off of that invention. Using your argument we should grieve the 100 guys that made the vaccum tubes for that first at the expense of the new million jobs created. Again compare any 20 year period of time with a constant increase in population and invention and the jobless rate only fluctuates by small margins. Calamities such as the great depression and where we are today are only small blips in time. We cannot make cast iron assumptions based on one small fraction of time. Take the bigger picture view.

  28. Black Flag says:

    Redleg,

    re: Interstate highways

    They were built for military reasons – to move masses of materials and troops east/west and north/south. It is merely by accident that the citizens get to use them for private transportation.

    • Okay, so no government, no military. How then do we get them? built to SINGLE standard across the entire country.

      • Black Flag says:

        We use a single “standard” for HTTP – how was that done – globally – without government force?

        The world has many standards for currency, yet the world works.

        The world has many standards of measure, yet we trade.

        Standards BENEFIT advance societies even though they are not required.

        Thus, free men will figure it out – there will be those that build interchanges or provide services so to allow such interchange from one system to another.

        If it is to a benefit of someone to do “a thing”, rest assured that someone else will figure out how to get that benefit to that person – there is profit in doing so

        • Most likely because a big government contract forced a standrd, and that is what the contract winner used. That is how many standards have been established. We have SAE standards for sizes because the military mandated that SOMETHING was picked.

          • Black Flag says:

            I agree – government can force a standard and it does – with mixed success.

            Remember Ada?

            Probably not – it was supposed to be the standard programming language for any and all applications for the government….and many thought that would make Ada THE LANGUAGE of all programming.

            That sorta went (poof).

            Government found out that it was not the driver of innovation – but the consumer was – and programmers writing code for consumers tended prefer C+

            Today, Ada is nowhere – and derivatives of C+ is everywhere.

            • C+ is a derivative of Ada. And the only things you wil stil find it on is weapons systems developed in the 80s that are still arouind.

              • Black Flag says:

                Allow me to correct you…

                Ada is a structured, statically typed, imperative, wide-spectrum, and object-oriented high-level computer programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages

                You may find Ada in government – you will not find Ada anywhere else

              • Like I said, only in weapons systems developed in the 80s. The Army at least has largely moved to commercial languages for weapons

            • God I hate Ada!!

  29. Black Flag says:

    Redleg

    What power does the arbitrater have to ensure that the two parties abide by the agreement?

    In a free market, no VIOLENT power at all.

    MORAL power, tremendous.

    If you and I are in dispute, and we both agree on an honest broker, and after his decision, I STILL refuse to abide by our agreement – the rest of society has proof beyond a reasonable doubt that I am not an honest man worthy to do business with.

    The ostracization that would occur would probably result in my death – for I would not be able to buy or trade as no one would risk my dishonesty.

    In many cultures, honor and trust is more important than life – for that very reason.

    • What about those that don’t abide by the same moral code as you? Some cultures teach that it is perfectly okay to lie to outsiders.

      • Black Flag says:

        Any cultural that does not revile dishonesty will suffer moribundity (ie: stagnation).

        Prosperity relies on divisions of labor, such divisions require diverse locations and people.

        If trust cannot secured, transfer of goods will not occur and division of labor collapses. Without division of labor, no modern society can survive.

        Thus, inside a modern society some means by which trust can be secured will be developed – I have used as a direct example International Banking.

        Any society that promotes dishonesty will collapse.

        • We’re talking about dishonesty towardss those outside you society. And I agree, it has led to stagnation of the society that advocates it.

          • Black Flag says:

            Ok, so let’s discuss the case of a society the is dishonest to outsiders.

            In a modern society, and its division of labor – such division of labor continues to expand internationally – as we see products from China go to Korea go to Brazil comes to America (for example)

            Any society which treats foreigners with dishonesty will be excluded from the benefit of this division of labor – and will stagnate (re: N. Korea, Afghanistan)

            • No argument about the stagnation. I will just say within human there will always be those that will try to take advantage of others.

              • Black Flag says:

                And therefore!

                We need to create MORAL rules to guide actions and reactions to such, right?

              • Agreed, no argument. Now what are some PRACTICAL solutions to get there from here.

              • Black Flag says:

                Welcome to hard work!

                But first YOU MUST agree to a core,root,immutable principle of moral action….

                Are you ready and willing to do so?

  30. Black Flag says:

    I have figured it out!

    GG is really USWep in disguise.

    Notice that when GG speaks, USWep is not around.
    When USWep speaks GG is not around.

    GG is USWep trying to emulate the irrational communist mind~! An insane man cannot pretend to be sane, but a sane man can pretend to be insane!

    But, then again, I may be wrong on this…. 😆

  31. Black Flag says:

    Redleg

    Short answer, I don’t know if the violence that was perpetrated was worth it.

    So, don’t abandon there – if one is suggesting that government (ie: coercion) is required for innovation (ie: economic prosperity), we need to have a MEASURE by which you can PROVE this.

    The default will be: If you merely shrug your shoulders and say “Don’t know” or “Don’t know how to measure” then we MUST conclude that it was NOT economic.

    Economics depends on calculation – which why we ‘price’ things – if it cannot be calculated, it cannot be economic.

    I do know that a pratical application for radar was developed because of violence being perpetrated on Britian by Germany. It was the military that first put a Jet engine into a plane. The military wanted a more relaible means of navigation rather than RDF (Radio Direction Finding). It was the impetus of the Cold War that took Dr Godddards work and the work of German scientists in WW2 and put us into space.

    So let’s get your cause and effect straight. Government certainly does use the market’s goods and services for its own purposes – there is no debate. Showing examples of this is unnecessary.

    However, claiming that government caused these innovations is reversing the fact and further, claiming that such uses did a good is much, much harder to prove.

    One can say “winning a war” is a good thing – perhaps, but such claims need to overcome objection #1 – was going to war a good thing? and #2 – often winning a war creates situations of far worse evil….(but that’s a whole other thread)

    Maybe I am confusing RULES with GOVERNEMENT, but how do you reconcile the difference the your town’s rules are different from my town’s rules?

    Question back – why does your town rules have to be the same as my town’s rules? They are not the same town…..

    Do you contend that it isn’t necessary to write down those rules which govern the relationship between your town and my town?

    I would think that is a good idea.

    You cannot count on someone always remembering those rules, and writing things down helps to relieve confusion and misunderstandings.

    I agree.

    There are different layers of rules as each society gets larger.

    Ah, the fallacy – does a MORAL GOOD become a MORAL BAD because there are more people?

    Moral law is infinitely scalable to any size. That is why it holds to be moral – it does not change depending on circumstances.

    It is evil to murder – killing a million does not make murder good.

    It is evil to steal – stealing billions from millions does not make theft good…etc. etc.

    Hammurabi is called the “law giver” because he was the first (that we know of) to write down the rules into laws so that everybody knew them, and they could be consistenty applied.

    He was a tyrant. Under threat of revolt due to his arbitrary rule, he got a brain and figured that less arbitrary rule would increase his legitimacy.

    The Magna Carta codified the rules that the English nobles related to theier king with and therefore restricted the rights of the King.

    It was men REVERSING the concept that Kings were Heavenly ordained and ruled by the will of God. It was not creating government but deposing it. The LAW was deemed to apply to ALL MEN, equally, including upon those that ruled.

    Think about that when you consider government and its actions upon men….

    The Founders wrote the Constitution to restrict not the people, but rather the government.

    The common thread is – the people in RESISTANCE to government INCREASE their freedom.

    I belive that the Constitution has been perverted over the last 225+ years, and we need to get back it as it was meant to be.

    Read carefully:

    A Constitution whose purpose is to LIMIT government, but in its reading and interpretation, and then in its enforcement is done BY government cannot succeed.

    The government will read and interpret the document to the largest extent of its own actions, reduce limitations upon itself and then, if necessary, refuse to enforce the document upon itself.

    Today is the direct and only consequence of the Constitution.

    • Which is why it is imcumbent on WE the PEOPLE to enforce the Contitution on OUR government, as it is was meant to be. It does require eternal vigilance, and isn’t easy, but is the MORAL thing to do.

      • Black Flag says:

        What tool to you believe the PEOPLE have to enforce itself on a government – a government that runs the Army and the Police?

        • Bf, Would it then be wise to NOT have the government control the military? I would say Yes, but who then would direct the militaries actions? My answer,,, the people.

          G!

          • Black Flag says:

            G-man,

            You are a genius!

          • And how exactly would that work? The military isn’t a democracy by design. Someone (1 person, no ruling by commitee) has to be in charge to make decisions. No making decisions by concensus.

            • Even tribal hunters know that. There’s 1 person in charge of the hunt.

            • Black Flag says:

              “No making decisions by consensus”

              Works really well if we want military junta as the rule of society.

              BUT we are not an Army that happens to own a country.

              We want to be FREE PEOPLE.

              Remember, LEADERSHIP is wholly different from GOVERNMENT.

        • The tool is called the voting booth.

          Last time I checked, most police DON’T work for the federal governement, they work for the city, county, or state. There are already a number of instances where police forces have ignored federal law at the behest of their local leadership. Now FEDERAL law enforcement, different story.

          DOes any one on this board actually believe that OUR military, at least the ones who are actual trigger pullers, would obey orders to take up arms against the people of the US? Really?

          • Black Flag says:

            Voting does not work – the system is a negative feedback loop – any disturbance in the system is absorbed or discarded – with no change to the system EXCEPT for (perhaps) civic level of government.

            Police – whereas I agree with your point – the laws the Police enforce are not just local laws – but federal ones. But I am pleased you raised the Police=local – it will be discussed in my guest post…

            As far as military – yes, they would – Katrina proved it.

            All it took was to take out-of-State soldiers – New Yorkers were not enforcing government on New Yorkers – they WOULD enforce it on Texans, and vis versa…

            It is a VERY SPECIFIC tactic to take men from here and put them over their among strangers (and not their friends and family).

            • Katrina – Very specific circumstances, and there was a reason why one Governer asked for the support from another Governer to do that. I don’t know a single PROFESSIONAL soldier, officer or enlisted, that supports that decision.

              Voting doesn’t work at levels above the local level because the paties haver set it up that way. Its up to us to get the STATE laws changed to get more exposure for the kinds of candidates that we can support.

              • Amen Redleg. I will be offering a local candidate that many here will know early next week.

            • Impossible, there are no Texas passports issued to New York.

          • Redleg,

            I think they would, but only under one condition. They would have to be convinced that what they were doing was absolutely essential for the betterment of the country. This would mean believing that those who they pull the trigger on are absolutely a danger to them and the United States. There are many in the military that are willing to protect America at any cost. That is what they took an oath to do. And if they think it is an American that is that threat to the country, they will fulfill that oath.

            Which brings to bear the rhetoric that we are hearing from the wacked out folks on the fringes of the far left. They are doing a pretty convincing job of swaying a large number of people that the folks on the right are “dangerous”. If they find a way to make it stick. There is big trouble. You could possibly have the military moving against any militia group, any group of protesters who have brought their weapon on their hip as a sign of their 2nd Amendment rights, etc.

            We have seen this happen on a smaller scale. I have no doubt that David Koresh was a fairly wacked out dude. But prior to what happened there so famously, I don’t recall anything, ever, that pointed to his group actually being a threat to anyone, not even the government. Yet the military moved on those American citizens on the word of their superiors that these particular citizens were “dangerous” and “had too many guns”. And those American soldiers were willing to fire on those American citizens.

            It is remote to think that the military would move against American citizens, but I would not say that it is a scenario that is impossible.

            USW

          • Redleg,

            I think its possible depending on the circumstances. If it happens the first time, it will happen easier the next time. Of course, things would have to be pretty bad, but I think it can get there very easily. Never say never…..

    • I didn’t say the rules have to be the same, they just have to reconciled so that we can relate to each other. The only reason to reconcile the rules between my town and your town is to promote a free market not just of goods, but also of people and ideas.

    • Been following along, good discussion!

      G!

      • Hey G

        Did you by any chance get any of the pictures I sent you today? They were things that Christopher sent to me and I in turn sent them to you. Let me know, okay.

        Thanks

        Judy

  32. BF,

    One question for you. Do you believe that governement, regardless of what form, is appropriate at ANY level? If you do, then what is appropriate?

    The military has a saying that is there are two privates together, then one of them is in charge. Somebody(s) MUST be in charge to make decisions that affect the ENTIRE group. As long as people have been living together it has been this way, starting with family groups, to the large, complex governemtns we have today.

  33. Black Flag says:

    Redleg

    BF, One question for you. Do you believe that governement, regardless of what form, is appropriate at ANY level?

    JAC, USWep and I have had hours of discussion about this sticking point – What do you define government?

    An entire post of USWep went up, and STILL no definition that everyone could agree….

    Now, (of course 😉 ) I think mine is right… BUT I am willing to entertain any one else’s that does describe reality.

    So, what do you mean by government?

    If you do, then what is appropriate? The military has a saying that is there are two privates together, then one of them is in charge. Somebody(s) MUST be in charge to make decisions that affect the ENTIRE group. As long as people have been living together it has been this way, starting with family groups, to the large, complex governemtns we have today

    By what RIGHT does a private take charge? ….. There is RULE, isn’t there? 🙂

    It is the one with the most seniority – it isn’t arbitrary.

    So RULES are not arbitrary – they MUST be derived from a MORAL basis, true?

    • I don’t know, is alphabetical order moral?

      I define government as the person or body who has been empowered by the governed to enforce the rules that the governed have consented to. That consent is either obtained actively (through the use of the voting booth by the governed) or tacitly by the INACTION of the governed to change those rulers or the rule enforcers.

      Given that definition, what about my question?

      • Black Flag says:

        Redleg said
        August 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm

        I don’t know, is alphabetical order moral?

        Undetermined. Moral behavior has a few more tests to pass.

        I define government as the person or body who has been empowered by the governed to enforce the rules that the governed have consented to.

        So, what happens if I do not consent?

        That consent is either obtained actively (through the use of the voting booth by the governed) or tacitly by the INACTION of the governed to change those rulers or the rule enforcers.

        But what happens if I do not agree to the vote?

        Given that definition, what about my question?

        Your definition fails to define government IN REALITY. It is the definition of government that YOU WANT.

        Do you see the difference?

        Do you think N. Korea has a government? Does your definition satisfy this?

  34. Black Flag says:

    Redleg

    Katrina – Very specific circumstances, and there was a reason why one Governer asked for the support from another Governer to do that. I don’t know a single PROFESSIONAL soldier, officer or enlisted, that supports that decision.

    The point and example – “foreign troops” do a darn good job of enforcement on “local” populations – think about the attempt coup of Russia – Russian tanks rolled into Moscow to overthrow the President …. were the MOSCOW REGIMENT. The coup failed because the tank commanders refused to fire upon their own citizens, with whom they lived and befriended.

    The 1991 Soviet coup d’état attempt ….

    “The Tamanskaya Division, is one of the most famous divisions of the Russian Ground Forces.

    The division is deployed in the Moscow Military District, it is based near Aprelevka, in the Moscow suburbs

    Believe me, Putin learned that lesson….. and so should Americans.

    Voting doesn’t work at levels above the local level because the paties haver set it up that way. Its up to us to get the STATE laws changed to get more exposure for the kinds of candidates that we can support.

    You, like G-man, have cheated and are reading ahead in the BF Book of Things….
    🙂

    • Knowing history and the original intent of the Founders isn’t cheating, its just smart.:)

    • There’s a reason that officers oin the US military swear their oath to the Constitution, not to the President or Congress. National Guard Officers swear an additional oath to the Governor of thier state, not just their state constitution. There may come a day when those two oaths come into conflict with each other. Each officer will have to weigh WHICH oath is more important to THEM. Its happened before, in 1861.

  35. Redleg

    I’m answering you down here, too squishy .

    Well then, if you get Greece when the Persians ran over them, then why would it be good to have the people control the militaries? And if it isn’t good to have the people control the militaries, and not the government, then who?

    • Like I said, 1 person MUST be in charge of making the decisions. In our system, it is supposed to be the people, through the government. If the American people REALLY wanted us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, then all they have to do is elect Representatives who would refuse to fund the militaries actions. If that is what the current congress was elected to do, then they need to be voted out and replacements found. Either its just rhetoric, or the majority of the American people really DON’T want it. It worked in Vietnam.

      • Black Flag says:

        But that is not what happened.

        US left Vietnam because it was ECONOMICALLY disastrous – Nixon had closed the gold window in 1972, due to a run on the US dollar by Europe (who saw the American economy tanking due to the war) – by 1975, it was apparent that America elite were endanger of losing the entire economy.

        The war ended (for America)

        It was not the Citizens who stopped the government – it was the economy

        There is no vote that can change federal government.

    • Black Flag says:

      Greeks won – Persia lost. Then the Athenians thought they were like Persians, tried to overrun other other city states and got a lesson handed to them too….

      People’s control over the military is a REQUIREMENT.

      It works for Switzerland….

      • Okay, BF, how do the people get control? Wouldn’t that a few years to try and achieve?

        • Black Flag says:

          I promise to get the 2nd part of my “How to get There from Here” series this week…

          …PS: the solution is a long and hard road…

          G’night!

  36. Time for bed now, I’ll catch up in the morning.

  37. Black Flag says:

    Lest we forget

  38. I still around alittle bit – just reading for now. I decided to take a little break and reflect on things. I have a few “spies” who send me some of the comments – especially when my name comes up 🙂

    • Well I am glad you are still reading and I hope that you will at some point rejoin the conversation. I at no point meant to make you think I didn’t want you here. You have a lot to add to the thoughts here.

      USW

  39. Black Flag says:

    A more likely outcome, it seems to us, is that the US will make good on Treasury debt but repudiate soft obligations like Social Security and Medicare. That way the US would continue to be able to borrow in the future. And all it would require would be a Congressional vote lowering the outlays for these programs.

    ————

    Interesting and compelling strategy. Worth considering in anyone’s plan.

  40. Texas Tirrell says:

    Hi everyone!

    I’m still here, just haven’t posted anything in a long while. I don’t have the words or the education that most of you have, just life experiences to go by. I’ve been busy with the crop and my own battles!

    I appreciate being able to come to this site and read all the posts with out all of the nastiness of the other sites. I check it every couple of days. Thank you US Weapon for keeping this blog going!

    I also want to thank BF and all the others for posting as well. BF, you make my brain hurt! But, I understand more than I did before and I realize, sometimes you need your brain to hurt to get to where you want go!

  41. thanks for great blog. thanks for striving toward intelligent dialogue. i would not sweat the people who challenge you ideologically. just do what you have to do and if that dont work then kick the facts

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