Guest Commentary: Common Man on America Today

Unfortunately, all of my work and doctor’s appointments today left me with zero time to do anything this evening. Fortunately, it is guest commentary night and that means that I didn’t have to do much tonight anyway. I don’t really have time to write a big introduction for tonight’s guest, but I don’t really need to do that either. Tonight we have an excellent article written by Common Man. CM often participates here at SUFA and I always value his input. When he sent me this article I was excited about sharing it with all of you. I will be interested in seeing how people react to such a bold statement.

AMERICA IS NO LONGER A REPUBLIC; IT IS A TOTALITARIAN REGIME

Over the course of the last 100 years the citizenry has been focused on work, family, education, and striving to live a life of prosperity, peace and happiness. We, as a whole, did not spend much time studying politics, politicians, and the results. As such, and as one could expect of those drunken from the liquor of power, politicians and the government ran amok.

Personal rights, freedoms and liberty have been stripped away. Laws have been written that violate the Constitution, and unalienable rights, and in some cases even the laws of the Creator.

We are now dealing with a government that has grown powerful enough to ignore its citizens, create laws that restrict freedom, further empower their ideals, and pass Bill’s designed to increase their foundational hold on our society and lifestyle.

The United States of America is no longer a Republic, it is a Totalitarian government:

  • We no longer control and direct our government, they direct and control us.
  • Although the two parties will argue they are both on opposite ends of the political spectrum, the reality is that they are all bent on achieving the same goals, individual wealth, power and absolute rule.
  • Congress creates laws that favor the government and restrict the citizenry.
  • The government controls and regulates major industries and the financial market.
  • Our boarders are porous and those entering the country illegally are catered too for future support and progressive governmental empathy.
  • Unalienable rights are being eliminated
  • Taxes and tax laws are formed to strip the working man and woman of their wages to further empower government rule, and discourage entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Presidents have unlimited power in the form of “Executive Order”, which is a direct violation of the Constitution. Congress creates and passes laws not the President.
  • Our Military are sent to countless countries to topple other governments or invoke revolution that favors our leader’s agenda’s.
  • Our public schools are teaching re-written history in an effort to condition our children to a pre-determined order.
  • The media is held hostage by a controlling government with threats of censorship or exclusion.
  • The “Free Market” is being crushed by tariffs, taxes, fines and regulations.
  • Our young people are being educated to believe that the concept of the whole (Socialism) is more important than the liberties of the individual.
  • Corporations are being portrayed as evil.
  • Our government preaches the sanctity of ‘Global leadership’ and ‘Global law’ verses Constitutional law.
  • Instead of investing in our cities and municipalities the government sends our taxes overseas to bailout socialist nations.
  • The Federal Reserve is printing money to further finance a growing debt created to feed the governments gluttonous need for power and tyrannical control.

In short, we are being corralled like pigs to the slaughter. So what do we do? How do we turn this government around? And the point here is not to dwell or argue about the issues listed above, it is to define a foundational starting point to change it back to what was initially designed some 200+ years ago.

The answer is complicated, because the problem is complicated. It took over 100 years for the government to get this powerful, and it is now the 1000 pound gorilla setting at our dinner table with a ravenous appetite. There is not enough food on the table for all of us to eat without fear. We need to leave the gorilla alone, let him eat and focus our attention elsewhere.

So, what do we do…fight, flee, quit?

It is fruitless to fight a regime of this size, they would simply crush us, and a revolution is out of the question for the same reason. Leaving is an option; however it may lead us to a country with an even more advanced totalitarian government. And quitting is not an option; after all we are Americans not French.

We need to let the 1000 pound gorilla starve. And we do that by starting over where we have influence, control and a voice in fertile ground: the family and local community.

We start with some basics.

  • First study the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Confederate Papers, State, County and Local laws so that you understand where things currently stand. I know that some out there will argue that the Constitution is incomplete, vague or outdated, but I argue it is a sound foundational instrument for understanding how a Republic should work, and how elected officials should govern. Remember, we cannot change things unless we first no what it is we want that change to look like.
  • Educate your children and engage them. Investigate what they learning and what they think. Provide them with the information of a once sovereign country based upon values and individual liberties.
  • Get involved, specifically at the local level; preferably at the lowest level possible. That would be your community, village, town, district or city. This is where the individual has the strongest voice, because you are a part of the community and can garner more support from those around you. This means you need to attend monthly meetings and engage your elected/appointed leaders so that you understand what they are proposing, changing, taxing or spending. Most importantly don’t be afraid to tell them NO!
  • Read up on and engage your district representative. Schedule a meeting with him/her to discuss his/her objectives and voice your ideals relative to the local community.
  • Investigate and get involved with the local school district. Research their curriculum and the content of what they are teaching. If they are presenting information or material that furthers an agenda that undermines Constitutional freedom, object or insist on equal time, and then make your neighbors aware of the issues. I would also suggest that you volunteer at the local school level, so that you stay involved.
  • Form a local business leader organization or council to discuss local market, free enterprise and how to attract additional business to the community.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Not just those to your immediate right or left, but everyone to some degree throughout the community. You could start a ‘community organizer’ that meets once a month to discuss neighborhood issues, needs, and ideas. Remember a community is stronger than the individual, and in most small communities or cities it is likely that the local officials will want to participate since they are residents as well.
  • Volunteer your time and knowledge to local charities and organizations.
  • Become active in local Tea Party organization, or start one.
  • Support your local business owners and shop keepers, even if it costs a little more than the local mega-marts. It is likely these people are also your neighbors and therefore are more supportive of ideas that benefit the community.
  • Step away from the big banks and move your accounts to either local banks or credit unions. You will find that these people depend upon your business as much as you might theirs, verses the big banks where you are just a number.
  • Subscribe too and write your local paper.
  • Take a poll to garner the thoughts and wishes of the local business owners on how to improve business and community prosperity and present it to the local leaders.
  • Run for local office and if elected do it for free, or do it at a 50% discount and have the other 50% donated to a local food bank or charity.
  • Join a place of worship and volunteer to help those in the community in need.
  • Seek out other communities close to you and coordinate activities and meetings.
  • Join local organizations like the American Legion, F.O.E, Moose, VFW, etc and get involved in spreading the word of liberty and freedom.

The reason for all of this is to start anew. Since we cannot kick the 1000 pound gorilla out of the kitchen and trying to eat at the same table is close to suicide, we need to get out of the kitchen and eat somewhere else.

To do this we need to prepare a separate table that eliminates the chances of gorilla intrusion, and the best place is close to home.

We need to start at the local level just like we did 200 + years ago by focusing on the family, neighborhood and community. This will bring liberty, freedom and individual prosperity back at a core foundational level, which will spread.

This is where it is easiest, because as individuals and communities we have far more influence at the local level, even to the point that we can change the entrenched regulations and laws.

It will take time and effort, but it will better ensure our overall longevity and eventually lead to the return of our Republic. History does and can repeat itself, and it can do so for the better.

The key here is to reform or strengthen your immediate community and re-ground those governmental principles so that each and every individual is afforded those rights granted by the Creator and supported by our founding documents. As the foundation strengthens prosperity and liberty, other communities will take notice and begin to follow in your community’s footsteps, escalating to districts, states and maybe even the whole country.

This is really our best hope and the best battle ground for staging a winning agenda. Leave the 1000 pound gorilla in the kitchen where it will eventually run out of food and starve.

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Comments

  1. Common Man says:

    USW;

    Thanks for sharing. I am hopefull that it sparks efforts throughout the various communities where we all reside.

    “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” Mohandas Gandhi

    CM

  2. A Puritan Descendant says:

    “It won’t be easy” is correct! Local and State governments already have there nose so far up my *ss it will take a major enema to remove them. Regulation is bad enough but gets real personal when it expands into personal property including home, farm, and most of all when it trys to break up traditional families for the silliest reasons.

    Best be prepared to pray in our efforts, as we are up against none other than pure evil !!! An evil which is probably supported by half of your local neighbors.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      “…most of all when it trys to break up traditional families for the silliest reasons”

      ??

      What does that even mean?

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Ray, You have a young son, I believe. I suggest you find out what I am talking about in a hurry!

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Nice evasion Puritan – so what regulation(s) should I be losing sleep over that threaten to break up my traditional family? And what is a traditional family?

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            No evasion intended Ray. Just a delay. Someday I will elaborate and include a small article under open mic. And it really applies to any family though I think it is ‘extra special’ ‘to them’ ‘to you?’ when they succeed at destroying a traditional family.

            Gotch Ya riled now aye Ray? Later my friend!

          • Traditional family = Father(Male) & Mother(Female) with children and the Parents in control of children’s religious training, life training and behavioral training along with educational subjects that are taught in the children’s schools.

            Well, it may not mean that to you, but to me I think that is what “Traditional Family” would represent.

            How much control do parents have over their children’s education nowadays? Why is it taught in our public school systems that if a Father pats his young daughter on the behind that he is molesting his daughter? Or if a parent spanks a child that is child abuse and the parent can be arrested?

            Would you say that those laws have disrupted the core of the traditional family?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @Papadawg

              Why is it taught in our public school systems that if a Father pats his young daughter on the behind that he is molesting his daughter? Or if a parent spanks a child that is child abuse and the parent can be arrested?

              Would you say that those laws have disrupted the core of the traditional family?

              Papadawg – I wasn’t aware that schools teach young girls that a pat on the behind is molestation. I also wasn’t aware that schools teach children that a spanking is akin to child abuse and the parent can be arrested.

              Perhaps I am behind on things.

              But absent what may or may not be law or may or may not be taught in schools – I see zero relevance to any family structure, “traditional” or not.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @Papadawg

              How much control do Parents have over a child’s education? 100% control.

              I support but disagree with your definition of traditional family. Its completely relative.

    • Common Man says:

      PD;

      As it relates to Property issues I agree, especially when you are specifically referencing family farms, businesses and the like. The government saw and took advantage of the opportunity to further expand tax laws and tax revenue. Although I am not a lawyer, I have talked to a few farmers/business owners that are working to set up their property/business as a corporation or LLC, and in doing so make the family members officers/pricipals who are paid a wage/bonus. As the older members retire or die off other officers/principals are promoted up the ranks. Again, not sure if this is working, but the information I have gotten so far is that it at least delay’s government intervention.

      But, the biggest challenge communiites face is plain ignorance and the reluctence it breeds. People are hesitant to speak out, or take action, simply because they are ignorant of the effects of Totalitarian rule and/or how to change it. I have found that once you start to educate them, even at the simplist level, they begin to awaken and either take action or ask for help how too.

      It will be tough, but we don’t really have much of a choice unless we decide to live as we are commanded.

      CM

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    @Common Man

    Interesting article……

    Couple of observations…..

    Here is one of your assumptions or preface:

    “Our young people are being educated to believe that the concept of the whole (Socialism) is more important than the liberties of the individual. ”

    One can argue (and for shits and giggles use a “local” organization like the United Way or what was Acorn) that 5-7 of your suggestions focus on action of a “whole” rather than an individual…..

    “…local charities and organizations”

    “…local organizations like the American Legion, F.O.E, Moose, VFW, etc…”

    “…place of worship and volunteer to help those in the community…”

    “…Remember a community is stronger than the individual…”

    and my favorite one:

    “…Seek out other communities close to you and coordinate activities and meetings….”

    So Common Man – you’ve starved the Gorilla – she lost weight, became a kinder and gentler Gorilla – say maybe 150 lbs. How do you prevent her from packing the weight back on? Does History not repeat itself?

    As a postscript I will offer that any effort to assert that your natural rights are somehow the result of a mythical bearded dude in the sky will forever lead to your ruin. That “Creator” is manifest in 100s and 1000s of Gorillas that you have recommended we all join hands with. Tsk tsk Common Man!

    Thanks for the article though!

    • Is it your stance that somehow it is hypocritical to work with other people in order to fight for individual rights-seems an odd complaint-maybe you could clarify your point. As far as the gorilla getting fat again-what does that mean-we should do nothing because we aren’t capable of creating a perfect system?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @V.H. – my position has never been that people should not work together. I am personally heavily involved in my “local community”. My point is that as social creatures we are more so inclined to do so. But there is also little that will anymore distinguish what a local community really means. The definition that I think Common Man and many others use for “local community” is what I’d call my Grandfather’s definition. As superfluous and dynamic as a the concept of local community becomes – so to does its utility – which can also change just as frequently. One may refer to SUFA as a “local community”. A child born today will have a different interpretation of what a local community is than you or I – and they will use technology to sustain cohesion for that local community that likely has not even been invented yet. So for me – the notion that all are fixes for the problems of the larger Federal government are remedied by joining the local American Legion or attending School Board meetings is largely incomplete. Communities and social fabrics will continually build and change and evolve and how they interact with and influence changes to the Federal government will also change and evolve.

        Chew on this for a wee bit – politicians use sound bites to influence the voting public. Plain and simple. They know we are in a hurry and we need information short and crisp and right here and right now. Those who can use the sound bite effectively (generally I think between 7-9 seconds or so) are bound to be more successful. Think of something else that 7-9 seconds maps to – it maps real well to 140 characters. What uses 140 characters? Twitter. You can also use Facebook postings to pass a message of around 140 characters. Who has been really effective at using 140 characters – or the new 7-9 second sound bite? How about the former Governor-elect of Alaska? One could argue that w/o Facebook and Twitter Palin’s 15 minutes would have been up a while ago (well – maybe not with the way Sean Hannity drools over her). Making sense yet?

        As for the gorilla – I’ve not suggested we do nothing – I merely asked what CM’s approach would be to restrict the diet.

        That’s all.

    • Common Man says:

      My main man Ray:

      I will start from the bottom and work up:

      My belief in a Creator does not determine my success, or your ruin, nor does the lack of your belief do either. You have as much right to not believe as I have too. Our actions and the principals those actions are based on determine our success or demise.

      I alone cannot change the world, the world must change itself. However, alone I can change and live my life as directed by the Creator, or from your perspective, Univerial Law. On the whole, you and I see a great deal much alike and it is from those likenesses we can build together.

      Individuals who gather together around mutually agreed upon principles are still individuals, especially when the key stature of the groups reason is principly individual freedom and liberty. In short, what is righteous for the one is righteous for the whole, as long as the desire is based upon righteousness.

      I realize that some of what I suggest sounds similar to speach voiced by Socialists zealots, however the goals are completely opposite. The Crusades preached Christian ideology, however Christ did so as well, but from an entirely different perspective.

      It is not the message, but the prinicipals and foundational liberties from which the message is founded that makes the difference.

      Using Anita’s circumstance with her local school district from yesterdays posting is an example of how a community could change things for the better provided they worked from an individual right’s based principle. Anita acting solely on her own behalf may invoke some change, but Anita working on her behalf and with the interest of the community may raise enough voices to force the school district to change. That change will be righteous provided Anita and the community base their voice on foundational principles that ensure the rights of the individual.

      CM

    • Ray,
      My favorite is:

      You could start a ‘community organizer’ that meets once a month

      I thought ‘community organizer’ was the same as Socialism…guess I’m confussed!!

      • Common Man says:

        Todd;

        The Crusaders ventured out to spread the word of God as did Jesus Christ, which do you think was more righteous in their approach?

        My point is that our words can sound the same, but it is our intent and the actions we envoke that is the difference.

        CM

      • Todd

        YES, you are confused.

        One who organizes members of a community to do something is not a socialist.

        When he organizes them to take property of others for the groups benefit, he is a socialist.

  4. Good Morning 🙂

    Very good article Common Man! I must agree with your thoughts on our current problems. Your solutions are well thought out and can work in smaller communities and rural areas, but I believe our cities are a lost cause. The cities are full of people who will vote for their cookies, the political machine is in cahrge, corrupt and unmovable. I left a city that is just that, corrupt and full of trash.

    Most of your solutions are and have been a big part of where I live now, and it’s been that way for decades, as are many of the communities surrounding me. As an American Legion member, and an Oathkeeper, we have a large contingent of both here, as well as established local Tea Party groups. Your 1000 lb gorilla is well known in these parts.

    I also sense that many people feel overwhelmed by the gorilla, they hate the gorilla, and many know that to remove it, the actions aren’t pleasant. We have crossed the line of peacefull resolve. Peacefull resolve only works when dealing with honest men, which we are not. We are facing very dishonest men who will do anything to stay on top, they don’t care if we yell and scream, they just laugh and say go home to your shacks and be good or my people will come calling. These events have occured, where Big Brother came in and took about 400 kids from their parents in Texas, as just one example.

    As long as the feeling of helplessness contiues to grow, so shall the gorilla.

    G!

  5. CM,

    I think America has become qusi-fascist, not A TOTALITARIAN REGIME. May not be much practical difference for us prole’s. Credit can be given to Glen Beck or the Tea Party, Town Hall’s, etc… The people are waking up, becoming aware, and are not pleased with what they see. I hope it lasts, and apathy does not return once their individual “PO’ed” issue is addressed, such as Sr’s only concerned about health care. The number of states rights and individual rights being brought up makes a case for a broad push back against the fed being too big, too intrusive.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/three_gifts_from_the_tea_parti.html

  6. […] it is to define a foundational starting point to change it back to what was initially designed some 200+ years ago.

    OK, I’m still going through the post, but I need to head this one off at the pass. What was initially designed some 200+ years ago was a maliable, living document approach to governing specifically designed to change and adapt to an uncertain and unpredictable future. The founders designed it to have the ability to become what it is today.

    You want to change it back? OK:
    *Sorry, Kathy, you just lost the right to vote.
    *Sorry, black people, you’re only 3/5ths of what you were – and you’re property again.
    *Sorry, everyone, the highway system is gone.
    *Sorry, world, we didn’t join in WWII, so you’re all Nazis now. That is, unless you’re Jews, in which case you’re ash.
    *I guess the native Americans are happy though, we never added more states.
    *Alaska belongs to someone else, because we weren’t allowed to buy it.
    *SUFA doesn’t exist because the internet was never invented (DARPA program).
    *Child labor is back in vogue – start your apprenticeship at 13 – this is good news for the corporations..
    *Except, whoops, corporations don’t exist because they are artificial government inventions.
    *Good news (though I imagine you’ll disagree), abortion is legal in all 13 states, so is gay marriage.
    *More good news, drugs are also legal, and completely unregulated
    *Obama is not President because Hawaii is not part of the US, so I guess you’re happy about that one, though you also lose Saint Regan
    *Drinking water is toxic since there’s no EPA and all companies are just dumping their waste straight into the water supply.
    *Though I guess that’s nothing since, without any regulation, we’ve abused and exhausted the power of antibiotics and whooping cough is killing by the millions.
    *The air’s no good either, coal plants are just belching out smoke – and the acid rain is an added bonus.
    *The patent office (yes, it was in the Constitution) only protects physical inventions, not methods, writings, programs, music, trade marks, et cetera. But I’m sure drug companies would still spend billions developing drugs that can be copied and sold for pennies.
    *We never went to the moon – I guess there’s no real need for this, but it’s kindof sad to lose.

    Need I go on?

    Or do you just want to roll back the things you don’t like and keep the rest?

    You fall into the same trap I see time and again. You view the past with rose colored glass, seeing only the good, and blind to the bad. The past was not pleasant. It was brutish and harsh, and life was cheap, and the world was crueler. Life expectancy was in the 30’s. Mean income (in adjusted dollars) was south of $1,000/yr. The founders expected things to change, they expected the government to help make it happen, and they expected the Constitution to change accordingly.

    • Matt gimme a break. Your argument has been talked to death here. You just refuse to acknowledge it. Taking away big government does not mean cave man days redux! 😦

      • Yes it does.

        You imagine that, somehow, the modern world would have evolved without it, while simultaneously decrying the government’s intricate involvement with every aspect of the economy. If the government is massively involved, for better or worse, it was irrevocably part and parcel of the creation of the end result.

        For better or worse, the government created the modern world. Shaped it, molded it. Take just the one item, because I think it’s a great example. Take the internet – created by the defense department – and remove the government. Whoops, not created. Yes, the private sector made it what it is today, but it was the government and government funding that gave it life. Yet you insist that, somehow, magical unicorns would have compensated for the missing piece. And the modern would would still have all the same benefits without any of the cost.

        You’re removing pieces from the puzzle and insisting that the new result would actually be better than before. And not just that the result would be better, but that it has to be better. You can’t back this up, yet you say I refuse to see things.

        • You have no faith in your fellow man Matt. None! I’m not even sure you have faith in yourself that without a govt you would even survive. Man up!

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Anita – you don’t have to acknowledge that you like today’s state of affairs/government to acknowledge the benefits you yourself (and the rest of us) enjoy from the last 200+ years of Government. Manning up is also about acknowledging the good and the bad.

            • Agreed! Ray, even you have to realize that Matt is off base. LOI used Ford Motor Co one day as an example. Family operation..no govt needed. I used the Polynesian Cultural Center as an example the other day. Those people live happily on just the earth itself. Someone or something gave us everything we need to survive. That didn’t include a government.

              • At the very least, the government protected Ford’s intellectual property – it’s trademarks, technology, process, design, etc. Nothing exists or has ever existed in a vacuum – the government was there, protecting, influencing.

                Take it away and where are you?

              • There protection? How many different brands of cars are there? All made on assembly lines. Nice try!

              • More options for cars would have been available and the cost to the consumer would have been even lower than it was.

                Competition would have spurred rapid advancement in design and technology.

                Ford and GM would never have been able to dominate the market, to control govt via lobbying, to suck off the wealth of the nation for their business failures, to create agreements with the oil industry to kill alternative means of transportation.

                Yes, I wonder how we could have ever progressed without the Govt protecting Mr. Ford!

              • sigh..

          • If the US government vanished tomorrow, it would take every other world government with it. There are 6 billion people on this planet and, I assure you, we would not all make once international commerce collapsed.

            My odds of survival are questionable at best. I imagine the die off rate would be close to 2/3rds.

            And, no, I have exactly zero faith in my fellow man. I have seen too much to believe they are capable of being moral and good en masse without someone forcing them to.

            People are mean, selfish, violent, savage, sociopathic brutes who, when it comes to it, only care about themselves. To believe otherwise is blind optimism. Myself, yourself, and everyone else, included.

            • Please list for me what exactly it is that you need to survive!

            • “If the US government vanished tomorrow, it would take every other world government with it.”

              Chicken Little is entitled to an opinion. Unless you offer some proof, I think I’ll disregard and continue living. I bet most of the world would do the same. Government does not provide gas to gas stations, nor food to grocery stores. It would be chaotic, but most would figure out a way to exchange goods & services, and life would go on…

            • So much to say and respond to, I hate not being able to be on SUFA 24/7 🙂

              Ok Matt:
              1) true, if the US government were to be abolished overnight and we became a sudden anarchic region, the rest of the governments of the world would collapse. For one thing, BF and a host of others would not find this a bad thing. A part of me does not either. More importantly, however, NO ONE HERE IS SUPPORTING THAT! Not even Flag. The mechanics and results of such an upheaval are horrifyingly violent. You don’t pull the knives all out at once, but that does not mean the knives are a good thing.

              2) Without the government, there would still be many who survived, even a sudden removal of it, and in the long run they would be better off, so long as they did not recreate it in order to escape the difficult and scary parts of life. This would also apply to the rest of the world.

              3) We are fragile, but our minds are mighty. You always say people are stupid, but people survived and thrived and became the top of the food chain because they are not stupid.

              4) You said “People are mean, selfish, violent, savage, sociopathic brutes who, when it comes to it, only care about themselves. To believe otherwise is blind optimism. Myself, yourself, and everyone else, included.” This means that those in government are no different, it is run by people and, even when it is a republic like we have, the people are chosen by other people. The only difference is that government wields greater power, making the meanness, selfishness, violence, savageness, etc. far more damaging in its scope. This says to me that to support consolidated power of any sort is blind optimism. What exactly in government makes it anything other than violent, selfish, savage, and mean? Even if there is some magical ingredient that should make it not those things, what evidence has you convinced that the magic is working? Sure, there are examples of people “helped” by government. There are examples of government sponsored things that have a benefit for society, or at least things that our current society depends on. Whether those things would exist without government is debatable, but the presence of “good” things does not justify the bad. I can list all sorts of examples of people being helped by other people and innovations and things that we depend on and benefit from that had no government support at all, even some things that government tried to stop. Like unions, for example. People who were being taken advantage of invented unions. Government tried to force them to stop. When they failed, they realized the power of workers in groups and changed sides. As a result, it is now a corrupted concept, and one that has almost no support of the people in states where it is not forced by law, such as Virginia.

        • Mathius

          Your conclusions reflect the “indoctrination” that CM alludes to in his article.

          Obviously Government has influenced or even caused certain things to happen. But to jump from what did happen to what could have happened if Govt had not been involved is a very gross leap. It is in fact irrational and illogical.

          Furthermore, you ignore the alternative sequence of “linked” events tied to what YOU consider advancement or advantage.

          Some very bright scientists once concluded that Govt’s driving space exploration caused us to go to the moon about 75 years to soon. The result was massive waste of resources, due to inefficiency and loss of life by accident.

          The usual lefty trick of invoking unicorns or some other magic is quite frankly childish. I thought you better than that type of response. Lucky for you that your narrow minded views do have the benefit of a fixed game in their defense.

          Obviously, it is impossible to prove an alternative would have worked because the action taken PREVENTED such an alternative from coming along. Alternative time lines are “always” a matter of speculation, conjecture even if based on some good reasoning. But it sure makes it easy to claim Alternative B would not happen after you eliminated Alternative B from consideration all together.

          But for those of us who live and work in the world that requires identifying alternative futures based on alternative actions today, it is not that hard to see that other options were and remain feasible.

          Until we start using our minds in an active manner we will continue to see ridicule and absurdity used to put down the consideration of other scenarios. And yes Matt, that goes for EVERYONE involved.

          • The problem is, JAC, that everyone here believes with the utmost certainty that things would have been better without government (alternate timeline). Yet, if I posit that they would probably (not the hedge) be worse (alternate timeline), I’m called a fool.

            So, I try to look at it logically – I see where we are, what the government has done. I pull the thread and try to reach logical, if highly speculative, conclusions.

            • Mathius

              The use of logic does not start with assumption of faulty definitions and concepts.

              I don’t see everyone here assuming that everything would be better had govt never been invented.

              What I see is a rational conclusion that on the whole, that in balance, the good would have out weighed the bad.

              I can not see how the truly major advancements that improved our lives would have not occurred absent Govt. Especially a Federal Govt.

              What you consider a logical evaluation, I see as an argument filled with contradictions. And since logic is the process of eliminating contradictions that leaves you …………………

            • “that everyone here believes with the utmost certainty that things would have been better without government”

              That statement does not reflect my views.
              I demand:
              An appoligie.
              A retraction.
              Grog.(mass quantities)

              VDLG is Very Damn Little Government, not no government. I think Flag and Kent are the only true no gov. advocates here, outnumbered even by the left leaning participants.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          Nasa has created technology allowing the private sector to take advantage of. This is true! But we can’t answer the question, “What would things be like today if government had made no contributions, but got the Hell out of our way?” I tend to think we would be doing just fine. May or may not have gotten to the moon but I am confident I would be much less stressed out than I am today, without our out of control government controlled Gorilla.

          • Puritan,

            There is not one thing NASA “invented” — not one thing.

            Goodard invented modern rocketry.

            Every single switch, part, cable, circuit board, etc. was invented outside of government – Lockheed Martin, Hughes, Bell, etc.

            The flag on the machine does not denote the “inventor” or “creator”.

            There is no reason to “go to the Moon” until free men have a reason to go to the moon.

            • Government invented taxes, before that, it was simply called stealing.

            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              True, but, did not Nasa create a ‘need’ for technology so advanced or unique that once achieved, mankind later reaped the benefits from it? Did not Nasa at least design on paper things they needed to land on the moon?

              I can’t think of any specific examples off hand but some of this new technology must have been picked up by the private sector for other civilian uses. Especially as you say it was the private sector who actually made the stuff.

              • Puritan,

                Nasa create a ‘need’ for technology so advanced or unique that once achieved, mankind later reaped the benefits from it

                NO NO NO and one more time NO

                By force, making a battery the size of a dime is useless until you need a battery a size of a dime – so pouring stolen money and wealth, enslaving an army of mindless people to build such a battery is a bad thing.

                Nothing good came out of NASA that was not already in the marketplace – and it did not “take off” until the market place wanted it.

                The Fax machine was invented in 1870. No one needed it. So it wasn’t a “good”

                In 1960’s, the market needed it – now it is a good.

                Government in 1880 demanding the use of faxes does not change a “not a good” into “a good”.

                NASA was a huge waste of money – a huge distraction – a huge explosion in the size of government – a very dangerous situation as by fantasy it created the illusion that government force does good!!!

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                What if research and development of a tiny battery was to cost prohibitive for the free market, for the perceived financial gain/loss. But once government forced the tiny battery into existence then ‘Presto’ a tiny battery was now useful and available for the free market/consumer??? Still NO NO NO?

                I agree this is NOT the best way to go about creating market products and should not be done. I am only saying that it could be a side benefit of Government/Nasa.

            • I think the employees at Goddard, Langley, Ames, JPL, and Glenn would disagree with on the invention issue.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      GM Mathius, I am jumping in/out here as I am busy. You say life expectancy was in the 30’s and have said that in the past. Is that correct? I doubt it very very much because while doing extensive genealogy I saw no evidence of it. Life spans were not much different than today. Some even living to the age of 106. I think the only way you could be correct would be if early childhood deaths were included as a lot of young children died young back then compared to today with modern hospitals. But once of adult age most people lived a long life.

      • And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years…

        See this, I think you’ll find it enlightening:

        And this (though I can’t vouch for the source) says 1776 life expectancy (which was probably omitting African Americans whose lives were undoubtably even shorter) was 33.
        http://0318ca1.netsolhost.com/pdfs/Minerals1776vsToday.pdf

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          I did a quick search and found life expectancy in America at birth in the 1600s, or 17th century, was only 35. 1/3 to 1/2 of people born died before 16 years of age. But once a mid teenager, they would probably make it into early 60’s. So the early childhood deaths have a big effect. My own ancestors would have faired better than they did, but some met an early demise from pissed off Indians. Had to add that one 🙂

          Your first link is cool. Your second link, they left out my firewood needs. I have burned a forest over the years but I have allowed more light and nutrients to the remaining trees allowing them to thrive rather than die an early death due to lack of nutrients and sunlight and prevented a fire hazard which would have wiped out much more than I could ever burn heating a house.

          Glad we got to the bottom of this !

          • I don’t know the second link – it just supported the life expectancy argument. I honestly didn’t even read the whole thing.

            I love that first video though – it’s part of a larger lecture that aired as part of a TED talk and on BBC.

    • OH Bulldookey Matt. They included an amendment process to allow needed changes to be made. They did not intend it to be reinterpreted by each congress and president, who could decided black means white, free means serving your fellow man….

      • They intended people to be able to interpret it as needed. They couldn’t imagine the future so they didn’t try – they just set it up so that the future could do what was necessary.

        • Mathius

          Regarding your argument that “They intended people to be able to interpret it as needed.”

          Let me be specific and to the point.

          BULL SHIT

          I urge you to read the various documents written with respect to the ratification of the Constitution. Especially the responses of James Madison, who clearly refutes this popular left wing view of history.

          • Well, I guess we’ll have to give Alaska and the Louisiana Purchase back..

            Wonder what the market price would be..

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Oh man, I really really wish I had more time in the day for SUFA – especially today.

            You continue to cite to one, maybe two, founders who agree with your point of view to ‘prove’ your point. So what!? I can easily cite to one, maybe two (or even more) Founders who agree with my point. There, now I am correct and you are wrong. So all I have to do to be correct on this issue is point to one more Founder than you can?

            Clearly there was disagreement amongst the founders on this point, and there is disagreement now. The answer lies in what is being interpreted and defined. I have always said that wholesale changes to the text of the Constitution require an Amendment (That is the clear intent of the Founders). However, much of the text of the Constitution is not so clear and does require interpretation and definition by successive generation (This is also the clear intent of the Founders).

            But lets use real life examples. You argue that the Constitution is not open to interpreation whatsoever. I say to you: BULLSHIT. There are so many examples of vague phrases that MUST be interpreted by each successive generation, that MUST be defined along changing norms. My favorite example, once again – the 8th Amendment – “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”. What does this mean? What is ‘cruel punishment’? ‘unusual punishment’? Are we to only apply the standards of ‘cruel’ and unusual’ in the context of the 18th century? I would seriously hope you disagree!

            • Buck

              I should have addressed your “favorite” example before. It might save you some more flawed thinking.

              First, as I said before and again below, I never said the entire document was definitive in its direction.

              Second, the supposed one or two founders I cite just happen to be the ones who wrote the damn provisions and then had to defend them. And funny thing happened along the way to the first hundred years. The Supreme Courts and later Congresses agreed with those interpretations.

              Now lets address cruel and unusual. YES, you would look at it in terms of the 18th century. But here is the catch, the major flaw in your thinking and why this makes a lousy example of your own position.

              The provision is a “prohibition” on this type of punishment. So as time passes we decide we want more “humane” treatment. Well guess what. When you prohibit drawing and quartering that does not prevent you from later deciding that hanging is cruel as well.

              The provision prohibits certain action it does not require action.

              So the proper legal determination should be that anything LESS than those punishments viewed as cruel in the 18th century. And since the Constitution was otherwise silent on the matter, the States are free to pass any law they see fit that might limit punishment even further.

              But if a State wishes to continue “hanging” it most certainly is within their prerogative to do so.

              Now, on this particular Amendment I could also accept the possibility that it was the intent to leave the “definition” open for future generations. However, I would absolutely disagree and vehemently call Bull Shit on the view that the SCOTUS was the proper venue for making that call.

              In those cases where they left interpretation up to the future, it is the “legislative” branches role to make those definitions. But again, the threshold is established by the norms and context of the 18th Century.

              So in your example, Congress or a State could pass a law specifying hanging as cruel and unusual. But then again, they might allow hanging and that would still be Constitutional and it would be beyond the rightful authority of the SCOTUS to say otherwise.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Yes the 8th Amendment is a prohibition on certain action; it prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishments.

                You argue that this necessitates a reading that only applies the standards of the 18th century — sure a state or locality could decide they are against hanging as well and pass a law stating that hanging is no longer legal. This would be perfectly in sync with the constitution.

                I argue that the constitution necessitates something more. SCOTUS is tasked to decide on issues of constiutitonality and to interpret the text of the constitution. As such, while Congress could make a law stating that in all federal death penalty cases, hanging shall be the method of execution employed, SCOTUS could step in when an action is brought to say no, hanging is cruel and runs afoul of the constitution. SCOTUS could step in and say the death penalty is cruel and unusual (as it has done w/ respect to the mentally incompetent).

                Or do you disagree, that the constitution necessarily permits the execution of the mentally incompetent since this was fine to a bunch of men wearing white wigs over 200 years ago?

              • Buck

                My response is at the bottom.

    • Matt,

      Too bad time travel is not available, or I could see your point. Freedom and Liberty, in the future, as many of us see it, is what is at stake, and must be preserved. You might like govt. up your ass all the time, but I would like them out of my life, I don’t need them, I don’t want them, and I don’t need their worthless help.

      • But today’s present is tomorrow’s past. You argue that the world is better without government. That’s fine, but the past, without government would make today suck. So, logically, I extend this into the future: the future, without government today, would be worse off.

        Seems solid to me.

        Unless you wish to refute my premise that the world of today would be better off if there had been no (or vastly less) government in the last 200 years.

        • Unless you wish to refute my premise that the world of today would be better off if there had been no (or vastly less) government in the last 200 years.

          I think you wrote that wrong, but I get your point. And yes, we would have a better world without or vastly less govt.

          America could have come to existance because of free will, not because of the overbearing British Monarchy.

          History books would be missing some things, like the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean and Viet Nam conflicts, the current mess in Iraq and Afganistan. If govt. was missing, the holocaust would not have happened.

          Govt. didn’t invent the wheel, build the first car, fly the first plane but they damn sure regulate all of them now, don’t they.

          Your premise that without govt we would not exist as we do today, I agree, we would be free and have less bad historical memories. Governments have murdered hundreds of millions of people throughout time, they have enslaved people, denied rights, denied food, destroyed entire towns and cities, jailed people for dissent, and continue to take money that you earn, so they can control you. Yes, Matt, we could all do without govt.

    • Personally, I am tired of this argument-going back to the foundation doesn’t mean returning to slavery or losing a woman’s right to vote. It doesn’t mean people are blind to the advancements we have made in many areas. You seem so sure that these advancements wouldn’t have been possible without our government overstepping. I agree with you on many things but on a lot smaller scale than what has been happening in this country. But you really seem to be of the opinion that no advancement is possible or ever was possible without a huge federal government. Has it ever occurred to you that things might actually be better. I am not an anarchist-I believe in government and in some small social programs-but our government doesn’t do some-they create money wasting monstrosities. If anyone says we should follow the Constitution this same old tired crap about returning to slavery always comes out but guess what we didn’t have to go around the Constitution to get rid of slavery-the pathway to do it was in the document.

      • See, that’s a rational argument, thanks V.H.!

        So, re slavery / women’s rights, I only threw that in because he suggested (or maybe I inferred it?) that we should return to the original Constitution as written. It was a slight oversteeping of reason, but not unreasonable to include.

        The problem is that people assume that, without government intervention these things would have happened anyway, and I’m not convinced they would have, or at least that they wouldn’t have taken another 100 years. There was far too much money in the slave trade, slave labor does wonders for the economy. If the government hadn’t forced the issue, I’m not sure things would have gone the way they did, and I think it might be wishful thinking to believe otherwise.

        Now, with regards to the rest of it, I do believe the internet would have come around eventually – but would it have happened so soon? And what if the government hadn’t forced standards (this was huge factor in its spread)? I see no guarantee that we would be better off and a lot of reason suggesting we would be worse off.

        Your argument is tantamount to saying that, if we removed the inventor so some product, someone else would, as a matter of fact, have invented the same thing, done a better job, and done it in a comparable amount of time. Yes, this may be true, but it’s no guarantee as people here like to think it is.

        If we removed Ford and his assembly line, someone else would assuredly have invented it. But what support would there be for the belief that they would have done an equal job, in a comparable amount of time, and we would still be living in the same or better world as we are now. Government invented or funded a lot of things, and it had a hand (one way or another) in virtually everything else – remove that influence and the outcome is of course going to be different, so what rational supports the abject certainty that it would be better?

        • Looking at history and saying we are better now than we were then-is useful in what way. It proves nothing except that things change. I am more interested in keeping as much freedom as I can for future generations. The only certainty I can give you is, I know that things will be better if we remain free. No advancements mean much if you are not free to enjoy them.

          • Maybe. Or maybe the air would be so toxic, you’re children would have died as infants.

            Remember, clean air is mandated by the government – the corporations fought (and continue to fight) tooth and nail against regulations that protect the environment. Do you think that, sans gov, they would voluntarily choose to do better?

            I’m hyperbolizing, of course, but I think you see my point. Flag would have us believe that market pressure would protect us from all ills, but you and I know this is not the case. Yes, the government overreaches in places, but on balance, I think it’s better than not.

            • Mathius

              Your arguments continue to ignore the full philosophical issues and thus principles.

              It is not “just” the market forces that would stop the pollution.

              It is the moral authority, the unalienable right of each of us to defend ourselves against violence that is the power.

              Polluting the air to a point that kills people is VIOLENCE against people. That gives those affected the right to take action to stop that violence.

              Under the absolutely no govt option, if they fail to address our grievances then we burn the freaking plant to the ground. End of pollution problem.

              • And who decides who is guilty and whether they can be burned to the ground? What about the people who work there? What if 1000 companies are just contributing? What if they are hiding it from you and dumping waste in the middle of the night? How are you supposed to attribute blame

                If they have guards defending the plant, are you allowed to kill them to “protect yourself”?

                Too wishy-washy. History is full of examples of strike busting, secret polluting, misinformation, etc.

                You would allow vigilante justice to be carried out on a whim. Thanks, but I’ll pass.

              • Mathius

                The citizens of the affected area decide, upon presentation of a preponderance of evidence. Which was accumulated by a group of private scientists paid by the citizens.

                There is a range of actions available short of violence, I simply jumped to the end because I knew you would make the argument, “well what if they ignored you”.

                In the end, if the hundred guards wish to take up arms against a few thousand of their “fellow” armed citizens well then I guess that is their hard luck.

                Secret?? Another silly proposition. Our discussion is about action AFTER discovery. So now you argue that action for killing people via pollution can not occur because we really wouldn’t know pollution was occurring or that people were also dieing. Yet we already know both these things or the argument wouldn’t exist in the first place.

              • So, when the masses think there is justification for violent, violence is ok?

              • Mathius

                EVIDENCE of violence must exist and the “masses” must agree that the evidence is true.

                You are trying to create a conflict where none exists. Humans have been judging evidence of violence for thousands of years.

                Pretty hard to miss it when it happens.

            • I think with time man would have advanced with or without government-out of necessity. I believe that the path without government would have been slower and in some ways harder. I question the activities of other countries and there effect on us more as a measure of whether or not government has been a plus. But we have gone past the government just overstepping, I believe with everything in me that the government has to be stopped from continuing down the road it is taking us own. It has become a danger more than a help and it must be put back into it’s proper place. At this point I am more worried about where we are going-than where we have been. So even if you can argue correctly that government has been a good thing in many ways , it has also been a bad thing-and the bad is outweighing the good -IMO the cost is going to be to high.

            • Matt,
              consider duck population. Putting limits on duck hunting was something put forth, not by government or some government scientist that saw environmental impact, but by duck hunters. They saw that the ducks were being overhunted, and they did not want to no longer be able to hunt ducks. It’s pretty darn rudimentary stuff. Even ancient societies figured out crop rotation and domestication. We did not need government studies to let us know that we needed to think about the future.

              Now, the duck hunters used government to implement their limits and assist with enforcement, and perhaps it could be argued that government did “good” in that case. It might also be argued that another means might have been used to accomplish that same thing. My greater point, however, is that clean air and water are basic human needs. The selfish nature of free men would ensure better than government ever could that we will have such a thing. Conservation is not just about doing less, it is about being more efficient. Take the LED bulb, for instance. That was not a government creation, nor does it have a lot of government support. But it is still beating the government supported technology of fluorescent. Why? Because it is better. It uses less energy, has better performance, is more ecologically safe to make and dispose of, lasts longer, can be made smaller, and is cheaper to make. Its better. And it would be cheaper and in a lot more homes if the government had done NOTHING concerning light bulbs. unfortunately, government blew a whole ton of resources on an inferior technology that was already outdated and outmoded before they started supporting it. I suspect a combination of typical incompetence and backwardness on technology and possibly even a lobby from someone like GE wanting to not lose the fluorescent market or retool or be overrun by a small competitor who was kicking but with LED. Worked out a lot better for them to get money pumped in on fluorescent that they could profit on and maintain market share and retool for LED at less cost and thus keep their power position in the market.

              Makes me sick.

    • Hi Matt…..a little shy on the RB today? You and I saw his article completely different “me thinks.” I don’t think that CM meant to roll back to the beginning on the points that you espoused…(I hope he didn’t).

      I read his article to mean to get back to the foundation. I have read each of the documents he has referenced. Read them extensively…and nowhere…do I get the idea that the progression to where we are today, was the intent of either of those documents. I share your view, to a point, that the Constitution is a boiler plate and that one can build upon that boiler plate…but I do not subscribe to the belief that the Constitution is a manifest to socialism or marxism. No one, including CM, believes that we return to slavery (although big government is the largest slave trader in the universe) or that we abolish individual rights….(ie women’s rights…which should have been there all along)…but I also believe that the foundation of this country is not entitlements and the needs and wants of the many outweigh the needs and wants of the few or one…I simply do not believe that our founders nor the documents establish this type of doctrine….the erosion of liberty and individual thinking. We have gotten away from the basic premise. I think that is where CM was coming from….

      By the way…you changed the locks on your basement and where did you get that laser alarm system….DPM and I have to find another way to steal your grog….we have a party in March.

      • OutofRedBullresortingtoespressos..

        Ireallydon’tnoticeanydifferenceotherthanRedBulltastesalotbetterbutitsallgoodanyway,I’mgoingtobeinmexicoinFebruarysoI’llprobablymissyourpartyinMarch,butbuyyourowndamngrogbecauseI’msickofrestockingyoudidImentionthatI’mdrinkingespressos?didyounoticetheplural?IthinkIcouldgetusedtothisiftheycouldjustdosomethingaboutthetasteblech.

        Whyiseverythingmovinginslowmotion?

    • Common Man says:

      Matt;

      The human is a complicated and complex creature, one provided a great level of intelligence; and one granted an understanding of right verses wrong. Because of their intelligence and righteousness humanity has managed to advance at an enormous level, and for the most part in favor of their fellow beings.

      I could give you an infinite list of advancements as examples that include science, nature, philosphy, and human rights, but you know them as well as I. The key is that through these attributes we have managed to advance our lives both individually and collectively.

      I believe that humans will continue to do so provided they are not beaten back by any institutional limits bent on controlling individualisum, freedom and liberty.

      If one really looks at the founding documents the principals are sound, just as sound as any other of society’s foundational documents that were based upon individual freedom and liberty.

      The biggest challenge I feel we face is the true understanding of what freedom means and what is needed from a foundational perspective to ensure all are free equally.

      And by the way most of what you state above could have been avoided had everyone lived by the standards I propose we need to return to.

      CM

    • Mathius,

      The founders expected things to change, they expected the government to help make it happen, and they expected the Constitution to change accordingly.

      Yes, they expected change, but just not all those crappy progressive things you listed!! 🙂

      • That’s right – they really just wanted things to change to conveniently match the world views of Common Man.

        about a God we’ve never seen
        but never fails to side with me..

  7. America is still a republic- on paper. The day to day reality of The State is closer to what Common Man sees. While it may not be a fully-formed and functional totalitarian regime, it’s just a matter of degree. We are well down that road and peaceful “working within the system” isn’t going to change the course of that train. Peaceful actions can still help, but only by getting you out of the way while the regime violently dies (and kills).

    I fully support setting up a separate table, as CM suggests. That “separate table” is known as “agorism“. It means setting up a separate economy, out of sight, but parallel to the dying one that everyone sees.

    Instead of concerning yourself with the local school board, stop allowing your kids to be abused by them and get them OUT. School is bad for kids; unschool them. You can’t fix something that is working just as it was designed to work.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Kent says “Instead of concerning yourself with the local school board, stop allowing your kids to be abused by them and get them OUT. School is bad for kids; unschool them. You can’t fix something that is working just as it was designed to work”.

      Right On brother! Now if I can only apply that advice in my own family. Working on it……….

    • Followed the unschool link. Now I’m messed up. You would still need schooling wouldn’t you? Unschooling is just a mind game for your ownself, correct? Sort of a pressure relief valve on the brain.

      I like the cohousing idea. We could build a SUFA village.!

      • No, you don’t need schooling. Kids learn better if you don’t kill their natural curiosity with school. It’s how learning happened before “schools” (which haven’t really been around that long). I highly recommend this book: The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom

      • Anita,

        Kent is correct.

        We “unschool” – which merely means we – the parents – work really hard to undo the damage the school system did to my wife and I so that we avoid damaging our child.

        The kid is natural in her learning – we don’t have to do anything there.

        WE have to work very hard NOT to impose SCHOOLING on her – thus WE are unschooling US, not her – she never went to school to “unschool” her!

        The whole concept is: “don’t school – but lead by example and excitement”.

        Your kids naturally want to be like their parents.

        …so just be you and your kids will naturally follow.

        • I follow now but how can you unschool yourself into college or further into an operating room for instance?

          • Anita,

            Re: unschooling….

            Which begs questions…

            Why do you think going to college is something (a) necessary (b) desired (c) valuable?

            What do you believe you need from “schooling” that is necessary to operate?

            • I’m with you BF and totally agree. IF you could self employ yourself. BUT The HR guy isn’t going to buy it…seems to me. They’d have to let you into the OR with a guinea pig to prove your skills. I offer up Matt since he can’t survive on his own. But then there’s Zuckerman or whoever the Facebook guy is who got lucky and struck it rich.

              • Anita,

                What is the goal?

                If it is a “job” – you don’t need college.

                I would not be hired by any of the 1500+ companies I have worked for – I don’t have any degree in the field of my expertise, so no HR dept. would even entertain my application.

                BUT as a consultant, the “paper” they demand is … Can you fix the problem? – and if I do, they pay. They do not care who/what/where/if any education I have or don’t have. They care that the problem is fixed.

                Instead of wasting years in college and costing thousands of dollars, I made a lot of money.

                But I will never be an “employee” – an “employer” yep, often…. 🙂

                But what is the goal?

                Do not assume that all roads lead to such a goal.

                If you want to be part of a Guild – you will have to follow Guild rules

                Thus, if you want to be a lawyer or a doctor or engineer you must follow their Guild rules. It does not matter how good or smart you are – if you do not follow their rules you do not get into the Guild.

                So, if you want to be a member, follow their rules.

                ….thus, what do you want?

              • I really want a bag of 50’s but everyone has a wish list. You’re right..if you got what they need ..you’re in.

              • Bottom Line says:

                I want a pocket knife, magnifying glass, fishing gear, various seeds and small livestock, a lush deserted tropical island, and a good natured pretty female companion(or two).

                OR..

                …to win the lottery.

                🙂

              • We can’t have shit BL so let’s just pretend: How bout we just count our blessings and crank up the tunes

                Emerson Lake & Palmer

              • Hey, if you won the lottery then (after taxes) you could buy that pocketknife and some fishing line! (hopefully)

    • Common Man says:

      Kent;

      Good to read you again. I hope you are well my fiend. I disagree with the concept that you cannot change something that was designed incorrectly…you can. It just needs to be viewed as inept driven by the understanding that it does not work.

      What the mind can concieve man can achieve.

      CM

      • OK, maybe you can fix it, but it’s better to just scrap it and start over rather than applying patches over patches without addressing the underlying flaws.

        I’m well. I always visit and read the site, but am so busy I rarely have time to comment and get drawn into a discussion. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I’m sorta “official” now: I get paid (a tiny amount) for a weekly newspaper column (I, however, didn’t write the ironically wrong headline for this one!). WooHoo!

        • Common Man says:

          Congrads on your success and I hope many and head your word.

          CM

          • Common Man says:

            Boy that didn’t come out as I typed it. It should read “Congrads on your success and I hope many read and heed your word.”

            CM

            • That’s funny as heck CM because the first time I read it I took it as you corrected it! Duh! 🙂

  8. Common Man……interesting article. However, I owe you an apology and I will do it publicly (at least on here)… I was wrrrrrr……I was wrrrrrrr…..ummmm…..I was wwwrrrrroonnnggg.(Do you know how hard it is for crusty Colonel’s to admit they are wrong?) But, I had misjudged your politics.

    Ok…now on to your article.

    First, Ray has pointed out a couple of things that I thought about. I do not share Ray’s conclusion on the concept of the whole vs the individual in your article. I read it to mean two different things. First, that the young people are being indoctrinated that the needs and wants of the many outweigh the needs and wants of the few or the one. ( Vulcanism, I know ). And that type of teaching is detrimental to the individual and individual rights. But I do not tie that statement to the fact that local organizations are the same concept as utilizing the whole instead of the one. I did not read into your article that the “Lion’s Club” or Salvation Army or whatever to be the same in the form of socialization. ( I think that is how I interpreted Ray’s viewpoint ). I read into your article, that getting involved within the local community, (ie. the same organizations) as a fact finding and learning point rather than an interpretation of and adoption of the whole and that by getting involved in this manner will enlighten you or us in the feelings and temperament of your surrounding area. I also read into your argument that one way to starve the gorilla or send it into anorexia is a grass roots level involvement instead of pining away and doing nothing. (Have I understood you correctly?) I read into your article that to defeat or corral the 800 pound gorilla is using the same tactics that made it 800 pounds. We have the gorilla at the table….time to diet.

    Secondly,I cannot say that I am in the same canoe as Ray on his position of the “mythical bearded dude in the sky”…I did not read into your article that it is necessary to “have” or “get” religion to put your gorilla on a diet. I read your article to mean, that if you do believe in a religion, then get involved in that religion or organization to continue to learn at your local level. (Do I understand this correctly?) I do not know where I come down on any beliefs. I simply do not know. I cannot deny the existence of a Creator nor can I confirm the existence of a Creator….no one can. That is a faith issue. But, if I understand you correctly, that if you lean that direction, then get involved in your local chapter or organization of that faith and continue to learn. I did not read your article to mean that religion (Creator) is the mainstay of your argument and that it takes THAT (religion)to defeat the gorilla. (Again, please correct me if I am wrong).

    My apology to you lies in the fact that I had you pegged as a defeatist….I had you in the school of “nothing will work, so bury my head in the sand and wait for the aftermath and pick up the pieces to my advantage”….for that I apologize. For, again in my opinion, that type of thinking would make you no better than the ones creating the debacle to begin with. Your article does not imply that at all. I see your article that in order to do something, it must start with us…the individual…… and once again define what we are and educate ourselves on the founding documents and their true meaning and not a series of interpretations of a minority of loud mouths that us (the silent majority concentrating on family and freedoms) allowed to usurp this country and our basic fundamental rights. After all, was this country not founded upon a whole ( a group of individual thinkers..that thought alike)? (If I agree with Ray, and we decide to embark upon a journey, are we not now a whole? Are we not individual thinkers with the same goal in mind?)

    Do I interpret you correctly, sir?

    • I took him to mean natural rights more than a religious point.

      http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1206.html

      The concept of natural rights received one of its most forceful expositions in the writings of Englishman John Locke (1632-1704), who argued that man was originally born into a state of nature where he was rational, tolerant, and happy. In this original existence man was entitled to enjoy the rights of life, liberty and property.

      However, not all men chose to live within the confines of the natural laws and presented threats to the liberties of the others. At this stage man entered into a social contract (compact) in which a state (government) was formed to guarantee the rights of the members of society.

    • Common Man says:

      D-13

      Ahhh, there is much you misunderstand of me grasshopper.

      Honestly though I have thought about withdrawning and waiting for the roof to cave in, but alas I have far to much responsibility, and those I have responsibility for have too much responsibility. As a note: I am prepared however to do so, taking those I am responsible for with me, should the defication hit the rotary ocilator.

      Too some of your points:

      I beleve in the Creator, but my ideals probably differ from most here. What is key and relative is that the human was granted intelligence, passion, compassion, logic, and enalienable rights, and with those traits can accomplish most anything imagined. The key to using those traits is that they must be guided by the one universial principle/standard/moral of righteousness.

      The whole basis for my article is that effort must start at the individual level, because until we take the first step, or initiate the first action, nothing else will happen. Every honest or righteous effort began with one individual doing just that, taking the first step. Nothing happens without action and nothing changes without change and the desire to envoke that change.

      Matt argues that it took a government to envoke appropriate action, but in reality it took an individual or a collective of individuals with right minded ideals. The reason a lot of things got bastardized is because individuals allowed a government to do so.

      I do not wish to stand aside or wait for the roof to fall, so as an individual I choose to change, hopefully others will decide to do so as well.

      CM

      • Great comment –

        “The reason a lot of things got bastardized is because individuals allowed a government to do so.”

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @D13 – I don’t know that you mis-interpreted me as much as you may have over-interpreted me. I have somewhat, not completely, addressed the notion and concept of community in two different posts herein. Understand that I do not believe there not to be inherent benefit to become involved where it can matter most – you local organizations and groups – but I also take great pains to point out that those “local” organizations really are not that local when you get right down to it. The local Boy Scout troop has a fairly large structure behind it, relatively transparent to most but not all. I am also suggesting that the very idea of a local group or organization is quickly changing and evolving right before our eyes. I would not go so far as to say we’ll see things like local parks and recreation areas disappear – but I also acknowledge that I really have no idea what things will look like in 20-30 years – and whether I can now that whatever change happens is right or wrong (or the result of this “brainwashing”).

  9. Common Man says:

    OK, well, all of this is going to take some time to respond too, but respond I will….

    CM

  10. First study the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Confederate Papers, State, County and Local laws so that you understand where things currently stand. ….I argue it is a sound foundational instrument for understanding how a Republic should work,

    And, CM, this is what you got – precisely what the Constitution must have provided

    To fall back on such a documentation as a solution, when it obviously is either the problem or wholly incapable of prevention will guarantee failure.

    Further, there exists no document capable of protecting human freedom, nor preventing tyranny – no matter how complicated, specific, verbose or eloquently written.

    As long as people abdicate their own responsibilities to others, they must also abdicate their freedom to the authority of others. Thus, no document can exist that will give such authority and freedom back to those that deny their responsibility

    As such, to believe in a fantasy that the power of legitimatized violence will enforce the will of those that abdicated their responsibility upon itself is not only foolish but dangerous

    • Common Man says:

      BF, my learned friend, I think you misunderstand my reference to the documents I mention. I believe that although the Constitution leaves some things unclear, or unaccounted it is a documental instrument from which to draw knowledge, and develop acceptable principals. It, and the Bill of Rights core principals and standards are sound.

      The ultimate doctrine that should be used to guide mankind is their inherited understanding of right and freedom.

      No piece of paper can dictate how a righteous man leads his life, but that same piece of paper can be an instrument of study and foundational direction from which to guide or change them as needed.

      CM

      • CM,

        There is an infinite distance between a guide and a foundation.

        My argument is foundation – and that no foundation can be built the provides freedom and the authority to exercise such freedom to humans who abdicate the responsibility of their own action.

        Thus, government cannot be designed to support free people – for government to exist must require people to abdicate their freedom to it, so that government has the legitimatized authority to act.

        • BF

          But doesn’t your last statement depend on your definition of govt itself?

          If for example funding of govt was voluntary, and its role limited to defense just how does that abdicate our responsibility in a way that abdicates our freedom?

          • JAC,

            Sure, definitions are core or else I’m screaming at you that you stop digging up the roots of my tomatoes while you think you digging up the potatoes.

            Gov’t cannot be “voluntary” by definition – it’s requirement for a monopoly on violence.

            This point always destroys your personal concept or definition of government – you want a security company but insist to others that should be called “government”.

            • BF

              I do not see the connection between voluntary funding and a monopoly on violence.

              I can handle govt as a monopoly on the use of violence. But if it does not have the authority to use violence against its citizens but has such authority to use violence in our defense, how is that not a govt?

              What I want is a govt that has a monopoly on the use of “certain” force as dictated by the people but that “power” does not include “initiating” the use of force.

              So is this still govt in your view or something elses?

  11. Mathius,

    There was far too much money in the slave trade, slave labor does wonders for the economy

    This is completely false.

    A slave economy is the lowest productive economy possible.

    Slave trade ends where the voluntary division of labor begins. When one can choose their own occupation and specialty does massive wealth creation begin.

    Slavery may or may not continue regardless of the ability of wealth creation as a motive. Slavery is NOT an economic problem, it is a political problem. But remember England and (eventually Holland) ended slavery by demand of the People – because slavery was an economic drag – and then they made it law.

  12. Mathius,

    Government invented

    Bullshit. Government has not invented anything, ever.

    • It accumulated the resources (taxation), it put to together the talent (scientists), it gave the direction (government goals), it got the result (primitive internet). This is the government inventing something whether you like it or not.

      You could argue that the people hired by the government invented it, but that’s like arguing that the individual engineers invented the iPhone, not Apple.

      But who should get the credit, but the entity that put it all together and made it happen? You’re hatred of government blinds you to its redeeming qualities. Even if the balance is heavily tipped to the negative, you should be able to see the occasional good. But you can’t.

      • Mathius,

        Certainly you can pervert the definition of “invent” to agree with your argument, but all that happens is you manufacture a fallacy, and fall down anyway.

        The internet was invented by a group of guys in Bell. Government used this invention as a tool, just like government did not invent the airplane, but used it to drop bombs.

        Further, the internet of which you infer and speak did not exist until Tim Berners-Lee, the scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web provided the first concepts and protocols for it.

        No “good” comes from government if you are a free man.

        It is impossible. Freedom and Government are polar opposites and cannot coexist – as one grows the other shrinks.

      • Even a blind hog finds the occasional acorn, but you don’t go out and buy blind hogs at a greater price than sighted hogs. Just because government pulled something off does not make it a superior solution, nor does it mean that the free market could not have accomplished a similar, or even better, solution. A one legged man can still finish a marathon, but if you are trying to pick a winner, he is not likely to be your choice. Is there a redeeming quality to having one leg? Not really. Is a one-legged person totally incapable? No, of course not. Government is not totally incapable, they just are not the best method. In some cases, they are such a poor method that they can cause harm. Like the health care debate. I am not going to say that everyone will get diseases and die if the government takes over health care. However, with health care being so important, would you not want to utilize the best solution? Would not a poor solution indirectly cause more harm and suffering?

        • I wasn’t arguing that the government is the better solution (not here, anyway). Flag said “Government has not invented anything, ever.” I disagreed. Within that limited scope, where do you stand?

          Yea or nay?

          • Necessity is the mother of invention. Government has created that “necessity” in terms of creating a demand. Weapons manufacturing comes to mind. There is private demand for guns. I am not sure, without government, that there ever would have been a demand for nuclear bombs. Nuclear energy, certainly, but not city killers.

            Invention does not always require a lot of funding, but, at least for some things, it is needed. Would it have come about without government? Probably, but it is true that some things were, in fact, funded by government. Does that mean they invented them? Not sure.

            Individual minds, or groups of minds, combined with resources are the ingredients of invention. Thus technically, “government” has invented nothing. Government has funded inventors and collected groups of minds to work on certain things. So, I would say that government was an essential ingredient to many of today’s technologies. I still stand by the statement that most of today’s technologies would still exist without that funding, and I base that idea on the level of invention in the industrial revolution, despite NOT having tons of grants and government involvement.

  13. Mathius,

    so what rational supports the abject certainty that it would be better?

    As usual, your bizarre subjective arguments pretending to be objective are your failure.

    Better….for who?

    Definitely government action is a ‘better’ if you are a government-sanctioned thief.

    It is not a ‘better’ if you are a victim of government theft.

    Thus, your subjective measure of “better” has no validity beyond yourself, and cannot be a measure for anything beyond that – unless of course you are egotistic, self-centered sociopath.

    Excluding that latter exception, therefore the best system is one that provides freedom of choice and purpose to the individuals for it is up to each man to chose is own “better” and purpose to achieve it.

  14. I know you’ll all appreciate this:

    • Actually, while humorous, I don’t appreciate it beyond the humor.

      The caption should read “Federal Govt” or “Congress” or “Politicians”.

      Or even better, “Grandpa, Grandma, Mom and Dad”

  15. Mathius

    I think your popular 🙂

    • Seems that way.. 🙂

    • http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/inside_the_lefty_brain.html

      I have two possible theories to try to explain this kind of thinking, such as it is.

      One theory is that they desperately need to believe in government as parent. When run by other lefties, a benevolent and parental government will shield them from the harsh realities of life by making decisions for them; telling them what to eat, what to drive, what energy to use, what light bulbs to use, how much their toilets can flush, what their children must learn and cannot learn, what they can and cannot say, ad infinitum.

      The other theory is that it is a grand conspiracy by the lefties to drive us all to the nut house, leaving the earth to them alone.

      Other than those two ideas, I am at a loss.

      • And the meek shall inherit the Earth…

        Talking about light bulbs.. I’m getting new fixtures installed – do you think it’s worth it to get LED fixtures and bulbs? The whole house is going to run me an extra 5k, but I can’t figure out if the savings are worthwhile (I assume there’s probably also a tax credit available).. your thoughts? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

        • Common Man says:

          Matt;

          Just make sure that those you replace are discarded in an Al Gore approved eco-safe container and disposed of according to EPA standards. That way the $5K your spending will seem like a drop in the bucket.

          CM

        • I have been dealing with LED’s for years now. My cost for one was $240 when first available. One year later, $120. I am looking to go LED in my home, but will wait a year or two for prices to drop. What I have seen so far, offering 60-80 lumen’s output per bulb, I have not yet compared to wattage based output.(price was around $25 at Grainger)

          I have also seen some designs with issues on heat. Some even requiring a small fan for cooling, or early failure would occur. One of the driving factors on LED’s cost is the difficulty in quality control, making true color diodes in white or blue results in about 60% rejection due to them being outside tolerance.

        • Another thought, I do not think lighting is a significant cost for most people, in most homes. Using gas for all heat, including water is significant. I did a comparison and was considering going all electric, and gas is much cheaper.

        • LED averages 10% of the power usage for equivalent lumens vs. incandescent.
          LED averages 40% of the power usage for equivalent lumens vs. fluorescent.

          How much light do you use/need? I think your cost savings will be pretty low, so it will take some time to make up the difference. The bulbs do last a LOT longer than incandescent, and about twice as long as fluorescent, so there is some cost recovery there, but again, it depends on usage, with bulb durability cost savings it is a matter of how much on an off you have.

          If you are off grid in any way, or have limited power sources, it is VERY worth it. We are in the process of converting to LED in our RV. HUGE power savings, tho it is more about how long we go on battery than how much money we save.

  16. Mathius,

    You would think, that after the 250,000 words I’ve written, you’d actually learn something about my position.

    Flag would have us believe that market pressure would protect us from all ills

    No where – ever – anywhere – in the quarter of million or more words I have posted – have I ever said this!

    • Fine.

      Market pressure and a violence in the form of self defense.

      Fair?

      • Mathius,

        Pay attention

        FREE market economy means:
        voluntary exchange of goods and services

        Voluntary –by definition – does not have any component of violence – there is no violence, no coercion.

        Got it?

        Violence and Free market do not exist at the same time. Violence in a market place makes it “something other than a free” Market.

        Got it?

        Society uses concepts to organize itself:

        It has been found that the optimum economic organization is Free market – that is voluntary exchange of goods

        It has been found that the optimum political organization is voluntary association and cooperation while holding the freedom to pursue one’s own goals and desires.

        Got it?

        No where does this mean all human problems disappear

        All it means is the methodology of choosing solutions to human problems are optimal if one uses free market economics and voluntary association and freedom as your politics.

        You may still die from disease, murder, falling down the stairs — but the best way to try to solve the issues of disease, murder and you falling down the stairs remains the free market and voluntary association and cooperation

      • No, BF has never claimed that anything will protect anyone from all ills. Protection and prevention are not possible. Laws do not do this, why should market pressures do this? Flag simply believes that society would be better off with market pressure handling problems than government pressure.

  17. V.H.

    I believe that the path without government would have been slower and in some ways harder

    You are unable to know what is “right” and need a bully to tell you?

    You believe speed of progress is more important then righteousness?

    You believe the best solution to human problems is the application of violence instead of reason?

    You believe that speed is easier than right, violence is easier than reason? And —I agree— for a little while – and then one day you will be run over by some other irrational man, and you will change your mind.

    • Boy, you sure got a lot out of those few words 🙂 BF-I will state this again. You are right, one more time, you are right-You cannot have true freedom and a government at the same time. But you also can’t have, IMHO, a civilized society without laws and a way to enforce said laws. Once you have laws- a government seems inevitable. If man has a chance of living truly free without a government than you must have a population with the right mind set-we do not have that now-and I’m not sure we ever have. Without either laws or the right mind set-we better face currant reality and try to stop the advangement of government power.

      • V.H.

        a civilized society without laws and a way to enforce said laws. Once you have laws- a government seems inevitable.

        This is wholly false and a continued adherence to such a false belief dooms mankind.

        Civilization and Government are opposites, not twins.

        The more of one shrinks the other. You cannot be “civilized” while adhering to “government”, nor more a man claim he is “civilized” while being a savage.

        Government is wholly unnecessary to make law.

        Have you not heard or understood the concept of Common Law?? No government produced it – YET! it is the foundational legal system of your country.

        • You have been telling me this for about 2 years now -if you cannot enforce said laws -they are worthless. So I have two choices-belt on my gun and kill those who abuse me or let the law handle it. I choose the law-I think it’s more civilized and I think it is inevitable-man has proven throughout history that they want law and order-You create that environment without government and I’ll be right there with you.

          • V.H.

            Thinking cap time….

            Do you believe Common Law would be the dominate foundational legal system for most of the Western world if it was not enforceable

            YET~! It is, and it was enforced without government!

            So I have two choices-belt on my gun and kill those who abuse me or let the law handle it.

            So, you are saying here – that you and the law are two different things – and you will surrender your responsibility to someone else, believing voiding your responsibility makes you civilized.

            • No, I am saying the law gives me options other than killing. I’m saying any law even if it is only local law enforcement and a court system is in essence a government. I am saying we need local law enforcement because it has the power to enforce.

              If you want to talk about common law-give me an example and how it has been enforced.

              • V.H.

                Local LE and courts work after the fact. You will be a victim before they do what they do. They are not here to protect you, so why do feel the need for them?

              • They don’t just work after the fact-Yes someone may kill me but if the police find them and imprison them than they will not be able to kill you.

              • I don’t want your sacrifice for my well being. I want you alive. Your willingness to die to legitimize a flawed system isn’t in your best interest

              • 🙂 Well I appreciate that G-I don’t wanna die either-and I will do what ever is necessary not to. But that really wasn’t the point. Hopefully, I made my point even if you don’t agree with it. 🙂

              • Bottom Line says:

                VH,

                The law only protects through deterrence against those that are deterred.

                Those that will take the chance anyway in spite of police, will victimize you.

                The uncivilized don’t think with the same rationale as you.

                If there is no policeman right there on the scene, to stop it, you are the victim.

                You lose, criminal wins.

                If the criminal gets caught, you are still the victim and he loses too. Lose/Lose.

                Shoot the criminal before he rapes/assaults/kills/robs you, rather than being victimized because you rely on someone else to “protect” you.

                Make it a Win/Lose in your favor.

              • Ok, gotta back V up here:
                You guys are acting like she is depending entirely on LE, and not being willing to use self defense. There is no such thing as protection from or prevention of all ills. The most effective means of protection, because it is always available, is self defense. However, while it is always an option, it is not always effective. A better armed, more numerous, and or more powerful opponent can nullify any defensive action.

                So, LE is not about preventing the initial attack, it is about preventing the next one by removing the offender from society. This could be done by private market forces, perhaps, but such a thing would not be perfect either, and would still be least effective for those who did not have the resources to hire private enforcement.

                So, LE is designed to protect by enforcing law/justice. The benefit or usefulness of such a system does NOT mean that self defense should not also be employed. The average liberal dreamer might say that people should depend totally on LE, but I am sure you all know that is not something V would support, you should be ashamed of yourself for thinking two dimensionally.

                So yes, obviously it is better to have a win/lose in your favor, but that is not a 100% possible scenario. Sometimes you get hit from behind, sometimes you miss your target, sometimes you opponent has a gun too and is a quicker draw. So assuming you tried for a win/lose but lost, would it not be a good idea for LE to prevent such a loss from happening to someone else by removing the offender?

              • V.H.

                Before the Norman conquest in 1066, justice was administered primarily by county courts, presided by the diocesan bishop and a sheriff, exercising both ecclesiastical and civil jurisdiction.

              • Okay, they enforced the law-whether you call it common law or whatever-they had the right to enforce-what in this situation is different from a government-they are using force right.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Current system = You pay taxes to support police departments to “protect” you and force you to live as you are told.

                Common law police = Your neighborhood sends two armed resident men out every night to patrol the neighborhood and protect from would-be bandits/burglars.

                One uses force to make you live as they dictate, the other simply protects what is theirs/yours.

                No one has the natural right to coerce you into living as they dictate.

                Everyone has the right and responsibility to protect what is theirs.

              • Sounds kind of like a local theocratic government.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          BF says > “Civilization and Government are opposites, not twins”

          I say > “The more government grows, the more uncivil I become”

    • In some cases of irrational human problems, reason is not as effective as violence.

      • Jon,

        Reason is ALWAYS better than violence for reason IS the root and essence of the Universe.

        Violence may provide an answer – but it is NEVER the best answer.

        • “reason IS the root and essence of the Universe”

          Is this a statement you can prove? I tend to think reason is the root an essence of Man, but not necessarily the universe. The universe does not think, it simply is. It has rules and operates a certain way, but to say that it is based on or built on reason is either a personal belief, it involves a specific definition of “reason” and/or Universe” that I am not aware of, or both.

          • Jon

            By definition is not reason based on comparison to the reality of the universe?

            If it is consistent then we consider it rational or based on reason.

            Thus reason is the essence of the universe.

            As for the use of the word “root” you may have a point. I might have said the universe is the root of reason. Looking for the Flag response to your point.

          • Jon,

            s this a statement you can prove

            Go throw a rock at your window and test it.

            I would have suggested to Mathius -had he said this- for him to walk off a cliff, but I like you 😉 so the rock/window test is better for you. It will only hurt your wallet to test the Universe and reason.

            • You don’t like me? 😦

              Much as I think you’re bat-shit crazy, you’re one of my favorites in this asylum.

            • Yes, you are talking about cause/effect and the ability to use reason to predict what will happen. As JAC said and you agreed, the universe operates consistently, and reason is a system of thought that is born of recognition of that. I agree with that concept.

              However, if someone is operating without reason, it is reasonable to deal with them in whatever means is effective. There is a difference between using reason, and reasoning with someone.

              and I am happy that you like me 😛

  18. JAC,

    So here -again- is your contradiction:

    I can handle govt as a monopoly on the use of violence.

    with:

    does not include “initiating” the use of force.

    You do not understand the word “monopoly”.

    You have Organization “A” who you have legitimized the monopoly on violence. You are “B”. You cannot legitimately use violence as you have surrendered that to the monopoly.

    When “A” attacks “B” – it is legitimate.
    When “B” attacks “A” – it is illegitimate.

    Thus, how can “B” ever enforce itself on “A” when any enforce must come against the use of violence by “A” and it has the legitimate power of violence to stop you.

    So is this still govt in your view or something elses?

    • So is this still govt in your view or something elses?

      Nope. Government is – to its core and essence and nothing else – the application of violence on non-violent men.

      As long as you give such an entity a monopoly (ie: legitimatize it) to do so, evil will continue to rule men.

      • BF

        You know better than to claim I do not understand the meaning of the words we use in our discussion.

        Please note, for example, that I did not include “initiate” in my acceptance of the monopoly.

        Self defense is a use of force. It is not, however, an initiation of force.

        And of course, all force is not violence. At least in the way I use the term.

        As I recall you use a more “expanded” definition of violence, that does not require actual physical harm. I equate violence to physical harm. The rest is just force.

        So lets use Mathius’ example from above. Is a man who knowingly pollutes the water in a way that makes others sick a violent or a non-violent man?

        • JAC,

          Is a man who knowingly pollutes the water in a way that makes others sick a violent or a non-violent man

          The tools by which a man uses to use violence does not change the fact of violence.

          Your question is equally:

          “A man who uses a knife is not violent because he could have used a gun”

          Of course, that is self-evidently ridiculous, thus:

          A man who uses poison as his weapon is no less violent than a man who uses a knife as a weapon or a gun as weapon or a bomb as weapon or a car as a weapon…. go on for as long as you like

          • But the man using poison is doing so in a way that might contribute to making you sick.

            He did not make you sick. If you had dealt only with the poison from his factory, you would be fine. So it is ok to attack him?

            And how much violence is justifiable for a slight harm? If my actions are going to give you a paper cut, are you justified killing me in your defense?

          • BF

            A simple “violent of course” would have sufficed.

            I am making no argument. Only asking questions for clarification on your definitions.

            So in your view, where does “violence” stop relative to the effect on the victim?

            In short, does your definition require physical harm or does it extend beyond that?

            • JAC,

              It must be an action – not imagined or fantasy.

              Thus, it must manifest – it has to be testable, verifiable, real.

              Obviously, physical manifestation is best as evidence.

              I find it very rare (hence, difficult) to prove non-physical harm.

            • JAC,

              The reason for the lengthy explaination is to demonstrate that the tool of violence does not change the fact of violence.

              (Remembering the “smoke out your neighbor” post past)

          • BF

            One more. I know that the word “monopoly” has been used for centuries in describing govt. But the word is not being used correctly as “monopoly” does not include “total” or “sole” power.

            I assume that in your use you are assuming “sole” authority. True or False? If False please explain.

            Along this line, at what point does a govt come into existence?

            If I claim sole authority over the use of force in a geographic area, and hire enough thugs to enforce my claim, am I a government?

            I guess this goes to the question of does govt require some type of “authority” or does it simply require “power”.

  19. Here’s another project I have been working on (sorry that this isn’t exactly on-topic): “Basics of Liberty” videos
    Feel free to spread them around, or criticize them roundly.

  20. Nice article CM!

    I think a bit of peaceful disobedience (choosing your battles VERY carefully of course) is needed at this point. Trying to completely follow the law AND develop personal freedom, even at a local or individual level, is extremely difficult. Removing yourself as much as possible from the system is the only way to get out of the kitchen. It takes time, and it takes risk, but patience and courage are exactly what we need to develop to be strong enough to handle a starving gorilla.

    • Jon

      The JAC version.

      If we all stopped taking the free cookies there would be no need for free cookie bakers.

    • Common Man says:

      Jon;

      I certainly don’t beleive that we should blindly obey every law invoked by the government. As an example, here in Michigan the DNR has banned baiting when hunting whitetail, and they base their reasoning on the one deer they found that allegially had CWD. The law says you cannnot place a food source or mineral that a deer would eat near your blind and hunt over it. However, you can grow a food plot and hunt over it.

      Bottom line: Anyone that investigates CWD knows that a food plot has a better chance of spreading CWD than a gallon of corn.

      Most of the hunters I know pay no attention to this stupid law and interestingly enough there has not been any further spread of CWD in Michigan. And the DNR isn’t spreading any propaganda because they got what they wanted…no legal baiting.

      CM

  21. Bottom Line says:

    Great article, CM.

    My thoughts…

    “Totalitarian Regime”? Sure, I’ll go along with that. I kinda see all government as totalitarian, noting it’s coercive nature.

    I tend to think of it as a socialist/fascist oligarchy, where all the money and power are in the hands of the few, where the financial and political elite work together to gain more money and power, more control, where the corporate giants have a vested interest in government coercion, where we are FORCED by law to feed government and the financial elite as THEY prescribe with our compliance and support.

    $$GIANT$$/Government = $/Law = $/Enforcement = $/Coercion = $/Violence

    You pay, you comply, or else.

    When you’re forced to buy products/services, when the same few people making $$$ producing weapons platforms also own all the media selling us a war, when government regs stifle the little guy businessman and keep the big guy($GIANT$) big, when oil companies can influence government to start wars on the other side of the planet, when the politician with the most campaign money wins, when taxpaying citizens are incurring huge debts bailing out $$GIANTS$$,…

    …it’s a fascism problem.

    Not that big money is bad, just big money controlling/influencing government. Government is bad enough all by itself. We don’t need a corporate branch.

    Wanna change things for the better in American government? Go make a billion dollars and buy some politicians.

    CM – “In short, we are being corralled like pigs to the slaughter. So what do we do? How do we turn this government around? And the point here is not to dwell or argue about the issues listed above, it is to define a foundational starting point to change it back to what was initially designed some 200+ years ago.

    The answer is complicated, because the problem is complicated…

    (BL – Indeed. I very much agree. This country needs an “easy button”)

    CM – “…It took over 100 years for the government to get this powerful, and it is now the 1000 pound gorilla setting at our dinner table with a ravenous appetite. There is not enough food on the table for all of us to eat without fear. We need to leave the gorilla alone, let him eat and focus our attention elsewhere.”

    BL – There is a long list of self destructive norms/bad habits in and of the US. As a society, we need to break the cycle.

    The US was somewhat of a libertarian society at it’s inception. It’s taken more than 200 years to develop into the monster that it is today, …it’s not just gonna be turned around in any expedient fashion without experiencing a bit of turbulence.

    (Not that you could get the necessary number of people to make an impact to agree on anything. What are the unified goals of a movement?)

    And when considering our financial situation, we’ll likely experience complete economic collapse and and following subsequent chaotic disaster before fixing it, as “fixing it” takes time, even generations.

    It’s like traveling 70 mph in a car with a 100 ft breaking distance, with a wall 50 ft in front of you. Go ahead, lock up the breaks RIGHT NOW. You’re still gonna hit it at about 35 mph.

    CM – ” So, what do we do…fight, flee, quit?

    BL – There is no answer.

    The best I can come up with is that EVERYONE needs to quit, AND teach future generations to quit as everything is trans-generational.

    Disengage from the system. Learn to live independent of government, independent of the current system. Do not give it legitimacy by supporting it.

    Take responsibility for yourself, family, friends, etc. Respect the right of others to live freely. Engage and contribute within your local community.

    Teach future generations the same as everything is trans-generational.

    But that isn’t going to happen either as too many people eagerly work for and demand their enslavement. How is it possible to convince them to not only disengage, but also teach their children to do the same?

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    My guess, if we continue as we are, …American society is going to collapse within the lifespan of the next generation, or sooner.

    Chaos will ensue, Order will follow.

    All we can do is damage control, teach future generations how and what to rebuild.

    CM – “It is fruitless to fight a regime of this size, they would simply crush us, and a revolution is out of the question for the same reason. Leaving is an option; however it may lead us to a country with an even more advanced totalitarian government. And quitting is not an option; after all we are Americans not French.”

    BL – In a The People vs The Government armed revolt civil war scenario, on US soil, with no outside intervention or use of genocidal weapons, …DEPENDING ON THE PEOPLE’S ABILITY TO ORGANIZE, the people would likely eventually win a long bloody war.

    If enough people could organize an even nominally effective armed revolt and insurgency, it would present an eventual logistical and tactical nightmare for government. Government/military hegemony would be unsustainable.

    Foreign troops might even end up on US soil. UN troops may be called upon to assist US government, OR …because civil war makes us vulnerable to attack/invasion.

    I’m not in support of a long bloody war against government…just not a good idea.

    Fruitless? Well, maybe/maybe not, …but is it really worth cutting down the fruit tree to find out if the fruit is sweet?

    CM – “We need to let the 1000 pound gorilla starve. And we do that by starting over where we have influence, control and a voice in fertile ground: the family and local community. ”

    BL – Starve the beast, I agree.

    Disengage. Respect people’s freedom. Help people out. Keep it local. Teach children the same.

    The more you disengage from the system, the lesser the pain you will feel when the unsustainable system eventually collapses on it’s own. Whether or not you/me/everyone are/is dead when it happens, any children/grandchildren you/me/we have will inherit the mess.

    THEY have to break the cycle that we’ve given them.

    Youth is King.

    Thanks, and have a nice day,

    BL

    • Common Man says:

      BL;

      But by “Disengage. Respect people’s freedom. Help people out. Keep it local. Teach children the same.” you are part of the solution, because you have decided to change. If enough individuals change as well we will no longer be feeding the 1000 pound gorilla.

      CM

      • Bottom Line says:

        ” If enough individuals change as well…”

        The more the merrier.

        I suppose anything is possible, but that’s a BIG if.

        🙂

  22. Mathius,

    And how much violence is justifiable for a slight harm? If my actions are going to give you a paper cut, are you justified killing me in your defense?

    Only morally befuddled people are confused about this.

    • Morally befuddled! Gotta remember that one! Love it!

    • Mr. Magoo is a distant cousin of mine. Befuddlement is in my blood.

      Help me out.

      • Matt,
        You have basically said that without govt. you would likely perish. However, that is a choice you have made, not a result of no government. Less befuddled yet?

        • G-Man,

          A power plant pollutes. It is only a minor contributor to making you sick. However, because you’re not morally befuddled, you see that it is still inflicting violence on you. Therefore violence is justified in self defense (assuming other approaches fail). So far so good? Ok then, now off the rails..

          I support the government and pay taxes.

          The government inflicts violence on you.

          Therefore, because you are not morally befuddled, you see that I inflict slight violence on you (perhaps my share is the slightest of paper cuts).

          Therefore, you are justified in violent force against me in your self-defense.

          Does this sound perilously close to the logic employed by any groups you may have heard of?

          • Matt,

            Your support of govt. will only harm you. You will willing cave to their demands, no matter how much it makes you suffer. To them, you are the controlled. Your actions do not harm me, I’m on a different list.

            • Preposterous.

              Government affects you. It demands taxes which you pay (even if just sales taxes). It controls how fast you can drive. It controls what substances you can put in your body or forces you to hide it.

              All this, Flag is correct, under threat of violence.

              And I am helping to create, support, and use that force. Against you.

              “Your support of govt. will only harm you.” I don’t consider it a harm, but to say it’s only against me is ridiculous. Are you saying that the government leaves you completely alone and doesn’t coerce your actions in any way shape or form under threat of jail (read: violence) or fine (read: theft)?

              Seems to me that I’m your enemy and you would be justified under Flag Logic, since you’re not morally befuddled, in using violence against me to stop me from paying taxes (which equates to threatening you with violence).

              • Matt,

                We are all, in many ways, are negatively affected by govt. Your desire to wear shackles, while supporting those that shackle you, has no bearing on me. You are not initiating violence against me, by supporting govt. Even Flag would agree that it would be immoral to attack the befuddled, as they will not defend themselves.

              • I’m confused? Because I don’t know I’m causing harm means you can’t defend yourself against me?

                I’m not merely passively supporting government, I’m funding it. I’m part of the machine that’s attacking you.

                That seems pretty clear to me.

              • below!

  23. JAC

    But the word is not being used correctly as “monopoly” does not include “total” or “sole” power.

    Of course you can still throw rocks, stab with knifes and shoot guns at people – so monopoly in this context means legitimate.

    Government can throw rocks, bombs, bullets and missiles all it wants for whatever reason it wants, and do it legitimately where you cannot.

    Along this line, at what point does a govt come into existence?

    The moment a persons agrees government has the legitimacy to attack.

    This moment occurs at exactly the time this person abdicates their responsibility for their own actions and places it on someone else. That person then becomes government for now they have authority to act or force action.

    If I claim sole authority over the use of force in a geographic area, and hire enough thugs to enforce my claim, am I a government?

    No.

    The People will only see you as a crime organization.

    The moment the People abdicate their responsibility for their actions to this group – it is a government – they in that moment legitimize the entity and it becomes government.

    I guess this goes to the question of does govt require some type of “authority” or does it simply require “power”.

    It needs both – without one, it cannot exist.

    Thus, now we can understand the tactic of “terrorists” and other Fourth Generation Warriors – they, by violence attack the legitimacy of the State

    And, now we can understand the tactic of Black Flags – they, by argument and reason refuse the authority (by refusing to abdicate individual responsibility to and…) of government or the State

  24. Mathius,

    It’s not a clear as you think.

    Matt – I’m confused? Because I don’t know I’m causing harm means you can’t defend yourself against me. G – Don’t be confused, you are correct.

    Matt – I’m not merely passively supporting government, I’m funding it. I’m part of the machine that’s attacking you.

    G – Yes, you are funding it, if you try to stop, you will be forced to continue. That’s not your fault. As far as supporting government, you have answered this many times….People.Are.Stupid 🙂

    • But that’s not really the point, now is it? I’m part of the machine that’s attacking you. Therefore you’re justified in attacking me in self defense.

      Or did I miss something?

      • You missed something! You have admitted that your survival is directly related to Govt. Therefore you are dependent on them and must support them. Mathius, the individual, is not attacking me, because you have no idea how or why. The Govt has taught you “learned helplessness”, you need them, which is what they want. I won’t hold that against you, as I would have to take out all people like you. That’s too much work. It’s easier to wait for the Govt. to implode and take you and your kind with them. I’m patient! 🙂

        • So, if I have to steal from you in order to survive, that’s ok because I’ve been taught “learned helplessness”?

          • If you show up at my door, hungry, I will feed you. If you chose to come through the window, I will shoot you. You make the choice.

            • And if a legion of us show up at your door?

              You’re skirting the point. I’m attacking you. What rights do you have under the circumstances?

              • Bottom Line says:

                He has the right to push that plunger and watch his property be covered with holes and body parts.

                He has the right to use fire as a weapon.

                He has the right to use grenades.

                He has the right to open fire with everything he has.

                He has the right to get an awesome kill ratio.

                🙂

              • Hey, a straight answer! Good job.

                OK, so when the government attacks him, does he have those same rights?

              • Bottom Line says:

                You mean…

                Does he have the inherent and instinctual NATURAL right to protect himself against imminent mortal danger?

                Yes.

                If you have a gun in your face, you’re in mortal danger regardless of who’s holding the gun.

              • Matt, You are not physically attacking me, in person. You are no different than any other taxpayer, just doing what your told to do. The fact that you like it is meaningless.

                We’re not to the point yet of having legions coming to my door, however, once the claymores are set up, no problem!

              • So, because I’m not physically the one pushing you around makes me innocent?

                Is a general innocent when he sends his troops out to the physical portion? Is congress for authorizing the general?

              • Matt, I think you are trying to say we are dangerous-That our ideas endanger you.

              • Not exactly. I am trying to show the logical end of the black and white world view – that it inevitably leads to a bad place.

                But I can’t do this since nobody is answer the questions I ask. 😦

              • I suspect it is because this is not a black and white question. What brings a man to the point where he has a right to kill-what brings a man to the point that he feels his life is on the line. That is the point where some men will start a revolution. Not sure it is so much that men will feel they have a right as much as they will feel they have no other choice.

              • Yes we are dangerous, when pushed to the point of self defense, 70 million armed American pissed off gun owners can be a brutal ending to govt violence

              • One more thing-there is a point where one isn’t being asked to compromise-they are being asked to lay down and submit.

              • Haven’t we already crossed that line? Think airports.

              • So, because I’m not physically the one pushing you around makes me innocent?

                Correct

                Troops? If I have troops coming after me..1. I’m a badass dude…2. I’ll take out as many as I can before they get me. However, I was born free, and I’ll die fighting for the same.

              • Objection. Does not answer the question.

              • I answered below

  25. For comments. 🙂

  26. A Puritan Descendant says:

    Are ‘Mathius’ and ‘Black Flag’ really people?

    Or are they automated software programs created by USW to spur debate? 🙂

    • 01000100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01000001 01110011 01101011 00101100 00100000 01000100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01010100 01100101 01101100 01101100 00101110 00101110 00101110

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        … .- -.– .– —- .- – ..–.. 😉

      • 01110100 01101000 01100101 01111001 00100000 01110010 01100101 01110000 01100101 01100001 01101100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01101110 01101011 01100110 01110101 01101100 01101100 01111001 00101110

    • They are real people, even if they are polar opposites. Fun to chat with too!

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Immortality in a software program! What a great idea.

  27. The guys were all at a deer camp. No one wanted to room with Don, because he snored so badly.

    They decided it wasn’t fair to make one of them stay with Don the whole time, so they voted to take turns.

    The first guy slept with Don and comes to breakfast the next morning with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot. They said “Man, what happened to you?” He said, “Don snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all night.

    The next night it was a different guy’s turn. In the morning, same thing – hair standing up, eyes all bloodshot. They said “Man, what happened to you? You look awful”. He said, ‘Man, that Don shakes the roof with his snoring. I watched him all night”..

    The third night was Fred’s turn. Fred was a tanned, older cowboy – a man’s man. The next morning he came to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. “Good morning!” he said. They couldn’t believe it. They said, “Man, what happened?” He said, “Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Don into bed, patted him on the butt, and kissed him good night.

    Don sat up and watched me all night.

  28. The Ghost of Thanksgivings Yet to Come

    By Arnold Ahlert Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    “Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to her husband. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered. Actually Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington . Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its “unseemly violence” and the “bad example it sets for the rest of the world,” Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn’t nearly as exciting.

    Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another TofuTurkey. Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey. And ever since the government officially changed the name of “Thanksgiving Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020 to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

    Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the TofuTurkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats-which were monitored and controlled by the electric company-be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

    Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of live-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. “The RHC’s resources are limited,” explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I’m sorry for your loss.”

    Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines-for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn’t want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

    Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added “inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity” in order to stay “one step ahead of the terrorists.” Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for “unequal scrutiny,” even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

    The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. “A living Constitution is extremely flexible,” said the Court’s eldest member, Elena Kagan. ” Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example,” she added.

    Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

    His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism or any of a number of other calamities were “just around the corner,” but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn’t help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to “spur economic growth.” This time they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

    Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential. Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them.

    He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2010, when all the real nonsense began. “Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if we’d just said ‘enough is enough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.

    Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

    Thanks to CP for sending this too me. It fits todays subject quite well!

  29. Objection. Does not answer the question.

    LMAO! If I can get any of them in the crosshairs, they pay the ultimate price for their mistake. Generals and Politicians included.

    • I am trying to show the logical end of the black and white world view – that it inevitably leads to a bad place.

      Yes Matt, Govt. will indeed lead to a bad place. Since your whole premise has been in support of govt, it’s their initiation of violence that will ultimately lead to bad things, because many of us will defend ourselves. In your Black and White world view, the common denominator is…. govt 🙂

      • My world view is not the black and white one – it is yours that, as I have been trying to show, eerily mirrors militant fanatics.

        If you cannot see the gray, all is either good or evil, and all Americans would have to end up on the side of evil by your definitions.

        • Mathius,

          I try to see things as they are. I read all sides of the spectrum to come to some form of conclusion. I also like history, and can apply it at times to current times. The militant fanatic in me, as you seem to see, is is not so fanatic. I don’t want violence, but am able and willing to answer it inkind, but only in self defense.

          I try hard not to see gray. There is right and there is wrong, no gray matter in the middle. Your gray is an attempt to justify wrong. I call wrong…wrong. There is no almost right or almost wrong. Close enough is a cop out.

          I think it would surprise you as to how many Americans think as I do, I’m far from alone. Most Americans are good people, I don’t share your outlook on humanity. It’s fair to say that we disagree on many things, and that’s not bad, because we can discuss it freely (for now) and respectfully. Govt. wants this to end, wake up my friend, before it’s too late.

          • Matt,

            People who are well trained in self defense, hand to hand, firearms or both, are the least likely to engage in violent acts.

        • Matt,
          A black and white world view is dangerous, not because it fails to see gray, but because it fails to see in color.

          In other words, people who refuse to factor everything in are not being rational. They might be thinking logically, but they are not being truly rational. I can do math all day long, but if I don’t have all the numbers, my answers are still wrong.

          Thing is, the people always looking at gray are not seeing in color either. If you are seeking some sort of nuance to justify your position then you have a weak position. If someone with a black and white view has issue, then you should be able to clearly point out the color or number or factor they are missing or not seeing. If you cannot do that, then you are just grasping for justification of your world view, not thinking rationally.

          People are not perfect, so I get the whole issue with black and white arguments. Just because a person messes up some stuff does not mean they are all bad. However, if you are so immersed in gray that you are unable to see black and white, then you will never strive for that which is better. If something is “almost right”, then it is still not right, and therefore it is not good enough. You cannot relieve yourself of the need to strive by making gray ok.

          I know it is annoying and tiring at times, but striving is what makes man better and it always will. There is no “arrival” point. I know a guy who reminds me a little of you Matt, tho he is not as smart or rational. And he whines a lot. Mostly about how society is “biased” in favor of the productive. He is a good guy and I appreciate his perspective on some things, but ultimately, he is seeking relaxation. He is basically lazy and wants to intellectually justify this. He wants utopia. Unfortunately, he will fall for that which offers it, whether it is rational or not. His primary redeeming factor is that he is suspicious of power, yet he is liberal, and likes the idea of removing the concept of property from humanity. It is bizarre. He is talented and could be very successful, but he languishes in mediocrity. I think the primary similarity to you is that he seems to know better, yet subscribes to ideas that make no sense. An open mind is willing to accept the need to change one’s own view. It is willing to consider factors it previously did not or was not aware of. The closed mind wastes energy on self justification or reacts angrily to opposition.

  30. G-Man

    Think airport-think everything. We can’t do anything without government involvement. Not even die. WE have compromised to the point of no peace and no privacy. It’s time for the government to back off. I’ll start with no income tax-perfect way to get some privacy back and get the government out of everything we do. Tax me on what I buy, I don’t care if it’s a large tax just get out of my business.

    • I don’t think we have comprimised as much as we didn’t pay attention. We’ve been lied too constantly, and let it pass. We know the govt is corrupt, yet still vote for corrupt A or corrupt B. Our cities are turning to slums, homelessness is growing daily and yet we just keep turning away. I think that far to many now fear govt, so action of anykind is suppressed. The 1000 lb gorilla is here, he’s eating and growing. He won’t be reasoned with, he don’t have to be reasonable, and he knows it. There is only one way out of this!

  31. V.H.

    that in this situation is different from a government

    (1) Common Law was simple and to the point – 95% was prohibitions, remedies and preventions of violence on others.

    (2) It was appropriate to the immediate community and derived its powers from those that were immediately subject to it – and not imposed by a power 1500 miles away who excused themselves from the law.

    (3) It was adaptable to the minute. If the jury of peers felt -in any circumstance- that the law was inappropriate, the law was annulled. No congress, no fuss, no senate, no petition —

    • That sounds good BF-but I am still not convinced-your definition of government and why it is evil is power to enforce and legitimacy-this seems to have both. What in your opinion makes this situation different enough not to lead to the problem of abuse of power.

      • V.H.

        The power to enforce just law does not make the enforcer evil.

        Again:
        Government is evil because it requires violence on non-violent people to enforce itself

        A man can be appointed the enforcer of just law, and by that appointment derives legitimacy to be that enforcement. None of this is evil.

        Should the man use violence unjustly, he loses legitimacy, and becomes a criminal.

        Further, the enforcer is not the creator of law in a Common Law society.

        Government however claims legitimacy to use any violence at any time, creates the laws it wishes, and then enforces those laws as it wishes. As such, it cannot do anything but abuse power.

        • That is interesting. I can see a form of government (meaning a societal organization component that handles common law related issues) that would still meet most of the definitions of government I have always used. However, I looked the word up and I think it would indeed have to be called something else. The only definition of government that my ideas fit was “management”. Most of the definitions involve control, which is, in fact, violence on the non-violent, etc.

          JAC, maybe we could call it NVBSM – Non-Violent Basic Societal Management?

  32. Puritan,

    What if research and development of a tiny battery was to cost prohibitive for the free market, for the perceived financial gain/loss.

    Then it is simply not worth developing.

    The competitive market is hungry for any advantage. If this market simply does not see a benefit – no benefit exists right now!!! for the cost. Period

    But once government forced the tiny battery into existence then ‘Presto’ a tiny battery was now useful and available for the free market/consumer??? Still NO NO NO?

    STILL NO NO NO.

    The cost remains far too high!

    Stealing money to subsidize a too high cost does NOT benefit society by lowering the price~!! You failed to add the destruction to society by the theft!

    Would you suggest that because I cannot afford a house, I can steal the down payment from you – because the balance of the mortgage payment I can afford to pay!

    NO! The cost of the house must include the down payment! and if I cannot afford (or did not save) for the down payment, it matters not if I can afford the mortgage …. I cannot afford the house!

    Do not confuse the market using the best of a very bad situation to be the same as the market in the best of a good situation

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      I agree 100% BF. I made it clear that this was Not the way to go. I merely pointed out that there was ‘a’ benefit, and yes it was at to great a cost.

  33. MATHIUS

    Once again you rely on standard left wing responses. You should really spend more time with other sources.

    I have seen your following response regarding the Constitution many times. It made no sense then and it makes no sense now. So I will give you a chance to explain why you make such a claim.

    Mathius said
    January 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Well, I guess we’ll have to give Alaska and the Louisiana Purchase back..

    Wonder what the market price would be..

    As I said before, the notion that the founders intended the document to be interpreted as needed to meet future desires is pure B.S. They did intend for future generations to change it as we deemed necessary to address our needs. It is called AMENDMENT.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      JAC,

      See my post up top somewhere mixed in #6 with your back and forth with Mathius.

      We’ve had this debate before — AMENDMENT and INTERPRETATION are two very very very different things. You continue to argue that there can only be amendment and completely neglect the fact that there are phrases in the constitution that are vague and unclear.

      • Hi Buck!

        Happy New Year to you and the family!

        Just my two cents, but over the 200 or so years, just about every thing in the Constitution has at one or more times been interpreted by the Supreme Court. Even the last SC ruling on the 2nd Amendment referred to the original intent, which is well documented. I find it interesting that only lawyers and progressive left wing jackwagons seem to be the only people that push this Bullshit philosophy. OH, I’m sorry, the past Supreme Court rulings were not in agreement with your agenda, some ten times, so lets take it back and try again. Why don’t we just ask the Supreme Court to reinterpret the damn thing everytime some new political agenda has control of Government to see if it agrees with their agenda? Not that it matters anyway, the assclowns that are elected ignore it anyway.

        There, I feel better! 🙂

        • GMan

          🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

          I am thinking of a barbed wire fence and my skinning knife.

          • JAC,

            Got a great picture of a Fisher this week. Rarely seen, as they are nocturnal. Coyotes are coming to the top, tracks everywhere, average size about 40 lbs, at least the last three taken were. Got one at the taxidermist to grace the wall!!! Looking for the blond one for a full mount.

            Cold, snowy and just plain pretty!

            Peace!

            • GMan

              40 lbs? Good size Yote’ you have there. Fisher and Pine Marten trapping is still a big thing among some of us “old timers” in these parts. Never caught any myself but sure does help break up the doldrums of winter.

              There is an increasing chance I may be asking you to share your piece of woods next year and show me the country. If you are willing of course. I may need your help to keep from going crazy in the “city”.

              Live free and happy my friend.
              JAC

        • I find it interesting that only lawyers and progressive left wing jackwagons seem to be the only people that push this Bullshit philosophy.

          Conservative idiots push their own Bullshit philosophy G-Man. It’s just that you agree with it so it seems fine to you.

          • Todd

            You have finally made a point I agree with.

            However, G-Man’s point is spot on, for the most part. The whole idea that the Constitution is some nebulous document seems to derive from the legal profession itself and those who have strong political agendas.

            It wasn’t until the original “Progressive Movement” became entrenched that we start to see huge changes in supposed “meaning”.

            But the “conservatives” are just as hypocritical in their “interpretations”.

            Getting in any X Country skiing this winter?
            Had lots of great snow here this year.

            Best Wishes
            JAC

      • Buck

        I am not ignoring that fact and I believe admitted that certain provisions need interpreting with regard to “how they might apply to some modern issue”.

        In this we agree. But in your discussions you always revert back to the idea the entire document is to be interpreted, in other words modernized via interpretation, rather than amendment.

        Two very, very different things Buck.

        My back and forth with Mathius was due to this claim that the founders “intended” the document to be interpreted differently as time passed. In other words, we will just change the meaning to suit our “modern version of govt”. This is an absolute FALSE claim if you review the documents and defense of the Constitution prior to ratification.

        This mantra being put out in the media the past few weeks by the media and leftwing talking heads is pure unadulterated Bull Shit Buck. It flies in the face of the very Democratic ideals you supposed Liberals say you stand for. How do you protect a democracy, a republic or freedom itself when any govt or set of judges can simply change the meaning of the constraints placed on that very government?

        To think that those men, who were steeped in the philosophy of the Enlightenment, who wrote volumes on the evil nature of various forms of government, and who had just fought a Revolution to gain their Liberty would intentionally construct such a wishy washy Constitution is the most absurd proposition I have ever heard.

        And because of that, I question their motivation and honesty in doing so. They are enemies of freedom and liberty. The only remaining question is whether it is intentional or done out of ignorance.

        I was wondering when you would get in the mix. Figured Mathius had to call you on the phone to drag you out of your cubicle.

        🙂

  34. FEMALES LEADING THE WAY AGAIN!!

    BACHMAN/PALIN 2012

    Australia says NO – Second Time she has done this !

    She’s done it again.. She sure isn’t backing down on her hard line stance, and one has to appreciate her belief in the rights of her native countrymen. It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone lead. I wish some leaders would step up in Canada & USA .

    It took a lot of courage for this woman to speak what she had to say for the world to hear. The retribution could be phenomenal, but at least she was willing to take a stand for her and Australia’s beliefs. The whole world needs a leader like this!

    > Prime Minister Julia Gillard – Australia

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks..

    Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques.

    Quote: ‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT..’
    ‘Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. ‘

    ‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom’

    ‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!’

    ‘Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’

    ‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.’

    ‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.’ ‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’

    Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves in Canada & USA, WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths. If you agree please SEND THIS ON and ON, to as many people as you know .

    • Imagine Sharia Law here. No nagging, no complaints, obedient to the core. One pair of shoes per year, dinner on time daily, a well cleaned house, and of course, fewer divorces.

      For a minute there that sounded good, but….. 😆

      • It would never work here. I’d like to see Abdul up against a sister from the Motor City. She’d scare the shit out of him..and she wouldn’t shut up to boot! 🙂

        • Scare him? Probably beat his ass back to the middle east, all the while talking her fool head off. 😆

  35. You out there Bamadad? Friend of mine is still pestering me about the game.. Figured I’d share my grief with you.

    It is a good commercial!

  36. The result of the Progressive agenda and Obamcare:

    The old man placed an order for one hamburger, French fries and a drink.

    He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half, placing one half in front of his wife .

    He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

    He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them . As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them were looking over and whispering.

    Obviously they were thinking, ‘That poor old couple – all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.’

    As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said, they were just fine – they were used to sharing everything

    People closer to the table noticed the little old lady hadn’t eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

    Again, the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them.
    This time the old woman said ‘No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything.’

    Finally, as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked ‘What is it you are waiting for?’

    She answered —

    ‘THE TEETH.’

      • Come on Todd……I read it the other way….budget cuts are going to be the name of the game in ANY government run health care….state or federal….Read the health care bill for yourself. It really sucks….all the things thrown in it. There is 10 percent I would keep and throw the rest out. It is invasive, controlling, and, in my non judicial and barrister opinon…..illegal.

        • D13,
          The point is rationing is already occuring. It’s just the working poor that have their healthcare rationed, and you’re Ok with that. That really sucks too.

          • The bottom line is that health care for all is not affordable. If the government does it, there is rationing. If the market does it, some cannot afford it. So, not everyone will have everything they want. Welcome to the real world and quit bitching about it.

            The free market version does not destroy people in other ways, like taking their hard earned money by force, or forcing a “transaction” they do not want. I will take the “bad” parts of that over the alternative. No system will remove all ills, so you go for the best possible system, which, from everything I can see, is freedom.

            • Jon,

              Welcome to the real world and quit bitching about it.

              I’m not the one bitching about the real world. Overall, I think the USA is pretty good. Could use some tweaking, but I’m not the one who wants to throw the baby out with the bath water!

              • Anyone who is complaining about the lack of a perfect solution is “bitching” about the real world. No one here is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, the debate is on which part is the bathwater. I agree that the US is pretty good, but the tweaks are toward more freedom, not more socialism.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        GM Todd, I have questions for you to ponder if you well.

        If modern medicine created a million dollar monthly pill which if ingested added 50 years to a person’s life, a cost that only the very rich could afford, should it be a ‘healthcare right’ for all people to be given this same pill?

        Would it be unfair to allow people to die at a natural age, when only the rich could live an additional 50 years?

        If this pill was determined to be to expensive to be allowed for medicaid patients, should the rich be forbidden from buying this pill for there own use, just to be fair to the poor?

        Where do we draw the line?

        • A Puritan Descendant,
          Your little question is really quite comical. You guys can never have a serious conversation because you always start out with the most extreme and absurd examples.

          But I’ll answer it for fun, because if I didn’t respond to absurd examples, I’d have nothing to say on SUFA…

          If there was a million dollar pill, I would not require it for everyone. But I would question the big drug company charging the million dollars.

          But the funny part about your question is, the “million dollar pill” already exists in the form of better health care for the wealthy. You have no idea the quality health care the rich get, compared to the crap most people get.

          The Rich Stay Healthy, The Sick Stay Poor…

          • Not all rich are healthy, regardless of the health care they can afford. Health care is not a guarantee of health. Not all poor are sick, lack of health care is not an indicator of health. I have not had health care since I turned 18 except for a brief period where I worked a job that provided it whether I wanted it or not. I am healthy. I choose to not acquire health care because I find it a ridiculous expense for myself, and I do not have family to worry about. Regardless of this, I know far more healthy people than sick, so why is this such a big deal to everyone? It is becoming the biggest strawman of the decade.

            • Jon,
              As I recall you’re relatively young, right? Your feelings on health care may change as you get older, or have a major health issue.

              Not all rich are healthy, regardless of the health care they can afford. Health care is not a guarantee of health. Not all poor are sick, lack of health care is not an indicator of health.

              Correct – not all, not a guarantee. But statistics for the general population disagree with you. Better health care leads to better/longer/healthier life.

              Regardless of this, I know far more healthy people than sick, so why is this such a big deal to everyone?

              I know far more healthy people than sick people too. But that’s mostly a function of where and how I live. There’s a large amount of the population that I do not have contact with, so my (and your) experience means nothing.

              It is becoming the biggest strawman of the decade.

              I don’t even know how to respond to that…

              • “As I recall you’re relatively young, right? Your feelings on health care may change as you get older, or have a major health issue.”

                Relatively, yes. I am 34. Not a kid with the typical invincibility complex, but not so young as to be discredited either. I know my perspective is not typical of this generation. Remember, however, that “health care” is a comparatively new concept. 100 years ago, no one, regardless of age, was freaking out about health care, health insurance, or the disparity between rich and poor in that arena. So am I just some young healthy punk kid with an invincibility complex or am I just someone who has decided not to be afraid of the great unknown, or even of death itself, like the generations before me.

                “Correct – not all, not a guarantee. But statistics for the general population disagree with you. Better health care leads to better/longer/healthier life.”

                Perhaps, but in truth the statistics show a lot more than that. Those who live healthy lives: low stress, high nutrient, highly active lives, are better off than those who do not, regardless of health care levels. And yes, crap food is cheaper than healthy food, but I know a lot of people on very low budgets who eat relatively healthy. I am one of them. My budget does not demand it like it has in the past, but I can still eat very healthy for under $5 a day, I just don’t get some of the luxuries that richer people do at the same health level. Health care is not nearly as important as healthy living. Education is NOT the key, as most people are aware of what is healthy and what is not. The key is motivation. People don’t care if they are healthy if they are not thinkers and/or if they don’t believe they have to pay the consequences.

                “I know far more healthy people than sick people too. But that’s mostly a function of where and how I live. There’s a large amount of the population that I do not have contact with, so my (and your) experience means nothing.”

                You may not have contact with them, but I do. I do IT work. Most of my clients are in the medical field, a couple are non-profit free clinics. I have an enormous amount of exposure to people who are sick AND poor. Most of them are persons making dismal life choices, in addition to having a hard time with health care costs. In fact, adult diabetes and STDs are the vast majority of the free clinic work. Both of those issues are COMPLETELY avoidable on any budget, especially with the resources the clinic provides for diet and sexual protection. There are closets full of condoms that people don’t take advantage of.

                “Me – It is becoming the biggest strawman of the decade.

                I don’t even know how to respond to that…”

                Probably because I totally misused the term. I meant to say “red herring”. Sorry about that…

              • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring

                Jon, you had a “Cinderella” moment! 🙂

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            Fine Todd, have a nice day.

      • I post a joke, Todd counters with links to HuffPo, how fitting 🙂

  37. D13 and Tex Chem

    Just wanted to thank you boys for hosting the FSC Football Championship. I am sure the boys from Eastern Washington appreciated yer hospitality.

    Note: Of the four college football leagues with playoffs, NAIA, D-III, D-II and FSC (old D-1AA) one championship went to Montana and one to Eastern Washington. Rocky Mountain high this year.

  38. You guys want less or no government? So lets compare:

    USA and Western Europe – the bastion’s of terrible socialism
    VS
    Major parts of Central & South America, Africa, Asia that have had little or no unstable government thru out their history

    Do I need to list all the differences in life, liberty, happiness?
    Where have the advancements that give us our modern life come from?

    This same type of TOTALITARIAN crap came up when Clinton was elected. All the right-wing militias, etc. They died down after the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma. They realized this was the end-game of the crap they were spouting.

    When some nut-job takes Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or SUFA a little too serious and goes off on something/someone, how are you going to feel?

    What’s going to be the end-game this time?

    How many people have to die to satisfy your misplaced anger?

    • Well, I have been all over Western Europe and South and Central America….I want neither of them.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      None of those countries have our constitution and we are losing ours.

    • Good Morning Todd,

      The bigger question that should be asked, is why do these militias feel the need to exist. While it’s safe to say that there are some real quacks out there, most militia’s pose no threat to anybody as they are organizing and training for defensive measures (which I might add is tactically flawed). I wouldn’t be part of these groups as their end would be rapid. Their “hate” as you call it, is toward Govt., not the people. There are many hate groups out there, racially motivated, religiously motivated, politically motivated, eco-freaks, ect. It can seem endless.

      With Governments continued intrusions in our lives, combined with the economic issues we have now, many more loosly organized militias are cropping up everywhere, especially in the rural communities. They are not hate filled, but feel that if the economy really gets bad, they will need to protect themselves, family, and fellow community members. If the economy gets better, no harm done, but the community will have become a better more caring community.

      What you call “misguided anger”, many call much needed planning. They understand that if the economy craps out, the govt will not be very pleasant. Just how long do you think that the National, State, and Local governments can continue to run up deep debts? There are over 40 million getting govt aid for food, what happens when that aid stops? What would happen if states can no longer pay welfare? Can the Feds just keep printing money and expect it to hold it’s value? Do you actually believe that the DHS “report anything suspicious” program at WalMarts, highway signs, train stations and airports have anything to do with terrorism? Do you actually think that a Walmart shopper can ID a terrorist? (I’ve seen the pictures!)

      The questions don’t need to be answered, just put them up to get people to think. But, if you’d like to take a shot at answers, feel free!

      Now, as far as your links to HuffPo. Link #1- Government run health insurance failed them, not the healthcare industry. Maybe the govt should have stepped in and made them give the transplants for free. Link # 2 – So with less doctors and more people with health insurance, this will solve the wait times at ER’s? Maybe it will magically make healthcare workers smarter so this won’t happen again. ObamaCare will improve NOTHING, it’s not designed too.

      Peace!

    • How many people are going to die under the progressive agenda? ie: Death panels and population control?

    • Todd said “When some nut-job takes Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or SUFA a little too serious and goes off on something/someone, how are you going to feel?”

      Was this a question, or did you know something? An Arizona Congresswomen and 11 others were shot in Tuscon this morning, nothing about motive yet. Sad day when this happens, but I suspect similar events in the future.

      • G-Man,
        It was question. Now would seem like an appropriate time to answer it…

        But the real question is will you learn anything…

        • I think it’s best to get the facts. THe guy that tried to shoot up a school board in FLa, frequented Media Matter and other liberal sites. The guy that flew his plane into an IRS building, was a registered DEMOCRAT! Don’t get ahead of yourself Todd! Your seem to assume the shooter fits into your beliefs. With immagration an issue, as well as everything else, he may not be what you think. As a rule, I believe that when people lose everything, they lose it! Political beliefs don’t matter.

          I am as curious as anyone to try to understand why anyone would do this, pathetic human that he was.

          • This sure is a tragedy. The forums are full of wackos talkin smack – both parties are getting attacked. I went to the shooter’s you tube page. He was definately a few cans short of a six pack. I bet this IS a sign of more to come. Hopefully folks will get a grip. No need in creating a reason for the govt to step in and save us some more.

          • G-Man,

            THe guy that tried to shoot up a school board in FLa, frequented Media Matter and other liberal sites.

            I frequent many conservative sites. Even Fox News. Does that make me a conservative?

            The guy that flew his plane into an IRS building, was a registered DEMOCRAT!

            Yes, but he had a long beef with the IRS and anti-government rants.

            • I would probably put more stock in your argument if you weren’t at the same time coming up with reasons for why it is always the fault of the ideas of those on the right. But I still wouldn’t buy that it was better to censor my beliefs in order not to upset the mentally disturbed in our society.

        • Todd

          Learn what you asshole.

          Nobody here has called for killing politicians except in the most humorous way. Context Todd, or is that freaking concept to hard for your pea brain.

          And yes I am yelling and pissed off. I am sick and damn tired of people like you trying to stifle legitimate debate and issues by projecting the actions of idiots and freaking nuts onto those of us who speak out.

          I held my tongue with your first post in hopes you had some real point to make. But now I see your motive.

          So you can take your sanctimonious insinuations and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

          Best Regards
          JAC

          • ROTFLMAO

            😆 😆

            • Sorry JAC!

              Your display of anger is unusual, but understood. The typical liberal mindset is to belittle those that don’t follow their ideals. I don’t follow, much less fall for the tactics. I’m, by most opinions, not too smart. I don’t have an expensive college degree. Probably don’t express myself very well sometimes either.

              What I can do, is build a home, from top to bottom, grow my own veggies and fruit, raise meat producing animals and/or take wild game, produce my own adult beverages (from my own produced fruits), make my own clothing and bedding. Most liberals couldn’t imagine doing what I do, much less survive having to do it.

              Let the Libs have their BS talk. It won’t go far. Those that desire Peace will endure, those that can’t, well, won’t.

              • You know G-Man, I find it interesting when you post stuff like this:

                The typical liberal mindset is to belittle those that don’t follow their ideals.

                I see those in the majority here doing that all the time. The minority, not so much.

                What I can do, is build a home, from top to bottom, grow my own veggies and fruit, raise meat producing animals and/or take wild game, produce my own adult beverages (from my own produced fruits), make my own clothing and bedding. Most liberals couldn’t imagine doing what I do, much less survive having to do it.

                This is what I build for fun…we’re not all as helpless as you think…

                http://www.flickr.com/photos/todd-nwwi/

              • Matt, Buck, and Charlie…never

                Todd, Ray, and Bob…usually

                Must be personality not politics.

              • Anita,
                I find it interesting you’ll stereotype those who lean to the left here, but not those who lean to the right.

              • I never do what?

                For the record, I agree with Todd that there is a lot of stereotyping of liberals (“the usual liberal mindset […]” and so forth)

                There is no “usual” liberal just as there is no “usual” conservative.

              • You don’t come in here BANGING AROUND, HOOTING & HOLLERING, looking to pick a fight. Neither does Buck or Charlie..well Charlie is clumsy but we forgive him. The other lefties seem to come with chips on their shoulders making conversations with them difficult.

                Relax, I was being nice to you 🙂

          • Remind me to never piss JAC off!

          • JAC,
            Maybe learn that words can have an effect – like calling someone an asshole simply because they disagree with you.

            This from a video the gun man posted:

            The video, posted Dec. 15, later turns more political.

            “The majority of citizens in the united states of America have never read the united states of America’s constitution. You don’t have to accept the federalist laws,” the video’s titles say. “In conclusion, reading the second United States constitution, I can’t trust the current government because of the ratifications: the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar. No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver! No! I won’t trust in god!”

            Sounds just like some of the crap posted here.

            • A HUGE leap Todd! You can come down to earth now.

            • Maybe learn that words can have an effect.

              Yes, this is true. I’ve been reading comments from various sites about the shooting in AZ. By memory, some comments: “take all guns from civilians”, “It’s Palins fault”, “we have to stop the vitriol”. Just some short examples of left wing thinking. Taking the actions of a insane person and spin it into some poltical line of BS. So the actions of one nut, and in three short lines (who made many left leaning comments) it’s easy to see who else is insane. First, let’s kill the 2nd Amendment. Then, let’s blame someone who had nothing to do with it, because we hate her, and then my favorite, and I put you Todd in this circle, let’s stop free speech because some nut might go off! Don’t worry Todd, I’m sure the govt will pass another kneejerk law that will further reduce our personnal freedoms. They may even make political dissent an act of homegrown terrorism, and a crime.

              “Sounds just like some of the crap posted here.” Noone is holding a gun to your head Todd. Afterall, it’s the left that claims because I don’t like BO that I’m a racist, It’s the left that claims because I don’t like what our government is doing, I’m un-American. I also think the right wingers are getting fed up with the left wing BS. I will continue to exercise my right to free speech, my right to keep and bear arms and there isn’t anything that the socialist wanting lefties can do about it. You and your ilk can cry and whine all you want, call me names, tell me I’m nuts, whatever. I will continue to stand for freedom, mine and yours.

              By the way, you have some great looking dogs! Nice pics, looks like a wonderfull place to live.

              • G-Man,

                By memory, some comments: “take all guns from civilians”, “It’s Palins fault”, “we have to stop the vitriol”. Just some short examples of left wing thinking.

                And you think these three examples represent all left wing thinking?

                Taking the actions of a insane person and spin it into some poltical line of BS.

                But you’re the one who brought two past examples to try to prove that Liberals do the same thing.

                I put you Todd in this circle

                And you just lump me in with all others you disagree with…

                Afterall, it’s the left that claims because I don’t like BO that I’m a racist, It’s the left that claims because I don’t like what our government is doing, I’m un-American.

                And you’re the one that claims Liberals can’t build a house, plan a garden, or hunt for food. Do you think the corporate executives (that are by far more conservative than liberal) could do all of those things?

                You and your ilk can cry and whine all you want…

                And you continue to lump me in with all the negative traits you attach to liberals, with absolutely no proof that those traits apply to me or liberals.

                Some examples of the rhetoric that could trigger this type of response.

                Sarah Plain:

                A map with crosshairs over Democratic districts she was targeting.
                She boasted about defeating 18 of the 20 members on her “bullseye” list.
                Giffords was one of only two candidates to win who were on her “bullseye” list.

                Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!

                Sharron Angle:

                If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies. I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.

                Michele Bachmann:

                She wanted the residents of her state “armed and dangerous” over President Obama’s plan to reduce global warming through cap and trade legislation.

                I’m not trying to stop the 1st or 2nd Amendment, and I have expressed many times that I do not agree with the rhetoric from the far left or the far right. I’m just pointing out that words and imagery matter. And they can push someone who is already on the edge over the cliff.

              • Todd – And you think these three examples represent all left wing thinking?

                G- All would be tough to prove, so I’ll go with majority. I have friends that call themselves Democrat, but don’t share the left wing mentallity.

                Todd – But you’re the one who brought two past examples to try to prove that Liberals do the same thing.

                G- You misinterpreted my examples. They were examples of nuts being nuts, regardless of politics. Nuts are nuts.

                Todd- And you just lump me in with all others you disagree with…

                G- I lumped you in with those that try to lay blame on people for BS reasons, without any facts to substantiate your position. Your use of “political vitriol” from the beginning earned you that distinction. Wear that championship belt with pride 🙂

                Todd- And you’re the one that claims Liberals can’t build a house, plan a garden, or hunt for food. Do you think the corporate executives (that are by far more conservative than liberal) could do all of those things?

                G- Should have been clearer, my bad. If you look at where Democrats hold the power, in inner cities, Then I hold a decent position, However, I digress on those that live rurally and have those skills. As far as corporate execs, red or blue, not my problem, alittle suffering never hurt noone.

                Todd- And you continue to lump me in with all the negative traits you attach to liberals, with absolutely no proof that those traits apply to me or liberals.

                G- Yes, You are confrontational at times, you possess an over abundance of ego with a few handfulls of narcisism, that, combined with 45 years of observing people, and based on your postings, you fit right in, but your very far from holding the championship belt in this are, if that’s any concession.

                Todd- Some examples of the rhetoric that could trigger this type of response. (I won’t repost them)

                G- While political catch phrases from month’s ago could possibly lead to this response, it IMHO, is highly unlikely. The way “Dubya” was bashed through his 8 years of screwing up the country, certainly would have led to the same assumption, I don’t recall any politicians being killed back then by a nut.

                Todd- I’m not trying to stop the 1st or 2nd Amendment

                G- Good choice, you would lose.

                G- I agree with the remainder of your statement, as anything is possible. Maybe my assessmant of you is off base as well, and if someone can can lead me in a different direction, I will pullback and apologize.

                Did the political catch phrases push this nut over the edge? I don’t see that as the case, to assume such without the facts is….Left wing bullshit 😛

          • PS – JAC

            It seems whenever someone hits a little to close for you, you go off on a rant. That’s rather telling…

            • Tells me JAC knows his shit and he’ll still drag the likes of you, scratching and clawing, outta the grips of slavery.

              Sorry JAC, I know you don’t need my help.

            • I have been sitting here racking my brain and I simply cannot remember a time when you have entered a conversation without starting out being confrontational. I’m sure you must have but I simply cannot remember one. 🙂 I understand that we all hear criticism differently based on our particular beliefs-so I get that things people say sound worse to you than they do to me
              . I agree that all of us are guilty of being sarcastic and confrontational at Times. But maybe if you would actually join a conversation with the intention of having a conversation instead of jumping in with the express intention of trying to shame or humiliate the conversation might actually be a conversation. I suspect I might agree with you on some things but I rarely hear your opinions on issues because they are overshadowed with your negative opinion of the people on this site. At least that’s my read and opinion. Maybe you might think about thinking of us as family that IYHO needs a reality check-instead of your enemies. 🙂 🙂

              • V.H.,
                It’s certainly not my intention to always be confrontational, but many times that is a personal perspective. I may be “rolling my eyes” while I write something, but you may interpret it as being confrontational.

                Example:

                Do you really believe that’s true?

                Say that while “rolling your eyes”, and then while “pumping your fist”. Does it feel any different?

                There are times when I’ve be confrontational, but I’m hardly alone in that. I’ve never called anyone an asshole or stupid.

                Having different opinions and points-of-view can cause mis-understandings, especially when it’s the written word and emotions can be hard to gauge. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve had a few conversations with Black Flag that were very heated? A couple ending with “I’m thru with you!”?

                I would say +90% of the time my intention is to have a conversation. Sometimes I don’t phrase something very good and it is mis-interpreted, and sometimes the confrontation starts in the response.

                You think I’m confrontational, but I challenge you to see it from the other point of view. Try actively participating on a blog where you’re out numbered 4-5 to 1. It is challenging – and frustrating…

                You want me to treat you like family?? That’s only because you’ve never seen my family’s “conversations!” 😉 I have to tone things down for SUFA…

                I don’t have a negative opinion of the people on SUFA (really, I don’t!). But we do disagree on many things, and when you’ve never met someone personally, it’s hard to establish “connections”. Whatever happened to that SUFA picnic????

                PS – or do you just want me to be more POLITICALLY CORRECT in my posts? 😉

              • Please don’t be politically correct-I prefer the confrontation 🙂 -I do understand that you are outnumbered-I also see and hear others including myself being confrontational-As far as making connections-talks like this one helps to do that. Why do you think people talk about the weather and raptors-it’s a way to connect as people and friends not just political rivals. See I feel like I know you better already. 🙂 And yes BF and I have had heated discussions but No, I don’t remember any of them ending with I’m through with you. Because in between the occasional heated talks we have had friend making discussions. Like we just did. 🙂

            • Todd, I hope you don’t take the above words as me being confrontational because that is not my intent.

    • All of those struggling countries you mentioned have corrupt governments. Business wants no part of those countries because as soon as they start making money they get soaked by the government or have their businesses “nationalized”. If they had little government, it would not be the same result as a corrupt borderline totalitarian government. Tyrants do not have to control every aspect of life to be tyrants. Iraq’s government was not as broad reaching as ours or Europe’s either, but they were obviously not a more “free state”.

      • Jon,
        The point is many areas on those continents are socially, economically, and technologically behind us because they haven’t had stable governments over the last two centuries. Even with all the faults of our government, it has still allowed us to become a world leader in many areas.

        • True, but my point is that more government, or more control, does not equal stability. A great deal of our stability is based on the limitations on government, not government’s limitations on the people. I submit that, despite the flaws of our government, our freedom has still allowed us to become a world leader in many areas.

    • Also,
      My anger is not misplaced, nor is anyone dying because of it. If people do, it will be those who perpetrate violence.
      I will not feel bad because someone else is a nutjob. It was not some conservative host that drove someone to stupidity or violence.

  39. If my government insists on stuff like this…..I do not want it either.

    TYLER, TX (KLTV) – Texas Spine and Joint Hospital of Tyler filed a joint lawsuit with Physician Hospitals of America, Thursday.

    The lawsuit questions the constitutionality of a specific part of the health care bill. PHA said Section 6001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act prohibits physician-owned Medicare hospitals from expanding after March 23, 2010.

    PHA said new physician-owned Medicare hospitals that are not certified as Medicare providers prior to December 31, 2010 are now banned.

    “For the government to tell us we can’t go forward, it’s very disheartening,” said Mike Russell, and orthopedic surgeon and physician-owner of TSJH.

    Texas Spine and Joint is one of 265 physician-owned hospitals across 34 states. Nearly a quarter of them were in the middle of expansion projects when the health care bill passed.

    Last fall, TSJ received city approval to begin a 50,000 square foot expansion which included 20 additional Medicare certified beds.

    “It’s just a travesty,” said Molly Sandvig, executive director of PHA. “We believe it’s anti-competitive, and that is the number one issue.”

    Rep. Louie Gohmert attended a press conference at the TSJH.

    “We need transparency and we need competition, and if we have those two things, you will see a reform of healthcare,” he said.

    David Henderson, representative to the State Democratic Executive Committee, and Smith County party chair, said as with any type of legislation, the new bill will be modified.

    “The question is, can those who oppose it, have it completely thrown out?” Henderson said that could occur through the courts, or through Congress. Henderson said the TSJH lawsuit could lead to the first of those modifications.

    Medicare patient, Lance Jett said he certainly hopes the courts rule in the Hospital’s favor.

    “I’m pulling for them,” he said.

    He said he is a satisfied Texas Spine and Joint customer.

    The lawsuit also challenges one other issue, calling into question the legislation’s ban on new physician-owned medicare hospitals that aren’t certified by the end of the year.

    As for the expansion angle, Texas Spine and Joint is seeking an injunction from the federal court which would allow them to continue as planned. We are told the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has two weeks to respond to the filings.

    Forcing hospitals and doctors into Medicare is just plain wrong. What is next, my business? Force me to take Medicare in the antiaging business?

  40. Todd…if my government did this…..oh wait they have………..I do not want any part of it. FYI…my parents have recieved their end of life counseling brochures…they are 90-92 yoa. What an invasion of privacy this is. It is a travesty.

    WASHINGTON – When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health-care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

    Under the new policy, outlined in Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance patient directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

    Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

    The final version of the health-care legislation, signed into law by President Barack Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

    Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health-care decisions for themselves.

    While the new law does not mention advance-care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.

    In this case, the administration said research shows the value of end-of-life planning.

    “Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction, and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives,” the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal.

    The administration also cited research by Dr. Stacy M. Fischer, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who found that “end-of-life discussions between doctor and patient help ensure that one gets the care one wants.” In this sense, Fischer said, such consultations “protect patient autonomy.”

    Opponents said the Obama administration was bringing back a procedure that could be used to justify the premature withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from people with severe illnesses and disabilities.

    Section 1233 of the bill passed by the House in November 2009 – but not included in the final legislation – allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about advance-care planning every five years. In contrast, the new rule allows annual discussions as part of the wellness visit.

    Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, which describes itself as “a pro-life Christian educational ministry,” said she was concerned that end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death.

    “The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”

    Several Democratic members of Congress, led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, had urged the administration to cover end-of-life planning as a service offered under the Medicare wellness benefit. A national organization of hospice-care providers made the same recommendation.

    Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”

    “It will give people more control over the care they receive,” Blumenauer said in an interview. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, as part of our health-care routine, not as something put off until we are forced to do it.”

    After learning of the administration’s decision, Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

    “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth,” Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue.

    Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ – e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”

    The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

    In the interview, Blumenauer said, “Lies can go viral if people use them for political purposes.”

    The proposal for Medicare coverage of advance-care planning was omitted from the final health-care bill because of the uproar about unsubstantiated claims that it would encourage euthanasia.

    Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, and Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, led the criticism in the summer of 2009. Palin said “Obama’s death panel” would decide who was worthy of health care. Boehner, who is in line to become speaker, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.”

    A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the idea of death panels persists. In the September poll, 30 percent of Americans 65 or older said the new health-care law allowed a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare. The law has no such provision.

    In a recent study of 3,700 people near the end of life, Dr. Maria J. Silveira of the University of Michigan found that many had “treatable, life-threatening conditions” but lacked decision-making capacity in their final days. With the new Medicare coverage, doctors can learn a patient’s wishes before a crisis occurs.

    For example, Silveira said, she might ask a person with heart disease, “If you have another heart attack and your heart stops beating, would you want us to try to restart it?” A patient dying of emphysema might be asked, “Do you want to go on a breathing machine for the rest of your life?” And, she said, a patient with incurable cancer might be asked, “When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?”

  41. A Puritan Descendant says:

    The following link is a special gift to our beloved Black Flag.

    http://www.nasa.gov/50th/50th_magazine/benefits.html

    • Puritan

      The assumption that we can design a set of coercive mechanisms that will generate the precisely correct trade-offs between scientific output and all other possible goals and, therefore, a net increase in social welfare is not only wrong, but dangerous.

      Further, it is equally as dangerous to celebrate the consequences of such coercion no matter what “goods” are created from it. These “goods” exist due to the exercise and consequence of violence, and not from the voluntary creation through reasoning and thinking as product to be traded.

      If such coercion is celebrated, it must tend to create more of it, steering ever more production and invention into coercive means which must degrade the capacity of free men in creating their own inventions and production for voluntary trade with others.

      Thus, the goods that no man needed are being created into existence by force – which must replace the goods that men did want or need but now cannot be met.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Very well said! Thank you for the clarity for all to read. (Even if we will never have teflon coated umbrellas).

  42. Common Man says:

    All;

    Everyone seems to interput the Constitution from a different perspective, and as we all would agree that is each individuals unalienable right. But, each of us must first consider universally acceptable standards when those interputations lead to changes or ammendments. And the standards must be maintained when determining change or ammendments, because when the standards are ignored we wind up with fundimental/foundational change.

    I think the standards are fairly easy to establish and can be tested with a simple question prior to implimenting any change or ammendment.

    Does this proposed ‘change or ammendment’ violate in any way the enalienable right of the individual to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? If the answer is yes then the proposed change or ammendment must be re-examined or elliminated for consideration.

    As an example let’s look at the Health Care Bill. Does it in anyway force the individual to do anything that violates their rights?

    CM

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Very well said CM.

      Amendment 9 Construction of Constitution from the Bill of rights

      “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”

      I take this amendment to mean we have rights other than those listed in the Bill of rights. Such as the unalienable right of the individual to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, stated in the Declaration of Independence.

      Am I reading Amendment 9 wrong, anyone?

      Forcing someone to buy an Insurance product intrudes on their Liberty. In my opinion the commerce clause arguments are not even needed to rule Obamacare unconstitutional.

      • APD,

        The Feds can regulate commerce, There is nowhere in the document that says the Feds can demand the citizens to engage in any single part of Commerce. This is so far reaching, that those who voted for it should impeached and removed from office. For the sake of argument, the lefties say that healthcare is a right. Free Speech is a right as well, but the Feds can’t mandate that one must talk. The pathetic progressive arguments are…pathetic. If this law were so damn good, then why are over 250 companies exempt? Answer, because it’s a POS!

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          Agreed on all.

          We need to pass out those special sun glasses Roddy Piper used to spot Aliens in the movie “They Live”.

  43. Buck

    Response to your questions on 8th Amendment

    “You argue that this necessitates a reading that only applies the standards of the 18th century — sure a state or locality could decide they are against hanging as well and pass a law stating that hanging is no longer legal. This would be perfectly in sync with the constitution.”

    THOSE WHO CREATED THE DOCUMENT WERE KNOWLEDGEABLE AND PRACTICED IN THE METHODS OF DRAFTING BILLS AND THE PROCESS OF LEGISLATING. THE CONST. SETS THE FORM OF GOVT AND THEN DELEGATES SPECIFIC AUTHORITY TO THAT GOVT. IT MAKING SUCH DELEGATION ONE CAN GIVE “GENERAL” OR “SPECIFIC” AUTHORITY. THE SAME APPLIES TO THE RESTRICTIONS PLACED ON LEGISLATING.

    SO THIS REALLY LEAVES US WITH ONE OF TWO POSSIBILITIES FOR THE 8TH. IT IS SPECIFIC OR IT IS GENERAL. OBVIOUSLY IT IS GENERAL AS IT DOES NOT SPECIFY METHODS. WHEN LEGISLATION IS GENERAL IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE GOVT AUTHORITY WILL DEFINE THE SPECIFICS UNDER THAT AUTHORITY. COMBINE THAT WITH THE CONTEXT IN WHICH THE CONSTITUTION WAS WRITTEN AND IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT THE “INTENT” WAS TO ALLOW THE PEOPLE, THROUGH ITS LEGISLATURES, TO DETERMINE WHAT CRUEL AND UNUSUAL IS.

    THERE IS NO OTHER LOGICAL CONCLUSION.

    “I argue that the constitution necessitates something more. SCOTUS is tasked to decide on issues of constiutitonality and to interpret the text of the constitution.”

    INTERESTINGLY YOU WILL NOT FIND ANY SUCH DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY IN THE CONSTITUTION. SO SCOTUS WAS NOT “TASKED” AS YOU SAY. YOU AND I BOTH KNOW THIS AUTHORITY WAS “ASSUMED” BY THE COURT AND WAS THE SOURCE OF THE FIRST GREAT CONTROVERSY OVER THE DOCUMENT AND THE ROLE OF THE COURT ITSELF. THE “ASSUMPTION” OF THIS POWER WAS BASED ON ENGLISH LEGAL PHILOSOPHY, AND WAS IMPOSED BY THE LEGAL MINDS, NOT THE LEGISLATIVE.

    I DO BELIEVE THAT IF THE PEOPLE, AND MOST OF THE LEADERS, HAD DISAGREED THEY WOULD HAVE PROMPTLY PASSED AN AMENDMENT PREVENTING FUTURE RULINGS. I AGREE WITH THE VIEW THAT IS WAS ONLY LOGICAL THAT THE HIGHEST COURT WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT WAS ADHERING TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTIONS AND POWERS.

    WHILE SUCH POWER REQUIRED “INTERPRETATION” RELATIVE TO HOW THE RESTRICTIONS AND POWERS MIGHT APPLY TO A NEW ISSUE, THAT IS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MATTER THAN “INTERPRETING THE TEXT” AS NEEDED TO “MODERNIZE” ITS “MEANING”. THIS IS THE POINT WHERE I THROW THE B.S. FLAG.

    “As such, while Congress could make a law stating that in all federal death penalty cases, hanging shall be the method of execution employed, SCOTUS could step in when an action is brought to say no, hanging is cruel and runs afoul of the constitution. SCOTUS could step in and say the death penalty is cruel and unusual (as it has done w/ respect to the mentally incompetent).”

    ABSOLUTELY NOT. AS I STATED ABOVE REGARDING GENERAL POWERS AND RESTRICTIONS. YOU ARE CORRECT THAT THEY ARE ALLOWING FOR FUTURE CHANGES WITHOUT AMENDMENT. IT IS LUDICROUS TO BELIEVE THEY ASSUMED THE POWER TO CHANGE MEANING WAS HOUSED IN THE SUPREME COURT. IT FLIES IN THE FACE OF THE DEMOCRATIC VALUES AND CAUSE OF LIBERTY HELD AT THIS TIME OF HISTORY. IT DEFIES LOGIC GIVEN THE PURPOSE OF THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF.

    “Or do you disagree, that the constitution necessarily permits the execution of the mentally incompetent since this was fine to a bunch of men wearing white wigs over 200 years ago?”

    NECESSARILY PERMITS? YOU HAVE ONE OF TWO CHOICES GIVEN THE NATURE OF THE PROVISION AND THE REASONING I HAVE PROVIDED. EITHER CRUEL AND UNUSUAL IS DEFINED BY THE STATES VIA LEGISLATION WITHOUT CONTEST, OR IT IS DEFINED BY THE STATES BUT NOT ALLOWED TO BE “MORE CRUEL” THAN WAS DEFINED IN 1787.

    IN EITHER CASE, THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT REQUIRE NOR DOES IT PROHIBIT THE EXECUTION OF THE MENTALLY ILL.

    AND, AS I STATED YESTERDAY THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD HAVE NO ROLE IN DETERMINING “WHAT” IS CRUEL AND UNUSUAL UNLESS YOU SUBSCRIBE TO THE CONCEPT THAT 1787 SETS THE THRESHOLD. IN A SOCIETY BASED ON INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY IT IS A REACH AT BEST TO THINK THAT NINE MEN AND WOMEN IN BLACK ROBES SHOULD HAVE THE POWER TO DECIDE FOR ALL OF SOCIETY WHAT IT IS THAT SOCIETY DEEMS PROPER.

    Given your age I also want to point out that I am not yelling at you (CAPS). I simply don’t know or want to take the time to do all that fancy block quote thing.

    Best O’ days to you this fine Saturday.
    Winding howling at 30+ and snow coming in sideways.

    JAC

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Didn’t think you were yelling at me for a second – I know you better than that by now!

      Briefly regarding the death penalty and mentally ill — nice side step. I never said the Constitution either ‘requires’ or ‘forbids’ the execution of the mentally incompetent. I said that, given your argument, the constitution would necessarily permit such an action because it was fine based on the standards of 1787. This is a result I cannot accept and was not the intent of the Founders.

      Earlier you had said to Mathius that it was not the original intent of the Founders to have the constitution reinterpreted and reapplied to changing norms and standards. There is clearly some debate over this, but many of the Founders did intend just that.

      Try to stay warm. Snow finally stopped around here, but its a blistering 20 degrees tonight.

      • Buck

        I did not side step your claim or question.

        You have one of two choices. Either the standard of 1787 applies or NO STANDARD applies other than that created by the modern legislation.

        Very simple and in either case it is NOT SCOTUS’ job to determine what is cruel and unusual.

        Like I said, you picked a bad example for your argument.

        And you are going to have to produce some evidence that those who created the document intended it to be as flexible as you and Mathius are claiming. Good luck with coming up with quotes supporting the modern courts view of General Welfare and Commerce provisions.

        Also I didn’t say not to interpret it when applying to changing standards, I said NOT to change it to accommodate modern standards using “interpretation” by 9 old farts in black robs.

        By the way, neither you nor Mathius answered my question about what the snide comment is supposed to mean about giving back the Louisiana Purchase or Alaska.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          There is ample evidence and quotes from the Founders in support of a living document approach, and you know it. There is also ample evidence of quotes in support of a strict constructionist approach. There has always been disagreement on this. Yet you continue to ignore any and all evidence in favor of my views on constituitonal interpretation and ask, once again, for support. I have given you quotes on this in the past.

          And for the snide comment, perhaps Mathius meant that, under a strict interpretation approach, there are no powers vested in the US government to purchase these territories. After all, there is no line in the constitution that explicitly permits the government to purchase additional territories and to expand the country. Or are you relying on the ability to interpret the document to lend support to these purchases?

          • Buck

            The President has the authority to make treaties with the consent of the Senate.

            No real limitations are put on what those treaties might entail. Only that the Senate must ratify them.

            So when I see that comment used on SUFA, by someone who is obviously intelligent, and when that same comment is being thrown around by the mainstream lefties on the blogs and in the media, I begin to wonder about their motivation or understanding.

            There is an absolute vitriol expressed over the concept that the Constitution should be interpreted from a more “constructionist” or “originalist” view point. The result is completely irrational claims like this.

            Another is this notion about going back to designating Black people as 3/5’s of a person. Or even reinstating slavery. Such arguments are of the most vile and evil nature. They are designed to end an argument by ridicule and linking the proposition to an absurd claim.

            As for your primary claim, I have on several occasions acknowledged the evidence and validity of the living document concept. The issue here Buck is WHICH living document theory. You have described two distinctly different concepts. One of them I agree with you on, the other I reject. My issue with your discussion of this is that at times you appear to be claiming one and then using the other to describe it.

            You keep saying I am ignoring you and the evidence you provided. I don’t know how many times I have to say I am not ignoring it, that I agree with some of it, that I acknowledge controversy and disagreement about it, and that I simply reject some of it as nothing but a deliberate attempt to undermine the document itself.

            I have made claims from time to time that it is not that hard to understand, especially given the context in which it was created and the written evidence surrounding its ratification. But I have also admitted that it is not a prescriptive document in all cases and that “interpretation” of some kind is needed when reviewing new issues. And I have admitted that portions of it are harder to decipher than the rest.

            I am not ignoring evidence that supports your views on this. What I see are two arguments from you. Sometimes I see the evidence supporting your claim and others I do not.

            So lets start fresh on this topic. When you get the chance please provide once again a definition of what YOU mean by “living document”.

            I will then save it so we can return to it when we get off course.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I feel I’ve been pretty clear on my own personal definition of a living document theory. If it is unambigous, it is applied as it is written. If it is ambiguous, it is open to interpretation.

              I have always said that some try to go too far in their so-called interpretation to complete change the clear and unambiguous language of the document itself. However, just because you deem a clause or phrase unambiguous does not make it so.

              And for the record, yes, I do believe that the concept of a strict constructionalist approach to constitutional interpretation, taken to its extreme, is ridiculous and I do meet this concept with vitriol at times. For one example, Scalia’s recent statement that the Constitution does not provide for women’s equality.

      • Question for you Buck:
        Since the Constitution lays out the specifics of the houses of government, thereby granting the authority of Congressman or President or SCOTUS judge, is that section open to interpretation too? And whether it is or not, does not violation or ignoring of constitutional procedures in the process of government duties or creation of law void governmental authority? In other words, if the procedures for change are violated, or if laws are passed without constitutional backing, is that not operating outside of the scope of authority granted by the constitution, and as such would not any such actions or laws be null and void? If the authority came from elsewhere, I can see the argument of bypassing the constitution, but with the current constitution in the US, the very offices of government base their authority and existence on that document, thus they cannot violate it without violating their own office or position.

        What say you?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Not quite sure what you’re getting at here Jon. There is no room for interpretation where the language is unambiguous. Where there is ambiguity however, the Founders left it open for future generations to interpret and apply to a changing world.

          There is no ambiguity in the requirement that the President be 35-yrs old, or in the procedure to pass legislation. To change these things requires an Amendment. There is ambiguity in the phrase ‘interstate commerce’ or ‘cruel and unusual punishment’. This is what is open to some interpretation.

          If Congress passes a law and fails to follow the proper procedure, yes, that law is null and void. If Congress passes a law that you happy to believe has no constitutional authority, but I believe is sanctioned by the interstate commerce clause, then no, that law is not null and void without a challenge and decision by SCOTUS as to its constitutionality.

          If you don’t like SCOTUS’ ruling, then you are free to petition your congressmen, run for office yourself, etc., and seek to repeal the law.

          • The least ambiguous phrase in the Constitution is ignored all the time: “shall not be infringed”.

          • I was looking, initially, for the part where the validity of the constitution is recognized and the statement that the unambiguous parts are legit as is, and only should be modified by amendment.

            For instance, the interstate commerce clause is, perhaps, not entirely clear. However, using to force commerce where there is none does not fit at all. Interstate commerce involves commerce occurring over state lines. Here in VA, and I know in many other places, there is actually a restriction on buying health insurance out of state, meaning it is not interstate commerce. Furthermore, a lack of commerce cannot be made into commerce by federal mandate. A federal judge in VA agrees. See our attorney general’s lawsuit.

            A better example would be the terminology of the 10th amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
            Is that vague? Why is it vague? Why is it ok for the federal government to have expanded their authority so much without amendments to support it? Is this really that ambiguous as to be open to interpretation? What do YOU think it means?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              The 10th Amendment means exactly what it says. The issue though is what powers have been designated to the Fed Govt??

              We both agree that the Fed Govt has the power and authority to legislate over interstate commerce. How far does this go? The Constitution doesn’t specify, other than saying that Congress can pass any law necessary and proper towards that end. This is a very broad grant of power over the realm of interstate commerce. The other question is what constitutes interstate commerce. You accept a much more narrow view of this than I do.

              • No, I am not debating how far the authority goes over interstate commerce, that is something we will obviously not agree on. I am debating on the definition of interstate commerce. The term “interstate commerce” is a bit open, but I do not see any possible way that it could include forcing commerce to occur, nor regulating commerce that is not over state lines.

                As far as what other powers are granted, I agree that is vague, but I am fairly confident that many current federal powers cross the line. Even a vague statement has limitations. If I say “I am doing ok”, that is extremely broad. However, you can be pretty sure I am not dead and that, even if I am going through a lot of crap, I have a reasonably positive attitude. We can debate on what powers were granted in the constitution, but we should be able to agree that some of what the federal government is currently doing is outside of that realm.

                Also, as Kent mentioned, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” may be vague in the sense of the first part being difficult to understand. However, the second half is not. Why is the justification portion of the sentence used to negate the very clear second portion? How the hell is this vague? If this is vague, then so is every law on the books, meaning it is all open to interpretation and I can pretty much do any damn thing I please.

              • Buck & Jon

                To bottom

              • Buck & Jon

                To bottom for commerce discussion

  44. A Puritan Descendant says:
  45. Oh Mighty Flagster..I couldn’t resist bringing this over from a commenter at The Blaze:

    TRUE anarchists are lefties and an offshoot of communism. They are militants whose goal is to destroy capitalism and constitutional governance. Anarchist movements today are composed primarily by unions/workers and their useful idiots, mostly students, whose gimme mentality has come unhinged.

    • Anita

      Funny how one group of leftists are always trying to portray others as more left than them, in hopes of making themselves look reasonable and centrist.

      Anarchy = No Government = Self Government

      Now I wonder what economic model might develop when we rule our own business and not that of others?

    • Anita,

      I know your wiser than this! The media and Hollywood have forever portrayed anarchists as evil. So, I ask you a question, since this portrayal has been ongoing for my lifetime, why would Govt. or those that support their existance not portray them as evil? I know there are groups (especailly overseas) that claim to be anarchists, so why wouldn’t govt fund them to make anarchism look bad?

      I don’t see BF or Kent as bad, violent, power mongers, do you? I have the belief that anarchists (those opposed to govt in general) would never want the position given to a politician. Your comments!

      • Calm down G! 🙂 I’m not buying that comment a bit. I don’t see BF Kent or BL…well maybe BL -he listens to some wacked out music sometimes 🙂 – as being evil in the least. I just posted that to see what BF was going to say.

        Never thought about your angle before though. Govt purposely portraying anarchists as trouble makers. I don’t know..BF et al have opened my eyes big time to anarchy. I like the idea but with the crazies among us it would nevr work.

        • Bottom Line says:

          So you think I might be “evil” because I listen to “whacked out” music?

          (scratches head)

          Um…okay.

          I listen to various genres, including(as you already know) metal. I presume you mean “Slayer”. I’ve posted Slayer songs in here before, and they indeed have some “whack” lyrics.

          The genius in Slayer is in the music itself. If you can appreciate metal, you can appreciate the raw and phenomenal instrumentalist talent among its members.

          It’s high tempo, in your face, instrumental brilliance, metal style, with a twist of morbidity.

          Listen to it while looking at the sheet music, where both lead guitarist are going back and forth with solos. What you thought you heard as two notes was actually eight.

          It’s like two Frédéric Chopins, one on meth, the other on acid.

          Take the song “Dead Skin Mask” for example…

          The lyrics are rather twisted, an Edgar Allen Poe -esque, morbidly poetic interpretation of the mind of a serial killer…and simply amazing duel solo guitar work.

          Listen to King and Hanneman go back and fourth for a full minute from 2:18 to 3:18 of this youtube video.

          Dead Skin Mask – 1990

          [Hanneman/Araya]

          Graze the skin with my finger tips
          The brush of dead cold flesh pacifies the means
          Provocative images delicate features so smooth
          A pleasant fragrance in the light of the moon

          [CHORUS]
          Dance with the dead in my dreams
          Listen to their hallowed screams
          The dead have taken my soul
          Temptation’s lost all control

          Simple smiles elude psychotic eyes
          Lose all mind control rationale declines
          Empty eyes enslave the creations
          Of placid faces and lifeless pageants

          In the depths of a mind insane
          Fantasy and reality are the same

          Graze the skin with my finger tips
          The brush of dead warm flesh pacifies the means
          Incised members ornaments on my being
          Adulating the skin before me

          Simple smiles elude psychotic eyes
          Lose all mind control rationale declines
          Empty eyes enslave the creations
          Of placid faces and lifeless pageants

          [CHORUS]

          • Good Mornin my twisted compadre! I prefer to listen to the story being told.

            I CAN’T LISTEN TO SLAYER BECAUSE THEY WONT QUIT SCREAMING AT ME!
            The lyrics you posted firm up my reasons.

            I also don’t like Jason, Freddie, Pumpkin Head and all the rest of the gruesome fewsome!

            You realize I was only teasing about your evilness, right? Or was I? 🙂

            • Bottom Line says:

              Good mornin’/afternoon, Sweetleaf.

              Yes, I realize you’re teasing.

              No worries, It’s all good. 🙂

              Anita – “I CAN’T LISTEN TO SLAYER BECAUSE THEY WONT QUIT SCREAMING AT ME!
              The lyrics you posted firm up my reasons.

              I also don’t like Jason, Freddie, Pumpkin Head and all the rest of the gruesome fewsome!”

              BL – Might I interest you in something a little different perhaps?

              …A well written, relatively soft but somewhat intense and powerful blues/rock ballad done by an otherwise rather heavy metal band known as “Pantera”, titled “Cemetary Gates.”

              Call it “soft metal”

              The lyrics were originally written by lead vocalist Phil Anselmo about the loss of a friend in his youth who had committed suicide.

              Later, after the untimely murder/death of gifted guitar player “Diamond Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the song, in which he did some superb work, has often been a tribute to him.

              “Diamond Dimebag” Darrell was an amazingly talented and widely appreciated guitar player who was gunned down (Lennon/Chapman style) by a lunatic “fan” on December 8, 2004, while playing on stage at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, with the band “Damageplan”.

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

              R.I.P. Mr. Abbott.

              I personally would like to dedicate it to my long time, and now deceased, childhood friend, Gretchen.

              R

              (youtube video and lyrics coming in separate box to avoid moderation…)

            • Bottom Line says:

              Good mornin’/afternoon, Sweetleaf.

              Yes, I realize you’re teasing.

              No worries, It’s all good. 🙂

              Anita – “I CAN’T LISTEN TO SLAYER BECAUSE THEY WONT QUIT SCREAMING AT ME!
              The lyrics you posted firm up my reasons.

              I also don’t like Jason, Freddie, Pumpkin Head and all the rest of the gruesome fewsome!”

              BL – Might I interest you in something a little different perhaps?

              …A well written, relatively soft but somewhat intense and powerful blues/rock ballad done by an otherwise rather heavy metal band known as “Pantera”, titled “Cemetery Gates.”

              Call it “soft metal”

              The lyrics were originally written by lead vocalist Phil Anselmo about the loss of a friend in his youth who had committed suicide.

              Later, after the untimely murder/death of gifted guitar player “Diamond Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the song, in which he did some superb work, has often been a tribute to him.

              “Diamond Dimebag” Darrell was an amazingly talented and widely appreciated guitar player who was gunned down (Lennon/Chapman style) by a lunatic “fan” on December 8, 2004, while playing on stage at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, with the band “Damageplan”.

              Darrell Abbot – (August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004)

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

              R.I.P., Mr. Abbott.

              I personally would like to dedicate it to my long time, and now deceased, childhood friend Gretchen.

              R.I.P., Gretchen.

              And in honor of the little girl who was shot and killed in Arizona.

              R.I.P. Christina Greene

              (youtube video and lyrics coming soon in separate box to avoid moderation…)

              • Bottom Line says:

                Cemetery Gates – Pantera

                Reverend, reverend,
                Is this a conspiracy?
                Crucified for no sins
                No revenge… beneath me.
                Lost within my plans for life,
                It all seems so unreal.
                Im a man cut in half in this world,
                Left in my misery.

                (instrumental)

                The reverend he turned to me
                Without a tear in his eyes.
                Its nothing new for him to see,
                I didn’t ask him why.
                I will remember…
                The love our souls had sworn to make.
                Now I watch the falling rain
                All my mind can see now is your (face).

                Well I guess
                You took my youth
                And gave it all away.
                Like the birth of a new found joy,
                This love would end in rage…
                And when she died
                I couldnt cry,
                The pride within my soul.
                You left me incomplete
                All alone as the memories now unfold.

                Believe the word.
                I will unlock my door…
                And pass the cemetery gates.

                Sometimes when Im alone,
                I wonder aloud,
                If you’re watching over me
                Some place far abound.
                I must reverse my life
                I can’t live in the past.
                Then set my soul free,
                Belong to me at last.

                Through all those complex years
                I thought I was alone.
                I didn’t care to look around
                And make this world my own…
                And when she died
                I shouldve cried and spared myself some pain.
                You left me incomplete,
                All alone as the memories still remain.

                The way we were,
                The chance to save my soul…
                And my concern is now in vain.
                Believe the word,
                I will unlock my door…
                And pass the cemetery… gates

                (instrumental)

                The way we were,
                The chance to save my soul…
                And my concern is now in vain.
                Believe the word,
                I will unlock my door…
                And pass the cemetery…

                Gates!

                Gates!

                Gates!

              • nnnnnnnope

              • Bottom Line says:

                Obscure and “groovy” dance music perhaps?

                ROFL

              • Crackin up!. Are they relatives of the B52s? At least they’re not YELLING at me.

              • Bottom Line says:

                A classic?

              • Now Carlos..he’s the man. He can play music with just about anybody. Probably even Slayer.

      • G-Man

        Perhaps the conspiracy is in fact on the left.

        What better way to discredit Anarchism than to do violence in its name?

        • Bottom Line says:

          Communist Anarchy is

          If you are to have a truly functional anarchist social order in any form Libertarian, Communist or otherwise, everyone is going to have to learn to get along PEACEFULLY without coercive government.

          Those that advocate a violent and chaotic anarchy probably don’t really understand it, or are as you say, …trying to perpetuate it’s bad reputation.

          If everyone had a definitive understanding and respect for natural rights and personal responsibility in a social order, as it relates to freedom, government and it’s coercion are completely unnecessary.

          It’s very “Golden Rule”-ish.

          It will be a while before mankind is ready.

        • And maybe there are some parts of the anarchist movement that want to cause trouble-who don’t follow BF’s non violence creed. I seem to remember him saying he was some particular type of anarchist. Anarchist certainly don’t have a good stereotypical reputation-I don’t doubt that some of it is has been earned. I think part of why BF and Kent write all those thousand’s of words is to change that stereotype.

          • If someone seeks to put anyone “in charge”, whether himself or someone else, he is not, by definition, an “anarchist” no matter whether he is peaceful or violent since he is working toward the opposite goal. His goal and his methods both may expose his lie.

            Nihilists who just seek to destroy order and society have long claimed the name of “anarchists” even while just trying to get “their guys” into power. It’s like if someone claimed to be “Christian” while promoting exclusive worship of The Flying Spaghetti Monster- and having everyone agree that “Yep, he’s a Christian, all right!” It’s bizarre but has been drilled into people’s heads pretty successfully for a long time.

            • Interesting, I think I’ve heard the word Nihilist before but I wouldn’t of known what it meant. I’ve never studied the history of anarchy-has the theory always been non violent.Or asked another way 🙂 Which came first Nihilist or Anarchist? I assume they are both based on getting rid of government. Or was it a parting of ways because of a disagreement over the finer points.

              • Should of looked of Nihilist before I commented. From the definition they couldn’t be a part of anything other than total crazy. 🙂

  46. Wow-interesting but depressing -also long 🙂 Worth the time though.

    Nihilism

    Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. While few philosophers would claim to be nihilists, nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche who argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. In the 20th century, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Mid-century, for example, the existentialists helped popularize tenets of nihilism in their attempts to blunt its destructive potential. By the end of the century, existential despair as a response to nihilism gave way to an attitude of indifference, often associated with antifoundationalism.
    Table of Contents

    1. Origins
    2. Friedrich Nietzsche and Nihilism
    3. Existential Nihilism
    4. Antifoundationalism and Nihilism
    5. Conclusion

    1. Origins

    “Nihilism” comes from the Latin nihil, or nothing, which means not anything, that which does not exist. It appears in the verb “annihilate,” meaning to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Early in the nineteenth century, Friedrich Jacobi used the word to negatively characterize transcendental idealism. It only became popularized, however, after its appearance in Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons (1862) where he used “nihilism” to describe the crude scientism espoused by his character Bazarov who preaches a creed of total negation.

    In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family. In his early writing, anarchist leader Mikhael Bakunin (1814-1876) composed the notorious entreaty still identified with nihilism: “Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life–the passion for destruction is also a creative passion!” (Reaction in Germany, 1842). The movement advocated a social arrangement based on rationalism and materialism as the sole source of knowledge and individual freedom as the highest goal. By rejecting man’s spiritual essence in favor of a solely materialistic one, nihilists denounced God and religious authority as antithetical to freedom. The movement eventually deteriorated into an ethos of subversion, destruction, and anarchy, and by the late 1870s, a nihilist was anyone associated with clandestine political groups advocating terrorism and assassination.

    The earliest philosophical positions associated with what could be characterized as a nihilistic outlook are those of the Skeptics. Because they denied the possibility of certainty, Skeptics could denounce traditional truths as unjustifiable opinions. When Demosthenes (c.371-322 BC), for example, observes that “What he wished to believe, that is what each man believes” (Olynthiac), he posits the relational nature of knowledge. Extreme skepticism, then, is linked to epistemological nihilism which denies the possibility of knowledge and truth; this form of nihilism is currently identified with postmodern antifoundationalism. Nihilism, in fact, can be understood in several different ways. Political Nihilism, as noted, is associated with the belief that the destruction of all existing political, social, and religious order is a prerequisite for any future improvement. Ethical nihilism or moral nihilism rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values. Instead, good and evil are nebulous, and values addressing such are the product of nothing more than social and emotive pressures. Existential nihilism is the notion that life has no intrinsic meaning or value, and it is, no doubt, the most commonly used and understood sense of the word today.

    Max Stirner’s (1806-1856) attacks on systematic philosophy, his denial of absolutes, and his rejection of abstract concepts of any kind often places him among the first philosophical nihilists. For Stirner, achieving individual freedom is the only law; and the state, which necessarily imperils freedom, must be destroyed. Even beyond the oppression of the state, though, are the constraints imposed by others because their very existence is an obstacle compromising individual freedom. Thus Stirner argues that existence is an endless “war of each against all” (The Ego and its Own, trans. 1907).
    2. Friedrich Nietzsche and Nihilism

    Among philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche is most often associated with nihilism. For Nietzsche, there is no objective order or structure in the world except what we give it. Penetrating the façades buttressing convictions, the nihilist discovers that all values are baseless and that reason is impotent. “Every belief, every considering something-true,” Nietzsche writes, “is necessarily false because there is simply no true world” (Will to Power [notes from 1883-1888]). For him, nihilism requires a radical repudiation of all imposed values and meaning: “Nihilism is . . . not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one’s shoulder to the plough; one destroys” (Will to Power).

    The caustic strength of nihilism is absolute, Nietzsche argues, and under its withering scrutiny “the highest values devalue themselves. The aim is lacking, and ‘Why’ finds no answer” (Will to Power). Inevitably, nihilism will expose all cherished beliefs and sacrosanct truths as symptoms of a defective Western mythos. This collapse of meaning, relevance, and purpose will be the most destructive force in history, constituting a total assault on reality and nothing less than the greatest crisis of humanity:

    What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. . . . For some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end. . . . (Will to Power)Since Nietzsche’s compelling critique, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Convinced that Nietzsche’s analysis was accurate, for example, Oswald Spengler in The Decline of the West (1926) studied several cultures to confirm that patterns of nihilism were indeed a conspicuous feature of collapsing civilizations. In each of the failed cultures he examines, Spengler noticed that centuries-old religious, artistic, and political traditions were weakened and finally toppled by the insidious workings of several distinct nihilistic postures: the Faustian nihilist “shatters the ideals”; the Apollinian nihilist “watches them crumble before his eyes”; and the Indian nihilist “withdraws from their presence into himself.” Withdrawal, for instance, often identified with the negation of reality and resignation advocated by Eastern religions, is in the West associated with various versions of epicureanism and stoicism. In his study, Spengler concludes that Western civilization is already in the advanced stages of decay with all three forms of nihilism working to undermine epistemological authority and ontological grounding.

    In 1927, Martin Heidegger, to cite another example, observed that nihilism in various and hidden forms was already “the normal state of man” (The Question of Being). Other philosophers’ predictions about nihilism’s impact have been dire. Outlining the symptoms of nihilism in the 20th century, Helmut Thielicke wrote that “Nihilism literally has only one truth to declare, namely, that ultimately Nothingness prevails and the world is meaningless” (Nihilism: Its Origin and Nature, with a Christian Answer, 1969). From the nihilist’s perspective, one can conclude that life is completely amoral, a conclusion, Thielicke believes, that motivates such monstrosities as the Nazi reign of terror. Gloomy predictions of nihilism’s impact are also charted in Eugene Rose’s Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age (1994). If nihilism proves victorious–and it’s well on its way, he argues–our world will become “a cold, inhuman world” where “nothingness, incoherence, and absurdity” will triumph.
    3. Existential Nihilism

    While nihilism is often discussed in terms of extreme skepticism and relativism, for most of the 20th century it has been associated with the belief that life is meaningless. Existential nihilism begins with the notion that the world is without meaning or purpose. Given this circumstance, existence itself–all action, suffering, and feeling–is ultimately senseless and empty.

    In The Dark Side: Thoughts on the Futility of Life (1994), Alan Pratt demonstrates that existential nihilism, in one form or another, has been a part of the Western intellectual tradition from the beginning. The Skeptic Empedocles’ observation that “the life of mortals is so mean a thing as to be virtually un-life,” for instance, embodies the same kind of extreme pessimism associated with existential nihilism. In antiquity, such profound pessimism may have reached its apex with Hegesis. Because miseries vastly outnumber pleasures, happiness is impossible, the philosopher argues, and subsequently advocates suicide. Centuries later during the Renaissance, William Shakespeare eloquently summarized the existential nihilist’s perspective when, in this famous passage near the end of Macbeth, he has Macbeth pour out his disgust for life:

    Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more; it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    In the twentieth century, it’s the atheistic existentialist movement, popularized in France in the 1940s and 50s, that is responsible for the currency of existential nihilism in the popular consciousness. Jean-Paul Sartre’s (1905-1980) defining preposition for the movement, “existence precedes essence,” rules out any ground or foundation for establishing an essential self or a human nature. When we abandon illusions, life is revealed as nothing; and for the existentialists, nothingness is the source of not only absolute freedom but also existential horror and emotional anguish. Nothingness reveals each individual as an isolated being “thrown” into an alien and unresponsive universe, barred forever from knowing why yet required to invent meaning. It’s a situation that’s nothing short of absurd. Writing from the enlightened perspective of the absurd, Albert Camus (1913-1960) observed that Sisyphus’ plight, condemned to eternal, useless struggle, was a superb metaphor for human existence (The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942).

    The common thread in the literature of the existentialists is coping with the emotional anguish arising from our confrontation with nothingness, and they expended great energy responding to the question of whether surviving it was possible. Their answer was a qualified “Yes,” advocating a formula of passionate commitment and impassive stoicism. In retrospect, it was an anecdote tinged with desperation because in an absurd world there are absolutely no guidelines, and any course of action is problematic. Passionate commitment, be it to conquest, creation, or whatever, is itself meaningless. Enter nihilism.

    Camus, like the other existentialists, was convinced that nihilism was the most vexing problem of the twentieth century. Although he argues passionately that individuals could endure its corrosive effects, his most famous works betray the extraordinary difficulty he faced building a convincing case. In The Stranger (1942), for example, Meursault has rejected the existential suppositions on which the uninitiated and weak rely. Just moments before his execution for a gratuitous murder, he discovers that life alone is reason enough for living, a raison d’être, however, that in context seems scarcely convincing. In Caligula (1944), the mad emperor tries to escape the human predicament by dehumanizing himself with acts of senseless violence, fails, and surreptitiously arranges his own assassination. The Plague (1947) shows the futility of doing one’s best in an absurd world. And in his last novel, the short and sardonic, The Fall (1956), Camus posits that everyone has bloody hands because we are all responsible for making a sorry state worse by our inane action and inaction alike. In these works and other works by the existentialists, one is often left with the impression that living authentically with the meaninglessness of life is impossible.

    Camus was fully aware of the pitfalls of defining existence without meaning, and in his philosophical essay The Rebel (1951) he faces the problem of nihilism head-on. In it, he describes at length how metaphysical collapse often ends in total negation and the victory of nihilism, characterized by profound hatred, pathological destruction, and incalculable violence and death.
    4. Antifoundationalism and Nihilism

    By the late 20th century, “nihilism” had assumed two different castes. In one form, “nihilist” is used to characterize the postmodern man, a dehumanized conformist, alienated, indifferent, and baffled, directing psychological energy into hedonistic narcissism or into a deep ressentiment that often explodes in violence. This perspective is derived from the existentialists’ reflections on nihilism stripped of any hopeful expectations, leaving only the experience of sickness, decay, and disintegration.

    In his study of meaninglessness, Donald Crosby writes that the source of modern nihilism paradoxically stems from a commitment to honest intellectual openness. “Once set in motion, the process of questioning could come to but one end, the erosion of conviction and certitude and collapse into despair” (The Specter of the Absurd, 1988). When sincere inquiry is extended to moral convictions and social consensus, it can prove deadly, Crosby continues, promoting forces that ultimately destroy civilizations. Michael Novak’s recently revised The Experience of Nothingness (1968, 1998) tells a similar story. Both studies are responses to the existentialists’ gloomy findings from earlier in the century. And both optimistically discuss ways out of the abyss by focusing of the positive implications nothingness reveals, such as liberty, freedom, and creative possibilities. Novak, for example, describes how since WWII we have been working to “climb out of nihilism” on the way to building a new civilization.

    In contrast to the efforts to overcome nihilism noted above is the uniquely postmodern response associated with the current antifoundationalists. The philosophical, ethical, and intellectual crisis of nihilism that has tormented modern philosophers for over a century has given way to mild annoyance or, more interestingly, an upbeat acceptance of meaninglessness.

    French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard characterizes postmodernism as an “incredulity toward metanarratives,” those all-embracing foundations that we have relied on to make sense of the world. This extreme skepticism has undermined intellectual and moral hierarchies and made “truth” claims, transcendental or transcultural, problematic. Postmodern antifoundationalists, paradoxically grounded in relativism, dismiss knowledge as relational and “truth” as transitory, genuine only until something more palatable replaces it (reminiscent of William James’ notion of “cash value”). The critic Jacques Derrida, for example, asserts that one can never be sure that what one knows corresponds with what is. Since human beings participate in only an infinitesimal part of the whole, they are unable to grasp anything with certainty, and absolutes are merely “fictional forms.”

    American antifoundationalist Richard Rorty makes a similar point: “Nothing grounds our practices, nothing legitimizes them, nothing shows them to be in touch with the way things are” (“From Logic to Language to Play,” 1986). This epistemological cul-de-sac, Rorty concludes, leads inevitably to nihilism. “Faced with the nonhuman, the nonlinguistic, we no longer have the ability to overcome contingency and pain by appropriation and transformation, but only the ability to recognize contingency and pain” (Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, 1989). In contrast to Nietzsche’s fears and the angst of the existentialists, nihilism becomes for the antifoundationalists just another aspect of our contemporary milieu, one best endured with sang-froid.

    In The Banalization of Nihilism (1992) Karen Carr discusses the antifoundationalist response to nihilism. Although it still inflames a paralyzing relativism and subverts critical tools, “cheerful nihilism” carries the day, she notes, distinguished by an easy-going acceptance of meaninglessness. Such a development, Carr concludes, is alarming. If we accept that all perspectives are equally non-binding, then intellectual or moral arrogance will determine which perspective has precedence. Worse still, the banalization of nihilism creates an environment where ideas can be imposed forcibly with little resistance, raw power alone determining intellectual and moral hierarchies. It’s a conclusion that dovetails nicely with Nietzsche’s, who pointed out that all interpretations of the world are simply manifestations of will-to-power.
    5. Conclusion

    It has been over a century now since Nietzsche explored nihilism and its implications for civilization. As he predicted, nihilism’s impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive, its apocalyptic tenor spawning a mood of gloom and a good deal of anxiety, anger, and terror. Interestingly, Nietzsche himself, a radical skeptic preoccupied with language, knowledge, and truth, anticipated many of the themes of postmodernity. It’s helpful to note, then, that he believed we could–at a terrible price–eventually work through nihilism. If we survived the process of destroying all interpretations of the world, we could then perhaps discover the correct course for humankind:

    I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism’s] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible. . . . (Complete Works Vol. 13)

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism

      If you have time-read this-I see why there is so much confusion over what anarchy truly means. Strange, confusing and conflicting ideas-all called some type of anarchy,

      • Oh, I know. But if they are calling for any type of Ruler (individual or group) they are in violation of the very definition of “anarchy”, even though common (and erroneous) usage has accepted their flawed definition. Say something often enough and it is accepted no matter how inconsistent it is. I would also add that if they use coercion or aggression, they are seeking to rule others themselves and are not being “anarchistic” at all- they are simply not happy with the current users of aggression and wish to be “king of the hill” themselves.

        • Perhaps, but I would have to say-if one plans on supporting anarchy-one best determine what kind of group they are joining. Because the term all by itself seems to have many Accepted meanings. That is if the type you belong to actually has a group. 🙂 🙂

          • We’re living in nihilism right now seems like to me. I am glad I came to understand BF & Kent’s version of anarchy. My people look at me like I’m crazy when I scream out ANARCHY..I just laugh and think of SUFA! I can especially appreciate BF’s analogy of the ‘leader’ being like a Geronimo type leader.. not a leader just a ‘geronimo’ for lack of a better word. Follow or not..it’s up to you..but NO VIOLENCE ON THE NON VIOLENT . OMG I will never in my life forget those words!

            • I’d like some BF points for that post please.

            • Yes, I took note of the influence of nihilist doctrine on our society. Also noted that the attack on religion is a staple of anarchism. Now I’ve gone and brought up religion-May have to go take a bath and ignore the coming comments. 😉

              • VH,

                I think that anarchists are against religious authority edicts, not religion itself (I could be wrong). Authority is the enemy of anarchists, not religion. In an anarchist society, religion that did not invoke authority of the freedoms of another shouldn’t be an issue. The current attack on religion, as I see it, is about total control, the opposite of anarchism.

              • That may be true, but most seem to be atheist and spend a lot of their time trying to convince people not to have faith-I am simply pointing out that faith gives people hope and per the nihilistic view of life being worthless and having no meaning-destroying religious belief furthers that sad outcome.

              • I see your point, but nihilism and anarchism are very different. I give me as an example, While I believe in God, I refuse to belong to any Church. I pray, but don’t follow any sect of Christainity. In Kent’s or Flag’s anarchist world, this should pose no problems. Individualism with no authority, live your life as you choose, allow others to do the same!

          • V.H.

            My impression of a true “Anarchist” is one that will not belong to a “group”. Organized groups usually have a form of hierarchy. My impression of a true anarchist would not organize in this way, but assossiate with like minded people who live individually.

            If I’m off base Kent or Flag, straighten me out!

            • The only anti-hierarchy “anarchists” I know are the ones who are more socialistic than anarchistic.

              I have no problem with voluntary hierarchy that isn’t imposed, and that anyone can opt out of at any time. I am more than willing to defer to someone who knows more about something than me (a real “authority” rather than “an authority” by edict). That doesn’t threaten me in any way, nor does it violate my rights or liberty. In that instance, they are “higher” than me. In some other instance the roles might reverse. Hierarchy isn’t the problem here.

              • That makes sense. Wouldn’t want a plumber leading the electricians kind of thing. Since you and Flag are really the only “anarchists” that I talk with, it has given me a better understanding of real anarchy, versus what is demonstrated by the media. Even this short discussion is informing!

                Peace!

              • Always glad to help. 🙂

          • If I did join an anarchist group, the first time they advocated something non-anarchist I’d be out of there.

            Sorta like what drove me quickly away from the Tea Party folks as soon as they started fawning over certain statist policies and politicians that just happened to like the same anti-liberty things most of them liked and advocated.

            I’m way too individualistic to be very concerned with joining anything other than virtual “groups” of like-minded folk. And that’s mainly for informational purposes (and most of those groups call themselves “libertarian”, “voluntaryist”, or something like that, anyway).

            I’m not saying I wouldn’t enjoy having some like-minded friends around here to just hang out with and visit with without having to listen to incessant State worship, just that it isn’t necessary in order to do what I do.

            • I’m with Kent on this topic as well.

              As I’ve posted my mantra so often – “All human action is ultimately individual” and as such I see my choices and actions as mine and my responsibility.

              To “abdicate” this to some “group” is abhorrent to me.

              Often as I’ve said, if there is a label needed to be pinned to me, it is:

              Sovereign Individual

      • V.H.

        Remember something regarding “anarchy”.

        All other forms of “archy” all share one, core, underling requirement:

        A man has a right to rule over other men

        Now, they will war with each other and fight to determine which man, under what construct, a man will rule over other men.

        But you want all the “archy” to unite? Threaten them with:

        No man has a right to rule over other men

        ….the direct attack at the core premise of all “archy” is the single greatest threat to those that wish to rule men.

        If People understood that no man has a right to rule other men, all forms of “government” would collapse into illegitimacy and back into criminals.

        Thus, all “archy” will set aside their differences and unite against there most feared and dangerous foe: against any man who refuses rulers

        So the archy will create confusion and chaos to be equal to “anarchy” – to make anarchy the fear of the people, so that the people call upon the “archy” to ensure that the People’s enslavement is everlasting.

        • I remember when I was reading these different views-I was asking myself how anarchy could in anyway be socialistic. Then they started talking about capitalism and a business owner being an authority figure. The confusion was cleared up-So I have to acknowledge that one can back up that thought process with anarchy. I know by your writing that you don’t agree, that you aren’t anti-hierarchy. I suppose would be the proper way of saying this. Not sure why I am bringing this up-just thought it was interesting.

  47. A.1.1 What does “anarchy” mean?

    The word “anarchy” is from the Greek, prefix an (or a), meaning “not,” “the want of,” “the absence of,” or “the lack of”, plus archos, meaning “a ruler,” “director”, “chief,” “person in charge,” or “authority.” Or, as Peter Kropotkin put it, Anarchy comes from the Greek words meaning “contrary to authority.” [1]

    While the Greek words anarchos and anarchia are often taken to mean “having no government” or “being without a government,” as can be seen, the strict, original meaning of anarchism was not simply “no government.” “An-archy” means “without a ruler,” or more generally, “without authority,” and it is in this sense that anarchists have continually used the word. For example, we find Kropotkin arguing that anarchism “attacks not only capital, but also the main sources of the power of capitalism: law, authority, and the State.” [2] For anarchists, anarchy means “not necessarily absence of order, as is generally supposed, but an absence of rule.”[3] Hence David Weick’s excellent summary:

    “Anarchism can be understood as the generic social and political idea that expresses 6 An Anarchist FAQ: Section A – What is Anarchism? negation of all power, sovereignty, domination, and hierarchical division, and a will to their dissolution … Anarchism is therefore more than anti-statism … [even if] government (the state) … is, appropriately, the central focus of anarchist critique.” [4]

    For this reason, rather than being purely anti-government or anti-state, anarchism is primarily a movement against hierarchy. Why? Because hierarchy is the organisational structure that embodies authority. Since the state is the “highest” form of hierarchy, anarchists are, by definition, anti-state; but this is not a sufficient definition of anarchism. This means that real anarchists are opposed to all forms of hierarchical organisation, not only the state. In the words of Brian Morris:

    “The term anarchy comes from the Greek, and essentially means ‘no ruler.’ Anarchists are people who reject all forms of government or coercive authority, all forms of hierarchy and domination. They are therefore opposed to what the Mexican anarchist Flores Magón called the ‘sombre trinity’ — state, capital and the church. Anarchists are thus opposed to both capitalism and to the state, as well as to all forms of religious authority. But anarchists also seek to establish or bring about by varying means, a condition of anarchy, that is, a decentralised society without coercive institutions, a society organised through a federation of voluntary associations.” [5]

    Reference to “hierarchy” in this context is a fairly recent development — the “classical” anarchists such as Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin did use the word, but rarely (they usually preferred “authority,” which was used as short-hand for “authoritarian”). However, it’s clear from their writings that theirs was a philosophy against hierarchy, against any inequality of power or privileges between individuals. Bakunin spoke of this when he attacked “official” authority but defended “natural influence,” and also when he said:

    “Do you want to make it impossible for anyone to oppress his fellow-man? Then make sure that no one shall possess power.” [6]

    As Jeff Draughn notes, “while it has always been a latent part of the ‘revolutionary project,’ only recently has this broader concept of anti-hierarchy arisen for more specific scrutiny. Nonetheless, the root of this is plainly visible in the Greek roots of the word ‘anarchy.'” [7]

    We stress that this opposition to hierarchy is, for anarchists, not limited to just the state or government. It includes all authoritarian economic and social relationships as well as political ones, particularly those associated with capitalist property and wage labour. This can be seen from Proudhon’s argument that “Capital … in the political field is analogous to government … The economic idea of capitalism, the politics of government or of authority, and the theological idea of the Church are three identical ideas, linked in various ways. To attack one of them is equivalent to attacking all of them … What capital does to labour, and the State to liberty, the Church does to the spirit. This trinity of absolutism is as baneful in practice as it is in philosophy. The most effective means for oppressing the people would be simultaneously to enslave its body, its will and its reason.” [8] Thus we find Emma Goldman opposing capitalism as it meant “that man [or woman] must sell his [or her] labour” and, therefore, “that his [or her] inclination and judgement are subordinated to the will of a master.” [9] Forty years earlier Bakunin made the same point when he argued that under the current system “the worker sells his person and his liberty for a given time” to the capitalist in exchange for a wage. [10]

    Thus “anarchy” means more than just “no government,” it means opposition to all forms of authoritarian organisation and hierarchy. In Kropotkin’s words, “the origin of the anarchist inception of society … [lies in] the criticism … of the hierarchical organisations and the authoritarian conceptions of society; and … the analysis of the tendencies that are seen in the progressive movements of mankind.” [11] For Malatesta, anarchism “was born in a moral revolt against social injustice” and that the “specific causes of social ills” could be found in “capitalistic property and the State.” When the oppressed “sought to overthrow both State and property – then it was that anarchism was born.” [12]

    Thus any attempt to assert that anarchy is purely anti-state is a misrepresentation of the word and the way it has been used by the anarchist movement. As Brian Morris argues, “when one examines the writings of classical anarchists … as well as the character of anarchist movements … it is clearly evident that it has never had this limited vision [of just being against the state]. It has always challenged all forms of authority and exploitation, and has been equally critical of capitalism and religion as it has been of the state.” [13]

    And, just to state the obvious, anarchy does not mean chaos nor do anarchists seek to create chaos or disorder. Instead, we wish to create a society based upon individual freedom and voluntary co-operation. In other words, order from the bottom up, not disorder imposed from the top down by authorities. Such a society would be a true anarchy, a society without rulers.

    Noam Chomsky sums up the key aspect when he stated that in a truly free society “any interaction among human beings that is more than personal — meaning that takes institutional forms of one kind or another – in community, or workplace, family, larger society, whatever it may be, should be under direct control of its participants. So that would mean workers’ councils in industry, popular democracy in communities, interaction between them, free associations in larger groups, up to organisation of international society.” [14] Society would no longer be divided into a hierarchy of bosses and workers, governors and governed. Rather, an anarchist society would be based on free association in participatory organisations and run from the bottom up. Anarchists, it should be noted, try to create as much of this society today, in their organisations, struggles and activities, as they can.

    Seems to be a continuing theme that anarchist are against capitalism-It seems from this explanation that he feels anyway that being a boss over workers isn’t allowed. And to fix this problem you must have unions or committees to help make all the decisions. What say you about this consistent claim being made about anarchy?

    • V.H.

      Let me offer this. Notice than in all our past discussions and in the various formal definitions regarding philosophy that terms often have different or very non-specific definitions.

      In your first article above, notice how various “philosophers” come along and create “new” definitions.

      This is why when I first came to SUFA I kept talking about how the meaning of words have changed. And quite frankly they have been changed deliberately at times to create that “ambiguity” so needed to muddle our thinking.

      Now along those lines, notice in the second article how the authors admit anarchy means “without ruler” but then jump to the absolute claim that this also means “without authority”. Rulers require government structure and authority. Other institutions and individuals can have “authority” without being a government and without “ruling” another group.

      Yet the entire premise rests on attaching “authority” rather than “ruler” to the definition. But also notice they do not define “authority” itself. There are many forms of authority. Parents for example have authority, up until their kids decide to NOT comply. Not all authority or power is created and imposed from above.

      This is the part of philosophy (political, moral/ethical, legal, etc) that I find so infuriating. It makes communication across time and space nearly impossible.

      Good research by the way. I think it has added greatly to our entire discussion and hopefully our understanding.

      • I’m still ROTFLMAO! 😆

        • 🙂

        • I guess I’m slow tonight-what exactly is so funny 🙂 By the way it is snowing here-so pretty-but the roads were treacherous after the first hour. More ice than snow I guess. They actually think it might stay around for about 5 days. Very unusual treat around here.

          • V.H.

            Gman is still laughing about me losing my cool.

            Should have warned you. We have had freezing rain and very slick wet snow on and off the past few days. It was headed east from here.

          • You’ll have to go back to yesterday’s posts to see the humor! I have a whole new respect for JAC, I just love it when someone lets go and is honest.

            You are in the South, if memory serves me, and have a winter storm! Good luck and stay safe! We have gotten about 8 inches the last 3 days, nothin new here. We have a new storm coming Tuesday, which will give us another 6 inches or so, until the lake effect kicks in late Tuesday, which is always worse than the “storm”! So we will see a foot or so, no big deal. Drive very carefully!

            • Ah, didn’t think about that. I seem to remember doing the same a while back. Me-driving in this stuff-I work at home-have lots of supplies-will not be setting foot inside a car unless an emergency situation arrives.

              • Good deal! Here’s a winter funny to brighten your day! 🙂

              • Thanks, unfortunately I can’t get it to run-think it’s just my computer-have been having problems with it today-will keep trying. 🙂

      • Understanding is what I am going for-I haven’t made any attempts at conclusions-just questions. And hopefully discussion. I think it is important for people to see the different views that the word anarchy stands for and the history attached so we can question our resident members-how they compare or disagree with the others. If our country ever goes for no government-I for one wants to know exactly what that means-and it seems it might depend on who you talk too.

      • Good morniung, JAC…..cold, icy, a little snow. Hate this kind of weather.

        One thing that I have noticed on SUFA is that the definitions seem to change to fit the paticular subject they are writing about. They are very broad brushed.

        • Well I sure do hate flimsy definitions – so let me define one here once and for all:

          Cold (adj): Any temperature below 82 degrees F.

          Example: This cold, icy, and snowy weather is worse than being duct taped inside a cardboard box with Nancy Pelosi.

        • D13

          Good morning Colonel.

          One of the reasons I appreciate the work of Ayn Rand so much was her development of a rational and logical attack on the mental rot caused by nihilism and altruism.

          She worked to eliminate the “everything is relative” and “reality isn’t real” poison from our system. Others have tried to do the same, they just weren’t as good at packaging it into a “system” of principles.

          Of course in doing so, she uses traditional definitions and thus adds to the confusion of “new definitions” by doing so.

  48. So, I’m sure this was already addressed, but general thoughts on the Arizona shooting?

    Obviously it was political.

    Obviously he was a few fries short of a happy meal.

    I have head that he frequented a lot of websites on both sides of the aisle.

    I have seen that the left is already blaming rhetoric on the right (specially Palin’s infamous “crosshairs”, which she has since removed).

    And, I believe she died from her wounds (making this the first political assassination that I can remember – in my lifetime?).

    Beyond that, I really don’t know much – I thought I’d give the inmates of the SUFA asylum first crack at enlightening me.

    • Mathius

      Not so obvious about it being political. He talked political stuff but all deranged people land on something as the rationalization for their mental delusions.

      Yes.

      And read books from a range as well.

      Yes they are. Typical political nature today.

      She, the Congresswoman, did not die. Is actually responding but prognosis not great.

      Here is a summary of the nature of the shooter.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40996934/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

      Also, for a while there were other suspects. My understanding is they have been cleared.

      • Jared Lee Loughner, the man believed responsible for the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of at least five others Saturday, left his MySpace friends a “goodbye” before his page was apparently taken down.

        His YouTube page, in which he lists both The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf among his favorite books, is still operational. Incidentally, Congresswoman Giffords is Jewish.

        All the info on the page is listed in the past tense.

        Loughner posted several confusing videos on his page, some of which deal with a “Mind Controller” and references to residents of Arizona Congressional District 8, Gifford’s district, as “illiterate”.

        “I am able to control every belief and religion by being the mind controller,” Loughner wrote in one video post. “No! I won’t play debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver! No! I won’t trust in God,” he said in another.

        His “introduction” video to YouTube is below.

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/08/myspace-page-of-alleged-giffords-event-shooter-lists-mein-kampf-communist-manifesto-as-among-favorite-books/#ixzz1AeGsquIT

        • Quick question:

          What’s with the three-names for assassins?

          Lee Harvey Oswald
          Jared Lee Loughner
          John Wilkes Booth
          James Earl Ray
          Mark David Chapman
          John Wayne Gacy
          Life Of Illusion
          Just A. Citizen

          Adding, what’s with the name Lee? Lee Harvey Oswald and Jared Lee Loughner? Is Tim Berners Lee an assassin?

          • I always figured the three name thing was to avoid offending people who had similar names. There might be lots of people who share the same first and last name with an assassin, but by including the middle name you weed out most of those.

            However, checking with How Many of Me I see there are no other “Jared Loughner”s in America.

            • That’s a fantastic site. There are 1,396 people with my name.

            • You may want to remove your name from this site:

              There is a website called Spokeo (www.spokeo.com) that is a new online USA phone book that holds personal information (Anything ranging from: credit score, home values, income, age, pictures of you, phone numbers, people you are linked to, address, hobbies).

              This email swept thru my family around Christmas. You’d be amazed what they have stored on you!

              • How do you go about having your name removed from this site? Pretty scary actually…has a picture of my house…among other information. This is the free version. I wonder what info you get if you subscribe.

              • Never mind, I see where to do it, but they limit the requests per day, and I get this BS…”In order to prevent abuse, we must limit the frequency of privacy requests. Please try again tomorrow.
                Government officials please use your @.gov email address for priority processing.”

              • Ya gotta love it.

                On the page you use to delete your name from the data base there’s an ad for a company that prevents this very kind of data mining of your information. They create the problem and then want to charge you to fix it.

          • Top this!

            History Mystery

            Have a history teacher explain this—– if they can.

            Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
            John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

            Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
            John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

            Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
            Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

            Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
            Both Presidents were shot in the head

            Now it gets really weird.

            Lincoln ‘s secretary was named Kennedy.
            Kennedy’s Secretary was named Lincoln .

            Both were assassinated by Southerners.
            Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

            Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
            Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

            John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
            Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

            Both assassins were known by their three names.
            Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

            Now hang on to your seat.

            Lincoln was shot at the theater named ‘Ford’.
            Kennedy was shot in a car called ‘ Lincoln ‘ made by ‘Ford’.

            Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
            Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.

            Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

            And here’s the kicker…

            A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe , Maryland
            A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

            • The economy is so bad that…

              I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

              Wives are having sex with their husbands because they can no longer afford batteries!

              CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.

              Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

              I bought a toaster oven and my free gift was a bank.

              Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America .

              Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.

              A picture is now only worth 200 words.

              They renamed Wall Street ” Wal-Mart Street .”

              When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

              The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.

              And, finally…

              I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the ‘Suicide Hotline’. I got a call center in Pakistan , and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck!

            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              Sorry Anita, Lincoln is a cousin of mine but Kennedy is not. 🙂

    • Let me see….watching pornography makes you a rapist. Watching children play on the playground makes you a child predator. Reading Playboy makes you a pornographer. Reading right wing blogs makes you a racist and murderer. Reading left wing blogs makes you a communist and socialist and murderer. Drinking tea makes you a sanctimonious religious zealot….drinking liquor makes you a drunk and slovenly person.

      I am waiting for the anti gun zealots to come forward…there is a congressman already claiming that news rhetoric is to blame and is calling for more controls…..

      Wonder what we are for reading and posting to SUFA.

      This shooting is nothing more that a nut job that wanted headlines. He got them.

      • “Most of you know by now my diary bemoaning Rep. Giffords’ voting against Nancy Pelosi has been taken by the far right to preemptively protect themselves,” Boy Blue writes of his now-scrubbed, previous post.

        “I made a VERY poor choice of words when I partially titled the diary, ‘now dead to me,’” he continues. “Of course I wished no harm to Gabby.”

        He continues, “I fully apologize to all the victims in this shooting, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, for my poor choice of words in that diary. I fully and respectfully apologize to this blog and to Markos himself for the bad publicity amongst the right wing this has caused. … I apologize to the DailyKos membership and readership for being maligned by the far right blogs.

        “However, I have to offer a heartfelt ‘f— you’ to the right-wing blogs,” he writes, “for even mentioning my username here in any connection to that unspeakable and unthinkable horror.”

        Although BoyBlue wrote the incendiary remarks he followed up:

        “I would bet my house that it will come out that some disgruntled former Jesse Kelly right-wing supporters did this.”

        http://www.liberallyconservative.com/

        I post this for one reason-to point out the insanity of this whole discussion.
        Please note that BlueBoy is being politically correct by apologizing for his choice of words. While at the same time being mad as hell that anyone would place blame on his words. He knows it’s total BS-that he is not to blame-Too bad he can’t take that knowledge a step further and realize that it isn’t anyone else’s fault either-except the nut case who shot these people.

        May the Good Lord be with those who have been hurt by this mad man.

      • I haven’t seen anything to suggest he was after publicity. Then again, I haven’t seen anything to suggest he wasn’t.

        I have seen plenty to suggest that he is stark raving mad.

        As for controls on the media, I think I’d have to be against that, but toning down the rhetoric certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing. Even if this guy wasn’t driven off the cliff by amped up coverage which suggests that she was destroying America (as opposed to just holding different policy opinions) and Sarah Palin putting gun sights over her (which admittedly is in poor taste, if nothing else), it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to dial it back.

        Now, yes, personal responsibility – this guy might have been beyond the point of exercising self control, I don’t know, but that doesn’t mean we have to neuter the media and sterilize everything so it can’t push anyone over the edge. But at the same time, the media outlets should be more careful – what they’re doing is tantamount to beating a war drum and then acting surprised when certain fringe lunatics respond with violence.

        THEY’RE GOING TO ENSLAVE YOU AND TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHTS! YOU’VE TO TO RISE UP AND ACT NOW! OBAMA AND SOROS ARE SECRETLY PLOTTING A WORLD GOVERNMENT. THEY’RE GOING TO ABORT YOUR BABIES AND KILL YOUR GRANDMA WITH DEATH PANELS! HARRY REID WANTS TO EAT YOUR CHILDREN! THE G-MEN ARE GETTING READY TO ARREST YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND LOCK YOU UP IN FEMA TRAILERS BECAUSE YOU’RE ON THEIR LIST! JOE BIDEN IS A WEREWOLF! … And then they’re surprised when crazy people do crazy things?

        Yes, I know that the left does the same thing (though I generally think not quite as egregiously), and they need to dial it back as well. These are just the examples that came to mind.

        • Mathius, this entire posting of yours just proves you are as much a sucker as anyone. Use your head.

          Palin’s use of crosshairs, targets is nothing different than every election has used. Do some research, both parties use it frequently.

          “Yes, I know that the left does the same thing (though I generally think not quite as egregiously), and they need to dial it back as well. These are just the examples that came to mind.

          Selective remembering? How about BO’s famous, “they bring knives, we bring guns”? Wow, was he telling this guy to bring a gun to this event? How about BO’s “ready to do battle”? Well that certainly had to mean people were going to get shot up, didn’t it?

          Comments coming out from Durbin, Schumer, especially the local sheriff, who continue to do what they’ve always done, is to place blame where there is none.

          And you’ve fallen for it all.

          • I fail to see how I’ve “fallen” for it when I said both sides do it. Yes, I stand by my opinion that the right is worse than the left, but no vastly so (maybe 60-40?).

            Ready to do battle seems pretty innocuous, they bring knifes we bring guns may be pushing it. It’s a judgment call, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about. I’m talking about rhetoric which perports that ones opponents are enemies. I’m talking about rhetoric which says that policy differences are due to nefarious evil intent by political rivals as opposed to legitimate differences in opinion.

            So, to clarify: “we’ll fight tooth and nail for X” is fine. “They support X because they want to euthanize your grandmother!” is not.

            See the difference, or am I being too subtle?

            • Matt, the Democrats used the same targets for the same states during the 2010 election. That doesn’t mean liberal Democrats were targeting anyone. If anything it shows many who will actively twist the meanings of those they oppose.

              To hell with truth, we have a cause to win!

              http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

              • I said both sides do it

                Are you daft, man?

                Both sides.

                BOTH!

                Not right.

                Not left.

                Both!

                ————

                Daft is an insult that doesn’t really get enough use these days. I’m going to make a point of bringing it back.

              • And when I said many, it did not exclude those on the right.

                http://www.americanthinker.com/cartoons/

                “If anything it shows many who will actively twist the meanings of those they oppose.”

                I direct this mostly at the media, and many political groups.

                “To hell with truth, we have a cause to win!”

                Again, this was not meant as an attack on you. If time allows, I will lob a curveball in your direction, reflection on our history of violence.

            • Since making his claim Saturday that the Tucson shootings were caused by “vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business,” Pima County Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has become a media darling being regularly quoted by press outlets from coast to coast.

              On Sunday, during strong questioning from Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, Dupnik admitted that his department has not uncovered one shred of evidence to support his now well-publicized assertion.

              (In other words, it’s just his opinion.)

              Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/01/09/arizona-sheriff-admits-theres-no-evidence-vitriolic-rhetoric-incited-#ixzz1AewS35BM

            • Mathius

              I understand your “subtle” differences.

              But let me add that I think your view of 60/40 or whatever it is, is due to your lack of age.

              My memories start with the Dems portraying Goldwater as a war monger who would get your cute flower picking child fried by an atomic blast.

              And I was one of the Dems back then. Figured full disclosure needed here.

              If you think there is vitriol today then I urge you to go back and watch video and read articles/publications of the 60’s and 70’s.

              Accusing the other side of being the devil and wanting to kill grandma is a long held American tradition. As is the condemnation when bad things happen and then the return to vitriol once an appropriate period of hand wringing is over.

        • Matt….Sarah Palin was not the first. I cannot remember if it was 2006 or 2008…the Democraic party was the first putting out a map with “Bull’s Eyes” on the Republicans.

          • Jesus H. Christ on a hoverboard! You, too, D?

            I didn’t say the right started it. It’s a perpetual cycle with no clear beginning or end. Everyone keeps upping the stakes to “grab eyeballs.” And they all need to cool it.

            If, for example, I wanted to discuss abortion with someone, could we ever hope to reach a good end if I accuse them of being women-repressing bible thumping hicks while they accuse me of being a baby-murdering hell-bound jackwagon?

            No, that’s a recipe for violence, not discussion.

            The media and the politicians are feeding this. SUFA gets heated sometimes, but the one thing I love most about it is that I can have a serious conversation with serious people on the opposite end of the spectrum and do so without the overheated rhetoric so pervasive everywhere else.

            You see, D, it’s all- wait.. shh.. what was that russling sound.. was that a- oh crap, perimeter breech! Raptors on south-east approach. No.. they’re chewing on the internet cable line! I’ve go to stop them befor-

            ::signal lost::

            • Pretty funny Matt. Pretty darn funny.

              My only disagreement is this belief that heated rhetoric or name calling is somehow an automatic “recipe for violence”.

              Such rhetoric has existed in the USA since before the Revolution. It rarely results in violence of the nature we are discussing.

              • I think such rhetoric prevents more violence than it “causes” [sic].

                “Heated rhetoric” is a pressure-release valve. You screw it shut at a grave cost. And if you do anyway, there will be inevitable, and tragic, results. Just watch and see.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                No one here is suggesting screwing it shut – just individually, commentator by commentator, choosing to dial it back.

                There can be heated rhetoric which doesn’t portray everyone who disagrees as unamerican and evil.

                Part of being an adult is exercising some self control and realizing that rational people can have legitimate differences of opinion without bad intent.

              • Great point! I also agree with JAC -someone who is to the point of wanting to kill people will always find a reason.
                The reason is their own circumstances, their own weaknesses, they will latch onto whatever excuse helps them to justify the actions they WANT to take. Or in some instances for political strength the sides will make up reasons to suit themselves. Stopping the extreme rethoric would further communication-but you cannot just demand that it stop-so the fix is worse than the problem.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Y’AARGH!

                Mathius is otherwise occupied at the moment, so I’ll fill in.

                He’s not suggesting that it necessarily leads to violence, but that it can occasionally tip the balance, where it involves unstable individuals.

                What he is trying to say is that such rhetoric is not conducive to the overall political and social environment and that it makes it harder to debate heated topics on the merits since people who disagree are seen as enemies not fellow citizens who just so happen to disagree.

              • DPM

                Obviously name calling can impede “reasoned” debate.

                The point is that this type of rhetoric has existed since the beginning of this country. It is an American tradition.

                Yet somehow, we have historically still managed to hold reasoned debate and then move forward. Well at least sometimes.

                I would suggest that on some of these issues there is no reasoned debate possible for many. Lines are drawn by the believers.

                It is the rest of us who must have the discussion and then try and lead the others to possible solutions.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Dueling also used to be part of “debate” once. It, too, was part of American Tradition.

                I think we’re better off without it, no?

                Maybe it’s time Americans grew up and tried to act like adults?

            • no…not me as well…….my point is like yours…we need to chill and-quit trying to blame left-right-center-up-down-sideways…

              To DPM…do not forget mission while there.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Colonel,

                Requesting backup. Stop. Meeting heavier than expected resistance. Stop. Wheaton terrier on premises has neutralized Easy Company Raptor Battalion which was tasked with flanking maneuver. Stop. Enemy appears to have anticipated raid on grog supply, fortified position. Please advise. Stop.

        • You mean Joe Biden is NOT a werewolf??????

    • Howdy Matt,

      Just got in, took a nice walk in the woods. 15 degrees (7 degree wind chill) and a fresh fluffy 6 inches or so of snow. Walked about 2 miles, quite beautiful and invigorating.

      The tragedy is just that. A nut went off, because he was a nut. To assume anything beyond that is ludacris. Those that are pointing fingers, regardless of which side of the aisle they sit, are total assclowns who are only try to bring attention to themselves. The Sheriff started it, and yes, the liberal left, MSM included, lapped it up like hungry dogs. Putting political spin on this is pathetic, period. This jackwagon shot a Dem congresswomen, a Repub Judge and a child, amongst others. I don’t see how a left or right side fits the picture, but apparently, left wingers invent some line of BS to try and make others think they are wise in some way.

      JMHO

    • Instead of playing into the hands of the idealogical rapists that are attempting to control our thought processes through propoganda aimed at dividing our society with a “LEFT” and a “RIGHT”. Why don’t we all pause for a moment, gather our thoughts, write down our beliefs from both camps and then attempt an understanding of the purpose of these aforementioned idealogical rapists?

    • Mathius,

      People are murdered everyday – by individuals or by some government.

      This just happens to be a lot more public, but no more or no less tragic than any other.

      • You are mistaken. It is more tragic than others.

        Because, in addition to the loss of a three (was it three?) human beings, one of whom was a mere child, there will be other consequences.

        If you are shot and killed, while tragic, nothing in the wider world changes much. Some people are sad, I start winning more arguments on SUFA, your family has to figure out where you buried the gold, but that’s about it. Tragic yes, but not very impactful on the world at large.

        With this woman’s death, the government will try to use it as an excuse to do.. well, something. Maybe they’ll crack down on the media. Maybe they’ll point fingers. Maybe they’re try more gun control. Maybe this, maybe that. But good and rational legislation (which I know you don’t believe in anyway) will not be what comes from an enraged situation like this – and something will come because Congress has to be seen doing something, whether that is something useful or not.

        Something bad will happen as a result. Now we just wait and see what schlock they come up with.

        • Did they make any changes after the Ft. Hood shooting?

          • I bet they did – I don’t know.

            But that wasn’t assassinating a seated congresswoman. Something will happen and it will be based on outrage, not logic.

            Nothing good can come of this.

            Adding, $100 says that if they pass any legislation in response to this, they name it after her.

          • yep……more weapons being carried.

        • Mathius

          You are mistaken. It is more tragic than others.

          I wholly do not agree.

          Again, you bias yourself to what you see, and take no account of the unseen.

          Was the death of Aleksandr Ulyanov important?

          Not one bit – unless he was the brother of Lenin – who was driven to revenge such a death and overthrow the Czar.

          You only measure this tragedy by the very small aperture of public events.

          This view is the reason why so many Americans cannot correlate US actions in foreign lands as a cause for so much vitriol against Americans. Americans do not seem to believe that killing a man’s child will -one day- wreck great damage and destruction upon America, some how – some where.

          This is no different. Sure it was tragic. But so is the slaughter of the 45 Pakistani’s this week. Why does this killing matter so much, and those do not? Mere public perception, that is all….

          I agree that evil power will use such perception to increase its evil – but that does not change or increase the level of this tragedy in of itself nor to any person who accepts responsibility of individual action.

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            Let is imagine two events of great importance: The senseless murder of a human being.

            A. A human being is murdered. He is a regular citizen. He has family and friends. They, too, are regular citizens.

            B. A human being is murdered. She is a congresswoman. She has family and friends. Some of them, too, are congressmen.

            So what happens?

            A. Family mourns, maybe perhaps, the next Lenin is among them, maybe not. This is a tragedy. But the likelihood is that none of the family is going to have the platform, power, and will, to effect huge changes as a result. They may, but it is unlikely.

            B. Family mourns. They have a great deal of power and influence. They have a platform from which to use it. Media attention amplifies this power/platform. Maybe the next Lenin is among them, but it doesn’t really matter since they’re already in a position to affect changes. This death is a tragedy. But the likelihood is that someone connected to it is going to have the platform, power and will to effect huge changes as a result. They may not, but it is far more likely than for person A.

            It’s a numbers game. The loss and potential is:

            A. Tragedy of death of human being + (Actions Taken by Family/Friends x small power of family/friends)

            B. Tragedy of death of human being + (Actions Taken Family/Friends x large power of family/friends).. note that the power of the family/friends is greater

            So it’s a numbers game. But common sense will tell you that killing a prominent politician is likely to effect greater change than killing a random civilian. Not always. But usually.

            Which had a greater effect on society: assassination of MLK or murder of a random drug addict in some ghetto which (let’s assume) happened on the same day?

            .. and queue the argument of uncertainty in a world without perfect knowledge coupled with just a touch of chaos theory ..

  49. Arizona is Run by Crazy Racist Right Wingers…………..so says Harpers.

    http://harpers.org/archive/2010/07/0083023

    • I spent a year living in AZ – I can confirm the complete truth of that statement.

      You know, except for the hippie enclaves in Sedona.

    • Yeah, remember we got Napolitano from there. She does match the crazy description part.

  50. Well that was lame. The Capitol steps are jam packed. Legislators and their families are all at attention. President and First Lady appear for the moment of silence. Moment begins..Obamas have heads down..cameras clicking pictures, some is swinging a hammer-I counted 29 swings – moment of silence ends. It sure was silence. Obama didn’t say a word – not a single word- turned around and walked back in. I realize he has already addressed the nation and word has it that another address is coming. So why all the show for him to step out for a few seconds. I may be over reacting but seems like this was a LOOK AT ME moment.

    • You’re projecting. Stop it.

    • Anita, this is a huge look at me moment. He’s failed at just about every other event over the last two years when he’s been looked to for leadership. So he’s got some make-up work to be done. Early signs show his new CofS Daley gets the public more than his last. Sent FBI Director to AZ…huh?

      Remember Undie bomber? Didn’t even come home from vaca or respond for 5 days. Ft. Hood? Same no/delayed reaction.

      • I wasn’t going to compare the reactions because I didn’t want to take the hate..I mean heat. Anyone wanting to complain has to complain to Kathy!

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Kathy – for some reason I get the sense you’d be hyper-critical of anything the guy did with respect to this tragedy. Would you have rather the “Moment of SILENCE” be co-opted by him pontificating or bitching about something? C’mon!

        • Remember, Ray, Bush took a lot of heat when he didn’t land in N.O. after Katrina. In a recent interview he talked about it and I hate to give him credit but he said something to the effect of: what would landing have done? I would have gotten a photo op, made some speeches, but nothing would have changed and it would have been pure cynical politics, nothing else.

          Maybe he was covering his ass retrospectively, but Bush (despite my abject, and nearly unanimous policy differences with him) always struck me as very sincere. Yes, he played politics with the best of them, but I always thought he tried to do what he (however misguided) felt was right.

          The right generally doesn’t hold it against him that he didn’t stop there, but the left generally does.

          This echos that to me. Only the roles are reversed.

          You’re absolutely right that if he had given a speech, he would have been blasted for “using” the tragedy. If he hadn’t shown, he would have been blasted for “not caring” about the tragedy. If he showed but didn’t speak, he gets blasted for a “look at me.”

          There’s no way to win when the people have already judged you. Any action you take or don’t take will be interpreted only in the worse possible light.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @Mathius – with respect to Bush – I could understand why he did not touch down immediately after Katrina – and I could understand far less minimally why it may have been acceptable and important for him as a message to set foot.

            Its merely my opinion, but I’d trace much of the hate and vitriol back to the Gingrich/Delay (and dare I say current SOTH John Boehner) days of early 90s. Guilt does go around at maybe a 70/30 or 60/40 clip (right to left). The culmination to Saturday should have been a clear sign for a “shut your piehole” moment to reflect less cynically. Clearly Anita and Kathy do not agree. So be it. Not surprising. Just more disappointing.

            • Ray, Wouldn’t it be nice if all the crap did stop, by peoples individual choices? I’ve been reading about members of Congress planning on new legislation over this incident. Despite the fact that there is NO evidence that virtiol was a part of this kids issues, the rhetoric continues. What’s a real shame is that so many want to blame society for the wrongs of one individual, and then further enslave that same society with new restrictive laws. Political Correctness on steroids! If the govt ever wanted to squash dissent, I guess they happened upon their needed crisis to do so…or helped make it happen.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                What new legislation do we need now? Ugh!

              • Here’s a small sample:

                Peter Schroeder
                Politico
                Monday, January 10, 2011

                Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.

                Brady told CNN that he wants federal lawmakers and officials to have the same protections against threat currently provided to the president. His call comes one day after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot, along with 19 other people, at a public event in Tucson. A suspect is currently in custody.

                “The president is a federal official,” Brady told CNN in a telephone interview. “You can’t do it to him; you should not be able to do it to a congressman, senator or federal judge.”

                While it is unknown at this time whether the shooter was politically motivated, that has not prevented a vigorous debate about whether heated political rhetoric seen during the healthcare reform debate and during the 2010 campaign is inciting violence.

              • That was on the 1st Amendment, here’s one on the 2nd Amendment:

                SHIRA TOEPLITZ
                POLITICO
                Jan 10, 2011

                One of the fiercest gun-control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday targeting the high-capacity ammunition the gunman used.

                McCarthy ran for Congress after her husband was gunned down and her son seriously injured in a shooting in 1993 on a Long Island commuter train.

                “My staff is working on looking at the different legislation fixes that we might be able to do and we might be able to introduce as early as tomorrow,” McCarthy told POLITICO in a Sunday afternoon phone interview.

                Gun control activists cried it was time to reform weapons laws in the United States, almost immediately after a gunman killed six and injured 14 more, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Arizona on Saturday.

              • G-Man,
                This is to limit the size of the clip, right? I heard a report he used a “high capacity clip”, and was reloading when stopped. I don’t know if this is true or what the capacity of the clip was.

                Do you think there should be no limit on the size of the clip on a hand gun?
                Or should there be some reasonable limit?

                If no limit, what purpose does a 15-20-25 round clip serve?
                When would a clip with that capacity be useful?

              • Todd,

                When I need to fire more the 25 rounds without reloading.

              • And why do you need to fire more than 25 rounds without reloading?

              • Todd,

                Because I may – and you have no right to determine such a thing “a priori” before then.

              • I believe it was a thirty round clip for a Glock 9mm. You posed some good questions, so on to them.

                Do you think there should be no limit on the size of the clip on a hand gun?
                Or should there be some reasonable limit?

                I know many law abiding gun enthusiasts and target shooters, who are the prime buyers, that would say no to restrictions. If there was not a market for them, companies would not make them, which to me means that one incident is not an excuse to change the market for law abiding citizens.

                If no limit, what purpose does a 15-20-25 round clip serve?
                When would a clip with that capacity be useful?

                As I said, gun enthusiasts, collectors, and people that like to go to a firing range and shoot.

                While I have no use for high capacity mags, I’m against restricting there sale to law abiding citizens solely based on one horrific incident. Once the restrictions start, the bar will just keep raising higher. An example, if some nut drove a car into a crowd with the intent to kill, and does kill, do we then stop the sale of cars?

                Hope that helps!

              • Todd,
                A defensive situation does not always go well. If I am not accurate, I might need more than 8 shots to handle three attackers, especially if I blow a round or two as warning shots. If I am shooting from cover, I might not have clear line of sight, so I may need more rounds for accuracy. I might have to shoot to cover my movements. I know a hollywood style shoot out is as likely happen as a lottery win, but people do win sometimes.

                Also, enthusiasts are all alike, no matter what they are enthusiasts about. I do not need a 1,100 hp motor in a sports car, and it is pointless to have a car with a top speed of 230 if I am not racing, but a sports car enthusiast will still want those things. People don’t really need the speaker systems in their cars to have 150 decibel capability, but enthusiasts still rig those systems up. Same thing. No one should have to justify their hobby to anyone.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                “perceived
                as
                threatening”
                I
                say
                perceibed
                by
                who?
                Andwho’simagination?

              • G-Man,
                I can understand the thought process here, but I think it’s misguided. This would be very hard to enforce, is probably unconstitutional, and may just piss off people and make things more dangerous.

                I feel the same way about the law for the President. The Secret Service goes to investigate every stupid comment…but if they don’t and something happens…it’s hard enough line to draw for one person (the President). It would be a nightmare for 500+…

              • Misguided is a good word. Who is the authority that perceives what is what? If we ever let the Govt restrict free speech, in any way, they could put everyone of us in jail.

              • Fairness Doctrine back in the limelight too, as assuredly it was talk radio that made him do it.

                Socialist manifesto: Don’t let a crisis got to waste.

            • Ray

              The vitriol goes way back but I think a major escalation, in recent times, can be linked to the Bork confirmation hearings.

              The left went berserk and when they succeeded the right answered in kind. It seems the well has been poisoned ever since.

          • WRONG! He has already addressed the nation on the tragedy. a good move. The question remains.. Why all the show for him to just step out of the White House?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Why all the show? Easy. To demonstrate that folks like you still don’t get it. To demonstrate that even when the golden opportunity arises for everyone that even when a tragedy like this occurs – to take a step back – there will still be an element that is looking for a pot to stir, a conspiracy to evolve, or hell – just another reason to take a shot at the guy in the White House. Keep goin’ ma’am. You’re doing a fine job.

              • Thank you, Mr. Security Theatre man!

              • Ray

                I think you are letting your own bias blind you to the question Anita was trying to ask. At least the one I got from it.

                Not so much just a chance to criticize but a legitimate question of what was the point.

                You know by now that I have watched and studied “political theater” for quite some time.

                Frankly, I find it strange that they would have him say nothing. Now you can take it as you want, and others will use it as they want. But it still remains strange and out of the range of normal, and I might add expected.

                I am not sure what the purpose was either. It seems an opportunity lost, both for us and for him. If the message is to “take a step back” then I suggest that the message didn’t get across to well.

                I do have one other comment on this thing with the President and this event. This is not a knock on him but all the operatives who support him. I don’t know who was involved but I found something particularly strange on the websites this weekend.

                HuffPo was especially guilty but so were many of the other sites using unoriginal stories.

                The number of pictures of the President in “presidential pose” outnumbered the photos of the incident itself. Stories of the tragedy were quickly published but they seem focused on Mr. Obama instead of the tragedy itself.

                I offer this only as an observation regarding the state of “political discourse” and supposed “media” as it exists today.

                Sometimes our world seems absolutely surreal. If Nevada hadn’t struggled in beating Boston College last night I might have thought I slipped into an alternative universe.

              • Noticed the posed pics too JAC. The media so want for something good to come from their guy that they will do anything to present him as capable/concerned/in charge.

              • JAC,
                Are you sure you don’t have your own bias?

  51. Buck and Jon

    Re: Constitution “interpretation” and commerce clause.

    As Buck says, Congress was granted broad and complete authority over “regulating” “interstate commerce”.

    Also as Buck stated, to determine what if any limitations exist you need to determine what “interstate commerce” is as used in the document. But if we are going to be complete, I submit we need to know what “regulate” meant as well.

    Buck claims that Jon uses a narrower meaning of commerce.

    So here is the question for Buck and Jon, that goes to the discussion of this weekend past.

    What criteria do you use to determine what is meant by “interstate commerce”?

    What does “commerce” mean to you TODAY?

    Now the hard part. What does “regulate” mean and what criteria do you use to reach that conclusion?

    • Mathius waits with bated breath while the Constitutional scholars prepare their opening salvos.

    • JAC….you did not ask me but here is a penny’s worth…..in today’s world, I would surmise that the government’s interpretation is anything that involves crossing state lines and not solely related to money.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Bingo! Interstate commerce is the trade/sale/transfer/purchase/etc. of anything and everything across state lines or with foreign states. Even intrastate commerce if it can be proven that such has a substantial impact on interstate commerce.

    • Interstate: That which crosses state lines, placing such things outside of the jurisdiction of any one state.

      Commerce: Transactions and transfers. This is usually concerning things of an economic nature, but non-money trades, exchanges, etc. could be included. This could even include gifts that transfer across state lines.

      Regulation: This is, indeed, where it gets the most dicey. It is the reason I never liked the commerce clause, not a huge fan of the general welfare one either. The founders were not perfect. The intent, I believe, was for the federal government to handle legal issues so that evil men could not simply avoid legal repercussions by operating across state lines. It was not intended to grant federal power to do anything they wanted with businesses. It could, however, be interpreted that way now.

      What it cannot do is create commerce. The health care law requires people to have health insurance, which means they must purchase it if they do not qualify for government assistance. This fails as permissible under the commerce clause under the definitions of all three words.

      Interstate – Health insurance does not necessarily cross state lines even when it is purchased. If it is not purchased, nothing has been transferred across state lines.

      Commerce – Commerce requires an exchange or transfer of something. If there is nothing is traded or transferred, then it is not commerce.

      Regulate – Regulation, by definition, is managing something that exists, not creating something. You cannot classify requiring someone to do something as “regulating” that something.

  52. Wow, just wow! I don’t know how he can be so strong.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/dignity-grace-courage-patriotism/

    • Sadly, it didn’t take long for the Liberal media to go on the attack.

      Steve Watson
      Prisonplanet.com
      Monday, Jan 10th, 2011

      How low will some people stoop to play at partisan politics by exploiting the weekend’s tragic events? We’ve already seen the bar set pretty damn low by elements of the media and some public officials, yet its hard to imagine how much further anyone can go than to verbally attack the parents of the slain 9 year old Christina Taylor Green.

      Yet this is exactly what sometime AOL writer Jeanne Sager does in an article published today on parenting blog Cafemom.com.

      “Seeing the couple on Dateline NBC last night, my first inclination was to grit my teeth and ask what kind of parent is ready to go on national TV 24 hours after the loss of their child?” writes Sager.

      “The same type of parents who paraded their child out in a book about babies born on 9/11/01? They don’t deserve to be parents if they’re going to use horrors for their own gains.” she adds.

      Exactly what “gains” are we talking about here Ms Sager? Their beloved child has just been shot dead. What in the world makes you believe they are gaining anything?

      “…watching the Greens so exacting as they spoke of their daughter, so unfeeling. What, you couldn’t even summon a tear for your little girl? Everywhere I look, they’re talking to the media. To Fox News. To USA Today.” the disgusting slop continues.

      Obviously Sager missed the entirety of John Green’s appearance on Fox News, in which he defiantly fought back the tears to convey the message that this awful but completely isolated and random event should not be exploited to revoke the core freedoms protected under the first and second amendments.

      “We don’t need any more restrictions on our society,” Mr Green said, adding that sometimes our continued freedom comes at an awful cost.

      While Sager stops her attack short and admits it is “completely unfair” and that she “feels sorry” for the family, it doesn’t prevent her from ending the piece with the question “Did you find yourself wondering why the Greens didn’t get off TV?”

      The Greens are not fitting neatly into the script for those so called “liberals” that are happy to exploit the cold blooded murder of a child for political grist.

      Presumably, Sager and her ilk would have no qualms with the TV appearances of the Greens should they have demanded the immediate passage of laws to make perceived threats a federal crime or to introduce hastily thrown together gun control bills.

      These leftist vultures are the equivalent of the hordes of rightist neo-con hacks that professed hatred (yes, actual hatred) for the 9/11 victims’ families who opposed the subsequent relentless slaughter of thousands more innocent people half a world away in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      The fact that their despicable smear machine has already ground to a halt in the wake of the revelation that gunman Jared Lee Loughner was a left-wing, pot-smoking liberal, rather than a flag waving tea party Sarah Palin supporter, is one blessing that the still sane can count.

      Perhaps the only other is that in amongst a barrage of shameless partisan exploitation of another tragic event, Americans have been reminded that in the face of danger and darkness, there are still those who believe in preserving the values the nation was founded on, rather than tearing them apart.

  53. One thing I find interesting – all/most of those on the Left here at SUFA have denounced the rhetoric from both sides – Left & Right.

    Has anyone from the Right denounced the rhetoric from both sides – Right & Left?

    • Hi Todd,

      Hope your are having a great day! Your question is alittle confusing, are you speaking of the last two days or all the past crap spewing from both sides? If it’s recent, what rhetoric are you speaking of, if it’s the past, their all guilty. However, considering the puke that all politicians spewed in the past, is there one shred of actual evidence that points toward it being a trigger to the AZ murders?

      • Over the past two days, has anyone from the Right, on SUFA, made a statement that expresses this feeling?

        Both sides.

        BOTH!

        Not right.

        Not left.

        Both!

        • Thank you for clarifying! I havn’t watched any news on TV, I read at CNN.com, FOX news, several alternative news sites, HuffPO (believe it or not) and occasional zip to media matters. While, on SUFA, I have not heard, that I remember, calling out the right wing hacks. However, I haven’t read any spew from the right side, only condemnation. If there is rhetoric from the right the deserves being called out and condemned, I will gladly do that. Would you provide an example?

          • Side note: I do not blame the left or right, politics, or any other person other than the shooter. The fact that it has become a political issue is sickening, with one side blaming the other, when there is no side to blame.

    • I believe they have-the problem comes in because most of the time the condemnation is qualified by the statement that one side is a little worse about it than the other. So then we argue about which side is worse. 🙂

      • I’ve seen those comments from the Left, but not from the Right. I may have missed them…

        • Going from memory-I remember Jac saying that the rhetoric from both sides is wrong and has been going on forever. Most on the right are simply arguing that the rhetoric on the right or the left is not to blame for this tragedy. So the remarks are coming from a different perspective. I think from past comments it has been made clear that many on SUFA condemn many commentators on the right for going too far.

        • From my first comment on the tragedy above:

          This sure is a tragedy. The forums are full of wackos talkin smack – both parties are getting attacked.

          Hopefully folks will get a grip.
          ———————————–
          Sounds pretty even to me.

    • Yes….ME……it is a travesty and not the fault of right or left.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Todd, rhetoric is used everyday. Do we now need the speech police because once in a while one lone nut might fly off and kill someone? Is anyone going to be able to open their mouth again without being careful they may say something that you may determine to be politically incorrect?

      I don’t like the things you say most of the time, but I support your right to say them no matter how much they may piss me off.

      I agree the rhetoric can be disgusting sometimes but remember the First, “shall not be infringed”! Or should that be reinterpreted too?

      And all this when there is no evidence Rhetoric had anything to do with this Nut shooting people in the first place.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        corection not shall not be infringd but No law shall be made that stops free speech DuH! 🙂

      • Agree! Making an issue of Palin or the democrats using a “target” on races they were focusing on, please, do we have to be so PC about everything?

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          PC Nanny state this, PC Nanny state that…. I can’t take it anymore, why do people want to live like this, it sucks! And a smiley 🙂 to show I have not snapped….. yet LOL

      • Buck the Wala says:

        No one has been talking about infringing on anyone’s free speech. However, people do need to understand that words have meaning and unintended consequence. Don’t tell me for a minute that the hatred spewed by Beck, Palin, Bachman, etc. didn’t have anything to do with some nutjob taking action. It’s only a matter of time before someone hears about how evil Obama is destroying America, and how we need to place politicians who support socialism in our crosshairs, and puts matters into their own hands.

        And for the record, I am not saying there is no hatred spewed by the left. Just using the above as one example.

      • A Puritan Descendant,
        You’re making quite the jump to “speech police”.

        I’m talking about taking personal responsibility for one’s words and deeds.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          I can’t and won’t be held responsible for all the Nuts in the world.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          They just don’t seem to understand that today…It’s a shame really.

          Much like the jump to ‘death panels’, someone mentions ‘toning down the rhetoric’ and ‘words have consequences’ and we must be meaning a conspiracy to establish ‘speech police’…

          Once again, no one is saying you (Puritan) are responsible for this tragedy. However it is foolish to say that the intense rhetoric and vitriol did not play any role whatsoever.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            I still have seen no evidence of it Buck. But plenty that he was probably off his Rocker.

          • Buck says – However it is foolish to say that the intense rhetoric and vitriol did not play any role whatsoever.

            It is more foolish when a lawyer presents nothing of fact to substantiate his claims. As govt. is made up of mostly lawyers…..

          • Even if it did play a role, it should not be regulated. And it is impossible to determine who’s words, or which words, had the greatest effect. It might have been hate speech, or it might of been speech from the victim herself that he disagreed with based on his own ideology.

        • I agree Todd that people should take personal responsibility for their speech. But you have to admit that when the political power on the left talks about this type of thing. They are talking about restricting free speech.

          • E-X-A-M-P-L-E-S??? 😉

            What about the political power on the right? Do they ever restrict or violate anything?

            • Kathy just posted one directly above. Do you have any example of the same from a right winger?

            • Todd,

              Anyone who chooses to use political power has made a choice of violence over reason.

              There is no Left/Right political position that changes this. All politics is the same – merely the excuse changes.

            • Yes they do, the Patriot Act comes to mind. The right is equally evil.

            • Examples-you want examples-am I limited to attacks on free speech 🙂 As Anita pointed out-there is already talk on the left about writing (2) bills which would restrict freedoms. Doubt they will pass but they are talking them up.

              As far as the right-well of course they have-they’re just not as bad as the left Hee Hee Hee 🙂 Actually, I really don’t think they are 🙂 -what can I say I’m a republican/libertarian.

    • Todd,

      another “from the Right denounced the rhetoric from both sides – Right & Left?”

      Sure, I think Rush & Beck go too far at times. Palin’s “Death Panels” was inflammatory. Funny thing though, after it was passed and there was time for closer examination, rationing end of life care was in there, not as law or a requirement, but non-binding guidelines a government panel would issue.

      I think Beck will talk an issue to death(not meaning any person is actually killed or he advocates anyone’s death, just he might incite suicide if you listen to him too much), so calling him a “fearmonger”, I think is accurate. Saying he is or wishes to incite violence I think is a lie. I have stopped watching him, except if an issue comes up that interest me. Consider, he brought the ACORN story to our attention. And has done some good stories. And how much violence was there at his rally?

      The Tea Parties were accused of wanting to incite violence. Funny in all their rally’s, how many arrests were there? Compare that to fringe left rally’s such as immigration or abortion

    • My point here was more people from the Left are reflecting on past stuff and denouncing the rhetoric from both sides.

      While more from the Right are saying the rhetoric has no impact (which I disagree with) or they are defending the Right’s rhetoric as they attack the Left’s.

      LOI is a perfect example: Glenn Beck and Tea Parties good, ACORN and fringe left rallies bad.

      That’s exactly what I’m talking about:
      * The people on the Left on SUFA tend to discredit the Fringe Left
      * The people on the Right on SUFA tend to agree with the Fringe Right

      • Examples Todd, esp who on here agree with the Fringe Right? And, how do you define the fringe right?

        • “Fringe” was LOI’s word. He applies it to the Left all the time. Can’t I apply it to the Right?

          Examples:
          * LOI above
          * Michelle Malkin
          * Anyone who posts Michelle Malkin links and expects them to be taken seriously 😉

          • * “Anyone who posts Michelle Malkin links and expects them to be taken seriously”

            Cheap, personal attack. How about substance to back it up? Malkin listed fringe left violence. Show where she was wrong or show equal fringe right violence.

      • Todd,

        People were killed by a nut, the fact that it involved a Congresswomen and a judge, made it big news. A County Sheriff made a statement about vitriol, that was his misguded opinion, not based on ANY evidence. The Liberal media picked up on this, exploited it, and their minions jumped onboard like a lapdog on a fat women. It escalated from there. And still, there is NO evidence to support the “vitriol” comments. Sad actually, this should never have been political.

      • A refresher on the last decade Todd:

        http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

        Also read article on MM’s site that “job killing” is now taboo language.

      • Todd,

        I said Glenn Beck was a fearmonger. I also pointed out he has done some good things, such as helping expose the corruption in ACORN. And why do you include Tea Parties with Beck or ACORN? Can you name a single bad thing they have done? So why do you try to paint them with the same brush?

        For the record, Barbra Walters has come out defending Palin against attacks from the left, as well as Jake Tapper, both ABC. NBC has aired several stories linking Palin & Tea Parties with the shooting.

        Glenn Beck good. (No, good and bad, depends on the day. But even on a good day, he talks too much)
        Tea Parties good. (OK, I can agree with your words in this example)
        ACORN bad. (It was pretty bad, might have been good to start. What do you think of them? Will you include how many were charged with felonies?)
        fringe left rallies bad.(Pretty much)
        You left out fringe right wing rally’s, usually bad as well.

        NBC’s Matt Lauer, at the top of Monday’s Today show, alerted viewers that Sarah Palin was being drawn into the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he teased an upcoming Andrea Mitchell story this way: “Sarah Palin has been coming under some criticism. While there is no evidence her Web site featuring a target on Giffords’ district had anything to do with this attack, some are asking if today’s political rhetoric is inspiring the lunatic fringe?” For her part, Mitchell made sure to point out “while there is no indication that this suspect was inspired…by political speech” she then proceeded to devote most of her story linking Palin to the attack.

        “My point here was more people from the Left are reflecting on past stuff and denouncing the rhetoric from both sides.”

        Todd, this is where you stick you fingers in you ears and start loudly chanting, LAlalalalalala, I’m not listening to Illusion……

        Read more: http://newsbusters.org/category/people/gabrielle-giffords?page=1#ixzz1AfyV5iNf

      • And there are the rest of us, who are our own fringe.

  54. Interesting development. No wonder the lefty Sheriff has been desperately trying to put blame on everyone right.

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/01/office-of-pima-county-sheriff-dupnik-blamed-right-wing-for-slaughter-but-had-contacts-with-shooter-h.html

  55. Buck the Wala says:

    Going back to our discussion on the constitution and interpretation and the 2d Amendment briefly…

    JAC, I’ve been giving it some thought and think I have a solution. Since the constitution only protects standards from 1787, then the 2d Amendment only grants a right for all individuals to own a long rifle. No pistols; no glocks with a 30 clip; no assault rifles. This way we can safeguard what the Founders truly intended!

    • … and the First Amendment only protects forms of press and speech that were only in existence in 1787 (no electronics, for example). Of course, that would mean it would protect tarring and feathering…

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Was tarring and feathering an acceptable means of punishment in 1787?

        • Acceptable to whom? Not so much to the recipients, I’m sure.

          It was a form of freedom of expression, usually directed at politicians. Of course, in most cases I would consider it a clear violation of the Zero Aggression Principle, but I thought we were talking about people’s opinions in 1787.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Well since the Constitution must be interpreted based on the standards of 1787, then I guess we must be talking about people’s opinions circa 1787.

            Any evidence for tarring and feathering taking place in the US back then? If so, I think we should bring it back!

    • Funny thing is that people have forgotten that the Bill of Rights is nothing more than a “Thou shall not…” list for government. It doesn’t give you any rights- it only lays out SOME (not all, by any means) of the things government was to have absolutely no say over. That has been lost in the rush to see what government can get away with.

    • There were hand guns back then too.

      What was the basis for the constitution only covering stuff from the date of its writing? I missed something…

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Earlier JAC had argued that the Constitution should be interpreted only based upon the standards as they existed in 1787.

        For instance, the prohibition against ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ established a baseline of constitutional punishment based on what was considered ‘cruel and unusual’ in 1787. (JAC, I’m loosely paraphrasing your argument so please correct me if I am wrong). I on the other hand argued that ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ should be defined based on evolving standards as to what constitutes ‘cruel and unusual’ in each successive generation.

        • Buck

          You are misrepresenting what I said.

          The provision in question establishes a threshold on Government. The Govt may not impose cruel and unusual punishment.

          I clearly stated that because it was a general and not prescriptive prohibition that this means the framers expected future legislators would define what it means in real terms. This is a true “living document” approach in traditional legislative technique.

          You establish the worst case today but allow future generations to do better, but do not allow them to do worse.

          Because this provision involves govt punishment, a positive action, the threshold either does not exist or it would be that of 1787. The provision would not have been included if there were not some threshold in mind at the time. Therefore, that becomes the default “most severe” punishment allowed.

          This does not make it a “constitutional punishment” but a threshold not to be exceeded. This would prevent states from legalizing the practice of draw and quartering at some future time. But it does not prevent them from outlawing a death penalty or deciding that the only acceptable punishment is flogging by flower pedals.

          So I did not say that cruel and unusual is “defined” by the practices of 1787. I said those practices form the “worst case scenario” that would be considered.

          I in fact agreed that future generations had the authority to establish less harmful standards, thus “evolving”.

          I also reject any notion that the framers intended the Supreme Court to establish future standards to reflect the “evolving standards” of society. They would have viewed that as strictly a “legislative” function. As only the legislature could come close to reflecting the actual desires of the people.

          Now you brought up the 2nd and guns. This provision has an entirely different construction than the 8th. It is a strict prohibition against Govt “infringing upon the right to own. It places an absolute negative against a negative action, whereas the 8th was a limit on positive action.

          The context is entirely different so your argument looks silly to me. It makes me wonder whether you were simply poking fun or don’t grasp the nature legislative construction.

          Also for the record, only the provisions written in the late 1700’s should be viewed in the context of that time. Later provisions must be evaluated in context of the original document and the times in which they were drafted.

          Thus Scalia’s comment about the equal protection. I happen to agree with him regarding the intent of the amendment at the time it was adopted. You may find that offensive, for some bizzare reason, but it remains factual in its nature.

          But instead of going apoplectic and spewing vitriol all over the place I would suggest that it simply makes the case for adopting the ERA. If the equal protection provision was in fact what everyone claims then the ERA was completely unnecessary.

          Instead we got days of absolute “hate speech” aimed at the Justice on numerous left leaning web sites and blogs. Along with the obligatory parade of talking heads invited to the cable shows.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            On ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ — while you did clearly state that future generations were enabled to progress and establish more humane methods of punishment, you also maintained that the standards of 1787 would still be constitutional if Congress or the states failed to move forward in this arena. I would argue that the document necessitates a higher standard than that – that the meaning of ‘cruel and unusual’ changes with the times.

            On the 2d amendment – yes, I was poking fun.

            On Scalia’s comment – I find it completely ridiculous. This statement comes from a man whose avowed approach to constitutional interpretation is to look at the text first, and then to look at original intent. If the text is clear, then it governs regardless of intent. If unclear, you look towards original intent by the drafters. The text of the 14th Amendment is clear (“All People”). This would necessitate protection to women as well as blacks.

  56. LOI

    re: Hi Jack!

    Bahahahahahahaha!
    oooooooooooooooo !
    ahahahahaa hahaha !

    • Maybe that was our own JAC? Seemed like a nice guy.

      GreenDay, anyone?

      Don’t want to be an American idiot.
      Don’t want a nation under the new media.
      And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
      The subliminal mindf**k America.

      Welcome to a new kind of tension.
      All across the idiot nation.
      Everything isn’t meant to be okay.
      Television dreams of tomorrow.
      We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
      For that’s enough to argue.

      Well maybe I’m the faggot America.
      I’m not a part of a redneck agenda.
      Now everybody do the propaganda.
      And sing along in the age of paranoia.

      Welcome to a new kind of tension.
      All across the idiot nation.
      Everything isn’t meant to be okay.
      Television dreams of tomorrow.
      We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
      For that’s enough to argue.

      Don’t want to be an American idiot.
      One nation controlled by the media.
      Information age of hysteria.
      It’s going out to idiot America.

      Welcome to a new kind of tension.
      All across the idiot nation.
      Everything isn’t meant to be okay.
      Television dreams of tomorrow.
      We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.
      For that’s enough to argue.

    • Hi JAC!

      (WARNING, FRINGE RIGHT VIOLENCE NOT SUITABLE FOR LIBERAL AUDIENCES)

  57. I’m not sure if this is humor, but what the heck 🙂

    Let me get this straight . . . .
    >
    > We’re going to be “gifted” with a health
    > care
    > plan we are forced to purchase and
    > fined if we don’t,
    > Which purportedly covers at least
    > thirty million more people,
    > without adding a single new doctor,
    > but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents,
    > written by a committee whose chairman
    > says he doesn’t understand it,
    > passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but
    > exempted themselves from it,
    > and signed by a President who smokes,
    > with funding administered by a treasury
    > chief who
    > didn’t pay his taxes,
    > for which we’ll be taxed for four years
    > before any
    > benefits take effect,
    > by a government which has
    > already bankrupted Social Security and
    > Medicare,
    > all to be overseen by a surgeon general
    > who is obese,
    > and financed by a country that’s broke!!!!!
    >
    >
    > ‘What the hell could
    >
    > possibly go wrong?’
    >
    >

  58. For those of you who believe Glenn Beck does not have an impact on his listeners:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/30/AR2010073003254.html

    • I think Glenn Beck has educated me on some issues.
      I think Glenn Beck has bored me on some issues.
      I think Glenn Beck has been mistaken on some issues.
      I think Glenn Beck has offended me on some issues.
      I think Glenn Beck has never called for, nor inspired me to do violence on any issues. But then, I was never a bank robber, as you used as an example. And I think I am responsible for my actions, not he/she told me to do it….

      http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/21/local/la-me-rapper-murder-20100521

    • There you go Todd, trying to use Left Wing OPINION to state facts. Let’s look at the FACTS:

      Williams, on parole for bank robbery, told investigators that he wanted “to start a revolution” by “killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU,” according to a police affidavit. His mother, Janice, told the San Francisco Chronicle that her son had been watching television news and was upset by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.”

      Amazing, no mention of Beck. However, the author dug up some stuff and ASSUMED that he must have been watching Beck. With little regard to truth, the author simply assumes that this correct. It could also be ASSUMED that he was watching MSNBC (Ohlberman or Maddow) in one of their constant attacks against Beck and FOX News.

      Is this another example of a liberal puppy dog jumping on the fat womens lap? How about some real facts rather than more Liberal rhetoric.

      • GMan

        Come on. You know the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy planted thousands of these Manchurian Candidates way back when.

        They knew that the likes of Beck would come along and trigger the violence they desire.

        And once these violent acts were carried out the Right Wingers would benefit by having the Left go apoplectic and convince the American Public the Right Wingers were to blame. Once the blame was assigned the Right Wing would benefit by …..??????????????????????

        Gee whiz, something happened on the way to the big ending. I couldn’t find the path of logic connected to the conclusion.

        🙂

  59. A Puritan Descendant says:

    A mentally unstable person could go out and do something Nuts because of the Mandate to purchase insurance for Obamacare, without hearing any “Rhetoric”. Would Obamacare be responsible the same as someone spouting free speech Rhetoric?

    Let’s stop being Silly.

    • APD,

      The Liberal media, thus far, has failed to acknowledge that one of the men who pinned down the shooter in AZ, was legally carrying his concealed weapon and was preparing to use it when the shooter had to reload, at which time he was taken down. This person, a responsible gun owner, has not been even noticed by the Libs for his outstanding actions. In all the chaos, he chose NOT to shoot into a crowd or take an unsafe shot, he also didn’t run! I wonder what would have been said if had killed the shooter?

      Questions that I have. Why was a Congresswomen at a puplic event, one hour from the Mexican border, not provided with security, considering her pro-border security stance and all the threats sent to politicians in that state? Why was a very conservative Federal Judge there? (It’s illegal for Federal Judges to attend political rallies). Why would a professional Law enforcement officer make statements that lack factual evidence so quickly after the attacks, in a clear attempt to deflect attention towards a political agenda?

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        “in a clear attempt to deflect attention towards a political agenda”

        or to deflect attention away from himself if Kathy’s article is correct from post # 55.

      • GMan

        Let me address the event.

        It was a town hall meeting, but held in the parking lot.

        So in that context I can see why the Conservative Republican Judge was in attendance.

        Can’t address the security issue though.

        I know that I was eating in a place where Justice Roberts came in. The US Marshals were so thick they clogged the halls and doorways. They “escorted” me to the men’s room during dinner.

        • JAC, I’m still giggling 🙂 The judge being there was likely a coincidence, that’s a fair assessment. As you and I watched all this unfold, I’m i whole agreement with being infuriated at the Liberal media and those that just followed along in lockstep like a bunch of fu$%^ng Nazi’s. I have, however, begun too see things with less emotion and more reality. The Liberal/progressive agenda was on display, in it’s truest form the last 3 days. They took a terrible tragedy, spun it into a political debate solely based on LIES! To me, The L/P agenda have openly shown what they are, nothing but pure lying bastards, with no regard towards anything but their pathetic agenda. This should not come as a surprise to me, after the AGW BS, but it infuriates me!

          One day, those that agree with the L/P agenda, will wake up and see it for what it is, the big L/P LIE! I must stop, before I say something that is really nasty. 👿

          • GMan

            Stay calm, and keep giggling. Its better for you.

            The stage was set for the “response” quite some time ago. All the lefty blogs have been putting forth this proposition that opposition to Mr. Obama is “hate speech” and hate speech will cause some whacko to go violent.

            The obvious “therefore” is that pressure builds to stifle speech and dissent. Whether by social pressure or by use of govt.

            Sad thing is that today, social pressure is usually backed up with some type of Govt. subsidized operation and/or funding.

            Did want to point out a flaw in Malkins link to the “job killing” article.

            She was guilty here of what the left is doing on the shooting. She creates the illusion that the “job killing” article was linked to the lefty screaming about hate speech. It was not connected.

            I had also noticed this silly phrase being over used lately. Who ever is advising the Republicans needs to be seriously questioned because they sound stupid attaching “job killing” to everything.

            They sound like some 8 year old who just discovered a cuss word. They use in over and over and over and over………….

            Live free my friend
            JAC

  60. 6 innocents: The Arizona murder victims identified
    By Michelle Malkin • January 9, 2011 12:08 AM

    From MyFoxPhoenix, the 6 innocents who were shot and killed in the Tucson massacre have been identified.

    R.I.P. and continued prayers for all the victims and families of the crazed nut who wrought havoc on America today:

    The Pima County Sheriff has confirmed that five people were pronounced dead at the scene, and a 9-year-old later died at a local hospital.

    The deceased have been identified as: Judge John Roll ,63; Dorthy Murray, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; Christina Greene, 9; Phyllis Scheck, 79; and Gabriel Zimmerman, 30.

    Zimmerman was Gibbons’ aide and was engaged to be married.

    Remembrances of young Gabriel Zimmerman at Politico:

    Zimmerman, who worked out of the congresswoman’s Tucson office, was known by local interest groups for going above and beyond the call of duty.

    Several photographs on the Internet show Zimmerman, who was a former social worker, smiling with his arms around local community leaders.

    Among them was Pat Gould, a support group leader in the local chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation. With Zimmerman’s help, the group was able to garner Giffords’ support for legislation recognizing the disease.

    Gould broke down crying when POLITICO informed her of Zimmerman’s passing.

    “He was such a very nice man,” she said. “Very receptive, very attentive, very concerned. He expressed extra concern about this autoimmune disease because he had a relative who suffered with one too.”

    KIDK remembers 9-year-old Christina Greene:

    Greene’s family says she was vibrant, excited about life, and she was the “best daughter in the world.”

    Born September 11, 2001, Greene was excited about the political process, was on the student government, and went to the Giffords event Saturday to learn more about the political process, family members say.

    Greene attended Mesa Verde Elementary School. She was the only girl on the Canyon Del Oro baseball team. She loved the sport, as well as horseback riding and swimming. She wanted to be a veterinarian.

    Heart-shattering.

    • Great choice LOI!. How Clapton ever got thru this one is beyond me! 1991 was his personal tragedy. Where has time gone?

  61. Judy Sabatini says:

    Glenn’s letter to the American people, politicians, and media
    Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 11:48 AM EST

    While Americans are grappling to understand the Arizona tragedy, the absolute vacuum of leadership on both sides is staggering.

    …We live in a country that has been struck by John Hinckley Jr. and Sirhan Sirhan, Lee Harvey Oswald and Mark D…avid Chapman. And one that’s been hit by terrorists like Timothy McVeigh, the DC Sniper John Allen Muhammad, the Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan, and 19 highjackers all claiming to be freedom fighters. You’d think we’d understand the difference between madmen and terrorists.

    All evidence points to the fact that the assailant from this weekend was severely mentally disturbed. His belief system was not rational by any modern political standard. He was an atheist, believed George W. Bush was responsible for 9/11, feared a global currency, cited the Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books and thought the Mars rover landing was staged. These are not the opinions of a coherent individual.

    Far too often, we have seen in our schools and in our post offices, acts of violence from misfits of society. While we can look for the warning signs, these horrific events will always be with every nation.

    Though violence is a human problem, every American citizen can make a personal choice today. Do you believe that Americans, from any walk of life, can convince themselves they are freedom fighters and carry out acts of violence? My answer is yes. If you agree then you must take a clear stand.

    Turning these horrific events into an opportunity for a political attack is a very childish response to a very grown-up problem. This is not about winning a political blame game. Atheists are not to blame. Those who hate George W. Bush are not to blame. Those who don’t believe in space travel are not to blame. Jared Lee Loughner is to blame. Period.

    This tragedy should not be used as an opportunity to try and bend reality to retroactively place a madman on the other side of the aisle. It should be a time to pray for the victims and their families, a time that we can all come together and state that violence is off limits for all sides in a Republic. It’s a time for us to state with a unified passion that we won’t accept anyone who threatens or actually carries out violence.

    Denouncing violence from all sides including your own does not make your movement any less just. To quote Martin Luther King:

    But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

    I challenge all Americans, left or right, regardless if you’re a politician, pundit, painter, priest, parishioner, poet or porn star to agree with all of the following.

    •I denounce violence, regardless of ideological motivation.
    •I denounce anyone, from the Left, the Right or middle, who believes physical violence is the answer to whatever they feel is wrong with our country.
    •I denounce those who wish to tear down our system and rebuild it in their own image, whatever that image may be.
    •I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle, who call for riots and violence as an opportunity to bring down and reconstruct our system.
    •I denounce violent threats and calls for the destruction of our system – regardless of their underlying ideology – whether they come from the Hutaree Militia or Frances Fox Piven.
    •I hold those responsible for the violence, responsible for the violence. I denounce those who attempt to blame political opponents for the acts of madmen.
    •I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle that sees violence as a viable alternative to our long established system of change made within the constraints of our constitutional Republic.
    I will stand with anyone willing to sign that pledge. Today I make a personal choice. I urge leaders of both sides and all walks of life to join me as all Americans joined hands on 9.12.2001.

    I believe that we must change ourselves to hold on to our republic. That’s why I have been talking about e4. Enlightenment. Education. Empowerment. Entrepreneurship. It’s a personal solution for all of us to become the people we were born to be, not the people we’ve allowed ourselves to become. I have called for a personal revolution; change ourselves in order to change the world. Those who live with honor and are responsible to themselves and their families will be the key to the future of our Republic, not those playing political games.

    While everyone seems to be focused on politics, I instead choose to focus on Christina Green, the nine year old victim killed Saturday. Born on 9.11.2001, she is now a victim of another case of horrific violence. I hope we can all remember Christina by acting the way we did when she was one day old: To focus on values and principles, to use common sense and stop playing politics.

    • Good one Judy! That’s what we need to hear.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi Anita

        Someone had it up on Face Book today, & when I read it, thought I’d put it here, considering some were talking about it today. I thought it was a good piece.

  62. Common Man says:

    The crap coming out of the media and our government representatives is disgusting. People died at the hands of a nut case. A small child died along with adults and grandparents. Additionally we have so-called journalist accusing right-wing minded parties and individuals of being responsible because of their ‘hate-speach’.

    The media approached it from every angle and the political pundits blamed their opposite peers.

    Anti-gun leaders and promoters screamed for more gun laws

    How about everybody shut the hell up and take a couple of days to quietly honor the dead!!!

    Evil ran wild and people are now dead by the hands of a lunitic. The last thing we need is to hear the oppinions of journalist, media moguls, government representatives or right/left-wing extremists.

    I hope that post a fair trial where this nut-job is proven guilty, provided he is, they put the punk in the general population with the rest of the hardened shit-bags. I am sure his ‘ass’ will be appreciated there; again and again.

    CM

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      We are getting the same thing from our local media here in AZ, and I find it totally disgusting! The local sheriff in Tucson almost immediately began blaming the “volatile hate speech of the political opponents” . . . Personally, I have always believed that sheriffs should never be politically elected, and that guy is one of the main reasons why!

  63. Oregon gets points off for their neon glow in the dark lime green trim.

    They must have a fulltime uniform coordinator there who, more often than not, comes up with horrible combinations.

    And this coming from a Packer green and gold fan! (who thanks to Vick/Philly is still playing!!!)

  64. Competition for Chris Mathews for most obnoxious Obama gushing:

    http://www.therightscoop.com/msnbc-guest-obama-was-born-for-this-moment

  65. We came, we played and plucked the duck. Two in a row for Alabama, five in a row for the SEC.

    • Bamadad

      Congratulations.

      Although it was much closer than I expected. After all Boise State beat the pants off this same team on the Ducks home field last year. 🙂

      I figured the score would be much lower than all the “experts” were predicting. That part came true.

    • Plucked the Duck, 😆 Congrats to The Auburn Tigers, fans, SEC ect. Great game! The whole pregame, game and postgame was done with greatness by the NCAA and the network. Maybe there is some hope for our nation after all!

  66. The Govt violates the rights of sick women because the science is founded on group data.

    Interesting discussion about the conflict as it relates to preventing a drug from being used by cancer victims.

    http://blog.aynrandcenter.org/

    Special question in line with the ongoing Constitution.

    Which “enumerated power” gives Congress and/or the Executive the authority to prevent a product from being produced or sold directly to a consumer?

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