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OpEd: Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

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posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 


Yes.

Since 1776.




posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 


Yes.

Since 1776.


Sorry. "Yes" to what?

This thread has meandered round and round and I cannot seem to identify to what this post refers.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 




I would argue that one could easily live outside the system, and suffer no harassments, as long as one did not wish to live *within* society. It's a choice. Perhaps not an attractive choice, but it is a choice none the same.


See, but here you have subtly gone from arguing that one can "live outside the system" to now arguing that one has the choice to no live within society. Society is not the system, they are two separate things.


I do not agree. Society is a "system" as it is a collection of interconnected, interwoven, and interdependent segments:

a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole


One either decides to participate in society or not. Many communes, ashrams, homesteads, and the like do not participate in society and exist outside the system. They have chosen to be "generalists" instead of becoming some sort of "specialist" within the systems of society.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 


Society is nothing more than the term used to describe a particular civilization or tribe, and the systems employed by any given society are up to those who choose to be a part of that society. There can be many systems, and indeed, there are many systems within a society. Society is not a system with many systems in it, society is simply a collection of people.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 


....Yes to the question posed in the OP: Is the US now on a slippery slope to Tyranny.

Answer: Yes, since 1776 .. since it is the fate of all Democracies to end in Tyranny.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 


....Yes to the question posed in the OP: Is the US now on a slippery slope to Tyranny.

Answer: Yes, since 1776 .. since it is the fate of all Democracies to end in Tyranny.


Thanks for the clarification. Embarrassingly obvious in hindsight.

I am a casual lover of history and I know the truth of your statement. However, could we not make the case that the data set is small and so we do not have enough examples to make the assumption that *all* democracies end thus? Perhaps, it is simply a matter of not having had the one that will not to disprove the rule.

The recently popular Black Swan example comes immediately to mind. Or, the general adage of experimental science: Something is true until it is not.

Does it serve our interest to assume we are fighting a losing battle?



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:54 PM
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reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 


I've heard this argument many times (mostly posed by my arguments with professors, ah, they love me) .. And here is my defense:

Democracy is the act of voting and retaining rights of people vs. Government. It is assumed that "free" is considered more power with the People, and less Government oversight of daily and private affairs of individual citizens. So it can thus be assumed that the definition of "Tyranny" is the consolidation of freedoms and rights once granted to individuals that is now soley retained by the Government.

So we look at Democracy vs Tyranny as a set scale of where "power" lies.. Though one could assume that power once shifted can always be returned, it is a historical fact that it does not ever happen without Revolution, that it would be Devolutionary for a Government to abandoned powers they've taken or appointed to themselves, but is considered a norm for further power to be consolidated.

After 1776 we were at point A.. at this point the absolute maximum amount of Freedom was granted to the people, and local, state and Federal law books were non existent or extremely thin.

As the years go by, laws are created, and each law regulates some aspect of our life, and the definition of Tyranny, on any scale, if the regulation and control of daily functions of citizens.. whether that be a Drivers License (unheard of in 1776), law regulating what you can smoke, can't smoke, drink, when you can drink, rules regarding employment, etc etc etc.. little things that we pay no attention to, if in 1776 they would be screaming bloody murder Tyranny! But alas, it's normal for us.. and so the next generation of citizens, born into acts like the Patriot Act, anti Terror legislation and so forth, will consider their regulations and controls the Norm, and the scale of Tyranny is slid back a notch to what is considered the Social Norm, regardless if past generation consider it a blatant infringement of their rights as free people.

The reason this happens is that each Administration takes the power consolidated by the last Administration and expands.. no President or Congress disbands laws that granted them power for the sake of being good leaders, they take the power and expand, and certain policies may be abandoned or changed, but are always replaced with a counterpart, regardless of political orientation, because it's the nature of Government to consolidate.

Eventually a generation will come to the point where they have no rights, and if done over time as Democracies tend to do, they will have no idea what Freedom really is, and will accept their place in the power struggle as previous generations attempt to fight, but that generation sees the older generation violating the norms they grew up with.

Some founding fathers believed this to be true, and some knew it to be true but then again, many of our founding fathers were not to happy with the outcome of the Constitution, many wanted a strong federalist system, and many even wanted a Monarchy believing Democracy to be weak. It is this theory that Thomas Jefferson came with the quote


God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.[1] The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.


But now we live in an age where Rebellion is Terrorism, the British called it Anarchy. We live in a time where everyday things like fishing and hunting, driving a car, working .. is all taxed, feed, licensed and regulated.. to the Americans in 1776 we are already in a Tyranny, we just can't see it.. and 100 years from now people will look on us as Free in comparison we would view them as living in Tyranny..

It's the natural course of an undisturbed Democracy ... hence it needs to be dismantled and reassembled to remain truly free.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


Your points are valid, one and all. Though, of course, I would quibble


JP had me seriously scouring my thoughts, beliefs, concepts, experiences, etc over the last roughly 48 hours. Aside: The thing I love the most about an engaging debate! I get to reflect about what I believe and often I learn a great deal. Anyway, I was ruminating during my commute this morning about how we, in this time, hearken back to our Founding Fathers as we look out on the landscape of current political reality. What did THEY hearken back to?

They looked to the excesses of the religious persecutions that were perpetrated by Catholics *and* Protestants, which were roughly equally removed from them and they looked to Blackstone, as they looked upon their contemporary landscape.

I would argue that they did not set up the Constitution to grant us *Maximum Freedom* rather they set up the Constitution to give us the Rule of Law. To codify that we are equal under the law, one and all, and that law is not arbitrary.

To restate that last bit: Codified and not arbitrarily enforced.

Today we have a distressing number of laws, but is requiring someone to have a driver's license an intrusive law? No. And, btw, as you know, there were no cars in the 1800's.

Society then had laws that made sense to *their* society: Cook houses removed from main structures, proper stove pipes within town limits, rifles required to be carried to church *and* the school houses, all able bodied would respond to the fire bells, an unescorted woman out after dark did not meet the legal measure of rape if she were raped, etc., to name but a few of the laws that would seem a bit on the "eccentric" side to our modern sensibilities. Certainly, they were not universal laws, or *federal* laws, but they do demonstrate "restrictions" on *maximum freedom* even back in what is often presented as a "free for all" governance.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by Geeky_Bubbe
 




Anyway, I was ruminating during my commute this morning about how we, in this time, hearken back to our Founding Fathers as we look out on the landscape of current political reality. What did THEY hearken back to?


Their ideologies were for the most part revolutionary, they stemmed from Enlightenment ideas that were flourishing in the European underground. However they DID harcken back to Rome and Greece, the power of a civilized Empire founded on the principle of "Freemen". It wasn't so much about religious persecution as it was about consolidated Governments detached from the wills of the Public, and most importantly, disrupting the business trades of the Middle Class.. The Revolutionary War, like all Enlightened Revolutions, was not a products of the weak and meager fighting the all powerful rich and mighty.. it was the middle class every time rising against the intrusiveness of a Government and a people who did not respect them.




I would argue that they did not set up the Constitution to grant us *Maximum Freedom* rather they set up the Constitution to give us the Rule of Law. To codify that we are equal under the law, one and all, and that law is not arbitrary.


I'd say that's incorrect.. the Constitution is NOT a Law, perse, It is a law regulating the powers and control of Government, in that it list things the Government Can and Cannot do.. it leaves the rest to be decided by the public via their representatives. It was not a Law for the people because the original idea was to create a Confederacy, where laws that regulated the individual would come from States and municipalities, not the Feds.

It was strictly created to protect the people from Government.. nothing more, nothing less.



Today we have a distressing number of laws, but is requiring someone to have a driver's license an intrusive law? No. And, btw, as you know, there were no cars in the 1800's.


Absolutely! It's an incredibly intrusive law... why the hell should I have to pay the State an outrageous fee to have a license on my car to identify myself without my consent? On top of that, why do I need a drivers license to operate a car, a method of transportation? And on top of that, the State can withdraw a license and suspend it, prohibit you from driving and even confiscate your car, impounding it. So long as I'm not driving like a madman, I see no reason why the State should have ANY business in my vehicle.

It's things like this, that you don't consider intrusive, and yet they are.. but we grow up with it, so we assume it's the norm .. it's not intrusive to you, because you've known no difference. And while in 1776 there were no cars, there were horse-carriages... there's no difference, except one has an engine.

It's a tax in disguise and a method of control.



Cook houses removed from main structures, proper stove pipes within town limits


Because those posed risks to other people.. when a woodframe house burns, it burns fast, and when it's in a tightnit town like they used to build, one house meant an entire city could burn to the ground.

There are certain laws that protect people from anothers actions. Then there are laws that serve no purpose other than to fee, tax, limit or regulate for the sake of the State.

Anyways, these laws are a perfect example of what I'm saying anyways.. these laws go on the books, slowly over time the book gets big, half those laws are still in effect but not observed simply because there are so many laws you can't know them all.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck


Absolutely! It's an incredibly intrusive law... why the hell should I have to pay the State an outrageous fee to have a license on my car to identify myself without my consent? car, i On top of that, why do I need a drivers license to operate a car, a method of transportation? And on top of that, the State can withdraw a license and suspend it, prohibit you from driving and even confiscate your mpounding it. So long as I'm not driving like a madman, I see no reason why the State should have ANY business in my vehicle.

It's things like this, that you don't consider intrusive, and yet they are.. but we grow up with it, so we assume it's the norm .. it's not intrusive to you, because you've known no difference. And while in 1776 there were no cars, there were horse-carriages... there's no difference, except one has an engine.


But there is a difference, besides the engine. In the old days, communities were small enough that you KNEW whose carriage ran over your child, slave, wife, person. You did not need to have a special identifier attached to the bumper in order that the accident might be traced to you, so that you could be held accountable for your actions. You could often even identify strangers vehicles if they caused accidents in your town. There just werent that many of them. Now in cities with thousands of identical cars whizzing by at high speed, that folksy method doesnt work.

That is one of the problems when you try to retrofit our society to the past. Just because it wasnt necessary for the public good then, doesnt mean it serves absolutely no purpose now. I am not saying it isnt ALSO a sneaky way to tax, but comparing what they did then to what we are doing now is comparing apples and oranges if you dont take care to make sure you are comparing like aspects with like aspects.





Originally posted by Rockpuck
There are certain laws that protect people from anothers actions. Then there are laws that serve no purpose other than to fee, tax, limit or regulate for the sake of the State.


In fact, vehicle licensing also serves the public good, in that it assists in identifying those who have caused a harm and who are trying to escape culpability in a society in which people often dont even know the neighbors several doors down from themselves, much less the whole city.






Originally posted by Rockpuck
these laws go on the books, slowly over time the book gets big, half those laws are still in effect but not observed simply because there are so many laws you can't know them all.


I dont disagree with this. The problem is that most human beings are memorizers, not thinkers. Laws are put on the books because some people, (not sure what percentage) dont have the innate sense of "this is good" or "this is bad" for society, and they will do any action regardless of the harm to others so long as there is not a specific law prohibiting it.

An example is peeing in the street. In the old days, there was pee in the street already, as plumbing was in its infancy in America. (Yes, I know the Romans had plumbing) Cities already stank to high heaven, and people dumped their waste out into the streets. Its not surprising then, that the laws regarding peeing in the streets at that time had more to do with indecency rather than pee. Today, we dont pee in the streets because we LIKE having cities that dont reek of hot urine. Or most of us dont pee in the streets I should say. So some cities are having to write laws relating to peeing in the street because of the urine, not the indecency.


"We as a municipality do not have a municipal public urination piece," said Councilman Bruce Kraus, who wrote the legislation. That forces police to charge those caught sullying the streets with either disorderly conduct -- which doesn't always hold up in court -- or public lewdness, which can land the defendant on the registry of sex offenders.

Instead, those caught urinating or defecating on or in a "walkway, street, highway, sidewalk, building facade, bridge, overpass, alley or alleyway, plaza, park, driveway, transportation facility, park, recreational area, parking lot, vacant or undeveloped lot or the stairwells, alcoves, doorways and entrance ways to such places" can be cited and fined $500.

They can get an identical, separate fine if they "fail to clean or remove the material deposited immediately" to "a container designed for such disposal."

"At least these people should clean up after themselves, and they don't," said Councilwoman Darlene Harris, who called it "the wee-wee bill."


Read more: www.post-gazette.com...

Our laws often have to evolve to fit the current circumstances. As our friend mentioned in his tale of his adventures in outdoor urination, the outdated laws are insufficient. Indecency is still an issue, so those laws will remain on the books, but there is a new issue now that we have plumbing. Our streets no longer HAVE to smell like pee, and so we have as an option legislating that they remain that way.

In short, just because new laws are passed, and more laws are made, does not mean we are really deviating in a substantive way from the past. As our circumstances evolve, so must our laws in order to achieve a similar end. It would be nice if we could rely on innate morality, but we decided thousands of years ago that writing law was superior to wishing everyone had a similar moral sense.

And laws that impinge upon personal freedoms, are NOT cruel and unusual. Society is an agreement, that in return for the benefits of living in a collective of other people, you will in exchange modify your own behaviors so that overall you are not harming that collective from which you seek to benefit.

Game theory (and other theories) suggest that for YOU as an individual, it is best if you can find a way to have the benefits without making the sacrifices, but only if the bulk of society plays by the rules. (If they didnt, there would be no benefit for you in being in one in the first place) And it is not surprising then that we have many, many people who try to do just this in any given society. Its called "cheating" or being a "free rider" or "kin cheater" depending what school you follow. But the same theories that predict "cheating" also predict the necessity of punishing (in our culture via laws) those who do.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
It is necessary to do so if one is to be leader of the "free world", to circumvent the Constitutional constraints placed upon them, and be not just the leader of the "free" world, but be the leader of Congress, and even the SCOTUS, and most tragically, be the leader of those who truly hold the inherent political power; the people.


Then lets not forget that it is the people who are enabling this "circumvention" of Constitutional constraints by refusing to elect someone who abstains from those actions. I am aware of the fact that the US is not a pure "democracy" but it is the common term applied to our system, and for expediency, I am going to use it, knowing full well the difference between the two.


Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
This is why the so called "health care reform" passed by Congress is known as Obama Care, and the wars both in Afghanistan and Iraq were once known as Bush's wars and have rightfully become Obama's wars, even though Congress never officially declared war.


These are gross oversimplifications of the truth. And highly misleading. Both "health care reform" and the wars are not Obama's, or even Bush's. These policies have been simmering on the back burner for decades before either man was elected. You are phrasing things as if Presidents are currently making a grab for power, when the fact of the matter is that Presidents are simply front men for powerful economic forces. Our system has devolved from individual people being elected to serve their nation as they see fit, to "parties" controlled by wealthy groups who hire a personality to go out and get the votes that will legitimize the policies they seek to implement. The electorate and electoral college is not being circumvented, in any real sense, it is being subverted, which is an entirely different animal.

This is happening because, (just like in the "free" market) some of the required features for "selection" (by an invisible hand or electorate) are missing. There are now barriers to entry for Presidential candidacy. Huge ones. You do not have perfect competition. There are also barriers that prevent another necessity for an honest election, perfect information. Our founders lived in a world where word of mouth meant something. It mans little today in a world where many of the people are isolated from one another and congregate little in the course of their day in the ways they regularly did in the past. Information flows through bottlenecks in the form of print advertising, television and radio, all of which are controlled by economic forces that have an agenda that runs contrary to that of the common (and majority) citizen.

Our government acts in accordance with the will of the people as expressed by the Constitutionally declared vehicle for that expression, their votes. But it is a subversion of the INTENT of the Constitution which meant to allow the people a vehicle to express their own interests. The people no longer know what is in their interests, and moreover, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to even seek out the information needed to know what is in their interests if they are fortunate enough to see that they are lacking it in the first place. Our Constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press is also being subverted, by the very Court that you say this of.

Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Since that time the SCOTUS has been primarily a Court that sides with expanding government, and only until recently has that Court begun to re-express strict Constitutional views.


I am assuming you mean that their leanings against regulation means that they are re-expressing "strict Constitutional views." Correct me if I am mistaken, by all means. I would like to hope your view on things is more nuanced than that, so I would love to be wrong.

Following upon the thought before the quote, the very "freedoms" outlined in the Constitution to prevent government from acting against the will of the people are being subverted by the Court you seem to praise. In the form of an alarming expansion of the view of Corporations as people, and asserting their "rights" to be that of human citizens. Freedom of the press has been subverted by freedom of speech. The corporate owners of these media outlets cannot be forced to present speech or information they do not want to present, and so can refuse to sell advertising to anyone they wish. And they do. Effectively nullifying the idea of an informed electorate, although the corporate owners can choose to inform the public in ways that will skew their perceptions, (and their votes) in the direction that entity might want it to go.

The same court you are claiming is expressing strict Constitutional views is in fact, in practice, making a mockery of them by expanding not the role of government in this case, but the ideology of the Corporation as "person" far beyond what our Founders can reasonably be claimed to have intended. This has not been accomplished by amendment, but by drop by drop wearing down the common sensibilities of people with case law and time, and money.


Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Because the people have such a hard time today imagining a free market, .........


And why do you think that is, Jean Paul? Because a "free market" is so distant in time that we have all forgotten its glories? Or because one has never existed at all off paper? It is the latter, for those of you uncertain. There has never been a free economic market, and there never will be. The reason there never will be is because NOBODY wants one. NOBODY. Least of all those who have the most to lose and the most power to regulate. A truly free market would benefit the common man most, (some of them) and the wealthy the least. (most of them)

To understand the theory that led to the Wealth of Nations, you have to understand, (not just memorize the words) what it was describing, imperfectly. It was an elaboration of natural selection as it could be applied to markets and states. It was a brilliant work, but, unfortunately, it was incomplete as it was ahead of its time. Darwin and others came along later and used the same reasoning to elaborate even further on the workings of this magical "invisible hand" or selector that individual self interest, ( the Selfish Gene" in biology,) and we are still fumbling through the intricacies of individual and group selection.

Bottom line, Adam Smith piece was the wealth of "Nations" not individuals, and if followed to the letter, would have ensured the Nation following its prescription competitive advantage against other nations, by allowing the individuals within that Nation to compete freely and thus allowing the fittest to dominate. It has less relevance in a global market where the competing entities are no longer "Nations" but artificial persons with no bond to the people of the Nations they exploit.

The reasons for this are many, enough to require my writing an entire book to do it justice, but the bottom line is, if you are supporting the evolutionarily success of something "not you" you are not serving your self interest. "You" is a concept that can be applied to individuals, or to collectives, (tribes, nations) but it doesnt lend itself to extension to corporate entities.

You cannot have a "free market" that operates as beautifully in society as it does in nature. Society itself is an attempt (on the part of individuals) to subvert the natural laws, much like human beings have subverted even the pretense of a free market within those societies. Corporations are an even further effort to subvert the natural laws, and merely their existence ensures no market will ever be free.

"Regulation" of their activities is not a further subversion of a free market, as you imply, but an attempt at recreating one. Once you have a situation where "perfect competition" has been eliminated, the only recourse left is to form similar behemoths to compete with them. In Adam Smiths day, it was Nations that contained both people and businesses, competing against Nations. In todays world, it is nations of people and small businesses competing directly against large multinational business interests the size of nations. The artificial "nations" take advantage of regulations, including property right that exist in perpetuity, (unheard of in nature) that are present in Nations, and they seek through control of the other necessities of a free market, (information) to ensure yet more laws are written to regulate their competitors, (individuals and small business) while also seeking to unfetter themselves from any regulation that does not serve them.

You cant create a free market out of entrenched inequity that is regulated to exist into perpetuity. Nature herself cannot do that, and she doesnt. No human society is going to be able to. What you are hinting is a free market is absolutely not one, it cannot be one, because those pesky conditions were absolutely crucial to its existence and those conditions have not existed since property laws and inheritance were established. It sure as hell cannot work when you make your competitors immortal.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Excellent points, eloquently stated.

PS: I could not name my neighbors of *years* even if my very life depended on it. To include those closer than "several doors down." Nor would I know them as my neighbors by sight. I'm "socially challenged" - to be sure, but I know there are a goodly many others whose daily lives also do not in any way intersect with those of their neighbors.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 





Then lets not forget that it is the people who are enabling this "circumvention" of Constitutional constraints by refusing to elect someone who abstains from those actions.


What the people have clearly forgotten, including you, is that voting is a privilege granted by government, not an inalienable right, and by placing so much credence upon voting, while ignoring the responsibilities that each individual has in protecting their own rights, you handily demonstrate where the problem really lies. Clearly you want a "leader", and given your compulsion to quote my use of circumvention regarding Constitutional constraints, it is unclear what sort of leader you are looking for, only that you, like most people want their "leaders". Who would you follow IAG?




These are gross oversimplifications of the truth. And highly misleading. Both "health care reform" and the wars are not Obama's, or even Bush's. These policies have been simmering on the back burner for decades before either man was elected. You are phrasing things as if Presidents are currently making a grab for power, when the fact of the matter is that Presidents are simply front men for powerful economic forces.


How ironic that you underscore my point by missing my point. I am not asserting that "Obama care" and "Bush's war" now rightfully "Obama's war" are actually thus, I am asserting that by people insisting on calling the so called "health care reform" passed by Congress, "Obama care", and calling the resolution passed by Congress that authorized the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, "Bush's war" and now "Obama's war", the people are simply playing into this atrocious circumvention of Constitutional restraints.

Yes, "health care reform" has been simmering on the back burner as far back as Teddy Roosevelt's administration, and it has taken this long for Congress to pass this legislation because this is how tyranny has worked in this Nation that does have clear Constitutional restraints...incrementally and throughout time. Congress could have never hoped to pass this legislation 100 years ago, and even now they faced great opposition from the people. Yet 100 years ago the question of inalienable rights was far less a question than it is today, and thanks to the incremental march towards "civil rights" many people today will ignorantly declare that inalienable rights do not exist and are as "magical" as the "unseen hand" Marxists and regulators so love to dismiss.




This is happening because, (just like in the "free" market) some of the required features for "selection" (by an invisible hand or electorate) are missing. There are now barriers to entry for Presidential candidacy. Huge ones. You do not have perfect competition. There are also barriers that prevent another necessity for an honest election, perfect information.


Whatever perfection you are lamenting in its lack is unclear since you fail to define this perfection. First, there have always been barriers for entry into the office of Presidency, and those barriers were established by Constitution. Beyond those obvious barriers, one can only presume what barriers you are referring to:




Our founders lived in a world where word of mouth meant something. It mans little today in a world where many of the people are isolated from one another and congregate little in the course of their day in the ways they regularly did in the past. Information flows through bottlenecks in the form of print advertising, television and radio, all of which are controlled by economic forces that have an agenda that runs contrary to that of the common (and majority) citizen.


Here is what I and other readers must presume you mean by barriers. But this lamentation of a word of mouth not similar to that of when the Founders were running for office still exists today, and it is truly your presumption that it does not. Further, information has flowed through bottlenecks since time immemorial, whether it be controlled by the priest class set, or under the divine right of kings, information has always struggled to reach the masses, and those who crave absolute power have always done what they could to control the flow of information.

Further, you clearly wish to separate economic forces as one agenda the runs contrary to that of the "common citizen", of which you parenthetically extol as the majority. Again, one has to presume, from your language, that what you mean by economic forces is some agenda driven cartel operating against the express wishes of the populace, or at the very least, the majority of the populace. I do believe that there are indeed cartels operating in this fashion and my belief is demonstrated by a Federal Reserve, and International Monetary Fund, a Council on Foreign Relations, and a Trilateral Commission, to name just a few. However, regardless of how powerful these cartels may be, the can no more control economic forces than governments can, as economic forces are natural regardless of what economic system is imposed upon that natural force.

Whether the system be capitalism, communism, socialism, or hybrid forms such as "Keynesian economics", the market still responds to basic principles such as supply and demand, and no matter what restrictions or regulations may be placed upon these demands and supply of them, if it is in demand, it will be supplied. Further, simplistic notions of "price controls" can not change the force of markets or economies since price controls are not cost controls. Regulations on supply and demand only facilitate black markets that essentially become the free market, void of any regulation outside of natural forces.




Our government acts in accordance with the will of the people as expressed by the Constitutionally declared vehicle for that expression, their votes. But it is a subversion of the INTENT of the Constitution which meant to allow the people a vehicle to express their own interests. The people no longer know what is in their interests, and moreover, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to even seek out the information needed to know what is in their interests if they are fortunate enough to see that they are lacking it in the first place. Our Constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press is also being subverted, by the very Court that you say this of.


As the old adage goes; "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with B.S." You begin by insisting that our government acts in accordance with the will of the people as expressed by nothing more than a citizen's privilege of voting. You disingenuously declare this privilege of voting as being some form of will of the people, but indeed, it is merely a mechanism by which citizens, not the people, but citizens may elect government officials. Voting is not by any stretch of the imagination the sole vehicle by which people may express their own interest, and you willfully ignore that voting is heavily regulated by government, and only granted to those who qualify by legislative fiat.

You not only, and arrogantly so, reduce the will of the people to those who have been granted the privilege of voting, you dare to speak on behalf of the people and declare they no longer know what is in their best interest. This, of course, is the same attitude we get from those very elected and appointed officials you wish to frame as being accountable to the people. Elected officials will always cater to their electorate, and even if that means abrogating and derogating the rights of individuals, especially if those individuals are not "citizens". It is a common fallacy today to equate the people with citizen, but there is a difference, and while with citizenship comes certain privileges, the people, regardless of citizenship, at all times, everywhere, are endowed with inalienable rights.




Following upon the thought before the quote, the very "freedoms" outlined in the Constitution to prevent government from acting against the will of the people are being subverted by the Court you seem to praise.


You presume too much by assuming I am praising SCOTUS simply because I acknowledged that in the matter of Citizen's United that court took a strict Constitutional view of the First Amendment. Regardless of the fact that I have taken the courts to task as equally as I have the other two branches of government, you will endeavor to now frame me as one who "praises" the judicial branch. I assure you IAG, the courts are as big a problem in this fiasco of covert, now increasingly becoming more overt, tyranny.




n the form of an alarming expansion of the view of Corporations as people, and asserting their "rights" to be that of human citizens.


Here again you would rather baffle with B.S. than dazzle with brilliance. While I am most certainly alarmed by the expansion of corporatism, (and what free market advocate wouldn't be?), you also wish to covertly dismiss the clear language of the First Amendment by ambiguously blaming the courts, in spite of the fact that U.C.C., passed by Congress has declared corporations a "person", of which I will have to supply this evidence in my nest post.

Continuing....



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


The Uniform Commerical Code provides:


(27) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.


~U.C.C. - ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS; § 1-201. General Definitions.~

This code passed by Congress clearly demonstrates that whatever the courts have ruled in regards to personhood and corporations, they have done so based upon Congress' own legislation, and of course, the Constitution. However, just because the courts have ruled, and correctly in my estimation, that Congress is bound by Constitution, and can not summarily dismiss the First Amendment by whim, does not mean the courts themselves do not act in a whimsical nature themselves, as they do.




Freedom of the press has been subverted by freedom of speech. The corporate owners of these media outlets cannot be forced to present speech or information they do not want to present, and so can refuse to sell advertising to anyone they wish. And they do. Effectively nullifying the idea of an informed electorate, although the corporate owners can choose to inform the public in ways that will skew their perceptions, (and their votes) in the direction that entity might want it to go.


More baffling B.S. from you. It is always astounding to read the words of those people who clearly believe themselves to be better informed than the people at large by declaring rights as a conundrum where one right can be trumped by another right. There is an insidiousness to this type of fallacious argument, in that such an argument can only hope to dismiss the validity of rights in general by asserting that one right negates another. This is not the case, however, and rights to do not cancel each other out. If I use force to prevent a murder from killing me, I have not used my right to life to trump his right to extinguish my life, as there is no right to murder.

As to your assertions that freedom of the press has been subverted by freedom of speech, your example is woefully convoluted and frankly, makes no sense at all. It appears as if you are arguing that by a media outlet using its right to refuse contracting with an advertiser, this somehow subverts the freedom of the press, and further, subverts the right of the people to be informed. Both arguments are incorrect. Refusing to contract with an advertiser does not in anyway deny that advertiser freedom to publish or broadcast their marketing efforts. However, regulations, particularly in the field of broadcasting come much closer to subverting that right of freedom of press than does any right to contract, and the peoples right to be informed does not mean some agency has been arbitrarily tasked with informing the public, the right to be informed belongs with the person who wishes to be informed.



The same court you are claiming is expressing strict Constitutional views is in fact, in practice, making a mockery of them by expanding not the role of government in this case, but the ideology of the Corporation as "person" far beyond what our Founders can reasonably be claimed to have intended. This has not been accomplished by amendment, but by drop by drop wearing down the common sensibilities of people with case law and time, and money.


Here again you rely on false assertions in order to support your argument, and you do so ambiguously so. In fairness to your own ambiguous assertions, when I suggested that the SCOTUS had recently begun to take a stricter Constitutional view I did not offer any examples of this, although you have seemingly correctly surmised that Citizen's United was indeed one of those strict adherence to the Constitution, in this regard the First Amendment. Citizen's United in no way granted any right of personhood, nor any other right to corporations, any more than the First Amendment grants any rights. The First Amendment does not grant any rights, it acts as a prohibition on government.

As to your assertion that the idea of a corporation being construed as an artificial person is beyond what "far beyond what our Founders can reasonably be claimed to have intended", again you reveal your ignorance, or your willingness to ignore arguments made by particular Founders such as Alexander Hamilton, who was the primary architect of a national banking system. Consider Hamilton's own words written February 23, 1791, as an opinion as to the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States:


This general and indisputable principle puts at once an end to the abstract question, whether the United States have power to erect a corporation; that is to say, to give a legal or artificial capacity to one or more persons, distinct from the natural. For it is unquestionably incident to sovereign power to erect corporations, and consequently to that of the United States, in relation to the objects intrusted to the management of the government. The difference is this: where the authority of the government is general, it can create corporations in all cases; where it is confined to certain branches of legislation, it can create corporations only in those cases.





There has never been a free economic market, and there never will be. The reason there never will be is because NOBODY wants one. NOBODY.


Really? Ignoring the black markets are you? Ignoring, or dismissing as NOBODY, Libertarians in the Libertarian Party are you? It is understood that YOU don't want a free market system, and it is even fairly surmised that YOU believe you know what is in the best interest of the people given your own posts in this thread, but your wild ass claim that NOBODY wants a free market is clearly and undeniably false.

Of course, you must know your wild ass rhetoric is false, otherwise you wouldn't have followed your assertions that NOBODY want a free market with this sentence:




Least of all those who have the most to lose and the most power to regulate. A truly free market would benefit the common man most, (some of them) and the wealthy the least. (most of them)


Where I most certainly agree with you that a truly free market would benefit people most, (and I am not willing to get into class distinctions such as "common man" over this issue, as class warfare is useless distraction that fuels regulation, not abate it), a free market place does not hurt the wealthy at all, it only hurts those who would endeavor to accrue wealth by denying access to wealth to others. A rich man can and will remain rich under free market principles, if that rich man is understands the true nature of market forces, and is willing to abide by them.




To understand the theory that led to the Wealth of Nations, you have to understand, (not just memorize the words) what it was describing, imperfectly.


I have no more memorized the words of Adam Smith in the wealth of Nations, than I have memorized the words of Karl Marx in Das Kapital, but it was after reading Das Kapital and understanding that by Marx's own admission that the only way a communist society could defeat a capitalist society is by undermining their currency, because a one on one situation just can't be beat, that I then turned to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, (a book that had a profound influence on Marx), and read it. Karl Marx convinced me that capitalism was the better system, not Adam Smith.



Bottom line, Adam Smith piece was the wealth of "Nations" not individuals, and if followed to the letter, would have ensured the Nation following its prescription competitive advantage against other nations, by allowing the individuals within that Nation to compete freely and thus allowing the fittest to dominate. It has less relevance in a global market where the competing entities are no longer "Nations" but artificial persons with no bond to the people of the Nations they exploit.


Look, as a free market advocate, I can not stress how much I revile the corporatist ideology. Corporations gain their privilege of existence by grant of charter, and they get this grant from the state in which they incorporate in. Given that a charter has been granted by the state, it can be revoked by the state if that corporation has misused and abused the terms of that charter. It is weak and flaccid to complain about statutory definitions when the people, at all times, hold the inherent political power, and have a right to petition the state for a redress of grievances and can seek remedy in terms of charter revocation.




You cannot have a "free market" that operates as beautifully in society as it does in nature.


Running out of space and time, I am going to have to leave the rest of your fallacious arguments be for the time being and simply address this last remark. It is folly to separate societies from nature, and the ant colonies that exist around the globe are a system set in place in the societies of ants, and is no less a part of nature than human societies are.

You are subtle indeed in your advocacy of collectivism, wisely avoiding any language that would reveal your advocacy of it, but it is what you are advocating, which is why you tend to extol the majority over minorities, citizens over individuals, and dismiss free markets as being unobtainable. Intellectual blather is still blathering is still blathering.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 05:25 PM
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Today, rights = what ever someone else has.

Take healthcare for example.

If you don't have it, government will put a gun to your neighbor and force him to pay for your care.

He had money, now he doesn't.

Who says guns are evil.

Without guns, government couldn't loot us.



posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
What the people have clearly forgotten, including you, is that voting is a privilege granted by government, not an inalienable right, and by placing so much credence upon voting, while ignoring the responsibilities that each individual has in protecting their own rights, you handily demonstrate where the problem really lies.


Alexander v Mineta? Really? What are you flapping on about? If you are a "qualified" voter in the US, you DO have a Constitutionally protected right to vote. Do you just pull crap out of the ether to make it sound as if your argument has some legs? From the same case.

www.justice.gov...


J.S. App. 60a. The right to vote in congressional elections is delineated by Article I, Section 2. See Wesberry, 376 U.S. at 17 (Article I, Section 2 "gives persons qualified to vote a constitutional right to vote and to have their votes counted."); Harper v. Virginia Bd. of Elections, 383 U.S. 663, 665 (1966) ("[T]he right to vote in federal elections is conferred by Art. I, § 2, of the Constitution."). And, as discussed above, Article I, Section 2 gives voting rights to the people of the 50 States but does not confer voting rights on residents of the District of Columbia. That distinction, because it is made by the Constitution itself, cannot constitute a denial of the equal protection of the laws.12




Clearly, I want a representative. A peer elected to represent my interests. Not a daddy to decide that for me.

en.wikipedia.org...


A constitutional republic is a state where the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over citizens.


Can we stop playing "I haz memorized stuffs" now? Your point is moot except as an attempt to make you look more expert than you clearly are. Qualified voters have the right to expect to be represented in government. Period. What constitutes " qualified" may vary from state to state and clearly residents of the District of Columbia are not "qualifed" to vote in Congressional and Senatorial elections. And? Your point is?


Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
You presume too much by assuming I am praising SCOTUS simply because I acknowledged that in the matter of Citizen's United that court took a strict Constitutional view of the First Amendment.


I presume nothing. You said, without qualification,


Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Since that time the SCOTUS has been primarily a Court that sides with expanding government, and only until recently has that Court begun to re-express strict Constitutional views.


Thats a pretty broad statement, cowboy, and where is your love of the Constitution and the Court so inclined to support it when you say this?


Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
You not only, and arrogantly so, reduce the will of the people to those who have been granted the privilege of voting....


I reduce the will of the people to those granted the privilege of voting? I dont remember being on the Supreme Court that day, nor, for that matter, do I remember penning the Constitution. Get your story straight. You are for "strict Constitutional views" being expressed by the SCOTUS? Or not? Whichever it turns out to be, stop trying to turn your own arguments into mine. I am allergic to straw men.







These are gross oversimplifications of the truth. And highly misleading. Both "health care reform" and the wars are not Obama's, or even Bush's. These policies have been simmering on the back burner for decades before either man was elected. You are phrasing things as if Presidents are currently making a grab for power, when the fact of the matter is that Presidents are simply front men for powerful economic forces.




Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
How ironic that you underscore my point by missing my point.


Perhaps if you would make your point without two thirds of each paragraph being essentially literary masturbation, we would not have this problem.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Congress could have never hoped to pass this legislation 100 years ago, and even now they faced great opposition from the people. Yet 100 years ago the question of inalienable rights was far less a question than it is today, and thanks to the incremental march towards "civil rights" many people today will ignorantly declare that inalienable rights do not exist and are as "magical" as the "unseen hand" Marxists and regulators so love to dismiss


And what point are you making here? That the Constitution as originally written did not "qualify" what a voter was? That voting is an inalienable right of all humans? Regardless whether or not they are citizens? Or of reasonable age? What evil are you elaborating for us? What inalienable right of ours was violated? And you are preaching to the choir if you think you need to school me on the idea that the "unseen hand" is not "magical." I actually do understand how it works, and moreover, WHY it works. Which is why I think your love of partial deregulation is ridiculous. You cannot have laws regulating the people and not laws regulating business. In order for self interest to work, and for that "unseen hand" or naturally selective force to operate effectively, you need more than a free market, you need a free society as well. The minute you begin writing laws to regulate your people, you necessitate laws regulating your businesses as well. Regulation cannot be a one way street if you want to call the market "free." The next best thing to a naturally "free" market is one in which the restrictions are relatively equal on all players, which is NOT what the courts have been leaning towards. They are leaning towards corporations having the rights of human citizens without the restrictions of human citizens.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Whatever perfection you are lamenting in its lack is unclear since you fail to define this perfection.


Pardon me. I would have assumed you understood business and economic terminology, seeing as how you are stumping for a specific economic theory.

en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...

If you dont, it certainly explains your confused position.


Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Here is what I and other readers must presume you mean by barriers.


You should have stopped with "I." Some readers may actually have some understanding of what a "free market" is meant to be.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Further, information has flowed through bottlenecks since time immemorial, whether it be controlled by the priest class set, or under the divine right of kings, information has always struggled to reach the masses, and those who crave absolute power have always done what they could to control the flow of information.


Argument to tradition? Really? So what was the case when people did not vote for their leaders, and had no say whatsoever in whom was chosen, should remain the case? I was laboring under the impression that to freely make decisions about whom to elect, and what policies to support, and which to discard, you needed an informed public. Silly me.




Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
As the old adage goes; "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with B.S."


Spoken like a true advocate and master of that tactic. Your argument veers all over the place like a drunken sailor.
on making it sound good though, to the average reader. Its very eloquent bull# though.


Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Voting is not by any stretch of the imagination the sole vehicle by which people may express their own interest, and you willfully ignore that voting is heavily regulated by government, and only granted to those who qualify by legislative fiat.


You know, I tire of straw man arguments. How do people or citizens, since you want to play semantics, elect their representatives other than voting for them? Because that is what I was discussing, election. Yes, humans do express self interest in other ways. What is your point here?

The idea of a free market and our Republic came from somewhere. It came from a brilliant intellectual understanding of self interest and "natural selection." If you dont understand the underlying mechanics of this selective force, how it operates WHY it works, you cannot comment consistently on what doesnt work. And that, as I see it, is the problem I am having with your argument. You are piecing together this persons interpretation and that persons, without having a cohesive underlying working knowledge of the mechanics themselves.

But you are not alone in this. Clearly, you are in the company of "brilliant" economists, many of whom have contributed to the economic chaos you see around us. Even Greenspan has admitted there was a flaw in the theory of deregulating business alone, though he is clearly baffled as to why that would be so. It is so because society itself, in which you seek to create a free market IS regulation. So some of your "competitors" (or all of them) are regulated right from the very start of the game. Deregulating business only exacerbates the problem because it is a half measure.

What I am saying isnt "baffling bull#," you dont understand it because you neither understand a free market or the evolutionary dictates that underlie said free market.

I enter a plea Nolo contendere. Take it however you please

[edit on 26-6-2010 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux


A rich man can and will remain rich under free market principles, if that rich man is understands the true nature of market forces, and is willing to abide by them.


en.wikipedia.org...


In contrast to a monopoly or oligopoly, it is impossible for a firm in perfect competition to earn economic profit in the long run, which is to say that a firm cannot make any more money than is necessary to cover its economic costs. In order not to misinterpret this zero-long-run-profits thesis, it must be remembered that the term 'profit' is also used in other ways. Neoclassical theory defines profit as what is left of revenue after all costs have been subtracted, including normal interest on capital plus the normal excess over it required to cover risk, and normal salary for managerial activity. Classical economists on the contrary defined profit as what is left after subtracting costs except interest and risk coverage; thus, if one leaves aside risk coverage for simplicity, the neoclassical zero-long-run-profit thesis would be re-expressed in classical parlance as profits coinciding with interest in the long period, i.e. the rate of profit tending to coincide with the rate of interest. Profits in the classical meaning do not tend to disappear in the long period but tend to normal profit. With this terminology, if a firm is earning abnormal profit in the short term, this will act as a trigger for other firms to enter the market. They will compete with the first firm, driving the market price down until all firms are earning normal profit only.


And how exactly do you get rich in such an environment? "Remain" rich is key here, you have to allow existing inequities to continue in this "free market" by regulating the people "laws," to protect those inequities.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Karl Marx convinced me that capitalism was the better system, not Adam Smith.



Which explains a lot. You really DONT understand why a free market would work, you just thought it sounded better than Marx's system.




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