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Government folly


Off-Topic Discussions

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Osirion

TheWhiteknife wrote:

-No date cited- protective rights given to Lazaro

-April 13, 2000- Protective rights revoked
-April 19, 2000-11th circuit court issues enjunction, telling the INS that Elian is not to be moved outside of US jurisdiction (ie the Cuban Embassy where Juan Miguel was staying)until it further reviews the case.
-April 23, 2000- Going against the courts order, Janet Reno orders Elians kidnapping
-June 1st, 2000-Thw 11th circuit actually rules with Juan Miguel. If Janet Reno had waited till this date(but see below), she would have been in accordance with the law, but she did not.

Did you even read the link? Reno had final say where Elian would stay. When his father arrived in the States, Reno decided that Elian would stay with his father until everything played out. Elian and his father stayed at the Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Centers in Maryland until the lawsuits played out. Reno did NOT act against court order. The extended family did by refusing to hand him over to his father.


Stuxnet, baby!


TheWhiteknife wrote:
You know the name of that movie, as it sounds like something I would watch?

The Siege at Ruby Ridge; evidently 1996 was before they realized they were type-casting Randy Quaid! Laura Dern is really good as Mrs Weaver. I got it from Netflix.


So, this story is new to me.

But, can anyone explain how he was found not guilty of discharging his weapon, but still found guilty of attempted murder? Seems a little strange...


meatrace wrote:

Nothing specific off the top of my head, though I'm sure if I read his book I'd think of one.

The thing about the constitution? It was written a very very long time ago, before most of the industrial revolution, before oil, before automatic weaponry, before globalization, before the internet, before right-wing think tanks, before lobbyists, before modern economics, etc. I think that, at the time, it was a great document and a great blueprint for our country. It simply hasn't been adequately re-examined in the intervening time.

There are things that I think are great social strides that are arguably unconstitutional, and I think there are gross injustices that are perfectly constitutional. I also think that it's politically infeasible to further edit or amend the constitution at this point in time, and as such, great swaths of it are, for good or ill, functionally null and void.

I think that if we were hammering out a way that a government should work right now, today, it would look radically different than our current constitution.

I agree with you. But that just means its important to amend the Constitution. Our elected leaders frequently ignore the Constitution and that is what frightens me. If government can ignore the laws intended to limit government, then whats the point of having those laws?


TheWhiteknife wrote:
I agree with you. But that just means its important to amend the Constitution. Our elected leaders frequently ignore the Constitution and that is what frightens me. If government can ignore the laws intended to limit government, then whats the point of having those laws?

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the Constitution will NEVER be further revised. The two party system is too contentious and neither side will ever vote for an amendment brought up by the other for the sheer sake of not letting them win, regardless of how necessary they may, in private chambers, agree it may be.

Citizens United is the noose that hangs around our neck, and as long as it benefits either party more than the other you won't get that party to agree to amend the constitution to remove money from politics.

If this is the case, as my hypothetical situation assumes, what are we then to do? If amending the constitution is not a feasible option, is it less distasteful to ignore the parts of the constitution that are incompatible with current goals, or to let programs or legislation fail because of the lack of oracular foresight on the part of the founding fathers?

There is a third choice, however, that I think Anklebiter would prefer :)


In your hypothetical, I would find it far far far "less distatseful" to let programs and legislation fail before allowing the very law of this land to be ignored. (Your hypothetical is only about 230 years too late. The Federal Government began ignoring its own laws somewhere around the time the ink dried.)
The reason for this is that politicians can be voted out. New ones can be voted in. Programs and legislation can be prioritised and reintroduced as needed. And if that all fails, there is always the "third way."

Now if you go the other route and break the law (which is exactly what it is. criminal)by ignoring the law, you sow chaos. No one knows what the law is when you allow politicians to pick and choose what parts of the law no longer apply. We are seeing that today, for reference see every other post in this thread. Power corrupts and the corrupt seek power and inevitably those in power will use this lawless attitude to only entrench themselves further into power. With the limits on government gone, the third way will not exist as it will be arbitrarly be outlawed. There would be no right to assemble, no right to a free press, no right to bear arms. (remember, the means to third way is constitutionally protected, even if the past 5 or so administrations would rather they not be.)

My 2 cents, anyway.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My conclusions to date:

- With our government firmly in the lobbysists' pockets, and
- With the lobbysists working for corporations that depend on large bank loans and funding,
- The large banks are actually running the U.S. The large corporations are an extension of those banks, and the government are those corporations' direct employees. In this light, it's no wonder that so many billions of taxpayer dollars went to bail out a few large banks.

Therefore, when addressing problems with our government, we need to focus on the real government -- the one that actually runs things (i.e., Wall Street). The puppet government that does their bidding (i.e., the executive, legislative, and judicial branches so quaintly described in the Constitution) are an increasingly irrelevant figurehead system.

When Comrade Anklebiter spouts off about a Plutocracy, I'm not sure he's far off the mark at all.


I agree Kirth. But you cannot do that without first controlling and reining in the actual government. Corporations and such can NOT do a thing to you, unless they control the monopoly of force that is the state. (which they do). Before the people can control government, they must first stop being oppressed by the government, I guess is what Im getting at.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
Corporations and such can NOT do a thing to you, unless they control the monopoly of force that is the state.

Qualified disagreement: they can take away your home, means of livelihood, and access to health care. They use the state's monopoly of force to enforce these things, of course, but no more so than everyone uses it to enforce anything.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Corporations and such can NOT do a thing to you, unless they control the monopoly of force that is the state.
Qualified disagreement: they can take away your home, means of livelihood, and access to health care. They use the state's monopoly of force to enforce these things, of course, but no more so than everyone uses it to enforce anything.

Or pollute the waters, air and land. Contaminate your food. Monopolize needed resources, including land.


only with government collusion, as pointed out above.
Ignoring the constitution doesnt seem like such a good idea, now does it? For instance, eminent domain use to only pertain to public USE, now its been twisted to public BENEFIT, allowing businesses to monopololize resources such as land. There once was a time that if a corporation polluted your water, air, land or food, you could sue them. Now if it falls under epa or fda standards (both unconstitutional executive branch law-making entities, both ultimately work for the corporations), they are shielded from lawsuit. Once again we see the unintended consequences of ignoring the Law.


TheWhiteknife wrote:

only with government collusion, as pointed out above.

Ignoring the constitution doesnt seem like such a good idea, now does it? For instance, eminent domain use to only pertain to public USE, now its been twisted to public BENEFIT, allowing businesses to monopololize resources such as land. There once was a time that if a corporation polluted your water, air, land or food, you could sue them. Now if it falls under epa or fda standards (both unconstitutional executive branch law-making entities, both ultimately work for the corporations), they are shielded from lawsuit. Once again we see the unintended consequences of ignoring the Law.

Why only with government collusion? Money is power.

You can wield that power to corrupt government, partly to keep it from interfering with you. Or, if government is already to weak to interfere, you can just wield it directly.
If you feel the need for force, just hire Pinkertons. Or these days, Blackwater/XI.


Because if they were to do that, its (supposed) to be the governments job to step in to defend you. Just because I recognise that government is a monopoly of force doesnt mean that I think it is a bad thing. I dont believe that we should have no government. I believe that we should have a government that is constitutionally limited in using that force on its own citizens. Until it ceases doing so, (and only the most blind would argue that it is not) I will call for the reduction of its power. So in summary, no they can not do anything at ALL to you, without government collusion. Whether that collusion takes the form of standing idly by or actively helping is irrelevent to the person being colluded against.

By the way, where do most of XI's employees receive their training? *(or for that matter, what did the Pinkertons evolve into?)*

Edit- just to be clear, I have yet to see anyone call for the government to be too weak to intefere if corporations try to pollute your land or take it from you. Thats its job and has nothing to do with Constitutionality.


For the record, the Pinkerton's aren't for taking your land from you. They're for busting union heads. And for security when the bank sells your farm.

They don't generally have to "take your land from you" by force. They can f#$+ with the economy, jack up land prices, let it crash and buy up huge chunks at bargain prices at foreclosure sales.

The real problem with your approach is that it's never worked. You can't weaken government until it can't use force against normal individuals without also weakening it so that it can't act against the wealthy and powerful (corporations or individuals). That should be obvious. We are, individually, weaker than the rich and powerful, therefore it is easier to abuse us.
You can limit specific things, but weakening government overall doesn't get what you want. In fact, many reforms that I approve of, and I suspect you do to, came in a time of strengthening government and are being removed in a time when all the rhetoric at least is about limiting government. Rules against forced confessions, Miranda rights, Church commission era rules against intelligence operation in the US, etc. All products of the 60s and 70s. All being weakened since the Reagan revolution.

Xi: Originally from the military. These days, they do a lot of training for the military.


TheWhiteknife wrote:

In your hypothetical, I would find it far far far "less distatseful" to let programs and legislation fail before allowing the very law of this land to be ignored. (Your hypothetical is only about 230 years too late. The Federal Government began ignoring its own laws somewhere around the time the ink dried.)

The reason for this is that politicians can be voted out. New ones can be voted in. Programs and legislation can be prioritised and reintroduced as needed. And if that all fails, there is always the "third way."

Now if you go the other route and break the law (which is exactly what it is. criminal)by ignoring the law, you sow chaos. No one knows what the law is when you allow politicians to pick and choose what parts of the law no longer apply. We are seeing that today, for reference see every other post in this thread. Power corrupts and the corrupt seek power and inevitably those in power will use this lawless attitude to only entrench themselves further into power. With the limits on government gone, the third way will not exist as it will be arbitrarly be outlawed. There would be no right to assemble, no right to a free press, no right to bear arms. (remember, the means to third way is constitutionally protected, even if the past 5 or so administrations would rather they not be.)

My 2 cents, anyway.

Are you really arguing that the only thing keeping us from chaos and tyranny is a constitution that you claim the government has been ignoring since it was written? How does that even make sense?


I am arguing that the only thing keeping us from chaos is a codified set of laws that apply to everyone. Is it really that hard to grasp? laws-------chaos. Why do you feel that a ruling body can act as if laws no longer apply without ever actually bothering to change those laws? How does that even make sense? It all goes back to my original question, If we allow government to ignore its own laws limiting government, why even have those laws?


thejeff wrote:


The real problem with your approach is that it's never worked. You can't weaken government until it can't use force against normal individuals without also weakening it so that it can't act against the wealthy and powerful (corporations or individuals). That should be obvious. We are, individually, weaker than the rich and powerful, therefore it is easier to abuse us.
You can limit specific things, but weakening government overall doesn't get what you want. In fact, many reforms that I approve of, and I suspect you do to, came in a time of strengthening government and are being removed in a time when all the rhetoric at least is about limiting government. Rules against forced confessions, Miranda rights, Church commission era rules against intelligence operation in the US, etc. All products of the 60s and 70s. All being weakened since the Reagan revolution.

Xi: Originally from the military. These days, they do a lot of training for the military.

Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
I am arguing that the only thing keeping us from chaos is a codified set of laws that apply to everyone. Is it really that hard to grasp? laws-------chaos. Why do you feel that a ruling body can act as if laws no longer apply without ever actually bothering to change those laws? How does that even make sense?

Because YOU'VE said that they already are (acting as if the laws don't apply to them). Since we haven't fallen into chaos, your whole argument gets thrown out.


really? Now isnt a time when most everyone feels disenfranchised? Very few feel that the government truly represents them? I think the times are vindicating my view, not throwing it out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TheWhiteknife wrote:


Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.

I imagine we'd disagree on what the oppressive parts are.

I don't find laws preventing convicted felons from owning guns oppressive. Nor do I find gun laws preventing ANYONE from getting ahold of military grade assault rifles, land-mines, etc. oppressive. There are, nonetheless, small government wackos pushing for these things.

I don't find laws preventing the poisoning of our water and air oppressive. Exxon-Mobil, BP, and various coal energy companies do.

I could go on.

What you have to understand is that, while you may have the best of intentions, there are many libertarians who don't: they just want all government to go the way of the dodo. The Libertarian party itself has a pretty absurd stance on environmental regulations that I simply can't abide, and it's honestly one of the only things keeping me from considering a vote for Libertarian. You wouldn't believe the preposterous things that have been suggested on these very boards.

You seem to be suggesting, in previous posts, that we'd all be better off if there were NO environmental regulations, since we could just sue the companies poisoning us. I'm sorry, but that's an incredibly shortsighted view on the topic.

First off, no, people didn't use to be able to sue the companies that poisoned them, because it wasn't illegal to do so. Today, you'd have to be able to prove that chemicals were toxic, AND that the companies knew as much and did nothing about it. Since individuals don't have the resources to do research in that area, it would all be deemed fine. You can't sue on the basis of private property damage when you have a company polluting the commons. You should look into the history of West Virginia and something called bifurcation of mineral rights. The mountaintop mining that is going on today is a blight on our nation.

Perhaps more importantly is the fact that many toxic chemicals are bioaccumulative. Meaning that, while they are not toxic straight away, they accumulate through multiple energy levels in biota. It could be entire decades before the cumulative effects of toxins are even noticed, by which time the company could have just buggered off. There's are very strong guidelines for proving negligence in such scenarios, and they would likely never be fulfilled. Not to mention "tort reform" caps on personal injury, and the fact that it's the actual ecosystems that suffer far more than humans.

It just seems like the small government Libertarian and I are looking at a patient with some hideous parasite attached to his head. I'm trying to think of some elaborate mechanism with which to free the patient, and the Libertarian just takes a hacksaw to the poor fellow's head.

EDIT: I guess my point is, on the topic of environmental regulations, that the law as written doesn't really recognize secondary or indirect causes. A lumber company is within its rights to purchase private property and clearcut a forest if it so wishes. When the soil erodes due to rainfall, and a nearby river floods washing away my home, I have no legal recourse: it was an act of god!

IF we are going to lax environmental regulations in favor of allowing individuals to sue for damages, you have to have extremely liberal laws/judges as far as cause and effect. You also have to have THOSE laws in place well before said environmental regulations are relaxed. The trend, as it happens, is LESS rights for individuals to sue (so-called tort reform) and regulations that aren't enforced due to corporate regulatory capture.


TheWhiteknife wrote:

really? Now isnt a time when most everyone feels disenfranchised? Very few feel that the government truly represents them? I think the times are vindicating my view, not throwing it out.

OK just examine this argument:

1)IF X then Y.
2)X has happened and Y did not follow.

You are insisting that 1 is still true.

You are right about these things, but the solution in the face of big money aggressors who want to rule your life is not to remove the only bulwark preventing them from doing so. The bulwark in this analogy being the government itself, and it is, admittedly, badly damaged. The solution is not to remove it.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
I am arguing that the only thing keeping us from chaos is a codified set of laws that apply to everyone. Is it really that hard to grasp? laws-------chaos. Why do you feel that a ruling body can act as if laws no longer apply without ever actually bothering to change those laws? How does that even make sense? It all goes back to my original question, If we allow government to ignore its own laws limiting government, why even have those laws?

But you say the government has been ignoring those laws since the founding of the country.

Quote:
(Your hypothetical is only about 230 years too late. The Federal Government began ignoring its own laws somewhere around the time the ink dried.)

If the Constitution has always been ignored, then it's basically not a factor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.

Well, you've talked again and again about limiting government, "controlling and reining in government", the epa and fda as "unconstitutional executive branch law-making entities", etc.

Nothing that restricts weakening to only the oppressive parts.

All of which sounds a lot like the rhetoric used by those who want to weaken government's ability to regulate and control business and the economy. And to privatize everything government does so they can profit from it.
Of course, they also want to leave the government free to suppress dissidents, which you obviously don't.
By using the same framing (limit government, government is out of control, un-constitutional regulation, etc) you are supporting their efforts, even if that isn't your intent.


#1) It's nice to be used as a frame of reference, even when I'm not around.

#2) [breaks out a pocketwatch and starts dangling it pendulously back and forth, back and forth, back and forth]

Look into my eyes, Government Folly thread, look into my eyes and come over to the seductive power of Revolutionary Socialism.

Vive le Galt!


thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.

Well, you've talked again and again about limiting government, "controlling and reining in government", the epa and fda as "unconstitutional executive branch law-making entities", etc.

Nothing that restricts weakening to only the oppressive parts.

They are. thats what you and hit dice arent getting. They are unconstitutional. They are against the law. Just as not allowing felons to buy guns are. So obviously the solution is to amend the constitution to allow for them. We are seeing what is happening by allowing our government to ignore its own laws. (Patriot Act, TSA intrusions, Free Speech Zones, etc etc.) WE have allowed this, How you can defend these things is beyond me.


thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:

I am arguing that the only thing keeping us from chaos is a codified set of laws that apply to everyone. Is it really that hard to grasp? laws-------chaos. Why do you feel that a ruling body can act as if laws no longer apply without ever actually bothering to change those laws? How does that even make sense? It all goes back to my original question, If we allow government to ignore its own laws limiting government, why even have those laws?

But you say the government has been ignoring those laws since the founding of the country.

Because they have. See "Alien and Sedition Acts" "Slavery" "Embargo Act of 1807" "Treatment of Native Americans", etc etc. Just because they have doesnt mean that its right or that we should continue to allow it.

Quote:

(Your hypothetical is only about 230 years too late. The Federal Government began ignoring its own laws somewhere around the time the ink dried.)

If the Constitution has always been ignored, then it's basically not a factor.

I know. Which is why Im ranting about it. Was there a point in this post somewhere? Its as if because people murder other people every year, we should just be ok with it.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.

Well, you've talked again and again about limiting government, "controlling and reining in government", the epa and fda as "unconstitutional executive branch law-making entities", etc.

Nothing that restricts weakening to only the oppressive parts.

They are. thats what you and hit dice arent getting. They are unconstitutional. They are against the law. Just as not allowing felons to buy guns are. So obviously the solution is to amend the constitution to allow for them. We are seeing what is happening by allowing our government to ignore its own laws. (Patriot Act, TSA intrusions, Free Speech Zones, etc etc.) WE have allowed this, How you can defend these things is beyond me.

Me, many constitutional lawyers, decades of Supreme court Precedent. Parts of the Patriot Act and other recent debacles are on shakier ground, since there isn't as much precedent. SC decisions have been overturned before. You may be right and the EPA and FDA be ruled unconstitutional by some future court.

I'll need more than your word that they're unconstitutional. I'm also not really interested in debating the finer points of constitutional law. I'm not qualified and I rather doubt you are either.


meatrace wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:


Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.
I imagine we'd disagree on what the oppressive parts are.
I don't find laws preventing convicted felons from owning guns oppressive. Nor do I find gun laws preventing ANYONE from getting ahold of military grade assault rifles, land-mines, etc. oppressive. There are, nonetheless, small government wackos pushing for these things.

I dont find not allowing felons to own guns oppressive. Against the Constitution and should be amended, but not oppressive. I got no problems with people buying assault rifles with the proper liscenses. (its seriously a pain in the ass, and if your going through with the liscensing you arent up to no good. If you were, you would just get one illegaly.) Explosives and such I would like to see amended.

Quote:

I don't find laws preventing the poisoning of our water and air oppressive. Exxon-Mobil, BP, and various coal energy companies do.

Neither do I. Illegal if those laws come from the executive branch, but not oppressive.
Quote:


I could go on.

What you have to understand is that, while you may have the best of intentions, there are many libertarians who don't: they just want all government to go the way of the dodo. The Libertarian party itself has a pretty absurd stance on environmental regulations that I simply can't abide, and it's honestly one of the only things keeping me from considering a vote for Libertarian. You wouldn't believe the preposterous things that have been suggested on these very boards.

You seem to be suggesting, in previous posts, that we'd all be better off if there were NO environmental regulations, since we could just sue the companies poisoning us. I'm sorry, but that's an incredibly shortsighted view on the topic.

Then you fail at reading. I never said that. I said that they were illegal. They are. Fix this. Amend them into legality.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
I am arguing that the only thing keeping us from chaos is a codified set of laws that apply to everyone. Is it really that hard to grasp? laws-------chaos. Why do you feel that a ruling body can act as if laws no longer apply without ever actually bothering to change those laws? How does that even make sense? It all goes back to my original question, If we allow government to ignore its own laws limiting government, why even have those laws?
But you say the government has been ignoring those laws since the founding of the country.

Because they have. See "Alien and Sedition Acts" "Slavery" "Embargo Act of 1807" "Treatment of Native Americans", etc etc. Just because they have doesnt mean that its right or that we should continue to allow it.

Quote:
(Your hypothetical is only about 230 years too late. The Federal Government began ignoring its own laws somewhere around the time the ink dried.)
If the Constitution has always been ignored, then it's basically not a factor.
I know. Which is why Im ranting about it. Was there a point in this post somewhere? Its as if because people murder other people every year, we should just be ok with it.

Is there a point in your argument? You seem to be claiming simultaneously that if we start breaking the constitution, everything will go to hell: we'll have "no right to assemble, no right to a free press, no right to bear arms". And simultaneously that we've never followed the constitution and yet we still somehow have these rights?

In logical terms, If !A then !B, but we observe !A and B.

Your argument doesn't follow. Obviously either the Constitution still constrains us or it isn't actually the Constitution that ensures our rights.


thejeff wrote:

I'm not qualified and I rather doubt you are either.

You are correct. Add "IMO," before everything. Basically I am giving you the whole "slippery slope" arguement. We have allowed the government to ignore the laws that limit it for too long. The absurdity is that those very laws allow for the government to change them to suit the times, yet they ignore them. Sure, it starts off benign (EPA, reduced sentences for informants, no guns for felons, etc.), but inevitably turns malignant (warrantless wiretapping, torture, indefinite detention, etc.)

If we allow government to ignore its own laws that limit government, what is the point of even having those laws?


TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.

Well, you've talked again and again about limiting government, "controlling and reining in government", the epa and fda as "unconstitutional executive branch law-making entities", etc.

Nothing that restricts weakening to only the oppressive parts.

They are. thats what you and hit dice arent getting. They are unconstitutional. They are against the law. Just as not allowing felons to buy guns are. So obviously the solution is to amend the constitution to allow for them. We are seeing what is happening by allowing our government to ignore its own laws. (Patriot Act, TSA intrusions, Free Speech Zones, etc etc.) WE have allowed this, How you can defend these things is beyond me.

You also ignored the rest of my post and focused on one essentially minor part. My main point was to show why we were interpreting you the way we were and to suggest why I react strongly to such arguments.

I assume you agree, since you didn't respond and seem to have changed the direction of your arguments, if not your actual opinions?


thejeff wrote:

[

Is there a point in your argument? You seem to be claiming simultaneously that if we start breaking the constitution, everything will go to hell: we'll have "no right to assemble, no right to a free press, no right to bear arms". And simultaneously that we've never followed the constitution and yet we still somehow have these rights?

In logical terms, If !A then !B, but we observe !A and B.

Your argument doesn't follow. Obviously either the Constitution still constrains us or it isn't actually the Constitution that ensures our rights.

I am claiming that since weve allowed the government to break its own laws (almost immediately), we do not have any of those rights. We keep them only at the whim of our rulers, despite the law stating that they are inalienable. The Constitution has never constrained us, as evidenced almost immediately. And I think, IMO, that maybe, just maybe, after 230 years, we should actually give it a try.


thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Yeah, because obviously I would want to weaken all government equally and not just the oppressive parts/sarcasm.

Well, you've talked again and again about limiting government, "controlling and reining in government", the epa and fda as "unconstitutional executive branch law-making entities", etc.

Nothing that restricts weakening to only the oppressive parts.

They are. thats what you and hit dice arent getting. They are unconstitutional. They are against the law. Just as not allowing felons to buy guns are. So obviously the solution is to amend the constitution to allow for them. We are seeing what is happening by allowing our government to ignore its own laws. (Patriot Act, TSA intrusions, Free Speech Zones, etc etc.) WE have allowed this, How you can defend these things is beyond me.

You also ignored the rest of my post and focused on one essentially minor part. My main point was to show why we were interpreting you the way we were and to suggest why I react strongly to such arguments.

I assume you agree, since you didn't respond and seem to have changed the direction of your arguments, if not your actual opinions?

I didnt respond to it, because I didnt see anything to respond to. Sorry if it sounds like corporate-agenda talk to you. Why? Because I called an illegal thing illegal, and suggested the law be changed to make them legal? I think Ive clarified enough to allievate your fears through responding to other posts. I only want the law to apply to everyone equally. If a business steals or damages my person or property, I want that business to feel the full force of the law. Similarly, If the government steals or damages my person or property, I want that government to feel the full force of the law.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I'm not qualified and I rather doubt you are either.

You are correct. Add "IMO," before everything. Basically I am giving you the whole "slippery slope" arguement. We have allowed the government to ignore the laws that limit it for too long. The absurdity is that those very laws allow for the government to change them to suit the times, yet they ignore them. Sure, it starts off benign (EPA, reduced sentences for informants, no guns for felons, etc.), but inevitably turns malignant (warrantless wiretapping, torture, indefinite detention, etc.)

If we allow government to ignore its own laws that limit government, what is the point of even having those laws?

I often wonder that. Or at least the point of having an uber and hard to modify Constitution.

What actually both keeps the government in check and allows it change to fit the times is the people. Whatever the Constitution says, if enough people oppose it, it will not happen. Whether or not we go through the actual process of amending the Constitution.

There are liberal democracies that rely far less on their Constitutions for basic legal rights than we do, yet they don't seem to have less rights in actual practice. There are dictatorships that guarantee all sorts of things in their Constitutions and yet their people have few rights at all.

Regardless of the Constitution, the people have the rights they can claim. Having an EPA didn't open the door to torture. We've been torturing all along.

If we have to roll back government to its Constitutional limits, can't we at least start by concentrating on the bad things, rather than attacking the good ones and hoping that if it stops breaking the law there, it'll somehow stop doing the bad illegal things too?


TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:

[

Is there a point in your argument? You seem to be claiming simultaneously that if we start breaking the constitution, everything will go to hell: we'll have "no right to assemble, no right to a free press, no right to bear arms". And simultaneously that we've never followed the constitution and yet we still somehow have these rights?

In logical terms, If !A then !B, but we observe !A and B.

Your argument doesn't follow. Obviously either the Constitution still constrains us or it isn't actually the Constitution that ensures our rights.

I am claiming that since weve allowed the government to break its own laws (almost immediately), we do not have any of those rights. We keep them only at the whim of our rulers, despite the law stating that they are inalienable. The Constitution has never constrained us, as evidenced almost immediately. And I think, IMO, that maybe, just maybe, after 230 years, we should actually give it a try.

We don't have them at the whim of the rulers. We have them when we can force the rulers to allow them. That's the only way it's ever worked. That's the only way it can work, regardless of what the words on the paper say.

Frederick Douglass wrote:
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

The rights laid out in the Constitution can be a useful tool for that resistance, but that's all they are. They do nothing by themselves.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
Then you fail at reading. I never said that. I said that they were illegal. They are. Fix this. Amend them into legality.

First of all, you're going to have to do a damn lot of work proving that the EPA is illegal when the SCOTUS doesn't seem to agree. Do you have some constitutional scholar to back this hogwash up?

Secondly, and most importantly, what I'm saying is that if the system is rigged (which it totally is) it is functionally impossible TO amend the constitution. That's why it hasn't been done in freaking decades, and the last time it was was to give congress the purse strings to give itself raises. Have you looked at what is required to amend the constitution? It's a herculean task!

Given that the constitution is UNamendable, I would rather have the "illegal" things that the government do benefit the people paying for it.


I detect a great, Libertarian disturbance in the Force, a presence I haven't felt in some time.

He's drinking a beer right now, and making his Will save, but soon, soon I tell you, Bitter Thorn's gonna make all you Obama-voting rad-libs pay!!!


Where is BT? Hope he's ok...

Been strangely absent in a lot of threads that are right up his alley...


Again, I used to be a literally card-carrying member of the Libertarian party. I felt like it was the old bait and switch after a while.

LP: The government should get out of our personal lives.
Me: YEAH!
LP: All drugs should be legal and regulated.
Me: Whoah yeah!
LP: You can't legislate morality, so you shouldn't try.
Me: Right with you!
LP: Social Security is a pyramid scheme and a bad investment. Abolish it.
Me: I can get on board with that. I'm probably never going to see that money.
LP: Get the government out of foreign wars of aggression.
Me: You tell them, guys! Not MY tax dollars!
LP: And the government shouldn't be involved in educating children.
Me: Wait...what? I actually think education is...
LP: And corporations should be able to poison the air, water, your food, clear-cut all the forests, accelerate global warming, and the government has no right or mandate to stop them.
Me: F#*! off!


thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:

[

Is there a point in your argument? You seem to be claiming simultaneously that if we start breaking the constitution, everything will go to hell: we'll have "no right to assemble, no right to a free press, no right to bear arms". And simultaneously that we've never followed the constitution and yet we still somehow have these rights?

In logical terms, If !A then !B, but we observe !A and B.

Your argument doesn't follow. Obviously either the Constitution still constrains us or it isn't actually the Constitution that ensures our rights.

I am claiming that since weve allowed the government to break its own laws (almost immediately), we do not have any of those rights. We keep them only at the whim of our rulers, despite the law stating that they are inalienable. The Constitution has never constrained us, as evidenced almost immediately. And I think, IMO, that maybe, just maybe, after 230 years, we should actually give it a try.

We don't have them at the whim of the rulers. We have them when we can force the rulers to allow them. That's the only way it's ever worked. That's the only way it can work, regardless of what the words on the paper say.

Frederick Douglass wrote:
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
The rights laid out in the Constitution can be a useful tool for that resistance, but that's all they are. They do nothing by themselves.

I think that we are both saying the same thing here. Our rulers do take away our rights on a whim, unless we force them not to. I agree that the only rights that we have our the ones that we, ourselves, can keep. Agree 100%.


meatrace wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Then you fail at reading. I never said that. I said that they were illegal. They are. Fix this. Amend them into legality.

First of all, you're going to have to do a damn lot of work proving that the EPA is illegal when the SCOTUS doesn't seem to agree. Do you have some constitutional scholar to back this hogwash up?

1) The Constitution gives Congress, and only Congress, the power to write laws; 2) Only the Legislative branch is authorized to write laws; yet, the regulatory agencies are part of the Executive branch which is authorized to enforce the law, not to make law. As far as whether the SCOTUS agrees or not is irrelevent to my opinion. I assume that they are irrelevent to your opinion on things you disagree with as well.

Quote:
Given that the constitution is UNamendable, I would rather have the "illegal" things that the government do benefit the people paying for it.

Then, inevitably, you are going to end up with things such as the Patriot Act, extra-judicial assassinations, and so on. If you truly believe that the Executive Branch should have law-making powers, then why even have a Legislative Branch?


TheWhiteknife wrote:


1) The Constitution gives Congress, and only Congress, the power to write laws; 2) Only the Legislative branch is authorized to write laws; yet, the regulatory agencies are part of the Executive branch which is authorized to enforce the law, not to make law. As far as whether the SCOTUS agrees or not is irrelevent to my opinion.

I'll ignore the snark.

What follows is literally the first paragraph from the Wikipedia on the EPA:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the United States federal government which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.[2] The EPA was proposed by President Richard Nixon and began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon submitted a reorganization plan to Congress and it was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate.

So. What you are claiming as being an illegal agency was created to enforce the laws that were voted upon by congress. Sounds like, ya know, the executive branch doing the things the executive branch was designed to do. Enforcing the laws ratified by congress. The EPA DOES NOT make law, it enforces the laws made by congress. I don't know what is more clear than that.

Working as intended. Now if you want to try again and try to make some argument that regulating the protection of our environment is itself unconstitutional, you're welcome to.

As for your second comment: no. We have those things REGARDLESS of whether we decide not to let corporations kill/poison/enslave us. They are independent decisions, and suggesting that, ONLY because we have, say, federal minimum wage laws or the civil rights act (*GASP* unconstitutional!) do we have illegal wars et al, is ludicrous!


meatrace wrote:


Working as intended.

Congratulations then. You must be happy with how its going.

meatrace wrote:
As for your second comment: no. We have those things REGARDLESS of whether we decide not to let corporations kill/poison/enslave us. They are independent decisions, and suggesting that, ONLY because we have, say, federal minimum wage laws or the civil rights act (*GASP* unconstitutional!) do we have illegal wars et al, is ludicrous!

First, I'll thank you to not put words in my mouth. Secondly, I'll posit that thinking that by allowing government to ignore its own law on good things doesnt mean it will ignore its own law on bad things is ludicrous!


TheWhiteknife wrote:


Congratulations then. You must be happy with how its going.

Talk about a turnaround!

No, no, you don't get out of it that easily.
Are you still claiming that the EPA is unconstitutional? On what grounds?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TheWhiteknife wrote:


First, I'll thank you to not put words in my mouth. Secondly, I'll posit that thinking that by allowing government to ignore its own law on good things doesnt mean it will ignore its own law on bad things is ludicrous!

Thinking that government will stop ignoring the law on bad things because we force it stop ignoring the law on good things is even more ludicrous.

If we want it to stop ignoring the law on bad things, let's concentrate on making it stop doing the bad things. Once we get that sorted out, we can deal with the good ones.

Otherwise, what happens is you ally with all the powerful scumbags who want the government to stop doing the good things and maybe stop some of it and then when you go to look at the bad things they're nowhere to be found, because they've got what they wanted.


meatrace wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:


Congratulations then. You must be happy with how its going.

Talk about a turnaround!

No, no, you don't get out of it that easily.
Are you still claiming that the EPA is unconstitutional? On what grounds?

I dont know how many times that you want me to answer the same question. Congress has delegated the power to the epa to create its own regulations. (You can debate whether regulations arent laws, but you would be wrong. They are. If you dont believe it, go break some.) Congress CANT DO THAT. It has no power to delegate its law-making authority to the executive branch any more than it can legally delegate away the authority to declare war or the judicial branch to delegate away due process. The Law forbids it. The absurd thing is that Ive no problem with the EPA. I just wish they would take the extra step and make it legal. I dont care how many more times you ask me the same question, Ive answered it enough now. From the EPA website: "Laws written by Congress provide the authority for EPA to write regulations." That is ILLEGAL.

Edit: Now you answer my question: If you think it is within the Executive branch's domain to write laws, why even have a Legislative branch?


thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:


First, I'll thank you to not put words in my mouth. Secondly, I'll posit that thinking that by allowing government to ignore its own law on good things doesnt mean it will ignore its own law on bad things is ludicrous!

Thinking that government will stop ignoring the law on bad things because we force it stop ignoring the law on good things is even more ludicrous.

If we want it to stop ignoring the law on bad things, let's concentrate on making it stop doing the bad things. Once we get that sorted out, we can deal with the good ones.

Otherwise, what happens is you ally with all the powerful scumbags who want the government to stop doing the good things and maybe stop some of it and then when you go to look at the bad things they're nowhere to be found, because they've got what they wanted.

Hey, Id be fine with that too. The point Im trying to make is that: Is it any wonder we have all this bad stuff that the government is doing, when we've been allowing them to ignore the laws constraining them for so long?


TheWhiteknife wrote:
It has no power to delegate its law-making authority to the executive branch any more than it can legally delegate away the authority to declare war or the judicial branch to delegate away due process. The Law forbids it. The absurd thing is that Ive no problem with the EPA. I just wish they would take the extra step and make it legal.

You're just not even making sense anymore, honestly.

Regulations aren't laws. If that were the case the executive branch couldn't functionally exist at all, seeing it has authority to order itself as it so chooses. There are rules (regulations) that the executive branch has set up for itself to follow. Regulations, as you put it, are just the internal bureaucracy of an entity.

You then go on to say you wish congress would make the EPA legal, AFTER EXPLICITLY SAYING IT CAN'T BE. *double take* This doesn't make any sort of logical sense. The EPA is a regulatory body. The only way the EPA could exist in your world is if EVERY SINGLE regulation was individually ratified by congress?

But the point is that regulations aren't law. Regulations are the means to which the EPA enforces the laws which were ratified by congress. They can't unilaterally decide to go after some new practice because they don't like it unless it contravenes existing environmental protection legislation.

Example. The law says "it shall be illegal, under penalty of fine, to poison the water" yadda yadda. Since congress can't be arsed to precisely define those terms, since none of them are scientists or experts in the field, they delegate the actual regulation (i.e. prosecution and/or fining) to the executive branch. No differently than federal laws are prosecuted by the FBI.

At this point, how granular are you going to move the goalposts of "law" and "regulation" to mean that government agencies can't do ANYTHING without congressional oversight. You want to requisition a pen for your office at the DOJ. Sorry, congress hasn't approved, or the law as written doesn't specifically say you can use pens, therefore ????


TheWhiteknife wrote:


Hey, Id be fine with that too. The point Im trying to make is that: Is it any wonder we have all this bad stuff that the government is doing, when we've been allowing them to ignore the laws constraining them for so long?

Which is gibberish since you've already said the constitution has been ignored virtually since the ink dried.

Isn't it much easier to accept that the constitution is guidelines that have never been followed to the letter?

Again you're trying to link the bad illegal things to the good illegal things. Stopping one will not stop the other. Period.

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