Democracy Versus Liberty

We sometimes hear the word democracy as being the description of our political system. Some prefer to call it majority rule. Both descriptions would be wrong if we are referring to our Constitutional Republic.

John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Alexander Hamilton said, “We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.”

What's the difference between republican and democratic forms of government? John Adams captured the essence when he said, "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe." That means Congress does not grant us rights; their job is to protect our natural or God-given rights.

The Constitution's First Amendment doesn't say Congress shall grant us freedom of speech, the press and religion. It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."

In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent force. The restraint is upon the individual instead of government. Unlike that envisioned under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be rescinded by government.

We have seen an erosion of these rights derived from "the Great Legislator of the Universe" in favor of the new right of the group which come, not from God, but from government. Individual rights can not exist alongside group rights. For one to grow, the other must recede.

Democracy and majority rule is offensive to me as it should be to you. It is in direct opposition to liberty. Democracy and majority rule could be employed to dictate the car I drive, the food I eat, the clothing I wear, who my spouse should be and just about every other activity I engage in. That represents tyranny, not personal liberty.

Is it tyranny when my government mandates that I purchase health insurance? Or, is it democracy and majority rule? It certainly isn't liberty.

Posted by Royal Flush at March 4, 2011 3:05 PM
Comments
Comment #319610

For the most part, I agree. This is a nation founded on individual liberty. We have inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the whim of majority rule.

Nonetheless, we are a Republic that exploits the democratic process in order to make many policy decisions. Democratic majorities decide how much we pay in taxes and how we spend those revenues. Democratic majorities decide when we go to war and when we make peace. Democratic majorities decide how we regulate our economy. Democratic majorities decide how we establish justice. (Of course, all of these are small-d democratic majorities)

However, conservatives have no clue about any of this. Conservatives believe a majority of people should be able to forbid homosexuals from marrying the person they love. Conservatives believe a majority should be able to forbid a woman from controlling her own body. Conservatives believe a majority can decide to spend taxpayer money to subsidize a religion. Conservatives believe a majority can subject some of us to unreasonable searches and seizures in the name of preventing a hypothetical terrorist attack.
These beliefs are all affronts to individual liberty.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 4, 2011 5:13 PM
Comment #319615

Warped…what I may or may not believe is a personal decision binding on no one and in no way affects what you may or may not believe.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 4, 2011 5:40 PM
Comment #319622

Warped Reality

Then who speaks for the baby just murdered by way of abortion? Where are the babies rights?

There is no right for a homosexual to marry another homosexual of the same gender.

“Conservatives believe a majority can decide to spend taxpayer money to subsidize a religion. Conservatives believe a majority can subject some of us to unreasonable searches and seizures in the name of preventing a hypothetical terrorist attack.”

There are a ton of conservatives that the above statement does not balance with. There are many liberals that it does fit with. You are stretching.

Posted by: tom humes at March 4, 2011 6:09 PM
Comment #319623
Then who speaks for the baby just murdered by way of abortion? Where are the babies rights?
No babies are involved in any abortions. Only pregnant women, their doctors and the embryo which is part of her body.
There is no right for a homosexual to marry another homosexual of the same gender.
Read the 14th amendment to the Constitution.
There are a ton of conservatives that the above statement does not balance with. There are many liberals that it does fit with.
How many conservatives supported the PATRIOT ACT? How many opposed it? How many liberals supported the PATRIOT ACT? How many opposed it?

How many conservatives support using public land for erecting religious icons? How many liberals support using public land for erecting religious icons?

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 4, 2011 6:21 PM
Comment #319635

Warped

It depends on your definition of baby and it is by no means clear, even in a practical sense. Most people would want a premature baby to receive medical care to keep him/her alive. We spend a lot of time and money on such things and if someone decided that it was not worth the trouble and just tossed the baby out, we would arrest that person. Down the street a day before, that same baby could be cut into pieces and killed w/o the participants feeling remorse.

This ambiguity is why abortion is different from other rights issues. You believe it is part of the woman’s body. Others believe it is a baby. In practical situations, this may be a very minor technical difference. Legally, we have decided that killing the baby/fetus is a crime if it manages to move about 30 inched. If its feet are still inside the mother, some people feel it is okay to bash in his brains. If the toe comes out, most disagree.

But Royal is talking mostly about the drift to group rights, which is the road to tyranny.

Posted by: C&J at March 4, 2011 7:15 PM
Comment #319638

Warped writes; “There is no right for a homosexual to marry another homosexual of the same gender.
Read the 14th amendment to the Constitution.”

Really? Is that how you interpret this amendment? God help us all.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 4, 2011 7:28 PM
Comment #319641

Warped,

However, conservatives have no clue about any of this. Conservatives believe a majority of people should be able to forbid homosexuals from marrying the person they love. Conservatives believe a majority should be able to forbid a woman from controlling her own body. Conservatives believe a majority can decide to spend taxpayer money to subsidize a religion. Conservatives believe a majority can subject some of us to unreasonable searches and seizures in the name of preventing a hypothetical terrorist attack.

Wow. Could you possibly stereotype conservatives a little more? You forgot the part about us being racists that want to oppress the poor and kill puppies.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 4, 2011 7:38 PM
Comment #319645

Missouri Republicans are flocking to a call to fight socialism at all costs, even if it means killing a few puppies.

Republican State Senator Bill Stouffer filed legislation to repeal a bill aimed at curbing cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs by breeders last week.

The Missouri Dog Breeding Regulation Initiative, Proposition B, known as the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,” requires large-scale dog-breeders to provide basic food and water, adequate shelter, necessary veterinary care, adequate space, regular exercise, and adequate rest between breeding cycles to dogs under their care. The bill also prevents breeders from owning more than 50 breeding dogs.

Those who violate the new laws, which take effect beginning in 2011, face up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.

Proposition B was approved by voters during the November elections, despite being opposed by tea party groups and other conservative organizations.

The Eagle Forum described the Puppy Mill Act as a “hoax,” saying “we oppose any ballot initiative or legislation in Missouri that would impose unnecessary and unreasonable regulations for our farmers.”

In addition, the Missouri Tea Party and the Tea Party Patriots advertised a meeting called “Vote NO on Proposition B” on their websites in October, TalkingPointsMemo reported.

TAKE ACTIONPetitions by Change.org|Get Widget|Start a Petition »”It does nothing to solve the problem of dog abuse,” Stouffer told the Associated Press. “It only targets licensed dealers, and people that are ignoring the law now are not affected by this.”

Missouri is considered the “puppy mill capital” of the nation. The US Humane Society estimates that nearly one million puppies a year are produced by the 200,000 breeding dogs in the state.

Data from Missouri’s Department of Agriculture, released by Freedom of Information Act request, showed that the nation’s largest commercial dog-breeder, Hunte Corporation, disposed of 50 to 100 dead dogs a month.

Posted by: Jeff at March 4, 2011 8:47 PM
Comment #319646

Mr. Nye if the stereotyping fits?

Posted by: Jeff at March 4, 2011 8:49 PM
Comment #319647

It is interesting that WR accused me in 2 earlier posts of jumping to conclusions concerning his living in Mass and assuming he was also a student in a liberal Mass college, and yet this same WR has accused conservatives of being guilty of all thinking alike and even accused conservatives of believing and practicing the agenda of the left. Very interesting…

I have noticed a change in WR from one who was willing to look at all sides, to become one who practices the same liberal hate speech as SD. Evidently SD is WR mentor.

“Wow. Could you possibly stereotype conservatives a little more? You forgot the part about us being racists that want to oppress the poor and kill puppies.”

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 4, 2011 07:38 PM

Great point Kevin…

Concerning Royal’s post: religious beliefs played a large in the lives and decisions of our founding fathers. Synonymous with religious beliefs was morality. Today, morality is an evil word, because it gets in the way of free thinkers. I believe our founding fathers would be appalled at a law allowing babies to be violated, murdered, and cut in pieces to be removed from the mother’s womb. These same founding fathers would certainly have not agreed with men marrying men and women marrying women. There was a time when sodomy was considered to be a sin, and sin is part of morality. Let me get this straight; a man crawls in bed with another man, sticks his penis in the other man’s rear end and it’s called normal? Kind of changes things when you get a mental picture of what really happens, doesn’t it?

Many people die when they are young; some people live to be 65 or 70; some even live to be 85 or 90. But in the scope of eternity, our lifetime is but a vapor, which appears for a little while and then vanishes. After this, we have to stand in judgment before a righteous God. Now some would say, I don’t believe in God, but that doesn’t change anything. I am glad I don’t have to answer to God and try to explain why I supported killing babies or supported sodomy and perversion.

Posted by: 1776 at March 4, 2011 8:52 PM
Comment #319649

Here is a great post by Jeff, which proves a point:

“The Missouri Dog Breeding Regulation Initiative, Proposition B, known as the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,” requires large-scale dog-breeders to provide basic food and water, adequate shelter, necessary veterinary care, adequate space, regular exercise, and adequate rest between breeding cycles to dogs under their care. The bill also prevents breeders from owning more than 50 breeding dogs.”

I am assuming this law was supported by the bleeding hearts on the left. The strange thing is that a group of people could be so worked up about cruelty to animals, even to the point of worrying about the breeding of the animals, and yet has absolutely no problem with the pain, suffering, destruction, and murder of babies. Why, they even change the name of a baby to a fetus, in order to try to justify their actions as not being against a child. Tell me, those of you on the left, when do puppies become puppies? Are they puppies when in the womb of the mother?

Posted by: 1776 at March 4, 2011 9:08 PM
Comment #319653

I will not pretend to answer a question I don’t have the answer to. But one thing I do know is a baby born into poverty and abuse will suffer and what one chooses to do is private and there business not mine.

Posted by: Jeff at March 4, 2011 9:38 PM
Comment #319656

How many great men and women came from childhoods of abject poverty? Because a child is born into poverty is a good reason to kill it by abortion???

Posted by: 1776 at March 4, 2011 10:05 PM
Comment #319658

Sigh.
Here’s what I would say: The Deeper truths of the human condition, the similar or identical needs, psychological tendencies and whatnot are what shape the proper form of our rights, as we know them.

Why do we need free speech? Because we can’t just let the people who think they’re right control the forum. We must give everybody the chance to think for themselves, figure things out for themselves. The state should not dictate the truth for all.

Rather than claim that rights are something God given in the sense that they’re practically printed out from the bible, we can say that what leads us to formulate those rights, like Free speech, the right to bear arms, protections against unwarranted search and seizure, etc, is a recognition of certain inherent falliblities in humanity that must be countered by our laws.

There are certain rules that humanity must live by to be capable of living with one another, and there are certain limits governments should have to observe, in order for people to be capable of living with their government.

I wouldn’t disrespect democracy that much, but we should recognize like Kurt Godel did when he told Einstein that we can just as easily vote ourselves out of a government that represents our needs and desires when times get desperate and the politicians flatter our worst impulses.

Democracies self-destruct all too often because pure Democracy means majority rule, even when the majority’s wish is to dissolve their own ability to run the government or keep it accountable.

But it’s not a bad thing to choose our leaders Democratically. It means they are forced to balance their own interest and ours, or perish politically. God know how much trouble and grief this has saved our country.

Right now, Gov. Walker has a sixty percent disapproval number in a Rasmussen poll that strikes me as a particularly awful showing. The longer he keeps this going, the more heavy handed he gets, the more he alienates the people of his state, who were looking for sensible, compromising leadership, not a egotist who thought he had a mandate to remake the state’s entire union culture.

And as this is a Republican where we choose our leaders Democratically, and write our laws by majority rule, one way or another, you face the consequences of misjudging or ignoring public opinion. Who knows? Walker might get recalled by the end of his second year, and he can run for President and Vice President with Palin. between them, they’ll be able to boast a full term in office.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2011 10:32 PM
Comment #319659

If republicans believed in programs to help the child after it was born then they would hold the moral ground on the issue but as we all know that’s just not the case. So when republicans are ready to stop cutting programs like head start school lunches wic etc. your argument is without merit.

Posted by: Jeff at March 4, 2011 10:39 PM
Comment #319662

When the left runs out of gas in their argument, the make sure to make it a “republicans are at fault” issue. Have any of you looked into adoptions done in this country? We can read of notable figures going overseas to adopt, but what about those adoptions done here? There are many people who adopt or take children thru foster care. My family is but one, yet it is multiplied by the millions. That old excuse of being born into hate and anger and poverty is a strawman excuse. That is not a valid reason to murder a baby.

The spin on WI is just that spin. Nothing worthwhile responding to. Just more pap.

Posted by: tom humes at March 4, 2011 11:11 PM
Comment #319665


Some say a woman has an individual right to have an abortion and some say she doesn’t.

Some say that a person has an individual right to earn as much wealth as his ability will allow and some thing there should be restrictions on that ability for the greater good of society.

We are not a nation of 300 million individuals nearly as much as we are a group with many sub groups embedded within the whole. A nation of individuals would fair no better than a true democracy and that is why we play a balancing act between individual and group rights.

Is there a place where people are more free than here?

Posted by: jlw at March 5, 2011 1:10 AM
Comment #319666

So does SD’s statement mean he believes in the rule of law?

Posted by: 1776 at March 5, 2011 1:14 AM
Comment #319677
Wow. Could you possibly stereotype conservatives a little more? You forgot the part about us being racists that want to oppress the poor and kill puppies.
Watchblog conservatives, I understand that I was being provocative, but it was my point to be provocative. It is interesting that none of the conservatives here have denied any of my allegations. None of the conservatives came out in favor of applying marriage law equally to homosexuals and heterosexuals. None of the conservatives came out in opposition to the PATRIOT ACT or other overreaches by governmental counterterrorism efforts. None of the conservatives came out in opposition to governmental support of specific religious icons. If I am wrong in any of these areas, I bid any of WatchBlog’s conservatives to speak up and declare themselves on the side of individual liberty.

Instead, some have made the ridiculous assertion that we should call certain clusters of cells “babies”. It is true that we don’t know when personhood begins, however conception is perhaps the most idiotic place to choose. The only difference a sperm/ovum and a zygote is 23 chromosomes, and only a fool would believe chromosome counts are what define something as human. A much better position might be opposition to abortions in the 2nd or 3rd trimester, but support for legal abortions in the 1st trimester when embryonic development is very primitive. Even I understand that certain restrictions on 3rd trimester abortions are probably necessary. It is equally foolish to make passage through the birth canal the single hallmark of personhood.

Warped writes; “There is no right for a homosexual to marry another homosexual of the same gender.
Read the 14th amendment to the Constitution.”

Really? Is that how you interpret this amendment? God help us all.
Look up information about the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia. The 14th amendment guarantees that all citizens have a right to equal protection under our laws. The law may not discriminate against someone based upon what group they may be a part of.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 5, 2011 3:35 AM
Comment #319680

Warped,

Watchblog conservatives, I understand that I was being provocative, but it was my point to be provocative.

Perhaps you were trying to be provocative, but antagonism rarely results in fruitful discussion.

None of the conservatives came out in favor of applying marriage law equally to homosexuals and heterosexuals. None of the conservatives came out in opposition to the PATRIOT ACT or other overreaches by governmental counterterrorism efforts. None of the conservatives came out in opposition to governmental support of specific religious icons.

Why would you think that failure to respond to such baseless stereotypes implies anyone conceding your claims? Because nobody agreed with your claims or chose to dignify them with a response, they must be correct? I’m open to any and all points of view, provided that the other party is open minded as well, but I don’t waste my time discussing anything with someone who already has their mind made up from the start. Stereotypes are the root of all hatred and have no place in intelligent discussion.

I wouldn’t normally bother to explain myself, but I will if only to illustrate my point. I’ve been conservative my entire adult life. I believe in limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility.

If two people choose to get married, I don’t care if it’s a man and a woman, two men, two women or a man and a goat. That’s between them. As long as they don’t try to shove it down my throat, I couldn’t care less. They should be (and are, as you point out) protected equally under the law. Problem is, the Federal Government has no business involving itself in marriage in the first place. That’s a State issue that should be dealt with on the State level, but then again, we’ve been ignoring the 10th Amendment for decades, so why change now?

PATRIOT Act - not wild about it, but not entirely against it either. People flying airplanes into buildings tends to make me slightly more willing to be flexible enough to give law enforcement the tools they need to try and prevent it from happening again (apparently, 68 Democrats agree with me).

“Government support of specific religious icons” - can’t honestly say I know what you’re referring to, but in general terms, I don’t have an issue with it. Nowhere in the Constitution does it preclude Government from supporting any religion. It only states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. I have no issue with Government supporting a religion as long as it’s not promoting one.

Once again, stereotypes are the root of all hatred. It would be nice, for a change, to see people practice what they preach instead of practicing what they accuse someone else of.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 5, 2011 5:37 AM
Comment #319684

So, how would the government support of a particular religion not be construed as promoting one religion over another? Doesn’t wash.

And as for state rights on the marriage issue, people need to be able to move freely from state to state, and as with driver’s licenses, a marriage needs to be able to be recognized as legal from one state to another.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 5, 2011 9:49 AM
Comment #319685

Kevin Nye,

Thank you for your response. I just want to say that if you truly believe in individual liberty and personal liberty, then conservatism isn’t the ideology for you. Liberalism and libertarianism are the ideologies that were founded on the premise of protecting individual liberty. Conservatism, on the other hand, has historically been associated with preservation of the status quo, empowering the people who already have power. In many places, conservationism is strongly intertwined with monarchism. If this doesn’t describe you, then you should consider yourself something other than conservative. In my own short life, I’ve seen conservative politicians in DC do little else but encroach on my personal liberties.

Why would you think that failure to respond to such baseless stereotypes implies anyone conceding your claims? Because nobody agreed with your claims or chose to dignify them with a response, they must be correct? I’m open to any and all points of view, provided that the other party is open minded as well, but I don’t waste my time discussing anything with someone who already has their mind made up from the start. Stereotypes are the root of all hatred and have no place in intelligent discussion.

I’m sorry that our first interaction here started off so poorly. I don’t know how long you’ve been reading comments on WatchBlog, but I hope that if you’ve seen my comments here as well as on my own blog and at DiscussAmerica.org you will see that I’ve tried my hardest to be as courteous as possible. I’m not perfect though; sometimes I screw up and let my temper get the best of me, so please bear with me. Hopefully we can have much more productive discussions in the future.

People flying airplanes into buildings tends to make me slightly more willing to be flexible enough to give law enforcement the tools they need to try and prevent it from happening again
The fact of the matter is that threat of terrorism impacting you or me on an individual scale is paltry when compared to a whole host of other risks. The only difference between the thousands of deaths caused by automobiles and the thousands of deaths caused by Al Qaeda is that the latter come with a lot of “fireworks” (for lack of a better word, I’m not trying to be supportive of the attacks). I am always skeptical that these powers that we allot law enforcement are entirely necessary. I am also skeptical when the government says “we won’t abuse those powers, pinky promise, I swear”. Posted by: Warped Reality at March 5, 2011 10:12 AM
Comment #319688

jlw

The problem with abortion is its TWO sides. We would all believe in a woman’s right to choose if it did not conflict with the baby’s right to live. It all depends on where you come down on the life issue.

Most Americans are conflicted about this issue, which is what makes it so difficult to resolve.

Warped

Equal protection is a slippery idea. Obviously, when they wrote the 14th amendment, they did not think it would allow gay marriage. The evidence for this is that the roughly century and a half when it didn’t. The new interpretation is in a different area.

We protect rights of people based on their human characteristics. But some things are choices. We tend not to protect people based on choices. Scientists dispute how much sexual preference is immutable. We all have tendencies, but we can choose how we act on them. People’s sexual preferences can change over time and some people really don’t think about it that much at all.

As you may recall from my earlier statements, I support gay marriage. I think it will be a stabilizing influence on those who get married and bring them more into the mainstream. Chrissy and I pay significantly higher taxes because we are married. I want our gay citizens to get in on that too.

I do not believe that sexual preference should be a defining characteristic. But gay marriage is something that should be decided by legislatures not courts.

The last big issue decided by courts instead of legislation was abortion. It was a mistake to do it that way and the fight goes on two generations later.

Finally re the 14th amendment - it doesn’t apply until the Supreme Court says it applies. There is really no sense in arguing about that.

Posted by: C&J at March 5, 2011 11:10 AM
Comment #319690
Obviously, when they wrote the 14th amendment, they did not think it would allow gay marriage. The evidence for this is that the roughly century and a half when it didn’t.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote “all men are created equal”, he obviously didn’t think this applied to Americans of African ancestry. Evidently, we reinterpret the writings of past generations to fit our ever progressing worldview.
We tend not to protect people based on choices.
Where do you get this from? Religious belief is a choice, yet we have a longtime tradition of protecting people from discrimination based on their faith or creed.
As you may recall from my earlier statements, I support gay marriage.
This is exactly why I don’t consider you to be that much of a conservative.
The last big issue decided by courts instead of legislation was abortion. It was a mistake to do it that way and the fight goes on two generations later.
Plenty of big decisions have been made by the court without the losing side holding a grudge almost 4 decades later. Miranda v. Arizona, Loving v. Virginia, Brown v. Board of Education and Lawrence v. Texas are just a few examples. Posted by: Warped Reality at March 5, 2011 11:41 AM
Comment #319691

Back in 1927, an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But he said under the name of liberalism the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist program.

James Madison in 1788, speaking to the Virginia Convention, said: “Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 12:10 PM
Comment #319693

Here’s an interesting article found in today’s AOL News.

“In order to defeat the president in his drive for re-election, Republicans need not convince the public that he’s driven the country toward Soviet-style tyranny (or in any other novel direction); it’s enough for conservatives to show that he’s recycled the stale, dysfunctional approaches of Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson and the free-spending, irresponsible Democratic governors who recently led a dozen states to the edge of bankruptcy.

The problem isn’t that Obama functions outside the Democratic mainstream; the problem is the Democratic mainstream itself — a fetid miasma of outmoded, dysfunctional ideas and values. His biggest shortcoming isn’t his decisive break with liberalism’s past mistakes; it’s his reflexive, instinctive embrace of those long-discredited errors.

Obama hasn’t enacted or even proposed some exotic, unprecedented program; he’s merely recycled the familiar, fatuous welfare state nostrums that provoked fiscal catastrophe in Europe and decisive rejection by American voters in 1980, ‘84, ‘94 — and 2010.

When recent surveys show that those citizens who describe themselves as “conservative” outnumber self-identified “liberals” by fully 2-1, it’s hardly necessary to portray Obama as a Marxist or a revolutionary. Identifying him (more honestly) as a traditional liberal should be more than enough.”

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/05/opinion-obamas-weakness-hes-typical-not-radical/

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 1:02 PM
Comment #319696


Royal, The discrepancy between liberal and conservative is a reflection of the corporations control of legislation such as that which led to corporate control of the air ways and it’s promotion of conservative spin radio.

It is slowly wearing off as workers begin to realize what is at stake.

Union = liberal

collective bargaining = liberal

Unless the Republicans get this out of their systems, out of the streets and out of the news, it may be Republicans who are in jeopardy in the next election cycle.

The people have given Obama the main task of producing jobs. His reelection hopes are based primarily on how the people judge his performance in that area.

Is it tyranny when the government mandates that a homosexual cannot marry another homosexual, or is it democracy and majority rule? “It certainly isn’t liberty.”

Posted by: jlw at March 5, 2011 2:33 PM
Comment #319698

JLW asks; “Is it tyranny when the government mandates that a homosexual cannot marry another homosexual, or is it democracy and majority rule?”

Good question. Is it tyranny when the government mandates that a man or woman may marry only one person at a time, that they may not marry their children, or dogs, or cats, or their brothers and sisters or their moms and dads or inanimate objects?

For me, it is as troubling a question as abortion. Here’s what I believe. Men and women who wish to marry same-sex partners should not be a federal issue, but one of the individual states. This should also be the case for abortion.

The definition of liberty in our individual lives with regard to same-sex marriage and abortion is not as clear cut as those liberties (or freedoms) outlined in our founding documents. Freedom of religion, speech, press, etc. is more clearly understood and agreed upon by most Americans.

I think we need more time, as a nation, to decide just where marriage and abortion fall as a defined liberty. In the meantime, we do have abortion and same-sex marriage in some form and in some places.

As a Texan, if I had to vote on the issue of same-sex civil unions I would probably vote yes as I am for equal rights for all citizens. Giving same-sex partners the same legal rights as married folks is a civil matter and not a religious matter for me.

Since the union of a man and a woman has co-opted the name “marriage” for their civil union, I believe it would be appropriate for those wishing to engage in same-sex unions to find an appropriate name for their civil ceremony. Calling their union “marriage” is not necessary and just inflames many people.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 3:33 PM
Comment #319700

Warped,

Conservatism, on the other hand, has historically been associated with preservation of the status quo, empowering the people who already have power. In many places, conservationism is strongly intertwined with monarchism. If this doesn’t describe you, then you should consider yourself something other than conservative. In my own short life, I’ve seen conservative politicians in DC do little else but encroach on my personal liberties.

Once again, I think you’re generalizing here, because the same statement could be made about Democrats or any other political group. The common thread is that most politicians (yes, even liberal politicians) want power and will do what they need to in order to keep it. So, while I don’t disagree with you, I think it’s a little disingenuous to paint one group with a brush that so clearly applies to another as well. If we’re going to use a broad brush, let’s be fair, and not just single out one group.

As far as being conservative, understand that I use that term as an adjective, not a noun. I don’t care much for labels and I try not to associate myself with a political party. Yes, I’m a Republican, but not because I think they’re the best thing ever, because the GOP platform most closely fits my beliefs.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 5, 2011 3:48 PM
Comment #319702

Warped

Re decisions that did not provoke forty years of fury - those were things where people more or less agreed about the basic justice, if not the details. Abortion is not like that and neither is gay marriage.

re interpretations - “We” have yet to reinterpret the law the way you say. I am against that expansive interpretation, as are evidently most Americans. But we don’t have to worry about it. We have a final authority on the 14th amendment, which is the Supreme Court. Since they have not rules on that so far, despite opportunities, we have to assume that for the time being we go with the previous practice.

As I said, I want gays to marry and pay their fair share of those marriage penalty taxes. In fact, as soon as we get gay marriage, we should immediately get rid of all aspects of civil union short of marriage. The two options should never be available at the same time.

Posted by: C&J at March 5, 2011 3:54 PM
Comment #319703

womanmarine:

And as for state rights on the marriage issue, people need to be able to move freely from state to state, and as with driver’s licenses, a marriage needs to be able to be recognized as legal from one state to another.

Article IV of the Constitution has that covered. “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.”

So, how would the government support of a particular religion not be construed as promoting one religion over another? Doesn’t wash.

Hmm. Okay, point taken. I suppose if a Government supports multiple religions then it can’t be construed as promoting one, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve never really thought about it much. Come on, I never said that I could give examples!!!

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 5, 2011 3:58 PM
Comment #319704

In Federalist Paper 45, James Madison, the father of our Constitution, explains, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected.”

Today, I believe we have reversed the order of power, giving most to the federal government. And, this was done mostly through the power of taxation.

A politicians primary goal, is to be elected and remain in office. Henry Louis Mencken’s description of an election: “Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

Government has no resources of its very own. The recognition that government has no resources of its very own forces us to recognize that the only way Congress can give one American one dollar is to first, through intimidation, threats, and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American through its agents at the taxing authorities. Politicians do precisely what we elect them to office to do: take the rightful property of one American and give it to another.

Politicians promise to bring home the “bacon”. If they don’t, they don’t get elected or stay in office very long. And it is not a stupid thing for voters to elect those who promise to bring federal dollars back home knowing that if they don’t demand their share it will certainly go to some other states or communities.

It’s legalized theft of course, but everyone must play or be stuck with just paying the bills for others with nothing in return for themselves.

What began as tiny steps in theft through taxation, with the taxes collected returned as political favors, has today become giant leaps. Everyone is demanding more and politicians are seldom reluctant to deliver. Much of our $14 trillion in debt represents the results of this desire by all to feed at the federal pig trough.

I can determine only one way to correct this propensity of folks to demand ever more from government without paying for it in taxes. We must have a constitutional amendment to limit federal spending to a percent of the GDP. What that percentage might be is certainly debatable. i would suggest the historical norm of around 20% or less.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 3:59 PM
Comment #319708

RF-

Today, I believe we have reversed the order of power, giving most to the federal government. And, this was done mostly through the power of taxation.

You’re absolutely correct, but I think the 17th Amendment has just as much, if not more, to do with it. It seems to me that most think giving the power to elect Senators to the people was a good thing. The problem is, the Senate was intended to be the chamber of Congress that represents the interests of the States. By taking the power to choose their representatives from the States and giving it to the people, we effectively neutered the States. Shame on the States, as they ratified the amendment and willfully gave up their representation, but imagine how differently the Federal Government would look today if the States were represented in Congress.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 5, 2011 5:06 PM
Comment #319709

Thanks for the reminder Kevin…I agree 100%.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 5:21 PM
Comment #319710

1776-
I believe in the rule of law. That, under the constitution, is what makes our government both powerful and our freedoms as well. The law restrains both the people and the folks who govern them. It creates a tension between a government that can govern, that’s not too weak or decentralized to do what it needs to do, and a people who are guaranteed enough freedom by those laws to prosper and build their own lives. Naturally, there are limits, but it’s a comparatively gentle yoke to be under.

The trick with anarchy or libertarianism is that inevitably, somebody gathers the strength to impose their will unofficially, either by force or wealth. Ah, but if you give somebody unlimited power, you have to trust that they won’t misuse it, that there won’t be collateral victims even with the best rulers and the best policy. It also gets to a point where respect for that that rule, and willingness to live under it erodes, and society snaps and rebels.

You need a government strong enough to rule, but with strong enough constraints to keep it minding its own business. That’s how you prevent that whole cycle that runs from Democracy to tyranny. That’s how you get a government that’s been in continuous operation over its claimed territors for all but four years out of 235 or so. Look at the rest of the world, at other countries, and see how much they’ve changed politically. Hell most countries as we know them now were not as they were when we began our country.

We have stability, I believe, because of the balance the constitution sets, between a government capable of rule, and a people capable of living in freedom. The main stresses that destroy a government come from its people when the government oppresses them, and there is no outlet for their grievances, their fears or anxieties.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 5, 2011 5:29 PM
Comment #319711


Royal, I realize that America was established by business and property, with help from the disenfranchised, for the benefit of business and property.

The struggle was not between the haves and the have nots, it was between the haves and haves.

The Hamiltonian’s wanted a strong central government disposed towards bankers, merchants, and manufactures.

The Jeffersonians wanted a decentralized federal government with most political power residing in the state governments where the plantation owners could elect themselves as representatives.

Neither of these groups were interested in God’s supposed given right to liberty when it came to Molly the indentured servant or Sambo the slave.

God’s gift to his people wasn’t liberty, it was the amendment process and a democratic republic. He gave his people a fighting chance, or should I say a voting chance.
That’s what makes propaganda so gosh darn important.

God’s chosen people aren’t the wealthy and their politicians. Wealth didn’t get the message so God sent Jesus to reissue the message. Wealth still didn’t get it.

Luke: 18 :23 : And when he heard this the man was very sorrowful for he was very rich.

Crucifiction tickets…..Get your crucifiction tickets here.

Posted by: jlw at March 5, 2011 5:32 PM
Comment #319712


“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

George Bernard Shaw—-socialists.

Posted by: jlw at March 5, 2011 5:38 PM
Comment #319714

Americans have been warned many times about excessive debt. The latest warning in Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders is a prime example. Here is what Buffett concludes:

“But leverage is addictive. Once having profited from its wonders, very few people retreat to more conservative practices. And as we all learned in third grade - and some relearned in 2008 - any series of positive numbers, however impressive the numbers may be, evaporates when multiplied by a single zero. History tells us that leverage all too often produces zeroes, even when it is employed by very smart people.”

In 2008, leverage took us to recession and near depression. And now in 2011, the problems of debt have faded in the minds of many. With the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing programs, America is merrily printing money to service the trillions in debt accumulated by decades of reckless and unprecedented spending by our elected leaders, both Republican and Democrat.

The debt crisis doesn’t seem to register with Barack Obama and he is not living in reality. As CNS News reported: “If the federal budget released by President Barack Obama today is implemented, it will double the national debt over the next 10 years. The current national debt is $13.56 trillion (end of FY 2010). By the end of 2021, that debt would rise to $26.3 trillion under the White House budget.”

Clearly Obama, and many in congress are addicted to debt.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 5:56 PM
Comment #319715

tom humes-
I am a person who in the course of their life has gone from one end of the subject to the other, from having no problem with abortion, to being personally against it.

So, I can tell you from memory that when I thought about, and defended a woman’s right to choose an abortion, my point of view was as simple as you cannot kill what does not yet live. A lot of people distinguish embryo and fetus from person as they distinguish flower and seed from plant. Ask them when the fetus approachs viability, though, and their answer likely changes, because by then their perspective is that the unborn child has developed enough to be considered a distinct human being, not merely a part of the mother developing in that direction.

To a lot of them, the opposition to family planning, to sex-ed, to all these other things reflects an old-fashioned sensibility, one that is dangerous in a time like ours, and which they feel impedes on the freedom of women.

So, that is what you are up against, not some evil “let’s go slaughter some innocents” sensibility.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 5, 2011 6:13 PM
Comment #319716

RF-

Spot on. I found it very interesting that the President said we need to “live within our means” in the SOTU and again when he presented his budget to Congress. Yet, if the smallest deficit over the next 10 years is over $600B, how is that living within our means? And this is coming from someone who spent the better part of two years blaming former President Bush for our financial condition, whose largest deficit was $458B.

Bush was a big spender, no question, but President Obama has taken that to a whole new level. He’s our President, so I support him, but I honestly believe that he either just doesn’t get it, or is so wrapped up is his personal ideology that he can’t see the forest for the trees. In fact, it’s probably a combo platter, but regardless, the end result is an extremely dangerous path. For some reason, people don’t seem to think that the U.S. can fail but I think we would all be wise to brush up on history.

Posted by: Kevin Nye at March 5, 2011 6:22 PM
Comment #319717

C+J,

Re decisions that did not provoke forty years of fury - those were things where people more or less agreed about the basic justice, if not the details. Abortion is not like that and neither is gay marriage.

Whoa! I wasn’t alive at the time, but most histories of the United States in the 1960s & 1970s depict widespread resistance amongst white Americans towards the desegregation policies mandated by Brown v. Board of Education. Acceptance of decisions like Brown v. Board of Education as well as Loving v. Virginia did not come easily, but it did come. Roe v. Wade on the other hand has not been allotted the same treatment.

If you want to go further back in history, the courts in Massachusetts ruled slavery to be unconstitutional in Brom and Bett v. Ashley and The Quock Walker Cases. Questions regarding the Constitutionality of slavery remained contentious for about 8 decades. Nevertheless, the populace learned to accept that slavery as an institution as nothing but a flagrant violation of everything our nation stands for.

re interpretations - “We” have yet to reinterpret the law the way you say. I am against that expansive interpretation, as are evidently most Americans. But we don’t have to worry about it. We have a final authority on the 14th amendment, which is the Supreme Court. Since they have not rules on that so far, despite opportunities, we have to assume that for the time being we go with the previous practice.
I’m not sure what you are saying here. Are you saying that you are against reinterpreting Thomas Jefferson’s words “all men are created equal” to include nonwhites, females and other groups not originally included? I know you better than to accuse you this, hopefully this is just an error in my ability to read your writing.
We have a final authority on the 14th amendment, which is the Supreme Court. Since they have not rules on that so far, despite opportunities, we have to assume that for the time being we go with the previous practice.
I agree the Supreme Court (for the most part) has the final say when it comes to interpreting the Constitution. I don’t think the Supreme Court has had a chance to rule on the Constitutionality of DOMA, but they will get an opportunity soon when they review Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

KN,

Once again, I think you’re generalizing here, because the same statement could be made about Democrats or any other political group. The common thread is that most politicians (yes, even liberal politicians) want power and will do what they need to in order to keep it. So, while I don’t disagree with you, I think it’s a little disingenuous to paint one group with a brush that so clearly applies to another as well. If we’re going to use a broad brush, let’s be fair, and not just single out one group.

I agree, the Democratic Party has muddied itself with conservative ideology in the past for the reasons you specify. The allure of power is difficult to resist. This is why I don’t consider myself a Democrat (or a progressive).

As far as being conservative, understand that I use that term as an adjective, not a noun. I don’t care much for labels and I try not to associate myself with a political party.
Fair Enough.
Yes, I’m a Republican, but not because I think they’re the best thing ever, because the GOP platform most closely fits my beliefs.
Obviously, I disagree. I view most of the Republican Party platform as an anathema to personal liberty. Not to say that the Democratic Party is much better, but at least they put a little more emphasis on the facets of liberty I am most concerned about. Posted by: Warped Reality at March 5, 2011 7:11 PM
Comment #319719

I always support the office of the POTUS, but certainly not always the policies. When I was in the Army I saluted those for whom I had no respect. Rank has its privilege.

Obama is really between a rock and a hard place. If one looks at his constituency today, as compared with that in 2008, it is really much different. He was a fresh face with an attractive campaign slogan…”Change”. He had the backing not only of the usual Democrat supporters, but many independents and some republicans. And, he could not have chosen himself a worse opponent than McCain. It was a “gimme” from the start.

Today, he is losing many of these same independents who did vote for him and nearly all the republicans. What is left are the liberals, blacks, Hispanics to some degree and a majority of union members. He can’t win with them alone and yet must continue to feed his strongest supporters to the dismay of those who expected him to be something else entirely.

His campaign slogan of “change” has now been recognized for what it always was and is now…more deficit spending. A majority of voters understand that huge spending programs just can’t continue, yet, Obama keeps calling for more. I can not envision our economy recovering enough by the next election that Obama could claim any economic victory. With energy, health care and food prices already sky-rocketing, soon to be followed by inflation, Americans will be hurting even more in 2012. These rising costs may not be all his fault, but the blame will be laid at his doorstep. Unaccountable blame and praise usually winds up on the president’s desk.

His handling of international affairs has not won him any new converts and perhaps cost him some support. I know of no social policies he has pushed that are extremely popular, and I believe that his gains there will equal his losses.

He is ripe for the plucking if the republicans can find a good nominee. AH…there’s the crunch.

There are a couple of governors who could give him a good run and should Donald Trump place his hat in the ring it will change everything.

May God help us all if the republican nominee is Huckabee, Palin, or Gringrich. I like all those folks but they don’t stand a chance against THE Obama. THE DONALD DOES.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 7:18 PM
Comment #319720

Kevin Nye-
The thing about the establishment clause, if you think it out properly, is that any assistance to a religion, under your logic, would require all religions in the US to get equal assistance, lest we have to actually pick and choose winners and losers in that game.

So, unless you want any religion that a guy opens up on the street corner to have an equal claim on assistance, the Federal Government must abstain from any support to preserve neutrality. If the government makes no decisions on how to assist religions, then it cannot be blamed for being biased or partisan in those decisions, or of establishing certain religions with state support, while leaving others in the cold. Besides, if you look at all the denominations and religions within America’s borders, I think you would end up agreeing with me that America is not short on the expression of its religious freedom.

The main reason why some try and get religion involved with the state here, in fact, is that they feel, perhaps for religious, perhaps for social reasons, that there’s a little too much freedom. However, it’s my firm belief that the framers designed the target of that sentiment to be none of their damn business, given the nontraditional minds that contributed both to the revolution and to the Constitution itself. I mean, Thomas Jefferson made an edition of the bible that edited out all the miracles. How would that go over with some today.

Really, I don’t care about people’s religions. I don’t fear Sharia law, in no small part due to the current interpretation of the first amendment. I feel that that particular controversy is a load of crap, like selling tiger repellent to people about to view the cats in cages.

Besides, if it was as easy as forbidding Sharia law, couldn’t Sharia be instituted by similar legislation? Only if freedom of religion dominates do we simply not have to worry.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 5, 2011 7:43 PM
Comment #319721

We have considerable governmental support of religion in the United States. If a religion is recognized as authentic by government they pay no taxes on revenue or assets they hold. Donations to these recognized religious organizations are tax deductible.

Students in religion based schools of higher learning are eligible for the same grants and aid as those attending secular schools thus supporting those institutions.

Chaplains are provided to our military. We give taxpayer money to foreign nations to build houses of worship. I am sure there are more examples but I am ready to call it a day.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 5, 2011 7:58 PM
Comment #319724

Warped

Many white Americans resisted desegregation. But the reason MLK was successful in his non-violent way was that most people felt guilty about racism, whether or not they wanted to practice it. The morality was clearly on the side of the civil rights activists. Even the worst racists would try to couch their arguments in terms of rights.

The morality on the abortion debate is very unclear. Both sides claim the moral high ground. The one says it is a matter of freedom to choose; the other thinks they are saving the lives of babies. After forty years, those sides have not much changed. In fact, they might have gotten even more solid.

re the Supreme Court and reinterpretation - all that I am saying is that neither the majority of the American people nor the Supreme Court has reached the point where they are willing to make that reinterpretation.

IMO - gay marriage is not worth all the sound and fury. After the initial flurry of marriages in Massachusetts, the rates have dropped off. Evidently most gays don’t want to get married anyway. It certainly will not be enough to damage the institution.

I would like to have the issue resolved, as I said, in favor of gay marriage. I think the ‘civil union’ is just BS that doesn’t satisfy the participants but also allows them to avoid some of the responsibilities of marriage.

Excuse me for beating the dead horse, but it is tax time, Chrissy and I pay thousands of dollars extra more because we are married instead of just living together or in a civil union. I want our gay brothers and sisters to have this same benefit. I expect that the government could earn a significant amount of money from some of those two income households.

Posted by: C&J at March 5, 2011 8:17 PM
Comment #319726

Under the heading of “Democracy vs Liberty”:

Here are some interesting facts and since the media and the politicians have failed to deal with the subject, perhaps someone would like to do a little research:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-08-11-mexico-guns_N.htm

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/obama-administration-may-give-atf-new-power-to-fight-trafficking-of-us-guns-to-mexico-114417474.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/23/eveningnews/main20035609.shtml

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7668

I have placed it in the order of events: Gun control needed because firearms are being sent to Mexico; second, Obama wants to crack down on gunrunning caused by the 2nd amendment rights; and lastly, Obama, the justice department, and the ATF already knew and are complicit.

Posted by: 1776 at March 5, 2011 9:03 PM
Comment #319728

Royal Flush-
The criteria for tax exemption, as given out by the IRS is:

All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules: ■ their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual, ■ they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests, ■ they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation, ■ they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and ■ the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

But then, you don’t have to be a church to get this benefit.

Scientific, Educational, Charitable, and other not-for-profit enterprises are also covered by this law. So, if the Church chooses to run for profit, it loses tax exempt status.

As for Obama’s condition? He’s in better shape than the Republicans. Look at Scott Walker. His approval ratings have dropped precipitously. His strong arm tactics have backfired.

Obama? He disappoints some, but with folks like Walker and Rick Scott out there in the states, with the Republican majority making cuts that most Democrats hate, do you really think most people like me are making the mistake of staying home?

Meanwhile, Republican supporters are learning fast that they will get nowhere near what their leaders promised. Democrats are used to disappointment, Republicans not so much.

Kevin Nye-
Big spender? A few factors here you need to consider.

First, nearly everything you can legitimately call big spending, that is the increases in defense, entitlement programs, the war, and in a inverse way, the Bush tax cuts, are all due to Bush policies. Other expenditures, like the one time TARP program and ARRA stimulus packages are one-time charges, and don’t represent spending over the long term. And TARP, let me remind you, was approved by Bush and the Republicans.

Other spending items that made the deficit larger were actually there all along, being spent, but Bush kept them off the budget. Things like the Doc Fix, like the AMT fix, like the money put aside for disaster relief and the supplementals for the wars. Bush’s budget deficits would be much larger if he hadn’t employed these magic asterisks. Obama’s would have been much closer to Bush’s, if he did.

In 2009, when reporters looked at what part of the Budget deficit Obama contributed to, it was only about ten percent, and seven percent of that was stimulus.

Which leaves about 50 percent of the spending coming from Republican policies. The other 40% is simply what you get when you drop the bottom from the economy. Less folks making good money means lower revenues, means higher deficits.

1776-
While certainly a fiasco, the walked guns do not represent a deliberate attempt by the Obama Administration to take your guns on the pretext of safeguarding the country. They represent somebody who didn’t appreciate the firepower he was letting into the country. They ought to have picked a smaller shipment, with less powerful guns. It’s a valid approach in undercover and sting operations, but you have to be careful what kind of collateral damage there is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 5, 2011 9:46 PM
Comment #319730


1776, what do these stories and leaks tell us.

They tell us that 90 to 95% of the weapons and ammunition are coming from the U.S.— from U.S. weapons and ammunition manufactures. Just like the raw materials for methamphetamine are shipped to Mexico by U.S. pharmaceutical companies, converted, and smuggled back across our border. These are legitimate sales and the companies are absolved of complicity in the name of profit.

They tell us that there are a number of U.S. gun dealers knowingly selling guns to drug cartel intermediaries and some that do it unknowingly. Should that be a surprise? People like making money and some do it illegally when opportunity arises. I have heard no one say that there are massive numbers of dealers doing this.

Many more guns are reaching the cartels indirectly through U.S. manufacturers overseas sales, predominantly sales to right wing governments like Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. These weapons come from Mexican military personnel who desert to join or form cartels, But most are sold on the free market, otherwise known as the black market, by soldiers, including generals of these various countries military.

It’s the same with the cocaine traffic, Columbia to Guatemala and Honduras to Mexico to the U.S. Not through Venezuela as the U.S. and Columbia publicly claimed to implicate Chavez. Through countries with right wing governments allied with the U.S. and heavily subsidized by the U.S. taxpayers.

On the ATF tactics, we see them often used by law enforcement. Drug dealers allowed to continue selling drugs, mafia hit men allowed to continue killing, etc. in the name of gathering evidence. Local, state, and federal law enforcement use this tactic and have done so for a long time.

But let me guess, you have uncovered a plot by the Obama Administration to abolish the second amendment, confiscate the American peoples guns, and establish a socialist Muslim state governed by Sharia Law.

If you want a government plot, look to the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama Administrations, their Congress’s, the Supreme Court, the corporation dollars, and the free market New World Order. I could see how they might eventually want to confiscate your guns.

Posted by: jlw at March 5, 2011 11:41 PM
Comment #319731

The only thing that stands between liberty and a communist America is an armed citizenry.

Posted by: 1776 at March 6, 2011 12:00 AM
Comment #319732

1776-
No, the main thing standing in the way is the first amendment. If you really have to fall back on the second amendment, you’re probably screwed by then.

The main purpose of the Second Amendment, as it states in the text itself, was to ensure this nation’s defense at a time where it took days, weeks, even months for your Nation’s army to reinforce you. It was not meant to give people the ability to threaten their own government when they did not agree with those policies.

As for Communism? Good heavens man, what do you plan to do, blow away all the folks you consider communist?

The way Communism or any other such movement gets defeated is by means of free speech, free assembly, a free press, and everything else in the constitution. Because we cannot be forced by the law to agree with an economic system we don’t like, because even the shadow of communism is despised in this country, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it come to pass.

I mean, what I find amazing is that you’re basically invoking and provoking the very fears that would keep the events you speak of from happening anytime soon. If Communism really were more attractive, there’d be nothing you could do to stop it.

I’d hate to be in your shoes. It seems like you’re haunted by a million false fears, each new one more outlandish than the next. In the case of this gun deal, If I were putting this together so as to actually, deliberately supply guns to the Cartels, I would take care not to bring along agents who would object to what I was planning to do. Springing such a controversial tactic on the agents, such that they’d come on out and complain about it, doesn’t strike me as the master stroke of a conspirator. A conspirator would not risk exposure by bringing along people who might be surprised to know what they were doing.

An incompetent agent or supervisor, though, might come up with a ****ty plan like this, that creates such collateral damage.

One reason I do not like to indulge in conspiracy theories is that 999 times out of 1000, you’ll be running right past your real problem, and rush to confront an issue that’s really a ghost in the machinery of your own thoughts, rather than a real threat.

That’s why I don’t indulge in 9/11 Trutherism, despite being a fierce critic of the Bush Administration. It may fit a low opinion of that Administration, but the facts don’t back it, and simple logic and science tells you most of what they’re saying is bull-hockey. Like I stated before, my primary intention in being a critic of the Bush Administration was to reform policy that had become an absolute trainwreck in my opinion.

Those who see communists hiding behind the Democrats are no better than those who see Bush Administration officials behind 9/11.

Stick to real skullduggery. Fix that, and you’ll get better results. Try and fix a problem that’s just a product of a conspiracy theory, and God knows what you’ll be left with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 6, 2011 12:37 AM
Comment #319733

Boring Stephen, I don’t even read your lengthy statements… You like to hear your own voice….

The only thing that stands between liberty and anarchy is an armed citizenry.

Posted by: 1776 at March 6, 2011 12:47 AM
Comment #319735

Could you conservatives clarify something for me? Whose God do I derive my unalienable rights from? Yours or mine? Or Thomas Jefferson’s? Or Glen Beck’s?

Posted by: LibRick at March 6, 2011 1:38 AM
Comment #319736

“And this is coming from someone who spent the better part of two years blaming former President Bush for our financial condition, whose largest deficit was $458B.”

Huh! The last budget of the Bush administration was FY-2008-2009. The deficit was 1.4 trillion. Over 1.2 trillion of that deficit was projected before Bush even left office.

The CBO projected on January 7, 2009, that, including spending authorized under the Bush administration for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and government takeovers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and vastly reduced revenues from the economic collapse that the deficit that year would total $1.2 trillion (see, Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2009 to 2019 (January 2009). The increase of approximately 200 billion over CBO’s estimate in January is principally accounted for by 265 billion in new spending in FY2009 by the stimulus program enacted after Obama took office.


Posted by: Rich at March 6, 2011 7:33 AM
Comment #319737

Royal Flush said: “With the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing programs, America is merrily printing money to service the trillions in debt..”

That is not true. The quantitative easing program of the Fed is intended to effect the composition of the private sector asset portfolio not add net new assets into the private sector. It is also not true that the Fed is printing money to either purchase new government bond issues or to service existing bonds. The quantitative easing program does not alter the legal obligations for the government to sell its bonds in the private sector and to service the interest and principal on those bonds.

The quantitative easing program of the Fed is essentially an asset swap with the private sector holders of bonds or other assets. The Fed in this QE program is purchasing existing treasury bonds held in the private sector. The Fed gets the bond as an asset on its balance sheet and the previous holder the market value of the bond in reserve funds at its account at the Fed. A ten million dollar bond is exchanged for ten million in reserve funds. There is no net increase or decrease in assets held by the private sector. There is no net change in the liabilities of the federal government in servicing or paying principal on the bonds. What has changed is that the private sector is holding cash rather than an equivalent value bond paying interest. It is the liquidity of private sector assets that has changed.

So what’s the point? Its main purpose is to push private sector investment out of the safe haven of treasuries into more risky assets, such as stocks, commodities, housing, etc. It is attempting to create an economic incentive for the private sector to invest in more functional assets for the overall economy. It is hoping to inflate the asset markets by directing existing resources toward those markets rather than treasuries. The theory is that rising asset prices will produce a “wealth effect.” That in turn will encourage more lending and investment in the general economy. Kind of a trickle down effect. It is inflationary in concept, but not in the manner that many presume. The stock market and commodity markets reflect the impact of the QE program for good or bad.

The “printing money” helicopter drops of the Fed is a red herring. The Fed is not flooding the markets with “new” additional assets. However, whether the Fed is engineering inflationary malinvestments is another question. It seems that we have experienced one asset bubble after another under the Feds stewardship in recent years.


Posted by: Rich at March 6, 2011 8:55 AM
Comment #319739

LibRick,

I will go with the God of our founding fathers. Since you are a liberal, I assume you have no god.

Posted by: Beretta9 at March 6, 2011 9:15 AM
Comment #319745

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing

Quantitative easing (QE) is an unconventional monetary policy used by some central banks to stimulate their economy. The central bank creates money which it uses to buy government bonds and other financial assets, in order to increase the money supply and the excess reserves of the banking system; this also raises the prices of the financial assets bought (which lowers their yield).

“Expansionary monetary policy normally involves a lowering of short-term interest rates by the central bank. However, when such interest rates are either at, or close to, zero, normal monetary policy can no longer function, and quantitative easing may be used by the monetary authorities in order to lower interest rates further out on the yield curve and further stimulate the economy. Risks include the policy being more effective than intended or of not being effective enough, if banks opt simply to sit on the additional cash in order to increase their capital reserves in a climate of increasing defaults in their present loan portfolio.

STEPS

1. The central bank has previously targeted an extremely low rate of interest, near or at zero percent.

2. The central bank credits its own bank account with money it creates electronically.

3. The central bank buys government bonds (including long-term government bonds) or other financial assets, from commercial banks or other financial institutions, with the newly created money.

Printing money

Quantitative easing is often nicknamed “printing money” by the media.

However, central banks state that the use of the newly created money is different in QE. With QE, the newly created money is used for buying government bonds or other financial assets, whereas the term “printing money” usually implies that the newly minted money is used to directly finance government deficits or pay off government debt (known as “monetizing the government debt”).


Posted by: Royal Flush at March 6, 2011 3:00 PM
Comment #319748


The certainty is that it will happen again just like volcanoes, only more frequent. This was a rather large eruption, but not the big one.

Posted by: jlw at March 6, 2011 4:33 PM
Comment #319749

The important point about QE is that it is not monetizing government debt or, for that matter, increasing the net financial assets in the private sector. It is converting an existing private sector asset in the form of a bond to its cash equivalent (bank reserves). You had a bond, now you have the cash equivalent. It is increasing liquidity in the private sector with the purpose of stimulating investment in alternatives to government bonds (stocks, commodities, housing, etc.). The Fed will eventually sell back into the private sector the bonds reducing its balance sheet, draining reserves and parking the money in bonds again.

The whole point is to get the private sector investing in assets other than the safe haven of government bonds. The hope is that it will inflate assets and the “wealth effect” will lead to greater interest in private sector borrowing.

Posted by: Rich at March 6, 2011 4:56 PM
Comment #319750


People can say that God gave men unalienable rights, but it isn’t true. Just because someone believes something doesn’t make it true. It sure looks good on paper, but it is not written on Biblical paper. Perhaps the unalienable rights became a victim of the editing process.

One would have thought that God would have said to his covenanted people, no, no, no, you can’t keep slaves, they have unalienable rights just like you Israelites.

How could Jefferson and Washington justify their slaves if they truly believed that all men have unalienable rights, granted to them by God?

Are we going to say that these ‘Founding Fathers’ took it upon themselves to defy God’s will?

Those words sounded good to the common people these privileged people need if they were going to replace the king.

It didn’t take the common people long to realize that for the most part, those grand words didn’t apply to them. That is when the Revolution began and it is ongoing.

Posted by: jlw at March 6, 2011 5:05 PM
Comment #319754

Slavery was not originally prohibited by the constitution. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was written with the understanding that the pursuit of happiness meant the pursuit of property. Slaves were considered property until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_the_Bill_of_Rights_prohibit_slavery#ixzz1FrbrE9rz

“CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS”

Democracy and liberty are often thought to be the same thing, but they are not. Democracy means that people ought to be able to vote for public officials in fair elections, and make most political decisions by majority rule. Liberty, on the other hand, means that even in a democracy, individuals have rights that no majority should be able to take away.

The rights that the Constitution’s framers wanted to protect from government abuse were referred to in the Declaration of Independence as “unalienable rights.” They were also called “natural” rights, and to James Madison, they were “the great rights of mankind.” Although it is commonly thought that we are entitled to free speech because the First Amendment gives it to us, this country’s original citizens believed that as human beings, they were entitled to free speech, and they invented the First Amendment in order to protect it. The entire Bill of Rights was created to protect rights the original citizens believed were naturally theirs, including:

FREEDOM OF RELIGION
The right to exercise one’s own religion, or no religion, free from any government influence or compulsion

FREEDOM OF SPEECH, PRESS, PETITION & ASSEMBLY
Even unpopular expression is protected from government suppression or censorship

PRIVACY
The right to be free of unwarranted and unwanted government intrusion into one’s personal and private affairs, papers, and possessions.

DUE PROCESS OF LAW
The right to be treated fairly by the government whenever the loss of liberty or property is at stake.

EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW
The right to be treated equally before the law, regardless of social status

www.aclu.org

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 6, 2011 6:20 PM
Comment #319756

Good points Royal Flush. These are all the results of living for centuries under the tyranny of Kings and Queens.

Another point might be made; jlw said:

“One would have thought that God would have said to his covenanted people, no, no, no, you can’t keep slaves, they have unalienable rights just like you Israelites.”

God’s covenanted people in the Old Testament were the Godly line from Adam until the nation of Israel was established. There were many things that God allowed His people to do, even though he did not want them to. Example: God intended for one man to have one wife, but God allowed men to take more wives. Another example: God did not want the nation of Israel to be ruled by a king, but He allowed them to choose Saul as the first king of Israel. God placed limits on servitude and slavery, even though this is what man wanted to do. Slavery has always been a way of life among the residents of the Middle-East, even until this day; it does not mean God condoned it. But even to those in slavery and servitude, God gave them rights or rules to live by. You have to remember, God allowed bad things to happen to those outside of His covenanted people as a result of punishment.

Posted by: BP at March 6, 2011 7:17 PM
Comment #319763

1776-
You know Saddam Hussein’s citizens had guns, and it didn’t do squat for them?

If you can’t organize with your fellow citizens to revolt, what good is a gun? If you can’t go on a street corner and preach against the regime without getting arrested, what good is having a gun? If the other side side has bigger guns, and your friends and family are in the way of them if the government starts thinking you’re a danger to them, well, what good is having a gun?

Saddam could keep people, armed people, contentious people who hated his guts in line because he controlled the political landscape with an iron hand. He fried his rivals in acid, threw bones to the power brokers, etc, so he didn’t have to face an armed revolt.

You can’t do that here. Both Republicans and Democrats bet the other side couldn’t defeat them after their tremendous victories, the Republicans making the bet in 2004, the Democrats doing it in 2008

In just a few years’ time, public opinon changed far enough to create a political realignment.

Most Democrats didn’t need guns to change the country, to help put Obama in charge. They just need the freedom to speak their minds, and the technology to supplement that.

The most important power is in the head. In Egypt, unarmed civilians in their masses made it clear that if the Army got violent, things would not turn out well for them.

It’s the thoughts you can inspire, and the directions you can push behavior that matter. Walker might think he’s winning if he pushes his bill through, but if he gets recalled, and somebody rewrites the legislation in his wake, it’ll have been for nothing. Good leaders know how far to push their citizens before public disapproval becomes a weight on their ability to sustain public office.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2011 1:08 AM
Comment #319766
On this view of the import of the term “republic,” instead of saying, as has been said, “that it may mean anything or nothing,” we may say with truth and meaning that governments are more or less republican, as they have more or less of the element of popular election and control in their composition; and believing, as I do, that the mass of the citizens is the safest depository of their own rights, and especially, that the evils flowing from the duperies of the people are less injurious than those from the egoism of their agents, I am a friend to that composition of government which has in it the most of this ingredient.

~Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 7, 2011 12:42 PM
Comment #319803


“These are all the results of living for centuries under the tyranny of Kings and Queens.” As well as religion as in the Holy Roman Church and the Church of England, all sanctioned by God as his representatives on earth.

The Founders rejected the RULE that by defying the King you were defying God.

BP, God allowed bad things to happen to his covenanted people as a result of punishment. He allowed people outside his covenanted people to do these bad things to his covenanted people for violating his covenant. Perhaps these people were descendants of Hagar and Ismael who also trace their ancestry and heritage back to Adam.

It was nice of God to give slaves some rights.

Some said that God cured one man of alcoholism and another of insanity so they could be used to punish a defiant people. Others said it was Satan that did that. Others said they weren’t cured at all.

I believe that God gave humans the same rights as all the other creatures that he created. The right to reproduce, multiply, and fill as large a niche as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can. All the rest is just add on, products of our imagination or our invention.

Posted by: jlw at March 8, 2011 9:28 PM
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