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Old 06-24-2002, 05:08 AM   #61
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The 4th right may have ensured the other 3 200 years ago but it certainly does not today in light of what one is allowed to arm themselves with vs the Government today compared to 200 years ago. The South thought the Federal Government was becoming tyranical and left, and they were soundly defeated in 1865 by the Federal Government despite having very similar equipment and at the outset better trained personal and officers. In 2002 it is impossible for citizens to defeat the federal government if its backed by the US military. Thats the way it should be. No citizen should have the power to overthrow my and everyones elected government. There are plenty of freaks out there though who think the Federal government is evil and form these crazy militia's. But it seems that has died down in recent years though.
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Old 06-24-2002, 02:22 PM   #62
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I'll grant that U.S. citizens would probably not last very long against the U.S. military in a conventional war - particularly if the U.S. military ever decided that it was no longer concerned about innocent bystanders - the elderly, women, and children.

(And while I grant that the South lost the U.S. Civil War, I'll also note that it did so in the arena of conventional warfare, in which thousands of men march across a field to shoot each other at near point blank range. Had they used the tactics of guerilla warfare that worked so well in the American Revolutionary War - tactics that would be successfully repeated in Vietnam and when the Soviets attacked the Afghans - well, it might have been a much different story.)

(And if We the People had guns, what's to prevent us from seizing small government armories and get bigger guns? And what's preventing us from using THOSE guns to raid even larger armories? Fact is, we would probably led by retired military men and women and avid outdoorsmen, and simply mad as hell; the suggestion that we would be UTTERLY doomed is a bit pessimistic.)

That said, I submit that, while a tyranny can be forced onto a people through military victories, it can only be maintained through a police state, a nation ruled through martial law where individuals are coerced to obey that law. And an armed American citizenry would be sheer Hell on a police state.

Basically, I see two threats: the large-scale threat of military defeat and the small-scale threat of personal coercion; the B-52 bomber and the soldier with the machine gun.

While the 2nd Amendment may no longer protect against the former (a debatable claim, to be sure), I still believe it DOES protect against the latter.


What this reduces to, I believe, is the argument that "X can prevent everything, ergo X is useless." I've seen it most recently in the debate over missle defense. Opponents say that even if it could prevent a rogue state from destroying American cities with nuclear ICBM's, it wouldn't prevent another 9/11.

To which I reply, so what? I would rather be at risk of another 9/11 than at risk for BOTH another 9/11 AND a large scale missle offensive.

Or, in another example, bullet-proof vests don't prevent gunshot wounds to the head, but it STILL prevents wounds to the chest. Do you not wear the vest because it doesn't protect your head? No, that's silly.

Should we give up our 2nd Amendment rights because it doesn't protect us from a large scale attack from our own government? No, that's also silly: it still protects us from individual coercion.
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Old 06-24-2002, 03:13 PM   #63
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this reminds me of a comic I once saw. This guy was sitting at his computer. His screen said "choose one" Underneath were two buttons,
FREEDOM or SECURITY.
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Old 06-24-2002, 05:36 PM   #64
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First, the British lost the Revolutionary war because they actually did lose large scale battles like York Town and others, and the Continental army recieved lots of weapons and aid from France in addition to French troop and French Naval power that heavily disrupted British logistical support for the forces in the colonies. If it had just been guerilla tactics, the colonist would have been defeated. The French and Indians largely used guerilla tactics in the French And Indian war and they were largely defeated and all land East of the Mississippi came under British control.

In Vietnam, the US military fought a war with not just one hand tied behind its back but both and its feet as well. In battle terms the North Vietnames and Vietcong were slaughtered in battle, but were allowed to flee to the North or Laos and Cambodia to gain reinforcements and continue the attack. In addition to Billions of dollars of supplies and military aid from the Soviet Union as well as nearly 2,000 Soviet advisors in the North training their forces. The US left in 1973, and the war continued dead locked for another 2 years. It ended in the spring of 1975 when the North launched a large scale convential offensive with lots of tanks, and artillery. The South caved in from the massive attack. The first North Vietnames soldiers to enter Saigon were not guerilla's dressed in black Pjs armed with AK-47s, but tank crewman in a Soviet built T-55 tank.

In Afghanistan with the Soviets, the Soviet army never numbered more than 115,000 only enough to protect maybe four cities and launch brief raids into the country side. Afghanistan is 5 times as large as Vietnam, yet the Soviets only sent 1/5 as many troops as the USA sent to Vietnam. The Reason being, the Soviets only real objective was propping up the government in Kabul, and not hunting down all the rebels in the countryside. If it had been, the Soviet military then numbering active duty 5,000,000 troops could have sent a far larger force into the country that would have accomplished that objective. But for reasons that were political and international, they never did.

Citizens can be coarced by more than machine guns. Tanks and Amored personal carries can be used short of B-52s. They would be more than sufficient to coerce and subdue any civilian population only armed with small arms. Plus which armory are you going to assualt and take which the government would leave unguarded. Plus what would you take. Most citizens cannot operate tanks included retired military. Many tanks and equipment are so sophisticated today that a retired Tank Crewman from twenty years ago would be unable to operate one today. Plus heavy equipment in storage needs spare parts, fuel, and ammo, most of which will not be on site or at least not in quantity to last. Civilians retired or otherwise could never sieze the quantity of heavy equipment needed, with the needed logistical requirments, to challenge the US military.

The fact is, the only serious challenge to the US military would be a similarly equipped, and more importantly well supplied, organized military force.

Of course, this alone does not mean that personal firearms should be band. I'll give you another reason, 667,000 deaths from murder or accidents with firearms in the USA since December 1980! The large number of firearms in society has been a failure in the USA, while the small number of firearms available to those in the UK and Ireland has been a massive success.

Freedom often involves being secure, and most people in the UK and Ireland would feel less secure in the USA. Freedom is not just about the freedom to buy and equip oneself with things or to say or do certain things. It is also about freedom from certain conditions and environments. People in the USA do not enjoy this freedom from random firearm violence unlike people in Ireland and the UK. 667,000 deaths in 20 years from a tool that is only used to kill other people indicates that firearms need to be controlled and severely restricted. While other things may kill large numbers of people, they have other purposes and uses in society, firearms for civilians do not. The Facts demonstrate that Ireland and the UK have the best policies in regards to gun control and that the USA should adopt those because they work. 667,000 deaths in 20 years is not a success by any stretch of the imagination. I'm all for locking violent offenders up and throwing away the key. But I'm also for gun control policies similar to those in the UK and Ireland. In addition to that I would hire and train more police officers. Longterm, economic prosperity to lower the poverty rate is also curcial. Doing all four is what will reduce the 1980-2000 statistic in firearm deaths in the next 20 years.
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Old 06-24-2002, 05:46 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
this reminds me of a comic I once saw. This guy was sitting at his computer. His screen said "choose one" Underneath were two buttons,
FREEDOM or SECURITY.
I know we disagree on religion (nothing personal, of course; in fact, you're quite well-spoken and I rather enjoy our discussions), but I must concur about the idea "freedom or security."

The idea is probably applicable to most freedoms - you can be insulated from an offensive book if free speech is restricted - but I think the idea applies best to economic freedom and self-defense.

In terms of economic freedom, you basically have to choose between the right to earn what you can and the security of some guaranteed minimum. Generally, to provide the guaranteed minimum to one group requires taxing those who earn a lot - and there goes the right to pursue happiness, in the economic sense.

In terms of self-defense, you must pretty much accept the possibility of everyone else being armed in order to arm yourself...

...which I personally accept. I believe thugs and potential despots will have guns one way or another, so I think it's actually safer if law-abiding citizens are also armed.
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Old 06-24-2002, 06:11 PM   #66
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You are well-spoken yourself. I almost enjoy the fact that we disagree. It make the topic more interesting then just "I agree...Excatcly what I was thinking" etc. The comic was interesting. Me and my friend talked about it quite a bit.
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Old 06-24-2002, 07:55 PM   #67
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Minimum wage certainly does not stifle anyones pursuit of happiness, rather it prevents employers from just living off the work of what could be called slaves. Its important that those on the bottom get fair pay for the work they do so they can actually particpate in the pursuit of happiness. For the most part this is a moot point because when the economy is red hot, many positions paying more than minumum wage actually go unfilled. Today minumum wage is almost 6 dollars, but adjusted for inflation, it was 7.50 in 1968. There is no reason for people working minimum wage to be making a 1.50 less than they did in 1968. Especially when average economic productivity per worker per hour is far greater than it was in 1968. Minimum wage of course cannot be to high to be obstructive to economic growth, but if its to low, it can create pockets of poverty which produce crime which if severe can dampen economic growth in certain area's.

There are plenty of thieves and Thugs and those that commit crime in the UK and Ireland. It is the gun control laws there though that prevent the high rate of death from fire arms. The idea that thugs and thieves will always have firearms is false given the facts from the UK and Ireland. Citizens are not allowed to own Tanks, Anti-tank Missiles and other explosives, and most criminals do not have these either because they are Banned. Theories and principles are fine, but its what works in practice that is most important. In the USA, policy toward firearms is a failure with 667,000 dead since 1980. In the UK and Ireland, the policies there are an obvious success. One should adopt policies that have been demonstrated to work. Arming everyone is certainly not the answer or Afghanistan and Somalia would be rather peaceful places.
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Old 06-24-2002, 09:57 PM   #68
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<sigh>

While it's true that guerilla tactics doesn't explain the whole story concerning the American Revolutionary War, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, the fact remains: THE TACTICS WERE USED SUCCESSFULLY. Even if everything you said was true, it doesn't change things.

The only reason all three of those wars came up is to counter your claim that the South "soundly" lost the American Civil War - that defeat was inevitable. That's simply not true: any detailed history of the War demonstrates that the North was QUITE close to losing on several occasions, that different tactics could have meant a vastly different outcome.

All this doesn't really matter, though. Let's say that you can reasonably assert that even the South's defeat was inevitable (again, I don't think you can). Let's then say that it follows that no group of American citizens can overthrow the government - it doesn't follow, but I'm playing along.

(I AM simply playing along.)

How does that lead to the conclusion that we Americans should lay down our arms? How does the government's vast amount of power make it a good idea to hand over MORE power?



Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Citizens can be coarced by more than machine guns. Tanks and Amored personal carries can be used short of B-52s. They would be more than sufficient to coerce and subdue any civilian population only armed with small arms. Plus which armory are you going to assualt and take which the government would leave unguarded. Plus what would you take. Most citizens cannot operate tanks included retired military. Many tanks and equipment are so sophisticated today that a retired Tank Crewman from twenty years ago would be unable to operate one today. Plus heavy equipment in storage needs spare parts, fuel, and ammo, most of which will not be on site or at least not in quantity to last. Civilians retired or otherwise could never sieze the quantity of heavy equipment needed, with the needed logistical requirments, to challenge the US military.
Personally, an APC isn't that scary, but do you REALLY think the US Government's supply of tanks is "more than sufficient to coerce" us?

There are 280 million people. Let's say that only half of them decide to revolt: 140 million people. How many tanks would they face?

Actually, that's a difficult number to find (for good reason), but let's make the wild assumption that there's one tank for every ten men in the U.S. military (including the Navy and Air Force). There are about 2 million men, so let's guess 200,000 tanks.

That means, ONE TANK for every SEVEN HUNDRED fighting Americans - and that's a WILDLY liberal estimate. (If I had to make a more realistic guess, I'd say that there are actually one-tenth the number of tanks - 20,000 - meaning 1 agains 7,000 fighting Americans.)

Now, let's say these 700 Americans HAVE GUNS. How exactly does one tank coerce them again?

And again, even IF the government is powerful enough to actually coerce its people, isn't that MORE of a reason to hold on to our guns?



Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Of course, this alone does not mean that personal firearms should be band. I'll give you another reason, 667,000 deaths from murder or accidents with firearms in the USA since December 1980! The large number of firearms in society has been a failure in the USA, while the small number of firearms available to those in the UK and Ireland has been a massive success.
Thing is, this stat is quite meaningless. It includes deaths resulting from violent criminals being released from prison when they should remain behind bars (an indictment of the criminal justice system), deaths resulting from citizens being unable to legally defend themselves in many cites, AND deaths from people defending themselves from criminials - which is, in my opinion, is NOT a bad thing.

A more telling stat would be, say, accidental deaths resulting from fireams - or whether that number has INCREASED with the proliferation of guns. Well, since 1930, the U.S. population has more than doubled, the number of privately owned firearms has more than quadrupled, and the annual number of fatal firearm accidents has declined by 65%; since 1975, the number of accidental deaths for children has dropped by 75%.

But, again, I'm going to play along and assume that EVERY one of those deaths were the deaths of innocents caused by legally owned firearms. That number - 667,000 since '80 - reduces to 30, 000 deaths per year, or 0.01% of the U.S. population.

I don't know whether this sounds harsh (and, frankly, I don't care), but that sounds like an acceptable number of deaths to ensure our liberties.


Quote:
Minimum wage certainly does not stifle anyones pursuit of happiness, rather it prevents employers from just living off the work of what could be called slaves. Its important that those on the bottom get fair pay for the work they do so they can actually particpate in the pursuit of happiness. For the most part this is a moot point because when the economy is red hot, many positions paying more than minumum wage actually go unfilled. Today minumum wage is almost 6 dollars, but adjusted for inflation, it was 7.50 in 1968. There is no reason for people working minimum wage to be making a 1.50 less than they did in 1968. Especially when average economic productivity per worker per hour is far greater than it was in 1968. Minimum wage of course cannot be to high to be obstructive to economic growth, but if its to low, it can create pockets of poverty which produce crime which if severe can dampen economic growth in certain area's.
Well, certainly, minimum wage doesn't result in a tax on the wealthy - but it DOES keep people from pursuing happiness. The thing that minimum wage supporters forget is this: you raise it, and suddenly each min-wage worker becomes more expensive for the employer. Supply-and-demand being what it is, he hires fewer min-wage workers.

In other words, those that still have their min-wage jobs benefit. Those who lose their jobs don't. In fact, those who see the increased wages usually do so at the expense of others in similar position.

...which is why, surprising enough, unemployment increases every time you increase the minimum wage.


All this aside, I do have one question:

Quote:
In the UK and Ireland, the policies there are an obvious success. One should adopt policies that have been demonstrated to work.
Would you consider NORTHERN Ireland a success?
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Old 06-24-2002, 11:45 PM   #69
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Having just been to Northern Ireland in January, yes I would say it is a great success. I would hate to think how many people would have been killed in the latest riots there if access to firearms were the same as it is in the USA. Most deaths in the 40 years of more recent conflict in Northern Ireland have occured from homade bombs and not firearms or handguns. If access to small arms was greater, the number of deaths in the conflict would increase in kind. Violent deaths there have decreased in large part to the peace process and great economic development. When I was there in January, I saw all the historic places in the conflict in Belfast and the walls, barbed wire, and guard towers are still there, but most were empty and I did not see any British troops. The people there are so nice and the clubs kick ass. I felt far safer walking through downtown Belfast at 3 am than I do in my hometown, one of the safer places to live in the USA as far as towns go. I have been to Derry and seen where "Sunday Blood Sunday" happened. Derry is a beautiful city despite its international reputation. With out the paintings and murals there, you would never know that such a conflict had taking place there. One is far safer today in Derry than any US city.

So given the turbulant recent political history, the poverty and discrimination that use to be so prevelant, today Northern Ireland is a massive success. Far more people would be dead in Northern Ireland today if access to firearms was the same as it was in the USA. Of course this is just addressing the political motivated acts of violence, and not firearm violence as a result of regular crime like that seen in the USA. As far as that goes, today its probably safer than most other area's of the UK except Scotland.
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Old 06-25-2002, 12:08 AM   #70
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It is not true that unemployment increases every time you increase the minimum wage. Minimum wage increased through out the 90s but unemployment decreased to its lowest peacetime level in history! Of course the increase in minimum wage did not cause that to happen. Minimum wage increases are only harmful when unemployment is above the natural rate of 6%. Business is down in such periods and the average employer may have to lay off some workers if minimum wage is increased. This is more often seen in places that have low cost of living where minimum wage workers make up a larger portion of all workers. Even then though, the employer often cuts the workers to simply maintain his profit rather than the fact that his business will go under because of it. The price of Gas is important because it is cheap today and people structure their budgets and activities around that fact. But the price of Gas here in the USA is half of what it was in 1978 once you take inflation into account. The small business owner is living high off the hog when you account that his energy cost and employment cost are significantly less than what they were in the 70s once inflation is taken into account. But of course they have today structured their business around this relative low cost of operation, so any increase in energy price or minimum wage hurts in an uncertain or reccession era economy. When the economy is steaming forward as it was in the 90s, minimum wage increase has vitrually no effect. Especially since on average most workers are being hired at more than the minimum per hour in good economic times. Its important to have a minimum wage to prevent abuse, and when to increase it is done so based on the economic health of the country. It remains the same in bad economic times and is increased when the economy steams ahead, although this has not always happened. Minimum wage unfortunately though, has not kept up with inflation despite the fact that the country is 3 times richer than it was in 1968 adjusting for inflation.
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Old 06-25-2002, 01:15 AM   #71
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Thank you for the clarification about Northern Ireland, and even if you are correct about the minimum wage, I believe it a form of unnecessary price fixing based on the fellacious argument that most people earning minimum wage are trying to support a family and thus need a "living wage."

I believe that, at least beyond a reasonable level of wages and safety standards (levels I believed have already been reached), employers have the right to decide to maintain profit levels and "live high off the hog."

That said, I think the Second Amendment discussion is far more important.


Having read most of your posts in this thread, I'm lead to believe you think the following: IF the U.S. Government wanted to oppress its people, it could. Ergo, our damned American insistence to hold on to our Winchesters is, in the end, pointless.

Resistence is futile, eh?

The statements have been, I think, begging a very important question: do you think the United States government actually would ever, if given half a chance, attempt to oppress its people?

Some would say it has been trying since the days of FDR; some shudder every time they see Bush and Ashcroft. (Agree or not, I can understand both points of view.) Some think we're a stone's throw to a police state, and I actually think we're QUITE far from a point where a revolution would be necessary to ensure our freedoms. We still enjoy more freedoms than any major nation on the face of the earth.

And though I cannot forsee specific circumstances that bring us to tyranny, I do think that a free and democratic government can decay into a police state ruled by terror.

I'm simply wondering if you agree.

If you don't agree - if you think the U.S. republic CANNOT be corrupted - I have to conclude that you're simply being niave, that you're ignoring human nature and human history. Human nature reminds us that power corrupts, that it creates a desire for more power, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. And human history points to the collapse of the Roman Republic into an empire ruled by Ceasar.

If you DO agree that the republic's fall is at least possible (and perhaps even inevitable), then are you not asking us gun-toting Americans to simply make the transition more likely? Aren't you asking us to simply give up?

If you are, fine; there are lots of people who value life (even a life oppressed) over everything else. But as for me, I'd rather die a free man than live as a slave.

For some of us, "Give me liberty or give me death," is not a mere slogan, nor a idealistic mantra best suited for movies like Braveheart (itself based on a historical figure in Scottish history): it IS how things will be. The government will have to pry our guns - and the rest of our freedoms - from our cold, dead hands.


You have said, "No citizen should have the power to overthrow my and everyones elected government."

I disagree. As do a few reasonably intelligent men in history:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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Old 06-25-2002, 01:52 AM   #72
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Guerilla war tactics were used successfully only in the sense that those tactics help to prevent those who were using them from being wiped out quicker. It is a fact that the USA never lost a major battle in the Vietnam War. It is a fact that the USA military if it had been allowed to bomb and invade North Vietnam with sufficient military force that the North would have been soundly defeated within a year. Just like the Japanese were eventually soundly defeated in every convential military engagement in the Pacific. OkiNawa was a forcast of what would have happened to Japan if it was invaded by US forces. This was not done due to concern about Chinese entry into the war, and worry about being bogged down in South East Asia, with the possibility of a massive Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. These factors heavily retrained US military activity in South East Asia.

Guerilla tactics were often used by small Confederate forces and it allowed them to inflict losses and temporarily survive. But in order to win the war or any war for that matter against a fully determined enemy utilizing all its resources and options, one has to achieve a level of mass and firepower in order to take and hold cities and territory and destory similarly large and well armed forces. Guerilla tactics accomplish neither. Guerilla tactics allow a weaker smaller force to temporarily survive and still inflict losses on who their fighting. Thats why the French and Indians lost the "French and Indian War", Vietnames were unable to defeat the USA in battle and when they left mounted a massive conventional military attack that eventually succeeded in taken Saigon in 1975.

While its true that the victory of the North was not enevitable in the Civil War, it was because the South was able to raise a large army that was well trained and led. The biggest threat to the North was Lee's massive invasion of the North which was the closes the South ever came to defeating the North. If Lee's particular tactics at Gettysburg had been different, it could have changed the war. But Guerilla tactics would not have been able to dislodge Union forces from any of their positions or taken any Northern Cities just like North Vietnames guerilla tactics failed to do the same, although it did temporarily allow them to inflict losses and survive. The absense of US forces and the use of conventional military tactics with a large army allowed the North Vietnames to defeat the South in the Spring of 1975.

The reason Americans should lay down their arms is because they use them to kill each other in disputes and through crime. They are often unable to properly care and use such weapons which leads to accidents. Such weapons are rarely a deterent to crime and are usually inefective in saving ones life if a firefight occurs given the fact that the criminal has surprise on their side.

As regards to the government, it is a democracy with checks and balances, it is the peoples government. The US military would never turn on its own people and an unpopular government is simply voted out of office. But lets say that the US government does become tyranical, the small arms that citizens have are powerless, useless against the US military. Giving up these weapons does not, there for, give the government any more power than it already has because the citizens small arms do not give it any relevant power against the government to begin with.

So you don't think an APC is that scary. Tell that to a battalion of Iraqi Republican Guard tanks that engaged a battalion of M2 Bradley APC's during the gulf war. The M2 Bradley has a crew of 9. 6 firing ports for M-16s, a 25 mm auto-cannon that fires explosive shells rapidly, a twin Tow launcher with more missiles stored inside. Armor protection thick enough to stop any small arms that citizens have. Plus the option to attach re-active armor plates that can stop infrantry fired anti-tank weapons and some vehicle mounted anti-tank missiles. Although not as powerful as the M1 Tank it is a formidable weapons system and one that citizens would be unable to defeat with small arms. Although the Bradley is used to support the M1 Abrams in combat, in this battle that happened in the Gulf War, the M2 Bradely battalion was ambushed by a battalion of Iraqi Republican guard T-72s. In most circumstances, the Bradley's would have lost, but they succeeded in destroying all the T-72s at the cost of only 3 M2 Bradley's. I have personally seen the M1 and M2 Bradley operate together and let me tell you, you do not want to be on the recieving end.

To answer your question about how many Tanks the US military has, as of June 1997 it had 8,436 tanks. Most of them in the US Army and the rest with the US Marine Corp. All of them except 192 of them being M1 tanks.

The M1 tanks operate in close cooperation with the M2 bradley as well as the M-109 self propelled mobile armored howitzer, the Multiple Launch Rocket System, and Apache Attack Helicopters and Ground Attack aircraft from the Air Force like the A-10 and other high performance fighters that have both air to air and ground attack ability. No number of citizens armed with small arms could defeat the above force because the citizens are not armed with weapons that could destroy any of the weapons platforms they face. In addition, the average citizen lacks protection from chemical and biological attack that the Military could use to kill citizens without destroying property as Saddam Hussain has done. But these weapons would not be necessary given the inability of citizens to challenge any major military weapons platform whether it be a Tank, APC or Attack Helicopter.

You state that "if a government does technically have the power to coerce it citizens, is not more of a reason to hold on to small arms"? I would say no, because such weapons would be ineffective if the government had the full support of the military. Small arms only threaten other civilians, 667,000 of them gunned down since 1980.

The statistic is signficant because if such small arms were largely absent in society, hundreds of thousands of people would still be alive as seen in Ireland and the UK. Privately owned firearms don't insure anyones liberty, rather they more often rob other peoples lives and security, and our ,there for, a threat to freedom! The US military and local police insures my liberty, not someone in my neighborhood owning a firearm. People in Ireland and the UK have not lossed their liberties because most people do not have any type of firearms. Rather I'd say they enjoy an environment and freedom that many in the USA do not because of firearms. The band members of U2 can live anywhere they want on the planet. Could one reason that they choose to continue to live in Dublin be because it is a safer environment in which to raise their childern because of the freedom from mass firearm violence that is prevlant in the USA. My best friends cousin who is Irish plans to move back to Dublin when he gets married. One reason is the safer environment in Ireland and the freedom from this type of violence relative to the USA.
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Old 06-25-2002, 02:22 AM   #73
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To answer your question about how many Tanks the US military has, as of June 1997 it had 8,436 tanks. Most of them in the US Army and the rest with the US Marine Corp. All of them except 192 of them being M1 tanks.
Which means - assuming only half of the U.S. population fights, 17,000 combatants per tank. Assuming armed combatants, I like those odds.

But please, let us focus on my last question: do you think the United States government actually would ever, if given half a chance, attempt to oppress its people?

It seems to me your answer is no (emphasis mine):

As regards to the government, it is a democracy with checks and balances, it is the peoples government. The US military would never turn on its own people and an unpopular government is simply voted out of office.

Didn't the Roman republic - with its elected Senate - become an empire when its military leader (Julius Ceasar) turned against it? If it happened then and there, what has significantly changed to prevent it from occuring in the here and now?
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Old 06-25-2002, 03:16 AM   #74
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I can't predict the future but I seriously doubt that the US government will at any time in the future become tyranical and impose a Police state barring a natural disaster of immense proporations or limited Nuclear war. I'm well aware of history and human nature, but those things are not always applicable in every situation. The world we live in in 2002 is vastly different from what the world was like at the time of Christ. There is no democracy, culture or economy that even remotely resembles the United States today. We live in the world of Capitalism and individual power is most likely to reside in the private sector and involves making money and expanding ones business rather than controlling a certain group of people by working in government . While 2000 years or even 100 years ago or still today in the third world, many seek personal power through the government, today that rarely if ever happens in the USA simply because government is a poor and ineffective path to personal power.

Going into Government today means service to the country. It a very noble thing. You''ll never come close to making the amount of money in Government that you could in the private sector. If you are lucky enough to be elected President, impeachment is possible and you can only serve a maximum of 8 years, providing your able to win a second election. Your income when President is fixed and a person in the Private sector in a similar position would be making 15 or 20 million a year while the President only makes a few hundred thousand. Certainly large sums of money are raised for the Political parties which is why I believe in Campaign finance reform, but its important to mention that this money, good or bad, does not come from the government but from the Private sector! If tyranny exist, it exist here with wealthy companies and lobbiest including the NRA attempting to influence and rob the average person influence in their government.

History has never had a military as professional and ethical as the one that we have today. Nor has there ever been situation where it was combined with a government where people join to serve the people, not because its a way to make lots of money and therefore gain personal power.

The whole Evil tyranical government is a relic of the past in the western devoloped industrial world that is, because the nature of what it means to be powerful and how to achieve that personal power in a Capitalistic interdependent global Economy, is far different from what it used to be even in the recent past. What personal power is and the path to it has changed and it does not involve government. The US government has to many checks and balances and is not this machine of robots walking in unison to the beat of a drum. Government is not the monster, the monopolistic poluting corperation might be though or private wealthy private citizen using their money to break the law and there by threatening freedom and Capitalism. Bad apples are everywhere, but I fear more from private citizens and corperations than from people taking a pay cut and serving in the US government. Politicians have done corrupt things in the USA, but nothing that could have remotely threatened are democracy. The President can only serve for 8 years and really only has true unchecked authority in regards to certain foreign policy situations. Members of the house face election every two years, the Senate 6 years. People have the POWER to vote them out or keep them there. Rather than being powerful, politicians are at the mercy of their constituents who are composed of all citizens of adult age 18 and up, rather than just the white wealthy minority of men who owned land as democracy was temporarily defined 220 years ago. Of course wealthy businesses and privately funded institutions try to circumvent this fact with their large undemocratic donations to the political parties robbing the average person of influence in their government.

So again, the fear is not of a tyranical government but of the tyrany that exist in the private sector where personal power and greed exist. Rather than being a threat to US citizens, the US government acts as a guard against wealthy citizens who think their above the law, or corporations engaged in monopolistic or enviromental practices that threaten Capitalism, democracy, and the health and freedom of US citizens.

Today it makes more sense to ask whether a corporation through its money and power could weaken the influence and checks of government there by achieving a level of monopilistic power that threatens Capitalism, true democracy and freedom, and the environment and health of all citizens. I doubt this could happen, but that is where the threat comes from when looking inside the USA, not the government. Greed and human nature where the threat comes from are most alive in the private sector, not government. The private sector is good though as long as it is properly regulated by the federal government to prevent monopoly and create the highest degree of competition possible.
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Old 06-25-2002, 03:28 AM   #75
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17,000 citizens armed with weapons that are useless against one tank, or one APC. I like my odds in a tank or APC.

Another fact you ignore is that most citizens have no understanding military tactics and I would argue most do not properly know how to use a firearm. They do not have any organization, little or no information on where and how the military would deploy its forces and with small arms, lack any means of combating armored vehicles.

Spanish explorers faced similar odds against the Aztecs and Inca's but because of superior technology and organization easily defeated these societies.

The fact is, while 100 years ago, citizens could overthrow the government because most weapons were small arms, advanced weapons technology and the advent of large standing professional military has made this impossible.
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Old 06-25-2002, 06:41 AM   #76
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
Well, certainly, minimum wage doesn't result in a tax on the wealthy - but it DOES keep people from pursuing happiness. The thing that minimum wage supporters forget is this: you raise it, and suddenly each min-wage worker becomes more expensive for the employer. Supply-and-demand being what it is, he hires fewer min-wage workers.

In other words, those that still have their min-wage jobs benefit. Those who lose their jobs don't. In fact, those who see the increased wages usually do so at the expense of others in similar position.

...which is why, surprising enough, unemployment increases every time you increase the minimum wage.
In the UK minimum wage was introduced in 1997 and we currently have the lowest employment since WW2.

If I'm incorrect in assuming this then I apologise, but I doubt your objection to the minimum wage is really based on a belief that it causes unemployment and so hurts working people. The usual right-wing argument is that it prevents business from making as large a profit as possible by requiring them to pay people a decent wage. According to this argument, the only people who are prevented from pursuing happiness (ie increased profit) by the minimum wage are business owners, not working people.



Why does it infringe on a business rights' if they are required to pay workers enough money to live on? The only right it infringes on is their right to make as much profit as possible by whatever means available to them - ie it prevents them from maximising their profit by exploiting their workers even more.

The right of a business to increase it's profit by paying extremely low wages vs. the right of it's employees to buy food for themselves or provide healthcare for themselves or to put a roof over their heads. I know which I consider most important.


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Would you consider NORTHERN Ireland a success?
Well, the problems in the North of Ireland aren't caused by strict gun-control...obviously the situation is far too complex to explain briefly, but I'd recommend this website: http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/index.html if you want to read more about thos issues. (Bubba, I don't intend this to sound condescending if you already know a lot about the situation, I'm just posting this link for you or anyone else who's interested).
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Old 06-25-2002, 09:54 AM   #77
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If I'm incorrect in assuming this then I apologise, but I doubt your objection to the minimum wage is really based on a belief that it causes unemployment and so hurts working people. The usual right-wing argument is that it prevents business from making as large a profit as possible by requiring them to pay people a decent wage. According to this argument, the only people who are prevented from pursuing happiness (ie increased profit) by the minimum wage are business owners, not working people.
I wouldn't say that my argument (or the conservative argument in general) is concerned with the business owner solely. But I did say, in a later post, I believe that, at least beyond a reasonable level of wages and safety standards (levels I believed have already been reached), employers have the right to decide to maintain profit levels and "live high off the hog."

First, minimum wage laws, I believe, are little more than another government intrusion to set prices. It often sets a price cap, keeping a price artificially low. Here, it is keeping the price of labor artificially high. Generally speaking, such government intrusions do much more harm than good.

And the idea of a company making a higher profit is not contrary to the idea that its workers earn a higher wage. With the higher profits, the company will usually re-invest in itself (or in other companies; same difference), which means that the company can get newer, more efficient equipment, and its productivity increases. And when the productivity of the individual employee increases, so do his wages - naturally, and without damage to the capitalist machine.

Moving on...

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Originally posted by STING2
17,000 citizens armed with weapons that are useless against one tank, or one APC. I like my odds in a tank or APC.

.....

The fact is, while 100 years ago, citizens could overthrow the government because most weapons were small arms, advanced weapons technology and the advent of large standing professional military has made this impossible.
Y'know, in World War II, small platoons had to occasionally face tanks on their own, and they occasionally won. Granted they were better trained, but I think you are letting your faith in the invincibility of the US government get ahead of all logic. One tank for every 17,000 or so armed combatants - trained or not - is NOT good odds for the tank.

There IS a solution to the citizen's apparent inabilty to fight back, you know. Let American citizens own enough weapons to become a legitimate threat.

In all seriousness, if you are to remind me of all the help the underdog found in the American Revolution, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, why not allow it in this case? It would be advantageous to an enemy of the U.S. government (say, China) to prolong an insurrection for as long as possible - to further arm American citizens. What would stop them?
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:47 AM   #78
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In my opinion, the above arguments pale in comparison to the question of whether the U.S. can ever collapse into tyranny.

If I may say so, Sting, you're being incredibly - UNBELIEVABLY - naive.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I can't predict the future but I seriously doubt that the US government will at any time in the future become tyranical and impose a Police state barring a natural disaster of immense proporations or limited Nuclear war. I'm well aware of history and human nature, but those things are not always applicable in every situation.
Human nature doesn't always apply? Riiiiight.

Let's move on to the crux of your argument.

Quote:
While 2000 years or even 100 years ago or still today in the third world, many seek personal power through the government, today that rarely if ever happens in the USA simply because government is a poor and ineffective path to personal power.

Going into Government today means service to the country. It a very noble thing. You''ll never come close to making the amount of money in Government that you could in the private sector. If you are lucky enough to be elected President, impeachment is possible and you can only serve a maximum of 8 years, providing your able to win a second election. Your income when President is fixed and a person in the Private sector in a similar position would be making 15 or 20 million a year while the President only makes a few hundred thousand. Certainly large sums of money are raised for the Political parties which is why I believe in Campaign finance reform, but its important to mention that this money, good or bad, does not come from the government but from the Private sector! If tyranny exist, it exist here with wealthy companies and lobbiest including the NRA attempting to influence and rob the average person influence in their government.
The NRA is a bigger threat to American freedom than Congress? HOW? Because it can influence the government. That still implies that the government is powerful enough to threaten American freedom (which I believe and you apparently don't). That means that the government would become an ACOMPLICE to such an act.

The entire argument is, frankly, absurd.

Your argument is, running for a government office is a noble thing, incorruptible, because its officers are paid such meager salaries.

First, if that was true, campaign finance reform would be completely unnecessary. The fear that spurred CFR is that special interest groups can buy votes. That not only means that that the private sector gives money politicians, but that ALSO that the money given AFFECTS HOW THEY VOTE. That's not acting in the public interest, as far as I can tell.

Second, it's very easy to gain financially through becoming a politician. Sure, you take a pay cut, but many politicians (in both parties) are quite wealthy already and make money through very specific industries. Once they're in office, they can change the law to help the companies they are tied to, increasing the value of their own stocks. In a real-world example, let's say a Congressman owns a LOT of stock in a TV network; the network is looking to buy another network, but regulations prevent it. The politician can push for a bill that deregulates the TV broadcasting industry, which allows the one network to buy the other, and increases the value of his portfolio.

Third, money is nothing more than a way to buy power - power to get other people to do what you want. So what if you take a paycut in money to more direct power? Are you telling me that the schmucks in Congress are in there out of the goodness of their hearts? Absurd.

Quote:
The whole Evil tyranical government is a relic of the past in the western devoloped industrial world that is, because the nature of what it means to be powerful and how to achieve that personal power in a Capitalistic interdependent global Economy, is far different from what it used to be even in the recent past. What personal power is and the path to it has changed and it does not involve government. The US government has to many checks and balances and is not this machine of robots walking in unison to the beat of a drum. Government is not the monster, the monopolistic poluting corperation might be though or private wealthy private citizen using their money to break the law and there by threatening freedom and Capitalism. Bad apples are everywhere, but I fear more from private citizens and corperations than from people taking a pay cut and serving in the US government. Politicians have done corrupt things in the USA, but nothing that could have remotely threatened are democracy. The President can only serve for 8 years and really only has true unchecked authority in regards to certain foreign policy situations. Members of the house face election every two years, the Senate 6 years. People have the POWER to vote them out or keep them there. Rather than being powerful, politicians are at the mercy of their constituents who are composed of all citizens of adult age 18 and up, rather than just the white wealthy minority of men who owned land as democracy was temporarily defined 220 years ago. Of course wealthy businesses and privately funded institutions try to circumvent this fact with their large undemocratic donations to the political parties robbing the average person of influence in their government.
I don't know what's worse: your assumption that government is good, or your assumption that the individual is bad.

(If I may divert myself to a Limbaugh-esque rant here, but this is typical liberalism: Government good, business bad, individual bad.)

You say that corruption is a relic of the past. That would require a FUNDAMENTAL change in the way the world works, something that says that we can now ignore world history because the circumstances are so radically different that they have EVER been. I frankly don't see it, nor do I see ANYTHING that could have lead to such a change.

You say that government really doesn't have that much power, but I don't say how that is so - given that it taxes some 20% of the nation's economy, overregulates nearly every industry, and controls things like interest rates.

Look: in '93-'94, Hillary Clinton's health care plan was designed to take control of ONE-SEVENTH of the U.S. economy, adding layers of regulations and creating a handful of new crimes. That IS power.

(That's also an instance of unaccountable power: Hillary was not elected by the people nor confirmed by the Senate, and the secret meetings from which these plans emerged followed no protocols of our government.)

Your main point here seems to be that there are all sorts of checks and balances to protect the little guy. That seems contradictory: if government attracts only benevolent politicians, why have a system of checks and balances? Either way, you're correct about the system of checks and balances, to a point, and yet...

Despite these checks and balances, the IRS - run by people who are UNELECTED - can accuse an individual of fraud, and the burden of proof lies with the individual: guilty until proven innocent, a violation of our Fifth Amendment right to due process.

Despite these checks and balances, the EPA - another unelected body - can seize "wetland" properties held by individuals or devalue that land by declaring it "out-of-bounds," all on a whim, and without proper compensation - resulting in violations of our Fourth Amendment rights.

And despite these checks and balances, the judiciary (specifically, the Supreme Court) has been essentially making its own laws. The Supreme Court - unelected and unfettered by term limits - has been making decisions, NOT on whether a law is Constitutional, but whether it personally agrees with laws passed by Congress and signed by the President - a violation of the supposed checks and balances ensured in Article III of the Constitution.

Hell, speaking of CFR, the McCain-Feingold bill itself was a probable violation of the First Amendment - and yet Congress passed it, and yet the President signed it.

Quote:
So again, the fear is not of a tyranical government but of the tyrany that exist in the private sector where personal power and greed exist. Rather than being a threat to US citizens, the US government acts as a guard against wealthy citizens who think their above the law, or corporations engaged in monopolistic or enviromental practices that threaten Capitalism, democracy, and the health and freedom of US citizens.

Today it makes more sense to ask whether a corporation through its money and power could weaken the influence and checks of government there by achieving a level of monopilistic power that threatens Capitalism, true democracy and freedom, and the environment and health of all citizens. I doubt this could happen, but that is where the threat comes from when looking inside the USA, not the government. Greed and human nature where the threat comes from are most alive in the private sector, not government. The private sector is good though as long as it is properly regulated by the federal government to prevent monopoly and create the highest degree of competition possible.
While I agree that the government should ensure that capitalistic competition exists whereever it can, I am at a loss at what makes you think the government is impervious to corruption.

That sort of worldview is, I think, niave and dangerous.
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Old 06-25-2002, 03:12 PM   #79
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Yes small platoons were able to take on some tanks because they had weapons OTHER THAN SMALL ARMS! In general in World War II, it took a tank to kill another tank! If you can't kill it, it does not matter how many people you have! Think about it!

China and Russia today nor any other country have the power projection capabilities to supply and equip a large conventional force 4,000 miles away. Only the US Federal Government has that power. That is a fact.

Citizens should not have weapons that enable them to overthrow the government. This threatens other peoples freedoms and security. As I said before, what gives you the right to overthrow my or anyone elses elected official. You don't like em, you vote them out of office! Welcome to the 21st century.

CFR is neccessary because companies are lining the pockets of politicians for their political compaigns which are an expensive race which involves buying more promotional outlets than your opponent. But notice the money that causes the problem comes from Corperations and interest groups NOT THE GOVERNMENT! It is the private sector that corrupts individuals in government NOT the other way around! The Fact is the individual has more freedom to do what they want and earn a level of income in the private sector than in government. The checks and balances and oversight that exist in government do not exist in the private sector!

Are you telling me that the average Congressman individually has a lot of power?!?! What can one Congressman on his own in the Federal government accomplish?!?! Things are accomplished through compromise and consenses with others under the watchful eye of the constituants ready to vote them out if need be!

Again, the money of businesses corrupts the political process which is why CFR is neccessary. The government is not the source of the corruption, the private sector IS! The way the system is designed, politicians have to raise large amounts of money for their campaigns making many dependent on money from corperations. This has to be cut out. Political compaigns should be severely limited in scope and opponents recieve equal funding by the government, since private funding leads to corruption. The amount of money used in the election process needs to be cut back to the levels in the UK. Once campaigns are only funded on an equal basis by the government rather than by businesses or private institutions like the NRA, you will have cut off the private sector's money which currently corrupts the process and government will become even more representitive of the average person than it is today.

The average Rep. who only serves a two year term is not massivly rich especially when starting out. Again, the private sector has far more lucrative opportunities for individuals than the government does. Plus well over 99% of the 2 trillion dollars in taxes taken by politicians is spent on citizens in the military and businesses and other things in the private sector. Rather than taking money it is simply a redistribution of wealth for reasons of security, prosperity, health, law and order.

A person that runs their own business is not subject to a vote of any kind or really any type of oversight on the level that exist in government. THAT IS POWER! In addition the volume of money that can be made is multiple times that of anything a person can make in politics or government.

Politicians can currently be corrupted by the NRA and other businesses but government itself is working to shut that off, giving greater representation to the average voter who is not apart of the NRA.

I DID NOT SAY CORRUPTION IS A RELIC OF THE PAST! I SAID TYRANICAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WEST ARE A RELIC OF THE PAST! You yourself are incredibly miss informed if you do not see how radically different western civilization has changed over the past 2,000 years! You fail to see where power is located now, and instead assume it is still located where it was in the deep past. You don't see the rise of Multi-National Corporations. Most Multi-National Corporations are more POWERFUL than most third world countries! That is the fundamental differences between now and as early as 100 years ago. So WHAT IF the US GOVERNMENT passes laws that supposedly infringe on my businesses operations, easy enough to pick up ones operations and move to a third world country where the labor is cheaper and the environmental laws are lax, and taxes are lax and there is no oversight at all. GLOBALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY have changed everything! Real personal power is found in the private sector, not in the government! Government is all the average citizen has to protect them from the unrestrained greed of the private sector that without government contraints leads to Monopoly which is the absence of competition and basically Soviet style Communism, ownership of property and means of productions by a small group of people.

I never said that government was impervious to corruption but that individuals serving in government are more noble because they work hard for less money than they would make in the private sector. CFR is combating the corruption that does exist because of the private sector supplying funds to people for its own ends! The corrupters are in the private sector not in the government! There are some in government that are corrupted but they are not the source of the corruption!

Also look at the individuals that serve are nations military! You better believe I respect and trust the members of our military more than private citizens! These people risk their lives everyday so that we can enjoy are freedom and the fruits of capitalism! I also have more trust in Police Officers and Fireman than private citizens who don't work for the government in anyway.

Think about this, of the 10,000 US citizens that were murdered last year, how many were murdered by people working for the government, how many were murdered by people that are private citizens?

I also notice that those that promote the view in our society on a wide scale that government is evil and corrupted are most likely to be wealthy private citizens themselves engaged in some form of corruption through their political donations i.e. the NRA and large Corporations or private media outlets like Rush. Again the source of the devil is in the corrupter not in the corrupted!

We need to ban these private donations of money to political campaigns that rob the average american of his/her due influence in government. The government needs to continue to regulate the economy to prevent monopoly and other anti-competitive practices that threaten capitalism from the private sector. The government also needs to step in to prevent private companies from ruining the environment which threatens the life and liberty of all citizens. We also need to devolop gun control policies similar to those in the UK and Ireland so US citizens can enjoy the freedoms that it produces for their citizens.
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Old 06-26-2002, 12:25 AM   #80
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Yes small platoons were able to take on some tanks because they had weapons OTHER THAN SMALL ARMS! In general in World War II, it took a tank to kill another tank! If you can't kill it, it does not matter how many people you have! Think about it!
I have thought about it - pardon me, "thought about it!" - and, well, your observations of contradictory. Small platoons CAN take on tanks, and yet, it took a tank to kill another tank.

How odd.

(And again: 17,000 armed individuals against a tank. SEVENTEEN THOUSAND. The tank LOSES.)

Quote:
China and Russia today nor any other country have the power projection capabilities to supply and equip a large conventional force 4,000 miles away. Only the US Federal Government has that power. That is a fact.
...a fact you back with no evidence whatsoever.

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Citizens should not have weapons that enable them to overthrow the government. This threatens other peoples freedoms and security. As I said before, what gives you the right to overthrow my or anyone elses elected official. You don't like em, you vote them out of office! Welcome to the 21st century.
What gives me the right to overthrow a government?

GOD ALMIGHTY, if you must know the answer. The Declaration of Independence (I know, a shitty piece of paper signed by a bunch of greed, white, male landowners) explains with far more eloquence than I (emphasis mine):

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Twenty-first Century has changed nothing. In the LAST century, the western world has given us Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, and Castro. Given the violent start of this century, I don't see where your optimism has any basis in reality.

Quote:
CFR is neccessary because companies are lining the pockets of politicians for their political compaigns which are an expensive race which involves buying more promotional outlets than your opponent. But notice the money that causes the problem comes from Corperations and interest groups NOT THE GOVERNMENT! It is the private sector that corrupts individuals in government NOT the other way around! The Fact is the individual has more freedom to do what they want and earn a level of income in the private sector than in government. The checks and balances and oversight that exist in government do not exist in the private sector!
So fucking what? The fact is, the GOVERNMENT can be corrupted, and it IS corrupt.

Quote:
Are you telling me that the average Congressman individually has a lot of power?!?! What can one Congressman on his own in the Federal government accomplish?!?! Things are accomplished through compromise and consenses with others under the watchful eye of the constituants ready to vote them out if need be!
What power does one Congressman have? Not much; it does take a group of people to pass laws, but - again - so what? Let's say that the group institutes a tyranny. How is that ANY better than one man instituting a tyranny?

First, it doesn't take that many: 51 votes in the Senate, 218 in the House, one Presidential signature, and five Supreme Court Justices. 275 people.

A NATION OF 280 MILLION PEOPLE CAN BE OPPRESSED THROUGH THE ACTIONS OF 275 PEOPLE.

Again, consider McCain-Feingold: most people believe it IS an unconstitutional law, yet the Congress passed it and the President signed into law. The law is only FIVE justices away from becoming the law of the land.

The system of checks and balances - while the best we have - is a safeguard against tyranny, not an absolute guarantee.

Quote:
Again, the money of businesses corrupts the political process which is why CFR is neccessary. The government is not the source of the corruption, the private sector IS! The way the system is designed, politicians have to raise large amounts of money for their campaigns making many dependent on money from corperations. This has to be cut out. Political compaigns should be severely limited in scope and opponents recieve equal funding by the government, since private funding leads to corruption. The amount of money used in the election process needs to be cut back to the levels in the UK. Once campaigns are only funded on an equal basis by the government rather than by businesses or private institutions like the NRA, you will have cut off the private sector's money which currently corrupts the process and government will become even more representitive of the average person than it is today.
So... EVERY wacko and lunatic who runs for the White House should recieve the same amount of money from the government? Enough to run a full campaign? That's not likely.

If you only give the amount to the GOP and DNC candidates, you prevent the possibility of an independent successfully running against them. That doesn't sound fair.

If you give everyone the same small amount, they become dependent on the media. So political power will have been taken from the competing special interest groups and given to the fairly monolithic mainstream press. THAT will make the government more "representative," I'm sure.

Oh! You could FORCE the press to give equal time to the candidates. Wait, no. That tramples the First Amendment - not that you've shown the Bill of Rights any respect thus far.

Beyond all that, who do you THINK the NRA and labor unions represent? Corporations? NOPE. They represent individuals, bound together by common political goals. Divesting their power makes the process LESS representative.

Quote:
The average Rep. who only serves a two year term is not massivly rich especially when starting out. Again, the private sector has far more lucrative opportunities for individuals than the government does. Plus well over 99% of the 2 trillion dollars in taxes taken by politicians is spent on citizens in the military and businesses and other things in the private sector. Rather than taking money it is simply a redistribution of wealth for reasons of security, prosperity, health, law and order.
You apparently understand that large amounts of money is dangerous because you can use that money to gain power.

So why is straight political power itself so benign?

Or, to put it another way, a congressman has a hand in determing how a TWO TRILLION DOLLAR BUDGET is allocated. That's not raw, corrupting power?

And the fact that "well over 99%" is "simply a redistribution of wealth" doesn't makes things any better. It explains why groups - from the AARP to the NEA - so strongly pursue politicians: they want a BIGGER piece of a two-trillion dollar pie.

Quote:
A person that runs their own business is not subject to a vote of any kind or really any type of oversight on the level that exist in government. THAT IS POWER! In addition the volume of money that can be made is multiple times that of anything a person can make in politics or government.
Damn it all, you admit CONGRESS SPENDS TWO TRILLION FUCKING DOLLARS A YEAR. That is power, and it begs the question: who cares what their salary is?

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Politicians can currently be corrupted by the NRA and other businesses but government itself is working to shut that off, giving greater representation to the average voter who is not apart of the NRA.
First, the NRA is not a business. Second, it's an organization of otherwise perfectly normal people who believe that the Second Amendment should be protected - and they have the right to organize and petition the government as a group.

Shut that off, and you don't make government more responsive.

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I DID NOT SAY CORRUPTION IS A RELIC OF THE PAST! I SAID TYRANICAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WEST ARE A RELIC OF THE PAST!
Uh-huh.

And what precisely makes you think that again? The large armies, or the budgets in excess of one-fifth of the gross national product?

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You yourself are incredibly miss informed if you do not see how radically different western civilization has changed over the past 2,000 years! You fail to see where power is located now, and instead assume it is still located where it was in the deep past. You don't see the rise of Multi-National Corporations. Most Multi-National Corporations are more POWERFUL than most third world countries!
I see the differences, but not any RADICAL differences. Government still has the power to tax, the power to incarcerate, and the power to coerce. None of that has changed.

And if "Multi-National Corporations" (Why The Capitalization?) are more powerful than most third world countries, does that mean that those tyrannical governments are NOT threats to their own people?

Does that mean that the US government has so little power that it cannot oppress its people?

I think not.

In fact, last time I checked, McDonald's didn't have a single tank, battleship, submarine, bomber, or ICBM.

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That is the fundamental differences between now and as early as 100 years ago. So WHAT IF the US GOVERNMENT passes laws that supposedly infringe on my businesses operations, easy enough to pick up ones operations and move to a third world country where the labor is cheaper and the environmental laws are lax, and taxes are lax and there is no oversight at all. GLOBALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY have changed everything! Real personal power is found in the private sector, not in the government! Government is all the average citizen has to protect them from the unrestrained greed of the private sector that without government contraints leads to Monopoly which is the absence of competition and basically Soviet style Communism, ownership of property and means of productions by a small group of people.
So, CAPITALIST BUSINESSES will lead to COMMUNISM. Uh-huh.

And our only protection is the great, noble, and impeccible government?

WHO PROTECTS US FROM THE GOVERNMENT?

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I never said that government was impervious to corruption but that individuals serving in government are more noble because they work hard for less money than they would make in the private sector.
Yeah, when I think of nobility, I think of Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Clinton: a man so noble, a man so in awe of the office he held, that he had no problem getting a twenty-year-old intern to go down on him IN THE OFFICE ITSELF - a man so selflessly serving that he took everything out the White House he could carry.

I'm in shock that you may actually believe the crap you're spewing.

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CFR is combating the corruption that does exist because of the private sector supplying funds to people for its own ends! The corrupters are in the private sector not in the government! There are some in government that are corrupted but they are not the source of the corruption!
DOESN'T MATTER. It doesn't matter HOW the government is corrupted, only that it CAN be corrupted. If it can be, we should protect our rights - gun rights especially - wth all we can.

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Also look at the individuals that serve are nations military! You better believe I respect and trust the members of our military more than private citizens! These people risk their lives everyday so that we can enjoy are freedom and the fruits of capitalism! I also have more trust in Police Officers and Fireman than private citizens who don't work for the government in anyway.
I too have great respect for those who serve (military men, police, firemen) - as opposed to those who seek power TO BE SERVED. The fact remains, I think you have far too little respect for the average individual - the private American citizen whose hard work has helped make this country as great as it is.

And while we should respect the men who serve, we should keep an eye on those who wish to command them - and we should NEVER hand over our rights to them.

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Think about this, of the 10,000 US citizens that were murdered last year, how many were murdered by people working for the government, how many were murdered by people that are private citizens?
Um, what the hell is your point? Are you trying to somehow demonstrate that the private citizen is evil?

That's fucking obscene.

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I also notice that those that promote the view in our society on a wide scale that government is evil and corrupted are most likely to be wealthy private citizens themselves engaged in some form of corruption through their political donations i.e. the NRA and large Corporations or private media outlets like Rush. Again the source of the devil is in the corrupter not in the corrupted!
And those that suggest the government isn't evil are the same who think we should give up all our rights because government knows best.

Amusing how all the corrupting influences are conservative - the NRA and Rush - those who seek LESS government. Very amusing. Also amusing that you think Rush is a "private media outlet" and not part of, oh, I don't know, the CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED FREE PRESS.

Does that mean we should protect the government from being criticized BY THE PRESS?

Hellooooooo? First Amendment mean ANYTHING to you?

While I'm at it, most NRA members aren't millionaires. Their middle class law-abiding citizens. Amazing, isn't it?

And these corrupting influences aren't the first to call government evil:

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. - Thomas Paine, another dead white male landowner

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We need to ban these private donations of money to political campaigns that rob the average american of his/her due influence in government. The government needs to continue to regulate the economy to prevent monopoly and other anti-competitive practices that threaten capitalism from the private sector. The government also needs to step in to prevent private companies from ruining the environment which threatens the life and liberty of all citizens. We also need to devolop gun control policies similar to those in the UK and Ireland so US citizens can enjoy the freedoms that it produces for their citizens.
I have a great idea: if you like England so damn much, do what the multi-national corporations do: move to a country whose laws you like - and leave us gun-toters to our rights.
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