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The key issue with the Obama administration's new proposal to strengthen warrantless spying initiatives is multifold. First, the proposal could damage U.S. telecommunications businesses.   (Source: Associated Press)

Further, on top of the questionable nature on violating privacy rights of U.S. citizens talking to foreign citizens (currently legal under the Patriot Act), it's virtually impossible to tell a foreign citizen using a foreign service from a U.S. one. Thus communications between two U.S. citizens could be intercepted and the citizens' privacy rights illegally violated.
Plan would fine companies that don't pay to assist government in warranted and warrantless spying on U.S. citizens

Few would argue the need for the U.S. government to protect itself and critical domestic infrastructure from foreign attacks.  And fewer still would debate whether our country should use high-tech surveillance to monitor countries like China and Russia that have shown a propensity to attack unprotected U.S. systems when they have the chance.

More controversial, however, is the domestic spying efforts closely tied to the terrorism.  Namely the National Security Agency (NSA), under the Patriot Act of 2001, was given the right warrantless wiretaps of calls between U.S. and foreign citizens.  That alone was controversial enough, but an expose in The New York Times showed that domestic calls between two
U.S. citizens were also being intercepted, in what the NSA dubbed an "accident".

A special Obama administration task force consisting of U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, NSA, Federal Bureau of Investigations, local law enforcement, and more is looking to reinforce warrantless wiretap.  The move is perhaps unsurprising, considering that the council shares many of the same experts that mastermind President George W. Bush's original Patriot Act.

The group is proposing new legislation designed at reinforcing the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, a 1994 law published during the Clinton administration that demanded that telecommunications prepare to begin surveillance of suspects as soon as a court order is issued. 

Under the proposed changes, telecoms would be mandated to not only prepare for such instances, but also for warrantless wiretapping as spelled out under the Patriot Act.  Those telecoms who complied fully would be rewarded with undisclosed incentives, while those who resist or were slow to comply would face fines or other penalties.

Albert Gidari Jr., a lawyer who represents telecommunications firms, tells The New York Times that such legislation would be devastating to the civilian telecommunications industry.  He states, "The government’s answer is 'don't deploy the new services — wait until the government catches up.  But that’s not how it works. Too many services develop too quickly, and there are just too many players in this now."

Previously detailed nuances of the plan call for the government also to gain new warrantless surveillance powers over other communications resources such as email (e.g. Gmail), text messages (including encrypted services, like RIM's), social networks (e.g. Facebook), and internet forums.

Multiple issues surround the overarching proposal.  One is in the potential economic damage it could cause the free market at a time when it is already struggling to recover.

A second issue is perhaps the most critical one.  Under current legal precedent, U.S. citizens can only have their Constitutional rights annulled if they are communicating with suspicious foreign citizens.  However, to determine what users of foreign services are actually foreign citizens is almost impossible as foreign telecoms and internet firms have no real necessity to comply with U.S. requests for information.  Thus U.S. citizens use foreign cell phones, operating on foreign web sites, or using foreign-based email services, may have their Constitutional rights violated
even while communicating with other U.S. citizens.

There is no clear solution to this problem.



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RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/21/2010 4:44:24 PM , Rating: 3
What are you talking about? I said 'society' not 'person'. We as a society chose to bail out private companies and go into Iraq. We as a society have also chosen to have a strong central government. Attempting to equate the recent bailouts with tyranny just shows me that the person making that comparison has never been to a country where there is actual tyranny. It's silliness.

Broad, large scale, unaccountable police powers on the other hand are the hallmark of almost every tyrannical government throughout history. Virtually every time these were justified as they are now, as a measure to protect the country from some nebulous enemy.

I simply find it odd that the true hallmarks of tyrannical regimes that the US government has taken on in recent years are frequently glossed over or, even worse, enthusiastically endorsed by people who shriek about tyranny all day.


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/21/2010 5:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
"We as a society" includes you. And I (and many others) disagree with your idea of us as a society choosing to do those things. If the gov't is the one who controls the information, they are de facto decision makers. They were very secretive about the bailouts and they gave us faulty information about Iraq. (Of course these are still up for debate I suppose, but let's assume that it is true for the sake of discussion.) It was not a democratic process to do those things, and I and many others believe that our elected representatives misrepresented us.

I think the problem here is that the word "strong" is relative. I should've said "a centralized gov't that is TOO strong". But the problem with that is who knows what TOO strong is. I believe that we should have a strong central gov't but I think that it should be equally as powerful (if not less) as the state gov'ts. Of course this issue was a big issue during the formitive years of the country. But I don't know why people can't see that the federal gov't is entirely too big now.

Tyranny is "oppressive power exerted by government". How is the gov't making decisions with our money not opressive? Am I chained up to a wall or something? No. But there is a degree of tyranny. And the reason why is because we have given the gov't the power to do so.

I'm not saying that the president is a tyrant, but that this is the way to tyranny. Giving the gov't excessive power. How do you think the gov'ts you mentioned get to be tyrannical? They do it with money. It is not a chicken or egg question. The money comes first.


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/21/2010 6:03:22 PM , Rating: 1
We as a society choose our actions by selecting representatives to act in our place as they see fit for a set period of time. Those who we elected to do this acted within the scope of their duties as we have laid them out, therefore we as a society chose to take those actions. It was a democratic process, because that's how things work in a representative democracy.

I think there is room for reasonable debate as to what 'too strong' is, but that was my point. Most people will likely agree that you can have a strong government that isn't too strong, and thus have strength without tyranny.

I for one have no problem with the level of federal vs. state authority, but again I can certainly see how reasonable people can disagree on that. But yes, people can certainly not see the fed is too big now. And really, the federal vs. state power question was decided a long time ago, right around 1865 or so.

My complaints about government power don't really touch on the federal/state issue. (I would be just as unhappy if the state of New York were tapping my phones without warrants as opposed to the feds)

Tyranny though? I think your idea of the feds spending your money as tyranny defines the word out of existence. Not all exercise of taxation/spending is tyranny, at least not how we understand the word today. So no, the government making decisions with your money isn't tyranny, it's really one of the primary functions of government. This is also sort of my point. Elected officials enacting policies exercising their legitimate power during accepted terms of office isn't tyranny, it's tyranny when they impose their will on you without recourse, and we all have recourse. (an election)

While I fully support the bailouts (along with most economists), I find the rhetoric of tyranny tiresome. I think you do your very legitimate viewpoint a disservice by surrounding it with rhetoric like that.


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/22/2010 11:48:43 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, thank you for continuing this reason filled discussion. I hate the flame fests that start up here sometimes. I think that people do not discuss (REALLY discuss) politics enough these days. It is all about LiLo and Paris Hilton and what not.

quote:
We as a society choose our actions by selecting representatives to act in our place as they see fit for a set period of time. Those who we elected to do this acted within the scope of their duties as we have laid them out, therefore we as a society chose to take those actions. It was a democratic process, because that's how things work in a representative democracy.

You are right. But the same thing can be said of a society that elects a monarchy or a tyrant for that matter (as many kings have been tyrants). The big difference is of course the time limit. But with a tyrant he usually eliminates that ;-).

Part of the problem I see is that people vote based on one issue in a 2-party system because they "don't have enough time" to figure out who best represents them. I think that is why we have so many race/religion based organizations that make the decisions for their adherents. And when these people do go to the polls they vote straight ticket, because that is the best way to get one issue backed. I vote single issue too...the only issue I want backed is freedom aka minimal gov't.

The result is dems who want more financial freedom and reps who want more personal freedom are not represented at all.
What kind of representation is that?


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/22/2010 11:57:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And really, the federal vs. state power question was decided a long time ago, right around 1865 or so.

So are you saying that the gov't is just as small as it was back then? The answer was not answered back then or even in 1776, but has always been on the ballot. The Founding Fathers only came to agree on a starting point. The problem is that as a society we choose only to grow gov't. Both parties in power are for bigger gov't (even if the reps deny it).

And yes, maybe the feds should be powerful enough to protect constitutional rights a la the Civil War, but "how big is too big?" agian is the question. Everyone who thinks that the feds should have more power always bring up the Civil War. The fact of the matter is that war was not the only way to fix that problem. And if you take a trip to any slave state today, I think you can still see the problem with the Civil War as a 'solution'?

And as usual when someone replies to my questioning the size of the federal gov't (and gov't in general) you might say, "I don't think it should be bigger!! I didn't say that. I like it just how it is."

Well people have been saying that since the country was birthed. It is like spending money. You never say, "I need to start spending more!" (well, the feds say that all the time lol) because there is no effort needed to spend. There is only effort needed to save.


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/22/2010 2:12:40 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not saying the government is as small now as it was back then, and frankly I have no problem with a government that is larger than the one we have today. (I'm mostly thinking of health care where I strongly desire a single payer, government run system.) That's true that the founders only agreed on a starting point, but even there they just barely agreed. Many of the founders wanted a federal government much more powerful than what we have even today. (and vice versa of course)

I don't want to debate the origins of the Civil War, but I personally view it as inevitable. And in all fairness, it might not have been an optimal solution, but it definitely solved the issue.

As for both parties being for bigger government, yeap. It just depends on the area. (Republicans for military and security apparatus, Democrats for social programs) That's the curse of a winner-take-all electoral system though, the median voter in America DOES want bigger government, and so both parties work to give him what he wants. I imagine it is frustrating to you that there is no viable party to vote for truly smaller government, much as it is frustrating to me to be unable to vote for a truly liberal party. Such parties are rendered basically impossible by the way the Constitution set up our system though, so we're sort of stuck with what we have.


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/22/2010 6:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the median voter in America DOES want bigger government, and so both parties work to give him what he wants.

I'm not so sure that is true. I have a survey saying they want smaller gov't, and another that questions that.

quote:
with slightly more than half saying they prefer a smaller government with fewer services to a larger government with more services. Independents, however, now split 61 to 35 percent in favor of a smaller government; they were more narrowly divided on this question a year ago (52 to 44 percent), before the financial crisis hit.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...

And the following scepticism/update:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20019244-50...

quote:
I imagine it is frustrating to you that there is no viable party to vote for truly smaller government, much as it is frustrating to me to be unable to vote for a truly liberal party.

There is a party that more or less represents my views. It is the libertarian party. The only reason it is not viable at the moment is because of the "jump!...No, YOU jump!" mentality that has our hands tied as a society. If we really all started voting the way we really felt instead of trying to pick a winner, the country would be a lot better.

I urge you to also vote for The Green party or whoever else has a platform that you agree with. Even though it may be on the other end of the non-linear spectrum from what I believe. As long as it is less power to the dems and the reps.


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/23/2010 12:03:18 PM , Rating: 2
People say that they want a smaller government in the abstract, but when they are asked about specifics they can never mention any meaningful way in which they actually want to shrink it. It's one of the biggest problems America has, the public wants low taxes and big government... and sees no disconnect.

What you mention about voting though is a very common collective action problem in political science called Duverger's Law. It basically says that in any winner take all system like ours, it will very likely end up in a 2 party system. So long as 50.1% of the vote gets 100% of the representation, we can't have a viable national third party. Sad, but true.


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/25/2010 1:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's one of the biggest problems America has, the public wants low taxes and big government... and sees no disconnect.

You're right. They don't se the disconnect. We should focus on low taxes. You are proposing that we just worry about wiretapping.

quote:
People say that they want a smaller government in the abstract, but when they are asked about specifics they can never mention any meaningful way in which they actually want to shrink it.

So you're saying that people KNOW that the gov't is too big. They just have issues giving up their comforts.

quote:
What you mention about voting though is a very common collective action problem in political science called Duverger's Law. It basically says that in any winner take all system like ours, it will very likely end up in a 2 party system. So long as 50.1% of the vote gets 100% of the representation, we can't have a viable national third party. Sad, but true.

I think you are correct here too. There will be a two party system. I just don't believe that there should be THIS 2 party system. I personally think the GOP is about to die and the libertarian party will pick up the pieces (all the reps and disaffected dems; 'tea partiers'). And when the fanatics settle, the democratic party will be a distant second, gaining steam everytime the people forget what this country was made for (unless they change their platform as parties have done in the past).


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/25/2010 6:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think the fact that they don't want to give up their comforts is a sign that they don't actually want smaller government.

I sincerely doubt that either of the two parties is likely to substantially change in the near future. They both have the median voter staked out pretty well, and I don't see a realignment of the median voter's preferences in the cards. One of the side effects of the internet is that it tends to surround us with people whom we already agree with, and so we tend to think that our viewpoints have more support than they actually do.

I find some aspects of libertarianism admirable, but I find it highly unlikely that it will be a mainstream political ideology in America any time soon.

I'm saying that we should focus on wiretapping because I don't believe we need to focus on low taxes, I for one believe we need a higher tax, higher service state similar to Scandinavia. (they do have the highest quality of living in the world after all)

The important part here though (and something that I find encouraging) is that while I think we strongly... strongly disagree on the role of government, I feel like I could discuss it with you like an adult, and that's what's important. That's what I meant way back when about the whole tyranny business, the Hitler business, the whatever. It clouds people's ability to address real issues and real problems in a constructive manner.

I guess we can always hope.


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/29/2010 11:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry I've been busy and I wanted to take the time to discuss this further and come up with a well written long response and I am finding that I don't have the time as of late. But basically if you can think about the following questions then we might be able to make some progress as it seems we are deadlocked.

1. Can the gov't get too big?
2. How will they fund such growth?
3. How will you know when it is too big?
4. How will you stop it when it is too big?

Where our discussion goes is dependant on how you answer those questions.


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/22/2010 12:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Milton Friedman argued that the economic freedom of competitive capitalism is a requisite of political freedom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism#Political_...
According to the citations on Wikipedia, so did Hayek and (the dems sweetheart) Keynes.
If you don't have the political freedom then your point is moot, because you need political freedom to make decisions regarding who to elect. (And keep in mind, if the gov't controls the information, they control the decisions being made by the people.)

From Random House:
quote:
4. oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler. 5. undue severity or harshness.

If the gov't takes away your right to smoke cigarettes, would you consider that tyranny?
If the gov't taxes the bejesus out of a pack of cigarettes to the point where you could no longer afford it, is that tyranny?
How about a tax on tanning? A tax on Snickers but not Twix?
How about the gov't choosing what you do with the money you would like to invest or the gov't choosing where you educate your children? Or how about a tax on being white in America? (Full disclosure: I'm a white Mex-Am with a "dark" side of the family. History of oppression on that side. Great Grandad on Grandad's side was 'illegal'. And I mention this because it is the only racial discrimination that is not being talked about. Of course various shades of brown are being oppressed, as I have seen it in my own family.) How about a tax on energy even if you are someone who doesn't believe in a man-made global warming? How about a tax to pay for a military that is NOT used solely for defense?

I know you might not feel oppressed, but whatever color, creed, sexual orientation you might have... but you are being oppressed.

I also should disclose that I don't smoke, tan, eat Twix or Snickers, went to public school, etc., etc., etc.
I don't have problems with these issues because I am not a partaker in most instances. But I do have a problem with the gov't (and their constituency by extension) telling my fellow citizens what they can and cannot do.
It is tyranni cal .
Are we living under a tyrannical dictator? (see definitions 1,2, and/or 3) No, but how do you think we get there?


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/22/2010 2:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
I just don't view any of those things as tyranny, or even the road to it. The definition is relative though, and it's up to each person to decide what is 'undue'. I really do think the word is badly overused, still. To some people a snickers tax might be 'unduly harsh', but I'm guessing to most people it's not. (note to those people who do, buy a gym membership) I mean, the entire purpose of government is to tell people what they can't do, so they are always going to be taking away your right to do something. One man's tyranny is another man's 'getting to go to the bar without coming home stinking like cigarettes'.

Every government is going to enact policies that we disagree with sometimes, there's no way around that. We all implicitly accept the rules of the game when we live in America and take advantage of the things our society offers us though, and one of the consequences of that is that we sometimes get taken along for the ride on things we don't like so much. I don't like my money going to fund foreign wars (even though I was part of one of them, haha), but I pay for that because part of the social contract is that I contribute to things that I disagree with so that everyone else contributes to things that I do agree with, like health care.

I don't feel oppressed, and I don't think it's because I'm simply unaware of my oppression. There are rules to the game we all play, and I'm very aware of them. I think the difference of opinion here is that you in a way disagree with the game itself, and while it's certainly your right to do so, I think you're probably screwed in that respect.


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/22/2010 5:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I mean, the entire purpose of government is to tell people what they can't do, so they are always going to be taking away your right to do something.

This is NOT what OUR gov't is for.
We should all be familiar with this...
quote:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

There is nothing about telling people what to do in there.

Or how about this?
quote:
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.

The pursuit of happiness could involve cigarettes. Though of course it doesn't for me. But that is the great thing. That we as individuals can make those decisions. We are free to throw our lives away if we wish. We are free to lounge around on Sunday instead of going to church. We are free to play video games non-stop. Hell we don't even have to be employed. We are free to do all of that to the extent that we can afford to support ourselves. The problem is that now that the gov't is involved in the welfare of these people they become the gov't problem and we have to ban (or tax into non-existance) cigarettes because it is bad for the health of the people whether they choose to do it or not. (And that is why cigarettes are being banned. It is not because of people not liking the smell or what not. It is first-hand and second-hand smoke concerns regarding public health. It is the same with the Snickers and tanning. That is one issue I have with socialized medicine BTW.)

quote:
One man's tyranny is another man's 'getting to go to the bar without coming home stinking like cigarettes'.

Well you and I have freedom to go to the bar and enjoy it without cigarettes. But because it is a health concern, the guy who wants to go to a bar that caters to smokers, can't... because there aren't any: they're prohibited by law because they are public places (CA law that is). So it is nice that YOU have a place to drink (ironic isn't it? Because someone who's been drinking alcohol is more dangerous to bystanders than someone who smokes cigarettes) but the guy who likes to smoke gets the shaft.


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/23/2010 12:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
Can you explain to me how the US government would establish justice or ensure domestic tranquility without laws prohibiting/sanctioning certain behavior? Can you explain how the US government would provide for the common defense without taking actions that some of the state would find coercive and against their will?

The quote from the DOI is a nice rhetorical statement, but it's not a governing principle. Of course the rights to life and liberty aren't inalienable, if an axe murderer is running around killing people, we alienate his right to liberty as fast as we can. The pursuit of happiness could mean anything. We might disagree on where to draw the line at what behavior government can or should prohibit, but the fact that the government can and must prohibit some behavior really is beyond debate.

I feel like debating individual laws isn't really useful, but I would have to say that I just moved to NYC after spending 10 years in California, and everyone I knew, smokers included, loved the smoking ban. What better way to meet girls than outside lending them a light?


RE: What blows my mind
By The Raven on 10/25/2010 12:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The quote from the DOI is a nice rhetorical statement, but it's not a governing principle.

Our struggle for independance and formation of our country was based on these principles. And you really want to write it of as rhetoric?

quote:
Can you explain how the US government would provide for the common defense without taking actions that some of the state would find coercive and against their will?
Yes, the same way I could explain that the "Iraq War" was unnecessary. I don't think you need any further explanation as I assume you are an anti-Iraq War democrat.

quote:
Of course the rights to life and liberty aren't inalienable, if an axe murderer is running around killing people, we alienate his right to liberty as fast as we can.
Agreed. So why an I being punished by having my money taken away from me??! I didn't murder anyone or steal from anyone!!

quote:
The pursuit of happiness could mean anything.
Exactly my point. The gov't can't define that. So how can they legislate it? They can't. What they can do is legislate in ways that protect freedom.

quote:
I just moved to NYC after spending 10 years in California, and everyone I knew, smokers included, loved the smoking ban. What better way to meet girls than outside lending them a light?
Ahh...You spent 10 years in my dear CA... you must have caught something ;-)

Personally I love the smoking ban myself (that is to say, the effect of it anyway). But I don't think it is right. I also get some great benefits from our tax structure as well it would seem. But I don't think it is right. I have benefits available to me because I am "latino" too. But I don't think it is right. If the gov't gave me a million dollars just because they felt like it, that would be great. But it isn't right. And what does that have to do with freedom, domestic tranquility, common defense, or the pursuit of happiness? Nothing.

I would make temporary exceptions myself to these kind of laws as it is at least in some part due to the gov't why people smoke in the first place. If they want to make a temporary law to undo the damage they caused in the first place then that is fine I suppose. But to make smoking in public an outright crime is rediculous (again, especially since the laws regarding alcohol aren't held to the same standard).

quote:
the fact that the government can and must prohibit some behavior really is beyond debate.

"Can and must" is beyond debate, but to what extent and which laws? Abortion is obviously wrong, right? We can't let people do that? Premarital sex is wrong too. No no, you can't do that! Being Japanese during WWII, oh no you didn't! We'll have to lock you up for that. Spending money on a lawnmower? Well if you want to do that you will have to get the gov't involved by paying taxes on it and the fuel that you put into it and the land that has the grass growing on it and the paycheck that paid for it all and the company who gave you the paycheck. And yeah it's only 1%... oh what?... it is up to 20%+ now?! Ok well that is ok but don't go any higher now you hear... What!? you want to raise my taxes again? Seriously?!!

Both parties grow gov't and both parties want your money and power. If you have a problem with wiretaps and brownshirts, then I'd hold on to your money as not to fund such horrendous activities because the money has always come first throughout history.

Embrace freedom or it will fly from you.

quote:
What is it, in a few words, that all Republicans believe? We believe - along with millions of Democrats and Independents - that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
-Gerald Ford, RNC, 1974.


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/25/2010 6:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
I actually participated in the Iraq War, but you're right that I was against it and still am. I still require an explanation though, because while I believe the invasion of Iraq to be foolish, I certainly accepted it as a legitimate exercise of government power. You appear to be saying that it is not?

I seriously don't know how a government would promote tranquility, establish justice, provide for the common defense, etc. without exercising the power to either prohibit some exercises of freedom or to coerce otherwise free people to do things they don't want to do. So seriously, I stand by my analysis of the purpose of government as being an entity that exists to tell people what they can't do. (or what they must) Now we have chosen to put specific limits on our government's ability to do this, but I don't believe that changes its nature. You mentioned 'legislating in ways that protect freedom'. Can you give me some examples of how to structure a society using only laws like that?

You aren't being punished by having your money taken away by taxes, taxes are the price you implicitly accept for living in this society. I'm really not trying to say 'if you don't like it, leave', as I consider that comeback to be juvenile, but honestly the US is absolutely up front with the price of admission. Hell, the right to tax you is written into the Constitution (in two places)

As for the smoking ban, a few things. First, it is a state law and so not subject to the Constitution. Second, while the preamble is a nice start to the document, it isn't actually used to determine if something is constitutional or not. (I mean the Constitution is already seriously vague, and to try and figure out if a law 'establishes justice' or not would just be mind bending) Congress is granted pretty vast powers in the Consitution, with the commerce clause and the general welfare clause covering a huge array of potential laws.


RE: What blows my mind
By Reclaimer77 on 10/23/2010 9:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I mean, the entire purpose of government is to tell people what they can't do, so they are always going to be taking away your right to do something.


You could not have proved your ignorance or showed how much out of your element you are any better than posting something like this. Seriously you simply are not qualified to speak on this issue. American's like you are why we're in this mess in the first place.

The purpose of the United States Government is so basic, so fundamental, and so free ranging that the very idea people like you don't know what that is, frankly, offends me.

Now I know for a fact that every time we've clashed, I was trying to argue with an idiot.

Thank you eskimosphy.


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/23/2010 12:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
By all means describe to me what you think the purpose of the United States government is, and explain how they can discharge those duties without telling people what they can't do. (or compelling people do take action they don't want to)

You are a deeply stupid person, more than your response I would prefer you just not write at all.


RE: What blows my mind
By Reclaimer77 on 10/23/2010 9:17:29 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
We as a society choose our actions by selecting representatives to act in our place as they see fit for a set period of time.


Honestly, how naive. What "representatives"? I don't see any, unless you mean they represent their own agenda and beliefs.

The United States is NOT a Democracy anymore.


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/23/2010 12:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
Of course elected officials represent their own beliefs and agendas, that is part of the definition of representative democracy as opposed to direct democracy.

Yes, the US is still a democracy.

Grow up.


RE: What blows my mind
By Reclaimer77 on 10/23/2010 6:27:59 PM , Rating: 1
Actually the U.S is a Republic, idiot. If it was a Democracy we wouldn't need representatives, we would vote on everything.

There's something out there called a dictionary, maybe you've heard of it?


RE: What blows my mind
By eskimospy on 10/24/2010 2:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
From the Oxford English Dictionary:

a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state , typically through elected representatives.

From Dictionary.com entry 'representative democracy':

a type of democracy in which the citizens delegate authority to elected representatives.

Do these definitions sound like any country you might know?

We are both a republic and a democracy, as both things describe different aspects of our political system. Seriously guy, if you're going to debate definitions, be sure you actually know what they are first. I've noticed that you like to opine about how little people know about politics, but you frequently make elementary mistakes about very basic concepts.

You already screwed yourself on this one because earlier you said the US 'isn't a democracy anymore', which implicitly states that it once was. Since the US has been the same form of democratic republic since it was created, if you didn't consider that democracy then the US never was one to begin with.

What you were really doing was throwing a temper tantrum because people put in office in overwhelming majorities by free and fair elections are doing things you don't like. Instead of being a man about it and understanding that losing has consequences, you whine about our system of government. That's why I told you to grow up.

You're still free to take my advice on that.


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