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from crux № 10 - the system

Politics is not about reform.

Politics is about control.

Politics is never about reform, even when the politicos say that is is.

By definition, reform can't come from within. It almost always splits off into a new thing.

At this point, I don't think anyone can stop the collapse. Nor do I think that's bad. There are how many laws on the books? How many regulations in the Federal Register? We've been conditioned to depend on government to help us. Cut spending, but not national defense. Cut spending, but not aid to Israel or Saudi Arabia. Cut spending, but not Social Security. And some banks and unions are Too Big To Fail.

We've been taught that government is supposed to govern and control the other guy.

That's the guy who is the problem.

Not us. Never us. It's not our fault.

As long as the "system" perpetuates that, it should fail. Some of the rot goes back to Reconstruction. As long as people believe that things can be fixed so their lives won't be upended.



She learned after being mismanaged by John John's team in 2008. The very things that made Palin desirable to the ticket were the things that threatened the GOP establishment. Those were the things she was not allowed to talk about during that campaign. But she's not bound by those rules anymore, and if she runs she's got enough recognition to ignore the old guard.

She's still not my first or fifth or seventh choice, but she is at least six steps in the right direction.



Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It by Star Parker.

She covers it in detail. She lays on the Christianity fairly heavy though, it was her way out but she does't seem to understand that isn't the way for everyone.



Right, because "For Your Own Good" was such a rousing success with Prohibition, explicit song lyrics, university speech codes, global warming, and Obamacare.



"One section of the body of federal law cannot state A and another state B, in direct contravention of the legislation saying it is A."

It happens all the time. Do you have any idea how many Federal laws and regulations violate the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Tenth Amendments?

I'll leave out the First and Second this time.



I'm obligated to point out that the quickest and easiest way to achieve those reforms is for the "ship of state" to sink.

Nor am I convinced that would be a bad thing.



That would be an improvement.

I would add removing the 16th Amendment and adding "None Of The Above" to election ballots.



There isn't a single economic number used by the Imperious Leader's administration that can be verified with an independent source.

Obviously politicos lie, but I don't think there is any other President who acted as if his decrees change reality.



Okay, the situation is a little more clear cut in the US. But there's still an important question here.

If your government breaks the law, is it illegal to call them on it by any means you can?


You really don't get it, do you? Can you imagine the reaction if the White House agreed to a Syrian training base in Nebraska? Or a Chinese naval base in California? Or a Russian missile base in Utah?

We wouldn't allow it. If any politico dared to suggest it, they'd be ripped out of office so fast that their fillings would get left behind.

But that is exactly the devil's deal we expect other nations to honor.

When they don't, we interfere anyway. Look up Operation Ajax on the web, and then take a harder look at what has happened in the Middle East for the last seventy years.

I believe that these ever-expanding "vital interests" dishonor the very servicemen that volunteer. They get poor pay because the politicos believe they are highly expendable.



Politicos lie, it's their nature. The capital letter next to their name doesn't matter, and certainly doesn't guarantee any special virtue or vice.

I'd distrust anyone who advocates the total destruction of one party in a two-party system. After all, once you're done with them, what's to stop you from setting your sights on anyone who disagrees?

Frankly competition is your best offense and defense.



Some Americans do. Most of them are even Christians. *wink*

I think it has a lot to do with how connected someone feels to their church/temple/circle/whatever. I think that big institutional churches appear more interested in putting butts in pews than any genuine mission. The church members just give a little time every week and put some cash in the offering. Easy peasy. I really don't understand how those "megachurches" work. To me, if a normally-sighted person can't see the pulpit clearly from the back row without a huge television screen, then it's not really a church. It's an entertainment palace.

What can I say? My own practice demands personal involvement. Even without that, I've got a bunch of preacher ancestors who would disapprove.



"It might be news to you but this sentence doesn't make sense in English."

Of course it does. I'll help you break it down. "You can't use Science (note the capital letter denoting AUTHORITY) to denounce homosexuality absolutely because it (meaning science) doesn't (meaning does not denounce homosexuality)." See? That wasn't so hard. Let me know if I can help with any more.

"Because people claimed that having black skin was a result of psychological, sociological/cultural, and ideological factors?"

Yep. Going right back to the "Mark of Cain." The eugenics proponents dressed it up in pseudo-science (sound familiar?), but they still argued that certain classes of people could never be allowed a full role in society. And of course those classes should be watched carefully because they were depraved and had criminal tendencies (this should really ring a bell). Drug prohibition and gun control were tied into it in the name of the greater good.

All in all, not America's finest moment.



“Even though I was meeting every other week, every three weeks with folks and emphasizing how important it was that consumers have a good experience…"

Stars above, this is a chief executive?

Weekly meetings and daily updates on any major project. Show up unexpectedly to poke around, not once but several times. And as the deadlines get closer, meet more and inspect more. If it is important, you watch it carefully. This is business school 201, this is leadership 101.

Of course we know that the Imperious Leader was all about avoiding the responsibility and taking the credit.

Even so, this shows incompetence on a major scale. Leaders never ever admit mistakes unless they have most of the solution in place.



Prohibition as in Prohibition, and yes, it certainly was meant to stop behavior. Instead it created a huge black market and made large scale organized crime possible and highly profitable.

The various vice laws are certainly meant to stop behavior.

So are the laws creating "protest zones" at political conventions and certain high profile political events.

The laws mandating low flow plumbing and low wattage light bulbs are certainly meant to stop behavior.



You're saying that humans must be ruled or "fight among themselves." I don't agree.

Not all legislation has a "moral" basis. Sugar subsidies come to mind, as does Daylight Savings Time. There are many other examples. And that is without going into the immoral laws.

Passing a law saying that a behavior is illegal doesn't stop the behavior. Prohibition is the best known failure. Pick a vice law, any vice law for others.

Legislation is not morality, and morality certainly isn't legislation. The distinction must be made. Otherwise politicos wrap themselves in the flag AND hide behind the most convenient faith/moral code they can find. Arguing over morality keeps us honest. We're better when we verbally defend our ideas to people who don't necessarily share our beliefs.

Societies work best when the moral and legal authorities are separate.



So how many of the stock "gains" in the last six years were because of the various QE schemes?

Or, when government controls the money, it's all about the politics.



"Climate denier"

"Non believer"

"Heretic"

All the same really. Extremely dangerous words to use in a political context.

Let them say what they want. But using government to force those ideas down everyone's throat?

Not today.



I do believe that men and women balance each other, but I can't agree that women are "too susceptible to emotional arguments."

I'd trust Tammy Bruce over Chris "Tingles" Matthews.

I don’t trust anyone to decide who is worthy of voting and who is not.

Better I think to limit the size of government so it doesn't have the money or power to screw up lives.



Exactly how much government should we have? That's a discussion I would love to have. I think that 80,000 pages of regulations is just a bit much. That's framework that should not be "preserved."

Every single one of the Imperious Leader's "achievements" has it's precedent in bad law passed years before. Even if it were all reversed tomorrow, the framework would still exist.



Irony.

Their solution is that you must submit totally to their beliefs.

Your solution is that they must submit totally to your beliefs.

The argument is who gets to call the shots. Over who will rule and who will be ruled.

"In every generation there are those who want to rule well - but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters - but they mean to be masters."
      — Daniel Webster



In this thread alone, there are three obvious assumptions about "conservative" control. One, that there is a god and that certain Christians have a direct link to the Divine will as it affects everyone who doesn't toe the line. Two, that there was an (imaginary) time when everyone did exactly what was expected and goodness and light prevailed throughout the land. Third, that human sexuality conforms to a carefully defined norm.

It wasn't true then and it's not true now. Those assumptions are just as much about control as anything the progressives have produced.

In my eyes, the chief virtue of conservatives is at least they are honest and upfront about what they are working towards. It's why I prefer dealing with them.

Your definitions of libertarianism and anarchy could use some work. I only know of a very small handful who would describe themselves as "far-right anarchists." Most anarchists would be offended to be called extreme far-right and would write long screeds why they aren't.



Peasantry started when government took more economic control. Just something to think about. It was certainly expanded by certain institutionalized religions (whistles innocently), and exploited by "nobles" and an entrenched priesthood. That discussion gets really complicated really fast and is probably far beyond what we are talking about here.

If you're really interested, you might want to start with The Mystery of Capital by Hernando De Soto.

I disagree that adults need an external moral agent. At the very least, I believe that the Divine expects us to take responsibility. We won't always do it right, but we'll learn and do it better the next time.

There are alternative political spectrums you may want to examine.



Government is NOT an inevitable necessity. I believe that people can find ways to agree and live together without government intervention, without government supervision, and without government permission.

I believe that government is an absolute last resort that should be starved and then banished as soon as possible.

Individual freedom must trump government power. Or what is the point?



Assume that the U.S. Constitution is a compact.

The citizens grant power to government in return for protecting certain rights.

Is that compact still valid if the government doesn't do it's part?



I'm sorry, but "national security" is not sacrosanct.

It seems to be invoked to cover abuse of power just as much as it is a questionable national interest.



Just to save time, let me say that people's rights exist with or without society's sanction or approval. At it's most basic, the only reason a society or a nation should exist is to defend those rights. For the sake of argument, I'll agree that one person's rights stop when they infringe on another's, but you and I won't agree on what "infringe" means. You've already brought "society" in as a player, and I'll tell you that it's none of society's business.

That is, unless you agree to always apply 90 days before having sex using only approved positions 1, 4, & 5. With a doctor's signed certification, you might attempt position 7. With a letter from your minister and countersigned by your local Department of Intimacy, your might get a special wavier for position 3. You must wait for permission. No unauthorized sex now, society must sanction it. Oh, and remember that position 2 is strictly forbidden.



See, this is an issue when a religious rite (not right) is "approved" by government. People start believing that their religion should have the force of law backing it up and that their faith should always shape the law.

Then government changes the rules and definitions without consulting the religion. Government demands that religion complies with the new rules, no matter what. Now the law shapes the religion.



With my very first post on this thread, I pointed out that 50 years ago a sizable part of American society refused to "sanction" interracial marriage.

As long as they are consenting adults, it's none of society's business. Just as you don't care what a mosque in Chicago thinks about your relationships, or if T.D. Jakes approves of your shoes.

It's not what society sanctions. It's the freedom people have.



There's a quote that applies, and I wish "both" sides would take it to heart.

"Everybody has asked the question, 'What shall we do with the Negro?' I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!"
      — Frederick Douglass

Society should neither help nor hinder. Let people make their own choices and live with the consequences.



By accepting the amendment process, the states lock themselves into an institutional trap. I'm no expert, but just reading the words "planned convention" sparked five possible ways that the combined national party leadership could derail it because a majority of the states have to agree. Three involve spending obscene amounts of cash, one withholds obscene amounts of cash, and one costs nothing and has no countermove that I can see. Each of them would probably work.

The weakness of a convention is that the states have to act together and they can't cut any side deals. Anything else and it all goes back to politics. If I can think of that, I'm pretty sure all those political advisors have it plugged into their spreadsheets and their Power Point presentations.

The only sure way out of the institution trap is a willingness to destroy the institution itself. So let me ask you, could we have America without a Constitution or a Federal government? Is that a price you're willing to pay?



If there are deductions, then by definition taxes are too high.

Any tax system that requires BY LAW your employer, your banker, and your neighbor to snitch on you is immoral and wrong.

And now the libertarian nutcase will go to the corner and mumble menacingly about taxes for a while.



It was never about insurance or medical care. Notice the deliberate confusion between the two…

When it is up, the website requires you to give all sorts of personal, financial, and medical information on you and your relatives. Before you get to see what the prices are.

Over time, the "fixes" will eliminate any medical care independent of government. This is already beginning to hit the insurance companies. Doctors are fast discovering that they can't afford an independent practice anymore. Hospitals and clinics are next.

And if tomorrow, Citizen, the Imperious Leader sends out word that Happiness Supplement #23 must be taken daily under penalty of law, what will the sheeple do?



Trust me, looking at the BLM's books won't help.

In a very circumspect way, I was briefly involved in a dispute between the BLM and the Navajo Tribe. There were at least three sets of books that we could account for, and another one or two that we suspected but could not prove. Of the three sets we knew of, each had spending divided by national, regional or district, state, and "special" entities such as the various tribes. These divisions may or may not be official, depending on who you talk to, the time of day, and who is asking.



Mostly tax exempt status is used by governments to ride herd on churches and non-profit groups. "We'll give tax exempt status, but you have to be quiet when it comes to politics. And by the way, you'll need to report all members, donors, and donations so we can keep track."

I find that amazing considering the history of churches, free speech, and civil rights in the U.S.

Of course that doesn't help in this situation. But the city in this case is doing exactly as the Federal and many state governments have done.



Of course the IRS decides. That's why it's not automatic.

If you call your organization a church or a charity and you do not have tax exempt status, most Americans don't think you are "real" no matter what work is being done or the group's track record.

And we won't discuss what happens when without notification the tax exempt status is revoked either automatically or manually by senior agents.

I absolutely agree that in this case it's abuse of power. I'm also trying to say that it can happen at any level of government unexpectedly.



"…in a binary system of choice, to prefer one thing is to be averse to the other."

You can say a great many things about sex, but even your selections on this site show that there is something more than a "binary choice." While you may choose to select radical feminists as the baseline, not all gays share those views. Not all lesbians share those views.

I make it a rule of thumb that when someone offers two and only two alternatives, I should immediately start looking for the third, fourth, and fifth.

If someone is not holding a gun to your head, why should their being gay matter to you in the slightest? Do you think they're going to drag you behind the shed? Do you think they are going to tempt your wife into something unspeakable so she'll leave you? I don't.

Should we object to the "normalization of gay culture?" No more than we should object to the "normalization" of Jewish culture, Italian art, social computing, or big box stores. If you don't like it, don't use it. You don't have make it illegal and drive it underground.

I've dealt with enough conservatives to know that the obnoxious ones aren’t the usual ones. They aren't even the ones who do the work, they're just the ones who get the attention.

And that holds true for any group you can name.



None Of The Above.

It's the only sure way to make elections work.

As it is, we're at the mercy of a corrupt party system.

I still want to know why the leaders of both national parties are not prosecuted under the RICO Act.



Point of fact.

The spinners already won.

That's a big part of why Obama was elected to a second term.



Depends on the behavior.

Molesting kids, that is against the law and I accept that law as a workable compromise.

Laws against what consenting adults do, well, that is bad law. I don't care if it's a home brewery, scrapbooking, or sex, it's none of your business.

See Part the Third.

The law has no virtue because it is law.



Before you call "blacks" racist, you need to eliminate other factors such as single motherhood and economic conditions. There is a lot more, but the situation is not solely because of skin color, or even mostly.

As far as homosexuality being a mental illness, that is a recent view. Considering that the science is far from settled and it wasn't so long ago that left handedness was also considered an illness, well, we can dispense with that one.

What this lady did was wrong, I am not disputing that. But don't try to invoke a general case unless you can show that every single "black" is racist and every single homosexual is homicidal.



Are you claiming that every Muslim is a terrorist?

And naturally you think that every homosexual is mentally ill and every "black" is guilty of "racist" hate crimes.

Me, I prefer this old fashioned idea. A person is innocent until proven guilty.

You may have heard of it, it used to be quite the thing.



The South had the power to secede. Any U.S. state still has the power to secede for any reason, up to and including the color of the latest M&M candy.

Governments and agents of governments have powers. People have rights that are shared equally by all the people.

The two must never be confused.



The distinction is vital in understanding what the role of government should be.

Look at it this way. The Constitution is a contract between the people and government. Government is given powers to protect rights, but no one gives rights.

Rights belong to individuals, Charlie has the same rights as Joan or Gotam. When someone has a "right" that isn't shared by others, it's a privilege.

The U.S. Constitution does an amazing job of defining (not granting) rights. But the Tenth Amendment doesn't talk about state rights, it talks about the powers of the states.



E-Verify, like the income tax before it, coerces employers into becoming unpaid spies for the Feds. I can't support that.

Like many libertarians, I think all government welfare benefits should be abolished. In this case, welfare is a poorly disguised vote buying scam.

I also don't support giving Federal funds to cities. Detroit just went broke, there are dozens of other cities teetering. Should their mismanagement be rewarded? Jerry Brown just invited millions of illegals to California, he's counting on Federal money to bail them out.

And don't get me started on public education.

I don't think the answer is more law. I think it starts with repealing the laws that got us into this mess.

It's makes each employer responsible for investigating each prospective new hire and reporting that to the "proper" authorities.

That has nothing to do with the job and everything to do with law enforcement. In other words, a snitch. Or, more politely, a spy.

What's more, employers have no choice.



Okay, let's deal with the armed troops thing.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in a nation where the armed forces conduct door to door searches. Today it may be illegal aliens. Tommorrow it may be two liter soda bottles. Or incandescent light bulbs. Or religious publications.

Most illegals aren't violent. Yes, they are criminals, but we don't treat jaywalkers the same as bank robbers.

The military should not be involved in law enforcement. For a long time that was illegal. Then we started "bending" the rules for the drug war and then we repealed the law.



Years ago, I was part of a small libertarian group that took a very preliminary look at American immigration policy.

Without a drastic change in the leadership of both the US and Mexico, the most viable solution we could come up with was to annex Mexico. That was still a big longshot.

Since that wasn't exactly a libertarian solution, we agreed to disband.

The accepted capital "L" Libertarian solution is to end the War On Drugs, destroying the cartels and changing Mexico's economy.

I do not think that alone would be enough. Anything we do to change immigration policy has to deal with all the illegals here already. Short of armed troops throwing them back across the border, we're not going to get rid of them. I don't like the idea of amnesty either.



I make it a rule to doubt the political commitment of anyone more than three years younger than the voting age.



Just a point again that Western Civilization did not begin and end with Christianity and Christian thought.

Some laws are not moral. For example, right now many police departments are partially funded by civil forfeiture laws.

Something like 40% of the Export-Import Bank's loans have gone to support one company, Boeing.

Not so very long ago, the Federal government decided that the U.S. should be forced to switch to the metric system.



I'm a libertarian. My problem is with politicos.

Specifically with politicos who deliver higher taxes, higher spending, more laws, more government agencies, more regulation, and more sacred cows.

I'm from Arizona, and my problem is definitely with John McCain.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.

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