America Is Dead...


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NIGHTWATCH
July 13, 2004, 07:59 AM
You can't fix a corpse

Posted: July 12, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
©_2004_WorldNetDaily.com

Tibetan religious tradition has it that when the Dalai Lama dies, the Buddha of Compassion leaves his body and incarnates in the body of a young child. The monks immediately go out in search of this blessed child, and when they find him – as they inevitably do – he is tested by a group of high lamas and enthroned as the reincarnation of his successor.

Imagine, however, if the lamas refused to recognize that the Dalai Lama was, in fact, dead. Suppose that instead of going in search of the Buddha's new carnal home, they hooked the corpse up to a life support machine and waited patiently for the Holy One to awake and rise up. It's not hard to see that they would be doomed to disappointment, and furthermore, would fail to find the next Dalai Lama as well.

This is precisely our dilemma today, for America, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, is dead. By every measure, large and small, the original vision of limited government by, for and of the people has been folded, spindled and mutilated beyond recognition. When one reads the Constitution, one simply marvels at the distinct difference between its words and our present reality.

Our paper Federal Reserve Notes are not Congress-issued gold and silver coins. Our direct taxes are not apportioned. We are entangled in a veritable web of foreign alliances, Congress shamelessly makes laws regarding speech, religion and guns, and the judicial branch has arrogantly assumed for itself unchecked supremacy over the other two branches.

Regardless of whether one see these changes as blasphemous treason against the Constitution, or as reasonable and necessary modifications to what was designed to be a living document that evolves with the times, it is impossible to deny that they have been made. It is likewise impossible to assert that a massive central government possessing eminent domain, owning over a third of the land and claiming more than a third of all income is either limited or small.

For many years, conservatives and other freedom lovers have placed their trust in the Republican Party, hoping that it would fulfill its promises to return America to its national birthright of freedom and individual liberty. Those promises, unsurprisingly, were broken by the party of Abraham Lincoln, who is most famous for converting what had been a voluntary Union of free association into a forced Union by military might.

Any last vestiges of hope in the Republican Party have been shattered by the current regime, wherein a Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican-nominated Supreme Court have demonstrated that they have zero interest in the timeless vision of America's founders. Supporting them in the hopes that they will revive American liberties is akin to hoping that shock paddles will suffice to revive a month-old corpse. American freedom is not only dead, it has been rotting for some time.

There are those who say that a vote for a third-party candidate, such as the Libertarian's Michael Badnarik or the Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka, is wasted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, these are the only votes that are not wasted, for positive change will only come from those outside the corrupt bi-factional system. After all, it was neither the Tories nor the Whigs who fought for American independence.

Like the Tibetan lamas, we must go in search of those in whom the spirit of freedom and liberty burns. The revival of American liberty is still in its infancy, as only 482,451 people voted for the Libertarian and Constitution presidential candidates combined, 0.96 percent of those who voted for the victorious Republican, George W. Bush. But that is 482,395 more people than the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and as for those who believe our present bipartisan system is eternal, well, tell it to the Whigs.

Or, for that matter, to the optimates and populares of Rome. The choice is simple, if not easy. A revival of liberty or the continued stink of an extinct republic as it decomposes into dictatorial empire.

America is dead. Let us go, then, and find her.


http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39394

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Treylis
July 13, 2004, 08:29 AM
Any last vestiges of hope in the Republican Party have been shattered by the current regime, wherein a Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican-nominated Supreme Court have demonstrated that they have zero interest in the timeless vision of America's founders.

This bears repeating in particular.

FPrice
July 13, 2004, 08:29 AM
Your America may be dead, but mine isn't.

Mine may be hurting, bent, bloody, and under attack, but it's not dead.

As long as I have a breath in my body my America will go on.

Shovelhead
July 13, 2004, 08:35 AM
Condolences to you about your America, :(
Mine is still kicking. :D

Ed

dave3006
July 13, 2004, 09:36 AM
Is your America still alive when it:

takes half your income in taxes
ignores enforcing its borders
gives preference to blacks and mexicans for gov't contracts
forces your kids to attend socialist schools
makes you pay to keep your own car and home
gives your money to other countries
denies your right to keep and BEAR arms
feels you up before you get on a plane
searches you randomly on buses


America is so long dead the body stinks and is maggot-ridden. Your denial is part of the problem.

Lone_Gunman
July 13, 2004, 09:50 AM
To those who think the ideals of the founders are not dead, I say you are living with blinders on.

Bush signed a law he said was "probably un-Constitutional" which severely curtails political speech otherwise protected by the first amendment.

You can talk about voting for the "lesser of two evils" all you want, but you are a fool to vote for someone who will admit to signing what he thinks in his heart is un-Constitutional legislation.

The Rabbi
July 13, 2004, 10:13 AM
Real simple: you don't like it, go somewhere else. But quit whining.

For all the whiners let me point out that:
-in the time of the Founding Fathers there was no pure food and drug act. People routinely died from bad medicine and food poisoning.

-In the time of the Founding Fathers it took months to get from Europe to the US. The battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812 was a waste because a truce had already been signed but no one knew about it. Today things that happen in remote parts of the world have an immediate effect on us. For that reason the US has and needs a diplomatic presence in many many foreign countries.

-The whiners would no doubt have been happy to see Hitler, Stalin et.al walk over the rest of the world while we sat behind our two oceans and watched because we had no army or navy.

-In the time of the Founding Fathers people were routinely denied the right to vote based on color, religion, sex, and economic status. Those things were changed but not without some serious enforcement issues.

So for everyone pining for the good ole days: if your ancestors came here within the last 200 years, if you can vote but do not have $50,000 net worth, take medicine for any ailment, eat packaged processed foods, enjoy the power that the US can wield on the world stage then you can thank the Federal government for all that. Yes, there are problems and issues and certainly nothing to gloss over but the "US is dead" business is nonsense.

cuchulainn
July 13, 2004, 10:19 AM
Yes, there are problems and issues and certainly nothing to gloss over but the "US is dead" business is nonsense. It is worse than nonsense. It encourages people wallow in self pity rather than actually confront the problems.

Yowza
July 13, 2004, 10:46 AM
It is worse than nonsense. It encourages people wallow in self pity rather than actually confront the problems.

I think that the point of the article was to get people to actually see the problems. A necessary step before they can be confronted. If you don't like the hyperbole, fine. But that doesn't mean that the point is invalid.

Rick

dave3006
July 13, 2004, 10:53 AM
Rabbi, the US corpse may look better than the Europe, Asian, or other corpses. However, it is still a corpse and is dead. Very few of our original liberties are intact. Sure, we have some amenities that are nicer now than before. However, we are still slaves to the federal gov't.

Just because the slaves quarters are nice, does not mean he is free.

MrAcheson
July 13, 2004, 10:53 AM
I think that the point of the article was to get people to actually see the problems. A necessary step before they can be confronted. If you don't like the hyperbole, fine. But that doesn't mean that the point is invalid.

If you are going to try to do something constructive you don't call something "dead". Dead things don't generally become alive again unless a diety gets involved. You call them sick or gravely ill. I'm not saying he doesn't have a point. I'm saying he could have made it a whole lot better because all this is just whining BS.

cuchulainn
July 13, 2004, 10:56 AM
I think that the point of the article was to get people to actually see the problems. A necessary step before they can be confronted. If you don't like the hyperbole, fine. But that doesn't mean that the point is invalid. People are already aware of the problems without this article. Saying "America is dead" is an expression of hopelessness. By focusing on "America is dead," the writer does encourage people to wallow in self pity.

His token call to action in the final few paragraphs is far outweighed by the overwhelming hopelessness of the rest of the article. Remember, most people don't read complete articles, so most people who read this saw only the hopelessness.

The Real Mad Max
July 13, 2004, 10:59 AM
America is alive and well.

If you don't think so, try living somewhere else.

Thumper
July 13, 2004, 11:01 AM
Yawn...

America ain't dead...least not amongst me and my partners.

Seriously...if you feel that strongly, why aren't you "voting from the rooftops?"

dave3006
July 13, 2004, 12:12 PM
Thumper, are you suggesting we start killing people? You claim America is alive among you and your partners. Do you pay income tax, property tax, sales tax, car tax, socialism security tax or the 400 other taxes? Can you own an M16? Can you carry a gun everywhere you want without a special "permit"?

Too many people confuse goodies with liberty.

The Real Mad Max
July 13, 2004, 12:28 PM
And too many people confuse liberty with chaos.

auschip
July 13, 2004, 12:31 PM
You claim America is alive among you and your partners. Do you pay income tax, property tax, sales tax, car tax, socialism security tax or the 400 other taxes? Can you own an M16? Can you carry a gun everywhere you want without a special "permit"?


Guess you don't drive on the roads (paid for with taxes). Never went to public schools (paid for with taxes), Gone to the hospital (paid for with taxes). Bought vegetables (subsidized by taxes), built anything with wood or steel (subsidized by taxes), or sent a letter (subsidized by taxes). Can I own an M16 - yep.

The Real Mad Max
July 13, 2004, 12:33 PM
Exactly auschip!!!! Well said.

The Rabbi
July 13, 2004, 12:37 PM
Dave,
Are you equating paying taxes with lack of liberty? How else would you like to fund all the things the federal government does? Bake sales? I know of no government that ever survived without taxing its citizens at some level. What connection is there between the two? I don't see any.

Yes, I can own an M-16. In fact I am looking for one right now. So what? Do you want Mike Tyson to have one too? Can your 12-yr old daughter drive on the highway? Can your next-door neighbor manufacture hallucinogens? If you want to equate no regulation whatsoever with absolute freedom and then make that the goal, go ahead. I see how well that's worked in large parts of Africa. Beware of the law of unintended consequences.

dave3006
July 13, 2004, 12:48 PM
Yes. Our founding fathers equated overtaxation as the lack of liberty. 50% tax rate is slavery. I don't want to be compelled to pay for the education of others in a socialist system. I'll pay for my own health care. Gov't interference is why it is so expensive now.

Every single thing the gov't touches it destroys. America will collapse financially just like the Soviet Union because of runaway spending. You can bet your life on it.

The corpse is dead. Get used to it.

Gordon Fink
July 13, 2004, 12:52 PM
Condolences to you about your America … Mine is still kicking.

Kicking ass perhaps?

The American republic is dead.… Long live Imperial America! Welcome the new golden age of unlimited power, gluttonous wealth, and gentle tyranny.

And now for the classic retort from the Rabbi …
[Y]ou don’t like it, go somewhere else.… just dripping with wisdom.

Yes, cuchulainn, the situation does look pretty hopeless, but we haven’t all retreated to our bunkers just yet. Some of us can even read all the way through an article.

~G. Fink

auschip
July 13, 2004, 12:55 PM
Our founding fathers equated overtaxation as the lack of liberty

Silly me I thought it was "No taxation without representation!" Not "No Taxation. Period." As an aside, 50% taxation isn't slavery. Zero pay and ownership by another person is slavery. Fairly substantial difference. You might pay for your own healthcare, but the county pays for the hospital building, and most likely the Doctor's education that you don't want to pay for is subsidized by the .gov (at least a portion of it).

BigG
July 13, 2004, 12:58 PM
If you drum beaters really believe this, it is a call to arms plain and simple: they are not counting on voting to change anything. Funny, I don't hear no shootin. :confused:

The Real Mad Max
July 13, 2004, 01:06 PM
Wow. Very astute.

Imperial America! Of course.... Thanks for clarifying that...

Gordon Fink
July 13, 2004, 01:12 PM
You’re welcome. :D

~G. Fink

auschip
July 13, 2004, 01:13 PM
Imperial America! Of course.... Thanks for clarifying that...


Explains the gold fringe around the flag. :evil: *ducks for cover*

Boats
July 13, 2004, 01:16 PM
This argument just strikes me as non-Marxist class warfare. America has always been alive for the economic winners and dead for the losers.

Gordon Fink
July 13, 2004, 01:23 PM
Boats, in Imperial America, even the economic “losers” get to be fat and well entertained. If not, they might get a little rowdy. :uhoh:

~G. Fink

The Real Mad Max
July 13, 2004, 01:25 PM
G Fink,

Your signature line says it all...

The Rabbi
July 13, 2004, 03:44 PM
Max,
If I were stuck in the PRC like Gordon is I might have a lousy view of the world too. Fortunately (for humanity) the U.S. is not confined to California, much as folks out there like to think it is. Maybe in CA high taxes, intolerable regulation, political correctness, and general "meshigas" all add up to a totalitarian state. But here in TN we still have rights and still "wave Ole Glory".

cuchulainn
July 13, 2004, 04:00 PM
Yes, cuchulainn, the situation does look pretty hopeless, but we haven’t all retreated to our bunkers just yet. That is exactly why it is wrong to say "America is dead.Some of us can even read all the way through an article. Yes, some of us can and do. However, most people don't, so many people came away from this article with something other than the author's final call to action.

JohnBT
July 13, 2004, 04:06 PM
"America is so long dead the body stinks and is maggot ridden. Your denial is part of the problem."

No sir. My hope and faith, and the hope and faith of others, is part of the reason my country will survive.

And your trash talking isn't convincing anybody of anything.

John

Thumper
July 13, 2004, 04:06 PM
Thumper, are you suggesting we start killing people? You claim America is alive among you and your partners. Do you pay income tax, property tax, sales tax, car tax, socialism security tax or the 400 other taxes? Can you own an M16? Can you carry a gun everywhere you want without a special "permit"?

What I'm suggesting, dave, is that if YOU feel enslaved, you have a moral obligation to pick up a rifle and get to work.

Just so you know, I'll be fighting on the team I swore allegiance to.

Either kwitcherbitchin' or get to fightin'.

Molon Labe
July 13, 2004, 04:17 PM
Yes. Our founding fathers equated overtaxation as the lack of liberty. 50% tax rate is slavery. Damn right it is.

Your labor is your property. Your money is your property. When the government confiscates your money, it is confiscating your property.

“When the government takes your money, they also take your Freedom. Without economic freedom, political freedom is an academic exercise.” – Jim Quinn

The Rabbi
July 13, 2004, 04:23 PM
By that logic no government can tax its citizens. How do you propose they raise revenue?
All those taxes were voted on through the various bodies of government, theoretically answerable to the citizens at poll time. If you dont want taxes then I suggest hitting the campaign trail.

FPrice
July 13, 2004, 05:15 PM
A careful, or even just half-careful reading of this piece reveals it for what it truely is. A propaganda piece for the LP.

Times are bad, everyone else is corrupt, your ONLY salvation is the LP, if you don't realize and acknowledge that then you are a worthless mouth-breather.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

sumpnz
July 13, 2004, 05:47 PM
Rabbi, I'd be willing bet that the folks you're argueing with subscribe to the anarchist philosophy. If that's true, they tend to believe that any taxation is theft, and that abolition of the goverment, and hence the taxation inherent to such, is necessary for any meaningful freedom to be possible. They seem to think that their utopic "Free Market" will solve all problems but they refuse to recognize that without govt that free market will colapse into abuse not seen since the robber barrons of the 19th century. Of course, I'm sure they'll accuse me of failing to recognize some truth they deem self-evident and a pissing match will then ensue between the anarchist adherents and the proponents of constitutional republicanism. In the end each side will just talk past the other, and nobody will any wiser for it. Better to just let it go.

wingman
July 13, 2004, 05:56 PM
America has always been alive for the economic winners and dead for the losers.
True, however we are gaining in more losers all time. Being 60+ years old
I have lived through many changes much in the past 40 years have been
very discouraging to say the least, I am a very strong believer in America
and it's way of life, however I am very pessimistic that we can or will remain
free due to a growing uneducated population who is more interested in consuming then voting or working in the system to keep our rights. I do not see a leader in our two party system who will truly change
things and I must admit I believe it will get worse in coming years.:(

moa
July 13, 2004, 05:59 PM
We Americans are, in a way, slaves.

We are slaves to the $40 trillion plus in national debt and obligations. This present debt and future obligations was recently confirmed by the Comptroller of the United States, David Gardener.

This works out to $100,000 of national debt and obligations for each American man, women and child.

Cosmoline
July 13, 2004, 06:00 PM
America is not the federal gov'ment. This is a mistake many politicos make, and I believe the writer is making it here. The federal government is a very different thing today than the Constitution's federal government. But this does not mean that America is dead. We are not our government.

JohnBT
July 13, 2004, 06:14 PM
Amen to that.

Gordon Fink
July 13, 2004, 06:18 PM
In the end each side will just talk past the other, and nobody will [be] any wiser for it.

You got that right, sadly.

~G. Fink

Michigander
July 13, 2004, 06:35 PM
It is quite obvious that the truth hurts like hell!

cordex
July 13, 2004, 06:58 PM
Real simple: you don't like it, go somewhere else. But quit whining.
*sigh*

Taking money from someone else at gunpoint isn't theft if you do it as a group. Gov't infringements are fine and dandy because no one can be trusted to live their own lives.

And if there's anything you dislike about the way things are, leave.

Truly, spoken like people I like to associate with.

R.H. Lee
July 13, 2004, 07:07 PM
The federal government is a very different thing today than the Constitution's federal government. But this does not mean that America is dead. We are not our government.


Amen to that. We give the federal .gov entirely too much emphasis, too much media time and too much of our attention (not to mention too much of our money). By those acknowledgments, we forget the irrelevance of the barrage of unconsitutional laws and regulations. The federal .gov exists only because we give it our money, and that is their weakness. If there ever were dissatisfaction to the point that people simply refused to send $$ to the treasury, .gov would become responsive to us. There are not enought prisons to incarcerate several million "tax evaders". Once the idea caught on, NOBODY would pay taxes.

rock jock
July 13, 2004, 07:16 PM
Congress shamelessly makes laws regarding speech, religion and guns Talk about shamless. I'm sorry, but either the author of this article is either completely ignorant of the early days of our Republic and the laws made by the Founding Fathers, or he is simply disingenuous. History shows the early days of America to have LOTS and LOTS of laws based on religion. It was the intention of the Founding Fathers to be this way. Only within the past 50 years have these laws fell to the wayside, and now we are taught that our current areligious, or anti-religious (depending on your personal view) environment was always the norm. It is not. This kind of historical revisionism smacks of same garbage we are fed by the antis every day.

Andrew Rothman
July 13, 2004, 07:28 PM
Tibetan religious tradition has it that when the Dalai Lama dies, the Buddha of Compassion leaves his body and incarnates in the body of a young child. The monks immediately go out in search of this blessed child, and when they find him – as they inevitably do – he is tested by a group of high lamas and enthroned as the reincarnation of his successor.

Um, wouldn't that be predecessor? :)

Hard to take such bad writing seriously.

Standing Wolf
July 13, 2004, 07:33 PM
Somewhere in hell, George III is laughing himself silly.

Greg Bell
July 13, 2004, 07:46 PM
America is doing fine. And I'll go further, unlike the hysterics on both sides, the world won't come to end if my guy loses. I'll just be happy I didn't sell my HK93 and my hi-caps!

Glock Glockler
July 13, 2004, 08:03 PM
Rock jock,

I'm just curious what religion we should mandate: yours?

We also had laws allowing for slavery but I think it's actually a good thing we got rid of those.

Waitone
July 13, 2004, 08:31 PM
To those who think the ideals of the founders are not dead, I say you are living with blinders on.

Bush signed a law he said was "probably un-Constitutional" which severely curtails political speech otherwise protected by the first amendment.
No so much a measure of life signs as it is a measure of the moral cowardice of the signer.

The Rabbi
July 13, 2004, 08:51 PM
Sumpnz,
That was the best shortest analysis of this I have seen so far. You are absolutely right.
I have a few questions for the America is Dead crowd
1) When did this happen? Post New Deal? Post WWI?
2) If 50% taxation is slavery then what level of taxation is not slavery?
3) If any level of taxation is slavery then where does government get funds to operate?
4) IS the franchise to vote broader or narrower today than under the Founders? Does a broader franchise equate to more slavery? Doesnt this seem contradictory?
5) The government had the right to draft people from the very beginning. Isnt a draft more like slavery than taxation? We dont have one today btw.
6) If the system is broke then how will we fix it? What is going to be better than what we have now?

Six pretty simple questions. Anyone who can give coherent answers (as opposed to slogans like "IMperial America") might persuade me.

Frohickey
July 13, 2004, 09:37 PM
If there ever were dissatisfaction to the point that people simply refused to send $$ to the treasury, .gov would become responsive to us.

Other people have tried to do that. They have tried to not withhold from wages paid, and I believe the person is in jail now.

So, how are people going to refuse to send $$ to the treasury?

Frohickey
July 13, 2004, 09:41 PM
I think that too many people here only fixated on the "America is Dead" title. Reading through the article, what is said makes sense, but maybe the 'dead' is an unfortunate choice of word.

Maybe the correct choice would be "America is dying", and the Dr. Democrats and Dr. Republicans are quack doctors unable to correctly diagnose the problem, or actually makes the problem worse.

I think that 'taxation' would not be slavery if every person paid the same amount of taxes. Taxes should only be used for purposes that are equally useful for all people. If its only useful for certain people, then that should be paid for by fees.

Defense is such a purpose that is equally useful for all people.
Post office is not.
Patent office is not
Courts and judges, that not as clear to me.
Administration of Washington DC is.

R.H. Lee
July 13, 2004, 09:57 PM
Other people have tried to do that. They have tried to not withhold from wages paid, and I believe the person is in jail now.

So, how are people going to refuse to send $$ to the treasury?

Exactly. The federal .gov takes tax scofflawery very seriously and pounces on any offenders with the purpose of making examples of them. This points to the government's vulnerability with regard to the collection of taxes.

oldfart
July 13, 2004, 10:26 PM
Allow me to dip an oar into these muddied waters. I'm not sure I'm a good enough student of civic affairs to answer all six questions, but I'd like to take a swipe at a couple of them.

America became ill when Lincoln used military force to keep the South from secession. That illness fed upon itself and the American people for another fifty years or so until Articles 16 & 17 were made law. At that point the sickness became apparent to a few astute scholars. The con job that the Democratic party pulled on the American people in 1934 was vewry nearly the final nail in the coffin, but the Second World War brought about a new revival of nationalism that breathed a bit of life into the nearly dead body. Since then, subsequent administrations have inflicted many thousands of tiny cuts in the prostrate carcass. Today we here on this forum look forward with anticipation to the healing of just one of those cuts-- the AWB.

I'd like to try to answer questions 2 & 3 at the same time, if I might.

The question should not regard the percentage of our income the government is entitled to but rather whether or not the governmnet is within the Constitutional bounds each of our "leaders" has sworn to "preserve, protect and defend..." Consider what our taxes pay for. Does anyone truly believe that the bloated octopus that is our government is spending our money wisely? Scarcely a day goes by without some mention of waste, pork-barreling or embezzlement. We are constantly shown examples of government meddling in every facet of our lives from supposedly 'mandatory' social security numbers at birth to dictates from the White House telling Doctors they cannot prescribe medication to the terminally ill that can be use to end their suffering. If government were to retreat to the boundaries prescribed by the Constitution there would be no need for high taxes.

Some here have pointed to the highway system as an example of properly spent tax money, to hospitals owned and operated by the county, to all the "necessities" we take for granted, all owned and operated by some arm of the government. Unless I am further along in my journey to dementia than I think, I remember highways before highway taxes. I even remember toll roads and toll bridges, all paid for by private enterprise with no government interference.

I am seventy years old and I was born without the benefit of a hospital. I've led a reasonably active life with never a worry about what I might have missed by being born at home. It will be argued that many babies are born with some sort of difficulties that might be fatal if they were not born in a hospital. Perhaps if that were the case today we might no have so many children suffering from asthma, spina bifida (sp?), and other hereditary problems. In our rush to give every child a chance at life we might have condemned all children to death. But that's what government does best, isn't it?

Now I'll jump ahead to question six-- how do we fix our broken system?

There is only one way. We all know what it is. Some of us have had a taste of it in the past and aren't eager to do it again. Voting for an "R" or a "D" or even and "L" won't do it. We, our fathers and grandfathers have allowed the government to change the rules of the game so that we can't win. Not only that, but our children are being taught that everything is just fine the way it is, that slavery is freedom and lies are truth. (By the way, where in the Constitution does the Federal government get permission to meddle in education?)

Physically, the U.S.A. is pretty much the same as always. The borders haven't changed much, though the southern one is getting kinda fuzzy. The rivers still run where they always did and weather systems still move generally west to east. But America isn't the same as it was even when I was a child. We have more toys to play with but we haven't learned yet how to get along with each other when we play with them.

If America isn't dead yet, it will be by the time the next terrorist strike hits some major city and our government flexes all the muscles it has developed in the Patriot Act, Campaign Finance Reform and Patriot II. When that time comes, the rooftops may very well be the last bastion of the original aMERICA.

R.H. Lee
July 13, 2004, 10:37 PM
doom and gloom

It ain't that bad. oldfart, if Honest Abe had not kept the Union together who's to say we would be a world power today? Or even continued to exist as a free nation? If Al-Qaeda hits us, too bad for them. Lots more terrorists (and innocents) in the Arab world are gonna die. That will continue until they get the message.

spartacus2002
July 13, 2004, 10:55 PM
"it ain't that bad..."

Sure it is. Just as a tree can look fine and healthy on the outside, yet be rotten in its core, America has serious damage to its core. Those of us who understand the legal and regulatory structure AND read their history know it is just a matter of time.

It has little to do with the individual American but more to do with the constant building of law and regulation and tax and licensing and etc. and etc. that act as weeds in a garden, choking out any real growth. Meanwhile, the average American looks on helplessly without any understanding of why this is happening.... but hey, as long as he has NASCAR and the latest reality show with jiggly women in bikinis, and can say "Bush is a jerk" without (immediate) fear of being arrested, he thinks it's still a free country.

Between ridiculous lawsuits and the nanny state, we are becoming a nation of soft-brained zombies, afraid to exercise discretion and judgment. There was a day when Americans were renowned for their entrepreneurial spirit, their energy, and their ambition. Now we are afraid to use the word "black" instead of "african-american" because it might offend someone. Now we are afraid to do something, anything, without fear of it breaking one of the innumerable laws/regulations that infest our country.

Not all of us are like this, and I suspect that a large amount of the members of this board are not like this, because as gun enthusiasts we take pride in our rights to self-defense. But, do not fall into the false logic of "I am an American, I'm not like the people you described above, therefore no Americans are like the people you described above."

Not everyone is like you or me. But there are enough mush-brained zombies that we may be reaching the tipping point where we slide inexorably into socialism.

Skytrooper
July 14, 2004, 12:52 AM
Honest Abe? Oh, please. Is that the same "honest Abe" who closed down over 300 Northern newspapers that dared to criticize his administration? The same "honest Abe" who unilaterally suspended the right of habeas corpus and arrested, tried by military tribunal and exiled a member of Congress for making a campaign speech? The same "honest Abe" who signed a warrant for the arrest of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and who ordered the stuffing of ballet boxes in border states to ensure his party remained in power? The same "honest Abe" who waged a war against a civil populace unmatched in brutality until the Waffen SS; a war that cost around 620,000 American lives, all to force tens of millions of people to live under a government they wanted no part of?

"The people of the United States are no longer living under a government of laws, but every citizen holds life, liberty and property at the will and pleasure of an army officer in whose military district he may happen to be found." - Chief Justice Taney, 1861.

"The government had the right to draft people from the very beginning." No, it DID NOT! First, governments do not have rights. They have powers; either legitimate powers delegated by the people or illegitimate powers taken by usurpation. Only individual human beings have rights. Second, Congress has no power delegated to it to compel anyone to serve in the military. Conscription in the U.S. (and income taxes) did not occur until the War for Southern Independence. There is no shred of constitutional authority for conscription. After the war, the Supreme Court declared the 1860s federal income tax was unconstitutional; it cravenly refused to strike down conscription.

The Federal government is only supposed to have those powers expressly delegated to it (by the people) in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. It may come as news to the pro-government extremists who posted previously, but there is no enumerated power authorizing Congress to spend money on schools, hospitals, or to subsidize farmers, timber companies or steel mills. Congress is authorized to fund a postal service; however, it is not authorized to run the postal service monopoly which has existed since the 1840s. Not only is Congress delegated no power to restrict or prohibit the private possession of firearms, that power is expressly forbidden by the Second Amendment. If you cannot grasp the meaning of "unalienable" or "shall not be infringed" then you have a promising career ahead of you as a judge, prosecutor or LEO.

To the happy M16 owner who posted previously, please be advised that most Americans are prohibited by state laws from possessing any full-auto firearm. The fact you begged the federal government for written permission before exercising an unalienable individual right does not mean all Americans share your disdain for the Constitution or your willingness to obey an illegal legislative act. In 1803, in Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court ruled laws which violated the U.S. Constitution are null and void; people do not have to obey them, courts cannot enforce them. NFA-34, GCA-68, etc. violate Article I, Section 8 as well as the Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments (not that that means anything to modern politicians, judges or LEOs). Under the incorporation doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment, state anti-gun laws violate the Second Amendment.

No, it is not a question of "too many people confuse liberty with chaos." It is a question of too many people ignorant of history, law, and current events confusing a free country with one that is well along the road to becoming a police state. I am not an anarchist (although the people who have thrown that word about in this thread clearly do not comprehend the word's origin); I am a Vietnam combat veteran, an ex-Airborne Infantry officer, an ex-FBI agent and an ex-NRA Life Member. I have held elective public office. I am not "anti-government"; I am anti-tyranny and anti-ignorance. To be opposed to ignorant gun owners who rail against the AWB while endorsing George Bush (who supports the AWB), is simply an act of reason. To be opposed to politicians who have gutted the Bill of Rights like a fish and LEOs who blindly enforce unconstitutional edicts (after betraying their oaths to support the Constitution) is not anarchism; it is patriotism.

NIGHTWATCH
July 14, 2004, 02:43 AM
Honest Abe? Oh, please. Is that the same "honest Abe" who closed down over 300 Northern newspapers that dared to criticize his administration? The same 'honest Abe" who unilaterally suspended the right of habeas corpus and arrested, tried by military tribunal and exiled a member of Congress for making a campaign speech? The same 'honest Abe" who signed a warrant for the arrest of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and who ordered the stuffing of ballet boxes in border states to ensure his party remained in power? The same "honest Abe" who waged a brutal war against a civil populace unmatched until the Waffen SS; a war that cost around 620,000 American lives, all to force tens of millions of people to live under a government they wanted no part of?

"The people of the United States are no longer living under a government of laws, but every citizen holds life, liberty and property at the will and pleasure of an army officer in whose military district he may happen to be found." - Chief Justice Taney, 1861.

"The government had the right to draft people from the very beginning." No, it DID NOT! First, governments do not have rights. They have powers; either legitimate powers delegated by the people or illegitimate powers taken by usurpation. Only individual human beings have rights. Second, Congress has no power delegated to it to compel anyone to serve in the military. Conscription in the U.S. (and income taxes) did not occur until the War for Southern Independence. There is no shred of constitutional authority for conscription. After the war, the Supreme Court declared the 1860s federal income tax was unconstitutional; it cravenly refused to strike down conscription.

The Federal government is only supposed to have those powers expressly delegated to it (by the people) in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. It may come as news to the pro-government extremists who posted previously, but there is no enumerated power authorizing Congress to spend money on schools, hospitals, or to subsidize farmers, timber companies or steel mills. Congress is authorized to fund a postal service; however, it is not authorized to run the postal service monopoly which has existed since the 1840s. Not only is Congress delegated no power to restrict or prohibit the private possession of firearms, that power is expressly forbidden by the Second Amendment. If you cannot grasp the meaning of "unalienable" or "shall not be infringed" then you have a promising career ahead of you as a judge, prosecutor or LEO.

To the happy M16 owner who posted previously, please be advised that most Americans are prohibited by state laws from possessing any full-auto firearm. The fact you begged the federal government for written permission before exercising an unalienable individual right does not mean all Americans share your disdain for the Constitution or your willingness to obey an illegal legislative act. In 1803, in Marbury v. Madison , the Supreme Court ruled laws which violated the U.S. Constitution are null and void; people do not have to obey them, courts cannot enforce them. NFA-34, GCA-68, etc. violate Article I, Section 8 as well as the Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments (not that that means anything to modern politicians, judges or LEOs). Under the incorporation doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment, state anti-gun laws violate the Second Amendment.

No, it is not a question of "too many people confuse liberty with chaos." It is a question of too many people ignorant of history, law, and current events confusing a free country with one that is well along the road to becoming a police state. I am not an anarchist (although the people who have thrown that word about in this thread clearly do not comprehend the word's origin); I am a Vietnam combat veteran, an ex-Airborne Infantry officer, an ex-FBI agent and an ex-NRA Life Member. I have held elective public office. I am not "anti-government"; I am anti-tyranny and anti-ignorance. To be opposed to ignorant gun owners who rail against the AWB while endorsing George Bush (who supports the AWB), is simply an act of reason. To be opposed to politicians who have gutted the Bill of Rights like a fish and LEOs who blindly enforce unconstitutional edicts (after betraying their oaths to support the Constitution) is not anarchism; it is patriotism.
Godbless you Skytrooper. :)
I think that too many people here only fixated on the "America is Dead" title. Reading through the article, what is said makes sense, but maybe the 'dead' is an unfortunate choice of word.
No, it was a deliberate choice. It did make sense. Because liberals too often get tagged as having their heads in the sand, when looking to empower government to handle every aspect of our lives. Yet here we see the Pro-Government "conservatives" shifting at their computer screens when they hear that the greatness that is America is dead? All of our civil liberties are running on fumes and a third party is our only hope. But they will vote for W and the expansion of the machine across the board.... now that is an act that is truly hopeless.

Splitting hairs over the title is a prime example.

America is dead...let us go and recreate her. ;)

GeneC
July 14, 2004, 06:20 AM
I really take offense to to this. America is NOT dead, so long as a single American is breathing. America IS the people and we're alive and well. The most one could say is some antiquated laws and ideas that no longer apply are dead. So what? The main idea that the Constitution and the American way survive by expanding and changing to reflect the current Society is still very much alive and apparently this society has allowed poiticians to run amok with the Constitution. Don't blame personal problems on the Feds (that's a Demorat/Socialist trait). The way I see it , the only thing dead here is everyone's resolve to change the problems in this Country.

cuchulainn
July 14, 2004, 08:41 AM
Splitting hairs over the title is a prime example. It wasn't just the title, but the bulk of the essay that focused on America supposedly being dead.

The metaphor not the message is the focus of the essay. The message is there to support the metaphor when it ought to be vice versa. Worse, this particular metaphor makes many people stop reading.

The writing should never get in the way of the message. Here it does.

I tell you this not to move the conversation into literary criticism, but to explain the reaction that the article got.

NIGHTWATCH
July 14, 2004, 09:12 AM
Ok, ok...America is NOT dead, but she is in ICU and hemroging. http://66.96.177.64/picture_hosting/web_pages/paternoster/dead.gif
... the only thing dead here is everyone's resolve to change the problems in this Country
You hit it on the head there bud.

wingman
July 14, 2004, 09:17 AM
Not only that, but our children are being taught that everything is just fine the way it is, that slavery is freedom and lies are truth. (By the way, where in the Constitution does the Federal government get permission to meddle in education?)

Well said Oldfart, public schools are raising little consumers who they teach to be victims and like it. America is hurting perhaps many do not want to hear this, can it be saved, yes but the road backup the hill will be a hard one.

The Real Mad Max
July 14, 2004, 10:26 AM
Reynolds Wrap stock is going up I see...

dave3006
July 14, 2004, 10:28 AM
Oldfart and Skytrooper get it.

Furthermore, you have been brainwashed if you believe our tax system is not slavery. Every one should pay the exact same amount. Not the same %. Because some would pay more (flat tax). A graduated or even a flat tax is discriminary. You pay roughly 50-60% of your income you earn in our fiat currency in taxes.

A free man enjoys the fruit of his labor. A slave does not.

I'll bet most of you don't even know that the government has completely destroyed our currency too? I'll bet the chest thumping patriots can't tell me why it is completely worthless and will someday be inflated into extinction. Remember when you could buy a candy bar for a nickel?

The government has stolen your labor and has stolen your money through counterfeiting.

Yep. The corpse is dead.

The Real Mad Max
July 14, 2004, 10:35 AM
Oh I get it...thanks Dave.

Yeah she is dead all right. How could I have been so blind? :o

JohnBT
July 14, 2004, 10:42 AM
"Those of us who understand the legal and regulatory structure AND read their history know it is just a matter of time."

And the rest of us are just what exactly, a bunch of ignorant boobs with mush for brains because we have arrived at a different conclusion? I don't see the words mail order on any of my college degrees in case you were thinking I don't know how to read and don't enjoy reading and haven't been reading daily since 1954 or so(although what I was reading at age 4 weren't regulatory publications. I did manage to get through Andersonville in the 4th grade though.) Maybe you need to get away from the history books and dry regulations and get out and meet the hardworking men and women who see a bright future for this country and are out there every day making it happen.

So many folks with defeatist attitudes. Such a waste of talent.

John

The Real Mad Max
July 14, 2004, 10:47 AM
"So many folks with defeatist attitudes. Such a waste of talent."

It is truly sad. Not of the same caliber of the men of the Alamo, Iwo, Gettysburg, or Normandy.

dadman
July 14, 2004, 11:07 AM
Currently, America is just a name.
It's dead.
First major blow was in the era of the War Between the States.
To see how 'alive' we are, read the Bill of Rights and Constitution and compare to past and current legislation and practices.

auschip
July 14, 2004, 11:41 AM
A free man enjoys the fruit of his labor. A slave does not.

I'll bet most of you don't even know that the government has completely destroyed our currency too? I'll bet the chest thumping patriots can't tell me why it is completely worthless and will someday be inflated into extinction. Remember when you could buy a candy bar for a nickel?

The government has stolen your labor and has stolen your money through counterfeiting.

Yep. The corpse is dead.


Again with the I don't drive on the roads, use hospitals, go to schools, or post on the internet (doh!).

I know we have gone away from the gold standard (which is a good thing), but I don't remember when you could buy a candybar for a nickel, as I wasn't born then.

I would like to know how the government is counterfeiting something they have always produced. A simple economics class will clear up most of these ideas guys, community colleges would be glad to have you enroll.

Also, the phrase "The corpse is dead" is redundant and repetitive. Now, please excuse me while I take some of my real/imaginary US treasury notes and go buy aluminium & tin futures.

BigG
July 14, 2004, 11:47 AM
I don't know about the rest of yall but anybody who makes sounds like the whining exhibited above sure is not going to convince me to follow their leadership. :uhoh:

sumpnz
July 14, 2004, 12:00 PM
The other thing you foget when you pine for the days when a candy bar cost a nickel is that, although that cost is 1/10 of the current price, your salary (assuming all else being equal, like years of experience) was probably 1/10 of what it is today.

When I first started college (less than 10 years ago) the average starting salary for a new aerospace engineer was almost $40K. By the time I graduated most people I knew were getting offers north of $50K (average was probably $48-49K). If you go back to the early 70's (when I suspect candy bars were already over $0.05) the typical starting salary for engineers was probably $10-12K (just a guess, I don't know for sure). Does it bother me if things are 25% more expensive that when I started college? Nope, cause my starting salary was more than 25% more than I would have gotten at that earlier time.

Dave, I guess what I'm getting at is what was your point with that candy bar cost statement? Aside from some ranting about how inflation is some big bad boogeyman, a notion easily found to be false with a little study of elementary economics, I'm really not getting your point.

The Rabbi
July 14, 2004, 12:02 PM
Nice try, Oldfart.

Try Article I Section 8 of the Constitution for Congress's power to levy a draft:" To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;"

Of course the government has rights. The Constitution expressly grants them. It does not have *natural* rights, which is what one poster was referring to. I doubt people have natural rights as well, but that is another debate.

No one has laid out how the government is supposed to fund its mandates without taxes. Nor has anyone demonstrated why 50% taxation is slavery but some other percent is not. The fact that the government wastes money on worthless programs is old news but does not change their right to tax, which is part of English common law anyway.

So what are we to do? Oldfart says "everyone knwos what this is" but I muist not be everyone because I dont have a clue what he means. Any help here?

How has the government destroyed our currency and made it worthless? Yes, there has been inflation and that is a problem. Yes, I remember candy bars being a nickel (actually .15cents). I also remember when people worked for $2.35 an hour. Does anyone really want the deflation that will come with a return to the gold standard?

FPrice
July 14, 2004, 12:03 PM
"And the rest of us are just what exactly, a bunch of ignorant boobs with mush for brains because we have arrived at a different conclusion?"

Exactly. It's the old, "Well, if you don't agree with me there must be something wrong with you." attitude.

No one denies that there are many things wrong today. But exactly how we go about fixing what's wrong is the question.

R.H. Lee
July 14, 2004, 12:08 PM
One would have to be an idealogue living in a vacuum to accept the woe-is-me handwringing victimization put forth by some on this forum. America is the greatest and most free country in history. You can argue all you want about the "morality" of the Civil War, which was a dark and bloody time in our history, but the outcome has been decided. It is over. General Robert E. Lee, a man of great integrity, honesty and vision, surrendered.

Is the federal government too big, too powerful, and does it take too much of our money? Damnbetcha. But the federal government is not America, and it damn sure is not the American people. Remember, we still have the power and those that tell you otherwise are either chicken little alarmists, or just not in touch with reality.

Glock Glockler
July 14, 2004, 01:01 PM
I guess what I'm getting at is what was your point with that candy bar cost statement? Aside from some ranting about how inflation is some big bad boogeyman, a notion easily found to be false with a little study of elementary economics, I'm really not getting your point.

Yes, wages are also inflated along with the prices of goods and services but any money earned prior to that inflation has lost value. It's a nice trick by politicians, to just print money and spend it in the economy when it has its highest value but our purchasing power is lessened when it trickles through.

I cannot see why you wouldn't see inflation as a bad thing.

spartacus2002
July 14, 2004, 01:33 PM
I don't have a defeatest attitude, just pointing out facts. Trust me, I'm doing what I can to turn it around. But a Pollyanna attitude serves nobody and fixes nothing.

I agree that there are a tremendous amount of people in America who still believe in personal responsibility, hard work, and ingenuity. However, that number is decreasing in proportion to those who know nothing about law or history and those who expect the gummint to take care of them from womb to tomb.

auschip
July 14, 2004, 01:46 PM
I cannot see why you wouldn't see inflation as a bad thing.

It is both good and bad depending on the situation.

"Costs of Inflation
Almost everyone thinks inflation is evil, but it isn't necessarily so. Inflation affects different people in different ways. It also depends on whether inflation is anticipated or unanticipated. If the inflation rate corresponds to what the majority of people are expecting (anticipated inflation), then we can compensate and the cost isn't high. For example, banks can vary their interest rates and workers can negotiate contracts that include automatic wage hikes as the price level goes up. "

http://www.investopedia.com/university/inflation/inflation1.asp

Itcan have a negative impact, but it can be positive as well. Next time you make a mortgage payment think about the effects inflation would have on your mortgage.

moa
July 14, 2004, 01:51 PM
Skytrooper, a question. I do not have a copy of the Constitution handy, but I read it (for the first time) not too long ago. I seem to recall that the Federal Government has the right, under the Constitution, to suspend Habeas Corpus during times of rebellion. True?

Regarding Pres. Lincoln, IIRC, he arrested a number of members of the Maryland legislature and locked them up in Fort McHenry in Baltimore so that they would not take a vote on secession from the Union.

I was not aware that Lincoln actually had an arrest warrant drawn up for US Chief Justice, Roger B. Taney, who incidentally was a Marylander. I thought Lincoln was only considering arresting Taney, but did not follow through.

sumpnz
July 14, 2004, 01:59 PM
Most people spend their inflated dollars around the time they earn it. If you save your money, you can usually at least keep pace with inflation with even fairly poor investments.

I got an insurance settlement when I was 17 as a result of a car wreck when I was 16 (I was in the backseat, we got T-boned, plastic surgeon needed almost 2 hours to put my forehead back together - I still have pain from nerve damage). I took that money, and invested it in a mutual fund (this was about 9 years ago). Since then, that money has nearly tripled in value (it had tripled, then fell to below the doubling mark, then hovered for a while, and then went back up) while inflation, which has been historically low during that time, has eroded maybe 10-15% of its value. Why am I supposed to consider that a bad thing? Sure, I'd like to see that kind of gain without the inflation, but the reality is that without inflation it would not have gained as much value and in the end I'd be at the same net worth for that investment.

Now, it's been a good 8 years since I took my college economics class, and I probably slept through more of it than I stayed awake through so forgive me if I'm 100% clear. Inflation is actually necessary for economic growth on a macro scale. People tend to make more money the longer they work, and companies tend to want to increase their profits each year. Between the two you wind up with inflationary pressures becuase as people make more money, they are willing spend more to get nicer stuff. As companies make more profit they are able to reward their top performers with more money, which enourages other employees to work harder so that they can get that benifit, which further increases profits, which means more pay for more people. All of this leads to greater overall demand, and since supply tends to lag behind demand by some amount which causes prices for any given good or service to go up. This then feeds right back into the start of the loop. If inflation all of a sudden went away that ability to reward people's performance goes away and the overall economy begins to suffer. The other thing is that inflation spurs spending, at least on durable goods, because people know that if they put off some purchase, it is only going to get more expensive as time goes by.

One good example of the detrimental effect of no inflation is Japan. They've actually been experienceing deflation for quite some time and it is strangling their economy. People put off major purchases because they know that if they wait a while the price will go down and therefore make it easier to buy. That makes it harder for companies to sell their products, which leads to reduced profits which leads to reduced buying power for their employees. The whole vicious cycle just continues.

Glock Glockler
July 14, 2004, 02:04 PM
Sure, it works great for those that are in debt and it gives people an incentive to spend their money on something before the money looses value. The end result is a people who rack up massive debt and never get themselves out of a financial hole. Bravo!

Combine this with their policy of taxing the hell out of investments and you'll realize who we're a country of debtors who want the govt to desperately bail them out.

No thanks.

Most people spend their inflated dollars around the time they earn it. If you save your money, you can usually at least keep pace with inflation with even fairly poor investments.

Compare the rate of inflation with how much interest you'll earn at the bank (the only investment of most people) and then take into account that you're taxed on the interest you earn and you'll probably net a negative or just barely break even.

Inflation is actually necessary for economic growth on a macro scale

Nothing could be more incorrect. If you have an growing economy (more goods and services are produced) and you dont have a similarly growing economy you will have a net deflationary effect, so now your bar or gold will buy a house instead of needing 3 bars of gold. This will effect how money lending is conducted, maybe mortgages will operate on a floating rate instead of a fixed rate. And maybe people will use other mediums of exchange instead of gold, maybe silver or platnum, or commodity backed notes will gain strength when gold gets too expensive.

Frohickey
July 14, 2004, 02:27 PM
Of course the government has rights. The Constitution expressly grants them. It does not have *natural* rights, which is what one poster was referring to. I doubt people have natural rights as well, but that is another debate.
I seem to recall that the Federal Government has the right, under the Constitution, to suspend Habeas Corpus during times of rebellion. True?
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,

People have rights.
States have powers.
Federal government has powers.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

CZ52GUY
July 14, 2004, 02:29 PM
Republican Senate and Republican-nominated Supreme Court

Given the actually ideological make-up of the Senate (way too many RINO's), and that the Supreme Court membership is probably 2/3 ideologically Democrat or RINO (indistinguishable), I would respectfully dissent from the allocation of blame to the present "regime". We didn't get to 7/14/04 starting on 1/20/01 or even 1/20/81.

This has been a long time coming. Some might argue that 1/20/61 is closer to the truth...or thereabouts...

Other than that, there is much that can be agreed with regarding the state of affairs on 7/12/2004 vs. 7/4/1776 and the 25 years that followed which intended to shape our nation.

Dead, maybe not...on life support...I'd agree.

Stay safe,

CZ52'

Frohickey
July 14, 2004, 02:30 PM
The way I see it, inflation gives the federal government the most benefits in buying power, since they are the first in line to cash in. They are also the ones that mint/print the money, so they would be the ones to cause inflation to begin with.

Skytrooper
July 14, 2004, 03:04 PM
Nightwatch: There are no supernatural deities, but I appreciate the thought.

Boats: Multi-millionaire Donald Scott was an "economic winner" in California in 1992 when a herd of cops and federal agents murdered him (after committing perjury to obtain a bogus search warrant) in order to steal his Malibu ranch for the U.S. Park Service. Please explain to Scott's widow how she's a "loser" and should cease her whining.

GeneC wrote: "The most one could say is some antiquated laws and ideas that no longer apply are dead. So what?"

Antiquated laws and ideas? Oh, you mean Article I, Section 8 and the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution along with the fundamental concepts of individual liberty on which the USA was founded. Well, GeneC, you are correct that to most contemporary politicians, judges, LEOs and common citizens those "antiquated laws and ideas" are effectively dead. As far as "so what?", if you cannot grasp the significance of this (and you obviously cannot) then there is nothing I can say that will instill reason or moral consciousness into an unreceptive mind.

The Rabbi wrote: "Of course the government has rights. The Constitution grants them."

NO, the government does not have rights and nowhere in the Constitution does it say what you claim. You obviously graduated from a government youth indoctrination center (aka - a public school). Article I, Section 8 states "Congress shall have Power To" and then enumerates the federal government's delegated powers, not rights. The Sixteenth Amendment states, "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes..." Power, not right.

A "right" is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context. Only individual human beings have rights. To suggest otherwise is irrational. Rights are not created by a government; nor can rights be conferred or legitimately abrogated by a government. The Founding Fathers realized this and their recognition is reflected in the clear language of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

The right to bear arms was not created by the Second Amendment. The Framers recognized this pre-existing individual liberty and wrote the Bill of Rights (against the protests of the Federalists such as Alexander Hamilton) to prevent the newly-created national government from abridging Americans' individual rights. The ink on the Bill of Rights was scarcely dry before pernicious politicians and judges ignored the First Amendment by fining and imprisoning people who criticized federal officials (Sedition Act of 1798). Disregard of the Constitution by politicians, judges and LEOs and ignorance and apathy by the general public has only accelerated since that period.

"Don't blame personal problems on the Feds." Tell that to Donald Scott's widow, Randy Weaver, the handful of surviving Branch Davidians, or anyone whose life was ruined by vile BATF agents.

moa: Here are the answers to your questions (and why, sir, did it take you so long to read the Constitution ... for the first time?):

Article I, Section 9 authorizes Congress (not the President) to suspend "the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus" in "Cases of Rebellion or Invasion." Lincoln closed unfriendly newspapers and arrested his political enemies long before Congress authorized his acts. Also, Lincoln and his cronies only violated habeas corpus in the Northern states which were not in rebellion and which had not been invaded. The judicial system was intact throughout the war; no legal support exists to justify Lincoln's acts.

Lincoln did indeed order the arrest of many members of the Maryland state legislature in 1861 because he feared they might honor their constituents' wishes and vote to secede. Three points, sir. (1) How could Lincoln determine in advance how a legislator would vote? (2) What was Lincoln's authority to arrest people who had violated no law, state or federal? (3) America was founded on the principle of self-determination. We preach that notion to other countries, but often fail to adhere to it at home. By the way, the first states to consider secession were the New England states (at the Hartford Convention in 1814).

President Lincoln did indeed sign a warrant for the arrest of Chief Justice Taney. This was after Taney signed writs of habeas corpus, freeing people illegally imprisoned by federal officials. A U.S. marshal refused to execute Lincoln's illegal warrant. That reflects great credit upon the marshal, but none to Lincoln.

Glock Glockler
July 14, 2004, 03:10 PM
Rabbi,

The 13th Amendment forbids involuntary servitude, so no, they don't have the authority to institute a draft.

The Rabbi
July 14, 2004, 03:50 PM
NO, the government does not have rights and nowhere in the Constitution does it say what you claim. You obviously graduated from a government youth indoctrination center (aka - a public school). Article I, Section 8 states "Congress shall have Power To" and then enumerates the federal government's delegated powers, not rights. The Sixteenth Amendment states, "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes..." Power, not right.

Skytrooper,
Please learn to read my posts before responding inapproprirately and opening yourself up to ridicule.
I stand by what I said. What you assert is a natural right, which the Founders saw as an individual thing that people have qua individuals. Right by itself simply means the power to do something. If I buy a stock option Ihave the "right" to buy or sell the stock at some underlying price. That is not a natural right. That is a contractual right. The gov has rights by virtue of the Constitution. It does not, I agree, have natural rights. I would also argue that people do not have natural rights either.

BTW and FWIW I probably had a longer,better, and certainly more expensive education than anything you encountered.

A draft is neither slavery nor involuntary servitude. No court has ever ruled otherwise.

cuchulainn
July 14, 2004, 04:08 PM
Rabbi,

First, some people here are treating you wrongly.

However, the Founders did distinguish between citizens' "rights" and government "powers." The Founders thought of citizens' "rights" as inalienable, or at least deserving of extra-special protections, while they thought of the government's "powers" as totally subject to the will of the people. Thus "rights" refers to what must not be taken away from the people while "power" refers to what is allowed to the government.

The idea people are trying to convey is that when discussing constitutional matters, you should use "rights" the way the Founders used it, not the way we commonly use it today.

People (including me) dislike the use of the word "rights" to describe government powers because it allows confusion that the governments' powers are deserving of the same type of protection that we extend to citizens' rights.

That said, you shouldn't be subjected to harsh attacks over terminology.

:)

Skytrooper
July 14, 2004, 04:38 PM
The Rabbi: Please be aware of the following:

(1) I did read your posts. I wish I hadn't, but I did.

(2) Words have meanings. If the Framers intended the federal government to have "rights" then they would have used that word. They used the word "power" which is not the same thing, no matter how you seek to misconstrue it.

(3) Evidently your "longer, better, and certainly more expensive education" did not include reading The Debate on the Constitution, the definitive collection of all Federalist and Antifederalist speeches, articles, and letters during the struggle over ratification, September 1787 to August 1788. In these 2,389 pages, there is not a shred of historical support for your position.

(4) Bill and Hillary Clinton also have "more expensive" formal educations than mine. The Clintons share your odious political views ("people do not have natural rights"). I am comfortable sharing the political beliefs of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Madison, et. al. This does, unfortunately, often subject me to "ridicule" from cretins, but, having spent a good portion of my life being shot at with real bullets by the enemies of freedom, being castigated by riffraff does not bother me.

(5) Your expensive education evidently did not extend to spelling. "inapproprirately?" Perhaps you can get a refund.

(6) "A draft is neither slavery nor involuntary servitude. No court has ever ruled otherwise." [sigh ...] The U.S. Supreme Court ruled black people could never become American citizens (Dred Scott v. Sandford) and that American citizens (who had committed no crime) could be imprisoned indefinitely without legal redress (Korematsu v. U.S.). According to almost every court decision since the mid-1930s, the Second Amendment does not mean what it says; judges routinely disregard all of the overwhelming historical evidence supporting the original intent behind enactment of the Second Amendment. Trial judges forbid defendants from mentioning the Constitution before jurors. If you are comfortable with politically-appointed jurists "interpreting" the Bill of Rights out of existence then, once again, I strongly suggest you seek a refund for your expensive education.

cuchulainn: "harsh attacks?" Oh, please ...

Glock Glockler
July 14, 2004, 05:04 PM
Thanks, Skytrooper

A draft is neither slavery nor involuntary servitude. No court has ever ruled otherwise.

Could you please tell me the definition of the work "is".

I assume a court can rule that "cat" really means desk and you'd be fine with that, I OTOH believe that laws mean what the words in them say.

Linux&Gun Guy
July 14, 2004, 05:20 PM
Some of the american people are alive and have patroitic blood in their hearts.

Most do not.

The Constitution is dead and the Constition is what makes this nation together with the people.

So to recap:

Most people are dead(in a liberty loving way)
The Constition is dead

America is 95% dead.

There is still hope. Write to your congressmen

spartacus2002
July 14, 2004, 05:31 PM
It appears there are two trains of thought in this thread.

One says that America is dead or dying.

The other says America is alive and vibrant.

To a large degree, both trains of thought agree on the same things but don't realize it. It would appear both camps agree that America's primary strength is not its institutions or government, but its people. Both camps also agree that there are plenty of people who are patriotic and energetic and plenty of people who are lethargic; the difference is which you believe is the majority.

The major disagreement is over the health of our structure of government.

Gordon Fink
July 14, 2004, 05:41 PM
I have a few questions for the America is Dead crowd
1) When did this happen? Post New Deal? Post WWI?
2) If 50% taxation is slavery then what level of taxation is not slavery?
3) If any level of taxation is slavery then where does government get funds to operate?
4) IS the franchise to vote broader or narrower today than under the Founders? Does a broader franchise equate to more slavery? Doesnt this seem contradictory?
5) The government had the right to draft people from the very beginning. Isnt a draft more like slavery than taxation? We dont have one today btw.
6) If the system is broke then how will we fix it? What is going to be better than what we have now?

Six pretty simple questions. Anyone who can give coherent answers (as opposed to slogans like “IMperial America”) might persuade me.

I agree with the hair splitters. The title of the article should have been something like “The American Republic Is Dead,” because the American nation-state is clearly alive and kicking. So let me take a stab at the Rabbi’s questions.

1) The problem began with the incomplete success of the Revolution itself. As just one example, our nation-state was still besmirched by slavery when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified. Though we’ve made many advances toward freedom, we’ve retreated even more often (if in subtler ways).

Unfortunately, this failure is due to the inherent flaws in democratic systems. Humanity itself is the problem, in this respect. Human beings are too slow to take responsibility for themselves and far too quick to assert their will over others. The Constitution was a great attempt, but it wasn’t perfect.

2–3) I don’t oppose income taxes, though 50-percent rates are obviously too high. In fact, I think income taxes are the best way to fund a government, but I also think they should be tied to the electoral franchise. In other words, you should only get to vote if you also pay taxes. This could be a voluntary system, and thus only those with a vested interest would be able to decide how public funds were spent.

4) In the Founders’ day, only property owners could vote. Obviously, this discriminated against everyone who didn’t own property but still contributed to the public treasury in some way or another. My voluntary franchise-tax system would keep with the spirit of this stakeholder system but would make it more open and fair. In other words, the Founders had the right idea about limiting the franchise, but they executed it poorly.

5) The government does not have the right to draft anyone. Personally, I think the draft is unconstitutional under the Third Amendment, and Article I does not give the Congress the power to conscript the armed services.

6) I think we can “fix the system” with more freedom. That’s why I joined the Libertarian Party. Given human failings and the notable paucity of sage kings, though, I fear we will not succeed through any political system. Only if the people themselves change can we succeed in building a truly free nation-state. However, American voters continue to re-elect the same politicians who fail them again and again and can’t seem to understand why, so I hold little hope that they will change. Nevertheless, I struggle in my own small way to show people what I think is right.

But who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe humans just can’t live in a free society. Tyranny has to a greater or lesser extent been the way of civilization for most of human history. Perhaps I should take some comfort in that fact. When the American nation-state finally does flounder all the way into tyranny, the people will live on—in bondage, even slpendid bondage, but they will live on. Then, someday in the future, we may try again.

~G. Fink

moa
July 14, 2004, 05:54 PM
Skytrooper, thanks for the response. You make some excellent points, especially about Lincoln.

You ask why I recently got around to reading the Constitution (and Bill of Rights). Good question. Chalk it up to laziness, I guess. G. Gordon Liddy has it on his website. That made it very convenient.

Glock Glockler
July 14, 2004, 06:05 PM
In fact, I think income taxes are the best way to fund a government, but I also think they should be tied to the electoral franchise

Ok, so we would still have the IRS but my right to vote would be dependent on proving to them that I didnt cheat on my taxes? Think about how open to abuse that would be, that I report an income of 40k and pay taxes on that but they assert that I actually made 43k and I cannot vote until my complaint is processed and a hearing is scheduled.

Also, if I pay 100k in taxes do I get 10x the vote of someone who paid 10k in taxes?

R.H. Lee
July 14, 2004, 06:10 PM
I think income taxes are the best way to fund a government, but I also think they should be tied to the electoral franchise.

I completely disagree. Income taxes are punitive, counterproductive, administratively burdensome, capriciously selective and subject to huge fraud and manipulation. A consumption tax would be fair and easily administered and (almost) foolproof (inescapable).

Boats
July 14, 2004, 06:14 PM
Skytrooper wrote:
Boats: Multi-millionaire Donald Scott was an "economic winner" in California in 1992 when a herd of cops and federal agents murdered him (after committing perjury to obtain a bogus search warrant) in order to steal his Malibu ranch for the U.S. Park Service. Please explain to Scott's widow how she's a "loser" and should cease her whining.

Been There, Done That, Thread Got Locked (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=27735&highlight=paramil%2A) I said America wasn't necessarily dead, not that it was in perfect health.

Gordon Fink
July 14, 2004, 06:31 PM
Glockler and Riley, the details would obviously have to be worked out, but I think the idea is worth exploring. It’s equally obvious that the existing tax code would have to be completely overhauled. A vastly simplified code would be much less subject to chicanery.

~G. Fink

sumpnz
July 14, 2004, 06:54 PM
A consumption tax would be fair and easily administered and (almost) foolproof (inescapable). In general I agree. Ones tax liability in that case is tied to their level of gluttony. However, how does one decide what is exempt and what is not? Or is every business transaction taxable? What about the sale of personal property (e.g. garage sales, selling your car or a gun, or your house). Is a $3/lb steak exempt, but a $9/lb steak not exempt? If the govt only taxed "junk food" who decides what qualifies. If PETA got a say, all meat would be heavily taxed, and if cattle ranchers had their say beef would be exempt but pork and vegitables would not be exempt. If it's based on the level of "luxury" who decides what counts as a luxury. My house cost me $145,000 three years ago. The same house, on the same size lot (1 acre) in San Fran, or Hollywood would probably be $14.5million. Trying to decide what gets taxed and at what rate would be a nightmare.

The other problem is that it would be very hard to implement such a system in conjunction with elimination of the income tax. Too many politicians would see a national sales tax as just an extra revenue source. They might try to reduce income taxes by an equivalent amount, but you could bet that within a few years those rates would start to creep right back up. Short of a constitutional ammendment repealing the 16th ammendment I would heavily oppose any attempt to add a consumption tax. Of course I'd also like to see the 17th, and Sec 2 of the 21st repealed but that's a 'nother matter.

The problem with everybody pays some fixed amount is that the poor probably would not be able to make enough to pay their share. If you're working a minimum wage job (lets say 2 jobs at 30 hours/week each) you're going to make a little over $16,000/year assuming $5.25/hour. If you assume that the federal budget is $3trillion (probably low) and that there are 300million people in this country, that $10,000/person. Someone only making $16k would probably not be able to meet the food/clothing/shelter minumum with only $6k left, especially if they had any kids in most parts of this country. Putting poor people in that kind of a bind would be political suicide. The other thing is, does that "equal amount" count every man, woman, and child, or only those over, say 18? If only those over 18, that will bump up the share each person has to pay and make it even harder for the hypothetical person listed above. How would it be fair to tax someone like this when they are under 18 and therefore can't vote, or enter into any legal contracts?

R.H. Lee
July 14, 2004, 07:06 PM
sumpnz-lotta good questions, and I don't know that I have answers. Depends on the size of government we want, but any consumption tax would have to include ALL retail sales to the end user, no exceptions, no exemptions. I suppose you could take the annual federal budget and divide it by the total volume of annual retail sales and come up with a percentage. It would be a regressive tax, however, in that the poor would pay a greater % of their income on subsistence goods than the rich.
But, remember, NO ONE would be paying income taxes. Your paycheck would be the same amount you earned, no deductions.

sumpnz
July 14, 2004, 07:46 PM
Riley, that would likely be a bonus for me, but for that hypotheical poor person in my previous post it would not be. A person only making $16k does not pay any (or very very little) income tax now anyway. So they would go from no income tax, to still no income tax but then also having to pay a tax on the basic necessities (that in most states are exempt from sales tax).

Personally, since, IMO, we have to have a government (please no flames on this) and that govt has to be funded, I think the best system would be to implement a flat % tax with some arbitrary amount (say the first $40,000 of wages salary and tips) that would be exempt. When you sell assests, the income from that sale should also be subject to the same tax, but some either fixed annual amount, or some percentage of the capital gain would be exempt (e.g. the first $250k of cap gain on a house, and the first 30% of cap gain from stock sales would be exempt, or whatever - those were numbers pulled out of the air). Everything else would be subject to that flat tax rate.

This at least would be politically palatable in the sense that the poor are not subject to large tax burden (actually they wouldn't be subject to any tax burden), the rich would still pay some reasonably proportional amount, and those in the middle would not see much change from the way it is now. But it would be a lot simpler, and the savings in reduces IRS overhead would save the govt a huge amount of money.

No tax system will ever be truely fair, as someone will always see another person who is not paying their share (and by extention means that someone would be paying too much). Any system is open to abuse, and as politicians try to jockey for votes they tinker with anything to give an advantage to whatever group will most help them get elected, and thereby destroy whatever fairness ever did exist.

We can argue all we want about how much taxes is acceptable, and there will always be those who will argue anything over zero is theft. There will also always be those who will say that we, as the richest most prosperous nation, somehow owe it to the poor to help them out, and therefore a high tax burden is appropriate. I think that somewhere in between those two extremes is the answer. But I'm pretty sure that the Rapture is more likely to happen in my life time than for us to agree on where that point lies.

auschip
July 14, 2004, 08:01 PM
I pay alot in taxes. I rationalize it by pretending they spend my money on ammo for the troops. They might use yours to pay for vd cream for prisons, but mine is strictly used for ammunition. :D

SemperFi83
July 14, 2004, 08:30 PM
So where ya movin' to that's better? Let me know when you find it!

The Rabbi
July 14, 2004, 08:59 PM
I think SKytrooper's responses show that further dialogue will not be productive.

I actually agree with Gordon's point (and others) about the need for only those who pay taxes to be eligible to vote. This was a criticism of democracy early on (Locke, maybe?) that in a radical democracy those without would continually vote themselves bigger and bigger benefits until they bankrupted the system. This is actually happening today. The mantra is "tax and tax. spend and spend. elect elect." The idea is that if you propose enough popular programs then you will get reelected because there are more people who will benefit from the program than thsoe who will pay for it.

A consumption tax generally will work better, in theory at least, than an income tax. Income taxes punish income, which is productivity while consumpton taxes punish consumption. I also think we should eliminate loopholes like deductibility of mortgage interest.

There is, unfortunately,no support for restricting the franchise to those with a stake in the system. I wish it were otherwise but it remains an impractical solution.

Frohickey
July 14, 2004, 09:08 PM
You could have a system whereby people who earn below a subsistence level are not charged, or are refunded their consumption tax. Then, these people would also lose the right to vote until the time came that they are able to pay the consumption tax.

The troublesome aspect of the flat percentage tax or the current income tax is that the majority of the taxes are borne by a certain part of the citizenry. Since that certain part of the citizenry is funding government, its sets up a situation where government would be beholden to this part of the citizenry, to the detriment of the other segments that is not bearing an equal share of the taxes.

Government services should only be used for purposes that serve *ALL* segments of the population/citizenry *EQUALLY*. This would mean court systems, military defense, and a few other specialized areas that government is currently in. Other areas that government is in that is not used equally should be funded by fees, paid by the segment of the citizenry that is using these services.

I could see a situation where citizens have an open enrollment period just like their health care/dental care choices, and if you choose to engage in a particular government program at that time, you make your choice and pay for it then. If not, you wait until the next open enrollment period.

NIGHTWATCH
July 14, 2004, 09:45 PM
You could have a system whereby people who earn below a subsistence level are not charged, or are refunded their consumption tax. Then, these people would also lose the right to vote until the time came that they are able to pay the consumption tax.
I think the idea is to restore, not lose rights.

The troublesome aspect of the flat percentage tax or the current income tax is that the majority of the taxes are borne by a certain part of the citizenry. Since that certain part of the citizenry is funding government, its sets up a situation where government would be beholden to this part of the citizenry, to the detriment of the other segments that is not bearing an equal share of the taxes.
I think a flat tax of 10-15% across the board is a good start, but only after our armed forces are called home from every corner. The cost of policing the world is killing us.

Create a flat tax and what other government agencies can be slashed? I.R.S.?

NIGHTWATCH
July 14, 2004, 10:11 PM
Multi-millionaire Donald Scott was an "economic winner" in California in 1992 when a herd of cops and federal agents murdered him (after committing perjury to obtain a bogus search warrant) in order to steal his Malibu ranch for the U.S. Park Service.

Not to turn the topic, but this stuff here should be enough to change anyones mind who owns a car or home, while doing waves for the government. :uhoh:

Worth a look. http://www.fear.org/

Frohickey
July 14, 2004, 10:14 PM
Agreed with the idea of not losing rights, but is it correct that people who do not bear the cost of government be able to steer the programs that government engages in?

Let that one sink in a little bit more, and then respond to the question again.

Boats
July 14, 2004, 10:51 PM
Not to turn the topic, but this stuff here should be enough to change anyones mind who owns a car or home, while doing waves for the government.

It is also why every state should have an initiative system. Here in Oregon, via a ballot measure, we now have the requirement of a criminal conviction before property can be confiscated.

Still sounds lame doesn't it? Well, in most confiscation regimes, the government can simply move against your assets as if they were the defendants and only have to prove that they were more probably than not fruits of criminal activity. Not only that, the civil confiscation regime in most places gets way out in front, and is independent of, the criminal ajudication.

For example, in a loose jurisdiction, say that what happened to that guy in California occured, but he didn't get shot, but instead did have 14 free range marijuana plants growing on the very edge of the property. They would, if they could, try to confiscate the property while the criminal case wound its way through the courts.

The DA may not be able to prove intent to manufacture a controlled substance, but hey, that's okay, since if the mortgage or taxes were being paid out of some sort of money, and it is as probable as not that even though you were not convicted of it, you either grow or allow to be grown marijuana on your property, we're keeping it thanks.

That is what we ended in Oregon because the politicians and the cops have to answer to the public when we force them to.

Glock Glockler
July 15, 2004, 12:18 AM
Head Tax!!!

This is a very simple method instead of the Federal one-size-fits-all method you guys seem to want.

The way it works is that a census is taken and the Federal government bills the state govts a percentage of the budget according to what percentage of the population reside in a particular state.

If CA has 14% of the population it's up to the CA state govt to come up with that 14% in their own manner of choosing. The end result would be 50 states all trying various systems to see what works better.

The market would figure it out.

R.H. Lee
July 15, 2004, 12:23 AM
GG-I like the idea, but what if some state(s) don't pay up? What if they would rather welch or secede? What' the plan then?

Glock Glockler
July 15, 2004, 12:41 AM
The Feds would then completely and utterly cut off all services to them.

cropcirclewalker
July 15, 2004, 12:49 AM
I tried to read through this thread. It is lots of the same thing said over and over again.

One notable thing that keeps raising it's ugly head is this argument, "If you don't like it, Leave it." America, Love it or Leave it. Hackneyed, Hackneyed. You'da thunk we'da got over it since Viet Nam. :confused:

Is there a law about this? Like Godwin's law?

If there is, please, somebody tell me what it is. If not, I propose a new law.....


"Cropcirclewalker's Law"......Whenever somebody invokes the "If you don't like it, Leave it", comment, that means by default that they give up and the other side wins. :D

Really now, the reason for my post. Back in '92 when Perot was runnin', he came on TV with his charts and graphs and showed us how 45 percent of the workers in the country worked for some kind of govt. entity. It must have grown since then.

So we got the "Tax Payers" and we got the "Tax Eaters". If half of the population owes its lively hood to working fer the govt. How likely is it gonna be that they get fed up with taxes and throw a revolt. It's a revolting development.

If you are a LEO, teacher, snowplow driver, public official, fireman, if you work for the FBI, the CIA, DOA, EPA, NSA, FDA, CCC, (Gawd, how many are there?), DOT, NEA, FOP, DOJ, FHA, FDIC, (Help me out, here), USA, USN, USMC, USAF, FSLIC, PBS, (Pant, Pant, Pant), NPR, BATFE, NCIS, USCG and there must be more. If you are retired military, teacher, fireman, politician, leo and/or others, If you are on socialist security, ssi, ada, medicare, medicaid and/or other welfare programs, or if you are in prison or otherwise collecting from some sort of govt. sponsored giveaway, then you are a Tax eater.

How many of us are left?

So, here's what I propose........If you are NOT a tax eater, then feel free to tell us tax payers that we are complaining for no reason. This the honor system. Be truthful, Otherwise, please stifle yourself.

:D

R.H. Lee
July 15, 2004, 01:39 AM
I like that observation ccw. I have never worked for a public entity in my entire life. I collected unemployment benefits a coupla times and some disability when I had motorcycle accidents, but I've paid in waaaay more than I ever took. How many others here can say they're not on the public payroll?

The Real Mad Max
July 15, 2004, 07:07 AM
Sounds like ccw and RileyMC are in fact takers of the public dole.

Taking unemployment, wellfare, disability insurance...mmm mmmm mmmmm!

And all those "airplane pictures" of aircraft operation in the publically paid for air system!?!?!

SHAMEFUL!

:neener:

Art Eatman
July 15, 2004, 11:41 AM
IMO it's right at physically impossible to avoid some aspect of tax-paid subsidy. Highways are no longer paid for by the taxes on fuel, just for starters. The same holds for electricity, in many parts of the country--the REA co-op thing. Water supplies, as well, where federal dams/reservoirs are involved.

Whether "cash" or "kind", we're all helping to drive up the federal deficit...

(All of California south of the Oroville dam; all of Las Vegas; all of Phoenix and Tucson: The water and electricity have some amount of federal subsidy. Heck, even the dead: Gotta water the grass on the graves, right? :D)

Art

cropcirclewalker
July 15, 2004, 12:14 PM
Yer, right, Art. I was outa line.

I still remember getting those green cardboard things, all punched fulla holes, those 89 dollar checks that they gave me once a month in the navy. :p

I may have gotten a few of them also since. Tax refunds.

Are they still green?

I did buy some postage stamps the other day.

They tell me that we got all kinds of good stuff from NASA like teflon. O'course, nobody beat on my door and said, "Here's you teflon, which your tax dollars paid for through NASA." What's on my fryin' pans I still hadda pay for.

I always thought that govt. was to provide for the citizens, that which the citizen could not provide for himself. You know, Post Roads, National Defense, stuff like that.

I don't think the average South Westerner coulda built the Boulder Dam. it's the little dams (US built) on their own property for their livestock is what I consider to be the govt. welfare.

Gordon Fink
July 15, 2004, 12:43 PM
So we got the “Tax Payers” and we got the “Tax Eaters.” If half of the population owes its lively hood to working fer the govt. How likely is it gonna be that they get fed up with taxes and throw a revolt[?]

Presently, I’m a “tax eater” (sort of), but I still think taxes are too high. Of course, I also pay taxes, so I get tax money, which is then taxed in its turn. :scrutiny:

I also think Glockler’s head-tax idea has some real merit and could work well in my franchise-tax system. The states should be able to decide for themselves how the franchise is handed out, but too much abuse in the past led to the various “voting-rights” acts we have now.

~G. Fink

R.H. Lee
July 15, 2004, 12:49 PM
Either a consumption based tax or a head tax would be preferable to an income tax, HOWEVER, it's never gonna happen. There is NO WAY Congress will let go of the manipulative micro managing power they wield through the current system. Just hope they never decide on some kind of VAT (Value Added Tax) scheme, such as exists (I believe) in some of the Europeon countries.

The Rabbi
July 15, 2004, 12:52 PM
They have proposed a VAT a few times. I would be for it *IF* they would also eliminate the income tax. But that hasnt been the proposal. I dont want to see income taxes lowered in exchane for a VAT because eventually we would wind up with both. In this view a VAT is just another way for the govt to stick its vacuum hose deeper into your pocket, just like the internet tax.

sumpnz
July 15, 2004, 02:22 PM
Much as I've disagreed with Glocker on other issues, I have to say that I think his idea of a head tax makes a lot of sense. I'm sure we all could come up with some problems with that system given a little while to think it over, but I reckon the biddest one would be the difficulty in getting the 16th ammendment repealed so that the income tax couldn't come back. Otherwise, at some time of national crisis that head tax system would stay in place, but the individualy income tax would be reinstated.

When I lived in New Zealand they had (and still have) a 12.5% GST (goods and services tax). With the possible exception on basic necessities like fruit, vegies, and cheap meat everything you bought (at least at retail) was charged that tax, and every sevice rendered (inc car repairs, landscaping, accounting, car wash, etc) was also charged that tax. The only good news was that most stores included that tax in the list price so you didn't pick up a bottle of shampoo for $.99, and then have to pay $1.12 at the register. That was, of course, on top of income and property taxes.

Edit: Originally referenced 17th ammendment, meant to ref 16th. Fixed above.

Frohickey
July 15, 2004, 02:54 PM
Maybe Congress won't let it happen. Here is a group of people that do not have to pay into Social Security like the rest of us do. Instead, they get their own pension system that is the envy of the planet. How do they get that kind of pension system? By taking our tax money! :cuss:

With the recent talk about Campaign Finance Reform that Wayne LaPierre has been talking about, and the Defense of Marriage Act, and what not, maybe its really REALLY time for a Con-Con... or a Constitutional Convention.

A Constitutional Convention would be like the federal reset-button. I think that we need to have a Con-Con. After 220+ years of lawyers and special interests tacking on their pet bills into the US Code, its time to do a reset to clean up all of that cruft.

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" -Thomas Jefferson

R.H. Lee
July 15, 2004, 02:59 PM
A Constitutional Convention would be like the federal reset-button. I think that we need to have a Con-Con. After 220+ years of lawyers and special interests tacking on their pet bills into the US Code, its time to do a reset to clean up all of that cruft.

I've gotta agree. I would be a drawn-out-knock-down-drag-out deal. Blood would spill in order to get it done right, but it would be less painful than a full scale 2nd revolution.

BigG
July 15, 2004, 03:03 PM
I've often suggested some sort of voter qualification like owning property and have received third degree burns for my trouble. Good to see some people coming 'round. :D

People should not be able to vote for representatives who promise to increase their largesse.:scrutiny:

Frohickey
July 15, 2004, 03:05 PM
About the 16th Amendment, there is a group that had done research about the ratification of the 16th Amendment, and according to the rules for ratification, the Amendment cannot be amended/changed prior to ratification by the state/s, otherwise, you could potentially have multiple variants of the same Amendment being ratified.

WTP (http://www.givemeliberty.org/features/taxes/remonstrance/)
Seems that this group has been trying for years to have their grievances heard and their evidence presented, but have not been allowed to do so in a court of law. Strange.

I remember that this group was going to have a hearing sometime in Sept 2001. I know that this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but they were supposed to have a hearing in Sept 25-26, 2001. It was rescheduled after the Sept 11 attack, but the hearing never happened when the sponsoring Congressman decided to pull support, because of all things, the group were asking people to *NOT* file tax returns until April 15th (or whenever the tax returns were due).

I'd like to see their evidence.

NIGHTWATCH
July 15, 2004, 03:38 PM
...is it correct that people who do not bear the cost of government be able to steer the programs that government engages in?

Good point Frohicky.

GeneC
July 15, 2004, 05:54 PM
Cropcirclewalker said: "If you are a LEO, teacher, snowplow driver, public official, fireman, if you work for the FBI, the CIA, DOA, EPA, NSA, FDA, CCC, (Gawd, how many are there?), DOT, NEA, FOP, DOJ, FHA, FDIC, (Help me out, here), USA, USN, USMC, USAF, FSLIC, PBS, (Pant, Pant, Pant), NPR, BATFE, NCIS, USCG and there must be more. If you are retired military, teacher, fireman, politician, leo and/or others, If you are on socialist security, ssi, ada, medicare, medicaid and/or other welfare programs, or if you are in prison or otherwise collecting from some sort of govt. sponsored giveaway, then you are a Tax eater."



CCW, NONE of those people PAY taxes? I'm really appalled by these Micheal Moore tactics. So, do you think all the military, LEO and Govt agencies should be handed over to private, for profit companies? And the PBS stations in my area relies on private and public donations. Medicare? Anyone not willing to help care for their grandparents and great-grandparents does not deserve to live.

Foreign Devil
July 15, 2004, 08:21 PM
Sheesh. America's not "dead". The government has changed from what it was in 1789 because society has changed a little in 200 years. Government functions should adapt to deal with new conditions. Seems like that's a little too much for some people to handle.

Lots of civil liberties were in horrendous shape around the early 20th century, and all kinds of laws that make the Patriot act look tame have been overturned in the courts. Yet all some people can do is moan about how crappy our lives are because you can't by an M2 machine gun over the counter at home depot, and we're all "slaves" because we pay income taxes. And we all know paper money is unconstitutional too, so I guess we should all go back to using only coined money, at least until the economy collapses as we've been told it'll do any day now ...

Frohickey
July 15, 2004, 09:07 PM
Is it too much to ask to have a stable currency that is based on a precious commodity that is for the most part, a fixed scarce commodity?

cropcirclewalker
July 15, 2004, 09:13 PM
whether to be flattered or insulted. Moore is a dork, but they give him academy rewards. :rolleyes:

So, anyway, thanks to you I have come up with a resounding idea. Make a new law.......

If you work for the govt. (are a tax eater) then you take a 40% pay cut and you don't have to pay taxes. Good idea, huh?

No, wait, maybe that wouldn't work. Lots of people cheat on their taxes. How could a tax eater lie, cheat and steal their tax money back from the govt. if the govt. never gave it to them in the first place.

It would also make a lot of tax paying citizens upset. I know many who are angry about the health care and retirement bennies the govt. hands out.

Nope, it probably wouldn't work.

The other thing will NEVER work is the VAT or national sales tax. The govt. will never give up it's power to delve into your business. It wouldn't be no fun to have a socialist security number if all it would do is get you your pension.

Finally, as an amendment to my previous post, I thunk up a few more alphabet agencies. I forgot the IRS, DOD, FCC, FAA, OSHA, NHTSA, BLM, DOE, NASA, NOAH, CDC, USCG, NPS, DOI, DOC, and don't forget one of the biggies, DHS, and even the TSA. I'm sure there are more. I just can't think of them at the time.

You'll note that I didn't mention the Federal Reserve. That's a private organization. :D

Glock Glockler
July 15, 2004, 09:25 PM
CCW, NONE of those people PAY taxes?

It matters not the slightest whether or not they pay taxes, the fact that their job is administered by the govt means that there is far more waste then would be in a private company. Govt buearucrats get rewarded for blowing their budgets while people in private companies get rewarded improving efficiency and minimizing waste.

Private industry is more efficient.

So, do you think all the military, LEO and Govt agencies should be handed over to private, for profit companies?

Maybe not all, but as many as possible out of those that are not cut completely.

And the PBS stations in my area relies on private and public donations.

Great, if you like that station go ahead and support it, or it can support itself through advertising like other stations, but those of us who don't use that service shouldn't be made to pay for it.

Medicare? Anyone not willing to help care for their grandparents and great-grandparents does not deserve to live

Hmmmmm, very comforting thought considering your previous statement of my rights taking a backseat to the greater good. I suppose I could just help out my family and friends on my own and I don't need Washington taking a cut out to do so, right?

What a great concept! People taking care of themselves. I agree with your idea, Gene, let's have that.

cropcirclewalker
July 15, 2004, 10:24 PM
circuitiously misunderstood. Yes, they pay taxes. Not!

It is a shell game. If they want the govt worker get 10 bucks then they pay him 14 bucks. Get it? It's a clever ploy.

They give him 14 bucks, He gives back 4 bucks. Only difference is that in the real world, where we have to show a profit, I earn 10 bucks and I give back 4 bucks to the tax eaters.

If there is anybody out there that thinks that tax eaters pay taxes..........well, never mind, it's like trying to teach a pig to sing.

:(

Gordon Fink
July 16, 2004, 12:31 PM
Yet public employees (save for the cronies of elected officials) are usually paid less than they would be for equivalent jobs in the private sector. The fact of the matter is that government can do some things better than the private sector. Where we agree is that the government is trying to do too many things and often granting itself monopoly power in the process.

So where do we begin to cut? This question has certainly come up before, and our Republican members invariably provide a laundry list of departments and services that actually account for only a small fraction of the federal budget. Sure, we can pare these back a little bit and even eliminate some of them, but the only two really viable targets for significant cuts are Social Security and “defense” spending.

~G. Fink

Frohickey
July 16, 2004, 02:12 PM
Well, there is the pragmatist viewpoint that cuts should only be attempted to be made on those large programs that would affect the budget the most.

But there is the purist viewpoint that cuts should be attempted, or made on all programs, EVEN THE SMALLEST ONES, that are definitely wasteful, frivolous, and most definitely UNCONSTITUTIONAL. If you are going to start cutting out programs, shouldn't you start cutting on the small ones, since the resistance to those cuts would be the least. Start the small cuts, then after you have cut those, go on and on to the bigger ones. Criteria for programs that are targeted for elimination being those that are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, which is most of them.

Waitone
July 16, 2004, 02:14 PM
There isn't a private business in this country that isn't capable of cutting its operating budget by 10% at the drop of a hat. I've been in companies where the demand for a 10% cut for met then promptly followed by a directive for another 10% cut.

A $2.0 trillion budget reduced by 10% would free up $200 billion for the private sector to use. Talk about stoking the economy. A 10% budget cut will hurt only those who hand out the checks. We don't need to fret over specific programs.

R.H. Lee
July 16, 2004, 02:22 PM
Exactly right, waitone. However, when "budget cuts" are imposed on government entities, it is up to the "administrators" of each entity to decide WHAT gets cut. Invariably, it is the lowest paid positions who typically provide the most necessary services while the fatcat bureaucrats keep their salaries and perqs. The overhead continues unabated, but direct services (the ones the taxpayers are funding and expect to benefit from) are reduced.

GeneC
July 16, 2004, 05:52 PM
Wait, I understand this annual budget game that Govt agencies play( they all get an annual budget, if you use it up and can show you need more, your budget gets increased, if you don't use it, it gets lessened, so everyone attempts the former). I was in Marine aviation and we had a budget to buy $1mil of fighter jet parts /week, but the higher ups pushed for a 1% increase/wk. However, it's not the particular agency's fault and certainly not the workers fault, but the policy itself, it's just a really lame way to run anything. So, what we need is an ammendment to stop that policy and get the Govt on the LEAN program. How many tax payers'd pay for a team to go into every Govt agency and go all thru it, top to bottom and make it as efficient as possible and figure what it's budget needs to be to function in that LEAN mode and then lock it in there?

Waitone
July 16, 2004, 06:30 PM
Appeal to greed. Start at the top. Measure the efficiency of an organization by looking at dollars distributed as a percentage of the total budget. The balance is a measure of the bureaucratic overhead.

Pass through the edict to cut costs to those at the top and tell them, "Hey, your distribution efficiency is say 30% which means only 30% of your budget actually gets to those for whom you work. You are to receive a bonus if you can cut your total department budget by 10% but keep your disbribution dollars the same or increased."

End result of the example is 10% budget cut for a department comes from 70% of the department expenditures. The effective budget cut is not 10% bur more like 13 %.

Doey Eyed Optimism? I think not. That's how its done in the real world.

Glock Glockler
July 16, 2004, 08:38 PM
Gene,

What you're asking for is an honest govt for the govt, and that's just not going to happen. There will be considerable debate as to what exactly is "more efficient" and whether or not public services are going to gbe hampered by cutting X and Y. Also, do you really think a bureaucrat will ever make a suggesting that his own budget be cut or his dept be eliminated?

Bureaucrats want to preserve their jbs and politicians want to reward their cronnies by giving them cushy bureaucrat jobs, and this has not changed since the Greeks coined the term "politics" (poly = many, tics = bloodsucking parasites).

There are some functions that I believe are better handled by the govt, such as national defense and courts, but there are many other functions that can be handled far better by the free market. Many towns have been able to reduce their overhead SIGNIFICANTLY by outsourcing functions to private companies. City hall doesnt need directly employ and administer a cleaning dept when they can just hire a company to come in and clean up. The town doesnt need to own trucks and equipment to haul garbage and pave roads as they can be contracted out as well.

Checkman
July 16, 2004, 09:27 PM
YAWWWWN!:rolleyes:

GeneC
July 16, 2004, 10:00 PM
GG, here in Florida, the Jeb Bush admin is already looking into many ways of 'privatizing' alot of Govt agencies, for that very reason. Privately owned companies are highly motivated to pare down to efficiency and more than a few politicians see the writing on the wall. This concept is no longer a political strategy, but a matter of necessity, in these times, just to survive and even the Govt feels the crunch. The winds of change are upon us folks. In case you don't realize it, but there's been several historic milestones in the recent past and I think we're right in one of those times in history of significance. Funny, some people, all it takes is an apple to fall on them to spark a whole revolution of thought, while others, the whole world could crumble around them and they'll still not notice a thing.


Checkman, nice input. Please respond again when you have another epiphany.

TEX
July 17, 2004, 12:18 AM
She ain't dead yet, but she is very, very sick. The infection took hold at the beginning of the Civil War (actually the War of Northen Aggression). When states rights were crippled it took control of the government further away from the people whom it affected. Sure some good things have been done atthe federal level, but they have way overstepped on many others, especially personal iberties. And I know it takes taxes to run the country, but it should not be an income tax. Our private financial affiars should not be any of the government's business on a routine basis, which is what the income tax laws allow. A slaes type tax would be better, but only if every price sign and receipt had how much of the price was tax (broken down)

Many of the problems stated here are so true as are others

* Having to pay a tax to retain ownership of your homestead
* A congress that spends money like a drunken sailor
* Trying to buy other countries with tax payer money
* Not allowing me to have a large portion of the money spent on public school so that I can choose a private school if I so desire. Nothing wrong with having state set scholastic standards at that private school.
* The Supreme Court becoming last say on things that IMHO it has no business tapering with and then ignoring critical issues because it doesn't want to mess with them.
* Restrictions on the 2nd. Only firearms laws we need are ones that put you in jail for a good long time for criminal use of one or gross negligence that results in an injury.
* Goverment enforced reverse discrimination - worse that the old fashion kind.

Well, I will get off the soap box for now.

TEX

Glock Glockler
July 17, 2004, 11:33 AM
In case you don't realize it, but there's been several historic milestones in the recent past and I think we're right in one of those times in history of significance. Funny, some people, all it takes is an apple to fall on them to spark a whole revolution of thought, while others, the whole world could crumble around them and they'll still not notice a thing.

Please elaborate. I happen to be one of those slow-witted ones that doesnt notice things, except for the out of control spending and govt expansion by the Bush administration.

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