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Are These Our Rights as Americans? You Decide — Part II

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My Fellow Americans, last week, I mentioned that, over the next several weeks, I will be posting about a right we have as citizens of the United States of America, per the Bill of Rights.

As I said before, I want to do a little experiment with you. I feel America has lost its way. I feel we have strayed from the value system that helped define this country at its inception. We have neglected the teachings of the Founding Fathers so much, in my opinion, that this country would be virtually unrecognizable to them.

What is sad is many of us have forgotten why America is so great. Our perception of reality has become so twisted that we do not even know what our basic rights are. The same rights that are “endowed by our Creator,” not granted to us by a government bureaucrat.  We need to remember who we are, America.

With that, I want to continue with the First Amendment. Last time, we looked at the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause as it pertains to religion. Today, I want to focus on the freedom of speech and freedom of the press:

Right #2: Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. 

Similar to how the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause are related to religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are linked together as well.

Of all the rights and liberties we are privileged to have as Americans, this one happens to be my favorite. It is also the one, I believe, to consistently be in danger of being repressed.

I believe freedom of speech is an important element of any society. Human beings have the need and the right to express themselves, whether verbally, in writing, in print, or over the Internet. The government in any country, not just the United States, should not be allowed to infringe upon this right.

Throughout history, we have seen leaders and dictators in other countries revoke their citizens’ rights to freedom of speech. In doing so, they only allowed those who agreed with the government to speak their mind and be heard. And if one were not in favor of the current administration and conveyed that publicly, chances are he or she would pay for it with his/her life. Is it me, or do you get the feeling that the Obama administration wants to do away with your right to free speech? Well, maybe I won’t go that far just yet.

But, I will go that far with the freedom of the press.  Have you ever heard of the Fairness Doctrine? What about President Barack Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) diversity czar, Mark Lloyd?

First, let’s start with the fairness doctrine. Introduced in 1949 by the FCC, the fairness doctrine had two basic elements to it. One, it required broadcasters to devote some air time to important matters that were of interest to the public. Secondly, it wanted to ensure that different points of view where acknowledged and heard about on a certain matter.  The Fairness Doctrine was revoked in 1985. Why? Because it was agreed that it violated the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech.

Enter FCC diversity czar Mark Lloyd. His love for Venezuelan Communist dictator Hugo Chavez and desire for white people in postions of power to step down for minorities aside, Lloyd wants to reinstate the fairness doctrine and then take it even further.  The target: conservative radio and television (a.k.a. FOX News). Also, the government wants to be able to control the Internet and monitor who is speaking out against the administration.  If that sounds unconstitutional to you, that’s because it is.

This is why I believe freedom of speech and freedom of the press are so important. The government should not be allowed to control what you say or what you write. To do so is a violation of your rights, not just as a citizen of the United States, but as a human being.  Furthermore, it is essential that the government stay out of the press no matter what the means of communication may be. When the government gets involved, and this, right along with freedom of speech are revoked, you have Communist China. And when the government basically becomes the press, you have MSNBC. (Then again, having Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman of General Electric (GE) and a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, doesn’t help either. By the way, GE owns MSNBC.

With everything I have stated above, how important do you feel these rights are? Is it essential to have the ability to speak freely? What about freedom of the press? Is that essential? Why or why not?

I thank you for your comments. And as I said last week, these are your rights at the end of the day, America. It is up to us to make sure we remember that and do not let them be taken away.

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About TheRefoundingFather

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “My fellow Americans…”

    Hey!

    “Is it me, or do you get the feeling that the Obama administration wants to do away with your right to free speech?”

    No, it’s just you.

    Really, the right enumerated forbids Congress (and by extension, the states) from making laws which restrict freedom of speech and/or the press. MSNBC may (or may not) go to bat for the President, and you may (or may not) like it, but if that’s censorship, well, it may be silly but it’s voluntary.

    For the record, I don’t agree with restoring the Fairness Doctrine either, if for no other reason than that making fun of Fox News and Rush is far too enjoyable to justify doing away with them.

    And if anything Obama’s, or anyone else’s, administration wants to do really does infringe your rights, then, well, that’s what the Supreme Court is there for and they can be trusted to rectify matters – later if not sooner.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Hey! I know that song. My Country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liver tea…

    (I think that is the flavor favored by tea partiers.)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    (I think that is the flavor favored by tea partiers.)

    With as much bile as they go in for, everything must taste of liver…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    I agree wholeheartedly. And on the fairness doctrine, that’s another conservative strawman because the Democrats have made no serious move at all in that direction. I think one congressman submitted a bill to reinstate the fairness doctrine, but it got absolutely nowhere.

    BUT since one or two Dems may have said something, all of a sudden it’s a vast left-wing conspiracy to end free speech in America.

    And for “The Refounding Father” – do you know what our legal system is founded upon? Basically, on presenting BOTH sides of the story before declaring someone guilty or innocent.

    The very fact that you’re taking Glenn Beck’s word for anything says much about you. Why? Here’s a list of over twelve hundred examples of inaccuracies, wild claims, hyperbole, inflammatory language, and outright lies by Glenn Beck.

    And the fact that Fox News keeps him – and that so many conservatives watch him – says a great deal about Fox and the conservatives in general.

  • http://therefoundingfather.blogspot.com THE REFOUNDING FATHER

    GC,

    Right, and Media Matters isn’t biased or anything? Who are you kidding? If you actually watched the documentary…maybe you’d learn something.

    What he covered last night IS NOT TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS! Why? Because liberals write the textbooks. That’s why Hitler is highlighted in them…given that he was a right-winger.

    Beck isn’t lying…you just refuse to listen to his message.

    -THE REFOUNDING FATHER

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yes, liberals sure write all the textbooks – that’s why conservatives want creationism to be put in textbooks. That’s why conservatives in Texas want Joe McCarthy to be referred to in textbooks as a great legislator.

    Did you even take a moment to look at the list of over twelve hundred inaccuracies/hyperbole/lies/etc. by Glenn Beck? Did you? I guess not.

    Twelve hundred instances of lack of journalistic integrity by Glenn Beck…yet Fox News keeps him, and YOU listen to him.

    IF the Democrats actually make a serious effort at passing the Fairness Doctrine, THEN – and ONLY then – would you have a point. But they haven’t, and there’s NO indication they ever will…

    …but to listen to you and your guru Glenn Beck, well, it’s just a matter of time before those black helicopters start landing in your front lawn, taking your guns, and forcing you to read Mao’s little red book.

    Wait! There they are now! Run! Everybody run! The sky is falling! Ahhh!!! Run away! Run away!!!!!!

    Twelve hundred instances of lack of journalistic integrity, yet you listen to him. Way to go, guy. Joe McCarthy would’ve loved you.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Man! and I said I would be nice to you the next time you posted…I haven’t even finished reading this..and I don’t think I can .:(

    If you want to be a BCer, you should at the very least, try to see all sides..I’m trying to understand Dave! :)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    You are dangerous, to all of our freedoms!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Why are you using Blogcritics as a political platform, first term Senator Brown from Montana?

    Or, will no-one else give you an audience?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie, be nice. It’s an open forum. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.

  • Clavos

    Twelve hundred instances of lack of journalistic integrity by Glenn Beck…yet Fox News keeps him, and YOU listen to him.

    Likely because, like O’Reilly, he’s not a journalist, nor do either of them Or FOX claim they are. They’re pundits, not journalists.

  • Clavos

    Why are you using Blogcritics as a political platform, first term Senator Brown from Montana?

    Perhaps because this part of BC is a political forum?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Talking to you is not worth all this aggravation…and I was talking to a friend the other night about you. I said to my friend, ” He is just looking to belong somewhere; he’s looking for his voice.”

    maybe you should put that expedition on hold.

    bye :(

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    If you are going to cite from Media Matters then there should be some of it’s actual content for readers to study.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie,

    Just out of curiosity. Are they also critical of MSM? Do you have a link?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    #5 DEFENDING H !

    un=fu-ing believable, mister

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Yes Roger,

    Media Matters looks at all the media outlets.

    Not just Fox..

    I can look for more!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I would have thought so. The link you offered focuses on the conservative pundits mainly.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    whewww, I am going to calmly walk away from this thread, backwards…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just take it in stride, Jeannie. The world is full of all kinds of people, and BC is no exception.

    And watch your step.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Likely because, like O’Reilly, he’s not a journalist, nor do either of them Or FOX claim they are. They’re pundits, not journalists.

    The problem is, Clavos, that Fox NEWS keeps them on its network…and having a program on a NEWS network that would claim to be a NEWS network strongly implies that what’s in that program is (in the opinion of the NEWS network)…NEWS.

    Do you really want to give ANY credence to a NEWS network that keeps airing someone with TWELVE HUNDRED-plus instances of inaccuracies/hyperbole/lies/etc.?

  • Clavos

    The problem is, Clavos, that Fox NEWS keeps them on its network…

    How is that a “problem,” Glenn? Fox news is a private, for-profit company renting space from private, for-profit companies to be carried to its audience.

    and having a program on a NEWS network that would claim to be a NEWS network strongly implies that what’s in that program is (in the opinion of the NEWS network)…NEWS.

    Except of course, for the inconvenient fact that the company never says that, either explicitly or implicitly.

    Fox News is not a network, Glenn — and doesn’t claim to be one.

    Both O’Reilly and Beck make the point that theirs are NOT “news” shows — and do so regularly.

    You’re apoplectic over a meaningless semantic point.

    Admit it, Glenn your REAL objection to Fox news is their political POV. They could call themselves Air Right Wing, and you would still object to their message — which is your right as a US citizen, but have the honesty to admit that, instead of cloaking your dislike of their message in pseudo semantic piety.

    Do you really want to give ANY credence to a NEWS network that keeps airing someone with TWELVE HUNDRED-plus instances of inaccuracies/hyperbole/lies/etc.?

    Have you ever counted the instances of “inaccuracies/hyperbole/lies/etc.” in the bible, Glenn?

    Why do you even CARE what or who I (or anyone else) “give credence” to? I certainly have no problem with you giving credence to the fantastical christian god myth, silly as I think that is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’ve got to admit, Glenn. It’s a pointed reply.

    I’m not certain, exactly, what hangs on the word “network,” which would make the very term “Fox News,” a misnomer. But then again, stranger things have happened in this new age of the media when entertainment is news and news, entertainment.

  • zingzing

    actually, didn’t fox news explicitly point out which portions of their programming are actual news and which ones are just “commentary” or “opinion” (or “gibberish”) recently? and wasn’t that portion labeled “news” the smallest, least-watched part of the programming day?

    so i guess those who watch fox news for their news actually don’t get their news from anywhere, but they get their opinions from fox news. not even going to mention programming.

  • Dan

    I’d bet the list of eleventy hundred instances of “inaccuracies/hyperbole/lies/etc.” is a really gay list as well.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “We report, you decide” is just a slogan then, zinger, or so it would appear.

  • zingzing

    i really can’t see how you figured that was worth sharing, dan. did you really think of that, then say to yourself, “this must be shared with the world!”? it’s possible that you’re just trying to make fun of the right wing… although it’s hard to tell… i dunno.

  • zingzing

    hrm. 27 was for 25.

    roger, i wish someone would sue them for false advertisement, even if it is totally frivolous, just to hear how they argued out of it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think they’d love the publicity.

  • Clavos

    “We report, you decide” is just a slogan then, zinger, or so it would appear.

    DUH!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not quite the “DUH” for the consumers of the program, including many of the BCers.

    This of course was the Eureka moment – since I must spell it out for the intellectually- challenged.

  • Clavos

    You’re a legend in your own mind, Roger.

    BC is so lucky you hang around here.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I hang around here because of certain people. I should think we have a communication going, and we each value one another. And that’s good enough reason for me.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    TRF understandably doesn’t like Media Matters’ Glenn Beck diss list, but the more moderate Politifact doesn’t show him in a much better light.

    They’ve fact-checked eleven of his claims so far and the best he’s managed is one ‘Half True’. He has three more which are Barely True, five False and two Pants on Fire.

    Even Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity and Michael Moore score better.

    Politifact is not only useful but worth visiting just for their animated Pants on Fire graphic.

  • Franco

    34 – Dr Dreadful

    Interesting points Doc. I would agree that Politifact would appear to be more intellectually honest then Media Matters, but not by much. I find that their ratings of Beck’s statements are grossly misleading.

    Case in point: I checked out Politifact and I found that most of their findings “fact checks” are actually based on other opinions from other sources, and even opinions of there own. The Van Jones issues is a classic example of this and they leave huge holes even in these opinions. I will be willing to discuss/debate these assertions if you would like.

    Case in point: They rate Beck’s point about Chile at (Barely True). That rating clearly implies that Beck is in large part false on his main points about what he asserted about Chile. That rating is in and of itself a completely misleading, and ironically, Politifacts own report contradicts their own truth rating.

    Beck’s main point was right on, even if he (correctly or incorrectly) ranked Chile or the US economic world standing differently then others rank them. That dose not change, nor dose it have anything to do with the main point Beck was asserting about Chile.

    Beck’s main point of contention is simple that Chiles whole hearted embrace of free market capitalism has propelled it out of a part of the world that has otherwise been historical locked in corruption and poverty since colonialism. Chile, through free market economics, and all by itself, has put itself on the door step of raking as a ‘developed county”. That is nothing short of absolutely outstanding by any measure in all of the world.

    Is Chile better off or not for engaging whole heartedly in free market capitalism? Debate that with intellectual honesty, that’s Beck’s assertion, not some partisan fact check site, which by its own addmittion deep in its report agrees complety Beck.

    Politifact admitted this in their assessment of Beck’s truthfulness about Chile.

    Politifact “However, we would be remiss if we failed to add that, despite the apparent flub on reporting the rankings, Beck’s overall assessment of Chile’s recent economic history is largely accurate.”

    As I said at the onset, Politifact is more intellectually honest then Media Matters who is consistently remiss, but why keep the fact that they completely agree with Beck’s main point out of the truth rating they gave him.

    My obvious question to you is this. How could anyone at first blush get “Beck’s overall assessment of Chile’s recent economic history is largely accurate“ out of a rating of (Barely True). Which is it?

    I have come to expect better out of you then that Doc.

    Even though you and I may be on many opposing sides of the political fence on many issues, I have found in you the courage to what to keep all issues in the arena for proper discussion/debate alive. And in my deep appreciation for this, I felt nudging you on this Politifact misleading rating in harmony with that sprit.

    In continuing this discussion, I believe it is hard for you not to see, as I do, a growing and dangerous trend in today’s political power struggles to sideline full discussion/debate. It is happening here in the US, as well as in the UK and EU, where honest democratic discussion/debate is encountering more and more heavy hands at attempting to sideline it through elitist tactics.

    This trend has been clearly seen by a US Congress headed up by Pelosi/Reid, coupled with the current Obama administration aggressively pushing to cement an unrealistic time line just to get something signed that just happens to be some of the most completed legislations in our nations history which no one has fully and completely read or studied, so how could there be any meaningful disscustion debate. I see it, Beck sees it, and so do tens of millions of Americans and that number is growing by leaps and bounds. I think that is way the people of Massachusetts voted as they did. That state is a blue as it get.

    On the other side of the Pond, one of your own brethren, Nigel Farage sees it happening too with razor edge clarity in the EU government body and he has the courage to call them on it and there is a clear and present attempt by the sevel EU body socialist thinkers to discredit him for doing so. Why and where is the need to discredit full dissuction/debate coming from?

    The attempt by some on BC to discredit Beck without even an honest discussion/debate on the examples I have sighted is a form of tyranny. The only reason it is not is because they lack the power to make the laws. It is the same elitist thinking we see with government officials but that is a whole other story, because the do have the power to make the laws.

    This type of thinking is the kind that has always been the corner stones to tyranny. I don’t say we are their right now, besides that is not the point, the point is these are the corner stones that make tyranny possible.

    Discussion/debate must never be annexed as is being done more and more as time moves on.

    So where is this repressions coming from. I submit the following for its own discussion/debate.

    “Those of the socialist school of thought — base their various theories upon one common hypothesis: They divide mankind into two parts. People in general — with the exception of the writer himself — from the first group. The writer, all alone, forms the second and most important group. Surely this is the weirdest and most conceited notion that ever entered a human brain“!

    That is one of the main issue I see Beck calling into account, it’s what I see Ntigel Farage calling into account, its what I am calling into account, because of this growing tread by elitists’ feeling that regardless of what anyone says, they know better, they understand it better, they have your best interests at heart and if your not for this, then your opposition is evidence of lack the knowledge, or you are possibly even insane. That is the most conceited ad homien attack that was ever uttered by one to another.

    I have got to ask you about Ntigel Farage and your opinion of his fire for wanting to keep these same flames of dissection/debate alive and on the table in the face of what has the ear marks as the corner stones noted above. Mr. Farage can argue like one of the founding fathers of the U.S.
    Nigel Farage: a lesson in democracy!

    Now one other voice of logic is U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine)

    She shares the same concern that I do about this. Here is an excerpt from her statement on the health care debates when Obama just went to her for support after Scot Brown won in Mass. Note, she was the only Republican to vote in favor of it back before all the closed door deals by Reid and Pelosi. Here is what she told Obama.

    “The Senate received a more than 2,000 page bill on one of the most complex issues in our history, and we have since considered fewer than two dozen amendments out of more than 450 filed. A little over 24 hours ago, the Senate received a final, nearly 400 page manager’s amendment that cannot be changed or altered, with more than 500 cross references including to other statutes and will be voted on at 1 am Monday morning. It defies logic that we are now expected to vote on the overall, final package before Christmas with no opportunity to amend it so we can adjourn for a three week recess even as the legislation will not fully go into effect until 2014, four years from now.

    There is absolutely no reason to be hurtling headlong to a Christmas deadline on monumental legislation affecting every American, when it doesn’t even fully go into effect until 2014.

    Therefore, we must take a time out from this legislative game of “beat the clock” and spend the time necessary to get this right. Legislation affecting more than 300 million Americans deserves better than midnight votes on a bill that cannot be further amended and that no one has had the opportunity to fully consider – and the Senate must step up to its responsibility as the world’s greatest deliberative body on behalf of the American people.”

    She is right by every conceivable angle of logic. Yet Obama pushes on, hurry up! How can he explain that in light of the logic of Senator Snowe? He can’t so the discussion/debate was taken off the table for all of us to see.

    Senater Snowe’s full statement

    Your thoughts!

  • STM

    Come on, forget your rights as Americans. They’re not going away anytime soon, contrary to popular belief.

    It’s Australia Day … my rights as an Australian are more important today.

    They are:

    1) Paid day off work, the last day of an unofficial four-day long weekend (we’re in the future; it’s already Tuesday, January 26, here);

    2) Go to the beach;

    3) Fly the flag from the car for three days straight without anyone thinking you’re a wanker for being too American-style patriotic;

    4) Have a barbecue;

    5) Celebrate being lucky enough to live in the best country in the world (sorry folks, despite what you believe, that’s Australia, NOT America):)

    6) Drink beer, the national beverage, in vast – but manageable – quantities;

    7) Remember to buy a bottle of wine for the missus whilst buying the beer.

    8) Take an afternoon dip in the pool to wash off the salt;

    9) Drink more beer into the night;

    10) Pass out while watching the cricket.

    Seriously, though.

    You have to love this place … it’s the only country on the planet that celebrates a birthday that was actually the day the first convict fleet weighed anchor in Sydney harbour to found the world’s largest open-air prison colony made up of the party people of the British Empire: Drunks, thieves, forgers, conmen, prostitutes, women of ill-repute and Irish rebels and sometimes all of the above at the same time.

    None of that namby-pamby puritan stuff here.

    See, that’s your problem up there. You don’t know how to enjoy yourselves without getting all hand-on-heart serious on us.

  • STM

    I also think it’s great that a Pom (Doc)understands better than many Americans, including the author apparently, that free speech is protected by the Constitution of the United States and therefore can’t really be fiddle-arsed with, no matter what spin anyone tries to put on this.

    The other issue: What many Americans do forget is that free speech in the US isn’t absolute, and never has been. Criminal laws and defamation law means this also applies to the press. Broadcasters and publishers need to be mindful of that.

    I also don’t see any difference when it comes to the media between people taking money to promote commercial products without informing their audiences, and those with political agendas – on the right or the left – using the medium to promote a view without it at least being balanced. That’s a moral issue, though, not a legal one.

    It’s incumbent on news organisations to inform and to let the audience make the choice in regard to the information.

    Otherwise, it simply becomes spin and propaganda … and we all know where that leads to kiddies, don’t we, when the public aren’t told the truth and thus aren’t allowed to decide for themselves?

    Nevertheless, freedom of the press is paramount to the stable and orderly running of a democratic system based on rule of law. It is hugely important. Democracies could not operate without it.

    So, being able to present a point of view that will be seen by millions and may influence millions is both a huge privelege and a responsibility as much as a right.

    Being mindful of that responsibility and what it means is just as important as the right itself.

    People who are not mindful of that right and resonsibility, and who use their priveleged position to promote outrageously partisan ideas, are not acting in the best interests of the public.

    They certainly should not be describing themselves as fair, balanced and accurate, no matter which side of the political fence … because in many cases, it’s just a nonsense. I speak here as a working, professional journalist, a career newspaperman, not as an observer.

    As for the hoo-ha about Fox and other news groups, if you don’t like it, technology’s a godesend.

    Too easy, guys … reach for the remote.

  • Clavos

    Sorry, Stan, but the convict fleet didn’t weigh anchor in Sydney Harbor, the dropped anchor. Had they been leaving Sydney harbor they would, indeed have weighed anchor. But they were arriving — they dropped anchor in Sydney Harbor.

    Happy Australia Day, mate.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Franco, methinks thou dost protest too much.

    Beck’s claim was that Chile ranked third in economic freedom, while the US languished at 17th. His rhetorical intent, clearly, was to show that Chile’s free-market policies had reaped big dividends whereas by contrast, the US was in the craphole.

    When Politifact looked at the Cato study which appeared to have been Beck’s source, they found that Chile was actually ranked fifth and the US sixth. Chile was still ahead of the US, but not by as much as Beck suggested. Hence: barely true.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Oh, and I know next to nothing about Nigel Farage. I’d need to do a bit of reading on him before rendering the opinion you seek.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav,

    Perhaps after dropping anchor and offloading the tea leaves, they weighed it again so that their erstwhile passengers didn’t get funny ideas about commandeering the ships for a South Pacific cruise?

  • STM

    No Doc, they did weigh anchor. They went to Botany Bay first, then finding no supply of fresh water went back round to Port Jackson … then down to the lower reaches of the harbour.

    So yes, you’re right, they dropped anchor, but the bastards also weighed it a few times.

    And all the while, the convicts were partying away.

  • STM

    Clav, sorry. You haven’t been here much and I’m getting used to Doc correcting me

    You’d make a decent Pom I reckon ;)

  • STM

    Doc: “offloading the tea leaves”.

    Should we point out to the teabaggers that offloading these tea leaves is nothing like the Boston tea party??

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    No, mate, let’s just let ‘em sweat over my absolutely deliberate choice of words.

  • Franco

    39 – Dr Dreadful

    Franco, methinks thou dost protest too much.

    That isn’t going to cut it Doc. You’re the one who brought it up and tried to put a more respectable spin on the Media Maters dishing of Beck with your Politifact. I challenged your assertions and now your wining about it. If you don’t like the heat say out of the kitchen.

    Beck’s claim was that Chile ranked third in economic freedom, while the US languished at 17th. His rhetorical intent, clearly, was to show that Chile’s free-market policies had reaped big dividends whereas by contrast, the US was in the craphole.

    When Politifact looked at the Cato study which appeared to have been Beck’s source, they found that Chile was actually ranked fifth and the US sixth. Chile was still ahead of the US, but not by as much as Beck suggested. Hence: barely true.

    Yes on that one minour point, but Beck made two other points which your scource confimers where his two key points.

    So Doc, methinks thou doest the socialist chicken shuffle too much. Something the EU socialist try and do to Nigel Farage of the UKIP party on a regular basics, which I suspect when he challenges them on it, you would call that protesting to much.

    Now I covered far more then just Beck/Chile doc. I asserted the Beck/Van Jones rating was bogus, but you don’t want to touch that one.

    I then opened up the discussion to ask you about your thoughts on a growing trend in today’s political theater of sideling discussion and debate by arrogant elities manuvers that is taking place in such a way as to establish the corner stones of tyranny. I asserted this type of thinking is the kind that has always been the corner stones to tyranny. I said I don’t think we are their right now, but that the corner stones that make tyranny possible are pushing there way in. I sighted the US, the UK and the EU eltiest using these tactics, and I even sighted an American politician who has both honestly and effectively addressed this.

    With all of that, you seem to only be interested in trying to dish Beck/Chile on its most minor point. And ironically you keep going back to this minor point in efforcts to keep wanting to prove it, when it was already conceded to you and never in contention between us to begin with. Your going over uncontested ground for no good reason and blowing out everything else. I call this the socalsit chicken shuffle. Got to call um as I see um.

    Now to the only point you seem to be willing to discuss which is dishing Beck anyway you can.

    Beck’s two key points (as stated by by Politifact) were: (1) championing Chile as a nation no longer “struggling with poverty,” having overcome a reputation for corruption and bureaucracy through such policies as freer labor markets and lower taxes, and (2) the incredible OECD invitation.

    Politifact: We spoke with three experts on Latin American economics and politics who work with centrist-to-liberal think tanks — Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations, Andres Martinez of the New America Foundation and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz of the Brookings Institution — and they agreed that there is a broad ideological consensus on Beck’s two key points.

    Note: that was from (centrist-to-liberal think tanks) That’s from your nationhood doc so lets not be affrad to answer this time.

    So, based on the findings of your very own supporting scource, is Beck correct on his two main points about Chile remarkabley better off by engaging whole heartedly in free market capitalism verses the other regionally socialist leaning alternative venues?

    How intellectually honest are you Doc?

    Now as a side note I can personally attest from first hand knowledge to the fact that (for a business man) and (also as consumer in the country) Chile is by far a more free economic environment to operate in then the US. I have been living in Chile the past 11 years where I own and operate a free market capitalist Chilean company. You know, one of those for-profit nasy greedy guys. Additionally for the past 14 years I have owned and operated a US “C” Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif. The two conduct business nationally in each county, and internationally together. The US company is by far the more economically restricted and heavily taxed (across the board) then the Chilean company and even with these litgher taxes Chile has a surplus budget while Califronia is way past being just bankrupt.

    What’s more, with the US Corporation being in California (I am a third generation Californian) California is so more economically restrictive for businesses that businesses are continuing to leave the state. It has literally become the liberal loony land of the fruits and nuts running the state into full blown fifth dimensional bankruptcy, and yet they are calling for the feds to have the Federal Reserve print them more money so they can fix the problem. Yap, poring more gas (putting tax payers in more debt) onto the fire (libs uncontrolled spending) will do it. New state bird of California, the Golden Liberal Loon.

    Beck was off on his national US raking of 17th, but California, the worlds so called 9th larges economy ranks at the bottom of a dark nasty barrel of economic freedom for California business. In fact if you want to leave the state you have to pay an exist tax first. I’m done with this shit. I leglly have my Chilean company make most of the profits between the two when conducting international trade so the loons in California can’t get their hands on my hard eared dinero. I make more business investments down here in Chile with that extra profit instead of letting loons have it. God, I love free market enterprise.

    As noted in my last post, there is a growing phenomenon in the US and UK and EU among the far leftists elitests types to try and stifle and sideline discussion and debate in ways that are reminiscent to all that have gone befor them in establishing foot holds on the corner stones of tyranny. They most notably react when challenged by really trying to shut down any one making an effort to call them on this. Thanks for being part of affirming my observation.

    ps – Politifact “If trends continue, Chile will soon be considered one of those rare countries that has graduated out of the developing world, according to plenty of living-standard indices,” Andres Martinez said. “The country is also the poster child for those who believe globalization and free trade can lift living standards, as Chile’s economic course has long been anchored in its free-trade agreement with the U.S. and its dynamic export sector.

    Oh that nasty lying Glenn Beck for pointing out all the nasty capitalism advanment in the developing world.

    OK liberals gather round. One, two, three………….Viva Hugo Chavez!

  • STM

    Consider yourself part of that naughty left, Doc. You need a bloody good slapping mate!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Now to the only point you seem to be willing to discuss which is dishing Beck anyway you can.

    Franco, you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. All I did was make a lighthearted reference to another source which doesn’t rate Beck’s adherence to fact very highly.

    You can call that sidelining if you want, but embracing Glenn Beck as the epitome of full, honest and healthy political debate is simply ludicrous. The sheer vehement length at which you’ve defended Beck, who is a TV and radio pundit, not an economist – and who is well known to have as loose a grip on political reality as most of his colleagues, on both sides of the political spectrum – would be rather alarming if I didn’t already know that you were one of the most verbose commenters on this site.

    Politifact, as its name suggests, fact-checks claims made by political figures. The more quirky the claim, the more it merits investigation. Chile’s economic success is fairly obvious to everybody, so what would be the point of fact-checking that assertion?

    So instead, Politifact assessed Beck’s choice of illustration. It was that specific illustration which they found to be inaccurate, not his claims as to Chile’s economic health.

    Suppose I were to say that Muhammad Ali was a better boxer than George Foreman, and that this was because Ali, unlike Foreman, had four arms. You might agree with me that Ali was the better fighter, but you would also know that my reasoning was demonstrably false.

    As to the ‘Van Jones issue’, you’ll have to be a bit more specific. As far as I can see, Politifact looked at two Beck claims about Van Jones. The first was that he had signed a petition accusing Bush of being responsible for 9/11. The petition actually called for an investigation into the matter, but didn’t finger Bush outright. The second claim was that Jones was a communist, and Politifact found that while he had once been one, he wasn’t any more. (So unless you adhere to the old chestnut ‘once a communist, always a communist’…)

    So I don’t see what you’re getting your knickers in a twist about.

    I said before that I’d have to do some research on Farage. The rise of the UK Independence Party as a significant political force happened after I moved to the US, so I’m rather out of touch.

    And really, you have got to stop assuming that everyone who dissents from the US Republican worldview is a socialist. It’s really annoying.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Kudos to you, Dreadful. I admire your patience.

  • STM

    Doc: “assuming that everyone who dissents from the US Republican worldview is a socialist.”

    Sadly, that’s Franco’s annoying one argument argument. Unfortunately, the Republican worldview isn’t a world view at all.

    Franco confuses the idea of community with socialism. If he were to encounter real socialism in the US he’d really have something to shout about.

    Unfortunately, he thinks he’s encountering it now.

    Another great exzample of the long-lamented American cultural insularity that views the world only through the filter of the American expetrience.

    The so-called left in America is at rough parity with our centre-right.

    Some Americans also have the unfortunate tendency to lump anyone who believes in some aspects of community as a liberal.

    I’m sure he thinks I am. He’s wrong: any views I might have that that he might think are left come from the working man’s perspective, from getting my hands dirty all these years, of paying taxes, struggling to pay a mortgage and bring up kids, and expecting that since I’ve contributed so much, there might be something worthwile my government can offer in return.

    Those views aren’t American-style namby-pamby liberalism and they don’t come from sitting in cafes sipping lattes, quaffing chardonnay or crapping on about saving the planet and holding discussions in the forlorn hope we can all make friends with terrorist nutcases.

    Wake up Franco … you sound like a broken record with one track.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Great statement, STM. One might rightly term it “an ode to the common man.”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    OK, Franco, some brief thoughts on Nigel Farage and on Senator Snowe’s statement.

    Farage has a nice line in spotlighting corruption and profligacy. With that in mind, I suspect that there are more than a few politicians and senior civil servants who are glad that Westminster still uses the first-past-the-post system for elections, which makes it very difficult for smaller and newer parties to get a foot in the door.

    Whether he’s right in his central philosophy that the UK needs to leave the EU is anyone’s guess. I suspect that it would suffer: by having broken numerous major treaties, its neighbours might be reluctant to deal with a free-range Britain again.

    The thing with Snowe’s statement that leaps out is the meme that all you Americans seem to accept without question, which is that the issue of healthcare is complex. Actually, the idea of a national health care system really isn’t all that complicated: your problem is that you’ve let the insurance and pharmaceutical companies bugger about in the market for so long that a better approach would have been to start entirely from scratch. I do agree with her that there’s no rush, though.

    I think STM has adequately addressed your argument that ‘socialists’ are elitist.

  • STM

    Good luck trying to get him to accept it though Doc. If you don’t agree with Franco’s heavily right views, then obviously, you must be a “socialist”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You mean there is no middle ground?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    You’ve studied American politics for how many years, Roger, and you’ve never realised that? :-)

  • Franco

    50 – STM

    Franco confuses the idea of community with socialism. If he were to encounter real socialism in the US he’d really have something to shout about. Unfortunately, he thinks he’s encountering it now.

    STM, I would venture a guess your probably a fairly good bloke. I have met a lot of Australians in my life and I have liked them all very much and their feelings where mutual.

    However you mate have a nasty little habit of using your own words to false frame your asserted assumptions against others, and particularly Americans, instead of responding to the words they actually use. This is dishonest and cowardly and it’s time you got called out for it.

    Show all of us here on BC where I have used words, in these thread, or any thread on BC, that have said anything even remotely like what you have asserted above!

    Let me save you some time mate, the simple fact is you can’t, because I never have.

    This leaves your assertion based on your being either obtuse, and thus reckless empty rhetoric, or worse, not obtuse at all, and thus dishonest and cowardly. And until you can either show us I have said what you claim, or, have retracted it, you will remain either one or the other.

    Some Americans also have the unfortunate tendency to lump anyone who believes in some aspects of community as a liberal.

    Some Australians also have the unfortunate tendency to confuses the distinction between government and society.

    Any views I might have that that he might think are left come from the working man’s perspective, from getting my hands dirty all these years, of paying taxes, struggling to pay a mortgage and bring up kids, and expecting that since I’ve contributed so much, there might be something worthwhile my government can offer in return.

    Key wording here – “since I’ve contributed so much, there might be something worthwhile my government can offer in return“

    STM, based on your own words in the statement above, you claim not to be completely satisfied with the worthwhile fruits of your own labor, and so you are seeking the government to give you something else worthwhile in addition for your efforts.

    Question: Where do you think that something else worthwhile you want from the state comes from? There is only one possible source, from someone else’s worthwhile rewards from their labor that the state collected from them to give to you.

    That is called Socialism mate and is “legal plunder”, and you can play all the self dilatational mind and word games with yourself you want, but it dose not change these facts.

    This boggles my mind how anyone could be so ungrateful for what they had already received from their own labor and what of someone else’s. I can’t even imagine thinking or feeling like that.

    How is this “legal plunder” to be identified? Quite simply, see if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

    That is the difference between us capricorn dancer, and here is why.

    I too come from a working man’s perspective, from a long line of them, from getting my hands dirty all these years, of paying taxes, struggling to pay a mortgage and bring up kids, and I would never ever expect that since I’ve contributed so much, there might be something worthwhile my government can offer in return.

    I do not confuse government and society I see my government as my fellow citizens, who before me had already risked everything, including their lives, to kept the American experiment in freedom alive so that I might find it. I didn‘t earn this freedom, it was handed to me on a plate by people who did earn it with their lives. This wholly worthwhile gift is already more then full payment in advance from them. I could not possible ask for more three (3) reasons.

    1.) I would be ashamed to ask my fellow citizens for anything more then what they had already given me from the get go. I owe them for this, and I meet that obligation by making sure it stays alive for future generations.

    2.) I would be ashamed to ask my fellow citizens for one more thing over and above the rewards I had already received from the very privilege I had to engage with them in the free market exchange (by and of our own free wills together) for our mutual benefit.

    3.) I would be ashamed to ask my fellow citizens for anything more worthwhile when taking into full account just how incredibly lucky I was to be born in such freedom and opportunity, just like Australia, unlike so many other places in the world that could only dream of such things, if they even knew they existed.

    STM, sorry all of this was not enough for you mate.

    I began working in the American free enterprise system when I was in the 5th grade and have never stopped since. I never set my goals on being a millionaire, it was never that important to me, but I did set them on making sure my life, and the lives of my family were secure and comfortable as a result of my hard efforts, and I succeeded across the board. Hundreds of millions of Americans do the same thing. Many are fare better at it and richer for it then I, but I am not complaining nor do I feel I am owned more then I have earned from my own faculties.

    STM, kindly justify the seeking the government (your fellow citizens) to take what belongs to others and give it to you. Convince me this is not legal plunder and tell me how to have a clear conscience when trying to use the law (force) to get it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry, Dreadful, re #55. Only now it has come to my attention since Archie raised the Nigel issue and was only trying to be helpful, if you know what I mean.

    In the future, I think I should better preface my clumsy attempts at irony, because there’s nothing I could tolerate less than being so utterly misunderstood.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Question: Where do you think that something else worthwhile you want from the state comes from? There is only one possible source, from someone else’s worthwhile rewards from their labor that the state collected from them to give to you.

    That is called Socialism mate

    No, it’s called taxation.

    Taking your argument to its logical conclusion, what then is the point of having a government at all?

    STM, kindly justify the seeking the government (your fellow citizens) to take what belongs to others and give it to you.

    WHY does it belong to others? Why does it not belong to the community? And what DOES belong to the community – if, indeed, anything does?

    This, it seems, is where you and Stan will never see eye to eye.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Irony received and responded to in kind, Roger… :-)

  • Mark

    Taking your argument to its logical conclusion, what then is the point of having a government at all?

    .
    .
    .

    ummmm

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That reminds me, Dreadful, of occasions during a bridge match, or whist if you prefer, when the opponents outwit one another.

    So perhaps we stick to a standard bidding convention. Culbertson’s OK by me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t start now, Mark.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    58, 60, 62 – I knew Dr.D was smart enough to become an anarchist, eventually…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    ooops….I forgot the ;-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy, lay off, would ya! This ain’t a game of poker.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You don’t play bridge, do you?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    No, but I heard you could make money playing that. I never played that. Poker is making me mad. I either can’t lose or I can’t win.

    I would rather play in person, the internet is too full of players of my level.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I cleaned out my uncle’s last poker game. He had all his dart and work buddies in attendance. I placed first in both tournaments.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I was the only woman there. These guys were so irritatingly obnoxious (but, I swear I didn’t actually snarl). I never got invited back.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, apart from the bidding part which is not important for present purposes, finesse is an important element in playing your hand. Oui?

    BTW, Italians used to be among the most formidable world-class teams.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I knew Dr.D was smart enough to become an anarchist, eventually…

    I’m not taking a position here either way, Cindy.

    But perhaps I’m trying to get Franco to lift an index finger to his lips and waggle it up and down.

    Wibble wibble wibble…

    :-)

  • Mark

    wait…aren’t sunglasses and hoodies discouraged?

    Probably not my game. Though I do have fond memories of the folks fighting over their play.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    They’ve fact-checked eleven of his claims so far and the best he’s managed is one ‘Half True’. He has three more which are Barely True, five False and two Pants on Fire.

    Dr. D. what’s deceptive about these ratings is that they are not in context. Beck makes dozens of statements during his show, 5 days a week, and he’s been doing it for months. Out of those hundreds of statements they’ve managed to find 11 which are somewhat in error. Is that actually a bad percentage?

    Dave

  • Franco

    52 – Dr Dreadful

    The thing with Snowe’s statement that leaps out is the meme that all you Americans seem to accept without question, which is that the issue of healthcare is complex. Actually, the idea of a national health care system really isn’t all that complicated: your problem is that you’ve let the insurance and pharmaceutical companies bugger about in the market for so long that a better approach would have been to start entirely from scratch. I do agree with her that there’s no rush, though.

    Snowe’s statement was not claiming the general issue of national healthcare is complex. Her statement is in direct reference to how complex this Team Obama-Pelosi-Reid healthcare bill is, not healthcare in general. Its only you caliming that she is claming that. And Americans don’t see healthcare as complex as your meme tells you, they see it as ending up being either more expensive then what they have, or with less service. Your British Socalist meme cause you to miss this point.

    She points out all of the back door deals, and rush ruch get it passed at all costs because the discussion/debate is over, yet, in reality it never had a chance to start. That stinks and that kind of sidelining of democratic discussion/debate is the very thing I have posted to you about twice in this thread. Here’s a perfect example and you still won’t comment on that issue.

    Snowe knew that team Obama-Pelosi-Reid had made it all extremely complicated for any rational member of society to understand and Snowe called them on it which was the right thing to do.

    Do you respect Obama for spear heading this slam dunk of such a complex healthcare bill on the people.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, there’s an aesthetic element to it, Mark, which has to do with a hand perfectly played – and that’s always a pleasure. But my point to Cindy about the art of finesse had a different object in mind.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    I dunno. I only heard about bridge. I never played.

    I wear a ‘baseball’ (cuz really it is a poker) cap. :-) Just a habit. No sunglasses.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was using the game of bridge, Cindy, to score a distant point. I could as well have been speaking of the art of seduction – and that’s French specialty.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Out of those hundreds of statements they’ve managed to find 11 which are somewhat in error. Is that actually a bad percentage?

    Dave, they don’t exclusively rate claims which have a high probability of being false. Beck’s overall score compares very unfavourably to most everyone else who’s come under the Politifact microscope.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Personally Roger, I have been to France and I have been to Italy. I would say it is more an Italian specialty.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dangerous Liaisons is a study in the art of seduction, to this day one of my favorite films.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I will watch that. I think I may have seen it. Can’t be sure.

    I am speaking as an American woman who went to France (but as a couple) in 1990 and to Italy (as a single woman) in about 1993. Italian men had a very good approach. The typical approach of the Italian man was far far superior to any I had seen by American men. French men? I just don’t know, but I doubt they would have a better way.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Snowe’s statement was not claiming the general issue of national healthcare is complex.

    “The Senate received a more than 2,000 page bill on one of the most complex issues in our history…”

    It must have been that part of her statement which confused me.

    Your British Socalist meme cause you to miss this point.

    Feh.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Of course, you’re going by the Casanova legend. (The story goes he was obsessed by his own insecurities.) But I’m not going to get in a shouting match.

    Let’s just say that the best of Italians occasionally rival the French.

    How about Marcello Mastroianni and Vittorio De Sica versus Gerald Phillip and Yves Montand?

    I’d say it’s a draw.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Should be Gérard Philip.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Of course, you’re going by the Casanova legend.

    No, I am going by my own personal experience of men when I was in Italy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Gotcha.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Here is a better explanation…maybe. Perhaps it’s what is taught and taken for granted. In Italy men take for granted that they need to be able to please their partner. In the USA men take for granted that their partner owes then sex if they buy her something.

    I have no idea if men in Italy do that as just a better move in a game where the women lose anyway. I only know that seduction in Italy is much nicer and like what women want than seduction in the USA.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, they don’t exclusively rate claims which have a high probability of being false. Beck’s overall score compares very unfavourably to most everyone else who’s come under the Politifact microscope.

    But do they even look at people who are inherently non-conroversial? That’s the problem. There’s no control group.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    We’re not talking about the US.
    Anyway, it’s like playing a game, where flirting and seduction are the opposite sides of a coin.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy,

    I’m going to turn in. Good night.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dave, that’s true, but my understanding is that there has to be something particularly newsworthy or noteworthy about the claim. A lot of what Beck says is just repeating more widely-heard right-wing talking points. It’s only when he goes out on a limb that he seems to attract Politifact’s attention.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Good night Roger.

    Perhaps because men in Italy do not take age as a big deal a woman can still feel desirable at 32 or 34 in Italy. I think that is about how old I was when I went. I did not feel okay as a 32-34 year old woman in the USA. I felt very good in Italy. That is my experience.

  • Franco

    82 – Dr Dreadful

    ((“The Senate received a more than 2,000 page bill on one of the most complex issues in our history…”))

    It must have been that part of her statement which confused me.

    Could have been, but it might have been this one………

    “I remain convinced we must work toward a responsible, common sense solution to reverse the trend of spiraling health care costs — this bill has taken a dramatically different direction – it is now 1,200 pages longer — we still don’t have answers to some of the most fundamental questions that people will be asking at their kitchen tables — These are the critical questions relevant to peoples’ daily lives, — not one single member in Congress can answer those questions — legislation affecting more than 300 million Americans deserves better than midnight votes on a bill that cannot be further amended and that no one has had the opportunity to fully consider –

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Makes sense, Dreadful. If the issue is one of the most complex in our history, the only thing to do is simplify, simplify, simplify. It must be made understandable for the huddlers around the kitchen table.

    And you thought you might escape Franco’s steel-trap logic? Ha.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Could have been, but it might have been this one…

    No, that part’s pretty much spot on. It’s just the way Congress works, including Senator Snowe. I suspect that if you asked that august body to add two and two they would, instead of simply whipping out a calculator, draft a bill authorising a grant of $15 billion to MIT for research and development on this crucial issue, then spend six months debating and amending it.

    Just so we’re clear, Franco, Senator Snowe did not say that the healthcare bill was a complex issue. She said the bill was about a complex issue.

  • Franco

    95 – Dr Dreadful

    I suspect that if you asked that august body to add two and two they would, instead of simply whipping out a calculator, draft a bill authorizing a grant of $15 billion to MIT for research and development on this crucial issue, then spend six months debating and amending it.

    LOL, point taken, but there is more to this then that.

    That would only be true if team — Obama-Pelosi-Reid — did in fact allow for six months to debating it so we could all understand it like they promised.

    Or don’t‘ you remember the Team Obama-Pelosi-Reid C-Span promise of Hope and Change.

    Well they said fuck that promise because we don’t have to keep it with a filibuster proof congress, so we are going to ram this complicated mess (that no one understands) down the American peoples throats whether they like it or not.

    Just so were clear Doc, the fact that Snowe calls them out for this and states – “I remain convinced we must work toward a responsible, common sense solution to reverse the trend of spiraling health care costs” – which is clearly saying she is trying to make this far less complicated then the complicated mess that no one can explain that is in the hands of tyrants so far.

    The fact that you can’t admit that is not my fault, nor dose it change that fact.

    It all goes back to the same premise that is the foundation of all my posts so far concerning the sidestepping of honest and open discussion/debate that such tyrants will not allow. A premise that you too have been sidestepping in my posts.

    Isn’t is nice how democarcy works when tyrnats loose their unrestricted hall pass.
    Scott Brown’s victory now has Team – Obama-Peolsi-Reid – sing ing another tune. Now we will see it Snowe is who she claims to be. I am putting my money down on her to beinb part of making this far less complex. If I am wrong about her, then you can give her and I a good toung lashing, but not before. The only thing that has happened so fare is Team Tyrant has lost their unrestricted hall pass of tyranny.

  • Franco

    58 – Dr Dreadful

    ((Where do you think that something else worthwhile you want from the state comes from? There is only one possible source, from someone else’s worthwhile rewards from their labor that the state collected from them to give to you. That is called Socialism mate))

    No, it’s called taxation.

    No, its called Socialism, taxation is the means to pay for it all. You, like STM, are confused in the dictation between government and society and individual rights for all. As a result you are seeking less freedom for individual rights.

    Taking your argument to its logical conclusion, what then is the point of having a government at all?

    Do we not need the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

    Do not each of us have a natural right to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. Are these not the three basic requirements of life, and is not the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

    If every person has the right to defend — even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right –government — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.

    Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

    Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise.

    Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the same rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

    If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

    In fact, if law were restricted to protecting all persons, all liberties, and all properties; if law were nothing more than the organized combination of the individual’s right to self defense; if law were the obstacle, the check, the punisher of all oppression and plunder — is it likely that we citizens would then argue much about the extent of the franchise?

    And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone?

    I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right.

    This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law (government) is organized justice.

    The law is justice — simple and clear, precise and bounded. Every eye can see it, and every mind can grasp it; for justice is measurable, immutable, and unchangeable. Justice is neither more than this nor less than this.

    When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

    Government is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized as it declares in the Bill of Rights. Law is justice.

    The mission of the law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect persons and property.

    Furthermore, it must not be said that the law may be philanthropic if, in the process, it refrains from oppressing persons and plundering them of their property; this would be a contradiction. The law cannot avoid having an effect upon persons and property; and if the law acts in any manner except to protect them, its actions then necessarily violate the liberty of persons and their right to own property.

    If you exceed this proper limit — if you attempt to make the law fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, literary, or artistic — you will then be lost in a forced utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it upon you. This is true because fraternity and philanthropy, unlike justice, do not have precise limits. Once started, where will you stop? And where will the law stop itself?

    ((Seeking the government (your fellow citizens) to take what belongs to others and give it to you.))

    WHY does it belong to others?

    Lets define what you are referring to as “it” and “others“.

    “It” – is an individuals legally obtained personal property. In other words — private property. Legally obtained by use of individual effort of the individuals own faculties. It would not be legally obtained if such an individual had obtained it from any other person by the use of force, instead of using his own facilities to obtain it.

    “Others” – individuals as defined above.

    For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is legally obtain property but an extension of our faculties?

    Why does it not belong to the community?

    For all the same reasons above. But then again, none of “it” is of importance to you, if you are asking a Karl Marx/Ken Livingston kind of question?

    The individuals natural right to defend his person, his liberty, and his property against plunder is clearly outlined above in the answers to your question of why government should exist at all,

    STM has admitted that he has applied his individual faculties to enable him to acquire personal property, ie, his house and everything that goes with it and to raise his family. I have no right to deny him his full unrestricted right to all of this, nor do I have a right to force him to give any portion of it over to me because I feel I did not get enough property through the exercise of my own faculties. It would be a violation of STM life, liberty and property to do so.

    Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force which is a substitue for individual rithts — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

    But STM feels quite the opposite about this by his own admission. He thinks that because all his individual efforts in the use of his faculties should have gain him something more worthwhile, he uses his own ungratfullness to justify his seeking what belongs to other individuals as a result of their efforts through their faculties. Clearly his ungratefulness over his own achievements clouds his reasoning in making the correct distinction between government and society. This is evidenced by his own admission that he wants the government to try and get other individuals private property. His confustion is obious: the government he seeks can only get it for him by taking it away from other individual citizens who have all individually earned through their faculties and in which to legally owned by them that STM wants.

    STM knows he can not act alone as an individual to take from any other individual by forces what legally belongs to them. So he looks to government (force) to get it for him.

    It’s still a crime against those it is taken from to give to STM, its just STM dose not have to take individual responsibly for it. That is clear pervertion of the law of collective right that acts as the substitute for individual right. The fact remains and it is indisputably that force has to be used to take acquired property from other individual citizens to give it to STM. And that my little British friend is how Socialism works and why it is tyranny.

    Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? You and STM are trying to say force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? I say your dead wrong and will fight you with every breath in my body until the day I die.

    I am not against welfare or philanthropy, I am only against organized forced welfare and philanthropy because it violates each individuals life, liberty and property.

    And what DOES belong to the community – if, indeed, anything does?

    The responsibility of securing the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized as declared in the Bill of Rights. As I said in post #56, this is exactly what my American community handed to me on a platter.

    As said before. Each of us has a natural right to defend his person, his liberty, and his property from illegal plunder. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. It is for this reason that the collective force the “community“ — which is only the organized combination of the individual forces — may lawfully be used for the same purpose; and it cannot be used legitimately for any other purpose.

    Community (Society) thus provides police, judges, gendarmes, jails, prisons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. The law itself conducts this war, and it is my wish and opinion that the law should always maintain this attitude toward plunder. I will gladly pay taxes for this proper us of the law. I will fight being forced to pay taxes to pervert the law to commit “legal plunder“ against my fellow citizens.

    But it does not always do this. Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it, ie, false philanthropy. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim — when he defends himself — as a criminal.

    I am not against philanthropy/welfare, quite on the contrary. I am only against forced philanthropy and welfare. I am for free association, not forced association.

    People will spend/use other peoples money/property more recklessly then they will spend/use their own. Is a natural fact. And an intermediary such as government falls victim to this same principle, coupled with the high cost of aquirering administering and dispersing its legal plunder. This act is a waist of the very fruits of the efforts of the individuals it is taken from by force.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • Jordan Richardson

    People will spend/use other peoples money/property more recklessly then they will spend/use their own. Is a natural fact.

    Is not.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    is 97 supposed to be read? I am guessing Franco doesn’t use Twitter

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Good God, Franco, you don’t half rattle on. Your energy is admirable, but you can’t win arguments by constantly accusing people of sidestepping, fallaciousness and other heinous offences. It’s as if you can’t bear it unless everyone agrees with you absolutely on every single point.

    That would only be true if team — Obama-Pelosi-Reid — did in fact allow for six months to debating it so we could all understand it like they promised.

    I read an opinion piece on the BBC yesterday which observed that the public probably understands the bill very well: they just don’t like being talked down to – having things ‘splained’ to them. In other words, political battles are won on ideas rather than facts.

    In case you missed it, I do agree with Senator Snowe that the bill could be a lot simpler. The trouble is with what tends to happen when members of Congress try to make things simpler…

    Isn’t is nice how democarcy works when tyrnats loose their unrestricted hall pass.

    Yes, it is. Were you as ecstatic after the 2006 midterms?

    No, its called Socialism, taxation is the means to pay for it all.

    Perhaps you need to look up the definition of socialism. I’d be willing to hazard a guess that you can’t find a dictionary which defines it as ‘any form of government spending which doesn’t directly benefit me personally’.

    You, like STM, are confused in the dictation between government and society and individual rights for all. As a result you are seeking less freedom for individual rights.

    OK, fine, so you’re saying the people should dictate to their government, not the other way around? Well then, let’s turn this around. Suppose the people wanted a public healthcare system and elected an administration which promised to get them that? Who is dictating to whom in this instance?

    …More responses later, perhaps.

  • Franco

    101 – Dr Dreadful

    Your energy is admirable, but you can’t win arguments by constantly accusing people of sidestepping, fallaciousness and other heinous offences. It’s as if you can’t bear it unless everyone agrees with you absolutely on every single point.

    Doc, your above accusation againts me personally has two parts, one in each sentence. Let’s look at the validity of the first part.

    To accuses me of trying to win arguments simply by accusing people of sidestepping and fallaciousness, is ironically, sidestepping and fallaciousness in and of it self. Because there can never even be an argument to win or loose, if your fellow debater is sidestepping and or fallacious. Try and argue with that fact Doc!

    Now I also want to be clear on this. My calling anyone out for that has nothing what so ever to do with winning. But it dose have everything to do with calling for them to cease and desist and engage the discussion/debate with intellectual honesty on the merits of the premise being asserted. And I only make that call when someone uses sidestepping and or fallaciousness in responding.

    I should not have to be explaining this to you Doc, I was under the distinct impression you had developed better skills in critical thinking.

    As to the second part of your above accusation, it is blatantly false for two reasons. (1) It is not really about winning at all, its about learning something. (2) Because what do any of us gain from those who will not engage in discussion/debate with intellectual honesty on the merits of the premise being asserted. The answer is simple – nothing! And that Doc, is what I have a hard time excepting for all our sakes, and someone with your intellect should too.

    As I stated in previous post……………..

    96 – Franco – It all goes back to the same premise that is the foundation of all my posts so far concerning the sidestepping of honest and open discussion/debate that such tyrants will not allow. A premise that you too have been sidestepping in my posts.

    My reference to your (sidestepping) here has nothing to do with winning an argument as clearly outlined above. I only seek your entering the dissection/debate with intellectly honesty based on the meirt of a premis being presented. Nothing can be be gained by eiher party until both parties are fully engaged with it at that level.

    Now, is that distinction clear enough for you now Doc? May I please have a conformation to that effect?

    I read an opinion piece on the BBC yesterday which observed that the public probably understands the bill very well

    Head, hole, ground! Why someone with your intellect would even put up something so ridicules as that boggles my mind. (1) BCC dose not speak for the American people, nor (2) do they even understand the bill, because no one doses, including you.

    We have already gone over the insightful responses of Senator Snowe with her substantiating that not only do the people not understand this bill, no one in Congress fully understands it. So your BBC effort is not logical.

    What is interesting from it though it how is shares in part with a question I put to you in post #74 that you have not responded to..

    #74 – Do you respect Obama for spear heading this slam dunk of such a complex healthcare bill on the people.

    Were you as ecstatic after the 2006 midterms?

    No, because as soon a Pelosi came into power to head up HER agenda as leader of the house, democracy died. Never saw someone so out of touch with mainstream America and so devious and that is saying a lot considering the snakes up there. And she and her team of tyrants as still all the same.

    Quite the opposite happened with Brown’s victory, and it the bluest state of them all. What more proof do you need?. And with Brown I was so excited because democracy was again restored, and now lives another day, because Team tyrants had to turn in their unrestricted hall pass.

    Perhaps you need to look up the definition of socialism.

    Doc, in your post #58 you challenged me to do exactly that very thing, and you laid out a series of specific questions for me to ponder. What was it you said to Cindy about these very question you posed to me -“I’m trying to get Franco to lift an index finger to his lips and waggle it up and down – Wibble wibble wibble…”

    Well Doc, I responded in full with my post #97 to everyone of them with intellectual honesty and sidestepped nothing. The fact that you have not responded to a single one of my answers is…………………..I don’t know Doc, if its not sidestepping, then why don’t you tell us what it is? Are you wibble wibble wibbling…….? I hope that is the case.

    When ever your ready to respond to each of those with intellectual honesty based on the merits of their premise, maybe will both lean something.

    Franco – You, like STM, are confused in the dictation between government and society and individual rights for all. As a result you are seeking less freedom for individual rights.

    OK, fine, so you’re saying the people should dictate to their government, not the other way around? Well then, let’s turn this around. Suppose the people wanted a public healthcare system and elected an administration which promised to get them that? Who is dictating to whom in this instance?

    As you know, spelling is challenging for me as I am dyslexic as I have pointed out several times before. The word “dictation” was supposed to be “distinction“, which I had also applied and spelled correctly within the this context in two other places in that post and in addition to my direct post to STM. Please correct accordingly.

    …More responses later, perhaps.

    I have to say it again, I am surprised you have not already engage with any of the full responses I gave to your series of specific questions. You would be remiss not to.

    My use of the word “remiss” in this context of course, is just a nicer and or different way of saying “sidestepping” :-)

    However, while your claiming to have more responses later sound promising, you just had to add the word “perhaps”. Interesting interjection of an adverb, because my dictionary defines “perhaps” in this context, as follows.

    CORE-MEANING: an adverb expressing uncertainty, or indicating that something is possibly true or may possibly happen, often used to make remarks appear less definite

    So dose that mean your going to possibly stop sidestepping?.

    I would be remiss if I did not say I look forward to hearing them.

    Rebuttal!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dreadful,

    If you really want to understand Franco’s thought, you’re gonna have to immerse yourself in the life and works of certain Frédéric Bastiat, Franco’s ideological idol.

    link1

    link 2

    I look forward to a fruitful and high-spirited debate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A short account of Bastiat’s contribution to economic thought.

    The larger question, of course, is the extent to which economic thought ought to guide political thinking. To say that it must would amount to a kind of reductionism of the latter to the former.

  • Mark

    If every person has the right to defend — even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.

    While this looks like common sense to some, to me it a clear recipe for domination formulated in the interest of dominators. Based on a faulty premiss, the rest of the ‘derivation’ fails.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not to mention the fact that the sanctity of law to uphold this right – Bastiat’s most radical thesis in the realm of political theory – may be challenged on the very same grounds.

    And the same goes for the State organized along such principles.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Franco, you accuse me of sidestepping or not answering your questions. But here’s the problem. When your questions are phrased like these:

    “She is right by every conceivable angle of logic. Yet Obama pushes on, hurry up! How can he explain that in light of the logic of Senator Snowe? He can’t so the discussion/debate was taken off the table for all of us to see.”
    “Where do you think that something else worthwhile you want from the state comes from? There is only one possible source, from someone else’s worthwhile rewards from their labor that the state collected from them to give to you. That is called Socialism mate”
    “Do you respect Obama for spear heading this slam dunk of such a complex healthcare bill on the people.”
    “Isn’t is nice how democarcy works when tyrnats loose their unrestricted hall pass.”

    Those are loaded questions – really no better than the classic “When did you stop beating your wife?” I can’t answer them without implicitly agreeing with your premise, and in some cases you answer them yourself without even giving me the opportunity!

    Head, hole, ground! Why someone with your intellect would even put up something so ridicules as that boggles my mind.

    Perhaps I didn’t summarize the piece too well. Why don’t you read it and judge for yourself.

    BCC dose not speak for the American people

    They’re not claiming to, any more than you’re claiming to speak for the people of Europe when you accuse us all of being socialists… are you?

    As you know, spelling is challenging for me as I am dyslexic as I have pointed out several times before. The word “dictation” was supposed to be “distinction“

    I’m aware of your dyslexia and do make allowances for it, but I didn’t spot that you meant a different word here. Nevertheless, the point still seems germane: your basic philosophy is that government should be the servant of the people rather than vice versa, is it not? So, then, what if the people wish their government to provide them with a social safety net, including healthcare?

    What was it you said to Cindy about these very question you posed to me -“I’m trying to get Franco to lift an index finger to his lips and waggle it up and down – Wibble wibble wibble…”

    OK, that wasn’t very kind. But this all seems a bit farcical to me: there we all were exchanging a few lighthearted comments about Glenn Beck and here we are now discussing the extent of individual freedoms and why taxation is socialism.

    I do understand where you’re coming from and the philosophical basis for your beliefs. I just don’t think they’re all that realistic.

    It seems that you are OK with taxation (and government intervention as a whole) only when it goes toward furthering the defence of life, liberty and property.

    You’re fine with the government taxing you in order to fund a legal system, police (who, as right-wingers are fond of reminding us, cannot protect you, only respond to and investigate after the fact) and a standing army (which, BTW, is not provided for in your Constitution). You’re fine with the element of coercion involved in the extraction of those taxes from you, because you benefit directly. Presumably you’re also fine with taxation for the purpose of providing a road system and basic infrastructure, again because you benefit directly. But how about so that your children can receive an education? Or so that there is a hospital in your community? Or so that someone has a roof over their head and food in their stomach and a starting point in the search to better their lot… and isn’t camping out in your street, panhandling as you walk past on your way to work, and committing the crimes which the police you paid for have to deal with?

    You do benefit directly from all these things. You just think that the coercion involved in making them possible outweighs the benefit you get.

    All that’s different between you and me is that we draw the line in a different place.

    Now, Merriam-Webster (I decided to use an American dictionary since it is an American’s take on it – yours – which is at issue here) defines socialism thus:

    “1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”

    There is no – for want of a better classifier – modern democratic society which these definitions describe unequivocally. I think the third definition most closely fits your main argument, but even then it is more accurately something you fear may happen, rather than something that is the case or that is happening.

    Certainly there are elements of socialism in Britain’s welfare state and in some of Obama’s ideas, just as there are elements of Athenian democracy in the American Republic. That doesn’t make me a socialist any more than it makes you an Athenian democrat.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Good God, Franco, you don’t half rattle on. Your energy is admirable, but you can’t win arguments by constantly accusing people of sidestepping, fallaciousness and other heinous offences. It’s as if you can’t bear it unless everyone agrees with you absolutely on every single point.

    Congratulations! You’ve just described the entire political policy of the current iteration of the Republican Party in a nutshell!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It’s why they’re so successful, Glenn. In that article I linked to in my previous comment, they talk to a political science professor who has an answer for why Republicans tend to win political debates even when they don’t have facts or numbers on their side.

    You have to admit, the Democrats probably couldn’t manage to implement their entire program even if there were 99 of them in the Senate and one Republican.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Too true. If I were Obama, I’d declare health care a matter of national security and sign an executive order removing any age limit for Medicare. Problem solved.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    People voting against their own interests is a fairly common phenomenon in politics. It shows the extent to which the ruling elites are immensely successful in their time-proven policy of divide and conquer.

    There’s no better ally they can have than an unwitting accomplice. Which is why there’s no need for them to articulate their ideology and programs. It’s so much more effective when it’s articulated on their behalf by the unwashed masses.

  • Franco

    105 – Mark

    ((Franco asserts that – If every person has the right to defend — even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.))

    While this looks like common sense to some, to me it a clear recipe for domination formulated in the interest of dominators. Based on a faulty premiss, the rest of the ‘derivation’ fails.

    Mark, if I understand you correctly, your implying that my premise is based on collective right over individual right, thus opening the door for recipes from the collective for domination formulated in the interest of such dominators over individuals.

    Well, if that is want my premise was based on you would be correct, but my premise was not based on that, it’s based literally on the opposite. This can be clearly evidenced in what you left off of my statement you sighted above.

    “Thus the principle of collective right –government — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.

    So my whole premise is based on individual right, not collective right over individual right. Under collective right, each and every individual retains his or her full right to defend – even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, and the collective right can never interfere with this individual right, because it is based on that individual right.

    Thus, nothing can be more evident about my premise than this: Government is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense, The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force, for individual forces. And this common force is to do ONLY what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do, always and for ever: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

    When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

    And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone?

    Mark, as I stated up top, “if I understand you correctly“, — then in light of what my base premise actually is, this should clear up your reasons for questioning it. However, if I have not understood you correctly, then please elaborate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Franco suffers from a fundamental confusion between the idea of law as something immutable and perfect and law such as we know – always evolving and hopefully aiming at justice. And as part of that confusion, there comes blatant lack of recognition of conflicting claims.

    While individual liberties and freedom to the fruits of one’s labor may be uncontested, acquisition of property may well be and oftentimes is. And it by the edict of law that property gets validated and made lawful. Which means that the right to property, contrary to Franco’s imaginings, is the intended consequence of a political community, not its precondition. The acquisition of property prior to the inception of a political community – while in a state of nature – is itself problematic. And it’s precisely in order to deal with this problematic that a political community gets formed, along with the laws protecting right the property as means of legitimation.

    It’s for this very reason that the argument employed is circular at best. The right to property is posed as the original condition which law is supposed to guarantee, whereas in point of fact that law is merely an instrument in terms of which those who claim property, whether justly or unjustly acquired, make use of it in order to validate their claims as a right.

    In short, rather than being a natural expression of the original right, law is but a means of trying to make legal and valid a state of affairs that, prior to the inception of the government and law, may well have been lawless. It amounts, in effect, to taking an existing state of affairs and by fiat, and retroactively, proclaiming it to have been the natural state of affairs from times immemorial.

    Without further ado, it’s quite easy to see the point of Mark’s comment concerning the instrumental nature of law – namely, that it lends itself to “domination formulated in the interest of dominators.”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    113 Roger,

    That is an excellently put post. That clarifies things perfectly.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Cindy. It’s a wasted effort, I’m afraid. None of us are intellectually honest – not I, not Dreadful, not Glenn, not even Mark, according to gospel by Franco.

    Now it’s your turn, if you’re game. Have fun.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Oh, but it wasn’t a wasted effort. I appreciated it, it clarified my thinking.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    OK then. Perhaps Mark will pick up the ball and carry it for the touchdown.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Isn’t there some sort of football game on this week?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    There’s supposed to be one. Meanwhile, I’m quarterbacking vicariously.

    A trial run.

  • Franco

    Doc,

    Thank you for such a well thought out post response, I mean that. You have clarified several issues. It is almost 2:30 a.m. here in Chile and I got to get to bed and will be out of town tomorrow, but will be back and hope to respond tomorrow night. Again, thank you.

  • Franco

    107 – Dr Dreadful

    Franco, you accuse me of sidestepping or not answering your questions. But here’s the problem. When your questions are phrased like these:

    (“Do you respect Obama for spear heading this slam dunk of such a complex healthcare bill on the people.”)

    Those are loaded questions – really no better than the classic “When did you stop beating your wife?” I can’t answer them without implicitly agreeing with your premise, and in some cases you answer them yourself without even giving me the opportunity!

    I see, now its my fault you are sidestepping. Well at least your starting to admit your sidestepping. The truth dose have a way of coming out when the issue is pressed.

    Contray to what you would like to think Doc, any statement and or question can be challenged. Even “When did you stop beating your wife?

    Case in point answers. I have never beat my wife. – or – I never stopped beating my wife. – or – I only beat my wife once. – or – If your going to keep insinuating that I have at one time beating my wife, I am going to start beating you. etc, etc.

    Case in point answers: I don’t think Obama tried to slam duck this complex health care bill on the people. – or – I don’t think the people know what’s good for them concerning healthcare and Obama was only trying to put it through in a hurry to help them in their ignorance by getting it passed on their behave. – or – No Franco, I do not respect him for hurrying up something that he Pelosi and Reid has made so complicated that no one understands onto the American people. The answers could on on and on, etc, etc.

    Doc, there is no merit to your defense. You are throwing out a smoke screen to make ongoing excuses for sidesteping by asking us to belive you are absent of any responce because of the way I ask questions, as if you don’t have a mind of you own. Now your accuing me of being the reason for your sidestepping. Sorry mate, your going to have to take responsabliy for your own actions. Your excuse is not only in insult to others, but to yourself as well.

    Doc, your post #107, which as I noted, contains some well said statements and deserves well thought out responses, and it is an exchange of ideas with you I very much would like to have for what I can learn. But there is a nasty little matter that needs clearing up first which is a pattern of you making excuses for yourself for not comming full cyrcle in addressing my resonces, as evedenced at the start of this post, but more, as evedenced just again in the following exchange between you and Glenn Contrarian.

    Here is that interesting and evidencing exchange.

    ————————————————————–
    108 – Glenn Contrarian
    Doc sex – (“Good God, Franco, you don’t half rattle on. Your energy is admirable, but you can’t win arguments by constantly accusing people of sidestepping, fallaciousness and other heinous offences. It’s as if you can’t bear it unless everyone agrees with you absolutely on every single point.”)

    Congratulations! You’ve just described the entire political policy of the current iteration of the Republican Party in a nutshell!

    109 – Dr Dreadful
    It’s why they’re so successful, Glenn.

    110 – Glenn Contrarian
    Doc – Too true. If I were Obama, I’d declare health care a matter of national security and sign an executive order removing any age limit for Medicare. Problem solved.

    ————————————————————-

    In that little exchange Glenn has sighted one of your posts directed at me, which I had already fully and carefully responded directly back to you before he ever posted his comment and you and sidestepped intirerly responding to me.

    Here is my posted reply you that you have comply avoided

    102 – Franco
    Doc, your above accusation against me personally has two parts, one in each sentence. Let’s look at the validity of the first part.

    To accuses me of trying to win arguments simply by accusing people of sidestepping and fallaciousness, is ironically, sidestepping and fallaciousness in and of it self. Because how can there even be an argument on the table to even win or loose, if your fellow debater is sidestepping and or fallacious.

    As to the second part of your above accusation, it is blatantly false for two reasons. (1) It is not really about winning at all, its about learning something. (2) Because what do any of us gain from those who will not engage in discussion/debate with intellectual honesty on the merits of the premise being asserted. The answer is simple – nothing! And that Doc, is what I have a hard time excepting for all our sakes, and someone with your intellect should too.

    Now, is that distinction clear enough for you now Doc? May I please have a conformation to that effect?

    Doc, you never once even responded back to my noted reply to you, or to my question noted just above asking asking for conformation. Instead you choose to support igmore my responce and confirm with Glenn’s assertions re-using your statement.

    #1 – Question to you Doc: Can you explain to me how not responding to my abov e noted reply to your assertions followed by question asking for just such a reply is not sidestepping our direct discussion/debate?

    While your trying to find an answer for that, start pondering this next little nasty issue which needs a direct answer as well.

    I made a direct post to Glenn Contrarian referring to my above noted reply to you in seeking his response. I now find that my post to Glenn Contrarian has been deleted from this thread by someone on BC.

    #2 – Question to you Doc: Can you explain why my comment to Glenn was deleted from this thread?

    Last but not least we have that little beauty of a statement by Glenn Contrarian in his post #110 noted above in support of your assertion. I will repost it again here.

    110 – Glenn Contrarian

    Doc – Too true. If I were Obama, I’d declare health care a matter of national security and sign an executive order removing any age limit for Medicare. Problem solved.

    Glenn Contrarian is asserting that an executive order will sidestep all discussion/debate with the right, thus problem solved.

    #3 Question to you Doc: Can you justify or support Glenn Contrarian assertion for such an executive order?

    #4 Question for you Doc: Whether or not you can justify or support Glenn’s assertion, can you tell us all how what he has just asserted he would like to happen, is not a form of tryanny?

    A response to these (4) questions will evedence your stopping your sidestepping which will provide the confidece for an open and honest dissuction on the rest of your post #107.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I just thought of posting this entry in order to keep this lively dialog current.

    Carry on, my good sirs.

  • Boeke

    The more Franco talks, the weaker his argument gets.

  • pablo

    110 – Glenn Contrarian:

    “Doc –

    Too true. If I were Obama, I’d declare health care a matter of national security and sign an executive order removing any age limit for Medicare. Problem solved.”

    This sums up Glenn’s political philosophy succinctly in one sentence. Government by executive fiat. All the liberal gobbledygook, all the posturing, it all boils down to one thing with Glenn. If he likes a particular political idea, we can just bypass the legislative process, and have a dictatorship. To emphasize my point, I am quite sure that Glenn has no problem with the EPA’s executive fiat concerning carbon dioxide last month.

    You go Glenn.

  • STM

    Franco: “It would be a violation of STM life, liberty and property to do so.”

    Bullsh.t Franco. Geezi, I dunno. I’ve dealt with people like you before :)

    If you lived next door and I had a tree overhanging your property, I bet you’d be super quick to phone the council and have a whinge about how I’m violating your rights. But what about the rights of the tree owner? Not to mention the tree’s rights …

    Also, I reckon you’d be like my current neighbours. I got underfloor ventilation fans put in because my house was built in 1935 or thereabouts. Because the bloke next door works shift work I got the quietest ones you could find and they ran for a year without the neighbours even noticing.

    Then, a few months ago, a lizard got caught in the fan and was making a “clonk, clonk, clonk, clonk” noise until we removed (what was left of) it.

    At that point, they became aware of the fans that had been running for a year without comment. Lo and behold, two weeks later, the wife next door complained, couldn’t sleep, needed medication from the doctor, “aaaah … noise is above the noise limit set by the council”, “moaaaan … can’t run them overnight”, “violating our rights”, etc etc. These, of course, are not the only things they complain … although they have a dog that barks incessantly.

    Franco, I just get the feeling you’d be like them.

    And this: “No, its called Socialism, taxation is the means to pay for it all.”

    As Doc says, unless a people vote in a government that has promised to these things. That’s the will of then people, not the government.

    So, you think it’s totally a case of “I’m all right Jack, keep your hands offa my stack”.

    People have to pay taxes for government to function. Having paid those taxes, I’d rather they go towards helping my fellow Australians in tangible things like universal healthcare and decent education than to things like maintaining a huge and nearly useless US-style military force that is completely ill-equipped to deal with the needs of modern-day non-conventional warfare.

    In the US, you could cut the US defence budget by a miserly 2 per cent, scrap a few rusting hulks, get rid of the National Guard, and voila … decent healthcare for everyone!

    In your America, the poor underclass doesn’t exist (or if it does, it’s its own fault).

    Problem is, in your America, the reason there is a poor underclass is because the right-wing view is that it should be ignored at the only level capable of bringing about real change: that is, at the level of government and through legislation.

    If you think that’s socialism, go back and check the dictionary. Community should never be mistaken for socialism.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    and that’s an impressive feat, Boeke, considering where Franco starts from

  • STM

    Even your mate Hugo Chavez isn’t a real socialist … he’s just a tinpot dictator trying to hang on to power. You can’t compare totalitarian socialism to community as practised in a modern, western democracy underpinned by free-market capitalism and rule of law.

    This is the problem with your argument … you don’t have clue.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    But there is a nasty little matter that needs clearing up first […] the … exchange between you and Glenn Contrarian.

    OK, let’s clear that up first. The rest will have to wait until I’m less tired.

    That exchange was nothing to do with you. Glenn made a remark about the GOP’s tactics. I replied to the effect that such tactics were what made them successful even in political adversity. I take no responsibility for Glenn’s response to that.

    The fact that you’re in such high dudgeon about it is symptomatic of your entire approach here, in which you’ve taken a couple of lighthearted remarks about Glenn Beck and blown them up into a protracted debate over ethics.

    #2 – Question to you Doc: Can you explain why my comment to Glenn was deleted from this thread?

    As you know, I am the assistant comments editor here at BC. I’m not aware of any comment of yours addressed to Glenn which was deleted. I did, however, delete two comments you made to Roger because immediately after posting the first one, you posted another comment in which you explained that you’d overlooked Roger’s response which prompted you to make it. The second comment negated the first, so I got rid of them both.

    #3 Question to you Doc: Can you justify or support Glenn Contrarian assertion for such an executive order?

    Setting aside the question of why you are now expecting me to speak for Glenn, I can’t actually tell from his phrasing whether he was being serious or not. Although such a power isn’t specifically enumerated in the US Constitution, executive orders have been issued for as long as there’ve been presidents to issue them, and it’s generally agreed that the President is perfectly entitled to issue them. It is a simple and somewhat elegant solution to the healthcare question, although from what I’ve seen of it, Medicare isn’t much more straightforward than any other health plan currently available.

    #4 Question for you Doc: Whether or not you can justify or support Glenn’s assertion, can you tell us all how what he has just asserted he would like to happen, is not a form of tryanny?

    Asserting leadership is not tyranny. In an ideal world, the role of the President would be much more ‘hands-off'; unfortunately, Congress has demonstrated quite superbly that it is incapable of getting anything at all done without a significant amount of prodding. Part of the President’s constitutional role is to ensure that laws are ‘faithfully executed’. However, since there is no bill that I know of which calls for the extension of Medicare to the entire population, the point is moot.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Stan, are these the same neighbours who were giving you grief over a tree a year or two back?

  • STM

    Yes Doc … and we’re back in court again over a different tree and a whole range of other stuff that probably isn’t even covered by the Act. Well, it hasn’t been a success so far from their point of view. They forgot to serve me with any documents, so I didn’t attend court the first time and the second time I had to tell the registrar that I hadn’t been served.

    Two days wasted for them, one for me … but it puts me behind the eight ball getting an affidavit organised.

    And honestly, it’s all so frivolous. I’ve offered on many occasions to contribute to the cost of reasonable works that would solve the problem, but they just don’t hear.

    The problem is, what they’re asking for, the scale of the works, could – literally -send me bankrupt.

    And as everyone knows, in anglo-american-style jurisprudence, there’s no guarantee as to who will win even if you’ve got a good case.

    It’s a real worry.

  • Franco

    125 – STM

    If you lived next door and I had a tree overhanging your property, I bet you’d be super quick to phone the council and have a whinge about how I’m violating your rights. But what about the rights of the tree owner? Not to mention the tree’s rights

    Ignorant assumptions and personal attacks.

    Actually STM, I love trees, and, if I had them coming over my fence and providing free shade I could take advantage of it, it would be great mate. In fact, being a designer and finish carpenter by trade, I could make a nice table and chairs for relaxing on hot days and have some coldies with shelias and mates. But for adults only mate.

    Also, I reckon you’d be like my current neighbours. I got underfloor ventilation fans put in because my house was built in 1935 or thereabouts, he wife next door complained, couldn’t sleep, needed medication from the doctor, noise is above the noise limit set by the council, can’t run them overnight”, “violating our rights”, etc etc. These, of course, are not the only things they complain … although they have a dog that barks incessantly. Franco, I just get the feeling you’d be like them.

    Ignorant assumptions and personal attacks.

    56 – Franco – STM, I would venture a guess your probably a fairly good bloke. I have met a lot of Australians in my life and I have liked them all very much, and their feelings where mutual.

    So, you think it’s totally a case of “I’m all right Jack, keep your hands offa my stack”.

    Ignorant assumptions and personal attacks.

    You mate have a nasty little habit of using your own words to false frame your asserted assumptions against others, and particularly Americans, instead of responding to the words they actually use. This is dishonest and cowardly and are the acts of an arrogant child. Your assumptions of others is not faltering to ya mate! One would think you’d wise up!

    People have to pay taxes for government to function.

    Now your talking mate!

    97 – Franco – “Community (Society) thus provides police, judges, gendarmes, jails, prisons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. The law itself conducts this war, and it is my wish and opinion that the law should always maintain this attitude toward plunder. I will gladly pay taxes for this proper us of the law. I will fight being forced to pay taxes to pervert the law to commit “legal plunder“ against my fellow citizens.

    paid those taxes, I’d rather they go towards helping my fellow Australians in tangible things like universal healthcare and decent education.

    That is exactly the opposite of what you said and asserted in your post #50 mate.

    50 – STM – “coming from the working man’s perspective, from getting my hands dirty all these years, of paying taxes, struggling to pay a mortgage and bring up kids, and expecting that since I’ve contributed so much, there might be something worthwhile my government can offer in return.

    So which is it STM?

    Have you even read my direct post #56 to you that was in direct response to your post #50 that was your indirect post about me filled with ignorant assumptions?

    Sure would like to here your arguments against that, but only if you can refrain from (1) ignorant assumptions, (2) using your own words to false frame your asserted assumptions against others instead of addressing the words they use, and (3) personal attacks. Habits you have that would appear are going to be hared to break. But on this point, I would love to be proven wrong.

    In the US, you could cut the US defence budget by a miserly 2 per cent, scrap a few rusting hulks, get rid of the National Guard, and voila … decent healthcare for everyone!

    I’m sorry, “get rid of the National Guard“!?!?. Ha, Capricorn dancer, don’t bogart that joint!

    In your America, the poor underclass doesn’t exist (or if it does, it’s its own fault).

    Ignorant assumptions.

    Problem is, in you’re aerica, the reason there is a poor underclass is because the right-wing view is that it should be ignored at the only level capable of bringing about real change: that is, at the level of government and through legislation.

    Ignorant assumptions.

    97 – Franco – “I am not against philanthropy/welfare, quite on the contrary. I am only against forced philanthropy and welfare. I am for free association, not forced association.”

    People will spend/use other peoples money/property more recklessly then they will spend/use their own. Is a natural fact. And an intermediary such as government falls victim to this same principle, coupled with the high cost of acquire ring, administering, and dispersing its legal plunder. This act is a waist of the very fruits of the efforts of the individuals it is taken from by force.

    Community should never be mistaken for socialism.

    I do not confuse the distinction between government and society as you do. I see my government as my fellow citizens, who before me had already risked everything, including their lives, to kept the American experiment in freedom alive so that I might find it. I didn‘t earn this freedom, it was handed to me on a plate by people who did earn it with their lives. I don’t own it, therefore I have no right to give it away, I am a casttodian of it for the next generation. This wholly worthwhile gift is already more then full payment in advance from them. I could not possible ask for more three (3) reasons.

    1.) I would be ashamed to ask my fellow citizens for anything more then what they had already given me from the get go. I owe them for this, and I meet that obligation by making sure it stays alive for future generations.

    2.) I would be ashamed to ask my fellow citizens for one more thing over and above the rewards I had already received from the very privilege I had to engage with them in the free market exchange (by and of our own free wills together) for our mutual benefit.

    3.) I would be ashamed to ask my fellow citizens for anything more worthwhile when taking into full account just how incredibly lucky I was to be born in such freedom and opportunity, just like Australia, unlike so many other places in the world that could only dream of such things, if they even knew they existed.

    That is the difference between us capricorn dancer. Sorry all of this was not enough for you mate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You forgot the most important point of all, Franco,

    “This is the problem with your argument … you don’t have clue.” (127)

    Now, deal with that!

    (Sorry Stan, just couldn’t resist that.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And btw, Franco, I do have a serious question for a change.

    You do say, “I do not confuse the distinction between government and society as you do.” Well, perhaps STM does confuse the distinction or perhaps he does not.

    But how do you exactly envisage that relationship? Is it incidental, organic, derivative, harmonious, causal – and one can think here of any number of terms.

    Perhaps if you took some time to puzzle on this rather than keep on parrying real or imaginary attacks on your integrity as a person, we might make some headway and hopefully resolve some of the issues underlying this debate.

    I’m all for entertainment, good sport that I am, but you might want to consider changing your strategy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I must admit, Franco, I do have a vested interest in keeping this thread alive – and it transcends its entertainment value alone.

    You see, unlike many proponents of your kind of political philosophy, you are a straight shooter and that is refreshing. So rather than having to deal with personalities and psychological states of mind which in most cases tend to obscure the issues under discussion, you come straight to the point and bring it down to the conceptual level.

    You see, Franco, different political philosophies are at bottom, war of ideas, or of the underlying concepts informing those very philosophies. Which is why I’d encourage you to keep on plugging so we can get to the chase.

    And I’m certain that STM and good Dreadful here, not to mention yours truly, would welcome a good slugfest. But let’s raise the discussion level beyond ad hominems, suspicions of ad hominems and matters of style. Let’s make it a real gunfight.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “…paid those taxes, I’d rather they go towards helping my fellow Australians in tangible things like universal healthcare and decent education.”

    That is exactly the opposite of what you said and asserted in your post #50 mate.

    50 – STM – “coming from the working man’s perspective, from getting my hands dirty all these years, of paying taxes, struggling to pay a mortgage and bring up kids, and expecting that since I’ve contributed so much, there might be something worthwhile my government can offer in return.”

    Franco, I can’t for the life of me see how’s that’s contradictory.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And to be quite honest, Franco, despite having just looked back over the thread I’ve lost track of exactly which questions of yours I’m supposed to have sidestepped. I seem to have given direct responses to a number of your questions: some of which you’ve acknowledged, some of which you haven’t.

    I will observe that in pointing out that there are answers to the question ‘When did you stop beating your wife?’ you are implicitly acknowledging that you have been asking leading questions.

  • Franco

    127 – STM

    You can’t compare totalitarian socialism to community as practised in a modern, western democracy underpinned by free-market capitalism and rule of law.

    This is the problem with your argument … you don’t have clue.

    STM, that was never my premise, I never made that comparison at all. Those are instead once again your words being used to false frame my premise based on your asserted assumptions. Man, you have got this habit bad!

    Here is exactly what I said on this very matter.

    35 – Franco – I believe it is hard for you not to see, as I do, a growing and dangerous trend in today’s political power struggles to sideline full discussion/debate.

    This type of thinking is the kind that has always been the corner stones to tyranny. I don’t say we are their right now, besides that is not the point, the point is these are the corner stones that can make tyranny possible.

    46 – Franco – I asserted this type of thinking is the kind that has always been the corner stones to tyranny. I said I don’t think we are their right now, but that the corner stones that make tyranny possible are pushing there way in.

    96 – Franco – It all goes back to the same premise that is the foundation of all my posts so far concerning the sidestepping of honest and open discussion/debate that tyrants will not allow.

    As evidenced above in my posts 35, 46,and 96, my premise, using my words, is making no such comparison as your words have asserted at top.

    Now you don’t have to agree with my premise, thus we could go on to an open honest discussion and debate over it merits, but would you be so kind as to explain how anyone can have an intellectually honest discussion and debate with you when you are using your own words to false frame my premise using your asserted assumptions against it, instead of responding to the premise based on what I acutely based it on.?

    Can you elaborate on how your very actions displayed here are not the very actions my premise asserts? Actions that effect the sidelining of open honest discussion debate, which when allowed to continue, has always been the actions the help lay the corner stones of tyranny.

    132 – roger nowosielski

    You forgot the most important point of all, Franco, “This is the problem with your argument … you don’t have clue.” (127) Now, deal with that! (Sorry Stan, just couldn’t resist that.)

    Roger, kindly refer to my above reply to STM. Should you care to comment further please feel free.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I give up, Franco.

    I love fun and satire as much as any man, but this is no longer funny. You’re taking yourself way too seriously, mate, for good clean belly laughter.

    So forgive me if I adopt the stance of an innocent bystander lest I say something to offend you.

    And the beat goes on.

  • STM

    I give up too :)

    I’ll give Franco his due, though … one thing he ain’t is wishy-washy or namby-pamby.

    There’s no retreat to the fence.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hey, I wouldn’t mind him in my foxhole.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    To clear up something –

    – When 16 percent of our entire GDP goes to health care costs
    – When HALF of all bankruptcies are due at least in part to health care costs
    – When 45,000 American citizens die every year because of lack of health care coverage
    – When one-sixth of ALL Americans have no health care coverage
    – When six million Americans have to go outside our borders every year to find health care that they can afford
    – When CUBA has a lower birth mortality rate than many U.S. states
    – When Americans have a lower national life expectancy than the residents of Bosnia and Jordan despite the fact that we’re spending nearly twice as much per capita on health care than any other country in the world
    – When our car companies have to spend more on health care coverage for their workers than on steel to make those cars
    – When paying for health care coverage forces our companies to charge too much for their products to profitably offer them for export

    When all of the above are true as they are RIGHT NOW, then Health Care Reform IS a matter of national security, and I would have no problem whatsoever to issuing an executive order removing all age requirements to Medicare.

    Problem solved.

  • pablo

    You sure like your executive orders Glenn. It is a great way around democracy aint it? Perhaps you would be better off living in a one man rule state, don’t ya think? I do.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Pablo –

    I’m a strong, strong believer in democracy – but there is a time and a place for executive orders. Look again at the list I posted – these are tens of thousands of lives, tens of millions of households, a greatly-distended portion of our GDP, and a huge weight on our economy’s ability to thrive. Do you really, truly think I’m making this up?

    If we do nothing, America’s time as the pre-eminent power in the world will come to a close much sooner than it should. If we take bold action, however, there may yet be time for Lincoln’s last, best hope of humanity.

  • STM

    It’s your business, of course, but how it looks to me as an Australian happy with genuine social democracy (and a dislike of namby-pamby liberalism and the looney left).

    You really have to do something to catch up on this with the rest of the world.

    It’s made other places better not worse.

    The idea of an America so divided over these issue smacks to me of a desire among some for a throwback to a past that has long gone.

    If you really think America is the last beacon of hope, the light on the hill (I don’t BTW), then it’s time to act like it.

    Perhaps it’s time Americans moved away -just a tad – from the idea that it’s every man/women for themselves and screw you if you can’t cut it (even if some of those who think that way are part of the reason some people in the US won’t ever cut it. We know everyone’s equal on paper, but there’s a big difference between a comfortable white kid with a college degree and a black kid caught up in cycles of crime and poverty because of the overt and (not-so-) subtle discrimination a lot of Americans have for too long ignored or pretended doesn’t really exist).

    Continuing with that line of thought will eventually result in another American revolution, one way or another, and not one that is driven by the looney right.

    You are the most divided, polarised and seemingly uncaringly non-inclusive of all the developed western nations in my experience – and it’s painfully obvious, at least outside the US, that it’s no longer in America’s interest to remain that way. What we see in the states sometimes, particularly having grown up being fed stories of America’s inherent goodness, leaves us gobsmacked.

    No such thing as a free lunch though … by agreeing to such things as a universal health care system everyone still pays, even those who are comfortable.

    It’s just that if the – small – extra burden falls on the better off, it goes that little extra way to lifting some of your fellow Americans up a notch.

    How can that be a bad thing? I agree with John F.Kennedy’s line: “Ask not what your country can do for you, butv what you can do for your country.”

    There are two ways of interpreting that.

    I know from my experience in this country that equal opportunity doesn’t come from lip service that does little or nothing to address the problems.

    That seems to be your problem there: You’re still stuck in the late 1700s, when the founding fathers thought the fake catch-cry of liberty, equality and freedom for all men only applied to rich white guys who qualified to vote because they had all the power and owned land (or slaves).

    Not much has really changed with some of that stuff, has it?

    Inflexibility will be your downfall. Perhaps it already has over the past two years or so.

    From where I stand, in the comfort of a country not in recession and with high employment, UHC, same standard of living as America, and legislation governing wages, job conditions, prudential regulation and the like, I see America not as the place to be but the place that is falling behind the eight ball.

  • Franco

    128 – Dr Dreadful

    The fact that you’re in such high dudgeon about it is symptomatic of your entire approach here, in which you’ve taken a couple of lighthearted remarks about Glenn Beck and blown them up into a protracted debate over ethics.

    So now your calling my efforts “high dudgeon“, as opposed to your post (101 – Dr Dreadful) where you claim that “Your energy is admirable“.

    You’re a hard man to have a straight conversation with Doc, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up.

    (#3 Question to you Doc: Can you justify or support Glenn Contrarian assertion for such an executive order?)

    I can’t actually tell from his phrasing whether he was being serious or not. Although it is a simple and somewhat elegant solution to the healthcare question.

    It is at this point where we part at the extreme in political philosophy. It isn’t that I am against raining in rising healthcare costs and making it more affordable for lower income families, I’m all for it and who wouldn’t be, but I am convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that their has not been the required maximum and responsible brain power put behind it to package something that best addresses the very best options, that can be clearly seen, understood, and given the blessings of key bipartisan actuary studies. Based on all those accounts, the current proposed bill fails to measure up.

    In respect of that, I see what you call “a simple and somewhat elegant solution to the health care question” in having the current proposed bill enacted by order of Presidential decree, as an extremely dangerous act in setting a president of tyranny against the American people and the very institution of government of the people by the people. Because the overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to, this particular healthcare bill, the way it was drafted by a partisan majority, who forced gridlock, and then took it behind closed doors, and then lied to the American people that the GOP has offered no alternate solutions, when in fact they have. Those acts by the controlling congressional majority are blatant intentional sidestepping and sidelining of the open and honest discussion/debate that you and I have been talking about, and it is in and of itself a form of tyranny. Then they try and rush it on the people before it was even fully understood by them, or anyone pushing it, or the budget actuaries that keep coming back saying it can not work at keeping costs down without rationing services.

    You can not convince me that the majority of the GOP is against raining in rising health care costs and making them more affordable and particularly for the ones who need it the most. Its not logical to think that.

    I find it unconscionable that you would support such a Presidential decree on the current proposed bill. In fact I couldn’t take stiffer reaction to it. So for now, we are going to have to flat out disagree on this one.

    Now, the assertion put forth by Glenn I take at face value and it supports your own position. And I could not have summed it up better on how I feel about it then with what Pablo stated back to Glenn.

    124 – pablo

    110 – Glenn Contrarian:

    (“Doc – Too true. If I were Obama, I’d declare health care a matter of national security and sign an executive order removing any age limit for Medicare. Problem solved.”)

    This sums up Glenn’s political philosophy succinctly in one sentence. Government by executive fiat. All the liberal gobbledygook, all the posturing, it all boils down to one thing with Glenn. If he likes a particular political idea, we can just bypass the legislative process, and have a dictatorship.

    I can’t be part of it.

    (#4 Question for you Doc: Whether or not you can justify or support Glenn’s assertion, can you tell us all how what he has just asserted he would like to happen, is not a form of tryanny?)

    Asserting leadership is not tyranny.

    Asserting tyranny is not leadership either, and claiming a dead locked congress is an excuse for it is bull shit. No matter how difficult it my be to lead such a dysfunctional Congress, it can be done by a true leader, and therefore it can never be a excuse for Presidential decree. And the very idea that it would be strictly the sole act of the President in respect for the separation of powers is a fallacy, because the very separation of powers would crumble as certain controlling members of Congress would be in on it as well, albeit behind closed doors. And we know exactly who they are don‘t we.

    I would hazard a guess that to you, the means justifies the ends. I‘m sorry Doc, I can’t be part of your scheme in helping subvert the separations of powers and the republic itself. Albeit I’m sure Ken Livingston, Castro, Chavez, and the like would disagree with me too.

    136 – Dr Dreadful

    And to be quite honest, Franco, despite having just looked back over the thread I’ve lost track of exactly which questions of yours I’m supposed to have sidestepped.

    OK Doc, answer me this one outstanding question and we can call it all squared up so we can move on to the better part of the discussion/debate relating to your many good points and questions in the latter have of your post #107. The same debate that roger is chopping at the bit to get started and get into.

    102 – Franco

    101 – Dr Dreadful

    Your energy is admirable, but you can’t win arguments by constantly accusing people of sidestepping, fallaciousness and other heinous offences. It’s as if you can’t bear it unless everyone agrees with you absolutely on every single point.

    Doc, your above accusation against me has two parts, one in each sentence. Let’s look at the validity of the first part.

    To accuses me of trying to win arguments simply by accusing people of sidestepping and fallaciousness is ironic, because there can never even be an argument on the table to win or loose, if your fellow debater is sidestepping and or fallacious. Thus my calling anyone out for that could never have anything to do with winning.

    But it dose have everything to do with calling for them to cease and desist and engage the discussion/debate with intellectual honesty on the merits of the premise being asserted.

    As to the second part of your above accusation, it is blatantly false for two reasons. (1) It is not really about winning at all, its about learning something. (2) Because what do any of us gain from those who will not engage in discussion/debate with intellectual honesty on the merits of the premise being asserted. The answer is simple – nothing! And that Doc, IS what I have a hard time excepting, for all our sakes. And I would think someone with your intellect should too.

    Now, have I cleared up for you why your assertion againt me is fales? May I please have a conformation to that effect?

    ——————————————————————————

    Now Doc, if you feel there is anything you have asked me that I have left outstanding by not answering, and you want an answer, then please advise astoundingly and I will respond.

    Following that, I would like to move on to the better half of your post #107 and address the excellent comments and questions you put forth.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Franco,

    It seems it’s you who is sidestepping any serious discussion by continually going back and forth regarding what was said, and by whom, and under what circumstances. It serves no purpose whatever unless somehow you feel you must vindicate yourself and repair the imaginary damage to your injured ego.

    Why don’t you take STM’s last remark, for example, very commonsensical in my opinion, and run with it? That would be more productive than trying to reconstruct past events or identify where exactly the discussion turned south.

    Nobody here accuses you of lack of integrity, so take that to the bank and try to move forward.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn (#141), Pablo and Dreadful:

    Here’s one sensible way of passing Obamacare without invoking the Executive Order option.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    So now your calling my efforts “high dudgeon“, as opposed to your post (101 – Dr Dreadful) where you claim that “Your energy is admirable“.

    The two sentiments are not mutually exclusive, Franco. I’m impressed by your persistence but also amused by the element of absurdity in this whole conversation.

    In respect of that, I see what you call “a simple and somewhat elegant solution to the health care question” in having the current proposed bill enacted by order of Presidential decree, as an extremely dangerous act

    I didn’t say I supported it. The proposal to abolish Welfare is also simple and elegant; that doesn’t mean I think it’s a good idea.

    You can not convince me that the majority of the GOP is against raining in rising health care costs and making them more affordable and particularly for the ones who need it the most.

    I never said any such thing. I do think, though, now you bring it up, that a lot of Republicans – by their very nature as ‘conservatives’ – have a problem with changing the status quo too much in order to achieve the above goals.

    I find it unconscionable that you would support such a Presidential decree on the current proposed bill.

    But there is no such decree. It’s entirely Glenn’s idea. So the point, as I said before, is moot.

    No matter how difficult it my be to lead such a dysfunctional Congress, it can be done by a true leader, and therefore it can never be a excuse for Presidential decree.

    How about if the President had been seen to make all reasonable efforts to work with the Congress, and no progress had been made? Would you support an executive order then? BTW, I don’t agree with Glenn’s stance that the healthcare situation is a national emergency – at least it isn’t yet – but what if it were?

    Now, have I cleared up for you why your assertion againt me is fales? May I please have a conformation to that effect?

    You have made yourself clear and I understand your reasoning. I do still get the impression you’re strongly motiviated by a desire to be right, but then we all are to some degree. Hopefully we can move on now.

    I look forward to your promised answers re my other comment.

  • Mark

    Franco #112, the premiss that I question (#105) is that there is some self-evident and necessary equivalence or identity shared by the individual and the group that justifies the transfer of the rights to the use of force — which we agree is at the heart of law and governance — claimed by the one to the other ‘constantly’.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Very succinctly put. You must have thought about it for days.

    It’s exactly this transfer of rights (especially as regards use of force) from the individual to the group – as its proper locus – that is the problematic here; and in absence of satisfactory accounting, it does give rise to a form of domination theory.

    But as I argued earlier (along similar lines, I believe), the formation of the group, along with its laws and system of governance, serves to represent the resulting state of affairs as lawful – especially as regards property rights – whereas it may well have been anything but, but the sheer fact of forming a combination.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    correction: by the sheer fact of forming a combination.

  • Mark

    We have restated our concerns; I hope that Franco will respond to their substance.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Alright, Franco. Don’t be a chicken out.

    I keep this old thread alive just for you.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m sure Franco will be back, Rog. He just likes to take time to think about things.

    Meanwhile, I’m awaiting TRF’s Part III of this promised series. It’s been a while in coming.

    Perhaps he’s been busy filibustering the Montana State Senate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I hope Franco will find time to replenish his conceptual machinery.

    It’s slim pickings thus far, a way too one-sided diet to my taste.

  • Franco

    107 – Dr Dreadful

    I do understand where you’re coming from and the philosophical basis for your beliefs. I just don’t think they’re all that realiistic.

    The only philosophical difference between our two political beliefs can be simplfied as follows…………

    I believe in free association, free fraternity, and free philanthropy, which I assert make them true associations, true fraternity and true philanthropy and thus more cost effective with greater impact in society.

    You believe in forced association, forced fraternity, and forced philanthropy, which I believer make them false associations and less cost effective and impacting in society, because it requires (1) legal plunder to finance, (2) the cost of enforcment, collections, adminstrations, and all of those fighting and scheming over its divisioin and disperment, and (3) because it violates the very primes of the law to care out.

    The word “plunder” I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance — as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of property is transferred from the person who owns it — without his consent, and whether by force or by fraud — to anyone who does not own it, then property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.

    I say that this act is exactly what the law is supposed to suppress, always and everywhere. When the law itself commits this act that it is supposed to suppress, I say that plunder is still committed, and I add that from the point of view of society and welfare, this aggression against rights is even worse. In this case of legal plunder, however, the person who receives the benefits is not responsible for the act of plundering. The responsibility for this legal plunder rests with the law, the legislator, and society itself. Therein lies the political danger.

    It is to be regretted that the word plunder is offensive. I have tried in vain to find an inoffensive word, for I would not at any time — especially now — wish to add an irritating word to our dissentions.

    Thus, whether I am believed or not, I declare that I do not mean to attack the intentions or the morality of anyone. Rather, I am attacking an idea which I believe to be false; a system which is unjust; an injustice so independent of personal intentions that each of us profits from it without wishing to do so, and suffers from it without knowing the cause of the suffering.

    The sincerity of those who advocate protectionism, different degrees of socialism, and communism is not here questioned. Any writer who would do that must be influenced by a political spirit or a political fear. It is to be pointed out, however, that protectionism, socialism, and communism are basically the same plant in three different stages of its growth. All that can be said is that legal plunder is more visible in communism because it is complete plunder; and in protectionism because the plunder is limited to specific groups and industries. Thus it follows that, of the three systems, socialism in whatever degree is the vaguest, the most indecisive, and, consequently, the most sincere stage of development.

    But sincere or insincere, the intentions of persons are not here under question. In fact, I have already said that legal plunder is based partially on philanthropy, even though it is a false philanthropy.

    The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. Political communities had provided police, judges, gendarmes, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. And the law itself today continues to conduct this war.

    With this explanation, let us continue to examine the value — the origin and the tendency — of this popular aspiration which claims to accomplish the general welfare by general plunder.

    It seems that you are OK with taxation (and government intervention as a whole) only when it goes toward furthering the defense of life, liberty and property.

    That is correct, I assert that this is the proper exercise of law. When law keeps a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

    This negative concept of law is so true that the statement, “the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign“, is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.

    The law then is justice — simple and clear, precise and bounded. Every eye can see it, and every mind can grasp it; for justice is measurable, immutable, and unchangeable. Justice is neither more than this nor less than this.

    No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.

    If you exceed this proper limit — if you attempt to make the law fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, literary, or artistic — you will then be lost in a forced vaugneness of utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it upon you. This is true because fraternity and philanthropy, unlike justice, do not have precise limits. Once started, where will you stop? And where will the law stop itself?

    When the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a method or a subject of philanthropy — then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people.

    The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created forced displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased expense and responsibilities. Expenses that inevitably exceed those that the private sector could otherwise carry out, and responsibility that can be carried out under free association, free fraternity, and free philanthropy more effetely and effectively then by governmental law and its necessary agent, force.

    You’re fine with the government taxing you in order to fund a legal system, police (who, as right-wingers are fond of reminding us, cannot protect you, only respond to and investigate after the fact) and a standing army (which, BTW, is not provided for in your Constitution). You’re fine with the element of coercion involved in the extraction of those taxes from you, because you benefit directly. Presumably you’re also fine with taxation for the purpose of providing a road system and basic infrastructure, again because you benefit directly.

    Your leaving out judges, gendarmes, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. And the law itself today continues to conduct this war.

    Yes I agree to this government intervention because it supports the law for justice for all. But your premise for why you assert I agree, is false, and this is no a small distinction.

    When law keeps a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

    My premise is not based on something “I” benefit directly from. Quite on the contrary, my premise is based on maintaining these rights for each and ever individual, of which I am a body member, and to cause justice to reign over us “All“.

    But on the other hand, imagine that this fatal principle of “I” has been introduced: Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another; the law takes the wealth of all and gives it to a few — whether farmers, manufacturers, ship-owners, artists, or comedians. Under these circumstances, then certainly every “I” class will aspire to grasp the law, and logically so.

    As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true premise — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting outside the door of the legislative body, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know that this is what will happen, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the today’s legislatures and here on BC; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

    Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, education, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole –with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute growing socialism.

    But how about so that your children can receive an education?

    Here we encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation using legal plunder.

    You say: “There are persons who lack education,” and you turn to the law and its necessary agent, force. But the law is not, in itself, a torch of learning. The law extends over a society where some persons have knowledge and others do not; where some citizens need to learn, and others can teach. In this matter of education, the law has only two alternatives:

    1) It can permit this transaction of teaching – and – learning to operate freely and without the use of force through and by freely formed associations and organizations supported by freely subsidized philanthropy and freely formed private foundations.

    Or…………..

    2) It can use force by taking from some enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge. But in this second case, the law commits legal plunder by violating liberty and property.

    Seeing that this is a long post and there is more to cover, I stop here for a reply before we move on.

    So this is my question to you. Why are you seeking the government to force people to participate in fraternity, instead of seeking your fellow citizens to freely participate in true fraternity? Why the need for force Doc?

  • Franco

    104 – roger nowosielski

    The larger question, of course, is the extent to which economic thought ought to guide political thinking. To say that it must would amount to a kind of reductionism of the latter to the former.

    Roger, I think you would agree that the concept of social democracy has changed throughout the decades since its inception. The fundamental difference between social democratic thought and other forms of socialism, such as orthodox Marxism, is a belief in the primacy of political action as opposed to the primacy of economic action.

    I think it is this very primacy of political action as opposed to the primacy of economic action as time as progressed that is reason behind the growing unrest in society today. Because as long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true premise by political action — that it may violate property instead of protecting it — then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting outside the door of the legislative body, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know that this is what will happen, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the today’s legislatures and here on BC; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

    There for I believe a science of economics must be developed before a science of politics can be logically formulated. Essentially, economics is the science of determining whether the interests of human beings are harmonious or antagonistic. This must be known before a science of politics can be formulated to determine the proper functions of government.
    Immediately following the development of a science of economics, and at the very beginning of the formulation of a science of politics, this all-important question must be answered: What is law? What ought it to be? What is its scope; its limits? Logically, at what point do the just powers of the legislator stop?

    I do not hesitate to answer: Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle to injustice. In short, law is justice.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    At last a full-bodied argument, Franco. I’ll need time to respond.

  • STM

    Franco: “I do not hesitate to answer: Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle to injustice. In short, law is justice.”

    Hoory! At last, Franco and I are on the same page. Let’s break out the shampoo.

    Franco’s 100 per cent right: It is rule of law that guarantees our freedoms.

    It should never be tinkered with, and it should never not be transparent. The judiciary should also remain independent and non-partisan (the law should be the only thing it cares about and answers to. It should have no master but that).

    Because once that process goes murky, everyone’s on a slippery slope.

  • Franco

    149 – Mark

    Mark, I am not sure exactly what your concern is. Maybe you could sight an example of what you think could happen.

    But remember, the war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. Political communities had provided police, judges, gendarmes, prisons, dungeons, and scaffolds for the purpose of fighting illegal plunder. And the law itself today continues to conduct this war.

    Were I say we are loosing the war is with legal plunder as outlined again in my last post #156 to Doc and to Roger #157, which I am stll waiting responce to from both.

    But help me understand where you see trouble.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Mark – the ball is in your corner now.
    I’ve told you about Franco’s steel-trap mind.
    He’s already claimed one casualty – STM has already defected.
    Are you going to be next?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Let me fire the first shot Franco, if only to put you in a thinking mode, especially that Mark always takes his time to respond.

    You argue for the primacy of economic relations/structure as opposed to the political structure, and in a certain fundamental sense you’re right. Indeed, even Marx, whom I’m certain you despise, insisted that the subject matter of economics and relations of production constituted “structure,” whereas politics and political institutions (among many other things) were regarded as “super-structure” (or as mere manifestations of the economic relations in any given society). So far so good.

    Now, I’ve already diagnosed what I perceive as the source of your confusion, and your last couple of posts only confirm me in my thinking – a confusion or conflation of the actual with the ideal, or to put another slant on it, the actual practice with a desirable practice.

    So in this example, you take the existing economic system – let’s say, the existing state of affairs in all matters economic – and elevate it to the status of the ideal. Not only are you ignoring thus the very basic fact that all human practices – economic or otherwise – are subject to evolving (or devolving, as the case may be). To add insult to injury, you than take the actual practice (in this case, economic practice) and declare it to be the rightful basis of what ought to count as proper political practice and institutions.

    And in so doing, you’re committing another error – assuming, that is, that the purpose of politics ought to be or is none other but a reflection of the economic practice – as though economics and politics necessarily served the same purpose.

    You’re making the same kind of error – and I alluded to this earliers – when you’re confusing/conflating actual legal practice/law with the idea of law and with the idea of justice

    But more on this later, I should think it’s enough on your plate for now.

  • Mark

    …could happen?

    You clearly are unfamiliar with the ever popular bumper sticker:

    RENT HAPPENS

    Franco, I am familiar with Bastiat’s writing and recognize your unattributed quotes. If we are going to have this conversations based on these quotes, then I refer you to his “Harmonies of Political Economy” chpt 8 where he more directly addresses the nature of ‘community’ (the basic question underlying justifications of organized common force imo) than in “The Law”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I see chapters VIII and IX, as per the following work, volume 2

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t know, Mark, whether my patience will hold trying to get through Bastiat. I’ll do my best, but I can’t guarantee it.

  • Mark

    I actually enjoyed his work. Its a pretty clear and often humorous presentation of ‘laissez faire’ thinking.

    …kinda like listening to right wing talk radio.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    And as everyone knows, in anglo-american-style jurisprudence, there’s no guarantee as to who will win even if you’ve got a good case.

    That’s because the Rule of Law is a hoax.

  • Mark

    Cindy, you’ve taken a pretty thorough look at the tragedy of the commons. Perhaps you could lay down its logic for Franco.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I’m doing the best I can. But it does read like a religious tract, there being no interplay between concepts other than simple negation/denial – good vs evil, Liberty vs Constraint, etc. – fundamentalism at its finest.

    At least Locke and Rousseau had depth and imagination. Bastiat comes across as someone who has graduated from a Sunday school and decided his course of education was complete. He then proceeded to construct an entire thought-system by means of a simple schemata – the fewer key concepts the better.

    It’s like listening to a cave man. Did he ever read Plato (The Laws) or Aristotle?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What is “the tragedy of the commons”?

  • Mark

    Rog, read his earlier stuff and read him as a pamphleteer and partisan activist rather than an economist or philosopher. By the time of ‘Harmonies” he was trying too hard…and he was dying.

  • Mark

    Its the story of privatization.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I do, believe me, I can’t do otherwise. But I want to be able to respond to Franco on Franco’s own terms. And Bastiat does come up here with a number of assumptions which guide his entire lifework.

    But yes, it is a good advice – an eighteen century Limbaugh – and definitely not a Voltaire.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I figured that – the crucial step that Franco, following Bastiat, apparently takes for granted – as the natural expression of the laws of harmony (rather than dissonance).

    Of course, Habermas is operating under similar assumptions, for all the sophistication of his thought.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    The real ‘tragedy of the commons’ is, for me, the story of privatization and enclosure. But, it is actually from Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons, which has been used to argue for privatization. (Something I originally misunderstood the point of and so I used it in my own meaning, probably from reading someone who was using it satirically.) He was another anti-population guy in the tradition of and influenced by Malthus. Basically he argues that open areas used in common will be depleted by individuals all acting in their own self-interest. Common areas being depleted was what he called the tragedy of the commons. His essay was criticized strongly as being non-factual. For example,grazing land apparently was well-managed as a commons, something that made Hardin’s premise wrong.

    So in my use–the tragedy of the commons is the enclosures that took place in earnest in the mid 19th century in England (having begun earlier)–the birthplace of modern Capitalism during the agricultural and industrial revolutions.

    People lived by using the common land to grow food and raise animals. They engaged in work and directly sold their goods. Artisans and craftspersons, weavers, bakers, cobblers, etc. The commons was at the disposal of the community. The commons began to be enclosed by the govt with pressure from the class that would benefit from this. This forced people into the city to work for the upper-class Capitalists. This enclosure (robbery from the community) seems necessary for Capitalism wherever I look. The land must first be stolen so that people have no other way to support themselves other than engage in wage slavery. You can see this wherever neoliberalism has been spread. Look at South America and Mexico, etc. One of the requirements is always the privatization of land.

    Same with the US. Colonization, land robbery, laws that protect the thieves. Franco, how do you justify laws that protect stolen property. What about the ‘right’ of the people who used it first?

    Here is a poem, The Goose and the Commons from the time of land enclosure in the 17th century that says all that needs to be said about the Rule of Law and who benefits from it.

    he law locks up the man or woman
    Who steals the goose from off the common
    But leaves the greater villain loose
    Who steals the common from off the goose.

    The law demands that we atone
    When we take things we do not own
    But leaves the lords and ladies fine
    Who take things that are yours and mine.

    The poor and wretched don’t escape
    If they conspire the law to break;
    This must be so but they endure
    Those who conspire to make the law.

    The law locks up the man or woman
    Who steals the goose from off the common
    And geese will still a common lack
    Till they go and steal it back.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “[T]he law locks up the man or woman”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s a very important point, Cindy, because one does not have to hypothesize a fictional “state of nature,” which preceded the formation of a political community, in order to argue that the distribution of property may have been unjust and unlawful and only “made lawful” by the inception of the State.

    Which means, we can speak of actual historical examples where the property was stolen/confiscated from public use and appropriated for private use – by “legal” fiat.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    All right, Franco, the ball’s in your corner now, but not before you reread Chapters VIII and IX that Mark referred you to. That’s your home-work assignment.

    Remember, there will be a test.

  • pablo

    143 – Glenn Contrarian

    “Pablo –

    I’m a strong, strong believer in democracy – but there is a time and a place for executive orders. Look again at the list I posted – these are tens of thousands of lives, tens of millions of households, a greatly-distended portion of our GDP, and a huge weight on our economy’s ability to thrive. Do you really, truly think I’m making this up?”

    Here is a headline for ya Glenn!

    “(KurtNimmo) – The Obama administration has announced it will now rule by fascist decree and ignore Congress and the American people. “With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy.”

    Perhaps we should just use the legislature for things that are not vital, then for instance we would no longer need an act of congress to start a war for instance. Anyways those dumbass people in Congress don’t know what they are doing anyways. Long live executive fiat! To hell with a constitutional republic and a democratic congress. Obamanation rules!

  • pablo

    Oh shit, I forgot the executive doesn’t need an act of congress to start a war anymore! God bless Amerika.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Franco,

    Apologies for my delay in replying. I’ve been checking every so often for your response, but I guess it must have dropped off the Fresh Comments page before I’d seen it. Since TRF’s article is also no longer featured on the Politics page, it’s quite easy to miss the ongoing debate here.

    So this is my question to you. Why are you seeking the government to force people to participate in fraternity, instead of seeking your fellow citizens to freely participate in true fraternity? Why the need for force Doc?

    I don’t consider there to be force, at least not direct force. You believe in a laissez-faire approach to philanthropy, and that’s all fine and dandy and works very well up to a point. But this is about managing a modern society of millions or hundreds of millions, all with different and mutually incompatible opinions on how to tackle the issues of the day. How do you sort that out?

    That’s one reason why we have political parties: to gather some of these diverse opinions under a single tent and provide some sort of general direction for them. It’s why we have elections, with free votes to decide which of these parties gets to have their way for the next few years. You’d never get anything done otherwise: you’d just have an incessant talking shop.

    Once more we return to my response to your objection as regards the element of coercion: what if the people want their government to implement a certain social program? For example, Obama’s most important campaign issue was healthcare. Is it unreasonable to assume, since he won (and quite handsomely at that), that a majority of the people wanted some sort of solution to the healthcare crisis?

    (For the sake of argument I’m setting aside the question of whether the bill currently before the Senate is the right one. We’ve discussed that issue already.)

    You seem to forget that those whose property is reduced by taxation also benefit from the proceeds of taxation. It’s the most basic principle of any society: you give up something in order to get a bigger benefit. In the most basic of human societies there was no need for laws to enforce this: you gave up your exclusive possession of the mammoth carcass that would have sustained you and your family for a couple of seasons so that those you’d elected to share it with could, in turn, protect you from the tribe over the hill who’d quite like the carcass for themselves.

    You might be of the opinion that the best use of the mammoth’s tusks would be for trade, whereas the majority of the tribe reckoned it was a better idea to make weapons out of them. There probably wouldn’t be a whole heck of a lot you could do to stop them, but at least you still had some degree of control over the carcass and hadn’t been clubbed to death by the neighbours for your pains.

    Yet, bringing us back to the present day, and even though we’re talking about groups of millions, not a couple of dozen, humans, who’ve organized themselves into a society infinitely more complex than anything this planet has ever seen, there’s actually less force involved than in the case of our prehistoric human. We’ve found a way around the problem of all those conflicting opinions by agreeing to have a system whereby the majority gets to impose their will on everyone else, while allowing for the reality that people change their minds by limiting the period of time the imposition lasts.

    Hence, even though you’re not happy about, say, Obama’s healthcare plans, and I’m not happy about, say, Gordon Brown’s foreign policy, we do eventually get to do something about it. For me, that offsets the element of force arising from the current government not spending my taxes the way I’d prefer them to.

    That’s not coercion, that’s pragmatism.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dreadful,

    It’s as valiant a pragmatic argument that one could hope for. I’m afraid, however, that it’s going to fall on Franco’s deaf ears. According to his political philosophy, misery and suffering aren’t necessarily to be eliminated because they serve divine purpose – to bring the miscreants to the required sense of self-responsibility, of being able to fend for their stinking selves. It’s God’s law, and God rules over nature as much as he rules over human societies.

    Indeed, there are fundamental philosophical differences between such as Franco and people like yourself and STM – the apparent agreement on rule of law notwithstanding. What you and STM mean by “rule of law” is altogether different from Franco’s meaning, as we all shall soon discover.

    But perhaps I’m unduly pessimistic about the course of this conversation. Let Franco speak for himself and correct me if I’m wrong. Truth be told, I can’t wait.

    We return this television channel to its normal programming.

  • STM

    Rog: “What you and STM mean by “rule of law” is altogether different from Franco’s meaning, as we all shall soon discover”

    Then Franco’s idea of what it is is completely wrong.

    There can only be one meaning to “rule of law”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ll let the devil speak for himself, Stan, once he makes his grand entrance.

  • STM

    I’ll add a rider to my comment: that is, as we understand it in our tradition … the US, Britain, Australia, Canada, NZ, etc

    Rule of law in Nazi Germany was likely to mean something else, although if we’re arguing from our point of view, I’d argue that rule of law as we understand and what went on in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union were two different things and the latter weren’t rule of law but dictatorship where our understanding of the rule of law or supremacy of law – loosely that nothing or no one should be above the law – was completely a foreign concept.

    It’s a good idea not to get them confused, especially when our understanding of rule of law is that it is the very thing that guarantees our freedoms.

    I would have thought in regard to that that Franco and I would be on the same page for once.

    I notice also Roger talking about “God’s laws”. We can laugh but it’s worth noting that in the anglo-American tradition, some of these became law and came to form part of the unwritten constitution of Britain often simply through convention, and in the case of the US, ultimately they were enumerated in a single constitutional document.

  • STM

    Rule of law is NOT rule of man.

  • Franco

    163 – Mark

    Franco, I am familiar with Bastiat’s writing and recognize your unattributed quotes.

    Mark, The reason I leave his name out of it is because a few years ago here on BC when I tried to engage discussion/debate on his works in an applicable thread, one of the comments editors did not like Bastiat and called me out to stop posting his work. And just last year when I did it again roger ridiculed Bastiat as an utter crackpot and I was too for asserting his work. So this time I left his name out of it and made the argument as Bastiat would the best I could, and it has been a much much smoother movement into an engagement and discussion.

    If we are going to have this conversations based on these quotes, then I refer you to his “Harmonies of Political Economy” chpt 8 where he more directly addresses the nature of ‘community’ (the basic question underlying justifications of organized common force imo) than in “The Law”.

    That’s fine Mark, but I still do not understand your concerns as they are not clear or presented. So I can only ask you again to please sight an example.

  • STM

    And by “God’s laws”, which I think is what Roger was getting at, I take to mean those rights that are considered natural and inalienable in the anglo-American tradition …

    In fact, I know Franco is on the same page with that and I also don’t believe any of them are laughing matters.

    However, not all enumerated rights are what we might consider natural rights.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You don’t expect now, Franco, that Mark will do your homework for you. You’ve got your assignment, so get on with it. Besides, I provided you with a pdf file.

    But let’s not mention the unmentionable lest the editors take another offense. In the interest of utmost secrecy, let us all refer to him as Mr. B.

  • Franco

    162 – roger nowosielski

    Roger, I see nothing in your post that counters what is asserted in my post #157

    I was you who stated that “The larger question, of course, is the extent to which economic thought ought to guide political thinking. To say that it must would amount to a kind of reductionism of the latter to the former.”

    Then your post 162 offers not exampls for way you assert “Not only are you ignoring thus the very basic fact that all human practices – economic or otherwise – are subject to evolving (or devolving, as the case may be).”

    When it comes to the law of protecting everone’s life, liberty, and property, sigth an example for your concern over “the very basic fact that all human practices – economic or otherwise – are subject to evolving (or devolving, as the case may be).”

    What is evolving or devolving over these basic rights?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, that’s not what Franco means entirely, STM. He believes in laissez faire in its entirety – God’s law as regarding the proper operation of human societies, no different in kind from that governing the operation and movement of mechanical bodies and describing the natural world.

    Ergo: any interference, however slight, with the laissez faire principle – Franco’s conception of God’s law – is a curse of the worst imaginable kind.

    It is somewhat of a caricature, I admit, but I’ll let Franco speak for himself and add the finishing touches.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m afraid, Franco, I can’t follow your trend of thought here. Could you please try to explain your concern more clearly,

  • STM

    Franco: “When it comes to the law of protecting everone’s life, liberty, and property”.

    I’m with Franco on this (for once). In our mutual tradition, these are natural rights that are above the rights that men and/or the state have come up with and have decided are also rights, and these natural rights can’t be tinkered with as they really do form the basis of what we all stand for.

    The anglo-American tradition of governance is based on the notion of personal freedoms and liberties that are inalienable provided they dovetail with lawfulness (ie, a murderer might forfeit the right to all or some of these natural laws).

    Coming from an English perspective as part of the heritage I am proud of, I refer again not to the fifth amendment of the US constitution in regard to this, as it came hundreds of years after, but to the Magna Carta and the statute of King Edward III (Liberty of the Subject Act, 1354), which states:

    “No man of what estate or condition that he be, shall be put out of land or tenement, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to death, without being brought in answer by due process of the law.”

    This is absolutely vital to the function of rule of law as we understand it and is the reason why it survives to this very day and why it stood up to find its way into the US Bill of Rights and various other documents.

    This is why, in my view, the anglo-American system of governance and its understanding of democracy is superior to all others.

  • Franco

    192 – roger nowosielski
    I’m afraid, Franco, I can’t follow your trend of thought here. Could you please try to explain your concern more clearly,

    STM explanes it for your roger.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s you, Franco, who has got to explain. You take part of my comment and run with God knows where. Why don’t you reread it and come again. I don’t have any dispute with STM, only with you and your political philosophy.
    And don’t flatter yourself by claiming now that STM fully understands where YOU are coming from – in spite of the fact that the form of words you both use occasionally coincide. Do you remember some of the disagreements you had with him concerning some of your extreme applications of your theory? So don’t let the present cessation of hostilities fool you.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger,

    Try not to be too emotional. I’m sure that Franco means well. We all have our different opinions here, as should be.

    Now, let’s all try to get along, OK?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Keeping the thread alive, just for you, Franco.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Franco,

    It’s unlike you not to respond to a debate.
    Is everything alright?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Probably just busy. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just want to keep the thread alive, Dreadful.
    Without any comments, one has to go to the archives to retrieve it.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Without any comments, one has to go to the archives to retrieve it.”

    Boo hoo. Why should another conversation suffer and be bumped due to your ego? It’s an obnoxious practice that is disrespectful to other visitors

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Call be rude, then.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Call me rude, then.

    There. I almost said it twice.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I don’t know if you’re still out there, Franco, but I see that Nigel Farage didn’t do himself any favours yesterday with a nasty and protracted ad hominem attack on the new European Council president.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think Franco is busy rereading Bastiat’s treatise.

    I’ve already been accused of trying to keep this thread open and running for no other reason than trying to satisfy my own ego. So I am glad that this time is you who is guilty of this unforgivable offense.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, Bicho does his best to live up to his name, Rog.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Dreadful.

    I’m not going to engage in any derogatory translation.

    Let’s just say that he does live up to his standard.