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Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatsFanInVa, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    And yet when I call you a spelling nazi, why didn't you "let the facts speak for themselves" in that instance?

    Oh yeah. It's only a personal attack when it's directed to a liberal. It's only sexism when it's directed to a liberal. It's only racism when it's directed to a liberal.
    Please honor your own proclamations this time, unlike when you said you put me in your "ignore" file - only to continue responding to just about every post I make.

    I've put 2 posters in this forum in my "ignore" file in an attempt to not engage them in the typical name calling. I know they each continue personal attacks against me since I sometimes see their responses (when their posts are quoted by others). Too bad you can't direct your sanctimony at those of your own political leaning.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well we disagree. Sorry, I am entitled to my opinion.
     
  3. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    I love when people whine about being entitled to their opinion even though nobody has said they aren't so entitled.

    You can disagree all you want, but your disagreement has no logic behind it. Bottom line is that he didn't actually state anything that was an attack, as you acknowledged -- we're now at "inferring" and "implying."

    I'm glad, though, that implications / inferences are now being viewed as personal attacks, when actual attacks constantly go ignored. This should get very entertaining. :rolleyes:
     
  4. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    B5, still need to reply to your second reply. My impression here is that to do this, one needs to pour an odd amount of energy into keeping such a conversation on track. I'm willing to continue the experiment, since I've seen it succeed in the past in moderated forums. I hope to get back to it in the morning.

    Again, I'd request that anyone else who wants to take the thread's topic seriously do so, and reply to the original post or to the few posts on that topic. I am going to have to read that and B5's reply again just to remember the original topic.

    :hijacked: ?

    Let's roll.

    PFnV
     
  5. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Right... with all that's gone on here, it may be pain to redirect the energy, and of course, it may not work at all. We'll see.

    I have no problem discussing the Koch brothers without painting them as demonic figures. Compared with the underlying forces, they are the "flavor of the week."

    EXCELLENT question, because this is at the heart of many other problems and disagreements at large in our debates, and also has a lot to do with post 1 in this thread.

    If we somehow quantify "flat out lazy" we know how much we are spending on hopeless support of behaviors most of us refuse to engage in.

    THEN we have common ground, to have THAT discussion. IOW, we know that good people make appropriate use of taxpayer-funded programs. We know we can find individuals who game this system. We insist we and people we like are the former, and "they" are the latter.

    So: What is the prevalence of each, and how do we quantify that relative prevalence?

    Follow-up question 1: Who can we reliably characterize in this way? (remember Post 1)
    Follow-up question 2: Pragmatically, what's the solution to this galling behavior?

    What do we know, beyond the anecdotal? How do we learn it?

    Under this administration, border patrol has increased, and the border states have a steady stream of federal funding to "secure the border". And it is never enough.

    Two things about recent R debates:

    1. One group was running 30-second spots staking out the ground beyond anti-illegal-immigration, calling for fewer documented immigrants and (if memory serves) a more difficult path to legal citizenship.

    2. Rs were calling out each other's policies that made life good for undocumented immigrants' children.

    Here are some realistic policy options:

    1. (The option championed almost universally): Different approaches to "securing the border." Different approaches to punishing the immigrants, primarily undocumented but also sometimes documented immigrants who want citizenship.

    2. "Turning off the magnet" for border warfare. What's the "magnet"? unregulated economies. When people see themselves as outside the law, they can only achieve what they want by association with criminals. This means organized crime can claim a whole piece of the economy.

    In an extra-legal economy, criminals fill the niche. Hence the fusion between trafficking of people and drugs. Construct a category of illegal drugs, and you will empower the realization of huge profits -- a risk premium, plus any other profit the traffic can bear -- among criminals.

    Construct a category of illegal people, and the profit becomes whatever the trafficked will bear. And despite any assurances to the contrary, the trafficked will often bear quite a bit worse than their original arrangement.

    Finally, the actual "cost" to our economy isn't accurately portrayed, IMHO. I think the bottom right table on this page makes a particularly persuasive point. From procon.org (just found these guys and I really like what they do, btw) -

    Is illegal immigration an economic burden to America? - Illegal Immigration - ProCon.org

    1. Very little is being asked of anybody purely for the already poor. It is being asked to prevent the middle class from flooding into the ranks of the poor (for example, extensions of unemployment benefits)

    2. You are right. The appeal to our emotions with such stereotypes is compelling. However dumb the TV-renter may be, though, it does not get at the problem(s) of poverty to say, "look! He went to rentacenter and got a widescreen TV on time! Everything's really okay!"

    May agree, but ultimately un-helpful in present context I think.

    (my bolding added for emphasis again)

    Again, EXCELLENT point. We are back to quantifying the state of mind of people who are down and out, one way or another. This time I'm the one claiming the knowledge.

    Can we quantify that state of mind among the unemployed? How?

    In the absence of proof of others' states of mind, what does history tell us? What do stats tell us? In Virginia, unemployment benefits depend on demonstrating that you applied for at least 3 jobs each week. People have been doing this for dozens of weeks running in many cases.

    Otherwise, one cannot complain they are "taking our jobs." One cannot complain they're repatriating wages. Economists regularly come up w/estimates of what people pay into payroll taxes for benefits they will never collect using fake SSNs. I would say we can establish that their behavior is consistent with the behavior of someone who wants to work hard and make it.

    (brief agreement about "rentacenter" TVs, redacted)

    Let's take the prevalence of retirement savings. Even now, when we're all deleveraging, we're still paying down debt but not saving for retirement.

    People don't generally put that 5% of pay into their 401(1)K and get a full company match. Even getting younger people to put away 50 bucks a pay is notoriously difficult.

    What if they don't? Society picks up the tab when the distribution gets skewed enough, because first world nations don't let the old die or wander homeless in droves when it can be helped.

    So: become a third world nation? Allow da gubmit to further encourage savings? How do you square freedom (to make bad choices, averaged across the mass of society) with such outcomes?

    In other words: Is the liberty of having access to every dollar more important than the interest of society/the best outcomes for the most people?

    [another exchange redacted, asking for clarification of the above-addressed question]

    By extension: Or, a United States, rather than 50 states? Or, a state, compared with a locality? The E.U. was partly modeled precisely on the U.S.

    I'm going to copy this one and make a separate reply for it. It's the heart of what we often debate yet it remains unexamined.

    PFnV
     
  6. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I was attacked by NEM on Labor Day
     
  7. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As promised:

    Okay. Let's start with acknowledging, as both of us do, that the poles of this discussion are unworkable/undesirable abstractions.

    Just to do my homework & demonstrate the point -

    In your other responses, and in the above response as well, you acknowledge that when government picks up the tab, government can take a role.

    More:

    - Common defense is a government sphere.

    - We have agreed that alleviation of true poverty is not debatable. We are arguing whether people really need help.

    - There is a conversation happening right now elsewhere on the board, in which the right is advocating unnecessary, beside-the-point punitive actions that come along with collecting benefits. The left argues for less burdensome regulation. The logic is that if we pay, we can jump people through whatever hoops we want.

    Okay, that's just to get on the same page in terms of the "on the ground" facts of what various people argue, ourselves included.

    Nobody here wants totalitarianism. Nobody here wants anarchy. It's fashionable right now to claim to be for libertarianism approaching anarchy, but scratch the surface, and we are really only arguing about which statism we like and which statism we don't like -- or using your metaphor, whether we want Super Nanny from cable TV or Fran Drescher from network TV... not whether there should be a nanny or not.

    So which freedoms do we surrender and why?

    As an American, am I free to fight for Al Qaeda? No. It is inimical to the state, as the sovereign deriving its rights from the people, in that it defends the people. Nanny says no.

    As an American, am I free to drive 120 mph on a curving road next to a school? Again, Nanny says no for many reasons. You could hurt others in the society. You could hurt yourself. You must wear a seatbelt as well, because others pick up the medical tab whether through government or private insurance, if you create very avoidable medical bills.

    Okay fine. But then the safety argument opens questions:

    What about becoming morbidly obese? What about smoking? What about salty foods? What about binge drinking?

    I think we tell the Nanny to lay off when she gets personal (indeed such arguments were made about seatbelts, and are very popular when you talk about helmet laws.)

    I don't think we mind the Nanny when she comes and takes us to the ball game or buys us a new car for the model train layout. We are only upset with Nanny when she catches us sneaking a peanut butter sammich before dinner. Then it becomes, "MY GOD, I'M A FREE-BORN ADULT!!! I'll eat before dinner if I want!!!"

    This is the right reaction, and I agree with that sentiment both in your post and in reaction to intrusive government.

    Trouble is, I also agree with the public goods government often serves.

    All this to say, it is a question of degree, not a question of pure ideology on one side or the other.

    We agree government has a role when government, in the name of the people, has a compelling interest.

    You add that without responsibility, you aren't really free.

    So the government should protect the "Us" from a "Me." But the government should not protect "Me" from myself. I must be responsible for at least my own consequences, and that makes a nice bright line.

    Here is the problem: As Donne put it, no man is an island. As Elizabeth Warren has been saying lately, nobody got rich by themselves ("You moved your goods on roads paid for by the rest of us..." etc.)

    In other words, in my view, society is dependent on individuals, and vice versa. There is such a thing as "US" that's more than 300 million "MEs".

    One example is government's role and interest in really bad poverty outcomes not coming to pass. Government -- that is, us, through the agency of a sovereign -- also is endangered by the bad behavior of an individual.

    On a corporate level, we are just 3 years removed from the ultimate "responsibility vs. rights" debacle in recent memory.

    Banks took actions that endangered all of us.

    In response, the government has sought to re-introduce regulation of the banks, so all of us aren't subject to global depressions if all of us don't pay, essentially at gunpoint, to avoid bank runs due to the freeze-up of liquidity (among other horrific outcomes.)

    The Nanny said no, you can't stick a fork in an electrical socket. Baby will be electrocuted, obviously. But the Nanny is further empowered because you'll short out the power to the rest of the house.

    Now, this position (as you identify) is a slippery slope. But with the rest of us responsible for the stupid actions of any of us in so many ways, once outcomes are considered, how can we argue from such a simple (if apparently sturdy) paradigm?

    Since the guaranteed outcomes of taking the paradigm literally are chaos on the one hand and totalitarianism on the other, what is the bright line we can draw to determine the role of the state?

    PFnV
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  8. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    Nice work trying to get this thread back on track, Va, and I again apologize for my couple posts continuing the hijack.

    I'll only chime in on a couple points I saw raised. If they're off topic, please ignore, but at this point I'm not exactly what on track is, but I am limiting my comments to things you wrote or quoted from brandon.

    First, re illegal immigrants and the coasts, and the quote from Steyn: that's a vast simplification. I'll assume he wasn't doing it to be disingenuous. But I know plenty of people in Massachusetts who not only don't view illegal immigrants as benign, but basically demonize them. At the same time, I have plenty of friends in Arizona and San Diego who don't at all consider themselves to be in a "civil war." now, if you show me stats that those views are in an insignificant minority, it would mean my friends in each fgroup are the exception, but that seems unlikely to me.

    Also, re the wealthy and the biblical passage: there's a big difference between being wealthy and having a love of money. I would agree that a love of money is unhealthy and probably dangerous for those coming into contact with the person harboring that love. But that also goes well beyond the wealthy.

    Finally, Va, I agree that most of this is a matter of a degree. That's why, personally, I don't describe myself as a libertarian -- I know that my views of government's role don't square with those of a libertarian ideologue. There are practical choices most of us have to make re. government's role. Perhaps in a more important way, however, it's a matter of mindset. What I have taken from the libertarian school of thought is a first question re any problem and proposed government solution, "Should the government be doing this?" I feel many people, left and right, simply turn to the government as a reaction to anything they view as a problem. Even if people disagree on the answer to that question -- as they obviously will -- I think it at least frames matters in the right way as the first step on policy matters.
     
  9. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve In the Starting Line-Up

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    Well, I've read the OP, and much of the arguements that were not sidetracked or hijacked. PViVA as always presents a well spoken and artitculate arguement, based on the individual issue and the modern paradigm.

    And therein I part ways. (I also question tying Libertarianism to Anarchism, neither of which should ever be confused with Constitutionalism).

    On September 17,1787 the Constitution was signed, with the BOR and sent to the States for ratification, along with the Federalist Papers, argueing support for said documents by the signatories. The entire point and purpose was to delineate and limit the powers granted to the central government. On that day, Ben Franklin was asked by a woman "What have you given us?" His response was "A Republic, if you can keep it!" We as a nation have lost sight of this limited central government Republic.

    I too have observed arguements on the left and right on this board, either pro or nay, which totally ignore or circumvent this very basic and central truth: that the Constitution spells out clearly the limits of what the central government should or could do. This is, in my opinion, the result of more than a century of an over-reaching Federal government swaying the populace away from our Constitutional roots. The people have all but forgotten the true purpose and intent of our founding documents.

    These arguements I read about things like entitlements are bogus at their core. Ditto gay marraige and school prayer.

    The Federal government has no business offering entitlements. It has no business regulating marraige. It had no business to stick "under god" into the pledge. I could go on.

    This does not mean that I advocate abject poverty. But I reject any notion that these issues are the business of the FEDERAL government. This is a STATES or LOCAL issue. If Massachusetts wants to run itself like its 1978 Soviet Russia, so be it. The citizens of Massachusetts have a more direct influence of these policies than a distant central government. Far too often, we cede power to this distant government, barely accountable to the people any longer, and controlled more than ever by unelected "regulators" who never answer to the people. Therein lies the problem.

    Poverty should be a local issue, controlled by the city or township. Senior citizen care, too. States may find the need to act intrusively in these matters. Its their right. But at no time should the Federal government stick its over-reaching arm into that pot.
     
  10. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Shirtsleeve & Chico, both really well-stated points of view. I am itching to throw in my long-winded replies, ask follow-up questions, etc. I'm going to hold my itchy fingers for right now and give it at least a day, because I'm hoping people can bounce off each other (you know, like in a normal thread LOL). Even if everybody thinks I just want to be the big professor guy I don't.

    But I wanted to let you both know I appreciate both points of view and share them to an extent. I'll be back with "yeah buts" and "so what about 2011" etc., once there's space for some more interplay.

    But for right now let me throw out a goad - since you two are coming at the question from perhaps "cousin" vantage-points (i.e., related and with some overlap but by no means replicas of each other, or even close,) what do you see in each other's points of view you agree/disagree with? Or are they about the same?

    And again I will come back later and I hope I can lay off the novel posts. B5 went point by point and I was trying to be fair to that post.

    PFnV
     
  11. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    I guess this is a reply to both Va and shirtsleeve? :)

    Your characterization of the viewpoints as being related but different is probably fair. shirtsleeve seems to view only the original constitution as valid, or perhaps desirable (I don't want to put words in his mouth).

    But the constitution included mechanisms for altering it, so while those changes may have been misguided in his or other people's opinion, they're no less valid than the rest of the document.

    To me the bottom line is that the nation isn't what is was 200 years ago. States aren't, the country isn't, the world isn't. So simply reverting to the document that was originally ratified (which of coure included amendments) simply isn't desirable.

    But where I agree with him is using that document as a foundation for where we should be and want to be, versus where we are. So rather than have a question about how much we spend on a given bill, my own first question would be, should the government be doing this. And, like shirtsleeve, another question if we're talking about the federal government would be, should the federal government be doing this. If the answers are yes, then we can go into questions of how much to spend, how to implement a policy, etc.
     
  12. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The mechanism for changing the constitution was through an amendment process that was designed to be cumbersome, to prevent fashion of the moment changes. The issue is how the judiciary have taken to making law from the bench and assuming a role never intended by the people who write the document. M Levin's book "Men in Black" speaks very powerfully to this point.
     
  13. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve In the Starting Line-Up

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    Thanks for not putting words in my mouth.

    I do recognise the ammendments, all of them as valid law of the land. I do not agree with all of them and would like to see some repealed,(*cough* the 16th and 17th *cough*) but that makes them no less valid. Until we can get them repealed, of course!;)

    This world and country has changed, true. But the more it changes, the more it stays the same. Power given to distant unaccountable governing bodies strips the individual of self governance, self reliability and self accountability. We need not look further than the mess that is the EU right now as proof that these systems fail.

    But somehow people here have become accustomed to adopting the Euro-Centric socialistic system as "normal" and not the aberration it is.

    I've mentioned to some privately a book that details the true mess such systems create. Its called the New Road to Serfdom. We have let our paradigm shift. We need to correct this shift. Soon.
     
  14. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Without getting too verbose here, I noticed in a few posts, not least of them Shirtsleeve's and Chico's, this idea: that the "distance" of the federal government makes it ill-suited to the raising of taxes and/or the provision of services. (thank you both for your descriptions of your positions, and please tell me if the above sentence "puts words in your mouths." I don't want to start out with that fallacy either.)

    Did I get it right? This is just one small point and I acknowledge it's far from the whole of either position, but it seems to be one of the many points of agreement. It seems that you too, 13, share this general thought: that "distance" of government is a problem, with autonomy being best, then local government the next best, then state, and finally, in extremis, the possibility of the federal government acting and/or taxing as a last resort of sorts.

    Again, if anybody objects to this characterization, tell me!
     
  15. patsfan13

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    The way the country was set up was to prevent a concentration of power. The founders of the country felt that the central government was the biggest threat to the freedom of the people. These people who came to America came from the Europe of the late middle ages a period of Kings and serfs with Church's persecuting non members and validating the tyranny of the rule of Kings.

    They recognized the danger of too strong a central authority which we have seen played out in the 20th century in the forms of communism and National Socialism as practiced in Germany.
     
  16. PatsFanInVa

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    13: Why then did the founders of the country very quickly disapprove of the weak central government to be found in the Articles of Confederation, and, against the wishes of those who feared a new tyranny by way of central government, author a Constitution, whose purpose (in the sense of this general question,) was specifically to establish a strong national government?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  17. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    So they and theri friends could make a sh!tload of money?
     
  18. patsfan13

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    The Constitution was written and structured to protect the rights by restricting the power of government. The Articles of Confederation had essentially no central Bill of Rights that would apply across the states and no provision for an executive Branch.

    Note the Ninth and Tenth Amendments which courts since the 1930's have chosen to ignore:



    The Tenth amendment states that the PEOPLE give Power/rights to the government not the other way around.


    Now the enumerated powers are described in Section 1.8 of the Constitution:


    The above is ALL the Federal Government is supposed to do. Of course this has been distorted beyond all recognition and that distortion has led to many of the problems we are struggling against now.
     
  19. PatsFanInVa

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    This is the opposite of the truth. The Constitution was written and structure specifically to expand the powers and sovereignty of a Union as opposed to the powers of the several state. The Federalist Papers are mentioned above. Perhaps you should read them. They are a series of articles generally attributed to three of the founding fathers, published in New York newspapers, for the purpose of defending the choices the congress had made in drafting the Constitution. Most of what is written in them is all about countering the sort of anarchistic or "sub-Union" sentiment abroad in the land at the time.

    The United States Constitution was opposed as a vast usurpation of power by the Federal government; nevertheless it was ratified and since that time has been the supreme law of the land.

    They also had no provision for a national currency, for the necessity of federal taxation, or for any action by the states required as subordinate to the federal power. Under the Articles, the States were sovereign. The reason there was argument about the Constitution was specifically because in so many things it suborned state sovereignty to federal sovereignty, and introduced an unlimited right of federal taxation.

    Not quite, although that is the spirit of the entire enterprise. The tenth amendment states that if the Constitution doesn't give power specifically to the federal government, it resides in the sovereignty of the States or the people themselves. And bear in mind that any right addressed in an Amendment is also therefore incorporated into the Constitution.

    Wrong and incorrect. The above -- as read by the Supreme Court, not you personally or people who most agree with you -- in addition to powers added in subsequent amendments, are the rights of affirmative governance reserved for the federal government.

    What specifically do you believe lacks constitutional authority? Certainly no species of federal taxation, which is specifically argued for as an unlimited right, and is referred to as for providing not only for war, but also for civil public goods (with a nice little paragraph on the desirability of progressive taxation) in the Federalist Papers?

    PFnV
     
  20. patsfan13

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    Well the Federalist papers disagree with your view.

    So we will agree to disagree.
     

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