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Everything posted by ParanoiA

  1. I'll even entertain the idea that he changed the names to fake ones, and can't confirm it since that would defeat the purpose. In that case, we still have to bash him about it to maintain appearances.
  2. But that's a false dilemma. Why do you keep arguing this as an either/or? There is no binary limitation here. We can release all of this goodie info, AND black out the names on the list. Tada! Done. Now we have exposed our nasty government and didn't betray informants and get them killed. I'm not happy to see anyone die because someone else unilaterally decided they were expendable for their cause, for no better reason than the limitations of their own intelligence. It would be particularly sad to watch someone run over a child simply because they didn't know a brake pedal existed. It's going to be sad if anyone dies over this, simply because Assange didn't possess knowledge of the proverbial brake pedal. And hey, I might introduce this thread in my trial when I go drinking and driving this weekend and fail to kill anyone. It's almost like the ends justify the means anymore. We had an american president like that recently too...what was his name...hmm...
  3. If you don't care to argue the point, fine, we all pick and choose our battles here. If you've already covered this ground enough that you're satisfied then why piss on us for it? At one point your thoughts weren't "crystallized" on it, and now they are. How about the rest of us get that opportunity? Not every post here is supposed to be relevant to your world. At this risk of going even further off topic, please forgive...but it makes me implicate the larger concept of state privilege in general. I'm not sure the 14th amendment, nor the Equal Protection Clause polices the creation of privileges by the states, including the federal level, adequately enough.
  4. <Devil's Advocate> You're making his point for him. That's "reactionary". Suppose for a second we actually agree that the Iraq war is noble and necessary, say, we're literally freeing millions from concentration labor camps. This disproportionate, thoughtless reactionary exercise will have undermined that greater good. Atrocities and stolen money don't indict the cause of the war effort, yet that's the effect. </Devil's Advocate>
  5. It's not a right if you have to ask permission and be licensed first. Are they also going to say driving is a right? It would be equally astonishing if gay folks were denied driver's licenses. There are qualifications for a license to drive, just like there's qualifications for a license to marry. So how would you argue that one? Can I now argue that denying my child the right to drive is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause due to age discrimination? Or denying the right for a limbless person to drive is discrimination of the disabled, including a violation of the American with Disabilities Act? Believe me, I fully realize the SC has determined marriage to be a right, as the 138 page decision by Walker cites this starting on page 112. So, with that conclusion, it's a simple demonstration that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. But I don't agree with the SC on it presently being a right. I don't have to get a license to walk around my block or ask permission to look for a job. A right should not require pre-approval, because it's a damn right. To put this in perspective, everyone does have a right to marry, even polygamy. No one can stop you from going to a church, or even dreaming up your own type of ceremony and freely associating yourselves as married, or you can even call yourselves a refrigerator. You have that right, and cannot be denied. You just don't have a right to insist the state recognize you as a refrigerator, and therefore enjoy the benefits of tax free living, no social security obligations, no laws to applying to you since you are now a thing. (Actually, then you could be owned, so I wouldn't try this at home... ) Well, unless the staff disagrees, I don’t think I must take as given the current setup where marriage is a right in order to discuss and disparage Prop 8, including its supporters and opponents, and why they’re wrong. I know we’ve covered my goofy ideas on this, but I think I was still accusing the marriage laws themselves and hadn’t moved on to the laws that reference them instead. Obviously discrimination is happening, but I think that’s the nature of any privilege. So appeals to “unconstitutionality” are inconsistent, and betray an ignorance of the nature of privilege in the first place, even if they’re convenient. Although, I acknowledge that argument is only valid if you don’t side with the SC on marriage being a right. To be clear, and I think you know this, I agree with Walker’s value judgments and I strongly sympathize with the gay community that is suffering this inequality. I’m quite vocal about it too, when given the opportunity. I only disagree with how this is being negotiated through the gears of government. We’re appalled and shocked at the government making these decisions, yet we still keep giving them the decision to make. I just don’t understand that mentality at all.
  6. Well, unless you're just being hyperbolic, it's not perfectly legal to beat our children in America. We can spank them, maybe slap them, judiciously and that's about it. Beyond that and you're likely abusing them and can be arrested and have your children taken away. I did spank my children from time to time, but they've long outgrown that form of behavior modification. And as liberal as I am about drug use and offended as I am at drug laws and the destruction they have caused, I would not characterize it as harmless for kiddos. But I agree, if those two assumptions were true, it would be even more ridiculous. You have us pegged though, we are a profoundly odd society. If we make sense, then you know you're crazy.
  7. But see your second statement is a false dichotomy. It is also less harmful to live in a society where he is not taxed to pay for public services and security because those services are covered by harmless revenue solutions based on persuasive means. Forcible taxation is not the only way for a government to acquire funds. If even by donations only. Speed limits are bad analogy because driving on public roads is not a right but a privilege. So speed limits are a reduction in benefit, not abridged freedom. Particularly if you define a privilege as an exception to do something that is otherwise illegal. I actually like Mill's harm principle. But, I also agree that ultimately desperate imagination can undermine rigidity, particularly when social policy creates the imperative. I think for the most part, it could be implemented without exception. But not without a strong desire by society to solve problems by free association and respect, and to refuse the lust of the efficiency of coercion. No society like that exists.
  8. Do you consider state confiscation of one's property as a limit of their freedom? I do. And while you could make an argument that *not* allowing the state to have a portion of everyone's property can cause harmful effects, such as lack of a military to protect against invasion, or whatnot, you'd still be left with no immediate harmful effects. It would appear taxation would violate Mill's harm principle. Therefore, that answers this question: I guess not, unless the government is generating revenue by some free market means in order to pay for that healthcare system. But see, there you initialize exception, from there human imagination will expand on that exception either positively or negatively - usually both. The same exception that allows us to work around a principle in order to help one, provides the same precedence to hurt another.
  9. The problem is, state recognized marriage is not a right. While I agree with the judge's decision in that it's favorable for practical ends, I'm not sure how to process the inherent conflict of "equality" in the context of "privilege". Although, I acknowledge that state privilege perhaps just has to discriminate by some other means than race, sex, and etc. To me, supporters of same-sex unions should drop using the word "right" and embrace the “privilege” that it is. Otherwise, we're still allowing the government to grant permission to join a privileged class that confers rights – and that’s the unconstitutional contention, IMHO. Keep in mind I'm parsing rights from benefits. By conceding the privilege rationale, perhaps rights extended by traditional marriage laws can be challenged instead. Firstly, inheritance and medical surrogate consent laws. That's where we confer or deny rights to spouses based on qualification for a privileged institution. This is the weasel tandem that circumvents our repudiation of “nobility” and “subjects”. Why don't we just pass a law that says only people with driver's licenses can vote, while we're at it? I contend inheritance and medical surrogate consent laws are unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection clause, as well. Probably others too, but I’m not quite comfortable enough with the concepts of “privilege” and “rights” to enumerate further. The weak point of this argument obviously being if spousal inheritance and substitutes for medical consent are considered a “right” in the first place. Take the steam out of this arrangement, because it’s weird for government to be judging free associations and labels between free citizens. Real marriage is a function of free association and no one can stop you from hooking up with a man, woman, or a rock and calling yourselves married. Stop letting heterosexual marriages function as the modern “nobility” via subtending laws that reference them, exclusively. The only real issue at hand is the state power granted to marriage. After that’s deflated, as it should be, there is no inequality. No hetero marriage should be able to force me to recognize it any more than some idiot that insists he’s a snowman. Group and label yourselves however you please, but don’t think I have to accept it for any reason. Believe me, I’ll never ask you permission for anything. Be free, and act like it. Stop asking your government for permission. Or...just keep doing what you’re doing and continue to be frustrated at your fair masters.
  10. No, the ends don't justify the means. I don't get to dodge criticism or get a pass for drinking and driving if I don't kill someone. It's wrong because we know it kills people. Ratting out informants, in war of any kind, gets people killed. We already know this. That a consequence doesn't occur this time, is not the least bit compelling. Dak, I'm not sure you're getting my point buddy. Exposing these informants was needless - it serves nothing...well, except it serves those that would murder them. You can still expose government secrets, and should. I like wikileaks for their generalized mission statement. I do not like this naive, thoughtless release method where they pretend to be doing the world a service by getting innocent people, and maybe whole families, murdered for no better reason than not taking the time to filter the names of the innocent before releasing it. It's just that simple. Instead, it's like a teenage boy touching a woman for the very first time - impatient, overly excited and premature...well you know. ( I hope you appreciate that I purposely avoided at least 3 tasteless jokes with that ellipsis.)
  11. To me this is where most of the blame should be put. That goes for most of what happens in our country. We are the government, all hiring and firing is done by us. All demands on the president, congress and so forth, come from us. The free market responds to us. This is what we wanted, and we got it. That's how this republic works. That's how a free society works. We shouldn't get to weasel out of it now. Thanks for reminding me. I think that's why all of this blame and credit with the financial crisis just rubs me the wrong way. Kind of like hearing people say "survival of the fittest" when you know there's far more to it than that, and that it's just not that accurate. Like I used to say, we get the government we asked for. We got exactly what we wanted, and now we want to pretend like it has nothing to do with us. Not true. Every politician that we blame was sent there with marching orders from us. That doesn't vindicate them however, it merely indicts us with them. Personally, I've never given much credit for presidential control over the economy. They have incredible tools of influence - they could sink the ship. But they can't really control it in every way possible. They can make all the right decisions, and still not have good results, or just require more time. And this is why I have little sympathy for them, generally, since they don't run on that reality. They run on fantasy land for the people to elect them, then want to appeal to reality when fantasy didn't appear to come true. Too bad. Release the Kraken.
  12. ParanoiA

    Death Penalty

    I've been enjoying your posts on this. I don't agree with this statement though. I can see the death penalty as an ethical punishment for certain crimes, and I do, while indicting a particular legal system using it as unethical. That's very close to my position actually - that our legal system cannot gaurantee 100% accuracy, therefore the punishment of death is not ethical for them to use. No legal system has been invented yet that can do this. If such a system were possible, then we could start talking about what crimes make that punishment ethical. I think you might be conflating objective and subjective claims of murder. Or, at least we should be clear about what claim we're making. I agree with String Junky that the state does not "murder" - but I only mean that by the definition of that word with respect to the state: the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. Laws are created by the state. The state does not murder unless it terminates citizens outside of its laws - such as capital punishment for an innocent person. Except we can interpret what the state is doing as murder - we can subjectively judge the value of their actions and call it murder. And I think that goes back to your statement above about the ethics of the legal system using the punishment. I'm supposing we don't believe the old Soviet Republic were using an ethical legal system, so while technically they did not murder, interpretatively we think they did. I don't see any hypocrisy in judging one legal system over another and using the ethics inferred to judge subsequent punishments by them. That's analysis, not hypocrisy.
  13. So the anti-Bush din we've all suffered for years now is what it sounds like when Bush gets a pass? How did you infer that from my post? And the whole point of the thread and the poll is that Bush no longer gets more blame. I'm not making the connection here. How about just seeing the problem for what it is instead of this flippity floppity Bush-Obama trading game? It's Bush's fault for the wars we're in, and the housing crisis and subsequent financial crisis, since the regulators work for the executive branch. It's Obama's problem because he ran for president on managing the economy, to put it mildly, and has been there for almost 2 years to deal with it and the results don't match his campaign smack. And people are tired of letting him off the hook for the perceptions he sold. 9/11 wasn't Bush's fault, but it was his problem to handle, and it isn't Clinton's fault or legacy either. Maybe popular perception is otherwise, but let's not care about that. You know what they say when everyone is thinking the same thing... All of the regulating of the financial markets is done by federal agencies, which is all under the executive branch, including part of the federal reserve to affect monetary policy. While congress deserves some blame, since they do pass budget bills, most of the influence and responsibility is the president's administration. But you're right about where all of this starts.... Hear, hear!
  14. Or maybe he's advancing the notion that said candidate, along with everyone else, knows about this curious lead time and that's it's no excuse. Further, that to make campaign promises a full year before taking office is the candidate's fault, not ours. Sure, I'll keep in mind things have changed, and I'll also keep listening to them run their pie hole right up until election day - that's a mere two months before taking office. I find it extremely easy to blame the incoming serial promiser for things that they promised and failed to accomplish - instant or otherwise. I find it very easy to point a finger at political jackasses that fail as miserably as their predecessor at fixing the same problems they freakin' ran on. I find it most enjoyable to watch them lead the sheeple and deflect responsibility to the origination point while they do all of the above. Let them run on that. I'd love to see that. "All of these problems are Bush's fault. I will try to fix them, but if I can't, it's not my fault, it's because he screwed it up so bad. If I can, it's because I'm so damn good." Yeah run on that. That's exactly what we hear, politician after politician. And adults vote for them. Repeatedly.
  15. Actually, you can leave the "gay" modifier off, as I don't really care what gets you off. I don't like showering with other people, except for hot women, and I do prefer private over communal. I guess I'd make a poor addition to any communal institution of any kind so my opinion is fairly worthless I guess.
  16. I'm with Zolar V on this one, although I'm not aware of any useless amendments. (Well, except for the "original 13th", that's pretty atrocious). This climate is a good time for actual change. But I suspect the GOP will win back the Congress and Pangloss will get a moderate's favored arrangement. Business as usual, but certainly the best arrangement under this two party duopoloy.
  17. Well, unusually enough I'm not so much against the law as much as I'm disappointed that we still think passing laws amounts to "doing something" about a given thing. I love this title "Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs Act of 2010" - only it doesn't do that at all. It saves them from law abiding people that would have otherwise cooked them brownies with pot in them. That's all. Making that law doesn't save them from squat. But sure, let's go ahead and continue the illusion that making laws is the same thing as addressing some problem or issue, while the problem or issue continues to grow and adapt around our laws while we ignore it believing we "did something" about it way back when, when we passed that law. I think we should insist they stop giving these laws fraudulent titles like that. Grown men and women run around believing they've saved kids from dangerous drugs because they passed a law. It's the worst of all options. The belief something is being done, while it's not actually being done at all, so that no one else does it either. And hey, let's not let the failed drug war stop us from continuing to fail with more pretty save-the-children laws. Go America!
  18. ParanoiA

    Death Penalty

    We're doing it right now, minus the death penalty. That's jail. Maybe a better way to describe it would have been to say a penal solution that can be discontinued? But the key concept is "mitigation". That's the compromise between the necessity to penalize, and the reality that we can be wrong - to endorse punishments that can be mitigated in some way, in the event we're wrong, yet effective enough in the event we're right. Jail satisfies this for us, today. It can be discontinued when we've made a mistake, and forms of compensation possible. That can't happen when someone's been put to death. There is no possibility to discontinue punishment and there is no form of compensation to the victim. Such a punishment ignores the possibility our justice system can fail; that humans can be wrong. Of course, don't misunderstand. I'm not lofting incarceration and common law as some ideal we've met. I'm merely pointing out how each functions within today's context of penal solutions and mitigating imperfect justice.
  19. ParanoiA

    Death Penalty

    I disagree. To assume the justice system is 100% accurate is folly, and thus measurably unethical. It would appear more sincere and honest to instead accept human fallibility and balance the need for justice with the possibility of our errors. It doesn't suggest to cancel laws, it suggests reason within law. Since we know we can make mistakes, we provide the framework for error detection and correction - part of which is a penal solution that isn't a permanent physical condition, like chopping off limbs, or killin' folks. All other forms of punishment, admittedly assumed not to include the cruel and unusual, are stoppable upon discovery of a failure of the justice mechanism. So mitigation of damage is possible, and compensatory solutions available - none of which exist when the party is wholly terminated. By emplementing penal solutions that provide the deterrent justice requires, the punishment that victims require, and the mitigation human error requires.
  20. ParanoiA

    Death Penalty

    The death penalty is not ethical by any stretch so long as an innocent can be killed, and there is no work around humans have managed to think of yet that impresses me the slightest. Essentially we're saying we're willing to take the chance on killing someone who doesn't deserve it to keep from not killing someone who deserves it - to err on the side of murder, not on the side of prevention of innocent loss of life - or more appropriately, to err on the side of selfish motivations at other's expense. Not only is this inconsistent with the ostensible mission statement of law and order, it is entirely consistent with a criminal mind, the very criminal mind we're supposedly opposing. To be clear, if there were a mechanism that gauranteed 100% accuracy on guilt or innocence, I'd be all for it. Like Clint said...some folks need killin'.
  21. So releasing all of those names is not hap-hazard, and is necessary to fullfill the mission to expose government secrecy? No, I'm not buying that. And neither will the families of those that get murdered specifically because of this amature, immature idiot that only seems to understand half of the role he's trying to play. Do you believe CNN or MSNBC would release those names? Would they be so callous and pathetically amature and naive about such a thing? Particularly when it serves NO purpose for his proclaimed agenda? The Taliban are now hunting down those people, or so they say. The information should have been released in a responsible, ethical manner. I do believe most of modern media understands that. Most regular folk understand that too. Endangering these people's lives did nothing to any noble end. Nothing. He's got blood on his hands because he's a child trying to act like a grown up. Amature hour in Afghanistan bungling up what he thought was easy. Professionals make it look so simple don't they, Assange... It is what it is. They do have blood on their hands. It serves no useful purpose to deflect the obvious. It reminds me a bit of the ole "that's business" ethical delusion people like to do. Somehow, if they say "it's just business", that suddenly makes it ethical to cause some poor family to be destitute by your business prowess. It doesn't. And it doesn't fly with Assange, or anyone else that wants to romanticize the exposure of government secrets to the point that innocent people can be named - without adding any value to the exposure at all - and subsequently murdered, and yet dodge responsibility for causing it. That's BS. Those people were protected by the same device that was exposed - and they aren't guilty of anything except trusting us, you, me. Assange screwed them for no better reason than he's an inexperienced ideologue with little regard for innocent life. All he had to do was take the time to be ethical. And we're making excuses for it. It's not ok for any government to cover up and torture and kill, and neither is it ok for journalists to rat out informants to be tortured and killed. It's not an either/or - it's both. And if it was our fathers, our sisters, our brothers, our sons or daughters, we'd see that quite clearly.
  22. Uh...isn't global warming solving that problem? Unless I'm mistaken, global warming isn't threatening the existence of human kind, but rather the existence of some kinds of humans.
  23. I agree. One thing that's always bugged me is this obsession over who started a given problem. It's important for evaluating the problem starter, but useless for evaluating the problem fixer. Presidential candidates run on the problems that exist, and are there to fix problems that exist. To appeal to the problem starter, as if that somehow means something when analyzing the problem fixer, is a highly popular offense these days, and is the work of children. We consistently get these reminders about Bush starting the war when we evaluate the job of Obama and company dealing with it. All problems have an initiation point, and people to blame, and none of them have squat to do with fixing them or how well they're being dealt with. Yes, we know Bush initiated the full scale of war, just like we know the who stole our social security and who caused the biggest oil leak on the planet. They are problems owned by the executive. They must answer for how they deal with them, not cower behind their origination point.
  24. Democracy makes no claim to determine "truth" of beliefs, or "correctness" or any of that. At best, democracy claims to determine popular preference. And it is not fallacious by that measure. Anyone who invokes democracy to some other purpose may be committing a fallacy themselves - the appeal to majority - but it doesn't exist as a fallacy at all. There is nothing false about its definition. And sure, truth is not objective, but that has nothing to do with why democracy is or isn't a fallacy.
  25. Ok, I just searched the article again doing a 'find' to look for the text, and it shows up nowhere. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong article. I thought this was all about Swansont's link from post #60. Anyway, sounds like a decent summary if the implied correction is to continue with evidence gathering regardless of any confessions. Police get confessions out of guilty people too, with techniques that might offend us but not the law, and I don't want that to stop. Coercion implies illegal leverage, and of course that should absolutely stop. I still think video taping confessions are the way to go.
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