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Everything posted by ParanoiA

  1. Did I use any foodstamps? No. Section 8 housing? No. Do I receive farming subsidies? No. Do I use Medicare? No. Damn, that piece of the highway I'm using is getting pretty damned expensive. But that doesn't matter anyway, because my disparagement of the confiscation method in trade for goods and services was not based on value, but on economic models of managing scarcity. If D H meant to challenge me on the value I get, then he missed it too. I'm talking about economic models, since ydoaPs tried to characterize state confiscation methodology as "payment for goods and services", emphasis mine. Let's review what I actually said: See? From the very beginning my argument was about lack of proportion between taxes and government provided goods and services, an economic criticism not a value argument. I even conceded I may be getting more than I deserve (bolded). There's a line between payment and confiscation, and I don't charaterize confiscation as a moral economic model. It's merely a pragmatic reality of government operations - the government has to have funds to operate and it can't be usage sensitive. I accept that. I don't, however, display pride about it on political boards. The fact that humans need an external force at all, government we call it, to keep them decent to each other is another example of something we should not be "proud" of. The fact that individual accounting of specific government goods and services consumed per individual doesn't exist, proves there is no deliberate link between what one consumes and what one sacrifices for it. In terms of economic models, since its being characterized as payment for goods and services, the closest model that resembles is a command economy. If you dont like the analogy, then I would guess you dont like the characterization of it being a payment for goods and services either. Well, so much for that…
  2. I think global interaction in the form of governments interacting becomes "interference" when they carry a reputation of force and domination. If we were Canada, I wouldn't call it interference. American citizens making statements to the media, even amplified by celebrity status, still doesn't qualify as interference to me. But when America the government makes statements, while occupying two countries in that same region and our reputation of meddling in their governments, it becomes interference. There's a reason people want Obama to speak out in support of the Egyptian protesters, and it isn't because they're just really curious. It's because they know it will empower them with vocal support from the military giant, even if we're not sending war machinery following the speech. But, in this case, it's also a matter of strategy. I'm fairly convinced the Egyptian people will get their democracy. But what if they don't? We will then have to go forward with even more tension and mistrust aimed at us than before. I'm not sure that's a consequence we're going to steer clear of even if they get their democracy, actually. Taking sides here was a bad idea.
  3. Nice project. I've always been disturbed by our seeming lack of concern to exonerate the wrongly convicted. There's probably way more to it than I realize, but I don't get the resistance by courts to deal with this. Enough with the death penalty already, it runs counter to the spirit of our justice system. Right on.
  4. Taking sides in this is going to hurt us, bad. It's a terrible idea. Democracy ≠ Freedom. I don't think we've earned the credibility to really interfere with the complexity of Egypt's politics without being a largely ignorant ass.
  5. Not even close to what we're talking about. D H is the one who brought up usage sensitive accounting. Let's review: See? That's what my comment was referring to - that accounting. Not a break down itemization of what tax dollars go to per tax payer, but what each government provided good or service each specific tax payer has precisely used. I didn't drive on all of the federal highways in America. I didn't visit every national park in the country. We all use varying amounts of government goods and services and our individual taxes are *not* linked to our individual usage. (And to do so would be a nightmarish system, honestly. My imagination can't work around it any better than those before me). The closest this model resembles is a command economy - a dismal failure (ie..former soviet union). And just so I don't have to post 5 more times what I didn't say, I'll say again, the only point I was making with this is that it's only better than any alternative we've thought of so far. It's not a wonderful, benevolent system of paying for goods and services when it's done at gunpoint and it doesn't represent individual consumption whatsovever. You have to fool the citizenry and get them to forget about the gun behind your proverbial back to get them to cheer for it. A bang up job, there, for sure...
  6. ParanoiA


    You're right it doesn't. And that has nothing to do with how many cars the average person below the poverty line has. Just kidding. I know what you meant. I honestly did not see the "two" car claim by Pangloss until you repeated it in post 52. Your previous reference was post 25 at the tippy top of a paragraph you spent mostly assailing the stats with car quality. I have to take responsibility for missing it though, so I humbly apologize for giving you shit about it. I do think it would help to recognize when you are locked in a "you're wrong" "no, you're wrong" back and forth. When that happens, you can bet somebody missed a crucial nugget. I was starring at the math trying to figure out how Pangloss was wrong about interpreting the stats to say the average poor person below the poverty line had a car. I wonder if Pangy missed it too...
  7. Good point Saryctos. GDP would suggest the broken window fallacy is great for economic growth. However it is not true that the economy suffers when everything runs smoothly. When everything runs smoothly, we manage scarcity more efficienty and our opportunity costs would decrease. When I have to divert my economic energy from creating wealth to fixing broken windows, then I'm still contributing to GDP in both cases, but only one of those scenarios is less efficient than the other. As long as humans demand things, and those things are scarce, I'm not sure how efficient production and allocation somehow reduce GDP.
  8. This is reminding me of pcollins - I think that's his name. Do I have that right Pangloss? He would "hide" the crux of his points with repeated appeals about how someone was wrong and never give away that precious nugget that made it so. How about cut the shit and share that nugget, ydoaPs? Where is he wrong on his "sweet" math skills? This Sarah Palin method you're using is just as unsuccessful as when she uses it.
  9. The only thing I got out of those statistics is that apparently our average children consume just as many poor children as they do children of middle and upper income parents - perfectly fair if you ask me... But seriously, even though no one is listening to me I have to continue to speak for my people. Some of which are very old. Do you feel sorry for the elderly poor too ydoaPs? If so, how about getting our grubby fingers off their fixed income and making them pay taxes for shit they bought decades ago? While this is a state level issue, everyone should fight it. To pay taxes on property you already own, over and over again is reason enough to do what the Egyptians are doing right now. We never, ever, ever get away from a monthly allocation, a yearly obligation to raise funds for the government. An 80 year old couple can own their house out right and yet they still have to pay the government property taxes every year to live there. There is no way to truly PAY OFF your dwelling. Property taxes for my parents is 2500 dollars - that's 200 a month they have to come up with for something they already own. How are people supposed to make a fixed income last when we're nickle and diming them to death? The future is just absolutely depressing. Taxes coming from every direction. No possible way to get imaginative and set yourself up for a low consumption retirement. To hell with that. Working or not, 20 or 90, healthy or about to die, no matter, you'll always have to produce currency on a regular basis. I'll say again. If anyone gives a rat's ass about the working poor, then pay attention how you're screwing them with your tax code.
  10. It is not make believe unless you'd like to start mailing me your income tax payments. How about your local grocery store throw you in their jail in the back of the store and let's hear you lecture us on how this is all make believe? Yes, we are the government, and that is a philosophical concept. We are as divided in respresentation in government as we are outside of it. At times, our government agents truly represent us, at times they do not. To pretend that we do *not* allocate power and force to a select few - an incredibly powerful minority - is the make believe here, imatfaal. When we speak against the government in a republic, we are speaking against that institution of force. Perhaps that institution has received mandates by the people, in which case our grievances are with our fellow man, or perhaps that institution has grown to ignore the will of the people, in which case our grievances are with the agents we put in office. Most times, it's a mixture of both. We can despise the federal government and love our fellow man - they are not the same thing, though our countrymen are responsible for it. We can easily despise each other when we are operating as government agents, perceived to be wielding power unfairly. There is us and them, sir. The agents you put in office that you are powerless to remove and those of us who are subject to their power. The government is us, conceptually, to be sure. But in execution, it is a handful of powerful men. Well, to be clear, I said it's the worst solution for payment for goods and services. Economically speaking, it's true. The government method of confiscation without any connection to usage is a horrible model to manage scarcity. The best, in my opinion, is the free market. I love how I get goods and services there. I can always see the value directly. I know why prices are high, or why they're low. I know how much each good and each service specifically impacts me, how much it costs and can manage scarcity far better, far more accurately for my happiness. But I also respect the free market. It's not the solution for national defense. It's not the solution for law and order. The model of proportional confiscation of property to fund the government is necessary, not wonderful. And this why so many of us want government to do as little as possible - to take as little as possible by force, in favor of voluntary trade, mutual respect and free choice - the whole point of a free society.
  11. I see you're conflating the difference between my rejecting your characterization of government merely charging for goods and services with rejecting government goods and services. I'm not interested in toll roads. Not sure what you read that made you think so. Just because I reject your market model interpretation that ignores government's execution of business-by-force, doesn't mean I don't agree with tax collection for business-by-force. I simply don't agree with pretending like it's a free trade exercise - it's not, it's confiscation of personal property. That doesn't mean it's auto-magically wrong and evil. It also doesn't mean it's a wonderful human invention of pure benevolent devices. Enough with the swinging pendulums already. Government is an institution of force. That's what it is. Like Tigers, just respect what it is. Tigers aren't evil, but they'll probably damage your kids if you let them play together. Government is fine, as long as you respect what it is and don't import notions that don't reconcile with what it is. Government has little interest in usage sensitive pricing, particularly the federal government, and that's why we are taxed based on our income levels. I'm ok with that. I'm *not* ok with then calling that fair payment for goods and services since the payment is not based on the goods and services I've used. I've made that point more than once now. And never, not even once have I stated I reject the concept of government operations.
  12. Me too. After all of the tax forms I've filled out, year after year, I've yet to see this accounting. Do you see this accounted in your tax bill? I didn't think so... Like I said, my taxes are not proportional to the goods and services I receive, as I do not see the math on my tax forms that connects the two. I may be receiving way more than I deserve, or I may be receiving way less than I'm paying for, or it may vary from year to year. But it most certainly is not proportional to each other by any consistent pricing scheme - again, an exception to the rules that private business has to follow. I believe that is a shitty way to do business. The worst solution I've seen yet for goods and services. I'm not sure if pricing by race or religion would be worse or better. We need government to fill roles that private enterprise cannot and should not. Like protecting the citizenry. Private business doesn't get to police us and put us in jail with their own court system. Likewise, government should not get to play "business" and pretend to "compete" giving goods and services. Please. It's almost like we don't know that government power is corrupt as hell. Semantics. It's still the same thing. You're applying the word "evenly" in place of "fairness" when they're both equally subjective terms that attempt the same end. Unless you're advocating a flat tax per capita then you're making exceptions to execute some form of "fairness" or "evenness". Even basing it on a percentage of income alone, even at a flat rate, is still making an exception to "equal burden". I don't deny the subjectivity of this exercise. What I deny is legally defining what makes someone "impoverished" and more of this cultural based judgment of such things. The standard of living here, in the US anyway, is phenomenal here for poor people. It requires the co-existence of affluence and economic ascension in comparison to create pity for the poor here in America. If you exempt basic needs goods and services from all taxation, instead, then you still help the poor and avoid defining people with TV's, a house and an old cluncker as impoverished. I had all of those things, poor as we were and I made 9 bucks an hour at a door shop. Two kids and a wife on that salary. Do the math. It aint' easy. But it ain't third world either buddy. We ate fine, we drove everywhere, we enjoyed heat in the winter, cold in the summer, and we juggled which bills would get paid and which would kiss our ass, every paycheck. That's not impoverished. That's the working poor. I brought home about 1200 or less per month. The truly impoverished don't need to be compared to a convoluted flow chart invented by geeks and government blowhards to figure out if they're actually starving and suffering, or if all of their stuff is totally crappy and not brand new and shiny like those folks on the "nice" part of town. They need a simplified tax code that doesn't take precious funds out of their weekly paycheck so they can pay for their basic necessities. Redirecting the working poor to welfare offices and other government buildings to get "help" is exactly what they do NOT want and is incredibly wasteful - and I won't even start in on the psychological consequences of taking a proud man/woman and making them a dependent.
  13. Yeah, the mafia uses a similar spin only they call it "protection". It's not "payment for goods and services" when it's done with force. It's also the worst goods and services solution I've ever been a part of since my taxes are not the least bit proportional to the "goods and services" I received. The government gets to coin money, make laws, execute them, put people in jail, roll out ponzi schemes for public retirement - these are all reasons why they should not get to do "business", ie...goods and services. In our government design we have quite obvious lines in the sand, like our three branches and the inherent conflict of interest and potential for corruption if we didn't respect the partitions between them. It's no different with the line between private and government. You don't get to make the rules AND play in the game. You don't see football referrees make tackles and run back touchdowns for a reason. I reject any notion of "goods and services" forced on me by men with guns at fluctuating voodoo pricing - all based on what they claim to need, not what I got out of it.
  14. Those quotes are just a sampling of the range of subjectivity concerning poverty. This is why I like a consumption tax system better, because you can neutralize, by exemptions, the goods and services deemed “basic need” for everyone, not just the poor (though the poor will receive the most advantage since, presumably more of their income goes to “basic need”). So why not a flat sales tax? Eliminate all other federal taxes. Exemptions could be food and water, clothing, shelter and healthcare (threw that last one in there last minute). The basic necessities could be tax free for all of us, and we’ll just pay taxes when we can afford to look beyond basic survival. As a former poor person, I have to speak for my people and inform you that what the working poor really want is for you to leave them alone and stop complicating their lives with residual taxes and fees coming from every direction they aren’t looking. They want common freakin’ sense. They want you to stop taking their money paycheck after paycheck, just to hand large clumps of it back to them at the end of the year….after the defaults and interest accruals. They really get pissed when they work a couple double shifts and start planning to buy something for themselves with the extra money – a rare event for the poor – and then get ripped at a higher withholding rate and lose most of it. When that happens to me now, I just say a cuss word and kick my dog. But when that happens to the poor it can set them back, mentally, and it’s hard to recover and resume the grind while enjoying life at all. This tax plan also eliminates the need for so much sensitive and private information, problematic flow charts of income analysis; marginalizing each citizen to data in a spreadsheet - not to mention the possible efficiency savings of a one direction revenue stream. This business of giving it up each paycheck and then getting some back has got to stop... Anyway, I like a flat tax, only I like a flat sales tax. And look at it this way, with a flat rate even the Tea Party will know if Obama lowered taxes or not.
  15. Ok, but who's dying? Less total gun deaths doesn't tell me if only victims are being killed since they are the only ones unarmed. I'm absolutely, totally cool with skyrocketing gun deaths when it is criminals that are dying. Lower gun deaths that restricts the dying to victims only, is not an improvement. And there are many arguments for having the right, and the one you cite is the most important one. We're just arguing a different one at the moment. The alternative would be to go Eastwood and let people defend themselves. Nah, my position on gun laws doesn't reflect my position on bomb laws. However, I'd be tickled pink to read about a small female gunning down home intruders with an AK-47. Most though, like my wife, will opt for something reasonable (she won't touch my 12 guage, but loves her .38). Law abiding citizens - the ones who obey murder laws and stuff - are generally the more reasonable portion of the population. And if he happened to use a slingshot, or a car, would you then advocate for stricter laws on slingshots and automobiles? Or would you stop pretending the problem isn't "a mental disorder"? This is how we get tombstone legislation. Mentally disordered citizen obtains gun and kills people, so we make more gun laws. Mentally disordered citizen obtains Strychnine, sells it as coke and kills people, so we make more drug laws. Mentally disordered citizen obtains airplane, kills people, so we make more flying laws. So....uh....when do we deal with the 'Mentally Disordered' part? Of course, only one of those things happened in my example, but it's a demonstration of how we think. I'm just not a fan of redirecting problems away from their source. The problem here isn't guns, or access to a car, or access to grenades - the problem is the freaking mental disorder of citizens and our refusal to find them and help them. This is mainly due to our culture of selfishness, where we settle our conscience with taxes and the expectation that "someone else" will help them. We don't take it upon ourselves to personally engage with societal problems. We'd rather just pay into a fund so other people can do all that uncomfortable caring, and we can continue to keep our head down and ignore all the problems we walk right by, everyday. Someone knew he was disordered. Probably lots of people knew. But somehow he didn't trigger any of our bureaucratic systems to label him as such. Not surprising our initial reaction then is to add more bureaucratic steps, add more laws that only attempt to resolve the bad stuff he happened to perform while he went nuts. If he happened drive a truck and kill people, we would be having *that* conversation instead....ridiculous. You can only effect the total available merchandise in a given market to a certain point, and that point ends with the last law abiding citizen. The total available market leftover will equal the demand of the criminal element - the black market. Well, that's not what I wrote last time. I've lost interest but I wanted to at least address the points that were raised by you fellas.
  16. Thing is, all I was doing was rephrasing one freaking little sentence, and it wasn't even that necessary. I was seconds from submitting the post, but I was getting fancy with the control-z to undo, and then typed control-r, which I swear I *thought* was 'redo', but I think it was 'refresh' or something because it all disappeared as I almost screamed "NO!!!" out loud here in my cubicle. I'll come back and do it all over, I always do. But right now I'm going to pout a bit first. It just pisses me off. What a waste of time. All that work...and you can never say it again the same way. I may have been wrong as hell, but I was articulately wrong as hell, if so.
  17. Damn, I just spent an hour typing a post on all of your responses. Then I hit the wrong key and it's all gone. Sorry, I don't have the energy to do it all over again. Man I was really on today too... ...ah, this sucks...
  18. Fewer, but not removed - as I stated. Because fewer is not useful. Fewer doesn't indicate if ALL criminals have guns while ALL law abiding citizens do not, or otherwise. Only law abiding citizens will follow laws, by definition. Enter the most overused anti-gun control phrase..."outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns". Funny thing is, it's quite defensible. Fewer doesn't provide less death when one "side" simply melts down their weapons - the essential result of gun control laws that remove guns from circulation. Again, I didn't say or ask that. I asked, if murder laws do not prevent enough people to committ murder, then why would we believe gun laws will prevent enough people to committ murder? I'm accepting the notion of a reduction of a prohibited behavior, however I'm questioning how the prohibition of a less severe behavior, with a mild punishment - like carrying an outlawed tool - is somehow going to be more effective than the prohibition of a dramatically more severe condemned behavior like murder, with extreme punishment. It's like sending people to prison for graffiti, while ticketing people carrying paint cans because of a recent rise in graffiti. If they're going to risk prision for graffiti, then you can bet they'll risk a freaking ticket for graffiti too. Laws are absolutely necessary and they do reduce crime and certain behaviors - but laws don't fix things. Laws manage them. Laws don't make your world safe. They do damage control. The courts spend their time reviewing the past - terrible things that happened already. Police spend most of their calls reviewing the past. Lawyers make their money on the past. Most of the time law enforcement deals with things that have already happened, and laws provide us a mechanism to sort them out and provide something that resembles justice. I think we use laws to fix things so that we don't have to personally engage a societal problem. We want to be able to ignore the poor guy in the cold asking everyone for money for a bus ticket; we want to be able to feel good enough to sleep at night in the face of young runaways selling themselves for drugs; we want to be able to turn our nose up at "crazy" people yelling at telephone poles - because we paid our taxes and passed laws for that problem. We can ignore everything we personally encounter because we have impersonally paid into a pool of "caring" - laws and tax funded programs.
  19. That's funny, the changes in airport security came after three thousand people were murdered *without* a gun. So yeah, if he doesn't have a gun, there most certainly is a way he kills 6 or more people. Many, many ways in fact. All of them just as cowardly. If gun laws work, how come murder laws don't? If it's believed gun laws will prevent enough people from carrying a gun, then why isn't murder law preventing enough people from committing murder? This isn't rhetorical, I really am asking. If it's believed that gun laws will remove guns from society, then how come drug laws have not removed drugs from society? Prostitution? How come prohibition doesn't eradicate the prohibited? Can we see some data and evidence that gun laws will remove guns from society? If this data or evidence does not exist, then why would we consider such solutions? I prefer we *deal* with our problems instead of hip shooting prohibitions and legal smack. Prohibition pyschology is why we still have the problems that prohibition wants to resolve. Prohibition cures are why we have violent crime in the markets we prohibit. All markets have rules and disputes. Legal markets use courts and policemen, illegal markets use guns and poor people. This why we don't have wine cartels or shady street corner beer dealers by the way. Sure, if there were no guns then no one could die from them. And if there were no bad people then no one would be innocently murdered. And if there were no hunger, no one would starve. But let's try to face the world we actually live in... More importantly though, it's absolutely immoral to deny citizens the right to wield such tools to defend themselves. There is no other weapon yet that can equalize a 5 foot 80 pound female with a 6 foot 300 pound male like a firearm. I know gun control isn't supposed to imply a gun ban, but I'm not sure what kind of gun control is suddenly going to make this crime less awful. From what I've read, it's childish idealizing about clip size... I predict these idiots will pass something that makes them feel wonderful about themselves and makes them believe they've "done" something about this tragedy. Then they'll go back to their introverted disposition, content that "laws" are solving their problems for them, while those who truly need help continue to be neglected, or until they inadvertantly trigger our bureaucratic legal intervention process...
  20. How do you know it isn't necessary? It most certainly wasn't necessary for our forefathers to start a war over taxes established to cover the costs of protecting our sorry asses...Or was it? It's a curious bit of ethics and morals to have to dance around, but that's life. Consent of the governed implies we'll be able to discuss it, always. The idea of revolution, or civil war, must be debatable. I prefer to appeal to the evolution of the human condition and insist on humans conforming to higher ideals than to rationalize higher ideals as wrong so we can stay intellectually lazy. In other words, I don't wish remove the selection pressures - instead I prefer to allow that pressure to select for us. A republic *must* be able to negotiate intense ideas; anything and everything. It cannot be left to a handful of men, no matter how impressed we may be with them, because we are all the government. As long as we are all responsible, then we must all be able to live up to that responsibility, to be adults and act like it. We must be able to discuss and negotiate volatile and dangerous ideas. Any consequence to that, is just that, a consequence. *Not* a goddamn "indicator" for more freaking laws, more restriction of speech, or more restriction of gun features, or any other prohibitionist psychology that we try to fix everything with, yet never works. Some people have mental problems and can't handle these ideas. Too bad. These ideas are necessary, too necessary for the function of our government. The government must fear its people. Not the other way around. It's been the other way around for a long time. Why do you think it should not be reversed? Personally, I've given up completely on the republic and look forward to our demise. I will enjoy watching us fail and fall because of what we've become. It didn't "happen" to us, we made it happen. It's not the fault of politicians, or the government school system that conveniently doesn't teach capitalism nor republicanism in a country who's foundation is designed for both. In a place where mastery of those concepts is to be expected, instead it is a country where mastery of pop culture is preferred. Correct on the first question. However, I don't like using the word "intelligent", but rather ignorant. Arguably, none of us are very responsible for the noggin we're given and I can't elevate myself nor tear anyone else down based on our god-given biology. Ignorance is how most of us spend the majority of our lives - assumptions lathered with ignorance. Not much escape. But when you know there is more to know about something, yet you choose not to know it, and further you choose to draw conclusions about it despite all that, then that's a real problem isn't it? That's voting. People proudly choose to "tune out" - they'll even brag about not watching the news and etc - then they proudly draw conclusions and make choices about the stuff they tuned out of...every election. Sorry MoontanMan, but that's f@cked up.
  21. Sure. I believe that my friends and neighbors are responsible for soft tyranny, made possible by their willful ignorance and lack of depth related to our republic and its design. By choosing to remain largely clueless about most everything to do with politics, law and our republic's mechanics, the principles encoded in the constitution, the history that formed these principles, as well as the history that suffered these princples - they've chosen the worst of all choices: To remain ignorant and to empower that ignorance every election day, proudly. Thank you, Rock the Vote. I trust another million or so pop culture junkies that can't be bothered to learn boring stuff like economics (in a capitalist country no less...) and political science (in a republic no less...) will be right there exercising their right to vote ignorantly. Furthermore, as a result of their willful ignorance and childish materialism obsession, they predictably choose anything that presents itself as "good" without verification or question. All choices are made for the good of "today" - nothing that requires forethought, and certainly no messages of impending, inevitable discomfort socially or economically will be accepted. They have created the opportunity for politicians to swindle and use them; to tell them what they want to hear and to appear perfect in speech and morals and gain their vote time after time as nothing changes. They have allowed corruption of our entire government philosophy, and they choose allusions of "security" in trade for their liberties and property. Therefore, they trim my liberties and take my property as well. Even the tea party is full of shit. Cut spending they say, until you get to the stuff that covers 85% of the budget - social security, medicare, defense - then everyone goes silent. They really thought you could just cut everything *else* and it would all be ok. Yet, in the face of this, they respond the same as they did before, saying the same things. It's as if they didn't hear anything at all. I could go on and on. The government is my enemy because most of the people are my enemy. They didn't mean to be. They allowed themselves to be fooled by men in suits. Now they are responsible for driving the republic into ruin with their disconnect to reality, their general introverted disposition, their misguided tendency to fall for "pretty logic" without a critical thought to check it.
  22. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/opinion/10mon1.html?_r=1&_... 1) Our founders were guilty of the same thing, that the government was the enemy of the people. Funny, at this point I absolutely believe the government is my enemy today, though not nearly on the same scale of course. 2) Referring to the italicized bit...many on the left have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing rich people, religion and gun owners. Sorry, but none of this conversation actually makes much sense to me at all. People are motivated to kill people because dogs talk to them, or they think god will save everyone they murder, or they think the Beatles codified it in a psychedelic Paul McCartney tune....or because they think it will save the country. Some people are not fit to handle certain input of communication. Some people can't handle violent video games without wanting to live it out. Some people can't listen to a Beatles album, or read the bible...or engage in political discourse expected of a participant in a republic. Concepts such as "consent of the governed", "a government that fears its people", the first and second amendment providing the citizens with the tools to analyze their government and terminate/remove/replace it when it no longer follows the will of the people and chooses its own, - these are concepts all citizens must be able to negotiate without irrational violence. And we all have done that, are doing that, and will continue to do that with no issue. This tragedy is the fault of a subject that did not process the input as rationally as every other subject that has been exposed to the same rhetoric. If "violent rhetoric" were the problem, then where's the other subjects? There are over 300 million of us here in the united states - is this guy the only subject that received the dosage of "violent rhetoric"? Or is he the only one that lost his f@cking mind over the same "violent rhetoric" that millions of others were exposed to?
  23. Yes on the first question. On the second, it is out of the realm of relevant consideration since only one person acted in this way despite millions exposed to the rhetoric. Even considering dosage, there are too many who indulge in similar levels yet don't attempt to assassinate government agents - hell, many of us don't even lob cuss words at them. Logic directs us instead to the nature of the subject exposed to this rhetoric that acted contrary to all other subjects exposed to it. Realm of possibility? Sure, god is in the realm of possibility. But why should we consider it? It is. But this is her Ground Zero Mosque moment. Now that we have a shooting, let's have some class and remove the crosshairs from that map and at least try not to give more leverage to the anti-gun wave heading for us.
  24. ParanoiA

    Is it rape?

    1) Did anyone actually say "sex to completion", or was it communicated through body language and suggestive phrases consistent with mating culture and behavior for a given region? I'm not coming up with any smooth lines that contain "sex to completion"...but maybe I just lack imagination. 2) Since when is sexual completion qualified by climax achievement? 3) If the male achieves this but the female does not, does she also have these rights and can demand the male "complete" the activity? Same with same-sex couples? 4) What about oral relations? Right of reciprocation too? I reject the notion of "completion" in any sexual activity. Some are finished after one climax, some are just getting started (I miss the days when I could do that..he he), some never reach it. Completion could mean the moment of insertion. It could mean when both agree they've had enough, regardless of any other "achievements". I don't think any party in any sexual relation has any right to a damn thing, except their own consent. I'm pretty damn shocked US law actually provides for sexual obligation for even fractions of a second. I understand there are probably legitimate concerns and sticky consequences to withdrawn consent - but too bad. Laws are hard. Sorry. We don't do legal rape here. Or at least I thought..
  25. I don't think you're considering human nature honestly, nor do you appear to be aware of the consequences of "perhaps" and "if". Perhaps you could have kept everyone safe with only ICBM's (unethical in my opinion), or perhaps you could not and our history books would then have to include another chapter or two of mass death and carnage and relabeled territories in Europe. That's an incredibly callous "perhaps" when the business end of that is death and trauma. Humans don't live up to your ideas of morals, even right where you live, let alone the difference in morals and ethics from culture to culture, region to region. It's not very thoughtful to build an opinion that relies on everyone in the world sharing your moral view. Just because you can't imagine why you would want to invade a country doesn't mean no one will. It only means you won't. That's all it means. Ok, cool, so we have 1 guy out of 6 billion that we know wouldn't invade another country if he was the big boss. There is no evidence whatsoever that humans are done with large wars and mass carnage. Nothing. Any ideas to the contrary are leaps of faith. I refuse to scrap war machinery over a leap of faith that big ole wars are over. But I will scrap war machinery over the evidence that we have way more than we need. And being the military superpower is a romantic burden we can do without. And it's the perfect time. With so much emphasis on cutting spending and the momentum to make deep, thoughtful cuts coupled with the love/hate paradox for the american military, let's trim it all down, bring the boys home and solve both problems at once. Right about the time we're being criticized for our heartless world police resignation and blamed for some aggression somewhere, we might have our finances in order and we can just start all over again.
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