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Thread: The Second Ammendment Lobby and Police Safety

  1. #61
    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    The best example of that I can give is something I read about the length of the official US Government manual for the establishment of an airport, just a little country airport. The current edition is about 900 pages long. The previous edition was, I read, about 90. Anyway you cut it, that is less free. And that I think is happening everywhere.
    Everywhere indeed. Not just in the US. But I think there may be another issue at play here as well. I think it may have as much to do with an over-bloated bureaucracy and judicial system - ever concerned with their own existence, expansion and importance - that have become so large, complicated and powerful that even our elected politicians cannot penetrate them.

    Yes Minister may be more relevant now then ever before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    I diametrically disagree. We have an over-centralized, out of control, federal government which is rapidly sucking up more than its share of tax without accountability. While local governance dies on the vine. If more Americans WERE frightened, things would be better.

    The government is in danger of losing its legitimacy altogether, both central AND local.

    And Europe is dead. It will take time for the math to catch up to them, but what is happening in the hinterlands in the EU will catch up to them later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    On a personal note, I am a first and a half generation American. My mother was born in a part of Poland that is now part of the Ukraine and my father was a first generation American who fought in WWII. My mother did not teach me Polish, much to my chagrin, because we were now Americans. And even though she hated Truman for selling out Poland in the treaties with Stalin, America was her home and we were Americans.

    I always assumed this was an American thing, but I guess I can see it from any group that moves to a country they see as "Utopia".
    Stan,
    A valid point. I'm 50% Swiss and mom from Singapore. But, you would not hear anything bad from either about being American. Different time zone. I doubt that feeling exists today.

    I once had a school mate draw a swastika on my arm in 7th grade. when I made it home, I got the daylights slapped out of me. Might have been the only time I recall mom doing that and being so adamant that this would never occur again in our American household.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    The best example of that I can give is something I read about the length of the official US Government manual for the establishment of an airport, just a little country airport. The current edition is about 900 pages long. The previous edition was, I read, about 90. Anyway you cut it, that is less free. And that I think is happening everywhere.
    Certainly annoying, but hardly terrifying, and it's hard to see that as sufficient cause to start fondling weapons and dreaming of a personal secession. Whom would one shoot over such a complaint anyway?

    I think Curmudgeon has a point... the restrictions on freedom experienced not so very long ago by those who happened to be born into a racial minority, or gay, or female (all of these exist in Middle America too, believe it or not) were orders of magnitude above the annoyances of excessive regulation or (gasp) paying taxes. While we're certainly not absolutely free, I don't see a serious argument that freedom has seriously degenerated. Progress in some areas, less in others... as usual.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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  5. #65
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    The best example of that I can give is something I read about the length of the official US Government manual for the establishment of an airport, just a little country airport. The current edition is about 900 pages long. The previous edition was, I read, about 90. Anyway you cut it, that is less free. And that I think is happening everywhere.
    Carl,

    I don' think that is anything new. Reagan bemoaned it back before the end of the Cold War. It is also not unique to the US. I think the British have complained about bureaucracy for much longer and far more than we do.

    What seems to be uniquely American is how we react to it. Perhaps that is a because of our national mythology of the rugged individual. Perhaps, as 120 has also noted, the complexity and centralization of the federal government acts to create the impression of powerlessness. We are a big country. It is not easy to go to Washington and complain in person, even if you could figure out who to complain to.

    But this problem has found a political voice in the Libertarian movement. So it would seem like the normal release valve for tensions around the issue of a complex and unresponsive federal system is either not working or is not truly keying in on the problem.

    A scarier thought is that electoral democracy, as practiced in the United States, is no longer functioning. This is not the government of the founding fathers. They had a healthy distrust of both the common people and those in power. Originally, neither Senators nor the President were directly elected by the people. The checks on power of the President, like having to go to Congress to get permission to take the country to war, have been eroded in the name of expediency. But if that is the case, I am not hearing any arguments about what to replace the system with. The Libertarians want less government but not a different one. We seem to know what we don’t want more than we know what we want.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 04-07-2014 at 01:28 PM.
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  6. #66
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Curmudgeon:

    That the girdle of red tape restricting our freedom is tightening is not new is beside the point. It is tightening and it is getting to the point that degrees in difference are becoming degrees in kind. It doesn't matter that you and Dayuhan don't think so, millions and millions do. Can you start up a business making incandescent light bulbs? Nope. Can you smoke in any but a tiny few public places? Nope. Can you give your brother a 16 round magazine in Colorado? Nope, not without being a criminal. All those are restrictions of individual freedom whether some minimize them or not. Can the Little Sisters of the Poor refuse to pay for somebody else's contraception? The federal government says no, they can't. We'll see. The last is of crucial importance because the gov is perceived by millions and millions as going after religious freedom. That is very dangerous because it can be perceived as the gov breaking the social contract that is the Constitution.

    How does political dissatisfaction finding a political voice in a political movement constitute a normal release valve not working? That seems as if it is working exactly as designed. Same thing with the Tea Party.

    That reminds me. This whole thing got started because some UNM probable hanger on show off waved a weapon around at a demonstration and was told by the other demonstrators to knock it off and put it away. You thought that significant. We don't even know if it was real and I think it quite probable cops were very close by. That doesn't seem so significant, at least not compared to the late 60s and 70s when there were bombs going off, cops being murdered and genuine riots in the streets.
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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Curmudgeon:

    I forgot your last paragraph above. If you don't know what Libertarians want you haven't been reading enough. People like Ron Paul are quite explicit.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    That reminds me. This whole thing got started because some UNM probable hanger on show off waved a weapon around at a demonstration and was told by the other demonstrators to knock it off and put it away. You thought that significant. We don't even know if it was real and I think it quite probable cops were very close by. That doesn't seem so significant, at least not compared to the late 60s and 70s when there were bombs going off, cops being murdered and genuine riots in the streets.
    Very true. The ultimate question is are we headed that way now? If we are, can it be defused?

    As for the Libertarians, I used to be one, we parted ways over the gold standard and certain foriegn policy stands, so I am aware of most of thier policy demands. But unless things changed dramaticly, they are not planing on replacing the current electoral system that I am aware of.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 04-07-2014 at 02:21 PM.
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    Default Imagery, Perceptions and Reality

    It has struck me for sometime now that a good % of US-made film and TV has a theme of a totalitarian nation-state, the armed struggle against such a dictatorship and "it's all a conspiracy".

    I enjoyed the X-Files until they went into conspiracy mode. 'Revolution' is a more recent TV series, which after a few episodes became so predictable. The TV series 'Person of Interest', written pre-Snowden is very clever conceptually as a drama, but again there's a nation-state conspiracy.

    What impact does such a constant theme in imagery have upon the general population?

    Here in the UK there must be one if not two such TV programmes each day.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    What's "freedom"? Carl says it's the freedom to build an airport without reading 900 pages of regulations or to give a 16 old ammunition for an assault rifle. What about the freedom to drive on the wrong side of the road or the freedom to not properly perform maintenance on a civil airliner?

    The world is more complex. Bureaucracy becomes more complex to deal with the emerging problems - or should we strip down the state to its bare bones where there's only a handful of decision-makers and technicians? Interestingly, in the book The Dictators, the author makes it clear that the dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler relied on their personal power and their ability to subordinate and bypass the functions of their respective state bureaucracies. Hitler specifically only met his ministers one or two at a time in a private meeting when he could manage it in order to reduce the restrictions placed on his decision-making. When there's no bureaucracy, it's those with the resources (the rich, the violent, etc) that come to power. It's not freedom.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    It has struck me for sometime now that a good % of US-made film and TV has a theme of a totalitarian nation-state, the armed struggle against such a dictatorship and "it's all a conspiracy".

    I enjoyed the X-Files until they went into conspiracy mode. 'Revolution' is a more recent TV series, which after a few episodes became so predictable. The TV series 'Person of Interest', written pre-Snowden is very clever conceptually as a drama, but again there's a nation-state conspiracy.

    What impact does such a constant theme in imagery have upon the general population?

    Here in the UK there must be one if not two such TV programmes each day.
    David,

    I'm sure it reinforces a perception, but the problem is one of the chicken and the egg. Do these shows create fear of a totalitarian state or is the fear of a totalitarian state driving people to make these movies. I would say it is the latter.

    I wish I could isolate why this is. The American demographics are so varied it makes it hard to find a source. I could speculate that there are a couple of reasons. The first is that, despite older Americans being prejudice against almost everything, it is not PC to have an enemy defined by race, gender, or even religion. Therefore the common enemy has to be based on their individual beliefs or actions. Totalitarian states and dictators in particular, fit that mold. Second is our history of revolution to gain our freedom. Put these together and you get an enemy everyone can hate along with cause everyone can identify with. I suppose that this recurring theme helps reinforce the fear and paranoia, but I don't think it causes it.

    Is there a common enemy in British entertainment?
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 04-07-2014 at 05:06 PM.
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    It has struck me for sometime now that a good % of US-made film and TV has a theme of a totalitarian nation-state, the armed struggle against such a dictatorship and "it's all a conspiracy".

    I enjoyed the X-Files until they went into conspiracy mode. 'Revolution' is a more recent TV series, which after a few episodes became so predictable. The TV series 'Person of Interest', written pre-Snowden is very clever conceptually as a drama, but again there's a nation-state conspiracy.

    What impact does such a constant theme in imagery have upon the general population?

    Here in the UK there must be one if not two such TV programmes each day.
    David,
    Part of coming from a free and democratic society involves responsibility too.

    You can watch that Sierra, believe in it, even dream about it, but, you still have to go to work the next morning and not pretend to be a super hero.

    Or, you end up like Snowden with a Russian passport living in Brazil... whatever.

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    I wish I could isolate why this is. The American demographics are so varied it makes it hard to find a source. I could speculate that there are a couple of reasons. The first is that, despite older Americans being prejudice against almost everything, it is not PC to have an enemy defined by race, gender, or even religion. Therefore the common enemy has to be based on their individual beliefs or actions. Totalitarian states and dictators in particular, fit that mold. Second is our history of revolution to gain our freedom. Put these together and you get an enemy everyone can hate along with cause everyone can identify with. I suppose that this recurring theme helps reinforce the fear and paranoia, but I don't think it causes it.
    Stan,
    So is this Putin

    Sadly, most of the programs that David listed are extremely popular here, to include Russia.

    I gotta wonder what all these folks are thinking.
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Stan,
    So is this Putin

    Sadly, most of the programs that David listed are extremely popular here, to include Russia.

    I gotta wonder what all these folks are thinking.
    Putin is making a wonderful potential bad guy - fits the mold to a tee. You may not see it there, but one of the few things that is getting through our Congress with bipartisan support is aide to the Ukraine to make sure the evil Putin cannot subject the freedom loving Ukrainians to live under his totalitarian state.

    Watching the conversations on Russia brings up the other problem Americans have that is obvious based on our Television shows. We want quick, easy solutions. In most action television programs the climax is resolved with a gunfight and someone shot or dead. That ends it. A quick and easy solution to a complex and vexing problem. Now I am not talking about gun violence, I am talking about quick solutions. We Americans have very little patience. We are used to getting what we want and getting it now. This means we don't like complex, long term solutions. "Nuke'em till they glow" ... don't worry about the aftermath.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 04-07-2014 at 05:30 PM.
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    Citing only one sentence:
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    David,

    Is there a common enemy in British entertainment?
    No. If you looked at such popular programmes as 'Yes Minister', 'Blackadder' on WW1, 'Morse', 'Dr Who' and 'Sherlock' you would find plenty of enemies, often ourselves.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    What's "freedom"? Carl says it's the freedom to build an airport without reading 900 pages of regulations or to give a 16 old ammunition for an assault rifle. What about the freedom to drive on the wrong side of the road or the freedom to not properly perform maintenance on a civil airliner?
    AP

    One of the things I find mildly disturbing about we Americans is that we are rarely introspective about why we want freedom. It is assumed to be the perfect ideal – God given and self-evident. This causes us to believe that everyone must want it. That the solution to all problems is to give the people freedom. This lack of introspection also means that everything we want can be defined as a right without questioning whether is should be. "I have a right" becomes a justification that is beyond reproach. It is as if the social contract provides only rights – it cannot expect any obligations for guaranteeing those rights.

    In fact the term, “Right” gets used to cover more and more areas. I have a right to a great tasting sugar free soda or pants that make me look skinny.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 04-07-2014 at 06:22 PM.
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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Citing only one sentence:

    No. If you looked at such popular programmes as 'Yes Minister', 'Blackadder' on WW1, 'Morse', 'Dr Who' and 'Sherlock' you would find plenty of enemies, often ourselves.
    I've always like that about you Brits, you have a healthy ability to not take yourselves too seriously even when you are displaying a stiff upper lip.
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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post

    A scarier thought is that electoral democracy, as practiced in the United States, is no longer functioning. This is not the government of the founding fathers. They had a healthy distrust of both the common people and those in power. Originally, neither Senators nor the President were directly elected by the people. The checks on power of the President, like having to go to Congress to get permission to take the country to war, have been eroded in the name of expediency. But if that is the case, I am not hearing any arguments about what to replace the system with. The Libertarians want less government but not a different one. We seem to know what we don’t want more than we know what we want.
    Curmugy,
    It is not about replacing it .........it is about following the law instead of ignoring it or manipuatng or subverting the law. When the lawmakers break the law then there is no law just a fight for survival.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    What's "freedom"? Carl says it's the freedom to build an airport without reading 900 pages of regulations or to give a 16 old ammunition for an assault rifle. What about the freedom to drive on the wrong side of the road or the freedom to not properly perform maintenance on a civil airliner?

    The world is more complex. Bureaucracy becomes more complex to deal with the emerging problems - or should we strip down the state to its bare bones where there's only a handful of decision-makers and technicians? Interestingly, in the book The Dictators, the author makes it clear that the dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler relied on their personal power and their ability to subordinate and bypass the functions of their respective state bureaucracies. Hitler specifically only met his ministers one or two at a time in a private meeting when he could manage it in order to reduce the restrictions placed on his decision-making. When there's no bureaucracy, it's those with the resources (the rich, the violent, etc) that come to power. It's not freedom.
    Gee what a wonderment of distortion and misapprehension this is. And to conclude that bureaucracy is a bulwark against dictatorship! Simply amazing.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Gee what a wonderment of distortion and misapprehension this is. And to conclude that bureaucracy is a bulwark against dictatorship! Simply amazing.
    Indeed And to think you were going to build an airport in DRC If you do, it will be more than 900 pages long in Bravo Sierra !
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