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Then there's the wrap up of the Whitey Bulger trial in Boston. Bulger was a mobster who was in tight with Justice Department officials and Massachusetts politicos, (Bulger's brother, a Democratic pol, was president of the Massachusetts Senate) and after his conviction one juror reported that she was "stunned" by the extent of government corruption that came out in the trial. That's impressive. It's getting harder and harder to stun people with government corruption these days.
And that's the problem. Enough breaches of trust -- and I haven't even started to hit all the scandals out there, by a long shot -- and ordinary people will start to assume that the whole system is corrupt.

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  • And I do know that it requires an extraordinary amount of naiveté to believe that the government, the 'system', man's authority itself is not extraordinarily corrupt, prejudicial, arbitrary, and fickle, by design and by definition. Why should anybody who has seen the news twice ever be surprised?

    a democratic pol...
    -------
    "Double oh seven..."

    "Sir?"

    "Just leave the Baretta..."
    -------
    Most people try to take things out...

    Another way of putting it is that some information is superfluous. :-)

    • Well, according to St. Albert of Gore [nytimes.com]:

      From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.

      That's my vote for the stupidest thing ever said by a public figure, though I'll grant that Bush's [bbc.co.uk]

      I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul

      does afford some competition.

  • I'm so fed up with the corruption in the Republican system, that I'm willing to say we should never have a government of more than 100,000 citizens.

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      Um.

      Uhhhhh.

      You realize that what you are "willing to say" actually *is*, for the most part, the Republican system, right? Smaller state governments who run the day-to-day, with a centralized federal government that only works in extremely limited capacity?

      Granted, in the intervening years we've grown to much larger populations, but the Republican system itself idealizes smaller populations over larger ones. It's the Democratic Party that has been pushing for over a century on pulling us under one governmen

      • Except that the Federal Reserve prints money, which is then used to buy votes and ensare the rest of the republic. The Medicare expansion under ObamaCare is a case in point.
        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          But that violates the principles of the Republican system.

          • And thus, the principles are not what "Actually is".

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              No, you're wrong. The principles of Republican government are the same as what Republican government actually is. You could say that we do not currently have Republican government, but you have no basis for saying that it's changed.

              • The start of the change was when State Sovereignty was destroyed by the Civil War. States that wanted to leave, were not permitted to do so.

                Since then, every expansion of the federal government, every intrusion into State Sovereignty, from the monopoly over the money supply in 1873 to expansion of the commerce clause to the draconian shutdown of the abortion debate under Roe V. Wade, has been about removing the Republican form of government from the system.

                These days, if a state passes a law that goes agai

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  The start of the change

                  Again, nothing changed about what the Republican system of government is. That's like saying "democracy" changed. It didn't. Democracy is. Whether we have democracy, that's the question.

                  ... was when State Sovereignty was destroyed by the Civil War.

                  That didn't happen. Reconstruction harmed state sovereignty, the Civil War didn't.

                  States that wanted to leave, were not permitted to do so.

                  That's not really true, actually. No force was used to keep them in the union. The South started it, literally.

                  But again, irrelevant to the discussion, since the Republican system has never changed.

                  Since then, every expansion of the federal government, every intrusion into State Sovereignty, from the monopoly over the money supply in 1873 to expansion of the commerce clause to the draconian shutdown of the abortion debate under Roe V. Wade, has been about removing the Republican form of government from the system.

                  Ah. So you admit it didn't change! G

                  • We no longer have a Republican form of government. The State of California *refused* to defend its own laws. We no longer have a democracy.

                    There is no such thing as a "right of privacy", not in the Constitution. Wasn't even a concept when the Declaration of Independence was written.

                    All I see is a bunch of tyranny emitting from 3000 miles away that people like me have no say over at all. That isn't the Republican form of government, not one whit.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      We no longer have a Republican form of government. The State of California *refused* to defend its own laws. We no longer have a democracy.

                      False. We never had a democracy, and republican government means that the people in charge get to make decisions like that (and if we dislike it, we can force them or remove them).

                      There is no such thing as a "right of privacy"

                      False. Of course there is

                      not in the Constitution.

                      False. Read the fourth amendment.

                      Wasn't even a concept when the Declaration of Independence was written.

                      False. That doesn't even make any sense.

                    • "if we dislike it, we can force them or remove them"

                      Only to have them replaced with more clones who act exactly the same.

                      "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

                      And I don't see the word Privacy anywhere in the 4th Amen

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      And I don't see the word Privacy anywhere in the 4th Amendment.

                      So? Why do you think that helps your case? You do realize that there are lots of ways to say things, and that lack of a specific word doesn't indicate that the meaning isn't present ... right?

                    • Only if you want to be a tyrannical, anti-Republican judge who changes the terms of the contract after it is signed.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      You seem to think that if the word "privacy" is not there, then the meaning embodied by the word "privacy" is not there. That's obviously false, to anyone who can use the English language.

                      So arguing that that a judge who found the meaning of "privacy" in there would be tyrannical, simply because the word "privacy" itself isn't there, is incredibly stupid.

                      You have to first demonstrate the meaning of "privacy" is not there, before you can assert it is "tyrannical" to find its meaning there. (I don't mean th

                    • I see nothing that says "to protect the privacy of a woman we must allow murder", which is what Roe V. Wade said. That tyranny has caused a genocide of 56 million Americans.

                      I don't see pregnancy as an "unreasonable search or seizure", do you?

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      I see nothing that says "to protect the privacy of a woman we must allow murder", which is what Roe V. Wade said.

                      False. It does not say that. You're right, in my view, that abortion is "murder" (for some definition), but the decision and its proponents do not express that view, and do not see it that way. The decision does not say that.

                      I don't see pregnancy as an "unreasonable search or seizure", do you?

                      No, but if abortion does not unjustifiably take a human life -- as they incorrectly believe -- then such an investigation about abortion is obviously an unwarranted search / seizure.

                    • Who cares what the proponents and the Supreme Court thinks if they are wrong? This is a tyranny and a genocide and has served to make the entire government illegitimate.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Who cares what the proponents and the Supreme Court thinks if they are wrong?

                      Obviously not you.

                    • Nor anybody else who knows there are higher powers than the US Government

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Nor anybody else who knows there are higher powers than the US Government

                      False.

                      Look, I get it. You think abortion is wrong. So do I. But you said something simply false: that Roe v. Wade said we must allow murder to protect a woman's right to privacy. It did not say that. It said that abortion is not murder. You can disagree that abortion is not murder, but that is what it actually said.

                    • Abortion is murder. Any attempt to redefine it as not murder- for any reason, including privacy- makes the entire government and the legal system illegitimate. I follow a higher power than the US Government, and will not stoop merely because of citizenship to lie for political correctness. Same with other sins against chastity- contraception, abortion, extramarital sex. I can no longer lie to support this government.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      None of your comment is relevant to the fact that you were wrong when you said the Supreme Court decision said that murder was OK.

                    • What part of "It is not in the Supreme Court's power to redefine abortion as not murder without making the entire government illegitimate" do you not understand?

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      There is nothing about this I do not understand, except for the part where you insist on lying about what was in the Supreme Court's opinion.

                    • Because abortion is murder, the Supreme Court supports murder.

                      It is that simple, and that correct. It doesn't matter that they tried to define it as "not murder" because they support murder. The very act of removing the absolute right to life, means that they do not deserve their own lives.

                      That's the easiest to understand part- abortion is murder and therefore the Supreme Court supports murder, regardless of anything else they say.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Because abortion is murder, the Supreme Court supports murder.

                      You're not this dense. Come on, now.

                      You wrote that "Roe V. Wade said" that "to protect the privacy of a woman we must allow murder." It didn't. You are wrong.

                      You can say the effect of the decision is that, but that is not what the decision or the Court ever said.

                    • The Court said that to protect a woman's private decisions between her and her doctor, we must allow abortion, which *by definition* is the murder of the unborn.

                      Thus the court said to protect a woman's privacy, we must allow murder.

                      I don't understand what your problem with that chain of logic is- but it does make this government illegitimate.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      The Court said that to protect a woman's private decisions between her and her doctor, we must allow abortion

                      True.

                      which *by definition* is the murder of the unborn.

                      False.

                      And I don't mean by that, that abortion is not the unjustified killing of a human. I mean that "murder" is a legal term of art, and not a moral description. Whether or not it applies to a specific taking of a human life is a technical matter, not a moral one. That is why we have multiple terms for the taking of human life: "manslaughter," "murder," "act of war," and so on. Whether or not abortion is murder is strictly a legal matter.

                      This is a fact.

                      If you had said the Court said that to protec

                    • ...murder of the unborn.

                      The unborn is not a 'person'. The church says so [coloradoindependent.com]. Even they go by the legal definition when it's convenient.

                    • Doesn't matter what any lawyer or government says is a person or isn't a person. Abortion is still murder.

                    • If the "legal term of art" has diverted from the moral truth, then the legal term of art is wrong and not valid evidence.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Why not just admit you have no idea what you are talking about, instead of spouting unintelligible nonsense?

                      What I was saying is that you were speaking in a legal context. Therefore, the words you use have specific technical meanings. And it is a *fact* that "murder" does not apply to "abortion" in the legal context. And this has not one damned thing to do with morality. This doesn't mean abortion is not wrong, or is justified, it only means that, in this context, it is not murder. It's a fact. Your d

                    • I think, pudge, you're making the clear ethical point, whereas MH42 is making the moral point.
                      That most people and dictionary writers try to teach that ethics and morality are fungible is, I submit, a major conceptual problem with the English language. I treat them as overlapping, but slightly disjoint circles in a Venn diagram [theothermccain.com].
                      Very helpful in discussions like this.
                    • Then the legal context needs to be destroyed and rebuilt to fit reality.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Then the legal context needs to be destroyed and rebuilt to fit reality.

                      You are completely wrong and you do not understand what you are talking about.

                      "Murder" is just a word. There is no *need* for it to apply to every unjustified taking of a human life, therefore there is no *need* to "destroy" -- or even change -- anything.

                      My pointing out the fact that "murder" doesn't include abortion does not, in any way, imply that abortion is justified. Murder is just one *type* of unjustified homicide.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      No, I am making a technical point, irrespective of morality and ethics. MH42 incorrectly believes that there are moral implications from these technical points.

                    • Well, I'm not seeking to engage, but I'd equate the technical with the ethical. But I've already had my way with the dictionary. So there.
                  • The South started it, literally.

                    I'm only ~300 pages into Shelby Foote's opus, but I think that the Civil War was written right into the Constitution at the 3/5ths Compromise.
                    Abolition moved south over the course of the 18th & 19th centuries. If you pick at the details, the Civil War was a super-saturated solution that started precipitating with the election of Lincoln.
                    Chattel slavery was as immoral (almost all would agree) as the entitlement slaver we have today (my opinion). So the South's cause was fundamentally immoral, even if (

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      But even with Lincoln's overreaches, he refused to start the war, or push the South into one. The South made the decision to go to war.

                    • And perhaps Foote is too great an apologist for the South. I've heard that argument. And again, the South was fundamentally on the wrong side, due to slavery.
          • Then it should not be allowed under a Republican Government. The fact that the Federal Reserve is allowed, is proof that we no longer have a Republican government.

      • "You realize that what you are "willing to say" actually *is*, for the most part, the Republican system, right?"

        Not since 1840 or so. It's what it is *supposed to be* but it isn't what it actually is, by any stretch of the imagination. The final nail in the coffin of federalism as an ideal was with Roe V. Wade.

        "Smaller state governments who run the day-to-day, with a centralized federal government that only works in extremely limited capacity?"

        Yeah, that's what it is supposed to be, but it hasn't been sin

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          "You realize that what you are "willing to say" actually *is*, for the most part, the Republican system, right?"

          Not since 1840 or so.

          You're confusing the party with the system. "Republican" is a form of government, it's guaranteed to the states ("The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,"), and it is what one normally means when they say "Republican system." And what it is, has not changed.

          The final nail in the coffin of federalism as an ideal was with Roe V. Wade.

          False. That makes as much sense as saying that the Sedition Act was the final nail in the coffin of free speech.

          It wasn't the Democrats who wanted to keep the South from leaving the union.

          So?

          • "Guaranteed" is a strong word for a country that refused to let states leave. Roe V. Wade basically shut down our democracy, made it the choice between Hudge and Grudge from then on out. Voting is worthless; anybody you elect will be indebted to the federal oligarchy long before the election, from either party.

            And it isn't just the Democrats who are interested in centralizing control; it's the Republicans too. For all their talk of small government, Reagan, Bush, and Bush all supervised the largest gover

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              "Guaranteed" is a strong word for a country that refused to let states leave.

              Shrug. I was quoting the Constitution.

              And again, you're wrong, it didn't do that.

              Roe V. Wade basically shut down our democracy

              Good! Essential civil and human rights should not be subject to demcratic whims. That is why I favor a Republican government over a Democratic one.

              Voting is worthless; anybody you elect will be indebted to the federal oligarchy long before the election, from either party.

              Rand Paul?

              Reagan, Bush, and Bush all supervised the largest government expansions of the modern era.

              You realize that when Reagan and Bush were President, the people running the expansion -- the Congress -- were Democrats, right? And under Clinton, when we slowed way down, the Congress was Republican?

              NEITHER side is interested in radical decentralized government to the point of returning to the Confederation of States envisioned in the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation that existed before 1796.

              Good! The Articles of Confederation were stupid and unrealistic.

              That

              • Rand Paul is indebted to his campaign contributors, just like every other politician. Only difference is he's got a bunch of stock market paper billionaires backing him.

                Article I Sections 8 & 10 violates the Republican form of government directly, as do the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th Amendments. As long as those are still in force, it is possible for the courts to interpret the laws in ways that destroy local power (and they have, repeatedly).

                There should not be one monetary system- every state should

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  Rand Paul is indebted to his campaign contributors, just like every other politician.

                  Only if he chooses to be.

                  Article I Sections 8 & 10 violates the Republican form of government directly

                  False.

                  I won't bother going through the rest if you can't get that one simple thing right.

                  You have a completely false notion of what "Republican government" is. You apparently (to me) think it means states can do whatever they wish. That isn't it, at all. It means the central government has significant powers, but that they are very limited, and that the state gets the rest, and that they are both subject to democratic whims to a large extent, tempered by the rights of the states,

                  • If he accepts the money, then he is indebted to those who contribute the money. That is how capitalism works.

                    "You apparently (to me) think it means states can do whatever they wish. "

                    Which is why I said at the beginning of this that I wanted no government to be larger than 100,000 citizens. It is you who called that Republicanism, are you now backing away from that claim?

                    The central government should provide services, not impose laws. It should have NO POWER AT ALL, beyond what the States allow. Just as

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      If he accepts the money, then he is indebted to those who contribute the money.

                      False.

                      That is how capitalism works.

                      False.

                      It is you who called that Republicanism, are you now backing away from that claim?

                      Not remotely. What's your point?

                      The central government should provide services, not impose laws.

                      False. Nothing about that is "Republican."

                    • So you are saying, if you pay somebody to do something, that person is NOT obligated to do what you paid him to do?

                      My point is that I said that we need * NO GOVERNMENT* over 100,000 citizens. You claimed that's the way federalism works. Now that I come up with specific examples of State Autonomy that are not allowed, you are claiming that State Autonomy is not a part of Republicanism.

                      If the central government providing SERVICE instead of imposing laws is not Republican, then the Republican form of governm

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      So you are saying, if you pay somebody to do something, that person is NOT obligated to do what you paid him to do?

                      There is no evidence a single one of Rand Paul's campaign donations was a payment to do something. Please stop lying. Thanks!

                      My point is that I said that we need * NO GOVERNMENT* over 100,000 citizens.

                      False. You said we never need a government of MORE THAN 100,000 citizens; now you're saying that you approve of anarchy?

                      you are claiming that State Autonomy is not a part of Republicanism.

                      Please stop lying. Thanks!

                      If the central government providing SERVICE instead of imposing laws is not Republican

                      Providing services is imposing laws. That you think it is not is a serious problem for your understanding of the issues.

                    • There is no evidence a single one of Rand Paul's campaign donations was a payment to do something. Please stop lying. Thanks!

                      I find your naiveté amusing. Is it willful? Sure looks like it... Rand Paul, comparatively speaking, is an ankle biter. Being all 'populist' and stuff, with all the barking, is easy for those with no real influence, looks good on the TV. Provides an illusion of 'opposition', or tries to magnify the microscopic differences (of method, not goals) amongst them all. Kucinich was th

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      There is no evidence a single one of Rand Paul's campaign donations was a payment to do something.

                      I find your naiveté amusing.

                      Interesting that you didn't give a single shred of evidence of where, or even an argument that, he was paid to do something, in your attempt to show that I am naïve for saying there is no such evidence.

                      I wish I could YAWN big enough to express the pointlessness of your comment.

                    • Pearls to the swine!

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      Cop-out.

                    • If States are not allowed to do *anything* they want within their own borders, they have neither sovereignty nor autonomy in fact. Thanks for playing.

                    • He is paid to oppose tax increases on his campaign contributors- and he covers that by resisting tax increases for anybody.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      If States are not allowed to do *anything* they want within their own borders, they have neither sovereignty nor autonomy in fact.

                      False. They have very slightly limited sovereignty. That is the republican, federalist, system.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      He is paid to oppose tax increases on his campaign contributors

                      False. He is elected to do that. The payments were for the election, true, but there is no evidence of any quid pro quo. You're lying.

                    • If he is against taxes, and his contributors paid for his campaign in hopes that he would win and lower there taxes, then that is the very definition of quid pro quo.

                    • And thus, your federalist republican system is NOT what I was talking about by decentralized government, is it?

                      Limited sovereignty is worthless. For a state to be autonomous, sovereignty must be total.

                    • Limited sovereignty is worthless. For a state to be autonomous, sovereignty must be total.

                      But that's an idealized notion. Reality is going to force some compromise on style. What we have to do is keep the substance clean.

                    • Compromise from the ideal is why we can never have the ideal, indeed. Can't keep the substance clean, if we're going to keep letting the devil in.

                    • You're after something existentially unattainable, even by Biblical standards, until the Second Coming.
                    • Had it in this country for 10,000 years before white man brought malaria and The Dalles dam went in and drowned Celilo Falls. If only the missionaries had seen the value of the Potlatch and how it fit in nicely with Catholicism!

                    • Oh, not that Noble Savage Myth. Please not that.
                    • The Potlatch wasn't a myth. What was a myth was that it had eliminated the need for slavery. The Potlatch was about eliminating the need for war.

                      Neither was it a myth that the Native Americans had a *decentralized* government. Each tribe autonomous unto itself, which caused much war outside of the Pacific Northwest.

                      It really is a choice between security and liberty, and in the last 200 years, US Americans have chosen the security offered by an overreaching federal government rather than the liberty that

                    • In the last 100 years, since Woodrow, we've collapsed power into DC.
                    • Governmental power yes. In the last 140 years, actions by the government has concentrated economic ownership in New York City.

                    • Correct... Mr. Smith refuses to accept that all governments are subservient to, because they are created by economic power, capitalist and communist alike. And he is just repeating ditto-head nonsense over and over again, damn near word for word.

                    • Did you mean "subservient, too", or did you drop a word there?
                    • Vote for Grudge, he'll serve Hudge
                      Vote for Hudge, he'll serve Grudge

                      But Hudge and Grudge are really just the same person.

                    • And if Hudge and Grudge are not Godly, then they're serving the Adversary.
                      So, do you seek to minimize their influence, or just punt?
                    • Sorry.. Bad attempt at literary license...

                      Governments are subservient to the economic powers that created them.

                    • Governments are subservient to the economic powers that created them.

                      Governments are composed of individuals, who make decisions, no? So, while I don't think the laws of Economics are avoidable, I don't think that's an excuse for cheerfully unethical/immoral decisions.

                    • Once again, you mistake observation as advocacy. And don't be so naive to think that there is any 'morality' in the boardroom.

                    • don't be so naive to think that there is any 'morality' in the boardroom

                      Of course the board room is rife with immorality. Humans therein, no?

                    • We need to work on ways to *eliminate* their influence from our lives. A great way is localism.

                    • Baptists have been on about localism for a long, long time.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

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