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Comment Re:Right idea, wrong amendment (Score 1) 263

I forgot who said it, but I really like the notion "it is better than ten guilty men go free, than for one innocent man to be punished". There is going to be error; this is the correct side on which to err.

Though in my own experience of reading about trials in the news, generally if a person who probably was guilty goes free, it's because overzealous police failed to correctly perform their jobs.

Comment Re:even a broken clock... (Score 5, Informative) 523

It also means that they actually have to live with being free, which carries with it some risks. Unacceptable! I demand the government violate everyone's rights and privacy to stop the terrorists!

Considering that I'm more likely to be struck by lightning than die in a terrorist attack, I think I'm willing to take my chances. I also believe that we're less likely to encounter people so desperate to hurt us if we stop manipulating other nations and attacking them for such flimsy reasons. A return to loving freedom would mean no longer trying to tell each other how to live -- this is also the way we should respect the sovereignty of other nations.

I'll tell you what else is much more likely than dying in a terrorist attack: being killed by your own government.

Comment Re:That's not what I see. (Score 4, Insightful) 523

The Christian Right still has a HUGE stranglehold on the party and that's why unless the Liberian leaning candidate is also for government control of sex, marriage, and reproduction (especially abortion), they will have no chance.

Which is really hilarious considering that I've read the Bible, and I couldn't find "tell thy neighbors how they shall live" anywhere in it. I did, however, find a great deal about not judging.

The religious right's only real interest seems to be using force and threat of force (police power of gov't) to demand that others live only in ways they approve of. They obviously have no real belief in the power of their Biblical message to convince, nor in their own ability to set a good example which works so well that others want to follow it voluntarily. It's just the name of Christ used as an excuse to control people. If they were true to their belief and had the love and forgiveness it demands, and attained the joy it promises, I believe the urge to control others is one of the first character flaws they'd overcome.

The modern political arm of "Christianity" reminds me of what Gandhi (a Hindu) said. He said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians; they are nothing like your Christ."

Comment Re:even a broken clock... (Score 3, Insightful) 523

But again, it was an unscientific study, and I have a libertarian bias as such my results may be biased as well.

That you have the self-awareness to know this and the integrity to admit it lends credibility to your poll, unscientific though it may be.

I too want most experience of government to come from the state and local levels, like the Founders intended. It was never intended that the average person would be affected very much by anything the federal government does, except in times of an actual, Congress-declared war (heh remember back when we did that?). The States are about the only entities able to stand up to the feds, and to do that, they first have to stop being addicted to the federal money that so many of their budgets have come to depend on. The Free State Project is, in fact, an effort to do exactly that.

Comment Re:even a broken clock... (Score 3, Insightful) 523

Except that is really both parties. The parties come out against things like this, but they dont ever do anything about it.

Yes, they have an amazing talent for speaking out against something, saying what they know you want to hear, but never actually doing anything about it. This is enabled by the short memory of the public combined with the media's desire to remain cozy with government officials so they can get those exclusive interviews.

Meanwhile, no matter what is said, whatever the monied interests and the military-industrial-complex want is what will happen anyway.

Comment Re:even a broken clock... (Score 4, Insightful) 523

Cue the highly emotional, belligerent, ignorant people who think anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism are exactly the same thing.

On the other hand, if you have to make shit up in order to find fault with something, anyone with sense will recognize that you're paying a high compliment to it.

The other problem with libertarian thought is that small-minded people are terrified of that degree of freedom, because it means others might do things they disapprove of, and the small-minded just love using government to tell people how to live.

Comment Re:They now have proof that it can be abused (Score 5, Insightful) 523

It's all about the targets.

Republicans never thought the targets would be other American citizens.

Obama has proven them wrong.

Yes, for some reason there are still large numbers of people who need proof that something which happened every single other time (power being abused) is, in fact, going to happen again this time if you start with the same conditions.

I generally call these people "idiots", but you may prefer such terms as "numbnuts", "morons", "imbeciles", etc.

Comment Re:Oh, the data! (Score 3, Insightful) 523

Who can you recommend?

If you are mature enough to understand that most are not anarcho-capitalists, I'd recommend the Libertarian Party. They're the only ones I know of who are serious about reducing the size and power of government, which is badly needed right now. If that ever happens (ha ha!) I'd be open to other ideas myself.

I could not in good conscience recommend either major party. I'd personally rather back the underdog that's not going to win, than be Satan's Little Helper, but that's me.

Comment Re:Considering they're fighting so hard against Ob (Score 1) 523

who is working very hard to end this, we know this is a lie. They hate him so they are for it because he is against it. That is how those people think.

If he is working hard to end this, it's because its existence was leaked and the Joe Sixpacks of the nation who need to have these things explicitly explained to them became outraged. The rest already assumed they were doing something like this while listening to the sheep cry about tin-foil hats anytime someone tried to suggest that massive surveillance powers were going to be abused like any other power. You really can't help people who won't lift a finger to help themselves and are hostile to the suggestion that they should.

Consider that the US President would almost certainly be informed about such a significant program implemented by the executive branch. How hard did he try to stop it before so many people became outraged about it? I'm guessing not at all, but I would like to be contradicted on that.

Comment Re:Nobody.... (Score 1) 523

Nobody believes them anymore.... they just seem to do knee-jerk reactions to any and everything. Next thing you know the RNC will favor marijuana and homosexuality.

I reject the entire notion that consenting behavior among adult people is ever the concern of government. The sooner the average person figures this out, the sooner we can stop having these silly, phony, issue-by-design debates about such things.

Comment Re:Oh, the irony (Score 4, Insightful) 523

From the party that brought us the PATRIOT act.

You actually think there are two parties? They are two factions of the same party. It's your basic duopoly. If it were a marketplace, the average person would understand why that's bad. This is power, something even worse than money in terms of the damage it can do.

The best analogy is the way all US wireless phone carriers overcharged for text messaging. None of their prices were related to the actual cost of delivering the service (zero for GSM-based phones). None of them wanted to try undercutting the competition because they all made more money that way. They each recognized it was in their interests not to rock the boat.

That's what a two-party system is like. That's why the Founders warned against allowing one to develop. At the state level, it's the same two parties who write the election rules and neither has any incentive to make it easy for third parties to get on the ballot. Effectively, the two parties serve the same function as the trade guilds of old: to lock out competition.

It's to be expected that they take turns being the bad guy. It's called good cop, bad cop, and it's a method of manipulating the voters by playing them in the middle.

Comment Re:Right idea, wrong amendment (Score 1) 263

In context, what do they have to do with anything? We're talking about a specific legal concept, considered to be created by the right to jury trial, not the intangible, intuitive rights, like the right to pick your friends.

I swear, the "you're forgetting the 9th amendment" cockroaches climb out for the places where they can be as wrong as possible. The point of the ninth amendment was to prevent people from passing laws of the form: "It's not forbidden to trod on gay rights to marry in the constitution, therefor such laws are a-okay and don't infringe anyone's rights in any way" It, specifically does not outline powers like jury nullification.

Also while we're here: the 10th amendment doesn't reserve the power of states to deny free speech or secede, it doesn't grant people the power to be "sovereign citizens." It doesn't make it so states can do whatever they feel like, as long as it's not something the feds can do(much as people like to read it as such). It just outlines the basic principle of federalism, in case some people would look at the unamended constitution and go "yep that's all there's ever going to be."

If I am wrong on this, I am open to correction, but IIRC ... these Amendments were created partly out of the Founders' fear that having a Bill of Rights at all would cause some to believe that those rights specifically enumerated are the only rights anyone has. Not all of the Founders wanted any Bill of Rights for just this reason.

I'm glad they decided to have one. Finding ways to complicate language like "shall make no law" and "shall not be infringed" in order to do what they want to do anyway has slowed down the statists significantly. We'd have probably already lost the republic by now if there were no enumerated rights.

I've always thought the notion of a "Constitutional scholar" is amusing, in a sardonic sort of way. The Constitution is written in relatively plain language and is not difficult to understand. It's so simple that much complexity has to be added to it, externally, in order to find loopholes and justifications for selectively applying it.

You mentioned state power? I think the one trick the Founders either didn't think about or didn't think we would tolerate is the modern practice of manipulating the states with their own money. The federal government taxes the citizens of a state and then offers them some of their own money back if the states adopt policies the federal government finds desirable. Most states are dependent on this money and are in no position to do anything but bend over and take it. This is a direct attack against the notion of federalism and a significant power grab by the feds. It's definitely not what was intended and it's simply an abuse of power.

Comment Re:rights (Score 1) 263

It seems to me you just like to go down swinging...

Tempered with good judgment, this is an admirable trait.

The only part of it I reject is this culture of disclaiming things that were never actually claimed and the expectation that I should embrace this practice. If I stop short of saying something, there was a reason for that. A reader who mentally inserts words that were not present has a problem with his or her own imagination, not with anything I said.

Comment Re:Copyright 1 Year? (Score 1) 263

Let's lobby to have copyright changed to 1 year until expiry, and settle for 10 years when the companies bitch and complain.

I appreciate the practicality of your idea. But once, just for once, I want to see something shoved down the copyright industries' throats that they really don't like, and watch them bitch and cry and moan when they have no choice but to bend over and take it. Just so they know what it feels like. Yes, I know it's a visceral desire that may not be the most constructive idea, but just try telling me that wouldn't be satisfying. I bet they'd throw temper tantrums like spoiled two-year-olds.

Comment Re:rights (Score 1) 263

Jury nullification is a civil right ruled to be protected by the constitution, implicitly not explicitly. It's not like there's a line in the 6th amendment that says "juries can decide laws aren't right."

... and if I had ever claimed it was explicitly declared, then I would understand the point of your post.

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