Twelve Ambivalent Men: Washington Jury Polled After Not Guilty Verdict Only To Be Sent Back and Then Reaches Guilty Verdict

200px-12_angry_menAlansWebPic_smPatricia Sylvester may have learned the ultimate lesson of “never ask a question in trial that you do not know the answer to.” Sylvester, 49, was overjoyed when a jury came back with a “not guilty” to vehicular assault in Island County Superior Court in Washington. While she cried with joy, Judge Alan Hancock polled the jury only to have one woman say that she didn’t agree with the “not guilty” verdict. He sent the jury back to voted again. By the time they had returned, they had convicted Sylvester.

I have serious reservations about this process since this “second bite at the apple” could have been influenced by the reaction in the courtroom and the defendant’s reaction. Sylvester was charged after an accident in 2008 that left a man with a collapsed lung and three fractured ribs. She was driving a 1996 Acura when she braked to avoid a car and lost control of her car. He hit a Subaru driven by Michael Nichols.

The jury still found her not guilty of the offense of committing vehicular assault while intoxicated.

There are some reports indicating that the holdout juror was consistent in her voting and that the jury misunderstood a jury instruction regarding the necessity of a unanimous decision. I am not sure how “unanimous” is ambiguous but they believed that every vote was not needed for a not guilty verdict.

In their defense, they had sent questions about the unanimous verdict requirement, but obviously remained confused.

Jurors said that, when the judge sent them back, they looked more seriously at the evidence and found guilty.

It is hardly comforting that they took the time to look more seriously at the evidence after the verdict was announced. The defendant’s reaction and that of the courtroom could have influenced their response. It is true that a judge will often tell a divided jury to continue their deliberations. However, this is a materially different matter when the jury has been called to publicly identify their votes in open court. It seems to me that the earlier divided vote was an accurate tally and, if the court was not going to accept the not guilty verdict (which is understandable), a mistrial would be in order.

This case shows why lawyers need to ask for a polling of the jury if a court does not do so automatically — when you are on the losing side. However, in this case, Sylvester’s attorney reportedly asked for the polling. I am not sure why you would want to poll a not guilty jury. The attorney may have suspected a division and wanted to put the matter to rest for appeal. Yet, it was a gamble for the same reason that cost the client dearly.

It is not malpractice to do so. Such matters are treated as matters of discretionary tactics.

For the full story, click here.

126 thoughts on “Twelve Ambivalent Men: Washington Jury Polled After Not Guilty Verdict Only To Be Sent Back and Then Reaches Guilty Verdict

  1. How does that go? When God was giving out brains some people ran under shelter because they thought he said rain.

  2. How often does this happen (that the Judge polls the jury unbidden by either attorney)? And would this particular defendant have grounds for an appeal based on the Judge’s actions?

  3. This is why I think that polling a Jury after a Not Guilty Verdict is a bad ideal. Especially when the Defendant’s attorney requests such.

    [Judge] Hancock polled the jury, as Sylvester’s attorney Charles Hamilton had requested. The confusion started immediately when the first juror said she did not agree with the verdict.

    Does this amount to malpractice?

  4. Professor,

    “It is not malpractice to do so. Such matters are treated as matters of discretionary tactics.”

    While I agree that “Trial Tactics” are not generally revueable and should generally not be grounds for disciplinary action. In this case, BUT FOR his request his client was found NOT GUILTY by 12 people. If the Prosecution had asked for the same polling, I would not feel this way.

    I think that this attorney was exercising less than prudent practices for an attorney with the ordinary skill in this area. HE HAD WON the case, I think it calls into question his fundamental understanding of trial work and when to shut the ______ up.

  5. Here’s a new one for you Prof Turley

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_trouble_in_taos

    TAOS, N.M. – Larry Whitten marched into this northern New Mexico town in late July on a mission: resurrect a failing hotel.

    The tough-talking former Marine immediately laid down some new rules. Among them, he forbade the Hispanic workers at the run-down, Southwestern adobe-style hotel from speaking Spanish in his presence (he thought they’d be talking about him), and ordered some to Anglicize their names.

    No more Martin (Mahr-TEEN). It was plain-old Martin. No more Marcos. Now it would be Mark.

  6. Not to disagree with JT, but I think the fundamental rule of trial lawyering (that I see violated all the time) is not Lincoln’s proscription about the cross-examination question with the unknown answer, but the rather inelegant one: “When you are clearly winning, shut up!”

  7. A guilty pleasure my wife and I share is watching crime reality shows, such as “48 hours Mystery.” (Okay out there stop your chuckling, I never pretended to be an intellectual) I expose myself on this because at least 50% of these shows describe cases where the evidence presented at trial in murder cases, does not meet what I would call the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” There clearly seems a proclivity of juries to put great trust in the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” maxim and give more credence to the prosecution’s assertions.

    As a non-lawyer I think I have more than an average understanding of the jury process, including its’ rationale.
    I agree with the system, however, I can’t escape the feeling that it is seriously flawed, but have no suggestions to replace it. In this instance, the jury seems to have been acting in a more than reckless manner and may well have been affected by the scene in court and/or by their own personal needs to get this thing over. The defense lawyers polling is
    indeed a further puzzle. I would have wanted to get myself and my client out of court ASAP as soon as the verdict was announced. Then too we can postulate that the Judge was somewhat derelict in properly instructing the jury.

    In any event, our legal system which can have such immense effect on people’s lives, certain is deeply flawed and is supportable only by the dearth of satisfactory alternatives.

  8. Sounds like Sylvester’s counsel could have been a good fit on the team of lawyers who prosecuted the O.J. Simpson trial. Here…try these gloves on, why don’t you.

  9. I totally agree with Mike Spindell. It seems like the average American jury hears “beyond a reasonable doubt” and thinks “beyond the shadow of a doubt.” I do blame some of this on true crime shows and “law” shows (all of which I watch and love, by the way) where the defense attorney accuses the prosecution of having “only” circumstantial evidence and if there’s no eyewitness or DNA they can’t convict. Well OF COURSE its circumstantial evidence! But if its an overwhelming preponderence of circumstantial evidence… GUILTY.

  10. Mike S:

    We may indeed have to rethink the jury system given the declining average intelligence of our fellow citizens. I have heard it said by political pundits that our current Congress is about 20 points light per legislator on their IQ when compared to the Congresses in the 1960-70’s. If that be the case, can the populace be far behind. I see some bizarre verdicts and believe them to spring directly from agendas and crazy beliefs based upon anything but evidence at trial. In fact,one of the reasons I am such a foe of organized religion is that I see its insidious reliance on myth and irrational beliefs creeping into the jury system. I once had a very religious juror (she read her Bible at breaks) tell me after a particularly meager wrongful death verdict that she “couldn’t do anything for the dead, but she could do something for the living.” Sounds almost Biblical doesn’t it:

    ” For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.”
    (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6)

  11. mespo–

    I think the average IQ score of present-day political pundits and other folks in the mainstream media is down about 30 points. I guess they know whereof they speak.

  12. Elaine M.,

    As mespo stated and I agree with him or he agrees with me I am not sure which. Most attorney’s need to learned when to shut up when they have won. As i have stated above, I would not feel this same way if the Prosecution had asked that it was polled.

    This reminds me of a case that I was not part of but followed and it made it to the Sct and it was as follows:

    A defendant was being tried for Murder. After a lengthy trial and 6 days of jury deliberations the finally reached a verdict. The prosecutor, defendant’s attorney and judge agreed that the jury charge would only include Murder and a lesser included Offense. Hence, 2 possible results on 2 separate jury verdict forms. Jury Verdict 2 was read first and it was Not Guilty. The Judge in disgust immediately discharged the Jury. The Defendant was released off of the hold he was basically freed and all was happy, until, the bailiff cleaning out the jury box discovered a folded piece of paper and looked at it. He ran it to the Judge and the Judge called the sheriff and demanded that the Defendant be brought back to court. The prosecutor and defendant were then called and given a request that they could not refuse to return to the Judges chambers.

    The all came back, they learned that the Jury had convicted of Count 1, murder. The Defendant was then sentenced to life imprisonment. Of course the Defendant’s attorney vehemently opposed this as error in the trial proceeding and violated the rule against double jeopardy. The judge was not swayed by the Defendants attorneys protest.

    Of course now the Defendant Appeals as a matter of right. The CoA agrees with the trial court (No Surprise) the surprise came when the Sct disagreed and stated that it was indeed Double Jeopardy Attached and ordered the Defendant released and that the Judge had acted as the 13 juror.

  13. Mespo,
    I agree with the idea that there appears to be a woeful lack of intelligence generally, as compared to perhaps 30 years ago. My sense though is that what we’re speaking of is ignorance as opposed to stupidity. To me people are less stupid today, but more ignorant and that is a process that has been devolving over thousands of years. Reluctantly, I also must agree with you that religion has played a major role in this. However, where we might differ, (but who’s to know the truth?)is that I think all religions have been more or less usurped in the name of power.Certainly Constantine’s hostile takeover of Christianity is a great example of this.

    People of 2,500 years ago let’s say, even the illiterate dealt in metaphor and real rhetoric. The Greeks understood that the tales of Olympus were not about actual beings, as the Jews understood that the almost sacrifice of Isaac was a metaphor showing human sacrifice (common practice of the time, see “The Golden Bough,” etc.)was not needed. In my estimation the rise of the Nation State and its’ concomitant political exigencies, made moving away from metaphor and into taking religion as “history,” was in reality a needed accoutrement of the elite and the State.

    However, that is a digression from the case at hand and the puzzlement of how do we even conceptualize what would be a fair criminal justice system? I haven’t got a clue.

  14. Mike,

    I would think that the relatively short history of the “New Age” movement would be another more recent example (of course you have to substitute “money” for “power,” but in practice, the one’s a good way of getting the other).

  15. Mike,

    I’d say you could separate money from power, but not wealth from power.

    Money’s just a tool to make it so that everyone’s life doesn’t resemble those stupid episodes of sit-coms where the character spends all day running around exchanging favors for favors so that he can borrow _______.

    Wealth is what gives you power over somebody.

  16. is it a declining intelligence or a declining educational system that is not preparing people properly?

    I doubt we are anymore or less intelligent than any time previously. The only difference is that we don’t read enough books by old dead white guys, or old dead Asian guys or old dead black guys or old dead Arab guys.

    We are having to learn the mistakes of 5,000 years of recorded history all over again.

    i.e. Plato, Confucius, Booker T. Washington & WEB Dubois, Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Wahshiyah & Omar Kiam, et. al.

    I cherry picked the Arab scholar, Abu Bakr, from the web, he apparently translated the Rosetta Stone hundreds of years before Champollion.

  17. Byron–

    Does it always have to be books by old dead guys? I think the point is reading quality books written by people of either gender…whether they be contemporary titles or old classics.

    I taught a children’s literature course at Boston University for several years. Unfortunately, there are states that don’t require elementary teachers to take a children’s literature course in order to be certified. Some college teacher-training programs lack certain literature requirements too. One of my friends was an English/Language Arts Director for a large public school system. She found that a number of applicants for English teaching positions at her high school had never had a college course in Shakespeare.

    I think things are going to get worse in education because so much emphasis is being placed on prepping children for standardized tests. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on teachers and principles and superintendents to raise the scores by a specific percentage every year.

  18. Okay… my relationship to the law in general is to keep my eyes peeled for the highway patrol, report for jury duty when called and watching endless episodes of Law and Order and I have a kid in law school. that’s it.

    so. are defendants not allowed to express joy or relief when a not guilty verdict comes their way for fear that the judge will do something like this? is this really kosher?

    on tv, people jump for joy when found not guilty.
    if I were a defendant found not guilty I would jump for joy.

    maybe celebrating later is the thing to do.

  19. Recently we discussed jury nullification of law; perhaps the time has come for nullification of juries…

  20. Peanut gallery update:

    NY Times Editorial

    The Cover-Up Continues

    Published October 25, 2009

    The Obama administration has clung for so long to the Bush administration’s expansive claims of national security and executive power that it is in danger of turning President George W. Bush’s cover-up of abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism into President Barack Obama’s cover-up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/opinion/26mon1.html?ref=opinion

  21. AY:

    “As mespo stated and I agree with him or he agrees with me I am not sure which.”

    *****************

    As usual, AY I agree with you.

  22. Elaine M.:

    “Does it always have to be books by old dead guys? I think the point is reading quality books written by people of either gender…whether they be contemporary titles or old classics.”

    Old dead women are certainly welcome as well, I did not mean to be a paternalistic exclusionary!

    Although I try not to read anything written after about 1950 if I can help it. I know very limiting. But if you read the classics, you find that most of the tales have already been told in one form or another. Shakespeare stealing from the Greeks, and everyone else stealing from Shakespeare. Or any myriad of subjects, go back to the source which is usually old dead people.

    Read those first and then read the new stuff, it will give you a better understanding of the new stuff (that author probably already read the old dead guys and gals) and allow you to build on your knowledge.

    A classical education was what most of our founders had, Greek, Latin etc. I am not an educator but what is wrong with Greek, Latin, Grammar, Mathematics, Forensics and Science? You are then well prepared for college and at that point can study whatever the hell you want and be extremely well prepared to do it.

    The educational theory du jour is ill preparing our children for life. People have to be taught to think, for most it does not come naturally. And they have to be taught to think properly, to question, to analyze, to argue logically and effectively.

    I think, because education is free, we do not put enough value on an education in this country. Children and parents don’t appreciate what a real education can do for a child. It is all about preparing people to work for a company. That is not education but preparation for a type of slavery.

  23. Byron writes: A classical education was what most of our founders had, Greek, Latin etc. I am not an educator but what is wrong with Greek, Latin, Grammar, Mathematics, Forensics and Science? You are then well prepared for college and at that point can study whatever the hell you want and be extremely well prepared to do it.

    The educational theory du jour is ill preparing our children for life. People have to be taught to think, for most it does not come naturally. And they have to be taught to think properly, to question, to analyze, to argue logically and effectively.

    you raise some interesting points…. but think what we are raising kids to do… what kinds of work will they perform in their lives?
    I used to balk at small group projects for my kid and then I realized that most kids (at the time) were being prepared for cube-farm types of employment for large corporations that require small project management and being able to work to this style prepares them for that.

    being prepared for life is not invaluable. being able to read the classics gets them what when they graduate and seek employment? teaching? what else?

  24. Declining intelligence.

    Since the industrial revolution the West has been breathing air and drinking water polluted with heavy metals and hydrocarbons, We invented synthetic compounds after WWII and have been ingesting them in our food and medicine and absorbing them by osmosis every time we play with a children’s toy, unwrap a product wrapped in plastic or. until recently. smell that new-car smell. We have thousands of cleaning products and OTC medications and hygiene products being produced in a generally unregulated environment. We have factory farming of animals fed a toxic brew of medications that get passed up the food chain with every bite we take. Our atmosphere is filled with radiation (communication and electrical) of our own making and from which few places on earth can escape.

    I’d like to see a comparison of a wide sample of genetic material from agrarian people that were born and died before 1800 and a sample of the same number and wide distribution of people born after 2000. We may be dealing with a majority of people born today that just don’t have the genetic wherewithal our ancestors had and that includes the mental/neurological material potential needed to function at a high level.

    I’d like to know if the species may have been fundamentally damaged as an evolutionary process in response to our material progress and the ubiquitous pollution we live in, with, and ingest. Whatever the results they would be a surprise- weather we’re doing just fine at the DNA level or weather we’re not.

  25. GWLAWSCHOOLMOM:

    “being prepared for life is not invaluable. being able to read the classics gets them what when they graduate and seek employment? teaching? what else?”

    They will be able to think. Maybe even think outside the box. Develop new ideas, revise old worn out methodologies, that type of thing. The presidents of major corporations are there for a reason and that reason is the ability to reason.

    Obviously you need to study what you enjoy but a classical education in elementary and high schools would go along way in preparing children for success.

  26. Byron and GWLSMom,

    Unfortunately you are both correct. What GWLSMom sees is accurate and a reflection of what happens when you let corporations dictate education. In many districts, this IS the case that corps run the schools by, shall we say, curriculum manipulation via textbook fallacies that amount to propaganda [the whole Creationism bowel movement], misleading media campaigns and corruption at the school board level – see KCMO schools as a perfect example of this phenomena. They are so crooked that they burn through superintendents (often genuinely seeking to improve the dismal KCMO systems) like water through a hose. And what Byron sees is the symptom and part of the net end result that GWLSMom sees – children not being taught HOW to think, but WHAT to think. His solution is sound too. I’d also add to his curricula Civics, Basic Formal and Symbolic Logic, Ethics and Comparative Religion.

    The “powers that be” don’t want you or anyone else to be capable of independent thought. It’s easier for them to steal you blind, violate your Constitutional Rights, screw you over in general and – yes – even kill you if you resist their agenda. This includes the current lot of fascist sellouts in the White House. Obama has proven to differ from Bush only in who holds his leash. To his credit, they are just the greedy and not so much the war mongers like the GOP seem to prefer as their top. But that is for starting to stray from the issue of education and a topic for other times.

    Lotta,

    There are some who speculate that the still inexplicable rise in the rates of autism are related to a vast variety of toxins that industrializing has added to our environment. Not just one thing like vaccine preservation techniques but “all of them” [the gross pollutants not netted out by natural filtration or conversion processes into inert substances] acting in concert to cause this genetic mutation – an epidemiological nightmare to pin down if this is the mechanic causing the mutation. Not so much lead poisoning as “industrial civilization” poisoning.

  27. BIL,

    So you are in fact back this day. I suppose you are seeing the flowers today instead of the perennial root system?

    I have never had Oxy, so I cannot relate. I hope your kidney is all the better. Your wit has certainly been missed. Your Sarcasm even more.

  28. AY,

    Not fully back, but yes, I’ll survive much to the dismay of corrupt politicians, fascist corporations and trolls everywhere.

    If you want to know what Oxy is like, eat something that will make you queasy but not enough to vomit and then hit your self in the forehead with a hammer three or four times. Once the initial pain fades and the numbness takes over? That’s oxy. I honestly don’t see how anyone would like them well enough to get hooked on them. It’s a ridiculous drug for recreational use. And being ridiculous, ergo, the perfect drug for Rush.

  29. Byron–

    I didn’t say there was anything wrong with a classical education. I had four years of Latin before I headed off to college. The nuns drummed the rules of grammar into my head for twelve years. I diagrammed hundreds of sentences during the time I was a student in my parochial “grammar” school.

    I spent forty years in education. I worked as an elementary teacher, a school librarian, and a college instructor. Young kids do need structure and discipline. They need to learn study skills, how to do research. They need to commit certain types of information to memory. I do think, however, that sometimes a system of education can become too rigid. Children should also have ample time to explore their creativity in school…to expand their knowledge by taking field trips outside the classroom…to explore nature and the science all around them. The most important thing an educator can do is open up a child’s mind to the wonder of learning about things in science…in history…in art and music, etc.—and to introduce them to fine literature.

    Surely, there are universal themes in literature. I do believe that adhering rigidly to a classics-only type education can be restricting. I feel strongly that children need balance in their education. I think teachers should have some freedom to introduce students to the best new literature—books that may become classics in the future. We shouldn’t feel that all the “great” books have already been written. If so, we close our minds to the writings of great new authors. In addition, contemporary literature may touch on problems/situations that students are actually experiencing in their own lives. How about taking more of a “something old/something new” literature approach with required books?

    Teachers should have high expectations for all of their students—and should help them to achieve at the highest academic levels that they possibly can. I retired early from my elementary teaching position because I could see that I was going to be pressured to spend much of my students’ valuable educational time prepping them for standardized tests. To me—that’s not real teaching…that’s not real education.

    ********************
    Byron–

    You wrote: “The presidents of major corporations are there for a reason and that reason is the ability to reason.”

    My response: I’d have to say that we have had more than a few heads of corporations who may have been able to reason but still managed to run their corporations, insurance companies, and banks into the ground. Was it greed or incompetence—or both?

  30. Elaine:

    from my vantage point most American corporations are fairly well run. Some aren’t but I don’t think they are the rule. Unfortunately there is a rush to judgement about corporations. I agree that some are run by men and women that need an injection of humanity but by and large I think most are run for the benefit of the shareholders and the employees (I understand that not all are treated equally).

    Certainly entrepreneurs and businessmen have given us a very high standard of living and free markets are lifting China and India into first world status.

    As far as greed and incompetence go, I would say it was probably just plain incompetence. Greed may have something to do with it, but a truly competent businessman/woman is going to be able to know when they can risk and when they cant.

    A truly competent person would be into rational self interest, a greedy person would not care about long term effects vs. short term gain. I believe there is a major difference. And so I would call it incompetence alone or maybe you could say that greed is a component of incompetence.

  31. Byron–

    Greed may also be a component of an individual’s immorality/amorality. I think we need many more heads of corporations who understand what life is like today for normal folks. I believe some of them need a good shot of empathy serum.

    Why do we now have such a great disparity in pay bewteen the salary of CEOs and workers? I believe the average CEO now earns nearly 300 times what an average worker does. When corporations claim they’re experiencing financial problems, it always seems to be the average workers who are asked to sacrifice. Sometimes they even lose their pensions. CEOs are arely asked to sacrifice anything. Sometimes incompetent corporate leaders get bought out with huge financial packages.

  32. “what happens when you let corporations dictate education.”

    Buddha,
    Happy you’re back and feeling better. Your comments in that post nailed it I think, but I would add one more idea to think about: The printing press and its’ successors. While print and now electronic media has certainly democratized knowledge, it has also caused humans to not develop and utilize skills that have been there since the dawn of homo sapiens. We don’t develop the memory skills of our ancestora and we have become viscerally less in touch with our environment. Think of Shakespeare, who in his time provided entertainment for the “uneducated” masses. They understood him and could follow along. For us, beyond the middle English used, it is a more difficult proposition.

    This has all accelerated with the advent of radion, movies, TV and the internet. Thought become soundbites and despite the old cliches “a picture is not worth a thousand words.”

  33. Byron,
    In the words of Ronnie Reagan “Here you go again.”

    “The educational theory du jour is ill preparing our children for life. People have to be taught to think, for most it does not come naturally. And they have to be taught to think properly, to question, to analyze, to argue logically and effectively.”

    I agree completely, but don’t you get that its your people in the keep my taxes low crowd that are responsible for this? You know most of them don’t agree with even the concept of a free public education, which would mean the limitation of education to those who could afford it and screw the rest of the people.

    “The presidents of major corporations are there for a reason and that reason is the ability to reason.”

    Not true mostly. They are there because they could negotiate the politics of the situation and come out on top. How do you explain the world’s premier auto industry, lying in tatters, except by poor leadership decisions. That is only one of many “for instances” I could give.

    “Certainly entrepreneurs and businessmen have given us a very high standard of living and free markets are lifting China and India into first world status.”

    The living conditions in China and India are for most people third world. The chinese factories are barely more than slave operations. Inboth places there is money being made and wealth created, but it is in the hands of a few. India is only marginally better than China because the latter has morphed from a communist to fascist state while keeping its communistic party and trappings. India is slightly better but is dominated by both a hereditary and wealthy elite and also burdened by a still existing rigid caste system.

    “I think most are run for the benefit of the shareholders and the employees (I understand that not all are treated equally).”

    Corporations are run for the purpose of maximizing profits. That is their nature and it is why you need governments to regulate them. While a smart businessman should think about the employees because it is good business practice, in truth the overwhelming majority don’t because they view the world and their jobs only in terms of short term profit. That is how the stock market judges them and so that is how they keep their jobs.

    I know what a smart man you are and you’re probably an excellent businessman and fair employer. You see the world sometimes though as if it were a Frank Capra movie and sadly it isn’t.

  34. Mike Spindell:

    Just call me Clarence, Christmas is just around the corner and once again George is going to need to be bailed out of a jam caused by that greedy prick Mr. Potter.

    Not to worry, I have you and Buddha to give me a cogent other side of the coin take on markets.

    Yes I do know how badly people are treated in India and China and that probably out of the 1-1.5 billion people in each country only 200-300 million are able to take advantage of the growing prosperity. You know me, I wish everyone could enjoy the fruits of the free market. Call it egalitarian capitalism.

    Hope springs eternal in the heart of every humanitarian capitalist (not an oxymoron in my view).

    Elaine:

    it actually does make me sick that someone makes 20 million a year and the secretary with 2 small children is having a hard time paying the rent or buying health care insurance. Especially if they are running their company into the ground.

    Do you blame the person? Or do you blame the dumb-ass that hired them? It is similar to professional sports, are those athletes really worth that amount of money? I don’t know, can anyone be a major league athletes? Probably not due to physical limitations.

    Can anyone be a successful corporate CEO probably not due to the same physical limitations. I think Mike Spindell is partially right (above) about being politically savvy but it takes more to run a company or any enterprise well for that matter.

  35. Byron,
    That’s why I like you. I’m a Capra sucker also and all his movies tear me up. Just a point about high salaried pro athletes and their pay, which mostly doesn’t compare to corporate pay. An average baseball player is probably in the top .0001% of all people who play baseball in skill level. A top CEO is in the top 10% of all people who could run a business. Quite a disparity and yet unless you’re ARod or Pujols you don’t get paid anywhere near your value. CEO’s are generally highly overpaid given their actual level of skill.

  36. Byron–

    You wrote: “Do you blame the person? Or do you blame the dumb-ass that hired them?”

    ***************

    I blame the greedy CEO–and the dumb-ass that hired him/her.

    $20,000,000? That would be considered a paltry sum by certain corporate officers. It wouldn’t even put a CEO anywhere near the top ten.

    Check this out:
    Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — Following is a table listing the Top 10 highest paid chief executive officers of 2008, according to The Corporate Library. Seven out of the top 10 CEOs work in the energy industry.

    ==========================================================================
    Total Realized
    CEO Name Company Name Compensation Industry
    ==========================================================================
    Stephen A. Blackstone
    Schwarzman Group L.P. $702,440,573 Financial Services
    ————————————————————————–
    Lawrence J. Oracle
    Ellison Corporation $556,976,600 Computer Software
    ————————————————————————–
    Ray R. Occidental Petroleum
    Irani Corporation $222,639,705 Petroleum & Coal Extraction
    ————————————————————————–
    John B. Hess Hess Corp. $159,566,940 Petroleum Products
    ==========================================================================
    Total Realized
    CEO Name Company Name Compensation Industry
    ==========================================================================
    Michael D. Ultra Petroleum
    Watford Corp. $116,929,392 Petroleum & Coal Extraction
    ————————————————————————–
    Aubrey K. Chesapeake Energy
    McClendon Corporation $114,286,867 Petroleum & Coal Extraction
    ————————————————————————–
    Bob R. XTO Energy
    Simpson Inc. $103,485,972 Petroleum & Coal Extraction
    ————————————————————————–
    Mark G. EOG Resources,
    Papa Inc. $90,471,784 Petroleum & Coal Extraction
    ————————————————————————–
    Eugene M. Nabors Industries
    Isenberg Ltd. $79,333,079 Petroleum & Coal Services
    ————————————————————————–
    Michael S. Abercrombie &
    Jeffries Fitch Co. $71,795,744 Retail Apparel

    Not bad remuneration for a year’s work!

  37. Bryon,

    Dean Bakere says we ought to take “the talent” up on their threats to go elsewhere if their bonus gets capped! He says it would save us tons of money and we could get some competent people in the banks at last! :)

  38. Elaine/Jill/Mike:

    I will be happy to take $500,000 per year to run a bank into the ground. That would be win win all around. They pay less for salary, they will fire me quicker because they wont be envious and in awe of me because of my $20,000,000 million salary and I will do little harm because they wont let me do too much damage. And there is the upside, I might actually turn a profit and that would be a real deal at only $500,000.

  39. Byron,

    No love for “Atlas Shrugged,” “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” most of Heinlein’s and Vidal’s careers, some of Borges’s, and Garcia Marquez? I’d wager your concept of Archetypes owes quite a bit to “The Power of Myth” (directly or indirectly) which was published in the late 80s.

  40. lotta writes: Declining intelligence.

    Frank Zappa, of all people, wrote about this in the liner notes of one of his early albums, maybe 1966? 67?
    anyway his point was that it was in the best interests of government to havea stupid population who did not rely on their own wit and industry to learn, get educated to many points of view and act accordingly. he was anti-drug, to some surprise, unless you followed his rants, and thought that drugs and alcohol made for a plastic population that would be dulled into believing what the government wanted them/us to believe and we would be dulled into submission.
    too bad he died before blogging.
    too bad he died so soon.

  41. byron writes:

    They will be able to think. Maybe even think outside the box. Develop new ideas, revise old worn out methodologies, that type of thing. The presidents of major corporations are there for a reason and that reason is the ability to reason.

    Obviously you need to study what you enjoy but a classical education in elementary and high schools would go along way in preparing children for success.

    thinking critically or creatively does not come from curricula but from being given permission to do so and then encouragement. doesn’t matter what the subject matter is. thinking is what curricula of all sorts should inspire.

    classics are but one way to inspire… but in all my years of schooling and there were lots of them, I never was as inspired by the ancients as I was by those whose lives seemed like mine, or what I wanted mine to be.

  42. buddha writes: The “powers that be” don’t want you or anyone else to be capable of independent thought.

    nice to see you again doll.

  43. Gyges:

    I don’t think reading contemporary authors is bad, I just think you ought to read old dead authors first. The contemporary authors probably did and that is why, along with life experience, they have something to say. Of course this is all just BTOTW (Byron’s Theory of the World)

  44. GWMom:

    that is the point, your experience in 2009 is not much different from a person of your station in life from 350 BC. No cars and phones but the general wants, needs and desires haven’t changed much. Reinventing the wheel in each successive generation is time spent unnecessarily that could have been used toward a more productive end.

  45. Byron–

    Having known and taught kids who were reluctant readers–I can tell you how exciting it is to see children who once disliked reading getting hooked on books because of new authors or genres I introduced them to. Many of those books weren’t classics.

    Maybe if we didn’t try to force only “classics” on our students and children and allowed them to select some of the books they read–more kids would find reading pleasurable. Once they began reading and enjoying it more, they might very well become more proficient readers who would be better able to appreciate the classics.

    I’m in favor of putting the horse before the cart.

  46. Byron: “that is the point, your experience in 2009 is not much different from a person of your station in life from 350 BC.”

    Excepting that man/boy love thing that Plato discussed in the Symposium; eh hem…right?

    “No cars and phones but the general wants, needs and desires haven’t changed much.”

    So you don’t believe the last seventy years of technological advances have left the masses more driven to ‘death by distraction?’

    A quote you should keep in mind every time they come out with a new iphone, etc., or when you see newsmen and congressmen polluting the minds of the masses with the mental flotsam machine known as twitter:

    Thoreau: “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.”

    “Reinventing the wheel in each successive generation is time spent unnecessarily that could have been used toward a more productive end.”

    “And what is good, Phædrus, And what is not good… Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”

  47. byron writes: that is the point, your experience in 2009 is not much different from a person of your station in life from 350 BC.

    boy do you have that wrong.
    my experience in 2009 is vastly different from my experience in 1959. and it isn’t about station in life. its about culture and expectations and the fact that in this country people are expected to alter their station in life via education and learning how to work the system and that is one thing that is being taught in public school. my experience as a publicly educated woman is not just different from my kid’s experience. it’s incomparable in most ways and again, it isn’t only about curriculum. in 1959 girls were expected to grow up seeking marriage and rearing children as their ultimate goal. not so in 2009.

    btw, do you have kids?

  48. BobEsq:

    I take it you aren’t into the latest toga fob or the most recent Gladiatorial garment, or how about that new sandal I saw Gracchus wearing the other day? My wife wants a new tile floor with Neptune and some fish. It is going to cost me plenty.

  49. Byron: “I take it you aren’t into the latest toga fob or the most recent Gladiatorial garment, or how about that new sandal I saw Gracchus wearing the other day? My wife wants a new tile floor with Neptune and some fish. It is going to cost me plenty.”

    The tile floor remark did in fact make me laugh out loud.

  50. BobEsq:

    we definitely need to learn what is good and not good. How else did humans survive through all the generations? We would have died long ago from eating poisonous plants.

    That which is good promotes life, how do we know what promotes life without having lived or been taught the good?

  51. Byron–

    You asked: “What about children that do like to read?”

    I think all children should be able to select some of the books they read. I’m happy that for most of the years that I was an elementary teacher I was allowed to choose most of the books that I read aloud to my students. If I had been required to read only classics published before 1950, my students would have missed out on some of the finest literature written for children–including books like “Charlotte’s Web.” That didn’t preclude me from also reading books by A. A. Milne, “The Wind in the Willows,” and other children’s classics. Even children who like to read, should be encouraged to expand their literary horizons beyond a list of mandated classics that someone/some group has determined to be their required reading during their years spent in school.

    As I wrote above: How about taking more of a “something old/something new” literature approach with required books? Why do you believe that “classics”–or books written before the midpoint of the 20th century–are the only ones worth reading?

  52. Elaine:

    I am not a book nazi, it was only a suggestion/my opinion. I don’t like certain books but if someone wanted to ban them from being taught, I would be the first one, well maybe second, protesting.

    As a kid I loved Charlotte’s Web and to this day have a fondness for pigs (especially in regards to BBQ). But I also liked Animal Farm (the evil Wilburs) and so I am able to enjoy my BBQ guilt free.

    Your point of something old/something new has allowed me to, for many years, eat BBQ and other succulent pork products and feel no remorse. Had I only read Charlotte’s Web, I just might be a vegetarian.

  53. Byron: “we definitely need to learn what is good and not good. How else did humans survive through all the generations? We would have died long ago from eating poisonous plants.”

    The line I quoted was from “Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance” in which Pirsig paraphrases another line from “The Phaedrus.” He’s not analyzing ‘good’ in the simplistic sense, he takes the reader on a journey analyzing the split between classical and romantic thought as viewed from the concept of what he terms “quality.”

    Here’s a nice summation from Wikipedia:

    Robert Pirsig uses “arete” as a synonym for Quality in his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This includes an extensive discussion of Plato’s “Phaedrus” and the historical contrast between Dialectic and Rhetoric. “And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good — Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?” – Pirsig’s line plays off a line in the Platonic dialogue “The Phaedrus” which reads: “And what is well and what is badly-need we ask Lysias, or any other poet or orator, who ever wrote or will write either a political or any other work, in metre or out of metre, poet or prose writer, to teach us this? ” (Translated by Benjamin Jowett)

    Byron: “That which is good promotes life, how do we know what promotes life without having lived or been taught the good?”

    Well, if you’re fond of the texts of old dead guys, Plato (and Socrates) would say Anamnesis (the recollection of what the soul has learned in countless lives prior)

    From “The Meno”

    S=Socrates
    M=Meno

    (In media res; after showing how an ignorant slave boy can ‘recollect’ knowledge of geometry…)

    S: So the man who does not know has within himself true opinions about the things he does not know?

    M: So it appears.

    S: These opinions have so far just been stirred up, as in a dream, but if he were repeatedly asked these sorts of questions in various ways, you know that in the end his knowledge about these things would be as perfect as anyone’s.

    M: It is likely.

    S: And he will know it all without having been taught, only questioned, by finding knowledge within himself?

    M: Yes.

    S: And isn’t finding knowledge within oneself recollection?

    M: Certainly.

    S: Must he not either have at some time acquired the knowledge he now possesses, or else have always possessed it?

    M: Yes.

    S: If he always had it, he would always have known. If he acquired it, he cannot have done so in his present life. Unless someone has been teaching him some geometry? Because he will do as well with all of geometry, and all other knowledge. Has someone taught him everything? You should know, especially as he has been born and brought up in your house.

    M: But I know that no one has taught him.

    S: Yet he has these opinions, or doesn’t he?

    M: It seems undeniable, Socrates.

    86

    S: If he has not acquired them in his present life, isn’t it clear that he had them and learned them at some other time?

    M: It seems so.

    S: Then that must have been the time before he was a human being?

    M: Yes.

    S: If, then, there must exist in him – both while he is and while he is not a human being – true opinions which can be stirred up into knowledge by questioning, won’t it have to be the case that his soul had in it all this knowledge, all along? For it’s clear that throughout all time he either was or was not a human being.

    M: So it would seem.

    S: And if the truth about reality is always in our soul, the soul must be immortal. And therefore you should take heart and seek out and recollect what you do not presently know – that is, what you cannot presently remember?

    M: I think that what you say is right, Socrates, but I don’t know how.

    S: I think so too, Meno. I would not swear that my argument is right down to the last word, but I would fight to the last breath, both in word and deed, that we will be better men – brave instead of lazy – if we will believe we must search for the things we do not know; if we will refuse to believe it is not possible to find out what we do not know and that there is no point in looking.

    M: Here again, I think you are right, Socrates.

    http://homepage.mac.com/jholbo/writings/dialogues/meno/meno8.html

  54. BobEsq:

    “if we will believe we must search for the things we do not know; if we will refuse to believe it is not possible to find out what we do not know and that there is no point in looking.”

    You teach a child that and he understands it, you got yourself a human being capable of quite a good deal.

    I believe we are born “tabula rasa” and must learn what we know from scratch. I think Socrates is wrong about having knowledge from other dimensions. The brain is a mysterious organ and who knows how much we pick up from our surroundings without even knowing that we know it.

  55. Byron,

    The only extent I agree with Socrates in the Meno is the extent demonstrated by C.G. Jung and the Archetypes of the Unconscious; further elaborated upon by Joseph Campbell in his works.

    Otherwise, aside from the genetic ‘inklings’ of the child as inherited by the parents, you’ve got a clean slate.

  56. And Byron,

    You seem to be struggling with a re-defining of conservatism; sort of a semi-self-re-discovery.

    You may find some solace in John Dean’s “Conservatives Without Conscience” in which he lays out, how shall we say, what you probably always thought conservatism was as distinguished from what it’s been turned into by far right extremists.

  57. BobEsq:

    What I find interesting though is that I have more in common with you, Buddha and Mike Spindell, at least as far as individual rights go, than I do with what you all call Neocons. A crazy bunch if ever there was. However where I diverge and greatly is in my belief in a free market as a corollary to individual freedom. I don’t see how you can have one without the other.

    Mike and I go round and round about this (I imagine he must think I am Ruprecht from “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” to his Michael Cain) and I have spent much time thinking about regulation and free markets. The only thing I can come back to is that with all the regulation there was in place to prevent a scheme like Bernie Madoff’s, it still happened.

    The system was corrupt because of corrupt individuals within the system (the regulatory system). I believe that because markets are made up of many individuals, each with his own self interest in mind, there is a natural equilibrium and organization. And because there is no safety net (read government) people are going to be more cautious about how they spend and invest.

    I don’t believe you can have true liberty in a mixed economy. Maybe I do live in a Frank Capra movie but economic and political freedom go hand in hand. I don’t think you can be truly free without true freedom in both arenas. To me it is quite simple, I want to keep what I earn (my work, my life) and I want to buy what I want to buy (my liberty, my happiness). To me it seems elementary and guaranteed by Mr. Jefferson’s words.

    I am not talking about freedom without an objective rule of law.

  58. Byron: “What I find interesting though is that I have more in common with you, Buddha and Mike Spindell, at least as far as individual rights go, than I do with what you all call Neocons. A crazy bunch if ever there was.

    However where I diverge and greatly is in my belief in a free market as a corollary to individual freedom. I don’t see how you can have one without the other.”

    “I don’t believe you can have true liberty in a mixed economy.”

    You don’t strike me as a neocon for the simple reason that neocons are all about domination; a policy, how shall we say, at odds with individual rights. Since Mike S. has dismissed philosophy in all its forms in a previous debate with me, I’m hard pressed to agree with you that he adheres to any philosophy of civil rights; apparently his views on the topic may vary simply by virtue of what he happened to eat for breakfast that day. Buddha, on the other hand, is more than capable of expressing the architecture of his thoughts on the topic.

    The problem, as I see it, lay in attempting to reconcile The Social Compact with free market economics; a task far more easy than you’d expect so long as you review the basic tenets of the Social Compact.

    N.B. The formation of a Social Compact is the condition precedent for Free Market Economics:

    J. Locke: “MEN being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent. The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it. This any number of men may do, because it injures not the freedom of the rest; they are left as they were in the liberty of the state of nature. When any number of men have so consented to make one community or government, they are thereby presently incorporated, and make one body politic, wherein the majority have a right to act and conclude the rest.”

    The problem, as I see it, with an absolute free market without any regulations imposed by society at all, is a contradiction or breach of the social compact as stated above. By allowing individuals and corporations, under the legal fiction of corporate personhood, to amass unlimited wealth and power, i.e. without things like anti-trust laws and the like, is tantamount to giving the legislature absolute and arbitrary power over the estates of the governed.

    “It cannot be supposed that they should intend, had they a power so to do, to give to any one, or more, an absolute arbitrary power over their persons and estates, and put a force into the magistrate’s hand to execute his unlimited will arbitrarily upon them. This were to put themselves into a worse condition than the state of nature, wherein they had a liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others, and were upon equal terms of force to maintain it, whether invaded by a single man, or many in combination.” (Locke, discussing the extent of legislative power).

    Accordingly, the existence of a social compact necessitates legislation precluding the possibility of the rise of market tyranny; otherwise the social compact becomes illusory.

    Per the topic of individual rights, that comes down to an analysis of where and when the state cannot trespass on the individual.

    Locke draws the line here: “Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this NO BODY HAS ANY RIGHT TO BUT HIMSELF.”

    Keeping in mind that Locke, who Jefferson plagiarized in drafting the DOI, defined tyranny as “the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to.”

    And, I’m sure you’re guessing, where does Kant fit into all this? Simple. Kant laid out a survey, if you will, in his “Metaphysics of Morals”, of the areas that the sovereign may legislate over and that which it may not. He called them Duties of Right and Duties of Virtue. Duties of Right are duties you owe to the public and the sovereign. Duties of Virtue, on the other hand, are simply duties owed to the self. This is why claiming that parental laws are in fact tyranny.

    Per your Bernie Madoff example; lest you forget how much the SEC failed to keep him in check.

  59. Fukt up.

    I say that due process sez, the defendant had the trial, the jury came back with a verdict.

    Any change in that verdict that prejudices the defendant should be thrown out.

    There are double jeopardy, res judicata, due process, and 5/6th amendment issues here breached otherwise.

  60. BobEsq:

    “When any number of men have so consented to make one community or government, they are thereby presently incorporated, and make one body politic, wherein the majority have a right to act and conclude the rest.”

    I think, not having read much of Locke, and going by what you have posted, that the last clause presents a problem. Namely it implies majority rule. Mr. Locke seems to be for individual rights but only to a point. In my opinion he appears to not go far enough in protecting the individual against the state, mob, etc. But then this is with having read very little Locke, so he may expand on his idea somewhere else.

    “The problem, as I see it, with an absolute free market without any regulations imposed by society at all, is a contradiction or breach of the social compact as stated above. By allowing individuals and corporations, under the legal fiction of corporate person-hood, to amass unlimited wealth and power, i.e. without things like anti-trust laws and the like, is tantamount to giving the legislature absolute and arbitrary power over the estates of the governed.”

    That is interesting, I see it the exact opposite. An individual may amass huge amounts of wealth and may have considerable power by virtue of that wealth, in that most people will kiss his ass. He could make life miserable for someone he doesn’t like but he cannot control an entire society as can government.

    Typically an individual must provide something of value to be able to amass tremendous wealth, think Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie or Commodore Vanderbilt. They create something from nothing and lay the ground work for entire industries to be created to serve or benefit from the initial creation. Even with this sort of power he is limited by his ability to provide a good or service and he really has no power over society as a whole other than influence through his product or service.

    We don’t need protection from men/women like that, most of them want to be left alone to provide their service or product and to amass their wealth. Society as a whole benefits from unfettered wealth creation. I see government as a mill stone around the neck of wealth creation and by extension an impediment to societal improvement at large.

    Government, as do most large organizations, protect and try to expand their power. One way to do this is class envy. The government can be used to take away the sovereignty of individuals through the ballot box. The individual, no matter how powerful, cannot take away my sovereignty unless he performs an illegal act, such as kidnapping or murder.

    How does Locke protect the individual from a social compact gone awry? Government regulations on wealth creation are a distortion of the social compact. If one individual is not protected then none are, no matter how wealthy.

  61. “He could make life miserable for someone he doesn’t like but he cannot control an entire society as can government.”

    Byron,
    I think this comment is overly optimistic. Perhaps a single individual cannot control the entire society, but a small group of very wealthy people with similar aims can and do control things often. In your own example Gates, Carnegie and Vanderbilt were essentially monopolists, despite their philanthropic bent. The latter two benefited extensively from the government’s need for railroads and the concessions government offered. Always be suspicious of “self made men,” since many like Ross Perot were “self made” by the largesse of lucrative government contracts and perks. This is not per se bad, but what is is that the rest of us are treated much less tenderly and certainly with much less deference.

  62. Byron: “I think, not having read much of Locke, and going by what you have posted, that the last clause presents a problem. Namely it implies majority rule.”

    Didn’t Madison & Hamilton do a dandy of a job in creating that constitution?

    Byron: “Mr. Locke seems to be for individual rights but only to a point. In my opinion he appears to not go far enough in protecting the individual against the state, mob, etc. But then this is with having read very little Locke, so he may expand on his idea somewhere else.”

    The obligation of the state, within the social compact, is to protect the rights of the individual; i.e. such rights not conveyed in the creation of the social compact. In Fed 84, Hamilton forced Madison to remind Americans that the government is simply constituted of specifically enumerated powers and that the people RETAIN all rights not specifically conveyed. The result was the 9th Amendment. Compare Fed 84 with Section 18 (“On Tyranny”) in Locke’s 2nd Treatise.

    Byron: “That is interesting, I see it the exact opposite. An individual may amass huge amounts of wealth and may have considerable power by virtue of that wealth, in that most people will kiss his ass. He could make life miserable for someone he doesn’t like but he cannot control an entire society as can government.”

    First, let’s not forget when the legal fiction of “corporate personhood” first arose — i.e. during the time of the robber barons.

    Second, one need not have read Locke to appreciate that corporations did not enter this social compact from the state of nature with any rights at all.

    Third, do you, as an individual with all the rights you claim you have, agree with the free market idea that corporations can patent food & human genetic codes? Monsanto does.

    Fourth, under a completely free market economy, you should have no problem with the treasury handing billions over to failed banks so they can gamble in the world markets leaving the taxpayers (i.e. you) holding all the debt and risk and leaving all the profits to themselves. Absolutely FREE MARKET, just not for you; right?

    Byron: “Typically an individual must provide something of value to be able to amass tremendous wealth, think Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie or Commodore Vanderbilt. They create something from nothing and lay the ground work for entire industries to be created to serve or benefit from the initial creation. Even with this sort of power he is limited by his ability to provide a good or service and he really has no power over society as a whole other than influence through his product or service.”

    Are you telling me that Microsoft was never the ‘bad guy’ in an anti-trust suit? Seriously?

    Byron: “We don’t need protection from men/women like that,”

    Bill Gates does not equal Microsoft. A corporation can exist as an entity indefinitely as a shield for any number of ill-willed directors and officers.

    Byron: “I see government as a mill stone around the neck of wealth creation and by extension an impediment to societal improvement at large.”

    You’re arguing for a playing field with absolutely no rules. If everyone has a right to unlimited wealth creation, who’s going to stop the corporation that, in NFL terms, puts 500 players on the field and commits torts to interfere with the ventures of others?

    Byron: “Government, as do most large organizations, protect and try to expand their power. One way to do this is class envy. The government can be used to take away the sovereignty of individuals through the ballot box. The individual, no matter how powerful, cannot take away my sovereignty unless he performs an illegal act, such as kidnapping or murder.”

    Since I reserve the term ‘sovereignty’ for title issues and cession of land to and from the state or fed, unless analyzing the very beginning of sovereignty in itself, i.e. in the creation of the social compact, I’m not sure where you were going with this.

    Byron: “How does Locke protect the individual from a social compact gone awry?”

    Jefferson: “…with respect to our rights, and the acts of the British government contravening those rights, there was but one opinion on this side of the water. All American whigs thought alike on these subjects. When forced, therefore, to resort to arms for redress, an appeal to the tribunal of the world was deemed proper for our justification. This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion. All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, &c.” (letter to Henry Lee, May 8, 1825)

    Byron: “Government regulations on wealth creation are a distortion of the social compact. If one individual is not protected then none are, no matter how wealthy.”

    Think about what you’re saying. For example, if the water company in your town was privatized (as it is in my town) and they started charging $20 gallon for water, you wouldn’t seek redress from the government?

  63. And Byron,

    The creation of a playing field with no rules brings us back to this quote from Locke:

    “This were to put themselves into a worse condition than the state of nature, wherein they had a liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others, and were upon equal terms of force to maintain it, whether invaded by a single man, or many in combination.”

  64. BobEsq:

    “Think about what you’re saying. For example, if the water company in your town was privatized (as it is in my town) and they started charging $20 gallon for water, you wouldn’t seek redress from the government?”

    At $20/gal, I would start my own company and sell it for $15/gal.

    How much do they charge per gallon? How much are they allowed to charge per gallon? If there was free competition how much would the water cost?

  65. BobEsq:

    isnt that quote, above from Locke, the reason we have or at least should have a legal system that allows individuals that have been harmed to seek redress?

    Why is government intervention necessary when you have courts to remedy wrongs? An objective legal standard, in my mind, is far better than a government regulation promulgated by who knows who for reasons that may or may not be above board. Some regulations are merely put in place to restrict entry to markets so that the establisehd entity does not have to worry about competition.

  66. Byron,

    “Why is government intervention necessary when you have courts to remedy wrongs?”

    Care to reword that? Because right now you’re yelling to keep the government out of your medicare.

  67. I totally disagree with the bank bailouts and think they should have either gone under, merged or made it on their own.

    I believe that Hank Paulson bailed his rich friends out of a jam and Bush was too stupid or to pernicious to stop him.

  68. Byron,

    Fine, then you’re calling to keep Traditional Hungarian Stew with paprika out of your Goulash.

    Courts ARE government intervention.

  69. Gyges:

    Right they are. What is your thinking for saying that?

    Courts are a little different than some government agency making up a regulation.

  70. Byron: “Why is government intervention necessary when you have courts to remedy wrongs? An objective legal standard, in my mind, is far better than a government regulation promulgated by who knows who for reasons that may or may not be above board. Some regulations are merely put in place to restrict entry to markets so that the establisehd entity does not have to worry about competition.”

    Gyges beat me to the punch; courts can only intervene where government has promulgated law to do so; unless you’re relying on an equitable remedy claim.

    We leave the state of nature and form the social compact to better protect our rights; not to enter an economic Thunder Dome.
    We do not leave the state of nature to enter

  71. Byron,

    I’m asking you to clarify what you meant. Courts are a part of government, so the question you posed was essentially “Why should government intervention be necessary when a part of the government to remedy the situation?”

    That doesn’t really make sense.

  72. Gyges:

    I am talking about regulations that are not determined by court cases. Maybe I am splitting hairs. But it seems to me that a government agency making up regulations is different than precedent set in a court of law. Assuming that it was a fair trial.

    In addition regulatory agencies could be called extra-constitutional. Or by some even unconstitutional and so outside of the limits of government power.

  73. In addition regulatory agencies could be called extra-constitutional. Or by some even unconstitutional and so outside of the limits of government power.– Byron

    AIG knew precisely how they wanted government oversight to work.
    (The bigger the firm the bigger the whore my godfather at the CBOT was fond of saying, Enron, Anderson, Drexal). National banks choose their regulators and regulators want to get picked, because banks pay them for the service of regulation. AIG, IndyMac, BankUnited and Washington Mutual all chose the Office of Thrift Supervision as their federal regulator. This information comes from an article:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104979546

    Please read this, it’s brief.

    Playing cards with friends last weekend and speaking about these facts my buddy who is a captain with United said it’s exactly the same with the toothless FAA regulators. He is in a safety officer position with the pilots union and comes across this frequently. Airlines pick who comes into their shop to perform oversight and enforcement of regs. The company controls the climate via political pressure.

    Smart whores stay successful by managing two steps ahead of government.

    Byron you might enjoy this angle, a year ago Uncle Sam could have demanded 25 percent to 30 percent of the underlying equity in the banks before agreeing to negotiate a bailout package with the weakened institutions.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=au2qEG04vpmc

  74. “I dont even want medicare or social security. I know it aint ever going to happen but one can dream.”

    Byron,
    As you know I respect you as a person and do believe you are a compassionate and caring human being. I also take you at your word that you’re a good employer. With those caveats let met say that sometimes in your love affair with your libertarian political viewpoint you adopt positions that are innately cruel and stupid. Notice I’m talking about your surmises and not about you personally. As is my wont though let me get personal about myself to show you the upshot of where your statement above plays out with at least one human and I am certainly among the lucky ones.

    I’ve worked since I was 16. At 18 my work became my sole support since I was orphaned. I received money from social security, won a full tuition government sponsored merit scholarship for college and yet had to work a thirty hour week going through school just to support myself and have a place to live. After school, owing thousands in student loans I took a job in what people call the Welfare Department.

    Through it I learned about poverty, deprivation and a system set up to cause failure. Not because the people I worked with were stupid and/or lazy, but because Conservatives had rigged the system to destroy family life, ensured by regulation that any family getting assistance must be and stay completely impoverished and the system supported greedy landlords who made millions from substandard housing. At the same time their children were undereducated by a school system that rather than distributing money fairly, diverted money from schools in poor areas to those in more affluent areas. Finally, the police were allowed to run rampant in the areas I worked, treating people in ways that they wouldn’t dare to on Park Avenue.

    In fifteen years out on the street of every “fearsome ghetto”
    in NYC I walked alone day and night and never a cross word was said to me, though I was white, blond haired and blue eyed. At night I would turn on the 11:00pm news and watch story after story showing people of color in violence and frightening the general public. I would go into areas alone that the police said they were afraid to go without backup. Never once an assault upon me and never once did I see crime committed.

    That work bred in me the feeling that this was to be my life’s work. I won a full tuition scholarship, via competition, to an Ivy League University for my Masters degree, it was a government scholarship and simultaneously enrolled in training as a therapist in a State licensed Training Institute. I also got married and had two kids. My career in the Agency took off as did my private psychotherapy practice. I became a recognized expert in child welfare by supervising a novel program that in a study outperformed all others of its kind using scientific measurement standards. However, during this time due to the structure I was in and because of the ethics I adhered to my salary did not rise commensurately with my responsibilities. I became a little big shot, without the concommitant financial remuneration.

    So I worked two jobs and my wife worked a difficult job as an executive in a corporation and still we had to get money from my in-laws to buy our first house. We did not live an extravagant lifestyle, but by then even with my excellant private health insurance our family medical expenses cost a lot as did raising our kids. My heart problems didn’t help, but I continued to work long hours at both my jobs.

    I rose in the Agency and became known as someone who got the job done. There was some resentment, however, because as Mayoral Administrations came and went I insisted on being ethical in my work, rather than bow to the exigencies and corruption of Mayoral politics. In any event you must factor in that the Commisioner of my billion dollar Agency, with more than 20,000 employees made about $140,000 per year in todays dollars. My Agency, staffed on a military model, would place me as a Major, or lower level Colonel at best. I never kissed ass and so I never made that much money. This was also hurt by the fact that my Executive job, with its’ long hours precluded my work as a therapist so that source of income dried up. By the way I never could afford a 401k for instance and my wifes job blew up when a new boss came in who didn’t care for women execs. She kept working at other jobs but made less.

    When I hit 55 and could retire from the Agency and go to work for not for profits. This was when my income finally began to soar, though until the end never into six figures, while living in a six figure neighborhood for its great school system. I thrived with non-profits for 6 years and we began to be able to save a little money when my heart failure hit. It was so svere that I could no longer work. It was especially ironic because the day before I 911’ed to the hospital I had interviewed for the biggest job of my career, running an established mid-level non-profit and the day after I returned from the hospital they called offering me the job which I could no longer take.

    My disability was such that I received SS Disability six months from the date of application, this was the law and actually the 6 months was an expedited timeframe and unusual, but then my prognosis was none to good. Most of our savings were used up in the six month interim until SS Disability kicked in. My wife had to quit working to take care of me and in this economy returning to work is not an option for her. So we live on my pension and on Social Security. without it I don’t know where I’d be. While my health insurance was always good since Medicare kicked it I literally am saving thousands of dollars a year that I don’t have.

    Please understand this I’m one of the lucky people who needs these government services, there are millions less fortunate than me.

    Byron, you might say to me that I should have chosen another line of work and probably I could have and made lots of money. I’m (or was at least) a handsome, tall guy, a smooth and convincing talker and I’ve got a Mensa like IQ. Damnit it though, I have literally saved 5 lives, two from diabetic shock and three from suicide. I have benefitted and helped the lives of countless others and literally worked my way into disability via long hours and severe operational pressure. Without Social Security and Medicare my life would be in poverty. I think I and millions more Americans deserve better than that and that any system of government that precludes that, is a system set up to benefit those who’ve lived lives of privilege

  75. Mike:

    I honestly don’t think people would starve in the streets and be destitute.

    I also understand that there needs to be some sort of social safety net for people that are in circumstances beyond their control.

    I have MD (adult onset) and use a wheelchair, my dad died when I was 7, my daughter has cystic fibrosis and it took me 10 years to get my first degree because I worked to pay for it. By the end I had 8 thousand in loans, which I paid off in about 4 years after I got out.

    The 8 thousand was about what I paid into the system in the way of taxes over the last 2 years due to a very good job that I took during a year off of school that allowed me to save enough to pay for the last 2 years. So in essence I loaned myself the money that I paid back to the federal government with interest.

    I worked my ass off doing hard physical labor, you can ask Former Federal Leo about what roughnecks do. The point is that why should people that work and struggle be made to pay for people that don’t want to work hard? If someone cant work hard because of mental or physical limitations, then by all means help them. But if someone spends their youth drinking and carousing and not thinking about the future, why should I have to help them?

  76. Byron,

    You know I also like you, just as many other people do but your ideas don’t comport with real life sometimes. People are already starving in the US. You may think it is because they are lazy but this is simply not true. People can work very hard and still not make enough money to survive. Sometime do the calculation on minimum wage, add up reasonable expenses, and you will see it’s not a living wage. How hard should a baby and a six year work before they are allowed to have food, shelter and medical care? What about lazy rich people who got that way via inheritence? Why does someone who never worked a day in their life get to have food, shelter and medical care?

  77. Jill:

    “but your ideas don’t comport with real life sometimes.”

    I used to work as a manager in a fast food restaurant in La. (the state) it was many years ago and so maybe the laws have changed somewhat. Anyway there were 2 young ladies that worked there who were on welfare. They were as hard working as anyone and I wanted them to work some extra hours, they were only working about 20 or so and I figured they could use the extra money.

    I did not know they were on welfare when I asked. They said they could not because they could only make a minimal amount of money to retain their benefits. If they made $1.00 over that amount they would lose all their benefits.

    They would have worked but they were in a bind because the government said they could not or they would lose the entire benefit. I thought that was the craziest thing I had ever heard. Why didn’t the government just make up the slack, if a family of 4 needs say $35,000/year for a roof over their heads and 3 meals per day and they can only make $15,000 then have the government give them $20,000. And as they make more money reduce the amount tendered.

    My ideas may not comport with your idea of reality but I think they are in line with what I have seen in my life. Unfortunately there are lazy people in our country or they are too stubborn to do something else. If the buggy whip industry dies in Sandusky, Ohio it might be time to move to Detroit, Michigan to go to work for that Henry Ford fellow making that new fangled Model T.

    Anyone, in this country, can make $20,000 a year unless they are mentally or physically limited.
    And no I don’t think children should work. And I also believe that anyone that needs some help getting back on their feet should have it. But cradle to grave welfare is not effective.

  78. CCD:

    thanks for the articles. Just another reason why I don’t think government regulations work.

    Government employees are no less susceptible to graft and corruption than their private sector counterparts.

    As an example of a market based regulator, look at Consumer Reports or Underwriters Laboratory or JD Powers. I am sure there is some shenanigans there as well, but for the most part when I buy something reviewed by consumer reports it is usually as good as they say.

    I even think that government regulation gives people a false sense of security and they don’t bother looking into the actual credentials of the company or individual they are buying goods or services from. Your AIG example, Bernie Madoff, Enron, the peanut butter peccadillo, the list goes on and on. If government is such a good regulator why all the problems?

  79. BobEsq:

    just bought Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. And already a question arises. He seems to be saying that there are 2 types of knowledge but then he says that a priori knowledge is based on a posteriori knowledge. In other words a priori is subserviant to a post. Is a priori a synthesis of a post.? Or is a priori the knowledge that supposedly follows us from other dimensions as in Socrates’s dialogue with Meno about the slave boy that could do geometry?

  80. Byron,

    I like your idea of the govt. making up the difference between a true living wage and actual wages. It’s a good idea. For a family of 4 to live on $35,000 isn’t enough. People in that situation, can and do go hungry and homeless. If you make that money and have even one medical problem or one problem of any kind, you can kiss it goodbye. This same goes for one person making $20,000. One mishap, which can happen to anyone, and it’s over.

    If work is the only condition upon which benefits flow then we really need to kick off those who inherited wealth from all housing, health care, food and clothing. They should be on their own just like anyone else who won’t work.

  81. Byron:

    Integrity or lack of it transcends every tribe, public and private.

    Bob has me hooked on John Dean, this interview led me to his books.

    http://fora.tv/2007/10/01/John_Dean_Broken_Government

    He speaks for 35 minutes then takes questions for the balance.

    More squishy logic, the DOD spends in excess of 900 billion in 2009. Which in itself nearly exceeds what the rest of the world spends combined. Add in the NSA type expenditures and I doubt anyone actually knows what gets spent.

  82. CCD:

    I think all government expenditures should be cut back to the minimum required for adequate service, a debateable amount. DOD included. But as some dead roman said ” si vis pacem, para bellum” (if you want peace prepare for war).

    The space station is a mixed bag for me. Why spend all that money up in space, why not give tax cuts to citizens. But we do seem to learn something and new technologies do arise. So it might be a good thing overall.

    As far as John Dean is concerned, I havent really read about him or read any of his works. I read a book on Watergate years ago that laid out the entire mess and Dean seemed to be a pretty big player. I think a good deal of what he is doing now might be a defensive tactic. But I will watch the link so as to be “fair and balanced”.

  83. “The point is that why should people that work and struggle be made to pay for people that don’t want to work hard? If someone cant work hard because of mental or physical limitations, then by all means help them. But if someone spends their youth drinking and carousing and not thinking about the future, why should I have to help them?”

    Byron,
    This is where your thinking goes off the rails. The fact that for years conservatives have stigmatized people for being lazy drunks, in order to demonize them and thus make sssisting them seem stupid is merely bigotry. These claims were made about the original American Natives, the African slaves, the Acadians, the Scottish settlers, the Irish emigres, the italians, the Jews, the Mexicans, the Chines, etc., etc. Even the Okies, who were farmers who lost their land to drought and had worked very hard to farm it, were then characterized as lazy, irresponsible drunks.

    There truth is that the overwhelming majority of people will and do work hard given the opportunity. However, the wealthy elite needs these phony sterotypes to perpetuate themselves. The silliest part of this nonsense is that as your wealth increases your tendency for hard work decreases. However, executives who can define their conditions of work will tell you about the hard day they spent on the golf course with clients.

    You obviously have worked hard in your life and faced tremendous obstacles, but you are far too smart a person not to see beyond the stereotypes you’ve absorbed to realize the truth. Almost all people, given the opportunity will work their asses off. Any other belief is purely the propaganda of the wealthy, many of whom were to the manor born. Do you really believe that Donald Trump works hard, or was ever in a position in his life where he had to work for himself or his family?

  84. Mike S:

    I am the first to say that most blue collar workers work far harder than I do. The most demanding jobs I ever had were store clerk, waiter, and bar tender. There is a reason that the lot of the working poor in every age is described as “wretched.”

  85. Mespo,
    How easy is that forgotten, or never even looked at by people.
    I also never really had backbreaking jobs, my worst was short order cook and Limo Driver. The latter because you really don’t how insufferable some of the rich can be unless you work for them.

  86. Mike S:

    Donald Trump by his own admission is a member of the “Lucky Sperm Club”.

    And I would not classify most poor people as wretched.

  87. “And I would not classify most poor people as wretched.’

    Byron,
    If you’d worked with the people I worked with for years, shared their confidence and heard their stories you might think differently.

  88. Mike S:

    There are, in my opinion, 2 types of poor people. The kind that are poor through no fault of their own and the kind that just dont give a dam. You are certainly in a much better position than I am because you have had to help them on a daily basis. But I used to work with some of them, the majority were white, and some were hard working and willing to give you the shirt off their back but some were just worthless punks. And blatant bull sh . . .

  89. Byron,

    Love you avatar! Don’t you think your description fits people in general? I just don’t see that kind of behavior limited by income. If being a bull shitter is what limits one’s ability to gain housing, food, clothing and medical care etc, then shouldn’t bullshitting trust funders who are lazy and don’t work, be condemned by you and denied these things as well?

  90. Byron: “just bought Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.”

    The Kemp-Smith translation I hope? That’s the go-to edition for damn near all analysis. Either way, since I don’t see myself reading the text for a fourth time in the near future, you’re going to need a ‘Sherpa,’ i.e. a college professor to get the most out of your reading.

    Byron: “And already a question arises. He seems to be saying that there are 2 types of knowledge but then he says that a priori knowledge is based on a posteriori knowledge.”

    There’s pure and empirical knowledge. In the study of epistemology, the book you’re supposed to read before the Critique is Hume’s Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding; the work that awoke Kant from his ‘dogmatic slumber.’ Hume lays out the limits of empiricism and just leaves it there, while Kant picks up the ball and heads for the end zone. While I was spending my third year of law school using Kant’s method to analyze the Ninth Amendment, I found myself returning to the first 100 pages which pretty much lays out his methodology applied throughout the remainder of the text.

    “In other words a priori is subserviant to a post. Is a priori a synthesis of a post.?”

    Like I said, you’ll need a Sherpa; you’re jumping ahead too quickly. I suggest you read the chapter on THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ANALYTIC AND SYNTHETIC JUDGMENTS on through to the discussion of Synthetic a priori Judgments VERY carefully. Do you know what it means to say “the concept of the predicate is contained within the concept of the subject?” All bachelors are unmarried? All bodies are extended? Etc.

    http://arts.cuhk.edu.hk/cgi-bin/cprframe.pl?query=03intro.htm,048

    When I say I used Kant’s method to analyze the Ninth Amendment, I mean I applied analytic judgments and synthetic a priori judgments to the definitions of the social compact, rights, republican form of government, etc., in order to uncover the NECESSARY truths about the boundaries between government and individual rights that have become far less self-evident over the years.

    Byron: “Or is a priori the knowledge that supposedly follows us from other dimensions as in Socrates’s dialogue with Meno about the slave boy that could do geometry?”

    Now you’ve touched on the whole magilla that’s discussed in the remaining 500 pages. What’s the ‘hardware’ of the mind and what’s the ‘software?’ The phenomena v. noumena; the unity of apperception, etc. Would you believe I was taking a creative writing course at the same time as reading the Critique for the first time? When I had to write my first term paper on the book, I sketched out a story of a boy named Kevin who lived in an illusory world, like a hologram but a tad more hard wired. Which is why a certain movie that came out in 1999 shocked the shit out of me.

    If you want a good analogy of the basic ‘construct’ of Kant’s argument, I suggest you rent “The Matrix” and pay particular attention to the scene where Morpheus explains to Neo “what is the matrix.” It’s the scene where the two of them are in a white space called ‘the construct’

    Don’t worry if you don’t understand the connections yet, you’ll see the connections as you read along.

    Finally, as I said before, the only viable connection I’ve seen between The Meno and Epistemology lay in Carl Jung’s description of the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious; as further illustrated by Joseph Campbell.

    Too much Kant before noon. I need coffee.

  91. Jill:

    I think you miss my point. Some people are poor because they don’t care to improve their lot in life. Some are poor through no fault of their own.

    I agree that BS knows no class boundaries. But the money that a low rent heir uses was made by someone and it is their property to disperse as they see fit. If they want to give it to their slacker children, that is not my business. I would suggest they give it to the Humane Society or a college scholarship fund or other worthwhile cause but it is there money.

    I don’t think I have a right to “persuade” someone through force how to distribute their property. Likewise I don’t want to be compelled by force to give money to causes or people that I would not support if I had a choice.

    I wish someone would explain to me the difference between “keep your hands off my body” but “take my money for the public “good””. I see a contradiction, but then maybe I am missing something.

  92. Jill:

    the avatar is from my favorite Ben Franklin quote about a well armed lamb contesting the wolves vote on what to have for dinner.

    Although I don’t think Old Ben had a rocket launcher in mind. Personally I am not sure how well that would work on a couple of wolves. A 30-06 would probably be sufficient.

    Gyges, any thoughts on what would be a good caliber to take out a hungry wolf?

  93. “But I used to work with some of them, the majority were white, and some were hard working and willing to give you the shirt off their back but some were just worthless punks. And blatant bull sh . . .”

    Byron,
    most of them are just poor. With it poverty breeds hopelessness. With hopelessness comes anti-social behavior. There have been studies that show that people who are put in hopeless situations act out badly. What you do is blame people who have been damaged by poverty for their not behaving better. That you were able to overcome great disparities in your life only means that you are a person with above average talents. To blame average people for being unable to cope is very like blaming the victim.

    Whether you are willing to see it or not our system has been set up to the benefit of the elite and to deal with those in need with contempt and cruelty. You need to look beyond your own talents and allow empathy to walk in others shoes. I’ve done very well in my life in many ways and I obviously have much talent and skills. However, I understand that there but for the grace of fate go I. I was a member of a street gang, had many angry fist fights and hung out with criminals in my youth. I was able to break away, but many who weren’t were just as good as I am, just less lucky and less quicker on the uptake.

    Many people faced with the disability you have would let it crush them, rather than overcome it as you have and become successful. Would you blame them for not having your strength of mind and character? Would their failures be a reason for us not to help them societally?

  94. Mike S:

    I honestly do recognize what you are talking about. But I am not sure the elites are out to get poor people. Otherwise we would have fewer people doing well. I will readily admit that the rich, especially inherited money rich tend to look down their noses at people that are not rich and consider them the “hired” help. I see it and hear about it all the time.

    But then that is the human condition, people are always looking for someone to look down on so they can feel good about themselves.

    There are also a good many stereotypes, I get it all the time. My wife and I are out and they talk to her as if I am deaf and dumb. It used to bug me but then I just figured that they had limited exposure to people in wheelchairs.

    And I am acknowledging the same about my exposure to the poor and what I have relayed to you is my limited experience based on the working poor I have met and known.

    I am all for helping people that are willing to try, but if you have to hand it to them on a silver plate I’ll pass.

    So you were a “disciple” of Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky? Was your mob name “The Brain”?
    I bet you have some good stories to tell.

  95. Byron,
    You are a good person, but you are naive when it comes to the ways of the elite. They need the poor to make them feel better about themselves. The other point is that our national policies via the Federal Reserve have constantly raised the interest rates when unemployment starts going below 5%, which is really 10% when you factor in those pushed off the unemployement roles as no longer looking for work. They slow down the economy so wages won’t rise. Therefore for many years it has be national financial policy to keep at least 10% of the population unemployed and then villify them for not working. Look beyond the propaganda. We are living under socialism, but it is Socialism for the Rich and the thing most feared by major coporations is the free market.

    As for what you describe about being out with your wife in a wheelchair I can imagine how angry that must make you. It makes me angry just hearing about it. This is the problem with stereotyping and just as the public do it in regarding those wheel chair bound as less than normal, so do they do it with people who are poor. Byron, if more people with you political beliefs existed, they don’t, we could all make the compromises that woould turn our country around. It is unfortunate that too many would find that you fail their litmus test of what a conservative or libertarian should be. You are the sane one, not them.

  96. MikeS:

    “We are living under socialism, but it is Socialism for the Rich and the thing most feared by major corporations is the free market.”

    that is exactly what I believe. I think we have welfare for the rich and that the federal reserve was created to allow wealthy people to keep their money with little or no effort. If you had a truly free market the rich would not be able to keep their money safe. The dynamics of the market would prevent idiots from keeping their trust funds and economic downturns would always keep the economy fresh by sweeping away the carcases of inefficient users of capital.

    The current system promotes and rewards corporate sloth. A corporation should not receive any type of handout to keep them afloat. Let them go under and let another more efficient competitor take their place.

    And the federal reserve must go if the US is to ever have any sane economic policy. It has been a millstone around the neck of our economy and society for almost a hundred years. It has outlived it usefulness by about 90 years.

  97. Byron: “that is a good cartridge, but you have to be at probably no more than 200 yards.”

    Byron,

    A .243 100 grain btsp has a Maximum Point Blank Range of approximately 285 yards

    Compare the .243 MPBR with the .270, .308 & 30-06

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_trajectory_table.htm

    From Chuck Hawk’s site: “Winchester’s Supreme 95 grain Ballistic Silvertip big game bullet is factory loaded to a MV of 3,100 fps with 2,021 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy (ME). If that load is zeroed to strike 2.5 inches high at 100 yards the bullet will then strike 3 inches high at 150 yards, 2.3 inches high at 200 yards, and 3 inches low at 300 yards. At 200 yards that bullet hits with 1,455 ft. lbs. of energy, and at 300 yards it still retains 1,225 ft. lbs. of energy. With this load so zeroed the .243 Winchester is about a 300 yard deer and antelope cartridge.”

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/243Win.htm

    I enjoy target shooting more than hunting; especially long range.

  98. “that is exactly what I believe. I think we have welfare for the rich and that the federal reserve was created to allow wealthy people to keep their money with little or no effort.”

    Byron,
    This is why the right/left split as reported by the media and pretended to by politicians is such crap. If and old radical like me and a libertarian conservative like yourself can agree on certain economic terms, the whole panoply of pseudo “Hardball”
    arguments are just verbiage. Come the revolution we can man the baricades together.

  99. Mike S:

    If we are manning the barricades to introduce Laissez Faire and get rid of the FED count me in!

    “Laissez faire, telle devrait être la devise de toute puissance publique, depuis que le monde est civilisé…. Détestable principe que celui de ne vouloir grandir que par l’abaissement de nos voisins! Il n’y a que la méchanceté et la malignité du coeur de satisfaites dans ce principe, et l’intérêt y est opposé. Laissez faire, morbleu! Laissez faire!!

    (Let it be, such should be the motto of every public power, ever since the world is civilized….. A detestable principle that we cannot grow but by the lowering of our neighbors! There is nothing but mischief and malignity of heart that are satisfied with that principle, and interest is opposed to it. Let it be, damn it! Let it be!!)”

    René de Voyer, Marquis d’Argenson

    the good Marquis was a man well ahead of his times.

  100. BobEsq:

    thanks for the info on the site and the correction. If I could drop a deer at 300 yards I was figuring 200 would be good for a wolf. I did not realize there was such a small diminution of energy over that final distance.

  101. Byron,

    On a practical level, I’m guessing whatever you used to eliminate the wolf’s prey to the point where he was hungry enough to attack you, would probably drop the wolf.

  102. Byron: “do you reload as well?”

    Always seemed like too much of a pain in the ass to be worth it. If I competed regularly in weekly matches, the slight increase in accuracy might be worth it.

  103. Byron: “I did not realize there was such a small diminution of energy over that final distance.”

    Gravity works.

Comments are closed.