Is An Economic Revolution Possible in the United States?

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

 

After the news over the past few months about the global uprisings against tyrannical and non-responsive governments, I have pondered why the United States has not had more people in the street protesting the economic inequality that we are facing here at home? 

We have seen uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Spain, Greece and many more places, but at best we have seen large numbers in Wisconsin and Ohio protesting about State governments trying to remove collective bargaining rights away from state employees.  One group of dedicated and non-violent protesters is especially interesting to me since they have taken to the streets and they have stayed there to press their fight.  It is a group in Spain called the Indignados.  They are camped out in various areas of Spain in an attempt to draw the country’s and the world’s attention to what they see as the Spanish government’s attempts to cater to the bankers and not to Main Street.

“Thursday night Madrid’s city centre offered a glimpse of what Western democracies have become, as thousands of unarmed nonviolent civilians with their hands up in the air shouting “these are our weapons” and “this is a dictatorship” were beaten by police commandos in full riot gear. This event was the culmination of a month of intense mobilizations across the country by the popular movement known as the ‘Indignados’. People, whom despite being ignored by the government have made their voices heard, as banking cartels, European bureaucrats, rating agencies and the country’s elites continue in their frantic push to sell-off Spain’s remaining public wealth, and persist in the implementation of drastic cuts to the welfare state.  The ‘Indignados’ are fully aware of the fact that their government does not represent them, whenever they congregate they shout that loud and clear. They know that only popular unity will salvage them from the train wreck, which complicit speculators and politicians have created, and as they read the financial news, they know things can only get worse. When the EU announced today that the economic crisis is no longer restricted to the Euro-zone periphery countries, people in the movement understood that this could only mean bad news for them.” Truthout

Now, we have had some Tea Party protests, but their numbers were paltry in comparison to the Spanish protests.  The numbers in Wisconsin and Ohio were the closest to the Spain numbers, but those protesters were not met with wide-spread beatings at the hands of the government and police and they are still not camping out in Madison and Columbus as they are in Madrid.

Would protestors in the United States ever commit to a continuing protest for months in Washington, D.C.?  These Indignados in Spain, are continuing to protest what they see as government attempts to balance their budgets on the backs of the poor and the middle class.  Why haven’t we seen tent cities springing up in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals across the country?  Many progressives and liberals have claimed that Washington is working only for the bankers and Wall Street barons, so why aren’t our streets filled with dedicated people who are willing to nonviolently protest against the Rich getting richer, while the middle class and poor seem to get poorer?  Is the claim of rising inequality between the rich and poor true?

Where is the evidence that the income disparity is growing in the United States? … “in dollar terms, the rich are still getting richer, and the poor are falling further behind them.  The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its largest margin ever, a stark divide as Democrats and Republicans spar over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.  The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent made by the bottom 20 percent of earners, those who fell below the poverty line, according to the new figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, the data  show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower.” Huffington Post

With those depressing numbers, why haven’t American “Indignados” taken over Washington, D.C. like their Spanish counterparts did in Madrid?  Are Americans just too lazy or indifferent to their plight?  Have they given up being able to make a real difference in Washington? Why aren’t you and I there in Washington pressing our claims for economic equality?  Finally, what will it take for the American poor and jobless to stand up and say, enough is enough?  Maybe you have the answer for these American Indignados!

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

447 thoughts on “Is An Economic Revolution Possible in the United States?

  1. Some observers, considering the same question, have concluded quite surprisingly, that our social “norms” are changing in a way that is not conducive to healthy protest.

    There is a decline in political sense. No sensitivity to real issues. Why are the intelligent people – at least among the white middle class – so passive now? Why? Because the sensitive, intelligent people are in therapy! They’ve been in therapy in the United States for thirty, forty years, and during that time there’s been a tremendous political decline in this country.”

    add a little “education” of the type Chomsky derides:

    Throughout history it’s been mostly the property holders or the educated classes who’ve tended to support power systems. And that’s a large part of what I think education is — it’s a form of indoctrination. You have to reconstruct a picture of the world in order to be conducive to the interests and concerns of the educated classes, and this involves a lot of self-deceit.”

    Above quotes from this link.

    Add to that the manipulations of the mass media, and the result is a populace that is just not into activism in any meaningful manner.

  2. Rafflaw,

    Like I have said on other posts before… It has got to be something HUGE,
    MASSIVE…

    Maybe exposing the truth about 911, or maybe taking away Social Security, or some such thing.

    It has to hurt a lot of people immediately. Not some long drawn out change like spying, or torture, human rights. The public is used to this crap now…

    Something massive.

    That is the only way that the UNION of the real people of the United States will react in an appropriate and public fashion.

  3. Since a lot of those public service jobs are professionals, like doctors and judges the fact that they might make more than $100k is not surprising. All workers should have collective bargaining rights. Since the company has no trouble acting as a single unit and imposing whatever conditions it can get away with the workers, no matter how much or how little they earn, should have some shelter. Evidence of this is that as union membership has declined wages, benefits and standard of living for average Americans have all declined. Meanwhile business continues to do better keeping the increased productivity gains for the BoD and shareholders not sharing it with the workers.

    Meanwhile heavily unionized nations like Germany and France are weathering the current economic madness better than the US.

  4. But as to your actual question Raff – I have said it before and will say it again: these Koch whores are communist conspirators. They are going to destroy the reputation of capitalism. When enough American workers see that they are getting screwed over by the capitalists and getting no protection of any kind from the government they will decide they have nothing to lose. The revolution will be bloody and ugly and it will end badly because it will be between two extremes, this insane version of capitalism and communism. Whichever side wins we will be worse off.

  5. Raff, it is not only possible, IMHO, it is likely. The thing is, the right catalyst has not emerged. In Wisconsin, it did emerge, but has not yet spread. If the GOP continues on its present path, as it did in Wisconsin, may I suggest you lay in a goodly supply of food staples and ammunition. You might need it. The people will only take so much.

    The white rat is one of nature’s most gentle creatures, but if you frighten it enough and corner it, it will bite the end of your finger off.

  6. OS are you comparing the American people to a white rat?
    Geewhiz that’s not nice…..

    I think most people have been indoctrinated into the governments plan for thier poverty over the past decades and have watched as every potential opportunity for governments to grow in a sustainable direction was ignored in favor of short term profit and static social/cultural developement. People have just stopped counting on the crazy. People are going off-grid. Developement is happening in wild proportion….not loudly because once the crazy hears about it it is squelched until there is a greedy hook in its side…..but it is happening….and fast approaching the 100th monkey. I don’t think money will even be relevant in the near future.

  7. raff,

    It’s not a matter of if, it is a matter of when and at what cost in human lives. Frankly also makes a good point that clowns like the Koch Brothers are in truth enemies of capitalism and I think in addition to being enemies of democracy. Where I differ with Frankly is I don’t think it will be a war (on the economic side) between the laissez-faire capitalism (or as Frankly called it, insane capitalism) and communism for a very simple reason. Communism is proven not to work in practice just as laissez-faire capitalism is proving not to work right before our eyes. The economic lines are going to be drawn between laissez-faire capitalism and one of the many forms of socialism that have shown a greater stability and success in weathering the worldwide economic downturn. The political lines are going to be drawn as they have always been drawn which is between oligarchy/despotism (including dictatorships and/or monarchy) and democracy. To paraphrase Leonard Courtney and use a quote often (and probably wrongly) attributed to Thomas Jefferson, “The price of democracy is eternal vigilance.” We as a nation have forgotten that lesson and now the questions are will we learn that lesson again and at what final cost.

  8. Woosty, I sure am making that comparison. Dr. B. F. Skinner, psychology professor at Harvard, compiled a long list of Laws of Behavior. He proved in his research lab, that organisms respond to various stimuli in most predictable ways. It does not matter if the organism is a human, rat, pigeon or planaria. Given a specific stimulus, the response is as predictable (within certain parameters) as Newton’s Laws of Motion.

    One day the American sheeple will awaken. Those currently in power (and power wannabes) will come to realize the truth of the phrase often attributed to Admiral Yamamoto, “We have awakened a sleeping giant.”

  9. That’s right, Frankly. The free (but mandatory) public schools require us to learn that government is made up primarily of professional physicians and judges, and perhaps just a smattering of the truly incompetent.

  10. Gene H

    i don’t believe what we have here is laissez-faire capitalism but more of a government backed capitalism or government backed corporatism. john of orange (credit OS for that one) recently said after the credit ceiling talks that they got 90 or 95% of what they wanted. they will blame that 5 or 10% they didn’t get for its failure. that’s what the rights spin machine does.

  11. One of the reasons such an effort is being put forward to dismantle unions is the fear that the ability to organize through union chapters across the country will result in revolution, bloodless or bloody.

    It’s a legitimate fear as the teabaggers in Wisconsin and Ohio are discovering.

  12. pete,

    If Boehner said 90-95% then you can figure the real figure is half that. The guy is a bad liar when sober, even worse when drunk. Of course now he’s stuck with it and no real way out of taking responsibility for the credit fiasco … he’s also extremely stupid. Wait and see, there are going to be more blunders.

  13. Blouise,
    Do you see the possibility of protests on a large scale over the economic situation? Similar to your protests in Ohio, but on a national scale?

  14. Blouise

    one thing i could never stand is a cryin drunk, but a lyin, cryin, orange drunk.

    and i still say his last name is pronounced boner

  15. Yes thats exactly what america needs. Thousands in the streets clamoring for more government handouts and entitlements while that SAME government beats them senseless and unleashes its “less-than- lethal” new crowd suppression toys on them. That’ll makes things all better.

  16. rafflaw,

    Seriously … no, I don’t. Things aren’t bad enough yet and the people are too fractured. If, however, the situation continues to worsen, as I suspect it will, then yes, it is conceivable.

    Once it starts, it will be impossible to stop.

  17. I’d have to agree that an economic revolution is certainly possible, but also agree with Otteray in saying that we haven’t had a catalyst to goad people into action. The financial situation is bad enough, and getting worse, but it apparently hasn’t gotten bad enough to motivate the masses to action.

    It could be that we are a people who have become so complacent that it’ll take more direct effects upon individual lives in order to get the ordinary citizen to move.

    I find it entirely too depressing to find out that while deployed, I approach the top 20% of income makers in the U.S., when taking benefits and pay into account. If I can feel the weight of high taxes and a bad economic situation, what must those making less than I experience? I’m not rich by any means, but the idea that I’m testing the waters of some villainous percentile group doesn’t make me feel like a team player.

    Is it possible that the myriad social welfare programs that we tout in this country are meant to mollify the masses so that we don’t revolt? The fact that we pour so much into welfare-like programs, vice education and job creation doesn’t exactly help to reverse our situation.

  18. Officer,

    “It could be that we are a people who have become so complacent that it’ll take more direct effects upon individual lives in order to get the ordinary citizen to move. ”

    The adaptation of military tactics and training to domestic law enforcement hasnt had a direct enough effect on people’s lives?

  19. Maybe one reason you aren’t seeing people out in mass is the people with jobs are desperate to keep them and the one without jobs don’t have the cash to get to a big rally.

  20. ekeyra,

    I certainly don’t mean physical action, or policing actions. What I meant to imply was a more direct interference in the everyday citizen’s way of life.

    For example, taxation so severe that there’s a noticeable decrease in the amount of food folks are able to eat.

    Or perhaps an inflation of prices that is severe enough to prevent people from driving to work.

    Basically, an event, or set of circumstances that our seemingly lazy populous cannot ignore any longer.

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to (specifically) with regards to adaptation of military tactics for civilian law enforcement use. There are certainly many examples of the adoption of techniques both to and from the military by civilian law enforcement agencies, but I do not know what you’re talking about in specifics. Can you clarify? I do not see (off hand) the instances in which everyday life has been drastically altered by the police in such a widespread manner that would cause revolution.

    Granted, I have a rather tinted view of the world sometimes through my particular lenses. I’m not closed-minded though.

  21. obviously puzzled – what? you don’t read more than the headlines on the article you link to? Or you skip over the parts you don’t want to know?

  22. btw puzzled – you probably believe that the average Wisconsin public employee earns more than the average Wisconsin worker – it was a piece of BS being pushed by wingnuts this past winter.

    Turns out if you break it down for education HS grads working for the State make a little less than the average HS grad, Bachelor degree(and this is the majority since all teachers and most workers are professionals with college degrees)? They make about the same. And there are many more with advanced degrees than in the average work force. But, as wingnuts have proven over and over its easy to lie with statistics if you just provide the ones that prove your point & ignore the facts.

  23. raff:

    Different angle and question:

    ““I know you’re scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn’t work out. And it didn’t work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html

  24. Americans haven’t taken to the streets because, by and large, they are wage slaves or debt slaves. It is not likely that their various sources of income would be sympathetic to time off for demonstrations. If they take a chance on losing their source of income, they risk missing mortgage payments and other obligations which could cause them to lose all their “stuff.” As the economy and employment situation worsens and the price of food continues to rise, this may change.

  25. rafflaw:

    this woman seems to think so:

    We The Stupid
    Ann Barnhardt
    I stand here in abject stupefaction. The so-called “right” or “Tea Party” in this republic is being so thoroughly rolled and defeated that I am struggling to come up with an adequate violent submission metaphor that does not involve prison rape . . . and they honesty think that they’re “winning.” Really? You call this winning?
    • – Obama gets over $2 Trillion to spend before the 2012 election
    • – There are no real spending cuts
    • – There is a massive tax increase effective January 1, 2013
    Obama is going to be handed something in excess of $2 Trillion — and he has made it perfectly clear that he will spend every penny of it before the November 2012 election. That’s why he kept saying, ” . . . so we don’t have to do this again”, meaning raise the debt ceiling again. The debt ceiling would only need to be raised if all of the money had been spent. Therefore, he has stated very clearly that he will spend every penny of any debt ceiling increase. He is going to burn through $2 Trillion-plus in the next sixteen months. This was the Obama regime’s plan from day one. Geithner appeared before Congress in early May and told them this in no uncertain terms. This outcome has been a known quantity all along.
    There are no spending cuts in this plan. It is all accounting fraud. Saying that you are not going to spend money in Afghanistan ten years from now is not spending cuts. Even if you accept the $1 Trillion in cuts over ten years propaganda, that is only $100 Billion per year, which is essentially meaningless relative to the size of the problem. Furthermore, even a miniscule uptick in interest rates, which given the massive debasement of our currency is now a mathematical certainty, will completely consume that $100 Billion per year. It’s all a joke.
    Back to the $2 Trillion that Obama is being handed. I honestly think that most people in this country have no understanding of simple counting numbers. Do you not understand how much a trillion is? Where do you think this money is going to come from — who has two trillion dollars to loan us? China? Nope. Not even close. China’s entire GDP is only $6 Trillion. Do you honestly think that China is going to loan us one third of their total annual economic production? China was a huge creditor to us back when $100 Billion was considered a staggeringly large amount of money – which was four years ago. Now $100 Billion is literally a rounding error. Do you realize that there are only a handful of nations of this planet that even have a GDP in excess of $2 Trillion? If these countries loaned us every penny of their GDP, it wouldn’t even be $2 Trillion:
    Canada ($1.57 T)
    India ($1.54 T)
    Russia ($1.46 T)
    Are you starting to understand the scope of what we are talking about now? Obama is going to embezzle considerably more than the entire economic output of Canada, India or Russia to his cronies before the 2012 election — and that is just counting this round of spending. This doesn’t include the other $5 Trillion he has already burned through since 2009.
    China is not going to lend us this money because they simply don’t have anything close to that much money to lend. This $2 Trillion is going to come from the Federal Reserve. Where is the Federal Reserve going to get $2 Trillion? They are going to print it out of thin air. We are in the midst of the largest currency debasement ever seen in human history. There is only one result that can come of currency debasement: hyperinflation and total economic and societal collapse.
    Have you also forgotten the so-called “Bush tax cuts”? Yeah. Those rates are going to expire on January 1, 2013. Obama will presumably still be occupying the Oval Office at that time assuming that he is not forcibly removed or that the Republic is still intact at that time. Taxes will increase significantly at that point, and the Congressional Budget Office has scored everything put before them given the fact of the massive tax increases on 1/1/2013. Do you understand that? When these Republicans and even these so-called “Tea Party Freshmen” tell you that there are no tax hikes in their “plan,” they are consciously, willfully, knowingly lying to you through their teeth.
    Finally, I do not understand how it can possibly be that conservative writers are still addressing Obama as if he is actually trying to help the economy, but his well-intentioned policies are failing.
    Obama is the enemy. Obama is a Marxist-Communist usurper and puppet front for a cabal of Marxist-Communists who are actively trying to destroy the United States of America. Everything they have done, are doing, and will do has the single goal of collapsing and destroying the U.S. economy, military, constitutional government and culture. What part of “Marxist Revolution” do you not understand?
    The Obama regime is not a failure. The Obama regime is not incompetent. The Obama regime has achieved more in two and a half years than anyone could have possibly foreseen. It has debased the currency by 50% of the GDP and guaranteed that our economy will collapse. It has looted the Treasury for more than the size of a top-ten economy and embezzled that wealth into the hands of their fellow Marxists in preparation for the final collapse of the United States. It has ground the economy of the United States to a screeching halt. It has destabilized the entire Muslim world and ensured that there will be a nuclear war centered around Israel within the decade.
    The Obama regime has no interest whatsoever in “stimulus” or “getting folks back to work.” How can you not understand this? How can we possibly win this war if we refuse to come to terms with the fact that we are in fact fighting a war.
    God save the United States of America, because the people are far too stupid to do it themselves.
    Ann Barnhardt is a livestock and grain commodity broker and marketing consultant, American patriot, traditional Catholic, and unwitting counter-revolutionary blogger. She can be reached through her business at http://www.barnhardt.biz.

  26. “The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases. Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.”

    Puzzling,

    The quote above says it all. The highest paid government employees in the
    Feds, State and Local are typically political appointees, non Civil Service. Some of these appointees are distinguished in their professions, others are
    simply prominent supporters, or their relatives. When I worked in NYC, I never had a politically appointed job, though I rose to what would be the equivalent of a military Colonel. I worked an average of 60 hours per week and before my daughter got married had to work driving a Stretch Limo for 36 hours on the weekend to help pay for her wedding. My best years economically, came during the Guilliani Administration, where some of the people he hired due to politics were complete incompetents. When I retired
    I ran a division with more than 300 employees, located in 12 City-Wide Offices, whose mission was to save the City $150,000,000. We did and I was paid in only the upper, middle five figures.

    The Commissioner of my Agency, in the 90’s ran an organization of 22,000 employees, with about a ten billion dollar budget. He/She made $144,000 yearly which I think you’ll agree was a pittance considering what a comparable CEO in private industry would make. The USA today also cited salary for Doctors which are comparable, though on the low side for the private sector. Even if you don’t like government, don’t you believe people should be paid for their level of work?

  27. When grandma and grandpa have to move in with the kids because their ss has been cut, and when the kids get a note from the nursing home that their loved ones have to leave and be sent to them to take care of because medicare won’t. Then maybe we will see a whole hell of a lot of anger by the masses…

  28. when they get hungry enough….literally.

    when there’s no bread in the cupboard, no food in the ‘fridge; THEN, and only then, will people go into the street.

    that’s a simple historical requirement for any form of modern economic revolution: lack of food.

    have no fear….we’re almost there!

  29. “Americans haven’t taken to the streets because, by and large, they are wage slaves or debt slaves. It is not likely that their various sources of income would be sympathetic to time off for demonstrations.”

    Part of the answer is in B York’s statement above. It limns the parameters of the fact that most people are far too busy trying to keep their heads above water to think deeply about how they’re getting screwed. Also American’s have much less time off than people in most other industrialized nations. That is only part of the problem.

    Sometime after the upheaval in the 60’s the establishment, which includes the mainstream media, realized that if you stopped covering protests in the main, they lose their impact. We forget that in NYC, before the 2004 Republican Convention there was a march protesting Iraq made up of hundreds of thousands of people. It was hardly covered on the news and when it was the people interviewed were the few crazies among the crowd.

    Add that to the fact that there is no so-called media domination by the Left. In fact American media has been historically right of center, including the much reviled NY Times, all of the major networks, plus Faux News and CNN.
    AM radio is owned by a few, very conservative companies and Rush Limbaugh does so well because he has no competition. To build up anger that would engender protests the people have to have information and they don’t get it from the media. They also no longer get understanding of how our government is supposed to work from the schools.

    To me President Obama’s greatest failing as President is his unwillingness to actually forcefully engage his opposition. He has not used the “bully pulpit” and by acting as really a right of center Republican, has not articulated a message that would inspire the support of the populace. Had he done that perhaps our problems could have been resolved in a fashion more commensurate with our Constitution.

    Since he has failed to do that, in these critical times, I fear that the upheavals to come will be catastrophic and not in a way that will move the country forward, but push us over the edge into a feudal theocracy, with the Corporate Suits, religious con men and old money serving as the nobility. A small sector of merchants and tradespeople and a majority of people living in serfdom will represent the rest of us. My view is of the future is dystopian, but I retain a modicum of hope, as I force a baseless optimism to rule my desires. It looks bad, but the game is still afoot and hope springs eternal, to reach into my endless bag of cliches.

  30. An Economic revolution is going as we speak….The rich are getting richer and they revolt when you tax them….

  31. Agree with AY. Additionally, we have experienced the tea party revolution and the only rich person that they don’t love is George Soros.

  32. AY and SwM,

    Excellent turn of the phrase … good way to look at it

    SwM,

    Trust Colorado was all it could be :)

  33. Blouise ,I am still here. Husband went on a solo hike this morning and the kids are at work. You know that some people in Texas think you are “blessed” if you are rich and would not want to revolt against the “blessed”.

  34. “Is it possible that the myriad social welfare programs that we tout in this country are meant to mollify the masses so that we don’t revolt? The fact that we pour so much into welfare-like programs, vice education and job creation doesn’t exactly help to reverse our situation.”
    ———————————
    Please refer to:eniobob1, August 8, 2011 at 8:13 am , and then;

    go watch this movie:

  35. In my opinion, the mobs that take to the streets will be neo-brownshirts. All the right needs is a sufficiently compelling orator, demanding action. Then the beating of political opponents will begin – and winked at – and the camps established for undesirables. A right-wing, blessed-by-God regime will evict or kill the illegal aliens, the Muslims, and perhaps even the Jews. And maybe even not-born-again Christians…..

    Where have I heard this before?

  36. “Is it possible that the myriad social welfare programs that we tout in this country are meant to mollify the masses so that we don’t revolt?”

    Anarmyofficer,

    Since the early 70’s the social welfare safety net has actually eroded and even before that erosion, it barely sustained people at a poverty level. Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs who have had money stolen from them, to be used for other things, by both political parties. The “Welfare Queens that Reagan talked about represented about a tenth of a percent of people on welfare.

    You know yourself as a soldier that even the Veteran’s Benefits we once gave so liberally to our very deserving troops have been reduced in recent years. The VA is overworked, understaffed and underfunded. If we don’t adequately take care of those who have sacrificed so much in the line of duty, imagine our “assistance” to average people beset by poverty and old age. Our middle-class workers fear for their jobs and many try to take care of their families without adequate health care and work for companies where loyalty is considered a one way street and that it upwards.

    I’m sure you know, as an officer, that those under your command will be a more cohesive team if you understand that to be loyal to them, ensures they will be loyal to you. This is true irregardless of the necessity of following your orders and the chain of command. Our masses are gradually losing their loyalty to our government, whichever party is in power, but their reaction is not to pull together against a common enemy, but to be split apart by propaganda that causes divisions between us. If the overwhelming majority of people could understand that we’re all in the same boat, just as the team concept in the military, perhaps we will learn to cover each other’s back and stand up for ourselves and take back our country.

  37. “In my opinion, the mobs that take to the streets will be neo-brownshirts”

    Jay S,

    It’s a prospect that seems likely and frankly scares the hell out of me.

  38. Yes.

    When enough people want justice that their desires swing the tides.

    OR

    When enough people suffer from injustice that they afterwards desire it – and swing the tides. To the extent we don’t have it is because we don’t want it.

    I’m done verbalizing. Gotta back to those things that delight me.

  39. rafflaw,

    “Jobs Not Cuts” events nationwide on Wednesday, August 10, to kick off a month of action during the congressional recess.

    There’s a rally on Weds. in downtown Cleveland so a few of us are going to check it out

  40. “”This is the uprising of the working class, we’re redistributing the wealth,” said Bryn Phillips, a 28-year-old self-described anarchist, as young people emerged from the store with chocolate bars and ice cream cones.”
    ~http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/world/london-burns-riots-spread-through-uk-capital-city-1712267.html
    ——————————————

    yes, it IS time to redistribute that chocolate wealth!

  41. pete,

    “i don’t believe what we have here is laissez-faire capitalism but more of a government backed capitalism or government backed corporatism”

    I’ve been thinking about your post and I think we’re both right. What we are getting is corporatism but it is being driven by laissez-faire capitalist mores and I think this is reflected by situations such as when organizations such as ALEC, CCA, Exxon, etc. are literally allowed to write “regulations” for their own industries that either have no teeth and/or are anti-competitive or are designed to circumvent liability for the corporation or corporate officers in other ways. If you can’t get government to not regulate your activity, the next best thing is to neutralize regulation by making it ineffective to a legitimate purpose while distorting what you can to operate in your favor. In the end it is all about the same thing: avoiding civil and criminal liability for bad acts and replacing democracy with oligarchy.

  42. Gene,

    Your entire post is incoherent. Laissez faire capitalist are the driving force behind regulatory capture? How do you even come to that conclusion? Laissez faire means no government intervention at all, not government intervention on behalf of some players at the expense of others.

    You can attempt your logical gymnastics all you want, but trying to paint people who want zero government intervention in the market as the culprits for the incestuous regulatory enviroment is childish.

  43. Officer,

    The increasing use of swat teams to serve search warrants. Particularly their use when apprehending misdemeanor or non violent suspects is atrocious. Thats more the details, but in a general sense, the mindset has changed in law enforcement. They are an occupying army. To say they have not had a direct impact on the lives of the citizens of this country is to ignore mountains of damning evidence.

    They are a seperate class of citizens that are free to act violently with impunity. They can lie, falsify records, and steal, secure in the knowledge that noone will report them, because they are either involved in things just as bad or worse, or that even the “good” cops will be ostracized if they break the “blue wall of silence”.

  44. Dredd,

    Remember, more than 2 links in a post and it gets automatically spammed.

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

    ekeyrah,

    “Your entire post is incoherent. Laissez faire means no government intervention at all, not government intervention on behalf of some players at the expense of others.”

    What I said is perfectly coherent if you can comprehend the meaning of the following: “If you can’t get government to not regulate your activity, the next best thing is to neutralize regulation by making it ineffective to a legitimate purpose while distorting what you can to operate in your favor. In the end it is all about the same thing: avoiding civil and criminal liability for bad acts and replacing democracy with oligarchy.”

  45. “Is An Economic Revolution Possible in the United States?”

    I would pose this question with a minor modification:

    “Is A Revolution Possible in the United States?”

    Remember how Heine the poet ridiculed the Germans, that when they will
    have a Revolution-It will be conducted only according to the Law and regulations…

    He knew nothin’ about the American character nor Law. Knowing both, I’d venture to answer any of the questions above: NO, HELL NO!!!

  46. Raff,

    May I suggest that when the revolution isn’t being televised?

    There’s a growing awareness of the results of blind consumerism in my generation. Along with a much more savvy understanding of advertising strategies and media manipulations (we never had a trustworthy media).

    Heck even my family is big on buying local and self sufficiency, and they’re hugely conservative.

    There’s plenty of inertia in the system to overcome, but the decisions to do it are being made on a house by house basis, not loudly in the public forum.

    Information is much less centralized, so are reactions.

  47. Raff,

    Is the Media even aware of it? I mean, how in the middle of a recession would you be able to figure out that SOME of the drop in sales isn’t from economic hardships but from an ethical choice (although I doubt many are thinking of it that way)?

    Every now and then you get the obligatory story about how sales at farmers markets are up, or how gardens are coming back into style. But those are generally reported as part of a food revolution, with nobody stopping to consider that food is a huge part of the economy.

    The thing to watch is changes in marketing. All the supermarkets around me advertise their “Colorado grown” veggies and “Colorado Made” products. The big chain bookstores have started expanding their “local author” sections. Companies seem to be spending more and more time and money trying to make themselves look smaller and local. When there’s a sudden shift in the same direction like that, it’s in response to market forces. Retailers have a lot better reason to pay attention to what people are buying and why and where they’re buying it, and the resources to do so.

    Not to mention, the main stream of anything is set in it’s way and convinced that the current system is the best system. That’s why they’re IN the main stream. Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug.

  48. Sales of baseball bats on Amazon have increased by 5,000% in England. On the bright side, people are still buying things!~ Jon Stewart

  49. Gene,

    Repeating what you said doesnt make it any more coherent. Of course businesses want government protection for their failed and malicious practices, but thats the exact reason NOT to have government intervention. Your pet theory relies on the naive assumption that regulations can work just fine if we get the “right people” in charge. My assertion is that regulatory capture by businesses is exactly the reason we shouldnt have regulation in the first place because it just becomes a distorted mess protecting and insulating the very business practices they were meant to put a stop to.

    Gyges,

    “What you see from this is a pattern of government-sponsored terrorism against innocent Americans and small business people; all done in the name of “protecting” the public from milk, walnuts, vitamins, plants or fruit extracts”

    http://www.naturalnews.com/033280_FDA_raids_timeline.html

    Also when did the FDA get swat teams? Did i miss a meeting?

  50. ekeyra,

    You not understanding a sentence doesn’t mean it’s incoherent either. Simply that you don’t understand it.

  51. Ekerya,

    Judging by the timeline since 1987. Of course, claims require proof, and “I said so on my website” is not proof and since that’s the only citiation they provide for most of those events, I don’t by it.

    Also, if you’re looking for sympathy for alternative medicine practitioners getting in trouble for not complying with regulations and for farmers not complying with food safety laws look elsewhere.

  52. @GeneH,

    What I said is perfectly coherent if you can comprehend the meaning of the following: “If you can’t get government to not regulate your activity, the next best thing is to neutralize regulation by making it ineffective to a legitimate purpose while distorting what you can to operate in your favor. In the end it is all about the same thing: avoiding civil and criminal liability for bad acts and replacing democracy with oligarchy.”

    No, you’ve defined laissez-faire to be corporatism.

    This might be laissez-faire:

    “the next best thing is to neutralize regulation by making it ineffective to a legitimate purpose”

    if you can get past the loaded “legitimate purpose” language.

    But this:

    “while distorting what you can to operate in your favor”

    is corporatism. Corporatism is not laissez-faire.

    And when you conclude:

    “In the end it is all about the same thing: avoiding civil and criminal liability for bad acts and replacing democracy with oligarchy.”

    This is a non-sequitur. Neither neutralizing or distorting regulations will serve to avoid existing tort or criminal laws. At best they would merely avoid additional remedies.

    And “replacing democracy with oligarchy” is merely an unsupported conclusion.

    Last, when you state: “You not understanding a sentence doesn’t mean it’s incoherent either. Simply that you don’t understand it.”

    It’s just another gratuitous personal attack and a perpetuation of the rancor and strife JT asked everyone to cease.

  53. kderosa,

    The fact of the matter is that laissez-faire capitalism becomes corporatism by simple operation of creating a legally exempt class that is allowed regulate itself. In a country where the right to regulate commerce is written in to the Constitution as a power reserved to Congress to exercise on behalf of all of their constituents and this is supported by jurisprudence, allowing commerce to self-regulate is a de facto abdication of that duty of Congress to a corporate oligarchy that has no duty to the people but only their profit motive. In short, it is an economic system that leads to corporatism. You obviously don’t understand that either or it is, as is evident, simply against your corporatist agenda.

    If you don’t like that I think neither of you understand what you are talking about? If you don’t like that I’m going to say something about it? I suggest that’s simply too bad.

    Also, might I suggest you read the name at the top of this page, realize it isn’t yours, and think again about how likely I am to follow your instructions. I don’t take anything you say seriously. Your “commands” doubly so.

  54. KD,

    i very sincerely thank you for your elaborations on my original point, but being told i dont understand something is hardly the worst ive been called here. My feelings are far from hurt.

    Gyges,

    You support people buying local and being much more involved in the the selection of the food they consume, yes? Then why not allow those people to decide for themselves what medical treatments they choose to pay for with their own money and which foods they deem safe enough to consume? Last I checked the FDA was doing a piss poor job of that, considering how many times in the last few years we had to hear about food recalls in peanut butter, eggs, spinach and on and on. Shouldnt they be ontop of that BEFORE it starts harming people? If not and they have to wait until someone is harmed before taking action, than exactly what purpose do they serve?

  55. E-Ra,

    My feelings are hurt that your feelings are not hurt. I view that as being weak. You are stronger than that. Come on bring out the Springer side of your family out. Remember, you can do it.

  56. Ekerya,

    For the medicine end of things, I just want a level playing field. If you claim to heal people, you should be held to the exact same standard as other people who make the same claims. Doctors, Homeopaths, you name it. After that, people are free to choose.

    As far as the food thing goes, I agree. I suspect that our solutions are slightly different though. Mine goes something like, “let’s up the budget for enforcement and oversight (including of the enforcement) and allow them to fund studies on how to improve food safety.”

  57. GeneH,

    You mistake disagreeing with your unsupported opinion with not understanding it.

    Where did I command you to do anything? I merely reminded you of our host’s civility policy and recent request that you continue to flout.

  58. Gene,

    “The fact of the matter is that laissez-faire capitalism becomes corporatism by simple operation of creating a legally exempt class that is allowed regulate itself. ”

    And your evidence for this assertion is…? Completely absent as far as I can tell. In a free market businesses do not regulate themselves, MARKET MECHANICS, which all economic actors are subject to, regulate business practices. Id humbly suggest an attempt at familiarizing yourself with them in the near future. Government intervention and regulation replaces market mechanics with politically connected firms subsidizing the repression of their competitors with taxpayer dollars. The very corporatism you are trying to stamp out. And as for legally exempt class that is allowed to regulate itself… hmm…what do the police always say after one of theirs kills someone? “He was acting within deparment protocol and no wrongdoing was found” Something along those lines?

    “If you’re looking for a sure bet, find a New York Times editorial praising some new federal regulation, and wager that this new law will yield harmful unintended consequences while protecting the biggest businesses in the effected industry.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/op-eds/2009/09/timothy-p-carney-mattel-exempted-toy-safety-law-it-helped-write

    “In a country where the right to regulate commerce is written in to the Constitution as a power reserved to Congress… blah blah blah”

    Suppose I tell you I believe the constitution to be of no authority and has no binding on any person living today? What authority do you have left to appeal to?

    “In short, it is an economic system that leads to corporatism. You obviously don’t understand that either or it is, as is evident, simply against your corporatist agenda. ”

    So in order to ensure we dont have corporatism we must establish corporatism? Let me know how thats working out for you. Also isn’t it a little irrational to assume that if I had plans for world domination I would bother debating you on an obscure blog comment section?

  59. Gyges,

    “For the medicine end of things, I just want a level playing field. If you claim to heal people, you should be held to the exact same standard as other people who make the same claims. Doctors, Homeopaths, you name it. After that, people are free to choose. ”

    Why not let people freely choose, and from their pattern of decisions and the results thereof, form the standards. If you form the standards from the top down and apply them to everyone, then instead of innovation you have conformity and rigidity. I think especially when it comes to someones health and medical decisions, noone else should have any say in what avenues of treatment are avaibable and which ones arent. Also there is something to be said for the placebo effect of healing simply because you believe it works. So why limit any possible course of treatment?

    “As far as the food thing goes, I agree. I suspect that our solutions are slightly different though. Mine goes something like, “let’s up the budget for enforcement and oversight (including of the enforcement) and allow them to fund studies on how to improve food safety.””

    You know me. Slightly different is an understatement. I dont understand your logic that people are smart enough to decide whether local tomatoes are better for them or if they are satisfied with tomatoes from hundreds of miles away, but completely incompetent when it comes to what is dangerous for them or not? Wouldnt it be both? If they cant figure that out then why are we letting them make any decisions for themselves at all? This also completely ignores the fundamental tenet that business, in general, try to avoid killing their customers.

  60. Redneck,

    Springer side? Like jerry springer? Does he even still have a show or are you in time warp from 1998?

  61. kderosa,

    No. I’m certain either you don’t understand logic and jurisprudence or it’s against your corporatist agenda. More likely the later in your case.

    As to your “reminder”? Again, might I suggest you read the name at the top of this page, realize it isn’t yours, and think again about how likely I am to follow your “reminders”. I don’t take anything you say seriously. Your “reminders” doubly so.

    If Jonathan has an issue with what I do here, he knows how to contact me. However, you have no control over the situation whatsoever. The quicker you come to terms with that fact, the better for you.

    Now, let’s address your “support”, shall we?

    “No, you’ve defined laissez-faire to be corporatism.”

    Why yes I have defined laissez-faire as a predicate to corporatism. That would be because it is by operation. One needs to look no further than ALEC for the proof. Allowing any group to remain above the law and self-regulate is inherently and by definition oligarchical behavior. Corporatism is an oligarchical form of governance where corporations call the shots instead of We the People as required by democracy. You remember that words, right? Democracy? That form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their representatives? Not the legal fictions that are corporations? That form of government adopted by our Founding Fathers?

    “This might be laissez-faire:

    ‘the next best thing is to neutralize regulation by making it ineffective to a legitimate purpose’

    if you can get past the loaded ‘legitimate purpose’ language.”

    Actually the sentence works just fine if you place the period behind “ineffective”. Also, criticism from you about loaded language is simply laughable. Say it again! I like humor.

    “But this:

    ‘while distorting what you can to operate in your favor’

    is corporatism. Corporatism is not laissez-faire.”

    No, but it is a consequence of laissez-faire economics. When you allow industry to make and police it’s own rules, that’s oligarchy. Let me help you with that vocabulary. Oligarchy means a government by the few or a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purpose. Like ALEC, which is a direct result of both laissez-faire economics and the lobbying efforts to expand corporate personality into something grotesque and out of line with the original intent of the corporate form to insulate investors, encourage R&D and allow just enough legal personality to let corporations buy property, contract and avail themselves of the criminal and civil courts.

    “And when you conclude:

    ‘In the end it is all about the same thing: avoiding civil and criminal liability for bad acts and replacing democracy with oligarchy.’

    This is a non-sequitur.”

    No. It’s not. It’s merely a conclusion you disagree with. However, it’s a reasoned conclusion based upon the nature of deregulation and substituting the rules created by corporations in the place of the will of the people. In a proper democracy, organizations such as ALEC would not be allowed to exist.

    “Neither neutralizing or distorting regulations will serve to avoid existing tort or criminal laws. At best they would merely avoid additional remedies.”

    Do you know what the word “neutralize” means? It means to counteract the activity or effect of or otherwise make ineffective. As a matter of pure logic and language your assertion about “merely avoid additional remedies” is ridiculous. Did repealing Glass-Steagall “avoid additional remedies”? No, but it did neutralize regulations that kept financial institutions in check and would have hindered if not prevented the abusive practices that lead to our recent economic collapse. Exemption from the law is exemption. You can figure out the meaning of the word “distort” on your own. Maybe.

    “Considering

    And ‘replacing democracy with oligarchy’ is merely an unsupported conclusion.”

    Unsupported is not the same thing as unstated. I have three words for you. “Logical proof” and “ALEC”. Next?

    “Last, when you state: ‘You not understanding a sentence doesn’t mean it’s incoherent either. Simply that you don’t understand it.’

    It’s just another gratuitous personal attack and a perpetuation of the rancor and strife JT asked everyone to cease.”

    No. That is expressing the opinion – supported by logic, knowledge of the forms of government and the existence of groups like ALEC – that she doesn’t know what she is talking about. This makes it an informed opinion. Just the same, the opinion expressed that either do you what you are talking about or you are simply trying to prop up your corporatist agenda without any logic let alone proof. As I said before, in your case, I think it likely the later but that’s just my opinion. You simply may not know what you are talking about.

    If you think that’s a “personal attack”? Take it up with Jonathan. Or here’s a better idea: grow up and grow thicker skin. Your opinion isn’t even supported by logic let alone proof, but we’re all supposed to genuflect because you said it? Get over yourself.

  62. @GeneH

    You promised support and logic and provided neither. All you provided was your own unsupported personal opinion. Do you want to try again?

    Your continued blustering, personal attacks, and rancor are noted.

  63. kderosa,

    I provided both, including the proper grammar to understand the proposition.

    Your simple denial in absence of a substantive rebuttal is noted.

    Again, if you have a problem with how I do what I do, take it up with the blog’s owner. Otherwise? I don’t take what you say seriously.

  64. @GeneH

    No you provided neither.

    Let’s just look at your first paragraph:

    “Why yes I have defined laissez-faire as a predicate to corporatism.That would be because it is by operation.”

    Unsupported opinion.

    “One needs to look no further than ALEC for the proof.”

    Alluding to proof is not the same as providing it.

    “Allowing any group to remain above the law and self-regulate is inherently and by definition oligarchical behavior.”

    More unsupported opinion.

    “Corporatism is an oligarchical form of governance where corporations call the shots instead of We the People as required by democracy.”

    Even more unsupported opinion.

    “You remember that [sic: those] words, right? Democracy?”

    An ungrammatical personal attack. And, another broken promise. Nonetheless, a welcome change from unsupported opinion.

    “That form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their representatives? Not the legal fictions that are corporations? That form of government adopted by our Founding Fathers?’

    A series of irrelevant questions that merely highlight your opinion, instead of providing support, logic, or proof.

    Why bother going any further if you can’t get past the opening paragraph?

    Your continued blustering, personal attacks, and rancor are again noted. Also, your failure to present an supported argument is noted as well.

  65. Gene H:

    “No, but it is a consequence of laissez-faire economics. When you allow industry to make and police it’s own rules, that’s oligarchy.”

    maybe if politicians didnt give favors out to friends, non-friends wouldnt have to pay money to other politicians for protection. I.E. your contention that industries make their own rules. Maybe they are just trying to level the playing field that their competitors inclined.

  66. kderosa,

    “No you provided neither.”

    I did. Your denial or lack of comprehension notwithstanding.

    “Let’s just look at your first paragraph:

    ‘Why yes I have defined laissez-faire as a predicate to corporatism.That would be because it is by operation.’

    Unsupported opinion.”

    No, supported opinion based on the result of allowing corporations to self-regulate. Corporatism is the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction.

    ‘”‘One needs to look no further than ALEC for the proof.’

    Alluding to proof is not the same as providing it.”

    Look into ALEC yourself. Proof, alluded or explicit is still proof. Or even better, let everyone else interested in ALEC simply look to Elaine’s excellent article on ALEC.

    “’Allowing any group to remain above the law and self-regulate is inherently and by definition oligarchical behavior.’

    More unsupported opinion.

    ‘Corporatism is an oligarchical form of governance where corporations call the shots instead of We the People as required by democracy.”

    Even more unsupported opinion.'”

    Except supported by the very definitions of oligarchy and corporatism.

    Oligarchy is government by the few or a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purpose. Corporatism is the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations (a.k.a. the few) serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction. That you’re incapable of making that connection is your failure.

    “’You remember that [sic: those] words, right? Democracy?’

    An ungrammatical personal attack. And, another broken promise. Nonetheless, a welcome change from unsupported opinion.’

    ‘That form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their representatives? Not the legal fictions that are corporations? That form of government adopted by our Founding Fathers?’

    A series of irrelevant questions that merely highlight your opinion, instead of providing support, logic, or proof.”

    Not familiar with rhetorical questioning, are you? As for the typo? You think you deserve better?

    “Why bother going any further if you can’t get past the opening paragraph?”

    To show that you really don’t know what you are talking about.

    If that’s what you call substantive rebuttal?

    That’s really funny.

    As to this: “Your continued blustering, personal attacks, and rancor are again noted. Also, your failure to present an supported argument is noted as well.”?

    Take it up with Jonathan. Whining to me will get you exactly nowhere. My statements, the logic and the definitions behind them stand.

  67. Roco,

    Graft is a crime that by definition requires a minimum of two parties. If you want to say that pols bear a portion of the responsibility for the slide into corporatism, I have no issue with that, but to excuse the corporations for their part in the crime is simply inexcusable.

  68. @ Gene H,

    Let’s continue:

    “No, supported opinion based on the result of allowing corporations to self-regulate. Corporatism is the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction.”

    More unsupported opinion. Non-standard definitions as well.

    “Look into ALEC yourself. Proof, alluded or explicit is still proof. Or even better, let everyone else interested in ALEC simply look to Elaine’s excellent article on ALEC.”

    There is nothing in Elaine’s excellent article that provides the proof you allude to.

    “Except supported by the very definitions of oligarchy and corporatism.”

    No your opinion goes far beyond the standard definitions.

    “Oligarchy is government by the few or a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purpose. Corporatism is the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations (a.k.a. the few) serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction. That you’re incapable of making that connection is your failure.”

    That “connection” is your opinion. And, it remains unsupported.

    “Not familiar with rhetorical questioning, are you? As for the typo? You think you deserve better?”

    I am. They are not proof or support, though perhaps if they were good questions they might lead to proof or support. These questions were not that kind.

    As for the “typo,” you promised proper grammar and failed to deliver. You should not have over-promised.

    “To show that you really don’t know what you are talking about.

    If that’s what you call substantive rebuttal?

    That’s really funny.”

    Another gratuitous personal attack.

    “Take it up with Jonathan. Whining to me will get you exactly nowhere. My statements, the logic and the definitions behind them stand.”

    I’m not whining, I’m just noting your uncivil behavior and inability to argue dispassionately.

    Your statements stand as unsupported opinion. Your latest comment does nothing to remedy that deficiency.

  69. Gene: “Allowing any group to remain above the law and self-regulate is inherently and by definition oligarchical behavior.”

    Kderosa: “More unsupported opinion.”

    Looks like a definition to me; what’s more a true definition lacking anything counter-factual.

    What I find amusing with the bickering between you two is that both of you have accepted and embrace the social contract as formulated by Locke and restated within the DOI by Jefferson.

    Legal fictions, by definition, have no rights with which to confer power in the social contract scheme. Rights confer power; not vice versa.

    Permitting legal fictions to wield more power over the franchise than the individual, i.e. party to the social compact, is abhorrent. Consider all the fictions leading up to the status: the legal fiction of the corporation is given the legal fiction of corporate person-hood and thence the legal fiction of a first amendment RIGHT to free speech. And by virtue of the aforesaid fictions, the non-individual with absolutely no status within the social compact is able to amass much more wealth than said individual so as to purchase the franchise out from under him.

    Ah America; ain’t it grand?

  70. kderosa,

    “Non-standard definitions as well.”

    Take it up with Webster’s.

    “There is nothing in Elaine’s excellent article that provides the proof you allude to.”

    You mean other than the proof that corporations are writing legislation including legislation that covers their industry?

    “No your opinion goes far beyond the standard definitions.”

    Again, take it up with Webster’s.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corporatism
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligarchy

    “That “connection” is your opinion. And, it remains unsupported.”

    No. That connection is a fact and a fact by definition. Too bad you don’t get to make up the meanings of words as is your wont.

    “I am. They are not proof or support, though perhaps if they were good questions they might lead to proof or support. These questions were not that kind.”

    That would be your incorrect opinion. Unless of course you think our Founding Fathers intended some other form of government than democracy. Which is something I wouldn’t put past you.

    “Another gratuitous personal attack.”

    No, saying I don’t think you know what you are talking about isn’t a personal attack. Calling you a $%&# would be a personal attack. Saying I don’t think you know what you are talking about is a statement of opinion. Opinion which in this case is borne out by the facts that you seem to want to make up different definitions for the words “oligarchy” and “corporatism” than are standard usage as defined by some of the most widely accepted lexicographical experts on the English language in the world, Webster’s. That’s usually a good indication that someone doesn’t know what they are talking about when they resort to making up the meanings of words.

    “I’m not whining,”

    Yeah. You are whining. Whining as in to complain with or as if with a whine.

    “I’m just noting your uncivil behavior and inability to argue dispassionately.”

    There’s a dispassionate policy here? Really? That’s news to me. As to the rest of your whining, take it up with the blog’s owner. Like I’ve said, it will get you nowhere with me.

  71. @Bob, Esq

    Gene: “Allowing any group to remain above the law and self-regulate is inherently and by definition oligarchical behavior.”

    Kderosa: “More unsupported opinion.”

    Looks like a definition to me; what’s more a true definition lacking anything counter-factual.

    It’s not the definition I am objecting to, Bob, merely Gene’s application of the definition to the conduct he is complaining of.

    What I find amusing with the bickering between you two is that both of you have accepted and embrace the social contract as formulated by Locke and restated within the DOI by Jefferson.

    Well, I do. Gene, not so much. He pays lip-service and then takes away all our rights with his all-embracing notion of equality and utilitarianism.

    Legal fictions, by definition, have no rights with which to confer power in the social contract scheme. Rights confer power; not vice versa.

    A free association of people is not a legal fiction. People joining together for a common goal are entitled to free speech and any other rights.

  72. Kderosa: “A free association of people is not a legal fiction. People joining together for a common goal are entitled to free speech and any other rights.”

    But a corporation, by definition, is not a free association of people. The corporation is the certificate of incorporation. Unlike a free association of people, the corporation exists in perpetuity and apart from the people; thus the limited liability of the shareholders.

  73. @GeneH

    Continuing onward:

    “You mean other than the proof that corporations are writing legislation including legislation that covers their industry?”

    The mere writing of proposed legislation, does not mean that that the legislation is of the variety or has the effect you are complaining about. So, again, you have failed to provide support. Innuendo is not support.

    “Again, take it up with Webster’s.”

    It’s your application of the definitions which are unsupported which is why I noted them separately

    “No. That connection is a fact and a fact by definition. Too bad you don’t get to make up the meanings of words as is your wont.”

    Merely calling it is a fact doesn’t change the fact that it is merely your unsupported opinion

    “No, saying I don’t think you know what you are talking about isn’t a personal attack. Calling you a $%&# would be a personal attack.”

    Actually, both are. One is merely vulgar in addition

    “Saying I don’t think you know what you are talking about is a statement of opinion.”

    An opinion which just so happens to be a personal attack.

    “Opinion which in this case is borne out by the facts that you seem to want to make up different definitions for the words “oligarchy” and “corporatism” than are standard usage as defined by some of the most widely accepted lexicographical experts on the English language in the world, Webster’s. That’s usually a good indication that someone doesn’t know what they are talking about when they resort to making up the meanings of words.”

    It’s still a personal attack. Also, I didn’t quibble with your definition of oligarchy. And, I clarified that it was your application of corporatism which was opinion.

    “Yeah. You are whining. Whining as in to complain with or as if with a whine.”

    My writtten words give off no sound unless you are reading aloud as you read in which case you;d be the whiner.

    “There’s a dispassionate policy here? Really? That’s news to me. As to the rest of your whining, take it up with the blog’s owner. Like I’ve said, it will get you nowhere with me.”

    No, but there is a civility policy and a policy against personal attacks.

  74. “Well, I do. Gene, not so much. He pays lip-service and then takes away all our rights with his all-embracing notion of equality and utilitarianism.”

    Let me begin by saying I never saw the evil side to liberalism till recently. I grew up thinking the liberals were the good guys and the right wingers were the bad guys. Apparently both sides of the aisle have this insatiable desire to control us like children and force their life style choices on us.

    Without getting into the specifics or the extent of Gene’s position, the social contract, analytically, provides the powers he’s laying claim to. The concepts of the predicates are contained within the concept of the subject ‘social contract.’

    However, when those powers are used in contradiction to the purpose and definition of the social contract, e.g. liberals, or conservatives, deciding that they know what’s best for the individual and thus putting the individual in a worse state than he would have been in a state of nature — then we have a problem. And we call that problem tyranny.

    “When a long train of usurpations…” That’s the thing you’ve got to remember about the DOI; that third paragraph was a mosaic of usurpations that Jefferson equated with tyranny. Meaning, the stated goals of government, e.g. equality and utilitarianism, can easily stray into a long train of usurpations and eventually tyranny.

    The road to liberal hell, just like conservative hell, is paved with good intentions. But good intentions is not license to breach the social contract. The country will never exist in a state of pure conservative or liberal utopia; and while it will always be a mix of the two, there’s no reason that partisan rancor should be allowed to make it smell like New Jersey.

  75. @Bob, Esq

    “But a corporation, by definition, is not a free association of people. The corporation is the certificate of incorporation. Unlike a free association of people, the corporation exists in perpetuity and apart from the people; thus the limited liability of the shareholders.”

    Bob, the fact that the composition of the people changes throughout time and in perpetuity does not change the fact that the organization is still a free association of people. Being a recognized by the state doesn’t change the nature either.

    People have limited liability as well through bankruptcy laws, so that doesn’t change the calculus.

  76. Damn Gene and Bob,

    Arguing with Kderosa is like trying to convivial a mop to clean the floors. Regardless of how many times you tell the mop to work, it just won’t do a damn thing until you wrap both of you hands around it neck. Then after you’re done using the mop you still have to clean the damn thing yourself. Just think of the intelligent information that a mop can leave at a crime scene, hmmmmm!

  77. @Bob, Esq, I agree with that entire comment, except for “The concepts of the predicates are contained within the concept of the subject ‘social contract.’” which I haven’t seen a good explanation for and Gene certainly hasn’t given one.

  78. Dinner’s getting cold so I’ll make this quick…

    Kderosa: “Bob, the fact that the composition of the people changes throughout time and in perpetuity does not change the fact that the organization is still a free association of people. Being a recognized by the state doesn’t change the nature either.”

    In my haste to show that a corporation has no status under the social contract I accidentally referred to the corporation itself as a fiction. While the corporation is a creature of statute, the thing you’re equating with ‘free association of people’ is a legal fiction created by the courts; it’s called corporate person-hood.

    Your argument asks me to accept a premise that is counter-factual; i.e. that corporate person-hood, i.e. the key to any recognized rights whatsoever, is not a legal fiction.

    I can no more accept that premise than I could accept the premise that all celestial bodies are made of green cheese. Because once I do that, then you can say that the moon is a celestial body and therefore the moon is made of green cheese.

    Corporations have rights because, and only because, of the legal fiction (i.e. created by the courts) of corporate person-hood; not by deeming it a free association of people.

    Dinner time…

  79. Bob,

    My email is down for “up-grade” … honest to god, that is exactly how they worded the notice. Should be good to go tomorrow.

  80. Ekerya,

    I’ll get to the medical thing later, but the food thing has a very simple explanation: I can observe, with little training and no equipment, the quality of produce or meat. I can’t say the same thing about salmonella, nor most any food born illness. Furthermore, even if I buy from only local sources my ability to go and inspect any of their facilities is probably severely limited.

    I can trust myself to judge the better tasting spinach, because I have all the information and equipment I need to make that decision. I can’t trust myself to buy the non-tainted stuff, because I don’t have all the information, nor the equipment I need to obtain it.

  81. kderosa,

    “‘You mean other than the proof that corporations are writing legislation including legislation that covers their industry?’

    The mere writing of proposed legislation, does not mean that that the legislation is of the variety or has the effect you are complaining about. So, again, you have failed to provide support. Innuendo is not support.”

    No, I provided adequate support for the proposition. That you refuse to acknowledge it reveals either your willful ignorance or your corporatist agenda. Take your pick. The bottom line is legislation is supposed to be written by legislators on behalf of their constituents.

    “’Again, take it up with Webster’s.’

    It’s your application of the definitions which are unsupported which is why I noted them separately.”

    Given that the meaning of the words comport perfectly with their application, that’s some fine gibberish on your part.

    “’No. That connection is a fact and a fact by definition. Too bad you don’t get to make up the meanings of words as is your wont.’

    Merely calling it is a fact doesn’t change the fact that it is merely your unsupported opinion”

    No, but saying A=A makes it a fact. Please do continue to try to make up the meanings of the words in question though. It only reeks of your desperation.

    “’No, saying I don’t think you know what you are talking about isn’t a personal attack. Calling you a $%&# would be a personal attack.’

    Actually, both are. One is merely vulgar in addition”

    Actually, you still don’t have a clue as to what constitutes an ad hominem attack. I still don’t think you know what you are talking about. Go tell Jonathan I said so. I need a good laugh.

    “’Saying I don’t think you know what you are talking about is a statement of opinion.’

    An opinion which just so happens to be a personal attack.”

    By your made up definition perhaps. In reality, it’s an opinion backed by facts like you trying to make up the meanings of words. Again, if you’ve got a problem with it, take it up with JT. Otherwise, you’re still whining to someone who really doesn’t care.

    “Opinion which in this case is borne out by the facts that you seem to want to make up different definitions for the words ‘oligarchy’ and ‘corporatism’ than are standard usage as defined by some of the most widely accepted lexicographical experts on the English language in the world, Webster’s. That’s usually a good indication that someone doesn’t know what they are talking about when they resort to making up the meanings of words.”

    It’s still a personal attack. Also, I didn’t quibble with your definition of oligarchy. And, I clarified that it was your application of corporatism which was opinion.”

    No, you said:

    Gene: “Except supported by the very definitions of oligarchy and corporatism.”

    kderosa: No your opinion goes far beyond the standard definitions.

    You complained about the both definitions and now want to weasel out that your purposeful attempt to redefine the English language has been uncovered. That’s what happens when you go to war without first achieving victory. I applied both words correctly. You didn’t know what you were saying because you didn’t know what the words meant. Too bad for you that I did.

    “’Yeah. You are whining. Whining as in to complain with or as if with a whine.’

    My writtten words give off no sound unless you are reading aloud as you read in which case you;d be the whiner.”

    Has that “I know you are but what am I” ever worked for you?

    “’There’s a dispassionate policy here? Really? That’s news to me. As to the rest of your whining, take it up with the blog’s owner. Like I’ve said, it will get you nowhere with me.’

    No, but there is a civility policy and a policy against personal attacks.”

    Would you like some cheese with that whine? If you have a problem with anything I’ve said, I’ll tell you again: Feel free to write Jonathan about it. I’ll be more than happy to discuss the matter with him.

    As to the holes in your understanding of the social contract? It’s not my job to fill every inadequacy in your education. Bob’s on the right track. You’re derailed somewhere down the line.

  82. @Bob, Esq, you are arguing on the basis of corporate personhood. I am arguing on the basis of the free association of people. A corporation is both a corporate person, a legal fiction, and also a free association of people.

    Do you really think a corporation like the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, NCS, etc, should not be accorded free speech rights because they are corporations?

  83. Because I believe firmly that a corporation’s staff and ownership should be free to exercise free speech to the fullest extent possible does not mean I think they should be able to wield their economic clout to buy elections. There is a hell of a lot of difference between writing an editorial and making a huge monetary donation to a politician far in excess of what the average person can muster.

    If a corporation is a person, when it dies where will the body be buried and where do I send flowers?

  84. @GeneH

    I see a lot of words justifying your personal attacks, some additional personal attacks, yet, I see no additional support for any of your contentions. I’ll give you one more do over.

  85. And I see a lot more of your evasive frippery. You seem to think you have some sort of control here, kderosa. Again, my logic and statements stand. If you have a problem with anything I’ve said, you take it up with the blog’s owner. I still don’t take you seriously and I still think you don’t know what you are talking about. If you have a problem with that? That’s your problem and one about which I am completely unconcerned.

  86. OS, how does one buy an election?

    Also, if I form, say, a group of people, and we call ourselves a “union” and each member contributes to the common cause we all formed the union for, and we take those contributions and exercise our free speech right s by making a movie and buying television time, should we be prohibited?

    One more, let’s say I instead form, say, a group of people, and we call ourselves a “company” and each member buys a share of the company and agrees to spend some company money for the common cause we all formed the company for, and we take that money and exercise our free speech right s by making a movie and buying television time, should we be prohibited?

  87. GeneH

    “Again, my logic and statements stand.”

    Indeed they do. They continue to stand unsupported with their proverbial cheese out in the wind.

    “If you have a problem with anything I’ve said, you take it up with the blog’s owner.”

    Shame you got deposed like that. Seems to be sticking in your craw.

    “I still don’t take you seriously and I still think you don’t know what you are talking about. If you have a problem with that? That’s your problem and one about which I am completely unconcerned.”

    Another personal attack.

  88. kderosa,

    You’re telling someone who doesn’t care. If you feel wronged, take it up with the appropriate party.

  89. Either make a complaint with the site’s owner or quit trying to act like you have some say in the matter, kderosa.

  90. It’s not your place to address any blog policy to me or anyone else for that matter. You have exactly no authority here. If you have an issue, take it up with the owner. In fact, I encourage you to escalate the matter.

  91. Get ready to move, I am contacting Dick (Cheney) and we are going to drill right where you are sitting.

  92. kderosa,

    Either you are going to escalate the matter of your alleged issue or continue to be a disruption. Either way makes absolutely no difference to me. I’m fully prepared to have either conversation with our host. I seriously do encourage you to escalate the matter.

  93. kderosa,

    No false dilemma at all. You are either of strong enough conviction that I’ve done something improper to escalate the complaint or your aren’t and you simply want to disrupt yet another thread by making spurious allegations. Like I said, I’m fully prepared to have that conversation with JT. Since you seem to be reluctant to make a complaint though, your unwillingness to act upon your convictions does lead to certain inevitable conclusions.

    Put up or shut up or continue to build a case for any willing to make it that you should be blacklisted for purposeful disruption. You’re doing a fine job on that last option since you were taken out of moderation. Keep up the good work.

  94. GeneH,

    So many opinions and so little power.

    You’d have a much easier time making your case if you weren’t engaging in so many personal attacks.

  95. If you think you have a valid complaint, take it to Jonathan. I cannot emphasize how much I seriously encourage you to do so. Your refusal to do so is doing absolutely nothing to encourage anyone to take you seriously though.

  96. I bet they are addicted to telling people whats wrong rather than options to figure out what is right. It is a “My” way or the highway attitude.

  97. “This also completely ignores the fundamental tenet that business, in general, try to avoid killing their customers.”

    Ekeyra,

    Were this true, than probably by 1965 the tobacco industry would have tried to make safer cigarettes. They had the proof of the carcinogenic nature of their product, its addictiveness and direct relationship to heart ailments. Their reaction was to up the nicotine level to increase the addictive potential and spend more on advertising to young people to gain more addicts to sell to. There are literally too many other instances that refute your statement to name.

  98. Yes a revolution is possible. The shift of wealth to a small minority has been occurring since the 1800s Industrial Revolution. It subsided with the 1930s evolution of the unions that produced a middle class. As unions become less significant, the middle class shrinks. Unions were only allowed to grow because the elite realized that the alternative was the communism or fascism growing in pre-war Europe and at that time present in cities like New York and Boston. Read some history….you will learn something that the neocons don’t want you to know. When a large number of people can’t feed their families, there will be a revolution….Especially if there is still a conspicuous group of upper class consumers.

  99. Mike,

    The fact that millions of people still smoke today, regardless of the bombardment of information regarding their health risks and dangers, leads me to conclude that even if people had known the dangers back then, they would still have chosen to smoke. Noone forces anyone to go out and buy cigarettes, and if you are addicted, there are numerous avenues of therapy available. So hmmm people know a product is dangerous and yet still continue to use it, doesn’t sound like evil corporate scheming, more like people too concerned about looking cool to worry about lung cancer. Try again.

  100. Woosty,

    You do realize that adam smith’s wrong-headed musings on the labor theory of value lead to marx and engel’s regurgitated nonsense right? They wouldnt be in conflict at all. Also between marx, angels, mao and lenin, whats the total bodycount your dream team left behind? Somewhere in the tens of millions or you think they topped a hundred million?

  101. Id also like an explanation of why a corporation is an illegitimate legal fiction, while the state is a legitimate legal fiction.

  102. ekyra,

    you take yourself too seriously.

    and you can’t spell

    why don’t you take that putrid green stick out your mouth…..

  103. Kderosa: “Do you really think a corporation like the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, NCS, etc, should not be accorded free speech rights because they are corporations?”

    That’s the precise reason behind the legal fiction of corporate person-hood.

    Kderosa: “you are arguing on the basis of corporate personhood. I am arguing on the basis of the free association of people. A corporation is both a corporate person, a legal fiction, and also a free association of people.”

    The idea of treating a corporation as a free association of people (as of late) would seem to require an intense amount of research which I’m not willing to do right now. However, the idea of treating a corporation as a free association of people runs in direct contradiction of the definition and purpose of a corporation. It goes against EVERY CONCEPT regarding the treatment of corporations in law. Accordingly, when Scalia makes casual comments like the one you’re making now, I suspect it’s that intellectual dishonesty of his rearing its ugly head again.

  104. @Bob Esq

    “The idea of treating a corporation as a free association of people (as of late) would seem to require an intense amount of research which I’m not willing to do right now”

    Yes, you are right, which is why I was hoping you were going to do the heavy lifting.

    “It goes against EVERY CONCEPT regarding the treatment of corporations in law. ”

    Actually, it doesn’t from what I’ve read. I just haven’t done looked at the case law to confirm and really didn’t feel like doing so.

  105. Roco: “corporations cannot vote so how do they have personhood?”

    The ability to vote is not a condition precedent to corporate person-hood.

    Corporate person-hood is the condition precedent to a corporation claiming protection under the bill of rights. Thus the reason for the legal fiction.

  106. Ekeyra,

    If you notice I said by 1965 they knew. I was hooked before the surgeon general’s report in the 50’s. Throughout the late 60’s through the late 90’s the cigarette companies were using billion$ in propaganda issuing denials of both the harm and the addictive quality of their product. I’ve treated addicts and it is a worse addiction that meth and/or crack and ultimately just as harmful.

    That wasn’t my point though. There are numerous other instances of companies producing products they knew to be harmful but promoting them anyway. I understand that you are into people taking personal responsibility, but sometimes the effect of propaganda and lies about a given product overwhelm even the smartest of us. I believe differently from you in that I believe that a company knowingly distributing a harmful product is acting just as criminally as anyone in the various mafias. Crime should be prosecuted, white collar and/or thuggery.

  107. @Mike Spindell

    “That wasn’t my point though. There are numerous other instances of companies producing products they knew to be harmful but promoting them anyway.”

    Name a few. And, provide clear evidence that they were “producing products they knew to be harmful but promoting them anyway.”

  108. Mike,

    Someone can sell crack, which I doubt anyone is going to mistake for an aroma therapy candle, yet people still buy it. My only point is that people should be able to decide for themselves the level of risk taking when buying any product, and if they choose not to then they only have themselves to blame. People lie, thats human nature. Caveat emptor.

    Besides all that though, most stories of “safety regulation” end up looking like this.

    “Swanberg says that the IDPH officer who visited told her that her ice cream probably wouldn’t pass the bacteria tests if she continued to use fresh strawberries. Instead the officer suggested she use “strawberry syrup,” Swanberg said.

    IDPH spokesperson Melanie Arnold said that it isn’t illegal to use real strawberries but that IDPH “does not encourage it simply because when you try and clean a strawberry to make sure it doesn’t have any bacteria, it kind of deteriorates.”

    EMPHASIS HERE:!!!
    The department’s Dairy Equipment Specialist, Don Wilding, said that other ice cream producers use irradiated strawberries. He says look good but he can’t vouch for the taste.

    Swanberg could continue to work without a license, Wilding said, if she used a premade ice cream mix that is usually formulated with stabilizers and other additives — the kind of thing typically used at Dairy Queens, Wilding noted.

    Still, Swanberg feels that using strawberry syrup and a premade soft serve mix might not attract the same customers who buy her product made from fresh organic cream blended with local and often organic produce like basil and strawberries she picks herself.

    The department could not confirm the $40,000 price tag on a pasteurizing machine. But it did confirm that, even if she uses pasteurized milk and boils all of her ingredients together, she would then need to pasteurize it in this special machine again.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/stew/chi-local-ice-cream-makers-could-be-shut-down-by-state-20110805,0,477342.story

  109. “Name a few.”

    Big tobacco & Ford Pinto.

    Although there’s an element of assumption of risk per big tobacco.

  110. Woosty,

    Im sorry if puppets of mass murderers gets me all bent out of shape. Maybe I need anger management classes?

    Also green stick? I honestly am confused about what you mean?

  111. Bob, Esq.
    The Ford Pinto case is an excellent example of corporations making bad decisions based on the knowledge of a defect, but going ahead with the defect. Ralph Nader started a career over that case.

  112. ekeyra: “People lie, thats human nature. Caveat emptor. ”

    And the whole purpose of leaving the state of nature and forming a social contract is to be able to say to the lying piece of crap — “Caveat venditor.”

    Translation: “Fuck you; pay me!”

  113. rafflaw,

    What bothered me about that case was reducing human life down to simple bean counting. To this day I don’t see how it passes under the business judgment rule.

  114. Bob,

    If i completely reject the notion of a social contract, seeing as how I have never been presented one, nor had my consent of it ever sought, what do you appeal to then? Add to that the fact that regulations have not eliminated food contamination or financial chicanery, (in fact REWARDING those firms whose portfolios were filled with toxic assets by bailing them out) it would seem to me that “regulations” are at best a juvenile security blanket and at worst barriers to entry leveraged by politically connected businesses.

  115. kderosa,

    Ford removed the Pinto problem from the free market by concealing the known defect from the public.

    Friedman’s foray into the number game is completely irrelevant to the issue of placing human life at risk by failing to disclose a known defect.

  116. “If i completely reject the notion of a social contract, seeing as how I have never been presented one, nor had my consent of it ever sought, what do you appeal to then?”

    I first ask how you intend to replace the conceptual foundation of our republic.

    “Add to that the fact that regulations have not eliminated food contamination or financial chicanery, (in fact REWARDING those firms whose portfolios were filled with toxic assets by bailing them out) it would seem to me that “regulations” are at best a juvenile security blanket and at worst barriers to entry leveraged by politically connected businesses.”

    When you play poker, do you play by certain rules?

    And when people break those rules, do you seek redress?

    Why should it be any different per business regulations?

  117. Bob,

    If you chose to buy it without doing your homework first, it would seem to me a personal decision that your time was more important than your safety.

  118. Bob, Ford acted foolishly and tort laws took care of the rest. And, once word got out they were disciplined severely by the market.

    I disagree that Friedman was playing a numbers game. Safety has a price associated with it and most people do not place much value on safety judging by the selections they make. You are suggesting that you know better than they do and so therefore you would like to substitute your values for theirs. That may be all well again, but as you respect the social contract, you know as well as I do that people did not give up their judgment rights in these matters to you, me, or government to make these decision for them

  119. ekeyra: “If you chose to buy it without doing your homework first, it would seem to me a personal decision that your time was more important than your safety.”

    But according to you…

    “People lie, thats human nature. Caveat emptor. ”

    So why should I now assume the aforesaid liar provide me with sufficient or correct information to do my homework?

    One of the main reasons we have rules and regulations in commerce is to prevent and protect against the kaleidoscopic problem of fraud.

  120. Speaking of legal fictions, the whole WE THE PEOPLE consent thing is entirely a legal fiction. Though I do not believe we need to reach consent to explain the validity of the social contract that the republic was based on. Nonetheless, it remains a legal fiction.

  121. “So why should I now assume the aforesaid liar provide me with sufficient or correct information to do my homework?”

    You shouldn’t, we have laws against fraud that have come up from the common law. In fact, I’d suggest that most of what we need to regulate commerce is already providing in contract and tort law.

  122. kderosa,

    Then you are essentially claiming that the governmental form democracy is legal fiction. Good show, corporatist! Wave your anti-democratic flag proudly.

    Rollover. Bark. Play dead. Good dog.

  123. “You are suggesting that you know better than they do and so therefore you would like to substitute your values for theirs.”

    No, I’m saying that there’s an element of scienter in failing to disclose a known deadly defect.

    It’s not like they were sitting on a bench watching people fall into a pit and die with no duty to warn or rescue.

    Ford created the defect, knew it was lethal, and sentenced people to death by refusing to warn or remedy the situation in any way. Had they warned the public, like Friedman suggested, by saying ‘this car is cheaper because it’s X% more likely to kill you IN THIS PARTICULAR MANNER PER THE DEFECT’ then it would be a different story.

  124. Bob,

    “I first ask how you intend to replace the conceptual foundation of our republic”

    I dont.

    Your poker analogy would be spot on, if and only if, at the beginning of the game one player was allowed to change the rules at any time. I may be mistaken but i perceive regulations, not as a means to redress damages but an attempt to stem damages before they happen, making them hubristic attempts at precognition.

  125. Gene H, you know there is a way to state that argument without the personal attacks?

    I was going to explain the concept to you over in the good law/bad law thread but you ran away. I can do still do it later today, but I don’t want to set you off on more disruptions since no one can disagree with your precious, albeit wrong, views.

  126. “Fraud is kaleidoscopic, infinite. [And that] being infinite and taking on protean form at will, were courts to cramp themselves by defining fraud with a hard-and-fast definition, their jurisdiction would be cunningly circumvented at once by new schemes beyond the definition….. Accordingly definitions of fraud are of set purpose left general and flexible and thereto courts match their astuteness against the versatile inventions of fraud-doers.”

    (Stonemets v. Head, 248 Mo. 243, 263, 154 S.W. 108, 114 (1913).

  127. kderosa,

    If you think you have a complaint, make it. If you think you have a case, make it. Put up or shut up. Your assertion that “We the People” is a legal fiction is prime facie ridiculous and deserves ridicule. If you’ve got a problem with that, you know where to take it.

  128. ekeyra,

    Try seeing regulations as the pit boss and the burly security guys looking to break your thumbs if you get out of line.

  129. @Bob,

    As I said, Ford was wrong and they were punished severely under tort law. What more can be done than to perhaps seek criminal charges against the directors which may have been done?

    Ford made a cost/benefit analysis (does this sounds familiar, Gene) of the defect and the cost of the recall to fix the defect and gambled that it would be cheaper to pay the damages. They calculated wrong.

  130. Bob,

    “So why should I now assume the aforesaid liar provide me with sufficient or correct information to do my homework?”

    Perhaps i was too loose with my “homework” euphamism. What I specifically meant was: Dont just take someone’s word for it, find out for yourself. If ralph nader figured it out, what was keeping anyone else from finding out?

  131. @GeneH

    Go ahead and escalate the personal attacks to the point where I think it is appropriate to bring them to JT’s attention and I will surely take you up on that challenge. Bring on that Buddha charm.

    “Your assertion that “We the People” is a legal fiction is prime facie ridiculous and deserves ridicule. ”

    We shall see later today how ridiculous that assertion really is.

  132. Kderosa: “we have laws against fraud that have come up from the common law. In fact, I’d suggest that most of what we need to regulate commerce is already providing in contract and tort law”

    So you’d rather fight through 3-5 years of litigation just to make the case that you’d been had?

    And in what world would there be such a mammoth court system to handle all those complaints?

    Explain why I should devote so much time out of my life to simply ensure I get what I pay for?

    Regulations are my insurance against having the life sucked out of me in litigation.

    Surely the pragmatist in you must see this.

  133. kderosa,

    A tool (such as C/B analysis) is only as good in application as the skill and the intent of the user. Proper application in a business sense of the analysis is skewed out of the gate by an amoral prejudiced and desired outcome, the profit motive (a weak form of outcome determinism). Proper application in government does not have that prejudicial factor as government does not have to operate at profit. Cost can be compared to benefit on a break-even or even a net loss basis and still be found to be a worthwhile investment.

  134. Bob,

    Your casino security analogy would again be applicable, if it werent for a few niggling details. You have no way of knowing if the bouncers or pit bosses even know or understand the rules of the game they are supposedly presiding over. In a casino its a safe assumption because if they dont and start tossing out honest paying customers, they wont be there very long. In a regulatory bureaucracy, with no economic incentive to make correct decisions, there is no way of knowing if the people calling the shots have any idea what they are doing.

    I defer you to my post where a woman making homemade organic ice cream was politely suggested to irradiate her food before serving it to her customers to continue operating without a liscence that, supposedly, confered information to her customers about its relative safety. Do you see the insanity in that? To make sure she wouldnt harm anyone with her unliscenced food, regulators told her to irradiate it and they would look the other way.

    “If markets were as perfect as textbook microeconomics says they are, there would indeed be no need for caveat emptor. Competition would guarantee prices at their lowest-possible level and product quality at its highest. But real-world markets aren’t like that. People aren’t perfectly informed, and communicating information is costly.

    So isn’t this a good reason for government regulation? In the case of less-than-perfect competition, shouldn’t people in government protect consumers (and sellers for that matter) from opportunistic traders? Indeed, isn’t that why we have the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and a host of other regulatory bureaucracies that Congress is constantly legislating into existence? Well, there are problems with that popular argument.

    The first problem is that, as Public Choice economics and Austrian political economy (pdf) teaches us, people in the public sector are at least as self-interested and uninformed about the things that matter as people in the private sector. However, at least buyers and sellers in the private sector have a material interest in accurately forecasting benefits and costs and in keeping a check on one another; in the public sector that incentive is effectively absent. So if private-sector competition works imperfectly because of those human failings, it’s not likely to work any better – probably much worse — with the flawed and unmotivated humans in the public sector.”

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/why-caveat-emptor/

  135. “Perhaps i was too loose with my “homework” euphamism. What I specifically meant was: Dont just take someone’s word for it, find out for yourself. If ralph nader figured it out, what was keeping anyone else from finding out?”

    1. A man’s got to know his limitations. No one is an expert in everything.

    2. Accordingly, It’s my life and I refuse to sacrifice my time to exercising any sort of due diligence that can’t be handled by routine government regulation ensuring a fair bargain.

    3. A government’s got to know its limitations. When government regulation becomes the exercise of power beyond right that no one has a right to, i.e. tyranny, then it’s time to change the government.

  136. No, kderosa. The ball has been in your court since you started your campaign of spurious allegations as a tool of disruption. Play it or run home with it.

  137. Or perhaps you’d care to justify dismissing the fundamental tenet of the form of democracy as a legal fiction in defense of the actual legal fiction of a corporation.

  138. @Bob, Esq,

    I understand your point, but your faith in the efficacy of regulations that would mitigate or have prevented this problem is perhaps misplaced:

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pressured Ford to recall the Pinto, motivated by public outcry and pressure from groups such as Ralph Nader’s Center for Auto Safety. Initially, the NHTSA did not feel there was sufficient evidence to demand a recall due to incidents of fire. The 27 deaths attributed to Pinto fires is the same number of deaths attributed to a transmission problem in the Pinto, which resulted in 180 total deaths in all Ford vehicles, and in 1974 the NHTSA ruled that the Pinto had no “recallable” problem.

    In 1978, Ford initiated a recall providing a plastic protective shield to be dealer-installed between the fuel tank and the differential bolts, another to deflect contact with the right-rear shock absorber, and a new fuel-tank filler neck that extended deeper into the tank and was more resistant to breaking off in a rear-end collision

    The market disciplined Ford (and forced a voluntary recall), not the regulations or the regulatory body in charge of enforcing those regulations.

  139. ekeyra,

    I can’t say I disagree with you. I read your link last night to those FDA SWAT team incidents in the past 25 years and it made my skin crawl. Administrative agents that act abusively should be punished severely; if only for the fact that they carry out their crimes under the color of law.

    Nonetheless, while I’m a complete novice when it comes to economics, I can ascertain that this fairy tale of a completely free market simply does not and cannot exist in a civilized society.

    And your observation that the public sector is rife with incompetence is duly noted. I firmly believe in the idea of the government offering ‘comfortable’ salaries and huge tax breaks to lure in competent workers who prefer to follow their conscience in lieu of selling out.

  140. Gene, Bob, KD

    Democracy. Legal fiction. Accept it. Move on.

    “The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. [This essay was written in 1869.] And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, we know, historically, that only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. and the constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children. It is not only plainly impossible, in the nature of things, that they could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them. That is to say, the instrument does not purport to be an agreement between any body but “the people” THEN existing; nor does it, either expressly or impliedly, assert any right, ”

    http://jim.com/treason.htm

  141. @GeneH

    As I stated, your personal attacks remain petty. The serve to cast you in a bad light and that is sufficient for me and nothing that JT need be disturbed over. But, you can be sure that when you escalate your personal attacks I will mention your petty personal attacks as well. So, go ahead and bite, you’ve been barking all day now.

  142. “I firmly believe in the idea of the government offering ‘comfortable’ salaries and huge tax breaks to lure in competent workers who prefer to follow their conscience in lieu of selling out.”

    I like it, Bob. Combine that with substantive campaign finance reform and that could offer a real remedy to what ails our democracy.

  143. kderosa,

    Regulations are most conducive to all my time saving needs because it saves me time in court or having to initiate a solution on my own.

    Whether or not it worked in a particular case, i.e. Pinto, does not change the fact stated above.

    I see no utility in adopting an ideal that forces me to put the weight of the world on my shoulders for no other reason than pride in said ideal.

  144. Let’s face it Gene,

    People working for the SEC should be making triple of what members of Congress make.

    On a completely different note, I’ve been putting off going to Office Max all day.

    Gotta jump.

  145. “Name a few. And, provide clear evidence that they were “producing products they knew to be harmful but promoting them anyway.”

    I was discussing this with Ekeyra, who I respect, not you.

  146. @Bob, Esq

    “I see no utility in adopting an ideal that forces me to put the weight of the world on my shoulders for no other reason than pride in said ideal.”

    Ultimately, whether you like it or not, the weight of the world will remain on your shoulders regardless of the regulations. Though, you can be sure, those regulations will impose costs on the manufacturers that will be passed on to you, the consumer, with little benefit and they will often be used unfairly by some businesses to gain a competitive advantage over others, thus serving to also increase the price to you, the consumer.

    Having said this however, there is a place for regulations in commerce provided that government can show a legitimate state interest and evidence that the regulations serve to improve that interest. Few regulations meet this standard.

  147. kderosa,

    Due to your lack of willingness to take action and continue to disrupt, it only casts you in the light of a purposeful disruptor without a leg to stand on. Just one more reason to not take you seriously. Now, do you care to justify dismissing the fundamental tenet of the form of democracy as a legal fiction in defense of the actual legal fiction of a corporation?

  148. @GeneH

    I knew you’d back down.

    I told you I would explain the concept to you, but I am busy right now. You’ll have to wait to later.

  149. BTW, GeneH, noting your personal attacks isn’t being disruptive. you’ve noted some things yourself:

    Gene H.
    1, August 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    puzzling,

    Sequence written and your criticism has been noted.

    Were you being disruptive?

    And if I am being disruptive, then you certainly have cause to bring it to JT’s attention. Why haven’t you?

  150. Bob,

    “And your observation that the public sector is rife with incompetence is duly noted. I firmly believe in the idea of the government offering ‘comfortable’ salaries and huge tax breaks to lure in competent workers who prefer to follow their conscience in lieu of selling out.”

    I think you misunderstand me, but there is alot of subtlety. It is not incompetence qua incompetence, it is the reality that government workers, even with the best of intentions lack the neccessary information to make informed economic decisions because they are completely removed from the profit and loss feedback loop of private enterprise. Some may see this as exactly the proper enviroment from which to provide oversight, but I see it as trying to play darts blindfolded. They make bad decisions, not because they are dumb or unqualified but because by the very nature of public employment they lack any ability to collect the neccessary information.

    In other words, yes consumers can be uninformed and defrauded, but at least they have a personal stake in the outcome. The further you remove economic incentives from decision making the worse those decisions become precisely because those decisions lack even the limited economic information available to consumers.

    I also have to question why “selling out” depends on one’s choice of employers, rather than the price of one’s integrity regardless of who is making the offer.

    “Nonetheless, while I’m a complete novice when it comes to economics, I can ascertain that this fairy tale of a completely free market simply does not and cannot exist in a civilized society. ”

    I dont mean to be dismissive, but you are hardly the first person to express that opinion. My only rebuttal is that we are in a free market now. Government actions can distort prices, redirect capital and drive some businessmen into black market operations ( ala drug cartels), but it cannot stamp out the basic nature of economic activity. Ive always been fascinated by the rise of economies in prison enviroments and their adaptation of cigarettes as currency. Obviously prisons arent the greatest example of a free society, but they are a society and the evolution of their economic activities is often astounding.

    “Accordingly, It’s my life and I refuse to sacrifice my time to exercising any sort of due diligence that can’t be handled by routine government regulation ensuring a fair bargain. ”

    Whether or not you see it this way, that is an economic decision on your part. And as far as it concerns your life, time and property it is your decision to make, however you have no authority to apply that decision to anyone else.

  151. Ford Pinto
    Further information: Ford Pinto
    In September 1971 the Ford Motor Company launched the Pinto for the North American market. Through early production of this model it emerged that design flaws could result in fuel tank explosions when the vehicle was subject to a rear-end collision. Some sources even allege this safety data was available to Ford prior to production, but was ignored for economic reasons.[52] Either way, a major scandal followed with the leaking to San Francisco magazine Mother Jones of the notorious “Ford Pinto Memo”, an internal Ford cost-benefit analysis showing that the cost of implementing design changes to the subcompact’s fuel system was greater than the economic cost of the burn injuries and deaths that could be prevented by doing so. Subsequently some have played down[53] the importance of this case, as Pinto explosion fatality estimates range widely from 27 to 900,[52] with the lowest figures being allegedly in line with comparable fatality statistics for other car models.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ford_Motor_Company

  152. Ekerya,

    Now, since Bob already addressed the incompatability of “People Lie,” “I trust people to make their own decisions” and “buyer beware”.

    I have a question to ask you, who’s more free, the person that doesn’t get to decide if each and every law applies to them, or the ape that has to do what the bigger ape says or get it’s throat torn out?

    I ask, because the trend evident in the history of law is governments putting more and more restrictions on themselves. That’s actually part of what a law is, it’s the government limiting it’s actions. The code of Ur-Nammu wasn’t just saying “If a man proceeded by force, and deflowered the virgin slavewoman of another man, that man must pay five shekels of silver,” it was also saying “If a man proceeded by force, and deflowered the virgin slavewoman of another man, that man can only be fined five shekels of silver.” Sometimes there’s a steps backwards, or the moment seems to stall, but over all more people have more freedoms than they used to.

    On the other hand we have several examples of what primate societies look like without a a framework of laws. Some of them human, some of them not, but a large percent of the social structure in ALL of them can be reduced to “I’m meaner, you do what I say.” Heck, that’s what most of the social structure with every social animal I can think of is.

    Your argument seems to be that because you weren’t present for every single decision about what limits were placed on people in your society, you get to chuck it all away. Personally, I’m glad we split off far enough from our evolutionary cousins to have any decision about how our tribes function, and I’m not willing to throw that away because I didn’t get consulted on every single decision.

  153. AY, I am dismissing it based on the Swartz Study which found that:

    + The Pinto Memo wasn’t used or consulted internally by Ford, but rather was attached to a letter written to NHTSA about proposed regulation. When plaintiffs tried to use the memo in support of punitive damages, the trial judge ruled it inadmissible for that purpose (p. 1021, Schwartz study).

    + The Pinto’s fuel tank location behind the axle, ostensibly its design defect, was “commonplace at the time in American cars” (p. 1027).

    +The precedent of the California Supreme Court at the time not only tolerated manufacturers trading off safety for cost, but apparently encouraged manufacturers to consider such trade-offs (p. 1037).

    What you think you know about the Ford Pinto affair is largely an urban myth. Nonetheless, did pay a heavy price for their “mistake.”

  154. kderosa,

    Back down? That’s pretty funny. You can tell yourself that little story and continue to evade defending your ridiculous assertion that democracy is a legal fiction if it makes you feel better but the facts are that you’re the one who just backed down. I told you to bring it. I still am telling you to bring it.

    As far as what I do to bring you back to JT’s attention? Time is on my side. If I don’t raise the issue first, another guest blogger will, but it will be raised again eventually. Your behavior guarantees it.

  155. @GeneH

    I meant back down re escalating your personal attacks. If you think your conduct is right and you hold some sway on this blog, you should have no problem escalating your attacks.

    I, on the other hand, have no doubt that my conduct falls within the blog’s guidelines, bluster all you want.

  156. Maybe you missed this part:

    The critical moment came on April 27, 1971, Robinson says, during a secret meeting held in the Oval Office between President Nixon, auto maker president Henry Ford II and then-chairman of Chrysler Corp. Lee lacocca. The auto makers were concerned because times were beginning to look tough in Motor City. Japanese companies Honda, Toyota and Datsun were introducing curiously small, fuel-efficient cars that challenged the market dominance of the Big Three, Ford, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler.

    And the federal government wasn’t helping. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was proposing 70 safety and auto emissions standards that threatened to increase costs and erode the dominance of the Big Three.

    Evidence of the closed-door meeting is eerily contained in Nixon’s secret White House tapes and in 1991 depositions taken of domestic affairs assistant and former White House Counsel John Ehrlichman, who would later spend time in prison for his Watergate role and die in 1999.

    During the meeting, Ford told Nixon that the auto industry would have to spend one-sixth of the gross domestic product to comply with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s requirements by 1975, according to the Ehrlichman deposition. And, Ford warned the president, the price of the popular Pinto would go up 50 percent in three years if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards were implemented.

    “Cool it, or you’ll break us up,” Iacocca complained to the president. Of particular concern were the costs of complying with bumper strength and air bag requirements.

    Ford passed away in 1987 and Iacocca, who invented the E-bike, an electric transportation system, now heads EV Global Motors Inc. in Los Angeles and did not return calls for comment.

    The entreaties of the auto magnates had an effect on Nixon, according to Ehrlichman’s deposition.

    Later in the day, he met with the president. “I’m strongly against them all, it’s not good government,” Ehrlichman testified of Nixon’s reaction to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposals. “Tell [Department of Transportation Secretary John] Volpe to delay all of this.

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

    Just saying, looks like Corporate Profits over Human Lives…..And the Schwartz papers? Law Review, secondary or maybe even unreliable….never tried to get them admitted as authority….How about ALEC….

  157. kderosa,

    I didn’t back down a damn bit. I still say bring it and I still don’t take you seriously. Either raise the issue with JT, shut your pie hole, or continue to bluster as you run away. The later is the most likely course you’ll take. You remain a purposeful disruptor without a leg to stand on. “As I stated, your personal attacks remain petty. The serve to cast you in a bad light and that is sufficient for me and nothing that JT need be disturbed over.” That sure sounds like you sticking your tail between your legs and running away to me. If you think you have a case? Bring. It. Otherwise, it’s only more evidence that you are not a person to be taken seriously.

    So how about this for a change . . .

    Care to defend your ridiculous assertion that democracy is a legal fiction?

  158. “The safety issue is particularly important because it is often the subject of heated debate over regulation. Instances where injuries and fatalities occur because of problems in automobiles have caused some to advocate greater regulation, and in some cases, calls for criminal sanctions.

    It is necessarily the case that people will suffer inconveniences, injuries and even death in the course of using some products. No product is ever 100% safe. People generally know this and are willing to accept some risks, particularly when they can save money in the process. While it is certainly true that government intervention can ameliorate certain problems, it is equally true that these solutions can raise additional problems.

    If the government forces private companies to carry out recalls or to pay for product repairs or replacement, consumers can rest easier. Of course, this peace of mind will not be for free. Entrepreneurs will factor these costs into their prices, fewer trades will take place, and resource allocation will shift accordingly.

    Is this arrangement best? There is no clear answer to this. Left to the market, entrepreneurs would perform cost-benefit calculations to see whether attaching product insurance, or warranties, to their products is worthwhile. Consumers would make their own judgments and the resulting demand would impute value to these warranties. By weighing the related costs and benefits entrepreneurs would then determine the most efficient method of supplying their goods.”

    http://mises.org/daily/1135/Markets-and-the-Information-Problem

  159. @AY, that is what is known as corporatism. Corporations going to government for favors. And when they do, government tends to comply. That’s why regulations and their enforcement tend to serve decrease competition and raise prices instead of increasing competition and lower prices and profits. Thanks for making my point for me. Now if you could explain that concept to GeneH, I’d be very appreciative.

  160. @GeneH

    You most certainly did back down. You are afraid to escalate your personal attacks above the petty level they are at currently. You’ve been slapped down before by JT when your attacks were more vicious and you took your ball and ran home for a couple of days. Then, sadly, you returned. So, go ahead and escalate the personal attacks to the level they were at before and we’ll see who gets notified and who gets put in the corner again. Otherwise, try to maintain civil discourse and stick to the issues.

  161. @GeneH

    “Care to defend your ridiculous assertion that democracy is a legal fiction?”

    That’s not my assertion. Go back and reread what I actually said.

  162. No Kd, I will not. They were making profits head over heels….and still begging for no regulation.

    I have friends in the oil business. One of them just came back from Poland, he said that he’d much rather drill there than here. I asked why, his response was that all’s they have to do is stick a pipe in the ground and not worry about all of the safety regulations in the US…He was starting a drill in Texas….too many people to deal with….Hell if his company is making 53 billion in Profits a year…I see why…pollute the water, air and ground…all in the name of Profits….

  163. Gyges,

    “I have a question to ask you, who’s more free, the person that doesn’t get to decide if each and every law applies to them, or the ape that has to do what the bigger ape says or get it’s throat torn out?”

    Isn’t that essentially the same situation? Im not trying to be sarcastic here, it just seems to me that if throat ripping happens to be part of the law I have no say over, im still being subjected to the same ultimatum. Law enforcement is the bigger threatening ape. You may see them as defenders of civil society and you have every right to seek out their protection. My only request is to be left alone if i dont see it in my interest to seek their protection, or I have not caused harm or damaged anyone.

    “Sometimes there’s a steps backwards, or the moment seems to stall, but over all more people have more freedoms than they used to.”

    I would definately have to agree with your overall point of the upswing of personal liberty, however id bet every last, soon to be worthless federal reserve note, that we have wildly divergent explanations for that. Your explanation that governments increased limits on themselves would seem to be almost self-contradicting. Simply observe the monstrous growth of our current government. Governments do not “self limit”. If that were the case why would the founders have gone out of their way to craft the framework they hoped would restrain it? If governments self limit, than why would there be a need for restraint at all?

    My explanation would be that with the onset of the industrial revolution, incomes and standards of living rose such that people could use their time much more efficiently. It literally “freed” their time to pursue things other than mere survival. They could educate themselves. They could assemble and discuss ideas. Most importantly, they could produce goods and services for each other instead of having their entire productive capacity directed towards nobility and aristocracy who were the only ones able to afford the prices that would make such work economically sustainable. People are more free because they had more free time, not because the government benevolently chose to use less pressure on the boot on their throat.

  164. AY,

    “pollute the water, air and ground…all in the name of Profits….”

    Whether your drilling in poland or texas and you destroy or otherwise cause damage to someone else’s property, shouldnt you be held liable for the extent of the damages? If government is restricting the redress of damages by victims perhaps that is the problem, or as in the case of the bp spill, its the government’s “property” and they just dont give a damn?

  165. kderosa,

    If that’s what you want to think to help you not feel weak, knock yourself out. I don’t you seriously anyway. If you think you can goad me, then that’s just another reason to not take you seriously. You’re the one who is all talk and no action. So one last time, if you think you have a valid complaint, make it. If you can’t make the case, then your complaints about “personal attacks” on you are simply the whining of a loser.

    As to what you said: “Speaking of legal fictions, the whole WE THE PEOPLE consent thing is entirely a legal fiction. Though I do not believe we need to reach consent to explain the validity of the social contract that the republic was based on. Nonetheless, it remains a legal fiction.”

    Democracy means a government by the people but especially the rule of the majority or a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. In short, a government founded upon the notion of “We the People”. If you think a government founded by “We the People” in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them indirectly through a system of representation involving periodically held free elections – which is exactly what form of government the Constitution establishes – is a legal fiction, then you think democracy is a legal fiction.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can try, but when you are dealing with people who know better, it only makes you look less reputable. You clearly cannot back up your words in any meaningful manner. You are not a person to be taken seriously.

  166. For those who, like me, are growing tired of the KD-Gene “I know you are but what am I” back and forth, I leave you with this.

  167. For the purpose of clarifying allegations that the Ford Pinto was as safe as other vehicles and the design of the gas tank location without a shield was normal, the Center of Auto Safety disagrees. I apologize in advance for the length of the quoted article.
    “On June 9, 1978, Ford Motor Company agreed to recall 1.5 million Ford Pinto and 30,000 Mercury Bobcat sedan and hatchback models for fuel tank design defects which made the vehicles susceptible to fire in the event of a moderate-speed rear end collision. The action was the result of investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defect Investigations (Case #C7-38), sparked by a petition from Center for Auto Safety, publicity generated by national publication expose of the hazard (Mother Jones News Magazine, “Pinto Madness” by Mark Dowie, Sept/Oct, 1977) and publicity over the largest punitive damages awarded by a California jury to a young man who had been severely injured in a Pinto fuel tank fire (Grimshaw v Ford).

    In April, 1974, the Center for Auto Safety petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall Ford Pintos due to defects in the design of the strap on gas tank which made it susceptible to leakage and fire in low to moderate speed collisions. The Center’s petition was based upon reports from attorneys of three deaths and 4 serious injuries in such accidents. This petition languished in the NHTSA offices until 1977.

    In 1977, Mark Dowie of Mother Jones Magazine, using documents in the Center files, published an article reporting the dangers of the fuel tank design, and cited internal Ford Motor Company documents that proved that Ford knew of the weakness in the fuel tank before the vehicle was placed on the market but that a cost/benefit study was done which suggested that it would be “cheaper” for Ford to pay liability for burn deaths and injuries rather than modify the fuel tank to prevent the fires in the first place. Dowie showed that Ford owned a patent on a better designed gas tank at that time, but that cost and styling considerations ruled out any changes in the gas tank design of the Pinto.

    Closely following the publication of the Mother Jones article, a jury in Orange County, Calif., awarded Richard Grimshaw $125 million in punitive damages for injuries he sustained while a passenger in a 1971 Pinto which was struck by another car at an impact speed of 28MPH and burst into flames. Although the award was eventually reduced to $3.5 million by the trial judge, the jury’s reason for the figure of $125 million was that Ford Motor Company had marketed the Pinto with full knowledge that injuries such as Grimshaw’s were inevitable in the Pinto and therefore the punitive damages should be more than Ford had made in profit on the Pinto since its introduction, which was $124 million.

    With the publication of the Mother Jones article and the Grimshaw case publicity, the Center for Auto Safety resubmitted its petition for a defects investigation into the Pinto and ODI Case #C7-38 was opened. ODI had crash tests done of 1971-76 Pintos, sedan, hatchback (“Runabout”) and station wagon models, and the results showed significant fuel tank ruptures and leakage, in one case after an impact of 30.31 MPH the entire contents of the fuel tank leaked out of the 1976 Pinto in less than one minute. (Investigative Report, Phrase I, C7-38, 1971-76 Ford Pinto and 1975-76 Mercury Bobcat, May, 1978.).

    Based upon the tests performed for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and by the tremendous publicity generated over the problem, Ford agreed to recall all 1971 through 1976 Ford Pintos and 1975-76 Mercury Bobcat sedan and hatchback models for modifications to the fuel tank. The modifications included a longer fuel filler neck and a better clamp to keep it securely in the fuel tank, a better gas cap in some models, and placement of a plastic shield between the front of the fuel tank and the differential to protect the tank from the nuts and bolts on the differential and another along the right corner of the tank to protect it from the right rear shock absorber. Recall notices were mailed in September, 1978 and parts were to be at all dealers by September 15, 1978. However, between June 9, 1978, and the date when parts were available to repair the estimated 2.2 million vehicles, six people died in Pinto fires after a rear impact.

    In one of the instances, an Elkhart, Indiana grand jury returned indictments against Ford Motor Company for three cases of negligence from the deaths of three young women. But on March 13, 1980, a jury found Ford innocent of a charge of failing to warn about or offer to repair fuel system defects in the Pinto before the day the three women were fatally burned. The verdict is not an unfavorable precedent with regard to criminal prosecution of corporations for defective products that kill. Despite numerous mitigating circumstances in the Pinto case-speeding van, hazardous highway, driver in possession of alcohol and illegal drugs, the exclusion of evidence from the NHTSA investigation including the crash tests, the inclusion into evidence of Ford’s exculpatory crash tests, and a local prosecutor with minimal resources-the possibility of successful corporate criminal liability suits in the future remains open.” http://www.autosafety.org/ford-pinto-fuel-fed-fires It seems that several civil juries agreed that not placing the shield was negligence on the part of Ford.
    I would also recommend the following link to see additional information concerning the gas tank defect. http://www.engineering.com/Library/ArticlesPage/tabid/85/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/166/Ford-Pinto.aspx
    The reader can decide it these studies and articles are conclusive or not.

  168. @AY

    “No Kd, I will not. They were making profits head over heels….and still begging for no regulation.”

    No, they were begging for preferential treatment under the regulations, which is a very different thing.

    A good example of how company’s use regulation to gain advantages is the CFL ban. CFL companies lobbied for and got the ban so they could stop manufacturing commodity incandescent bulbs which yielded small profits, in favor specialty CFLs which carried high profit margins.

  169. Tomato/Tomatoe….No Regulation/Preferential Treatment….really whats the difference?

    Care to respond to raffs story?

  170. Ekerya,

    “Isn’t that essentially the same situation?”

    Only in the same way that having your buddy shoot at a deer, miss, with the bullet ricochet off of a rock and into your leg. Then him getting a stick for you to lean on, you using it, it breaking, and you falling and hitting your head on a tree branch is the same as him sneaking up behind you and whacking you in the head with a stick. That is to say, only if you ignore all the other circumstances that are required for someone to get killed by the police as a result of their building not being up to code.

    You shouldn’t assume things about my beliefs, I never said states willingly submitted to limits on their power with no outside pressure, just that the over all trend has been limits placed on states power. None of which has any bearing on the my thesis that the only people who would benefit from the complete removal of legal framework is those willing to hurt others for personal gain, and that everyone else would suffer as a result.

    Also, you’re conflating scope with power. Our laws encompass more areas of our lives because our lives have more areas to oversee. It’s like saying that the increase in traffic laws since 1885 is evidence of tyranny.

  171. @GeneH — your understanding of “We the People” is unfortunately completely off base. We the people has to do with consent of the people, which is only tangentially related to democracy and certainly is not legitimated by mere majority consent.

    “We the People” was offered to claim legitimacy for the Constitution. The founders’ claim of legitimacy was based not on the divine right of kings, but on the right of “We the People” to govern themselves. They declared that “We the People” had exercised their rights and manifested their consent to be ruled by the institutions “constituted” by the Constitution document. They made this declaration because they believed that the consent of “We the People” was necessary to establish a legitimate government and that, upon ratification, they would have gained this consent. This is what is known as “popular sovereignty.”

    The notion is that Constitution is legitimate because it as established by “We the People” or the “consent of the governed.” The conditions needed to make this claim valid did not exist at the time the Constitution was adopted or ever could exist. Though “the People” can surely be bound by their consent, this consent must be real, not fictional—unanimous, not majoritarian. Anything less than unanimous consent simply cannot bind nonconsenting persons. Moreover, if taken seriously, the fiction of “We the People” can prove dangerous in practice and can lead to unwarranted criticisms of the Constitution’s legitimacy.

    You can mull over this for awhile and revise your opening statement. I have to take the kids to Borders to celebrate once again the triumph of the market over weak competitors by relieving Borders, at a steep discount, of their soon to be liquidated stock.

  172. kderosa,

    Wow.

    “The conditions needed to make this claim valid did not exist at the time the Constitution was adopted or ever could exist. Though “the People” can surely be bound by their consent, this consent must be real, not fictional—unanimous, not majoritarian. Anything less than unanimous consent simply cannot bind nonconsenting persons.”

    That’s the argument of a child and completely ignorant of the democratic form.

    You’ll have to do better than that, but thanks for the laugh.

  173. kderosa,
    Respectfully, I don’t think the term debunked is appropriate or accurate. The Feds(NHTSA) required a recall and Ford had the same problem with their Capri model in Europe. And don’t forget the multiple juries who seemed to be satisfied that the design and the decision by Ford was negligent.

  174. No, Roco, the only confusion here is yours and your buddy’s about what democracy means. I’d like to see you try to claim your (misunderstood) Constitutional rights some more after just disavowing the very democracy the Constitution founded though. That kind of stunning hypocrisy is always a hoot.

  175. By the way, if any of you don’t consent to the social contract that is the Constitution? You are free to leave at any time you are ready to renounce your citizenship. Absolutely no one is going to force you to stay if you feel you’ve been entered into an agreement without your consent.

  176. Swarthmore Mom:

    how many corporations do you own stock in? How many teachers own stock in corporations through their retirement accounts?

    Corporations are people, a big group of people who are losing their life savings because of the policies of share the wealth. Obama has been a very effective president.

  177. Roco,

    Sorry, but it does, because I am. We are a constitutional democratic representative republic. Absolute and unanimous agreement are not required for this type of system to work. Absolute and unanimous agreement would require a form of democracy not yet tried in the entirety of human history, the impossible democracy.

  178. I am sorry…but since when has a LR been treated as Primary Authority…It would seem that a case in the appeals court Trumps as a higher Authority…But hey that is just me….

    Why don’t you answer raff’s statements and then get back to me….I consider the Swarts/Rutger LR to be Junk….The case stands on its own….decision…maybe I am wrong…If so, I would like some other Trial/Appellate Counsel to prove I am wrong….Thus far no one has stated otherwise…so I guess I am right…btw the case was not debunked…it is the same as having ALEC write the law and then name changing in different states.. …Talk about socialism at it height…But it only makes Corporations socialist….Hmmmmmm

  179. Roco,

    Corporations are people, a big group of people who are losing their life savings because of the policies of share the wealth. Obama has been a very effective president.

    Say what? It is because of Bush’s policy’s of not regulating them….It fell on Obama to do something you are correct…Man you guys are real good at reinterpreting history….Next it’ll be that man evolved from a Wolf….and that is why Corporations are leader of the PAC….

  180. @GeneH

    “That’s the argument of a child and completely ignorant of the democratic form.”

    That would be another of your famous unsupported conclusions.

    And actually, it wasn’t the full argument, just a taste of the conclusion so you could revise your wacky statement at least out of some sense of shame or embarrassment. I should have known better,

  181. @Gene H

    “By the way, if any of you don’t consent to the social contract that is the Constitution? You are free to leave at any time you are ready to renounce your citizenship. Absolutely no one is going to force you to stay if you feel you’ve been entered into an agreement without your consent.”

    This is known as the love it or leave it theory of consent, I will show you how this is wrong as well and not a proper basis for consent.

  182. Roco, Corporations are presently hoarding cash not sharing with anyone except the overpaid CEO’s. The republican debate minus Rick Perry is on Fox.

  183. @SM, corporations are hoarding cash because a hostile and uncertain business environment exists. When those conditions no longer exists, they will begin to grow and invest again and that will mean job growth.

  184. I have been skimming over the pie fight and have come to the conclusion that it’s time for an editorial commentary from Jackie and Dunlap.

  185. @AY, you are confusing court cases in which a person was actually harmed by the product adn the company found liable and a determination of whether a design defect existed that would prompt a recall of all affected cars.

    The ’78 recall was not over safety concerns but due to Nader’s muckraking. yet another factor against subjective regulations.

  186. I think the question was whether corporations are over regulated. I have yet to see an answer to the question–the comment above was non-responsive. Are corporations over regulated? And if they are, what regulations need to be cut back or repealed? And why?

  187. I am willing to narrow it down a bit in view of the comments above. Keep the discussion limited to the following question: Are food and drug companies over regulated? If the answer is yes, what regulations need to be done away with?

  188. OS, Raff et al,

    Unlike Gene H, I am smirking….and LMAO….not quite rolling on the floor…but close…I bet they think that the FDA was a voluntary group started by the Good Butchers and Meat Cutters….I bet the Maroni Labels on vehicles were done by Good Auto Manufactures because they wanted people not to worry about the types of things that the consumers were purchasing….I bet that the Fair Labeling Act was a consorted efforts of the business people to make people sleep better and know that they knew that they were not purchasing tainted/disease infected pillows and blankets…. I am sure if Clinton had not signed the repeal of the Glass Act that the Banks, Insurance Companies and Stock Brokers we would not have to worry about the underfunded bailouts and bonus’s that they all received….

    Note to self…the above is meant as pure sarcasm….

  189. @GeneH,

    You have failed to justify why anyone has a duty to obey the law on the basis of the “consent of the governed.” Exactly how and when “We the People” consented to obey the laws of the land?

    I suspect you are laughing because to deflect from the fact that you can’t.

  190. @GeneH,

    You have failed to justify why anyone has a duty to obey the law on the basis of the “consent of the governed.” Exactly how and when “We the People” consented to obey the laws of the land?

    I suspect you are laughing because to deflect from the fact that you can’t.

    Would that make him Gene is Laughing :)

  191. Focus KD, Focus….You still have not provided information that Schwartz is valid….You are an Attorney? Argue your point…I believe raffs question needs answering first…. Then OS’s then mine….Build on your expertise and show us your brilliance rather than your conjectured truths…..I was going to major in Anti-Trust Law….but took the more psychopathic avenue and ended up doing divorces and criminal law and appeals….Sometimes by the end it was difficult to tell the difference, who was the original criminal….and sometimes attorneys aided and abetted the same clients….unwittingly….

  192. Sorry, kderosa. Still laughing. Why don’t you move that goal post again though after re-reading Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau though. That just adds to the humor.

  193. @AY

    “You still have not provided information that Schwartz is valid”

    I don’t need to, it speaks for itself. As do, rafflaw’s Mother Jones articles. You know that, you are also an attorney.

    Also, rafflaw, hasn’t asked a question, he merely made a statement.

    “Then OS’s”

    He did not direct a question to me, he merely extended a general invitation.

    “then mine”

    You merely made a series of statements.

  194. @bdaman, guess who made these statements:

    “As to your ideas concerning equity? I don’t take anything a proven propagandist says seriously. Neither should anyone else not aligned with your agenda.”

    “No one takes either of you seriously around here. Neither the regulars nor the vast majority of the readers. You make convenient object lessons to teach off of, but as persuasive speakers the truth is that you both really do suck.”

  195. Oh good, we’re back to this. Those sure were a nice four days. I mean, I could look at the “recent comments” and see as many as 6 different topics, all with different people commenting. Now we’re back to “are too,” “are not.”

    So here’s my proposal, every time we start drifting away from actually having a discussion and towards parallel monolog’s somebody changes the topic to some weird piece of arcanum: tonight’s theme is obscure fermented beverages.

    I’ve made Kvas (my favorite description is: Sour Bread drink), but haven’t found anyone to make the famous “Chewed Corn Beer” of South American fame.

    OS, I think you owe me for humoring you with the haggis thing. Your turn.

  196. @Gyges, actually despite the gamesmanship and multitude of topics, the discussion is civil and somewhat productive (if you can ignore GeneH’s comments) which is a major improvement.

  197. I’m not the one evading here, kderosa. You’ve been running away from me for two days now. And now you’re all over the place because you can’t defend that you just came out against democracy based on the idea it wasn’t enacted by unanimous consent. The answer to your question is May 14 to September 17, 1787 culminating in Articles Congress sending the Constitution to the states for ratification. Many of the states, such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia dropped or lowered standards to vote in order to increase the voting roles for this important decision. The last of the original colonial states to ratify the Constitution was Rhode Island on May 29, 1790.

    Seriously, get a grown ups argument.

    ROFLMAO

  198. Gyges, I have been sitting here enjoying an authentic New Orleans praline from the Cafe du Monde.

    Since we are talking fermented beverages, have you ever tried authentic moonshine? Junior Johnson, the legendary NASCAR driver has a legal product out called Midnight Moon. It is made from his old Daddy’s recipe, which he got from HIS Daddy. Seriously, an old family recipe. Junior Johnson may be back in town soon for a nearby NASCAR race weekend, and if he does he will probably stop by the local package store and autograph bottles. Last year I went over there, but by the time I got there, they had sold out. Midnight Moon is actually rather smooth, although I prefer Jack Daniels if I drink the hard stuff.

  199. I agree with kd that the thread has actually been productive. I am always glad to see the elusive ekeyra – of course – but enjoy the speed of the discussion.

  200. Gene,

    No, I can pretty much guarantee, whatever taste you’re imaging in your head, it’s right. You soak bread in water for awhile, then add yeast, and maybe some other fixings. It’s not good, but it is easy, and if you stick it in the freezer you can distill it to like 4% ABV.

  201. Midnight Moon is 86 proof, so Junior is quick to point out that the original family recipe yielded a 100 proof product.

  202. Puzzling,

    Look at what I was complaining about… Then look at the length and spacing of the average comments before this one and after it….

    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/08/07/is-an-economic-revolution-possible-in-the-united-states/#comment-258412

    Then consider that JT has in the past requested that we keep back to back posting to a minimum so that comments on various topics don’t get lost in the flood.

    OS,

    There’s a great local distillery that makes Hooch from Sugar Beats and Corn. There’s another one (I don’t remember where it’s located) that sells their corn whiskey in hand labeled Mason Jars with a date so that you know it’s “under 6 months old.”

  203. Kd, have you tried Kvas? Either to consume it or make it? If the latter, how do you make it–what is your recipe?

  204. Gyges, the Midnight Moon people make a product they call “Midnight Moon aged with fruit.” They bottle it in Mason jars. Here is their description:

    “Midnight Moon Apple Pie, Cherry and Strawberry spirits each begin with the handcrafted, ultra-smooth Midnight Moon recipe. Real fruit and Midnight Moon are then placed in mason jars by hand (just like moonshiners have done for generations). Apple Pie, Cherry and Strawberry age in the jar for several weeks, to ensure each bottle reaches the peak of all-natural fruit flavor before it leaves the distillery.”

  205. I’m sorry, kderosa, but I don’t need to repeat that to believe it. I’ve thought that since the day a started reading your nonsense. It also helps to believe something if it is true.

    By the way, the answer is that our democracy is tempered by republicanism which means it is not a pure democracy, but then again, it was never intended to be. The intention of the Founders was to create a secular constitutional democratic representative republic, which is what they did. In every form of democracy, the majority rules, the main variance being in what mechanisms (if any) are instituted to protect minority rights. If you expect unanimous consent in a group as large as a state let alone a nation, you probably also still believe in the Tooth Fairy. It comes as no surprise that you are anti-democratic though. Your corporatist line is against equality under the law (a prime tenet of democracy) as is the requirement of their oligarchical bent.

    Also, here’s an idea . . . since you’ve jumped the shark, next time why don’t you just create a claim for me and then evade answering it until you come up with something ridiculous? Cut out the middle man on your getting to the shark tank. It’ll be just as funny.

  206. OS,

    It might have been Midnight Moon, it was several years ago, and I just remember most of it got used for sterilizing things. Other than the initial taste, the one time I can remember drinking it I wanted to get really classy, so I smoked a fine cigar (Swisher Sweet, with the wood tip) and drank a glass of it.

  207. Gyges,

    I hear you. I now use RSS/Comments to keep better track of the history in a high frequency environment, or just to look for particular posters.

    I’ve made a few suggestions to JT over the years, particularly regarding comment drafts and edit capabilities that haven’t materialized. Expanding the “most recent” comments to 20 – 25 might address your concerns as well.

    Actually, I’d also like to see voting buttons for comments, with high negative comments collapsed.

  208. @GeneH, before I address your answer on the merits, let me ask you this.

    Everyone is attempting to be civil here regardless of what transpired in the past, why can’t you be?

  209. It should be noted that no particular economic form is endorsed in the Constitution other ones that recognize property rights to some degree. This would make Communism the only unconstitutional modern economic model.

  210. kderosa,

    I’m as civil to you as I’m going to get. If you have a problem with that, you know your options. That you’re afraid to take them is your problem.

    But please, do tell us how a democracy works without majority rule.

    I need another good laugh and that shark sure looks hungry.

    _^_______^__

  211. @GeneH

    “By the way, the answer is that our democracy is tempered by republicanism which means it is not a pure democracy, but then again, it was never intended to be. The intention of the Founders was to create a secular constitutional democratic representative republic, which is what they did. In every form of democracy, the majority rules, the main variance being in what mechanisms (if any) are instituted to protect minority rights.”

    This is accurate, but not responsive to my question.

    If our government is premised on popular sovereignty, the consent of the governed, then how does the Constitution and subsequent laws bind those that have not consented to be bound? No one asked me to sign an oath or declaration to be bound. Why am I bound?

    “If you expect unanimous consent in a group as large as a state let alone a nation, you probably also still believe in the Tooth Fairy.”

    I don’t expect that such consent is realistic. Nonetheless, that does not relieve you of the burden of establishing consent. If our Government is based on popular sovereignty, how can it be legitimate if less than everyone manifested a consent to be ruled by the institutions established by the Constitution?

    If you don’t have unanimous consent, then you are left with a legal fiction.

  212. GeneH

    “I’m as civil to you as I’m going to get.”

    That is not responsive to my question.

    Personally, I don’t care how civil you are. I only care about the arguments you make, your civility is irrelevant to the merits of your arguments.

  213. I’ve noticed that more than a few regulars are also dismayed at your uncivil antics. You seem to be a lone wolf at this point and it’s hard to see what you are trying to accomplish.

  214. kderosa,

    “This is accurate, but not responsive to my question.”

    Tough.

    “If our government is premised on popular sovereignty, the consent of the governed, then how does the Constitution and subsequent laws bind those that have not consented to be bound? No one asked me to sign an oath or declaration to be bound. Why am I bound?”

    You are bound because the social contract binds you to the rule of law. You submit to the rule of law for the benefits a society provides you. It is a contract you are, again, free to leave at any time. You are bound by retaining your American citizenship. If you do not wish to be subject to the laws and constructs created under the Constitution, become a citizen of another country. It’s just that simple. Just be prepared for the fact that you will, by taking their citizenship, be subject to their rules and governmental constructs instead.

    “I don’t expect that such consent is realistic. Nonetheless, that does not relieve you of the burden of establishing consent.”

    You don’t have to remain a citizen. It is not compelled by law. You may, again, leave the social contract at any time you like. Your consent is implicitly bound to your choice to retain your citizenship. It is your choice through action or inaction that binds you.

    “If our Government is based on popular sovereignty, how can it be legitimate if less than everyone manifested a consent to be ruled by the institutions established by the Constitution?”

    Because you are allowed to freely leave the arrangement. It’s an opt out kinda deal to put in language you might understand.

    “If you don’t have unanimous consent, then you are left with a legal fiction.”

    Again, the argument of a child (to expect the unrealistic is the hallmark of childish thinking or delusional thinking, take your pick) and unsupported by the reality of the situation. If you wish to revoke your consent, you are perfectly free – I’d even say encouraged – to do so.

    Also, you keep misusing the term legal fiction. It’s a term of art and if you’re really a lawyer, you should know better. The social contract isn’t a legal fiction. It’s the foundation of government.

  215. kderosa,

    Then they are free to complain as well as FFLEO did. Again, if you’ve got a problem with how I address you, you know your options, but whining to me isn’t going to result in anything but my continued amusement.

  216. Also, if you think I’m a “lone wolf”? You might want to rethink that too. It’s not a reflection of reality.

  217. @GeneH

    Let’s take this in parts.

    “You are bound because the social contract binds you to the rule of law. You submit to the rule of law for the benefits a society provides you. It is a contract you are, again, free to leave at any time. You are bound by retaining your American citizenship. If you do not wish to be subject to the laws and constructs created under the Constitution, become a citizen of another country. It’s just that simple. Just be prepared for the fact that you will, by taking their citizenship, be subject to their rules and governmental constructs instead.”

    You’re saying then that by my failure to emigrate, I have somehow consented to to be bound to obey the laws of the U.S. First, no one has every asked me for my consent, or you for yours. Immigrants take an oath to obey the laws, but those of us born within the boundaries of the U.S. have not been asked and are not required to take any such oath promising to obey the laws.

    Now consider for a moment the implication of such a demand. Suppose I refused to take such an oath, would I then not be bound to obey the laws. Could I be expelled from the country? Doesn’t this presuppose that the person demanding that we take this oath is an “authority” who has the right to expel us if we refuse, but it is his authority that is at issue in the first place and that supposedly depends on our consent. All this is quite circular and you glossed over it completely in your answer.

    Now consider this, suppose I come to you and demand that you sign an oath to respect my commands and you refuse. Upon my refusal I claim the right to your house and order you to leave the country. What is your response? That such a demand is absurd? That I have no authority to demand that you take an oath, so you are free to ignore me? That your refusal in no way obligates you to leave the country?

    My authority can only come from your explicit consent. If the reason for taking the oath is to give lawmakers authority by our consent, then unless they first have authority they cannot demand that we take an oath. And, if they have the authority, then the oath would not be necessary to establish authority.

    As such, it is equally unwarranted to base authority of lawmakers on the tacit consent of everyone who chooses to live here. Choosing to live here only indicates consent if the lawmakers have the initial authority to demand your obedience of your exit in the first place.

    Last, merely staying in country is highly ambiguous with regard to consent. I can be remaining here for many reasons, job, family, not wanting to learn another language, that do not imply consent to be bound by laws in any way. For example, many jews continued to live in Germany after they had a chance to escape, are we to conclude from their very presence that they consented to the Nuremberg laws?

  218. ekeyra1, August 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    My only point is that people should be able to decide for themselves the level of risk taking when buying any product, and if they choose not to then they only have themselves to blame. People lie, thats human nature. Caveat emptor.

    and; I think you misunderstand me, but there is alot of subtlety. It is not incompetence qua incompetence, it is the reality that government workers, even with the best of intentions lack the neccessary information to make informed economic decisions because they are completely removed from the profit and loss feedback loop of private enterprise. Some may see this as exactly the proper enviroment from which to provide oversight, but I see it as trying to play darts blindfolded.
    ————
    and ; In other words, yes consumers can be uninformed and defrauded, but at least they have a personal stake in the outcome.
    ————————————————
    ok, so I haven’t been here for the whole conversation but you contradict your very own self here….and consumers, by the very act of their own consumption, already have a clue as to thier economic risk….the missing piece is whether or not the party they are doing business with is likely to defraud them or has such shoddy oversite that their PHYSICAL risk is now 1000fold. Business in corporate modality uses cost:benefit (profit) equations, not cost:benefit (quality) or cost:benefit (safety). There is not even a level playing field of cost:benefit:responsibility… Corporate equations take a pass on everything but the $$$$$

    That is why they are so well liked.

  219. @GeneH

    I just realized you made the exact same argument four times. That is four fails.

    “Again, the argument of a child (to expect the unrealistic is the hallmark of childish thinking or delusional thinking, take your pick) and unsupported by the reality of the situation. If you wish to revoke your consent, you are perfectly free – I’d even say encouraged – to do so.”

    You must feel somewhat foolish by this gratuitous statement. Especially since, if you were acting civilly you would have not felt compelled to make it. That would be good reason for behaving yourself–to look less foolish.

    “Also, you keep misusing the term legal fiction. It’s a term of art and if you’re really a lawyer, you should know better. The social contract isn’t a legal fiction. It’s the foundation of government.”

    It is a legal fiction because the notion of popular sovereignty, “we the people” requires consent. And there is no consent for most of us. Or at least, you’ve failed to establish it so far.

    Do you want a few hints?

  220. @GeneH

    “Then they are free to complain as well as FFLEO did. Again, if you’ve got a problem with how I address you, you know your options, but whining to me isn’t going to result in anything but my continued amusement.”

    This isn’t responsive to my question either.

    As I’ve indicated, your conduct is irrelevant to me and I know my options.

  221. Woosty, you wrote:

    Business in corporate modality uses cost:benefit (profit) equations, not cost:benefit (quality) or cost:benefit (safety). There is not even a level playing field of cost:benefit:responsibility… Corporate equations take a pass on everything but the $$$$$

    Have you heard of brand equity? Lifetime value of a customer?

    Do you really believe that firms are automatically inclined to put out shoddy, unsafe products? How long do you think such a firm would survive if customer could choose higher quality, safer alternatives? Profitability is compatible with and even driven by quality and safety.

    Government regulation is used to protect inferior corporations from higher-quality competitors just as we see with agribusiness, mail delivery, schools, and medicine to name just a few.

  222. kderosa,

    “You’re saying then that by my failure to emigrate, I have somehow consented to to be bound to obey the laws of the U.S. First, no one has every asked me for my consent, or you for yours. Immigrants take an oath to obey the laws, but those of us born within the boundaries of the U.S. have not been asked and are not required to take any such oath promising to obey the laws.”

    Nope, you don’t have to take the test because you are born here. No one has asked me or you for our consent, but apparently I’m the only one who gets the fact that I can revoke my consent implied by birth at any time now that I have the legal capacity to do so. Contrast this with North Korea, where you do have swear oaths of loyalty and are not allowed to leave the social contract except by escape or in a body bag. You’ve actually got a pretty good deal.

    “Now consider for a moment the implication of such a demand. Suppose I refused to take such an oath, would I then not be bound to obey the laws.”

    Why not try that as a defense some time. Get back us on how that works you for you. That’s assuming you can get Internet access in prison.

    “Could I be expelled from the country?”

    Theoretically, yes. As a citizen, no matter if born or naturalized, you agree to be bound by the rule of law and institutions of the U.S. government as long as you retain that citizenship. It’s a package deal.

    “Now consider this, suppose I come to you and demand that you sign an oath to respect my commands and you refuse.”

    I would be right to refuse as you have no legitimate Constitutional or other legal authority to demand a damn thing from me.

    “Upon my refusal I claim the right to your house and order you to leave the country. What is your response?”

    I’d warn you to leave as a trespasser and call the police to have you arrested. If you became violent, I’d shoot you. Dead.

    “That such a demand is absurd? That I have no authority to demand that you take an oath, so you are free to ignore me? That your refusal in no way obligates you to leave the country?”

    I’d say all of the above before telling you to leave, making a citizens arrest or shooting if you if tried to use force against me, my family or property. The key to this scenario is that you have no legal authority. The government has legal authority. Your ridiculous scenario begs the question that they don’t. Sorry, but they do.

    “My authority can only come from your explicit consent. If the reason for taking the oath is to give lawmakers authority by our consent, then unless they first have authority they cannot demand that we take an oath. And, if they have the authority, then the oath would not be necessary to establish authority.”

    kderosa, when you find a baby born here capable of consent, you get back to me on that. Your consent comes into play when you reach the age of legal competence. It’s not eliminated. It’s delayed because children lack capacity.

    “As such, it is equally unwarranted to base authority of lawmakers on the tacit consent of everyone who chooses to live here. Choosing to live here only indicates consent if the lawmakers have the initial authority to demand your obedience of your exit in the first place.”

    That would be your incorrect as well as a legally illogical and facile opinion, because the acquiescence to the rule of law runs with the citizenship. Absent a parent or guardian willing to help you immigrate to another country before you reach the age of competency, you’re stuck until you do. Sorry!

    “Last, merely staying in country is highly ambiguous with regard to consent. I can be remaining here for many reasons, job, family, not wanting to learn another language, that do not imply consent to be bound by laws in any way.”

    No. It’s not ambiguous in the least. Your reasons for remaining here are irrelevant. Either you value your express consent enough to renounce your citizenship and leave or you don’t. If you have extraneous factors that make it more convenient for you to stay here, then your convenience is obviously the more important factor in your decision making, but to pretend that they somehow rob you of your option to revoke your consent is both ridiculous and untrue. The only thing stopping you from removing yourself from the jurisdiction of the laws of the U.S. is your unwillingness to leave and seek citizenship elsewhere. That’s on you and you alone.

    “For example, many jews continued to live in Germany after they had a chance to escape, are we to conclude from their very presence that they consented to the Nuremberg laws?”

    Not specifically, but in general terms, they did accept the consequences of living under the jurisdiction of German law when they stayed. That such a decision worked out tragically for them is another issue and this line of reasoning is simply an absurd appeal to emotion.

    That was an exceptionally weak argument on your part, Fonz.

  223. kderosa,

    “You must feel somewhat foolish by this gratuitous statement. Especially since, if you were acting civilly you would have not felt compelled to make it. That would be good reason for behaving yourself–to look less foolish.”

    No, I feel badly for you that I keep having to point out that your reasoning is either childlike or delusional.

    “’Also, you keep misusing the term legal fiction. It’s a term of art and if you’re really a lawyer, you should know better. The social contract isn’t a legal fiction. It’s the foundation of government.’

    It is a legal fiction because the notion of popular sovereignty, “we the people” requires consent. And there is no consent for most of us. Or at least, you’ve failed to establish it so far.”

    No, I’ve established that your consent once you’ve reached the age of capacity runs with the retention of your citizenship. That you want your citizenship cake and to eat it to is your problem.

  224. By the way, kderosa, if you’ve been a very naughty boy, you might want to keep in mind that many countries won’t allow convicted felons to visit let alone immigrate. That again would be entirely on you.

  225. @GeneH

    “but apparently I’m the only one who gets the fact that I can revoke my consent implied by birth at any time now that I have the legal capacity to do so….You’ve actually got a pretty good deal.”

    Where’d you pull that out of? I just looked through the constitution and the social contract and didn’t see that part.

    A deal, implies a contract, and a contract requires consent.

    “As a citizen, no matter if born or naturalized, you agree to be bound by the rule of law and institutions of the U.S. government as long as you retain that citizenship. It’s a package deal.”

    Where have I agreed? By what authority?

    “The key to this scenario is that you have no legal authority. The government has legal authority. Your ridiculous scenario begs the question that they don’t. Sorry, but they do.”

    Actually, your ridiculous answer begs the question that they do, your apology notwithsatnding.

    “Your consent comes into play when you reach the age of legal competence. It’s not eliminated. It’s delayed because children lack capacity.”

    Again, where are you pulling this from?

    “That would be your incorrect as well as a legally illogical and facile opinion, because the acquiescence to the rule of law runs with the citizenship.”

    You haven’t established the authority for the rule of law, so there is no duty to obey. You haven’y even established by what authority a country can declare me a citizen and force me to obey their rules.

    “No. It’s not ambiguous in the least. Your reasons for remaining here are irrelevant. Either you value your express consent enough to renounce your citizenship and leave or you don’t.”

    Where have I expressed consent anywhere? This is a new argument even for you.

    “but to pretend that they somehow rob you of your option to revoke your consent is both ridiculous and untrue.”

    I didn’t make that claim. That is merely your misreading. My claim is that merely staying does not imply any sort of consent since I can be staying here for many reasons other than to merely expressing my consent to be bound by the laws.

    “Not specifically, but in general terms, they did accept the consequences of living under the jurisdiction of German law when they stayed.”

    Interesting mentality you’ve expressed there.

  226. @GeneH

    “No, I’ve established that your consent once you’ve reached the age of capacity runs with the retention of your citizenship. That you want your citizenship cake and to eat it to is your problem.”

    You’ve established nothing. You merely stated it without any authority or support. Wait, did you think the Fonzi video was your support?

    Once a dictator, always a dictator.

  227. Yap, yap, yap, kderosa.

    You’re had as a matter of logic and legal reasoning. What I’m talking about is common knowledge of any competent person with a legal education. If you don’t know basics like capacity and how citizenship works, go back to law school. If you want cites for stuff you should have learned as a 1L, do your own research or I can send you a bill.

    Nice try on calling me a dictator though. Not very civil though. Tsk, tsk, tsk. You’re letting your frustration at your inability to reason and argue get the better of you. It’s a good thing I don’t take you seriously and have even less reason to do so now. I’m going to bed now so you feel free to stew in the juices of your still inadequate argument.

  228. @GeneH

    “What I’m talking about is common knowledge of any competent person with a legal education. ”

    So common, that you can’t find any support apparently. You’re entire argument hinges on what amounts to your word and some cheap jokes.

    You’re the Ted McGinley of legal analysis.

  229. puzzling
    1, August 12, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Have you heard of brand equity? Lifetime value of a customer?

    Do you really believe that firms are automatically inclined to put out shoddy, unsafe products? How long do you think such a firm would survive if customer could choose higher quality, safer alternatives? Profitability is compatible with and even driven by quality and safety.
    =========================================================

    like asbestos? or how the automotive industry fought seat belts, emission controls, switching to unleaded gasoline,crash testing, etc etc…

    or cigarettes

  230. hahahaha guess the world bankers think they’ve done enough to tear apart the fabric which made america so great

  231. @GeneH,

    I know it’s cruel of me to wait this long to tell you this, but you’ve been unintentionally and obliviously arguing that “we the people” is based on the legal fiction of, how’d you put it, “consent implied by birth.”

    This might set a record for the depth of the fail, compounded only by your extreme arrogance.

    1. You denied that WTP was based on a legal fiction.
    2. Then you argued that it wasn’t but inadvertently argued the opposite.
    3. You failed to realized this.
    4. And will no doubt respond with a hilariously twisted explanation of why it wasn’t a mistake at all.

    Let the dancing begin.

    You never disappoint, Gene.

  232. “I’ve noticed that more than a few regulars are also dismayed at your uncivil antics. You seem to be a lone wolf at this point and it’s hard to see what you are trying to accomplish.”

    Name them and contrast that with the majority who are disgusted with your disruptive antics and puerile arguments.

  233. “Actually, I’d also like to see voting buttons for comments, with high negative comments collapsed.”

    Puzzling,

    I totally agree, good idea and used widely on other blogs.

  234. Mike, over at Daily Kos, there are ratings buttons at the bottom of each comment. There is a “Recommend” button if you like the comment and a “Hide” button for disruptive, off topic or other unseemly comments. It takes two (2) hide ratings to actually send a comment to the Hidden Comments file. Only Trusted Users (TU) can hide a comment, and TUs can see the comments in the hidden column–non-TU status folks and the general public cannot. It is a big deal to hide a comment, and hide ratings are not permitted when you are just in a dispute with someone. Abuse of hide ratings will get your ratings privileges suspended by site administrators. However, make a threat of violence or an outright insult, and the comment will “disappear” into the hiddens really fast.

    By making the requirement that it takes two TU hide ratings to “disappear” a comment ensures that it it not just the opinion of one person. Last week, a comment got 425 hide ratings and no recommend votes. I think that is a record, but it was an awful comment involving a personal attack on a cancer patient.

  235. GeneH:

    “Hobbes and Rousseau”

    they dont belong with Locke, I suggest you re-read them with a more critical eye. You obviously do not understand any of them. I doubt you have even read those works.

    If you did you would understand what you are saying is pure garbage. But then that has never stopped you before.

  236. Mike, in all fairness, I must add that the Daily Kos web site has grown to the point where it has a staff, some paid and some volunteers. In order to manage a site that size, a staff is necessary. That particular web site is powered by Scoop, not WordPress. Scoop is far more flexible, but requires more maintenance and programming skills by staff.

    They also have good advertising revenue, thanks to the fact they have an average of over 700,000 hits per day. That is more than the top ten conservative blogs combined the last time I looked.

  237. Wasn’t this thread about corporations affecting politics at some point.

    Let’s take a look at which organizations give money to whom:

    Top 20 Political Donors, 1989-2010
    Rank Organization Total Donations, 1989-2010 Dem % Rep %
    1 ActBlue $52,572,081 99% 0%
    2 AFSCME $45,238,103 94% 1%
    3 AT&T Inc $41,314,444 45% 54%
    4 National Assn of Realtors $39,717,410 47% 49%
    5 National Education Association $36,312,895 81% 5%
    6 Service Employees International Union $36,043,789 77% 2%
    7 American Assn for Justice $33,983,671 89% 8%
    8 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $33,476,655 97% 2%
    9 Laborers Union $31,335,267 89% 7%
    10 American Federation of Teachers $31,023,603 90% 0%
    11 Teamsters Union $30,632,309 89% 6%
    12 Carpenters & Joiners Union $30,523,437 86% 9%
    13 Communications Workers of America $29,468,934 95% 0%
    14 American Medical Association $27,431,405 39% 59%
    15 United Auto Workers $27,108,182 98% 0%
    16 United Food & Commercial Workers Union $26,788,209 93% 0%
    17 National Auto Dealers Association $26,664,992 32% 67%
    18 Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union $26,407,374 98% 1%
    19 United Parcel Service $24,505,222 37% 62%
    20 American Bankers Assn $24,190,464 39% 60%
    Average 76% 20%

    Overall, the top 20 political donors lean strongly Democrat, see the average above in the last row of the chart: 76% Democrat vs. 20% Republican.

    Note: Koch Industries ranks #87 at $9.5 million and AFSCME ranks #2 at $45.2 million.

  238. SWM,

    Do you mean that Koch and Exxon can basically write 2 checks and reach the level of spending that A-Me gets in 5 and 10 dollar increments…..

  239. SwM,

    I am experiencing the same with many teabaggers now refusing to associate their name with the Tea Party.

    I am waiting with great anticipation for he rebranding republicans are going to have to do … what will be the next “grass roots movement” …

  240. “Mike, over at Daily Kos, there are ratings buttons at the bottom of each comment.”

    OS,

    That was exactly what I was thinking about.

  241. Mike and OS,

    I kind of like it the way that it is allowed to be free flowing…maybe if it could be grouped…but nothing hidden unless the Prof says so…

  242. Otteray Scribe1, August 12, 2011 at 9:56 am
    ————————————————

    As much as I dislike the snark (which is a simple tool for simple, thuggish minds), and as appealing as a ‘like’ button sounds, that type of moderation will actually stifle the process of creative thought and ponderance in potential favor of ‘group think’. IMHO

    and I don’t come here so often because I am needing to be heard or am any great weight in the world….but I am learning and am not averse to standing on my own two metaphysical and mental feet.

    plus, people here tend to keep up with events in the world….:)

  243. Puzzling,

    Have you ever read Candide ? I only ask because your assumptions about markets are remarkably like Prof. Pangloss. Of course businesses would be honest, the Markets create the best of all possible outcomes.

    As for all the people that get hurt before the market eliminates bad actors, they’re stupid for believing the corporations. Never mind the inherent cognitive dissonance of simultaneously believing that corporations wouldn’t do anything that would cause their customers damage and customers would do their homework to avoid dealing with companies that cause damage to their customers. If the first were true the second couldn’t be.

    Never mind the fact that costumers are at a huge disadvantage information wise. It’s one thing to say “I would never give my business to a company that didn’t disclose everything about its products.” It’s quite another to say it when NO company discloses everything about its products. Heck, how would you even know? Do you propose that before eating out we all go to all the hospitals in a 60 mile radius and ask everyone with food poisoning “did you eat at that new Chinese place?” When we buy tires should we be expected to call up everyone that’s had an accident in the last 90 days and ask “Did you get in an accident because you lost control due to an inferior tire? No, what about the other person? Did you happen to catch the brand of that tire?”

  244. Original Preamble:

    “We the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare, and establish the following Constitution for the Government of Ourselves and our Posterity.”

    Why did it read this way? Because it is the states that are conferring the specifically enumerated powers with the consent if its people.

    The only reason they changed it was to make an emotional appeal to the masses for ratification purposes.

  245. Gyges,

    Good points.

    If I may, an aside:

    I have used the internet many times before making a major purchase. The research takes time but I have been able to discover several bad actors, both manufacturing and retail, and saved myself a lot of headaches. It is a great tool for consumers. Your example of tires brought this to mind as I just spent 2 weeks reading reviews, opinions, etc. before deciding which tires to buy for my truck and where to purchase them.

    Of course this has to be done because I no longer trust the word of any corporation.

  246. Blouise,

    Of course I’m not blindly advocating trust. Just pointing out the absurdity of suggesting that your average person has the ability to do the research necessary for every purchase is a little silly. Also, If your experience was anything like mine, you probably noticed at least one or two reviews of tires on different sites that were word for word matches. I’d hate to be the PR intern that had to go and do that job.

    Especially considering how much food we consume, and from what a wide variety of sources (heck, if you can find out every step along the distribution line for the ingredients in one meal, I’ll be amazed).

  247. re: hide buttons, etc.

    Haven’t we had this discussion before … at least twice since I’ve been here with a previous discussion, before my time, referenced?

    I’m not in favor of any form of censorship other than what the blog owner determines is necessary. Sometimes I like to fight with the bad-actors, sometimes I like to ridicule them, sometimes I will even get serious with them … mostly I ignore them. It’s really simple to do.

    Quite frankly, I would miss them and the choices their presence brings to the table.

  248. Roco,

    Actually you can’t properly understand the social contract without having read all three. Your boy kderosa has clearly read none of them. It’s nice to see you’ve chosen to go back to the children’s table too.

    ********

    kderosa,

    I’m sorry, but you’ve really demonstrated that not only are you not to be taken seriously, you’re not even worth addressing beyond dismissal.

  249. Gyges,

    I didn’t mean to imply that you were … as I said, it was an aside.

    The fun in the research is finding all those same postings which usually leads me to X-ing out that particular manufacturer or retailer. The other fun part is happening upon the small manufacturer or retailer who has their own little website and discovering their product has very high ratings on consumers’ sites. I bought a jungle gym from a small company in New Mexico and the quality is superb plus the guy enclosed his cell phone number just in case I had trouble assembling the thing. I have had several similar experiences. My point is that the internet has brought a wave of accountability to corporations that they have never experienced before and put some real control into the hands of consumers who know how to use it.

  250. Blouise1, August 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm
    ————————————————
    “I have used the internet many times before making a major purchase. The research takes time but I have been able to discover several bad actors, both manufacturing and retail, and saved myself a lot of headaches.”
    ———————————
    Moi aussie, but it has become increasingly difficult to get good and rliable information. And when you add Corporate entities involved with Healthcare, Law, Banking…it is impossible to find information and yet these are some of the most effecting and necessary ‘purchases’ that can be provided.
    It’s also very interesting to note the rapid rise and need for entities such as ‘Reputation Defender’ etc.

    The more people need information to protect themselves and thier interests, the more obstacles seem to pop up…..

  251. kderosa:

    they give that much money and they cant produce a bought democratic party government? They must be pretty lame.

    Hell the Kochs are donating 9.5 million and some unions are donating 20 million plus? And the Kochs are influencing government? They have a 20 to 1 or more disadvantage in donations and they are running government?

    Are these people kidding? The Kochs run a good, profitable business. Apparently they dont need the government favors, er protection, the others do.

    ROFLMAO

  252. Woosty’s still a Cat,

    There’s probably something wrong with me, but the more they try to hide information or spin it, the more intrigued I become. I probably, over the course of 2 weeks, spent 50 some hours researching tires … first the manufacturer and then the retailer.

    Healthcare … tell me about it …

  253. Also, regarding the NEED for oversight, the stellar records of Corporations and Manufacturers to self-police and responsibly re-imburse or to pay damages to those who are harmed by their practices. The co-operation is inversely relational to the cost to the firm/business, etc.
    …and far too often attempts are made to cover up rather than prevent further escalation of damage.

    but I guess that’s good for TV….

    Blouise me too, but to what purpose and what good can come of it? And I don’t think there is anything wrong with you from what I have read, there is little escape from either ‘spin’ or outright misrepresentation these days….the more eyes the better if you ask me!

  254. Swarthmore mom1, August 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

    http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topcontribs.php This list paints a different picture. Koch brothers and Exxon Mobile gave 95% of their contributions to republicans.
    —————————-
    I wonder the corporations need to chase power when that $$$$ could be applied to effect a more healthy change in the environment….

  255. @Bob, Esq.

    “Why did it read this way? Because it is the states that are conferring the specifically enumerated powers with the consent if its people.”

    That just moves the consent issue down to the state level. And even if the preamble had remained in that form, that fiction would have come to an end with the 17th amendement anyway.

    @GeneH

    Thanks for playing along. Maybe you’ll redeem yourself next time.

  256. Swarthmore Mom:

    did you notice the amount? $333,300 or there abouts. that is three hundred thousand dollars. the carpenters union gave twice that much to the democrats.

    Give me a break.

  257. Sorry, kderosa. Still not taking anything you say seriously let alone your idea of “redemption”. Get back to us when you can display a level of basic competence greater than a 1L.

  258. @Roco, AY and SwM

    Exxon + Kochs = $19.8 m
    Afsme = $45.2 m (228% of E&K)

    Then I added up all the top union Dem donors that contributed more than $19m and got $475.7m (15 unions). And compared it to the top Rep donors which was 1 at $22.9m. So I throw in E&K for another $19.8m. And wouldn’t you know it. Big Labor contributes 11 times as much to the Dems as the the Top Rep Donors plus E&K do.

    I hope the Dems stay bought at that price.

  259. @GeneH,

    Your argument, such that it is, speaks for itself.

    Keep on proving my points for me, it saves me a lot of time.

  260. Health Care Law Individual Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional By Appeals Court

    “What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die,” the opinion said.

    Hey, I remember somebody saying something like that…er, um…I think that was me.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/12/health-care-law-individual-mandate-ruling_n_925507.html

  261. Kderosa,

    That the Federal government is empowered by the states is not a fiction. It’s the basic structure of the document.

  262. @Bob, Esq,

    “That the Federal government is empowered by the states is not a fiction. It’s the basic structure of the document.”

    As I said above, by what authority did the states have to consent for their people? The legal fiction just moves down a level. The consent remains a legal fiction as does popular sovereignty. Which is not to say that there aren’t other grounds that government might draw its authority, but popular sovereignty isn’t one of them.

  263. Kd, since you are new to the blawg but know a lot about most of the seasoned posters….You are probably aware I was and am still a Edwards supporter….then McCain…not Herman…but when he was forced to take the head clown fish as his running mate….I voted for Nader…Would do the same thing again…But this time it is more important to keep the whole clown college out of power….If, the boy with the bad fake tan can cause the US Bonds to be down graded then what use is his fiscal conservatism….He is flagrantly stupid and has abused his position of power….all in the name of serving the heads of clown school…..I am sure he will not bite the head that feeds him…..or is that hand…well he’s already don’t that….but the other can be more painful…until…they are just into pain and there are some people out there that like that I hear…its not twisted…if they wanna play that way behind closed doors…it is their right…

    I will reiterate…that if Huntsman was the GOP choice I would more than likely vote for him…really…The issue you teabaggers have is you can’t get away from the labels….Democrat/Republican…think about it….

  264. “As I said above, by what authority did the states have to consent for their people?”

    Through the ratifying conventions of the states and the silence of the people thereafter being deemed consent.

    If you’re really looking to stir up shit about the validity of the constitution, look no further than Article VII.

    Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation required unanimity among the states per dissolution. Compare with Article VII that only required 9 out of 13 for ratification.

    Accordingly, the ratification of the constitution was ultra vires.

    Rhode Island had every right to ignore it completely.

  265. @Bob, Esq.

    I also addressed that above. Acquiescence plus residence (failure to emigrate) doesn’t equal consent. Implied consent is a legal fiction. I’m ok with that, mind you, but popular sovereignty is still technically a legal fiction. there are other grounds where you might argue that consent rests (i.e., consent of founders, etc.) but they also suffer from infirmities.

    I had read about the 9 or 13 business as well but really haven’t looked into it.

  266. @AY

    “I voted for Nader”

    Sweet fancy Moses. You just went and threw that vote away now didn’t you?

    “The issue you teabaggers have is you can’t get away from the labels….Democrat/Republican”

    There is a small distance between the two. The problem is that each party has their corrupt wing and their more ideological wing. You’re getting corruption no matter what, so you can still decide based on what ideology you favor.

  267. Here’s a good law review article on the rights of corporations if anyone is interested.

    ABSTRACT
    Corporate participation in public discourse has long been a controversial issue, one that was reignited by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010). Much of the criticism of Citizens United stems from the claim that the Constitution does not protect corporations because they are not “real” people. While it’s true that corporations aren’t human beings, that truism is constitutionally irrelevant because corporations are formed by individuals as a means of exercising their constitutionally protected rights. When individuals pool their resources and speak under the legal fiction of a corporation, they do not lose their rights. It cannot be any other way; in a world where corporations are not entitled to constitutional protections, the police would be free to storm office buildings and seize computers or documents. The mayor of New York City could exercise eminent domain over Rockefeller Center by fiat and without compensation if he decides he’d like to move his office there. Moreover, the government would be able to censor all corporate speech, including that of so-called media corporations. In short, rights-bearing individuals do not forfeit those rights when they associate in groups. This essay will demonstrate why the common argument that corporations lack rights because they aren’t people demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both the nature of corporations and the First Amendment.

  268. “It cannot be any other way; in a world where corporations are not entitled to constitutional protections, the police would be free to storm office buildings and seize computers or documents. The mayor of New York City could exercise eminent domain over Rockefeller Center by fiat and without compensation if he decides he’d like to move his office there. Moreover, the government would be able to censor all corporate speech, including that of so-called media corporations.”
    ———————–
    those poor nekkid corporations…they do what they do because they are so powerless I suppose….

  269. “Huntsman is not a viable candidate, he is the lefts choice.”

    Roco,

    That you would see him from a leftward perspective, which I don’t disagree with, only shows how radical the rightward part of the spectrum has become.
    This is because politically Huntsman is to the right of Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan.

  270. Mike Spindell:

    I dont think he is. I think you think he is though.

    I am radical. I want less regulation, lower taxes, a reduction in entitlement spending, fealty to the Constitution, the elimination of Obama Care, smaller government, and that is just for starters.

    The very fact that sounds radical is a testament to how far we have fallen since our founding.

    Medieval serfs only paid 43% of their labor to the Lord. Some of us pay over 50%. Seems to me Washington, DC and the Sheriff of Nottingham are pretty similar, taking from the productive to give to the non-productive.

    I am looking for a Robin Hood to run for president. I dont see one yet.

  271. Mike Spindell:

    In what ways do you find Huntsman to be to the Right of Reagan? Would you please provide quotes from both to support that idea.

  272. Roco, “The very fact that sounds radical is a testament to how far we have fallen since our founding.”

    We are a long ways from 1776, we can thank our ‘Founders’ for the living document that is the Constitution. ‘We the People’ is not We the Republicans or We the Democrats or We the Corporations or We the Well heeled….and yet that is the governing voice of our current times. Anyone opposing any of the aforementioned We’s is given pretty short schrift in most venues these days. There is an apparently newly accepted modus operandi of ‘Do first, the Law follows’…..again, if you are 1 of the aforementioned groups, holy priveledge Batman!. Well, ‘We the People’ is not just one faction…it is WE THE PEOPLE. ALL THE PEOPLE, and not just those who need to hide in thier gated priveledge or corporate cloaks. It’s a great document and is still pertinent. That said, wake me when it gets taken seriously….and not just manipulated to the ends of the few at the expense of the many.

    people should read it…..

  273. Kderosa,

    I may have but at least I feel I voted my conscience…..Again, I would have voted for McCain but for the clown car attachment….

    Roco,

    You said that “Huntsman” is what the left want…You must be out of your fricken mind….I would think again, before you said that….Now, If I had said Bachman should be the GOP bid…You should take that as a joke and then you’d know that I would be behind Obama 1000%, but I am not….

    But, if left with ANY choice of what is out there now announced and including Perry, I still favor Huntsman….Truthfully, I as well as a number of folks will hold our nose and Vote for him…

    Exactly, what does the left mean to you? Somebody that you disagree with politically? You all can’t even muster enough people within your own party to have a firm grasp on what is really needed for the recovery of the county…Everyone must have a label….

    Sounds a bit like McCarthyism…If you are not like us you must be communist….therefore to the left….

  274. @AY, did you know that Palin before tapped by mcCain was very cozy with AK dems trying to break up the Rep hold over AK politics and corruption. She was criticized for that by the right and admired by the left. Politics is funny that way.

  275. Yes KD I was aware that Palin also had some other issues she was trying to resolve in her state…then in about December of 08′ she was being courted by the Right as a viable candidate to fancy favors with the women voters…an attempt to deflect support from Hillary….don’t you see that?

  276. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44084236/ns/health-behavior/t/rich-are-different-not-good-way-studies-suggest/?fb_ref=.TkWiXH1_q-w.like&fb_source=home_oneline
    ———————

    I hate to sound whiney but here it is….those who garner wealth do so with the support and altruism of others…only to turn around and screw them when they get to the top. Unfortunately, with $$$$ now the new ‘voice of reason’ in the circles of power….the potential to become Cruellians is too real. I hope our elected officials have the courage to change it.

  277. AY:

    I like labels, they explain my world to me, like tree or dog or cat or an apple. They are concepts essentially. Like dog-a four legged animal domesticated by man and descended from wolves genus canis.

    So left or right is a concept. In my lexicon left means – those opposed to individual rights and for collective rights.
    Right means – those favoring individual rights and opposing collective rights.

    Furthermore individual rights do not spring forth from God or from government but rather from our nature.

    What I have stated is pretty simple, for example I am OK with abortion most of the people you perceive to be on the right are not. I would not counsel my daughter to have one but it isnt my business. Like seat belts on a car, I should be able to buy a car without seat belts if I want to. Or wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, why should I have to? It is my life, if I want to become an organ donor that is my business, not the states.

    It really is pretty simple, complexity is for people who do not understand. The best solution is the simplest, what science people call elegant. Anyone can write a computer program using 10,000 lines of code, it takes a really smart person to do it in less than a 1,000 lines. Of course it depends on what you are trying to do, but simplicity is usually best.

    What business is it of governments to decide the color of margarine?

  278. Roco,

    “In your lexicon”. That just goes again to show you how wrong you can be when you make up your own definitions. Do you even know the history of the terms right-wing and left wing? That’s a rhetorical question because you clearly don’t based upon your simplistic “labels”.

    Simple minds are satisfied by simplistic explanations. Complex minds are satisfied by functional explanations. Not all problems are simple and not all problems have simple solutions. Given that you use your own made up terminology elsewhere, it is no surprise that you are using a made up and backward version of Occam’s Razor as your rational for being simplistic. An inability or unwillingness to deal with complexity is not a positive trait. The universe is a complex place. If people through out history hadn’t been willing to understand and address that complexity, we’d still be living in cave, gathering food and hunting with pointy sticks. Instead, we’ve got anti-septic surgery instead of blood letting, antibiotics instead of exorcism and we’ve harnessed fundamental forces of nature to work for us.

  279. Gene H.,

    You wouldn’t expect anyone of the right to know History would you? I think that they like the sound of “Right” better than having shinny objects….They like those as well….but the problem with shinny objects…you just don’t know what they are until you get too close….and then the damage is done….

    Was listing to APM and people were pretty upset with the new strategy of the GOP is to use bells when they are trying to make a point….apparently people are able to ignore them and listen….but not when the have dogs….they were going crazy….

    Ding Dong….

  280. @AY

    “an attempt to deflect support from Hillary….don’t you see that?”

    I do. I also saw how the left shifted gears and attacked just to gain power- power they’ve failed to use effectively so far.

  281. From Conan O’Brien

    The Terrible 20: Stupid Government Programs That Should Be Cut

    20. The “What’s Up With Owls” Fact-Finding Commisson ($6 billion)
    19. Keep The Kardashians On TV Legacy Loan Program ($499 million)
    18. Supplementary Assistance to the NAACP (National Association for the Assembly of Cat People) ($40)
    17. Senate Investigative Sub-Committee on Owning Outer Space ($2 trillion)
    16. Dept Of Defense Exploratory Report: “Why Are Clowns Scary?” ($600)
    15. Tourism Earmark: Construction of Mt. Asbestos Kiddie Park (Helena, Montana) ($54 million)
    14. Federal Funding for the Second “Secret” NASA That Deals With All That Weird Alien S*** Like In Those Will Smith Movies ($78 billion)
    13. Dept Of Defense: Sea Monkey Super Soldier Project ($48 million)
    12. The “Big Ol’ Capital Building” Moat Fund ($62 million)
    11. Jurassic Park Prevention Program To Keep Dinosaurs Extinct ($200 million)
    10. Federal Funding for the “Bring Waldo Home” Search Committee (Number Unknown)
    9. The Sub-Committee to determine who in congress has the best planking/owling picture. (86 billion)
    8. The 50 Stars Program: Preventing North Dakota and South Dakota from settling their differences and becoming one Dakota. ($427 Million)
    7. Federal Subsidies for Truck Nuts Manufacturers ($16 million).
    6. Federal Funding To Ensure That All CD And DVD Packaging Remain Pointlessly Difficult To Open ($79 billion).
    5. FCC: Anti-Indecency Measures to Cover Up Liberty Bell’s Crack ($179,000).
    4. “My first Nuclear Reactor” Kids Program (50 million)
    3. The Search Team Responsible for Finding Carmen Sandiego ($100 million)
    2. Congressional Night Out At Dave And Buster’s Fund ($10 million)
    1. The “Maybe Our Deficit Will Disappear If We Cover Our Eyes” Initiative ($1,407,487,395,186)

  282. @AY

    “an attempt to deflect support from Hillary….don’t you see that?”

    I do. I also saw how the left shifted gears and attacked just to gain power- power they’ve failed to use effectively so far.

    Please explain….Shifted gears….and failed to use effectively….Part I agree with…part, I do not understand your usage….

  283. @ Bob, Esq, the truth is stranger than the comedy:

    Late-night comedian Conan O’Brien’s blog has a new post parodying Washington’s excessive spending. “Team Coco has found out why our government is so broke,” the blog explains, “They’ve been spending all our hard earned tax dollars on some pretty ridiculous programs.” The post contains a list of humorous fake programs and encourages readers submit their own.

    But sadly, there’s no need to turn to a crack team of comedy writers to gin up examples of ridiculous government spending. Instead, one need only look to the shenanigans on Capitol Hill to find a list of absurd expenditures of taxpayer dollars. As Heritage has reported, in addition to long-term, substantive reforms, $343 billion of wasteful government spending could be cut immediately. And while Conan’s list is populated by a number of outlandish (but fake) programs, there are plenty of REAL government programs that are just as ridiculous. Conan, try these on for size:

    Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.

    Because of overstaffing, the U.S. Postal Service selects 1,125 employees per day to sit in empty rooms. They are not allowed to work, read, play cards, watch television, or do anything. This costs $50 million annually.

    Stimulus dollars have been spent on mascot costumes, electric golf carts, and a university study examining how much alcohol college freshmen women require before agreeing to casual sex.

    Washington will spend $615,175 on an archive honoring the Grateful Dead.
    The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.

    Congress recently gave Alaska Airlines $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737.

    Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties.

    The Federal Communications Commission spent $350,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver David Gilliland.

    Washington has spent $3 billion re-sanding beaches—even as this new sand washes back into the ocean.

    Taxpayers are funding paintings of high-ranking government officials at a cost of up to $50,000 apiece.

    The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.

    And the list goes on and on. When it comes to government spending, the truth is often stranger than fiction.

  284. @AY

    I was trying to say that Palin was a bit of a darling of the AK Dems and wasn’t exactly known for her conservatism until she was tapped by McCain. And, instead of being embraced as a somewhat moderate choice for the official who attends foreign funerals, she was attacked.

    The Bush admin was awful. But, the Obama admin is even worse and that was readily apparent by the way the man legislated as opposed to how he campaigned. He is a lefty, not really a liberal. The liberal choice was really McCain. The Conservatives didn’t really have a dog in the last race.

  285. Look I am all about the capabilities of the person…Not some pretty puppet….You must admit that Obama’s hands have been tied….He was left a mess by Bush…but as you say he has not capitalized on the power…Ronald did so…Clinton did so….even during the Impeachment….You have to admire the man for being able to stand tall during that and still exercising the duties of the office as imposed…Didn’t RWR have some issues and alls he said was that he did not recall…he must be a greater golfer than we knew…There are Liar, Damn Liars and Golfers…

  286. Hell, even Bush II pulled us out of the tech bubble mess fairly well.

    Obama’s problem is himself. He’s trying to be FDR, and FDR’s econ policies didn’t work in the same way Obama’s aren’t working now. The other lesson is not to break the financial system (a bipartisan problem) pursuing idealistic social policies.

  287. Women that supported Hillary did not support Palin. McCain certainly had a poor read on women. Palin’s candidacy guaranteed that suburban women in places like the Philadelphia suburbs voted for Obama. Obama is not a lefty. The liberal choice was not McCain. Liberals are not anti-abortion and anti-gay rights.

  288. SwM

    The Philadelphia suburbs had been trending D for years since they had forgotten how poorly D’s govern when in power. That quickly got reversed in 2010 after 2 years of D rule. Trust me on this one, I live in the people’s republic of Swarthmore.

    Obama is a Chicago pol. That means he’s a lefty, but a realistic lefty, since his ultimate goal is to to stay in power.

    McCain is a maverick fro one simple reason, he often voted like D.

    Abortion is a non-issue at the federal level.

    Gay issues cut across party lines. Gay marriage passed in NY due to R support.

  289. Spent a lot of time in your village. Abortion is an issue at the federal level and all the republican candidates are anti-choice including Huntsman.

  290. GeneH:

    every time I have looked at a complex problem the solution is usually fairly simple.

    For the most part my lexicon is correct.

    for your part would please spell the man’s name correctly.

    William of Ockham.

    “4.1 Ockham’s Razor
    Still, Ockham’s “nominalism,” in both the first and the second of the above senses, is often viewed as derived from a common source: an underlying concern for ontological parsimony. This is summed up in the famous slogan known as “Ockham’s Razor,” often expressed as “Don’t multiply entities beyond necessity.”[31] Although the sentiment is certainly Ockham’s, that particular formulation is nowhere to be found in his texts. Moreover, as usually stated, it is a sentiment that virtually all philosophers, medieval or otherwise, would accept; no one wants a needlessly bloated ontology. The question, of course, is which entities are needed and which are not.”

    From Stanfords Encylopedia of Philosophy

  291. @SM there is zero chance of any anti-abortion legislation getting past a cloture vote in the senate, surviving a presidential veto, and/or surviving supreme court review even with the current court. It is all posturing by both sides.

  292. KD Why take the risk with a republican candidate that panders to the religious right? Do you go to the 360 market?

  293. Roco,

    Your lexicon is twisted made up garbage and “for the most part” means “not accurate”. I’ll also call Occam’s Razor Occam’s Razor because the spelling Occam is also an accepted spelling of the man’s name. If you want to be real picky, you should call it by its proper name, lex parsimoniae. From Britannica: “Ockham’s razor, also spelled Occam’s razor, also called law of economy, or law of parsimony, principle stated by William of Ockham (1285–1347/49), a scholastic, that Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate; ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity.’ The principle gives precedence to simplicity; of two competing theories, the simplest explanation of an entity is to be preferred. The principle is also expressed ‘Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity.’” It is a tool for triaging logic. It is not a standard of judgment. It’s not an assertion that simple is always best. It is rather a statement that complexity is compelled only by necessity, i.e. the desired level of complexity is the minimal required to reach a viable and valid solution. However, it really makes no difference as to what you want to call it as you’re still misusing the tool as a rationalization for simplicity because you don’t want to deal with complexity.

  294. They can pander all they want, legislation isn’t getting through. And, even if it did, control would just revert back to the states, and there is zero chance of anything changing here in PA. I’m not even sure there’d be support in TX.

    Do you mean the 320 Market? I do. It expanded and moved.to the next shopping center down. Michael;s pharmacy closed and is now a Duckin Donuts. Other than that it is the same as it was back in the 80s.

    Never been to Texas. PA is too hot and humid for me and I hear TX is worse. I’ll take Hawaii over both if I had to move.

  295. AY I think nal would dislike Keller/ Watauga as much or more than I do. I will go to Boulder in the summer and Austin in the winter. I was once in Swarthmore when it was 100 and humid. I was buying things for the dorm at the Target on the pike.

  296. Al Bloom talked about the inn but since the crash in 2008, I have not heard anything. There is no where to stay nearby not even in Media.

  297. There are no places where you’d want to stay at least. Although, I believe there is a B&B on Chester Road and College Ave next to the Episcopal Church.

  298. Gyges

    “Do you propose that before eating out we all go to all the hospitals in a 60 mile radius and ask everyone with food poisoning “did you eat at that new Chinese place?” When we buy tires should we be expected to call up everyone that’s had an accident in the last 90 days and ask “Did you get in an accident because you lost control due to an inferior tire? No, what about the other person? Did you happen to catch the brand of that tire?”

    So how do government bureaucrats gather their information, considering they are expected to do it BEFORE consumers are harmed?

    I also owe blouise a thank you for so perfectly making my point. She may consider it a character flaw, but that is exactly the behavoir I would expect from someone who valued the end result of her transaction more than the convenience of an expedited purchase. Their is no internal contradiction between “people lie” and “you should do your homework”. Considering the hostility towards most corporate entities around here I dont see why thats such a hard concept to grasp. It simply a cost/benefit analysis of your time spent researching your purchase beforehand versus the possible time you may have to spend trying to collect damages. What is so strange about suggesting that this decision should be left to individuals rather than have it decided collectively, especially given the recent explosion in the amount of information available via smartphones?

    KD,

    You really think bush got out of the dot com collapse? No… no… no… thank alan greenspan for inflating that nasty housing bubble we recently watched decimate an entire global economy thanks to the dollar being the world reserve currency. That would be why the top five countries holding dollar reserves have begun making massive gold purchases. His monkey looking ass is lucky his term was up when the shit hit the fan.

  299. Ekeyra, I didn’t mean to have that come off as a praise of Bush; however, Bush’s policies weren’t so awful that even the Fed’s voodoo would be ineffective as it is today. The President’s job in such a situation is to make sure he doesn’t get in the way of the economy rebounding on it’s own, a la, Hoover, FDR, and now Obama. Even Carter didn’t screw up completely when in the same predicament.

  300. ekeyra,

    You’re welcome … and no, I don’t really consider it a character flaw, that was just a touch of false humility.

    I agree with many of the points you made and since I trust neither government or large corporations, I try to do my own research (made much simpler by the vastness of the internet) and stick with small businesses who take pride in something besides profit.

    Example: I replaced my Firestone tires with Cooper tires. Cooper Tire is based in Findlay, Ohio and their CEO, Roy V. Armes, came from Whirlpool where he had a successful track record of developing customer relationships and consumer oriented products. Good reviews on the product and a CEO who emphasizes customer and consumer relationships. Then I researched to find the best small business from whom to buy the tires. Most important was their record of servicing their customers and if the cost of alignment was included in the price quoted.

    Gyges is also correct for regulations and standards need to be set and enforced by government acting in the interests of all consumers simply because there are those corporations whose sole concern is profit.

    The problem, as I see it, is the government bureaucracy with which the honest, small business owner must deal. It is stifling and harms more than helps.

  301. KD,

    Hmmm im not familiar with your personal perspective on the housing crisis, but mine would be that the “fed’s voodoo” is precisely what led to both the dot com bubble and the housing bubble. It is not ineffective, it is the single root cause, not any president’s particular policies. Any president would have a hard time servicing the interest payments on a trillion dollar decifits if rates were at even 10 or 15 percent instead of the artificially suppressed near zero .

    Blouise,

    Im actually in stunned amazement. Last time i changed my tire, i was late for work and only had two criteria: cost me less than fifty bucks and get it on my car in less than half an hour. And im the one going around advocating financial responsibility. Go figure.

    However, I still have to dispute your assertion that we need government “acting in the interests of all consumers” . I think your story coupled with mine should tell you all you need to know to see that there is no way for the government to satisfy all consumers.

    You were very picky and spent plenty of time. Im sure you felt your time well spent and were very satisfied when you made your decision. I, on the other hand was pressed for time and money and was much less discerning. Currently we are both free to pursue both avenues of purchase, quickly and cheaply, or time intensive and well-researched. Yet government regulation would bind us both to the same course of action, and in doing so will make one of us dissatisfied. If regulations are too lax they will fall below your threshhold of safety or customers service since all providers will have the same standards. If regulations are too restrictive, they will drive up my costs for the same reason, noone will be able to offer a cheaper alternative. Or the worst case scenario, and the most likely, is that we will both be dissatisfied because you may find the threshhold of customer safety too low and at the same time I may find the cost of the product too high.

  302. “I agree with many of the points you made and since I trust neither government or large corporations”

    Theyre making it so hard to even distinguish between the two anymore. Did the government give handouts to politically connected financial firms? Absolutely. Didnt they borrow the money to do that from the fed, who is the lender of last resort to the same companies they were bailing out? Sort of… Its just a giant shell game, but the pieces keep moving faster and faster. Incestuous is the only word I find even comes close to describing their relationship.

  303. ekeyra,

    I can see the government is doing its part to not make you happy….Gotta give em that…..

    Kd,

    Reading the Son of Flubber as we speak….So far he has left out the .com bubble…if its in there I’ll most certainly let you know….I do recall the delay on acting in Katrina….and HIS NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND…..that was where he and Kennedy had an agreement….the only part that they divided over was the funding…Bush took the money to go to war….and never used any of the money to actually fund it….There are some states that have on the constitution that unfunded mandates can not be foster on the backs of the designee….Title IX…well…It is a monkey on the state and school systems backs…Believe it or not….School Districts cut between county, city and municipal lines…The reason why? Oh, to keep them from being politicized….Yeah go figure….

  304. “I like labels, they explain my world to me”

    “It really is pretty simple, complexity is for people who do not understand.”

    Roco,

    Your two statements clearly sum up your conceptual inability. One of the most irrational aspects of a human’s psychology is the belief that naming something (labeling), is the same thing as understanding it. It fits things into categories in one’s mind and these categories are loaded with connotations
    derived from the individual’s own experience. This was helpful in our species earliest experiences of existence when lightening fast decisions had to be made to insure an individual’s safety. As society became more complex this propensity to label became problematic and in effect one of the prime bases of war and xenophobia.

    People who do not understand are those with an ability to think beyond labels, thus on a more sophisticated level. The most intelligent people are those who understand that with all their knowledge, existence and the Universe are still far beyond human’s capacity to understand. On a global scale this is true with societies and their individual denizens. We have labels, we have theories and we have philosophies, but nothing explains our lives and our individual interactions with each other with a precision that makes for true certainty.

    The need to use labels and to eschew the obvious complexity around us all is the reaction of a mind closed to all possible options of existence, though aware of the variety of choices. The choice to use labels thus relieves individuals from anxiety at the complexity surrounding them, by offering simplistic “answers” to comfort them in their confusion. This is not what occam’s razor is used for and William of Ockham was a far wiser man than to believe his dictum could be used to explain the world.

  305. Mike,

    With Roco’s definition of labels….How about this….All Oranges are orange…All oranges are fruit…Bananas are fruit therefore they must be orange…..

  306. I may have heard this someplace or been thinking about the world markets: What if China was buying US Dollars in the market when they are lowered and then turns to invest them in US Bonds etc….when they are low in price….

    Now, because of the down grade more interest must be paid….They are in a better position to bargain and negotiate trade and tariff agreements, which keeps jobs here in the US lowered….because even with all the added costs of making it, shipping it…the corporations make a higher profit…..

    They have us by the proverbial balls, how can we get out of this cycle if we wanted too?

  307. Joe Scarborough: “Michele Bachmann’s first answer was, I wish the federal government had defaulted. Had defaulted! A week after Americans lost–some of them perhaps lost half of their pensions. Lost half of their 401ks. When trillions of dollars went down the drain with Americans suffering, she said that and got applause, and if anybody thinks that guys like my dad are going to be voting that way…they are out of their mind and they are too stupid not only to prognosticate, they are too stupid to run Slurpee machines in Des Moines…Michele Bachmann is a joke. She is a joke. Her answer is a joke. Her candidacy is a joke…Iowa, if you let her win, you prove your irrelevance once again.”

    Delicious.

  308. If we default….say what? What kind of economist says that…It drives up higher prices…and plus the Asians have different ideal about default…You still owe it and your children will pay….The Arabic’s look at default as a personal shame….Hmmm…no reasons the companies supporting the GOP have move their world head quarters over seas….

  309. Bob,

    Well said. AY ditto. Were our national debate simply about how best to deal with the nation’s problems, then perhaps I could see some hope of resolution. However, people like Bachman, Perry and Santorum are not living in the same reality. Scarier too, is that they’re serious. As for Ron Paul, you simply cannot be a true Libertarian and/or Objectivist and be for
    government intervention in a women’s right to choose. Were he consistent in his philosophy, then I might possibly think him at least worthy of consideration. To be wrong on probably the Nation’s hottest button issue in the last 40 years shows him to be untrustworthy. What I can at least say about the 4 above is that they probably sincerely believe the madness they preach. Romney and the rest are just garden variety seekers of power.

  310. SWM,

    Not only one of the slickest, hopefully the voting people will not think those shiny things in his eyes are a reason to celebrate….Apparently, he has stared at the sun way too long during an eclipse….He is a pretty boy though…

  311. Swarthmore mom and AY,

    Yes. Slick… and “a pretty boy”… I never want to see the headline, “Pretty Boy Prays (or Preys) Way To Presidency”…

  312. I guess I cant really speak for bachmann, considering the more I find out about her the scarier she gets, however I know exactly why ron paul said we should have defaulted. We cannot pay the federal government’s obligations, so we can either admit that to everyone and ourselves, and from there begin to decide who has the priority of recieving what we can pay out and who is going to get stiffed. I personally agree with peter schiff that we should tell china and other sovereign entities that lent us money that they are out of luck considering that they were enablers of our debt and that politically noone is going to tell americans on social security that they wont get checks because we have to pay china its money back. The only other option is pretending we can pay everyone and debasing our currency which will hit everyone holding dollars, not just those who lent money to the feds, and will be exactly the same as a default because the payout in devalued dollars will not match the value of dollars borrowed.

  313. Regarding Bachmann: I think she may just have had her “Dukakis in a tank” moment with that hot dog picture.

  314. Mike,

    I believe ron paul’s political position on abortion is that it should be left to the states to decide. He doesnt believe in abortion but he is not seeking to apply that personal judgement to the rest of the country.

  315. Boys and girls, those fine words belong to Joe Scarborough.

    All I said was “delicious.”

    I brought Joe Scarborough’s words here for the simple purpose of denigrating a candidate that’s clearly not fit for office.

  316. Now OS,

    Marcus is showing Michelle how is is done….that is to eat a corned dog…..I wonder how much practice he and Rev Jim got….I wonder if the steam room theme was You Should Me Your Stuff and I’ll Show You Mine…..Gives a new meaning to Head and Shoulders….

    There is just something wrong about the two pictures…at least they were not captured eating the Corned Dog at the same time….

  317. AY,

    Screwing up the economy isn’t forgivable, but it is repairable. Engaging in wholesale slaughter of people who never have and will never pose a threat to anyone in the united states is yes, making me unhappy. To say the least.

  318. Joe S.: “they are too stupid to run Slurpee machines in Des Moines…Michele Bachmann is a joke. She is a joke. Her answer is a joke. Her candidacy is a joke…Iowa, if you let her win, you prove your irrelevance once again.”

    And Bachman wins the straw poll!!

  319. Bob,

    Yes and I sent an answer but if you didn’t get it, I apologize. The upgrade nonsense is still going on and the email keeps flipping in and out. I believe they are going to a new domain name. Also, the entire internet service was down for much of the day … I know they are also upgrading that too.

    It’s most frustrating!

    Makes me want to sing the Memphis Beat blues … :)

  320. Bob Esq:

    would you be up for an online debate about Kant with an Objectivist who is degreed in philosophy?

    Personally I think it would be very interesting. I have asked the person and it is acceptable. I am pretty sure he would agree to a civil discourse, I believe he has been in debates of this kind before but not on-line.

    Maybe one of the guest bloggers could pose a question about Kant vs. something (I will ask him what that something should be) and that can be the debate topic.

    I am pretty sure you both agree the law is under-girded by philosophy, lets see which philosophy is the better support structure.

    I really think this would be a fascinating topic if it could remain civil.

  321. The reason there has been no violent uprising in the US is because those who would be willing to use force are supporters of the corrupt system.

    The teabaggers are as blindly supportive of Wall Street and the Koch Brothers as KKK members were supportive of D.C. Stephenson, or the Blackshirts were in Italy. Such people are wilfully blind and cooperative in their own enslavement.

  322. P Smith,

    You wrote: “The reason there has been no violent uprising in the US is because those who would be willing to use force are supporters of the corrupt system.”

    I agree… and with your entire comment, as well.

    America already has a Stasi-like apparatus…. Many simply aren’t seeing it yet, though there are certainly many teabaggers already on board.

  323. Human nature is the same wheter it’s in Africa, Europe, China, etc. When people get to a certain point where they feel they’ve been deceived, lied to,
    been led by corrupt politicians, leaders, President, etc. they masses will take to the streets to make themselves heard and get responed to their issues and problems. The ingredients for a revolution in the USA is growing and not that far from demonstrating in the streets throughout the USA. Our leaders are terrible and selfish, and the middle class is fast dying, and it’ll only take a certain situation to have Americans rise up to get justice, equality for the hard working class. I feel that 2012 will have some very surprising social/economic demonstratlions in the USA

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