7
   

Isn't the greatest threat to American freedom, our government?

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 05:11 pm
@kuvasz,
Does it really take an extraordinary flexibility of mind to realize that there is an inherent danger in providing any sub-group of people the power necessary to protect individual liberties of the larger group?

First of all, not all governments are formed through the will of the people to establish a central authority to protect their individual liberties.

Secondly, many governments that were formed for this purpose, have long ago been corrupted to such an extent that they elevated the desires of their members far above the freedom of their people.

I think though that we can agree that the American government was formed to protect individual liberties, and, in general, it has consistently resisted the forces of corruption and operated to do what it is was formed to do. (Although Japanese-Americans interned in camps during WWII might argue otherwise)

Obviously, though, this doesn't mean that it cannot be corrupted, and that it will always serve its original intent.

It's not surprising, at all unfortunately, to see Liberals defending the government's purity of purpose when a fellow Liberal is at the helm. It wasn't that long ago that this exact thread would have drawn the participation and agreement of any number of Liberals who were willing to predict Bush would refuse to leave office and seize power at the end of his second term. And those less paranoid were still vociferous in their assertion that Bush in the eight years given to him was bound and determined to restrict American freedom as much as he could.

As for whether or not right wing extremists are, currently, more violent than left wing extremists --- save it for another thread. Whether right or left, Muslim or Christian, white or black, or rich or poor, extremist individuals are not the greatest threat to American freedom.

You may not think that the Obama led government is much of a threat to American freedom, but it still has far greater potential to restrict individual American liberties that any other entity on earth.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 05:20 pm
@Robert Gentel,
You might as well assert that disease is the greatest threat to American freedom.

How is national debt incurred?

And if you are referring to individual debt, that is incurred through the exercise of individual choice.



0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  4  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 05:26 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
You're only seeing what you want to see Finn. Liberals aren't pouring in here and saying government is pure.

You're out fishing for a fight with progressives.

Typical.
K
O
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 05:37 pm
@Diest TKO,
So who wants us to surrender our liberties, and what liberties do they want us to surrender?

You take offense? Who the hell cares what offends you young Jedi and how have you arrived at the notion that the richest and most entitled feel that they best understand "bondage and freedom?"

It's pretty clear that you believe that anyone who meets your definition of "rich" is not only also "entitled," but probably stole their riches from the noble poor who have a far better understanding of "bondage and freedom."

Your silly romantic notions are amusing expressions of some sort of idealism, but they are so damned cliche.

"Freedom is only harmed by indifference and a lack of empathy?"

Clearly you have not experienced anything in your young life that can give you even a basic understanding of "bondage and freedom."

Stop thinking in slogans.
Always Eleven to him
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:09 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
First of all, not all governments are formed through the will of the people to establish a central authority to protect their individual liberties.

Secondly, many governments that were formed for this purpose, have long ago been corrupted to such an extent that they elevated the desires of their members far above the freedom of their people.


I can agree with what you've said here, but the thread has been referring to the United States government, not those that were not formed by the people's will or those that have been corrupted as you described.

Dredd Scott, Japanese-American and German-American internment were shameful periods in our history, for sure, but that doesn't mean that our government will "be corrupted" and will stray from its "original intent."

We citizens are the check on government corruption and government usurping power. Which is what "we the people" did in the November 2008 elections.

Where was the "right wing" when Bush and his cronies were allowing human beings to be tortured (an extreme restriction on one's freedom, I would say)? Where was the "right wing" when Bush and his cronies were intercepting Americans' electronic communications with citizens overseas without first receiving a warrant?

Last, but certainly not least, "we the people" can turn to the courts (remember that third branch of government?) to protect the minority from the majority.

I'm certainly not able to say that the government is the greatest threat to our liberties and freedoms. As Robert Gentel alluded -- the greatest threat to our freedoms is the free market system, which isn't particularly free at all.
Diest TKO
 
  3  
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:48 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

So who wants us to surrender our liberties, and what liberties do they want us to surrender?

The GOP has a very long record of attacking people's privacy, employment status, and religious liberties.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

You take offense? Who the hell cares what offends you young Jedi and how have you arrived at the notion that the richest and most entitled feel that they best understand "bondage and freedom?"

Absolutely I take offense, and if you don't give a damn, **** off and don't waste my time. I certainly care about the concerns of conservatives, and I can address them without infantalizing them. If you are so insecure with your ideas that you'll just dismiss me as a child with no worldly experience worth contribution, that is your problem. I don't get to be a young Jedi in a engineering meeting, people expect me to be on the level, and perform to it.

If you don't pay attention to the woes and cries of "wealth redistribution" from the top, and can't see them for the crocodile tears that they are, this also isn't worth my young Jedi time.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

It's pretty clear that you believe that anyone who meets your definition of "rich" is not only also "entitled," but probably stole their riches from the noble poor who have a far better understanding of "bondage and freedom."

I've never said that all of the rich earned their wealth by stealing. I'm saying that the loudest about this topic tend not to be the greatest stewards of their neighbors.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Your silly romantic notions are amusing expressions of some sort of idealism, but they are so damned cliche.

Cliche like blaming the government for the loss of our freedoms perhaps?

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

"Freedom is only harmed by indifference and a lack of empathy?"

Clearly you have not experienced anything in your young life that can give you even a basic understanding of "bondage and freedom."

Clearly, you've no idea what you're talking about. How you feel that you are qualified to comment on the quality or value of my life's experiences is beyond me, nor do I care. I don't have anything to prove to you.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Stop thinking in slogans.

sure...

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Isn't the greatest threat to American freedom, our government?
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Any entity with the power to protect freedom has the power to restrict it.


...I'll get right on that.

You've yet to explain how government (read: Obama in power) is such a threat to our freedoms. What can't we all do that we once could because of the current administration?

T
K
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Below viewing threshold (view)
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:16 pm
@Always Eleven to him,
The comments you've quoted were in respond to kuvy's assertion that somehow it is unassailable tenet of political science that governments are created to protect individual liberties.

You're correct that they do not necessarily apply to America, but you've taken them out of context. If you read my entire post you will see that I addressed this.

I've not argued that our government will be corrupted, just that it can be, and as for Republicans and Bush defenders, you and others are insisting on inserting partisan politics into the discussion.

A Republican government, when it is in power, is the greatest threat to American freedom. I do think that a Social Democrat government is a greater threat, but that's because it is fundamentally a more intrusive entity.

Some, obviously, believe the intrusion is well intended and actually benign. Fine. I don't agree, but even if we concede that an intrusive government is the best bet for America's future, it remains that much more dangerous for the depth and breadth of it's control of our daily lives.

I don't know how many times I need to point out that I am not predicting an Obama dictatorship, or calling for revolution. It is truly foolish though to assume that an American government cannot create a tyranny. Certainly The Founders were not so sanguine.

It is hypocritical to scream that Bush was trying to establish a dictatorship and then express faith in the American people and their institutions now that Obama is president.

Again, you may not feel Obama represents a threat, but if you believe Bush did then you have to agree with my premise --- unless you can identify an alternative threat.

It is, frankly, ridiculous to suggest that the Free Market is a threat to our freedom, and unless you can specifically explain how freedom restricts freedom I can only imagine that you have been induced to spout left wing propaganda.

0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:32 pm
@Diest TKO,
I'm not wasting your time young Jedi. Perhaps you are wasting your time responding to me, but that's your choice. Somehow I doubt that you think writing such an emotionally charged reply was a waste of your time. It's pretty long. I would think that if it was a waste of your time you would have come to the revelation long before you finished it.

Remember, the choice is always yours as to what posts you read and respond.

Thou protests too much young Jedi.

You don't care what I think of your life experience but nevertheless feel compelled to defend it with specific references to "engineering meetings."

I like you Diest and maybe it's wrong to push buttons that are so obviously sensitive, but you don't want anyone to focus on your youth, and you can achieve your desire by not acting so young.

You have a lot of promise Diest and remember this post because I predict that within 20 years from now you will consider yourself a conservative.

If you revealed you were a teacher and not an engineer, I would have no such hope.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:45 pm
No, the biggest threat is what had once been capitalism and is now fascism . . . the control of government by industrialists, bankers and investors.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 05:48 pm
@kuvasz,
Hear! Hear!
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 05:06 pm
@ebrown p,
Where do you come up with idea that I don't "like" our system of government?

It is amazing how many arguments have been posted on this thread against points I've not made.

I actually "like" our system of government very much because it was devised with the understanding governments present the greatest threats to individual freedoms.

The Founders did a magnificent job in establishing a system of government that could keep the excesses of government under control. Right out of the chute though the system was challenged and it has been challenged again and again over the past two hundred plus years.

The Founders knew that in order to restrain the excesses of government it was necessary to restrain its power over the citizenry, and to restrain its power, they had to limit its involvement in our daily lives.

Again (and again), if you feel comfortable with an ever expanding government, fine, but don't try and tell me that his expansion is some sort of benign evolutionary progress in representative democracy.

I'm sure you've heard the phrase that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," The Founders obviously saw the truth in this and created a system of government that assumed those who governed would be corrupted by their power and that the immediate will of The People is not always best for the nation.

The world is far less likely than ever before to tolerate the deprivation of individual freedom by forces external to a nation's border, but is entirely tolerant of the same crime perpetrated by forces within a nation's borders, and what internal force is more powerful than a government?

A number of posters have advanced the notion that the Free Market is the greatest threat to our freedoms. Makes for fine sloganeering, but precisely how?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  6  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 07:35 am
(Responding directly to the initial post without having read the whole thread yet.)

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Isn't the greatest threat to American freedom, our government?

Finn, if you don't mind my asking, how many years of your life have you spent in countries without a government (Somalia, say), or in countries with governments substantially different from America's? If the answer is one or more, how free did you feel in those countries to do what you want?

In case my answer to your question isn't clear from my counter-question, here it is in plain text: No, the American governments (federal, state, and local) are not the greatest threat to American freedom. They, and the constitutions that regulate them, are a the reason Americans have more freedom than most other people in the world.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 07:49 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Does it really take an extraordinary flexibility of mind to realize that there is an inherent danger in providing any sub-group of people the power necessary to protect individual liberties of the larger group?

There isn't. But this insight is meaningless unless you have an alternative in which inheres a smaller amount of danger. Having now read the thread, I know we agree that abolishing the American government is more dangerous, because then American politics becomes Somalian politics. I also think we agree that by reforming American government into any other realistic form of government wouldn't reduce dangers to liberty. At best it would trade off some dangers for others.

So, what do you intend to do about the dangers inherent in American government?
0 Replies
 
Always Eleven to him
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 07:54 pm
@kuvasz,
I second what plainoleme said -- hear hear!
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 09:08 pm
It is odd that Finn wrote this:

The Founders did a magnificent job in establishing a system of government that could keep the excesses of government under control. Right out of the chute though the system was challenged and it has been challenged again and again over the past two hundred plus years.


The bush administration did a lot to dismantle the system of checks and balances which was one of those things that upset the left so.
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  4  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 12:06 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Thou protests too much young Jedi.

You're the one bitching and complaining about government being the greatest threat here Finn.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

You don't care what I think of your life experience but nevertheless feel compelled to defend it with specific references to "engineering meetings."

Yes, because it's pure cowardice to dismiss my experience when you know jack **** about my experience. If you feel I'm so young a naive, then you should not have any problem demonstrating by countering my points, specifically. Otherwise, you're just retreating.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

I like you Diest and maybe it's wrong to push buttons that are so obviously sensitive, but you don't want anyone to focus on your youth, and you can achieve your desire by not acting so young.

Ignoring me by putting me at the kids table, does not address my points Finn. Since you feel so at liberty to speak on what my sensitive buttons are, I'll kindly return the favor.

You can't handle the thought of your ideas being rejected or the audacity that others might ask you to back up your claims.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

You have a lot of promise Diest and remember this post because I predict that within 20 years from now you will consider yourself a conservative.

You fancy yourself a prophet of sorts Finn? I'll tell you this, it's certainly possible. I'm a person who takes in lots of information and processes it into practical applications. I'm very pragmatic and earnest with what I do. I hold no title (liberal, democrat, progressive) sacred. If in 20 years the conservatives become the party that begins taking care of individuals instead of companies and religious institutions, then yeah... they might get my vote.

Until then however, they don't get **** from me.

Remember this post Finn, I think you've got potential. Because in 20 years, if the Democrats become crazy isolationist homophobes, the party might start appealing to you.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

If you revealed you were a teacher and not an engineer, I would have no such hope.

What the **** do you know? What the hell is it that I'm supposed to know better than the teacher by virtue of being an engineer?

Total bullshit Finn.
K
O
aidan
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 12:35 am
@Diest TKO,
Laughing Laughing Laughing
Sorry to interject here, but this exchange just made me laugh so hard and brought back some very fond memories.

My father, who sounds a lot like Finn- very successful in his chosen career (business) and a life-long dyed in the wool fiscal and social conservative used to say to me, ALL the time...'You're too smart to be a liberal - you're too bright to be so idealistic...when you start paying taxes, pay your own way, buy a home (insert any life eventuality that signifies fiscal maturity or independence), you'll become a conservative,' and I think it stymied him for a while that I passed all those milestones without 'converting' although I do think he came to view me more with pride in the commitment I displayed to my convictions as opposed to the frustration and confusion he'd begun viewing me with.

Funny thing is - I AM a teacher and not an engineer. In that way too, Finn just reminded me of him here. He held the same dim view of teachers and their ability to behave and think responsibly that Finn seems too- short working hours, short working year, cushy job...and then they'd have the nerve to STRIKE - oh my goodness- I can remember him saying over and over, 'Professionals don't STRIKE!' In other words - teaching is not a real profession and teachers are not professionals.

It's a good thing I loved so much about him apart and aside from his politics - as he did me. We worshiped each other from opposite sides of the political and 'professional' spectrum.

But this is what I predict for Finn in twenty years, based on what I saw happen with my dad. He's the one who will slowly change. Everytime in the last five years of my father's life that we watched FOX news together (only at his house - it'd never be on at my house) I'd prepare myself for an argument...and I'd end up whipping my head around to make sure it was still him sitting in his chair, because he'd have made some comment- about homosexuality, education, capital punishment, even abortion- that indicated that he'd come to the point in his thinking and musings that the PEOPLE involved in the political issues were at least as important as the principles and issues themselves (one difference I see in traditionally perceived 'liberals' and 'conservatives').

I think if he'd lived another five years - he'd have progressed to declaring himself an independent (although never a democrat).

That was such a nice, familiar and parent/childlike exchange you guys just had. It brought back nice memories. Thank you.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 01:04 am
@aidan,
aidan wrote:
the PEOPLE involved in the political issues were at least as important
as the principles and issues themselves
(one difference I see in traditionally perceived 'liberals' and 'conservatives').
There r PEOPLE on all sides of those disputes.

When Willie Sutton and John Dillinger were arrested for robbery,
it was not a logical legal defense that thay were PEOPLE involved
in the principles concerned. Those PEOPLE were dragged to jail for robbery.





David
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 01:14 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I guess what I'm saying is that I observed a softening, a willingness to understand that although these were issues that didn't or hadn't yet and might never affect him or his family directly, there were people in different circumstances - in crises of one sort of another- whose lives were affected- and that this might bring about different opinions and even unexplainable (to him) behavior- he just became much less rigid in his stances and beliefs which before had seemed sort of 'one size HAS to fit all.'

I don't know how to explain it. He was always a very generous and kind-hearted person - that's why when people say conservatives are always nasty and mean- it drives me insane. But he did seem to have a very narrow view of what was acceptable. As he got older, I saw, with some amazement, that his view was widening at a time when you might think it would get even narrower.
I give him a lot of credit for that.
0 Replies
 
 

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