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13 May 2011

Comments

Mikey McD

Paul, Hitler had a majority.

Mikey McD

I refuse to accept that because a majority votes for XYZ that it is moral. Our tax code can only be accepted as "moral" by those who benefit (see Rebane's Peter/Paul Principal) at the expense of others.

Would you tell your children to discriminate based on a classmates income level?

Steven Frisch

McD--Hitler never had a majority vote--slight distinction. When he was appointed Chancellor of Germany the Nazi Party was a minority and he was a compromise appointment. After the Reichstag fire the Nazi's won 44% of the vote, but still failed to have an absolute majority. Hitler suspended habeas corpus. The Reichstag then met in Potsdam and passed an act giving supreme authority for government to Hitler, but only after they had arrested key communists and social democrats.

In short, Hitler never had an electoral majority in any free election.

Just a slight correction, but to some of us it is important.

Mike Thornton

The point, McD isn't who took over the family farms, it was how the Neo-Nazi and Christian Identity/Militia groups took advantage of the situation to promulgate their version(s) of reality.
While your screenplay was based on Dyers book (as you know) his book was based on what actually happened.
And as you (apparently) well know, it was Corporate/Capitalist "Agribusiness" and Corporate/Capitalist "Banks" that took over those family farms.
However the "Rage" that was "Harvested" was aimed Jews, Communists, Blacks and Latinos and their (supposed) "Turner Diaries" "ZOG", which by the way led directly to the Oklahoma City Bombing.
As you may (also) know Dyer criticized the "Left" for allowing all of that one sided propaganda to take place unchallenged, by an alternative narrative, one that would have put the blame squarely where it should have gone.

Mikey McD

To pardon the government's role in Corporate/Capitalist "Agribusiness" and Corporate/Capitalist "Banks" that took over those family farms" is folly.

Mikey McD

I maintain that Hitler had a majority (German soldiers died for a cause they accepted or do you contend that all German soldiers were fighting against their will?). But, that is not the point. The point is whether or not a majority can vote for something that is unjust? I refuse to accept that because a majority votes for XYZ that it is moral.

Would you accept the fact that slavery was accepted for centuries? Did that make slavery right?

Would you accept that America's "Manifest Destiny" (or more specific the war against American Indians) was accepted? Did that make it right?

It's always the golden rule (He with the gold makes the rules). That is why our founding fathers fought to limit government.

D. King

Hey, we could vote ourselves free money and other cool stuff. Oh wait, the forefathers knew that.

Mike Thornton

Well, to pretend that the farmers weren't the victims of "savage" capitalism is dishonest.

D. King

What about these farmers?

This was uploaded in 09. LOL!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFGuI6TQaVw

D. King

Crickets!

Paul Emery

So Mikey how do you determine a direction from a governance if it's not based on a majority directive from representatives selected through the election process that ultimately make laws? One persons morality is another persons immorality. On the other hand, same sex marriage may be immoral to some people but does that give them the right to inflict their morality codes on others that do not share that opinion even if they have a majority. It's not an easy question. To say that a tax system is immoral must imply that the purpose of the tax is immoral and if elected representatives determine that that purpose is necessary then how can the tax be immoral?

D. King

You sound like Nixon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejvyDn1TPr8

Michael Anderson

Wow. This thread must be a local record for # of comments, 407 and still counting.

The Great Divide...let's celebrate with a video from one of the many facets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MbykzqJ6ens

Cheers, you Great Divider Party Animals!

PS Yes Koch gives me gas, but the disclaimer reads that no CO2 was harmed in this video.

D. King

That was hilarious Michael! We should put this to music too. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Let them eat cake!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLgEBRDqSus

D. King

I swear to god George, do these people think they're going to foment revolution by destroying productive farm land across this country? Hey vacuous morons, we see you!

D. King

So, the Friends of Dear Creek came by to drop off a pamphlet about the removal of non-native plant species and the building of trails. Great! Then a couple days ago the Department of Agriculture came by to put out a trap in the blackberry bush…por da grapes. Well, two plus two equals four. Got any idea who is going to pay for all of this, and who is going to maintain the new trails when we’re broke?

Michael Anderson

A coupla more links might help:

http://www.world-science.net/othernews/110512_mutinies

http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/Home_Page.html

Remember, if you float away sometime today, you're one of the lucky ones. Let go of your fear of heights.

D. King

You know Michael I've been in a bad mood all day but that was funny...Thanks!

Mikey McD

Ron Paul and either Koch 2012!

Mikey McD

Paul, the idea that congress exists as a law making machine with some kind of quota each year is a concept I cannot stomach. Gay marriage further supports my claim that a belief by a majority can be immoral. I have said a hundred times that it is our fault for giving government the power to control what happens in our bedroom between consenting adults. Such power was never intended by our founding fathers.

Close your eyes and think back to the Declaration of Independence... do you think they could have ever imagined the federal government taxing THE PEOPLE (not its people) the insane tax rates/schemes we have today (SS, Medicare, Income, self employment, dividend, cap gains, rental income, barter income, gift tax, inheritance tax, etc etc)? or promising health care as a right? or forcing a certain type of light bulb to be installed? or controlling the money supply!!!!!?

The debate needs to start at "what is the role of government?"

Mikey McD

Could you see the look on Ben Franklin/Jefferson/Adams/etc faces if the following was posed:

Patriot Act
Iraq wars 1 & 2 (Vietnam draft, Bay of Pigs)
Federal Reserve
Income Tax
HUD
EPA
Subsidies
Planned Parenthood
dept of education
medicare (as it is today, not as it was promised)
Social security (as it exists today, not as it was promised)

Paul Emery

Mikey D

You tempt me with your libertarian philosophy.

Quite simply what determines whether something is moral and where does that come from? Is there a definitive document or religion that leads the way. If you and I have different moral standards who presides and why? Pretty serious questions.

George Rebane

PaulE, in mono-cultural societies that is a simpler question. Morals, as the crieteria for socially salutary conduct, were widely known within a culture. They were passed on through religion, language, and traditions. Society, or any subset of its members, "presided" over its standards and interpreted how one behaved. The state had a smaller role.

Since morals are culture-relative (e.g. killing your own daughter is not only permissible, but a moral obligation in some cultures), a multi-cultural society must needs appeal to the state and its legal and police machinery to interpret and enforce a code of conduct that is now no longer any set of morals, but a legal code that attempts to keep the peace within and among the several cultures. The resulting nation-state thereby becomes more and more foreign to each of its constituent cultures to the extent that they survive.

Didn't mean to step on Mikey's toes, and also await his answer.

Paul Emery

That's a good answer George but how does a moral code apply to a tax structure? Is that a moral question? isn't that what we have government for to make those decisions in the name of the majority who elect them?

Greg Goodknight

MMcD, I expect Ben Franklin would be almost as aghast at the original Medicare and Social Security as he would their current incarnations.

Regarding the role of government, the Constitution, including the first 10 amendments, does a fine job of specifying the powers a government should be allowed. The drafters of that document would probably be spinning less in their graves had they been a lot more specific about what they meant by 'general Welfare' and the interstate commerce clause.


Also, I had to chuckle... Libertarian Ed Clark ran with a Koch (David H.) as his VP nominee in 1980. A good ticket, considering the only way a rich guy can help an emerging 3rd party get their message out is to be on the ticket, the only way freedom of speech is possible under the post Watergate campaign finance reform monstrosities.

RL Crabb

All the "what ifs" concerning the founding fathers is another one of those unanswerable questions. The world wasn't as complex in the 18th Century. It's an unfair comparison.

I don't know if you count Tom Paine as a founding father, but even back then he had some radical ideas about the state's obligation to its citizens.

Greg Goodknight

RL, please note I didn't say the founders *would* think a certain way, only that I expected the given point of view from one of them.

I think the author of Common Sense (I don't remember reading it) and Rights of Man (read and on my bookshelf) qualifies him as a founder. It's a shame Paine's rejection of Christianity (got that, Todd?) got in his way in his lifetime. Not very popular.

George Rebane

Tax Structure Morals. A limited government is more easy to obtain in a mono-cultural society. Almost all cultures have mores which deal with and dictate the sharing of wealth with the less fortunate. Not so with multi-cultures where wealth transfers and many other aspects of formerly personal responsibilities are assumed by the state in the attempt to govern 'fairly'.

But I would no longer even attempt to apply moral codes to a tax structure in a multi-cultural environment. Government levies taxes according to the complex political forces at play that, as we know, have nothing to do with morals, and everything to do with the government's power of the bayonet and how that bayonet gets pointed.

Unfortunately, when morals no longer dictate behavior, the obvious presence of force and its ready application must.

Paul Emery

George But whose morals? Let's just way we have a Christian based mono culture you still have vast differences of what is moral. A woman's right to choose would be one. How about the morality of being gay. Also, there are many Christians who prefer what you would consider socialistic economic policies. Many Christians think a graduated income tax is perfectly moral. The residents of Denmark and Western Europe adopted their tax systems years ago before they were inflicted with what you describe as multi-culturalism.

George Rebane

Paul, all I did was to outline general proclivities in mono- vs multi-cultural societies. There were no black/white, hard and fast rules of this not that given. I don't know where you are trying to go with your comment. Are you attempting to lay a foundation that governance is easier in a multi-cultural rather than a mono-cultural society?

All the things you say about "many Christians" are true, Christianity is a malliable religion of many forms; please don't confuse it with being a culture. A culture is generally understood to be a collection of norms followed by a people that includes language, religion, traditions, ethnicity, ... .

Cultures which include some form of Christianity are widely varied, and yes, some will choose graduated tax systems. In my ontology of human endeavors, I would not taxonomize tax policy under the rubric of morals.

wmartin

"All the "what ifs" concerning the founding fathers is another one of those unanswerable questions. The world wasn't as complex in the 18th Century. It's an unfair comparison."

You know, I think I have to take issue with that. People and their interactions in groups certainly haven't changed since Hammurabi, ya gotcher French Revolution, the US was a side theatre in basically what was an ongoing World War O, yer Indians that needed killin', and building a federation from whole cloth. People of that era really aren't all that backwards.

I admit that the internet didn't exist, and as the be-all end-all of human society, maybe that's enough.

So what has changed? Geez, that's a good question. The politics of the mob has been around for a long time, it just moved from the guillotine to the Wisconsin statehouse. People still desire policy that's in their self interest while hand waving about the greater good. It's not all the same, but it rhymes.

Seriously, the biggest differences I can see both stem from increasing wealth, that is to say the wealth that feeds and houses people. Until recently we've never seen such a huge civil service, the Egyptian priesthood was large but couldn't hold a candle to the Department of Education, plus the ability to hand out bread to the poor has increased.

Now that I meander on about it, I guess I think that the real basic changes have involved our ability to grow the ant colonies a lot of us live in. As usual, too many drones (IMF bosses, rather useless 'non-profit' organizations, people on government assistance) and queens (heads of megacorps, political elite, etc) and not enough workers.

wmartin

"George But whose morals? Let's just way we have a Christian based mono culture you still have vast differences of what is moral."

Christian, n. One who believes that the new Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. A.B.

I wouldn't get so hung up on this Christian thing, it looks to be a medium-sized component of US culture. I admit that it makes a fun whipping boy because of the snake-handling, faith healing, TV evangelist corner cases, but if people want to cook up world views that keep them from robbing the corner liquor store due to an unpleasant afterlife, I'm all for it.

The notion of legions of demons poking sinners in their backsides with cocktail forks does have a societal use, after all.

OTOH, I'll maintain that shared morals do matter a helluva lot. If you read diaries or letters written in the 19th century and before, it's striking how strongly people felt about things like debt (against), handshake contracts (for), and just the general manly activities of being a good neighbor and citizen, maybe it's just a variant of what the Romans called 'virtus'.

Peer pressure can have some strong mojo, for good and ill, but I'm not so sure that replacing it with an insanely complex network of government edicts driving all aspects of life (tax law, at least the sort that encourages certain activities being a part of this) is really what you want.

RL Crabb

I would agree that the founders would no doubt be appalled at the depth of government involvement in everyday life, but I still maintain that it's hard to say how they would have handled the problems of modern America. They were smart enough to put together a constitution that outlined basic rights in simple language that the average person could understand. They were also smart enough to see that it would need amending as conditions changed.

Mikey McD

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Todd Juvinall

The Founders told us how they wanted i to be. The Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Why is there even a question?

Mikey McD

Greg G, agreed. A bit more color by the authors of the constitution would have been welcome. Especially the Commerce Clause (not to mention 2nd amendment).

wmartin

"I would agree that the founders would no doubt be appalled at the depth of government involvement in everyday life, but I still maintain that it's hard to say how they would have handled the problems of modern America."

I think it's safe to say that they wouldn't behave like the modern political class. Things have evolved a lot since then, but as I said, I can't say that they're more complex.

Take something as 'simple' as crime and punishment. Jails, at least the long term variety, were fairly unusual two hundred years ago. It takes a lot of excess cash to finance the warehousing of people for any length of time.

My guess (and it's only a guess of course) is that an 18th century head of state would look at our prison population and do the following:

. Release a good chunk of people who are in for drug crimes. Drug use (like gambling) was dealt with by being in the shadows, not by getting the government involved.
. Fine the bejeepers out of the people who are in for crimes involving money.
. Severely beat miscreants. Flogging is cheap and makes for fine public entertainment.
. Hang the people that need hanging.

Greg Goodknight

RL, a quibble. The body Constitution really had little (really, nothing) to say about rights, those were deferred to the amendments. The Constitution was a limited and enumerated ceding of powers to the central government.

And even the Bill of Rights were originally only binding on the Federal government. One by one, the individual rights of the Amendments were applied also to state laws. For example, the 2nd Amendment was only last year found by the Supremes to describe an individual right and limited the individual states power to infringe upon it.

Mikey McD

More in our "Free Markets Solutions" segment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0Aql1re0FY&feature=player_embedded#at=355

George Rebane

Two cents on two points -

The 2nd Amendment's meaning was well known to '99.999%' of Americans for 200 years. It was only recently when gun control became the cause celebre that it is and the 2nd Amendment required a ruling by the Supremes.

Need more workers and fewer bosses? Maybe, but given the global labor market, how much are we going to pay these workers for doing what?

Paul Emery

Back to this

Governance is nearly impossible in either cultural configuration. I am questioning whether tax structures are a moral issue.

By the way, wasn't Hitler striving for a mono-culture?

Todd Juvinall

Taxes are also a moral issue. Yes, I believe that. If you use the tax code to manipulate peoples behavior, yep.

George Rebane

Paul, as I said in '22 May 2011 at 10:11 PM', tax structures (of legitimate governments) are not a moral issue, especially if the the governed comprise a multi-cultural society with different sets of mores.

Yes, I believe Hitler was striving for a mono-culture; your point?

Todd Juvinall

He is stuck on Hitler.

Mikey McD

I equate taxes to stealing (when taxes are enforced without respect to equality among citizens, when a class of people is openly and aggressively targeted, used a punishment, etc).

Interestingly, I believe taxes to be a moral obligation of each adult citizen (at realistic and equitable measures).

Paul Emery

It looks like we agree that tax structures are not a moral issue. In your opinion was Hitlers rise to power in any significant way a reaction to multi-culturalism?

George Rebane

Mikey - good point on identifying the PAYMENT of taxes as a moral obligation. My reply to PaulE presumed that the government assessing taxes is legitimate in the sense that it governs with the consent of the governed. In that case such "realistic and equitable" tax rates per se are extra-moral as part of the operational process of a moral government.

Conversely, all monies extracted from citizens by an illegitimate government are immoral since such extractions are armed robbery committed wholesale.

PaulE, Hitler's rise to power was overwhelmingly due to the "betrayal of German people" imposed by the Allies in the Treaty of Versailles and the blockade of German ports that followed. The political dimension that helped was the militancy of the German communists who became prominent in the labor movement after Weimar. The multi-cultural connection came in through the prominence of Jews in the braintrust of international communism, especially in the Bolshevik leadership in Russia transforming itself into the USSR.

Paul Emery

So in your opinion Hitlers vendetta agaisn't the Jews was primarily because they were a prominent part of international Communism. Wow. That's going to take me down a response path I don't have time to follow right now. What about his attempt to anniliate the Gypsies? Were they part of the Commmunist movement as well?

Paul Emery

Also George and Mikey. Is our current government legitimate by your defination?

Todd

Join in if you have something to say.

George Rebane

Paul, the gypsies, demented, disabled, even Christian fundamentalists, etc were added by the Third Reich to the class of undesirables that was primarily populated by the Jews. Everyone had a reason for being eliminated to 'purify' the Aryan master race. Hard for me to believe that you thought that these all may have been communists - you were just trying to get me to bite, right?

Students of history recall that the Jews have been the default scapegoats wherever they lived ever since their Roman Diaspora (They had a few others before at the hands of the Egyptians and Babylonians.)

And yes, our current government, no matter how misguided, is indeed legitimate. We have done it to ourselves, and continue to do so even as we recall Jefferson's 'A nation ignorant and free, that never was and never shall be.'

Paul Emery

But from your stated perspective it was because they were involved with the Communists that Hitler went after them. Obviously the Gypsies were a different story. From your view of History were the Jews ever an assimilated culture in Europe? If not they wouldn't they have been part of the multi-cultural dilemma that you articulate so well?

Again George and Mikey. Do you consider the current U.S. government legitimate?


Mikey McD

"yes, our current government, no matter how misguided, is indeed legitimate. We have done it to ourselves, and continue to do so"

Agreed.

Todd Juvinall

Paul, all you need to o is watch channel 275 for a 24/7 Hitler fest. I think the channel is a Ted Turner favorite. They people that influenced Hitler in his youth and in the few years after WW1 instilled the Aryan crap into him. He saw a use for it and when in power used them to further his insanity. The commies, trade unionists and all the rest were of no use for his dream of the master race. Tell us Paul, what is your view on this. Interject at any time.

Greg Goodknight

Paul, by using the H-word, you have performed a forfeit according to Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

Better luck next time!

Todd Juvinall

Yep!

Steven Frisch

Greg, by using, and your cohorts continuously using the C-word, you have performed a forfeit according to Frisch's Law of bull____ Communist analogies!

Steven Frisch

Hey Paul, didn't you realize that the rise of Hitler, Nuremberg Laws, and Final Solution were all because there were a few Jews in the leadership of communist parties in eastern Europe? Jews died because the Allies were unfair to the Germans!

D. King

Oh Snap! Snap! (Synaptic)

Todd Juvinall

For a self important smarty of history Frisch has a need of some redos.

Paul Emery

Rebane writes

"Unfortunately, when morals no longer dictate behavior, the obvious presence of force and its ready application must."

I think it's quite legitimate to look at the rise of Nazi Germany when a discussion of mono-culturalism takes place. Is this an example of the repercussions of multi-culturalism when the state rises to power because of the lack of a consensus of morality? If not Nazi Germany then please give me some other examples.

Brad Croul

Corollary to Godwins law: Following a demonstration of Godwin's Law in action, the first person to refer to Godwin's Law also loses.
Sorry Greg.

Brad Croul

My corollary: As the number of posts approaches infinity, relevancy approaches "0".

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