wdg3rd on January 18, 2009, 10:28:16 pm

Two, pork is inevitable.  I once read the reason the Challenger blew up could ultimately be pinned on a congresscritter from Utah.  He wanted the boosters built in his state.  This required they be in small enough chunks to ship by rail.  This necessitated o-rings.  That big supercollider that was started, (and never finished) in Texas, as I heard it, was intended for Oklahoma.  Texas had more clout.  NASA was  MOVED to Houston because one of the congresscritters who held the purse strings was from Texas.  Even if every line was actually for the stated legislation...where does it get executed?  Even military bases have to land somewhere, and that somewhere benefits from the boost to the economy, so people lobby, (and steal land, or steal the value of land,) to attract, or keep, military bases.

That particular congresscritter was Lyndon Baines Johnson.  Promised JFK Texas electoral votes in exchange for the vice presidency and control from Texas over launches from Florida.  Unsigned, unsealed, but delivered.  After that deal he was one magic bullet away from the presidency.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Leviathan on January 19, 2009, 01:25:19 pm
Rocketman,
Arthur C. Clark had a similar idea in one of his books.  The one that took place on that water planet.  The presidency was by draft, randomly selected every four years.  They did end up with comparatively minor governance in his vision, the president's main objectives ended up being to get through his or her time of service with as little fuss as possible so they could return to private life afterwards.  Of course, it wouldn't work that way.  Imagine, if you will, the drafted president coming into office.  First, you're getting a complete wildcard for political ideals.  They could be an anarchist, like myself.  Or they could be a complete fascist, ruling with an iron fist.  Which one of their politically appointed judges will hold them accountable for anything they do while in office?  Second, corruption.  Whether appointed or elected, there's plenty of incentive to try and buy the politician's favor.  And as it's still a monopoly position, it'd be ripe for the smoke-filled back room shenanigans, even if it just means some other group is holding a literal sword of damocles over their heads.  Third, essentially what Sean Roach mentioned.  Those in power would have the ability to tinker with the qualifications for that office.  Ensure the educational system at large doesn't teach some obscure fact, and make a doctoral-level knowledge of that fact a prerequisite for being in the office.  Or tinker with the defintion of criminality so most of the population is disqualified.  Or, if it's an "independent" yet still government-granted monopoly on education and media, simply control what people believe about governance.  You'll, once in a great while, get one of the exceptions drafted.  But they'd be the minority and never really get much removed.

And, as far as bills that only reduce the size and scope of government...  Have you noticed something about "deregulation" of industries?  How it never really seems to remove real regulation and often just makes more hoops that must be jumped through to enter an industry?  And how most psychotically of all, when this non-deregulation causes chaos and heartache they proclaim loudly that this proves we need government and more regulation!  I can't see this pattern changing significantly just because you've written on a piece of paper that they must only submit reduction bills.  Same basic problem with adding "savings" to his salary.  How do you define savings?  It's like the stereotype of the spouse who shops all the sales in town, buying 10x what would've ordinarily be bought, and "saves" the couple into the poor house.  Hell, I don't doubt that there'll be myriad forms of in-dealing in a true anarchy between the various corporations.  Just that should they start initiating force to get their way, they'll still have enough competition to show them what their ass looks like while it's flying through the air in little bitty chunks.

As far as making a huge, complicated, intricate legal system to try and ensure no/few loopholes to be jumped through?  Dude.  The more complex the "legal system", the more you need lawyers.  Why?  Because, nobody else can fucking understand what is and isn't legal.  And even they usually couldn't tell you, because in many ways it's up to judicial whim whether enforcement is anything close to the meaning of the legislation.  Why not just have commonlaw?  Contracts with security companies for many aspects, and arbitration by mutual consent as an overall mechanism for resolving disputes?  Why have somebody coming in with a gun, threatening me into doing what they say?  Like anarchists (such as myself) keep pointing out, if it weren't the cops coming in doing so your first instinct would be to call them on the lunatic criminal trying to extort you.

Sean Roach,
Did you not read the probability broach?  Did you think the whiskey tax, alien and sedition acts, central bank, and all of the various measures gov did pretty much immediately were in keeping with even the less than minarchistic ideals of most of the signers?  Or possibly think that they were fictional?  I think it was Jefferson himself that essentially said, "Well, the people have put up with violations of some of this stuff for awhile now.  I guess that makes it legal!"

wdg3rd,
I'll leave it at "I don't think it was an inside job, but I really really really REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to get into it.  Ever again."

Minna-san (everyone),
Government has always been a matter of human-farming.  Slavelords over their subjects.  The wonderful protection of the local lord was only even remotely possible because of fearmongering and religious indoctrination, because much more often than barbarian raids were the lord's own troops raping and pillaging their towns!  This isn't a tradition of wonderful goodness!  This isn't a tradition of mutual defense agencies!  This is a tradition of slavery!  Trying to make it wonderful and good is like trying to rejoice in a child of rape and raise it well.  Even if some good comes out of it, it's ultimately an evil thing that is going on!

And one of the only fucking objectivists I know of who is willing to say so is Stefan Molyneux.  Almost every other Objectivist I've ever run across is keen on introducing people to "objectivist morality" at gunpoint.  This was, heh, the original topic.  And this was my real point.  The inherent contradiction that most people get into when they think Objectivism.  They end up seeing it as a justification for their tyrannical leanings.  Even Rand herself couldn't abandon that last shred of the real implications: if a morality is objective, it can be arrived at independently by all parties.  It doesn't need a central authority to administer it.  Yet probably 99% of people into Rand are into a centralized, tyrannical power.  And this is why I can't endorse it.  Because no matter how lovely the ideas may be, or how right some of the concepts are, Rand's words don't resonate with liberty.

Rocketman on January 19, 2009, 06:45:14 pm
Leviathan:
     I pretty much covered everything that you did, only when I did I saw it from the standpoint of the glass being half full, while you seem to see it as the glass being half empty.  I didn't read the Arthur C. Clark story (at least I don't think that I did) but it doesn't surprise me that someone would come up with a identical or at least near identical idea.  As far as a fascist getting into power, remember about anyone being able to sue the ex-president as soon as he leaves office.  It would send a pretty strong signal for any "tyrant wantabee" coming after him if the ex-pres lost the court case and was sued right down to his belly button lint.  Kind of takes the fun out of being a tyrant.  That's why I said individuals could sue and not governments.  I have noticed about the "deregulation" of government the same as you have.  I agree that it no such thing but there an old saying that kind of fits the situation here "Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan"  meaning that the socialist commentators always tell the public that things like the Madoff scandal is a "failure of the free market" while every modest success (and their are less and less of them recently) show that big government is keeping us all safe when it's the exact opposite is true.

Leviathan on January 20, 2009, 01:28:01 am
Okay, listen to me on this one.  Listen well.  Who makes the courts?  The laws?  Who puts the judges into power who judge those who have just left office?  And if that person has managed to seize that government's resources over their tenure in a monopoly spot, gotten them to support a more... permanent leadership, who tells the monopoly no?  The only real reason it hasn't happened here is because of the group dynamic.  The man may no longer be in power, but the body politic he's a member of remains.  No matter how you dress it up, governing is a form of slavery.  Please, stop trying to find creative ways to make me a slave.

Rocketman on January 20, 2009, 09:19:20 pm
Leviathan:  Okay then, let's go over this again.  Theoretically, I agree with your ideals.  If it was a perfect world, people could govern themselves and there would be no reason for government.   That's always something to shoot for.   Realistically, that's not what we have got.   Many people in government are corrupt, but not all of them are.  I'm reminded of "Deep Throat" who gave Burnstein and Woodward the information that they needed to bring down a power hungry and corrupt president (Nixon).  Years later we learned that he was the number two man at the FBI and he was the lead investigator to find out who "deep throat" was.  No one could make this stuff up.  Some people are willing to do the right thing for the right reason because it is the right....thing.  I recently read a story about a german woman named Irene who helped smuggle out to safety several thousand jewish infants and toddlers out of the Warsaw ghetto.  She was caught by the Nazi's and her arms and legs were broken.  She recently died at the age of 96.  She did the right thing for the right reason even though at the time she would have been perfectly safe doing nothing.  Maybe your right and the judge would let the ex-pres off after he had been found guilty of violating his oath of office or maybe just maybe he would see that the rule of law has to be applied equally or there is no reason for the rule of law at all.  :'(
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 09:23:55 pm by Rocketman »

Sean Roach on January 20, 2009, 10:48:02 pm
I thought Deep Throat gave the info to those two reporters because he was mad at the administration over something else.

Rocketman on January 21, 2009, 10:34:19 am
My recollation is that he was fed up with the disgraceful antics of him (Nixon) bypassing the Constiution previously and that Watergate was to him the last straw.  That's the way I remember it.

Leviathan on January 21, 2009, 12:45:54 pm
Rocketman,
Okay, let's put aside the question of needing "a perfect world" for anarchy to exist.  For the moment.  If an injustice is happening but you believe that it requires a perfect scenario for it to stop, do you simply shrug and figure out ways to make that injustice more bearable?  Maybe the use of stretching and lubricant will make it less painful to go through this time?  No, you don't.  You try to stop it until your last breath is expended.  You try to stop it until the last drop of blood flows out from your veins.  You fight it to the last of your days.  Even if it requires this perfect world for us to be free, why would you want to talk about ways to try and make a marginally less onerous form of slavery?

But anarchists, the true anarchists who don't want an actual government in place whether it's an oligarchy or a tyranny of the majority, not only do not require a perfect world but are facing the fact that the world is not perfect.  You know what requires a perfect scenario, a perfect world, to work?  Government.  You have to have the perfect people in government, who will never succumb to the temptations of power.  The perfect system, which manages to exclude power-seekers and others who would use the position for their own benefit while delivering detriment to the rest of us.  The perfect media and education, which manages to keep people well-informed and able to really evaluate the actions of government.  Hell, you know one of the biggest ones it requires?  A populace willing at the drop of a hat to go "entrepreneur" and commit revolt against any government which imposes itself in a manner not explicitly consented to.  Even if that imposition is not against them but against some other group.  

The psychotic part of this is you need anarchy to make government work.  You need a populace able to act independently of government and outgun any military it puts forward, and a government able to essentially not be government.  This is a perfect world that will never come to pass.  Us ancaps just need competition and choice, and everyone gets the chance to have the world they want to have.  Whether it's submitting to an arbitrary tyrant who takes massive amounts of their income, or hiring independent companies to provide the services we use, or relying only upon ourselves and our social networks.  But I prefer to live in the real world, where government is slavery and as such to be resisted.  Not some masochistic fantasy where violence and the threat thereof, thievery, and fraud are used somehow to my betterment if every condition aligns just so.

As far as this Irene woman, it sounds like she was in fact not a powerful person in the Nazi regime.  Schindler was only influential because he was wealthy and a goyem.  These aren't people really in power doing the right thing.  These are individuals.  And I salute this Irene woman.  She did something almost nobody does anymore.  She wasn't the target of the Nazi pogrom.  Yet she fought against it the best she was able to.  And paid a terrible price for it.  But she didn't say, well, maybe we can give the jews better rations.  More heating oil.  Some better clothing.  She acted to end an injustice.  She had no chance of toppling the Nazi regime.  But she still did it.  You acknowledge this, I'm sure.  Yet when the topic is government, the answer is "yes, but we're not gonna get it.  So let's see how we can make something that will make A != A."

And yeah, it's looking like Felt wasn't so much doing the right thing, as pissed off at Nixon and trying possibly to clear the path for himself to top spot.  I rather like that page from Probability Broach here, concerning the in-fighting in government that nearly killed Win  ;D  And no, Rocketman.  He rose to #3 spot under Hoover.  He could've only collected the intelligence he did using Hoover's network.  He was disgruntled over being passed over for top spot after Hoover croaked.  He's even apparently written about his motives.  They were significantly less than lily white as the driven snow.  I mean, if he were fed up with disgraceful bypasses of the constitution...  What would he have thought about Hoover?  Hoover for fuck's sake!  The guy he expected to succeed into head of the FBI!  Hoover would've never tolerated a rogue constitutional loyalist in his ranks, much less secondary only to him and his immediate subordinate!  Hell, think on this one.  Professional burglars operating under whitehouse sanction, financing, and direction not only placed the tape in a way that it was sure to be discovered but replaced it that way when it was discovered and removed.  Is it starting to sound like another pro was involved, yet?  You can't call the cops on them, that reveals the existence of another player in this little web of deceit.  So you get them caught.  And when security is too incompetent to catch them with the first clue, you do it again so it's sure not to be an accident.  Maybe paranoid, but it certainly seems like what a covert operative might do.  And it sends something of a threat to the top if it's understood.  Anyway, this latter bit is something of a musing what-if.  The point is Felt was not operating in defense of country even by his own words.

Rocketman on January 31, 2009, 07:26:42 pm
Rocketman,
Okay, let's put aside the question of needing "a perfect world" for anarchy to exist.  For the moment.  If an injustice is happening but you believe that it requires a perfect scenario for it to stop, do you simply shrug and figure out ways to make that injustice more bearable?  Maybe the use of stretching and lubricant will make it less painful to go through this time?  No, you don't.  You try to stop it until your last breath is expended.  You try to stop it until the last drop of blood flows out from your veins.  You fight it to the last of your days.  Even if it requires this perfect world for us to be free, why would you want to talk about ways to try and make a marginally less onerous form of slavery?
No, but that's not the point.  If you make no attempt to stop it because you can't destroy it completely then you've done nothing.  If you can do anything to at least slow it down they in some small way you've made a difference.  I'm reminded of an old story about a young man and woman walking along the beach right after a powerful storm had just come ashore and seeing hundreds and hundreds of starfish laying on the beach dying.  An old man came up and started throwing them back into the ocean one by one.  The young man and woman tried to stop him.  "Your wasteing your time!"  "There are just too many of them!"  "You can't make a difference!"  The old man picked up another starfish and hurled it out as far as he could.  "I can't make a difference?"  "I made a difference with that one didn't I?"
     As far as Feld's motive, yes, I could be wrong on that.  I remember at the time that from the way that it was described on the television that he had done it for what was noble reasons, or at least that is what the announcer at the time gave the impression of and not knowing any different and not paying alot of attention to it what I believed him.    Let me give you a quote from Edmond Burke to end this "All that is neccessary for evil to triumph if for good men to do nothing."  :'(

Leviathan on January 31, 2009, 10:40:37 pm
Kinda funny for this application, if you add "Or at least for evil to remember to cut other evils in on it so they don't get spiteful."

Okay, you say it's making no attempt to stop the injustice if I advocate instead for its end and won't accept anything else but the end of the injustice.  But, really, in order to end the currently worse situation with the marginally less bad scenario you and other minarchists are proposing you would pretty much need to commit revolution.  The existing power structure is not simply going to shrug, hand over the reins, and bide its time until it can corrupt the new system.  That risks the existing power players not being at the top when it's over.  So you have to find a way to toss the current rascals out to make it happen.  But instead of saying you don't want rascals anymore once that's done, you're saying all the ways you'd like to make government kinder and gentler.  Compassionate.  Less intrusive.  Less immoral.  That maybe if we do it this way, it'll just slowly fade out until it's gone altogether.  Why even bother?  It'll just regrow and the best scenario is we've bought ourselves some time and things won't be really shitty again until after we're dead if the best happens.  If the worst happens, it'll be really shitty again almost immediately.  That is making no real attempt to stop it.  Voting, when no matter who you vote for the office the act of the vote endorses the office itself, is doing nothing.  It's especially doing nothing because even assuming there was someone who could toss that power away and make it illegal to exercise it again, they'd never end up with the office.

D.Inife on October 08, 2009, 12:49:26 pm
I would really like to see this.

Despite what many think of Ralphs way of directing live action one critic said that Cool World had B-movie directing, I think that he is an excellent director in both live action and in animation. And in rotoscope.

Rocketman on October 09, 2009, 11:37:27 am
I would really like to see this.

Despite what many think of Ralphs way of directing live action one critic said that Cool World had B-movie directing, I think that he is an excellent director in both live action and in animation. And in rotoscope.
Huh???  What does this have to do with the price of donuts in China??????????

terry_freeman on October 09, 2009, 09:32:43 pm
As for conspiracy theories, the right wing has no monopoly on those; the left has many, and I think they actually tend to be a little more accurate than the ones originated on the right.

I was just at an antiwar protest sponsored by a variety of left-wing organizations - ANSWER, several openly socialist groups, and so forth. The right-wingers and libertarians were far outnumbered. There was a huge collection of 9-11 truthers present, who were getting along just fine with, if not part of, the left-wing crowd.

Rocketman on October 10, 2009, 11:35:54 am
As for conspiracy theories, the right wing has no monopoly on those; the left has many, and I think they actually tend to be a little more accurate than the ones originated on the right.
  I have a minor disagreement with you on that.  Let me say that I'm not surprised that they're so many conspiracy theories floating around.  One reason IMHO that the tea parties are so popular right now is that the average american has finally figured out what I and a lot of other Libertarians have known for a long time.  One- You can absolutely not trust the main news media in this country to give you accurate fair and balanced news without bias.  They are owned by major corporations that to survive must toe the government line.  And they know it.  Two-You can absolutely not trust the United States government to tell you the truth.  They are always going to put the best possible "spin" on bad news, especially when the bad news is due to their stupidity and/or incompetence.  Given that is it any wonder that so many "conspiracy theories" are floating around?

wdg3rd on October 11, 2009, 11:52:20 am
As for conspiracy theories, the right wing has no monopoly on those; the left has many, and I think they actually tend to be a little more accurate than the ones originated on the right.
  I have a minor disagreement with you on that.  Let me say that I'm not surprised that they're so many conspiracy theories floating around.  One reason IMHO that the tea parties are so popular right now is that the average american has finally figured out what I and a lot of other Libertarians have known for a long time.  One- You can absolutely not trust the main news media in this country to give you accurate fair and balanced news without bias.  They are owned by major corporations that to survive must toe the government line.  And they know it.  Two-You can absolutely not trust the United States government to tell you the truth.  They are always going to put the best possible "spin" on bad news, especially when the bad news is due to their stupidity and/or incompetence.  Given that is it any wonder that so many "conspiracy theories" are floating around?

I can't tell left wing from right wing any more.  Both increase government and promote war despite the advertising.  Can any sane (I may not be at this point or on this subject) person tell me the (if any) difference aside from the old story about the old Frog legislature?
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot