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Government is not the solution to our problem, it IS the problem

post #1 of 573
Thread Starter 
Let's document the many, many instances of government action, inaction, policy, mismanagement, etc. which have exacerbated more problems than they have mitigated, or caused more problems than they have solved.

The list grows daily.

I'll kick things off with this little gem:

The Pollution Solution: Stopping the environment's worst enemy

Quote:
Our government, at the federal, state, and local levels, is the single greatest polluter in the land.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #2 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Let's document the many, many instances of government action, inaction, policy, mismanagement, etc. which have exacerbated more problems than they have mitigated, or caused more problems than they have solved.

From last week...

Homeland Security Accused of Wasting $500M on Nuke Precautions for Border
By Catherine Herridge
Published September 23, 2010
FoxNews.com
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010...ending-border/
The Department of Homeland Security has wasted up to nearly a half billion dollars in taxpayer money and time on its current plans to develop technology at the nation's borders to detect nuclear material being smuggled into the country, according to two recent GAO reports cited by a Republican senator on Thursday. In one program, the Government Accountability Office concluded the technology was being pushed too hard too fast. In another case, the equipment was too big and it didn't fit into the cargo container inspection lanes. This is not a picture of good government at work, said Gene Aloise, a senior investigator with the GAO who covers homeland security. He added that the department had been warned repeatedly about the problems. It's not good government, it's not best practices and in some cases it wasn't even common sense.
post #3 of 573
Quote:
Our government, at the federal, state, and local levels, is the single greatest polluter in the land.

I don't know if it's our government that can make that claim, when Russian nuclear reactor and missile waste litters the ocean, many more of their nuclear submarines are rotting away in drydock, and nuclear waste sites abound:

Russian nuclear waste in watery limbo

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Until 1990, the Soviet Navy routinely dumped radioactive waste in Far Eastern and Arctic waters. ... between 1964 and 1991 the former Soviet Union dumped the total of 4,900 containers of solid nuclear waste in Arctic seas, and 6,868 containers in the Pacific. Furthermore, the Russian navy simply sank 57 vessels filled with nuclear waste. Sixteen decommissioned reactors were also sent to the deep, including six with unloaded fuel.

Of Russia's 150 decommissioned nuclear submarines, only 16 have been properly dismantled, ... The rest still have fuel in their reactors and are rusting away in Arctic and far eastern harbors, posing a threat to the environment. ... Many decommissioned submarines were in poor condition to begin with, and haven't had proper maintenance for a decade or more. Some are rusted through and are half-submerged, and many others may leak if an attempt is made to move them.

France's Nuclear Waste Heads to Russia

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4,500 to 6,000 tonnes annually - is sent to Russia, where it undergoes "enrichment" to turn it back into fuel for nuclear power plants.

Except they can't seem to keep track of it:

Nuclear Waste Piling Up at Russia's Overloaded Facilities

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Security around Russian nuclear waste facilities is very low, they warn. Any country sending nuclear waste to Russia must understand that there is a high risk that the waste might end up in the hands of terrorists and could be used for weapons of mass destruction.

"Anyone who is able to pay some hundreds of Rubles (US$20-30) to the security guards, can get into the secured areas" at Mayak, they write. They explain that the social situation in many closed nuclear units and settlements near nuclear power plants is "socially unfavorable," for personnel. "Alcohol and drug addictions are widespread." In addition to these problems, smuggling of radioactive materials is taking place under the noses of customs officials, the authors say.

Russian nuclear waste dumped off Sweden

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Historically, the Soviet Union and Russia have disposed of radioactive waste in three ways: by dumping it into the Baltic and Arctic Seas as well as into the northern Pacific (primarily the Sea of Japan); by placing it in storage sites on the Kola Peninsula in the Russian North, and on the Shkotovo and Kamchatka Peninsulas in the Russian Far East; and by holding radioactive waste on storage ships servicing the Northern and Pacific fleets... These methods of radioactive waste disposal, coupled with a series of submarine accidents, have resulted in the contamination of naval facilities, as well as their surrounding environments. Continued contamination of the Arctic and northern Pacific regions poses a serious threat to marine ecology and could have significant economic and social costs for Russia, Japan, and the Scandinavian countries that maintain fisheries in these areas.

The Russian Northern Fleet Nuclear submarine accidents

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The nuclear submarine Komsomolets sank in the Norwegian Sea on April 7, 1989, south of Bear Island. The submarine sank with its reactor and two nuclear warheads on board, and lies at a depth of 1 685 metres.

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...gamma radiation in the reactor compartment increased to 150 R/h. Radioactive gases were released to the reactor compartment from the safety buffer tank, and radiation on board the submarine increased. The reactor was shut down, and approximately 20% of the fuel assemblies were damaged. ... The entire submarine was scuttled in the Kara Sea in 1981.

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... K-192 was laid up at the base facility in the Ara Bay until 1994 when it was towed to Navy yard No. 10 - Shkval. Compressed air is now pumped into the hull to maintain buoyancy. The fuel assemblies in the damaged reactor cannot be removed by standard procedures.

The list goes on... and on... and on, and that includes only what we know about.

And tree-huggers are worried about styrofoam cups.
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post #4 of 573
I have several, courtesy of my local electric company, since I won't pay a nickel for the damn twisty things. Two of them burned out after several months. How much was that supposed to save?

Good thing I didn't break 'em. I don't know what happened after the trash hauler threw the bags in his truck, though.
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post #5 of 573
The examples are too numerous for me to mention, but this should be an enjoyable thread.

(Sits back and watches the show)

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #6 of 573
And of course when Government does one particular thing inefficiently, then the solution is to get rid of government.

If something doesn't work right, you fix it. You don't throw it away.
post #7 of 573
Thread Starter 
Who said the solution is anarchy?

Less government - LIMITED government is the real solution.

When the government oversteps its constitutional bounds, we get stuff like this:

Federal Make-Work Jobs Betray Teenagers

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #8 of 573
It's a self-fulfulling prophecy. Republicans run on "government is useless, government can't do anything right." Then, when they get elected and inevitably block good legislation or act like corrupt hypocrites, they get to say "SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, WE TOLD YOU GOV'T DOESN'T WORK! DON'T ELECT PEOPLE WHO THINK IT CAN! ELECT US!!!!!"

Also, can we have a "letting corporations do whatever the fuck they want is a far worse alternative" thread?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #9 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Who said the solution is anarchy?

Less government - LIMITED government is the real solution.

When the government oversteps its constitutional bounds, we get stuff like this:

Federal Make-Work Jobs Betray Teenagers

Anyway, the first thing we should do to make Government more efficient is to get rid of the filibuster. I don't care if it's done when the Republicans have a majority or when the Democrats have a majority. It needs to be killed.
post #10 of 573
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Anyway, the first thing we should do to make Government more efficient is to get rid of the filibuster. I don't care if it's done when the Republicans have a majority or when the Democrats have a majority. It needs to be killed.

If we can't return the government to its Constitutional limits, the next best thing is for it to remain as stagnant as possible.

Eliminate the filibuster and the result will be the government exacerbating or creating even more problems with more frequency.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #11 of 573
Thread Starter 
Watch the following documentary. It is old (1985), but still quite relevant and illuminating as to just how "effective" the War on Poverty has been.

Good Intentions

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #12 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Anyway, the first thing we should do to make Government more efficient is to get rid of the filibuster. I don't care if it's done when the Republicans have a majority or when the Democrats have a majority. It needs to be killed.

THE FILIBUSTER IS NOT THE PROBLEM...

Spineless democrats now have responsibility and majorities in the House, Senate, and White House but they pathetically blame the filibuster as their Achilles' heel; sorry, the filibuster is not the problem! Democrats (and Republicans) problem, and the government's problem to a large degree, is FAILURE TO LISTEN TO AMERICANS. That is what gave rise to the Tea Party - that government has failed to listen to America. The phenomenal growth of bureaucracy is the problem; a bureaucracy that exists separate and apart from the rest of the nation. Our national infrastructure is crumbing but the U.S. Government is building monoliths of government buildings to house its largess. Our state roads are in terrible shape but Washington is pouring money into federalism in Washington; government, particularly the federal government, has moved away from Americans and that is the problem; the filibuster is not the problem!
post #13 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Anyway, the first thing we should do to make Government more efficient is to get rid of the filibuster. I don't care if it's done when the Republicans have a majority or when the Democrats have a majority. It needs to be killed.

A lot of things need to be killed in Washington, but I would caution against more efficiency in the Senate. More efficiency can easily become more oppressive.

The Senate was intended to be the more learned, deliberative body of Congress. Its filibuster and cloture rules evolved gradually over the past century and a half. Their constitutionality has always been debatable, but advocating removal of the filibuster brings Senate rules closer to the House, further muddying any distinction between the two.

I think you'd have to dig deeper to find the roots of government's failure. Your research would be incomplete without addressing the 17th amendment, which took Senate appointments away from the States and turned it over to the people. The intent was to have more populist control over the Senate, but it also served to significantly diminish state rights in favor of Federalism.

The 17th was adopted in 1913. A lot of ill traces its lineage back to that time
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post #14 of 573
Thread Starter 
A fantastic and oft-overlooked point about the 17th Amendment, john galt. I think much ill has its beginnings in the 16th, as well.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #15 of 573
Oh, and hey, the Fed was created that year too.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #16 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Oh, and hey, the Fed was created that year too.

That's exactly what I meant when I wrote

Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt View Post

... A lot of ill traces its lineage back to that time
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post #17 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt View Post

That's exactly what I meant when I wrote

Yeah. The more one looks, the more clear it becomes that 1913 was the most discernible beginning of the end.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #18 of 573
And... the first week in March is proclaimed "cuss free". I presume the legislature is scheduled to be in recess then.

Quote:
"If we all focus on the budget, then we're going to crash," says Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, who persuaded colleagues to pass her plan to create the "Lobster Management Enhancement Advisory Committee." It is designed to help the state's estimated 200 lobstermen trap California spiny lobsters.

With the state's fourteen known lobsters now safe in their pots, let's all turn our attention to... the state rock!

Quote:
"It is the intent of the Legislature to remove serpentine as the State Rock and provide for a suitable replacement." The problem is, serpentine can contain small amounts of asbestos. "We shouldn't have a known carcinogen as the California state rock," says Ms. Romero, a Democrat.

Your tax dollars at work!

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"The state's broke," says Assemblyman Chris Norby, a Republican. "Is this really what we should be spending our time on?"

Mr Norby, with your state in the hole budget-wise, I'd imagine your question is... moo.

There's No Budget, but California Is All Over the Foreign-Cow Issue
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post #19 of 573
Subpoena power in BP oil spill investigation blocked by Senate Republicans


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Blocking subpoena power in disaster investigative commissions is unheard of. The terrorists crisis, the financial crisis and Three Mile Island commissions all had subpoena power. However, Senate Republicans gave no explanation on Monday when they blocked the Presidential Commission on the BP oil spill from having subpoena power to conduct the investigation.
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post #20 of 573
if you were president of the United States what would you do to make the country better?
post #21 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Anyway, the first thing we should do to make Government more efficient is to get rid of the filibuster. I don't care if it's done when the Republicans have a majority or when the Democrats have a majority. It needs to be killed.

I agree with you 100%. That is the republicans answer filibuster everything they see or hear about.
post #22 of 573
Government is not the problem - mindless sheep giving Governments complete carte blanche and defending their every action whilst giving away their Rights like Turkeys voting for Xmas are the problem.

Governments would not be any problem ever if there were not brain-dead morons who believed everything their 'leaders' ever say.

Example: choose post at random in PO, chances are it will be by an wingnut. If not just try again - there you have your examples.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #23 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Government is not the problem - mindless sheep giving Governments complete carte blanche and defending their every action whilst giving away their Rights like Turkeys voting for Xmas are the problem.

Governments would not be any problem ever if there were not brain-dead morons who believed everything their 'leaders' ever say.

Quite true I think. Now, how do the masses become "brain-dead morons" and "mindless sheep?"

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #24 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Quite true I think. Now, how do the masses become "brain-dead morons" and "mindless sheep?"

They just are.

Governments get elected by pandering to their bias.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #25 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Governments get elected by pandering to their bias.

I agree with that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

They just are.

Seems like a weak answer, especially from you. Is there some deeper, root problem in all this that we ought to be looking at or, lacking that, some way we could limit the impact of it?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #26 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Seems like a weak answer, especially from you. Is there some deeper, root problem in all this that we ought to be looking at or, lacking that, some way we could limit the impact of it?

I think it's something to do with fear.

Fear of retribution from the Government, fear of crime which the Government could save you from, fear of insecurity, fear of 'the other', fear of being yourself, fear of being different.

Just fear. Everyone has a different fear and different Governments play on it in different ways but it's fear, fear, fear....all the way down.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #27 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

I think it's something to do with fear.

Fear of retribution from the Government, fear of crime which the Government could save you from, fear of insecurity, fear of 'the other', fear of being yourself, fear of being different.

Just fear. Everyone has a different fear and different Governments play on it in different ways but it's fear, fear, fear....all the way down.

I agree. Politicians of all stripes play on people's fears. They enunciate those fears and then offer a solution to them. But I still feel like we're talking about symptoms more than root causes. If I said to you that I feared Muslims because I thought they were all terrorists, what would you tell me? What would think my real problem is? What might be done to fix this problem?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #28 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I agree. Politicians of all stripes play on people's fears. They enunciate those fears and then offer a solution to them. But I still feel like we're talking about symptoms more than root causes.

I guess the root causes must go way back into the dawn of man and became part of evolutionary make-up over time.

Maybe in pre-historic societies the fearless guys were out hunting and these were the guys who also protected the tribe.

The fearful ones maybe stayed home along with the women in the cave and left it to the hunters to provide food and look after them.

These 'warriors' probably became the leaders - along with the priest-types; druids, shamans etc - when society evolved but the dynamic remained the same.

The scared ones were scared of buffalo, other tribes, sabre-tooth tigers....maybe even scared of the hunters and the Witch-doctor shamans too and this is why they could not lead (didn't want to) so were happy to leave the warriors and shaman/priests to take power and rule over them. With the advent of democracy they just continued - only they actually voted for it instead of just letting it happen.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #29 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

if you were president of the United States what would you do to make the country better?

resign
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post #30 of 573
Thread Starter 
seg, here is a piece published just today that expands upon your point about fear:

How Liberals and Conservatives use Fear-Mongering to Promote Statism

Quote:
When President Obama announced a new $50 billion stimulus plan Labor Day weekend, conservatives scoffed -- and rightfully so.

Who does this guy think he's fooling? After the $700 billion TARP bailout, the auto manufacturer bailout, and an $800 billion stimulus, does this president actually think a measly $50 billion is going to successfully turn around an economy where greater sums have failed? But the president and his party have a ready reply for such naysayers: "Imagine if we did nothing?" This open-ended question will undoubtedly continue to provide cover for stimulus-loving liberals, no matter how often conservatives insist that their government intervention simply doesn't work.

When my commentary on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 was broadcast on WTMA, a number of callers were angry I suggested that our policy of foreign intervention does not work. No matter how much I explained how our incompetent government does more damage than good abroad, my critics sounded pretty much like Obama: "But Jack, imagine if we did nothing?"

So yes, let's imagine these scenarios. What if the Federal Reserve had never artificially lowered interest rates and created a housing bubble? What if the Fed had not printed literally countless dollars out of thin air, further weakening our currency? What if we never had borrowed money from China to pay for bailouts and stimulus? Would we be worse off financially than if the government had never done any of these things? Any conservative worth his salt recognizes the absurdity of these arguments and also recognizes that such fear-mongering is typically used as an excuse for more statism.

But such fear-mongering is also used by those on the Right to support our equally statist foreign policy, particularly when they portray radical Islam as somehow a threat on par with the Soviet Union or talk radio's favorite comparison, the Nazis. Although I agreed with some callers that there probably is a uniquely medieval aspect to Islam not present or as prominent in other major religions, I asked, "Why did Americans not have to worry about Islamic terrorism in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s? What has changed? Islam? Or our foreign policy?" The question answers itself in the sense that we don't have to "imagine" what might happen if we "did nothing" in the Middle East today, precisely because when we did little to nothing decades ago, there was no terrorist threat to the United States.

A few of my critics immediately and predictably called me an "isolationist" in much the same way Obama now chides conservative Republicans as belonging to the "Party of No" for opposing every new government intervention the Democrats come up with. Government must do something, you see, and no doubt Obama would readily paint anti-stimulus Republicans as some sort of domestic, economic "isolationists" if such jargon came into fashion. Luckily for conservative hawks, such jargon is well-established but is no less absurd. Compared to how engaged we are today in the Middle East, did the U.S. have an "isolationist" policy toward that region in the first half of the 20th century? Is Switzerland asking for trouble due to their long history of neutrality or isolationism? Are 99 percent of nations "isolationist" for not mimicking the foreign policy of the U.S., arguably the most ambitious imperial power in world history?

When conservatives suggest that we should apply free market solutions to financial crises, liberals dismiss those who make such proposals as libertarian wackos who don't realize that it was the lack of government regulation that led to such problems in the first place. This is similar to the claim many conservatives make concerning foreign policy: that if the U.S. does not drop bombs on certain Third World countries indefinitely, station troops in some Mideast sand pit for decades on end, and regulate the world stage, our refusal to do all this will somehow put Americans at risk.

It's time for both sides to start imagining what they fear most: What if we did nothing? What if our federal government didn't spend or borrow beyond its means or constantly meddle domestically? What if our federal government did not constantly intervene overseas, spending and borrowing well beyond its means to do so?

We used to have a Constitution which restricted our federal government from doing such damage, and if we could only return to that charter, this entire column would be a moot point. Yet the prevailing belief that government must always do something both domestically and abroad will not be discarded by the Left or Right anytime soon. Both sides have an enduring attachment to statism, born not only of their particular ideologies but political identities, and they will continue to create new problems using government intervention in the name of solving old ones, blind to the fact that the larger mess is almost entirely of their own making.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #31 of 573
Thread Starter 
For those railing against corporations as the real root of our problems: do you not realize that our government is the largest, most bloated, most unethical, most corrupt corporation of them all?

PROMISES, PROMISES: Pelosi ethics pledge falters

Quote:
WASHINGTON House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised four years ago that Democrats would lead "the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history."

But as her party defends its record with its majority in jeopardy, two prominent Democrats await ethics trials. Two other party members gave Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships to relatives. Most importantly, lobbyists, corporations and special interests still have unimpeded ways to buy access to members of Congress.

Take House Majority Whip James Clyburn's annual charity golf tournament, which provides college scholarships for needy students in his South Carolina district and funds the endowment he established at South Carolina State University.

It sounds like a worthy cause, but it's a stretch to believe that national companies which sponsored the event randomly chose students in the 6th District of South Carolina as a priority for charitable giving.

"It really doesn't matter what the money is used for," says Fred Wertheimer, who heads the Congress-watching private group Democracy 21. "If you're asked to provide a large amount of money for something that is important to a member, you are doing a financial favor for the member. That benefit buys influence."

Wertheimer credits Pelosi with going far beyond previous speakers, saying she changed what Democrats once called a "culture of corruption" under Republican rule.

Yet, her reforms didn't touch access-buying opportunities like campaign fundraisers, corporate-sponsored events for informal lawmaker organizations, or sports tournaments held by members' charities.

The Sunlight Foundation, which tracks congressional fundraising events, has identified more than 9,500 since President George W. Bush signed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act in September 2007. The law embodies reforms cited by Pelosi as proof that she kept her promise to "drain the swamp" of congressional corruption.

Pelosi was instrumental in winning increased disclosure of lobbyists' spending and contributions; a ban on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers; the end of cheap rides on corporate jets; curtailment of privately financed trips that often amounted to free vacations; creation of an independent ethics office; and the identification of sponsors of "earmarks" congressional spending given to favored recipients, who often returned the favor with campaign contributions.

And while it may be just good fortune, Democrats can claim that another Jack Abramoff has not arisen on their watch. The influence-peddling lobbyist, who showered lawmakers and their staffs with favors and eventually went to prison, had strong ties to Republicans.
One Pelosi reform failed miserably when given a reality check.

An Associated Press review last year found that few members of Congress were disclosing that lobbyists were helping them raise campaign cash despite a provision of the Honest Leadership law designed to shed light on the ties between lawmakers and the capital's influence brokers.

Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said Democrats "have taken major steps to fulfill this promise, including passing the landmark Honest Leadership and Open Government Act in 2007 and creating the independent, bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics in 2008. As we consider further reform, we will examine updating these laws and the bipartisan comprehensive campaign finance reform law passed in 2002."

Pelosi favors public financing of campaigns, but hasn't had the votes to pass it. If she remains speaker, she'll face a major test early next year on retaining the independent House Office of Congressional Ethics, which she calls a success story.

The office, which conducts preliminary ethics investigations, is run by a board of non-legislators. Its investigations have irritated enough members that several want to curb its authority or eliminate it. Republicans almost succeeded in blocking creation of the office in 2008, as Pelosi won a 207-206 procedural vote to have the matter considered.

Republicans, trying to win back control of the House, now cite ethics charges against Reps. Charles Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California to argue that the speaker broke her word to run the most ethical Congress.

Rangel, former chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, is charged with financial and fundraising misconduct, and has acknowledged some ethical lapses.
Waters, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, is contesting allegations that she sought federal aid for a bank where her husband is an investor.

Republicans on the House ethics committee demanded Tuesday that the Rangel and Waters trials be completed before the November elections.

The Republican decision to issue the demand in a public statement and expose a partisan rift in the committee makes it unlikely that Democrats would agree to October trials.

Democrats can now argue that the GOP wants to politicize the trials by having them in the weeks before the election and that it would be more fair to wait until after the voting.

Recent news reports also revealed that Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., awarded Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships to relatives. The foundation has close ties to the Congressional Black Caucus, although it is run separately as a tax-exempt organization.

And last week former lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, who helped defense clients secure government contracts, pleaded guilty to illegally funneling more than $380,000 in campaign contributions to House members controlling the Pentagon's budget. Three top Democrats he worked with Jim Moran of Virginia, Peter Visclosky of Indiana and the late John Murtha of Pennsylvania directed $137 million in defense contracts to the lobbyist's clients.

While no member of Congress has been criminally charged or found to have violated House rules, outside ethics watchdog groups have criticized the lawmakers' conduct.
Melanie Sloan, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a former Democratic congressional aide, said Pelosi has brought about the culture change she promised.

She cites the end of the Republican "K Street Project," used by former GOP leader Tom DeLay of Texas to pressure lobbying firms to hire Republicans who then were given access to top officials.

Republicans are dismissive. Rep. Dan Lungren, the former attorney general of California, said many of the ethics improvements Pelosi takes credit for were the result of bipartisan agreements on the 2007 Honest Leadership law. Republicans were first with the idea of identifying sponsors of special-interest spending, he said.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #32 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

For those railing against corporations as the real root of our problems: do you not realize that our government is the largest, most bloated, most unethical, most corrupt corporation of them all?

It's not the first time Democrats have promised the most ethical administration in the history of the country.
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post #33 of 573
Thread Starter 
$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps

I'm so glad the government is working hard and spending so much of our tax money to protect us from the damaging effects of capital letters.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #34 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps

I'm so glad the government is working hard and spending so much of our tax money to protect us from the damaging effects of capital letters.

Not to mention being a stunning over-reach of federal authority. Good God is there anything the feds don't want to control?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #35 of 573
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Not to mention being a stunning over-reach of federal authority. Good God is there anything the feds don't want to control?

Apparently they no longer wish to make a budget:

Congress punts tough choice until after election

Quote:
A deeply unpopular Congress is bolting for the campaign trail without finishing its most basic job - approving a budget for the government year that begins on Friday. Lawmakers also are postponing a major fight over taxes, two embarrassing ethics cases and other political hot potatoes until angry and frustrated voters render their verdict in the Nov. 2 elections.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #36 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps

I'm so glad the government is working hard and spending so much of our tax money to protect us from the damaging effects of capital letters.

A couple of highly relevant quotes from the article:


Quote:
To compensate for those concerns, in 2003, the administration allowed for a 15-year phase-in period ending in 2018.

2003?

I suppose you were aware that it's the Bush Administration you're criticizing, right?


Quote:
Although the city did not begin replacing the signs until earlier this year, Sadik-Khan said they will have no trouble meeting the deadline, as some 8,000 signs a year are replaced annually simply due to wear and tear.

So - from 2003 through 2009, they were still replacing the worn-out signs with new all-caps signs... even though they knew that they would be required to phase them out by 2018?

Sounds like a local failure to me. Someone call up Mayor Bloomberg!
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post #37 of 573
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerLurker View Post

I suppose you were aware that it's the Bush Administration you're criticizing, right?

Abso-friggin'-lutely!

I am opposed to unconstitutional government, regardless of which major party is promoting it at the time.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #38 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Abso-friggin'-lutely!

I am opposed to unconstitutional government, regardless of which major party is promoting it at the time.

Fair enough. One wonders where all those currently outraged by Big Government were back then, though. If they were just as outraged then as they are now, they sure as heck were a lot quieter about it, weren't they?

Of course, constitutionally speaking the Feds can't actually require local governments to comply with their transportation guidelines - they can only threaten to withhold Federal transportation dollars from those that do not comply.
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post #39 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerLurker View Post

Fair enough. One wonders where all those currently outraged by Big Government were back then, though. If they were just as outraged then as they are now, they sure as heck were a lot quieter about it, weren't they?

Some were. Those who have remained consistent on this point are definitely a minority. Similar to this is the huge opposition to Bush's power grabs, war on terror, wars, spending, etc...many of those people are silent in the face of the same things under Obama.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #40 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps

I'm so glad the government is working hard and spending so much of our tax money to protect us from the damaging effects of capital letters.

To say nothing of the damaging effects of the metric system: Metric Interstate Divides Arizonans
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