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What does "freedom" really mean?
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besson3c
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Jul 27, 2010, 05:09 PM
 
This word has been used over and over again so much with several logical disconnects, that I personally think it has become stale, an empty platitude, and void of any true meaning when used as political rhetoric unless there is consistency (which there rarely seems to be).

Have you observed this same disconnect, or agree that it exists?

For an example of what I mean, if a politician champions "freedom", shouldn't this include gay marriage, assisted suicide, freedom to conduct embryonic stem cell research, not preventing other religious practices and holidays in any way (even if this arguably includes building a mosque near the 9/11 site), the right to consume pot, abortion, etc. as well as the more usual associations with the word (gun control, regulation, tax, etc.)? Let's not argue any of these issues individually, but overall it seems like many of these people about freedom champion economic freedom but not social freedom (with exceptions), and vice versa. Can you truly have one without the other, hypothetically speaking?

Or, has "freedom" just become a word with an extremely sloppy definition, perhaps shorthand for something else?
     
The Final Dakar
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Jul 27, 2010, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I personally think it has become stale, an empty platitude, and void of any true meaning when used as political rhetoric unless there is consistency (which there rarely seems to be).
Is that the case for any jargon connected with politics? And even if its not, whats usually left is debate over what the correct definition is, based on each sides' political preferences.

In short, language is difficult when used by humans.
     
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Jul 27, 2010, 05:15 PM
 
In b4 Doof...oops.
     
mattyb
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Jul 27, 2010, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
This word has been used over and over again so much with several logical disconnects, that I personally think it has become stale, an empty platitude, and void of any true meaning when used as political rhetoric unless there is consistency (which there rarely seems to be).

Have you observed this same disconnect, or agree that it exists?
Yes, but not just for the word freedom. One could say that GAY suffered the same sort of fate.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
For an example of what I mean, if a politician champions "freedom", shouldn't this include gay marriage, assisted suicide, freedom to conduct embryonic stem cell research, not preventing other religious practices and holidays in any way (even if this arguably includes building a mosque near the 9/11 site), the right to consume pot, abortion, etc. as well as the more usual associations with the word (gun control, regulation, tax, etc.)? Let's not argue any of these issues individually, but overall it seems like many of these people about freedom champion economic freedom but not social freedom (with exceptions), and vice versa. Can you truly have one without the other, hypothetically speaking?

Or, has "freedom" just become a word with an extremely sloppy definition, perhaps shorthand for something else?
You have to limit humans' freedom otherwise there would be (to use simple examples) noise at 4am on a weekday, cars doing 200mph in town and kids wouldn't goto school.

I find it ironic that people who champion economic freedom ('laissez faire' economics), talk about it in a very binary way, whereas 'Da Market' is one of the most unmeasurable, emotional entities of human life.
     
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Jul 27, 2010, 06:17 PM
 
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
     
imitchellg5
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Jul 27, 2010, 06:25 PM
 
Freedom within context of nations means the freedom to have a right to do as an individual feels, as long as that persons actions aren't inhibiting to another individual.
     
iMOTOR
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Jul 27, 2010, 06:56 PM
 
Obviously, a word will have different meanings to different people, it’s just a matter of semantics. Two people can have wildly different ideas of what art is, and yet it’s really a matter of opinion to which idea is right or the truth.

Having said that; freedom is very contextual and multifaceted, there can be:

Freedom to…
Freedom from…
and Penalties for…

For example: in the US, an individual who has not had their civil liberties revoked, mostly has the unrestrained freedom to commit murder, rape, theft, trespass, etc.

And when an individual does commit murder, there are penalties for committing murder, and they will have their civil liberties taken away so that their future victims will have freedom from murder.

I disagree with your premise, besson, that the word freedom is “void of any true meaning” when it describes something that is not absolute but rather something that is conditional.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jul 27, 2010, 07:16 PM
 
iMotor: this thread is about the use of "freedom" in political rhetoric. Does what you said still apply?
     
iMOTOR
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Jul 27, 2010, 08:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
iMotor: this thread is about the use of "freedom" in political rhetoric. Does what you said still apply?
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
For an example of what I mean, if a politician champions "freedom", shouldn't this include gay marriage, assisted suicide, freedom to conduct embryonic stem cell research, etc…
As I said before: without prior restraint, you effectively have the freedom to do anything. So a politician “championing freedom” may be referring to freedom from something. Someone who is against abortion would probably champion for freedom from death for the unborn.

I myself would support freedom from gang members causing trouble in neighborhoods. See what I mean?
     
ghporter
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Jul 27, 2010, 08:50 PM
 
As our founding fathers apparently conceived it, "freedom" seems to mean "doing what you'd like to do without hurting or interfering with others' doing what they want." Since then, many issues have come up that have been contentious. For example, as a compromise, the framers of the Constitution accepted slavery-or they would have had the Southern states leave right then and there. It was not a good thing to start with, and a political compromise that left slavery intact led to almost another 100 years of the detestable practice. Clearly "anti-freedom," eh? What about doing business? Mr. John D. Rockefeller clearly thought that he was expressing his freedom by monopolizing the domestic oil business. But SCOTUS eventually disagreed because his "expressing his freedom" was also hurting others (consumers not the least).

Freedom seems to most clearly mean "self determination," but there are obviously limits on this. Some limits are based on such things as this: universal, uncontrolled self determination is blatantly chaos, not a society. We have to get along at least a little bit, so having one "self determined" person rambling off about how "those expletive minority group members have ruined our country" and then doing something about said minority group members is simply not tolerated. You can think and even say pretty much what you want, but you can't act on it if it impairs or injures others.

Oh, and whatever else it is in the United States of America today, it ain't free.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jul 28, 2010, 01:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
As I said before: without prior restraint, you effectively have the freedom to do anything. So a politician “championing freedom” may be referring to freedom from something. Someone who is against abortion would probably champion for freedom from death for the unborn.

I myself would support freedom from gang members causing trouble in neighborhoods. See what I mean?

Yes, if I'm understanding you you are saying that freedom has multiple uses as a word, and alone without context it is rather vague. I think that is the point though, the way that expressions like "taking away our freedoms" are used by politicians is also vague, and probably intentionally so.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jul 28, 2010, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Oh, and whatever else it is in the United States of America today, it ain't free.
Anything in particular that stands out as lamentable? Nothing that stands out as having improved in the past 200 years?
     
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Jul 28, 2010, 12:02 PM
 
If you don't put in your buck-oh-five, who will?

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ghporter
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Jul 28, 2010, 10:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Anything in particular that stands out as lamentable? Nothing that stands out as having improved in the past 200 years?
I'm sad that there aren't enough people around who have at least met and talked to a WWII vet. I'm sad that we pretty much forgot the folks who put up with all the crap under fire in Korea, too. And that we've had to go to the trouble of dealing with businesses that want all the perks of being "individuals" legally-except for the responsibilities that go with it. A friend of mine noted "If I killed a single endangered species, I'd be locked up faster than you can spit, but what about BP?"

I think we have managed to put a lot of historical detritus behind us. Legally "we're all just folks now." That hasn't completely changed people's attitudes and behaviors, but I actually recall the news stories about a freakin' doctor's office that had segregated waiting rooms. In 1978. The whole "them" thing about race has moved more toward "national origin" and stupid mutterings over the last several decades-it takes a lot of time to get rid of that much stupid. Oh, and we have gone through a lot of trouble, but we've established that nobody is above the law, even the president. We just need to be pretty sharp at watching people so we can catch 'em when they step over the line. I'm pretty darn proud of how we handled 1973-'74, actually.

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kylef
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Jul 29, 2010, 09:32 AM
 
In today's undeniably more dangerous world, there needs to be limits on freedom. As the danger in the world increases, so freedom must diminish. Think 9/11.
     
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Jul 29, 2010, 09:38 AM
 
Only those who threaten to take freedom away must diminish - terrorist and politician alike.
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The Final Dakar
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Jul 29, 2010, 10:24 AM
 
Thanks for the reply.

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I'm sad that there aren't enough people around who have at least met and talked to a WWII vet. I'm sad that we pretty much forgot the folks who put up with all the crap under fire in Korea, too.
Not sure how this pertains to: "it ain't free"

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
And that we've had to go to the trouble of dealing with businesses that want all the perks of being "individuals" legally-except for the responsibilities that go with it. A friend of mine noted "If I killed a single endangered species, I'd be locked up faster than you can spit, but what about BP?"
This on the other hand I understand. Not exactly an oft-discussed topic though (corporations). Would this be considered a liberal concern?

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I think we have managed to put a lot of historical detritus behind us. Legally "we're all just folks now." That hasn't completely changed people's attitudes and behaviors, but I actually recall the news stories about a freakin' doctor's office that had segregated waiting rooms. In 1978. The whole "them" thing about race has moved more toward "national origin" and stupid mutterings over the last several decades-it takes a lot of time to get rid of that much stupid. Oh, and we have gone through a lot of trouble, but we've established that nobody is above the law, even the president. We just need to be pretty sharp at watching people so we can catch 'em when they step over the line. I'm pretty darn proud of how we handled 1973-'74, actually.
So, do you think we've had a net gain or loss of social freedoms? It find the subject hard to resolve when we on one hand a social progress based on race and gender (which affect everyone everyday life) versus bizarre restrictions on marijuana and blue laws.
( Last edited by The Final Dakar; Jul 29, 2010 at 10:32 AM. )
     
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Jul 29, 2010, 11:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
In today's undeniably more dangerous world, there needs to be limits on freedom. As the danger in the world increases, so freedom must diminish. Think 9/11.
Think: Bullshit. Or just…think.

From a practical standpoint the kinds of limits on freedom we have had to endure in the name of so-called "security" don't really do shit. All they do is remove our rights and give more power to politicians. The kinds of limits on freedom that would really make us "safe" are simply unacceptable to any self-respecting free person. In fact what we have now should be unacceptable to any self-respecting free person.

The government could make us truly safer without limiting one single liberty of ours. Namely, Obliterate any country that harbors, funds or otherwise supports any faction that is a credible threat to our country. We are too squeamish to do that though. We either let them walk all over us in the name of "high-minded" civility or engage in half-assed military actions based upon strategies that only serve to prolong the conflict and endanger soldiers' lives further.

From a moral standpoint your post makes me ill. By what standard do you even make such a claim? Our government… and by extension people like you… have zero moral grounds to take personal freedoms away from free people for the sake of so-called security. I would argue that there may be certain situations, such as in all out war, where such actions may be justified but such situations are likely to be localized and brief. We are far, FAR from that kind of situation.
( Last edited by smacintush; Jul 29, 2010 at 12:03 PM. )
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Jul 29, 2010, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
The government could make us truly safer without limiting one single liberty of ours. Namely, Obliterate any country that harbors, funds or otherwise supports any faction that is a threat to our country. We are too squeamish to do that though. We either let them walk all over us in the name of "high-minded" civility or engage in half-assed military actions based upon strategies that only serve to prolong the conflict and endanger soldiers' lives further.
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Jul 29, 2010, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
In today's undeniably more dangerous world, there needs to be limits on freedom. As the danger in the world increases, so freedom must diminish. Think 9/11.
Originally Posted by Benjamin Franklin
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
That is all.
     
el chupacabra
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Jul 29, 2010, 03:50 PM
 
polititians use talk about freedom because people in this country have been brainwashed as children into believnig that freedom is part of our national identity... and that we're the free est country on earth. So the rhetoric strikes nerves with everybody. And they use it to describe taking away rights that we used to previously have.

We used to have the freedom to hunt animals for survival, to live off the land. But at some point we lost that freedom and are only allowed to hunt certain animals during a narrow window of the year. This freedom was taken for the greater good and is part of the cost of overpopulation.
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el chupacabra
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Jul 29, 2010, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

For an example of what I mean, if a politician champions "freedom", shouldn't this include gay marriage, assisted suicide, freedom to conduct embryonic stem cell research, not preventing other religious practices and holidays in any way (even if this arguably includes building a mosque near the 9/11 site), the right to consume pot, abortion, etc.
I couldnt let this slide.

there is freedom to conduct embryonic stem cell research, the fed just wont fund it. Gays are free to get married, the government just wont license it, the government has no business and should not license, or recognize any marriage. And people are free to kill themselves, you dont need assistance.
You arent special. You dont have value just because you were born. You are a net drain on the planet. Respect must be earned & your value must be proven. Endangered species are special, & their survival should take priority over your comfort.
     
kylef
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Jul 29, 2010, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Think: Bullshit. Or just…think.

From a practical standpoint the kinds of limits on freedom we have had to endure in the name of so-called "security" don't really do shit. All they do is remove our rights and give more power to politicians. The kinds of limits on freedom that would really make us "safe" are simply unacceptable to any self-respecting free person. In fact what we have now should be unacceptable to any self-respecting free person.

The government could make us truly safer without limiting one single liberty of ours. Namely, Obliterate any country that harbors, funds or otherwise supports any faction that is a credible threat to our country. We are too squeamish to do that though. We either let them walk all over us in the name of "high-minded" civility or engage in half-assed military actions based upon strategies that only serve to prolong the conflict and endanger soldiers' lives further.

From a moral standpoint your post makes me ill. By what standard do you even make such a claim? Our government… and by extension people like you… have zero moral grounds to take personal freedoms away from free people for the sake of so-called security. I would argue that there may be certain situations, such as in all out war, where such actions may be justified but such situations are likely to be localized and brief. We are far, FAR from that kind of situation.
People need limits. Are you telling me that in an America where there are 50,000 gun deaths per year, removing the likes of the second amendment wouldn't help? Freedom has a time and a place in democracy, and actions should be made to safeguard that freedom - I don't disagree - but there are fundamental limits that need to be put in place.

From a moral standpoint, your post makes me ill - we are "too squeamish" to "obliterate any country ... that is a credible threat" - wow. So you're all for freedom as long as it doesn't hinge on your rights? Should we have blown up all of Afghanistan rather than trying to bring freedom and democracy to its people? Even with limitations, I'm pretty sure the Afghan people would prefer a degree of freedom rather than US and UK forces just leaving them to die by themselves.

We are not far from all out war. North Korea, China, the Middle East, the "War on Terror" ... it takes one bad move from one bad country to create one bad war, bound by treaties and obligations. It's how World War One started and World War Two escalated. We need to learn from our mistakes and limiting freedom - only to a certain extent - does exactly that. The "certain situations" that you speak of we're already in. But no elected politician is prepared to say that.

For the record, economically, I'm a free market advocate who believes in common-sense boundaries like the government provision of merit goods. Read: Obama's healthcare reform.
     
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Jul 29, 2010, 08:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Not sure how this pertains to: "it ain't free"
Someone pays for those freedoms. Usually with blood.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
This on the other hand I understand. Not exactly an oft-discussed topic though (corporations). Would this be considered a liberal concern?
It's a PUBLIC concern. To be "good citizens," corporations need to behave more responsibly. To be profitably, corporations have to behave more responsibly. We either all win or we all lose.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
So, do you think we've had a net gain or loss of social freedoms? It find the subject hard to resolve when we on one hand a social progress based on race and gender (which affect everyone everyday life) versus bizarre restrictions on marijuana and blue laws.
In my lifetime, we have gained incredibly in social freedoms. People don't get "run out of town" for having made a poor choice of marriage partners. People don't "disappear" for the summer and "live with relatives" because they made a mistake and got pregnant. At least nowhere near as often as it used to happen. Blue laws are slowly but inexorably disappearing. It used to be illegal in Texas to sell almost anything on Sunday-now the only real limits I know about are on alcohol sales before noon on Sunday (which gives the stores time to stock the shelves). Marijuana is far less harmful than any of the other drugs on the same schedule, but you'll also notice that there are LEGAL therapeutic pot organizations in a lot of places; this is progress.

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The Final Dakar
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Jul 30, 2010, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Someone pays for those freedoms. Usually with blood.
Unless you are trying to say those wars made us less free, I think this is a different discussion.


Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
It's a PUBLIC concern. To be "good citizens," corporations need to behave more responsibly. To be profitably, corporations have to behave more responsibly. We either all win or we all lose.
I think I get what you're doing here, but my question wa smore does any side of the political spectrum actually care about this, or does it fly under the radar?


Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
In my lifetime, we have gained incredibly in social freedoms. People don't get "run out of town" for having made a poor choice of marriage partners. People don't "disappear" for the summer and "live with relatives" because they made a mistake and got pregnant. At least nowhere near as often as it used to happen. Blue laws are slowly but inexorably disappearing. It used to be illegal in Texas to sell almost anything on Sunday-now the only real limits I know about are on alcohol sales before noon on Sunday (which gives the stores time to stock the shelves). Marijuana is far less harmful than any of the other drugs on the same schedule, but you'll also notice that there are LEGAL therapeutic pot organizations in a lot of places; this is progress.
So, in short, socially, aren't we freer than 200 years ago?
     
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Jul 31, 2010, 09:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Unless you are trying to say those wars made us less free, I think this is a different discussion.
Our participation in those wars, particularly WWII, preserved our freedom. Jefferson said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots..." This has come to pass in several ways, usually in terms of a threat to our way of life being met by people who are willing to sacrifice everything to defend that way of life.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I think I get what you're doing here, but my question wa smore does any side of the political spectrum actually care about this, or does it fly under the radar?
I typically reject labels for "sides of the political spectrum," but you make a point. If more corporate-oriented groups want to keep their corporate benefits, it behooves them to make sure those corporations behave in a civil manner-and take their lumps when that's called for. The more consumer/populist oriented groups should also make it possible for corporations to perform the duties and services they can, because it has been collective capital that has enabled progress and our standard of living. Putting a party label on either of these points though is pretty simplistic. I happen to be for both sides because I see the need for capital expenditures that no small group could generate, but also for responsible behavior by all players.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
So, in short, socially, aren't we freer than 200 years ago?
I had thought I said that.

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Aug 3, 2010, 10:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Our participation in those wars, particularly WWII, preserved our freedom. Jefferson said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots..." This has come to pass in several ways, usually in terms of a threat to our way of life being met by people who are willing to sacrifice everything to defend that way of life.
Once again, unless this had some kind of impact other than to preserve our status quo, this seems inessential to the current discussion.

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I typically reject labels for "sides of the political spectrum," but you make a point. If more corporate-oriented groups want to keep their corporate benefits, it behooves them to make sure those corporations behave in a civil manner-and take their lumps when that's called for. The more consumer/populist oriented groups should also make it possible for corporations to perform the duties and services they can, because it has been collective capital that has enabled progress and our standard of living. Putting a party label on either of these points though is pretty simplistic. I happen to be for both sides because I see the need for capital expenditures that no small group could generate, but also for responsible behavior by all players.
You're right, I've fallen victim to binary thinking on the matter. To swerve the conversation back in-line with the rest of discussion I think my question is, how severely do you think this impacts our everyday freedom?

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I had thought I said that.
You'll have to pardon me, but saying "It ain't free" had a negative connotation to me. So that statement, tied with the newfound realization that you think we're socially better off has me wondering what you think about that state of freedom in this country when it was originally founded?
     
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Aug 3, 2010, 01:06 PM
 
I'd wager that most of the laws cited were enacted well after the founding.
     
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Aug 3, 2010, 01:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
People need limits. Are you telling me that in an America where there are 50,000 gun deaths per year, removing the likes of the second amendment wouldn't help? Freedom has a time and a place in democracy, and actions should be made to safeguard that freedom - I don't disagree - but there are fundamental limits that need to be put in place.
But the trick is to limit government, not the rights and freedoms of the citizens. Those guns didn't kill the victims, BAD people did that. Lets lock the BAD GUYS up. Lets not remove everybody's rights to own guns because a small percentage. People killed other people before guns were invented. The really bad people should be put to death.

Originally Posted by kylef View Post
From a moral standpoint, your post makes me ill - we are "too squeamish" to "obliterate any country ... that is a credible threat" - wow. So you're all for freedom as long as it doesn't hinge on your rights? Should we have blown up all of Afghanistan rather than trying to bring freedom and democracy to its people? Even with limitations, I'm pretty sure the Afghan people would prefer a degree of freedom rather than US and UK forces just leaving them to die by themselves.
Until they realize they are better without religious BS being the political system they won't ever change.

Originally Posted by kylef View Post
We are not far from all out war. North Korea, China, the Middle East, the "War on Terror" ... it takes one bad move from one bad country to create one bad war, bound by treaties and obligations. It's how World War One started and World War Two escalated. We need to learn from our mistakes and limiting freedom - only to a certain extent - does exactly that. The "certain situations" that you speak of we're already in. But no elected politician is prepared to say that.
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
For the record, economically, I'm a free market advocate who believes in common-sense boundaries like the government provision of merit goods. Read: Obama's healthcare reform.
The Healthcare bill may be gutted/killed because of unconstitutional parts.
     
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Aug 3, 2010, 07:06 PM
 
Semantic satiation.
     
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Aug 3, 2010, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Once again, unless this had some kind of impact other than to preserve our status quo, this seems inessential to the current discussion.
I dunno. In my prior line of work, it was pretty important to everyone. Being a career military person and all...
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
You're right, I've fallen victim to binary thinking on the matter. To swerve the conversation back in-line with the rest of discussion I think my question is, how severely do you think this impacts our everyday freedom?
Ever notice how "black and white photography" actually is a wonderful blend of billions of shades of gray? I'm like that about politics-except that people who label themselves (and live that way) are generally cartoons of what they think they stand for. I think that corporate responsibility and citizenship affect our daily liberty a lot. By being less than responsible, corporations drive more laws that trickle down to impact us; Sorbanes-Oxley applies to far more than just the Fortune 500, you know. Lots of other examples that make it clear that some "entities" are not behaving well and need to be specifically reminded that it will help them...and everyone else.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
You'll have to pardon me, but saying "It ain't free" had a negative connotation to me. So that statement, tied with the newfound realization that you think we're socially better off has me wondering what you think about that state of freedom in this country when it was originally founded?
"Freedom isn't free is an idiom in the United States that expresses gratitude for the service of members of the military." We ask people to endure hardships, be separated from their families for long periods-repeatedly, we pay them relatively poorly (and cheat them whenever possible-I was verbally promised "free healthcare for life" if I served at least 20 years; it costs me quite a bit every year to maintain my military healthcare...). Yet people for extremely altruistic reasons volunteer and serve. And all too often, die. All to help preserve the freedom that the overwhelming majority of Americans takes for granted as much as they do air. It makes one sad.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Aug 3, 2010, 08:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
But the trick is to limit government, not the rights and freedoms of the citizens. Those guns didn't kill the victims, BAD people did that. Lets lock the BAD GUYS up. Lets not remove everybody's rights to own guns because a small percentage. People killed other people before guns were invented. The really bad people should be put to death.
How many people have to die from gun deaths per year before guns should be banned? I thought 50 000 was enough. Here in the UK we have extremely strict gun laws (nion-impossible to get one) and the results speak for themselves: 59 gun-related homicides in 2007 out of 56 million people.

BBC News - Analysis: UK gun crime figures

Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Until they realize they are better without religious BS being the political system they won't ever change.
Religion fanaticism is a dangerous tool, I agree that there needs to be democratic rather than theocratic thinking. And I'm a religious person.

Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
The Healthcare bill may be gutted/killed because of unconstitutional parts.
Such as? I've read the Constitution from front to back and don't see where the problems are for HCR, or even what they are (constitutionally speaking).
     
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Aug 4, 2010, 02:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
Here in the UK we have extremely strict gun laws (nion-impossible to get one) and the results speak for themselves: 59 gun-related homicides in 2007 out of 56 million people.
...and high burglary rates and other violent crimes because no one is armed but the criminals.

You're making a very tired and long discredited 'argument'. Homicides, gun-related or otherwise, are rare crimes. People aren't walking around daily worried about being killed, in either the US or the UK. Your chances -assuming you're not involved in crime yourself,a gangbanger, etc.-of just being randomly murdered are pretty slim in either place, and in fact, in most of the western world.

Meanwhile, due to disarming yourselves, you DO have a far greater chance of coming home to a ransacked home, being the victim of robbery, kidnapping, car theft, etc. You can look it up- your country and Australia (another place that's disarmed its citizens) often lead the world in more common crime categories.

Most Americans are NOT eager to join you in the greater likelihood of more common crimes due to some irrational fear of guns, and people dicking around over murder rates when random murder of common citizens is like being struck by lightning.
     
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Aug 4, 2010, 05:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
People need limits. Are you telling me that in an America where there are 50,000 gun deaths per year, removing the likes of the second amendment wouldn't help? Freedom has a time and a place in democracy, and actions should be made to safeguard that freedom - I don't disagree - but there are fundamental limits that need to be put in place.
Why not close down fast food places (or anyone that sells food with more calories than X) and ban cars and cigarettes? You'd save far more than 50,000 per year. Why not look at the top 10 reasons that people die and try and solve those first?
     
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Aug 4, 2010, 10:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I dunno. In my prior line of work, it was pretty important to everyone. Being a career military person and all...
Hang on to that thought...

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Ever notice how "black and white photography" actually is a wonderful blend of billions of shades of gray? I'm like that about politics-except that people who label themselves (and live that way) are generally cartoons of what they think they stand for.
I dunno. My opinion on immigration, affirmative action, and the second aside, I'm feel the term liberal isn't too far off the mark. I just try to keep an eye on my biases.


Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I think that corporate responsibility and citizenship affect our daily liberty a lot. By being less than responsible, corporations drive more laws that trickle down to impact us; Sorbanes-Oxley applies to far more than just the Fortune 500, you know. Lots of other examples that make it clear that some "entities" are not behaving well and need to be specifically reminded that it will help them...and everyone else.
Well, I agree, but there seems to be a culture where not embracing what corporations do unequivocally is seen as anti-captilist, and trying to regulate them is seen as promoting big government. Hard to make progress in this arena. (And, to be fair, Sorbanes-Oxley ended up being too restrictive)


Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
"Freedom isn't free is an idiom in the United States that expresses gratitude for the service of members of the military." We ask people to endure hardships, be separated from their families for long periods-repeatedly, we pay them relatively poorly (and cheat them whenever possible-I was verbally promised "free healthcare for life" if I served at least 20 years; it costs me quite a bit every year to maintain my military healthcare...). Yet people for extremely altruistic reasons volunteer and serve. And all too often, die. All to help preserve the freedom that the overwhelming majority of Americans takes for granted as much as they do air. It makes one sad.
So I just dragged you through a semi-futile discussion based on the fact that your "It ain't free" statement wasn't an indictment of the state of our country today, but a proclamation of the cost of maintaining it? Oy vey.
     
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Aug 4, 2010, 08:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I dunno. My opinion on immigration, affirmative action, and the second aside, I'm feel the term liberal isn't too far off the mark. I just try to keep an eye on my biases.
By simply "keeping an eye on your biases," you put yourself FAR above most people, who don't even recognize that they could have biases, let alone admit that they could be a problem.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Well, I agree, but there seems to be a culture where not embracing what corporations do unequivocally is seen as anti-captilist, and trying to regulate them is seen as promoting big government. Hard to make progress in this arena. (And, to be fair, Sorbanes-Oxley ended up being too restrictive)
The point is that knee-jerk "any requirement that corporations follow rules that humans have to follow is anti-capitalist argggh!!!!" is both short sighted and counter productive. The robber barons wound up causing their own downfalls by simply doing what they did instead of backing off a bit. Today's corporations are in danger of doing something similar, which will hurt everyone. Oh, and side reference here to the "black and white" points earlier-it applies to "business versus the world" just as well.
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
So I just dragged you through a semi-futile discussion based on the fact that your "It ain't free" statement wasn't an indictment of the state of our country today, but a proclamation of the cost of maintaining it? Oy vey.
I guess I wasn't as clever in my adding of that comment (the way I did) as I thought I was. I had thought that the phrase "freedom isn't free" in the context of recognizing the military's sacrifices would have been noticed and commented on. Oops, my bad. But I have enjoyed the discussion of what that whole thing means to me.

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Aug 5, 2010, 03:17 AM
 
Some interesting quotes here about freedom in Singapore.

Traffic flows freely. Healthcare is among the best in the world. The air is clean. In fact, everything is clean. Movies are censored. Littering is unheard of. There is no doubt that, compared to many of their regional neighbours, Singaporeans enjoy a high standard of living. But critics say there is a price to be paid. People are expected to conform. It is as if there is an unspoken but clearly understood deal between citizen and state: the system will look after you, as long as you do not question it.
"We have to bear in mind that Singapore is a multi-racial and multi-religious society," he said. "Certain forms of restriction are definitely necessary to ensure harmonious living amongst the different communities in Singapore.
     
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Aug 5, 2010, 08:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
How many people have to die from gun deaths per year before guns should be banned? I thought 50 000 was enough. Here in the UK we have extremely strict gun laws (nion-impossible to get one) and the results speak for themselves: 59 gun-related homicides in 2007 out of 56 million people.
Your solution in the UK is just stupid. Banning affects everybody , when only a small percentage of people used guns to commit crimes. Where is your collective guts to find, capture and put to death those violent criminals instead of keeping them as pets for decades? Ever hear of the phrase "Personal responsibility" ??? Punishing society for the actions of a few is just plain old stupid, shallow and pointless. What will you end up with? Only the bad guys will have the guns. Perhaps dealing with immature behavior and anger management issues might be a better way of lowering the crime rates of violent offenders. Next you'll be taking knives, bats, sticks, umbrellas, leather belts, cars and tools away from everybody. Where will that end up?
     
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Aug 5, 2010, 10:38 PM
 
Sort of in line with this subject, I saw a BBC news story the other day attempting to explain sentencing disparities in the UK- IE: why it's "fair" that in the same court, on the same day, a guy is sentenced to eight years for stealing a book, while another guy is sentenced to five years for KILLING an innocent, random person who bumped into him on the street.

The so-called 'reasoning' left me more baffled than anything- see, the book has tremendous value (presumably the human life doesn't) and therefore eight years is fair.

The person who killed an innocent passerby for merely bumping into him, did so with a single punch to the head, therefore it's presumably not right to call it murder, and 'five years for a single punch' is fair sentencing.

Anyway, it's stories like that that make me suspect even more what I've long suspected- no, not just that Europeans tend to be crazy- but that they've possibly fuxed up their so-called criminal justice systems to such an extreme that it's almost pointless to compare crime-stats between nations if you're not going to call a guy killing a random stranger who bumped into him murder, how can I trust what the *real* murder rate is? Ditto with any other crime category that's probably been fuxed around with beyond all recognition.
     
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Aug 6, 2010, 12:32 PM
 
[
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I guess I wasn't as clever in my adding of that comment (the way I did) as I thought I was. I had thought that the phrase "freedom isn't free" in the context of recognizing the military's sacrifices would have been noticed and commented on. Oops, my bad. But I have enjoyed the discussion of what that whole thing means to me.
Just another notch in the history of not understanding each other very well. Not a big deal.
     
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Aug 6, 2010, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
People need limits. Are you telling me that in an America where there are 50,000 gun deaths per year, removing the likes of the second amendment wouldn't help?
It might, but efficacy is not the point.

Freedom has a time and a place in democracy, and actions should be made to safeguard that freedom - I don't disagree - but there are fundamental limits that need to be put in place.
I agree. What we disagree on is what those fundamentals are. What you suggest is unnecessary, not effective and even if it were, rights take precedent. It's pretty dangerous for a society to hold that rights are beneath the "greater good" of society (which is what you are suggesting). That's how governments evolve into the kind of mess we had in the first half of the 20th and are still dealing with.

From a moral standpoint, your post makes me ill - we are "too squeamish" to "obliterate any country ... that is a credible threat" - wow. So you're all for freedom as long as it doesn't hinge on your rights? Should we have blown up all of Afghanistan rather than trying to bring freedom and democracy to its people? Even with limitations, I'm pretty sure the Afghan people would prefer a degree of freedom rather than US and UK forces just leaving them to die by themselves.
We should have gone in and destroyed all strategic military and governmental targets and we should have kept bombing and attacking without regard for civilian casualties until they are so damaged and demoralized that they won't even consider allowing a government like they had to exist in their country. The blame for civilian casualties fall squarely on the government who either attacks another country or supports those who do, not those who are defending themselves. This is what I mean by obliterate.

This is the only way to both ensure the highest degree of success, shortest duration to achieve such success and least amount of OUR casualties.

They give up their rights to be treated "gently" or "compassionately" when they allow a government that endangers their lives by supporting the attack of another country who may in turn defend itself.

We need to learn from our mistakes and limiting freedom - only to a certain extent - does exactly that.
No it doesn't. It's a state of denial that prolongs the inevitable and spreads out death and destruction over a longer period. It also doesn't actually SOLVE the problem. None of this softness is doing a damn thing to limit, hinder or stop a country like Iran from doing what it is doing and has done.

The "certain situations" that you speak of we're already in. But no elected politician is prepared to say that.
No, the certain situations I speak of would be if Chinese troops (for example) are marching into San Francisco. Then Martial Law may be justified. What we have now isn't even close.

For the record, economically, I'm a free market advocate who believes in common-sense boundaries like the government provision of merit goods. Read: Obama's healthcare reform.
Really? You wanna bring healthcare reform up? Saying you are free market anything, then advocating Obamacare is pretty laughable. You don't understand what the hell a free market is.

Common-sense ≠ logical, reasonable or proper. It also doesn't take into account the actual CAUSE of the healthcare problems in this country. Here is a great article outlining that.
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Aug 7, 2010, 09:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
...and high burglary rates and other violent crimes because no one is armed but the criminals.

You're making a very tired and long discredited 'argument'. Homicides, gun-related or otherwise, are rare crimes. People aren't walking around daily worried about being killed, in either the US or the UK. Your chances -assuming you're not involved in crime yourself,a gangbanger, etc.-of just being randomly murdered are pretty slim in either place, and in fact, in most of the western world.
I live in Northern Ireland. The existence of guns from paramilitary groups for thirty years made the streets of Belfast a dangerous place to be on. In the 80s and 90s people did walk around worried because there was a real threat. Thankfully, the problem has diminished (but not disappeared) in recent years. Even today, there are places where you just don't go unless you have to. If we go weeks without a shooting or a bomb threat even today, we're doing good. A friend of mine lives in a certain area of Belfast where his own bedroom has gunshot holes in the walls. To use the words "pretty slim" are chances that I'm not willing to take when it comes to life or death. Especially when the solution is in front of us.

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Meanwhile, due to disarming yourselves, you DO have a far greater chance of coming home to a ransacked home, being the victim of robbery, kidnapping, car theft, etc. You can look it up- your country and Australia (another place that's disarmed its citizens) often lead the world in more common crime categories.

Most Americans are NOT eager to join you in the greater likelihood of more common crimes due to some irrational fear of guns, and people dicking around over murder rates when random murder of common citizens is like being struck by lightning.
Fighting fire with fire? Using more gun violence to stop violence is plain illogical. You don't shoot someone who steals your car or breaks into your house. There are no accurate figures of people who would have died had they not had guns - it's a bad assumption with nothing definitive to back it up. I've provided the UK figures above, about the amount of deaths there have been from gun violence with the current bans, and, unsurprisingly, it's less as a percentage.

Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Why not close down fast food places (or anyone that sells food with more calories than X) and ban cars and cigarettes? You'd save far more than 50,000 per year. Why not look at the top 10 reasons that people die and try and solve those first?
Guns kill people instantly, the victim has no choice. They do when it comes to fast food and cigarettes.

Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Your solution in the UK is just stupid. Banning affects everybody , when only a small percentage of people used guns to commit crimes. Where is your collective guts to find, capture and put to death those violent criminals instead of keeping them as pets for decades? Ever hear of the phrase "Personal responsibility" ??? Punishing society for the actions of a few is just plain old stupid, shallow and pointless. What will you end up with? Only the bad guys will have the guns. Perhaps dealing with immature behavior and anger management issues might be a better way of lowering the crime rates of violent offenders. Next you'll be taking knives, bats, sticks, umbrellas, leather belts, cars and tools away from everybody. Where will that end up?
I think that, for some, being locked up for the rest of their life is worse than death itself. Everyone was punished after 9/11 by not being able to fly, likewise no one could take the tube in London after the 7/7 bombings. Was it wrong to shut down the stock markets, close the airports and stop the train services? No. It wasn't. It was the general public welfare being put at the forefront of society. Everything that you listed above has other, valuable uses in society. Guns don't.

Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
We should have gone in and destroyed all strategic military and governmental targets and we should have kept bombing and attacking without regard for civilian casualties until they are so damaged and demoralized that they won't even consider allowing a government like they had to exist in their country. The blame for civilian casualties fall squarely on the government who either attacks another country or supports those who do, not those who are defending themselves. This is what I mean by obliterate.

This is the only way to both ensure the highest degree of success, shortest duration to achieve such success and least amount of OUR casualties.

They give up their rights to be treated "gently" or "compassionately" when they allow a government that endangers their lives by supporting the attack of another country who may in turn defend itself.

No it doesn't. It's a state of denial that prolongs the inevitable and spreads out death and destruction over a longer period. It also doesn't actually SOLVE the problem. None of this softness is doing a damn thing to limit, hinder or stop a country like Iran from doing what it is doing and has done.

No, the certain situations I speak of would be if Chinese troops (for example) are marching into San Francisco. Then Martial Law may be justified. What we have now isn't even close.

Really? You wanna bring healthcare reform up? Saying you are free market anything, then advocating Obamacare is pretty laughable. You don't understand what the hell a free market is.

Common-sense ≠ logical, reasonable or proper. It also doesn't take into account the actual CAUSE of the healthcare problems in this country. Here is a great article outlining that.
There are some situations where war and the obliterative actions that you speak of are justified, but you can't target an entire country over a small number of people when the end result is death (with removal of guns it is life). Moral sentiment aside, the repercussions of such an action would be far too great economically to even consider. America could take over the world if it wants to, but you can bet that the world won't be here for very long. There are certain absolutes that we just don't cross. The cold war serves as the most apt reminder of that very point.

Why do you stress "our casualties" but care not for other civilian lives who get caught in the crossfire? A life is a life, whether that is Iraqi, British, Pakistani, American or whatever. If they aren't out to hurt you, you should be doing everything you can not to hurt them. Obliterating any potential pocket of terrorism does exactly that. Thankfully, the world is recognizing this and we're developing more accurate technologies that prevent the use of such callous methods.

How many attacks on North Korea do you think it would take for them to retaliate? There are some 1500 missiles pointed at Taiwan by China (source below) at this very second. The US will protect Israel if it is attacked by Palestine (source below also). Like I said before, bound by treaties and obligations, it is beginning to not even matter which countries attack each other.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/fron.../15/2003436194
US will not hesitate to defend Israel, Rice warns Tehran | World news | The Guardian

With regards to healthcare, people have a choice with what they eat and drink and what their lifestyle is like. The benefits and dangers are clear. People don't have a choice in a war if they get shot, or if they get shot in their own home. The government is providing assistance to those who do suffer, and also some preventive care measures against deathly diseases like Cancer (that you failed to mention). Not to mention the fact that it reduces premiums.

FYI, I study Finance and trade the currency markets. I think I understand what a free market is. What separates me from others is that I also know and think about its drawbacks. If you want me to get all theoretical I will happily give you the explanation as to why public goods are not provided at all, merit goods are under-provided, de-merit goods are over-provided and negative externalities are not taken into account in a free market. And all of these problems need to be addressed.
     
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Aug 7, 2010, 01:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
There are some situations where war and the obliterative actions that you speak of are justified, but you can't target an entire country over a small number of people when the end result is death (with removal of guns it is life).
Which small number of people are you referring to?

Why do you stress "our casualties" but care not for other civilian lives who get caught in the crossfire? A life is a life, whether that is Iraqi, British, Pakistani, American or whatever. If they aren't out to hurt you, you should be doing everything you can not to hurt them. Obliterating any potential pocket of terrorism does exactly that. Thankfully, the world is recognizing this and we're developing more accurate technologies that prevent the use of such callous methods.
Civilian casualties are the responsibility of their government for committing an act of aggression on another country. Pulling our punches is exactly how a war with a pathetic little country like Iraq took years. It could have been done in a few days or weeks, would have been more successful in terms of the desired result of the war, and would have limited our casualties to very few. If you are defending yourself, you have every right, and I would argue it's a duty, to defend yourself to the fullest.

With regards to healthcare, people have a choice with what they eat and drink and what their lifestyle is like. The benefits and dangers are clear. People don't have a choice in a war if they get shot, or if they get shot in their own home. The government is providing assistance to those who do suffer, and also some preventive care measures against deathly diseases like Cancer (that you failed to mention). Not to mention the fact that it reduces premiums.

FYI, I study Finance and trade the currency markets. I think I understand what a free market is. What separates me from others is that I also know and think about its drawbacks. If you want me to get all theoretical I will happily give you the explanation as to why public goods are not provided at all, merit goods are under-provided, de-merit goods are over-provided and negative externalities are not taken into account in a free market. And all of these problems need to be addressed.
I'm sorry, but what you seem to advocate is not a free market at all. It's a market controlled by government force.

If you want to get all "theoretical" with me, go right ahead.
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Aug 7, 2010, 08:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Which small number of people are you referring to?
Whichever you like - the Taliban in comparison to the Afghan people; the number of gun owners out to do bad vs. the rest who have one for enjoyment.

Civilian casualties are the responsibility of their government for committing an act of aggression on another country. Pulling our punches is exactly how a war with a pathetic little country like Iraq took years. It could have been done in a few days or weeks, would have been more successful in terms of the desired result of the war, and would have limited our casualties to very few. If you are defending yourself, you have every right, and I would argue it's a duty, to defend yourself to the fullest.
How many civilians have to die exactly before you get that it isn't a good idea? I find it so ironic that you say it is the "responsibility of their government" when you fail to recognize that responsible government provides more than defence for just its people: it provides safety, services, healthcare, you name it. You aren't defending yourself if you are killing every civilian out there who gets in your way - you're a callous attacker who fuels the enemy even more. The only goal that you should have in war is how to stop it. By your logic of "civilian casualties ... committing an act of aggression" that means you are personally responsible for, say, the 9/11 bombings because you are an American citizen. That is a ridiculous assumption; a dangerous stereotype that has no place in today's world.

I'm sorry, but what you seem to advocate is not a free market at all. It's a market controlled by government force.

If you want to get all "theoretical" with me, go right ahead.
Certain industries are suited to certain markets. Merit goods like healthcare and education aren't provided at the levels that they should be because, sadly, people value other things more (you need only look at the number of people without health insurance or a decent education to see this in real life). What is provided is overpriced (look at the ridiculous premiums), and not enough is provided (the lack of preventive care, for one). Industries don't care about the long term problems because they're exactly that - long term problems passed on to the next generations. Overuse of foreign oil and man-made global warming (if you believe it) are two of many examples.
     
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Aug 11, 2010, 02:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
I live in Northern Ireland. The existence of guns from paramilitary groups for thirty years made the streets of Belfast a dangerous place to be on. In the 80s and 90s people did walk around worried because there was a real threat. Thankfully, the problem has diminished (but not disappeared) in recent years. Even today, there are places where you just don't go unless you have to. If we go weeks without a shooting or a bomb threat even today, we're doing good. A friend of mine lives in a certain area of Belfast where his own bedroom has gunshot holes in the walls. To use the words "pretty slim" are chances that I'm not willing to take when it comes to life or death. Especially when the solution is in front of us.
Most people in the US or the UK don't live in either the worst high-crime, gang-ridden slums, or Northern Ireland. In the case of the US, attempts to ban guns in places like D.C. and NYC have resulted in HIGHER levels of violence, not lower, to the point where even those places are finally giving up on the idea- it's been a total disaster.



Fighting fire with fire? Using more gun violence to stop violence is plain illogical.
You're simply not using logic. Banning guns has not led to less crime or violence in the UK or Australia- it's simply taken on a different form.

You don't shoot someone who steals your car or breaks into your house.
False. People ward off thieves and attackers every day with guns.

Also, a burglar has no idea if the house they want to break into has armed owners or not. If you ban guns, and make it illegal for people to defend themselves with a gun, then criminals know that EVERY house they break into will have unarmed owners. The burglary rates in the UK and Australia are nothing for you to brag about vs. in the US.

There are no accurate figures of people who would have died had they not had guns - it's a bad assumption with nothing definitive to back it up.
Again, false. Every time this OOOOOLD issue gets dredged back up, the facts have to be reintroduced to the anti-gun side, because all you've ever done is ignore the evidence. There are many crimes that are prevented by the presence of handguns. There are many stats that show that states with right to carry laws have lower crime rates than those that don't.

I've provided the UK figures above, about the amount of deaths there have been from gun violence with the current bans, and, unsurprisingly, it's less as a percentage.
And you've ignored the fact that gun violence is a rare event- again, most people go their entire lives and never just randomly happen upon a firearm being brandished against them or anyone around them. Meanwhile, you've ignored the fact that you have higher rates of other more common crimes- in large part because you've disarmed yourselves.

I personally don't care if everyone in the UK wants to be a big pussy about guns, or knives, or plastic bags, or any other inanimate object that does nothing by itself. It's just why do you feel the need to butt into what my country does? The sane people here don't WANT to emulate the stupider aspects of the UK or anywhere else.
     
kylef
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Aug 13, 2010, 06:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Most people in the US or the UK don't live in either the worst high-crime, gang-ridden slums, or Northern Ireland. In the case of the US, attempts to ban guns in places like D.C. and NYC have resulted in HIGHER levels of violence, not lower, to the point where even those places are finally giving up on the idea- it's been a total disaster.
You said "People aren't walking around daily worried about being killed, in either the US or the UK." I'm simply telling you that this is wrong. 1.7 million people live in Northern Ireland, 1 million people in Detroit, 3 million people in Chicago. These are not small, insignificant figures. DC is in poverty and NYC is the financial hub of the world, of course crime in those areas are going to be high.

You're simply not using logic. Banning guns has not led to less crime or violence in the UK or Australia- it's simply taken on a different form.
And exactly how is it that you know this?

False. People ward off thieves and attackers every day with guns.

Also, a burglar has no idea if the house they want to break into has armed owners or not. If you ban guns, and make it illegal for people to defend themselves with a gun, then criminals know that EVERY house they break into will have unarmed owners. The burglary rates in the UK and Australia are nothing for you to brag about vs. in the US.
Yes - people are warding off guns with guns. Like I said, fighting fire with fire. If you ban guns, that means there will be less criminals with guns. Your just looking at it the other way round and throwing it back when you fail to recognize the opposite.

Burglary isn't just linked to guns. You yourself gave the example of DC earlier - it's poverty that causes crime, and guns make it easy for burglary to happen.

Again, false. Every time this OOOOOLD issue gets dredged back up, the facts have to be reintroduced to the anti-gun side, because all you've ever done is ignore the evidence. There are many crimes that are prevented by the presence of handguns. There are many stats that show that states with right to carry laws have lower crime rates than those that don't.
I've linked sources to my articles to back up what I'm saying. Until you do the same for yours, how do you expect me to believe statements like "there are many crimes that are prevented by the presence of handguns". And even with statistics, we both know that crime cannot be isolated by gun statistics. Certain states have much higher poverty levels, much worse education standards ...

And you've ignored the fact that gun violence is a rare event- again, most people go their entire lives and never just randomly happen upon a firearm being brandished against them or anyone around them. Meanwhile, you've ignored the fact that you have higher rates of other more common crimes- in large part because you've disarmed yourselves.
50 000 people died last year in the US. You call this a rare event? You need a reality check.

I personally don't care if everyone in the UK wants to be a big pussy about guns, or knives, or plastic bags, or any other inanimate object that does nothing by itself. It's just why do you feel the need to butt into what my country does? The sane people here don't WANT to emulate the stupider aspects of the UK or anywhere else.
Guns have no other productive use whatsoever than to kill. Knives cut things, plastic bags hold things, and other "inanimate object[s]" have productive uses.
     
ghporter
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Aug 13, 2010, 07:56 PM
 
kylef, are you saying that the rank and file of Detroiters cringe in fear every day as they creep out of their homes? YOU are wrong. I NEVER walked in fear in Detroit-though I will admit that I seldom got near the parts of the city that were worst blighted or never reconstructed. But downtown is NOT some fear-ridden place-it's simply not. Neither is Houston. Nor for that matter, the parts of DC I have visited (before the gun ban was overturned). Some parts of some metropolitan areas are scary for people who don't live there. And some such places are scary for people who DO live there. But for the most part, most US cities are generally safe. It's the "bad parts" where both poverty and crime are prevalent, that are most impaired and "scary."

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Wiskedjak
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Aug 14, 2010, 11:29 AM
 
"Freedom" is apparently the ability for the majority to stop minority groups from doing things they don't like.
     
kylef
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Aug 14, 2010, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
kylef, are you saying that the rank and file of Detroiters cringe in fear every day as they creep out of their homes? YOU are wrong. I NEVER walked in fear in Detroit-though I will admit that I seldom got near the parts of the city that were worst blighted or never reconstructed. But downtown is NOT some fear-ridden place-it's simply not. Neither is Houston. Nor for that matter, the parts of DC I have visited (before the gun ban was overturned). Some parts of some metropolitan areas are scary for people who don't live there. And some such places are scary for people who DO live there. But for the most part, most US cities are generally safe. It's the "bad parts" where both poverty and crime are prevalent, that are most impaired and "scary."
You're right, not all areas are dangerous. And that's great. But if even more areas can be less dangerous by revoking guns then why not revoke them? If the 50 000 number decreases then surely the benefit outweighs the cost.
     
ghporter
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Aug 14, 2010, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by kylef View Post
You're right, not all areas are dangerous. And that's great. But if even more areas can be less dangerous by revoking guns then why not revoke them? If the 50 000 number decreases then surely the benefit outweighs the cost.
As has been discovered in the UK, removing firearms from the common man's possession simply means that he's defenseless against criminals who can get guns. And if you do so much gun confiscation to make it hard for even determined criminals to find guns, they'll get machetes, axes, swords, etc. and still terrorize the populace. Oh, and kudos for the Crown for making people who try to defend themselves victims a second time and prosecuting them for self defense. Obviously this level of gun control has not had the stated desired end product of lower crime. It has merely changed the methods by which criminals conduct their illegal business.

On the other hand, violent crime has FALLEN in the years since Texas codified and legalized carrying concealed firearms. Yup. If the baddies don't know just who might be armed, they seem to be smart enough in self preservation to avoid committing crimes against individuals. The economy has, on the other hand, shown us that crime is about two things: economics an social problems. Fix those social problems and avoid having people in a situation of multi-generational poverty, and crime may just diminish in general. Except for white collar crime, of course, but that's a different animal.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
 
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