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Author Topic: The NSA's warrantless wiretapping is a crime, not a state secret
Seneca
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And before anyone responds with "well, unfair monopolistic practices FORCE people to shop at X..." you need to answer this question first: what is stopping people from leaving an area?

"Oh, they are made so poor by the evil businesses that they can't afford a U-Haul trailer!"

Hrm, I don't recall the pioneers using U-Haul trailers. It may surprise many of you to know that some western states still do a modern form of homesteading called land grants to anyone who is willing to work on and improve the land...

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PSRT
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So, Seneca, you are saying you've never driven by an advertisement that you didn't know was going to be there? Attended an event where advertising existed that you didn't know was going to be there? (Advertisements for SPECIFIC COMPANIES)

You've never heard of externalities such as pollution?

You are unaware of how hiring practices can change the complexion of a community?

You don't know how the business practices of one company exert pressure on other companies to engage in similar practices?

You might want to stop and think about what you are actually arguing, because it literally is a fantasy land.

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AI Wessex
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[Aris:] "Al, you keep confusing the descriptive and the normative. Obviously the government doesn't obey us. What I said is that it SHOULD.

If you disagree with this, speak it clearly."

Of course it should, but that's not now and never has been a reasonable expectation. Republicans in particular wrap themselves in the flag and family values because they think that's where the votes are, rather than rise to support principle and practicality and perhaps risk reelection. Democrats have proven themselves too timid to defend their principles and sacrifice them for crumbs of practical solutions.

The government has been collecting this information for over 10 years. Plenty of people have objected. Who in government can you complain to who you think is going to actually do something about it? What I expect out of this series of revelations is a higher profile review process in the short-term when they want to pull information on individuals out of the massive heaps of data, and hopefully it will stick for the longer-term, as well.

[Seneca:] "Apparently I missed the army of jack booted thugs that Walmart sent out into neighborhoods to force people to shop there, or the armies that businesses are sending out to force people not to become farmers and grow their own food. Silly me.
...
Can anyone here really show how anyone is forced to partake of a business?"

They don't need to do that. It's infinitely simpler and quicker to just take the information you gave them at the register. You'll keep coming back because you can buy their dreck cheaper than down the road, but down the road they do the same thing, anyway. Don't be insipid and pretend that isn't how it's done.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Can anyone here really show how anyone is forced to partake of a business?
It's a question of soft force versus hard force, of course. Businesses are perfectly capable of extorting concessions from their clientele, since not all coercion is physical; that the government is the one group legally authorized to apply physical coercion makes them unique in that sense only, but by no means the only powerful actor capable of coercion.
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PSRT
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quote:
what is stopping people from leaving an area?
The cost of moving is very large. In addition, there needs to be a place to go to where you can survive. Social networks are in place in the current location, so those need to be built up.

Your question is really "How much pressure needs to be applied so that the reasons to move outweigh the reasons to stay." And the answer is "often a significant amount," which, essentially, means businesses in an area can get away with a LOT before the people in the community who are not their customers get up and leave... especially since its very likely they can't get to an area that DOES NOT have that negative pressure from businesses.

Moving isn't easy. Pretending it is is one of the hallmarks of the "Evil," branch of the libertarian wing.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
If a business is doing something bad you can stop shopping there.

And take your business to someone else doing the same thing under a different label, since, without intervention, any bad practice that lends a competitive advantage drives honest actors out of the market. "Stop shopping there" is only a viable option in a perfectly competitive market where everyone has equal access to information, but since such conditions actively reduce profit margins, the existing entities (particularly corporate ones, were obligation to shareholders acts to actively displace moral considerations that a direct owner might otherwise be free to exercise.) This becomes an even bigger problem when wages are similarly kept below equitable rates in the name of increasing profit margins, because low wages and thus low disposable income translates into much less power to pay the price premium needed to support more ethical positions.

quote:
You can't get away from the government, literally. No matter where you shop in a country, the government can follow you and order any business you interact with to give up info. If you tried to go live up in the mountains, become totally self sufficient and not use any electricity or shop anywhere the government could still come spy on you with drones, people, etc.

Your only option then would be to leave the country, and the government also controls whether you do that or not. See the difference between government and business?

That's a valid assertion for an autocratic system, it explicitly does not hold (by design, even) for a democratic/representative system; it may not be easy to exercise that option, but at least it exists, where as corporate bodies, without public regulation to keep them in check, are not similarly accountable to anyone that's not a shareholder.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
what is stopping people from leaving an area?
The cost of moving is very large. In addition, there needs to be a place to go to where you can survive. Social networks are in place in the current location, so those need to be built up.

Your question is really "How much pressure needs to be applied so that the reasons to move outweigh the reasons to stay." And the answer is "often a significant amount," which, essentially, means businesses in an area can get away with a LOT before the people in the community who are not their customers get up and leave... especially since its very likely they can't get to an area that DOES NOT have that negative pressure from businesses.

Moving isn't easy. Pretending it is is one of the hallmarks of the "Evil," branch of the libertarian wing.

By your logic those poor oppressed factory workers who left the east coast at the time of the western expansion would never have left.

People are free to go where they want to in the US for the most part right now. Yes it takes some work and effort but to complain that the government doesn't hire movers and send you anywhere you want to go for free is absurd and smacks of entitled laziness.

The pioneers moved out west with covered wagons and hacking their way through the wilderness often hunting and growing their own food. They made their own stuff.

True, there are less open lands available for hunting and fishing, but surprisingly enough it is still actually possible in some places to live this way.

To call expectations of self-reliance evil merely shows you expect the state to provide for lazy citizens who refuse to provide for themselves. And no, we're not talking about the relatively tiny portion of legitimately disabled.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The pioneers moved out west with covered wagons and hacking their way through the wilderness often hunting and growing their own food.
On their way to free grants of land secured for them by the use of public force.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
True, there are less open lands available for hunting and fishing, but surprisingly enough it is still actually possible in some places to live this way.
*laugh* Are you actually advocating a return to hunting and gathering as an alternative to what you're afraid is excessive socialism?
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
The pioneers moved out west with covered wagons and hacking their way through the wilderness often hunting and growing their own food.
On their way to free grants of land secured for them by the use of public force.
Some western states still offer land grants and homesteading for mere pennies per acre to cover the cost of the survey.

If modern commerce and business options bug you so much you have that option.

However, you do NOT have the option to get away from the government and its demands, which is why we need to limit government as much as possible.

[ June 13, 2013, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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PSRT
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quote:
Some western states still offer land grants and homesteading for mere pennies per acre to cover the cost of the survey.

If modern commerce and business options bug you so much you have that option.

Where I will have FEWER business and commerce choices, not more. Meaning that it is EASIER for a corporation or business to make it intolerable for me to live in that state.

Not withstanding the fact you are leaving out the huge percentage of people who simply died in the pioneer movements, or otherwise had their expeditions fail. Again, the costs for picking up and moving your life are not zero... they are often astronomically high.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
Some western states still offer land grants and homesteading for mere pennies per acre to cover the cost of the survey.

If modern commerce and business options bug you so much you have that option.

Where I will have FEWER business and commerce choices, not more. Meaning that it is EASIER for a corporation or business to make it intolerable for me to live in that state.

Not withstanding the fact you are leaving out the huge percentage of people who simply died in the pioneer movements, or otherwise had their expeditions fail. Again, the costs for picking up and moving your life are not zero... they are often astronomically high.

Who said life was fair or that survival was free? Life is hard work. Why should everyone else take care of you at their expense on your own terms? If you want your own terms for living then work hard and make your own terms. There may be risk, there may be hardship but you do have a choice.

However, all this hypothetical homesteading aside, I do NOT believe for a second that EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS is spying on you and acting despotically. Some do, and I'm sure some don't. As consumers it is your job to educate yourself if you care about these things and be very selective shoppers.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
So, Seneca, you are saying you've never driven by an advertisement that you didn't know was going to be there? Attended an event where advertising existed that you didn't know was going to be there? (Advertisements for SPECIFIC COMPANIES)

You've never heard of externalities such as pollution?

You are unaware of how hiring practices can change the complexion of a community?

You don't know how the business practices of one company exert pressure on other companies to engage in similar practices?

You might want to stop and think about what you are actually arguing, because it literally is a fantasy land.

I see advertisements every day, many even for SPECIFIC COMPANIES. What's the horror here?

Pollution? Red herring.

Government also has some hiring practices that can change the complexion of a nation. What's your point?

You don't know how government exerts pressures on companies to engage is specific practices?

You might want to stop and think about what you are actually arguing, because it literally is a logical fallacy.

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PSRT
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quote:
Who said life was fair or that survival was free? Life is hard work. Why should everyone else take care of you at their expense on your own terms? If you want your own terms for living then work hard and make your own terms. There may be risk, there may be hardship but you do have a choice.
Who said everyone else should take care of me at their expense and on their own terms? I am stating that the costs to getting away from a corporation are not zero. I am also stating that corporations have a far larger influence on my life than you are suggesting (And note: Saying that corporations I do not make purchases from have no or insignificant influence on my life is massively ignorant).

The idea that the appropriate response to corporations that are bad actors is to move is, well, stupid. Essentially, that is saying that in the face of someone who does something wrong, I should fundamentally alter my life. And I should do so every time an entity moves into my area who performs actions that negatively effect me. Would you seriously suggest that the appropriate response to someone moving into your neighborhood and randomly dumping poison into people's drinking supplies is to move out of the neighborhood? Is that what you would do? What if he followed you? Would you move again? Or would you seek to have the person dealt with?

Corporations are entities similar to neighbors. They frequently randomly dump poison, either literally or figuratively, into people's drinking water. The correct response to this situation, of course, is to have an entity that you can rely on to forcibly remove that entity, or otherwise stop him from dumping poison on your lawn... and, in order for this to work, the entity you rely on has to be able to deal with really large and powerful neighbors. And, if you do it right, this entity has to be responsive to you.

The hired thug who is responsive to me, and can forcibly remove people poisoning my well water? That's government. A small one defeats the entire purpose.

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PSRT
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G3-
Try following the thread and comprehending the flow of dialogue before responding. Otherwise, you just look like an idiot trying to be clever... as you did here.

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AI Wessex
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"You might want to stop and think about what you are actually arguing, because it literally is a logical fallacy."

Ooooh, can't argue with the venerable "logical fallacy" card. There ought to be a Godwin correlation against using it every time you disagree with someone.

Instead of complaining about other people's "logical fallacies", quit whining every time you are reminded that government and the business community know who you are and where you live. Otherwise, go live in the woods and get back to nature.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
Who said life was fair or that survival was free? Life is hard work. Why should everyone else take care of you at their expense on your own terms? If you want your own terms for living then work hard and make your own terms. There may be risk, there may be hardship but you do have a choice.
Who said everyone else should take care of me at their expense and on their own terms? I am stating that the costs to getting away from a corporation are not zero. I am also stating that corporations have a far larger influence on my life than you are suggesting (And note: Saying that corporations I do not make purchases from have no or insignificant influence on my life is massively ignorant).

The idea that the appropriate response to corporations that are bad actors is to move is, well, stupid. Essentially, that is saying that in the face of someone who does something wrong, I should fundamentally alter my life. And I should do so every time an entity moves into my area who performs actions that negatively effect me. Would you seriously suggest that the appropriate response to someone moving into your neighborhood and randomly dumping poison into people's drinking supplies is to move out of the neighborhood? Is that what you would do? What if he followed you? Would you move again? Or would you seek to have the person dealt with?

Corporations are entities similar to neighbors. They frequently randomly dump poison, either literally or figuratively, into people's drinking water. The correct response to this situation, of course, is to have an entity that you can rely on to forcibly remove that entity, or otherwise stop him from dumping poison on your lawn... and, in order for this to work, the entity you rely on has to be able to deal with really large and powerful neighbors. And, if you do it right, this entity has to be responsive to you.

The hired thug who is responsive to me, and can forcibly remove people poisoning my well water? That's government. A small one defeats the entire purpose.

So you think that because you're free to move away from an annoying neighbor, that that is unreasonable.

While you may think that's bad, at least you can TRY to get away from that "neighbor." Now imagine that neighbor took a portion of your wealth and used it to spy on you and harass you. That's the difference between private individuals and government.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
G3-
Try following the thread and comprehending the flow of dialogue before responding. Otherwise, you just look like an idiot trying to be clever... as you did here.

I always know when I hit the nail on the head by the ad hominems that follow ... another logical fallacy by the way but it's to be expected.
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G3
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quote:
Can anyone here really show how anyone is forced to partake of a business?
And the obvious answer is "no, they can't". But let's not let reality get in the way of the ideological necessity shall we?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
There ought to be a Godwin correlation against using it every time you disagree with someone.
I think we should just ask him to identify the specific logical fallacy that he thinks applies. I know that I've found it quite amusing to shut down that particular line of criticism when he's tried it against me. [Smile]
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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
DarkJello, welcome out of the shadows... like a lot of famous quotes, it's not clear that Washington actually said what he said.

Gracias and understood.

I like the quote because it resonates with truth, now just as in prior eras.

Some peeps don't mind that Owebama is in charge, allegedly, while the NSA infringes on the BoR. But who will come next? I sure as sin don't want any R, D, or I to have this much power--and I don't give a hoot about popularity or the hipster factor. We be moving towards tyranny. Sad panda.

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DarkJello
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The discussion about gooberment and corporations is an old one. Some seem to think they are opponents that often or rarely agree. Evidence points to a much more tawdry relationship, one in which they are very busy rubbing each other in all the right places. Their relationship is probs the 2nd oldest in the book, behind only one other "profession".

America's descent into "social justice" has been an abject failure! The outcome is beyond easy to predict, and was never in doubt. Crying about how unfair life is, and then stealing from the makers and giving to the takers is counterproductive. How much longer will the so-called progressives--repubes and dimwits alike--be tolerated? Whether in gooberment or corporations, they are the anti-America.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
So, Seneca, you are saying you've never driven by an advertisement that you didn't know was going to be there? Attended an event where advertising existed that you didn't know was going to be there? (Advertisements for SPECIFIC COMPANIES)

You've never heard of externalities such as pollution?

You are unaware of how hiring practices can change the complexion of a community?

You don't know how the business practices of one company exert pressure on other companies to engage in similar practices?

You might want to stop and think about what you are actually arguing, because it literally is a fantasy land.

Much of which they are able to do because government collaborates with them.

A person really can disconnect from the big box retail world if they want to. Arguing that that is difficult isn't the same as it being impossible.

Give me five good acres and I wouldn't have to buy food again. With fifteen I could go without shopping for clothes either. There are an amazing mumber of things you can do for yourself if you'll just take the time to learn how.

I don't particularly want to do that, but there are a lot of skills I've picked up over the years.

I am in the unusual position of actually having the ability to (at least try to) choose another country, but for most Americans the government is the one thing we're stuck with. That's the point Seneca is trying to make.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Give me five good acres and I wouldn't have to buy food again. With fifteen I could go without shopping for clothes either.
Yeeaaaah. I'm going to call B.S. on that one. That kind of self-sufficiency is always a charming Holy Grail to chase after for some people, but there's no way anyone on these boards is going to do that barring the complete collapse of human civilization. It's simply not an efficient use of time, and our MonkeySpheres aren't elevated enough to optimize our behavior for ethics.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
So, Seneca, you are saying you've never driven by an advertisement that you didn't know was going to be there? Attended an event where advertising existed that you didn't know was going to be there? (Advertisements for SPECIFIC COMPANIES)

You've never heard of externalities such as pollution?

You are unaware of how hiring practices can change the complexion of a community?

You don't know how the business practices of one company exert pressure on other companies to engage in similar practices?

You might want to stop and think about what you are actually arguing, because it literally is a fantasy land.

Much of which they are able to do because government collaborates with them.

A person really can disconnect from the big box retail world if they want to. Arguing that that is difficult isn't the same as it being impossible.

Give me five good acres and I wouldn't have to buy food again. With fifteen I could go without shopping for clothes either. There are an amazing mumber of things you can do for yourself if you'll just take the time to learn how.

I don't particularly want to do that, but there are a lot of skills I've picked up over the years.

I am in the unusual position of actually having the ability to (at least try to) choose another country, but for most Americans the government is the one thing we're stuck with. That's the point Seneca is trying to make.

Actually I've become quite interested over the years in urban homesteading. Here's a great resource for it. Those who claim you can't become self sustaining (or at least very, very close) on a few acres of land are simply ignorant and haven't done the research.
http://urbanhomestead.org/

[ June 13, 2013, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Give me five good acres and I wouldn't have to buy food again. With fifteen I could go without shopping for clothes either.
Yeeaaaah. I'm going to call B.S. on that one. That kind of self-sufficiency is always a charming Holy Grail to chase after for some people, but there's no way anyone on these boards is going to do that barring the complete collapse of human civilization. It's simply not an efficient use of time, and our MonkeySpheres aren't elevated enough to optimize our behavior for ethics.
No, I think it can be done. It would suck mightily and be a significantly reduced standard of living with one bad winter creating a serious life and death situation but it could be done. I know of someone that wanted to go off grid and lived in a yurt for a few years doing just this type of thing. We didn't invite him to many parties after a few weeks without running water ...
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Seriati
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The government vs company derail doesn't seem particularly interesting to me. While it's true you can't free yourself from all corporate influence, you can't really free yourself from any kind of influence in this country, not government, not multiple religions, not advocacy groups, so I'm not sure I get the point of the examples you're offering. The argument is about compulsion, and the government really is unique in that regard, which is why it's supposed to be limited.

On the original topic, I am surprised by the PRISM and phone log revelations. I thought that most of the provisions of the Patriot Act were okay, particularly around the collection of information in the public domain and sharing of information between government branches. I have never approved of the power granted to law enforcement to obtain warrants without judicial review.

But this stuff is different. I'm not sure how anyone can argue they knew the FISA court (which issues secret opinions) was routinely approving warrants to obtain this information without probable cause of the commission of a crime, without a whistle blower coming forward. Am I misunderstanding your assertion here? Or were you just speculating on it before, because it seems a different issue than the one that was obvious from the beginning. And therefore it seems like those who are reacting to that aren't really late to this party.

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MattP
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I've been reading about FISA rubber stamping on civil liberties blogs for years. This wasn't a new revelation, just a very highly covered one.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
I've been reading about FISA rubber stamping on civil liberties blogs for years. This wasn't a new revelation, just a very highly covered one.

Yeah but that's not really mainstream though. I think he's talking about how it's now broken out into the average person's awareness.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Give me five good acres and I wouldn't have to buy food again. With fifteen I could go without shopping for clothes either.
Yeeaaaah. I'm going to call B.S. on that one. That kind of self-sufficiency is always a charming Holy Grail to chase after for some people, but there's no way anyone on these boards is going to do that barring the complete collapse of human civilization. It's simply not an efficient use of time, and our MonkeySpheres aren't elevated enough to optimize our behavior for ethics.
Red herring. I didn't say I think it's a wise use of time. I do however have all the knowledge to do it if I needed to. (I actually worked as a weaver for a year, and as a horticulturaist for years. My wife survived near famine in Russia after the economic collapse. Again, there's a lot you can do if you'll simply take the time to learn how to do it.) I'm not ready to be a doctor, but that wasn't the question. If I understood Seneca correctly he was arguing that while it is possible to avoid the big box stores, one can't avoid the government.

G3's right in that it wouldn't be fun, but it's possible to do. You can't get away from the government unless you are in a position to emmigrate, which for an American is harder than you'd think.

[ June 13, 2013, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
But this stuff is different. I'm not sure how anyone can argue they knew the FISA court (which issues secret opinions) was routinely approving warrants to obtain this information without probable cause of the commission of a crime, without a whistle blower coming forward. Am I misunderstanding your assertion here? Or were you just speculating on it before, because it seems a different issue than the one that was obvious from the beginning. And therefore it seems like those who are reacting to that aren't really late to this party.

Exactly my sentiments as well. I don't remember reading that the Patriot Act would be used to spy on each and every American as if we are guilty until proven innocent. No way in Hades most Americans thought this was the objective. Thank goodness Owebama et al are here to save us from ourselves. Is it blasphemy to speak againt the One?? Silly.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
No way in Hades most Americans thought this was the objective.
I told everyone that was the objective over a decade ago. Sadly, only my Senator voted against it.

----------

quote:
You can't get away from the government unless you are in a position to emmigrate, which for an American is harder than you'd think.
I would argue that it is easier to emigrate than it is to try to raise a family with fourteen acres and a plow.

[ June 13, 2013, 07:15 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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LetterRip
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DarkJello,

quote:
Exactly my sentiments as well. I don't remember reading that the Patriot Act would be used to spy on each and every American as if we are guilty until proven innocent. No way in Hades most Americans thought this was the objective.
The only reason 'most Americans' thought otherwise is from failing to reason things through and failing to listen to anyone informed on the issue. It has been quite clear from essentially the passing of the act that this sort of thing was happening.

Incidentally, this type of thing happened long before the act, just not as directly.

Before the act, the federal agencies would either spy on citizens of foreign governments, and the foreign governments would spy on ours, then trade data. Or the US government would just buy the information from commercial companies.

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DarkJello
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TomDavidson and LetterRip:

I believe you, and I mostly agree. But now it has gone from something behind the scenes to in-your-face. It is not shock so much as deep concern that motivates me to make some noise. Very tricky to bring this up at work, as almost everyone prefers willful ignorance as their protection. Such a strat makes no sense to me. The "it cannot happen in America crowd" is alive and well, sadly.

This seems appropriate here:
"...and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Peace is tops, but not always possible.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
You can't get away from the government unless you are in a position to emmigrate, which for an American is harder than you'd think.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would argue that it is easier to emigrate than it is to try to raise a family with fourteen acres and a plow.

To emigrate from the USA for most countries you either have to marry a national or have a PhD.

Gardening really isn't that hard, neither is raising animals, building, weaving, etc. A person could learn most of that in a month. You can't get a PhD in a month. Marrying a foriegn national might be easier but most of the world's governments aren't an improvement.

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LetterRip
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Viking_Longship,

I've heard you can get a PhD from some (legitimate) foreign universities in a month with the proper application of bribes. They apparently will backdate all of the course work you need, etc.

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Viking_Longship
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Enough tangential BS. Are you people seriously arguing that Walmart has the same authority as the White House and Congress?

[ June 13, 2013, 09:25 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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djquag1
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I don't think anyone is arguing that.

It's amusing to see the regulars come out to declare that poor people being poor is entirely poor people's fault, though. To be expected.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Are you people seriously arguing that Walmart has the same authority as the White House and Congress?
No one, as far as I can tell, is talking about authority; they are talking about power. WalMart? Maybe. Yum? Unilever? Dow? DuPont? BP? More likely.
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DarkJello
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quote:
Originally posted by djquag1:
It's amusing to see the regulars come out to declare that poor people being poor is entirely poor people's fault, though. To be expected.

Where did someone say poor people are 100% to blame for everything wrong/bad in their own life?

Gooberment is in bed with so many large companies. Not sure why so many refuse to see. Our bloated gooberment is also in cahoots with many in the media. So yes, they do have WAY more power and control over our lives than Walmart, Burger King, Ace, Verizon, Starbucks, or even the NBA. But in a smackdown between World of Warcraft and the gooberment I don't know who would win. [Wink]

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