Archive for the ‘Debate’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Hillary’s Turn

With both Cruz and Kasich now out of the game, it is Hillary’s turn in Trump’s sights for his wild politician destruction derby. It should be even more entertaining than the preliminary rounds. It appears that “Anonymous” is ready to help with an outline for the opposition research:

How many of those scandals had you forgotten? How many have young voters never even heard of? What are the chances that they soon will? This is going to be continuously amusing to watch, especially the dilemma of the #NeverTrump cabal, as he systematically rips the bark off her, on the way to his overwhelming victory in November… 😀 ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon AR: Purpose

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

Alas, it is with great disappointment that I can see already that I am not going to be very helpful with this project. I had difficulty even picking a relevant stub for this comment. Thus, I will add this new one. What exactly is to be the purpose of America 2.0?

As I understood our mission, it was to design a workable replacement societal structure, for the rapidly collapsing America 1.0. I find I am not ready to concede the basic premise inherent in the descriptions of these stubs; namely that whatever their forms, there must again be a nation-state, with a hierarchy of ancillary governments to control the population.

Next to my life, my personal Liberty, and individual Sovereignty, are at the top of my hierarchy of values. I regard what is being referred to here as ‘limited government,’ as instead a ‘coercive’ entity, providing ‘limited Liberty’ and perhaps ‘limited Sovereignty,’ for the ‘altruistic’ benefit of the ‘collective,’ all of which are odious concepts to me.

As I have suggested, I think I have some workable ideas that do not require coercion, or empowering anyone to violate enlightened civilization’s fundamental non-aggression axiom. Before I can figure out how to incorporate them into these categories, I need the answer to the above question… what is to the fundamental purposes we are trying to achieve? If I could demonstrate how they might be achieved without government, will anyone be willing to entertain such ideas seriously? ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon AR: Sovereignty

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

Simply stated, how should sovereignty be allocated in a reborn America? We take it as a given that all individuals should enjoy some level of individual liberty but, does this mean that every individual has the same input / influence into the governing system? For instance, should suffrage be universal or should there be some qualifications or limitations on the voting franchise?

Additionally, without presuming any specific governmental hierarchy yet assuming some manner of hierarchy will prove desirable, how should sovereignty be allocated between the various levels in whatever hierarchy results in this reborn America? How does one limit the ability of one level in a hierarchy from devouring the sovereignty of other levels? (I refer here to what has happened to current America where the Federal level of our hierarchy has effectively neutralized the sovereignty of the State and Local levels.

PostHeaderIcon AR: Funding

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

How best should the various levels of necessary government be allowed to fund themselves?

PostHeaderIcon AR: Limiting Government

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

Our Founders did a credible job of creating a workable balance between the necessity for some control (government) while still allowing maximum liberty. Yet, they soon discovered the impossibility of “keeping the genie in the bottle”. Is this, as I suspect, an inevitable flaw in any and all attempts to govern? If so, how best to keep the inevitable at bay for as long as possible? Better yet, might there be a scheme that would provide for continual rebirth without continual chaos?

Said another way, are there ways to make governmental structure more immune to the realities of human nature?

PostHeaderIcon AR: Liberty

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

I take it as a given that a reborn America must be a land of freedom. All the while recognizing that some control (government) is required. Or, as Madison observed, if men were angels…

In a word, how best to provide the necessary amount of control (government) to protect freedom, safety, etc. while minimizing the intrusion into individual liberty?

PostHeaderIcon AR: Economic System

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

What should be the primary economic system of the reborn America? How can it be made more fair while still keeping it free? What is the proper role of the State in the economic system?

PostHeaderIcon AR: Overall Structure

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

What should a reborn America look like? How much of the original structure should be kept versus how could it be improved? And why (what are the trade-offs)?

PostHeaderIcon AR: Necessity

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

Is this attempt even necessary? Might it be better to just let things continue BAU and hope for the best? Might our suggestions only make things worse?

PostHeaderIcon AR: Where / How To Begin?

[Note: Posts with titles that begin with AR: are stubs for the project described atAmerica Reborn,” which probably should be read first…]

As we think about a restructured America, we face a problem with many “circular dependencies”, making it almost impossible to determine the best way to begin each approach. As a simple “for instance”, we all know that fixing our educational system is a must. But, will an uneducated populace support the time and resources required?

PostHeaderIcon America Reborn

Dave and I have suggested a series of articles addressing the subject: What Should The New America Look Like?

This is based on the collective analysis in this blog that the current America is essentially an historical artifact that will soon degenerate into total chaos unless some new, possibly radical approaches are tried. Said another way, there is no viable path back to what we once were – and were intended to be, ergo there is no rationality in wasting the time and effort trying to do so.

Since only two of us currently have editorial privileges here, and, so that we can have multiple threads so that the discussions remain navigable, I propose to post a series of topical “stubs” to which all participants can equally contribute. What I need you folks to do is suggest a starting list of topical stubs to get the conversation started.

Troy

PostHeaderIcon Illusion of Choice

This is very well put:

Choice

Yeah, the negative choice of the lesser of two evils… Please just Stop Voting; it only legitimizes and encourages the insufferable bastards. What would happen if they held an election, and nobody came? 🙁 ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Trump Foreign Policy

ICYMI:

Presidential enough for you? How about the content? ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Trump vs Bernie

I had never even heard of this program or its host, when I stumbled across this video; but these two guys are so good:

…and hilarious, that I couldn’t stop watching it! They sure have the voices and mannerisms down pat. 😀 ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon The Big Club

Robert Ringer has republished an article I had already read the other day entitled, “2016: The Year the Americans Found out Our Elections Are Rigged,” which included:

What we are witnessing — for the first time on a large scale — is the political establishment’s true role in selecting the president of the United States. The illusion of choice has become apparent. The establishment anoints their two picks for president, and the country proceeds to argue vehemently over the two candidates they are spoon-fed. This dynamic is reminiscent of a prophetic 1998 quote from philosopher Noam Chomsky:

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

Ahh, the illusion of choice. Sure, in reality there are third party candidates who should be given a fair shake, but in our mainstream media-augmented reality, third parties do not exist. They aren’t mentioned. They aren’t even included in presidential debates. This is another way the media stifles healthy debate, stamps out dissenting opinions, and preserves the status-quo.

We The People don’t choose our presidents; they are hand-picked by a powerful group of political party insiders — parties that have long since sold out to the highest bidders. What we have on our hands in America is a rigged oligarchy, and that’s not a conspiracy theory — it’s fact. Now, however, millions of Americans are becoming aware of it thanks to the populist campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. America’s elections are controlled by a big club, but unfortunately, “you ain’t in it!”

Carlin had this figured out long before I ever got around to seriously thinking about it. So, once again I ask, why do we legitimize their rule over us by voting in their sham elections? ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Look Around

I have stumbled across a profound and thought-provoking academic essay, which effectively slays most common arguments that governments are necessary for a modern peaceful society to exist. A downloadable PDF, it is entitled, “The Obviousness of Anarchy,” by John Hasnas,  Associate Law Professor, Georgetown University, J.D., Ph.D, LL.M. Those familiar with my Montessori education background, will understand why my antenna went up when I read:

“The author wishes to thank … Annette Hasnas of the Montessori School of Northern Virginia for a real world illustration of how rules evolve in the absence of centralized authority.”

My reaction was, well of course, a Montessori classroom of 3 to 5-year-old children, is a perfect example of spontaneous order and a smoothly functioning laissez faire society. How had it not occurred to me before to use that analogy? I certainly shall develop it in the future.

The essay begins:

The Obviousness of Anarchy

by John Hasnas

“You see, but you do not observe.”

Sherlock Holmes to Dr. John Watson in A Scandal in Bohemia

I. Introduction

In this article, I have been asked to present an argument for anarchy. This is an absurdly easy thing to do. In fact, it is a task that can be discharged in two words–look around. However, because most of us, like Dr. Watson, see without observing the significance of what we see, some commentary is required.

Anarchy refers to a society without a central political authority. But it is also used to refer to disorder or chaos. This constitutes a textbook example of Orwellian newspeak in which assigning the same name to two different concepts effectively narrows the range of thought. For if lack of government is identified with the lack of order, no one will ask whether lack of government actually results in a lack of order. And this uninquisitive mental attitude is absolutely essential to the case for the state. For if people were ever to seriously question whether government actions are really productive of order, popular support for government would almost instantly collapse.

The identification of anarchy with disorder is not a trivial matter. The power of our conceptions to blind us to the facts of the world around us cannot be gainsaid. I myself have had the experience of eating lunch just outside Temple University’s law school in North Philadelphia with a brilliant law professor who was declaiming upon the absolute necessity of the state provision of police services. He did this just as one of Temple’s uniformed private armed guards passed by us escorting a female student to the Metro stop in this crime-ridden neighborhood that is vastly underserved by the Philadelphia police force.

A wise man once told me that the best way to prove that something is possible is to show that it exists. That is the strategy I shall adopt in this article. I intend to show that a stable, successful society without government can exist by showing that it has, and to a large extent, still does.

The way he casually unpacked the Orwellian corruption of the term ‘anarchy’ was masterful. I tend to get frustrated at the callous abuse of the English language, and am not as artful as he, at explaining how and why I am using a venerable word in its original sense.

Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Abstain From Beans

Abstain From Beans

by Robert LeFevre (1911-1986)

In ancient Athens, those who admired the Stoic philosophy of individualism took as their motto: “Abstain from Beans.” The phrase had a precise reference. It meant: don’t vote. Balloting in Athens occurred by dropping various colored beans into a receptacle.

To vote is to express a preference. There is nothing implicitly evil in choosing. All of us in the ordinary course of our daily lives vote for or against dozens of products and services. When we vote for (buy) any good or service, it follows that by salutary neglect we vote against the goods or services we do not choose to buy. The great merit of market place choosing is that no one is bound by any other person’s selection. I may choose Brand X. But this cannot prevent you from choosing Brand Y.

When we place voting into the framework of politics, however, a major change occurs. When we express a preference politically, we do so precisely because we intend to bind others to our will. Political voting is the legal method we have adopted and extolled for obtaining monopolies of power. Political voting is nothing more than the assumption that might makes right. There is a presumption that any decision wanted by the majority of those expressing a preference must be desirable, and the inference even goes so far as to presume that anyone who differs from a majority view is wrong or possibly immoral.

But history shows repeatedly the madness of crowds and the irrationality of majorities. The only conceivable merit relating to majority rule lies in the fact that if we obtain monopoly decisions by this process, we will coerce fewer persons than if we permit the minority to coerce the majority. But implicit in all political voting is the necessity to coerce some so that all are controlled. The direction taken by the control is academic. Control as a monopoly in the hands of the state is basic.

In times such as these, it is incumbent upon free men to reexamine their most cherished, long-established beliefs. There is only one truly moral position for an honest person to take. He must refrain from coercing his fellows. This means that he should refuse to participate in the process by means of which some men obtain power over others. If you value your right to life, liberty, and property, then clearly there is every reason to refrain from participating in a process that is calculated to remove the life, liberty, or property from any other person. Voting is the method for obtaining legal power to coerce others.

~ +++ ~

Note: This classic article was obviously written sometime prior to 1986. It is reprinted all over the net, and I was unable to locate the original digital source, so I have taken the liberty of memorializing its profound sagacity here as well. Since it is a rather cogent explanation of my own oft expressed motto: “Don’t Vote – It Just Encourages the Bastards,” I look forward to any discussions of it. Particularly, any reasonable arguments against it. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Mission Accomplished

…now, shall we expand it?

From the beginning, my mission for Trump was to eviscerate the Incumbrepublocrat duopoly, by disassembling the tenuous coalition of special interest groups, comprising its GOP wing. It has been fun to watch the process, and from my perspective, he has already rather effectively accomplished this mission. There is so much rancor between the competing factions, no matter what happens from here forward, there is no way in hell that the outcome of the GOP convention, could possibly be an enthusiastic grass roots, united behind the eventual nominee. That should spell disaster for the GOP wing in the General election, and rather dim hope for their future.

An unanticipated pleasure, has been to watch Sanders doing the same thing to the Collectivist wing. Like Trump, Sanders populist campaign will be stopped by the Democrat Party elites; and like Trump’s, his now enthusiastic supporters will be so pissed, that they will likely boycott the sham General election. The only thing left to motivate bitterly disenfranchised supporters, of either Trump or Sanders, is the old ‘Lessor of Two Evils’ ruse. Why even bother to choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, unless somehow one becomes convinced that the other one is unacceptably frightening to the future. The demagogues are pretty effective at this; but it has been rather pleasant to see all the new Primary voters, turning out in enthusiastic support for a candidate. In the General, most are voting against the worst one, while the ‘none of the above’ citizens register their displeasure by just staying home.

There is one delicious alternative, which could quite possibly destroy the entire Incumbrepublocrat duopoly in a single election. It looks like Trump and Sanders will both be denied the nomination, by arcane convention processes, rules, and procedures. What would happen if they decided to join forces, and run on an independent unity ticket of populists, against the cursed ‘establishment’ that is increasingly despised by the supporters of both?

I would bet good money that if they did so, they could easily win a plurality, if not a majority, of the General election votes against the two Incumbrepublocrat candidates. I for one, would register and vote for them in a heartbeat, just to help destroy the so-called two-party system. It wouldn’t matter a whit to me which one was at the top of the ticket, as long as Trump had the portfolio for trade negotiations and border control. I would probably even send them a $27 contribution or two, just to help the cause and keep them independent of the oligarchs. Any ideas on how we could get such a simple, yet quite likely successful, rebellion started? ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Trump’s Worldview

A really good analysis of Trump’s worldview is now available at, “Trump’s 19th Century Foreign Policy.” The correlation with modern libertarian thought on such matters is remarkable. On the off chance that he could actually be elected POTUS, it is well worth reading and pondering:

One of the most common misconceptions about Donald Trump is that he is opportunistic and makes up his views as he goes along. But a careful reading of some of Trump’s statements over three decades shows that he has a remarkably coherent and consistent worldview, one that is unlikely to change much if he’s elected president. It is also a worldview that makes a great leap backward in history, embracing antiquated notions of power that haven’t been prevalent since prior to World War II.

It is easy to poke fun at many of Trump’s foreign-policy notions—the promises to “take” Iraq’s oil, to extract a kind of imperial “tribute” from U.S. military allies like South Korea, his eagerness to emulate the Great Wall of China along the border with Mexico, and his embrace of old-style strongmen like Vladimir Putin. But many of these views would have found favor in pre-World War II—and even, in some cases, 19th century—America.

In sum, Trump believes that America gets a raw deal from the liberal international order it helped to create and has led since World War II. He has three key arguments that he returns to time and again over the past 30 years. He is deeply unhappy with America’s military alliances and feels the United States is overcommitted around the world. He feels that America is disadvantaged by the global economy. And he is sympathetic to authoritarian strongmen. Trump seeks nothing less than ending the U.S.-led liberal order and freeing America from its international commitments.

Trump has been airing such views on U.S. foreign policy for some time. He even spent $100,000 on a full-page ad in the New York Times in 1987 that had a message remarkably similar to what he is saying today.

The critique that follows is perhaps colored a bit by the alternative worldview of the author, Thomas Wright, a fellow and director of the Project on International Order and Strategy at The Brookings Institution. Yet, he seems fair in that he allows that Trump’s views are coherent and consistent, while comparing them with those of Charles Lindbergh and Robert Taft.

Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Please Don’t Vote

…It Just Encourages the Bastards:

Don't_Vote

 

Impeccable logic! Carlin was the best… 😀 ◄Dave►

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