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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/28/2010 23:17:01 MDT Print View

David: I think I understand Lynn's post and agree with her.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Historically speaking as they pertain to us Americans -- they were 'inherent' only because enough people decided to fight for them -- and then very possibly only because the French came to our aid and dissuaded Britain from fighting an even longer and more protracted war!

And today? They are 'inherent' only to the extent that we as citizens remain vigilant. Ironic, perhaps, but in its effort to "defend freedom and democracy", the past administration did much damage to our cherished notions of human rights and the rule of law. Like a herd of sheep, too many of us were too eager to exchange freedom for security.

Life? Maybe. But liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights that were hard won and required continuous defending. There is nothing inherent about them.

Edited by ben2world on 09/28/2010 23:32:56 MDT.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"The Carbon Flame War" on 09/28/2010 23:55:23 MDT Print View

I use the word inherent because I think all humans have rights simply by being human. I never said that we have always been able to exercise those rights.

My use of the word "inherent" was not meant to imply that there are not costs associated with obtaining/maintaining the rights we enjoy here.

I believe North Koreans have all the same natural rights (if I am using that term correctly) as I do. They are precluded from exercising them by their government.

A government cannot take away my right to free speech, but can only prevent me from exercising that right.

In my opinion, rights beyond those that I referred to as natural rights are awarded by government and can be rescinded by the government.

Some folks choose to advocate for a right to healthcare, education, etc. I would prefer to call those programs entitlements.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
The Carbon Flame War on 09/29/2010 00:16:44 MDT Print View

When I think of people who don't have a right to read, don't have a right to knowledge, and don't have a right to be informed, I think of slaves.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re. The Carbon Flame War on 09/29/2010 00:54:06 MDT Print View

Dave,

You get it.

Lynn,

I do not have time to write a dissertation, but will quickly jot down some quick points to help you see this clearly.

The Declaration of Independence sets out the rights of man. It is a declaration to inform the King of England of the basic rights (irrespective of government) of Man-kind (to include women), to unify the colonies against England, to convince Americans loyal to England that England had violated their rights, and to garner support from other nations. Basic theme is the Rights of the Individual. Governments can be formed to insure these rights.

"LOL, try being happy with ill health."
The document does NOT say man (or women) have a right to happiness... they have a right to pursue happiness. BIG difference.

The Declaration did not infer it necessary to believe in a creator. As a matter of fact the first draft said man was "created" with these rights. It is not exactly known at what point “Creator” was inserted. Jefferson's intent was "created" and not by a Creator. However, given the intended multiple audience, it was somehow changed.

The Declaration of Independence is not the Constitution of the United States. And the authors of the Constitution could not foresee all required statutes and rights that would stand the test of time. That is why there are 3 branches of government to serve as a system of checks and balances, and specific rights are spelled out in the Bill of Rights. Additionally there was, and is, the need to allow the Rights of the individual States along with the Rights of the Nation. This was a delicate balancing act to get all the colonies to join the new nation, and gain independence from England.

The Constitution did not exempt the rights of Blacks and women. Blacks were granted the right to vote in most of the northern states when those states created their own State Constitutions in the period of 1776-1784!! Do your research on the Black Vote during the 1700's. I think you will be stunned. During this period of time, Baltimore had more Black voters than white.

Women also had the right to vote in several states starting in 1776, and some of those were rescinded later… by States. The issue here was State Rights versus Federal Rights. Because the Constitution is a living, breathing document, these rights were universally granted by the 19th amendment in 1920.

Mankind is fallible, and this living Constitution was designed to overcome that. And to protect these rights, the people (government) can take actions against those who violate the rights of individuals; e.g. your incarceration question.

It has provisions for revisions, as the authors intended. It can never become a dinosaur, unless the U.S. self-destructs under the burden of socialism. So it is NOT a DINOSAUR, but one of the greatest documents ever written.

And although I am upset with what has happened in the US over the past 80 plus years, I still feel it is the greatest country on earth to live in, and it still has the ability to protect the individual rights of mankind. I would never, ever consider moving to another country.

The problem I see today is that we have passed laws that restrict the individual rights of mankind, by embracing Marxism, communism, socialism, altruism, and all sorts of immoral systems that restrict the individual rights of mankind.

Today in the US, the Tea Party is quickly providing an awaking of individual rights. I am not a Tea Party member or advocate. But they are exercising the right to change the government.

Edited by ngatel on 09/29/2010 00:57:27 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re. The Carbon Flame War on 09/29/2010 01:08:22 MDT Print View

Lynn quoted a 'scientist' as saying:
"Global warming might cause a small increase in earthquakes, she said. "I think it's really tiny – it [global warming] has a much stronger effect on creating more tornadoes and hurricanes than creating more earthquakes."

No it doesn't. Accumulated cyclone energy over the last 25 years is down not up. I can't be bothered to hunt for the graph or reference, but it's out there, take it from me.

I'm so sick of these scaremongers telling lies to the public. It's professional misconduct and they should have their grants (and a few other bits) cut off for it.

Edited by tallbloke on 09/29/2010 01:09:12 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 08:32:58 MDT Print View

David:

To me, it's just a matter of drawing a line somewhere. And that line is almost always as arbitrary and vague as any product of society at large!. As well, the very terms "liberty" and "pursuit of happiness" are mere abstract "ideals" that are near meaningless -- unless and until given meaning by... society. There is really nothing "inherent" about concepts that result from the countless arguments, decisions, and revisions of countless human societies.

The kings of old -- the products of their societies which subscribed to the "divine" right to rule -- would find your concept preposterous! And I dare say this: should society define access to education and basic health care as "rights" -- then give it a generation or three -- and some folks will see those rights as "inherent" just as you currently see "liberty" and "pursuit of happiness" -- whatever they mean -- as inherent! It's all pretty arbitrary.

Curious, how do you define the so-called inherent rights to "liberty" and "pursuit of happiness"? Do they include the right to form your own family? Is that an inherent right? I ask because that sounds pretty integral to liberty and pursuit of happiness. And yet, much of that is actually defined and decided by governments!

Edited by ben2world on 09/29/2010 09:22:36 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 09:22:32 MDT Print View

I'll probably regret wading into this again...so don't be surprised if I vanish from this thread at any moment (out of trying to keep my sanity)...

The Tea Party.
The Libertarians, the Free Market crowd.

"If we could only return the country to constitutional government" they cry!!!

"Take it back! Take it back!"

So what does the constitution say about how to provide health care and education to children that belong to people that are out of work or broke?

It doesn't specifically say anything about that, does it?

So what do we do then?
So do we tell them that they have no "inherent constitutional right" to health care, too bad...go die where we can't see you?

What do we do about those that CANNOT work, those that are injured, those that are ill or disabled, those that have no family or savings to see them through hard times? Tell them they should've planned better, let them eat our garbage (hell, most restruants don't even allow that anymore and lock up their trash) usher them into tent camps in South Los Angeles?

Do all those people dissapear when we finally return to constitutional government and free the markets?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 10:18:43 MDT Print View

An inherent right normally define those rights that apply to our relationships with other people, organizations, government, etc. In the U.S. we have inherent rights as spelled out in the Bill of Rights. Congress and the President have inherent rights as spelled out by law. These are Legal Rights.

Unalienable Rights are Natural or Moral Rights that cannot be limited by governments, organizations, or other people. These are different than Inherent Rights. Should our unalienable rights be restricted by government, then it is justifiable to form governments among men to insure these rights.

Edited by ngatel on 09/29/2010 10:19:35 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 10:26:32 MDT Print View

So what does the constitution say about how to provide health care and education to children that belong to people that are out of work or broke?

It doesn't specifically say anything about that, does it?

---------------------------------------------------------------

No it doesn't. And that is by design. If we continue to steal the fruits of labor from the producers, they will stop producing. If you are paying 30% of your income in taxes, it will become 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%. At what point will you be unable to provide for yourself, after all your earnings are taken from you?

Eventually there will be no resources to provide anything to anyone. It is an hour glass and it is running out of sand.

Eventually the producers will give up and want to become the recipients.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
"The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 10:41:52 MDT Print View

Hi Nick,

A quick question: why didn't the producers stop producing between 1940 and 1986 when the top U.S. federal marginal income tax rate ranged between 50% and 92%? This discussion is sounding all too Ayn-Randish.

Cheers,

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 09/29/2010 10:42:40 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 11:00:15 MDT Print View

Nick:

And all of them publically debated and decided more than two centuries ago -- and amended from time to time ever since. Inherent, inalienable, etc. as used are all political terms -- nothing more and nothing less.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 12:22:40 MDT Print View

Part I

The economic strength of the US has shifted from agriculture to industry to service over its history. Economic cycles have prevailed throughout all of them. Early on their were Indians, indentured servants, slaves, and the Lords Proprietors. The propreitors received land grants from European royalty. Much weath for both. Much hard work for servants and slaves. Much grief for Indians.

US independence from England was a really big deal. It worked because more people began to share the wealth resulting from their hard work. The common man had something to fight for. The slave situation had to be put on hold in order for the plan to work. However, the founding fathers knew their would eventually be another war over slavery.

Then things were good for a while.

About 100 years later, the Civil War severly tested the US. By then the industrial North had become much stronger than the agricultural South as far as being able to wage war. The war ended. The country healed for the most part.

Again, things were good for a while.

Until the Great Depression wreaked havoc on the economy. Things were very bad. Coming out of the Great Depression, the US began fighting in WWII.

After the war, economies were growing during the rebuilding of countries. US fighting men returned home and many attended college on the GI Bill.

Again, things were good for a while.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 12:31:37 MDT Print View

US economic cycles since mid 19th century

http://www.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 13:34:31 MDT Print View

A quick question: why didn't the producers stop producing between 1940 and 1986 when the top U.S. federal marginal income tax rate ranged between 50% and 92%? This discussion is sounding all too Ayn-Randish
-----------------------------------------------------------

Welfare increased at a much higher rate than the population. Welfare takes people out of production. Mixed economy "producers" are often producing products/services that do not contribute to real growth. Some of those producers produce products/services that are the result of government favors or political pull. Without the "pull" they would not have income to tax.

Thanks for the Ayn Rand compliment.

-----------------------------------------------------------

welfare vs population


welfare spending

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
"The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 14:02:55 MDT Print View

Your welcome!

Here's my alltime favorite Randian reference:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

Cheers,

Rick

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
The welfare flame war. on 09/29/2010 14:28:35 MDT Print View

"Welfare takes people out of production. "

Illness, unemployment, old age, family circumstances, etc, can take people out of production.
Welfare stops folk from starving.

Sure, some folk abuse the system, but any 'decent' society should try to look after the most vulnerable members. That isn't socialism, it's being human.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 14:39:23 MDT Print View

The graphs are sobering. But what is more sobering (and depressing) is that fact that few if anyone advocates cutting their own tax benefits / deductions -- it's always about cutting somebody else's... So, emotions aside, there is a profound lack of credibility.

Any of ye Tea Partyers want to volunteer:

1. elimination of property tax deductions
2. elimination of mortgage interest tax deductions
3. elimination of Medicare and prescription drug coverage?

But oh my, SUCH ANGER when Obama dared to extend medical benefits to the poor and uninsured...

Edited by ben2world on 09/29/2010 14:41:35 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: The welfare flame war. on 09/29/2010 14:48:35 MDT Print View

Mike,

I agree, if you want to look out for vulnerable members go ahead and give them your help.

But do not take my money from me by force. I worked hard for that money, and it is mine. It is the result of my hard work and labor. I work harder than most people. I also have provided for my own security. I started out poor with no opportunity, other than the opportunities I created for myself.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: "The Carbon Flame War" on 09/29/2010 14:55:57 MDT Print View

Any of ye Tea Partyers want to volunteer:

1. elimination of property tax deductions
2. elimination of mortgage interest tax deductions
3. elimination of Medicare and prescription drug coverage?

------------------------------------------------------------

I am a not a Tea Partyer. But I will willing give all of that up. But in exchange I want:

All citizens pay a flat percentage of income to pay for essential services. The percentage would be the same for all income levels. OR

All citizen pay a fixed fee for essential services. The dollar amount is the same no matter what the income level is. OR

No one pays taxes. You pay for your own essential services used.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: The welfare flame war. on 09/29/2010 15:26:09 MDT Print View

Mike,

"Sure, some folk abuse the system, but any 'decent' society should try to look after the most vulnerable members."

It is not just some in the US. The abuse of the system is rampant. When you have intergenrational welfare then the welfare isn't helping. People are being incentivized to not work, not try to find a job, and in fact encouraged to do nothing but milk the system. I see people almost every time I am at the grocery store using their welfare (LoneStar card here in TX) to purchase groceries while buying cigarrettes, beer, and lotto tickets with cash. Many of these people have multiple kids.


One study I read showed that half of uninsured americans aged 18-64 could afford insurance if they chose. They do not shoose to.