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Old 05-30-2011, 04:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Take a step back from the immediate situation and look at this in a larger context. As you say, it is the nature of governments to collect revenue. Well, why not collect it disproportionately from those who are violating the law?

I won't argue as to the nature of the law being uniformly just (eg: speed limits are some times arbitrarily low) but given that the traffic law is what it is, I'd far rather that revenue be gathered in this manner than from an additional uniform tax.
Governments are criminalizing behavior that isn't dangerous, then fining those that violate made-up laws. That is the definition of tyranny. Governments always tend towards tyranny. If the people don't keep their governments under control, they will have to put up with this crap.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
Governments are criminalizing behavior that isn't dangerous, then fining those that violate made-up laws.
So, it's your stated position that running red lights is not dangerous?
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:24 PM   #23
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Was it worth making that argument when you know Jason was probably referring to arbitrarily-set speed laws?
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Was it worth making that argument when you know Jason was probably referring to arbitrarily-set speed laws?
It would make no more or less sense.

So speed laws are arbitrary. What of it? Does anyone here honestly expect that some kind of grassroots movement is going to change that?

Our government isn't perfect, but they're not exactly annexing private businesses and sending people to the gulag for political speech, either. Until that time comes, anything resembling a populist revolution has about as much chance of happening as Hyper has of understanding basic thermodynamics. I think I need not support that argument beyond pointing to a couple hundred years worth of complacent voter behavior and the functional impenetrability and apparently indefinite sustainability of the two-party system.


That being the case, one can either expend a bunch of effort pissing and moaning about the situation, or simply learn to function within it. The former approach tends to be highly profitable if one happens to host a radio talk show, and almost entirely pointless and self-defeating if one does not.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:40 PM   #25
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I couldn't disagree more. You have made a mistaken assumption that pointing out the injustices and inconsistencies, no matter how trivial they may appear to be, is only a successful endeavour if a wholesale, dramatic change is brought about.

On the contrary, this effort can be successful even if all it accomplishes is to slow down or momentarily pause the encroachment on individual liberty or the growth of statist or collectivist goals.

Stop thinking in terms of sudden, violent revolution and start thinking in terms of gradual shifts in thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:52 PM   #26
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Additionally, I should point out that you changed arguments -- you did challenge Jason by questioning whether he thinks laws against running red lights are arbitrary or not. Making that claim and then simply abandoning it by saying that it doesn't matter if the law is arbitrary or not (as you did when responding to me) is poor form -- if it doesn't matter, then why make the argument in the first place?

Regarding what I was trying to explain just above, I find the Overton Window to be a useful way of thinking about it.

http://www.mackinac.org/7504
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Stop thinking in terms of sudden, violent revolution and start thinking in terms of gradual shifts in thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
To a certain extent, I suppose I was responding to every post Jason has ever made, rather than just this specific one.

As a broad generalization, Jason seems mostly to encourage the idea that radical and revolutionary change is both necessary and achievable in response to even the slightest perceived injustice. Previous examples include:
  1. The Federal Reserve corporation is evil and must be eliminated.
  2. Fiat money is evil, and we must eliminate the use of paper notes and return to a gold-only currency system.
  3. The lending of money at interest is inherently evil, as over time it tends to consolidate all wealth with the banks, therefore banks must be eliminated.
  4. "Governments are farmers and their subjects are cattle", therefore all governments must be abolished.
  5. Etc.
None of these themes seem to call for "gradual shifts in thoughts, ideas, and opinions."

Don't take this as a personal attack against you or even against Jason. This particular thread happened to be more of a general, wandering rant (which is usually my territory) and while there was no specific call to action in the OP, the subsequent observation that "Governments always tend towards tyranny. If the people don't keep their governments under control, they will have to put up with this crap" seemed to be headed in the usual direction.


My on-topic counterpoint is a very simple one, and as subtlety has thus far failed me in this thread, I'll make my position fairly clear:

There are some things in life that are worth getting riled up about, and some that aren't.

We have had both speed limits and speed enforcement for as long as we have had cars and roads. As a matter of historical precedent, attempts to abolish either within the US have always failed (see Montana 1996 - 1999, where the "reasonable and prudent" law was found to be sufficiently vague as to violate Due Process, and was replaced by a statewide 75 MPH limit).


What is worse, regardless of whatever anecdotal facts and figures we might produce in support of the idea that speed limits should be repealed within the US (eg: In Germany, I can drive 200 kph on the autobahn, and those roads aren't littered with charred corpses) there does exist a substantial body of supportable research to demonstrate that:

A: In general, a lowering of speed limits has tended to lead to an observable reduction in fatalities and / or reportable accidents:



and B: In general, a raising of speed limits has tended to lead to an observable increase in fatalities and / or reportable accidents:




(Source for both tables: "Review and Analysis of Posted Speed Limits and Speed Limit Setting Practices in British Columbia"


Don't get me wrong. Personally, I think it's all bullshit and agree that most speed limits in the US are arbitrarily low. And as a person who grew up in the southeast and later moved west, I can speak firsthand to the notion that the media stereotypes of small-town southern LEOs being predatory ******** (relative to their counterparts in the western US and in northern Europe) have some grounding in reality, and the speed enforcement in that region of the country is, in general, done more for the sake of revenue generation than public safety.

But unfortunately, that doesn't matter.

We can argue ad nauseum about how such studies as the above may be biased, or exhibit preferential selection of datasets, or otherwise be flawed. But the reality of the situation is that this particular subject has been beaten to death not only in the courts but at the voting booth as well, and it simply is not something that we can change.

Therefore, it's not really something that's worth climbing up onto the cross about.

It's just not that large of an impairment on my life to conform to the speed limits in the places where they enforce them, and learn how how to identify those places where they don't. There are some laws and policies which are worth fighting (and which stand some reasonable chance of being repealed) such as the DMCA, the healthcare and insurance reform policies of the Clinton and Obama administrations, the 18th amendment to the US Constitution, the Patriot Act, and Minnesota Statute 325F.37, which prohibits walking across the Minnesota-Wisconsin border while wearing a duck on your head.

If the US Government, or any state government, starts making overtures in the direction of censoring political speech, nationalizing private businesses,

And if it seems that there is a reasonable chance of nullifying a "nuisance law", such as legalizing the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages (21st amendment), or legalizing the sale and consumption of marijuana (CA 1996 Prop 215, 2010 Prop 19, 2010 SB 1449), etc, then I'm all for it.


But those who persist at expending great quantities of wind and energy decrying small perceived injustices which are not likely to be remedied under any set of circumstances resembling reality would do well to read Don Quixote.






Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Additionally, I should point out that you changed arguments -- you did challenge Jason by questioning whether he thinks laws against running red lights are arbitrary or not. Making that claim and then simply abandoning it by saying that it doesn't matter if the law is arbitrary or not (as you did when responding to me) is poor form -- if it doesn't matter, then why make the argument in the first place?
Are you familiar with the notion of a rhetorical question?

The question was grounded in an underlying assumption that neither Jason nor anyone else would reasonably support the argument that a law prohibiting the running of red lights is unjust, and would reject such a question as being silly. The implied assertion (again, recognizing that subtlety has failed to be recognized in this thread) was that the other argument (that speed limit laws are inherently unjust and likely to be repealed) was, by association, equally silly.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:26 PM   #28
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So again we are back to this basic structure of discussion:

Jason makes claims about the way things ought to be.

Joe Perez finds fault with Jason's posts and makes claims about the way things are.

Tell me how you aren't just talking past each other?
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:47 PM   #29
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Just to correct some misconceptions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Previous examples include:
The Federal Reserve corporation is evil and must be eliminated.
Correct, it's a cartel whose monopoly status should be revoked. They protect the largest banks and the big financial corporations at the expense of smaller firms and of the public in general.

Quote:
Fiat money is evil, and we must eliminate the use of paper notes and return to a gold-only currency system.
Monopoly, debt-based fiat money is a scam and is inherently unstable, producing the boom-bust cycle. I advocate not a return to a gold-only currency system, but the repeal of legal tender laws, so that there can be private money and currency competition. Big difference.

There is a very intriguing new idea for currency, made possible by modern technology, a sort of BitTorrent currency:
https://bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ

Quote:
The lending of money at interest is inherently evil, as over time it tends to consolidate all wealth with the banks, therefore banks must be eliminated.
Very, very wrong on both points. Banks, and lending of money at interest, play a very important role in the economy. What needs to be done is the monopoly privilege of central banks be revoked.


Quote:
"Governments are farmers and their subjects are cattle", therefore all governments must be abolished.
I agree with the basic concept that governments are the tool by which the power elite milk the masses, but I lean more towards Minarchy (a gov't that protects rights and does not "provide"), rather than Agorism / AnarchoCapitalism.


Quote:
None of these themes seem to call for "gradual shifts in thoughts, ideas, and opinions."
Wrong, I agree with mgeoffriau with gradual shifts rather than sudden change, which is disruptive. The way to do it is with education. The Internet is doing this. We have the legal process still intact. The best tool IMO is the 10th Amendment in order to de-centralize power, which is the the first step.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
So, it's your stated position that running red lights is not dangerous?
Wrong, red-light cameras are a scam because at many installations the yellow time is too short as per traffic engineering standards.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:56 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Regarding what I was trying to explain just above, I find the Overton Window to be a useful way of thinking about it.

http://www.mackinac.org/7504
Great link. It references Public Choice Theory, which I think is a great concept to understand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_choice_theory
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:03 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Tell me how you aren't just talking past each other?
I suspect you are correct, and thus, although I continue to maintain that neither revoking the authority of the Federal Reserve, abolishing the concept of debt-based fiat currency, or breaking the monopoly of the Federal government to standardize currency in favor of nonuniform "private money" are anything but radical, revolutionary, and completely unimplementable demands, I shall heed my own advice as regards knowing the difference between things that are worth getting riled over and things that aren't, by acknowledging the futility of trying to make other people see things from my point of view in this thread.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:23 PM   #32
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The Overton Window is how they are corrupting this country. If you were to take an average "Joe" from 1900 and place him in 2011, I think he would be astonished with this police state. Along the same lines if your were to take MT Joe back to the 1900's, I'm pretty sure he would get an *** kicking min and shot most likely. Thats how it works though, small changes that add up to a big change in thinking over time.

Our country will slowly come back to its roots. Pointing out injustice no matter how small is our duty. JasonC SSB and Mgeoffriau are right in line with my values, keep it real guys. Joe Perez, please don't ever run for office, I would hate to lead your smear campaign

They tried to charge me a dollar per page last week at a gov building...lol Where is the justice.

Last edited by jacob300zx; 05-31-2011 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:04 AM   #33
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I got my bull pup AK-47 in yesterday. Can't do that in cheese land, now can ya.
accuracy is overrated
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:57 AM   #34
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Just picked up a hi-point 995ts today. Got some extra mags on the way to give this cheap carbine a test run. They are supposed to be super accurate out to 100yards. I wonder what the best red dot is that would allow me to co-witness?

Oh, and this is for Joe. The people can stick it to the government. The bottom happened after 4 years of abuse and bitching of the people.

http://www.khou.com/news/local/-Hous...106584039.html
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:16 PM   #35
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The Overton Window is how they are corrupting this country. If you were to take an average "Joe" from 1900 and place him in 2011, I think he would be astonished with this police state.
Exactly. Some people call this "gradualism".

BTW - re: the reduction in accidents shown by Joe. Let's assume they're true. You then have to ask, what is the cost and the benefit? You can't just say "save lives at any cost", because that would mean we should drive cars speed limited to 15 mph while wearing helmets. Standard actuarial analysis is the value of a life saved is $1M. So one can run the numbers of the icnreased cost of reduced speed limits in terms of time and lost productivity, vs. the lives saved. There is also some average cost of injury accidents and fender-benders. If the economic value lost is > $1M per life saved then it's now worth it.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:20 PM   #36
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You guys can't question your gov't, that's not patriotic. You are all just a bunch of Anarchists who want to lead us into Totalitarianism.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:22 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I continue to maintain that neither revoking the authority of the Federal Reserve...[is] anything but radical, revolutionary, and completely unimplementable demand.

Okay Alexander Hamilton...remember when Burr fucked you up?


Joe, would you run a public company in the red, staying afloat just by borrowing more and more money, giving into the demands of your employees for more pay/benefits with no merit behind it, give your execs large bonuses and then say the business was successful?
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:46 PM   #38
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.. neither revoking the authority of the Federal Reserve, abolishing the concept of debt-based fiat currency, or breaking the monopoly of the Federal government to standardize currency in favor of nonuniform "private money" are anything but radical, revolutionary, and completely unimplementable demands,
There are ways to wean us off monopoly fiat money, one small step at a time. These changes can be phased in slowly over time.

The easiest step 1 is to get rid of all taxes and fees on exchanges between USD, gold, and silver. Step 2 is for the courts to accept that gold and silver can be stipulated as payment in contracts which thus can be enforced. See what Utah just did:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...c5982a1fc02836

Step 3 is to outlaw the Federal Reserve's power to bail out financial institutions.

Step 4 could be to allow banks to separate from the FED and form competing central banks, each with their own currency. The FED could stay with their "Federal Reserve Notes" (look at the text written across the top of a dollar bill in your wallet).

Step 5 could be for the gov't to accept gold and silver as payment of taxes.

And so on....
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:02 PM   #39
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accuracy is overrated
One billion sperm released and only one hits the target. That's almost as efficient as the federal government.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:16 PM   #40
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Just wait till the OECD has its way and the WTO (world tax organization) tells us how we can or cannot tax our citizens.

don't believe me? look it up, we are already the biggest donator to the program...American taxpayer's dollars going to Paris in order to rule over the world.

In fact the Global Tax Forum is meeting in Bermuda today.

Since the world is globalized now, we cant have countries like Hong Kong offering a 10% flat tax to businesses and driving up competition! that would be wrong! gotta keep them down.
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