View Poll Results: Do we live in a free country?

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Thread: Do We Live in a Free Country?

  1. #141
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    I generally go with the big three:

    Life
    Speech
    Defense

    Those rights are self evident natural social objects.

    Just to cover the basics of human needs, though, I'd think you'd have to add an opportunity to try to make a living, and the right to seek an opportunity to mate/reproduce.


    That covers "eat" and "reproduce" under the ol' Hierarchy of Needs.


    Most Americans would add a right to Property, though I realize that issue is subject to some dispute as to particulars.... mainly whether it is just "fruit of one's labors" or whether it includes "rent seeking behaviors".

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  2. #142
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    We have remnants of those but less than we use to have. I don't mean ancient days, I mean in my lifetime.
    Is LIFE better or worse now than in previous decades? We have more gadgets but less leisure time together as families. What happened to the 40 hour work week?
    Not your mother's motherhood: Moms by the numbers, through the decades - Parents - TODAY.com
    Growing up in the 50s, most mom's stayed home. Weekends were family trips to grandma's for get-togethers . Dad put in 8 hour days 5 day weeks. Overtime was rare.
    LIBERTY is not just being out of jail. The liberty to walk around without fear of being molested. My 4th birthday wish was to go to the movies by myself. I was a "big" boy now. My parents let me. Drive by shootings unheard of. Child molesters existed but not very many I suspect.
    PURSUIT of HAPPINESS. To me, that is making plans and working toward their goals, a better future. That requires a stable currency not steadily eroded by inflation. Steady employment so savings are not gobbled up by layoff periods. And faith that government and police and courts are just.

    We had it better in the 50s

    Before anyone says not everybody had those advantages, in efforts to make all equal, all are brought down to the bottom rung it seems.
    Last edited by yobarnacle; 08-30-14 at 12:21 AM.
    If you live long enough, you will live in a foreign country, because the past is foreign to the present. We lived differently then. The only constant is change!

  3. #143
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Just to cover the basics of human needs, though, I'd think you'd have to add an opportunity to try to make a living, and the right to seek an opportunity to mate/reproduce.


    That covers "eat" and "reproduce" under the ol' Hierarchy of Needs.


    Most Americans would add a right to Property, though I realize that issue is subject to some dispute as to particulars.... mainly whether it is just "fruit of one's labors" or whether it includes "rent seeking behaviors".
    Hmm... Eco's Hierarchy of Rights (I've done this before):


    Environmental rights
    Then comes civil rights: voting
    The next level I think would be labor rights: property
    Next up is human rights: opportunity for a living... food and association
    At the bottom of the pyramid, I'd put natural rights: life, speech and defense


    I might invert labor and civil rights, I'm not sure which naturally precedes the other.

  4. #144
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    It's important to differentiate "freedom" from "free country".
    And then the options to the question presume a black/white response, where really it's a scale.

    Absolute freedom is the end of the spectrum that's physically and practically impossible to obtain.

    Then there are different aspects of our environment that apply different restrictions to our freedom.
    Nature applies restrictions.
    Society applies restrictions.
    An extension of society, government applies restrictions.

    And when you begin to ask questions that are dependent on man made social structures, the answer is best derived through comparison. Do the people of one society retain more of their freedom than people in another society? Or religion. Or under governments.

    So when I'm asked if I think I live in a free country, I compare our freedoms to those in other countries, and I say "yes".
    But we're far from absolute freedom. We aren't free to take others' belongings. We aren't free to kill. Our freedoms are limited for what's determined to be the good of the environment we live in. Religions excommunicate people who violate their rules. Governments imprison or exile. Companies can fire you. Service providers can take you to court for violating terms of use. Society can make you an outcast if you act in abnormal ways.

    Every group you're forced or choose to belong to is going to influence your actions and restrict your freedoms.

  5. #145
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lachean View Post
    Liberty is a basic freedom? Liberty IS freedom. It implies everything Goshin is talking about.


    Fine! Do we have it or not?

  6. #146
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juanita View Post
    Fine! Do we have it or not?
    I answered that pages ago.
    Haymarket's "support" of the 2nd Amendment, a right he believes we never had.
    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    no. You cannot lose rights you do not have in the first place. There is no such thing as the right to have any weapon of your choice regardless of any other consideration. It simply does not exist.

  7. #147
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Forgive me, I am not trying to be obtuse, or excessively clever, or anything of the sort... and I am sorry if it comes across that way.

    Life: that's a simple one.... but pro-life and pro-choice would argue wouldn't they...
    Pursuit of happiness: more complicated but essentially are you free to pursue what makes you happy, as long as you aren't hurting anyone.

    Liberty.... ah, liberty. Now that is a bit more complex. We really can't say whether we have LIBERTY unless we know what it IS, right?

    But is my definition the same as yours? If so, is our definition the same as Some Random Dude we find in a coffee shop?


    When you say BASIC freedoms, are you asking me to accept some minimalist laundry list of what constitutes freedom? If so, what if my FAVORITE freedom isn't on that list? Is it then not legitimate that I feel I am NOT free if my favorite freedom is not respected?


    And will these definitions not meet variance between different individuals coming from different perspectives?


    Way back when the great minds were debating things like natural law, the proper place of government, democracy and rights, the days of Locke and Hobbes and so forth, one of those worthy wits asked this question: "Why should the common people care about political liberty when their children are starving? What use is franchise to the desperately poor?" He was pointing out how a theoretical political equality was of limited use when people were subject to incredible disparity of material prosperity, you see.... and this highlights the point I'm making about different viewpoints of freedom.


    OK, my point is that not everyone in this country have these freedoms. First, we have the police with whom you have no freedom of speech, no freedom to assemble-- just STFU and put your hands behind your back.... But even worse is the justice system and state agencies such as CPS, also known as DHS or DCFS, etc. who have even more power than the Police. Then you have a totally corrupt judicial system, especially in small towns and cities. How do you fight these agencies? How do you prove the corruption? The system is biased against you. Have you experienced any of this?

  8. #148
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juanita View Post
    OK, my point is that not everyone in this country have these freedoms. First, we have the police with whom you have no freedom of speech, no freedom to assemble-- just STFU and put your hands behind your back.... But even worse is the justice system and state agencies such as CPS, also known as DHS or DCFS, etc. who have even more power than the Police. Then you have a totally corrupt judicial system, especially in small towns and cities. How do you fight these agencies? How do you prove the corruption? The system is biased against you. Have you experienced any of this?
    But they're supposed to have those freedoms.

    You've cited examples of law enforcement abuse as though they're examples of us not having a right to these freedoms. But those kinds of abuses should be challenged and those responsible for unjustly taking your freedoms should be punished. The exceptions don't prove the rule. And by large, most police officers and government law enforcement personnel are decent people, often doing a thankless job at mediocre pay and higher risk.

  9. #149
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mittner View Post
    But they're supposed to have those freedoms.

    You've cited examples of law enforcement abuse as though they're examples of us not having a right to these freedoms. But those kinds of abuses should be challenged and those responsible for unjustly taking your freedoms should be punished. The exceptions don't prove the rule. And by large, most police officers and government law enforcement personnel are decent people, often doing a thankless job at mediocre pay and higher risk.


    I used to say that. Problem is, it isn't entirely true, and even if it were it doesn't matter; some of the abuse has become embedded in the system and enshrined under the umbrella of "necessity".


    Background: I am an ex-cop. Been out a long while, but I still remember well. Heh, still have nightmares actually.

    I was sworn in with the fire of passion in my soul, "To Protect And Serve" engraved on my brain, and a strong if idealistic motivation to protect The Good Folks from The Bad Guys.... strengthened by my recent loss of a good friend in a robbery at his place of business, btw.

    Well, there are problems there. For one, as SCOTUS has noted, the police are not liable for your protection; they're there to enforce the law. As much as Rookie Goshin WANTED to protect people.... there wasn't really a lot of opportunity to do so. Throughout my time behind the badge, there were only a few such moments and I cherish each one.

    Most cops spend most of their time writing reports AFTER the fact, and handing out fines and tickets, and dealing with drunks and druggies... and after a while you start to view ALL non-cops as presumed-scum-until-proven-otherwise. It's a pandemic among cops who have been in more than a few years. You get a very negative view of humanity, dealing with the dregs and scum and even regular peeps not-at-their-best.

    That's one problem.

    Bad cops are another... and there's more of them than most of us want to admit. I'd say close to a third of those I worked with had no business wearing a badge. They were either too enamored of their own authority, bullies or eager to dish out violence to anyone who gave them half an excuse.... or else they had grown indifferent and uncaring, hardened and callous and lacking in compassion from seeing too much.... or they were By-The-Book-Nazis with all the human kindness of an automated hydraulic press.

    We need to get better at weeding those out. They are serious problems and give law enforcement a bad name.... but the Thin Blue Line tends to close ranks and protect its own.

    That leads to two more problems, more recent in vintage: Officer Safety as THE priority, and the militarization of the police force.

    In my day, we knew when we joined up that it was dangerous, that you'd probably get hurt sometime, that you might get killed. Sure, we tried to be careful but it was a risky job and if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined. Today though, Officer Safety has become paramount to an insane degree... departments are so frazzled about liability and workmans comp and lost time and so on they've literally starting saying Officer Safety Is Priority One.


    Oh hell no. It is NOT priority one.


    MANY things come BEFORE officer safety. Protect and Serve the public comes first. The Constitution comes first. The Law comes first. Right and Justice come first, or should.

    But no.... we've gotten so obsessive about Officer Safety that we're Tasering 12yo's and 90yo's, and we're using SWAT teams for what used to be a two-uniform job.... hell I saw THREE county cops in black body armor conducting a routine traffic stop on an old man, for speeding.

    Officer Safety does NOT come first.... if you can't deal with that, don't join. In my day it was OUR JOB to be the ones who TOOK the risk, not the ones who avoided risk at the expense of the citizenry.


    BTW.... being a cop is dangerous but not THAT dangerous... being an Electrical Lineman is statistically FAR more dangerous. Fact. Look it up. Plenty of jobs are dangerous.


    Militarization... that was starting about the time I got out, and I didn't like it. If you arm, equip and dress cops like Paramilitary Storm Troopers.... they're going to start ACTING like them and being PERCIEVED by the public as such! When you get all that cool war-fighting gear from the DOD the Sheriff feels the need to justify it by using it... and it makes policing feel like being an occupying soldier in enemy country.


    Final problem: the so-called War On Some Drugs has gone WAY WAY out of hand. Police powers to search, seize and confiscate have gotten insanely broad and commonplace. It reinforces the para-military attitude as well. Just like Prohibition in the 1920s it EMPOWERS the criminal element by giving them a high-profit cash business, making them powerful and making it easy to CORRUPT our government officials with bribes and threats. It's gotten to the point that good people with chronic illness who NEED pain management meds are treated like presumed druggies, because apparently getting pain relief to people is LESS IMPORTANT than trying to make sure, heaven forbid, than someone somewhere isn't getting high.

    We really got to have a lot of reform, before these problems result in even more severe backlash.
    Last edited by Goshin; 08-30-14 at 03:31 AM.

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  10. #150
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mittner View Post
    But they're supposed to have those freedoms.

    You've cited examples of law enforcement abuse as though they're examples of us not having a right to these freedoms. But those kinds of abuses should be challenged and those responsible for unjustly taking your freedoms should be punished. The exceptions don't prove the rule. And by large, most police officers and government law enforcement personnel are decent people, often doing a thankless job at mediocre pay and higher risk.
    Most police like power. They think of themselves as "the LAW". It's only natural people who think like this, seek this job. Only if the recruitment interviews and training officers deliberately look for and filter them out, will they NOT get the job. If the trainers and interviewers are already of this mind, they WON'T filter out people who think as they do.
    If you live long enough, you will live in a foreign country, because the past is foreign to the present. We lived differently then. The only constant is change!

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