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

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Thread: Do We Live in a Free Country?

  1. #161
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mittner View Post
    It depends what you mean by "next year".
    Income tax filing is always done for the previous year. So on April 15th, 2015, you'll be doing your 2014 taxes. If you lived in multiple states in 2014, you'll need to file for each state.
    I'm talking about taxes for 2015. They're smoking something good apparently.

  2. #162
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    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.


    I agree 100% with everything that you said. But. the police are only "part" of the problem. There are things going on in this country that the average person is unaware of. State CPS agencies throughout this country are legally kidnapping children and making money on it. There are many grass roots organizations trying to fight back, but with little progress.. Some parents do abuse and neglect their children and should lose them, but in hundreds of cases children are snatched for no reason or little reason. Do you think that a Mother should lose her children because she had a fight with her husband and someone called the police? Or because she is a lousy housekeeper? Or because the kids missed too many days of school or are being home schooled? Often the kidnapping is based on outright lies. Money from the Federal government is involved in all these cases. The Judges know what is going on and collaborate with these agencies. They also lie and withhold your civil and constitutional rights by not allowing you your day in court with your witnesses, etc. CPS breaks all the rules and protocol that they are supposed to abide by.

    Just this afternoon CPS with the police burst into a neighbor's home, accused him and his wife of abuse and neglect. One of his daughters had hurt her leg in school and school authorities called CPS. They took all the kids into a bedroom and questioned them individually. One of the smaller children said his daddy had once pushed him into a wall. They took pictures of the house, which is usually a mess. Then they took the children away and put them in foster care. They told the Dad to plead guilty to abuse and neglect or he would never see his kids again. Now this was not the perfect home set up, but these kids are loved and now they are gone. Is this right? Is this fair?

  3. #163
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    I'm talking about taxes for 2015. They're smoking something good apparently.
    What taxes do they claim you'll owe for 2015?

    I imagine there might be some unconventional situation buried in tax law that would entail you have some sort of expense or income deferred until 2015 that would be applicable when filing taxes for that year, but it seems anything like that would be a pretty rare fringe case...

  4. #164
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mittner View Post
    The population still elects its leaders and those leaders have the authority to change the system. But electing the right leaders requires a level of education and political involvement that's far beyond most people.

    At the current rate I have little hope for a good future in this country. And that frightens me every time I look at my young son, and begin to consider if there might be another country that will provide him a more secure future. But we're not so far gone yet that it's hopeless.


    It is fast becoming hopeless. Unless a tragedy, either public or private, happens , most people just don't pay attention.

  5. #165
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mittner View Post
    I suppose it depends on how you define "educated" in this context. For my part, I define educated people as those who look at the facts--preferably from a multitude of sources--and derive their own conclusions. They're also able and willing to change their position (omgwtf flipflop!) as they learn new facts. This is in contrast to those who form their conclusions based on others' conclusions.

    Perhaps "educated" isn't the best word to use. Indeed, you could be aware of every fact and be considered well educated, but if you still form your conclusions based on others' conclusions, you're still part of the problem. Because i think critical thought is a requirement to form your own position, perhaps "intelligent" is a better word to use, but I expect that'd be a bit more condescending...
    Yes, I agree. That is why I said I think those who are very educated about politics, are the ones who are the biggest culprits of the problem we are in. Most of the moderates have become so upset over the divide that they have stopped showing up to the fight because when they do, both the far right and far left gang up on them. So most moderates quietly hold their views to themselves unlike the outspoken extremists on both sides. Those extremists are who get the most press and are the most motivated. While moderates don't care enough just due to their nature of being moderate. Current day political ideologies are starting to look a lot like religious ideologies. People who are the most ardent political followers seem to hold tightly to their political label and their political leaders. There seems to be little, if any room for individual thought in politics.
    - There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
    - Idealistically, everything should work as you planed it to. Realistically, it depends on how idealistic you are as to the measure of success.
    - Better to be a pessimist before, and an optimist afterwords.

  6. #166
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mittner View Post
    What taxes do they claim you'll owe for 2015?

    I imagine there might be some unconventional situation buried in tax law that would entail you have some sort of expense or income deferred until 2015 that would be applicable when filing taxes for that year, but it seems anything like that would be a pretty rare fringe case...
    Property taxes. I just got wind of this yesterday, so I'm still going over the details, but from I learned so far the state taxes people for the next calender year on their property taxes when they leave the state. I don't own the property anymore and I surely won't be living there next year, so they might as well make a sand castle when they get done pounding sand. Maybe they can make little sand people to live in the castle and get the property taxes from them.

  7. #167
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    We do not, strictly speaking, have majority rule in America.

    Majority rule, unchecked, could indeed be as bad or worse than autocracy.

    We have a LIMITED government where majority-elected representatives govern under the limitations and structure set forth by the Constitution, overseen by the courts to prevent government from overstepping, and to prevent the majority from trampling the minority.


    At least in theory.
    That is the intent of the Constitution.
    Unfortunately we have been under 'emergency powers" continuously since the great depression in the 1930s. Congress and presidents use these "emergency powers" to ignore and bypass the Constitution.
    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!

  8. #168
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    We have no rule of law, e.g. we are not free. The government itself is lawless and arbitrary - it is what has happened in every democracy in history.

    Once America abandoned republican principles, and opened Pandora's Box by saying that "... the general welfare clause" was an open-ended grant of power; and other narrowly intended clauses were actually expansive grants of power as well - once we crossed that line back in the 1930's, our fate was sealed, and freedom was dead.

    It was only a matter of time before the people enslaved themselves... and here we are, some 80 years after the progressives overthrew our Constitution, on the brink of collapse.

    As bad as Republicans are, there is at least a reasonable number of advocates for liberty in that party - there are no advocates for liberty in the Democratic Party.

    I get a kick out of you progressives and liberals who lament our dismal condition - you made this mess. You want to empower government to wipe your nose, then complain when the Department of Nose Wiping shows up at your door to ensure that all nose wiping is being performed in compliance with national nose wiping standards.

    Amerikans deserve to suffer for their belligerent ignorance... those of us who have spent our lives fighting for freedom that can only come by way of limiting the government don't deserve to suffer - but we are such a small minority, that we are powerless to stop you fools.

  9. #169
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    The following is NOT a think piece or magazine/blog article.
    Its a 1973 Senate report. It's gotten MUCH worse since 1973. I have excerpted some statements from the report to entice you to read the whole long thing. It should be required reading before running for office or voting I think.

    Emergency Powers Statutes

    "93d Congress

    SENATE Report No. 93-549

    1st Session

    EMERGENCY POWERS STATUTES:

    PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL LAW NOW IN EFFECT DELEGATING TO THE EXECUTIVE EXTRAORDINARY AUTHORITY IN TIME OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY
    REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE TERMINATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY

    UNITED STATES SENATE

    NOVEMBER 19, 1973



    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
    WASHINGTON: 1973
    24-509 O

    SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON

    THE TERMINATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY "


    "A majority of the people of the United States have lived all of their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency. The problem of how a constitutional democracy reacts to great crises, however, far antedates the Great Depression. As a philosophical issue, its origins reach back to the Greek city-states and the Roman Republic. And, in the United States, actions taken by the Government in times of great crises have—from, at least, the Civil War—in important ways, shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of national emergency."

    "A review of the laws passed since the first state of national emergency was declared in 1933, reveals a consistent pattern of lawmaking. It is a pattern showing that the Congress, through its own actions, transferred awesome magnitudes of power to the executive ostensibly to meet the problems of governing effectively in times of great crisis. Since 1933, Congress has passed or recodified over 470 significant statutes delegating to the President powers that had been the prerogative and responsibility of the Congress since the beginning of the Republic."

    "Such power either has no beginning or it has no end. If it exists, it need submit to no legal restraint. I am not alarmed that it would plunge us straightway into dictatorship, but it is at least a step in that wrong direction.

    But I have no illusion that any decision by this Court can keep power in the hands of Congress if it is not wise and timely in meeting its problems. A crisis that challenges the President equally, or perhaps primarily, challenges Congress. If not good law, there was worldly wisdom in the maxim attributed to Napoleon that: “The tools belong to the man who can use them.” We may say that power to legislate for emergencies belongs in the hands of Congress, but only Congress itself can prevent power from slipping through its fingers.

    The essence of our free Government is “leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the law”—to be governed by those impersonal forces which we call law. Our Government is fashioned to fulfill this concept so far as humanly possible. The Executive, except for recommendation and veto, has no legislative power. The executive action we have here originates in the individual will of the President and represents an exercise of authority without law."
    Last edited by yobarnacle; 08-30-14 at 12:50 PM.
    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!

  10. #170
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    Re: Do We Live in a Free Country?

    Quote Originally Posted by yobarnacle View Post
    PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL LAW NOW IN EFFECT DELEGATING TO THE EXECUTIVE EXTRAORDINARY AUTHORITY IN TIME OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY
    "A majority of the people of the United States have lived all of their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency.
    Those two things can't logically go together.

    Emergency powers does not give the Executive any legislative ability whatsoever, therefor it cannot be the reason for the creation of laws. Laws still originate from Congress and Congress alone. The Executive has a varying level of authority to determine how to apply and enforce the laws in practice, but that's the entire purpose of that branch of government and some level of authority has been present since the founding of this country.

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