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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
John Burns: an exercise in contradiction

Actually, the first problems solved in our freedom-loving constitutional republic (not democracy) were to get rid of most of the rules, and let people live their lives. There were vices akin to helmetless riding and smoking back then (even smoking itself, though the dangers were not fully known) but the first acts of government were NOT to outlaw them.

If we had kept government to playing by the rules as they were first laid down, we would not have the "socialist revenue collection system feeding a hungry plutocracy" that we have now (no argument there.)

My problem is this: why the implied dissaproval of our government in its current state, yet the simultaneous embrace of social-engineering laws (helmet laws, high cigarette taxes, etc....?) Do you want to be free or not? This is a philosophical argument: not a practical one. We've obviously been screwed out of a large portion, if not the bulk, of our important constitutional freedoms. They're gone, and without a massive awakening and spontaneous growth of backbones in this country, we're not going to get them back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Re: John Burns: an exercise in contradiction

It seems that you are clamoring for more and more things to be banned. The philosphical underpinning of our (original) form of government is that the chief role of the state is to protect our liberty, not our physical safety ("give me liberty or give me death" comes to mind.)

Without groups like the AMA and the NRA (and citizens in general) making a racket when some schmuck in office tries to torment us for our own good, we would be much further down the line to subservience than we already are. Should we simply roll over and line up as sheep to be shorn of our liberty?

That said, my main problem is the federal government sticking their nose into all this stuff. While I don't agree with helmet laws and cell phone laws (and most of the other ones either) at least, when a state passes one, it is constitutional via the tenth amendment. Most federal laws strip the states of their constitutional rights ("The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.") If the people of a particular state want their bureaucracy to manage their lives, so be it----you can always move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
This is precisely why our government is a representative constitutional republic, and not a straight democracy. When "the majority rules" above all else, they might get the wrong idea and pass a referendum that is in contradiction to the constitution. That, theoretically, is where the representatives are to step in and thwart the will of their constituents, thereby protecting their freedom (even if they don't want it.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Re: Democrats and Socialists......

I fail to see the problem with the slippery slope argument. It is exactly how we have come to this point with the helmet law in the first place. When was the last time you heard **** Gephardt or Tom Dascle argue that taxes are too high? That the children are finally being fed? That the poor are finally unpoor? That the farmers are doing OK? That a proposed law....any law.....is unconstitutional and an abridgement of our freedoms? When have they thrown up their hands at some issue and said, simply, "this is not the government's job"? For these people, enough is NEVER enough. Their proposals and rhetoric betray their real agenda----that no tax is too high, no program too big, no law too restricting. We are to live by and for the state first----and ourselves, our families, our liberties---second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Re: Helmet Laws

What if the fed only did what it was constitutionally allowed to do, and our taxes weren't confiscatory? The constitution enumerates the exact ways in which the federal government is allowed to spend our money.

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

--James Madison
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Are you serious? Seruzawa makes a point that has been proven over hundreds, even thousands of years of history, and you start making blind accusations of racism? I hope I'm misunderstanding you here. If not, you have shown your hand----ideologically bankrupt, therefore, the ad homenim attacks will fly.



I agree profusely, Seruwaza....the rulers have switched from outright rule for its own sake to rule for "the good of society" or "the children" or "the environment" (we could go on here.)



"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." --------C.S. Lewis



 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
That is altogether unfortunate-----focusing soley on federal law, all the ingredients to make it actually fair and just are right there in the constitution-----if only the government hadn't decided that it had the right to interpret it as it pleases, or completely ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
I disagree:



Representatives, Senators and the president take an oath to uphold the constitution upon entering office. To propose a law that is unconstitutional is to ignore their sworn oath. Take the campaign finance bill: many in both the house and the senate admitted that this bill was unconstitutional, yet they were going to vote for it anyway. Though nobody cares anymore, this is an impeachable offense to the constituiton.



The idea is that the house and senate have competent individuals who have both their constituents' will and the constitution clearly in mind. When push comes to shove, however, the constitution should trump everything else----save for the case of a constitutional amendment. They are not supposed to pass every bill under the sun and let the supreme court sort everything out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Re: Bunch of Liberal double talk

It is my experience that the only people who claim that it is so vaugely written say so because they don't like what it says. If you want to know exactly what it means, and also what it doesn't mean, read the federalist papers. One has to deny the plainly obivious to declare that the constitution is "open to wildly varying interpretation". I suppose it is open to interpretation, but whether those interpretations are valid is another story entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
It can be interpreted by any marginally competent literate individual. It is only the supreme court of the last 50 years, and countless other lawyers and politicians, that make it sound complicated. Go read it----it's not that tough. The framers said themselves that a document so complicated that the meaning is out of reach of the normal citizen would be useless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #201 ·
Re: Bunch of Liberal double talk

Let us say this: thought the politicos of the time had different ideas on how the constutition should be written, their chief issue was a general wariness of government. The argument was exactly how said government should be kept within its bounds and the best way to safeguard the liberties of the people. Can anyone imagine any one of the founders, who were pretty much universally fed up with their subservient role to the king, endorsing our current near-socialist state?

I also don't see how the different realities of the 21st century should case the role of government to be any different. As I've argued before, the chief role of a morally legitimate government (meaning that which is not tyranny) is to preserve the liberty of the people. To that end, the constitution contains the rules needed to realize that ideal. Certainly, in the past, and currently in different ways, those ideals were and are imperfectly realized, yet they are still right there in the text.
 
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