American Government, or Individual Sovereignty?

The following debate originally took place upon my Facebook wall, after I shared the lyrics to my song, “America“…

"Structural Corruption"

“Structural Corruption”

Anthony T.: This country is pretty messed up, but do you know of a better alternative?

Rayn: Being forced to choose between flawed government systems creates the “FALSE PARADIGM.” Here’s another alternative: How about INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY!? It may not be available right now, but that doesn’t remove it as an alternative, or eliminate it as reasonable way of life! This is vastly superior to being a SLAVE! And, if that answer doesn’t suit you, here’s another alternative: Switzerland. For one, the taxes very reasonable. Unlike here, where everyone but the rich pays 30.8%, almost no one pays over 30% (this is why the rich keep their money in Swiss Banks). Their policies make them one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product. Out of their three global cities, Zürich & Geneva have respectively been ranked as having the first and second highest quality of life in the world! Also, as all men are required to join the militia, and must keep their service guns in their home, crime is very low! And, unlike America, the Swiss remain neutral unless attacked!

Anthony T.: Switzerland is a very cool place, however, since their economy is so heavily dependent on foreign investment, they are going to be particularly hurt by the impending mega-depression. Even if that isn’t the case, you can’t really compare Switzerland to America anyway, they are in a position historically and geographically to avoid a lot of the crap…other countries, like America, are forced to deal with.

As for individual sovereignty, are you high? I think rules and government are a necessary evil because if you let everyone do what they want, they will do bad things to each other like “Lord of the Flies”. My experiences have me believing that people are generally selfish and mean whenever they can get away with it. Look at our current economic crisis. Reduced government oversight led people to do the most absurd and stupid crap in order to make quick profits for themselves.

Anthony T.: I have always like this quote by Winston Churchill:

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

Rayn: According to your logic, no two countries can be compared to each other, simply because they cannot both occupy the same space at the same time. However, I can still compare them – and with good reason! America is an imperialistic empire and Switzerland is a sovereign nation! Unlike Switzerland, American was stolen by implementing genocide against a native populous!

And, please be more specific. What “crap” do countries like America have to deal with, that Switzerland does not?

Also, there is no need to engage in AD HOMINEM attacks against me. It is the true sign of a WEAK ARGUMENT! If I’m “HIGH,” as you put it, it would only be on LIFE, TRUTH, FREE-WILL, JUSTICE and my INNOCENCE UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!

It was Thomas Jefferson who said:

“Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”

Rayn: Jefferson also said:

“I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.”

Therefore, your logic is FLAWED! The government IS allegedly made up of “the PEOPLE”! Do you HONESTLY BELIEVE that the politicians in charge of making laws are more moral than yourself or me? If so, then, you should wholeheartedly allow them to control YOU – and not ME!

Also, I have never made the claim that there should not be laws. I am, however, speaking out against the false, contradictory, unfair laws of man, and how I do not need them intruding in my life! Personally, I voluntary submit myself to the 10+2 Commandments! They are not a “necessary evil” whatsoever! I LOVE THEM more and more every day! They are fair, just and perfect!

Rayn: But, you ARE RIGHT about ONE thing: America is a pure democracy now! However, DEMOCRACY isn’t in the Constitution! Try REPUBLIC! To understand the difference, here are two quotes:

“Democracy is nothing more than mob-rule where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.”

“Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.”

Our CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC maintains certain INALIENABLE NATURAL RIGHTS that cannot be stripped away, no matter how many individuals believe that they have a “good idea,” a “better idea,” or that their idea will “benefit the many.” The AMERICAN REPUBLIC died a long time ago, and has been replaced by AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, which is a form of SLAVERY!

Rayn: Your “Lord of the Flies” example is farcical, and represents more of the “false paradigm” thinking that keeps the population in servitude to their moral inferiors. No individual murderer or thief (or even a group of them) could convince the public to engage in massive, civilian-casualty based wars of aggression against other nations using false intelligence. They couldn’t implement a brutal, murderous police state apparatus in order to strip individuals of their natural rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, under the guise that they are “protecting” them. They would not be able to steal over 30% of all incomes in the form of taxes. Only an over-inflated, self-important government system, based in the false idea of “goodness” and “necessity” could do these things! No thief or murderer could violate you and say it is for the greater good! But, the government can!

In the words of William Pitt:

“[Necessity] is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves!”

Anthony T.: I didn’t mean to “attack” you with my joke. It just seems you are railing against a system, that while severely flawed, is not exactly slavery and does provide some good to us. The biggest problems coming from are government is the fact that it is run by primarily bad people. It has become a club for certain elite people. However, ideally there should be enough competing agendas at work in government to keep the really bad ideas in check, even though that wasn’t the case for the last eight years. Regardless, we need things like law-enforcement, fire departments, school teachers, roads, clean water, social security, and lots of other stuff. All that has to be paid for by taxes. You can’t have civilization without taxes or government. The nature of humanity means that our governments will be corrupt and our taxes will be abused (I’m sure even Switzerland has its problems), but I believe accepting a certain amount of corruption is better than the alternative – anarchy and chaos.

Anthony T.: If people are enslaved, i think it is more of serfdom than slavery – and voluntary (at least in America). The option is there for social mobility if you look for it and take advantage. I have a friend who came here from Kenya with $2000 in his pocket and no education 8 years ago and now has a masters degree and owns a house. That option didn’t exist in Kenya or 90% of the other countries in the world. Switzerland I’m sure makes it very difficult to get a work Visa if you are a foreigner and probably doesn’t have an illegal immigrant problem like us because their borders are much smaller and easier to monitor.

Anthony T.: Regardless, we could go on about this forever. I’ll sum up by saying as a history major and teacher, I am extremely aware of the shady underhanded stuff America is responsible for. I dislike most of our elected officials and most of their decisions, However, I personally have it better here in the U.S. than the majority of the people in the world have it – and I appreciate that. Maybe there are some exceptions like Switzerland, but they are small in number compared to the countries where some people don’t even have clean drinking water. You can probably blame that on America too, but its a dog-eat-dog world and I don’t think that will ever change. So I’ll hide out in the suburbs of the big dog and just worry about myself and my family. At least until the current economic crisis destroys the world as we know it.

Rayn: I appreciate your comments, and respect your point of view. However, you cannot change my mind. I choose not to DOUBLE-THINK, and will always speak out against any system of government that implements genocide as a planned policy for land acquisition, especially when it is my own! That is what this country is founded on: IMPERIALISM. These wonderful opportunities you speak of – they come as a direct result of the spilled blood and disenfranchisement of an entire native populous. And, just so the issue isn’t confused, I’m referring to post-1776 America. I’m talking biological warfare (using smallpox infected blankets), massacres (like Wounded Knee), and forced relocations (like the Trail of Tears). To this day, there is no accountability! The natives are still living in their forced relocation “reservations”! A government that engages in this degree of evil and hypocrisy gains neither my respect, nor my loyalty.

Rayn: Slavery IS the correct choice of word for what I’m describing – complete subservience to a dominating influence. Personally, I have been given no choices. I must comply with every draconian measure taken by the legislature, or else I WILL be imprisoned. However, I’m glad that you acknowledge the fact that the system is “severely flawed,” and that checks and balances no longer work in this day and age. Corruption has corroded the very core of our political landscape. Admitting that there is a problem is the first step towards finding a solution!

It was John Adams who said:

“When the legislature is corrupted, the people are undone.”

And, that is exactly what we have been witnessing take place!

Rayn: Personally, I have no problem with local and state taxes, as long as we have complete transparency. I do, however, take issue with federal and income taxes. They are unconstitutional, even by America’s standards.

I also have the utmost respect for firemen, “peace officers,” teachers and healthy infrastructure. On the other hand, I despise “law enforcement officers,” fluoridated tap water, dangerous infrastructure, and the involuntary system of social security (AKA socialism). Every one of those things should be reexamined, replaced, or phased out!

And, please, no more false paradigms! Anarchy and chaos are NOT the only alternatives to government and unrepresented taxation! I choose INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY and the 10+2 COMMANDMENTS as my guiding principles, regardless of whether or not I can actually exercise these rights within a government structure.

Rayn: It makes perfect sense that you personally feel you have it better in America than anywhere else. As a white male, your views are actually somewhat represented by the government, or, at the very least, the false appearance of such is given. Women, on the other hand, make up the majority of the population, but receive very little or absolutely no representation in this system. This is statistically impossible, and indicative of some sort of social disease! It also contradicts America’s self-proclaimed status as the “land of the free,” based in “equality” for all. You may believe you have it better here, but I sure as hell don’t! I still have to dream about FREEDOM because my equality and rights as an INDIVIDUAL have yet to be realized!

Anthony T.: I just try to be realistic. The world is what it is, and it is a lot bigger than me. As a history guy, I can tell you that no group of people ever lived under a completely fair and just government free from corruption. It just doesn’t happen – power corrupts. As for imperialism, you can’t turn back the clock, and the whole world was participating. You either conquered others or were conquered yourself – there is no nation on earth that hasn’t been shaped in one way or another by it. The story of the native people of America is particularly sad, but we can’t bring them back. Why not instead focus on some of the positives of living in a modern western society. Yes, there are still inequalities between man and women, but less than there ever have been. Title ix? Women in the house and senate? Progress is being made. The standard of living we all have is better than any point in history as well. Life expectancy is up, infant mortality is down.

Anthony T.: You no longer have to worry about dying if you get the flu. Some states are finally allowing gay and lesbian marriage. Blacks are not sold on street-corners or forced to use separate bathrooms anymore. Progress is taking place. In general we are getting better at this civilization thing. Look at the G20 for example. It wasn’t that long ago that it was only a G7. Other countries are getting it together too, slowly and with all of their own unique problems, but we are working on it. The biggest upside to globalization is global oversight. The nations of the world are so wrapped up in each other’s business that it is getting harder to do shady stuff. However, it is a constant and slow progress that involves the interests and needs of over 6.5 billion individuals. In the meantime, I would still rather be in America than places like Sudan, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea.

Anthony T.: While I live out my blink of existence in the grand drama of humanity, I am going to do my best to work the current system to my own advantage as much as possible, while doing my part for the future by trying to teach my little gang-banger students a little bit of compassion and personal responsibility. I still think all the world’s problems boil down to too many selfish pricks screwing each other over. Nicer people would lead to a nicer world.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion as much as I did and don’t hold my conformist views against me. I don’t expect you to change your mind, because you are right to be angry about a lot things, I just would hope that you don’t forget that there are good things about America as well as bad, and that the state of the world today is the result of thousands of years of cultural evolution – no one nation can be held responsible, not even England – and change will not happen overnight.

Still friends?

Rayn: I try to be realistic, as well. And, that is why I do not rely on the fallacy of BANDWAGON ARGUMENTS. Just because EVIL goes hand-in-hand with government, does not mean we are powerless to PREVENT, REJECT or CHANGE it! Every day that passes is another day that WE CAN EVOLVE as human beings!

To this day, Native Americans are still suffering the consequences of one of the world’s most successful genocides in history! America can still repair the damage, but simply chooses not to. America enjoys its stolen land! Even now, Native Americans are fighting huge class-action legal battles in court in an effort to retain full legal rights to the coal and oil that sits under their reservations! The government is STILL robbing them (with the help of private corporations)!

Choosing to place focus on the positive aspects of western society, even when confronted with facts that indicate otherwise, is a form of COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, and, as I told you before, I refuse to engage in DOUBLE-THINK!

Rayn: Sure. Progress is being made against sexism…when you compare America to itself! But, that’s as far as it goes! Compared with other industrialized nations, however, America is lagging far behind in the “progress” curve – just like we did in terms of slavery and minority rights – in comparison to other nations!

Also, you are INCORRECT about the U.S. infant mortality rate. It is ON THE RISE, even when compared to its own past! According to the latest CDC statistics, America does worse than almost every other industrialized nation when it comes to infant mortality! 28 other countries have lower rates than ours! And, statistics show that African-Americans are the largest group affected, with Native Americas and Native Alaskans not too far behind! So, there is some degree of  ethnic discrimination involved, whether that is due to poverty, or some other hidden factor! Either way, many historians and economists agree: infant mortality is a CRITICAL indicator of social progress!

Rayn: Not surprisingly, when it comes to poverty, 22 nations have rates LOWER than ours! When considering that we are one of the richest nations in the world, these stats SHOULD make every AMERICAN lower their head in SHAME! How DARE we try to fix ANY OTHER NATION, without first dealing with our own problems! The CLASS WAR being waged against America poor DOES NOT go unnoticed by the rest of the world!

If power is absolutely corrupting, as you admit – how would the globalization of government help? It would only make things WORSE! A MONOPOLY ON GOVERNMENT is a DEATH SENTENCE for humanity! Without ANY REAL FORM OF COMPETITION to speak of, and FULL CONTROL over a global populace, the government you envision would be UNSTOPPABLE! There would be no escaping its power-hungry clutches! It is, by far, the WORST IDEA I have EVER HEARD of in the history of BAD IDEAS! I SHUDDER at the repercussions! BAD IDEAS don’t get better by simply removing ALL forms of competition to them!

Rayn: OF COURSE we’re still friends! I ALWAYS LOVE a good discussion! Being HONEST about what we hold to be true, and having the COURAGE to SPEAK UP about it, is one of the healthiest, most progressive activities that I can think of! Some inidividuals will never speak on their beliefs! They don’t want their ideas to be shaken up or challenged! However, without the COMPETITION of opposing ideas, beliefs become a lot more like SELF-INSOLATED DOGMA – out of touch with truth, and out of touch with reality!

So, I would like to thank you IMMENSELY for this AMAZING DISCUSSION! I love finding out exactly what my friends think about politics and the state of the world today! While we may not agree on everything, I COMPLETELY RESPECT your OPINIONS and IDEAS, because, LIKE MY OWN, they come from a place of GENUINE HONESTY, OPEN-MINDEDNESS, and the DESIRE TO UNDERSTAND! To me, that is much more important than who is RIGHT or WRONG, because it leaves room for us to GROW!

Anthony T.: I think if we are ever to continue this discussion it would be better to do so in person at some point, because the typing of my thoughts doesn’t seem to be helping you understand where I am coming from. You seem to take my statements far too literally rather than just focusing on the bigger picture. Regardless, it is nice to see how passionate you are about so many issues and I am glad to have gotten such a rise out of you. I also enjoy hearing what people think about the world, especially since so few seem to think at all.

Anthony T.: I will end on the note that I believe the next 100 years will see some of the most dramatic changes in the world. Just as the 19th and 20th centuries each changed the world unimaginably, so too will this one. The global economy is going to need serious restructuring. Countries like America are going to have to adapt to much lower median standard of living as the middle class phenomenon probably won’t last – it is already on the decline. From a Marxist perspective Global capitalism clearly is not good for the world. As China and Asia modernize, their people are going to start demanding better treatment. That leaves only Africa for the whole world to exploit, and its a war zone. As Marx says, capitalism depends on the exploitation of someone, somewhere. What is next is anyone’s guess, but I am sure that things are not going to last the way they are now. I am also sure that there will always be rich and poor – only the structure of inequality will change.

Rayn: I’d be happy to have this discussion with you in person. However, I believe you have already made yourself clear. You seem to be an APOLOGIST for America’s IMPERIALISTIC Empire, and base yourself in the FALLACY of the BANDWAGON ARGUMENT. Apparently, you feel SMALL, and believe that you cannot affect any REAL CHANGE, so you do YOUR part to CONVINCE OTHERS to feel like yourself. That is why you make the claim that I “take [your] statements far too literally rather than focusing on the bigger picture.” You are attempting to convince me to resign to the same DEFEATIST “reasoning” that you have embraced. From your perspective, I have failed to realize my INSIGNIFICANCE as an INDIVIDUAL in a GLOBAL SOCIETY that is “a lot bigger than” me. However, it is you who have failed to realize that SOCIETIES are MADE by and for INDIVIDUALS – INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT MADE by and for SOCIETIES! Societies NEED Individuals to EXIST! Individuals DO NOT NEED societies to EXIST! INDIVIDUALS ARE FAR FROM POWERLESS!

Rayn: In reality, only mentally-diseased, morally-bankrupt, power-hungry INDIVIDUALS attempt to UTILIZE our failed, experimental SOCIETIES and GOVERNMENTS to enact self-serving TYRANNY in the form of MAN-MADE LAWS! We typically refer to them as our “POLITICIANS.” And, the etymology of the word “POLITIC” traces back to the word “POLICE”!!

It takes an ELITIST MINDSET, based in DENIAL of the INDIVIDUAL, to actually believe that OTHER INDIVIDUALS “NEED” to be “POLICED” by ANY LAW other than the 10+2 COMMANDMENTS! ALL OTHER LAWS are PRE-CRIME, and based in the premise of “GUILT UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT”! This ASSUMED GUILT and desire to PREVENT what HAS NOT ACTUALLY HAPPENED is a PARANOID DELUSION, and GOES AGAINST NATURE! It is THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, typically PERPETRATED by EVIL INDIVIDUALS who believe that others are as EVIL as they are! They KNOW the POWER of the INDIVIDUAL – they have WIELDED THEIR INDIVIDUALITY AS A WEAPON AGAINST OTHERS – ad THEY FEAR the COMPETITION of OTHERS DOING THE SAME!

Rayn: Every SYSTEM of GOVERNMENT that ever existed so far HISTORICALLY FAILED to protect the NATURAL RIGHTS of the INDIVIDUALS constituting it! This includes ALL NATIONS!

There WILL ALWAYS exist a TINY GROUP OF RICH ELITISTS disproportionately controlling the MANY MORE POOR, so long as they are able to create SOULLESS CORPORATE ENTITIES, who exist solely for the purpose of MONOPOLY-BASED PROFIT at the expense of humanity! The privately-owned FEDERAL RESERVE is a perfect example! By USURPING, then CONTROLLING and ISSUING our SUPPLY of “MONEY” in the US, this PARASITIC BEAST has reducing us to an EASILY-MANIPULATED, FAITH-BASED, FIAT CURRENCY, ensuring that ALL citizens will eventually become DEBT-SLAVES, no matter what!

Don’t blame CAPITALISM YET! We have never had a TRULY FREE MARKET in which to exercise it! CORPORATISM has been the TRUE CULPRIT! It has been in existence far longer than any other competing political system, RAMPANTLY operating with IMPUNITY – UNCHECKED and UNBALANCED!

Rayn: On that note, I will conclude with a quote from Frederick Douglass, who famously stated:

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Read the following article for some insight into the POWERFUL MEANING of his words: http://www.projectcensored.org/articles/story/the-limits-of-tyrants/

Let me know when you’ve FINALLY REACHED the LIMITS of YOUR ENDURANCE of TYRANTS. At that time, you will find that YOU finally “understand where I am coming from”!!!

And, if you need some help getting there, read the following articles about inner-workings of the good ol’ U.S. of A.:

OPERATION NORTHWOODS:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662

THE GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB132/press20051201.htm

OPERATION GLADIO:
http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=16921

OPERATION AJAX:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup

Anthony T.: See, you kept going! I don’t buy your insinuations that I am basing my opinions on the fallacy of this bandwagon argument you speak of. I simply don’t agree with you. Human nature and society are in my mind concepts that can’t be understood in any simplistic terms. Its like trying to understand the universe. I just try my best to make some sense out of the patterns I see in study human history and behavior. People WANT governments and law, otherwise there wouldn’t be any. Unfortunately, with billions of people in the world, you are NEVER going to come up with a set of rules to make them all happy – even your 10+2 commandments.

Anthony T.: There are always going to be rich and powerful people – there always have been – even the animal kingdom has haves and have-nots. Because even if there aren’tt corporations and currency manipulation and all the things you correctly pointed out existed today, someone is always going to be sitting on top of the stuff other people want, and therefore able to manipulate them. What we have today is modernized selfishness and greed, but it is essentially the same selfishness and greed that existed since the dawn of man. You want a totally free market? You will get unrestricted exploitation. Look at how stupid the majority of the people are. They let things like TV convince them they must have stuff even when they have no money to buy it. Why wouldn’t someone exploit that? They have unprotected sex and reproduce into poverty even after they have had sex ed because condoms don’t feel good.

Anthony T.: You are an educated person and could probably exist peacefully in a society of individual sovereignty without crapping on your neighbors or hurting them with poor judgment, however, in my opinion most of the world can’t. Most of mankind is either dangerously stupid, or too selfish and greedy to do right by others. Good people are a small minority, and while theoretically an individual can effect change, I don’t think they can change enough to create a world anywhere near what I think you would like to see, especially when competing with the agendas of a powered elite that has been in place for generations. The world is just not that simple.

Rayn: I didn’t realize that you wanted me to stop! As you are the one that initiated our discussion, it would be rude of me not to respond to your comments!

The following sentences that you wrote embody the very definition of the Bandwagon Fallacy:

“No group of people ever lived under a completely fair and just government free from corruption. It just doesn’t happen – power corrupts. As for imperialism…the whole world was participating.”

“The Bandwagon Fallacy is committed whenever one argues for an idea based upon an irrelevant appeal to its popularity.” – http://www.fallacyfiles.org/bandwagn.html

You may not agree with me, but your reasoning DOES constitute a Bandwagon Fallacy…and you technically did it twice; once for corruption, and again for imperialism.

As I explained before, just because corruption and imperialism have been the cornerstones of most governments, does not make it an acceptable practice. We are NOT powerless to stop it, and we CAN repair the damage!

Rayn: I agree, though, that human beings cannot be understood in simplistic terms. This reason: because they are all INDIVIDUALS.

Now, if you were to modify your next statement to say, “CERTAIN people WANT governments and law, otherwise there wouldn’t be any,” then I would whole-heartedly agree with you. As I said before: if YOU, or anybody else, for that matter, feels it necessary to allow the government to have control over your life using man-made laws, by all means, subject yourself and embrace it! I, on the other hand, do not want to submit to laws that I feel are unfair, hypocritical and/or based in pre-crime!

Using that same logic, I do not believe that there is a universal set of laws out there that can satisfy all INDIVIDUALS. However, there are certain rights that should be inalienable: the right to life, freedom from physically harmed, freedom from theft, etc. Aside from that, when it comes to societies and governments: the more diversity, the merrier!

Rayn: Competition is the HEALTHIEST way to maintain checks and balances! If there were many different systems of law for individuals to choose from, and individuals retained free range to gravitate towards the one that is right for them, the possibility that they would feel empowered, and actually embrace and enjoy their chosen system or government, rather than being forced to submit, and therefore enslaved, would increase enormously.

I also agree that there will always be rich and powerful individuals, and there will always be individuals sitting on top of things that others want, ready to manipulate them. That is the exact reason that these types of individuals should not be empowered using a gigantic government apparatus that cannot be escaped from. That is why, in America, each state had its own sovereignty, and the Federal government was simply supposed to uphold the Bill of Rights at home, and deal with foreign governments abroad.

Rayn: But, from inception, the Federal government began overstepping its boundaries, then demanded its own income in the form of taxes with the highly illegal, unconstitutional 14th amendment, and now strips all states of their sovereignty using their own military bodies: the DEA, ATF, FEMA, etc. The 14th amendment is a fraud, not ratified by a ¾ majority vote in Congress, and creates a lower-case “c” citizen that must pay tribute for the new title. It was originally meant to disenfranchise and subjugate ex-slaves – disgusting in its own merit – but is now used against all Citizens of all states.

Read the following articles to understand what happened:

http://www.the7thfire.com/Politics%20and%20History/14th_amendment_not_ratified.htm

http://www.barefootsworld.net/14uncon.html

http://www.secessionist.us/secessionist_no5.htm

The Federal government used the pretext of the civil war and the division of the states on the issue of slavery to force this unlawful legislation through!

Rayn: California’s situation illustrates a perfect example of the Federal government usurping state sovereignty and authority. Though this state has LEGALIZED medical marijuana, the Federal government says “NO,” and now illegally conducts a WAR against a medicinal herb. Using DEA SWAT teams, they raid grow houses and distribution centers every other day. They are operating against law, but suffer no repercussions. The states have allowed the Federal government to get too large and too powerful. They claim they do this because marijuana is a “dangerous controlled substance.” However, the use of marijuana has never, in the history of the world, directly killed a single person! Last year, aspirin killed 4,000 individuals, and peanuts killed over 1,000. And, you don’t even want to know how many died as a direct result of alcohol consumption! It is purely criminal that the Federal government could engage in this sort of hypocrisy, propaganda and lies, and keep us to be powerless to stop it!

Rayn: But, the States are beginning to see that the Federal government has overstepped its boundaries, and they are attempting to do something about it.

Since last year, 11 states have enacted resolutions that declare their SOVEREIGNTY from the Federal government! It is the equivalent of a “cease and desist” order, and more and more states are climbing on board! They want freedom from America’s all-too-powerful Federal government, and its unfair, forced stimulus packages that are exacerbating our economic crisis! http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=30807

On the issue of Free Market, I simply noted that we have not enjoyed one in a very long time! We must get all kinds of licenses to start and conduct business, cronyism runs rampant, & we get hit with too many taxes at ever turn! If we were to remove THIS SORT OF bureaucratic red-tape, I GUARANTEE that poverty rates would decrease significantly! THIS is the FREE MARKET that I am talking about! Not anarchy, but not slavery, either!

Rayn: In conclusion, thank you for realizing that INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY could “probably” work for those like myself! I believe that you, too, could benefit from such a system, but would NEVER force it upon you! Remember, though, that I do not think the idea would work for the whole world, simply because it would then eliminate competition, which is very helpful in allowing for individuals to make their own choices! I would only like the option to be available for myself, and anyone else believing in it and wanting it! However, there is no recourse for the individuals who want it, because the governments of the world have taken over the world, and there is no escaping them! What a damn shame! Individuals will never truly be allowed to grow or evolve, so long as we are all being held hostage in flawed, failed systems that insist upon themselves, even in light of the fact that they have caused so much more harm than they could ever affect good!

Anthony T.: “The Bandwagon Fallacy is committed whenever one argues for an idea based upon an irrelevant appeal to its popularity.”

What does that have to do with me sharing opinions based on my own studies and knowledge? Are not your arguments built on the information you have acquired? The term is insulting as applied. Simply because I choose to base my opinions on the combined influence of a very broad range of studies rather than focusing on the radical positions proposed by a small minority of people and their editorials, which are not always based on actual research, I am committing bandwagon fallacies? You know, I am starting to think of the South Park episodes with the Goth kids all dressing and acting alike, but accusing everyone else of being conformists!

Anthony T.: I am not blind to the evils of this country. In fact, I just wrote my Master’s thesis on Iran with focuses on Operation Ajax, the October Surprise Theory, and the Iran-Contra Scandal. I just choose to view the world in a much larger context. Nation-states are like macrocosms of individual people. They’re selfish, conflicted, and they make bad choices all the time. What do you expect? Each of us as individuals has to choose where to draw the line that determines what we will and will not accept. My line is just in a different place than yours. I like the 14th amendment!

Anthony T.: You are right that I started this discussion by questioning your post – I had to because I feel statements like that should be questioned. Too many people spout off on topics without really knowing what they are talking about. I will concede that you have gathered quite a bit of information. However, the beauty of historiography is that you can collect enough data to make just about any argument you want. That doesn’t make it right to pass a definitive judgment on an abstract concept like “America”.

Anthony T.: A nation-state is not a real thing. It is an idea made up of thousands of smaller ideas build upon ideas from the past and present that constantly influence it. It is also an idea that changes constantly. You can say you don’t like specific things about America, but it is wrong to say you don’t like “America”. It is like saying a fat girl is just a pig without knowing her genetic history, how she is raised, or what the environment she lives in is like. Maybe her fatness was unavoidable because of any number of pre-existing conditions. Instead of caller her a pig, we should learn as much as we can and then make constructive suggestions to improve her health. What are your constructive suggestions for America? What are you doing to help change it. If you think individuals can be so powerful, how are you exercising that power in a positive fashion? As a teacher – because I feel my power is limited, I am hoping to spread my ideals to a number of children and increase that power.

Rayn: It was not my intention to insult you, though I now see that it is obviously your intention to insult me! I simply illustrated exactly how you committed yourself to a Bandwagon Fallacy. Corruption and imperialism don’t get to trump FREEDOM just because that is the way things have been so far! It doesn’t classify as “realistic” & doesn’t sound ANYTHING LIKE PROGRESS TO ME!

And, I won’t now be defending myself against your Straw Man Fallacy, either. Sorry! I never said that your Bandwagon Fallacy has anything to do with you sharing your opinions, or your alleged basing of your opinions on “the combined influence of a very broad range of studies”! You can’t turn my position into what it is not!

Implying that my thoughts, feelings, life experience, education, and research can be summed up as the result of “focusing on the radical positions proposed by a small minority of individuals and their editorials…not always based on actual research” is not only laughable, it is completely unfounded!

Rayn: This is even more insulting than your original AD HOMINEM “are you high?” attack. Besides, if your incorrect attempts to classify America’s infant mortality rate as “down” are any indication of this “broad range of studies” you speak of, then I would have to question YOUR SOURCES, not mine!

I don’t watch South Park, I’m no Goth, and I never called you a conformist, but I know that you are simply attempting to insult me again, with no merit. Want to know what I am starting to think of? A DEFEATIST living in the 1800s, attempting convince individuals not to fight against slavery because it has always existed, and that’s “just the way things are.”

I never claimed that you are blinded to the evils of this country. I actually said that you are an APOLOGIST for those evils based on the Bandwagon Fallacy.

Rayn: Knowing about things like Operation Ajax and still defending the actions of the American government simply reveals how deeply your cognitive dissonance has affected you.

If your double-think has apparently led you to believe that you “just choose to view the world in a much larger context” than me, then you are not only sadly mistaken, you are completely uninformed about how I view the world, or anything I view at all, for that matter. You are attempting to write my position for me, because it is easier for you to attack then my actual point of view! And, I already told you what I expect: INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY!

I know that I am right that you started this discussion, but you are completely wrong to refer to my poetry as “statements like that.” And, I truly fail to see how I “spout[ed] off” on the topic of America “without really knowing what [I’m] talking about.” I laid out a carefully written piece, for which you made no effort to fully address.

Rayn: Instead, you chose to only focus on the tone of my poem, in the form of a single question. I guess it’s easier for you to deal in emotion over content, when both must be considered. I don’t suffer from that sort of problem, as I deal in the full-spectrum of poetic “reality.”

And, you have no choice but to concede that I have “gathered quite a bit of information.” That is what I do. And, there is a great deal more of where that came from. Those that know me at least know this truth.

If “the beauty of historiography is that you can collect enough data to make just about any argument you want,” & “that doesn’t make it right to pass a definitive judgment on an abstract concept like ‘America,’” then, congratulations! Your efforts to nullify my point of view have made your point of view just as invalid, using the same argument! Ha ha! But, let me guess: you believe that this type of argument applies only to me, and not to you, right? WRONG AGAIN! (You’re on a roll!)

Rayn: You CANNOT ESCAPE the fact that this line of reasoning nullifies all arguments on the subject – starting with YOURS – since you actually ascribe to it, unlike me!

Anyway, I never said I don’t like America, ‘cuz that would include all the individuals living inside of it. I am an American, and so are most of my friends! If you read my poem thoroughly, you would have realized that I criticized the government, and rightfully so!

As a person of Italian, Ukrainian, Irish and also Native American descent, I can very much so say that I don’t like our American government! Much of the heritage of my Native American ancestors was stolen from me through this government’s planned policy of genocide. I can’t get it back, and I won’t DOUBLE-THINK on the issue!

As a person who spent four years of her youth with her family in the New York City shelter system – as a direct result of the bursting of the housing bubble in the late 1980s – I can, and will, say that I don’t like our American government!

Rayn: I actually live for telling my story as a first-hand witness to the poverty and suffering I survived at the hands of our corrupted imperialistic government.

As a teenager who almost died in the care of so-called “dentists” at the NYC Department of Health’s Brooklyn Dental Clinic due to a planned policy of faulty root canal work, I live to explain how their failures almost cost me my life. One need only ask, and I DO tell ALL!

So, your ridiculous fat girl analogy is again farcical, much like most of your analogies. They miss their mark so spectacularly, I wonder if you are not simply arguing with me solely for the purpose of arguing. With each round of comments, you bring less and less fact to the table, and more and more insults, instead. And, if you want like to insult me, I will reflect this behavior right back at you with much more success.

My constructive suggestions for America have already been noted: I want BACK the INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY I was spiritually granted at birth!

Rayn: I know I can do better for myself than the government has done for me! I’ll take my risk against against the INDIVIDUAL evils of man, rather than fight against the implemented policy of such! While you admit to hiding out in the “suburbs of the big dog,” “just worry[ing] about [yourself] and [your] family” (while complaining about “selfish pricks”), holding limited power as a teacher, and spreading your ideals to your “little gang-bangers,” you ask me what I’m doing to help change America? Ha ha! That is a joke unto itself.

You obviously haven’t been listening. I don’t want any part of America’s evils. I don’t want to be complicit! I don’t want any taxes I pay supporting imperialistic war adventures overseas! I want to expose this fraudulent system! I told you that I am a LIVING WITNESS to the injustice of the war that the American government is secretly conducting against the poor. I need only tell my own life’s story, and I have done more than enough!

Rayn: I do this very thing whenever I can, and whenever it’s relevant to the situation. Telling the TRUTH is one of the most POSITIVE actions that an INDIVIDUAL can COMMIT to, and also one of the most BRAVE! As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” So, I don’t stop there! As a writer, poet, musician, artist and web designer, I also take the time to transform my experiences into carefully crafted works of art, available to the public at absolutely no cost, except time!

Examples of my work can be found on my Facebook page, as well as many other networking and music sites. However, my full body of work, along with plenty of public feedback, can be found here: http://www.myspace.com/rayn

Remember the words of Voltaire:

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

I am risking myself each day by boldly exercising my FREEDOM to dissent against our government: a militarily backed criminal syndicate of rich elitist parasites!

Anthony T.: You’re killing me! I didn’t mean for you to take everything I just said so personally and I am sorry. That is why I said we should maybe do this in person some time, because when you read typing it is hard to tell which comments are made seriously and which ones are just for fun. I thought you got it when you wrote “Your efforts to nullify my point of view have made your point of view just as invalid, using the same argument!” That is the whole point! I AM arguing with you just for the sake of arguing! It has been a very fun excuse for me to procrastinate over doing my assignments for school. But I think it has gone a little too far and become somewhat hostile. I also have to finish the paper I am working on by Wednesday, so I am respectfully withdrawing any further arguments until a later time. Have a nice day!

Rayn: No doubt, Anthony! Either way, this whole discussion with you has enabled me to dedicate time to one of my most favorite activities: writing!

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(All original portions of this work, by Rayn Kleipe, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, while all redistributed links, images, sounds, videos, and writings are protected under 17 U.S.C. § 107: Fair Use, or under Public Domain)

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