Current Events, Politics, and Religion.

The world seems to have fallen into a big shit-hole over the past couple years with anything from oil prices to war to ridiculous laws being passed and government power.

Israel decides to fight for itself for the first time in 2000+ years from Hamas pressure and the whole world scolds it like a little child. They finally call a cease fire and soon after the Hamas drop another bomb on them.

America has its first black president, controversy ensues, etc etc…

The American government bails out tons of private corporations, then Obama caps salaries for executives and high businessmen to ‘stimulate the economy’, when in reality he has taken a private corporation and as a side-effect made it a government corporation.

This is a general discussion on what is going on in the world and how it is effecting you.
I have two questions you need to keep in mind when posting.
“What is the purpose of a government?”
-and for Americans or anyone who wants to answer.
“What does it mean to be free? Are we free now?”

…I don’t have a whole lot of time to post at the moment, but judging by the election results, it’s not THAT controversial…
Only comment on election results: GG, Mccain.

yeah, the worlds in the shitter right now

and if you ask me the government’s only purpose should be to ensure material laws (no raping, murdering, stealing etc.) are to be upheld, also to maintain things that people deserve…like free effing health care and solid roads.

what does it mean to be free? it means that we can whatever we want whenever we want, as such no one is or ever will be free

also on the internet this sort of stuff is a slippery slope as people can say what they want to thanks to the magic of anonymity

The closest we can get to freedom is being free to do whatever we want until we infringe on another person’s rights. Laws are supposed to protect the rights of others. Once you infringe on another person’s rights, you lose your rights, at least to some degree.
…interestingly enough, we have laws in place so people don’t infringe on their own rights. If you DO infringe on your own rights, you’re breaking the laws in place to protect your rights, and thus you lose your rights. Ironic.

See, this is the bit that I’d like to touch on. Those executives make WAY too much money. I heard that Obama capped their salary at 500k. I don’t know about you, but I could live off of that and then some. And if that’s a big cut in pay, then good god, I want to know what the hell those guys were making beforehand. I almost wish that Obama would take it further and cap sports players’ salaries, 'cause god knows those guys make too much as well.

On another note of the same subject, the people on the manufacturing floor make, what, about minimum wage? Maybe a little higher if they’re lucky, right? I dunno, it just seems that that’s about right. They make just enough to live off of.

I wouldn’t say that Obama is turning private corporations into government ones. That seems a little too outlandish to say. This bail out signifies to me that companies need government assistance to “survive,” and if that involves a slap on the hand and a lower allowance for the babies that call themselves the executives of those companies, so be it.

I seem to remember Obama saying something about trying to help the lower class, but I’m not sure if that’s true or even from a reliable source. If he did say that, however, then I think he’s off to an excellent start by bitch slapping those jerks whose biggest worry is if they’re gonna be able to afford that month long cruise in Hawaii.

I’m lower-middle class, btw. I am not poor by any means, but I’ve been there before. Eating cereal with pop instead of milk because its cheaper, pawning off everything we own just to pay rent, I’ve been there. Fortunately, I don’t remember most of it. Too young. But what I do remember, I remember it being hell, even for my naive little mind. So excuse me if I think that CEOs of companies who are bitching about being limited to only buying two BMWs this year instead of three need to have their life savings and job disappear in front of them so they can see what poverty is like.

And now that my intellectual side is spent, I’d just like to agree with Cloud. GG, McCain.

EDIT: Also would like to agree with Syntax. Admins, I would suggest watching this topic carefully. Debates involving politics and, well, world problems tend to get out of hand, even IRL. I remember one debate in one of my High School’s Current World Problems class where, apparently, one student actually left the class crying. The debate was on Abortion, and well, let’s just say that rumors about her spread extremely fast, even for High School. I still don’t know the truth. Apparently, there was some big fist fight about some political thing recently too. I swear, my High School seems really pussyfied compared to some, though. What we consider “fighting” here is, essentially, running up to someone while flailing your fists wildly, hoping to hit them. The sad thing is that most of them watch boxing.

Then again, what do you expect from a predominantly Caucasian (I mean, there’s like 15 people who aren’t white here) Middle-Class high school. When you toss a bunch of pricks together (me included. I deserve to get my ass handed to me on a silver platter, honestly), stupidity ensues.

"What is the purpose of a government?"
To strive to do good for the people by 1) regulating them 2) protecting them from external threats 3) providing access to resources and human services.
"What does it mean to be free? Are we free now?"
That word has unfortunately lost all meaning due to its constant reuse in US politics. However, when I hear “freedom” I think “ability to do anything within the limits of morality”. I define morality by the victimless crime rule - if it doesn’t necessarily impact anybody else negatively, it should be legal AND culturally acceptable. When all such things are legal and accepted, that is “freedom”. Currently, a lot of us are not free, because there are a large number of victimless crimes that are banned or taboo. A lot of these lie in the domain of activities banned for minors… and I’m going to be a minor for 364 more days, so I’m pretty sore about that. Others are just nonsense conservative bullshit, but I think it’s fair to say that we’re socially moving towards freedom more than against freedom, within the borders of the US itself. Not so sure about governmentally, since I think we might have been set back from some things, like drug legalization and gay marriage, since some points in the past of our country.

Side note: Israel has been a country for 50 years. I dunno where you got the 2000 number from.

Get rid of that avatar, you’re clever. You adorable genius you.

The thing of it is, those are the people that own that company, they either raised it from the dirt, inherited it, or bought it. That company is rightfully theirs.
That being the case they probably did not deserve a bail out for any dirty deeds done, but they asked for a bailout to save their employees and their company.
Even more ballsy is Obama barging in on the executive who rightfully owns the company and has right to make as much as they are.
Compare it to property tax. Why the hell do we still have to pay a property tax even after the land we own as been fully paid for? Why the hell are we paying the government for something that is rightfully ours?
The same applies to these business men, they have earned that salary, so why the hell is Big Government waltzing in and saying "Waha! Congrats on making seven point five bajillion dollars, we’re just going to take all but five hundred thousand of it and spend it on our own whims!"
Yeah, 500k yearly is still a ton, but the point is that someone is taking money that has been rightfully earned. Back in my days that was called theft.

(Also, taking from the rich, giving to the poor. It reminds me of Robin hood, …or Communism.)

ALSO: (IF YOU DON’T READ ANY OF THE PREVIOUS PART OF THIS POST, AT LEAST READ THIS NEXT BIT!)

The preamble of the United States Constitution states plainly and clearly the purpose of government.
Tell me if any of these guidelines have been infringed upon:

(Fun Fact: Yeah, defense is spelled wrong, it was like that when the constitution was written. You know, before Spell-Check.)

Business heads don’t have a right to shit all over other people. No trusts, no salaries lower than minimum wage, and now, no overinflated paychecks. The company doesn’t belong to a single person. It belongs to every single person in it. Paying the head more money is equivalent to stealing from your workers. I dunno why you’re saying that the government takes the extra money, since it goes to the company, not the government, but okay.
The same idea applies to property tax. It doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to you AND the United States of America, and your state. It is still under the governments’ jurisdiction, and it is provided for by the government. You owe the government money for that.

Essentially, what Tim said.

One thing, though. Most of the guys that made these massive companies are already dead, and thus, they’re little shithead kids inherited the company, and insist on being little shithead adults because they never learned how tough life can be.

So yeah, these companies aren’t being ran by people who dug them out of soil and their own two hands, but their kids who were raised without the fear of if they would have to move out of their one room apartment because their parents couldn’t afford the rent. I’m not saying that that is a fear that everyone should deal with, I just think that those kids are way too spoiled for their own good. And then they get to own a company after their parents kick the bucket.

Even then, by inheritance, it is still their company. Not the government’s. (No matter how “unfair” it may be.)
My point is, Obama has made private corporations answer to the government. …Which makes it a government corporation.
It’s still government seizing control beyond what it should be allowed.

the constitution doesnt mean shit anymore

and anyway, you know once long distance space travel and colonizing is possible
we’ll prolly just blow up the earth and start over
or have some messed up war with ourselves or something

people fucking suck and government is some stupid failed system to try and control a bunch of violent stupid animals

and to clarify, a person is smart, people are dumb violent animals

No one’s saying the government owns the business, no one’s saying the business has to pay the government its surplus money, and… what the fuck? He made them “answer to the government”? Who the hell are they supposed to answer to? Do you think laws in general are a bad idea? No shit they answer to the government; the government’s the one that writes laws.
And again, it’s not their company. It is the company of every worker in it. The company belongs to everyone who works in it, to the government in the jurisdiction of which it resides, and to the people in charge of it. All of these people have rights associated with that company: the right to be in unions and receive minimum wage or higher, the right to tax and regulate the company, and the right to make decisions about the way the company is run, respectively.

PS CMC, did you even think before you posted that? It just sounds like babbling >_>

Er…
They’ve always answered to the government <_< Regulations? Price floors/ceilings? Laws?
True free market economics don’t work, so corporations have never been totally free in everything.

I think I understood most of what CMC was saying, actually…

also… people need to stop with the “exploding planets” theories, that would totally fuck up this solar system in ways we probably couldn’t calculate <_< I imagine a number of planets would be eaten by the sun, and… well… probably just a bad idea.

I got was he was saying, except it’s all entirely devoid of substance.
“the constitution doesnt mean shit anymore” <-- yeah it does
“and anyway, you know once long distance space travel and colonizing is possible
we’ll prolly just blow up the earth and start over
or have some messed up war with ourselves or something” <-- why do you say that
"people fucking suck and government is some stupid failed system to try and control a bunch of violent stupid animals

and to clarify, a person is smart, people are dumb violent animals" <-- why do you say any of that?

You gave a whole series of points without any sort of evidence to back up any of them, or without defining a whole series of crucial terms.
I’ve bolded the crucial terms in the following list of allegations CMC has made.

  1. The constitution doesn’t mean shit.
  2. The constitution used to mean shit.
  3. It is probable that we will either destroy the Earth and start over or have some messed up war if/when we can colonize other worlds.
  4. People fucking suck.
  5. Government is stupid.
  6. Government is failed.
  7. Government is intended to control people.
    8) People are violent and stupid.
  8. A single person is neither violent nor stupid.

A large number of things said, but I wasn’t convinced of any of them. I disagree with points 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 (assuming the crucial terms are defined as I would define them, though they’re pretty ambiguous), and CMC didn’t back up any of them.

(Sorry for switching second and third person so much <_<)

Gonna play devils advocate a bit 'cuz I’m bored.

  1. Yes, it does mean shit, but way too many people take it for granted and don’t understand it at all, leading to abuse of constitutional rights.
  2. …I got nothin’. It’s possible that while some faction is out colonizing other planets, nameless other faction could oust the faction colonizing everything and take over Earth for themselves. That, or people will start wars over the colonies and different planets. The third option ends with a fucked up Earth Directorate leading Earth and trying to dictate everything while a splintered Human faction fights two other alien species in a far away system. Multiple varieties of planet-nuking ensue.
  3. Government isn’t inherently stupid. Some decisions, laws, programs, leaders, terms, and ideas related to e government are stupid. <<<This one’s not really adding any substance, just ignore it >_>
  4. The idea of government isn’t to control people, but that is how it is often implemented. A lot of resources have been used by certain governments to manipulate them to the government’s will, and many governments also step over their boundaries to control the public’s perceptions and actions towards certain things.
    8+9. While “people,” as a whole, are definitely violent and stupid, that is not always true for the individual, who can be neither if they strive to be neither.

*Note: CMC, I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, just arguing for the sake of arguing <_<

Individuals are stupider than you’d think. People have so many dimensions and do so much in their lives that it’s impossible for someone to be smart all of the time, and non-violent (depending on your definition of violent). The reason “people” are stupid and violent is because the average action of any given “person” is stupid and violent.

Not necessarily the average actions of the individual, but he average actions of the whole. While a depressingly large number of the things I do are probably stupid, I’d like to think that, on average, I’m not a violent person. I may be occasionally, but that’s definitely not the average for me as an individual.

Maybe not violent. Violent might be the wrong word. When I think of “violent”, though, I think of selfish, confrontational, and maybe just going against other people in any way. Not just physically aggressive. For instance, this entire thread is violent in some sense. :stuck_out_tongue:

Certainly a very large portion of our actions seek to either improve our own lives, necessarily at the expense of others in some unseen way, or to correct what we think is wrong in someone else, also, obviously, at their expense. We wouldn’t call a restaurant owner who asks for money from somebody who has finished their meal violent; that’s something any of us would do in his shoes. But if you think about it, there’s nothing more basely self-centered than that restaurant owner. And accordingly, there’s nothing more essentially altruistic than to let the person walk away. But does anyone do that for other people more than half the time? Of course not. That, to me, is the violent part of stupid and violent.
Maybe I put too much meaning in little things, but there you have it.

Shrug
Point proven, you win XD

You’re no fun at all :[