1)IRS 2)Bengazi 3)AP - Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by classicaliberal, May 14, 2013.

  1. classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #1
    1) IRS - The IRS singled out and harassed conservative political groups, including during the election year of 2012.

    2) Bengazi - Possible weapon smuggling, inadequate protection for a major U.S. diplomat, stand-down orders given prevent possibility of protection, and administration cover-up of true motive behind attack in an attempt to downplay 'terrorism.'

    3) AP - The wholesale/broad investigation/tapping of a major news outlet.

    ---

    Folks, this is getting bad. The more power we give to the government, the more they abuse it. We know that power corrupts, yet in a never-ending search for security and comfort... for a paradise that doesn't exist... people advocate for big-government with little care or consideration for history.

    Those who try and say this is an 'Obama Administration problem' are sadly mistaken. History teaches us about tyranny and about freedom... it teaches us just how rare freedom really is and just why our founders put so much emphasis on limiting the power of the government in order to ensure its future existence and slow the natural growth of power in gov't.

    The chickens are coming home to roost, and these are just a few of the most recent examples of a government run amuck. Yes, a government for the people, and by the people... but a government which has long since blown past most limitations placed against it's predictable expansion in the name of 'security' and the 'general welfare.'

    Republicans and Democrats alike - they all want to grow government, just in different ways. It takes courage and personal responsibility to value liberty over security - something our society has lost interest in over time.

    When will we wake up? When will we realize that we have far more to fear from our government than we do from any business or any individual with a gun. When will we realize it isn't the liberties we personally prize alone that we should be fighting for, but the liberties our neighbor prizes as well.

     
  2. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Well if you feel like this, just imagine how the rest of the world feels.
     
  3. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    Imagining how everyone else feels is irrelevant.
     
  4. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Personally I'd rather live in a completely authoritarian state than in a state like Somalia where you have no government and whatever liberties you want as long as you have a bigger gun than your neighbour.
     
  5. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    Your straw man, is that I support anarchy. In fact, I support limited constitutional government which values liberty and justice over security and tyranny.

    Your red-herring, is that the only two options are an authoritarian state, or a modern anarchist society governed by local tribalism and gang thuggery.

    It's clear that you either lack the necessary mental capacity to debate the actual issue at hand, or you're willfully attempting to disrupt the discussion by redefining your opponents views as you see fit in an attempt to push the argument in your favor.

    Now, If you'd like to have a real conversation... I'd suggest you start by comparing the merits of a smaller constitutional republic (the U.S. as envisioned by it's founding fathers), vs what we have today which is a larger, more authoritarian, more nanny-state, socialistic republic, who's government is actively and openly manipulating every aspect of our lives.
     
  6. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #6
    The problem is if you want to have a country you have to have a strong central government. There was a reason why the US got rid of the articles of confederation and replaced them with a strong central government, small government doesn't work. It didn't work 200 years ago and it works less now. Can you give me one example of a country with a small government like you would want that isn't a third world country?
     
  7. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #7
    I would point out that from what I have read, it doesn't look like the IRS harrassed the conservative groups, but targetted them for additional scrutiny. I'm not aware of any additional audits or other enforcement activities. In fact, it would appear that additional scrutiny of a group of taxpayers would lead to better enforcement of the law. The IRS regularly scrutinizes subsets of taxpayers to determine whether there is widespread fraud or abuse. That being said, the targetting based on ideology was ridiculous. All similarly situated taxpayers regardless of ideology should have scrutinized.

    Are you just making stuff up? Weapon smuggling, stand-down orders, cover-up? Come on, do you have a source for any of that, or is it all conjecture no better than the conspiracy theories that popped up after 9/11?

    I'm not sure what to think of the AP story. Journalists have no automatic right to be immune to police or federal investigations, and they certainly have no expectation of privacy that would trump a lawfully obtained subpoena. The information obtained only included phone numbers being contacted by the AP at a time when classified materials were leaked. The AP can protect its sources, but the Federal Government has every right to investigate. If the AP didn't want its source to be identified, they could have used different methods of contact that would have avoided revealing their source. However, that might cross the line between receipt of illegally obtained and classified materials, and border on conspiring to reveal the classified documentation.
     
  8. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #8
    Do you actually believe this? Do you actually believe the constitution written to create a 'strong central government?'

    Have you actually read the words of the founders own writings?

    Have you cared to review the enumerated powers and the words of those who chose them so selectively?

    Do you understand the role the federal government was thought to play back then, compared to the role of the states?

    Say what you will about modern case-law and jurisprudence, but to suggest somehow that the founders intended a large federal government with nearly limitless powers validated through liberal redefinitions of the general welfare, necessary and proper, and necessary and proper clauses, is patently ridiculous.

    Those learned enough to quote such clauses, are usually the first to admit these were not the direct intentions of the founders - they just disagree that it matters what they thought. Such is the argument behind the 'living document' vs. 'original intent'.

    As for an example, the best example would be 20th century U.S.
    Next you'll bring up racism, and slavery, as if such things are requisite components of smaller government and a more free people. Such arguments are so patently ridiculous, and clearly represent a failure of understanding correlation/causation, such that they hardly merit a well-considered response.

    Suffice to say, a society that truly values liberty, values it for all people, of all stripes, colors, creeds. A country where all mean are created equal...
     
  9. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #9
    The founders that owned slaves and originally only wanted white male landowners to vote? :confused:
     
  10. classicaliberal, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 14, 2013

    classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #10
    I'm glad you agree that the targeting based on ideology was 'ridiculous'. I'd say it's more than ridiculous, even tyrannical, but we're splitting hairs.

    As for 'harassment', we perhaps simply differ on the word. Anytime the IRS requires you to document things beyond normal protocol, especially for political purposes, there is the implied threat of force which backs them up. You will do what they say, or they could arrest you at gun point, charge you, try you, and jail you. You may not consider this harassment, but I do.

    The IRS is far too powerful of an institution to have citizens even remotely concerned about being unfairly or politically targeted. If they are, I consider it harassment almost immediately. Furthermore, details will contintue to come out on this issue in the coming weeks - I'd wager we'll see plenty evidence of harassment by the time it's said and done.


    Weapon smuggling to syrian fighters is an accusation that has been made by several high-ranking officials including U.S. senators. It most likely hasn't been covered on MSNBC, and who knows if we'll ever find out if there's any truth to it, but it is a serious accusation none-the-less and deserves to be treated as such.

    http://rt.com/usa/rand-clinton-benghazi-paul-109/

    Stand-down orders have been testified to by high-ranking officials including Gregory Hicks in last-week's congressional hearings. Again, if you get your news only from a select few sources like NYT and MSNBC, you wouldn't have probably heard about this.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2...gory_hicks_says_stand_down_order_is_true.html
    http://video.foxnews.com/v/2374545573001/
     
  11. xShane macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    The main reason the Articles of Confederation were replaced with the Constitution was because of the problems with decentralization (a more "local" government; less centralized; decentralized).

    Also, "back then", the Founding Fathers believed people were to stupid to trust in government decisions, hence why we have the electoral system. People everyday prove them to be right.
     
  12. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #12
    Perhaps you should have read all the way to the end of my post. ;)
    Logical fallacy. Was Bill Clinton a horrible president because he had a fun time with Monica? Was Martin Luther King or President Kennedy evil men because he cheated on his wife? Were the founders ideals on liberty, personal freedom, and limited government wrong because they simultaneously lacked the political will/ability to outlaw slavery and to provide all people with equal rights under the law? Does one person's failure in any particular regard reduce the rest of their societal contributions to rubish?

    I doubt you disagree with such basic and logical truths.
     
  13. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    The IRS has long tried to scrutinize "non-profit" groups for political activities, and, political groups for personal spending. Various groups have lost their non-profit status, and, quite a few politicians have lost their jobs, and, in the most egregious cases, gone to jail, for illegal spending campaign contributions on vacations, cars, home improvement, etc. As you might have noticed, with the way the laws have been weakened, there was an absolute flood of campaign spending last election. I think it is time to change the Constitution, and, strengthen enforcement of campaign laws.

    I don't know what you are referring to, but, there was a CIA operation in the city. What laws were violated?

    That is on Congress. Budget cuts.

    (Original) source? Timeline? This claim has been made many times, but, the public testimony doesn't support this interpretation.

    This argument again. You can't use the word "terrorism" too early or too often. Come back in ten years and you will be asking yourself why you fell for this Fox News induced mass hysteria.

    Legally subpoenaed. Apparently, to investigate a leak of classified information. If the government didn't investigate, would you be shouting about how the administration is weak on security?

    Curiously, one of the conservative critics of this that I heard on the radio yesterday said they should have gotten the information they need (paraphrase) "through other means". Meaning what? Illegal wiretap? As the British government to spy on U.S. citizens within the U.S.? I wonder what he was talking about.
     
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    All things considered, these are some of the mildest scandals I've seen in my 52 years.

    I think you're being melodramatic.
     
  15. kapolani macrumors regular

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    #15
    But, but... I thought this was going to be the most transparent administration EVAR?!?!
     
  16. thekev macrumors 604

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    #16
    That in itself sounds like a bad thing. I think we've all become desensitized to a lot of things that should never actually happen.
     
  17. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #17
    Where were you in 2002?

    BL.
     
  18. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #18
    That's the kicker. Any additional scrutiny would have been an evaluation of documents required to be kept by the taxpayers. The IRS is authorized to do exactly what it did if it were a normal, routine investigation. The problem is that the audit selection methedology seems to have been politically motivated, and that crosses a line. The investigation itself, the scrutiny, is perfectly reasonable and legal. At least, until some other information regarding the actual scrutiny comes out that indicates something improper was done.

    In other words, you are 1. relying on reporting of something someone else made up, and 2. pointing to testimony that has no context related to the actual response or the available response. I once heard the Bush administration claim there were WMDs in Iraq. Unfortunately, we have already seen what happens when you try to manipulate the facts to suit your agenda.
    Feel free to look up the testimony, but the idea that anyone denied needed assistance has yet to be confirmed in any way. There were clearly some issues with how to coordinate the response, what response was needed, dealing with the red-tape, issues with multiple agencies, the CIA being one (notoriously shy), but to suggest anyone said hey, there's a battle going on and we can help, but we won't... I haven't seen anything even remotely close to that.

    Would you mind staying on the topic of your own thread? There are lots of founding father, constitutional, original intent threads. Maybe dredge one of those back up.
     
  19. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #19
    1) Been a classical liberal (small-l libertarian) since college. I was saying the same things in long before 2002 - I was wildly critical of the Bush Administration, it's passage of the Patriot Act, NCLB, prescription drug program, etc.

    2) If I had not been critical of Bush as you no-doubt hoped, it wouldn't reduce the validity of my argument at all. Just like the fact that you see almost no leftist anti-war protestors after the election of Barack Obama doesn't reduce the validity of their Bush Adminstration demonstrations at all. It may speak poorly as to my (theoretical) consistency or their consistency, but the arguments remain untarnished by their fallible messengers.

    3) Where were you in 2002? Speaking against the government tyranny? Where did you go? Please come back.
     
  20. Michael Goff macrumors G3

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    #20
    That's a false equivalency.

    The founders were horrible people because they were almost just as bigoted as the people they were against. I don't care what the founders intended today, anyway. Our Government has evolved since then, and it's a good thing. This isn't about whether or not they could do something... they MADE THE CONSTITUTION. They had ALL THE POWER. They could have done something against slavery (Lincoln did, and he was just a President, he didn't make the Constitution).

    One person's racism and sexism makes me care less about what they think, yes. Add in that they originally only wanted white landowning males, as in "no poor people" and that the Electoral College was set up to ensure that he majority's vote didn't matter (they didn't trust the majority because they considered them uneducated) and you get my point that we shouldn't keep saying "what would the founders say".

    I don't care what the founders would say, it'd probably be sexist, racist, and against poor people. This, of course, was only a consensus of the convention. Obviously there were outliers who weren't terrible people.
     
  21. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #21
    No. it's actually a good thing to be able to put things into perspective.

    And believing that some things should "never happen" is naive.

    Things happen.

    Deal with it.
     
  22. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #22
    I never said I believed they wouldn't happen. I just don't think they're the kinds of things that should be readily dismissed. They aren't supposed to happen. I don't really care how many 501(c)(3) organizations are audited, but it angers me when it is turned into a partisan matter. If it was just that they were scrutinizing political groups that chose such a structure for some other reason, it wouldn't be a big deal. Organizations also shouldn't get a free pass due to ideology.
     
  23. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #23
    I am so relieved that you broke the sacred taboo. Some of us unAmericans get awfully tired of the constant beatification of those men. If the Constitution was so bloody perfect, why all the Amendments?
     
  24. lannister80 macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Waving a flag and hating brown people, no doubt.
     
  25. TedM macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I'm a bit behind on my news in this section. I've been reading a bit about it, but it seems like there are two large clashes going on: People who think its a big deal comparing it to Watergate and people who don't think its a big deal. Anyone wanna fill me in on both sides arguments or at least link me? Thanks
     

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