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InvisibleSilversoul
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checking government power
    #3867860 - 03/04/05 03:05 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Prosgeopax mentioned this in another thread and said it was a topic deserving of its own thread, so I thought I'd take the liberty of making it. Here we are, a little over two centuries since the Constitution was ratified, but what does this document mean now? It has been interpreted and re-interpreted over and over again by activist judges to suit whatever political agenda they support, so it is no wonder that few people in Congress or the White House take it seriously. This document was intended to limit the powers of government, but it appears that at most, it may have slowed down its growth. If the Constitution failed to limit government to its proper niche, then what can?

It seems to me that any form of government requires the support of the people. The problem with this is that people are stupid and gullible. They are susceptible to government propaganda trying to convince them why they need to give up certain freedoms for their safety, or why certain checks and balances need to be circumvented or done away with. They allow unconstitutional behavior because it's a time of emergency, or because it's for a good cause, or because it's their patriotic duty, and before you know it, people are complacent with just about any legislation, no matter how unconstitutional or costly or corrupt. Everyone already knows that their elected representatives are bought out special interests, but they act as if it doesn't matter. I fear we may end up going the way of Rome. Some charismatic leader will convince the masses to do away with our representative government and crown himself king or emperor or some other authoritarian position.

Can it be stopped? Can this path be reversed? I don't know, but I sure hope so.


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: checking government power [Re: Silversoul]
    #3867886 - 03/04/05 03:09 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

The separation of powers was fucked since the Supreme Court decided it was constitutional for Congress to delegate its powers to the Executive.


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
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Re: checking government power [Re: Redstorm]
    #3867900 - 03/04/05 03:11 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Redstorm said:
The separation of powers was fucked since the Supreme Court decided it was constitutional for Congress to delegate its powers to the Executive.




:thumbup:

Anything can be reversed... The only issue is whether or not we are willing to reverse it and our reasoning for doing so. "The masses" as you refer to them, are highly susceptible to influence providing enough propoganda is used to convince them of an issue. I'd suggest a vast form of re-education if anything, that teaches people how to think for themselves rather then taking someone else's old, played idea and accepting it as fact with no verification.

As for it actually being applied to any degree... I doubt it will occur, people are satisfied with what works, not works well (unfortuanetly). Or is it just because they are told that it works well?


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: checking government power [Re: Redstorm]
    #3868404 - 03/04/05 04:54 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Redstorm said:
The separation of powers was fucked since the Supreme Court decided it was constitutional for Congress to delegate its powers to the Executive.




what case was that..anyway?...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: checking government power [Re: Silversoul]
    #3868509 - 03/04/05 05:12 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

The way I see it, whatever measures you put in place are going to be overturned if a majority of people want to do so.


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: checking government power [Re: Annapurna1]
    #3868909 - 03/04/05 06:21 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Annapurna1 said:
Quote:

Redstorm said:
The separation of powers was fucked since the Supreme Court decided it was constitutional for Congress to delegate its powers to the Executive.




what case was that..anyway?...




'It will not be contended,'' wrote Chief Justice Marshall in 1825, ''that congress can delegate to the courts, or to any other tribunals, powers which are strictly and exclusively legislative. But congress may certainly delegate to others, powers which the legislature may rightfully exercise itself.'' 58 ''This is not to say,'' said Chief Justice Taft, ''that the three branches are not co-ordinate parts of one government and that each in the field of its duties may not invoke the action of the two other branches in so far as the action invoked shall not be an assumption of the constitutional field of action of another branch. In determining what it may do in seeking assistance from another branch, the extent and character of that assistance must be fixed according to common sense and the inherent necessities of the governmental co-ordination.'' 59 Chief Justice Marshall frankly noted ''that there is some difficulty in discerning the exact limits'' on the legislative power to delegate. Thus, ''the precise boundary of this power is a subject of delicate and difficult inquiry, into which a court will not enter unnecessarily.'' 60

Two theories suggested themselves to the early Court to justify the results of sustaining delegations. The Chief Justice alluded to the first in Wayman v. Southard. 61 He distinguished between ''important'' subjects, ''which must be entirely regulated by the legislature itself,'' and subjects ''of less interest, in which a general provision may be made, and power given to those who are to act under such general provisions, to fill up the details.'' While his distinction may be lost, the theory of the power ''to fill up the details'' is impressively modern law.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article01/04.html



Wayman v. Southard was not the case I was looking for, but it serves the same purpose. Congress is not supposed to delegate essential powers of the legislative, but they can delegate more minor matters. Unfortunately, there is a massive bureaucracy now that has gotten a bit out of control.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: checking government power [Re: Silversoul]
    #3868953 - 03/04/05 06:33 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)


Can it be stopped? Can this path be reversed?

Probably not. Republics seem to follow a pretty consistent pattern. They never get revitalized....they only decay.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: checking government power [Re: Silversoul]
    #3868999 - 03/04/05 06:47 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I think it may have helped to have a specific right (in the bill of rights) of secession and association. If people want to secede from one state and incorporate themselves in another or form their own state, that should be allowed. If people want to secede from the country altogether, that should be allowed. What could be more democratic than to allow self rule?


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: checking government power [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #3869322 - 03/04/05 07:53 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I'd say you guys need a Constituion upgrade.

If i were you, i'd open the window and scream "WAKE UPPPPPPPP!!!" like Rage against the machine does in the matrix soundrack. If the people don't change first, your government is just going to decay and rott while still maintaining power.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: checking government power [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3870209 - 03/04/05 11:05 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:

Can it be stopped? Can this path be reversed?

Probably not. Republics seem to follow a pretty consistent pattern. They never get revitalized....they only decay.



Then maybe we need to figure out a new system of government more capable of protecting liberty.

I think we need to make it really difficult for legislation to get passed. The fewer laws the government makes, the safer I feel about my rights. I'm thinking we should have a sort of parliamentary system with proportional representation so every significant party is represented, except they would require a unanimous vote(or at least 85-90%) to get a law passed. I bet they wouldn't waste their time trying to pull any sweetheart deals for special interests if that were the case.

Government's main duty should be enforcing laws to make people safer, not dishing out corporate favors, moral posturing, and excessive regulations. When it comes to budgets, there would be few budget items, due to the scarcity of laws, so allocating the proper funds should be simply enough to require, let's say, a 75% vote.

There would of course be a Constitution here as well, with severe consequences for violating it(maybe 6 hours in the stocks for a first-time offender, then 10 lashes for the second time, 20 lashes for the third time, and you don't even want to know what's after that). It would lay out the laws for governing which I've just described, along with rules for taxation and spending. It would be illegal to tax labor(ie. income and payroll taxes), buildings, or any consumption goods which do not have a significant societal cost. Spending would be restricted to law enforcement, military, roads, public utilities, maybe certain businesses requiring a natural monopoly, and whatever social services they can unanimously agree upon. Any revenue beyond that would be stored in a sort of rainy day fund, in case of war, famine, disease, etc.

The decision to declare war would require an 80% majority vote, specifying the enemies to be targeted and the reason for going to war. No troops could be deployed outside the nation's borders without a declaration of war, unless the situation is sufficiently urgent to require their immediate deployment. There would be a council of generals to lead us in wartime. One of them would be elected by a 75% majority vote to serve as commander in chief during the conflict. At any time, the parliament could vote by a 60% majority to rescind his position and then elect a different general.

What do ya think?


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: checking government power [Re: Silversoul]
    #3870276 - 03/04/05 11:21 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

im no expert in constitutional law..so im just rambling...but IMNSHO..there are at least 3 disclaimers within the US constitution that could make it null and void right from the beginning ..1) the exclusive power of the SCOTUS to rule on its applicability.. 2) the power of the POTUS as commander-in-chief.. and 3) the commerce clause...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


Edited by Annapurna1 (03/05/05 12:16 AM)


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Invisibletrick

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Re: checking government power [Re: Annapurna1]
    #3870627 - 03/05/05 12:13 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I doubt a document will stop the government from doing anything they wish to do. The constitution is now nothing but something American bureaucrats can use in their rhetoric as to assure the people they aren't being manipulated while they are doing the exact opposite. In the beginning it was a declaration of laws, rights, and such that validated the United States's function as a nation. Over a period of time it became a commodity, something that can be bought or sold for the right price. I don't doubt that the constitution is a serious cornerstone and a pillar in American politics today. What i do doubt is the opinion that the constitution has as much prominence as it used to. I personally believe that no matter what happens to the constitution, civilization (as a whole) will continue to pillage on into the centuries and destroying everything in it's path (including rights to anyone). The more the mentality of a conformist is considered a safe-haven for Americans subconsciously, the more the quality of life and enviroment will be degraded.

Ya Basta!


Edited by trick (03/05/05 12:13 AM)


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: checking government power [Re: Silversoul]
    #3870848 - 03/05/05 12:49 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)


Then maybe we need to figure out a new system of government more capable of protecting liberty.

The Constitution was and is a very good document. The framers were quite aware of the dangers of a government out of control. The Constitution quite clearly says that anything not delegated to the federal government was to be left to the states. You don?t get any more plain that that. And yet we still see this simple and easy to understand declaration blatantly broken every day. It was Jefferson who said that it was maybe necessary that a revolution occur every few years in order to ?clean house?.

The only way that a new system of government could be imposed upon America is if the current one is overthrown. The current one will only be overthrown if the mass majority of people supported that. History shows that people do not necessarily rise up if their rights are taken away by their government. They oftentimes do nothing. Look at 1930?s Germany and the end of the Roman Republic as examples.

So, the old system will decay. Most of your fellow citizens will be too stupid and complacent to do anything about it. If things do fall apart and something does replace it all, it will turn to shit too. It doesn?t matter what type of governmental system you try to impose upon people, it will all turn to shit in the end.

My advice to anybody is to stay under the radar and do what you feel you need to do in order to keep as much of your freedom as is possible. For example, we find ourselves in a country where we are heavily taxed, economically subjugated, and beholden to the state. I fault nobody for earning money on the side and hiding it from the government. So, my advice is that people should attempt to exist in the current system as best as is possible because it isn?t going anywhere.


I think we need to make it really difficult for legislation to get passed. The fewer laws the government makes, the safer I feel about my rights.

Government's main duty should be enforcing laws to make people safer, not dishing out corporate favors, moral posturing, and excessive regulations.

That sounds great to you and me, but it sounds scary and unacceptable to the rest of the schmucks in this country who gladly trade their freedom for security on a daily basis. Most people in this country do not want to live lives of true freedom. Freedom is scary and uncomfortable.


I'm thinking we should have a sort of parliamentary system with proportional representation so every significant party is represented, except they would require a unanimous vote(or at least 85-90%) to get a law passed.

There would of course be a Constitution here as well, with severe consequences for violating it


Much like the Constitutional restrictions that are ignored right now, these restrictions would be ignored as well. Most people don?t want a government that is hamstrung by rules. They want a government that will respond to their every whim. And when the government tries to respond to these whims it gets more involved in our lives and we lose more of our freedom.


What do ya think?

I have no faith in Man or in governmental systems. As an individual with free will and an individualistic streak, I need to determine what I want in my life and how I can best achieve that given the current circumstances.

You seem to enjoy proposing real world libertarian-style solutions for our country. While I can agree with the sentiment and basic thought that inspires these ideas, I see no hope for them succeeding in this country. Therefore, I suggest a ?withdrawal? from society much like some of the more extreme elements of Christianity have advocated withdrawing from the ?culture war?. I am of the opinion that this is all a lost cause. The best thing for free-thinking individuals to do now is to withdraw and salvage as much of their personal freedom as is possible.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: checking government power [Re: Silversoul]
    #3870925 - 03/05/05 01:11 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
I'm thinking we should have a sort of parliamentary system with proportional representation so every significant party is represented,



Personally, I think proportional representation is too old school and too mired in groupthink politics. Why can't every citizen decide to have a proxy representative or vote directly? Each representative's vote would carry the weight of all those who have selected him/her as a proxy. A citizen who did not like his representation could switch to another proxy at anytime, no need to wait for an election cycle. Citizens could get representatives who more closely match their own views than through a party system.

I also think that any abstention should be counted as a 'no' vote. The required vote totals should be based on all those who are eligible to vote - for representative actions, this would mean the proxies or individual citizens who declined the services of a proxy but are registered to vote. For direct democratic processes this would mean all those who are registered to vote.


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: checking government power [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3870956 - 03/05/05 01:18 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

You seem to enjoy proposing real world libertarian-style solutions for our country. While I can agree with the sentiment and basic thought that inspires these ideas, I see no hope for them succeeding in this country. Therefore, I suggest a ?withdrawal? from society much like some of the more extreme elements of Christianity have advocated withdrawing from the ?culture war?. I am of the opinion that this is all a lost cause. The best thing for free-thinking individuals to do now is to withdraw and salvage as much of their personal freedom as is possible.



I don't expect that any of my ideas will ever actually be implemented, but I'm not going to just give up and say it's a lost cause. It may be a while, but I believe that with enough effort, we can eventually reduce the size of government. Maybe not to the size you or I would prefer, but smaller than it is. Perhaps that's naive of me, but I have to believe. What good is a belief in freedom if I don't do anything to advance the cause?


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