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  1. #251
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    ...we're well within our power to wipe them out entirely.
    Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

  2. #252
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stol11 View Post
    I hate the fact that Americans are obsessed with a document written 250 years or so ago (something they consider ''ancient''). There are pubs in my village older than the USA. I've read the constitution and although it has much to recommend it, it is treated with ludicrous reverence.
    What you're seeing there is the result of an ongoing conflict between two factions in the US. One side believes that there is a great deal of improvement to be made in the lives of US residents by implementing a great many changes in our laws to give more power to the Federal government to implement and oversee various programs in various ways.

    The other side believes that there is a great deal of harm to be done in the lives of US residents by implementing those same changes, etc., etc.. One fundamental argument of this latter group hinges on the US constitution and its being not an ideological manifesto, but the law of the land... which it is.

    So there has arisen between the two factions an ongoing and spirited debate about how the US Constitution should be interpreted in light of the fact that it is a nearly-250-year-old document being applied to contemporary issues.

    I believe the tension is healthy. It shows that at the very least, someone cares about why we think the way we do, and how we make decisions to maximize benefits and minimize tyranny in a democratic federal republic.

    I would hope that, if the UK actually had a written constitution, you would argue about it as vigorously as we do ours.

  3. #253
    Member Stol11's Avatar
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    A written constitution is not I believe an altogether healthy thing, our system of common law has done us well. I also may point out that you say if you wanted to change the gun laws you would just get an amendment. The fact that the amendment process needs 75% of state legislatures to agree means that you could have over 50% of states wishing to loosen the laws and it would still fail.

    Your written constitution means that necessary legislation is easy to scupper because of the 18th century need for an extreme measure of checks and balances. This is perhaps not so necessary in the modern world and leads to laws that are watered down by a variety of minority interests. it was framed quickly in a moment of crisis, leaving issues to be resolved, such as the States vs Federal government which could then be interpreted by succeeding presidents in completely contradictory ways. Partially helping lead to the American Civil War. I am glad we don't have a written constitution in the strict sense; it has caused other countries no end of confusion and trouble. Although i may point out that one of the first Written Constitutions was in England under Oliver Cromwell, the Remonstrance and the Humble Petition and Advice. The bill of rights was also originally an English innovation under the Bill of rights following the glorious revolution. However the system we have, which has evolved successfully over the last 800 years has shown that we are not crying out for a written document laying a blueprint of law. However it is not perfect and we do need to make some significant reforms, starting with the voting system.

    As to WW2, I agree that the US did manage to tilt the balance in terms of numbers and morale. Although of course the Soviet Union was practically winning on its own. The Uk had already broken the enigma code and invented Radar, something that ultimately did more I believe to win the war. The US were also pretty incompetent in their first few engagements, actually losing to a half starved army in Tunisia in 1943. The US did produce goods, which the UK paid for. After the war the results of meetings such as the Bretton-Wood conference would help destroy the UK economy. The US took advantage to profit off the UK's financial weakness. Hardly a selfless act!

    As one British delegate claimed at the time of the UK/US negotiations:

    ''A visitor from Mars might well be pardoned for thinking that we were the representatives of a vanquished people discussing the economic penalties of defeat''
    I am happy to admit that the USA turned the tide of the war, but all this self-righteous preaching that often goes on claiming that it was an entirely selfless act is ludicrous. The UK paid dearly for American help and while many of the other nations had their debts wiped we were still paying instalments in 2006.

  4. #254
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    You are lucky to have trust in your government.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stol11 View Post
    [lots of opinion on why having a written constitution is a bad thing]
    Thank you for sharing the side of the question on which you stand; however, I had already deduced this from your previous post on the topic.

  6. #256
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stol11 View Post
    As to WW2, I agree that the US did manage to tilt the balance in terms of numbers and morale. Although of course the Soviet Union was practically winning on its own. The Uk had already broken the enigma code and invented Radar, something that ultimately did more I believe to win the war. The US were also pretty incompetent in their first few engagements, actually losing to a half starved army in Tunisia in 1943. The US did produce goods, which the UK paid for. After the war the results of meetings such as the Bretton-Wood conference would help destroy the UK economy. The US took advantage to profit off the UK's financial weakness. Hardly a selfless act!
    Lots of Soviet T-4s were built with steel from Pittsburgh mills, among other steel towns.

    Throwing a raw, young group of men, most of which who hadn't ever seen a man killed, against an army of battle-hardened veterans? Of course they're at a disadvantage. That's not incompetence, it's reality: war is really, really traumatic.

    The UK economy suffered because it couldn't afford to maintain the Empire anymore, and the British Metropole didn't have enough in the way of natural resources to meet the demands of the population. This was the proximate cause outside of any efforts by the US.

  7. #257
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of the corporate welfare state, and I find the senate to be an outdated and useless legislative branch that is only good at getting its members reelected and little else.

    I think life terms for judges was a pretty boneheaded idea too.

    There's also too many hierarchical levels of government. City and County governments fight with each other all the time.

    As for Americans in general:

    We're apathetic and lazy. We like sensationalist news but we don't like addressing real problems and are easily distracted. We let big businesses make every facet of life easy and comfortable and we treat patriotism like its a football team rivalry; where all you have to do is buy a flag and a magnet and you're a patriot.

    We're took stuck on our own sense of empire and entitlement. Now that the "empire" part is becoming more unsustainable, it's going to be interesting to see how it affects the American psyche.

  8. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelholic View Post
    I think life terms for judges was a pretty boneheaded idea too.
    There was a very good reason for that... it was so that judges would have no temptation to render a decision based on its popularity.

  9. #259
    Black Magic Buzzard Kra's Avatar
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    I hate the growing American trend of electing someone to "take care of it for you" so you don't have to pay attention to the legislative and administrative process.

    I hate the assumption that more government = better.

    I hate that we're constantly bombarded internationally with comments suggesting that we should elect more government control over our lives, while forgetting that the American government is almost entirely the reason that other nations hate/distrust/mock us.

    I hate that Hollywood is lens by which the world views American citizens.
    Function Activity:
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  10. #260
    Senior Member Pixelholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    There was a very good reason for that... it was so that judges would have no temptation to render a decision based on its popularity.
    I know, but instead you have judges actively legislating from the bench. (The recent citizen's united decision is a good example. In fact the whole notion of corporate personhood started because of the supreme court.)

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