User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 30

  1. #1
    Tempbanned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Enneagram
    8w9
    Posts
    14,031

    Default Finding the proper role of government in modern society.

    If you only ever read one thread I've posted, for the love of God, make it this one...

    Also, apologies for the word wall, but this may be the embryo of a book idea I've had for a while.

    I intend this thread to be a discussion about what role government should play in our society, and how big that role should be.


    Much of the antagonism present in modern American politics stems from differences of opinion on what role the Government should play in our lives.

    I'm of the opinion, that our government today is much like a doctor within our ailing health care system.

    They get paid more to continuously remedy a sick patient than to cure that patient, and teach the patient preventative measures to keep from coming back.

    Every pharmaceutical company would rather make a drug that eases the symptoms of an illness than cure it.

    Would I rather sell one pill/vaccine/medical test etc... or would I rather have a pill that doesn't cure the disease, but keeps the patient coming back every month for another Rx.

    Clearly in this situation, the monetary incentive is to keep the patient sick.

    The goal of those in many public service fields should be to work themselves out of a job.

    Soldiers should be so badass, and do their job so well, that no one ever attacks for fear of retaliation.

    Social workers should help enough people so that no one needs their help any more.

    Cops should decrease crime to non-existance.

    Not that any of these goals could ever be realized, but the pursuit of them results in the greatest benefit to the public.

    So should it be with the government...

    Of course there are certain tasks that can only be dealt with by the government and I'm not saying we should have no government.(I'm actually a fan reasonably sized federal government, and am a supporter of many regulatory functions that the government executes.)

    However, the government has no incentive to cure the patient, the American public. The government's only incentive is to serve the public well enough to A) keep revolution from breaking out, and B) keep getting reelected.

    Government these days, has a much more powerful incentive to expand the number of agencies under it's control, and also to expand the involvement in people's lives.

    The more it grows, the more money it's allowed to bring in and borrow, the more people it's able to hire, and most alarmingly, the more influence it wields with the most powerful and wealthy people in America.

    The Department of Homeland Security has ZERO incentive to win the war on terrorism. What would happen to all those jobs at DHS, if suddenly there was no more terrorism/threat? What would happen to all those lucrative defense contracts Raytheon and General Dynamics are fighting for.

    They would disappear.

  2. #2
    Tempbanned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Enneagram
    8w9
    Posts
    14,031

    Default

    Here is an article on the tendency of the FBI to create terrorists (in order to keep getting counter terrorism money)

    How the FBI Invents Terrorists Like the U.S. Capitol ‘Suicide Bomber’

    Even the authorities admit the alleged suicide bomber apprehended near the U.S. Capitol posed no threat. Mansfield Frazier on how the feds create ‘terrorists’ so they can arrest them.
    If federal authorities thought Amine El Khalifi was a clear and present danger to America, they could have easily solved the problem by deporting the 29-year-old Moroccan, who had been living as an illegal immigrant in northern Virginia for years, having overstayed his visitor’s visa by a decade. Instead, he was arrested Friday in a garage outside the U.S. Capitol for allegedly planning to set off a fake suicide vest and shoot people with an inoperable automatic weapon—both provided to him by his government handlers.

    As federal authorities so accurately stated after Khalifi's “capture,” he never posed a danger to the public. In other words, at no time were any Americans in any danger whatsoever from this suspect.

    Yet, if convicted, Khalifi will most likely spend the majority of the rest of his life in prison, courtesy of the American taxpayer. The only question is, will we be safer? Or, more pointedly, were we ever in danger to begin with?

    In early February of this year journalist Trevor Aaronson won an award from New York City’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice for “The Informants,” an article he wrote in the September-October 2011 issue of Mother Jones. The juried contest, in which Aaronson received first prize, was held as part of the seventh annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation symposium on crime in America. (Full disclosure: I was a judge in that contest.)

    In retrospect, Aaronson’s article was prescient. Down to the minutest of details, he described just how alleged “plots” like the one Khalifi is accused of launching unfold. He was able to do so because these cases by now usually follow a similar pattern: an FBI-paid Muslim informant goes to his handlers and alerts them to threats being made against America by a fellow worshiper at the mosque they attend; the feds then continue (or in some instances upgrade) the pay of the informant so they can develop a relationship with the supposed terrorist, thereby encouraging the sometimes unstable individual to think of himself as a potential martyr and avenger of all of the Western insults against Islam; then, when the “terrorist” is wound up tighter than a cheap wristwatch, he is given “weapons of mass destruction” and sent off to avenge his faith.

    Of course the feds, who have orchestrated, choreographed, and paid for the entire charade, are waiting for the bomber with open arms. Afterward, some informants move on to another city where they eventually “discover” yet another plot—or, as critics say, create one if none is to be found. Hey, informants gotta eat too, you know.
    If federal authorities thought Amine El Khalifi was a clear and present danger to America, they could have easily solved the problem by deporting the 29-year-old Moroccan, who had been living as an illegal immigrant in northern Virginia for years, having overstayed his visitor’s visa by a decade. Instead, he was arrested Friday in a garage outside the U.S. Capitol for allegedly planning to set off a fake suicide vest and shoot people with an inoperable automatic weapon—both provided to him by his government handlers.

    As federal authorities so accurately stated after Khalifi's “capture,” he never posed a danger to the public. In other words, at no time were any Americans in any danger whatsoever from this suspect.
    Some legal scholars, like Karen Greenberg, who studies terrorism sting operations as the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, caution against entrapment in such cases. “You want to be very sure that the narrative is not substantially provided by the government. There’s a lot of gray area in these cases.” Other legal experts agree with Aaronson and say that the FBI sometimes crosses the fine line between “discovering” a plot and creating one by suborning and provoking individuals who, while perhaps willing to commit an act of violence after many months of coaching, cajoling, and encouraging by paid informants, really don’t have the means to carry out their wild jihadist fantasies absent U.S. government assistance.

    Washington, D.C., lawyer and practicing Muslim Ashraf Nubani, who has defended terrorism suspects in similar cases in the past, is growing increasingly alarmed. He states that cases like the one against Khalifi are “controlled from beginning to end by FBI. But you can’t create a terrorism case and then say you stopped it. Had the FBI not been involved, through their manipulation or informants, would the same thing have happened? Would there be attempted violence? They have their sights on certain people, the ones who talk big talk.”

    In “The Informants” Aaronson wrote: “Ever since 9/11, counterterrorism has been the FBI’s No. 1 priority, consuming the lion’s share of its budget—$3.3 billion, compared to $2.6 billion for organized crime—and much of the attention of field agents and a massive, nationwide network of informants. After years of emphasizing informant recruiting as a key task for its agents, the bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies [some paid as much as $100,000 per case]—many of them tasked … with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States. In addition, for every informant officially listed in the bureau's records, there are as many as three unofficial ones ... the informants could be doctors, clerks, imams. Some might not even consider themselves informants.”
    The problem, according to Aaronson, is that the FBI strategy (variously described as “preemption,” “prevention,” and “disruption”), while supposedly designed to identify and neutralize potential lone-wolf threats before they can engage in action, is far too broad. It targets “not just active jihadists, but tens of thousands of law-abiding people, seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity. And then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.”

    But Muslims and foreigners are not the only focuses of FBI interest. Last week nine members of the Hutaree, a Michigan-based militia made up of white native-born Americans, went on trial in U.S. district court in Detroit. Again, an informant led the government’s effort by infiltrating and wiretapping the group, whose members are charged with five counts, including seditious conspiracy, attempts to use weapons of mass destruction, teaching or demonstrating the use of explosive materials, and carrying, using, and possessing a firearm with the intention to use for violence. The indictment states the group was planning to “levy war against the United States.”
    But defense attorneys for the group say the militia’s antigovernment talk is protected under the First Amendment and amounts to little more than bragging and boasting and that their actions were not illegal. They described the group as a bunch of gun and hunting enthusiasts. “Calling this group a militia is pushing it,” attorney Todd Shanker said. Another attorney, William Swor, said his client “was exercising his God-given right to blow off steam and open his mouth.”

    Dan Murray, the paid informant the FBI used to infiltrate the Hutaree, was paid $30,000 for his services. Some critics claim that in tough economic times this amount is more than enough to entice informants to add a little yeast to their stories to make them rise and stick better. Murray, who was convicted in state court last year of firing shots at his wife during a domestic disturbance, received probation in that case, with all charges dropped after he pleaded guilty. The favorable treatment for a paid snitch is due to the intervention of federal authorities, defense lawyers claim.

    Part of the lore and legend of many inner-city communities is the belief that select snitches receive what amounts to a “license” from authorities to sell drugs and commit other crimes—as long as they continue to provide information on other criminals, who often turn out to be rivals. Critics say much of the gun violence in big-city neighborhoods stem from beefs between such rival gang factions, spurred in large part by informants dropping dimes on one another.

    Longtime Cleveland defense lawyer Ken Lumpkin says that police often tend to tolerate and downplay such killings as a means of “thinning the herd” and maintaining control in minority communities. He concluded by saying, “Everyone wants to be safe and free from harm, but sometimes law enforcement seem bent on burning down the village to save it. In these terrorist cases there’s a sneaking suspicion the feds are using informants that are unreliable at best or highly manipulative liars at worse. Often they only introduce tapes that support their version of the facts. If a target of an investigation tries to back out of a plot and has to be convinced over and over again to stay in … that tape will never be played for the jury. We have to be careful we don’t create a country—a society—where everyone is afraid that everyone else may be, in some way, working for the government. That can destroy trust and destabilize communities, something some folks, based on history, think the FBI is not above doing. That’s one of the hallmarks of totalitarianism ... when Big Brother gets too all-powerful and uses informants to set us against each other.”
    As you can see an agency's (and by association the govt's) tendency to create a situation where it's job is never done, and more money will be funneled to it, has horrifying effects on our country.

    Thus, many government organizations have no vested interest in completing these tasks (not applicable to agencies like the EPA where the work really is never finished).

    In this way, the government is almost institutionally unable to shrink once it has grown.

    The perfect government, should be like mayonnaise on a great sandwich, it's there and it makes the sandwich better (often playing an integral role in melding and enhancing flavors), but you don't notice it individually.

    The government we have is more like bacon.

    I love bacon, think it has a great flavor, and like to put it on different things.

    The problem is, that if you begin to put bacon on everything, you probably wont live very long.

  3. #3
    Tempbanned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Enneagram
    8w9
    Posts
    14,031

    Default

    I've been talking about how terrorism is a paper tiger propped up by the gov't to get the populace scared enough that they don't care what the gov't does as long as they're safe.

    It's nice to be vindicated.

  4. #4
    Tempbanned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Enneagram
    8w9
    Posts
    14,031

    Default

    Here is another example of a government agency creating a problem to solve.

    The ATF is my least favorite government agency, and here is part of the reason why...

    A gunrunning sting gone fatally wrong

    Phoenix — They came from all over the country, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, brought here in a bold new effort to shut down the flow of U.S. guns to Mexican drug cartels. It was called Operation Fast and Furious, after a popular movie about street car racing.

    But from the beginning, much of the fury was inside the agency itself.
    On his first day undercover, John Dodson, who had been an ATF agent for seven years in Virginia, sat in a Chevy Impala with Olindo Casa, an 18-year veteran from Chicago. They watched a suspected gun trafficker buy 10 semiautomatic rifles from a Phoenix gun store and followed him to the house of another suspected trafficker. All of their training told them to seize the guns.

    The agents called their superior and asked for the order to “take him.” The answer came back swiftly, instructing them to stay in the car. The message was clear: Let the guns go.

    This was all part of an ambitious new strategy allowing Fast and Furious agents to follow the paths of guns from illegal buyers known as “straw purchasers” through middlemen and into the hierarchy of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.

    But Dodson and Casa were confused and upset. ATF agents hate to let the guns “walk.” Yet it happened again, day after day, month after month, for more than a year.

    They feared the worst, and a year later it happened: A Border Patrol agent was killed in an incident in which Fast and Furious guns were found at the scene. And it was later revealed that the operation had allowed more than 2,000 weapons to hit the streets.

    It is the agency’s biggest debacle since the deadly 1993 confrontation in Waco, Tex. What began as a mutiny inside ATF’s Phoenix office has blown up into a Capitol Hill donnybrook that is rocking the Justice Department.

    “This is a mistake that could have and should have been prevented,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating the operation.

    The battle has hobbled Fast and Furious, a case that individuals inside ATF say held the promise of becoming one of the agency’s best investigations ever.

    “We have never been up so high in the Sinaloa cartel, the largest and most powerful drug cartel in the world,” said a federal official involved in the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “This is an open, ongoing investigation. It is so unfair.”

    * * *

    A risky plan

    Fast and Furious began with a noble goal.

    On Oct. 26, 2009, the directors of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and ATF and the top federal prosecutors in the Southwestern border states met with the deputy attorney general at the Justice Department to plot strategy for combating Mexican cartels. A key problem: the tens of thousands of guns coming from the United States to arm the drug traffickers.

    Agents along the border had long been frustrated by what one ATF supervisor later called “toothless” laws that made it difficult to attack gun-trafficking networks. Straw buyers — people with no criminal record who purchase guns for criminals or illegal immigrants who can’t legally buy them — are subject to little more than paperwork violations. Even people convicted of buying AK-47s meant for the cartels typically just get probation for lying on a federal form attesting that they were buying the guns for themselves. With such a light penalty, it is hard to persuade those caught to turn informant against their bosses. And federal prosecutors rarely want to bring such charges because they do not consider the effort worth their time, according to ATF supervisors.
    At the meeting in Washington,a new strategy was proposed. Instead of emphasizing the seizure of weapons in individual cases, the strategy focused on identifying and eliminating the pipelines that moved the weapons. The goal was to bring down the trafficking network, not just the people on the lowest rung.

    The new strategy arrived in Phoenix the next day. But it had already been ATF policy for at least seven months. The task of implementation had gone to Bill Newell, the head of ATF’s Phoenix office, and his senior managers. Newell was a 20-year veteran who had worked the border for a decade and speaks fluent Spanish.
    To identify the networks, the agents would watch and document as the straw buyers transferred guns to middlemen. The agents would be instructed not to move in and question the men but to let the guns go and see where they eventually ended up.

    The reasoning was that an arrest of a straw purchaser would not get ATF the bigger fish; the buyer would get a light punishment, if any, and the cartel could just find another buyer. By not immediately arresting the straw buyers, the agents could follow them and their associates, wiretapping conversations, and possibly charge them with serious crimes such as conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering.

    The plan they developed was permitted under ATF rules, had the legal backing of U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke in Phoenix, and had been approved and funded by a task force at the Justice Department, ATF’s parent agency.

    Nevertheless, it was risky. In drug-trafficking cases, investigating agents, by law, cannot let drugs “walk” onto the street. Since gun sales are legal, agents on surveillance are not required to step in and stop weapons from hitting the streets and must have probable cause to make an arrest. But the danger in letting guns go is obvious.

    In November 2009, Newell’s agents in “Group 7,” one of the squads in the office, began following a particularly busy suspected gun trafficker. In 24 days, he bought 34 firearms. The next month, the man and his associates bought 212 more.

    The case began to grow exponentially, with more than two dozen suspected straw purchasers. It was named Fast and Furious because the suspects operated out of a sprawling auto repair shop and raced cars on the streets, like Vin Diesel, the star of the movie.

    But a mutiny was brewing in Group 7. Dodson, Casa and two other agents were furious about letting the guns walk. The chemistry in the office was bad. Many of the agents had been sent in from outside Phoenix and were working together for the first time under David Voth, a Marine Corps veteran and brand-new supervisor sent in from Minnesota. The agents’ outrage overrode any sense of loyalty to their bosses.

    Every day, Dodson and the other agents watched and stewed while the straw purchasers bought boxes of guns and sometimes took the weapons to stash houses and cars waiting in parking lots. Each time they called in to supervisors, they were told to stand down.

    The agents, operating out of office space in downtown Phoenix, clashed with Voth and the agent running the case, Hope MacAllister, who they felt ignored their concerns. Neither Voth nor MacAllister responded to requests for comment.
    “We were all sick to death when we realized . . . what was going on,” Casa later testified. Arguments ended in screaming and threats by supervisors.

    “I will be damned if this case is going to suffer due to petty arguing, rumors, or other adolescent behavior,” Voth wrote in a March 2010 e-mail. “I don’t know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have an exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement tool box. If you don’t think this is fun you are in the wrong line of work — period!”
    ATF agents stationed in Mexico were also raising objections, according to a congressional report that will be released Tuesday. Darren Gil, ATF attache to Mexico, and his deputy, Carlos Canino, were alarmed by the large number of weapons being recovered at bloody crime scenes in Mexico and being traced to Phoenix.

    “Hey, when are they going to shut this, to put it bluntly, damn investigation down,’’ Gil recalled yelling at his boss. “We’re getting hurt down here.”

    ATF and Justice didn’t tell Mexican officials about the 15-month operation until it became public, according to the report.

    In May 2010, Dodson asked his supervisors whether they “were prepared to attend the funeral of a slain agent or officer after he or she was killed with one of those straw-purchased firearms.”

    Dodson later told a congressional committee that Voth responded to the complaints by saying, “If you are going to make an omelet, you need to scramble some eggs.”

    Voth denies making that comment or that Dodson raised the possibility of slain agents, said a law enforcement official involved in the case who has been instructed by his superiors not to talk to the media about the case. The official also described both Voth and MacAllister as hard-working and conscientious agents.

    * * *

    A death in the desert

    Late on the evening of Dec. 14, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and other officers were patrolling Peck Canyon, in the Arizona desert about 11 miles inside the Mexican border. The region was a hotbed for bandits who ambushed illegal immigrants.

    Nicknamed “Superman” for his good looks and strength, the 40-year-old Terry was planning to fly to Michigan for Christmas with his family after his shift ended.

    Suddenly, the group got into a firefight with five suspected illegal immigrants. At first, Terry and the officers fired “less than lethal’’ beanbag guns, an FBI report said. But the suspects fired assault weapons. Then the agents resorted to live ammunition.

    Terry was fatally shot in the melee. Investigators made four arrests and found two AK-47 semiautomatic rifles nearby.

    Within hours, the news spread inside ATF: The serial numbers on the two rifles matched guns bought by one of the Fast and Furious suspects a year before outside Phoenix. The bullet that killed Terry was so damaged that neither of the firearms could be definitively linked to his killing, according to a law enforcement official in the case.

    Terry’s death was the last straw for Dodson. He said he tried to contact ATF headquarters, ATF’s chief counsel, the ATF ethics section and the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.
    When he didn’t get an immediate response, he and other agents reached out to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    At the same time, word was leaking out to bloggers on gun rights. They began posting that there was a dark side to the still-unpublicized Fast and Furious.
    On Dec. 22, an item appeared on Cleanupatf.org, a site founded by dissident ATF agents. The post said that an ATF official in Phoenix “approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles” to be “walked” to Mexico. Some bloggers speculated that ATF was encouraging the smuggling to boost the numbers of U.S. weapons recovered in Mexico to gain support for an assault-weapons ban.

    * * *

    ‘A blatant lie’

    The public first learned about Fast and Furious in late January of this year when U.S. Attorney Burke called a news conference in Phoenix to announce a 53-count indictment involving 20 suspects. The indictment alleged that from September 2009 to December 2010, the suspects bought hundreds of firearms to be illegally exported to Mexico.

    To Newell, who was also at the news conference, Fast and Furious was a “phenomenal case,” the largest-ever Mexican gun-trafficking investigation, a direct answer to the call to stem the flow of firearms south of the border.

    A local reporter asked Newell about the rumors that ATF agents had purposely allowed firearms to enter Mexico.

    “Hell, no!” he answered. Newell said that they could not follow everyone and that sometimes suspects would elude agents, which could result in guns getting into Mexico.

    Peter Forcelli, an ATF group supervisor in the Phoenix office, watched the news conference on television. “I was appalled,” he later testified to Congress. “Because it was a blatant lie.”

    Two days later, Grassley wrote to the acting ATF director, Kenneth E. Melson, asking whether the gun-walking allegations were true. An answer came from Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich, who relied on ATF for his information: “The allegation — that ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them into Mexico — is false.”

    While technically correct — the straw purchasers transferred the weapons to middlemen and did not take them to Mexico themselves — those words would come back to haunt ATF and Justice at a congressional hearing.

    Weich also wrote to Grassley that under long-standing practice, Justice would not release investigative documents to him because he was not the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

    Grassley was infuriated. “The Justice Department is an ache in my rear,” he said during a Judiciary Committee markup session.

    * * *

    ‘Felony stupid’

    Grassley soon teamed with Issa, the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who had the subpoena power that Grassley lacked.

    On March 31, 2011, Issa subpoenaed the Fast and Furious documents. Two and a half months later, Issa and Grassley released a scathing report calling the operation “ill-conceived” and “abhorrent.” On June 15, Issa held a hearing, bringing together
    Weich, whistleblowers and relatives of Terry, the slain Border Patrol agent.
    From the dais, Issa grilled Weich.

    “Who authorized this program that was so felony stupid that it got people killed?” Issa said.
    Weich answered that he didn’t know but said that Justice’s inspector general was now investigating.

    After the hearing, the story received the dubious distinction of being lampooned by Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show”: “The ATF plan to prevent American guns from being used in Mexican gun violence is to provide Mexican gangs with American guns. If this is the plan that they went with, what plan did we reject?”

    The spotlight was now moving toward senior Justice officials, including Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. The attorney general told Issa that he did not learn about Fast and Furious until this spring. President Obama had said that Holder told him he would not have allowed guns to go into Mexico.

    At the hearing, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the committee, tried to turn the discussion toward gun control, noting that even the whistleblowers said they didn’t have the tools to stop firearms trafficking to Mexico.

    Issa cut Cummings off, saying that was not their focus.

    * * *

    Fourth of July meeting

    Through it all, ATF Director Melson sat in his office on New York Avenue in mounting frustration. He watched Congress pummel his agency and Issa call for his resignation while he said he was instructed by Justice to say nothing.

    Melson had known there was a massive case being run out of Phoenix, but he later said he wasn’t aware of the operational details or the agents’ discontent.

    After the outcry, Melson plunged into the case file, reading it at his kitchen table in Northern Virginia and on an airplane flight. It tied his stomach in knots, he said, and in mid-flight he composed an
    e-mail telling Justice officials that their public stance was inconsistent with the documents.

    Shortly after Issa’s hearing, Melson, a career prosecutor for more than 30 years, read in the newspaper that he might be fired.

    On Friday, July 1, 2011, Grassley’s chief investigator sent Melson an e-mail, alerting him to concerns of retaliation against the Group 7 agents. He gave Melson his cellphone number and told him to call anytime.

    By Sunday, Melson told the investigator he was ready to testify.

    The next day, July 4, an extraordinary meeting took place: The embattled head of a federal agency went in secret to Capitol Hill to talk to the political enemies of his bosses in the Obama administration.

    From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as crowds gathered downtown for the fireworks, Melson testified behind closed doors to about 10 congressional staffers sitting around a long witness table in the Rayburn Building. So intent were Melson and Richard Cullen, the private lawyer he retained, that they did not eat or drink for six hours.

    “I would have given $5 for a pretzel,” said Cullen, Melson’s longtime friend and a former U.S. attorney.

    Melson said mistakes had been made by the ATF. He said guns should have been interdicted in certain instances. He was frustrated that Justice had not let him speak to Congress months earlier. And he said Justice officials seemed to be more concerned about protecting the political appointees at the top of the department.

    After Melson’s testimony, Issa and Grassley wrote a five-page letter embracing the ATF director and warning Holder not to fire or retaliate against him. Grassley and Issa also demanded the e-mails, internal memos and handwritten notes of 12 Justice officials who they said were aware of Fast and Furious.

    “I do have serious concerns that the attorney general should have known a lot more than he says he knew,” said Issa, who is holding another Fast and Furious hearing Tuesday. “In some ways, I’m more disappointed that he’s saying he didn’t know than if he says he was getting briefings and he didn’t understand.”

    Some ATF officials still insist that Fast and Furious is a success, saying the case will soon lead to the indictment of as many as two dozen high-level traffickers. They fear the controversy could rob the agency of the will to pursue the biggest gun-trafficking cases.

    “I am concerned that the lasting effect of this premature and stilted inquiry will be that the citizens of this country ultimately will be less safe as ATF agents will be less inclined to work the hard cases necessary to cut off the head of the snake,” said Paul Pelletier, a former Justice official and the attorney for Newell. “The shame of it is that the careers of these terrific public servants have been unfairly tarnished at the expense of public theater.”

    Altogether, the straw purchasers bought 2,020 firearms during Fast and Furious, according to law enforcement officials. Of those guns, 227 were recovered in Mexico; 363 have been recovered in the United States.

    An additional 1,430 remain on the streets.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tiger Owl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    584 sx/sp
    Socionics
    ILI Ni
    Posts
    1,077

    Default

    ATF = Gestapo
    INTJ 5w4 sx/sp 584 ILI-Ni

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tiger Owl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    584 sx/sp
    Socionics
    ILI Ni
    Posts
    1,077

    Default

    The proper role of government in a modern society is in the U.S. Constitution. Much less govt. and you have an anarchy which is not more than a place-holder for a tyranny, much more and you have what we are faced with now a budding tyranny with a people that are under the illusion of liberty.
    INTJ 5w4 sx/sp 584 ILI-Ni

  7. #7
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    1
    Posts
    3,823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    However, the government has no incentive to cure the patient, the American public. The government's only incentive is to serve the public well enough to A) keep revolution from breaking out, and B) keep getting reelected.
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I've been talking about how terrorism is a paper tiger propped up by the gov't to get the populace scared enough that they don't care what the gov't does as long as they're safe.

    It's nice to be vindicated.
    Good thread.

    We have different hypotheses and solutions, but I think we can all point our fingers and say "this is a systemic problem that needs some painful rehab." What is the "this" that we can unite together about?


    How can we frame the problem in a way that collects supporters from all mainstream American political views? How can we identify the problem in a way that democrats, republicans, libertarians, and many independents share as a collective frustration?
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  8. #8
    Tempbanned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Enneagram
    8w9
    Posts
    14,031

    Default

    We have different hypotheses and solutions, but I think we can all point our fingers and say "this is a systemic problem that needs some painful rehab." What is the "this" that we can unite together about?
    I'm glad you asked.

    The "this" is the process of what I like to call Legislative Accretion.

    Stick with me here...

    When legislation is created it exists in perpetuity until it gets changed or replaced. This means that the shear quantity of laws makes it difficult for the government to run because of how complex the regulations are that it must follow. That's the "red tape" everyone is always talking about.

    Do you have any idea how complex our tax code is?



    I heard this in one of the Hill offices I worked in, in DC. In order to demonstrate the need for a simplified tax code, the congressman making the argument didn't make a speech, he had his aides place every volume of the tax code on a wooden table on the house floor.

    The table broke...

    And that is just the tax code.

    It's no shock that the government spends as much as it does trying to keep up with it all.

    We've never gone wholesale through the entirety of legislative history, all laws currently on the books, update the laws, by combining similar ones into single pieces of legislation, and then optimize those to work in the 21st century.

    You would then need to create legislation that requires that this process must occur every so often, on in an ongoing basis.

    By addressing the laws themselves you take politics out of the equation.

    That is until the fight breaks out over who gets to write the new updated and streamlined laws.

    Either way, we will ultimately have to address this problem if we ever want to try to move forward and be competitive internationally.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Enneagram
    3w4
    Posts
    6,276

    Default

    I've wondered if we could come up with a method whereby all regulations for each industry would have a sunset provision, forcing Congress to vote on the regulations again every 5-10 years (or whatever time period is optimal). Each industry would be regulated comprehensively. And if the people in Congress complain about that being too much work, we can tell the to stop crying or find a different job.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #10
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    4,209

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    We've never gone wholesale through the entirety of legislative history, all laws currently on the books, update the laws, by combining similar ones into single pieces of legislation, and then optimize those to work in the 21st century.

    You would then need to create legislation that requires that this process must occur every so often, on in an ongoing basis.

    By addressing the laws themselves you take politics out of the equation.

    That is until the fight breaks out over who gets to write the new updated and streamlined laws.

    Either way, we will ultimately have to address this problem if we ever want to try to move forward and be competitive internationally.

    DiscoBiscuit, my good man, I'm going to have to call you out here... you don't know what you are talking about.

    "combining similar laws into single pieces of legislation"??

    The reason we have tens of thousands pages of tax code legislation is because lobbyist bribe politicians to insert specific text into the tax code that carves out preferential treatment for their benefactors. So a "single piece of legislation" that combines "similar laws" under the current system would simply read: "Those that bribe politicians get tax breaks"

    The fact that lobbyists are allowed on Capital Hill is the direct reason we have this tax code clusterfuck.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

Similar Threads

  1. The role of TV in your life
    By fidelia in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-05-2011, 05:43 PM
  2. Parenting Philosophies/The Role of Children In Society
    By Charmed Justice in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 122
    Last Post: 11-19-2009, 10:51 PM
  3. [ENTP] The role of argumentation in ENTPs
    By Udog in forum The NT Rationale (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
    Replies: 92
    Last Post: 09-18-2009, 02:08 PM
  4. Role of Si in nostalgia
    By Totenkindly in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-09-2007, 04:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO