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Offline jesse james

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #480 on: October 09, 2011, 12:30:25 PM »
I am.
It's worth mentioning we have a de facto constitution here in the UK too, the European Convention of Human Rights and it's one i'm passionately opposed to as well.
Constitutions are undemocratic, enshrine the irrational, never fulfil that which the seek to fulfil and lead to a complacency that is both dangerous to democracy and the people who shelter under the misguided belief that it will always protect them.
The very fact of the existence of slavery on US soil proves that the idea of rights cannot live up to the expectations of their creators.

Let me guess JJ, you're a Brit. ;-()
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 12:45:41 PM by jesse james »
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #481 on: October 09, 2011, 01:03:32 PM »
Undemocratic is fine by me.
Have you been out in public lately and taken a look at your fellow voters? :scared:

A constitution is a fine start at attempting to provide a framework to govern.
Although imperfect, a democratic republic seems to be as good as it gets.
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Offline jesse james

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #482 on: October 09, 2011, 01:25:32 PM »
first of all the constitution wasn't a 'fine start' and secondly it wasn't merely a 'start' at all, it's an ongoing integral part of the political system providing both indefensible constraints while privileging elites.
By encapsulating the political idealism and intentions of it's authors- the elite who wrote it,  it neither transcended their political aspirations nor allowed the aspirations of a more democratically representative group to whom it would be bequeathed to flourish, the very fact of slavery proves this-a point you don't seem to want to come to terms with.
In other words a constitution is merely an ongoing reflection of the mindset of it's creators-set in stone, not a reflection of the contemporary political urge within society.
 As for your withering contempt for democracy, i thought that the idea of democratic egalitarianism was at least an aspiration of the constitution, it seems to me you want to reject it's virtues while clinging to it's vices.  :cool:, how American.


Undemocratic is fine by me.
Have you been out in public lately and taken a look at your fellow voters? :scared:

A constitution is a fine start at attempting to provide a framework to govern.
Although imperfect, a democratic republic seems to be as good as it gets.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 01:27:37 PM by jesse james »
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #483 on: October 09, 2011, 01:40:25 PM »
first of all the constitution wasn't a 'fine start' and secondly it wasn't merely a 'start' at all, it's an ongoing integral part of the political system providing both indefensible constraints while privileging elites.
By encapsulating the political idealism and intentions of it's authors- the elite who wrote it,  it neither transcended their political aspirations nor allowed the aspirations of a more democratically representative group to whom it would be bequeathed to flourish, the very fact of slavery proves this-a point you don't seem to want to come to terms with.
In other words a constitution is merely an ongoing reflection of the mindset of it's creators-set in stone, not a reflection of the contemporary political urge within society.
 As for your withering contempt for democracy, i thought that the idea of democratic egalitarianism was at least an aspiration of the constitution, it seems to me you want to reject it's virtues while clinging to it's vices.  :cool:, how American.


Undemocratic is fine by me.
Have you been out in public lately and taken a look at your fellow voters? :scared:

A constitution is a fine start at attempting to provide a framework to govern.
Although imperfect, a democratic republic seems to be as good as it gets.
My only contempt for democracy is the concept of unrestricted mob rule. 

In case you hadn't heard, it was precisely our form of government which allowed the abolition of slavery.

I'm quite certain that I don't want to live in a society of mob rule that reflects the current 'contemporary political urges'. :rofl_2:

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Offline jesse james

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #484 on: October 09, 2011, 02:01:59 PM »
The US abolished slavery because the urges many people in the country eventually, and with a great deal of pain and suffering overcame the status quo, it wasn't the constitution itself or the implementation of it that brought about emancipation.
The very fact that the existing form of government had allowed slavery is what condemns it, if a constitution can't protect against that what use is it? It's also worth pointing out that life for many slaves was actually worse during the reconstruction, with laws specifically designed to persecute recently freed blacks.
This merely proves my point that political and social flexibility are able to bring about change in a way a constitution simply cannot.
Your point about 'mob rule' which is either slightly flippant, or is born of a genuinely anti-democratic mindset, a mindset that has been used to justify all kinds of totalitarianism through the ages, is still profoundly at odds with the spirit of the constitution you seek to defend, by being anti-democratic your being anti constitution.
btw there's on inconsistency on my part in rejecting a constitution for being anti democratic and then presenting it as democratic when it suits my argument. The spirit of the constitution is at least in part egalitarian, it's the implementation that isn't.
Here in the UK we didn't have a formal constitution only the common law which existed prior to various constitutions that existed in the colonies and the US and France. Although we were also complicit with slavery, our rejection of it was done without a constitution or recourse to one. And remember no man was a slave on British soil.

first of all the constitution wasn't a 'fine start' and secondly it wasn't merely a 'start' at all, it's an ongoing integral part of the political system providing both indefensible constraints while privileging elites.
By encapsulating the political idealism and intentions of it's authors- the elite who wrote it,  it neither transcended their political aspirations nor allowed the aspirations of a more democratically representative group to whom it would be bequeathed to flourish, the very fact of slavery proves this-a point you don't seem to want to come to terms with.
In other words a constitution is merely an ongoing reflection of the mindset of it's creators-set in stone, not a reflection of the contemporary political urge within society.
 As for your withering contempt for democracy, i thought that the idea of democratic egalitarianism was at least an aspiration of the constitution, it seems to me you want to reject it's virtues while clinging to it's vices.  :cool:, how American.


Undemocratic is fine by me.
Have you been out in public lately and taken a look at your fellow voters? :scared:

A constitution is a fine start at attempting to provide a framework to govern.
Although imperfect, a democratic republic seems to be as good as it gets.
My only contempt for democracy is the concept of unrestricted mob rule. 

In case you hadn't heard, it was precisely our form of government which allowed the abolition of slavery.

I'm quite certain that I don't want to live in a society of mob rule that reflects the current 'contemporary political urges'. :rofl_2:
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 02:12:46 PM by jesse james »
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Offline monstertruck

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #485 on: October 09, 2011, 07:55:53 PM »
The U.S. Constitution actually allowed slavery to be abolished.
By having the 3 branches of government balance each other out, democracy does indeed play a prominent role in determing the laws by which we live.  Fortunately, it's not the only way laws are made.

Your final statement is so completely false I find it hard to believe that you think it's true.

Britain, the 'nefarious trade' and slavery

Britain followed in the footsteps of the Portuguese in voyaging to the west coast of Africa and enslaving Africans. The British participation in what has come to be called the 'nefarious trade' was begun by Sir John Hawkins with the support and investment of Elizabeth I in 1573. (15) By fair means and foul, Britain outwitted its European rivals and became the premier trader in the enslaved from the seventeenth century onwards, and retained this position till 1807. Britain supplied enslaved African women, men and children to all European colonies in the Americas.

The 'Slave Coast' came to be dotted with European forts, their massive guns facing out to sea to warn off rival European slave traders. Each 'castle' incorporated prisons or 'barracoons' in which the enslaved women, children and men were kept, awaiting purchase by the traders, who could initially only reach the coast at those times of the year when the winds blew in the right direction. The prisons – without sanitation, with little air – must have been hell-holes in the humid coastal climates. The death rates are not known.

The trade became a very lucrative business. Bristol grew rich on it, then Liverpool. London also dealt in slaves as did some of the smaller British ports. (16) The specialised vessels were built in many British shipyards, but most were constructed in Liverpool. Laden with trade goods (guns and ammunition, rum, metal goods and cloth) they sailed to the 'Slave Coast', exchanged the goods for human beings, packed them into the vessels like sardines and sailed them across the Atlantic. On arrival, those left alive were oiled to make them look healthy and put on the auction block. Again, death rates (during the voyage) are unknown: one estimate, for the 1840s, is 25 per cent.

Plantation and mine-owners bought the Africans – and more died in the process called 'seasoning'. In the British colonies the slaves were treated as non-human: they were 'chattels', to be worked to death as it was cheaper to purchase another slave than to keep one alive. Though seen as non-human, as many of the enslaved women were raped, clearly at one level they were recognised as at least rapeable human beings. There was no opprobrium attached to rape, torture, or to beating your slaves to death. The enslaved in the British colonies had no legal rights as they were not human – they were not permitted to marry and couples and their children were often sold off separately.

Historian Paul Lovejoy has estimated that between 1701 and 1800 about 40 per cent of the approximately more than 6 million enslaved Africans were transported in British vessels. (It must be noted that this figure is believed by some to be a considerable underestimate.) Lovejoy estimated that well over 2 million more were exported between 1811 and 1867 – again, many believe the numbers were much greater. (17)

Abolition of the trade by Britain
 
Europeans who were Roman Catholics often treated their slaves more humanely than those of the Protestant faith, perhaps especially the members of the Church of England, which owned slaves in the West Indies. (Roman Catholics did not deny Africans their humanity and made attempts at conversion, while British slaveowners forbade church attendance.) The enslavement of Africans was justified in Britain by claiming that they were barbaric savages, without laws or religions, and, according to some 'observers' and academics, without even a language; they would acquire civilisation on the plantations.

In the 1770s, some Christians in Britain began to question this interpretation of the Bible. They began a campaign to convert the population to their perspective and to influence Parliament by forming anti-slavery associations. Slavery was declared a sin. According to some interpreters of William Wilberforce, the main abolitionist spokesperson in Parliament, it was this fear of not going to heaven that impelled him to carry on the abolitionist struggle for over 20 years. (18)

Parliamentarians and others who could read, or had the time to attend meetings, were well informed about slavery by the books published by two ex-slaves, Olaudah Equiano and Ottobah Cugoano; slightly less dramatic and emphatic anti-slavery books were published by Ignatius Sancho and Ukwasaw Groniosaw. Equiano, like Thomas Clarkson (another truly remarkable man), lectured up and down the country, and in Ireland. (19)

The Act making it illegal for Britons to participate in the trade in enslaved Africans was passed by Parliament in March 1807, after some 20 years of campaigning. Precisely why so many people signed petitions and why Parliament voted for the Act is debatable. (20) It is somewhat curious that many of the chief – including Quaker – abolitionists were importers of slave-grown produce. (21)
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Offline jesse james

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #486 on: October 09, 2011, 08:56:53 PM »
the constitution had to be amended , the 13th amendment-i think, which still theoretically allows for criminals to be treated as slaves-and although that will never be implemented, it simply reiterates the anachronistic nature of the constitution.
The point is that the US constitution didn't defend the US against slavery to start with and the British abolished slavery without a constitution. So your blithely claiming the US constitution allowed slavery to be abolished is on a par with saying the British abolished slavery without a constitution.
I'm astonished you're unable to make the intellectual distinction between the historical reality which is a section of the population demanding and fighting for the end of slavery and a piece of paper which had already proved itself to be useless in the defence of freedom.
The point you're missing is that the constitution didn't fair any better in comparison with Britain in defending the freedom of it's citizens-which begs the question why have one? why elevate something to such a sacrosanct status when it does not deserve that elevation.

Can you tell me exactly which part of my final statement you find 'completely false' as your cut and paste history of slavery, doesn't undermine any point i made at all. My last statement was 'And remember no man was a slave on British soil' self evidently referring to the fact slaves were not kept on British soil, i have already acknowledged British complicity with slavery-that's not at issue. I'm well aware of British history and American history, i've no evidence thus far that you know much about either.

Your point about the US government having three branches that balance out might sound convincing as the mantra of an indoctrinated school child who knows no better, but you know the reality can be political inertia which is democratically counter-productive and not necessarily conducive to much needed change.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 09:06:14 PM by jesse james »
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Offline propstoart

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #487 on: October 10, 2011, 03:12:00 AM »
Mr. James - thanks for the enlightening rebuttals against the sanctity given to the 'constitution'. Mr. Monster - my sincere gratitude for expressing the sincere nobility of the founders of nations in drafting the laws which govern the lands. I am so glad I stirred some constructive discussion and thought in here..

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #488 on: October 10, 2011, 06:56:52 AM »
The flexibility of the constitution provide a framework allowing amendments but limiting the impact of the majority.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but just because the majority of people want something doesn't necessarily make it right.  That's why I prefer to see a limit placed on how much control any one branch of government has.

Splitting hairs on Britains slave history is fine with me if that's what you'd like to do.  Akin to saying 'I don't beat my children with my left hand'. ;-()
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 06:58:06 AM by monstertruck »
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Offline jesse james

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #489 on: October 10, 2011, 09:32:00 AM »
Ok you're essentially making two points there i'll deal with them separately.

I could easily turn your statement that 'just because the majority of people want something doesn't necessarily make it right' around and say 'just because a minority suppresses the wishes of the majority doesn't necessarily make it right'. If 'right' isn't determined by the fact that it's made by a majority or the minority then the principle of democracy should prevail.
Limiting the power of the majority in defence of the minority, might seem on the face of it to be legitimate, but it's wrong in principle and practical grounds.
First of all we have to ask has the US constitution and system of government actually done this-has it protected minorities or groups who were otherwise at the mercy of brutal majoritarian legislation.
Well i've already alluded to a few examples already which clearly contradict that idea-for example slavery and segregation, powerful examples in themselves, but i could also point to female suffrage, homosexual equality which like the right for women to vote and legal discrimination on racial grounds were only abolished when people fought against a political system, the very system which by your implication would protect them in the first place.
In fact i could go further and argue that the uniqueness of things like McCarthyism and segregation in recent US history actually shows the US comparing unfavourably with the UK in terms of the treatment of it's citizens.
But i don't need to, the fact that having a constitution enables a nation to fare no better than not having one makes my point perfectly well anyway. 
  But there's a greater defence of democracy to be made and it's this- democracy is greatest bulwark against totalitarianism. Curtailing the democratic urges of the masses has led to the most viscously totalitarian dictatorships in history from Stalin to Hitler, and currently Iran and Korea, they have in common the subordination of the will of the people. Democracy isn't a panacea leading to utopia, but to abandon it is to abandon any prospect of justice. 'We the People' isn't some idealistic jargon robbed from anarchy, it's actually
the underpinning of how we as human beings see ourselves in relation to each other. 

Your last point about 'Splitting hairs on Britains slave history' isn't splitting hairs, and you're missing the point.
The comparison of the US and Britain in relation to slavery is to show that neither side fared better than the other and given that the US had a constitution and bill of rights it should have done, the fact it didn't shows the futility of a constitution, that's the point i'm making.


The flexibility of the constitution provide a framework allowing amendments but limiting the impact of the majority.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but just because the majority of people want something doesn't necessarily make it right.  That's why I prefer to see a limit placed on how much control any one branch of government has.

Splitting hairs on Britains slave history is fine with me if that's what you'd like to do.  Akin to saying 'I don't beat my children with my left hand'. ;-()
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Offline propstoart

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #490 on: October 10, 2011, 10:42:28 PM »
"Using humanitarian and war in the same sentence is oxymoronic." - Xenia Ellenbogen. [http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/nyin-o03.shtml]

Offline jesse james

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #491 on: October 11, 2011, 10:32:43 AM »
  the gangsterism of Wall Street and other financial institutions has caused severe damage to the people of the United States and the world. they've been doing this increasingly for over the last 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%. what's outrages is that they also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity-not only too big to fail, but of course 'too big to jail.
  i think i'm right in saying that overwhelmingly opinion polls in the US were against the bail outs but of course the US isn't a democracy so the public were ignored, just as they were ignored in overwhelmingly supporting tax rises for the very top earners and at the very least maintaining spending on healthcare, whereas the opposite has happened. it's interesting that financial deregulation hasn't yielded the growth promised, certainly not compared to what economists call the 'golden age' between the 50's and 70's, but ho hay.


"Using humanitarian and war in the same sentence is oxymoronic." - Xenia Ellenbogen. [http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/nyin-o03.shtml]
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Offline propstoart

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #492 on: October 16, 2011, 07:29:25 AM »
“Pretty much everything on the web uses those two things: C and UNIX.. The browsers are written in C. The UNIX kernel — that pretty much the entire Internet runs on — is written in C. Web servers are written in C, and if they’re not, they’re written in Java or C++, which are C derivatives, or Python or Ruby, which are implemented in C. And all of the network hardware running these programs I can almost guarantee were written in C.. It’s really hard to overstate how much of the modern information economy is built on the work Dennis did.” - Rob Pike, on the pioneering work done by Dennis Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – October 12, 2011), in the field of Computer Programming.

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #493 on: October 19, 2011, 05:36:48 AM »
Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
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Offline propstoart

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #494 on: October 20, 2011, 12:05:04 AM »
20/20 foresight.

Offline jesse james

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #495 on: October 20, 2011, 07:27:56 AM »
It’s an old philosophical dictum but in the mouth of an economist it belies the reality of smoke, mirrors and general subterfuge that is economics.



20/20 foresight.
I am a lighthouse worn by the weather and the waves
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Offline Emma

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #496 on: November 11, 2011, 09:02:34 PM »
Life is better imagined then lived, this way you rise above the mundane drama. Should you enter, be prepared, and know that every kind of association with another person will eventually come to an end. Even with the best intentions, death will take them or you eventually. So understand that Solitude is the truth of the universe.
You are everything I am not.

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #497 on: November 12, 2011, 12:05:31 AM »
Life is better imagined then lived, this way you rise above the mundane drama. Should you enter, be prepared, and know that every kind of association with another person will eventually come to an end. Even with the best intentions, death will take them or you eventually. So understand that Solitude is the truth of the universe.

i think you should get married as soon as possible.......
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

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Offline Emma

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #498 on: November 12, 2011, 03:06:22 PM »
Well, I was married once not too long ago. It wasn't as short as Alex's marriage (lol) but it didn't last too long either. I got bored and got out of it. I didn't think we were right for each other. I am still good friends with my ex-husband though. So marriage is not on my list of things. I am far more interested in a more sold relationship. There are a lot of guys out there but it's hard to find the right one and I am not going to make the same mistake again.
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Offline propstoart

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Re: Quotes you like
« Reply #499 on: November 12, 2011, 10:35:00 PM »
Life is too short to live alone.. I wish you happiness, whoever you may find it in.. I just hope you find it soon!! ;-()