Re: OT: Well, today we lost the first amendment in the US

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David J Bockman wrote:

I almost always do vote Libertarian and as such I also defend the right of _every_ citizen rich or poor to spend their money as they wish so long as: a) It is _their_ money and b) They are not doing something fraudulent, forceful, or threatening with it. You can't just espouse Libertarian principle for everyone except the rich and remain consistent.
The idea that the rich are the primary instrument of government corruption is laughable in any case. Politicians do what they have to in order to remain in office. The biggest 'bribes' they accept are the votes of the Mooching Sheeple who all want Something For Nothing. Every year billions of public monies are given to people standing in line for "their" handouts. The suburban housewife who demands a new soccer field, the parent who feeds their child tons of fast food and then wants government interdiction because the kid is fat, the farmer who can't remain competitive and wants subsidies, and the steel worker who thinks they are entitled to be insulated from the realities of the global market - _these_ are the people who corrupt government. About 1/2 of the Federal US budget is now handouts of one sort or another. This will likely grow considerably now that the elderly and almost elderly have voted themselves the "right" to "free" drugs on the backs of their children and grandchildren.
Vote Libertarian indeed. But know that the enemny of freedom is not primarily he rich man, it is your mooching neighbor next door who wants to live life irresponsibly and then have you pay for the damages.
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Who the hell are you, and what the hell are you doing inside my head?
Thank you, Tim. I hereby claim you as my evil twin.
Kevin
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Kevin Craig wrote:

If you're rich, I accept! If not, we'll just agree to be virtual echoes here :)
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

In theory this may be true. In reality what actually happens is, given the price of air time (radio/tv), an often complex issue is pared down to a 30 to 60 second media spot with 3 of the last seconds used to identify who is paying for the spot. The latter more often than not tells you nothing about who is sponsoring the ad since they're typically "concerned citizens of (fill in the city. county, state)" or "citizens against unfair taxes", "citizens for education", etc.. AND - these "information ads" are often attack ads that come out a day or two before the election, giving "the fourht estate" no time to investigate and present the bigger picture.
Campaign finance reform is easy - if you can't vote for them you can't give them money - period - no infommercials, no information ads, no full page ads in the paper with no names. If you can't vote for the candidate you can't give them anything - period. No corporate donations, no PAC money, no Tribal Council, no labor union, ... AND - you can't give a candidate more than $1,000 without making the donation public. If you feel strongly about a candidate or an issue you should be willing to say so up front - "I, John Jay Faddingle Heimer Schmidt support this candidte or issue and am putting my time, money and name out there for all to see. My reputation as a citizen and a member of this community speaks for itself."
And while we're at it, let's try and get the "public airways" back so air time can be devoted to candidates and concerned citizens presenting information and positions. FCC, where are you?
AND, wouldn't it be nice if "the news" went back to being actual nws and analysis rather than shouting matches, sensationalism and flat out ads for major corporations and power brokers? News is not "entertainment" but is supposed to be information.
BTW - if you have to keep saying "fair and balanced" I begin to doubt that what comes next is fair or balanced - or even true. But I'll leave the consolidation of the media for another time.
charlie b
He/she who dies with the most toys missed the point
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Greg) wrote in message

I agree that money is not speech, but money is personal property, and they're telling people what they can do with their own property.
It's a property rights issue.
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You don't think billion dollar election cycles (the rate in 2000) are actually limiting the ability of normal people to have their voices heard? How will the pittance any of us could come up with be heard over the roar of a PAC that is throwing a few million dollars in untraceable funds at the candidates? Elections cost too much money and that assures that the rich are the only ones who have their voices heard.
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Greg wrote:

Oh Pluuuuueeeze. The "normal people" are a bunch of mooching slugs who get the government to handout billions every year in "free" benefits. They cost this country not only money but its very liberty. Witness, for example, the recent elderly coup which gives them "free" drugs at the expense of their children and grandchildren. Money is property. Taking it by the force of taxation and giving it to another citizen (instead of only taking what is needed to keep us all _free_) is _theft_, nothing more, and the Sheeple do it on a WAY larger scale than any rich person could hope to.
The "normal" people _do_ have their "voices heard" in the form of iniquitous amounts of goverment-sponsored grift and outright theft. Over half the Federal budget is entitlement programs (the very name turns my stomach) and that number will likely grow.
The worst corporate financial abuse, the most overt paying-for-votes scheme, do not begin to compare to the screwing of the American liberty and treasury indulged by our fellow citizens.
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Riiight. And that's why a guy like George Soros can pledge millions of his own money even AFTER this so-called "reform" has passed. Yeah, the law sure took care of that. (sarcasm off).
What this has really done has insured that elections will held to the 2 party system, unless another guy like Ross Perot comes around with his own millions.
Honestly, when did politians last pass a law which LIMITED their own power? This thing passed with bipartisan support because it benefits both major parties by limiting the dollars that the 3rd parties will be able to spend.
You've all been tricked, good and hard.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Just remember, you get the government you deserve. Exercise your 2nd amendment rights while you've still got them. Dave in Fairfax
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In fact, I *don't* get the government I deserve. While this is certainly true of the population _as_a_whole_, it equally certainly is not true of those individuals such as myself (and yourself, I presume) who take care to vote whenever possible for candidates who favor limited government -- only to have our votes negated by those of the vast hordes whose only interest in liberty is to be free to suck at the public teat.

I wish more people understood that the Second Amendment is truly the keystone of our system of constitutional government:: the Constitution and Bill of Rights are nothing more than old pieces of paper, and the rights and freedoms they guarantee us only so many empty promises, if we the People lack the means to _compel_ a recalcitrant government to honor those guarantees.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller wrote:

IMHO, the 2nd amendment is the only thing that gives the others any teeth. As long as the population is willing to be led by the nose or bought by promises, the government we get will be the one the majority is willing to accept. Politicians lie, it's what they do. The other thing they do is consolidate power. Unless there are adverse consequences for those two behaviors, we will never have a government that isn't corrupt. OK, rant mode off, sorry. Dave in Fairfax
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