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s U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

jujuman13

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Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny? - IBD - Investors.com

Quote(When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

"Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.)

The more control Government grant themselves over our lives, the less choice we have.

Quote(Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP's oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated.

But our government is supposed to be "a government of laws and not of men."

If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion — or $50 billion or $100 billion — then so be it.)

I believe that this is the Point that Joe Barton was trying to put across, albeit in some other garbled manner.
Is Government allowed to extort money from Corporations without having gone through the process of law?
Quote(But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without "due process of law."
Was due process carried out in this instance? I somehow doubt it was.
Quote(Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don't believe in constitutional government.)

Please for the purpose of this discussion leave out the fact that BP fully deserves to pay this amount and more in cleaning and compensation and recovery costs, this is readily accepted by everyone including BP.
Can we stick with the argument that the President and Government have in this instance not kept to the Constitution?
 

ashurbanipal

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1) I would suggest that we already are, and have been for some time, living in a tyrannical oligarchy. Both democrats and republicans have contributed to the situation, and in about equal proportions. We are a nation of liars and uneducated dolts, and we now have the politics we deserve--indeed, that we have evoked. We get a bunch of lying politicians because we want our politicians to lie to us, because most of us have the sneaking suspicion somehow, somewhere, that the truth is really too horrible.

2) With respect to this particular point, however...I'm not sure it holds water. I may be wrong, but it was my understanding that Obama didn't say something like "Pay or be destroyed." He said "You guys are responsible for this and you're going to pay," to which BP said "you're right. We will pay, and we agree to 20 billion to start." This is not extortion. You would say roughly the same thing to me if I, say, set your car on fire, accidentally or otherwise. And I would have to agree that I owed you for the car, and if I'm a good citizen, would pay for the damages willingly.

No doubt BP will pay more than 20 billion when and if this is over with. BP surely knows this, and apparently in recognition of their culpability, they agreed to Obama's demand. Again, that's not a shakedown, that's not extortion, and people enter into those kinds of relationships all the time. If you go into a restaurant and the waitress spills wine all over your shirt, and in talking to the manager you get him to agree to pay to have it dry cleaned on the basis of the fact that that's the right thing to do, that's not extorting money from the restaurant.

Does anyone seriously think that Obama, during his meeting with Hayward and others, pulled out a gun, brandished a document, and said "your money or your life!"?

It would be extortion if Obama threatened:

-criminal prosecution if BP didn't pay (note that if he said criminal prosecution will or could happen anyway, that's not extorion).

-military action against BP

-special ops action against BP

-or something similar

But he didn't do that.
 

jujuman13

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I and I suspect many others would like to see the minutes of that meeting.
 

German guy

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I'm not saying everything Obama does is necessarily ok or compatible with your Constitution (in fact, since I am not American, I don't know the exact details and think this is ultimately a question Americans should find answers to), but as a European, I feel rather relaxed when it comes to redistribution of wealth. I understand Americans have a different attitude to redistribution and a welfare state, but over here in Europe, it's common, and has been ever since WW2 at least, yet our societies are still free, open, democratic societies with a very high degree of both individual and economic freedom.

I know that in America, the difference between social democracy and "socialism" (the latter being synonymous with tyranny and East Bloc style dictatorship) is virtually unknown. Many of you guys instantly get afraid when there is wealth redistribution, because you are unaware that on most other free Western countries, this is common and has not caused tyranny, and instead you associate it with communist dictatorship -- so I'd tell you, while I understand where you are coming from, that you don't need to worry too much. You may appreciate or disagree with this redistribution, but it won't be the begin of tyranny either way. Just relax.

The lack of education and knowledge among many political activists and supporters on either side of the spectrum may be a reason for concern, though. No matter if it's devote Obamatrons who ignore that he has not fulfilled many essential campaign promises yet, partially even expanded some of Bush's violations of civil rights, yet still cling to him on one side -- or right-wingers on the other side, who throw around words like "socialism" without even knowing what they mean, who cling to conspiracy theories like birthers or those who believe Obama is a Muslim sleeper agent, rah rah patriots who consider any kind of diplomacy "appeasement" or "weakness" -- both of them bring an often unhealthy amount of polarization, partisan hackery, villification of the other side and pull down public debate on a very low level. The people should be critical of the government and efficiently check it, not attack it in the wrong places or blindly cling to their party.

What does bother me, though, and makes me afraid there is indeed a slippery slope into tyranny, are many of Bush's restrictions of civil and human rights in name of fighting terrorism: The CIA was given the power to kidnap mere suspects from the streets, detain them while denying them any right on legal defense or fair trials, and the use of torture. Now if all people who are treated that way were indeed terrorist thugs, I guess nobody would care much, but the problem is, many of them have later indeed been proven innocent, and also, there is the basic legal standard that says "innocent until proven guilty" and "in dubio pro reo". Basically, the government says it can detain anybody they want and we have to take their word that they are indeed bad guys -- instead of a fair process determining their guilt. Now if you ask me, this cries out for abuse. Since when is the government above the law? And since when is the government's word worth more than the ruling of a fair court?

Even if there has not been massive abuse of these laws yet (not sure if there was), I think it sets a dangerous precedent and sooner or later, some government will abuse them, if the laws are not skipped. In theory, a government could just detain all kind of opposition people or government critics by claiming they are suspected of "terrorism" and they would never have the possibility to prove their innocense in front of a fair court, because they are denied that right. Bush has started this huge expansion of executive power above the law, and Obama, despite his campaign promises, has even partially expanded it.

I think this violation of basic legal standards is indeed dangerous. I'd say we should rather let 10 terrorists go, before we imprison and destroy the life of just 1 innocent person. And even horrible crimes like terrorist acts of 9/11 don't justify skipping our most basic legal standards: Even horrible monsters deserve a fair trial, and only because we respect their right on it, we are better than them. We may be a little less safe that way, but that's the price of freedom, IMHO. Sure, a police state where the government is above the law may technically be more safe for the population, than a free, constitutional state -- but I still prefer a free, democratic state that respects high legal standards, even if it's less safe.

A slightly higher risk is just the price we have to pay for freedom.
 
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German guy

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1) I would suggest that we already are, and have been for some time, living in a tyrannical oligarchy. Both democrats and republicans have contributed to the situation, and in about equal proportions.

That's one of the reasons why I'm skeptical of the many right-wingers or "tea party" people who now scream bloody murder and "tyranny", allegedly defending the Constitution. I ask them, where were they in the past 8 years under Bush? Most of them didn't complain at all at the excessive expansion of government power, except for a small bunch of genuine libertarians. Doesn't add to their credibility.
 

Deuce

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Here's a general rule:

If it mentions Hitler or Nazi's as a comparison, close the browser window and never go to that website again.
 

VanceMack

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That's one of the reasons why I'm skeptical of the many right-wingers or "tea party" people who now scream bloody murder and "tyranny", allegedly defending the Constitution. I ask them, where were they in the past 8 years under Bush? Most of them didn't complain at all at the excessive expansion of government power, except for a small bunch of genuine libertarians. Doesn't add to their credibility.

Funny...I was just thinking the same thing about the left and their 8 years of paranoid obsession with Bush and naziism...and now suddenly...nothing...even tho Obama and his administration have been FAR MORE open about seeking to control everything from monitoring the internet, credit cards, and even declaring the blanket right to read private emails and cell phone transmissions.
 

Deuce

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Funny...I was just thinking the same thing about the left and their 8 years of paranoid obsession with Bush and naziism...and now suddenly...nothing...even tho Obama and his administration have been FAR MORE open about seeking to control everything from monitoring the internet, credit cards, and even declaring the blanket right to read private emails and cell phone transmissions.

What? We talk about that all the time. Where have you been?
 

German guy

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Funny...I was just thinking the same thing about the left and their 8 years of paranoid obsession with Bush and naziism...and now suddenly...nothing...even tho Obama and his administration have been FAR MORE open about seeking to control everything from monitoring the internet, credit cards, and even declaring the blanket right to read private emails and cell phone transmissions.

I guess it all depends on how general we brush people. You say "the left" and I said "right-wingers" ... although those are probably generalizations. I'm sure there are quite a few among both groups who cannot be blamed for those things we blamed these groups in general for.
 

lizzie

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I ask them, where were they in the past 8 years under Bush? Most of them didn't complain at all at the excessive expansion of government power, except for a small bunch of genuine libertarians. Doesn't add to their credibility.

Quite frankly, most of them (imo) didn't realize the extent of what was happening. Most of us were too busy buying homes and making money, plus the 9/11 attacks sent many people into terminal emergency mode in their minds. I don't think most Americans really awakened to what has been happening in DC until our last presidential election, which was equally bad, if not much worse. Obama doesn't support constitutional government any more than Bush did. We have a largely ignorant population when it comes to looking at the present and projecting into the future.
 

German guy

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Quite frankly, most of them (imo) didn't realize the extent of what was happening. Most of us were too busy buying homes and making money, plus the 9/11 attacks sent many people into terminal emergency mode in their minds. I don't think most Americans really awakened to what has been happening in DC until our last presidential election, which was equally bad, if not much worse. Obama doesn't support constitutional government any more than Bush did. We have a largely ignorant population when it comes to looking at the present and projecting into the future.

Fair enough. I think this 9/11 scare that allowed the Bush government to get many questionable expansions of executive power through was a major reason why so many people over here in Europe didn't like Bush. And where was the media? It would have been their duty to inform the public what was going on. Instead, ultimate authoritarian support for the President was all en vogue and critical people were branded "anti-American", "traitors" or the like. Huge fail of the entire American media and public here.

Also, I doubt that many who are angry now will still care once a Republican President is in power again, much like many who protested against Bush now don't care as long as it's a Democratic President expanding some of Bush's laws. Who will get such a nice buzzword like "Constitution" get in the way of partisan hackery?
 

spud_meister

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you know, hitler had a pet dog, and so does obama, is that just a coincidence, i think not!
 

Renae

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Here's a general rule:

If it mentions Hitler or Nazi's as a comparison, close the browser window and never go to that website again.

Do you know who the author of that peice is?
 

lizzie

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Fair enough. I think this 9/11 scare that allowed the Bush government to get many questionable expansions of executive power through was a major reason why so many people over here in Europe didn't like Bush. And where was the media? It would have been their duty to inform the public what was going on.

Our media is not reliable to speak up for what is true, right, or legally and/or morally sound. They tend to try and makes the news, rather than reporting it. I don't know about in Europe, but most news media here is akin to a children's hour entertainment show. It's fluff and emotional rhetoric.

Also, I doubt that many who are angry now will still care once a Republican President is in power again,
I truly hope you are mistaken, but I fear you're right.
 

Renae

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Mike Godwin?

Ahh, more proof you are nothing more then a troll not interested in actual discussions just pissing around threads that don't praise OBama and CO.

The peice was written by the honorable Mr. Thomas Sowell. I consider him to be one of the top 5 most intelligent political and social commentators around. A shame you lack the abilkity to appreciate wisdom.
 

Simon W. Moon

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OMFG!!
Obama is the new Hitler!
GWB was the old Hitler!

Why do Americans elect so many Hitlers?
 

lizzie

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The peice was written by the honorable Mr. Thomas Sowell. I consider him to be one of the top 5 most intelligent political and social commentators around.
Mr Sowell is a man I would readily vote for as president or any other high-ranking federal position.
 

German guy

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Mr Sowell is a man I would readily vote for as president or any other high-ranking federal position.

If Mr Sowell is such a good commentator, then this piece with the obvious Godwin-Nazi-sledghammer was not his best work, apparently.
 

lizzie

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If Mr Sowell is such a good commentator, then this piece with the obvious Godwin-Nazi-sledghammer was not his best work, apparently.

It's not his commentary I admire. It's his sense and his character. Being a good speaker, writer, or being intellectually admired is not a measure of a man's inherent worth or character imo. They are nice qualities, but are merely superficial indicators. The measure of a man, to me, is shown by his actions and his integrity.
 
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German guy

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OMFG!!
Obama is the new Hitler!
GWB was the old Hitler!

Why do Americans elect so many Hitlers?

It's not just that you elect quite a few Hitlers. You are also constantly at war with Hitlers: Saddam was a Hitler, and so are Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il. Don't you forget that!
 

lizzie

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It's not just that you elect quite a few Hitlers. You are also constantly at war with Hitlers: Saddam was a Hitler, and so are Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il. Don't you forget that!

Yes, we do tend to have an inherent need to save the world from itself, while we destroy ourselves from within.;)
 

The_Penguin

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OMFG!!
Obama is the new Hitler!
GWB was the old Hitler!

Why do Americans elect so many Hitlers?

No, Obama is supposed to be the next Mao/Stalin/Lenin/Chomsky. Bush was Hitler :p .

But yeah, this is moronic. I don't like Obama, but seriously? Communist? Socialist? I was born in the USSR and I know Communism, Obama is not a Communist. A bumbling fool who has a hard time forming a vision and a policy, but not a Communist.
 

Simon W. Moon

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It's not just that you elect quite a few Hitlers. You are also constantly at war with Hitlers: Saddam was a Hitler, and so are Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il. Don't you forget that!

There're Hitlers everywhere. Those damned Boys from Brazil.
 
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