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Citizens Demand To See Secret ACTA Treaty

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the show-me-the-words dept.

Government 223

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "One hundred groups of concerned citizens have united to demand a look at the secret ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) treaty and have drafted a letter to their representatives asking for information. We've discussed ACTA before, including what are believed to be parts of ACTA that lawmakers are trying to get a head start on."

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Vote (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034121)

Ron Paul

really? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034147)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER bitches ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

ACTA?! (1, Redundant)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034159)

I like to know what my government is doing behind my back... I mean, I like to have more than a fleeting idea, anyways.

Re:ACTA?! (5, Insightful)

deepershade (994429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034177)

I like to know what my government is doing behind my back Screwing you.

Re:ACTA?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034605)

I like to know what my government is doing behind my back

Screwing you.

Actually the government has gotten quite comfortable screwing you to your face.

Re:ACTA?! (2, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035097)

They still like it doggystyle though

Re:ACTA?! (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034185)

They're robbing you. Satisfied?

Re:ACTA?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034457)

Ditto. Stop worrying about where taxation money goes and start realizing, "wait a second, they stole my money!"

You'll never get your money back (4, Insightful)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034643)

Yes, they stole your money and used it to build roads, build hospitals, maintain and strengthen a military, provide protection from criminals, educate the young, stop threats against the country, and help out those who have run into misfortune. Yes, they stole your money and you will never get it back in any form.

Re:You'll never get your money back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034653)

Don't forget pocketbook lining, a very interesting industry to be sure.

Re:You'll never get your money back (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034755)

"Yes, they stole your money and used it to build roads, build hospitals, maintain and strengthen a military, provide protection from criminals, educate the young, stop threats against the country..."

If only they would stop at those actions!! Yes, those indeed are what a govt. are for for the most part, yet they seem hell bent on overstepping those powers, in order to restrict the rights and privacy of the citizens from whom their power (supposedly) comes from. They seem to be more interested in locking down society, and protecting corporate issues and interests.

THAT is what we're all wary of and protesting....

Re:You'll never get your money back (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25036331)

"They seem to be more interested in locking down society, and protecting corporate issues and interests."

In fairness, "protecting corporate issues and interests" is and should be one of the most important jobs of government in order to have a well-functioning and fair economy ("fair" in that businesses compete on a reasonably even playing field, consumers have some basic protections, and employers do not exploit their workers too greatly). That being said, it could be argued that rather than having these interests at heart, many of the laws that governments have been passing recently are designed more to enrich corporations and let them take advantage of people (whether consumers or workers).

I mean, sheesh, the recent mortgage meltdown is a perfect example. No income, no job, no asset loans (so-called "ninja" loans)? Why in the hell was this ever legal? Where were the government regulators as mortgage companies were making money off these obviously risky schemes? And now U.S. taxpayers are out >$200 billion dollars in bailouts, hundreds of billions of dollars of investments worldwide have evaporated, and the economy tanks. It's the "Savings and Loan" fiasco all over again.

All we hear from corporations is that they want less regulation of the things that keep them honest, and more regulation (like parts of ACTA) that will hose competitors and consumers. The reality is, they don't really give a !@#$%^! what happens as long as they make their money and don't end up in jail. That's why government needs to be involved in "protecting corporate issues and interests", because in the long/whole economy view, the corporations sure don't care. They only care about *their* individual bottom lines.

Re:You'll never get your money back (3, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034757)

...and they also invested many billions of stolen dollars in communications equipment and computers to suck down your phone calls, locations, internet activity, and generally monitor everything you do from credit card transactions to tracking your number plate with bridge mounted cameras as you drive your car from one side of the country to the other.

While the things you mention are (sort of) positive, the list of negatives has long since outgrown it.

Re:You'll never get your money back (1)

lordofwhee (1187719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034759)

Except there's the major hitch of my not being able to directly decide where my tax money goes.

How do I know all that money didn't go to some senator getting a massage with a 'happy ending'?

Re:You'll never get your money back (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035437)

Would it be more acceptable if you still had to pay about the same amount in taxes, but could control which social service providers it went to?

Re:You'll never get your money back (2, Interesting)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035961)

actually, it would. in that case, the amount of money for certain operations would be directly related to how many people care for it.

at the very least, we'd have less wars, and shorter ones, too.

Re:You'll never get your money back (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034821)

Yes, they stole your money and used it to build roads, build hospitals, maintain and strengthen a military, provide protection from criminals, educate the young, stop threats against the country, and help out those who have run into misfortune.

Yes, they stole your money and used it to build roads we don't need while failing to repair what we have correctly, build hospitals that sub-contract everything so they can dodge regulations on billing etc while collecting more from the patients, maintain and strengthen a military to pick fights that lower the world's view of our country, make criminals out of everyone they can via silly laws, stacking charges till a person decides to plea bargain cause they can't afford to defend themselves and wish to save their families from financial ruin, attempt to train the young to blindly accept authoritary and go to work for existing corporations or the government instead of following the American dream, lead the public to believe the government can stop threats against the country while inspiring more threats, and create an environment where people are guaranteed to suffer in misfortune so the government can drive them into more misfortune with free as in beer fish.

That might be easily viewed as fixing your statement for you, but much easier just to say they are laundering our money in pork barrels.

Re:You'll never get your money back (4, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035845)

Yes, but apart from the roads, the hospitals, the civic security, law and order, education, and social welfare, what have the government ever done for us?

Re:You'll never get your money back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035905)

LORETTA:
        And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.

Re:You'll never get your money back (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035955)

yup... that, and making sure they've got the highest salary in the country. at least, that's how it is in the netherlands, where "they shouldn't be making more money than the prime minister!" was an actual argument against power companies..

just thought i'd put that out there. they're not doing all that good of a job, most of the time. anyone mildly intelligent could think of anything our government has done so far. and more, usually.
an average salary for an average job should be more than appropriate, i'd say.

Re:ACTA?! (1, Troll)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034645)

Not only that, they stole your money to kill thousands of people in Iraq. And is that money coming back?

Hellooooooooooooooo crisis!

Re:ACTA?! (2, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036059)

Uh... I'm thinking if all they wanted was to kill a few thousand people anywhere, it would have cost a lot less than the Billions of dollars spent on the Iraq project

Re:ACTA?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034233)

I never do this, but you've made it too easy: "In Soviet Russia, government likes to know what you are doing behind its back!"

Re:ACTA?! (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035965)

someone call the thought police!

Would you like to taste my cock too? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034325)

For extra shit flavor, just drop them...

Re:ACTA?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034603)

This government has forgot a basic precept, that we are citizens, not subjects.

That their power exists only so long as we grant it to them.

Re:ACTA?! (1, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035127)

technically, their power exists at this point (if you're american) until we take it away from them. Remember 2000? Nobody won, nobody was granted the power by the people. Unless by people, you mean the government appointed courts.

Re:ACTA?! (1, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036153)

That their power exists only so long as we grant it to them.

No, that power exists only so long as the media, large corporations and the rich grant it to them. As you'll discover if you try to take it away from them.

Remember, whoever you vote for, the government gets in.

Brave New World, 1984 (5, Insightful)

hpycmprok (219527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034175)

Brave New World, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, etc...

When I was in school (a while ago) these were books we had to read.

Seems most people 10, 15, or more years younger than myself haven't even heard of these stories.

Corporations are taking over the world. A well functioning democracy requires an educated populace.

Considering what public schools are turning out here in the US, so much of what happens in the world isn't surprising to me anymore.

I don't know what is more disturbing, the fact that so many people don't seem bothered by things like TFA, or that people aren't aware of them and/or don't understand them.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (2, Informative)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034295)

Just how old are you? I'm 23 and was required to read the latter two in school, and read 1984 on my own.
I think people are apathetic about stuff like this because they don't see how it affects them, and because they aren't aware and/or understand them. I'm aware of them and barely have a working knowledge of them. All I understand is that these corporate oligarchies are trying to perpetuate old systems that are still making them a$$loads of money by screwing over the consumer.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (4, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034357)

What bothers me the most, and what I don't think most people understand / are aware of, is how international treaties can be signed, thus becoming laws which supersede the most supreme law of the country (constitution, charter, bill of rights etc.) all without public knowledge or involvement.

I think every single democratic country desperately needs to update their charters with clauses requiring that all international agreements be signed with public knowledge, consent and involvement and to clearly make available avenues for referendums so that the public can force their governments to withdraw if the majority of the population wishes (without replacing their government obviously).

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034431)

how international treaties can be signed, thus becoming laws which supersede the most supreme law of the country (constitution, charter, bill of rights etc.)

I believe that the Supremes ruled some (many?) years past that treaties cannot be used as an end-run around the constitution.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034523)

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Of course, due ratification isn't really required, per se. The 1963 Vienna Treaty on Consular Relations provides quite specifically that a republic is bound by a treaty it signs but does not ratify, since international law could well break down under the strain of two hundred different ratification mechanisms. I admit, however, that this applies only to international law, and that a conflict between international and domestic law in the United States would be unlikely to successfully stand based purely on the tenets of the Vienna treaty.

Yes, treaties can be an end-run around the constitution; that's their point. A constitution that could not survive losing a war (and the negative treaty-based consequences thereof) would have been a big problem in the early days.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (3, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034943)

Yes, treaties can be an end-run around the constitution; that's their point.

I'm sorry, Mr. AC, but your interpretation of the constitution has no importance. All that matters is what the Supreme Court has to say [sweetliberty.org]

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035059)

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

You're reading this wrong. Look: It's putting "the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof" in the same "supreme law of the land" category as the treaties and the constitution. Yet clearly this doesn't allow congress to pass any old law and supersede the constitution. What the quoted text is really referring to is to say that the US Constitution, constitutionally enacted federal laws and treaties trump state laws and constitutions. It doesn't say anything about the ranking within that category. More to the point, treaties still have to comply with the constitution. However, that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous: What treaties do is allow the federal government to enact laws normally outside the scope of its authority. A treaty can't violate the first amendment, but it can (for example) bring about copyright law that doesn't "promote the progress of science and useful arts."

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034549)

In the US, at least, that's correct. The federal Constitution is supreme, with federal law and treaties at an equal level (where they conflict, the most recent trumps). All of those are superior to state constitutions, which are superior to state laws.

People often misread the Constitutional language indicating that treaties are superior to state constitutions, which is where the confusion arises.

This having been said, treaties are often used as an end-run around Congress. First, they're developed by the executive branch, which otherwise cannot write federal law at such a high level, and can be much more secretive and less receptive to the will of the people than Congress. Second, only the Senate is involved in ratification, and they cannot amend treaties, so it's a pure yes or no vote. Third, the Senate can be pressured into ratifying, on the basis that the US has committed to its treaty partners, after a diplomatic process that may have taken years, and shouldn't let them down at such a late stage. And fourth, if the treaty is not self-executing, Congress as a whole is pressured into enacting enabling legislation, lest we not be in compliance with the treaty.

It isn't good, but we're stuck with this system and its flaws, barring either a Constitutional amendment that would give Congress more of a diplomatic role, or the Congress (particularly the Senate) developing a spine and looking to the public interest.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034865)

If only we could round up all the politicians and lobbyists in the same small area and convince them like lemmings to jump off a bridge...

I think a lot of things would improve.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035181)

No, we need to start hanging them at the end of a rope again. When these clowns start seeing their wealthy Congress buddies hanging for taking a corporate bribe, they'll shape up. Quick.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034555)

Yeah....But Diana Ross overrode them on it and put them in their place...Behind her!

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (4, Insightful)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034661)

Hmm.. Seems you and the parent here (as most people are) are unaware that the United States is not and never was a democracy.

I demonstrate my point 1 one very simple exercise. Say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

On top of that, democracies are bad.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
- Benjamin Franklin

Also, nothing the government does can supersede the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is not a declaration of what the people are allowed. It is a list to remind the government of what they cannot prevent. We made the Government, and gave it privileges. It can NOT infringe on the rights we have for being sovereign individuals. In fact...

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson

...

/rant

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (2, Interesting)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035419)

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
- Benjamin Franklin

Of course, Franklin never actually said that. It's more likely from the late 20th century.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035519)

Seems you and the parent here (as most people are) are unaware that the United States is not and never was a democracy.

Yes it is. It's a democratic republic.

No country in the history of civilization (including ancient Greece) has ever been a "pure democracy". Insisting on your kind of pedantry would make the word democracy completely useless.

Moreover, any country without a hereditary king is a republic, including Burma, Syria, Sadaam's Iraq, Mussolini's Italy, etc. So the word "republic" by itself doesn't mean much. Specifically, republic != liberty. The only way we've found to ensure liberty so far is to use a democratic republic.

HAH! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035695)

Also, nothing the government does can supersede the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is not a declaration of what the people are allowed.

FAIL!

the bill of rights is a list of things the government is not permitted to do, and it has been razed, ground to a fine powder, burned, deatomized, put through a particle accelarator, and the atomic soup left dispersed from the probe we shot into jupiter.

There are many rulings which completely ignore the bill of rights when the sellouts in the USSC see more money on the side of corrupted interests.

Examples: the souter eminent domain ruling, the refusal to entertain a case brought against the government for making "de facto" perpetual copyright law, and the list goes on and on.

All the bill of rights is used for today is a straw man. Neocons and corporate servants point to the bill of rights and declare it's inviolable simply because it's there, then sneak behind the publics back and carve planet sized holes in it.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035897)

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

To most of us, a republic is any state without a king or queen. China is a republic. So is North Korea. A democracy is any state where power derives from an electoral mandate from the mass population. China and North Korea, despite being republics, are not democracies. Britain and Canada, despite being democracies, are not republics. The USA is both a republic and a democracy.

This notion of a republic being mutually exclusive to a democracy is... weird. I only ever hear it from Americans. It's not just because of how you've named the two factions of the ruling party, is it?

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (0, Flamebait)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035901)

"A republic is one wolf and two lambs deciding what to have for dinner after the two lambs gave their votes to the wolf. Oh, and the wolf gets to have a gun while the lambs get pocket knifes." - Someone tired of people using catchy quotes that really aren't that special

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034851)

That's a great point. I know at least of one country that lives by these principles... And I guess most of you would have guessed, Switzerland.

s_

You completely misunderstand... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034895)

...how international treaties are implemented.

Any representative of your government, my government, or any other western-style democratic government can sign any treaty they like.

But, until that treaty is passed through the necessary legislative body/bodies and ratified then it hasn't become law.

Put another way both the executive branch and the legislative branch have to approve of any treaty for it to be entered into the statute books.

Even if that weren't the case, if the wording of the treaty conflicts with the wording of a constitution, charter, bill of rights, or any other already existing law. It becomes the responsibility of the judicial branch to decide which has a higher standing in-law, in almost all cases you will find that the constitution, charter, or bill of rights will be found to have precedence.

What bothers me the most, and what I don't think most people understand / are aware of, is how international treaties can be signed, thus becoming laws which supersede the most supreme law of the country (constitution, charter, bill of rights etc.) all without public knowledge or involvement.

I think every single democratic country desperately needs to update their charters with clauses requiring that all international agreements be signed with public knowledge, consent and involvement and to clearly make available avenues for referendums so that the public can force their governments to withdraw if the majority of the population wishes (without replacing their government obviously).

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035871)

I agree on the referendum part, but today, when a treaty is signed, it is not automatically a law. It is a (usually presidential) agreement to pass a law in the country. Some treaties take a long time to be ratified. Some are even contested by successors.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

JavaManJim (946878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034359)

I heartily agree there Brave New hpycmprok! Education in the USA has tanked. Too many otherwise good people are not completing high school. See the David Brooks editorial below (NyTimes registration required). A summary; the USA was fine and improving through 1970 then from 1975 to 1990 education graduation did not move. Other countries during that time moved ahead. The article is based on two books. Goldin and Katz http://www.amazon.com/Race-between-Education-Technology/dp/0674028678 [amazon.com] "Schools, Skills, and Synapses" by Heckman (downloadable PDF) http://ftp.iza.org/dp3515.pdf [iza.org] "The Real Issue", David Brooks http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/opinion/29brooks.html?_r=1&oref=slogin [nytimes.com] Finally people are not concerned about TFA because they a) shelter their knowledge by keeping within circles of limited curiosity. This means they don't care., b) as you said, could not comprehend its impacts. Best wishes oh wise one, Jim Burke

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034467)

When you say "Corporations are taking over the world", are you generalizing a bit, or do you really hate Capitalism, or do you have a better explanation for Corporations as the cause of the crap storm that is our future?

Please don't read this as a troll I'm just trying to understand your perspective on the matter.

Essentially you and I can agree on a number of things although I would add Atlas Shrugged to that list, and I would say "People who do not think are taking over the world."

I'm curious as to how far apart our view points are while still arriving at a similar estimation of the problem. That will be the true test of how bad it is.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034741)

When you say "Corporations are taking over the world", are you generalizing a bit, or do you really hate Capitalism

I'm not the OP, but hating what Capitalism has wrought is not the same as hating Capitalism, just as hating your wife's lasagna is not the same as hating your wife.

Corporations, and Capitalism, have a very critical role in our world, but ruling the world is not their role. Corporations exist primarily (some would say solely, but I think that's too simplistic) to serve the interests of their shareholders, or owners. If Corporations were to rule the world, essentially, we would be taking the rulership away from The People, where it belongs, and giving it to the wealthy few.

So, for me, I don't hate Capitalism, but I do most definitely hate many of the things Capitalists have done.

The world is not so black-and-white.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (2, Insightful)

hpycmprok (219527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034791)

When you say "Corporations are taking over the world", are you generalizing a bit, or do you really hate Capitalism, or do you have a better explanation for Corporations as the cause of the crap storm that is our future?

I'd really love to say that I'm generalizing a bit. I'm not an expert, and it'd be better if I'm dead wrong. The tired cliché is 'follow the money'. Corporations act legally as individuals but with only the obligation to increase shareholder value. I don't hate capitalism. Historically it seems to have been good for the US (where I'm from) and for other parts of the world as well. But I think maybe it is getting out of control, with the legal invention of the corporation and how that legal device has evolved to where it is now. Corporations are global and transcend national boundaries. Corporations are able to merge and aquire each other. Branches of them are able to operate under umbrella companies, just consider Proctor and Gamble, to name one example off the top of my head. Or think about the entertainment industry... Time, Warner Bros., Netscape, AOL, how many entities that appear to be different are actually different branches of one company?

When that much power and money to becomes organized into a single entity, the influence over governments and politics is incredible. I've read many times that in our little war with Iraq, there are more private contractors over there than US troops. Halliburton scare anybody?

So to me, with what I have time to read, and am able to make of it, yes, it seems like corporations ARE taking over the world. (I know I should do my homework and post more links, but I need to go to bed, and somebody else can do it - for or against - if they want to).

If ACTA isn't corporations exerting global influence on nations for only the gain of corporations, at the loss of the individuals, etc. etc. etc. than I know I can't think of any better current examples.

Thanks for mentioning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged [wikipedia.org] Atlas Shrugged, I'll definitely go to the library and work those inter-library loan ladies. I admit I don't recall every hearing of it or reading it.

And I agree with you, people who don't think seem to be taking over the world. Or maybe, people have become sheep and think what they're told to think.

There are many other things people have said I'd like to jump in on but, it's late. I didn't mean to accidentally start a discussion. I promise to go back in my hole and lurk more.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (2, Insightful)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034975)

I didn't mean to accidentally start a discussion. I promise to go back in my hole and lurk more.

No need to apologize, in this day and age you should be congratulated.

I agree with you basic assessment of Corporations in the fact that they are more or less headless entities. They are a collective which is treated as an individual. If I had my way there would be no such thing as publicly owned companies. But that's my simple summation of it, and I realize it wouldn't solve everything, but when you can hang your ire on a single man, and that single man knows that the ire of some 300 million people is directed at him for the decisions he makes, and the decide who to give the money to every second of every day, it tends to put moral men in charge of the companies. First and foremost I'm a firm believer in individualism, so the idea that I would sell parts of any company I make to people I don't know really really bugs me.

But you have my vote for the sleep thing...

corporations != capitalism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034963)

It's amazing that everyone seems to equate corporations=capitalism.

If you actually sit down and analyse the way most corporations behave in an economic sense, you'll find that there is very little about their behaviour that fits with laissez-faire style of capitalism of which you obviously believe they are manifest.

SME are a close fit to the capitalist model. Multinational corporations have a much closer kinship with centrally planned marxist models.

When you say "Corporations are taking over the world", are you generalizing a bit, or do you really hate Capitalism, or do you have a better explanation for Corporations as the cause of the crap storm that is our future?

Please don't read this as a troll I'm just trying to understand your perspective on the matter.

Essentially you and I can agree on a number of things although I would add Atlas Shrugged to that list, and I would say "People who do not think are taking over the world."

I'm curious as to how far apart our view points are while still arriving at a similar estimation of the problem. That will be the true test of how bad it is.

Re:corporations != capitalism (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035477)

Woa... Unlike you I didn't jump to conclusions and asked for a clarification question on his position.

But maybe you should read my post from above [slashdot.org] before you make more guesses about how I think.

But, yes for the most part I do agree with you, although I think it's more fascism without a figurehead. But really we are just arguing shades of evil at that point.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034517)

A lot of (depressing) people have claimed that every civilization will devolve into some crappy hellhole, before people again will revolt and take back their rights for a short while. Though I'm not that glum, obviously those that have never had their rights threatened don't realize how valuable they are. Sure you learn about it in school but that's something that happen in places far, far away and not in the "civilized" world. My dad remembers WWII. I remember the Cold War. What do the youth of today remember? Sure there's been minor wars but not something that'd make your average teen worry.

Though there's been some amazing changes in the last century (Try predicting the current European Union in 1908, you'd be locked in an asylum) but human nature hasn't changed that much. I'm sure we'll see oppression and war again, and I'm not sure if the current democracies can stomach it. In the Korea, Vietnam and Iraq war the US was losing < 0.01% of their population put together but led to huge anti-war efforts. Even in WWII the US lost 400,000 compared to 5,000,000+ for Germany and 10,000,000+ for Russia, neither of which were very democratic at the time. Oh yeah and the French surrendered, though so did most of Europe so I wasn't looking to pick on the US. I'm just saying that when it gets tough and ugly it's easier for a dictator to command people around than for "the people" to draft itself and send itself off to the front lines.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034635)

The problem ultimately is that people in the West have become incredibly coddled. It's not that they trust governments more than they did in the past, it's just that they can't get out of their web browser, off the telephone to Aunt Mavis or turn off the TV long enough to give a shit about the nature of liberty and the need of vigilance. People may not always be happy to surrender personal responsibility to their governments, but they're too fucking lazy to realize that it's not themselves they're selling down the river, but rather their children and grandchildren, who will suffer the consequences much more severely than us.

Governments always have and always will tend towards tyranny. It is the nature of the species that we organize ourselves into dominance hierarchies, and that very fundamental encoded behavior is a powerful force. The Founding Fathers, along with many great minds of the Enlightenment, hoped to create societies and complimentary political systems that could overcome to some degree human nature, to create societies that could strive for freedom, justice and equality, where the least in society could at least dare to hope that they might be able to enjoy the liberties of the greatest.

But, sadly, America, like most of the West, is turning its back on the Enlightenment. We are rapidly becoming a civilization that will sell itself away bit by bit, giving away every hard-earned freedom for the promise of security (which, as even the most tyrannical regimes in history demonstrate, can never really be bought). So many believe the lies of the corporate-government oligarchies, not because the lies are believable, but because believing the lies is so much easier than the alternative, which involves using democracy to punish the liars.

And now look. Wall Street is melting down, and the liars are begging for aid from the catastrophe they caused. Where are the citizens, commanding their political servants, flexing their muscle, making the mighty tremble in their cracking ivory towers? No, much easier to let our betters do what's right, even though letting our betters do what's right has thus far lead to one of the most severe (if not the most severe) financial crises since 1929.

But that's alright, because a new television season is here, and the Feds will throw lots of money around, and it's Tuesday and I'm tired after picking the kids up from soccer practice, and I've got to get to work early tomorrow, and what can one vote do, and voting for a third party is throwing my vote way, and... and... and... and...

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035005)

People may not always be happy to surrender personal responsibility to their governments, but they're too fucking lazy to realize that it's not themselves they're selling down the river, but rather their children and grandchildren, who will suffer the consequences much more severely than us.

Actually, I think they are very aware that it's the grand kids that are gonna really get killed by all this. And I say that as someone without kids.

See the economics behind Social Security for an example. Say, when the oldest of our grand parents born...

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

Starlet Monroe (512664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035247)

This is the best thing I've ever read on Slashdot.

Thank you.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035323)

>and... and... and... and...

and I won't do anything except gripe about it on Slashdot.

Congratulations for the rant: Not only are you aware of the problem, you exemplify it, which is even worse.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (3, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034655)

Brave New World, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, etc...

When I was in school (a while ago) these were books we had to read.

Seems most people 10, 15, or more years younger than myself haven't even heard of these stories.

Nope, but they've watched V for Vendetta, the Matrix... and maybe Gattaca.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034663)

Corporations took over the world.

There, fixed it for ya.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034721)

Brave New World, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, etc...

When I was in school (a while ago) these were books we had to read.

Ah, so that explains prevalence of the irrational fear of authority!

Schools forcing students to read a line up like that? That's not teaching free thought, that's institutionalising paranoia.

(A reminder to mods: discussions usually require two points of view. Otherwise no-one actually gets to learn anything.)

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (5, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034727)

Um... Most schools I'm aware of still teach at least one of the ones you listed, and most 2. The others usually show up on a list of books for something like a book report as homework across a break. The problem is far from a lack of education. It's a mix of stupid 'journalism' and apathy.

Just look at this year. You can't turn on the damn TV or open a newspaper or magazine, etc. without hearing about the presidential race. Every four years it's always the same old "get out the vote" BS, and the other three (and their primaries) are barely even reported, let alone discussed. People (that aren't totally out of it) know that congress passes the laws, and the laws are what actually affect you, but they just never seem to realize that means their congressmen matter, even more than the president. Sure, if, say, Jesus were to show up and appoint someone to the presidency who knew what the hell was going on and actually cared about the people and their rights, then the veto power could be used for some good, but I'm certainly not holding my breath.

The other problem is that people don't understand that the law isn't "The Law". They never realize that it's not some ancient black tome with gold letters that's been the sitting at SCOTUS for 200 years, but rather that it is a living reflection of their will. Most people just think that congress passes laws and they have to obey them. It's pathetic really, and primarily the result of the centralization of power at the federal level. (And at the state level for those powers the constitution expressly forbids the federal government from having. I'm looking at you drinking age!)

It used to be that the most power rested with the local government and the people would get together and decide how they wanted their community to run. That is why schools are run by local governments. They were set up by the community to teach kids what they thought they should know. Now we see massive pressure from the states to teach a precise curriculum and even more regulations on top of those. (e.g. public school is so damn expensive now because they are required to educate _everyone_ because it's apparently important to force children who are medically retarded through the same mold as those that aren't). Things like these make people feel powerless. The further up the power goes, the less their vote counts, and the more beholden to the higher-ups for funding for the regulations that are forced upon them (e.g. see above).

I was visiting a friend a couple months back and he warned me about a school zone (15MPH speed limit for those who don't know) they had just put in. Nothing on that road had changed in 20+ years, including the fact that it had no sidewalks, nor anything but forest opposite the school. But for some reason the township had recently declared it a school zone and stationed a police officer there. The result being high school students being hit with tickets for $200+ for going only 25MPH or so on a road that normal 35MPH. Nobody liked it, so I hold him to get together with a group of people and tell the commissioners something to the effect of "This is our community and if we don't want a school zone with camped out officer then we better not have one, and sure as hell better not be paying for one". I don't know if that ever happened, but regardless, it hasn't changed.

I've gone a bit far off the path, but the point is these are all things that reasonably intelligent (i.e. not on Jaywalking) people _know_, they just don't _understand_. The challenge is actually getting them to realize that _they_ are the solution and voting for the best turd sandwich every four years is not.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034881)

In my high school Brave New World, 1984 and Animal Farm were all required reading, and I graduated in June.

Re:Brave New World, 1984 (0, Flamebait)

dmn (855563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035907)

Considering what public schools are turning out here in the US, so much of what happens in the world isn't surprising to me anymore.

Ah, how stereotypical - US is THE WHOLE WORLD ;]

Occam's razor? (1)

compumike (454538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034183)

Look for a simpler answer... maybe it's just not ready yet? Sure, everyone can guess and make up bad stuff, but ultimately it's going to get presented and read and voted on. Not that we're necessarily going to like it, but keep your pants on!

--
Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation! Free electronics videos. [nerdkits.com]

Re:Occam's razor? (4, Insightful)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034203)

yes, but it's much easier to arrange a "civil protest" about an action when you know what's going on BEFORE they vote on it.

not to push buttons here, but if there had been enough time prior to the patriot act being voted on, do you think people would have gotten into an uproar?

for this whole democracy thing to work right, we need to have an edumacated populace, we need to know what's going on in enough time to tell our congress-critters how we feel they should represent us.

Re:Occam's razor? (1)

Lunatrik (1136121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034381)

The average man also has to have the *time* to get involved in his/her government - or at least the perception of having the time to do it.

Keep them busy....

Re:Occam's razor? (1)

srothroc (733160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034437)

Before an educated populace, I think you need one that really cares. If they care, they'll try to educate themselves (hopefully)...

Re:Occam's razor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034545)

I would think it would start the other way around, and hopefully continue to feed itself cyclically. If someone is so blissfully ignorant of the world around them, and happy to accept what's spoon-fed to them, why would they care enough to delve any deeper?

Re:Occam's razor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034785)

not to push buttons here, but if there had been enough time prior to the patriot act being voted on, do you think people would have gotten into an uproar?

No. Back then the majority of the American populace was so swept up in patriotism that they were willing to let the government do whatever they want. From what I remember, this mentality didn't start to fade until after the Iraq War started.

Indeed, you're not special (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034251)

If you want to see it in advance then pay like everybody else [riaa.org]

Criminalize This! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034211)

"criminalize P2P file sharing"

You mean criminalize a technology that is meant to advance society?

See this The Road to P2P Economy [wordpress.com] which maybe unfairly anti-Google but on the right track.

ACTA Now! (3, Funny)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034231)

Better ACTA soon, or you will have to forfeit the counterfeit.

No problem (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034257)

Send them a fake copy.

Re:No problem (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034815)

You joke, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is actually what would happen, given all of the secrecy behind the ACTA and the need to get rid of all the recent public outcry.

FOIA (4, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034349)

I requested it via FOIA and they danced around it and eventually refused. It'd be nice to see it come out, although I hope this "citizen's group" collectively sent in a few FOIA requests on this one.

Re:FOIA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25035153)

can you post the refuse document somewhere ? It could be helpful for friendly lawyers...

Shouldn't even be a question. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034395)

The fact that this is even an issue suggests that things are thoroughly rotten. There are arguably justified instances of government secrecy(aspects of national defence, any private data that has to be handled during course of business, certain subsets of police activity); but there is absolutely no plausible claim that ACTA falls under such a heading.

Unfortunately, even figuring out who is responsible is a rather murky business. This is the one thing that really bothers me about a lot of international/multinational activities and organizations. Democracy is tenuous enough with the layers of alleged representation within a nation, once you lay a mass of appointed diplomats on top of that, you get something largely opaque and unresponsive. That might be ok if your job is agreeing that starving orphans are tragic; but if you work will end up as law across the developed world, you need to do better than that.(well, actually you don't, and we just have to suck it up; but I meant that in the normative sense)

Re:Shouldn't even be a question. (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034649)

Hence the 10th amendment. The larger the government layer, the harder it is to change.

Too bad many people don't care any more.

If California wants to make marijuana legal, they should be able to, since it isn't interstate commerce.

Re:Shouldn't even be a question. (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034797)

The federal government has always done more than that. In the case of drugs in general, you're fooling yourself if you believe that the effects are going to just stay in the state which legalizes.

I mean just look at fireworks as an example, those frequently cross state lines or leave reservations. If the feds weren't allowed to regulate that it would be a huge nightmare for your average person to figure out what combination of policies would be in force.

Cigarettes are another one, around here we have a really high tax on them, much higher than the surrounding states. They do get smuggled in regularly without paying the relevant taxes to the state.

I know it's popular to suggest that marijuana isn't that bad, and perhaps it is. But that's really not a judgment to make until the facts are in. It's been less than 20 years since the more potent varieties have shown up, and it would be surprising if there were any reasonable conclusion for at least a decade or two. In cases like this the onus is always on the person that's arguing that it's safe. Basically because the harm of not doing is far less than the possible harm of doing in most cases.

Re:Shouldn't even be a question. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035035)

I know it's popular to suggest that marijuana isn't that bad, and perhaps it is. But that's really not a judgment to make until the facts are in. It's been less than 20 years since the more potent varieties have shown up, and it would be surprising if there were any reasonable conclusion for at least a decade or two. In cases like this the onus is always on the person that's arguing that it's safe. Basically because the harm of not doing is far less than the possible harm of doing in most cases.

Very true, and I'm glad you're arguing for a standard that clearly the US government applies to all other aspects of suspicious chemicals which might be entering our food ecosystem.

Re:Shouldn't even be a question. (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035183)

The federal government has always done more than that. In the case of drugs in general, you're fooling yourself if you believe that the effects are going to just stay in the state which legalizes.

So you mean that before the 18th amendment [wikipedia.org] , the federal government had jurisdiction on what kinds of drugs and alcohol could be sold within a state? I don't know about you, but since 1919 isn't "forever" in my book.

Basically because the harm of not doing is far less than the possible harm of doing in most cases.

You are in favor of banning behaviors that might be harmful to themselves? Why then would cigarettes be legal, which we know causes cancer and is highly addictive, and marijuana be a class 1 narcotic? Marijuana actually has some medical benefits.

You would also be in favor of outlawing grills (carcinogens in the food, the propane), ATVs, motorcycles, driving, smoking, alcohol, etc?

Sorry, I would rather decide for myself what I want to do, rather than have the government tell me.

I mean just look at fireworks as an example, those frequently cross state lines or leave reservations. If the feds weren't allowed to regulate that it would be a huge nightmare for your average person to figure out what combination of policies would be in force.

Sweet, so I can't drive from Denver to Wyoming to get fireworks that are illegal in Colorado?
Like any kind of firework that leave the ground, which is illegal [rockymountainnews.com] in Colorado?

Re:Shouldn't even be a question. (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035185)

<quote><p>In cases like this the onus is always on the person that's arguing that it's safe. Basically because the harm of not doing is far less than the possible harm of doing in most cases.</p></quote>

Bullshit. Freedom of choice is what the US was originally based on. The responsibility to make such choices should be the choice of the individual adult, not Big Brother. Quit trying to "purify" the world.

Re:Shouldn't even be a question. (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035207)

Marijuana was actually required to be grown by the original colonists, though not for its THC. Detailed outline of the legal history of marijuanain the US:

http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2003/12/22/whyIsMarijuanaIllegal.html

Illegal until proven safe? (1)

Combatjuan (693131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035231)

In cases like this the onus is always on the person that's arguing that it's safe. Basically because the harm of not doing is far less than the possible harm of doing in most cases.

Your posting history seems to indicate that you are a reasonable and intelligent person, so I have to assume that you mean something very specific by "cases like this". Because if "cases like this" is interpreted as even a somewhat general thing then you seem to be saying that by default any (physiologically altering?) substance should be illegal until it has been proven to be safe for several decades.

I think rather the opposite: that a substance should only be made illegal if it is proven to be harmful--and what is more, it should only be made illegal if it directly harms a person other than a person consenting to be harmed by it.

I'd like clarification on what cases you think should be illegal by default. Maybe you could suggest a blanket law that would define a class of things as illegal for intake until they are approved?

Disclaimer: I have never tried marijuana or any other illegal drug.

See parent (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034531)

Your MOM's a secret ACTA treaty!

Want transparency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034593)

If you want radical transparency [wikipedia.org] , then help build open source governance [metagovernment.org] . In only a few years, all of these stupid, anti-freedom "issues" could be easily resolved.

Democracy != Republic (0)

Slaytanic213 (800148) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034629)

Why use the wrong word for our form of government? Maybe that is the problem. Our Constitution is anti-democratic. And what did our founding fathers say about treaties? Well, the Republic was fun while it lasted.

Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a "world order" in which "the principles of justice and fair play ... protect the weak against the strong ..." A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfil the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations. President Bush's speech to Congress March 6, 1991

Re:Democracy != Republic (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034817)

Umm, technically ours would be a democratic republic. We don't vote on every issue, but we vote on many and the times when we don't vote on the issue we vote for the people that make the decision.

A republic does not require voting, Rome for example appointed people to their senate based purely on age, nothing more. They represented the people but the people weren't allowed to vote about anything.

Just because we're not in the model of the Athenian democracy, doesn't mean we aren't a type of democracy.

Who wants to bet... (3, Funny)

DustoneGT (969310) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034633)

That The Anointed One [barackobama.com] and Captain America [johnmccain.com] are both involved in this...

Re:Who wants to bet... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034971)

Involved how? Involved in the groups opposing it? (Somehow I doubt that was the direction you were going with this)

Stupid citizens (3, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25034705)

Citizens Demand To See Secret ACTA Treaty

It wouldn't be secret if you could see it, now would it. Now be patriotic and buy some $16 CDs. Otherwise Bin Laden wins!!!

Property rights trump human rights in the USA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25034831)

The founding fathers set up the country based on this assertion. That's why we have a representative democracy and not a direct democracy. The federal government was designed by the founding fathers protect the privileged few from the tyranny of the majority. Madison and Hamilton were the chief proponents of this form of democracy.

This is also why when you write your senators and congressmen about restrictive copyright laws or anything having to to with suggestions to reform property rights, you find most of them do not want to support your cause in any way whatsoever. They would have too much to lose if they were to support change.

The only way this will get fixed is either with a constitutional convention where we rewrite the constitution, or a revolution where the current US government is dissolved. Nether of these two things is very likely to happen.

The best thing you can to to reject the restrictions is vote with your wallet and not buy those things subject to such restrictions. This has and will probably always be the American way of checking these restrictions.

 

Re:Property rights trump human rights in the USA (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035157)

Happen to have any source on that? I'm pretty sure that property rights are considered a human right, but I don't think the one trumps the other.

I'm speaking of how I think things are, not of how things ought to be. Given I'm on slashdot it should be clear I'm a raving anti-imaginary property zealot.

treaty (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035297)

i got a copy right here...oh, you mean the original?

What about the *really* secret treaties? (2, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25035935)

Because the public knows about ACTA, means that they can try to do something about it.

What about the secret treaties, of which we know nothing?

They might be trying to ban civilian use of tinfoil, or something like that.

The lack of MSM reports on this is Damning. (5, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036137)

I just did a google news search, and nobody outside the ars technica/slashdot crowd has stories listed for this.

The fact that such a huge coalition is being ignored by CNN, NBC, ABC, REUTERS, et. al. shows how deeply these news agencies are buried under the thumb of the media cartels.

Positively disgusting.

I don't get it- secret laws still exist in the US? (2, Insightful)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25036411)

How is it possible that citizens must comply with laws that they cannot know because they're secret? (see also: papersplease.org [papersplease.org] ).

Also, how can this still be called a "democracy" when those people, who are supposedly holding the power, are not allowed to know what their so-called representatives are doing?

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