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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

iserlohn Re:House of Lords? (195 comments)

So who is whipping up the fevour? More likely than not it is people with money and connections.

Democracy allows government to be directed by the mob. Who controls the mob controls the government. That's the whole problem with campaign finance and lobbying in the US. In such a system, the politicians in government are only puppets servings moneyed interests. These are the people funneling money into lobbying and the political machine (e.g. Koch brothers) or controls the press (think Murdoch and Fox news).

It is blindingly obvious that it is not the people in government that calls the shots, it's the people that have the money to get the people in government.

8 hours ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

iserlohn Re:House of Lords? (195 comments)

The House of Lords is a vestige political body with only powers to delay legislation, but because it is unelected (as of yet), it actually serves a very useful function in British politics.

Montesquieu, whose political theories heavily influenced America's founding fathers (especially regarding the balances of powers in government, which he greatly admired in the British government at the time), also supported hereditary aristocracy. In any case, most of the House of Lords are not longer hereditary peers, as life peers are now the norm.

The reason an aristocracy is *sometimes* desirable in government is that they do not have to answer to the whims of the masses as they are not elected. The political fervour that is whipped up in the populace, from security theatre / war on terror, the war on drugs, etc, takes a life of its own in a pure democracy. The idea is that you with an aristocracy, the actors can take a long term view and can judge and react independent of popular sentiment.

The British parliamentary system actually contains elements of three different types of government - Monarchy (constitutional, providing the head of state which is apolitical), aristocracy (the House of Lords comprises of hereditary peers and also life peers appointed for certain accomplishments), and democracy (the House of Commons). The House of Commons, as the constitution currently stands, holds all of the cards, but the House of Lords (and to a lesser extent, the Crown) also serves to temper the populist nature of the politics in the House of Commons.

As the government is formed by the biggest party in the Commons, the executive is formed by the biggest party in the legislature, it is no surprise that the British system is more productive politically - it rarely ends in gridlock like the US government. If it does (the government losing confidence of the Parliament), then new elections are called to end the gridlock. Arguably, if America adopted this system, it would be a huge step forward. This also points to a major advantage of a system with a unwritten constitution - the political system can gradually evolve, whereas in countries with written constitutions (such as the US), it is much more difficult for better or for worse.

9 hours ago
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China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

iserlohn Re:Make-work Project? (218 comments)

It's what they have always done. The candidates you get to chose however are all from the same party, or officially blessed.

Haven't you heard of all that stuff going on in Hong Kong, how Beijing previously promised direct elections for the Chief Exec via Universal Sufferage in 2017, and just recently then they announced that all candidates have to be vetted by the 1200-person "Election Committee" stacked with pro-Beijing representatives? That caused ~500k people to take the streets and protest in Hong Kong.

about a week ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

iserlohn Re:Here we go... (454 comments)

To get our attention.

The GP even said that explicitly.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re: Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

No, we call them the rich and powerful. They are usually in positions powerful positions in the private sector that influence government through money.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Actually, your point was addressed multiple times. A barebones government would be more influenced by vested interests, not less.

We don't need big government nor small government. We need smart government and we need to put in the right regulations to ensure that power is distributed and kept in check for the common good.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Um, that's why we have the rule of law to protect fundamental rights and a democratic process to ensure accountability.

There's several reasons why we have elections in our representative democracy. To elect a dictator is not one of them. The problem is that this system has been thoroughly polarised and distorted due to the amount of money that has been thrown at this process.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

No, (democratic) government requires constant upkeep and attention by its citizen in order to work properly. That's the idea that libertarians like you don't (and actively try not to) understand, and hence undermine.

You're so focused on promoting your own little ideology, that you forget about the big agenda. People like you is what caused the whole federal government to shut down and nearly ruined the global financial system.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

You just described why the existing system of lobbying (and corporate influence) is bad. The government should be a "referee" on the other powerful interests, with power that is derived from the "people".

The best way to do this is to limit the amount of money that individuals and corporations can use to influence the result of elections.

A corporate free-for-all will not lead to a better society. We had that back in the Victorian era and it sucked.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Which is why we should keep government in check of its mandate (ie. accountability), but also to be powerful enough to be a useful counterbalance to all of the other powerful actors in our society.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

With regards to corruption, the rule of law and good government goes hand-in-hand.

That's also why it's sometimes important to have certain basic rights immutable - it prevents populist but abusive policies and mob rule in general.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Just because you don't agree with everything the system represents, doesn't mean that the system is broken beyond repair.

I mean, you probably disagree with your mom on many things as well. The fact is that in life, you don't always get your way. You need to live and get along with other people.

Libertarians pretend that everybody can live inside their own little bubble (they can't, society as we know it breaks down, and actors will come in an fill the power vacuum).

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

So being in a facist (or libertarian) oligarchy with no accountability is better than being in a social democracy with many services provided by a government which is accountable?

Regulations are there for a purpose - for example, the FDA was created to save lives. Over regulation is stifling and encourages rent-seeking behavior, but under-regulation cause us to revert back to the previous, non-desirable state. So we need to find a balance.

As you said, the current system is breaking down, but not because of the system itself. It's because it hasn't been maintained. As citizens we should be more involved in ensuring that the system is kept in check, and that powerful interests, both private and public, is kept in the balance.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

There will always be people in power. That's why good government attempts to balance this power so that the result is beneficial to society as a whole.

Power concentrated in the hands of organisations such as multi-national corporations (or even less omniscient entities such as car dealership networks) is no better than being in the hands of an autocratic and abusive regime.

For us in the developed world, at least we have some sort of say over policies implemented by a government which is in theory accountable to the people. Why not improve this system so that is is *more* accountable? Rather than advocating for it's dissolution and letting someone (e.g. private actors, which will always be less accountable) fill in the power vacuum?

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

iserlohn Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (533 comments)

Pretty much the most insightful post on this topic as of yet.

Objectivitism (i.e. Aynd Rand) is basically a pipe dream similar to Communism. Human nature dictates that those with power will always try to exploit the weak. The basic tenants of good government is to balance this equation in favor of the common good.

about two weeks ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

iserlohn Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

In terms of crime figures, yes, but they do definitely poison the debate on sensible measures to ensure that guns have responsible people as owners.

about 2 months ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

iserlohn Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

Furthermore, I wasn't really focusing on the actual killing by fringe anti-government elements, but the very presence of these people in the debate and their rather extreme attitude poisons the discussion around guns.

These people are of the type that believe more guns actually decrease gun crime. That's an absurd position that is proven to be wrong study after study.

about 2 months ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

iserlohn Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

You are right. To put things in perspective though, the requirement to keep ammunition centrally at the armoury is relatively recent (2007), and even before, gun crime in Switzerland is relatively rare.

about 2 months ago

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