"Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all."
by:
Michael Rivero
(1952- ) Composer, production engineer
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wow, said very well
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    And we see it all around us. And, it takes great courage to stand against it. Even the strongest falter.Time eats away at the man who fights it.
     -- anon, anon     
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     -- Elwood S. Grant, Richmond Corner      
    the quote has some truth but fails to tell the whole story. In the US the government is us. Generally speaking us is a fair and just entity but of course errors occurr and attempts at putting our best foot forward and leaving the other behind are made. Individuals often want to dwell on the errors rather than the successes. Taking the Tillman affair for example, a sad case inddeed. While we have put al qaeda and the Taliban on the run, one of our most famous fighters gets killed by an error of our own, friendly fire. The military and the White House tries to drag this foot behind and continue the best foot forward mentality. In this case I think "they" W should have found a better way of handling it. When a person makes mistakes in the process of doing a job for you but corrects them do you look at the mistakes or the final correctly completed job. We are not perfect thus are government is not perfect but as Churchill said it is the best ever conceived - democracy that is!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    "Most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker" but it works pretty well with folks like Waffler. This is one great quote.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    This aphorism may be the clearest, the most well written summary of the most important problem with government. Wow. I think it would be even more powerful if the last sentence was removed. It is not wrong, it just makes the reader wonder if government is that smart. That question distracts from the impact of the main point. Walt
     -- Walter Clark, Fullerton California     
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    Waffler, I'd say the reason there was no interest in your post is because everybody is sick and tired of your petty responses when it comes to democracy vs Republic
     -- Anon     
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     -- Nick      
    A well explained reason why people put up with a corrupt and lying government. I think whatever department has put Waffler on its payroll to 'debunk' arguments for liberty should find a more intelligent replacement... he brings a new meaning to the word 'stooge.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    "but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all."...A more accurate description would be hard to find.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    This is exactly what's been going on in this country since the 60's. I think the Tea Party phenomena is the first inklings that America is waking up and is sick and tired of the same old crap. They have even put Republicans on notice that their feet will be held to the fire and they will not be able to masquerade as conservatives while they are actually liberals. No more RINOs.
     -- GunnyCee, Durham     
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    Anon get use to it I will argue the Republic vs Democray dichotomy (look it up) tell Hell Freezes Over. That there are still people who think there is a dichotomy is amazing to me. America is a republic that is a democracy, North Korea is a republic that is a dictatorship, Get a new vocabulary Anon. If it weren't for me you guys would only be kissing each others derrieres all day. Is that what you are really looking for in a blog site. Why not just stayed tuned to Rush all day and keep your mouths shut, and you might be better off and happy thinking all the world thinks like. Well they don't and November will prove it. The Tea Party candidates have already gone down in flames in many primaries. Lets face it when Obama won you all decided to be miserable for the length of his term. Well you have a year and a half to go at minimum and I would bet more like 5 and 1/2 years.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." -- Constitution for the United States, Art. IV, 1789. The word 'democracy' does not appear in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or any State Constitution. "The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind." -- Jefferson, 1790. The Electoral College proves that the USA is NOT a democracy -- yes, there is voting in a republican government, but some things are not within the jurisdiction of the government to vote on, like the inalienable rights of humankind. Anon, I think it would be more helpful to your argument to not call the USA 'a republic' but that the 'form of government is republican' -- there is a difference as the word 'republic' is used by many communist countries as well. It should be remembered, though, that 'republics' within the USA include the sovereign States (like the 'California Republic'). A republican form of government is administered by our fellow man to mutually protect each others rights and property strictly limited by Law and not the passions of majorities. The American republican form of government is an attempt to balance the traditional political powers of a nation, that is monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical -- either one on their own is a form of despotism, and no matter how we try, we cannot get rid of one or place one above the other -- all these powers must be balanced and limited by the rights of the sovereign individuals who have chartered their own government. All of politics is one of these classes trying to overpower the other. Until the consciousness of humankind evolves to more enlightened levels, the form of our governments must be one that strictly limits what these power houses can do. We have not given them carte blanche, no matter how much they say we have. The power-hungry must be kept in check, and to blindly trust one's political party and their minions is foolish -- another reason why America should never fully embrace complete democracy, as the poorer masses will eventually vote away the property of their betters and thus prevent true republican governance. Marx was all for democracy, for this very reason. Essentially, the US has become a one-party system, and that is exactly what communism was all about.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The guarantee is to the States, not to the Federal Government. The goverment granted to the Feds, is what The Constitution says and no where does it say that a repbulican form is guaranteed to the Feds. What is guaranteed to the Feds is a President, Senate, House, and Supreme Court etc. The Feds do via the FBI constanly investigate, indict, and prosecute, political crimes in the States to insure that a republican form continues there. There has never been a State King or dynasty ever extablished in a state or city. Thus the republican form, that is a form "of, by, and for the people" has continued to this day. "Of, by, and for" is also the definition of democracy. The USA is a republic that is a democracy and under the Constitution its political subdivisons must tow that line. The words republic and democracy are not at all opposites.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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     -- Roland, Bonner's Ferry      
    Wrong, Waffler. The Constitution is a charter by the People, not the government. The Constitution is the rule book for our servant government who are nothing more than other people with no more rights than ordinary citizens. The Constitution stipulates the terms of their employment and duties. The Constitution is NOT the rule book for the People -- in fact, the federal government's jurisdiction has not been extended within the states themselves.

    Can we please just acknowledge that we vote in elections for various government positions, and government processes include voting on issues to move them forward or not, and let us also acknowledge that not everything is up for vote. The distinction to make is the 'jurisdiction' of the officials -- they have only the regulating power chartered for them within the confines of their limited jurisdiction.

    A pure democracy would in fact be mob rule, right? Whatever the majority says goes, right? Obviously that is not the case in America, right? SO what limits what people can vote on? The inalienable rights of humankind. And the thing that makes America different than all the rest of the world is that in our Declaration of Independence we assert that our rights are in born -- they are not granted by others, they are innate and inseparable from the dignity and nobility of the common man/woman. It is that assertion and the power to defend it that has protected the Liberty of the American people. Despite the group-think that Waffler spouts that would have us all subject to a 'democratic' King and council, the Founders never envisioned such an arrangement. Waffler's idea of fairness, equality and democracy is the power to vote to away the property of the productive to give it to others (usually the voters) -- THAT is democracy alright!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The inherent ability for some to Fly Right. Instilled by our Creator, within their every fiber. To be Free, and the desire, seeking knowledge of his mindedness. Not all birds are the same. Nor are the trees of righteousness, planted in the Creators garden. Natural law exposes the harmony of this like mindedness. " I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. " Hebrews 8:10. With that being said. Conscience, a moral guide, also a convicting power of the eternal Spirit of Truth. Judgment can be slow to come, nevertheless Divine Providence moves us forward to the awakening of all those likeminded in the garden. There are 13 steps on the pyramid, the guiding eye of God, spoken of by king David, the 14 level, hope. Hebrews being the fourteenth. " That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to law hold upon the hope set before us: Which Hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil. Hebrews 6:18,19. Set At Liberty.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    http://www.democracy-building.info/definition-democracy.html
    The above site will give you a basic understanding of Democracy ( from the Greek meaning People Power). You all have a somewhat correct interpretation, including Waffler.

    THE PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY
    Sovereignty of the people.
    Government based upon consent of the governed.
    Majority rule.
    Minority rights.
    Guarantee of basic human rights.
    Free and fair elections.
    Equality before the law.
    Due process of law.
    Constitutional limits on government.
    Social, economic, and political pluralism.
    Values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise.
    Yours comments on the definition and the pillars would be most welcomed.
    It's for my thesis on the subject:
    "What is Democracy"

     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    I think it would be a good idea to leave "God" out of this discussion.... Just a thought....
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Sorry, O forgot to include the source for the pillars.
    http://www.ait.org.tw/infousa/zhtw/docs/whatsdem/whatdm2.htm

     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Robert. Most of your pillars (enumerated list) are anti-democracy.

    1) Sovereignty for example is an issue related to individuals uniquely (not a majority or minority). The representation (body politic) of / by/ from / for the individual sovereign is not to the person but rather, to the inalienable rights of each individual sovereign. Each individual is different (needs, wants, abilities, etc.) while the rights stay the same and are all equal before the law. When the term "people" is used, it is for the purpose of convenience - individuals united.
    2) Government based upon consent of the governed / majority / minority still has the inorganic phantasm (the body politic) greater than the organic individual sovereign.
    3) Democracy only looks at the forest, not any individual tree thus denying any guarantee of basic human rights.
    4) as to free and fair elections, I think Lysander Spooner said it well; A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years
    5) A true pillar of democracy is a tyrannical oligarchy which is antithetical to equality before the law.
    6) Social, economic and political pluralism are religious imperatives that may be incorporated into a democracy but are in all practical applications, antithetical to freedom, law, liberty and justice.

    That didn't really address all your points but scratching the surface, I hope that helps.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Robert, you have to define 'democracy' before being able to define its pillars. What is meant by 'democracy'? A democratic government? Also, in defining what democracy is, you could also define what it isn't -- what isn't up for vote?

    We may not have to mention God, but we do have to define the source of power -- if for example government is to regulate energy, what energy is within its jurisdiction? Can the democracy tax the Sun? Where does the democracy gets its authority? The founders referred to our Creator, Providence, and Nature's God as that source of All, especially Life which does not come from man.

    Most importantly, what is the philosophy of democracy when it comes to the rights of mankind? Where do your rights come from? How many votes does it take to overrule the consent of an individual? If I believe the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one, do I have a right to compel you to sacrifice yourself for the good of the many? Do individuals need permission from the democracy to act? What specifically is the due process of someone accused of committing a crime?

    At first glance, your list more resembles the principles of republican government, except that your definitions of majority rule, minority rights, and human rights are lacking. It should be noted that when the elements are defined such that the democracy is the grantor and provider of rights and power, you simply have the pillars of democratic despotism -- otherwise known as progressive communism.

    There are no minority rights -- there are only rights for all. There are no entitlements in this life -- you cannot vote yourself power over others to cushion the realities of one's decisions. There are many opportunities, however, to not just get by, but to be very productive without exploiting others. Equality before the law, but we will never be equal in ability, knowledge, and power. That is life.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Robert, you would do best to look to the principles of the Common Law and the Rights of Man. From out of your associations with others, you will have the opportunity to contribute, speak your voice, and vote on issues relevant to the group. I know you have been wronged by church and state growing up, but the solution is not more 'social work.' It is wholly about personal Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. You want compassion? Give it! And maybe you will notice that you are not the only one. Learn what it means to be a responsible and PRODUCTIVE member of society. What are you producing? What are you bringing to the party that gives the rest some sustenance? No animal on Earth may shirk its responsibility for providing for itself and its offspring -- that is a natural law. Learn the way of the Common Law -- THAT is the only real path of tolerance, equality, diversity, and sovereignty of the people.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler, the government is not us and has not been us since before the war between the States (that in large part is what the war was about). The statist theocracy infesting this land is in toto alien to 'We The People'. The national establishment of religion's police state administrations is described well by Lysander Spooner's statement: "A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years." Compelled compliance, governmental license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (2nd plank of the communist manifesto, mandatory tithes associated to property, forced insurance defrayments, usurpation of perfected allodium,etc., etc., etc.) and non-recognition of individual sovereign's inalienable rights are but a few examples of the god/state master over the individual helot/serf/slave's caste status.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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