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Old 01-07-2004, 05:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tyranny in the New World.

I was looking for info on the movie Salo and came upon this page. It's a comprehensive history of all acts of censorship, tyranny on both sides of the fence(PC and un-PC), and murder of innocents in N. America and the USA since the 1500s. I thought it interesting and so post it for you to see. I can't verify the accuracy of the information but the sheer volume of it makes it interesting and you could always research something yourself if you doubt its validity. All text so it's SFW.


http://members.aol.com/wdwylie/index.html
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Old 01-09-2004, 03:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well documented but prone to contradictions in some points...most glaringly the statement that "America has descended into a condition of slavery." I don't know what definition the author using, but I can't see how any of the "human rights infractions" of which he speaks can compare to the brutal conditions of slavery in the Old South or anywhere else on the globe for that matter.

On the other hand, he is right that in comparison, we are restricted much more in our freedoms than most of the inhabitants of Western Europe.
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
we are restricted much more in our freedoms than most of the inhabitants of Western Europe.
Economically speaking, we are MUCH more free in the US (e.g., lower levels of government confiscation of wages, decent respect for private property). However, I assume you're speaking of civil liberties.

I'd love to hear how Western Europe is "more free" than the US. . .and please give specifics!
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Old 01-09-2004, 10:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A few specifics:

Lowered legalized drinking ages
Legalized prostotution (not in all countries)
Legalized drugs (also not all countries)
Socially, sex is more accpeted instead of taboo, especially at younger ages when kids need to learn about sex instead of being told to not do it.

There are drawbacks in many countries as well, like in Spain you can go to jail for picking an orange, anti-Nazi laws in Germany, ect

Freedom of speech is the greatest American freedom not shared by many places in the world, IMO.
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Old 01-09-2004, 11:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: The Netherlands
Quote:
Originally posted by madp
Economically speaking, we are MUCH more free in the US (e.g., lower levels of government confiscation of wages, decent respect for private property). However, I assume you're speaking of civil liberties.
Er... the government does not "confiscate" your wages. You pay taxes, which are then used to help the country as a whole, which is also good for you personally. I could never quite figure out that many Yanks have against their supposed high tax rate... it's *nothing* compared to Europe. But then, in my country, that money is spend on social benefits, universal health-care, good (nearly free) schooling, construction of vital infrastructure, etc. etc.

As for the respect for private property: can you give me some examples where this respect is better in the US than in Western-Europe?

TheKak: the examples of extreme laws in Spain and Germany can be compared to extreme laws in many US states and/or counties. But the anti-nazi thing in Germany makes sense, given their history.

Finally, the freedom of speech thing: in many places in Europe, freedom of speech is also very important, *but* sometimes this freedom infringes on other people's freedoms; then it's not allowed. In our country, that means you cannot make discriminatory remarks. I happen to agree with that idea.

Last edited by Dragonlich; 01-09-2004 at 11:17 PM..
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Old 01-10-2004, 07:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dragonlich
In our country, that means you cannot make discriminatory remarks. I happen to agree with that idea.
To what degree is anti-discrimination speech law enforced, and to what degree do you agree with it? If someone sets up a discriminatory website, for example sandnigger.nl which contains material which Arabs living in the netherlands would find offensive, would your government shut it down? How about a public gathering of religious types, talking about how homosexuality is an abomination? Would they be dispersed with tear-gas?

I firmly believe that for every wacko extremist nutcase that free speech law protects, there are hundreds of every-day individuals who benefit. I'm willing to have to suffer through the painful emotional torment () of walking past a gathering of Rev. Phelps's, in order to guarantee the fact that tomorrow I can gather there to rally for conceal/carry law, or what have you.
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by madp
lower levels of government confiscation of wages
Oliver Wendell Holmes put it best when he said that "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
TheKak wrote:
Lowered legalized drinking ages
Legalized prostotution (not in all countries)
Legalized drugs (also not all countries)
Socially, sex is more accpeted instead of taboo, especially at younger ages when kids need to learn about sex instead of being told to not do it.
I agree that these are bad laws. Prostitution and drug possession should be legal, and the legal drinking age should begin as soon as an individual is legally culpable as an adult (18).

However, the right to bear arms is a unique and important liberty; the specific right to practice religion without government interference is important; as someone previously alluded to, the right to publicly criticize or champion a political movement is more highly protected in the US.

These liberties are, in my estimation, much more important than prostitution and the drinking age. The drug issue is another story, of course (to which thousands of US prisoners can attest).

Quote:
Dragonlich wrote:
Er... the government does not "confiscate" your wages. You pay taxes, which are then used to help the country as a whole, which is also good for you personally. I could never quite figure out that many Yanks have against their supposed high tax rate... it's *nothing* compared to Europe. But then, in my country, that money is spend on social benefits, universal health-care, good (nearly free) schooling, construction of vital infrastructure, etc. etc.
The government <i>does</i> confiscate my wages. If I refuse to pay my taxes, they will come take my property away from me at gunpoint if necessary, and will send me to jail. That is confiscation.

Now, I do agree with the notion that the government must collect a certain amount in taxes to provide the necessary defense, security, and infrastructure to the country's citizens and businesses. However, the question of "to what degree" is key here.

The US government (or I should say, politicians) collect much more in taxes than is needed to provide its citizens with the basics. The rest is squandered on programs designed more to buy votes from affected citizens than to effectively deliver services.

This is not "good" for me. This is a pilfering of my private property for the purpose of providing giveaways to people who most often don't really need it. And, it has the end effect of undermining my ability to provide financial security for my immediate family and generations of my family to come. (When I speak of wealth, I don't mean to imply decadent consumerism. I equate the accumulation of wealth with providing safety and security for my family. The more resources I can provide for my family, the more secure they will be).

In a word, excessive taxes effectively prevent the masses from ever obtaining true wealth, and thus true power. Whether intended or not, this effect of excessive taxation ensure that common citizens tend to rise to the ranks of middle class, and then hit a glass ceiling.

Western Europe's tax systems are even more oppressive. That's why most truly gifted, visionary industrialists have moved to the US from Western Europe (as well as the rest of the world), and that's why the US is the dominant economic and military force in the world. Lower taxes decrease the burden to grow businesses, and thus create jobs, and create markets for goods and services.

Essentially, I believe that Western Europe has made themselves economically and militarily dependent on the US by driving away their best economic minds through excessive government regulation and oppressive taxation.

Western Europe, by and large, has superior grade-school and intermediate education (the US public education system is abysmal), but US universities are among the best in the world (again, usually due to funding and the support of private industry), and anyone in the US can obtain funding to attend the university of their choice.

HOWEVER, the practice of medicine in Europe and Canada is 10 years behind the US. Socialized medicine stymies cutting-edge care and advancement. If you like it in your country, fine. I prefer to have more effective procedures that I pay for than inferior procedures that are free.

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is this: the idea that what the government does with you money (taxes) benefits you is HIGHLY debatable, and in most cases is just plain wrong when you really examine the details.

In the US, the government has proven to be the LEAST cost-effective, efficient, and successful entity at providing practically services when compared to the private sector. <b>It is ridiculous for the government to forcibly take my money away to do a bad job of providing an unneccessary service to a group of citizens who are capable of providing for themselves in the first place. </b>

Anyway, I'm done ranting for now. I usually try to be more scholarly and provide citations, but I'm avoiding a pile of work right now. . .
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Old 01-10-2004, 01:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: The Netherlands
Quote:
Originally posted by madp
In the US, the government has proven to be the LEAST cost-effective, efficient, and successful entity at providing practically services when compared to the private sector. <b>It is ridiculous for the government to forcibly take my money away to do a bad job of providing an unneccessary service to a group of citizens who are capable of providing for themselves in the first place. </b>
Just one of many counter-examples: public transport... In the Netherlands, the train system used to be government-controlled, and it used to be very good. Now, it's run as a private business, and it's getting worse all the time. An extreme example of where it *could* go would be the UK, where the whole train system is rotten to the core.

The private sector is about making money, which can be a bad thing when applied to certain services.

You cite health care as an example: you prefer the US system, where you have to pay a lot to get state-of-the-art care. This essentially means that poorer people cannot afford top-notch health care and will have to make do with bad doctors and bad help, if they can afford it at all. I prefer the Dutch system, where *everyone* can get good care, no matter what their income is.

Quote:
Originally posted by seretogis
To what degree is anti-discrimination speech law enforced, and to what degree do you agree with it? If someone sets up a discriminatory website, for example sandnigger.nl which contains material which Arabs living in the netherlands would find offensive, would your government shut it down? How about a public gathering of religious types, talking about how homosexuality is an abomination? Would they be dispersed with tear-gas?
anti-discrimination laws are enforced quite rigidly. If someone objects to a certain website, newspaper article, or anything else for that matter, they can (and do) complain. If the charges are serious enough, the judicial system *will* act. The problem we do run into is this: we have freedom from discrimination, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion (amongst many others) --- now, which of these is more important???

For example, about two years ago, a Muslim cleric declared that gay people were sick. This led to a HUGE outcry all over the country, and to a judicial inquiry. The judge eventually decided that this remark was protected by his freedom of religion. And this then raises the following question: if *I* were to say it, being the atheist that I am, would I be fined, even though *he* was allowed to say it? If I were, I'd be discriminated against by the judge/law, based on my (lack of) religion!

I firmly believe this guy should have been fined, no matter what his excuse was - freedom of religion, to me, is less important than the freedom from discrimination. Either that, or the whole anti-discrimination law should be scrapped, so that we can all insult each other. (I prefer the first option, FYI)
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Old 01-10-2004, 01:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
This essentially means that poorer people cannot afford top-notch health care and will have to make do with bad doctors and bad help, if they can afford it at all. I prefer the Dutch system, where *everyone* can get good care, no matter what their income is.
Everyone in the US does get state of the art healthcare, regardless of income level.

For people in poverty, they have state-run Medicaid. Their healthcare and medicine is completely paid for, and they have the same access to healthcare as privately insured individuals.

For people who are disabled or retired, we have Medicare. It pays for healthcare costs, but not prescription drugs. Those who can't afford to pay cash for their drugs can get them for free through patient assistance programs, and through applying for Medicaid prescription benefits. In April, Medicare will begin providing prescription drugs as well.

Those who slip through the cracks get free treatment through any hospital emergency room or charity hospital in the country.

Again, it doesn't matter if they need $10,000/ month in chemotherapy medicine, or a $400,000 liver transplant, the poor and the wealthy are equally entitled.

The "lack of access" argument is not true.

Quote:
Just one of many counter-examples: public transport... In the Netherlands, the train system used to be government-controlled, and it used to be very good. Now, it's run as a private business, and it's getting worse all the time. An extreme example of where it *could* go would be the UK, where the whole train system is rotten to the core.
Well, again, with the excessive taxation and government regulation in Britain and other Western European countries, it does not suprise me that private enterprises have a tougher time running the show than when it comes to public transportation. If the government dictates how many trains must run to each area for a capped price, private industry is likely to fail. If they untie their hands an let them run it like a true business, you may have different results.

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Old 01-10-2004, 02:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by madp
Everyone in the US does get state of the art healthcare, regardless of income level.

...

Those who slip through the cracks get free treatment through any hospital emergency room or charity hospital in the country.
There are over 40 million Americans without health insurance, those who make too much money to be covered by Medicaid, but not enough discretionary income to actually pay for it. They do, in fact turn to emergency rooms for care, usually when their diseases/injuries have gotten so bad they can't work.

Oh yeah, and it's NOT free, either. Hospitals frequently charge 3-4 times more their uninsured than they do to insurance companies, thanks to deals worked out by those companies.
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Old 01-11-2004, 01:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: The Netherlands
Quote:
Originally posted by madp
Well, again, with the excessive taxation and government regulation in Britain and other Western European countries, it does not suprise me that private enterprises have a tougher time running the show than when it comes to public transportation. If the government dictates how many trains must run to each area for a capped price, private industry is likely to fail. If they untie their hands an let them run it like a true business, you may have different results.
Yeah, that must be it. It can't possibly be that private enterprises may not always be the right solution.

In the UK, the government basically did what you say - untie their hands. The result: utter chaos, with passengers being lucky if trains run at all. (Trust me; been there, done that, waited for hours.)

In my country, the government did not untie the hands completely, and the trains are still quite good. However, if the hands were to be untied, we'd see the train services in some areas of the country disappear entirely. And frankly, given that prospect, I prefer the current "inefficient" situation over your "private industry" solution.

I think this whole argument boils down to one thing, and one thing only: you feel that your government is a stealing, cheating, inefficient POS, and I feel that my government is doing it's best to make my life better. The whole outlook is different, which leads to different views on this subject.

FYI, I also support the Dutch tax system, where rich people pay more taxes, so that poor people may get enough money to survive. I gather from your remarks that you don't.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Sparhawk wrote:
Oh yeah, and it's NOT free, either. Hospitals frequently charge 3-4 times more their uninsured than they do to insurance companies, thanks to deals worked out by those companies.
But they have no legal means for forcing payment of these "debts." Hospitals issue the bills even though they know they'll never get paid so that they can write them off at the end of the fiscal year. Again, the poor are treated (and billed) with the full knowledge that payment for the services will never be recovered.


Quote:
Dragonlich wrote:
Yeah, that must be it. It can't possibly be that private enterprises may not always be the right solution.
I never said that. I am just asserting that private business is by and large MUCH MUCH more efficient than a government-run business. In cases where private business has done a poor job, it is usually due to government regulation or interference.

My point is that the government control of a service should be a last resort stop-gap, not the first option. Yet, many politicians have figured out that they can buy votes with government giveaways, so reason flies out the window in most cases.

With public transportation, you have a business in which customers complain if you ask them to pay market value for the service, they complain if money-losing route isn't provided the same service as a money-making route, and they complain if the system doesn't run like a Swiss watch. The Brits, to my recollection, required non-profitable routes to be maintained and had very strict limits on pricing.

In considering the tax sytem of the Dutch, Dragon, I would ask you this:

are you taxed less because of the "rich" being taxed progressively higher rates? In other words, do you and your family benefit (i.e., pay fewer taxes and enjoy more free services) as a result of the progressive tax rate? If so, I can understand why you like it. I can't see how, in your heart of hearts, you genuinely feel that it is a fair deal for those who have worked hard and achieved wealth only to have it re-distributed, though.

In the US, the Democrats call me "rich" though I am far from it, and they want to tax me accordingly. Everytime a Democrat comes into office, they take more of my money. Every time someone cuts my taxes, the Dems claim that it is a "tax cut for the rich." Total BS.
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Old 01-11-2004, 01:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by madp
Economically speaking, we are MUCH more free in the US (e.g., lower levels of government confiscation of wages, decent respect for private property). However, I assume you're speaking of civil liberties.

I'd love to hear how Western Europe is "more free" than the US. . .and please give specifics!
Here's Swedens:
http://www.sweden.se/templates/FactSheet____3952.asp

http://www.sweden.se/templates/FactSheet____3927.asp

About taxes: You usually pay 30%-50% income tax. We have a thing called "social insurance" though... ( http://www.sweden.se/templates/FactSheet____3978.asp ) and according to this site ( http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/2002/olympic/indicators.htm ) we're doing pretty good.

I'm happy with the way it is.

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Old 01-11-2004, 02:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey, I LOVE Sweden. . .mostly because they made the wonderful Volvo S70 GLT SE that my lovely wife drives.

Seriously, my point was not to bash Western Europe. Only to point out that the US has equal civil liberties and more economic liberties than most European countries. It is different, and this difference has both plusses and minuses. However, I strongly believe that the strengths these differences provide are the key to US prosperity (and by proxy, the prosperity of the entire free world), and that it would be a tragic mistake for the US to try to emmulate Western European socialist systems.

And again, for those who are happy with a 50% tax rate, I have to ask: are you the one PAYING the 50%, or are you the one getting the free services because someone else had to pay 50%?
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Old 01-11-2004, 03:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by madp

And again, for those who are happy with a 50% tax rate, I have to ask: are you the one PAYING the 50%, or are you the one getting the free services because someone else had to pay 50%?
I only make enough to pay 30%. It's income-based really. And everyone who is a Swedish citizen gets the "free" services. (I don't view them as free, since we pay for them via taxes)
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Old 01-11-2004, 04:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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What is the range of income for someone who is taxed at the 50% level, if I may ask?
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Old 01-11-2004, 05:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I would like to point out that we have an INCOME tax, not a wealth tax. There is a VAST difference.
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Old 01-12-2004, 01:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: The Netherlands
Madp, the income tax is progressive, meaning that people making more than X pay higher taxes for every Euro above X. They still make tons of money, only less than they would have had with (say) a flat tax. I for one pay some 35% taxes, which is on the lower side of things. I do get some benefits, but not many; I could probably be considered lower-middle-class.

Suppose I get a new and better job, where I earn 3 times the current amount (not unrealistic for me, I might add). I'd then be paying more taxes, but I'd still have more money than I do now. And I already have a positive balance every month...
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Old 01-12-2004, 05:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I understand the concept of a progressive income tax. It's the current model used by the US as well.

Having a positive balance is great. However, the idea that there is something excessive or decadent about growing wealth, and that we should only concern ourselves with what we need right now, is a preposterous and dangerous idea.

Wealth provides more security and safety in the modern world. Wealth breeds new jobs and new prosperity for real, every day people who come from peasant-class ancestry and have fought and clawed their way to a middle class status over multiple generations (as, I assume, most of us did). Excessive taxation keeps the middle class entrenched in their current economic status. It's tied to government's natural and perverse need to perpetuate its own power, imo.

But I digress. . .


In spite of everyone's apparent pleasure in paying high Eurpean tax rates, my point is that the U.S. offers <i> a little</i> more economic liberty in terms of the amount of your money the government confiscates for "the common good."
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