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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Location: USA
tim851 wrote:
I can only speak for Germany where the specific parties forbidden are the NSDAP, the attempted rebrand SRD and the Communist Party. The NSDAP was forbidden by the Allied Council which included the United States. The latter two were banned because they were in breach of a German law (Art. 20 GG) perpetuating the republic, democracy and the social welfare state - a law which was formulated on experiences made in 1933 and encouraged by said Allied Council. The whole GG had to be approved by the Allied Powers as well. So they were essentially deemed "unconstitutional".

In the United States, no political party of any kind can be banned, per se. The US Supreme Court ruled (based on the Constitution) that one can only be prosecuted for what you do, not what you believe (however, conspiracy to commit a crime, even before a crime is actually committed, is illegal). If Germany today bans certain parities, that is none of my business, and has nothing to do with the US. I don't presume to know what is best for other countries.

tim851 wrote:
It's all well being against party bans until a country makes the experience of a fascist party being democratically elected into power and then abolishing democracy. Enacting laws which make a party illegal that has the abolishment of democracy in their agenda, even without explicitely calling for violence, makes a certain sense. Yes, you can always make the philosophical argument that any government can abuse this to just outlaw the competition, but at least in Germany, that has not proven to be the case in the last 60+ years. I don't think a whole lot of people would content that it was necessary for the fledgling democracy to outlaw the bureaucracy of it's predecessor dictatorship. And while the Communist Party was banned, there are other communist parties in Germany. One is currently the third biggest political party and has participated in coalition governments of various federal states.

Elected governments who have abolished democracy have occurred on the left and the right. It is less likely to happen in the US because neither the legislature (Congress), nor the executive (President) have the unilateral power to due so. The US has a system of check and balances, and the US Supreme Court can overrule both the legislative and executive branches of government in accordance with the principles of liberty and freedom as enumerated in the US Constitution. This only works if one has a tradition of accepting what the Constitution actually says (as to opposed to ignoring provisions that seem inconvenient at the moment).

tim851 wrote:
It's also easier to be laissez-faire about it in the United States, where an electoral system is in place that makes it nigh impossible for any party outside red and blue to be elected in the first place.

Laissez-faire is not the proper term IMO. It has to do with liberty and rights that were established in 1791 in the US Constitution, which US society takes very seriously. You make it sound like the US electoral system is restrictive, when in fact it expresses the will of the majority, as opposed to the situation like occurred in Germany where Hitler was elected with only about 37% of the vote. For you that may mean only Red or Blue, but for me that means moderation, and not extremes, and more often than not it expresses the will of majority of the people.

tim851 wrote:
That's a nice display of selective perception.

I don't think so. The NAACP boycotts businesses and cities all the time. But if you have statistics on that, I am willing to listen.

tim851 wrote:
Depends what you mean by boycott. If individuals or groups choose not to frequent certain businesses, it's all well.

What I've always been appalled by is the (not exclusively, but frequently) American tradition of sign-wielding in front of somebody's home or business. Because that is in my humble opinion not boycotting, but Defamation. In the same vein do I find it ridiculous to eat there to support the notion of disadvantaging a minority.

The 1st amendment of the US Constitution (part of Bill of Rights) states:

Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Sorry you don't like the 1st Amendment, but it is in the US Constitution Bill of Rights.

I don't think people opposed to gay marriage would have decided to support Chick-fil-a if others had not previously called for a boycott. Regardless, the 1st amendment applies. Once one starts making exceptions as to when the US Constitution applies, and when it should be ignored, that is when a person like Hitler will come along and try and abolish the Constitution and the rule of law (under the pretext that it is no longer relevant to modern society).


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:28 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
The US has a system of check and balances, and the US Supreme Court can overrule both the legislative and executive branches of government in accordance with the principles of liberty and freedom as enumerated in the US Constitution.


What do you do when somebody like Hitler is elected president, certain things happen (think 9/11), situations escalate, laws are being passed and the position of Commander-in-chief is being abused? There were checks and balances in place in the Weimar Republic too. Probably not as well thought through as in the U.S., but I can't see a Reichskanzler Hitler submitting to a Supreme Court either. Once you put a man like this into a position of power, you are going to be in all kinds of trouble.

tim851 wrote:
You make it sound like the US electoral system is restrictive, when in fact it expresses the will of the majority, as opposed to the situation like occurred in Germany where Hitler was elected with only about 37% of the vote. For you that may mean only Red or Blue, but for me that means moderation, and not extremes, and more often than not it expresses the will of majority of the people.


You have a quirky view of things.

Hitler got elected in 1933 with 44% of the vote. For comparison, Bush jr. had 47% in 2000. Voter turnout was 89% in 1933, 51% in 2000.
So Hitler was carried by about 41% of the eligable voters, Bush by 24%. So much for your myth of what the majority wants (and also for the myth that is sometimes told in Germany, that the Nazis were this gang of a..holes that somehow took over the country)

And for all intends and purposes, the U.S. already has a quasi ban on any party that is not Dem or Rep. It's easy to talk if nobody pays attention to your fringe parties, because they don't sit in any parliament, even when they only got there through some nutjobs and frustrate protest voters. But if you have a system where "new people" actually have a chance of getting elected, you need a mechanism to weed out those who are in it to hurt you.

You call your system "moderate", which is not what I'd call the U.S. system at all.

Fresh parties can stir things up nicely. In Germany, this has recently been the Pirate Party, though they should drop that effing name, because it is the party of the web generation, ie. some folks who actually new why for instance net neutrality is important.

Quote:
The NAACP boycotts businesses and cities all the time. But if you have statistics on that, I am willing to listen.


You were making the first allegation, you know, Liberals boycotting more than Conservatives. So you back up your claim, than I'll maybe back up mine.

Quote:
The 1st amendment of the US Constitution (part of Bill of Rights) states:

Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Sorry you don't like the 1st Amendment, but it is in the US Constitution Bill of Rights.


Why can't I say that I don't like sign-wielding mobs without you citing the BoR on me? The constitution doesn't prevent me from hating Black people either, that doesn't mean I can't voice my opinion against it. And I was clearly voicing an opinion. Or did you see me call for government internvention anywhere?


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:17 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
You have a quirky view of things.

Doesn't she always?
Look at Lincoln's score to see how well the system insures you can't get elected by a minority in the US!

Hitler wasn't elected in Germany by the way. His party got the most votes but nothing says the biggest party gets to rule. His opponents would have had to agree to form an anti-Nazi government however, something they weren't willing to do.
But unlike in the US where people voted for Kerry because they were opposed to Bush for instance, the people who voted for the Nazis really voted for them. In fact you could arguably add some other parties' votes to the Nazi score because they would have been willing to support a Nazi governement.
You really have to count at least the Black/White/Red vote for the Nazis in 1933. The Nazis and their allies got 50% of the vote. Only Hitler was already in governement and this wasn't a fully free election.
The critical factor was really the deep enimity between the non-Nazi parties. And this goes back to your other post because the main cause of this unusual situation was the strength of "the" Communist party:
tim851 wrote:
And while the Communist Party was banned, there are other communist parties in Germany. One is currently the third biggest political party and has participated in coalition governments of various federal states.

The problem with "the" Communist Party was not so much that communists aren't necessarily crazy about democracy. Monarchist parties are usually not such a big deal for instance.
The problem was that in many countries, this particular party (the one affiliated with the Komintern) was more or less controlled by Moscow. Such Communist Parties were viewed as a threat to national security and were also politically erratic because Moscow could order them to change their political stance without regard for the consequences.
In most countries nowadays, none of the communist parties are controlled by hostile governments. If there's still a law against "the" Communist Party in Germany, it's a testmanent to the mendacity of the establishment. The fall of the East German regime which was accompanied by a fracturing of its ruling party has made such a law unnecessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Posts: 2831
Location: USA
tim851 wrote:
What do you do when somebody like Hitler is elected president, certain things happen (think 9/11), situations escalate, laws are being passed and the position of Commander-in-chief is being abused? There were checks and balances in place in the Weimar Republic too. Probably not as well thought through as in the U.S., but I can't see a Reichskanzler Hitler submitting to a Supreme Court either. Once you put a man like this into a position of power, you are going to be in all kinds of trouble.

One can never say never, but it is much less likely that that would happen in the US because of the US Constitution and the tradition of the rule of law. The rule of law is respected by all parts of the government, including the military. That is also why Americans have the right to bear arms and have the right to have a state militia in order to protect citizens from an overbearing government (even though we have to sometimes pay a very high cost for this right).

I don't expect you to understand this, or to agree with me, but the reason the US has never had a Hitler or Stalin has nothing to do with Americans being better than other people, or wiser than other people, it has to do with the structure of their laws and institutions, and the tradition of adhering to the US Constitution.

tim851 wrote:
You have a quirky view of things.

Hitler got elected in 1933 with 44% of the vote. For comparison, Bush jr. had 47% in 2000. Voter turnout was 89% in 1933, 51% in 2000.
So Hitler was carried by about 41% of the eligable voters, Bush by 24%. So much for your myth of what the majority wants (and also for the myth that is sometimes told in Germany, that the Nazis were this gang of a..holes that somehow took over the country)

This is vodoo political math. If Hitler were on the ballot in the US, turnout would be about 95%. From what I understand, the elections in Germany when Hitler was elected were not exactly fair, and people were physically intimidated by the Nazi's, and certain parties were prohibited from running.

The German elections were totally different than those in the US. In the US, there are no coalitions. To be elected President, one needs a majority of electors in the Electoral College, which almost always prevents minority candidates from becoming President. You apparently don't like the two party system of the US, but it prevents a minority party from assuming power in most cases.

I gather you are a German citizen. If so, I don't understand your preoccupation with US government, or why you think it is your business. I personally don't care at all what Germans or any other countries do with their own government, because it is none of my business so long as they don't physically threaten or attack other countries.

tim851 wrote:
You were making the first allegation, you know, Liberals boycotting more than Conservatives. So you back up your claim, than I'll maybe back up mine.

Here is a quote and link from a liberal source:
"While boycotts are often associated with politically liberal causes, they are sometimes used for conservative ends." [This is the politically correct way of saying it].
http://www.teachablemoment.org/high/boycott.html

The idea that conservatives boycott more than liberals in the US is so absurd as to be laughable. However, some say conservatives are good at buycotts (buying from companies they like, instead of boycotting companies they don't like).


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:12 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
I don't expect you to understand this, or to agree with me, but the reason the US has never had a Hitler or Stalin has nothing to do with Americans being better than other people, or wiser than other people, it has to do with the structure of their laws and institutions, and the tradition of adhering to the US Constitution.

Yeah, that must be it. That's why nearly every country except the U.S. has had their Hitler or Stalin. Right.

Hitler came to power, because Germany had lost a brutal World War that it was dragged into. It was subsequently humiliated and economically burdened by the Versaille negotiations. Then there was the first Communism scare. And Hitler used his militia (SA) appropriately. And all that happened in a time before TV, Twitter and Youtube.

When I remember the overreaction of America to 9/11, consider the deep divide of the country, the proliferation of guns and the already pretty high anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim sentiments ... sure, the USA would have mastered a situation like Germany in the 20s totally different.

Quote:
which almost always prevents minority candidates from becoming President. You apparently don't like the two party system of the US, but it prevents a minority party from assuming power in most cases.

You know what would prevent that with certainty: a 1-party-system!

A two-party system, perpetuated by gerry-mandering, is undemocratic. I'd rather have the occasional extreme party banned by law, than having any party except the establishment banned by practice.

Quote:
I gather you are a German citizen. If so, I don't understand your preoccupation with US government, or why you think it is your business.

I don't think I'm any more pre-occupied than you are. I responded to something you said in the first place. It is my business, because I am free to discuss whatever I like. If I want to discuss the political system of Madagascar, I can.

I understand your defensiveness, though, as the general tone in this forum seems to be quite anti-American. I am not. That doesn't mean I'll just let any subjectivities of yours against other systems than the American stand uncommented.

Quote:
Here is a quote and link from a liberal source:
"While boycotts are often associated with politically liberal causes, they are sometimes used for conservative ends." [This is the politically correct way of saying it].
http://www.teachablemoment.org/high/boycott.html

That is your reference? I know, researching for a stupid internet argument is boring - but THAT is your reference??? Some liberal center posts a totally irrelevant sentence on their (1990s designed) website. By that standard, I can proof that Elvis is alive and living with Aliens.

Quote:
The idea that conservatives boycott more than liberals in the US is so absurd as to be laughable.

Well then it must be child's play to come by statistics.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:26 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
That's why nearly every country except the U.S. has had their Hitler or Stalin.

I don't recall that being the case. Some not so great leaders, but not everyone has had a Hitler or Stalin.

tim851 wrote:
Hitler came to power, because Germany had lost a brutal World War that it was dragged into. It was subsequently humiliated and economically burdened by the Versaille negotiations. Then there was the first Communism scare. And Hitler used his militia (SA) appropriately. And all that happened in a time before TV, Twitter and Youtube.

When I remember the overreaction of America to 9/11, consider the deep divide of the country, the proliferation of guns and the already pretty high anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim sentiments ... sure, the USA would have mastered a situation like Germany in the 20s totally different.

  • Over-reaction to 9/11? Maybe some poor decisions by the US, but not overreaction IMO.
  • Americans have always had guns, so not sure what you are talking about.
  • Americans are not anti-Mexican, they are anti-illegal immigrant. It is simply not possible to pay all the schooling, welfare, social security, Medicaid, etc for millions streaming across the bordef who don't even pay taxes. An orderly and legal immigration would be fine.
  • I will admit that a lot of Americans are anti-Muslim, but that is fairly recent and is a subject I don't want to get into.
  • OK, let's blame France for WWI, and the Treaty of Versailles which led to WWII. No arguments there. There were Communist scares in the US, but the worst we could do was Eisenhower (who hated Joseph McCarthy BTW).
  • More importantly, you have missed my point entirely. I didn't say the German people were to blame (I am not taking a position on that) or that the American people would have done better in that situation (not taking a position on that either). I specifically said that the reason why a Hitler or Stalin hasn't happened in the over 225 year history of the US is because of our Constitution. The US is a society of laws, not men. I don't expect you to understand that, because you are accustomed to a parliamentary form of government and you have been brainwashed by the left.

tim851 wrote:
A two-party system, perpetuated by gerry-mandering, is undemocratic. I'd rather have the occasional extreme party banned by law, than having any party except the establishment banned by practice.

Gerrymandering only affects the House of Representatives and local legislative elections. It does not affect state-wide offices like governor, or federal positions like US Senators and US President. Also, it has nothing to do with a two party system vs multi-party system. In fact, gerrymandering is often times mandated by the Courts (especially liberal judges) to carve out districts for minorities so there can be some minority representation in Congress. Without gerrymandering, there would be almost no minorities in office (almost by definition).

tim851 wrote:
I understand your defensiveness, though, as the general tone in this forum seems to be quite anti-American. I am not. That doesn't mean I'll just let any subjectivities of yours against other systems than the American stand uncommented.

I am not being defensive. If you want to be obsessed with US politics that is OK with me, but I just don't understand it. I know in the US we have enough problems of our own without worrying about others (unless they are planning to, or have already, attacked us). In fact, I think the EU has more than enough problems right now, which they should concentrate on without worrying about US gun laws, etc.

Also, I am not trying to convince anyone to switch to the American system. It may not work in other places. But what I was trying to explain, is why the US has a 2nd amendment (right to bear arms) and why it cannot be easily changed, and why it should not just be be ignored (unless it is legally amended). I have a lot of admiration for countries that have different systems of government, and different laws concerning firearms, but we have to live with the system we have, and if we ignore those laws we find inconvenient, then we shouldn't be surprised if a dictator takes power and ignores the laws he finds inconvenient (like holding fair elections). I am in no way saying that the Bill of Rights cannot be amended, nor I am saying it shouldn't be amended, but I am saying it should only be changed via due process, and not by creative interpretation to mean something other than what it says.

tim851 wrote:
That is your reference? I know, researching for a stupid internet argument is boring - but THAT is your reference??? Some liberal center posts a totally irrelevant sentence on their (1990s designed) website. By that standard, I can proof that Elvis is alive and living with Aliens.

Yes it is. A shame that you didn't read the entire webpage for the link I provided. and that discusses the long tradition of liberal boycotts. But no matter how lame you think my link is, I would like to see your lame link supporting your claim, if you don't mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:27 pm 
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Quote:
Over-reaction to 9/11? Maybe some poor decisions by the US, but not overreaction IMO.


All people being kept in Guantanamo without a legal trail, access to a lawyer or even without telling them the reason for keeping them jailed would certainly disagree. Do those Amendments not apply if you leave the territory of the US? Or are those Amendments only active when suitable?

Quote:
More importantly, you have missed my point entirely. I didn't say the German people were to blame (I am not taking a position on that) or that the American people would have done better in that situation (not taking a position on that either). I specifically said that the reason why a Hitler or Stalin hasn't happened in the over 225 year history of the US is because of our Constitution. The US is a society of laws, not men. I don't expect you to understand that, because you are accustomed to a parliamentary form of government and you have been brainwashed by the left.


As long as some americans claim that things that were rightfull 225 years ago must not be changed because of a way back principle, even if times and society and the whole world HAS changed, i doubt that the brainwashing happens in Europe. That reminds me of a state within italy, they claim their ruler cannot fail or cannot make mistakes because all his words, thoughts and actions are sanctified for him being god's ambassador on earth. Probably the next best job after being US president.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:50 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
All people being kept in Guantanamo without a legal trail, access to a lawyer or even without telling them the reason for keeping them jailed would certainly disagree. Do those Amendments not apply if you leave the territory of the US? Or are those Amendments only active when suitable?

Those rights do not apply to enemy combatants captured outside of the USA and who are not US citizens.

Pappnaas wrote:
As long as some americans claim that things that were rightfull 225 years ago must not be changed because of a way back principle, even if times and society and the whole world HAS changed, i doubt that the brainwashing happens in Europe. That reminds me of a state within italy, they claim their ruler cannot fail or cannot make mistakes because all his words, thoughts and actions are sanctified for him being god's ambassador on earth. Probably the next best job after being US president.

Obviously it can be changed, since there are already 27 amendments to the US Constitution. There is defined process as to how it can be changed. What I argued against is changing the Constitution by simply ignoring what it says (via "creative" interpretation) that opens up the possibility of any other aspect of the Constitution be changed by merely ignoring what it says at ones convenience (or the convenience of a future despot that may get elected).

As to whether the world has changed, exactly when did that happen? Did it happen in 1917, 1941, 1945, 2001? Some believe that the barbaric tribes from the north will once again try and assert their dominance on the civilized world, and I for one am not here to say whether or not history will repeat itself.

I can understand to some degree why Germans may be concerned about US foreign policy, but this concern about US domestic policy baffles me, and it seems like a kind of imperialism, futher evidence that the world has not changed as much as you claim.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:52 am 
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Quote:
Those rights do not apply to enemy combatants captured outside of the USA and who are not US citizens.


Interesting. So you don't have human rights in your country, just the rights of US citizens. And declaring someone as "enemy combatant" without a trial or a judge or a lawyer present and thus depriving them of their human rights to have a fair and transparent trial is truly a nice trick.

No US citizen could be arrested without hearing, being charged or trial for more than 48 hours. Oh, i forgot: if you call this US citizen a "terrorist" then he will instantly lose all his US citizenship rights, regardless of "evidence".

And if you start to gather those terrorist in camps to concentrate them.... well, we've seen that before.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:13 am 
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m0002a wrote:
The US is a society of laws, not men. I don't expect you to understand that, because you are accustomed to a parliamentary form of government and you have been brainwashed by the left.

Quoted for hilarity.

Quote:
I can understand to some degree why Germans may be concerned about US foreign policy, but this concern about US domestic policy baffles me, and it seems like a kind of imperialism, futher evidence that the world has not changed as much as you claim.

YOU keep coming back to this thread too, making all kinds of implications and allegation, examplified above. But when "we" answer and thus only exercise the same rights as you, it baffles you. How any of this is imperialism is beyond me. It's just a discussion on a website. But you do seem to be just stringing together buzzwords in most your posts anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:43 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
Interesting. So you don't have human rights in your country, just the rights of US citizens. And declaring someone as "enemy combatant" without a trial or a judge or a lawyer present and thus depriving them of their human rights to have a fair and transparent trial is truly a nice trick.

No US citizen could be arrested without hearing, being charged or trial for more than 48 hours. Oh, i forgot: if you call this US citizen a "terrorist" then he will instantly lose all his US citizenship rights, regardless of "evidence".

And if you start to gather those terrorist in camps to concentrate them.... well, we've seen that before.

No, you are incorrect. If a person is arrested in the US for an act of terrorism in the US, they are afforded the full rights of the constitution, regardless of whether they are a citizen. For example, consider the case of Omar Abdel-Rahman who was convicted for the World Trade Center bombings in 1993:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Abdel-Rahman

If a person is an enemy combatant captured during a military activity outside of the US, they are treated as prisoners of war, just like any other country would do the same. If however, the enemy combatant captured overseas is a US citizen, so far at least, the US Courts have ruled that they be treated as citizens and not enemy combatants.

It is amazing that a German (from West or East) would speak about human rights and criticize the US. Although it is sometimes quite hot in Gitmo, and prisoners probably don’t have air conditioning, they don’t have gas chambers or gulags either.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:56 am 
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m0002a wrote:
It is amazing that a German (from West or East) would speak about human rights and criticize the US. Although it is sometimes quite hot in Gitmo, and prisoners probably don’t have air conditioning, they don’t have gas chambers or gulags either.


Germany doesn't have gas chambers anymore. The United States, however, still does.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:17 am 
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tim851 wrote:
Quoted for hilarity.

YOU keep coming back to this thread too, making all kinds of implications and allegation, examplified above. But when "we" answer and thus only exercise the same rights as you, it baffles you. How any of this is imperialism is beyond me. It's just a discussion on a website. But you do seem to be just stringing together buzzwords in most your posts anyway.

The concept of a “government of laws, not men,” is not hilarity, nor is it a buzzword. It is serious concept that is deeply rooted in the US system of government and its heritage. Unlike most parliamentary systems, where the laws passed by Parliament are automatically the rule of law (as I explained in previous posts), in the US there is a system of checks and balances, and the US Supreme Court can (and has many times) ruled that laws passed by Congress and signed by the President to be unconstitutional and null and void.

Here is some information regarding the concept of a “government of laws, not men” from a Wikipedia article on John Adams:

Several representatives turned to Adams for advice about framing new governments. Adams got tired of repeating the same thing, and published the pamphlet "Thoughts on Government" (1776), which was subsequently influential in the writing of state constitutions. Using the conceptual framework of Republicanism in the United States, the patriots believed it was the corrupt and nefarious aristocrats, in the British Parliament, and their minions stationed in America, who were guilty of the British assault on American liberty.

Adams advised that the form of government should be chosen to attain the desired ends, which are the happiness and virtue of the greatest number of people. With this goal in mind, he wrote in "Thoughts on Government",

"There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British constitution is so; because the very efinition of a republic is an empire of laws, and not of men."

The treatise also defended bicameralism, for "a single assembly is liable to all the vices, follies, and frailties of an individual." He also suggested that there should be a separation of powers between the executive, the judicial, and the legislative branches, and further recommended that if a continental government were to be formed then it "should sacredly be confined" to certain enumerated powers. "Thoughts on Government" was enormously influential and was referenced as an authority in every state-constitution writing hall.

I would suggest you do some additional reading on concept of a government of laws, not men, and how that "helps" prevenet a elected despot from abolishing elections, as happened in Germany with Hitler (and has happened many other places).

Regarding whether I am baffled by your comments about US internal affairs does not mean I have any problem with your right of free speech to say what you want. It just seems a bit strange or obsessive to me. But personally, if I lived in a glass house, I would not throw stones at others.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:26 am 
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tim851 wrote:
Germany doesn't have gas chambers anymore. The United States, however, still does.

Some states in the US do have capital punishment, but not gas chambers. Lethal injection is now generally used in states that have capital punishment.

The remnants of the gas chambers in Germany are still there as a permanent stain on Western Civilization. And those gas chambers were not used on anyone who committed any crime other than being born into a particular ethnic group.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:51 am 
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m0002a wrote:
The remnants of the gas chambers in Germany are still there as a permanent stain on Western Civilization. And those gas chambers were not used on anyone who committed any crime other than being born into a particular ethnic group.


You seem to forget about the native americans. How many stains do you US citizens have permanently if asking them?

m0002a wrote:
But personally, if I lived in a glass house, I would not throw stones at others.


You do live in one. But you are so engaged in defending the status-quo, keep stressing that things in the US are anyway the best even handled the best and pointing at various wrong-doings that other nations have done in the past. We would call this "betriebsblind".


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:16 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
You seem to forget about the native americans. How many stains do you US citizens have permanently if asking them?

The Native Americans are now run gambling casinos on their property (near locations where gambling is otherwise illegal) so they are mostly doing very well these days. I agree that the some in the US treated the Native Americans very badly long ago, especially the first President elected from the Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson.

Pappnaas wrote:
You do live in one. But you are so engaged in defending the status-quo, keep stressing that things in the US are anyway the best even handled the best and pointing at various wrong-doings that other nations have done in the past. We would call this "betriebsblind".

You are wrong. I am not in favor of the status quo concerning gun laws and registration, although I am not in favor of banning them completely. But I am in favor of the status quo of the rule of law, and only changing the law through legal means, instead of by “creative” interpretation of the Bill of Rights. However, I do believe that having much more strenuous background checks on gun buyers is within the 2nd amendment as it now stands.

Regarding whether the system of laws (not men) in the US is best or not, that is our system. I don’t care in the slightest whether you think it is best, or whether you adopt such a system, because it is not my business (until such time as you attack me or threaten to attack me). I am just trying to explain how it works.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:59 am 
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Where does it say that the rule of law, the government of laws not men, is only achieved by the US system? How is a parliamentary democracy not the rule of law?
You do realize that Wilson was referring to a different UK than today's, don't you?

Stereoypically American to think you have a monopoly on greatness.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:24 am 
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tim851 wrote:
Where does it say that the rule of law, the government of laws not men, is only achieved by the US system? How is a parliamentary democracy not the rule of law?
You do realize that Wilson was referring to a different UK than today's, don't you?

Stereoypically American to think you have a monopoly on greatness.

I never said anything about "greatness." I merely explained how it works and how it is different than some other systems. Each system has strengths and weaknesses. The main reason for mentioning the American system is to explain why it is so difficult to outlaw guns in the US, since the right to bear arms is contained in the US Bill of Rights, and cannot be changed by a decree of Congress or the President (only by constitutional amendment).

However, I think you are mistaken about the UK vs US system. Here is a Wikipedia article that explains it:

"Parliamentary sovereignty (also called parliamentary supremacy or legislative supremacy) is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty, and is supreme over all other government institutions, including executive or judicial bodies. The concept also holds that the legislative body may change or repeal any previous legislation, and so that it is not bound by written law (even a constitution) or by precedent. Parliamentary sovereignty may be contrasted with the doctrines of separation of powers, which limits the legislature's scope often to general law-making, and judicial review, where laws passed by the legislature may be declared invalid in certain circumstances. Many states have sovereign legislatures, among which are the United Kingdom, Finland, Israel, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, and others."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_sovereignty


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:21 am 
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m0002a wrote:
The Native Americans are now run gambling casinos on their property (near locations where gambling is otherwise illegal) so they are mostly doing very well these days. I agree that the some in the US treated the Native Americans very badly long ago, especially the first President elected from the Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson.


If i were to show you some jewish people in germany being well off and healthy would that lower the aformentioned permanent stains of the germans? Would that change a single murder that has been commited in the past?

Your not saying, hey, your wealthy today man, forget that your ancestors have been murdered by mine?


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:33 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
If i were to show you some jewish people in germany being well off and healthy would that lower the aformentioned permanent stains of the germans? Would that change a single murder that has been commited in the past?

Your not saying, hey, your wealthy today man, forget that your ancestors have been murdered by mine?

I don't know where you have been educated about the American Indians and their interaction with immigrants from the Europe who settled in the New World, but your perceptions of what happened are highly skewed. I call them American Indians because they are not really native to the Americas, since their ancestors crossed over from Asia to via what is now Alaska (when there was a land bridge). The only human species that can be called native that I know about is in Africa. Everyone else migrated from Africa to somewhere else.

American Indians were great warriors before Europeans arrived in the New World. That is because they often fought and killed each other. Fighting and savagery was not new to American Indians when the European colonists arrived, and often times Indians committed horrific atrocities against Europeans for no particular reason (or somewhat flimsy reasons). On the other hand, Europeans often responded in kind, and things got out of hand. But I don't think it is as one-sided as you seem to believe, and many Europeans tried to get along with the American Indians and to live peacefully with them.

It is true that after the US became independent, it failed to honor agreements regarding Indian Territory, and many of Indians died when forced by President Andrew Jackson (the first US president who was a member of the Democratic Party) to migrate to Oklahoma. That behavior by Americans was inexcusable. But overall, taking everything into consideration, I would not classify the treatment of Indians as anywhere near in the same category as the Holocaust.

I have no personal stake in this argument, because my ancestors only came to America about 100 years ago. So I feel absolutely personal responsibility for what happened between the Europeans and the Indians before 1900.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Quote:
Elected governments who have abolished democracy have occurred on the left and the right. It is less likely to happen in the US because neither the legislature (Congress), nor the executive (President) have the unilateral power to due so. The US has a system of check and balances, and the US Supreme Court can overrule both the legislative and executive branches of government in accordance with the principles of liberty and freedom as enumerated in the US Constitution.


So does this mean that the US Supreme court can overrule the other parts and become a dictatorship, or put one in place.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:44 pm 
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andyb wrote:
So does this mean that the US Supreme court can overrule the other parts and become a dictatorship, or put one in place.

I don't see how that can happen. The 3 branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) are separate. But the Supreme Court has no actual powers or staff to enforce the law. It must rely on the executive branch to enforce the law as they rule it. The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and in charge of the FBI, CIA, etc.

Also, a member of the US Supreme Court (or the President) can be impeached by the House of Representatives and ordered to stand trial in the Senate (if convicted by a 2/3 vote in the Senate they are removed from office). Trying to form a dictatorship would be circumventing the US Constitution and considered treason and clear grounds for impeachment (of a Supreme Court Justice or the President). One Justice of the Supreme Court (Samuel Chase in 1804) of the United States was indicted (impeached) by the House, but was acquitted by the Senate. Fourteen other Federal Judges (in lower Federal Courts) have been impeached and removed from office. Two Presidents have been impeached by the House, but both acquitted in the Senate (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton).

Since the Supreme Court cannot actually enforce its rulings, that is why it is considered by many to be so important to not circumvent the Constitution by merely ignoring what it says (or ignoring what the Supreme Court says it says), because once that is done then it sets a precedent for any elected despot to do the same, but maybe not for such altruistic reasons as trying to reduce gun deaths.

The idea that the Supreme Court can rule a law or executive action unconstitutional was actually not clearly established until 1803 Supreme Court in the case of Marbury vs Madision, which established the concept of judicial review.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbury_v._Madison

Article VI of the US Constitution requires that all federal officials (in all 3 branches of government) must take an oath in support of the Constitution:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Here is the oath of office for the President of the US:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:13 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
It is true that after the US became independent, it failed to honor agreements regarding Indian Territory, and many of Indians died when forced by President Andrew Jackson (the first US president who was a member of the Democratic Party) to migrate to Oklahoma. That behavior by Americans was inexcusable. But overall, taking everything into consideration, I would not classify the treatment of Indians as anywhere near in the same category as the Holocaust.


You're not implying that a smaller genocide is more excusable because less people got killed?

m0002a wrote:
I have no personal stake in this argument, because my ancestors only came to America about 100 years ago. So I feel absolutely personal responsibility for what happened between the Europeans and the Indians before 1900.


That comes close to the way i'm feeling about Holocaust. Maybe you reconsider next time before blatantly acusing all german people of wearing stains and owning something to someone because of blood being spilled by US soldiers abroad.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:45 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
You're not implying that a smaller genocide is more excusable because less people got killed?

I am telling you it was not genocide, and there was very bad behavior on both sides. Overall, the American Indians committed many more atrocities than the Europeans (mostly before the US became a country). Part of this was actually due to the French who allied with the American Indians against the British, and later when the British allied with the Indians against the USA.

The US did violate many of the treaties with the Indians and took away land that was promised to them. In one case, President Andrew Jackson violated a US Supreme Court order regarding Indian Territory and forced some of them to relocate from Georgia to Oklahoma (Trail of Tears) during which about 4,000 of the 15,000 being relocated died of exposure, disease and starvation along the way. After they arrived in Oklahoma some Indians actually owned slaves and sided with the Confederacy in the Civil War. Fortunately for the Indians (and obviously unintended at the time the land was given to them) there is a fair amount of oil and gas in Oklahoma Indian territory. In more recent times, Indians of many tribes (in Oklahoma and other parts of the country) have opened casinos and seem to be doing fairly well.

Pappnaas wrote:
That comes close to the way i'm feeling about Holocaust. Maybe you reconsider next time before blatantly acusing all german people of wearing stains and owning something to someone because of blood being spilled by US soldiers abroad.

I said it was a stain on Western Civilization, although I do think that the German people who were there at the time should take some responsibility, but most of those people are no longer living. As far as blood spilled by US Soldiers abroad, like every country including the US has made mistakes, but that is just demagoguery on your part, and language like that does concur up images of the type of propaganda used by Hitler and Stalin to justify their actions.

But this thread is not about foreign policy, it is about gun laws, which led to a discussion of the US Constitution, since the right to bear arms is specifically mentioned in the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:49 am 
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Quote:
But this thread is not about foreign policy, it is about gun laws, which led to a discussion of the US Constitution, since the right to bear arms is specifically mentioned in the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights.


if i remember correctly, it wasn't me starting to write about Hitler, stains and blood in this thread, it was you. So don't come pulling the off-topic arguement.

Quote:
I am telling you it was not genocide, and there was very bad behavior on both sides. Overall, the American Indians committed many more atrocities than the Europeans (mostly before the US became a country). Part of this was actually due to the French who allied with the American Indians against the British, and later when the British allied with the Indians against the USA.


Ask the native americans, they speak differently. But i won't argue if what happened may be called genocide or not. What strikes me, everytime something "bad" happened it was always someone else. Don't you realise that this is part of your country's history? So slavery and segregation also started before America became the US and therefore must not be regarded as "bad"? Get serious and accept that your past is your past.

America just didn't happen to start existing come declaration of independence. But that's probably a fact that most americans are aware of.

America has, as so many more countries all over the world including my own, to come to terms with their own past in so many different aspects.

But in all your answers you readily hand out prejudice and accusations or even call Europeans "brainwashed". And, of course, in many of your posts you praise the greatness of the US and stress how much they pretty always saved the cake. So i should be honored to read the same forum, humbly bowing my german head, full of stains.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:50 am 
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Quote:
I don't see how that can happen. The 3 branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) are separate. But the Supreme Court has no actual powers or staff to enforce the law. It must rely on the executive branch to enforce the law as they rule it. The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and in charge of the FBI, CIA, etc.

Also, a member of the US Supreme Court (or the President) can be impeached by the House of Representatives and ordered to stand trial in the Senate (if convicted by a 2/3 vote in the Senate they are removed from office). Trying to form a dictatorship would be circumventing the US Constitution and considered treason and clear grounds for impeachment (of a Supreme Court Justice or the President). One Justice of the Supreme Court (Samuel Chase in 1804) of the United States was indicted (impeached) by the House, but was acquitted by the Senate. Fourteen other Federal Judges (in lower Federal Courts) have been impeached and removed from office. Two Presidents have been impeached by the House, but both acquitted in the Senate (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton).

Since the Supreme Court cannot actually enforce its rulings, that is why it is considered by many to be so important to not circumvent the Constitution by merely ignoring what it says (or ignoring what the Supreme Court says it says), because once that is done then it sets a precedent for any elected despot to do the same, but maybe not for such altruistic reasons as trying to reduce gun deaths.

The idea that the Supreme Court can rule a law or executive action unconstitutional was actually not clearly established until 1803 Supreme Court in the case of Marbury vs Madision, which established the concept of judicial review.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbury_v._Madison

Article VI of the US Constitution requires that all federal officials (in all 3 branches of government) must take an oath in support of the Constitution:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Here is the oath of office for the President of the US:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.


So although complicated and difficult to do a dictatorship situation could arise in America if the President, US Supreme Court and Congress all had the same motives and idea, because each working together for the same purpose with no body stopping the others means that loads of things could be changed, the constitution could be torn up and replaced with a Dictator with no laws left to stop the Dictator.

Its good to know that the American political system is not infallible, just very difficult to circumvent.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:59 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
if i remember correctly, it wasn't me starting to write about Hitler, stains and blood in this thread, it was you. So don't come pulling the off-topic arguement.

You started the demagoguery when you posted the chart labeled "US World Domination Tour" on Jul 24, 2012 in this thread.

The reason I originally mentioned Hitler was to explain why it is less likely that someone can be elected President of the US and then create a dictatorship, given that our constitution has many checks and balances, and because we tend put more faith in our Constitution than most countries. This sometimes has the adverse affect that when the US Construction needs to be changed for good reasons, it is difficult to change it, just like it would be difficult to change for bad reasons (if a despot tried to eliminate elections). This goes directly to the discussion about the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution and the 2nd amendment that guarantees citizens the right to bear arms, and what would be required to change it via amendment.

I did not mention Hitler as an attempt to disparage any Germans. In your case, I assume that you are socialist leaning, so maybe if I mentioned Stalin you would have been even more insulted. Doesn’t matter if it is on the left or right, it much harder for anyone to create a dictatorship in the US given our Constitution, and I don’t want to hear any more cry-baby whining relating to the Treaty of Versailles.

Pappnaas wrote:
Ask the native americans, they speak differently. But i won't argue if what happened may be called genocide or not. What strikes me, everytime something "bad" happened it was always someone else. Don't you realise that this is part of your country's history? So slavery and segregation also started before America became the US and therefore must not be regarded as "bad"? Get serious and accept that your past is your past.

America just didn't happen to start existing come declaration of independence. But that's probably a fact that most americans are aware of.

America has, as so many more countries all over the world including my own, to come to terms with their own past in so many different aspects.

But in all your answers you readily hand out prejudice and accusations or even call Europeans "brainwashed". And, of course, in many of your posts you praise the greatness of the US and stress how much they pretty always saved the cake. So i should be honored to read the same forum, humbly bowing my german head, full of stains.

I don't have any trouble coming to terms with the bad treatment of American Indians or the existence of slavery, or any of the other bad things that the US (or its predecessor) has done. I am very much aware of some of those bad things myself, because as a minority, a few bad things have happened to me personally. But I just don't think the American Indian situation is as clear cut as you may think. Some Indians owned slaves, as just one example. They also committed many atrocities of their own. Some of them fought against the US in the Revolutionary War. This in no way excuses any injustice done to them by the US or its predecessors. In modern times, considerable effort and money has been used to rectify the situation.

As for brainwashing, I don't think all Europeans are brainwashed, but I believe you have been. That is just my opinion. The other alternatives as to why you say the things you do are far worse and more insulting, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have been brainwashed (or at least seriously misled as to a balanced perspective of what happened in the past).

But to make further amends for the past sins of the US, please consider the following proposal:
US President Andrew Jackson, an Indian hater who was largely responsible for the Trail of Tears where 4,000 Indians died while being relocated to Oklahoma, was the first member of the Democratic Party to be elected president. That is why the jackass is the mascot of the Democratic Party even today (Jackson's opponents called him a jackass, and he liked that so much that adopted the jackass as the symbol of the party). So to make partial reparations for this travesty against the Indians, I propose that we outlaw the Democratic Party in the US, for similar reasons that the Nazi Party is outlawed in Germany.

I don't recall ever saying that the US is great or that they always saved the cake. You seem to have an inferiority complex on this subject. I did mention a lot of American blood spilled in Europe to fight Hitler and others, but I can't say for sure if that was even a good idea (not because I admire Hitler, but because I am not sure what it had to do with the US). The same is true for Stalin. The US rebuilt Europe after WWII in order to prevent communism from spreading to Western Europe, but I am not sure if that was our responsibility either. Same is obviously true for Vietnam, which was would have never happened if the US supported Vietnam independence from France after WWII, but instead we wanted to appease the French, for fear of the communists taking over in France.

Even today the US has many military troops in Europe (including Germany). The US should immediately withdraw all of them, unless someone wants to pay us for keeping them there.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:31 am 
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This thread is comedy gold.

m0002a wrote:
Even today the US has many military troops in Europe (including Germany). The US should immediately withdraw all of them, unless someone wants to pay us for keeping them there.

That would be an idea, unless you want these troops to come under fire of some of Andy's peaceful and savory political parties.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:51 pm 
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andyb wrote:
So although complicated and difficult to do a dictatorship situation could arise in America if the President, US Supreme Court and Congress all had the same motives and idea, because each working together for the same purpose with no body stopping the others means that loads of things could be changed, the constitution could be torn up and replaced with a Dictator with no laws left to stop the Dictator.

Its good to know that the American political system is not infallible, just very difficult to circumvent.

Obviously, no written document is infallible. So far there have been 27 amendments to the US Constitution. Not even the amendments are infallible, since one of the amendments cancels out another amendment (prohibition of alcohol).

Congress can have a role in proposing amendments, but not a role in approving them. The US President has no direct role, although he/she can nominate members of the Supreme Court who then interpret the Constitution. Supreme Court nominees must be approved by the Senate (a fair number have been rejected, or withdrawn when rejection was certain to happen).

To Propose Amendments
• In the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate approve by a two-thirds supermajority vote, a joint resolution amending the Constitution. Amendments so approved do not require the signature of the President of the United States and are sent directly to the states for ratification.
• Two-thirds of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments. (This method has never been used.)

To Ratify Amendments
• Three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it, or
• Ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approve it. This method has been used only once -- to ratify the 21st Amendment -- repealing Prohibition.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:41 am 
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m0002a wrote:
I did not mention Hitler as an attempt to disparage any Germans.


You didn't succeed. And you still do not realise it.



m0002a wrote:
I assume that you are socialist leaning, so maybe if I mentioned Stalin you would have been even more insulted. Doesn’t matter if it is on the left or right, it much harder for anyone to create a dictatorship in the US given our Constitution, and I don’t want to hear any more cry-baby whining relating to the Treaty of Versailles.


Didn't cry over Versaille.
Didn't post about dictatorship.
Don't know, who you're barking at.

By the way, you like putting people into categories, well this is a socialist, this is a democrat, this is a brainwashed. We have a word for this: "Schubladendenken". But i have to admit, it's far less complex to look at all black-and-white instead of accepting the greys that exist.

m0002a wrote:
As for brainwashing, I don't think all Europeans are brainwashed, but I believe you have been. That is just my opinion. The other alternatives as to why you say the things you do are far worse and more insulting, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you have been brainwashed (or at least seriously misled as to a balanced perspective of what happened in the past).


Sorry to tell you that your view of the past seems pretty off angle too. Doesn't matter anyway, as i'm a brainwashed insulting socialist in your view, i can live with that.

I probably won't make you reconsider, but it was worth a try.


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