The Other Free Thinkers

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The Other Free Thinkers

This is for Jeffersonian Liberal, Moderate, Libertarian, Constitutionalist, and Capitalist Atheists. Objectivists are always welcome too! If you don't know about this stuff, it's also for you.

Members: 113
Latest Activity: on Thursday

Discussion Forum

Introductions

Started by Parallax. Last reply by Renee Oct 22, 2012. 23 Replies

God Who Took Human Sacrifice

Started by Brian. Last reply by Tonya Wynn Sep 12, 2012. 1 Reply

Ron Paul Is Naïve

Started by Brian. Last reply by Will Faithless Sophia Jan 27, 2012. 10 Replies

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Comment by Craigart14 on May 12, 2011 at 7:53pm

The free market is a myth because corporations don't want a free market.  They do whatever they can to tilt the playing field in their favor.  As for researching who and what they are buying, that would be a full-time job in today's conglomerate controlled society.

 

As for Ross Perot, he did help to engineer the Nixon administration scam about POWs.  There weren't any.  There were far fewer MIAs by percentage in Vietnam than in any previous wars.  Nixon's "peace with honor" program included the nonsensical idea that we wouldn't negotiate peace with Vietnam until our POWs were returned.  Normally, POWs are returned when hostilities come to an end, not as a pre-condition for peace talks.  Nixon managed to keep the war going for several years by lumping POWs and MIAs together so that we could claim that MIAs were really POWs the evil Vietnamese were denying they had.  (There are always MIAs that are never accounted for in any war.)  Nixon called them bargaining chips, though how anyone can bargain with something they deny having is beyond me.  Perot, with the help of Admiral Stockdale (later his vice presidential candidate) and the admiral's wife, orchestrated the "grass roots" movement of POW families.  It was a scam, and Perot's reward was a fortune in government billing contracts.

 

I don't think I like supporting indigent people any more than you do, but it is a tiny portion of the budget, and the alternative is children starving to death in the streets and roving gangs of bandits overwhelming the police.

 

The government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac probably started the panic, but it was unnecessary.  They weren't failing.  And the bonds that crashed were invented at Goldman Sachs.  Mortgages are often bundled into bonds by the thousands, then rated by Moody's or Standard and Poor's.  Such bonds are low risk--until you start overloading them with sub-prime loans.  Mortgage brokers don't vet their clients as thoroughly as commercial banks did in the past because they make their money by initiating a loan, not by collecting the payments.  Mortgages are often sold.  The real scam was the credit default swap, which is just a fancy term for insurance.  So a commercial bank writes a lot of mortgages.  An investment bank (sometimes a separate division of the same bank) buys them up and rolls them into a bond issue.  They then bribe the ratings agencies to pretend the bonds are AAA investments (very low risk) and sell the bonds, which are actually chock full of sup-prime mortgages, many of which will go into default.  The investment bank then buys insurance on the bonds that they've already sold.

 

Suppose I sell you a house.  I know it's got termites and a faulty, antequated furnace.  So I bribe the inspectors.  They are bonded, so you trust them.  As soon as we close on the property, I buy insurance on the house, and I take out life insurance policies on you, your husband, and your kids.  Maybe the furnace blows up.  I collect on the house.  Maybe the furnace leaks carbon monoxide into the house one night, killing you and your family in your sleep.  I collect on the life insurance.  (By the way, many corporations buy life insurance on their employees; they call it "dead peasant" insurance.)  This scenario is essentially what occurred during the crash of 2008.

 

The SEC did screw up on the Madoff scheme, but so did a lot of professional fund managers.  After 9/11, some 400 FBI agents were transferred out of white collar crimes to focus on terrorism and security.  Government simply doesn't have enough people to monitor unregulated banks.  When the dividing line between commercial banks (which make loans) and investment banks (which buy up and re-sell those loans) was erased during the Reagan years, it created new opportunities for fraud.  The securities were designed to fail, and they were so complicated that even auditors didn't know what was in them.  A handful of rich, powerful, greedy bastards brought about the crash.  What might they have done with no government regulation at all?

 

Shit!  I've missed the first period of the Detroit-San Jose game 7.  Gotta go.

Comment by Craigart14 on April 15, 2011 at 10:47pm

Um, I think I'm a liberal Democrat.  (Don't shoot!)  Government should stay out of our lives as much as possible, but I really don't mind supporting those people who can't or won't take care of themselves.  Every society in history has had to deal with them, and in ancient Rome or Greece parents could sell their children into slavery or leave unwanted babies on the garbage heaps.  Corporate thieves are much worse than a few welfare cheats.  McDonald's gets hundreds of millions from the feds for "job training," even though their "training" consists of a short video.  Capitalist hero Ross Perot became a welfare billionaire when he was awarded Medicare billing contracts for his part in organizing the supposedly grass roots POW-MIA organizations.  Frankly, though I have never had a pleasant interaction with the federal government, I wish to hell someone had been governing the banks and bond traders who issued securities designed to fail and then bought insurance on them, bringing our economy down so a few frauds could get obscenely rich.  I'm glad we have meat inspectors.  We would all like to see the free market solve our problems, but the free market is a myth.  Corporations have always tried to tilt the playing field in their favor, with or without government regulation.  That's why 135 of the Fortune 500 companies have outsourced jobs and paid taxes to foreign governments, while bitching and moaning about American taxes, which they do not pay.  The courts consider corporations people, so the Roberts court has ruled that the constitutional principle of free speech gives them the right to put as much money as they want into election campaigns, thereby ensuring that elected officials will always be in the corporations' pockets.  Conservative organizations like the Family, ALEC, and the Discovery Institute are writing the idiotic laws that the GOP is trying to pass, even at the state level, which is why the labor movement has been targeted by so many governors in recent months.

 

By the way, my name is Craig.  I believe in freedom in areas that don't cause harm to others, and regulation in areas that do cause harm.  I guess that means something like the rams should be able to fuck other rams if they want to, but the wolves don't get to decide what's for dinner.

Comment by Brian on January 29, 2011 at 6:35am

I left this group weeks ago because I thought this group was too quiet.

I have found that most people of other groups are very quiet too.

Since I believe in capitalism, small government, and strong security, I rejoin this group.

Humans' opinions are so diverse. So we need disccusion. As long as we keep manners we will learn a lot from each other. I will do my best.

Comment by Kamboja Tan on January 22, 2011 at 10:02am
Left-libertarian laissez-faire anarchist here.
Comment by Parallax on October 3, 2010 at 4:03am
Edward: We had a pretty spirited debate on the gun issue, but since so many of us agree on quite a few things (i.e. no God, small government etc...) it seems hard to have a debate. Maybe I'll try to think of some hot button issue that we may differ on and see what happens.
Comment by Carl on September 28, 2010 at 12:45am
Hey people. While I am sure everyone in this group has their own set of ideas, I get the feeling we can all agree that they who govern least, govern best.
Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to some good debates here.
Comment by Habman on February 10, 2010 at 1:15pm
Tristan,
Too many non-theists have replaced the idea of the supremacy of God in their lives with the idea a supreme government.

Instead of using the fear of god to force people into living as they would have them live, they now push for government to fill that void. And if you disagree with them then you must be mentally defective in some. Is this sounding familiar? Kind of like the rhetoric used by theists and non-theist against each other?

Until people discover that it is OK to believe, not believe, or believe a bit of this and a bit of that, as long as you are not attempting to force others to follow your beliefs we will not know peace.
Comment by Jimbo Slice on February 2, 2010 at 2:41pm
Glad to have found this group. I was beginning to think I was alone ... again.
Comment by Parallax on December 10, 2009 at 2:34am
Thanks for joining my little group. Feel free to speak your mind without apologizing!
Comment by John C on November 9, 2009 at 7:40pm
I knew it! There are other non-theists out there who aren't statists! I knew it!
 

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