Politics

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, Troop Levels Are Rising

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Despite his antagonism toward the war in Iraq, you can't say that Candidate Barack Obama didn't warn you that he was a hawk. Indeed, at various points he endorsed (often retroactively) interventions all over the world for all sorts of reasons.

And now come the reinforcements to Afghanistan, where the U.S. commander there is figuring the 17,000 new troops heading into battle will be there for "next three to four to five years."

The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David D. McKiernan, said Wednesday that the heightened troop levels that President Obama ordered for Afghanistan could remain in place for as long as five years.

General McKiernan, who spoke at a news conference at the Pentagon a day after Mr. Obama ordered 17,000 additional troops to the country, said that the buildup "is not a temporary force uplift" and that it was essential to break what he called a stalemate in southern Afghanistan, the epicenter of the Taliban-led insurgency.

He said that he could not determine exactly how long the troops would be there, but that the buildup would "need to be sustained for some period of time," and that he was looking at "the next three to four or five years."

Whole story here.

Note to the crazy cockeyed optimists who figured anybody would be better than George W. Bush: As the last month or so shows, things can always get worse! It's one of the great things about America, or at least the country's politicians.

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  1. Can you believe this nonsense? I mean really. Dont we have enough of our own problems to deal with? Who cares whats going on in Iraq or Afghanistan? Isnt it time we took care of our own first?

    RT
    http://www.anonymity.eu.tc

  2. Afghanistan is Obama’s war now. Yes, Bush started it. But Obama has chosen not only to stay there but also to raise the level of troops. In constrast, Iraq is not Obama’s war, at least not yet, because he hasn’t escalated it and seems to be trying to draw down troops. Considering that fact, when are all the liberals who spent the entire last 8 years accusing anyone and everyone not actually in a combat zone of being a chicken hawk going to start joining up to support Obama’s war? If they ar not going to join up to support this war, are they going to start protesting it or are they going to apologize for all of the nasty things they said to people who supported Afghanistan and Iraq over the last 8 years?

  3. Despite the buildup, General McKiernan said Afghanistan would not be won by military power alone. “We’re not going to run out of people that either international forces or Afghan forces have to kill or capture,” he said. “It’s going to be ultimately a political solution.”

    So in other words we are wasting our time & resources.

  4. The Soviets had 150,000 ruthless troops in Afghanistan and trained an additional 350,000 Afghanis and stayed there for years in a quagmire until they had to go back to Russia with their tails between their legs. What makes us think we can succeed there with around 50,000 troops?

  5. “The Soviets had 150,000 ruthless troops in Afghanistan and trained an additional 350,000 Afghanis and stayed there for years in a quagmire until they had to go back to Russia with their tails between their legs. What makes us think we can succeed there with around 50,000 troops?”

    1. The Soviet troops were undisciplined draftees who were not very effective.

    2. The Soviets didn’t have the kind of targeting technology we have. They basically had to level entire towns to get at the enemy.

    3. The fact that the Soviets were so ruthless made it that much harder to defeat the insurgency because they alienated the entire country.

    4. The Soviets’ enemies were being funded and supplied by the US. Our enemies are being funded and supplied by groups in Pakistan.

    Basically the Soviets faced a more unified Afghanistan and a better supplied enemy with an inferior force. That doesn’t mean necessarily mean that NATO is going to win, but it does mean that the Soviet example provides a pretty lousy analogy.

  6. If Obama wants to send more troops to Afganastan, he should increase military spending, not decrease it. Our current military personal are over burdened as it is. We should hire more instead of shortening the time between tours.

  7. Note to the crazy cockeyed optimists who figured anybody would be better than George W. Bush: As the last month or so shows, things can always get worse!

    As a non-optimist, I think things are not getting worse but improving, in a way. The actual situation is getting worse, but I imagine the rate of getting worse (the slope of how bad things are over time) is decreased compared to if Bush were still in power, which is a better state of affairs in a way.

    Small consolation, of course.

  8. “If Obama wants to send more troops to Afganastan, he should increase military spending, not decrease it. Our current military personal are over burdened as it is. We should hire more instead of shortening the time between tours.”

    As someone who probably will have to leave my civilian job and deploy sometime in the next three years or so, I think all these twenty somethings running around with “Yes We Did” t-shirts are the perfect candidates.

  9. As someone who probably will have to leave my civilian job and deploy sometime in the next three years or so, I think all these twenty somethings running around with “Yes We Did” t-shirts are the perfect candidates.

    Oh no, the millenials don’t do that “hard work” thing. Especially don’t ask them to pay for the Baby Boomers retirements. Fuck me, I’m moving to Canada. I wonder if generational theft is a valid reason to seek asylum?

  10. John-

    What makes you think that our soldiers are better disciplined than the soviet soldiers? Is it the fact that we have so many illegal aliens and others who have not graduated from high school, never mind college, filling the ranks? Is it because what education they do have is measurably better than the typical soviet soldier obtrained in the 1970s and 80s?

    Do you doubt that most folks in Afghanistan view us as ruthless? Do you doubt that they want no part of the united states military there? Do you doubt that the very insurgents we were financing and supplying in the 80s has no illusions about america and its propensity to bully? They knew that one day they would have to give us a bloody nose. They are smart enough to know that America is not invincible.

  11. John-

    Get out of the military. Why be part of an organization that is bankrupting liberty?

  12. “What makes you think that our soldiers are better disciplined than the soviet soldiers? Is it the fact that we have so many illegal aliens and others who have not graduated from high school, never mind college, filling the ranks? Is it because what education they do have is measurably better than the typical soviet soldier obtrained in the 1970s and 80s?”

    No we do not have illegal aliens in the military. YOu have to be an LPR to join and a citizen to be an NCO or officer. Further, the high school graduation rate is much higher now than it was under the draft. Soviet soldiers were draftees. American soldiers are volunteer professionals. The performance of the US military over the last 20 years in Gulf, Kosovo and Afghanistan bears out the better dicipline and training of the US Soldier.

    Afghanistan is a political problem not a military one. The Taliban will never defeat us on the field. The danger is that they will hang in there long enough for the US to quit and go home.

    I don’t know where you get your information about the US military, but it is completely wrong and insulting.

  13. “John-

    Get out of the military. Why be part of an organization that is bankrupting liberty?”

    Because most people are like you, they wake up every day and get to live in a great country. A country, BO and all, that is wealtier freer and better to live in for the average person than any country in history and they have never sacrificed one damn thing in return for that good fortune and I really don’t want to be in that group.

  14. “Because most people are like you, they wake up every day and get to live in a great country. A country, BO and all, that is wealtier freer and better to live in for the average person than any country in history and they have never sacrificed one damn thing in return for that good fortune and I really don’t want to be in that group.”

    As if the myth that our wars have been fought for the sake of our freedoms is true.

  15. John-

    I see you have been drinking the kool aid.

  16. As if the myth that our wars have been fought for the sake of our freedoms is true.

    But I support the troops!

  17. John-

    What has the military done to protect the american taxpayer? What have you done to emancipate those who have been incarcerated for refusing to ante up to your paymasters?

  18. “But I support the troops!”

    So do I…..by bringing them back home to defend America instead of having to be involved in wars that we have no business in.

  19. “As if the myth that our wars have been fought for the sake of our freedoms is true.”

    If the country is so bad, leave. Surely there are other places that are better. Not that everyone should leave the country just because something happens they don’t like. But aren’t some flaws so bad as to justify it? Certainly maintain an aggressive imperial army that is terrorizing the world would qualify wouldn’t it? If that wouldn’t, what would? Make a stand and do something or admit that you are not being completely honest in your views.

  20. John-

    Free? To worship the military? To hand over half of one’s income to your lords? To have your brothers assisting fellow armed thugs of Caesar in prosecuting the WoD?

    Get out of the military. It is for pussies. For people who have a great deal of developping to do. For people who think that they are tough and courageous just because they have guns and do Caesar’s bidding. Nothing but stupid cannon fodder.

  21. Military people feed at the public trough. That is communism.

  22. Mike,

    You are a moron. Fortuneately for you there are still real adults in this country. Like I said, if the US is so bad, and by your account it is Rome, then leave and try somewhere else. Clearly, by your own standards you are either a moral coward who continues to live in and support a country you know to be completely immoral and evil or you are a liar. Which is it?

  23. Liberty Mike I noticed that you like calling people you dislike pussies. What have you exactly done in your life that makes you notapussy. As well it can’t be related to your 9/11 moonbeam conspiracies.

  24. “Military people feed at the public trough. That is communism.”

    Yep, apparently the entire civilized world is communist!

    When weren’t we communist Liberty Mike? I’m certain that America’s had a military previously in its illustrious history.

  25. The other day, when I had the news droning in the background, I heard somebody saying, with respect to Afghanistan, and The Ascended One’s options there, “We’re going to have to just forget what has gone before, and start from scratch.”

    That got my attention.

  26. Jesus, enough of the military slapfight. Our military is too big; we are not supposed to have a standing Army. The Cold War and the Soviet Union’s ascension caused us to never draw down the military after WWII, and we got in the habit.

    Now, more bullshit wars keep those troop levels high. Will it ever end? I doubt it.

  27. What has the military done to protect the american taxpayer? What have you done to emancipate those who have been incarcerated for refusing to ante up to your paymasters?

    What the fuck does this even mean? Why do you think your status as “taxpayer” is somehow hallowed or special? In case you didn’t read, providing for the common defense is a specifically enumerated consitituional role of the federal government. If you want to argue over how that military ought to be used, or what situation needs defending from, then fine – but don’t hate on the military: they are under civilian control.

  28. John, I know of no other country that is more free than ours, but there are still areas in which our government needs to improve. I will stay here and work to help inform people on how our freedoms can be maximized and our economy improved. The only thing that I can think of that would lead me to leave this country would be if we were to bring back the draft. I would move my family to Canada. I don’t want my son to be forced to fight in wars that we have no business fighting.

  29. Rocky Mountain Libertarian-

    No, you are in error. I do not call everybody whom I dislike a pussy. Please support your assertions with unimpeachable eveidence. You can’t. Your statement is obviously motivated by malice and clouded by your inability to be rational.

    However, I do consider cops and soldiers to be pussies.

    So, what are my “moonbeam 9/11 conspiracies?” Come on troll, put up or shut up. Give us all a specific example.

    I have consistently stated that I do not buy the conspiracy theory advanced by government men that 19 muslims with box-cutters were responsible. Is it a “moonbeam conspiracy” to not buy the the 9/11 conspiracy theory propounded by the united states government?

  30. Will it ever end? I doubt it.

    It’ll end when we can’t afford it or when zombies attack, whichever comes first.

    “We’re not using the zed word!”

  31. libertymike is unaware that vinegar is bad for catching flies.

  32. It’ll end when we can’t afford it or when zombies attack, whichever comes first.

    Warty, you should totally lead an animal rights raid into a primate lab and release the Rage virus.

  33. I have consistently stated that I do not buy the conspiracy theory advanced by government men that 19 muslims with box-cutters were responsible. Is it a “moonbeam conspiracy” to not buy the the 9/11 conspiracy theory propounded by the united states government?

    Ah – so that explains a lot.

    *backs away slowly*

  34. Despite the buildup, General McKiernan said Afghanistan would not be won by military power alone. “We’re not going to run out of people that either international forces or Afghan forces have to kill or capture,” he said. “It’s going to be ultimately a political solution.”

    So in other words we are wasting our time & resources.

    Simple-minded reductionist clap-trap. The political solution will be very strongly shaped by the military realities on the ground.

    The US commander actually asked for 30,000 troops, but only got 17,000. I seem to recall lots and lots of squawking when Bush didn’t send all the troops requested to Iraq earlier in the war there; oddly, I hear no such squawking now.

    I hope Obama isn’t falling into a trap here – sending just enough troops to raise our profile, increase casualties and local resentments, etc., but not enough to actually prevail on the ground.

  35. Don’t let the chimps stay at your house.

  36. He’s creating or saving jobs in the military! How dare you criticize Obama’s plans when everyone agrees that your free market ideology has been thoroughly debunked by 8 years of laissez-faire Bush administration policies.

  37. I expect Obama to announce an immediate cessation of attacks on opium growers, as a gesture of good will.

  38. Obama could always do what JFK did to Diem, and have Karzai bumped off. That should help.

  39. domoarrigato-

    1. See Epi’s post.

    2. John, like many in the military, thinks that he is heroically doing battle for freedom. He is not. I have merely pointed out the hollowness of his pompous claims. A free society does not make heros out of uniformed thugs killing civilians in the their homes 6-7,000 miles away. A free society does not have a warfare/welfare mentality that sees fit to forcibly confiscate the fruits of the labors of its productive people. It does not sanction a war on drugs with all of its “isolated incidents” of murder, theft, rape and canine assisination.

    Military peronnel take an oath to defend the constituion. My point is that they do not take it seriously. If they did, they would not stand for the drug war and would forcibly end it. Ditto for the income tax.

    3. The constitution does not authorize the government to have a standing army nor did the framers authorize Congress to pass laws criminalizing the refusal to pay taxes, income or otherwise. Furthermore, there is no authority in the constitution for the proposition that America can make war on foreign lands in the name of “nation building” or “fighting the war on terror” or any other totalitarian claptrap.

  40. Simple-minded reductionist clap-trap.

    This isn’t the stimulus thread, R C.

  41. No way Epi, I’m philosophically opposed to fast zombies. Our best hope is to convince Obama to fund a Venus probe.

  42. Domoarrigato-

    Show me how I am “back[ing] away slowly?” The us gvt. account that 19 muslims with box cutters are the culprits is a conspiracy theory. I do not buy it. So, tell me what conspiracy theory it is that I am supposed to have or do support?

  43. Show me how I am “back[ing] away slowly?”

    Oh, this is too rich.

  44. Afghanistan is Obama’s war now. Yes, Bush started it. But Obama has chosen not only to stay there but also to raise the level of troops. In constrast, Iraq is not Obama’s war, at least not yet, because he hasn’t escalated it and seems to be trying to draw down troops.

    Sorry John, but both of those wars are still Bush’s wars.

    Also, the big difference between our invasion and the Soviet one is goal. They’re invading and trying to hold on to the territory, our is to go in, get rid of the Taliban, do some reconstruction and get out.

  45. Ditto for the income tax.

    Hate to break it to you libertymike, but there’s an income tax provision in the Constitution.

  46. No way Epi, I’m philosophically opposed to fast zombies.

    Look, adhering to the Romero Rules is great, but the cat’s out of the bag. We’ve lost sight of what it means to be a zombie. So instead of living in the past, embrace the new strains of zombie. You have a choice: enjoy 28 Months Later, or sit in the dark watching Lucio Fulci movies.

    Your choice.

  47. I think we can all agree that the U.S. military is far too large of an institution in our economy, in our politics, etc. Now whether it is a large military that leads to a larger government overall, or vice versa, or something of both, I would say that a smaller, less intrusive government would mean a smaller military. So I would argue that it is hard to be a libertarian and at the same time argue for a large, permanent military.

  48. Prove my negative! PROVE IT!

  49. Now whether it is a large military that leads to a larger government overall, or vice versa, or something of both, I would say that a smaller, less intrusive government would mean a smaller military.

    I suspect the link between the two is more cultural than institutional, Seward. A good-sized fraction of this country, the one that prevailed last November, wants a much larger government and a much smaller military, after all. And, then, of course, there’s Europe.

  50. 28 Days Later was a good movie, but not as good as select other zombie movies

  51. Sorry John, but both of those wars are still Bush’s wars.

    Unless Barack changes course in Iraq, I would say that it’s still Bush’s war, and he should get the credit/blame for how it turns out. At this point, we are still going forward under the SOFA that Bush signed.

    Afghanistan will be fairly treated as Barack’s war; he was always a hawk on Afghanistan, is escalating there, its resolution is very much in doubt and dependent on what he does, so it will very hard not give him the credit/blame for how it turns out.

  52. No way Epi, I’m philosophically opposed to fast zombies.

    I am also philosophically opposed to fast zombies. Slow zombies are the only zombies. On the other hand, I do like humans being turned into zombies by some sort of infection, etc, rather than just shambling out of graves.

    Like many bullies, I’m complicated.

  53. 28 Days Later was a good movie, but not as good as select other zombie movies

    Moose, you need to see C.H.U.D..

  54. My only real beef with 28 Days later is that it totally ripped off its first 15 minutes from Day of the Triffids. So did The Walking Dead for that matter. Scruffy McMurdereyes could have at least stumbled into a ficus to give up a little Wyndham love.

  55. R.C. Dean,

    Europe (excepting the UK and France and perhaps Germany) doesn’t have to worry about that because we are willing to pay for it. So it is an odd, special case.

    A good-sized fraction of this country, the one that prevailed last November, wants a much larger government and a much smaller military, after all.

    That may be the case, but it is unlikely that they will get it; just as they didn’t get that under any other Democratic administration.

  56. Note that I mentioned 28 Weeks Later, not 28 Days Later. The first film not only, as NutraSweet says, ripped off Triffids, but also blatantly ripped off Day of the Dead, among other movies.

    The second film was better, though strangely similar to Doomsday.

  57. Scruffy McMurdereyes could have at least stumbled into a ficus to give up a little Wyndham love.

    Cillian Murphy completely reminds me of that henchman of Khan’s in Wrath of Khan. You know, the one who starred in that short-lived early 80s show The Phoenix.

  58. A military pissing thread feels incomplete without Dondero.

    “Have you ever served, Balko? Pussy!”

  59. Thanks Epi, I will check that out

    May I recommend Return of the Living Dead, especially to our friends in the Louisville area.

  60. Actually, I think 28DL managed to rip off all three of the Romero movies. Look at the three acts of the film: Trapped in a isolated location in a small defensible place. Night. A false sense of domesticity and normalcy. Dawn. Batshit military guys trying to tame zombies. Day.

    I actually haven’t seen 28WL yet, I’ve been saving for a zombie movie fest we have planned for my SIL’s birthday in March.

    Epi, Wow. He does. I always thought Murphy was familiar.

  61. I don’t really recommend it though. It’s brain-rottingly bad… like almost Toxic Avenger bad.

  62. Military peronnel take an oath to defend the constituion. My point is that they do not take it seriously. If they did, they would not stand for the drug war and would forcibly end it. Ditto for the income tax.

    So your position is that the military ought to spontaneously rise up and fight the DEA, despite having no direction to do so from the civilian leadership. Additionally, they should forcibly prevent the collection of income tax payments – perhaps by lining up the IRS and shooting them? And then maybe they should disband, because you don’t like a standing army either.

    *backs away a little further…*

  63. “Simple-minded reductionist clap-trap. The political solution will be very strongly shaped by the military realities on the ground.”

    R C Dean,
    I’m the simple minded one? I’m not the one advocating war & nation building in Afghanistan.

  64. We at MSNBC prefer to live in the past.
    Bush sucks! Cheney is evil!

  65. My only real beef with 28 Days later is that it totally ripped off its first 15 minutes from Day of the Triffids.

    I got both of these from Netflix in the same week. “I’ve seen this somewhere before…”

  66. That was an imposter. I’m the real Democrat fluff boy.

  67. Day of the Triffids – read the book before watching the movie?

  68. Mo,

    There may be the 16th Amendment, but still the income tax is a violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments.

    So, unless those two are repealed, or the income tax is fundamentally changed, the income tax will still be unconstitutional.

  69. I don’t really recommend it though. It’s brain-rottingly bad… like almost Toxic Avenger bad.

    Moose, that movie is tons of fun. Dan O’Bannon directed it, you know.

  70. I don’t really recommend it though.

    Aw, come on man. It has its charms. It’s not like you are recommending The Manitou or Yor, The Hunter From The Future .

  71. Scruffy McMurdereyes could have at least stumbled into a ficus to give up a little Wyndham love.

    Check out Sunshine – he dies in that one. Unfortunately, not in a gory way.

  72. The us gvt. account that 19 muslims with box cutters are the culprits is a conspiracy theory. I do not buy it. So, tell me what conspiracy theory it is that I am supposed to have or do support?

    I recommend the Monoamine Hypothesis

  73. I’m not the one advocating war & nation building in Afghanistan.

    No, but asserting that any and all military activity in Afhganistan is pointless because the solution will ultimately be political is simple-minded reductionist claptrap.

    Feel free to make a more sophisticated argument any time.

  74. I don’t know. I think you’re all giving that movie too much credit. I even thought Hobgoblins was more watchable.

  75. That may be the case, but it is unlikely that they will get it; just as they didn’t get that under any other Democratic administration.

    Mmm, I think Clinton cut military spending somewhat. That might have been partly responsible for some of the prosperity under his watch. I was against the cutting at the time, now I am in favor of it.

    Also, I think our percentage of GDP going to the military is similar to most of Europe’s no?

  76. A military pissing thread feels incomplete without Dondero.

    Dondero’s assertions that if you haven’t served in the military, you essentially don’t deserve your freedom are laughable enough. When he talks about how he wishes he’d gotten into “the shit”, you know you’re dealing with someone who’s deluded. Especially since his job in the military was handing out toilet paper on a torpedo boat.

  77. Moose, try Return of the Living Dead 3–you might enjoy that one more.

  78. dbcooper,

    The book is very good. The movie adaptation is not bad, but the book is vastly superior. And it’s from the makers of The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Children of the Damned.)

    Triffids is also being adapted again by the BBC.

  79. kwais,

    There may be the 16th Amendment, but still the income tax is a violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments.

    So, unless those two are repealed, or the income tax is fundamentally changed, the income tax will still be unconstitutional.

    this is not good reasoning. The 16th superceeds, and carves out an exception to the 4th and 5th. A part of the Constitution cannot be unconsitutional. It can be bad, or unwise, but not unconstitutional.

  80. Yet Dondero ended up supporting one of the peace candidates, Barr. Go figure!

  81. bookworm, he stated that due to his hard-on for Palin, he voted for McCain.

    And he lives in TX, so it’s not like it was going to be close either.

    But he’s a real libertarian.

  82. I saw Sunshine a few weeks ago. It was OK, but it suffered from the pervasive “In order to have a serious SF movie when must make it as slow and ponderous as humanly possible” syndrome. Fuck you, Kubrick. I don’t think I’m letting you off the hook so easily Tarkovsky.

    I would also like volunteers to help me slap to death everyone involved in making The Fountain. If Aronofsky is appropriate apologetic when I catch up with him, I might only wither his taint.

  83. Domoarrigato-

    Epic fail. Still waiting. Just admit it, you took one step too many and now your position has fallen off the cliff.

  84. Military peronnel take an oath to defend the constituion. My point is that they do not take it seriously. If they did, they would not stand for the drug war and would forcibly end it. Ditto for the income tax.

    Dagnabbit, your right. If the military was really concerned about freedom they would overrule the elected represerntatives of the people. Perhaps a coup is in order. For freedom.

    You do realize how incredibly fucking stupid that argument is, don’t you?

  85. Epic fail. Still waiting. Just admit it, you took one step too many and now your position has fallen off the cliff.

    What position? My position is that you seem like a moonbeam conspiracy theorist – I haven’t really felt the need to support it, since, you know, you’re already doing such a good job.

  86. And for the record, the fucking goat herding fundie Taliban started the war by giving shelter to al-Queda.

    I’d have prosecuted it far differently, but facts are facts.

  87. I remember reading Dondero’s comment at the Barr blog that Obama would come in third behind McCain and Barr because of all the anti-black hispanics. It turned out that a majority of hispanics voted for Obama, even a larger percentage than those who voted for Kerry.

  88. The 16th says to lay and collect taxes. It doesn’t say anything about the 4th and 5th don’t apply in tax cases.

    It doesn’t establish what ‘income’ is. It doesn’t cancel out the rest of the bill of rights, it doesn’t allow a bureaucracy to assume the power of congress.

    Am I wrong here?

  89. SF, Boyle said during the commentary the pacing was deliberately deliberate – he wanted to give it “weight”. And yes, he mentioned 2001, and IIRC, Solaris as examples.

    How could you not know about The Fountain? It starred Hugh Jackman. Hugh Jackman!

  90. Just when I start to think anything would be better than what currently passes for”democracy” in this country, somebody calls for a military Junta.

    The Twin Towers are still there! David Copperfield erected a gigantic mirror array to conceal them. That’s where the IRS and the DNC are secretly plotting to take over the nation, just as soon as their Stalin clone is finished.

  91. domoarrigato-

    Does the 16th amendment state that it is an exception to the 4th and 5th amendments? Please enlighten us.

    Besides, the 16th was not ratified. See http://www.givemeliberty.org/features/taxes/notratified-htm.

  92. J sub D,

    I surmise libertymikes argument as “The military is bad and evil, because they follow the orders of people I don’t like – but they would be dandy if they followed my direction and used deadly force to reshape society in a way I approve of.”

  93. so the 16th doesn’t supersede prior amendments or Constitutional dictates. What about the 13th and 14th then? Is slavery still ok?

  94. How could you not know about The Fountain?

    Oh, I knew. Watched it anyway. Stupid insomnia.

  95. I still like libertymike better than Lonewacko.

  96. max hats,

    When the Constitution allowed slavery, was slavery morally right during that period?

  97. It turned out that a majority of hispanics voted for Obama, even a larger percentage than those who voted for Kerry.

    Dondero’s picks are truly amazing – first Giuliani, then when he flamed, Romney, then finally McCain. All of whom were more libertarian than the last. His one moment of prescience was in saying that Sarah Palin would make a good VP candidate – he said that over a year ago, well before almost anyone knew who Palin was.

    Of course, look how that turned out.

  98. domoarrigato-

    Sorry, your response is juvenile. You can’t support your meritless claim and so you run away when called on it. Again, name the particular “moonbeam conspiracy” theory that I supposedly support. Challenging you or any other poster to support the gvt. conspiracy theory does not qualify as “moonbeam.”

  99. Does the 12th amendment state that it modifies Article II, Section 1, Clause 3?

  100. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_protester_Sixteenth_Amendment_arguments

    The William J. Benson contention is essentially that the legislatures of various states passed ratifying resolutions in which the quoted text of the Amendment differed from the text proposed by Congress in terms of capitalization, spelling of words, or punctuation marks (e.g. semi-colons instead of commas), and that these differences made the ratification invalid. Benson makes other assertions including claims that one or more states rejected the Amendment and that the state or states were falsely reported as having ratified the Amendment. As explained below, the Benson arguments have been rejected in every court case where they have been raised, and were explicitly ruled to be fraudulent in 2007.

    Differences in spelling and punctuation? Well, that sounds like an invalid amendment to me. Better stage a coup.

  101. There may be the 16th Amendment, but still the income tax is a violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments.

    So, unless those two are repealed, or the income tax is fundamentally changed, the income tax will still be unconstitutional.

    kwais,

    Later amendments supercede prior amendments. Otherwise, the 21st amendment couldn’t possibly repeal the 18th.

    Also, I think our percentage of GDP going to the military is similar to most of Europe’s no?

    Nope. Greece, 4.3%, is the only non-Yugoslav European country more than us. We spend about 4% of GDP. The UK is at 2.4%, France is 2.6%, Germany 1.5%, Spain 1.2%, Ireland, 0.9%. Israel at 7.3% is the only other liberal democracy besides Greece over 3%.

  102. Why won’t someone prove my negative?

  103. When the Constitution allowed slavery, was slavery morally right during that period?

    The obvious answer is “no” but the less obvious answer is another question – does morality exist. A further question is what morality has to do with law. And an even further question, one I find pertinent right now, is what does morality have to do with the income tax?

  104. libertymike,

    what have I claimed that you would like support for? If I do that, will you take your meds?

  105. legal != moral
    moral != legal

    We’re talking legal, not moral. The Constitution covers the realm of legality, not morality.

  106. SF, Boyle said during the commentary the pacing was deliberately deliberate – he wanted to give it “weight”. And yes, he mentioned 2001, and IIRC, Solaris as examples.

    Boyle is a doofus but he has some talent, at least. Event Horizon also suffered from this, but Paul Anderson is a much worse director.

  107. “Israel at 7.3% is the only other liberal democracy besides Greece over 3%.”

    Israel spends so much on military spending, yet we still feel the need to fight their wars for them. That’s why the neocons pushed us into war with Iraq.

  108. domoarrigato-

    I’ll take them if you support the propostion that one is not a credible football fan if one asserts that Peyton Manning is overrated.

  109. kwais,

    The 16th says to lay and collect taxes. It doesn’t say anything about the 4th and 5th don’t apply in tax cases.

    It doesn’t establish what ‘income’ is. It doesn’t cancel out the rest of the bill of rights, it doesn’t allow a bureaucracy to assume the power of congress.

    The reason the 16th amendment was necessary is precisely the concerns you raise – in the absence of a change to the constitution, the income tax would be unconstituional. But then they changed the constitution.

  110. max hats | February 19, 2009, 11:35am | #
    so the 16th doesn’t supersede prior amendments or Constitutional dictates. What about the 13th and 14th then? Is slavery still ok?

    I think that if you consider blacks to be ‘men’. Then slavery was always unconstitutional.

    Similarly if you consider fetuses to be human, then abortion is immoral. If you don’t then laws against abortion are immoral.

  111. “As the last month or so shows, things can always get worse!”

    Is Nick really suggesting that Obama’s been worse in the last month than Bush typically was? Far from it, I think; he’s being rational with the rest of the world, working on closing Gitmo, noticing the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan, believing in science, and generally having a clue. Sure he’s spending eleventy-zillion dollars that we don’t have on programs that probably won’t help the economy much, but Bush did that sort of thing All The Time. And I like the things Obama wastes money on more than the things that Bush did, in general. So while still horrible (welcome to Earth), I think things in that part of the woods are getting better, not worse.

    (Discussion of unconstitutionality of the constitution intentionally ignored.)

  112. The reason the 16th amendment was necessary is precisely the concerns you raise – in the absence of a change to the constitution, the income tax would be unconstituional. But then they changed the constitution.

    Well that really takes the wind out of my sails.

  113. And an even further question, one I find pertinent right now, is what does morality have to do with the income tax?

    Theft is immoral even if it is legal. You may not accept that argument, but that’s the one that people who feel, like me, that excessive taxation* is wrong even if it is technically legal. The only arguments to be made for excessive taxation are collectivist arguments. We are not collectivists.

    *Excessive taxation is taxation beyond what you receive in government services. While nebulous, it is obvious that even the median middle class is paying more than they get back. Some even go further and describe excessive taxation as covering paying for any government service they do not directly receive a benefit from.

    —–

    On a purely personal front, I think immoral laws are bad laws, but that they are still laws. Rather than argue that an immoral law is invalid, it think it should be changed.

  114. Kwais-

    Frederick Douglas argued in the 1850s that slavery was not permitted under the constitution. Indeed, there is no constitutional text that specifically authorized the institution.

  115. “Also, I think our percentage of GDP going to the military is similar to most of Europe’s no?”

    No the USA spends over double the rest of the world dose on Military expenditures, (623 billion dollars to 500 Billion Dollars)

    In comaprison britian and France – the 2 largest military budgets in europe spend 43 and 45 billion dollars. (data here http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm ) Also as an aside the US spends on its military that European governments spend on health care (iirc).

  116. I’ll take the shambling, putrefying zombies from a Fulci or Romero movie anytime. I find the creeping death narrative to be much more terrifying than “Oh shit, let’s run as fast as we can and hide!”

    Besides, who can argue that this isn’t the greatest zombie flick scene of all time?

  117. Theft is immoral even if it is legal. You may not accept that argument, but that’s the one that people who feel, like me, that excessive taxation* is wrong even if it is technically legal. The only arguments to be made for excessive taxation are collectivist arguments. We are not collectivists.

    But how is tax by income worse or less moral than a tax on property, or gasoline purchases, or any other tax regime?

  118. The reason for those great military expenditures of the US is not for defense, but out of a need to project power, to act as the policeman of the world.

  119. Boyle is a doofus but he has some talent, at least. Event Horizon also suffered from this, but Paul Anderson is a much worse director.

    I didn’t find Event Horizon to be nearly as slowly paced as 2001 or Solaris, although perhaps the graphically gory scenes lingered in my mind over the slower parts. I certainly wasn’t thinking about floating eyeballs in 2001.

    But I don’t have the hate for Kubrick or Tarkovsky (or other slow filmmakers such as Ozu or Herzog). There is a least a point when they are deliberate. So far as I can tell, there is no such point in Jim Jarmusch’s films, which are best viewed by being somewhere other than where they’re playing.

    Also, Cassavettes. Psuedo-hip improvised dialog and lingering in the scene may have worked in the 1970’s, but it sure looks dated today. I just watched Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and was disappointed. Seriously, how do you make a movie about a strip club owner – being blackmailed by the mob – into performing a hit on a leading Chinese gangster – boring? Nudity, treachery, violence, and it’s still boring.

  120. There is a least a point when they are deliberate. So far as I can tell, there is no such point in Jim Jarmusch’s films, which are best viewed by being somewhere other than where they’re playing.

    Interesting, you are the only other person I have “met” who dislikes that film. I quite like Jarmusch’s films, but I could not sit through Dead Man.

  121. No one here did the research work of Bill Benson. If they had, they owuld have discovered that the state of Minnesota did not send any vote results to Mr. Knox. They would have also discovered that Kentucky’s Senate voted 13-9 against the filthy amendment.

    What is so revealing is that the united states government has filed a lawsuit seeking to have Mr. Benson permanently enjoined from publishing any more information concerning the ratification of the 16th. The gvt. won in the District Court. I believe that Mr. Benson has appealed the matter. The district court judge did not allow Mr. Benson’s attorney to introduce his client’s evidence to support his assertions.

    Too bad too many libertarians spend far too much time worrying about how they will be perceived instead of being forceful, unrepentant advocates for liberty.

  122. Hmm, I remember reading back during the Clinton years about our military spending being 3.something, and Britain and France also being 3.something, and of China being 5.2 or something.

    Maybe it was a bad source, or maybe the numbers have since changed.

    Either way for our country 2.5 seems rational, if all our people are armed, and if we cut all other spending in a similar fashion.

    Hell if we cut all other spending, 2.5% maybe more in real numbers than our current 4%

  123. But how is tax by income worse or less moral than a tax on property, or gasoline purchases, or any other tax regime?

    because an income tax establishes government ownership of you and everything you earn.

    I mean a flat tax, wouldn’t be as bad, but still wrong.

    A gas tax, or a user fee tax, is a tax that you can chose not to pay.

  124. max hats,

    Income tax is not the only form of excessive taxation, but it is probably the worst because so little of it makes it back to me in the form of services. And it is also the most unavoidable. I can live in an apartment (or move somewhere with cheaper property taxes), ride a bike, not buy things in retail store. Income tax is the same all over and nigh unavoidable legally.

  125. What is so revealing is that the united states government has filed a lawsuit seeking to have Mr. Benson permanently enjoined from publishing any more information concerning the ratification of the 16th. The gvt. won in the District Court. I believe that Mr. Benson has appealed the matter. The district court judge did not allow Mr. Benson’s attorney to introduce his client’s evidence to support his assertions.

    I would find your arguments of a massive government conspiracy more credible in this case if you were not also a truther.

  126. there is no such point in Jim Jarmusch’s films, which are best viewed by being somewhere other than where they’re playing.

    Also not a Jarmusch fan. He’s just…boring. And Kubrick was a great director–you absolutely cannot judge him on 2001 alone.

    Seriously, how do you make a movie about a strip club owner – being blackmailed by the mob – into performing a hit on a leading Chinese gangster – boring? Nudity, treachery, violence, and it’s still boring.

    Cassavetes was different for the time, and was important in his influence on later directors, but as happens many a time, his own influence dates him. Look at graphic violence and Peckinpah.

    By the way, try Cassavetes in The Incubus. A widely unknown gem.

  127. I liked Dead Man. The indian guy (“Stupid fucking white man.”) was awesome.

  128. *Excessive taxation is taxation beyond what you receive in government services. While nebulous, it is obvious that even the median middle class is paying more than they get back. Some even go further and describe excessive taxation as covering paying for any government service they do not directly receive a benefit from.

    Agreed, as long as you have a choice whether to receive said service.

  129. max hats | February 19, 2009, 12:19pm | #

    What is so revealing is that the united states government has filed a lawsuit seeking to have Mr. Benson permanently enjoined from publishing any more information concerning the ratification of the 16th. The gvt. won in the District Court. I believe that Mr. Benson has appealed the matter. The district court judge did not allow Mr. Benson’s attorney to introduce his client’s evidence to support his assertions.

    I would find your arguments of a massive government conspiracy more credible in this case if you were not also a truther.

    LibertyMike is wrong about his truther stuff. He is wrong about his holocaust denial stuff.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean he is wrong about his tax thing stuff.

    I mean, I hope he isn’t wrong. But I guess that is what makes a conspiracy successful is people wanting to believe it.

    Well, either way, the income tax is immoral, and goes against the spirit of the constitution, and goes against everything this country is supposed to stand for.

  130. The thing is that the most interesting topic on this thread is Zombies.

    But I don’t really have anything to add.

  131. Property tax is also extremely immoral. In essence, you do not own your property–you rent it from the government. If you don’t pay your rent (tax), they will take it back and rent it to someone else.

  132. Where else on the internet can you read a perfectly coherent thread that intersperses the constituionality of income tax with Zombie fandom?

  133. Where else on the internet can you read a perfectly coherent thread that intersperses the constituionality of income tax with Zombie fandom?

    Fark?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  134. There is a least a point when they are deliberate. So far as I can tell, there is no such point in Jim Jarmusch’s films, which are best viewed by being somewhere other than where they’re playing.

    My wife will skin me alive if I ever take her to another Jarmusch flick. I took her and my sister to see Ghost Dog when it came out and I still get comments about it. I liked it, but that film moves at the speed of mammal evolution.

  135. Property tax is also extremely immoral. In essence, you do not own your property–you rent it from the government. If you don’t pay your rent (tax), they will take it back and rent it to someone else.

    Of all the taxes, property tax is the only one that makes me uneasy, for exactly the reason you cite. That said, it effectively makes urbanism possible. Otherwise you could never build an office complex or a condo development, because there would always be some homeowner who didn’t want the buyout money.

    As far as an income tax – before the income tax, the federal government made extensive use of tariffs and excise taxes to pay for things like the national defense. In these days of free trade, how else can the federal government raise money? It seems to me it’s either an income tax or a universally applied fee, and the fee would effectively enslave the poor.

  136. The difference between Dan Fouts and Payton Manning is one championship.

    The difference between Payton Manning and Tom Brady is two championships.

    Payton Manning is therefore more similar to Dan Fouts than he is to Tom Brady. And yet football “experts” regularly equate Manning and Brady.

    This is clearly overrating Manning.

    But then, I’m a hockey fan.

  137. dbcooper & PBrooks – I’ve met a lot of people who like Dead Man. I don’t get it, but there must be something to it. For me, it was watching 15 minutes and waiting for something to happen. then, when it looked like something would happen, nothing happened. I tried about 20 minutes of Mystery Train, and while the 10 minutes of the couple walking, and 10 more minutes of them unpacking in the hotel was indeed thrilling, I decided I’d be better off not watching any more Jarmusch films.

    Also, while I can understand your liking the Indian character, for me, he was so obviously symbolic, it was jarring. As were some other blatantly symbolic events in the movie – Lance Fredricksen saying “that looks like a god damn religious icon”. If you’re going to make your symbols that broad, why don’t you actually have something happen in the movie, so it won’t stand out as much.

    Episiarch, your point about Cassavetes is well taken. I don’t think his films are horrible, just dated and flabby. Even given his style, I think he could have been a little more critical in the editing room. But he definitely earns respect as one of the first true independents.

    I’ll Netflix Incubus. One interesting film I’d rec is Teshigahara’s The Face of Another. It can be (like a lot of Teshigahara’s films) slow at times, but the ideas behind it – the layers of identity maintain interest (to me, anyway). If you don’t like surrealism, though, stay away.

  138. In these days of free trade, how else can the federal government raise money?

    Sales tax?

    VAT?

  139. Max Hats,

    As to your link to the Wikipedia 16th Amendment thing. I have a friend, Lived in Reno, now lives in Utah. Tax protester, has taken the IRS to court several times and won.

    He argued on this point:
    These arguments include claims that the word “income” as used in the Sixteenth Amendment cannot be interpreted as applying to wages; that wages are not income because labor is exchanged for them; that taxing wages violates individuals’ right to property,[4]

    And he won everytime. He also refused to get a drivers license or an SS number.

    He also formed a company and named it the IRS, and then he sued the IRS for copyright infringement. He lost that case, but got a handshake from the Governor of Nevada for that one.

    He is a cool and inspiring guy.

  140. In these days of free trade, how else can the federal government raise money?

    Usage taxes/fees, as NutraSweet discussed above. Do electronic road tolling or gas tax; sales taxes; and so on. You pay the tax only on things you use and then that money (should) go only to what it was taxed for.

    (Anarchist disclaimer: I believe all taxes are theft and therefore immoral, but that’s not the discussion here.)

    the fee would effectively enslave the poor

    You do realize that’s what taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, etc. (sin taxes) partly do already, right?

  141. As far as an income tax – before the income tax, the federal government made extensive use of tariffs and excise taxes to pay for things like the national defense. In these days of free trade, how else can the federal government raise money?

    If you were defending slavery, you might ask “HOw else can we build stuff or get our crops picked?”

    The fact that you can’t see an alternative does not make slavery moral. It does not make the continuation of the practice acceptable

    It does not excuse not fighting against the institution.

  142. Epi
    I feel you, but how about taxes for things that have pretty diffuse benefits, like police protection, national defense, or the EPA?

  143. I hate sin taxes big time. They combine “we want your money” with “and we think this you ought not do to.” And their regressive. Nasty things.

  144. Like if the cops lock up the Hamburglar then it protects, maybe, my and yours hamburgers, and I think it would be pretty hard to know who should pay the fee for that.

    Plus, I wanted to work the Hamburglar into this thread. WTF every happened to him, Grimace, and the Irish cop-burger stereotype guy?

  145. And let me say for the record the Democrats sucked it recently in using a sin tax to fund the S-Chip thing.

  146. No one here did the research work of Bill Benson. If they had, they owuld have discovered that the state of Minnesota did not send any vote results to Mr. Knox. They would have also discovered that Kentucky’s Senate voted 13-9 against the filthy amendment.

    Go ahead. Post the links to conspiraciesunlimited.com or whatever ridiculous website lays it all out. I could use a laugh.

    The Freemasons, International Jewry, Bilderbergs, Trilateral Commission, and the aliens we’re hiding at area 51 are all responsible anyway.

  147. (Anarchist disclaimer: I believe all taxes are theft and therefore immoral, but that’s not the discussion here.)

    I think I disagree here. I mean if the government allows private roads and such, and taxes are user fees as much as possible.

    the fee would effectively enslave the poor

    You do realize that’s what taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, etc. (sin taxes) partly do already, right?

    I think that income tax is the main enslaver of the poor. It helps the connected stay rich, it prevents poor from rising from being poor. And ultimately when you tax the rich, you are really just taxing the poor.

  148. MNG, it is a point about morality. Taxes are taken by force. Even if you don’t want what they pay for (let’s say you fortify your house and have lots of guns, and don’t want the police), you still have to. That is theft and it is immoral.

    To quote Prof. de la Paz:

    “Comrades, I beg of you – do not resort to compulsory taxation. There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”

  149. MNG | February 19, 2009, 12:50pm | #
    Epi
    I feel you, but how about taxes for things that have pretty diffuse benefits, like police protection, national defense, or the EPA?

    I was wondering about that too. Someone here mentioned a bill mailed out to all those who benefit from those programs.

    I am not sure about what to do when someone can’t pay the bill, but that does seem fair.

    That way you get to see exactly what those programs are costing you.

    Another take is that the duties of the police are the duties of everyone. So you can put in your hours or pay someone else to do it. Police would be more responsive to the community that they police.

    Back in the day, police duty used to be a punishment for having committed a crime. Sounds pretty funny.

    I guess that is where the whole problem of uniformed criminals that we have today began

  150. and the aliens we’re hiding at area 51 are all responsible anyway.

    Jsub, why do you mock that one?
    what is wrong with you?

  151. I was wondering about that too. Someone here mentioned a bill mailed out to all those who benefit from those programs.

    I am not sure about what to do when someone can’t pay the bill, but that does seem fair.

    Why would the government need to provide a service that people wanted (would pay for voluntarily) in the first place?

  152. If you were defending slavery, you might ask “HOw else can we build stuff or get our crops picked?”

    The fact that you can’t see an alternative does not make slavery moral. It does not make the continuation of the practice acceptable

    Being forced to labor in a field under pain of death, with no rights and no recourse, is not the moral equivalent of a income tax. No.


  153. “Comrades, I beg of you – do not resort to compulsory taxation. There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”

    Amen, but what we have here on this thread also is the idea that it is ok to force someone to pay for someone elses crap too.

    Because we are a ‘comunity’. And being a community is more important than individual freedom.

  154. Being forced to labor in a field under pain of death, with no rights and no recourse, is not the moral equivalent of a income tax. No.

    How about under pain of prison? Seems like the same ball park.

    I mean conditions are better now than back then. Same idea though.

  155. As if the myth that our wars have been fought for the sake of our freedoms is true.

    So, holding back communism during the Cold War didn’t help preserve a free society? Or at least a *freer* one than we would have had otherwise?

  156. Pretty sure neither my employer nor the government can have me whipped for imaginary violations, or simply for their sadistic pleasure. Pretty sure I won’t be worked to death. Won’t be sold, or have my family sold. Won’t have my daughter raped by my boss. No, the income tax is not slavery.

  157. Why would the government need to provide a service that people wanted (would pay for voluntarily) in the first place?

    Military and Police?

    Potentially in some circumstances, roadmaking? Something where only one entity could do it, so it would necessarily be a monopoly, so might as well be a the government, being that we vote for them?

  158. I’ve met a lot of people who like Dead Man. I don’t get it, but there must be something to it. For me, it was watching 15 minutes and waiting for something to happen. then, when it looked like something would happen, nothing happened.

    Enjoying ‘Dead Man’ is really all about hating the white man and what he did to the noble Native Americans. It’s a lefty thing. You wouldn’t understand.

  159. Look, adhering to the Romero Rules is great, but the cat’s out of the bag. We’ve lost sight of what it means to be a zombie. So instead of living in the past, embrace the new strains of zombie. You have a choice: enjoy 28 Months Later, or sit in the dark watching Lucio Fulci movies.

    Your choice.

    Slow-zombitarianism is a failed philosophy of the past. Embrace the fast-zombie future, or be the first to have your brains eaten, when the revolution comes.

  160. Max, seems to me that you are taking two institutions of slavery. One worse indeed than the other.

    And then you are comparing the two by the difference in the punishment of failure to comply. I think that is poor logic.

    Also you are assuming that in everycase the private individual punishes worse than the worse government punishment. I don’t think history holds that to be true.

    So here is a thought experiment:

    Take the two forms of punishment that you have in your mind, and switch them.

    For failure to pay taxes you get whipped, killed and your daughter raped.

    for failure to work in the field, you get a fine, or prison in a country club prison.

    Which one is worse?

    I mean, I think that slavery in the field is worse.
    But they are in same category, if not the same ballpark.

  161. and the aliens we’re hiding at area 51 are all responsible anyway.

    Jsub, why do you mock that one?
    what is wrong with you?

    The aliens living in my basement told me that the ones at area 51 are “not real aliens, but an incredible simulation”.

  162. Slow-zombitarianism is a failed philosophy of the past. Embrace the fast-zombie future, or be the first to have your brains eaten, when the revolution comes.

    Agreed, modern weaponry and knowledge of zombie tactics and operating procedures renders slow moving zombies obsolete.

    They were effective initially, when humans couldn’t wrap their minds around the fact that what once was their friends now is a different creature.

    Also there was initially a horror in that something that was dead now lives. That horror has worn off.

    A slow moving zombie, and anyone that falls victim of a slow moving zombie is now only worthy of ridicule.

    Fast moving zombies are necessary to make the event thrilling and action packed.

    Still even with fast moving zombies, you can still have the pleasure of shooting at will at slow moving human shaped objects that make no attempt to run for cover. They only move fast when chasing someone.

  163. I do not buy the conspiracy theory advanced by government men that 19 muslims with box-cutters were responsible.

    Because a cigar is never, you know, just a fucking cigar.

  164. Take the two forms of punishment that you have in your mind, and switch them.

    For failure to pay taxes you get whipped, killed and your daughter raped.

    for failure to work in the field, you get a fine, or prison in a country club prison.

    Which one is worse?

    I mean, I think that slavery in the field is worse.
    But they are in same category, if not the same ballpark.

    The essence of slavery is owning a human being as property. The government does not own citizens as property. I have individual rights which the government cannot take away from me without criminal trial. I also pay a tax on my income. These two statements are not contradictory in any way.

  165. A slow moving zombie, and anyone that falls victim of a slow moving zombie is now only worthy of ridicule.

    As was shown in Dawn of the Dead–20 years ago!–, thereby making it true.

    The fast zombie represents our fast moving culture. Adapt or perish. If your zombie doesn’t have an iPod, just get out of the way, old man.

  166. It’s a lefty thing. You wouldn’t understand.

    Now you’ve got it!

    *rolls eyes*

  167. Which is a better metaphor for the income tax: fast zombies or slow zombies? Discuss.

  168. All your movie symbology belong to us.

  169. All your movie symbology are belong to us.

    crap!

  170. The income tax is the slow zombie: it sneaks up on you through withholding because you’re not paying attention.

    Sin taxes are like Bub; you get complacent around them, comfortable with them, and BAM! suddenly they’re chewing on you.

    That’s right, Bub! Say hello to your Aunt Alicia! Say, “Hello, Aunt Alicia!” “Hello!”

  171. The essence of slavery is owning a human being as property. The government does not own citizens as property. I have individual rights which the government cannot take away from me without criminal trial. I also pay a tax on my income. These two statements are not contradictory in any way.

    The government gets to decide how much of your income you get to keep. Pretty much arbitrarily. Even if you live outside of the country, and earn your money outside of the country. You have no say in it. They do not have to prove anything in a court of law, you have to to keep your stuff. They can put a lean on everything you own, therefore you own nothing.

    You are property of the US government.

    Granted, it can be a comfortable cage at times, if you decide not to fight it.

  172. Because a cigar is never, you know, just a fucking cigar.

    Didn’t Clinton prove that to be a canard?

  173. You are property of the US government.

    “property” is a word with meaning. Holding human beings as property has implications far beyond taxing their income. Your argument is becoming absurd.

  174. Didn’t Clinton prove that to be a canard?

    No, Clinton made it literal. He made a cigar a fucking cigar by dipping it in a fat chick’s junk tunnel.

    (Did anyone hear an echo?)

  175. I have individual rights which the government cannot take away from me without criminal trial.

    Really? What are those?

    – Not the 1st A, McCain Feingold proved that.
    – Not the 2nd A, my stay in NYC proved that.
    I am guessing not the 3rd A, DEA, or IRS would find a way around that.
    – Not the 4th A, the 16th over rides it.
    – Not the 5th A, the 16th over rides it.
    – The 6th? If you get a speedy trial, you are probably getting fucked. Also it seems the 16 over rides the “district where the crime was committed part”
    – The 7th? OK
    – The 8th? mmm, debatable. prison rape and all 3rd strike law for pot, 10 yrs for owning a gun with a bayonet stud.
    – The 9th? Please.

  176. kwais,

    “you” are more than the sum of your property. The fact that the government can take some of your property, doesn’t mean that they own you. You are entered into a social contract at birth – to the extent that you want to argue that the social contract has been expanded and distorted to the point of tyranny: I might be right there with you. If, on the other hand, you wish to take the anarchist view that you did not consent to said contract and don’t have to be bound by it – I will respectfully disagree.

  177. Really? What are those?

    I have the freedom to not be bought, sold, otherwise traded or arbitrarily destroyed. For the purposes of my argument that income tax does not equal slavery, that is enough.

  178. “property” is a word with meaning. Holding human beings as property has implications far beyond taxing their income. Your argument is becoming absurd.

    Everything you own, the government owns. (if you think you own something, and it increases in value the government gets to say how much of it you get to keep, without a trial. If the government says that you own them more of anything, also without a trial, they can come and take anything you own).
    Everything you can earn the government owns. The government can tell you what you can eat, what you can smoke. Can make you wear a helmet, and a seatbelt because not doing so is too dangerous for your body, that they own.

    I own a cat, the cat lives pretty comfortably, and does no tasks that I assign it, but there is no doubt that I own it.

    (actually that last part is not true, but is used to illustrate.)

  179. You are entered into a social contract at birth

    I am entered with no consent of my own, and this does not seem like ownership to you?

  180. I have the freedom to not be bought, sold, otherwise traded

    YOu mean like bought sold or traded to another US Govt?

  181. You’re conflating production with individual rights. You own your cat and you own the production of your cat – those dead mice are yours.

    The government has some rights to my production via income taxes, but it does not own me. Again, I cannot be sold, traded, whipped, destroyed, raped, etc. There is a fundamental difference. “Property” has meaning. “Slavery” has meaning. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it equals something else you don’t like.

  182. The “evidence” that the 16th amendment was not ratified can also be applied to the constitition itself and the bill of rights. Yet I’ve not heard any tax denier claim that the second amendment is illegal.

    Deniers (and troofers) rely on the selective application of trivial legal minutiae while ignoring the unassailable mountain of truth on the other side. It is a religious faith to them. No amount of evidence will ever convince them. They are no different from flat earthers.


  183. “you” are more than the sum of your property

    I will grant you this. On the income tax alone, doesn’t necessarily mean that “you” are property. Just everything that you own, or will ever earn. That is pretty close, but not the same.

    It is some of the other laws that make the “you” completely owned by the collective.

  184. “Is it a “moonbeam conspiracy” to not buy the the 9/11 conspiracy theory propounded by the united states government?”

    You’re goddamn right it is.

  185. “John, like many in the military, thinks that he is heroically doing battle for freedom.”

    Anyone who purports to know what another person thinks is an idiot, an asshole or both.

    Oh and for the record, I am a dyke.

  186. Again, I cannot be …, …, whipped, …, raped, etc.

    Not to nitpick, but I can’t do that to my cat either. That does not mean that I don’t own it.

    But I see your point now. Thanks to domoarrigato (whose name has to be copied and pasted).

    Still the income tax alone comes pretty close to slavery. The income tax plus other laws do in fact establish ownership. Just because the owners have some limited ability to destroy their property, or commit cruel punishment on it doesn’t mean that there is not ownership there.

    If in one of the counties of the South, killing or torturing your slaves had been prohibited, it would still be slavery, and it would still be immoral.

  187. max hats has been very clever in using only his/her definition of slavery.

    Wikipedia’s definition of slavery does not agree with max hats: a form of unfree labour where a person (called a “slave”) is compelled to work for another (sometimes called “the master” or “slave owner”)

    sounds like income tax to me

  188. “No, Clinton made it literal. He made a cigar a fucking cigar by dipping it in a fat chick’s junk tunnel.”

    So that means he also made it clitoral.

  189. If in one of the counties of the South, killing or torturing your slaves had been prohibited, it would still be slavery, and it would still be immoral.

    A primary characteristic of property is the right to transfer its ownership. Slaves are property in fundamental ways that private citizens are not, no matter how much taxation or state ownership is in place.

    Would you trade having zero taxes for becoming property of another man?

  190. max hats has been very clever in using only his/her definition of slavery.

    Wikipedia’s definition of slavery does not agree with max hats: a form of unfree labour where a person (called a “slave”) is compelled to work for another (sometimes called “the master” or “slave owner”)

    sounds like income tax to me

    Your argument isn’t even consistent with itself. No one forces you to work for anyone.

  191. A primary characteristic of property is the right to transfer its ownership.

    If you renounce your American citizenship and become a citizen of another country, the US still claims the right to tax your income and possessions. You may not be a “slave”, but the US permanently claims the right to take a portion of your labor. So semantic quibbling is unimportant.

    I cannot legally escape giving a portion of my labor to the US government. They own part of me–forever.

  192. kwais

    I am entered with no consent of my own, and this does not seem like ownership to you?

    not particularly. There are aspects of it that rub my sense of individualism wrong, but Ownership – no.

    Why must my name be copied/pasted?

  193. Is it a “moonbeam conspiracy” to not buy the the 9/11 conspiracy theory propounded by the united states government?

    Classic ad hominem argument. Just because the government is an evil lying sack of shit does not mean that everything the government says is 180 degrees opposite of the truth. What is truly moonbeam is believing that a group of arabs are incapable of hijacking four planes yet tens of thousands of American citizens can keep quiet about their involvement in an secret government insider conspiracy.

  194. If you renounce your American citizenship and become a citizen of another country, the US still claims the right to tax your income and possessions.

    I’d like to see documentation of this. True renunciations of citizenship are rare, and are often held invalid by both interested governments. In the event an individual did renounce U.S. citizenship and did hold another nations citizenship, and the U.S. still taxed that person, I would tend to believe that was more of a paperwork error than extension of statute. A law holding a governments right to tax another nations citizen who does not work or hold citizenship of the tax levying state – that doesn’t sound like it would hold up in international law.

  195. It’s vague whether that applies to non-citizens living in the U.S., who are taxed the same regardless (except social security, I believe) and non-citizens living in other countries, who the United States (I am pretty sure) cannot tax. Saying “I’m not American anymore” isn’t a free get-out-of-tax-free card(tho maybe it should be), but at the same time we don’t have the right to levy taxes on some random Irishman.

  196. but at the same time we don’t have the right to levy taxes on some random Irishman

    I don’t understand what this has to do with my point. I’m talking about US citizens and the US government.

  197. In the event an individual did renounce U.S. citizenship and did hold another nations citizenship, and the U.S. still taxed that person,

    Not sure how they could actually collect the taxes, at least not unless you were so negligent as to leave property under US jurisdiction.

    Now, pre-existing tax liabilities would not be revoked, I can see that. But if I renounce my citizenship in 2008, I don’t see any grounds for an IRS claim on my 2009 earnings.

  198. “Again, name the particular “moonbeam conspiracy” theory that I supposedly support. Challenging you or any other poster to support the gvt. conspiracy theory does not qualify as “moonbeam.””

    This is too easy, but here goes:

    You clearly state you believe that something OTHER THAN “19 muslims with box-cutters were responsible” for 9/11.

    Ergo, your theory is that it was “something else”.

    And while you haven’t indicated specifically what you believe that “something else” was, given that a shitload of people actually saw those planes slam into the towers, it really doesn’t matter.

    Why? Because any theory that asserts it was “something else” is moonbeaming — as in Hey everybody! Look at me! I’m moonbeaming!!!

  199. There is no such thing as a military victory or defeat; there is only political victory or defeat.

  200. “Frederick Douglas argued in the 1850s that slavery was not permitted under the constitution. Indeed, there is no constitutional text that specifically authorized the institution.”

    Nor the age of consent for that matter. So sex with 4-year-olds is constitutional and laws prohibiting sex with 4-year-olds are unconstitutional, no?

  201. Damned straight I’m going up.

    Keep on the Sec Def, and make his deputy a guy who’s been both in the budget office of the Pentagon and the Government Affairs office of a major military contractor?
    What did you think was going to happen?

  202. For the last time, it was Flavor Aid, not Kool-Aid(TM)

  203. But if I renounce my citizenship in 2008, I don’t see any grounds for an IRS claim on my 2009 earnings.

    RC, max, check this out. Especially the Background section.

  204. Epi,

    it goes on to say…

    In addition, the act of renouncing U.S. citizenship will not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States, or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the United States or incurred as United States citizens abroad.

    I read that as being you still owe taxes that you incurred before you renounced – but not necessarily after.

  205. 28 Days Later was a good movie, but not as good as select other zombie movies

    The Best Zombie Novel is The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

    And yes mind just exploded.

  206. Military Spending | February 19, 2009, 3:21pm | #

    Damned straight I’m going up.

    No, you’re not.

    The figure you provided includes, for the first time, large portions of the spending for the Iraq and Afghan wars, which have always been funded off-budget, via separate appropriations bills.

    Taking into account both pots of money, military spending is going down next year, even though the amount in the Pentagon appropriations bill will be higher.

  207. What is truly moonbeam is believing that a group of arabs are incapable of hijacking four planes yet tens of thousands of American citizens can keep quiet about their involvement in an secret government insider conspiracy.

    awsome

  208. Taking into account both pots of money, military spending is going down next year, even though the amount in the Pentagon appropriations bill will be higher.

    For an advocate of anthropic global warming you sure have a hard time with trend lines.

    Lets look at Obama’s military spending after 4 years not 2 months. Is that ok with you joe the hack?

  209. If you renounce your US citizenship, you still have to pay taxes on what you earn in the US. Just like any other foreigner. Hell, even the tax troofers agree on this one!

  210. I am entered with no consent of my own, and this does not seem like ownership to you?

    You can always emigrate. That’s what my family did. And that’s why you’re not a slave. You can use your own two legs, move to another country and be free and they can’t take you back. You can move to Somalia or some island nation and not be bothered. Granted, you lose access to the opportunities in the US, but that’s the price of admission.

    Another reason you’re not a slave. You’re not compelled to work. If you have a large pile of money, that’s not earning any interest, you can live all but sales tax free. You can rent a place, so you don’t have to pay property taxes. No compulsion involved. If you’re a farmer that lives only on what you grow, no taxes.

  211. Note: My family didn’t emigrate from the US we emigrated from another country that treated us far worse than the current one we’re in.

  212. Would you trade having zero taxes for becoming property of another

    YOu mean would I get married if it meant no income tax?

    I dunno maybe

  213. Brandybuck | February 19, 2009, 2:17pm | #
    The “evidence” that the 16th amendment was not ratified can also be applied to the constitition itself and the bill of rights. Yet I’ve not heard any tax denier claim that the second amendment is illegal.

    The guy that I knew claimed that “income” didn’t have a legal definition. I think. Something like, when he traded his time or labor for money, it was an equal trade, so there was no “income”. Or something like that.

    Either way, he used to win in court.

  214. For an advocate of anthropic global warming…

    Nice of you to let us know right off the bat this is nothing but a partisan pissing match for you. Global warming? WTF are you babbling about, fool?

    you sure have a hard time with trend lines. Apparently, I’m better able than you to figure them out, since I can figure out that lower overall-military-spending is, in fact, lower.

    Lets look at Obama’s military spending after 4 years not 2 months. Is that ok with you joe the hack?

    Lol. Suddenly, the actual budget request he puts forth is not a reliable indicator of his budget plans.

    You move those goalposts, joshua! You move them!

    Oh, and fool? You might have noticed that the comment I was REPLYING TO raised the issue of next year’s Pentagon budget, and that I was REPLYING TO that comment. Since you found absolutely no problem with someone talking about Obama’s military budget next year, but got worked into your typical state of frothing imbecility and demanded that we stop talking about that subject only when I pointed out a factual error, I think you did a pretty good job establishing exactly who the hack is here, fool.

  215. libertydyke | February 19, 2009, 2:26pm | #

    Oh and for the record, I am a dyke.

    Then, that is a very cool and appropriate name.

  216. If you have a large pile of money, that’s not earning any interest, you can live all but sales tax free.

    Not true.
    If you have money in any other form than federal reserve notes, you will be taxed on it. If you have your money in Federal Reserve Notes, then they print more of them, thus devaluating them while they are in your possession, a tax. (your tax on the poor, if you will)

    They collect from you either way.

  217. I don’t know how many times I’ve corrected John on this, but here I go again:

    John, supporting a war while not being in the military doesn’t make one a chicken hawk. Declaring that your support for a war makes you braver and more manly and more honorable than war opponents, without actually doing anything brave, manly, or honorable (like joining the military) makes you a chickenhawk.

    So if you’ve seen any Obama supporters running down those who oppose the Afghan war as pussies, who aren’t actually in the military, then you can call them chickenhawks. Otherwise, you’re just venting your bitterness in a poorly-aimed fashion.

  218. The figure you provided includes, for the first time, large portions of the spending for the Iraq and Afghan wars, which have always been funded off-budget, via separate appropriations bills.

    This is true; at least this was the plan when the Joint Chiefs were making their budget proposals last year.

    Taking into account both pots of money, military spending is going down next year,

    Well, we’ll see. Iraq supplemental will likely go down no matter what, Afghanistan may go down may go up depending on how much is in the baseline budget and how the mid year review goes.

    Also, there is the matter of hiring and paying for an additional 90K or so Army and Marine corps personnel that was promised (I forget the time frame).

    And I am unaware of any major procurement programs in any of the branches that are being curtailed; many are likely being increased. (Like the F-22) I think even the LCS is making a comeback.

    So, we’ll revisit this around the usual appropirations bill time (summer/fall) and see who’s right. Fair enough?

  219. Mo | February 19, 2009, 4:39pm | #
    I am entered with no consent of my own, and this does not seem like ownership to you?

    You can always emigrate.

    So basically your answer is “if you don’t like being a slave then go to somewhere that you will still be a slave, or where you will be in danger of losing your life. Or be a mega billionaire and buy your own Island”?

    So, basically back in the day through votes and politicking that masses got the right to everything you own, to basically all of your American rights, and if you don’t like it run away?

  220. joe, I suspect that definition of chickenhawk is unique to you.

    The term, which has fallen out of favor was generally applied to anyone at all who supported the war while not on active military duty. Occasionally exemptions were given if you used to be in the service.

    I suspect the term will not be heard again so long as Obama is actively prosecuting the war in Afghanistan. I would expect that 90+% of the people used it to try to shut down debate on Iraq are starry-eyed Obamanistas, and would never use it in any way that would imply that Obama, as someone who is not now and never has been in the military, is a chickenhawk for suppoorting a war.

  221. Hell of the living dead

    Nuff Said

    But something about fast zombies scares me even more. There’s less hope of getting away from fast zombies, unless you can run forever.

  222. But something about fast zombies scares me even more. There’s less hope of getting away from fast zombies, unless you can run forever.

    That is an interesting point. If you are running away from a fast zombie who was a fat guy when he was alive, how fast do you have to run?

    How far do you have to run?

  223. RC,

    Here’s wikipedia’s definition:

    Chickenhawk (also chicken hawk and chicken-hawk) is a political epithet used in the United States to criticize a politician, bureaucrat, or commentator who strongly supports a war or other military action, and actively avoided military service when of draft age.
    The term is meant to indicate that the person in question is cowardly or hypocritical for personally avoiding combat in the past while advocating that others go to war in the present.

    So, again, the subject has to have been an actual chicken – done something to avoid combat – before being a hawk. Merely not being the military isn’t enough.

    The term “chickenhawk” is an accusation of hypocrisy – one has to have demonstrated both the hawk’s beak AND the chicken’s heart.

    I suspect the term will not be heard again so long as Obama is actively prosecuting the war in Afghanistan. I suspect not. Obama seems to have the decency the avoid surrounding himself with people like Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, or Rush Limbaugh, who actively worked to avoid serving in Vietnam while urging that other people be sent to fight there. As well as the decency to avoid calling other people’s manly virtues into question for differing on the question of whether a particular war should be waged.

  224. “Oh, and fool? You might have noticed that the comment I was REPLYING TO raised the issue of next year’s Pentagon budget, and that I was REPLYING TO that comment. Since you found absolutely no problem with someone talking about Obama’s military budget next year, but got worked into your typical state of frothing imbecility and demanded that we stop talking about that subject only when I pointed out a factual error, I think you did a pretty good job establishing exactly who the hack is here, fool.”

    I’m so sorry about my boy. He’s a bit pixelated you know. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him drink from the toilet when he was little.

  225. Oh, and RC?

    In July 2006, blogger Glenn Greenwald used a narrower definition of the term: [10]
    ” Something more than mere support for a war without fighting in it is required to earn the “chicken hawk” label. Chicken-hawkism is the belief that advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength, and that opposing a war from afar is a sign of personal cowardice and weakness. A “chicken hawk” is someone who not merely advocates a war, but believes that their advocacy is proof of the courage which those who will actually fight the war in combat require.

    So, no, not unique to me.

  226. domoarrigato | February 19, 2009, 2:47pm | #

    Why must my name be copied/pasted?

    I just realized that your name is Domo Arregato like Mr Robato. that would have made spelling it easier.

    I spelled it Demoraggio, or versons there of the first time. So I just cut and pasted. It was long with many letters, and foreign sounding.

  227. Yeah yeah, slink off and write something stupid under a fake handle.

  228. Brandybuck-2:48

    No, you are wrong with respect to your ad hominem comment. How can one make an ad hominem argument regarding an institution?

  229. man this thread has slowed down.

    Joe did you kill the thread?

    Your punishment is to click on to Lonewhacko’s site 5 times!

  230. “Military peronnel take an oath to defend the constituion. My point is that they do not take it seriously. If they did, they would not stand for the drug war and would forcibly end it. Ditto for the income tax.”

    Sorry LibertyMike, apparently the armed forces of the nation storming congress and murdering every representative isn’t kosher.

    By the way the moonbeam is one of the conspiracies about how the WTC was brought down. Apparently NASA built a giant phaser on the moon which had enough power to bring down both towers along with damaging the Pentagon.

    LibertyMike, once again, how are you not a pussy. But I’d like you to prove your courage and go down to the local Veterans Hall and throatpunch a World War 2 Vet to show your awesome courage compared to the “pussies.”

  231. So basically your answer is “if you don’t like being a slave then go to somewhere that you will still be a slave, or where you will be in danger of losing your life. Or be a mega billionaire and buy your own Island”?

    So, basically back in the day through votes and politicking that masses got the right to everything you own, to basically all of your American rights, and if you don’t like it run away?

    So everyone in every country, except the ultra wealthy are slaves. Congrats kwais, you have diluted the meaning of slave so much that it’s meaningless.

    You are aware that America was founded by a bunch of people that weren’t happy with where they were and booked it.

    By the way, by your definition of free, Americans were never free. There have been taxes since the founding of the republic. They were in the form of tariffs and excise taxes (which aren’t usage fees). By creating such a high bar to be free, you make it unreachable and meaningless.

  232. Kwais, to answer your question may i refer you to
    The day of the dead remake with (shit i gotta look at the box) Nick Cannon. Fat guy zombie moved like fucking lightening.

    Greatest Zombie movie scene with no zombies

    The UN scene in Hell of the living dead

  233. Mo,

    Perhaps I miss spoke. The crux of the issue is this. The income tax is immoral. Other taxes might also be immoral, but that doesn’t change that the income tax is very immoral.

    It is immoral because it denies the fundamental human right of property.

    And to argue that it is ok because “without it how are we going to fund government” is akin to arguing “without slavery how are we going to get cotton picked”.

    Both are very immoral.

    Aside from that the income tax are pretty similar from a human liberty point of view. You can argue, and others on this thread have argued well that it is not exactly the same. Still it is similar, and fundamentally immoral

    It disturbs me greatly that you, or anyone else would argue that the income tax is in any way ok.

    Just as it disturbs me when someone argues that slavery is ok.

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