What I find interesting is the belief that the government cannot be trusted by
those who have different political leanings than the party in power. The
american people have been lied to by politicians since time immemorial.
Politicians lie to the people. Unfortunately, it's the way they gain and
hold power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Re: Ford De TreeseInteresting, particularly since you live in Prove
Utah, but in case you don't know, the basic doctrine of the LDS Church is
that the natural man is an enemy to God, and man by nature is carnal, sensual,
and devilish. In other words, people are not by nature good, but bad. Now you
may not agree with that, but I believe that millions of pages of American law,
all for the purpose of making people do good things, and punishing those that do
bad, proves the religious point. I don't for a second believe that people
are by nature good, nor do I believe that the Constitution believed that
government was going to be basically good. Otherwise the Bill of Rights would
not have been necessary.
The Government wants their actions to be totally private. They want our actions
to be monitored every step of the way. I thought this was supposed to be a free
country. Go figure.
If Russ Bender suffered from chest pain, would he go down to the guy working at
7/11 or McDonalds to for attention? Or would he go to a doctor? Why
is it that the least educated and qualified in our society are the most vocal?
Folks like Rush, Glenn, etc.Why then, do folks with Masters degrees
in Recreation Administration and work experience as an elementary school teacher
(who then retires early to live off the government) feel qualified to voice
against scientists who have studied the climate for years? These folks have much
more education and experience. Why should anyone trust that he has anything
enlightening to say about Obama? Russ, I would appreciate if your
letters actually offered non-partisan solutions. Rather than rehash old AM radio
talking points. Offer a solution or do something other than complain
"So why would I EXPECT my government officials to be Perfect? They are not
Evil... but they are not Perfect. They make mistakes"2 Bits. If
this was the general feel from the right, life would be grand.But,
to many people in this country, (this board is a good example), Obama IS evil.
To many, he has not made mistakes, he is making calculated moves to destroy
America.Heck, I am very unhappy with lots of things that have
happened under Obama. But, I dont see an evil person. I think Bush
was a good guy. I think Romney is a good guy. And, I think Obama is a good
guy. I have disagreements with each of them, and I also have agreements. The level of hatred for this president is something I have never seen.
And those that hate him the most fancy themselves as "patriots"Imagine that.
SG,I like what you said. But so devoid of the usual partisanship
we're used to.I admit that Bush made mistakes. There... does
that make it all better? Now if we can only get the other side to admit that
OBAMA can make mistakes... we'll be on our way to a REAL discussion.My understanding of human nature is that we have weaknesses. So why
would I EXPECT my government officials to be Perfect? They are not Evil... but
they are not Perfect. They make mistakes (especially when ANY decision is seen
as a "Mistake" by ~50% of the population at any given time).So IF our government is made up of mere mortals, and mortals have
weaknesses... seems to make sense that you would expect some mistakes and want
to WATCH your government (not cover for them like the US media is today). If
you travel outside the US today... you would see that the story they are getting
about Obama's perfection is NOT the same message we get from our media and
the usual posters on this website.They need to be watched.
That's why the founding_fathers required 3 separate but equal branches.
@ 2 bits"But quit pretending nobody on the right objected to the
Patriot Act under Bush. That's absolutely not true."Really?
In 2005, Hatch had an open forum here in Salt Lake City about the Patriot Act.
the vast majority, who were identified by the Dnews as conservative, supported
the Patriot Act.In fact, this very paper reported:"Wednesday to Sen. Orrin Hatch, a principal author of the controversial
anti-terrorism legislation. Hatch, R-Utah, hosted a field hearing of the U.S.
Senate Judiciary Committee at the University of Utah to examine the Patriot Act
and other federal laws being used in the fight against terrorism.At
the outset of the congressional hearing, Hatch said he was especially interested
in hearing from witnesses "details of any specific abuses" of the
act."Unfortunately, much of the rhetoric regarding our
nation's anti-terrorism laws appears based on misinformation and unjust
speculation," Hatch said."In other words... "Trust us.
We know what's best!"If conservatives were all "up in
arms" over the Patriot Act, why have they reelected Hatch once again? If the right was really against the Patriot Act, then who keeps voting
Hatch back into office?
The partisan bickering in this comment thread, while totally unsurprising
(indeed, I would be surprised if it DIDN'T happen), sheds a lot of heat but
almost no light on the topic of government trustworthiness. It also
doesn't help that the letter that started this "discussion" was
extremely biased and provocative. The problems at the heart of the examples Mr.
Bender cites are not unique to any one party; in fact, they are likely a
byproduct of human nature when it comes to acquiring and wielding power.In light of this, the real struggle to "right the ship of state"
and restore trust is not truly a conservative vs. liberal battle (though the
powers-that-be love to have it characterized that way, because that virtually
guarantees the status quo); no, the real struggle is between the
institutionalists/corporatists and the populists. Whether it is the libertarian
protecting individual freedoms from big government, or the socialist protecting
the laborer from the entrepreneurial "bourgeoisie", the common theme is
that power should ultimately rest with the people as individuals (to the extent
possible) rather than with faceless, unaccountable institutions.
@2bits"It just makes you sound so biased and blinded by partisan venom
to pretend that no Republicans of Conservatives (many in the Tea Party included)
protested extensively on the over-reach of the Patriot Act when it was proposed
by the Bush Administration. "Tea Party didn't exist in
2001. Every Republican in the Senate voted for it in 2001. Heck, all but 4
Republicans voted for the extension in 2011 (Paul, Lee, Murkowski, Heller voted
against it). Sure there are some who opposed it... there sure weren't many
of you though.
Maverick,You complaining, "STOP playing political games"... is
surely the pot calling the kettle black. YOU are the poster-boy for playing
political games. The reason I tend to not totally trust government
is... the government is made up of people like you and me. Some people worship
their politicians as SUPER-Human. I see them as mere mortals. Just as
corruptible as you and me. So that's why I don't totally trust Obama
OR Bush.I think we can trust the government as a whole, because they
watch each other, and we watch them. But when they start hiding things from us
(as both Bush AND Obama have done)... then the trust starts to slip. And when
we have a national news media that seems to feel the President is off-limits...
I can't watch them, so trust slips again.I have the same trust
for government as I have for people. I know they have their own motivations
(which are not always mine) and their own sense of ethics (which is not always
mine), so I'm wary of them until I know enough about the individual to
182,000 Iraqi citizens were killed by Saddam's chemical weapons, i.e. WMD.
How many deaths does it take before people admit that WMDs were in use and that
WMDs had been used and that the deaths of ANY person by chemical gas has been
outlawed since WWI? Those who tell us that WMD were not being used
in Iraq either are lying or they refuse to read the U.N. reports that detail the
use of those WMDs.Then, they try to say that Republicans are lying!
Because I listen to Fox News for short periods sometimes, and believe that Fox
is only the tip of the iceberg for their point of view, I agree with Russell
Bender that “there are a whole lot of us who do not trust our current
government”. I also believe that there is a whole lot of
people in the outside world who believe the American people do not trust their
government and are smiling and filled with joy at having Americans fight their
war against the American government. The only thing is, all of the
distrust is based on hearsay, opinion and other imaginary things. Not a single
charge has been filed for someone doing something wrong. The fox reporting and
discussions are populated with the words like: I think, looks like, probably,
what I would have done, may and may have, etc. etc. etc. And it goes on, day
after day, week, month and year.
SEY hey,I am saying that power now rests and has rested in the
American people since the adoption of the Constitution. That it may have been
misued, not used, or "abdicated to bureaucrats and other professionals
outside of our control" is not the government's fault, but that of the
citizens who hold, or held, the ultimate power. Stop thinking of the government
as an entity separate from the people. As Lincoln observed, we have a
government "of the people." If that government is not to the liking of
the majority of the people, they have the power to change it. Ergo, I reject
your defeatist, right-wing conclusion that "Citizens have lost control.
Regulators and security agencies rule us." If anything, a little
introspection is in order: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
Marx WA wrong when he said religion was the opiate of the masses. The true
opiate is voting. It gives users the illusion that it can actually solve
problems and gives them a high from the illusion of doing something positive
when just the opposite results. That's why Edward Snowden had to go outside
of the system to have a real impact.
It is finally time...Time for folks like Mike Richards and Russ
Bender to place your political footballs into the closet and to actually
contribute to our politicl dialog. Time to stop destroying and to begin to
repair. Stop acting like the political king-men, full of sour grapes, who merely
desired power and start acting like true Americans. We live in trying times.
Times that will test the hearts of all men. What have your words and actions
revealed? If you died today, would you say that you are prepared to meet your
maker? We know that today is a probationary period a time for us to prepare.
Each one of us must prepare to meet our maker someday. And be held accountable
for the contributions we gave society.It is time to stand up talk
and carry the title of liberty. Will you folks continue to play partisan games?
Act as king men? Or will you finally start caring about America's
well-being?It is time to put part affiliation and ideology aside and
start fixing America. She is dying slowly and repubs seem content to merely
point the finger.
According to Mike Richards, trust must be earned. This is a fascinating
statement, because it stems directly from a fundamental philosophy about human
nature. It assumes that people are basically evil. If you assume that people are
fundamentally good, you trust them until they prove to you by their actions that
they are not trustworthy. If you assume people are by nature evil, you do not
trust anyone, often even after they have tried their best to prove their
trustworthiness to you. Thank goodness our society, our economy, our government,
and especially our Constitution, which Mike so ardently defends, are all based
on the notion that people are basically good. Otherwise, we would be living in
an authoritarian regime and would not be trusted with any rights or liberties.
I'm grateful the Founding Fathers had a higher opinion of human nature than
Mike Richards and those who share his pessimistic view.
I have no trust in the government because a dem is in the White House. When Bush
& Cheney were running things I had complete trust in the government. They
Mr. Bender's customary list of "outrages" has been shortened. How
'bout the birth certificate? How about Hussein Obama, the secret Muslim
jihadist? Did somebody edit that stuff out?
Russell, if you really thought we were living in an Owellian society and that
government were untrustworthy, you would not dare publish such a critical letter
in a public forum. You would be hiding in your basement, waiting for the Gestapo
or the Stasi or the KGB to come and haul you off. So, please repeat after me:
Mike!STOP right there! You accuse others of being
deceptive then you commit the exact same sin."Your assertion
that Dick Cheney is to blame for thinking that Saddam had WMDs neglects
everythng that Bill Clinton said about WMD. It neglects everything presented to
Congress by the CIA. It neglects all the members of Congress who voted to go to
war."I remember the GOP controlled congress. I also remember the
bullying bush administration very well too! They, with their dirty tactics of
"you're either with us or against us, mushroom cloud, axis of evil,
don't forget 9/11, don't cut and run, and freedom fries" mentality
bullied congress into a corner. If they stood up to the playground bully,
they'd be painted as cowards, weak against terrorism, and hated America. So
they went along with the program. Went along with the playground bully. And
folks like you were cheerleading them all along the way.The truth
is, if repubs held bush to the same standard they've held Obama, 99.9
percent of our current problems would never have existed. Mike
Richards, it is time to STOP playing political games and START caring for
Joe,You're asking the wrong question. What you should have
asked is why Obama feared the citizens to the extent that he felt he had to lie
to us. What drives a man to lie? Why would he be more concerned about
retaining office than having integrity? The simple fact is that Obama threw us
all under the bus so that he could retain office. He cared only about what he
wanted. He knew the facts about Benghazi. He thought that he could
"control" those facts. He was wrong. He was wrong about controlling
the facts about the I.R.S., about investigation the AP, about Fast and Furious,
about spying on every one of us. He started to lie and then found out that he
couldn't get away from his lies.Your assertion that Dick Cheney
is to blame for thinking that Saddam had WMDs neglects everythng that Bill
Clinton said about WMD. It neglects everything presented to Congress by the
CIA. It neglects all the members of Congress who voted to go to war. When you
conveniently "forget" the facts, you're mimicking Obama. Do you
really want to walk down that road?
Someone once said that Obama's ignorance is only exceeded by his arrogance.
Well, it seems liberals are eager to put their trust in ignorance and arrogance
but the rest of the country is getting a real education at the hands of the IRS,
Eric Holder's Dept. of Justice, Hillary's Dept. of State and the NSA.
Trusting them is insane!
"Obama has offended America. He's had his highest officials lie to
us"Mr Richards.Lets just say for the sake of
discussion that you are correct. I assume that you are talking about Benghazi.
So, take this forward.What is the outcome? What did it change? You
think Romney would have won?Now, compare that to theseDick Cheney - “There is no doubt that Saddam now has WMD."Condoleezza Rice - "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom
cloud." The whole premise was that Hussein was amassing nuclear
weapons.These kinds of lies or inflammatory statements convinced the
American people that we needed to go to war. Seriously. Think
about the ramifications of the two situations.
All you Democrats who think Conservatives didn't protest the Patriot Act
when it was proposed by the Bush Administration need to WAKE UP! WE DID!It just makes you sound so biased and blinded by partisan venom to
pretend that no Republicans of Conservatives (many in the Tea Party included)
protested extensively on the over-reach of the Patriot Act when it was proposed
by the Bush Administration. To pretend there was no protest from the right...
is just obsurd. People who know the Constitution (and the "radical
right" knows their Constitution) KNOW the Patriot Act while probably needed
IS a big risk when put in the hands of big government and people who would build
a surveillance-state or a police-state if the majority will let them.But quit pretending nobody on the right objected to the Patriot Act under
Bush. That's absolutely not true.And the same for
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform" under Bush. The
"radical-right" fought it then and shut it down... just as they fight it
now.Same for WallStreet bailouts... we fought it under Bush AND
Obama. But we don't win every battle.
So, Curmudgeon, are you saying that power rests in the American people now? On
what planet? To the contrary, political power had been abdicated to bureaucrats
and other professionals outside of our control. Citizens have lost control.
Regulators and security agencies rule us.
I think we can trust the government as long as we can watch them and they are
transparent. Of course I don't have the time or the means to
watch what the government is doing all the time. In the past this has been the
job of the US News Agencies. But recently it seems they have turned a blind
eye to what the government is doing (maybe out of respect for government secrecy
or something?... I don't know). But they don't watch the government
the way they used too. Or at least they don't report what they are seeing
(if it's negative) unless somebody leaks it in another country. But the
US News doesn't seem to be able to report anything negative about the news
now days (UNTIL it's been revealed by somebody else)I
don't know why this is happening. And it didn't start with the Obama
Administration. It's been going on longer than that.The
media's incessant hammering on too much secrecy in the Bush
Administration... combined with the Obama Administrations sincere promises to be
"transparent" if elected, just ring so hollow now.
I wonder how many of these people who cite Orwells' book as their new bible
actually read it, either recently or by force in high school? It sure seems to
be a hot item these days, someone on AM radio must be referencing it a lot.
"The entire notion of the American Revolution was to diffuse and weaken
government power so that it would not be concentrated in one man, one party or
one group."Try applying that statement to the Utah state
government, where power IS concentrated in the Republican party. The federal
government, on the other hand, is characterized by congressional gridlock,
obstructionism, endless investigations, and little progress in solving the
nation's pressing problems. Clearly, power in Washington is NOT
concentrated in one man, one party, or one group. So if the purpose of the
American Revolution was to diffuse and weaken government power, it has succeeded
spectacularly on the federal level, not so much on the state level.
What will it take for the apologists for "their guy" on BOTH sides to
admit they trusted him beyond what was wise? NO government official, elected,
appointed or hired deserves such trust. NO ONE can avoid the temptation to abuse
government power once they have it.
Gee. That's funny. The miracle of google can do wonders!In
2005, Russell seemed to trust the government! He wrote, "It is sad that we
put up with the above-mentioned deaths but become almost rabid about bringing
our troops home. At least they are doing something useful and good for the
people of Iraq."So not only did he trust the government, he also
ignored the constitution. For where in the Constitution does it authorize the
use of our armed forces to invade another country to "spread good?" Iraq
wasn't a threat to the USA nor had they invaded us.Another
letter from Mr. Bender states his opinion about the Iraqi and Afghanhi
people:"No doubt they are looking forward to a free and open
society — which would be in violation of Islamic law. Their hatred of our
freedoms will immediately disappear. Their compassion and sympathy for all of
humanity will automatically increase."How's that working
out? Death and chaos still rule these 2 countries. Given the
evidence from 2005 and all of his anti-climate change letters in between, one
can easily say that this letter too, lacks any credibility.
Trust must be earned. For an administration to be considered
"trustworthy", that administration must have shown that it protected the
Constitution because that is the singular purpose of having a Federal
Government. The people set up the rules and embodied those rules in the
Constitution. The government acknowledges it subservient role by ALWAYS
protecting the rights of the people, even when protecting those rights becomes
unpopular. The government would have us think that we are the rebellious
children who can't be trusted and that it is the adult when just the
opposite is true. We, the people, are the adults, and the government is the
spoiled "brat" who can't be trusted.Obama has offended
America. He's had his highest officials lie to us. He has pretended that
he was "out of the loop". In short, he's played us for fools, and
now he has the gall to speak about "trust".He has not earned
our trust. His actions have destroyed all trust. At this point, I doubt that
he could ever regain our trust. He's proven too many times that he cares
only for himself.
On one hand we have government leaders calling for prosecution of Snowden for
revealing the scope of the surveillance, as it is classified. Then we have the
president saying the surveillance is 'transparent'.The
contradiction does not escape those of us with a brain. If the
program is transparent, then there were no secrets revealed by Snowden because
it was all in plain public view, thus not secret.If Snowden did
reveal secrets, then the program isn't transparent, it is secret. (This is
the more likely scenario, as we even have a 'SECRET' court rubber
stamping every warrant request.)
"In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind
him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Thomas
JeffersonThe entire notion of the American Revolution was to diffuse
and weaken government power so that it would not be concentrated in one man, one
party or one group. Ultimate power was to rest in the people themselves.
Americans in general appear no longer appear to want that responsibility, so
they have removed the constitutional chains and given men and women in
government to create mischief almost at will.
Nixon only problem that started impeachment was he lied. Why is it acceptable
Did I miss Mr. Benders letters during the most disastrous period in our
Nation's history...you know, the Bush/Cheney years? Remediating the damage that Bush and his brand of "patriots" did will
take decades of great leaders like President Obama.
"of which several really stretch constitutional limits, such as "Fast
and Furious," "While certainly a tragedy, not sure which
Constitutional limit was tested."the inexcusable tragedy in
Benghazi, "Yes it was a tragedy, and inexcusable, if only we
felt the same ire everytime four of our Soldiers were slain. They barely get a
blip on the news."the spying on all of us and the government...
plus the collection of millions of emails and phone calls by the NSA, all in the
name of security from "terrorism,"This was all legal, and
has been since the Patriot Act was passed. While I too applaud its protest, I
wonder where all this was nearly ten years ago?"snooping on
James Rosen of the press" this is yet to play itself out, but it appears DOJ
was investigating a leak (a good thing) but no criminal charges were filed (so
free press does prevail).Those that want to find a conspiracy often
can. For humor, please reference the numerous jokes on the NBA draft lottery,
how a conspiracy can be seen for each and every team that could have won.
What, no complaints about climate change?
Sure you can trust the government, just ask a Native American.
The problem, Russell, is that only now do you "not trust the
Government". I guess that you trusted "the Government"
under Bush when the Patriot Act was introduced and accepted the warrantless
wiretapping as good for National Security. I guess you trusted
government under Reagan with Iran Contra.I guess you "trusted
the Government when Cheney said "“There is no doubt that Saddam now
has WMD.” to garner support for a war that was unnecessary and cost of
thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. But you probably gave them a
pass.Unfortunately, Russell, people, especially those who are
extremely partisan, tend to only "distrust the government" when the
other side is in power. They give their side a pass.The government
has been untrustworthy for a long time. Where have you been?