Constitution Designed for Failure?

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"Madison: "The primary responsibility of government is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority". He believed that when he put power in the hands of the wealthy class of men, that they were going to be, as he put it. "enlightened statesmen and benevolent philosophers", who would devote themselves to the welfare of all.

By 1792, he was already very upset by the fate of this democratic experiment which he thought was failing. He condemned what he called the "daring depravity of the times" as the business leaders who had now been given power used that power to become the tools and tyrants of government. They overwhelmed government with their powers and combinations and their bribes and their self-serving interests and not the interests of the general public.

He perceived how the system he designed was actually functioning." - Chomsky

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHU2AVcK5l8

That's a pretty good description of how government is still functioning today. Government of, by, and for the few as impending crises after impending crises remain unresolved. because solutions would step on their toes. The benevolent philosopher/statesmen Madison envisioned as running government are where?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Comments

"Madison: "The primary responsibility of government is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority".

You misquote Madison. What he said was:

Quote James Madison:Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other [i.e., the House of Representatives]. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability. Various have been the propositions; but my opinion is, the longer they continue in office, the better will these views be answered.

Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787, Taken by the Late Hon Robert Yates, Chief Justice of the State of New York, and One of the Delegates from That State to the Said Convention.

Madison was referring to the U.S. Senate, not to "government."

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stuff
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Quote Noam Chomsky:He [James Madison] wanted to have a kind of democracy in which the primary role of government - I am quoting now - "is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority."

Face to Face with a Polymath

Chomsky made the same mistake, but one that is unforgivable for him. That guy cannot be trusted.

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stuff
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Quote stuff:
Quote Noam Chomsky:He [James Madison] wanted to have a kind of democracy in which the primary role of government - I am quoting now - "is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority."

Face to Face with a Polymath

Chomsky made the same mistake, but one that is unforgivable for him. That guy cannot be trusted.

To create a government where the rich are given a veto over "the People".. freemen of the time, in both the Senate and arguably the EC... protecting the rich MIGHT be seen as a prime function of that government... just as protecting the interests of slave owners has to be seen in that light. In a government of checks and balances, ALL those given some veto power or special protections in the Constitution can be seen has having it because it's a prime function of that government's design. Of course giving some groups a veto isn't the same as permitting them to rule, but given the Senate's special powers in ratifying nominations and treaties... then this does seem to tip the balance of power towards them beyond what a veto power alone provides. I won't comment on Chomsky's seeming overstatement of this effect because I haven't gone though all the various minutes recorded at the Constitutional Convention. But this omission from the Federalist Papers hints at a hidden agenda.

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I put a link from Yale University Law School so that you can view Madison's comments for yourself. Whatever were his intentions, those who quote the guy ought to at least get the quote right. Especially Chomsky, a supposed scholar. A disortion like that borders on professional misconduct.

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stuff
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Stuff wrote:

ou misquote Madison. What he said was:

James Madison wrote:

Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other [i.e., the House of Representatives]. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.

poly replies: Then, isn't that the function of government? The Senate is the body of government that protects the opulent minority. It can and does block any legislation that challenges it...and here we are.

Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has also taken up their cause. The rest of us are flushed down the toilet or directed to the nearest dumpster.

When Madison saw how the Senate actually functioned...how government actually functioned....serving only the self-interests of the opulent to the detriment of the well-being of the population, he saw our experiment with democracy as a failure.

Government of, by, and for the few is what our Constitution protects. Impending crises after impending crises remain unresolved because solutions would step on their toes. The benevolent philosopher/statesmen Madison envisioned as running government are where?

Thanks for the link. It explains more in-depth what I can explain on a message board. Repeated:

http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/200111--.htm

If you'd like to see how the illusions of a democratic state are maintained, go here:

http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/200111--.htm

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote stuff:

I put a link from Yale University Law School so that you can view Madison's comments for yourself. Whatever were his intentions, those who quote the guy ought to at least get the quote right. Especially Chomsky, a supposed scholar. A distortion like that borders on professional misconduct.

I'm well aware of the quote and have used it several times here.

Where's the misquote? Chomsky says in the article:

I am quoting now - "is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority."

And the minutes say: "They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority."

Oh I get it... he said "IS" instead of "AS". Boy, you certainly nailed him on that!

Revisiting the debate his statements can be seen as substantially accurate so I don't agree this is proof he's is guilty of professional misconduct on Chomsky's part. It's an interview not a peer reviewed publication. We don't know how it was edited.

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Pierpont
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Here is the Full text... Poly is so wrong....

The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, — when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.

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Capital1
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Then, isn't that the function of government? The Senate is the body of government that protects the opulent minority. It can and does block any legislation that challenges it...and here we are.

Perhaps, but that is not what Madison said. If you (and Chomsky) are going to quote the guy, the least you could do is get the quote right.

Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has also taken up their cause. The rest of us are flushed down the toilet or directed to the nearest dumpster.

Perhaps, but that is not what Madison said. I am mostly concerned here that you do not misrepresent his statements.

When Madison saw how the Senate actually functioned...how government actually functioned....serving only the self-interests of the opulent to the detriment of the well-being of the population, he saw our experiment with democracy as a failure.

How do you know what Madison "saw" or didn't see?

Government of, by, and for the few is what our Constitution protects. Impending crises after impending crises remain unresolved because solutions would step on their toes. The benevolent philosopher/statesmen Madison envisioned as running government are where?

Here you are paraphrasing Lincoln, not Madison. Whoever said that Madison was "benevolent"? Not me.

Thanks for the link. It explains more in-depth what I can explain on a message board. Repeated:

Glad to be of assistance.

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stuff
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If you'd like to see how the illusions of a democratic state are maintained, go here:

As I have indicated, Chomsky is not a reliable expert on these matters. He should stick to linguistics.

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Where's the misquote?

Madison was referring to the U.S. Senate, not to "government," as his own statement makes plain.

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Be careful of sophistry and distinctions without a difference, stuff. What Madison says about the Senate, even as a balance to the 'democracy' of the House, does add up to a government that defends property and, by implication, position. Part of being honest about our Constitution and the role of intention is to recognize that this is the First modern democratic Constitution, and a fairly cautious step toward popular government with many magisterial and procedural checks on what they feared as "the mob." The passion and the rhetoric of the Revolution was melting as the facts of governing became clearer, and these sons of England became disillusioned by the French Revolution and Jacobinism (the early Red Scare).

The Federalists, in particular, waved the flag of Jacobean conspiracies with the Democrats like Jefferson smeared. The idea of a conservative, men of property ruling elite got its incarnation in the Senate. It had to do with the nature of the government as Madison makes clear in his concerns.

I think he was deeply wrong in this belief in men of property. But, the point at issue is that it hardly matters whether he is talkiing about the role of the Senate or the larger purpose of government.

drc2
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Guys, can we all agree that the best idea would be for the Republican Senate candidates in 2014 all push the idea that the senate is the playground of the wealthy to check the power of the poor and middle class, in effect to keep us down. Well, whenever they are not too busy explaining the goodness that comes from illegitimate rapes and the need for more rape babies.

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Phaedrus76
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I don't think that the Constitution has failed. Rather, I think that we have failed the Constitution. It has been bent and tied and reanimated to the whims of those looking to change the agenda. How something so simple could have been made so complicated is a travesty.

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Bush_Wacker
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Quote stuff:
Where's the misquote?

Madison was referring to the U.S. Senate, not to "government," as his own statement makes plain.

That's really not a quote... and as I wrote earlier:

To create a government where the rich are given a veto over "the People".. freemen of the time, in both the Senate and arguably the EC... protecting the rich MIGHT be seen as a prime function of that government... just as protecting the interests of slave owners has to be seen in that light. In a government of checks and balances, ALL those given some veto power or special protections in the Constitution can be seen has having it because it's a prime function of that government's design. Of course giving some groups a veto isn't the same as permitting them to rule, but given the Senate's special powers in ratifying nominations and treaties... then this does seem to tip the balance of power towards them beyond what a veto power alone provides.

I also wrote "I won't comment on Chomsky's seeming overstatement of this effect because I haven't gone though all the various minutes recorded at the Constitutional Convention."

But given the above I can see ALL the checks and balances... as a prime functions of the government... and in this case the Senate DOES have more power than the House.

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Dear Phaedrus, I think this is far too tame a story idea for anyone thinking or writing the scripts for this year's follies. I like the twist where the Democratic led Senate is the bastion of power and privilege while "the People's" House stands tall for the little man in our current situation. We could run that for a few episodes of political theory explained so the irony would be understood. Still, that is really inside baseball compared to the incredible wild antics of the Deficit Cliff/Ceiling and the threats of impeachment for modest gun safety suggestions. I suggest we do what all the political comedy writers have done for some time. Just sit back, relax, enjoy your beverage of persuasion and let the gods of comedy write this show. In the email age, all you have to do is send what you have received.

drc2
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Quote Pierpont:But given the above I can see ALL the checks and balances... as a prime functions of the government... and in this case the Senate DOES have more power than the House.

Prime functions set within a context of the Preamble... which one might think is a Rosetta Stone to decodie what follows...

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice,
insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish
this Constitution for the United States of America."

I can only assume protecting the interests of the wealthy falls somewhere in this mission...

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Quote Pierpont: also wrote "I won't comment on Chomsky's seeming overstatement of this effect because I haven't gone though all the various minutes recorded at the Constitutional Convention."

But given the above I can see ALL the checks and balances... as a prime functions of the government... and in this case the Senate DOES have more power than the House.

This seems to be one of those times where we can all bicker and argue over semantics. Was protecting the rich "THE" priority of the Constitution or "A" priority.

Given the veto power and additional powers of the Senate.... is it not a special body with the ability to shape the nation more than the other branches?

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Quote stuff:
If you'd like to see how the illusions of a democratic state are maintained, go here:

As I have indicated, Chomsky is not a reliable expert on these matters. He should stick to linguistics.

Actually, some of Chomksy's findings have turned other sciences on their heads...particularly in psychology and sociology and challenges to philosophy.. With one essay he debunks myths held for decades...and completly changes their directions.

As to the myths of a democratic state, Sheldon Wolin (Princeton) pretty much threw a light on them in his work, "Democracy, Inc". If you'd like to know who rules without appearing to and how they do it, I'd suggest reading it. Wolin does a much better job exposing it than Chomsky. It is, or course, Wolin's field of expertise.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Be careful of sophistry and distinctions without a difference, stuff. What Madison says about the Senate, even as a balance to the 'democracy' of the House, does add up to a government that defends property and, by implication, position.

Sophistry? Poly and Chomsky misquoted Madison and took his comments out of context. My response is not sophistry, it is a call for intellectual honesty.

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stuff
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I'd suggest reading it. Wolin does a much better job exposing it than Chomsky. It is, or course, Wolin's field of expertise.

I respectfully suggest that before you quote Madison, you read what he actually said and wrote.

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stuff
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Nov. 24, 2012 4:59 pm

One more point about Madison: Whatever was his opinion about the U.S. Senate, he chose to serve in the House of Representatives, the "peoples' house," the only federal office directly accountable to voters at the time, where he provided a great service to his nation by compiling amendments that would become the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Not a bad record, if you ask me.

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Maybe his governor chose to appoint someone else to the Senate. Governors chose Senators.

A nation that's put the wealthy in charge can't address either current nor impending crises. They don't step on their own money-making toes.

Blowing up mountains, destroying streams, the air, agriculture and towns is one result.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/17/first-there-was-a-mountain/

Contaminating scarce drinking water with fracking is another.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/17/obama-epa-shut-down-weatherford-t...

An inability to addres global warming, threats of a pandemic through industrial livestock raisiing, a financial system that goes from one meltdown to another, etc., etc. How long of a list do you want?

A Constitution designed to put the wealthy in charge was a mistake. Madison himself saw that within two decades.

I do realize you have a disdain for the common man's ability to make rational decisions. However keep in mind that their opinons and ideas can only be formed by the information they are fed....currently 90% of it comes from 6 individuals/ CEO's.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Maybe his governor chose to appoint someone else to the Senate. Governors chose Senators.

He doubtlessly could have had any job he wanted. He chose to serve in the "people's house."

Madison himself saw that within two decades.

Source, please?

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stuff
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Quote stuff:
Be careful of sophistry and distinctions without a difference, stuff. What Madison says about the Senate, even as a balance to the 'democracy' of the House, does add up to a government that defends property and, by implication, position.

Sophistry? Poly and Chomsky misquoted Madison and took his comments out of context. My response is not sophistry, it is a call for intellectual honesty.

Chomsky didn't misquote Madison unless you consider him to be deliberately deceptive to say IS instead of AS. You said before it was more misrepresentation.... but a case can be made that the antidemocratic Senate is perfectly situated to block the House, ratify treaties and have undo influence on the executive branch with their veto over appointments. If Madison meant the Senate to protect the interests of the rich, it's pretty capable of doing so. So why isn't this a prime function of the government? You can't decipher all Madison intended from just one quote, albeit damning.

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Well, it is the prime function of government.

Who has to approve any presidential appointment from the Fed to the Supreme Court? The Senate.

Who can veto any legislation proposed by the House? The Senate.

Who can veto any budget proposed by the House? The Senate.

Who has to ratify treaties? The Senate.

Who can shut down a call for an impeachment by the House? The Senate.

Who can block a Constitutional Amendment proposed by the House? The Senate.

The Millionaires Club isn't called that for nothing. Its.primary function has always been to protect the interests of the wealthy. It's done its job pretty well. It maintains that function today, doesn't it?

As Kennedy once asked the Senate, "When will the greed stop?"

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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You can't decipher all Madison intended from just one quote, albeit damning.

Read the quote yourself, the entire quote, including its context.

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stuff
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Nov. 24, 2012 4:59 pm

The U.S. Senate was never intended by the Framers to be a citadel of angels. It was a practical political compromise necessary to gain acceptance by small states to the Constitution.

The notion of an upper house that would represent property owners and a lower house that would represent commoners was not invented by the Framers and was hardly novel in 1787. Take a close look at the English Parliament: House of Lords, House of Commons. The Framers were, after all, former British citizens, who had largely patterned their own state legislatures on the same notion of an upper and lower house. Madison didn't make this stuff up by himself; the two-house legislature is deeply embedded in Anglo political culture.

No mystery or conspiracy here.

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Well, the House of Lords and the U.S. Senate have pretty much the same function. Protecting the interests of the elite.

The U.S. Senate does a better job. It has a greater exercise of actual political power to do it.

Why is the will of the people ignored over and over and over? Give you a guess.

We have idle, existing means to address global warmiing. However, since government can't pay back the loans required to do so, and refuses to use it's Constitutional authority to simply issue the money to use them, we'll probably end up with a lot of wealthy banks on a very dead planet.

We certainly don't want to offend finance or well-established giants that might be harmed by addressing global warming. Their interests are protected.

We'll probably end up with a lot of fortunes on a very dead planet. That isn't written in stone. Sometimes a critical crises induces change...sometimes it doesn't. Problem is, when the crises fully manifests itself, it will be too late.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ina16XSJQvM

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Why is the will of the people ignored over and over and over?

And what "will" might that be? And who are "the people" you refer to?

If there is even one self-evident, unambiguous "will" of "the people," I would certainly like to know what it is.

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stuff
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Probably, most wouldn't like their children to become extinct if you take a vote on it.

Five minutes into the video, it gets sort of hairy. Perhaps you haven't been keeping yourself up to date with scientific reports. The media certainly wouldn't want to panic people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ina16XSJQvM

Of course, since the Senate protects existing financial interests of the elite, not much could be done to even slow global warming.. No need within 100+ years or so. It certainly wouldn't want to step on their toes.

Perhaps had it been aware of new and unforeseen irreversible self-perpetuating warming loops being set in motion, it may have considered differently, though as of yet, doesn't seem to show any change in policy. Perhaps there is a hope that money can buy individual survival.

In the meantime, let the good times roll.

If a Constitution designed to perpetuate the interests of the elite is leading to the demise of the human race, I'd say it's probably a failure.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote stuff:
You can't decipher all Madison intended from just one quote, albeit damning.

Read the quote yourself, the entire quote, including its context.

My only point is there may be more in the minutes that suggests there was an intent that the educated, wealthy class have the preponderant power in the new government... or things that mitigate what's said in this quote.

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Probably, most wouldn't like their children to become extinct if you take a vote on it.

And what, exactly, "would" the "people" have the U.S. Senate do about world extinction? How is the U.S. Senate standing in the way of the "people's will" concerning the prevention of the extinction of the human race?

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stuff
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My only point is there may be more in the minutes that suggests there was an intent that the educated, wealthy class have the preponderant power in the new government... or things that mitigate what's said in this quote.

You may very well be right and, if so, I would like to see the minutes.

I wasn't commenting on what Madison might have said or might have intended, I was commenting on what poly and Chomsky claimed he said. As can be easily determining by reading his comments, poly and Chomsky not only misquoted Madison but took his comments completely out of context.

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Quote polycarp2:Of course, since the Senate protects existing financial interests of the elite, not much could be done to even slow global warming..
But not all the elites have interests in fossil fuels. I'm sure many of them worry as well.

In the US given enough money, time, and talent provided from the propaganda industry, smaller groups can wield much power over public opinion. Just look how the NRA... not a large organization, could over time could hijack the Second Amendment and move the gun debate to go off the deep end.

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Pierpont
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Quote stuff:
My only point is there may be more in the minutes that suggests there was an intent that the educated, wealthy class have the preponderant power in the new government... or things that mitigate what's said in this quote.

You may very well be right and, if so, I would like to see the minutes.

I wasn't commenting on what Madison might have said or might have intended, I was commenting on what poly and Chomsky claimed he said. As can be easily determining by reading his comments, poly and Chomsky not only misquoted Madison but took his comments completely out of context.

My point is simply there may be more context than that one quote.

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My point is simply there may be more context than that one quote.

Undoubtedly.

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Quote stuff:
Probably, most wouldn't like their children to become extinct if you take a vote on it.

And what, exactly, "would" the "people" have the U.S. Senate do about world extinction? How is the U.S. Senate standing in the way of the "people's will" concerning the prevention of the extinction of the human race?

Probably, the U.S. Senate would have addressed global warming rather than hopping on the moneywagon to debunk it. Of course, it would take a political body with the general population in mind to do that rather than serving the interests of a few who would have had financial downturns within their already existing enterprises.

At this point, global warming can't be reversed. It's advancing beyond a mere linear rate. Very sudden increases from the 7 new feed-back loops. What can be done is to possibly mitigate the effects....which again, would step on the toes of already entrenched interests.

The resource capacity of the nation will decline with increasing global warming...making responses to after-the-fact consequences improbable. The time frame for severe consequences now seems to be measured in a few decades rather than centuries. If you're under sixty, tough. Each annual update has a shorter time frame, so that could change.

The info is there, and people aren't going to be paniced by media presentations of it. They'll remain ignorant to the end.

Probably government could have enacted a "stimulous package" to address it rather than a "critical emergency package" if it wanted to cover its fanny for not responding in a timely manner. Reducing even one years profit for finance and some existing industry to address the problem seems to be beyond the Senate's will. Even using platinimum coins to create the money to use existing idle industry to address global warming is off the table. Banksters want their cut.

The only response I've seen so far is the portion of the Defense Authorization Act of 2012.....covering responses to civil unrest.....which cost nothing.

It's likely it will play out in this manner. Government will again be seen as inept. A strongman will be put in the White House to deal with the civil unrest. Those objecting to the harsh realities and lack of basic necessities in the brave new world will be dealt with harshly. There will come a point when consequences become so great, even government itself will break down. Starvation/disease will be endemic. Local communities will have to rely on themselves for food, shelter, clothing, water, security. Some will. Some won't.

It's no accident that deficit reduction efforts fall on the poor and middle class rather than on the wealthy. Billion dollar bankster bonuses will probably still be taxed close to the maximum long-term capital gains tax rate of 15%.Their secretaries will continue pay a larger tax rate on their incomes...plus FICA taxes. None of that is an accidental Senate oversight. It never has been.

Global Warming, Prof. McPherson, The Current Schedule of Global Warmng begins about minute 5. The annual updates presented up to the present aren't encouraging. He does present some durable living arrangments which some individuals could find beneficial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ina16XSJQvM

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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I think it is pretty clear that your comment was rhetorical in the first place. There is no political consensus about the issue with or without action by the U.S. Senate.

Anyway, the issue on this thread is what James Madison did or didn't say about the Constitution. The misquote at the beginning of the thread has been pretty well debunked. That is all I wanted to point out and I think my point is well established.

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stuff
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Quote stuff:The misquote at the beginning of the thread has been pretty well debunked. That is all I wanted to point out and I think my point is well established.

While it would have been preferable that Poly got the quote right so we not waste time with this diversion, Madison's quote is pretty damning and his intent that the Constitution incorporate class warfare in behalf of the rich is a topic worth exploring. After all, letting the Senate become another House Of Lords with not just a veto over the House but special powers does give them more influence in the government than the rabble.

Still not sure what Poly meant by whether the Constitution was meant to fail. I certainly think it's a deeply defective antidemocratic system made worst by it being virtually reform proof... that's given rise to a braindead political system. What's amazing is that it keeps on going despite it's defects. That's hardly a tribute but I'd argue more reflection on the ignorance and apathy of the American People. First the system will go on even if in off year elections were usually down to 35% of the voting age population even bothering to vote. And we've become a nation of True Believers... who like with any "religion" redefine the failures of what's believed into successes.

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Probably when a Constitution carries within it the capability of a very few to capture government to serve their own ends, it should be re-examined.

When the interests of a few can block viable solutions to critical national problems, something is amiss.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Probably when a Constitution carries within it the capability of a very few to capture government to serve their own ends, it should be re-examined.

Staggered terms, separation of powers, and checks and balances makes it difficult for any one faction to seize control of the entire government in any one single election.

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stuff
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Nov. 24, 2012 4:59 pm

Which faction of the power elite controlling government at any one time doesn't have much bearing on wealth capturing government to serve wealth, does it?

Currently, the financial sector seems to be in charge with the fossil fuel and the health ins. industries as secondary players..

"The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government"

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/

Many recognized that even before the former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund threw light on it. Probably a Constitution that readily enables a few to capture government to serve their own interests should be re-examined.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote stuff:
Probably when a Constitution carries within it the capability of a very few to capture government to serve their own ends, it should be re-examined.

Staggered terms, separation of powers, and checks and balances makes it difficult for any one faction to seize control of the entire government in any one single election.

There are any number of ways to get around that. The EC gave election 2000 to Bush who then used that undeserved power to further entrench the GOP. Redistricting allows a party to Gerrymander states giving them more power then they can win in an election. Over time the GOP has managed to block many liberal appointments to the bench while stacking the supreme court with right wing Neanderthals. If one party, like the GOP, goes extreme and has immense party discipline... they can overcome some of those staggered elections. Congressional rules also allow minorities too much power in shaping an agenda. Also outside of government if a party has a well established propaganda arm as the GOP does, it can hold together their base to insure elections. Then there's the role of Big Money.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm
Which faction of the power elite controlling government at any one time doesn't have much bearing on wealth capturing government to serve wealth, does it?

If true, voters have only themselves to blame.

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stuff
Joined:
Nov. 24, 2012 4:59 pm
There are any number of ways to get around that.

I wrote "difficult," not "impossible."

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stuff
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Nov. 24, 2012 4:59 pm
Quote stuff:
Which faction of the power elite controlling government at any one time doesn't have much bearing on wealth capturing government to serve wealth, does it?

If true, voters have only themselves to blame.

Well, probably as long as they vote for the representatives of a power elite, Dems and Repugnants, that's true. The system itself encourages that. At least a parliamentary system could mitigate it.

However, a ruling elite more concerned about their wallets than the possible extinction of the nation and everyone in it by the end of the century is rather foolish. Not much different than an idiot running back into a burning house to grab his wallet..and then dying in the flames.

The extinction threshold is a 6 degree rise in global temperature. The U.N. projects an increase of 5 degrees by 2050. Other research centers aren't quite as kind. The 7 new self-perptuating global warming loops set in motion weren't considered. They didn't exist. Now they do. Factoring them in has greatly changed the extinction time-line...not in our favor..

In light of that, debates among the elite, who the Constitution has so readily given the ability to capture government, are debating nonsense through their Congressional surrogates. They are debating their wallets. Statesmen and men of vision seen as running government by the founders, are where?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Well, probably as long as they vote for the representatives of a power elite, Dems and Repugnants, that's true.

Nobody puts a gun to their head.

The system itself encourages that. At least a parliamentary system could mitigate it.

"Mitigate," perhaps, but not by much. No real evidence of that in any country I can think of. Think "Italy."

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stuff
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Nov. 24, 2012 4:59 pm

Note I said a parliamentary system mitigates the effect. It doesn't automatically change it...it merely opens up the possibility..

Get back to me the day before you become extinct if you get past the mass starvation/disease/thirst phase. You'll hold out longer moving to a rural area fairly close to the Great Lakes.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote stuff:
Which faction of the power elite controlling government at any one time doesn't have much bearing on wealth capturing government to serve wealth, does it?

If true, voters have only themselves to blame.

Are you joking? You've been in some of those threads where I presented the numbers showing that with our system we can have MINORITY RULE. You said you were not unduly concerned about this. Leaving aside the matter of our two main parties are braindead... how can voters be responsible in a system that can strip them of such responsibility?

Which gets back to the matter of you've been rather slippery on this issue. I still have no idea where you stand.

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Pierpont
Joined:
Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm
Quote stuff:
Well, probably as long as they vote for the representatives of a power elite, Dems and Repugnants, that's true.

Nobody puts a gun to their head.

That works better in a electoral system that's not defective. If one is neither a Dem or GOPer, our system punishes people for voting their conscience with the so-called spoiler effect. Many Dems still blame Nader for Gore losing Florida in 2000. In a functioning system with Instant Runoff Voting, it would not matter if Nader exercised his right to run or his followers exercised their right to vote their conscience. WE DON'T HAVE THAT SYSTEM.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Currently Chatting

First Columbia took on their drug lords, now they're taking on their billionaires...why can't we?

America’s billionaires are driving this nation’s poverty epidemic. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As we speak, working-class Americans are getting screwed over by policies that favor the wealthy elite, and leave everyone else in the dust. As a result, more and more Americans are living in poverty.

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