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  •  the government has always been a mixed bag (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Josiah Bartlett

    but then anything designed and ran by people will be that way. But you seem to reject the good done by the government even recently never mind the past goods.

    From Reagan:

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

    As to where I got that from

    As long as the government continues to protect bankers, and do other bad things, people will distrust government.
    This to me sounds like binary thinking. Nothing will be good enough until (fill in the blank). Which in this case is the bankers are punished 'enough'. I'll agree with you that all in all what Bush and the GOP did especially Obama having to be the one to fix it all was so crappy words defy characterizing it. However there is a lot of good that has been done here outside of that one topic.

    And honestly I do not see you acknowledging that. Maybe I am reading your words wrong and that is why I am trying to just ask questions and let you explain. But that is what I am seeing.

    PS It's a bit off topic but I do not entirely agree with your characterization of democracies as oppressive. Yes all democracies have their flaws but most often those flaws can be corrected though the mechanisms of democracy. Truly oppressive governments do not have these mechanisms or even allow for change. Russia and China frankly spring to mind if you want current examples of oppressive governments.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:23:09 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "But you seem to reject" (3+ / 0-)

      Where did I say anything about rejecting the good things the government has done?

      This to me sounds like binary thinking.
      Welcome to the real world. Most people think in binary, thus most people will view government as either good or bad.
      Nothing will be good enough
      So you think the government is good enough? You think that bankers have bee punished enough? We live in a country where the government supposedly reflects the will of the people, so when the people think the government is doing the wrong thing it's suppose to be a problem. Again, you're ignoring the bad parts of the government because the government can do good. But the government generally is doing some pretty horrible things.
      PS It's a bit off topic but I do not entirely agree with your characterization of democracies as oppressive. Yes all democracies have their flaws but most often those flaws can be corrected though the mechanisms of democracy. Truly oppressive governments do not have these mechanisms or even allow for change. Russia and China frankly spring to mind if you want current examples of oppressive governments.
      I consider the drug war to be massively oppressive, and the fact that other countries may be worse is beside the point. The US was a democracy when the genocide of the American Indians happened, as it was when slavery was still the law of the land. My point was not that democracies are horrible, just that democracies can also be oppressive, and often are.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:35:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  .... (1+ / 0-)
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        AoT
        Where did I say anything about rejecting the good things the government has done?
        You have written a great deal about what is wrong about government even saying that 'generally it does not do good and has not done good'. I have yet to see you write anything about the actual positives or even acknowledge any specifics.
        Welcome to the real world. Most people think in binary, thus most people will view government as either good or bad.
        Appealing to popularity doesn't make you right even assuming your statement is correct. I do take this statement to mean though that my understanding of your past statements is correct and that this is binary thinking on your part. Thank you for the clarity.
        So you think the government is good enough? You think that bankers have bee punished enough? We live in a country where the government supposedly reflects the will of the people, so when the people think the government is doing the wrong thing it's suppose to be a problem. Again, you're ignoring the bad parts of the government because the government can do good. But the government generally is doing some pretty horrible things.
        I think there will always be room for improvement. I think that life is a struggle both on a personal level and on the level of government. I believe that struggle defines us, makes us stronger or breaks us. I also believe that while things will probably never be good enough we can not be consumed by that. There will always be a part of me that is absolutely seething with rage at what a bunch of (at best) clueless, foolish, arrogant assholes did to our economy. And if they did it willfully, maliciously? Well words will never be enough to describe my sheer fury.

        I will not allow myself to be consumed by those emotions though. I recognize them, accept them as my own and rise above them. Perhaps those responsible will not get their karma perhaps they will; either way I refuse to accept binary thinking. I refuse to be consumed by my emotions, it serves no purpose and does no good.

        I consider the drug war to be massively oppressive, and the fact that other countries may be worse is beside the point. The US was a democracy when the genocide of the American Indians happened, as it was when slavery was still the law of the land. My point was not that democracies are horrible, just that democracies can also be oppressive, and often are.
        I can see your point there however the drug war while idiotic is winding down. The will of the people is doing that. I have little doubt that as Colorado and Washington prove to be huge success stories more states will move to follow their example. Contrast that though with actual oppressive governments  like Russia. Can you seriously imagine Putin allowing a regional government to challenge the national government? Can you seriously imagine a regional government being allowed to set policy to the extent Colorado and Washington are?

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:01:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  First off, not talking abut what the government (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duhban

          does right is not rejecting what the government does right. And I actually do talk about what the government does, or can do, right. Go check out my comments in the front page diary about Obama taking action on for profit educational institutions and student loans if you want an example of that.

          Appealing to popularity doesn't make you right even assuming your statement is correct. I do take this statement to mean though that my understanding of your past statements is correct and that this is binary thinking on your part. Thank you for the clarity.
          I'm appealing to popularity because that's how democracy works. I'm not saying that I think it's a binary, I'm saying that's how most people approach the issue and as such it helps to approach it in that way. The fact that Reagan's appeals worked is evidence of that fact. What I'm saying is that when liberals say that the government can do good people are going to see that in a binary manner and treat it as true or false in a binary manner. When people distrust the government they will say, no, the government is bad. And the fact that I get attacked here as a libertarian for pointing out that the government does some horrible things shows that even here people work under that binary.

          In regards to emotions, I have to deal with the aftermath of the bankers actions on a daily basis in a way that affects me on a deep personal basis. You ma be able to separate yourself from your emotions about what is happening in that respect but I don't have that option, I'm continually reminded.

          And yes, Russia is less democratic and generally more repressive than the US. But you've mistaken the fact that the US is improving with the idea that democracies always improve. I'd say that isn't true, and it's only thought of as true because of the last 60 or so years in the US and Europe. That's the myth of progress, that it's inevitable. But it isn't.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:19:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  .... (0+ / 0-)
            And I actually do talk about what the government does, or can do, right. Go check out my comments in the front page diary about Obama taking action on for profit educational institutions and student loans if you want an example of that
            Fair enough I honestly doubt that I see even 15% of your comments. All I can do is react to the comments I see you write.
            I'm appealing to popularity because that's how democracy works. I'm not saying that I think it's a binary, I'm saying that's how most people approach the issue and as such it helps to approach it in that way. The fact that Reagan's appeals worked is evidence of that fact. What I'm saying is that when liberals say that the government can do good people are going to see that in a binary manner and treat it as true or false in a binary manner. When people distrust the government they will say, no, the government is bad. And the fact that I get attacked here as a libertarian for pointing out that the government does some horrible things shows that even here people work under that binary.
            Popularity isn't always how democracy works (witness the popularity of raising the minimum wage for example). It would be more precise to say democracy works by people expressing their political will though voting. Thankfully most of our positions are popular however that popularity does not automatically transfer them into being. People must vote they must exercise the rights and obligations they hold.

            I don't really see binary thinking helping that. Not to mention that binary thinking is truthfully overly simplistic. People do good things and bad things all the time for a wide range of motivations that could be acceptable or not to any one person.

            I truthfully do no know if you are a libertarian. I do know that you at times have used arguments in line with libertarian views on government. I don't really view that as attacking you. Yes I vehemently and stridently am opposed to libertarian views on government.  But I simply think them wrong, not evil or anything like that. And just my opinion but people have a right to their views especially those I think wrong. Mostly I'm just trying to understand your position. We might not ever agree on much AoT but I would at least like to know what it is your are saying. Anything less is binary thinking and I strive to avoid that.

            In regards to emotions, I have to deal with the aftermath of the bankers actions on a daily basis in a way that affects me on a deep personal basis. You ma be able to separate yourself from your emotions about what is happening in that respect but I don't have that option, I'm continually reminded.
            If it sounded like I am judging you my apologies. I assure you I am not. I do not agree with that outlook but if it works for you then it works for you.  I offer sincerely the advice that if you let it affect you too much you will burn out. Some people can harness their emotions and ride the edge of them. I can not. Out of everything I have ever done the only things I truly regret are those I have done when I allowed my emotions to hold sway. Thus my outlook on life. I simply ask though that just as I do my best to respect your outlook on life that you do the same.
            And yes, Russia is less democratic and generally more repressive than the US. But you've mistaken the fact that the US is improving with the idea that democracies always improve. I'd say that isn't true, and it's only thought of as true because of the last 60 or so years in the US and Europe. That's the myth of progress, that it's inevitable. But it isn't.
            Government is not math. I simply can not prove that the US government or democracy in general will always improve. I can though look at the history of the US and point to over 200 years of continually improving government as compelling evidence. After all when the US was founded you had to be white, male and a land owner to vote. Oh and you could not have ever been a slave or indentured. Never mind the various poll taxes, literacy tests and religious tests that were around. Today none of that holds. I'll give you it is maddeningly slow, that often it takes generations but I will not concede that we have not been progressing.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:55:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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