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Part Three: The National Freedom Contract Planks.
How to create a group from people who disagree about things.

“There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes. And the other is the Bill of Rights.” – Marine Corps General Smedley Butler (Two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient) War is a Racket by Smedley Butler

First and most importantly, we are not all going to agree on these planks. But the Freedom Contract Party is not about what we agree or disagree on. It’s about the defense of our homes and the Bill of Rights. And it’s about defending those two things both metaphorically and literally. And it’s about re-establishing our democratic republic in a functioning manner by removing corporate influence from the political process.

But wait, if we disagree, how can we get along?

Each of our planks is based on protecting and enforcing the Bill of Rights and castrating the Political Influence Industry. If you don’t agree with that, then you probably will not find the Freedom Contract Party appealing. Everything more than these core planks are separate issues we can debate and vote on, like a Democracy should work. We will never all agree on everything. But if we can agree on a few core principles, then we can agree to debate and vote on the remaining more contentious issues.

There are 7 planks in the Freedom Contract Party national platform. The first 6 are involved with the protection and restoration of the Bill of Rights and the last involves the opening of the political influence industries to public scrutiny. These planks were determined by aggregate analysis of the trending concerns expressed by the majority of U.S. internet users on the open social networks and a combination of groups that have strong feelings about specific issues that are outside the political mainstream parties. This group of foundational issues is how a majority block of voters can be assembled. Although it is probable that no one person will agree with each of these, they are mutually connected by the overlapping support for the majority of items by the identified active U.S. users that will comprise the voting block of the Freedom Contract Party. Although these planks may seem extreme to some Americans, they are all actually based on a reversal of bad policies that were created over the last five decades.

In general the planks can be grouped by their immediate call to dismantle or revoke the laws, mechanisms and departments involved with:

1) The unending and un-winnable war on terror

2) The ever-expanding police state and support industries

3) The lobbying and political influence industries

A by-product of these efforts will be an immediate elimination of the deficit and a reining in of the U.S. Military, which spends more than one trillion dollars every eighteen months in total expenditures. Both of these will have a positive impact on the debt over a few years without doing anything but not spending. A second by-product will be the assurance that American citizens will have a real direct voice in their government.

It is likely that you may disagree with some parts of the planks. But if you agree strongly with any of them, even just one, then you should consider supporting our party anyway. Because no mainstream party or candidate will ever support, much less enact, any of these planks in its entirety. Even if you disagree with some of the details in one of the planks, your only chance to get any of the part you agree with is by supporting our party. That’s why these individual planks were chosen and written the way the were. They overlap in a manner that should be more acceptable, or at least less contentious, than the other main party issues to the group of people we are trying to reach.

To repeat for importance, it’s not about what we agree or disagree on. It’s about what we can compromise on to get accomplished. That means for any individual voter to get the parts they agree with to be accomplished, they might have to accept a few things they may not agree with. Without this type of overlapping consensus, it will not be possible to build a winning majority of voters as calculated by the actual desires and numbers of online voters. Not every type of voter or online user will agree with this and it does not contain any positions that would be attractive to mainstream partisan political voters.

However this platform is not intended to attract mainstream political supporters and it is important to note that these seven planks cannot be changed once ratified into the contract. They were chosen because they represented a calculated achievable combination of specific political goals that have no chance of passing in the real world of partisan politics. Since no mainstream candidate would agree to any of these planks, much less all seven, not allowing their alteration prevents any outside group from using the Freedom Contract Party to support their candidacy by tossing out what they don’t like once they start building support. And since every person chosen to represent the Freedom Contract Party will have to sign a legal document that states they will support these seven planks or voluntarily step down, it will prevent any mainstream candidate from trying to sneak into office as one of our candidates with our support.

The National Freedom Contract Planks:

1) End the “police state” in America. Cancel, repeal or reverse the Patriot Act and all subsidiary laws. Release (or recharge under former law) all prisoners held under any aspect of the Patriot Act and expunge any convictions for those not recharged. Reinstate and enforce FISA on all surveillance activities nationwide and cease all wiretapping of U.S. communications without warrants. Stop the NSA from recording and storing all domestic communication. Clean house entirely in the Justice department and direct them primarily toward prosecution of violations of the Bill of Rights. Mandatorily reinforce habeas corpus as an absolute legal right. Repeal or reverse the relaxation of Miranda. Outlaw no-knock entry by police and enforce prior probable cause and peaceful warrant delivery. Immediately stop all police department subsidies by the federal government especially for military weapons. Openly push for the institution of state and local bans on all police departments using military tactics and weapons except in hostage situations only, as SWAT was originally intended. Repeal any ban on public photography or videography by anyone anywhere in public for any reason and issue an Executive order that citizen recording of any public official (and specifically any police) performing their job in public is legal whether video or audio. Government should be transparent to its citizens.

2) End the “war on terror.” Cancel, repeal or reverse the NDAA, NDRP and any subsidiary, subsequent or related laws regarding the military and terrorism inside the country and stop the active prosecution of the “War on Terror” immediately. Return all terrorism investigative and prosecutorial activities to the FBI but force them to revert to rules in place prior to 9/11. Close all US foreign rendition and interrogation programs and restrict the CIA to pre 9/11 rules of these activities. Publicly charge, try and execute all prisoners in Guantánamo – or free them and send them back to their homeland immediately. Send all activated National Guard and Reserve personnel home and immediately release them from future active deployments. Place an immediate cease of all weapon systems procurement orders other than firearms and ammunition pending a full re-evaluation of the entire budget for arsenal expenditures and the relationships between vendors and the government. The U.S. Military spends over a trillion dollars every eighteen months and it’s time to stop. The only exception is the pay for soldiers, which needs to be increased by 35% immediately and across the board for enlisted men and officers under the rank of General. Use half of the saved money on infrastructure projects at home overseen by Army Corps of Engineers. Infrastructure projects will use local contracting firms and require them to hire new employees from unemployed ranks. The only “nation building” our military should assist in is here at home.

3) End the “war on free speech.” Cancel, repeal or reverse the ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and all of the upcoming laws aimed loosely at child pornography. Repeal all restrictions on free speech over the internet. Reinstate the “Fair Use Act” that was cancelled by Reagan and begin enforcement of penalties on broadcasters using all forms of live transmission; only the internet is excluded. The reason this rule was in place is because the radio and television airwaves belong to the people and broadcasting can too easily be used to propagate propaganda or brainwash. Look what's happened since it was stopped (Rush Limbaugh for instance) and it’s easy to see that the law was needed. The internet, on the other hand, should be a completely free speech zone with no government involvement with, or administrative capability over, any content. This is mostly because we don't own the internet. If Rush Limbaugh, or anyone else, wants to spout stupidity or hatred on the internet, they should be free to do so where we, the internet public, can crucify them by direct response. But not over the radio or TV airwaves where he has a fortified pedestal for propaganda. For illegal content such as child pornography on the internet, let the FBI handle it as any traditional form of interstate or international crime. Cease all internet domain seizures and stop the criminal prosecution of all online piracy claims. Let the media companies spend their billions fighting their claims in civil court where juries will treat them accordingly. Force the FCC to mandate net neutrality and force open network technology. Review all spectrum usage and purchases since the digital transition, change the egregious violations and build the contiguous national emergency services network for our first responders without any lobbyist input.

4) End the Homeland “Security Theater.” Disband the DHS immediately. The best way to secure any “homeland” is to have a strong national investigative police capability that can use historically successful methods of crime prevention to thwart the criminal conspiracies that surround any type of terrorism. As such, return the national level investigative police function to the FBI exclusively. By the way, it’s been the FBI, and not DHS, that has stopped or prevented all of the attempted attacks on our country since 9/11. Disband TSA and remove all new passenger scanning equipment nationwide. Place airline security responsibility back into the airports and local governments and let them individually decide how to implement it. Disband ICE and reinstate the Immigration and Naturalization Service as a separate entity and stop all private border fencing activity. Deploy successfully developed military-type airborne and canine patrol systems instead of fencing. Our military uses dogs and planes to shut down wilderness borders anywhere else in the world. It’s the only effective method and it’s cheaper. For the amount of money we’ve blown building the DHS, we could have effectively sealed our borders and secured our ports from the air a long time ago. Also, federally enforce the right of Americans to peacefully protest anywhere at anytime. Peaceful protests are not a threat to homeland security. Violent police reaction is.

5) End the “war on drugs.” Disband the DEA and completely stop all federal drug enforcement immediately. Stop all federal prosecution of all drug charges and stop all foreign drug interdiction, prevention or prosecution activities immediately. Release all prisoners held on any aspect federal marijuana drug charges immediately. Review every other existing federally convicted drug criminal’s file for non-violence in the original crime and order immediate conviction dismissal and release for any who are found. Cancel, repeal or reverse all mandatory drug sentencing guidelines, rules or laws and review for dismissal all drug sentences over 24 months nationwide. Cancel, repeal or reverse all property seizure laws by police departments for any reason and stop the practice by force if necessary. The Police should not be allowed to take things from citizens for any reason; not phones, not money, not cameras… nothing. Destroy the Federal restricted drug list and then separately classify marijuana just like alcohol for taxation. Let individual states handle all other drug issues internally and the same for all foreign countries. Use the new Federal tax on marijuana to pay down national debt directly. Throughout all of our modern history, when governments (including ours) stop prohibition of recreational drugs, crime and drug use problems go down. The other way hasn’t worked. Let’s try this.

6) End the “war on private behavior and guns.” Disband the BATFE and hand over taxation of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana to the normal tax-collecting process. Stop all taxation or registration of all firearms at the federal level and return the control of registered explosives to the FBI. Issue an Executive order that forbids any form of national gun registration of new or old firearms. Repeal all limitations on the cross-state sale or transportation of all firearms, tobacco, alcohol or marijuana made and sold only in the United States and remove any Commerce Department oversight. Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are for adults and other than taxing them, which is fair, the government should stay out of what adults do in their private lives. The only role of the federal government is to ensure that states do not sell alcohol, tobacco or marijuana to children or minors under 21. Let individual states deal with driving under the influence laws, too. And it should be perfectly legal and easy for Americans to make and sell guns to each other both intra and interstate. It should be hard to make guns and sell them to other countries. The right to keep and bear arms is about defending your home and, more importantly, protecting and defending the Bill of Rights. It’s not about the right to sell guns overseas.

7) Neuter the political influence industries. Repeal the corporate identity laws immediately and revoke the right for companies to invest in politics and political campaigns at any level from local to national. Issue an executive order identifying all lobbyists as a threat to Executive and national security and then restrict all registered lobbyists from entering the city limits of Washington DC under Presidential national security rights. Officially move all lobbying activity back to the states where the public officials involved are from. But require all lobby activity involving any public employee, at any level, to be video recorded in public or face revocation of Lobbyist registration and criminal or civil charges to the public employee. It’s time to turn the bright spotlights and video cameras onto the lobby business and let the cockroaches scramble under scrutiny because our nation’s capital should be off limits from now on. This is well within the rights of the President. As it should be, Executive privilege regarding national security is supreme, and mostly unassailable, inside the borders of the District of Columbia. Lobbying should still be allowed, preferably at the home states of the politicians involved so their constituents can watch. But it should not be allowed in DC for the same reason that you don't let children onto the floor of a factory. It's dangerous for the factory productivity. At best, it's a distraction. At worst, they stick their fingers into something and break it. For far too long, Lobbyists have been able to roam the halls of government freely, especially when the Lobbyists were former government employees. When a government employee leaves and becomes a Lobbyist, it should be the same as if a Prosecution attorney left to become a Defense attorney. You're now on the other team. And you don't get to come into the Judge's Chambers, unless invited. We're un-inviting you, forever.

These are the core planks. As you can tell, no mainstream party or candidate would ever support any of these ideas fully. In fact, you may be thinking to yourself:

Whoa. These are pretty radical.

Only if you consider reversing something bad as a “radical” idea. Every single one of these planks is a reversal of something that has been put in place since the sixties. With the exception of the last one, they are all a basic re-establishment of one or more of the ten Bill of Rights. It’s time that we, as Americans, grow up and mature. As adults, it’s not important whether we agree with how the other thinks, lives or acts. The Bill of Rights ensures that we cannot strip away our rights from each other because we don’t agree. It’s radical that we have let our freedoms slip so far away from what our forefathers fought to create.

The last plank is to re-establish the power of American citizens alone to affect and influence the political process. This is also not a radical idea. I don’t know how someone could argue that allowing the corporate influence industry to flourish has improved our government. Nor do I see a compelling reason to think that allowing corporations into the election finance game is going to improve the election process.

Here’s a radical idea. If you agree with this core set of planks, then we, as a group, get to decide what the other issues will be. Our differences should be used to help us, instead of divide us.

There are several other major issues that need to be addressed. Many of these are the very same contentious issues that the mainstream parties are fighting over. But no matter what they say, the mainstream parties and candidates will not take your voice into consideration when they decide on these issues. These are the issues that we will agree to debate and vote on as a democratic organization. No other mainstream party will offer voters that.

You’ll never find anyone to agree with this plan. Where do you think you’ll get any leaders to support or join your group?

America has lots of leaders. You might be surprised where they are or come from, too. We need good leaders. We just need new leaders. And there is an easy and important process where we can find the best ones.



Here’s how we pick our candidates and their staffs in Part Four: (https://plus.google.com/103984595971776502972/posts/LRZbuLVSajp)


Archive:

Part One: https://plus.google.com/103984595971776502972/posts/9fUWoNmzbZb

Part Two: https://plus.google.com/103984595971776502972/posts/DzN2iyTe2Pz



Follow the Freedom Contract Party at +Freedom Contract Party




#freedomcontract #occupy #wethepeople #wethe99percent #ndaa #stopthewar #stopthemadness #vote #sopa #acta #pipa #election2012 #philosophy #philosophyfriday




Edited the last paragraph to change the order of the next essay - Lucian (25-Mar-12)
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Tj Vanderpoel's profile photoSimon B's profile photoAnn McPherson's profile photoLucian Randolph's profile photo
67 comments
 
One quick suggestion: I'd edit this post to include links to parts 1 and 2...
 
I agree to U adding the Links to 'parts 1 and 2' +Lucian Randolph "_) "The Freedom Contract" idea is Weighty, and easily Digested by us "the letdown but still trusting public" of America. Thanx 4 your great and noble efforts...
 
Thanks everyone for the suggestion. I just added the links to previous essays :)
 
It'd be very refreshing to be part of a party where you had a voice as opposed to your party dictating to you how they were using your vote.

I especially like the idea of banning the lobbyists from DC, let the lobbyists lobby, but make them lobby to the voter as opposed to the politician, we're a bit tougher to buy off.
 
It is interesting to note that our Founding Fathers had a long debate, at times nearly coming to blows, discussing the formation of the 1st US Naval fleet. The discussion was focused on whether or not the Congress had the right to use tax payer dollars to fund a fleet of fighting vessels to defend our trade ships that were being sacked off of Northern Africa (The Shores of Tripoli). The USS Constitution is the sole surviving ship of that group.
We have gone far astray of our original ideals. The government no longer questions its right to spend its citizens dollars and lives on foreign adventures, it just does it. Furthermore, our voices of dissent against foreign wars fall on deaf ears. It is obvious that the people have lost control of the legislators. We need to ask ourselves 1) Are we o.k. with this fact? 2) What can we do, within the current framework of laws, to change it?
 
Again +Lucian Randolph great write up and like the past two parts I couldn't agree more. What I dont understand about our citizens, is that a lot of people I talk to about these same issues tend to agree, but they do not vote for people like this they vote for people like Romney. What are we going to do to get this into those types of people. Again I will say if there is anything you need done for this cause I am 1000% on board. I have been trying to come with a way to spread this same message to people but I just do not have a way. Thank you for spending time and writing all three of these.
 
I think I like it. I have to be really careful because anything that sweeping is likely to have significant unintended effects. My first order estimate is that it would still be a massive net win though, and can always be scrapped later if the drawbacks turn too bad.

+Lucian Randolph do you propose it be decided when a politician is failing to follow the planks? Is it you issuing pronouncements? Some form of internet voting system by party members? Something else?

I like the idea of requiring recordings of all lobbying conversations. However, I worry that banning lobbiests from entering DC will have a similar effect as trying to ban drugs, it will just create a culture of illegal, unregistered lobbying. Better to have everything happen above board and with easily accessible recordings. Unfortunately, I think a lobbyist ban in DC (appealing as it would be), as probably counterproductive to that goal.
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So, where do we sign up for this party? And does +Rick Falkvinge count this as an affiliate party?
 
Hey +Thomas Dimiduk The voters from the FCP would decide if the politician is not performing. They would do this by popular voting using the online mechanisms to build support. When a consensus starts to build, a formal vote can be taken. Our actions as a private group just need to be transparent. Also, I agree about the transparency of lobbying. It could occur in Falls Church VA for all I care (literally a few miles from DC). But it has to be public. DC is off-limits because that's like letting children onto the floor of a factory. It's dangerous for the factory productivity.
 
Thanks +Derek Rada. I believe that we can personally convince a percentage of the people with good solid messages delivered one-to-one. But we will need to build communities inside the social arenas that are online already to begin the process. That's where we will need lots of help.
 
Hey +Roger Clark, if you watch the video from Gen. Butler at the top of the essay, he says the same thing.
 
+Ryan Doyle, the lobby industries have operated behind closed doors for too long. I see bright lights and video cameras in their future.
 
Hey +Simon B, this was a Hail Mary pass from me. Now we need a team down field to catch it, do the blocking and then run in for a score. Grab a helmet and jump onto the field :)
 
+Lucian Randolph, that is what I was hoping to hear on the decision process.

I see what you are saying with interfering with productivity. A less controversial option would be just have the politicians pledge that they personally will not talk to lobbyists in DC, there are no freedom of speech or crime issues with them just making a personal choice. I wouldn't let that quibble stop me from supporting the overall platform though.

To publicize this it will be necessary to condense these planks to something shorter than a the long paragraphs you have here (since not everyone likes reading long form text as much as I do for some reason), do you want to provide short versions of them, or should we think about condensations?
 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." - United States, the Declaration of Independence

This was the right answer then. I think we agree its the right answer today. So, I will keep an eye, an ear on your organization. I will lend my voice in support to anyone who champions this cause. I have loved and defended America in the past and I am loathe to abandon her to fascism or pessimism today or in the future. I figure if you talk sense long enough people will eventually listen.
 
While I love your writings and you do have a good following, I wonder what the plan is to truly go viral.
Your postal are great but the fact is some people appeal to the simple concepts. This is why the "war on..." works and continues to be used.
In addition such people constitute such a large portion of the voting pool. I think there are many out there that don't vote because they feel its broken and they can be reeled in. Others as well.
But how? How do you "campaign" and make them truly aware?
 
+Collin Jasnoch, I've convinced two friends, who might have voted otherwise, that this is a better idea. If we can get the candidates to sign the contract, they will vote for them. That's how it will happen.
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Hail Mary pass accepted - but I think the first step should be a Google+ page (other social media are available). And I think Lucian should do that ;)
 
That brings up another question of getting the candidates. You said so yourself the traditional ones would never agree to sign. People don't just wake up one day and say hey I think I will run for congress.
It seems we have to convert the said corrupted officials.
 
+Thomas Dimiduk You're absolutely right. What we need will be shorter viral messages. For instance, simple questions like, "Will your candidate sign a performance contract? And will they agree to step down if they don't perform? If not, then you should be in the FCP." The potential short form viral messages are endless. I have some ideas, but we should crowd source this.
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I would run for Congress in a heartbeat.

But as a resident alien, I don't think I'm allowed to :)
 
There are true leaders out there who are willing to run on platforms like this. They haven't because of how corrupt the system is and other similar reasons. Why do you think Colin Powell didn't run back the first time Bush, Jr did? Why do you think he quit as Sec. of State when he discovered he was lied to?

There are true leaders out there who will run.
 
+Ann McPherson I believe you're right. I hope we can get them now. We need good leaders. We just need different leaders.
 
That's easy. Make me a page administrator. Do you need directions how to do that?
 
That would be even better and yes I could use some directions :)
 
dammit, i lose more of my comments due to ooh shiny over what appears in my stream while editing the damn thing in the notification panel. #firstworldproblems #googleplusfeedback
 
ahem...

+Ann McPherson I have to gurgle slightly over the notion of Colin Powell as a "true leader" inasmuch as he turned into a complete peon for the Bush admin and lied to us about WMD in Iraq. *gak*
 
+Cindy Brown He didn't lie to us on purpose. He was lied to himself. That's why he resigned as Sec. of State.
 
I would disagree. Evidence is that he was aware that the material he was presenting to the UN was less than stellar, and that he did not resign as SoS for those reasons: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Politics/story?id=1105979&page=2#.T2uSMp_SGpk

There's been quite a few published articles about how the admin debated what to tell the UN and what not to, and so on.

But don't let me derail anything here. As long as one of the planks isn't to elect Powell, it really is an irrelevant aside.
 
Hey +Ann McPherson, thanks for the links. I'll read them through and take care of it in a little bit. I would also like to add for you and +Cindy Brown, I think you will like my further ideas on how we choose the candidates and their staffs as well as how we deal with the human nature aspects of power. Like I said earlier, I think we need new people but we also need to change how the organizations that support those elected officials are created and managed. Like a business, every person is important to the ultimate product. We should plan this from top to bottom. PS - now I have to go bathe my sons :)
 
Beyond these, I feel that recurring subsidies are directly harmful to the political process, in the same way that lobbyists promote corruption. Indeed, it is the other side of corruption, where the politician is actively seeking lobbyist attention on the matter of an expiring subsidy, and is effectively extorting entire industries for "campaign contributions" for their vote to renew a subsidy.

I do recognize the value of subsidies. However, they should be used only to promote healthy competition within an industry and to start emerging industries as we cross technological barriers that are hampered by financial barriers. If a mature company is unable to be financially secure without subsidies, then it must fail, to make way for emergent industries and leaner competition, which will both improve our economy.

I think that 5 years of full subsidies, followed by an additional 15 years of linearly decreasing subsidies is the longest that any industry must ever be able to enjoy any subsidies, and that companies who could make a profit (no matter how they cook their books to avoid taxes) must be stripped of their subsidies immediately. Once an industry has been subsidized, it must never have another subsidy applied to it again.

If an industry provides collective benefits that aren't economically sustainable without profiting on people's misfortunes (police, fire prevention and control, medical services, transportation [think private tool booths], etc.) or that provide benefits that individual investors rarely see the actual profits from (open science and space exploration), then it should be made a public service.
 
I think for many of these we need to have actual data to back up an assertion, such as the actual amount of the sort of subsidy extortion you claim (which frankly, I see little to no evidence for, but am willing to examine data rather than assertions -- just as I'm sure you'd rather see than my own assertion ;) )...
 
+Cindy Brown I'm posting from my phone ATM. I am curious to read the link you posted and will do so after dinner and a quick load of laundry.

+Lucian Randolph Take all the time you need. This is time of the day when I unwind from work and make dinner. Spending time with your sons is on of your most important jobs :)
 
Here's some raw-ish data on how much in subsidies have gone to different companies and industries... The by-industry section starts on page 7, and feel free to skip all of the prose... from me skimming over it, it's pretty much as expected given the title of the PDF: http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf What I'm most interested in is the figure on page 8, 2008-2010 Effective Tax Rates & Total Tax Subsidies, By Industry.

And here's a comparison of how much lobbyists have spent, grouped by industry... Comparing with the figures in the above PDF, it shows that many of the same groups which get the greatest subsidies are the same groups which spend the most on lobbying: http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=c
 
I meant more the evidence that the politicians use them as an arm twisting measure as opposed to the corporations demanding them. The money itself is clearly there.
 
I don't think that anybody except the lobbyists and politicians themselves would be able to answer that... It's more a question of motives, which are always up to interpretation... Although, I'd think that a corporation would ask for a fixed subsidy that doesn't expire, but would be increased by a minimum amount, rather than have to pressure politicians to renew expiring subsidies, so for my own opinion, I'm more inclined to believe that it's mutual corruption.
 
But politicians don't operate in a vacuum -- a corporation may well want a permanent subsidy, but public opinion, opposing / not brought out politicians, and competing corporations probably also come into play. So I would be wary of assuming what may be going on.
 
As far as I know there exists no federal sales tax. I could be wrong though. But because of that taxing legalized marijuana would be difficult. Also I think technically it is illegal at the state level. Trafficking etc. of it however is a federal crime.
 
+Collin Jasnoch we do actually tax alcohol at the federal level. We tax it when it's made and when it's sold. That's why you need a license to sell it and you can't make your own and sell it without another license. We also do that for tobacco products :)
 
That makes sense. I assume that is the type of tax you are referring to then.
 
+Cindy Brown I didn't take the same things away from the article that you did. Powell says that the sources for the intelligence weren't reliable and that the people who were aware of this didn't speak up. It reads to me at though he wasn't aware of it at the time but he was after the fact.

FTA: "Nonetheless, Powell said, some lower-level personnel in the intelligence community failed him and the country. "There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at that time that some of these sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me," he said."

The article doesn't actually address why he resigned. Scuttlebutt around DC is that he quit in protest regardless of the official reason given. That type of DC scuttlebutt is usually reliable. There are "official" ways to word things that get the point across without pointing fingers outright. It's part of the game.

He also danced around the fact that Iraq was invaded without an exit strategy and that's part of the reason why there was so much trouble when Iraq was invaded.

That's what I took away from the article.
 
Hey +Ann McPherson. I just read the links you gave me on how to add a Page Manager. It seems I have to send you an "invitation" by email to be a Manager. If you send me an email through the link on my profile page with your G+ email, then I can add you as a Manager for the page. It seems pretty simple. Thanks for the help.
 
+Ann McPherson I took different things away, such as the extent of the discussion and debate before going to the UN, taking up and discarding multiple approaches. There's a lot of info on this, from multiple sources, and after a while I simply cannot believe he didn't know that he was presenting unverified info. He's a smart man.


But in terms of a smoking gun, such as Powell saying "Well, sure, I fucking lied to all of you," no...you will not find that.

(Ironically, if it were say Bolton making that claim, I'd believe him because the man is an idiot. But Powell absolutely is not.)
 
+Lucian Randolph Email sent.

+Cindy Brown I think Powell figured it but not right away. Though, like you, I suspect he did figure it out before he let on publicly. I don't honestly think he knew at the very beginning. Iraq was claiming to have WMD. People wanted to "find" the supposed WMD. It kind of snowballed from there.
 
+Lucian Randolph I approved the email to make me a page manager and added myself to the team member circle. There are two additional people waiting to be circled back but I didn't do anything. I'm not sure who they are (followers or team members) and didn't want to add them to the wrong circle.

My brain is officially mush now. I've had a little insomnia the last two nights and I'm going to try to get to bed early tonight. Good night.
 
Mark each one of these posts with #freedomcontract ... that will facilitate searching for them... also it will allow you to find people who build on this.

also I second the idea to create a blog entry and put the entirety of this essay on it...
 
+Lucian Randolph Making a website with Word Press is apparently a fairly easy to do. I know enough of the very basics to make a straight forward blog. I'd have to get a book to do the more advanced stuff.

Anyway, if this is an idea you want to pursue further, shoot me an email (you have that now) and we can talk about it there.
 
wordpress blogs are ridiculously simple. feel free to shoot me any questions about 'em if you like.
 
Those don't sound too radical to me. In fact, it creeps me out more to read what laws/regulations the US currently have in place. Two issues would make me a little uncomfy. 1) The part about gun registration etc. - but this may be a cultural issue, since I'm not from the US, and private ownership/use of guns is rather uncommon over here. I'd be worried about domestic violence, getting robbed, and so on. On the other hand, our Swiss neighbors are pretty easy on guns, too, and it works, though they're far less aggressive/angry than some Americans.. I guess in combination with proper education, it could work. 2) Internet freedom: This one really gives me shivers, although I might be reading it wrong. Freedom of speech? Yes, absolutely. But laws in the "offline world" should also apply to the "online world", especially since the Internet has become such an integral part of our lives. If someone publicly organizes the assassination of an unpopular politician on their blog, that's not free speech but a crime. If someone spreads lies about their business competition, that's not free speech either but libel. And copyrights should also apply online - but copyright laws and the media companies' business models certainly need to be modernized, I'm with you on that one. So, maybe this one should be clarified a bit, but otherwise, these planks sound quite reasonable.
 
Hey +Simone Linke Thanks for the comment. You make great points. Gun ownership needs good education. That makes perfect sense and should be required if for no other reason than plain common sense. Your second point is also valid. In this country, we have a specific legal meaning for free speech as defined in our laws and constitution. Illegal speech is not covered by the free speech right. In the same manner that the law considers child pornography illegal, many other types of speech cross out of the protected right of free speech when they break other laws. These laws were and are necessary for the same reasons you mention. The internet does not change that. Illegal content and speech is still illegal. My suggestion for making it a completely free speech zone doesn't change that either. The benefit of the internet over traditional forms of media with illegal activities has to do with the nature of feedback. The internet can focus negative attention on an issue in a way that no other form of media can. Other than illegal content, the government should allow the free speech of the internet to cleanse itself. The truth of the matter is that no legal effort was as effective in shutting down child pornography as the work of Anonymous when they set their hackers on the offenders. But illegal is illegal. Stupid free speech, on the other hand, should be allowed and let the community show them how we feel about stupidity. As far as copyright and IP issues on the internet, the plank is about the criminal aspect of those activities. IP is civil. The media companies are trying to pass laws to make it criminal. Right now they must fight their battles in civil court. If the laws are changed, then they get to use the power of the criminal legal system on their side. That's wrong. Fight it out in civil court where juries will decide the validity of your claims and not the criminal justice system.
 
Thanks for your clarification, +Lucian Randolph. Looks like we're on the same page, and it's just a matter of properly educating people about what is right/legal and what is not. The reason I was worried about the free speech issue is that some people seem to misunderstand what it means. I had a long debate on here about a totally unrelated issue the other day, and it turned into an argument about free speech. Some of the supporters claimed that nothing must be removed/censored online because of free speech, and that I shouldn't even have the right to have libelous claims about my business removed - after all, these claims would be covered by free speech. My guts told me that they were wrong and that even free speech should respect the laws, but they argued with so much confidence that I eventually had doubts about what free speech really meant in the US. I'm glad that there are indeed some boundaries, so if people are taught what free speech really means, this plank should be fine, too.
 
You've got to get rid of the Fair Use reinstatement on the platform if you want Classical Liberal minded persons such as myself to get behind this. I was on board for everything up until that point, but it's a dealbreaker. You cannot speak freedom out of one side of your mouth and with the other decide what content is acceptable for the public airwaves. People vote with their wallets, and if they don't want to listen to Rush they are never forced to. Same with Current TV or LINK TV or any partisan or idealogically oriented broadcast. They deserve every bit the freedom and openness you rally for on the internet, and the public makes the decisions on what they choose to view or listen to or read. There is simply no difference. We don't own the airwaves any more than we own the internet, in any practical way. When bandwidth is sold, you don't get a check in the mail. Same with frequencies on such 'airwaves'. Drawing a line between 'fair use' to be needed for ABC and CBS vs the same rule to apply to YouTube or Hulu is illogical at heart, and nowhere in the Bill of Rights can an exception be made which would give Big Brother the right to mediate content that broadcasters choose to distribute, over any medium. If the demand for fair use to be reinstated were removed from the planks I'd be your most vocal supporter and work my hardest to see your dream realized.
 
Actually, you're quite wrong about that. On the Fair Use, the balanced presentation (indeed the presentation of facts at all) has gone utterly downhill ever since it was repealed. Prior to that, facts actually got checked and announced as such.
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