Since this is a mostly american forum, I am pretty sure I will get some answers here to some questions which I had since quite some time now.
How can you stand the fact that you only have 2 political parties? It would drive me crazy. Here in germany lobbyism is already a huge problem but you are basically inviting corruption and special interests groups. We have currently 5 parties which had enough votes to get into the "Bundestag" (similar to congress I guess).
George WTF. Bush.
His administration lied and is responsible for the death of countless soldiers and innocent civilians. Instead of fighting terrorism, it just provoked additional hatred towards western civilisation. And the whole war on terror weakened you in a time where china is catching up to you. I mean, I can fully understand Afghanistan, but shouldn't someone stand trial for the lies that led to the disaster called Operation Iraqi Freedom? Or the torture going on in Guantanamo Bay? People being held without a fair trial? (there was even an incident where a german has been captured by the CIA IN GERMANY and taken there, he had to be released because he had been proven to be innocent and because of political intervention)
That shit would drive me nuts if my government would have been responsible.
Occupy Wall Street. These great people finally came together to protest against the grotesque situation that one percent of the population holds 40% of all wealth in the United States. And against lobbyism. And against corporate-funded political races. And against many other things that are so extremely F* up in your country and elsewhere (we have similar problems). The very fact that the media and local authority is actively fighting them and different local administrations are organizing against them should make you all the more want to join or at least support them, shouldn't it? Just hearing about this movement has given me more hope that your country does have a future.
Well, other questions will come but I don't want to pack too much into one topic. I would just like to hear your thoughts on these things.
I am astonished at your comment that the U.K. "wholly owned" all the petroleum in ... Iran.
Did I say ALL of the oil, I don't believe I did, I said that the oil being "stolen" was wholly owned by the British, meaning that the company now known as BP owned in whole all of the oil they were extracting, that Iran had no claim to it.
Are you suggesting that national resources can't be owned by foreign interests? The British had purchased oil rights in Iran in 1908, the Shah was paid and agreed to grant those rights.
The purpose here isn't to show how much we know about law. I, for one, don't need to. Rather, I think the only disagreement here is in what I mentioned in the first. Therefore, that discussion is contributory to the overall discussion.
This thread is a mess.
I'm not engaging in contest with you to see who knows more about the law. I have an issue with the comment you made about U.S. judges being able to circumvent the law or reach beyond their authority.
You specifically mentioned the officer de jure, which I believe I correctly interpreted as a reference to the de facto doctrine. My argument was that the de facto doctrine specifically does not grant power to any official to violate the law, rule beyond their purview or abuse their power. It's sole purpose is to protect rulings or laws from being attacked based on the judges status. My purpose in explaining that was twofold. First I wanted to clear up any misconception that there was such a loophole, there isn't, judges and all appointed officials are vulnerable to oversight and censure. Second that the de facto doctrine is not the source of this perceived loophole.
So, to be clear, judges powers are limited in scope and depth, if a judge oversteps those bounds in a ruling that ruling may be challenged on those grounds, if his ruling violates the law then it may be challenged on those grounds. There is a process for judicial censure and review. U.S. law does not protect a judge for violating the law based on his status.
As for practice. The claim that judges are routinely overstepping their bounds is an entirely serious one. Before I could indulge that claim I would need it to be substantiated by documentation, and if the claim could be substantiated then it should be presented as evidence in a prosecution against that judge. I do not believe there is a widespread or systematic abuse of judicial powers, I think there is a systematic lack of understanding of those powers.
Well, "...wholly owned..." seemed to imply that, but perhaps you were only referring to choice oil fields?
The phrase wholly owned indicates that a party controls in entirety a specific entity. It is not meant to convey that a party controls all instances of a thing. The phrase is often paired with the word subsidiary to indicate that a parent company controls all the shares of a subordinate. In this case it was meant to convey that the oil rights that BP maintained in Iran were owned in entirety by the British Petroleum Company and Iran owned no part of, nor had any claim to any parts of those fields being worked by BP, that they had given up those rights after being paid for them.
Naivety is an excuse for poor business decisions now?
I think this comment illustrates on what grounds you and I stand more clearly than I could ever possibly stated myself.
My position is that people should do some research before making a deal, that you can't hold the other side of a negotiation responsible for acting in its best interests. Is your position that people should try to trade as close to true value as possible? If it is, then let me say that while I admire that in principle, it doesn't work in fact. Parties should negotiate in their own best interests, and they should not engage in negotiation if they haven't bothered to make themselves informed.
This requires a conversation regarding actual real world experiences for both of us. For personal reasons, that is not a conversation I can have with you. I'm sorry about that but it has nothing to do with you.
I'm not sure a conversation about systematic abuses of power requires personal anecdote. If you have had a specific incident than that incident needs to be examined in context and separate from the institution of justice. Only where a trend of abuses can be established does the problem become one of the institution. As it stands there are avenues of redress available if a judge or other official has overstepped their bounds or violated the law. I am sorry if you have been the victim of a judicial abuse, it is a frustrating experience and can leave one feeling powerless, a feeling that can be compounded if a higher court rules that the abuse offered was credible. It is not my position that abuse never occurs, it is my position that this is the exception rather than the rule.
No, this is not the issue. I'm afraid you don't understand what is going on here. I cannot have this conversation with you. So, continuing to reply to my posts is not contributing anything to this conversation.
Kir, you latched on to the presumption and not the case. I was arguing against your insinuation that there is a systematic failure in the judicial system that sanctions the abuse of power by court officials. Your personal experience, as I stated before, is immaterial to the argument, as is mine. For that assertion to be taken seriously would require considerable substantiation.
I must take issue with your argument that I'm not forwarding the discussion, in my view the assertion that the entire U.S. justice system is corrupted, and your continued defense of that view is the spread of misinformation. As far as I'm concerned I'm working to remove that notion so that discourse can continue free of it.
"clear historical record of the U.S. strong-arming other countries to do exactly that"
Would be interesting to see this evidence apart from the US general insistence of free trade. The events of 1973 would seem to contradict the statement.
"the United States and the U.K. set up Iran before the Islamic Revolution (...)"
Dragging up more than a half a century old example seems fairly desperate, especially when ignoring the larger picture of US-Soviet relations to which the incident belongs.
"But the U.S. doesn’t give a d about “fair market value”, it rigs it."
Specific examples would be helpful.
"in the minds of U.S. leaders it is okay to defraud and lie to others"
This is merely part of typical international relations; There are no rules and it's a winner-take-all highly competitive game of state competition. All countries do this, the US being no "better" or "worse" than any international actor. Any country showing weakness for a second will be gobbled up by another country, the world is not a friendly place.
"The United States government no more respects rule of law"
There is no "law" to follow since it lacks any force to back it up and courts to adjudicate. Sovereign nations can do pretty much what they please without interference.
"It’s all a lie."
I prefer not to indulge in conspiracy theories myself, your mileage may wary.
"look at raw stories that inadvertently expose CIA activities around the globe."
That espionage agencies conduct espionage surprises me very little. In fact, if they did not do it I would be highly surprised. It includes killing, stealing, spying, destabling and interfering in other governments, inciting revolt, etc. Certainly not a pretty business, but all countries do it.
"When this happens CIA “makes a call” shall we say and asks AP to redact or modify the story."
Again, highly unsurprising. However, it's substantially less malicious than the methods employed by Stasi or KGB.
"we don't have the space here for an honest history lesson."
I prefer my history unrevised and unnarrated. :)
Hugo Chavez is not a communist. Just because a president openly criticizes US, and has good relationships with other presidents from the left, doesn't make him a communist. To understand the actual situation in which Venezuela is in, you got to know the history of the region not what Obama and Fox news tells you.
Hugo Chavez is a populist militar dictator with a strong sense of nationalism, he calls his government "Socialist" and the name of his political party "United Socialist party of Venezuela" his motto is "Motherland Socialism and Victory".
This is just certain country, the same that said Hussein had massive destruction weapons, making him a "fake red", nothing new under the sun..
I wouldn't have thought that this would draw so much attention. Even though your country still baffles me, at least I can now see why some of this is going on and why some might even think that it is ok the way it is (even though I still could never agree on that).
But I still can not see why you would think that protests don't achieve anything. If they become big enough, they can not be ignored and provoke some kind of response. Why do you think the mighty keep doing things so subtle that the vast majority does not see what is going on? They do not want to draw the public attention, that is why they keep paying Fox News and other media. Now they went a step too far and some (OWS) finally got their asses up to draw attention on the matter and gain support against it. What isn't great about that?
Be cynical all you want, but the change has to start somewhere and even if OWS fails, the mighty have to either be more careful in the future or risk starting the protests again and probably stronger next time.
There is a lot about our country that baffles everyone. I think many forget how large a country the U.S is and how many people from very different backgrounds are scattered all over it. The make up the nation will only become more interesting as the population of the U.S continues to grow at its current rates. It amazes me that the country hasn't in fact been through more civil wars if I really think about how different people are in one state from another state. The biggest thing I could suggest changing in our election process for President is getting rid of the Electoral College which in recent years has shown its drawbacks as I'm sure you are aware of. Another problem that should be addressed is the fact that people in congress are terrified to do anything for fear of not being elected again leading to this non-stop deadlock where the left and right don't want to look like they are leaning too far to the other side to make deals. I think this has a lot to do with the primaries where more extreme elements are more likely to vote in or are the only ones allowed to vote in as opposed to the growing numbers of independents who can't vote in the primaries in many states. Term limits could be part of the solution used perhaps? On OWS I was willing to give these people the benefit of the doubt since many people in the U.S including myself are angry with how things have been handled these past few years.... and then I met a bunch downtown during my lunch breaks. Sadly many and I really mean most of the ones I encountered were strange to say the least, seemed confused on their goals and were combative with those who were just going about their day and it really turned me off. I'm very open minded for the most part so I can't imagine how they rubbed a lot of other people who have encountered them. I hate to say it because I normally don't have a problem with protests as long as they don't turn into riots or an excuse to steal things but these people just plain annoyed me...