User talk:Human/sandbox3

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Whoa. That's insane on so many levels, I think I can hear your Founding Fathers spinning in their graves all the way over here. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 16:04, 6 December 2007 (EST)

It's your sandbox, but may we edit? Researcher 17:14, 6 December 2007 (EST)
I'd prefer not, for now. However - feel free to copy what I have to anywhere else - if you want to make a mainspace article go ahead, I won't be offended. I might just join in over there. As it is, I was mulling making an essay out of it, not so much a direct refutation but commentary on the kind of people who write this sort of thing. So we could easily end up with several quite different versions. As I said, copy away, take advantage of the formatting work I did, etc.
Or, if you want to just keep it here for now, could you add what you would say here on the talk page, for now? That way it isn't lost, and can easily be integrated if I don't bother with my essay version and we just move it to the mainspace.
PS, as far as main, we'd need to think up a good title... ideas? humanUser talk:Human 17:35, 6 December 2007 (EST)
What I'm thinking of may be a bit too extensive for the talk page, but I might start here. I'm thinking of taking a chunk at a time and examining its implications for a system of government. Some of the craziest stuff is actually in the minutiae, like the tax system. (However, knowing how often I start somethign and then quit, I might start here on talk and then move to a full essay/article if I do enough.) Researcher 18:02, 6 December 2007 (EST)
How about copying each chunk you analyze like that (which would be very cool) to a new sandbox either here or at your user space, and putting a link at the end or beginning of that section in my main sandbox version? We can decide how to present our "final" version after we see what we come up with. If anything ;) humanUser talk:Human 18:09, 6 December 2007 (EST)
I'm going to put up some rough thoughts on the pieces here, to be brushed up and made pretty (and coherent) later. Researcher 18:39, 6 December 2007 (EST)
This may be a "duh", but everything I write on here is fair game for other criticisms, elaborations, questions, and general feedback. In fact, I am explicitly asking for that! Researcher 18:58, 6 December 2007 (EST)
That's all I can take for one night. Ack. (I went to their web page...oh lordy, lordy.) Researcher 00:29, 7 December 2007 (EST)

Moved my commentary to a new sandbox of my own (User:Researcher/sandbox), so feel free to delete this crap if it's too long. Researcher 18:54, 7 December 2007 (EST)

Finished. . . my . . . analysis. Brain . . .traumatized. Pain level . . . Shatnerian! Researcher 00:15, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Legislative Section[edit]

"Section 1 - The Legislature All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in an Adjoining Congress for New America and this nation's republic(s) which shall consist of elected Representatives that shall only serve as representatives for no longer than singular terms in office of three years for the explicit purpose of bringing legislative proposals unto the Executive Body branch of this government to be decided upon; and either implemented or rejected. All Representatives must appoint a successor in the event they are unable to fulfill their one and only three year term of office.This appointment must take place and be on record publicly before any oath of office is given. Areas of a depressed economic stability shall be able to elect one additional Representative to office to be known as the "Economic Representative" of which shall serve a full term. ONLY matters of national consequence shall be brought to the Executive Body for legislature approval consideration."

There is nothing here listed by what method such legislators will be selected. Also, the idea that "areas of depressed economic stability shall be able to elect one additional" representative is rather ludicrous--there is no mechanism for determining how many representatives get anyway, nor any decent explanation of what depressed economic stability means. The idea that only matters of national concern may be brought by the legislature makes some sense, until one realizes that this is, largely, meaningless. (Our military bases need linoleum! For the sake of national security, we need to keep the linoleum plant in my home district running!) Moreover, the lack of a "veto override" by the legislature is troubling to this USer, since it means that the Executive Council can block anything the "people" want. (However, this is not so troubling as it would be with a singular executive, for reasons that I will get into in the next section.)

Also, note the term limits and the (assumed) unicameral structure. The unicameral system is not too dangerous, but it does allow for a sweeping tide of sentiment to rashly propose something and get it through without due reflection or compromise. This is particularly problematic because of the term limits and short term lengths. With the entire Congress being replaced EVERY THREE YEARS there is no possiblity of continuity within the Congress. Moreover, there is no ability to acquire expertise in the science of governing, as every experienced member of Congress must leave after just three years. There is also no chance for amity and understanding to grow between members. The American House of Representatives is considered overly partisan and nasty because of the constant elections to it and the gerrymandered, populist tilt--how much worse would this be? (Also, with the executive board lasting much longer in power than any Congressperson, there would be no chance for Congress to maintain whatever perogatives it may have vis a vis the Executive, and it would quickly be trampled.) Researcher 18:38, 6 December 2007 (EST)

Executive[edit]

Section 2 - The Executive Body "The executive branch of government for New America shall consist of 12 members of The Executive Body. Each will serve a term of six years on a rotating basis whereas two members will relent their positions and two new members shall be elected to fill the open positions.. Also each elected member shall appoint a successor in the event that they are unable to fulfill their term of office before taking any oath for this elected office."

A certain amount of continuity can be a good thing, even if the math is bad. The US Senate is set up somewhat similarly, so that there cannot be a complete change in the legislature in one election, to prevent some kind of dangerous craze from sweeping the country and sweeping lunatics into power. That's good. What's bad is there is no description of the process for getting on this executive board. (And, actually, assuming new members come on each year, then the math works in THIS section.)

"After the onset of the first twelve members appointed by the Defense department or "L.G.N.A." to serve on the Executive Body; the oldest two members shall relent their posts to open two positions for the elected body after the first two years of the Executive Body's existence.. Each successive two year period the two oldest members shall relent two positions until the entire body is elected by the whole of New America. At this point; the first two members elected shall relent their posts because their six year terms would have expired, and so forth, so that the "Round Table of Twelve" continues as the elected Executive Body of the people. The Executive Body shall determine all national issues of civic importance, emergency war powers shall reside with The Supreme Chief Commander of the L.G.N.A. as far as all defensive measures. All other war powers proposals shall be originated from the Adjoining Congress for New America. In the event of The Supreme Chief Commander of The L.G.N.A. vacates this post or is removed per L.G.N.A. protocols; a new Supreme Chief Commander shall be appointed by The Executive Body after testimony given by the several still posted High Command Members of The L.G.N.A Defense Forces."

OK, so the members will initially be chosen by . . . the Defense department? Then, however, they will be elected. . .somehow. "By the whole of New America." This is, unfortunately, rather vague. It suggests best of the popular vote, but does each seat run separately? Or do both (or all four) seats each year run together, and the best two (four) vote getters get the seat? Will people get one vote per seat, or just one vote? If the seats run separately (but are still national), or if people get to vote from a pool with one vote per seat, then you can expect all of the people voted in each year to be from the same party. If people only get one vote each for a pool of candidates, then each "class" of executives will be from differing parties. These are important things to keep in mind and should be resolved in the Constitution, not later.

The really scary part is the end, though; the "Supreme Chief Commander of the LGNA" gets "emergency war powers". And the Congress gets to decide all other "war powers proposals." I assume this means that the Congress has to decide whether to invade someone else or not. Not a bad idea, overall, but the unelected nature of the Supreme Chief Commander is very nerve-inducing. (As is the apparently unaccountable nature fo the LGNA high command.)

Of course, in a sense, it's good that there is ONE person in charge. One thing that was hotly contested during the US constitutional debate was the number of executives. In the end, it was limited to one, so that the executive could use it's power swiftly and decisively in the case of emergencies; a board could deadlock at the worst moment. Of course, it makes one wonder why there is an executive board to begin with, then.

"The Executive Body will set into motion and affect all electoral practices, election times as prescribed in The New America Constitution herein. The Executive Body will set forth all laws concerning: Judicial Limits, Judicial procedures and any appeals procedures; Commerce and the qualifications of acceptable commerce safety regulations, except the taxation laws prescribed herein; Legislative Representative powers, and local government formulations and limitations, districts, areas, rules and limitations of local governments; the establishment of a National Emergency Treasury to be built with funds collected for the PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE; shall create a Just Law Observance Board that will oversee questionable local laws when local citizens submit them as incoherent; and shall establish the rules and programs to create an FREE ENERGY SOCIETY with little or no enviormental long term concerns and or ill effects of waste or other anti-earth and or anti-human consequences. Special attention of the whole of The Executive Body and the whole of The Adjoining Congress of New America should have and strive towards the priority concerning FREE ENERGY FOR ALL ASPECTS OF THIS REPUBLIC until it is achieved for all citizenry equally. In addition to these responsibilities;"

And here is why, and it's a MAJOR mess. In essence, all legislative ability is given to the EXECUTIVE board. What is left for the legislature to do? Moreover, having such a small (12 person) legislature (who defines all of the electoral practices) is just screaming "cabal." (Also, I am amused at the idea of a "Just Law Observance Board" to prevent incoherence, considering this document.) The "free energy for all" is just icing.

"The Executive Body shall establish a Board of Public Records for statistical and current data records. This board shall oversee any media outlets or news sources for accuracy stipulations and accurate reporting of the news elements and occurrences."

Right...we'll trust this government body with telling us what is and is not true. Because this government won't lie at all, unlike all the other ones.

"The Executive Body shall establish an Executive Overseer that shall appoint Assistant Overseers to assist the Executive Body in matters of procedure and relative evenly treated efforts for legislature proposed by the elected Adjoining Congress of Representatives of various established precincts or areas. The Chief Overseer for The Executive Body will have no vote or input to anything proposed and before The Executive Body. The Chief Overseer can be removed for no cause upon a proposed vote of the whole of The Executive Body."

Even I can't penetrate what this means, other than additional posts. Maybe this is supposed to be like the Congressional Budget Office and the GAO, support staff for the government. But it's pretty incoherent.

"The Executive Body shall delegate a Board of Education to oversee curriculum's and educational concerns and shall mandate that all students be taught the Values of our Liberty, True History, and Self- reliance and the principles of self-governing peoples ALSO;The Executive Body may create some small offices for public benefit and set forth all embodied responsibilities and compensation levels for a time to be predetermined and or until the situation is resolved unto the citizenry satisfaction of the original public needed facilitation."

Um...so the government can create boards and commissions. Good for them.

"The Executive Body shall always subscribe to the original Bill-of-Rights from the united States of America as a Motherland heritage of the highest significance. The Executive Body shall always strive to preserve all relative aspects of these God-Given and Natural Rights for all generations. The very degeneration of these tools and pillars of Liberty is the cause we have sought out of our heritage even unto the necessities of secession, war, and the actual compiling of this historic document The Bill-of-Rights as gifts of God and Natural RIGHTS is the essence of the existence of New America. Let us always remember the past, to always preserve Liberty into the future."

OK, but for the sake of future historians, it might be good to spell out what those rights are. Just saying.

"New America and its Republic(s) shall NEVER submit its sovereignty to any foreign or domestic entity. New America shall not recognize the devious conceptions of false governing bodies such as: The United Nations, The World Court, The World Health Organization or ANY other self proclaimed "World", "International" or "Global" entity. NEVER AGAIN shall the citizenry of New America be placed in the perils suffered in the past by entanglements beyond our borders which would seek to subvert, destroy, dismantle, disable our God-given and Natural RIGHTS and the Liberty they produce for a self-reliant, self-governing, mutually respecting FREE PEOPLE(s). ANY entanglement either through business or other that: threatens either Liberty of the citizenry of New America or our sovereignty shall be dissolved by The Executive Body either on a permanent basis or until such policies can be presented to The Executive Body that provide for complete correction away from these perils."

So, no menace that threatens more than just America will ever be dealt with by a concerted effort. Nor, apparently, will there be any business across national borders. It is setting up an isolationist consitution that can't apparently be changed at all.

To sum up: An executive board that's really a legislature, bound to be isolationist, with a really weird amount of power and influence to be given to the top military leadership.

Section 1 - Taxable Goods, Amounts, and Public Service[edit]

"All tax shall consist of not less than 5% (five percent) of taxable goods in good economic stability AND not more than 10% (ten percent) of taxable goods in unfavorable economic climates. All tax shall be evenly divided for uses in DEFENSE, PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE, and PUBLIC HEALTH. The positions held at the top of these public service positions shall receive twice the compensation of the mid-grade professional positions. The basic positions shall receive half of the mid-grade professional wages in compensation. Any person who so chooses any public service field of livelihood and gainful employment should be commended for their solemn commitment. New America shall strive to achieve a costless health care system for all citizens and shall strive to maintain the highest of standards in all three of these areas. THUS: All persons so inclined to serve their nation shall be considered VOLUNTEERS though somewhat compensated by public funds."

This is utter insanity. One, it's a type of micromanagement that should NEVER go into a Constitution. You can't change this later if you need to. (It's also overly simplified--only three levels of civil servants??)

Moreover, on taxes, it's exactly backwards. When things are BAD you tax LESS so that people will engage in economic activity to make things GOOD again. When things are GOOD, you tax MORE to squirrel money away for when they're BAD. (Also, you can keep your markets and such from over-heating by taxing them. Helps to even out the business cycle.)

Lastly, keeping tax revenue evenly divided between those three sectors is ridiculous. What if you are invaded? You might have to divert extra resources to defense. Or if an earthquake strikes? You might need to divert some to the other two. You can't have these things set in stone!

"Once a year; The Executive Body may request contributions from the public for special projects and or programs that serve the public interests and the public's Liberty. These requests for contributions would be for fully disclosed projects and all contributions would be completely voluntary. All elected Representatives shall be paid a mid-grade compensation. All elected Executive Body Members shall be paid at a top-grade compensation. NO member of government shall receive any wages, gifts, or properties of any sort related to their respected offices of public service. Any suspected of taking undue compensations, bribes, or unlawful misappropriations of legal funds shall be in danger of the charge(s) of TREASON."

Unknown to many, the US once tried "voluntary taxation" under the Articles of Confederation. Guess what? No one paid. No "voluntary" project will get done.

"Tax Overseers shall be appointed be the Executive Body and shall stay in a mid-grade of compensation for times and terms to be determined by The Executive Body at the time of their appointments along with the assigning of their specific duties each.. Any appointments can be reviewed and revised or terminated by the Executive Body as a whole at anytime. The executive Body Members cannot be removed except by self-resignation, elections, or acts of TREASON unless the whole of the remaining Executive Body finds significant fault in a member's efforts, or lack of effort, to: service the public and defend New America in the Liberty purchased by all in our daily living and public pronouncements and commitments to our mutual benefits. In this event, the pre-named successor would then finish the elected Executive Body member's term."

So--the Executive Board can vote a member out? Or does it have to be unanimous among the other 11? It's good to have a mechanism for getting out corrupt members, but is it then smart to have the pre-named successor follow the person? (They're likely to be in cahoots, after all.)

"The Executive Body will set forth all laws of commerce, except that: the taxable goods Sales Tax shall not include goods made or grown or services rendered on personal individual levels. ONLY when said goods and services are offered as commerce to the public at large are they taxable. No other taxes shall be imposed upon the peoples of New America except in the form of the Sales Tax as prescribed in this Constitution of New America herein."

So, a national sales tax, and nothing else? Some economists would like that, but it really depresses economic activity and often has a very high dead weight cost (which the income tax, arguably, doesn't.) Moreover, without a provision to exempt groceries or necessities, that's likely to be HIGHLY regressive. Also, I assume that all local and state governments are to be subsumed under the federal government, as they have no ability to collect revenues with which to do anything. Researcher 22:26, 6 December 2007 (EST)

Gold Standard, god love it[edit]

"Section 2 - Legal Currency All gold and silver shall forever be used as currency along with the Liberty of all citizenry to be able to barter fairly as long as the tax is paid with gold, silver, or currency of paper should this be for profit or livelihood as offered to the general public AND should legislation be passed concerning the paper-currency issue: this paper currency should be backed with amounts of raw materials or mined and refined materials to far excel that which is necessary to maintain an EMERGENCY fund(s) in the National Treasury. This should be considered carefully before any legislation is proposed and sanctified as law; and always backed with gold, or silver or other precious metals or materials"

What good craziness forgets to go back to the gold standard? The only real problem that I can see is that paper should be backed by "gold, silver, or other precious" minerals. In theory, this could lead to chaos as some is backed by gold, some platinum, etc. But, overall, whatever. Researcher 22:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)

(1) The gold standard is a hallmark sign that someone didn't take an economics class. This nonsense might've worked, in, say, the middle ages, when the only recognized currency was literally made of precious metal: coins. Back then, currency crashed in value when the coin metal was debased (when base metals were mixed with it). And that system worked fine, before they fucking invented banks. Once banks came into the picture, it became possible for entire transactions to occur without any physical currency ever changing hands. When money ceases to have a physical basis, you think it matters if its backed with en equivalent value of gold? What's more, banks effectively create money out of thin air through interest on accounts and stretch existing money absurdly far by issuing loans. With this system, given enough time, there is no real limit on the amount of money that can be produced. However, there are very real limits on the amount of precious metals in the world—eventually, we will have mined all we can and run out. What then? Will the government order the banks to stop creating money? And kill a fundamental part of the modern economic system?

(2) Paper currency currently accounts for less than 10% of all monetary transactions (in the US, at least). Paper currency will eventually be replaced entirely, once security and convenience issues with electronic money (i.e. credit/debit cards, online transactions, etc.) are solved, with the exception of a few die-hards (like, say, the people who wrote this constitution!). Ergo, a gold standard for just printed money would be utterly pointless. Therefore, the only choice would be to expand the gold standard to encompass the unfathomable amount of money being held and transferred electronically. I think it's safe to say we'd run out of precious metal long before it matches the amount electronic money.

(3) I've got a little secret for you: the value of gold is itself faith-based. Do you know why gold and other precious metals are valuable? Because they look pretty. That's it. That's the secret. Gold was considered valuable waaaaaaay before it was found to be technologically useful. At some point thousands of years ago, some caveman thought this yellowish metal looked pretty snazzy, and maybe it would help attract a mate. That got the ball rolling, and pretty soon, everyone wanted some. Why? Because people wanted their bling, dammit! Gold was associated with power and... uh, prettiness. For example, the Aztecs valued precisely because they associated it with the sun. But that association, by definition, is faith-based. That association carries over to today. People value essentially because (a) it looks pretty and (b) others have told them it's valuable. If everybody woke up and suddenly decided that gold was ugly, the value of gold would plummet like a rock, and become more like copper, whose value is more or less based off of its technological applications, and not whether people want jewelry made out of it. (Actually, the copper comparison is more than apt, because copper was itself once considered a precious metal.) --My cat is smarter than Andrew Schafly RA harass stalk 07:26, 13 December 2007 (EST)

This might be worth putting on the gold standard page...would you? Researcher 13:30, 13 December 2007 (EST)
Yes, sure. It needs a little copyediting, and merging I guess, but it ought to be easy. I'll do it soon... humanUser talk:Human 13:49, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Freedom of Religion??[edit]

"As prescribed by the historic documents of the earliest western civilized colonizers of the North American continent that proceeded from despotism and tyranny abroad, the Motherland nation of the united States of America was an originally protestant-christian dedicated nation. "Freedom of Religion" therefore as such; shall be enforced in New America as the the public display of worship of Jesus The Christ alone. This preservation shall not include those who would chose to allegedly serve "god" through any "secret societies" or "closed to public access" dark questionable-christian formats that are punishable by penalty of law. It is NOT mandatory for one to be a protestant Christian in New America, but no other religion shall be preserved or protected by the New American Constitution. Neither shall any other religion be practiced in any public venue. Nor shall any other religion indoctrination materials or forms of persuasion be allowed. To attempt to do so is TREASON."

You can do whateve ryou want, in private, as long as you're not in a "secret society" or have "closed to public access" rites. Moreover, while it's not MANDATORY to be Christian...nothing else is protected. So, sorry, pagans, Native Americans, Catholics, etc....we'll come for you eventually. (From a poli sci stand point, there's not really much wrong with this. Just from my personal, ethical standpoint.) Researcher 00:12, 7 December 2007 (EST)

Freedom of the Press[edit]

"As intended by the Founders of the united States of America, the press and now all forms of media shall work to preserve our Liberties always by exposing corruption and dishonesty. The media outlets to the public must always strive to be accurate and precise to the best of their abilities. IF at any time it is discovered that falsehoods and deceptions were published and produced for public consumptions this must be COMPLETELY rectified and exposed to be FALSE in prompt concise mannerisms. Any failure to do so, or to print subversive materials or to espouse indoctrinations contrary to the preservation of Liberty is an act of subversion and therefore TREASON. "

Translation: The press is free to write anything true. It's up to the government to decide what is true, and it will be treasonous to write anything untrue.

A few of them together[edit]

Section 3 - Freedom of Speech "Freedom of Speech is an inherent RIGHT to be respected. As the new example of Liberty and Freedom to other peoples in other lands, we must always allow opposing viewpoints to be heard. It should be a common perception that this is good. It is only when such subversive speech is contrived to harm our Liberties or destroy them altogether it becomes TREASON."

Again, you have the right to say whatever you want, unless we don't like it.

"[edit] Section 4 - The Right to Bear Arms It is a New American RIGHT to "bear arms" without restriction. It is also a duty of all citizenry to defend their republic if the need comes before them. The issues as to proper storage of certain explosive materials, the legalities of the discharge of a firearm, and whether they can be displayed in certain locales or situations shall be decided by local governments by local legislation."

Americans can bear arms without restriction, but local governments decide the small things. Except that local governments have no money, because they can't tax people. So they ain't going to do squat.

[edit] Section 5 - Quartering of Soldiers "The Spirit of New America is Liberty. It is for this cause that the L.G.N.A. became the defense forces for New America. The L.G.N.A. is an all VOLUNTEER force. If Liberty always prevails in New America it will always remain so. Therefore because it is comprised of the citizenry it protects, and because The Spirit of New America is of such; it should be the open hearts of the people that would open their homes and habitations for those forces if the need existed. Otherwise there is no just cause to quarter troops in or on an individual's property. To do so or to order it done, except for impending and certain battle, is TREASON."

It's interesting to me that a draft is completely ruled out by constitutional decree. There are a few decent arguments in favor of a draft (the most compelling being when your state will otherwise be obliterated). (The lack of quartering in homes makes sense, honestly, and is a directly from the US Bill of Rights.)


[edit] Section 6 - Search and Seizures "Any citizen of New America shall not suffer the effects of "Search and Seizure" and shall be secure in their personage and property. Like unto the protocols and Standing Orders of The New America Defense Forces (also called the "L.G.N.A." until the full realization of New America comes to pass) any false accusations leading to any unfruitful and or illegal Searches or Seizures, or other violations of any citizenry RIGHTS shall be considered a SERIOUS OFFENSE. All involved (including any and all law enforcement representatives/officers) shall be dealt the consequences of a SERIOUS criminal charge(s). Any FALSE ACCUSER shall be punished even more so."

Um...reading this directly suggests that the police would have NO authority to search someone or take evidence. Ever. (Which would be great for those treasonous practitioners of other religions.)