USA Default Problem and Game Industry?

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aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
Hey,
I am kind of scared about this USA Default thing. I am sorry if this is way off topic from games or art , but what will or would happen if the USA goes into default? or do you think we won't? and what would happen to the game industry if this were to happen?

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  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 7
    keep your head off mainstream news... it'll demoralize you and kill your spirits.
    On the whole washington fiasco... it's just a big show. Just like last time, it'll come down to last minute and they'll remarkably agree on something. Washington is a sad story.
  • RexM
    keep your head off mainstream news... it'll demoralize you and kill your spirits.
    On the whole washington fiasco... it's just a big show. Just like last time, it'll come down to last minute and they'll remarkably agree on something. Washington is a sad story.

    Basically this. We're in no danger, it's all political stunts to try to scare the populace to agree to stuff on a whim.... like with the patriot act after 9/11.

    The patriot act is a criminal act by our government... but I won't get into that here.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    The government could probably go into default for a month without you really noticing it. The USA government would basically stop all non-essential programs and workers, and they'd be laid off until there was an agreement. But most likely, like 99% chance, they'll make an agreement near the last day.
  • TomDunne
    RexM wrote: »
    The patriot act is a criminal act by our government... but I won't get into that here.

    In what way is the Patriot Act a 'criminal act'? Please don't tell me it violates the 4th Amendment, there are plenty of exceptions to the Bill of Rights...

    On Topic: there won't be a default. If Congress can't pass a law to raise the debt ceiling, the President will issue an executive order to do it via the 14th Amendment. Congress will bitch about it, but no one will challenge it in the USSC until there actually is a law in place, as the penalty for failure to pay America's debt is too high.
  • Ryan Smith
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    Ryan Smith polycounter lvl 9
    They'll wait till the last minute and then pass a bill that cuts social services in the US for people who need it the most, while the richest people run off with lower taxes and open loopholes.

    In other words, business as usual.
  • Mark Dygert
    I totally agree, political theater leading up to an election year. The deals done they're just running out the clock otherwise the leaders of both sides would be eaten alive by their base for not going the distance.
  • Ganemi
    aajohnny wrote: »
    what would happen to the game industry if this were to happen?

    Wait, huh? What? Why would this be your first priority if you were to accept the idea that something drastic was going to happen if we defaulted, and why would you be sorry about making a thread about it?

    Anyway, theatrics, yeah, but didn't we raise the debt ceiling 9 times during the last presidency unopposed? Also, SS and medicare are about to get the axe, with massive tax cuts and spending cuts.

    In other words, we're kinda fucked.
  • Ryan Smith
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    Ryan Smith polycounter lvl 9
    Honestly, all Obama has to do is get on National TV and say, "My fellow Americans, I'm trying to make it so that we don't default on our debt by closing loopholes and letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire, however my republican friends in congress feel that it's more necessary to balance the budget on the backs of the middle and working class citizens of this country. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, Social Security checks will not go out, and Medicare beneficiaries will eventually lose their benefits, and this will all be the fault of the Republican Party's inability to compromise and make fair sacrifices."

    Old people would shit bricks.... you don't FUCK with old people and their social security.
  • e-freak
    Watching this from europe, I must say this whole thing sounds a lot more dangerous. If the US can't pay their debt and the rating agencies will lower the credibility-level for US-finances, it will mean that getting money will be a lot harder for everyone in the US. Not just the government but for companies as well.

    How much shit hits the fan once this happens, can be seen in Greece at the moment.

    edit: Virtuosic, pretty much - but then again, that's not how the game is played. The republicans would fire a massive campaign against Obama within hours and everyone be throwing mud at each other is not solving the issue either.
  • ErichWK
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    ErichWK polycounter lvl 7
    Why do politicians only care about their reelection and proving a point then... You know... Helping the majority and the country as a whole.
  • TomDunne
    Virtuosic wrote: »
    Honestly, all Obama has to do is get on National TV and say, "My fellow Americans, I'm trying to make it so that we don't default on our debt by closing loopholes and letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire, however my republican friends in congress feel that it's more necessary to balance the budget on the backs of the middle and working class citizens of this country. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, Social Security checks will not go out, and Medicare beneficiaries will eventually lose their benefits, and this will all be the fault of the Republican Party's inability to compromise and make fair sacrifices."

    Old people would shit bricks.... you don't FUCK with old people and their social security.

    He already did that. In response, Republicans accused Obama of a) using scare tactics to frighten the electorate and b) not having the foresight to plan for this emergency in a way that avoids cutting SS/Medicare.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903554904576458294273264416.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
  • Ganemi
    ErichWK wrote: »
    Why do politicians only care about their reelection and proving a point then... You know... Helping the majority and the country as a whole.

    They spend most of their time campaigning, unless they're like Bush, who spent a giant portion of his time vacationing, or Boehner who prefers golfing and getting plastered.

    It's because politics is run almost entirely on money, and not at all on substance. The reason for this is that corporations have free speech rights, and personhood that logically does not and should not exist.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    Obama can just cite the 14 amendment (? The one that says America can't ever let itself back out of its debts) and raise the debt ceiling himself if he needs to. There is little to no chance that the US will default.

    Regardless of that issue though, the game industry seems to do quite well in recessions.
  • LMP
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    LMP polycounter
    aesir wrote: »
    Obama can just cite the 14 amendment (? The one that says America can't ever let itself back out of its debts) and raise the debt ceiling himself if he needs to. There is little to no chance that the US will default.

    Regardless of that issue though, the game industry seems to do quite well in recessions.

    However, unfortunately, he won't really be able to pull that until it reaches a "state of emergency" and by then the damage may already be done.
  • Bibendum
    ErichWK wrote: »
    Why do politicians only care about their reelection and proving a point then... You know... Helping the majority and the country as a whole.
    Because sometimes getting what you want and doing what you think is best for the people means playing the game. It's easy for people to look at others who have opinions they don't like and simply lean on the idea that they must be sinister, greedy, and underhanded when in all reality they probably genuinely believe the shit they support will actually help the country.

    People don't like to be told they're doing something wrong, so they look for outside reassurances on everything. They want people to tell them that if they're afraid of muslims or homosexuals, if they drive a gas guzzling car, if they're constantly stuffing themselves full of horrible food, if they don't want to pay higher taxes or buy healthcare for the good of the nation, that it's okay. Unfortunately disarming these ideas usually means warping the information they have to suit their point of view, so they tell themselves islam is a violent religion, homosexuals have some agenda, global warming doesn't exist, they shouldn't have to lose weight, and that Obama is going to kill seniors.
    LMP wrote: »
    However, unfortunately, he won't really be able to pull that until it reaches a "state of emergency" and by then the damage may already be done.
    It will never get to that, as everyone's already stated this is a puppet show. Default is universally bad for everyone.
  • Ganemi
    Bibendum wrote: »
    Because sometimes getting what you want and doing what you think is best for the people means playing the game. It's easy for people to look at others who have opinions they don't like and simply lean on the idea that they must be sinister, greedy, and underhanded when in all reality they probably genuinely believe the shit they support will actually help the country.

    It's hard to think otherwise when evidence and history tells us that the ideas they profess are absolutely detrimental to society:

    http://www.justin.tv/texastribune/b/271926172

    Either they're stupid, complicit, or both.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir greentooth
    TomDunne wrote: »
    In what way is the Patriot Act a 'criminal act'? Please don't tell me it violates the 4th Amendment, there are plenty of exceptions to the Bill of Rights...

    but heaven forbid anyone try to take away your 2nd amendment...
  • joshzaite
    Ganemi wrote: »
    It's hard to think otherwise when evidence and history tells us that the ideas they profess are absolutely detrimental to society:

    http://www.justin.tv/texastribune/b/271926172

    Either they're stupid, complicit, or both.

    Agreed. As an outsider living in the US, the past 4 years or so has shown me some of the worst political pandering and clearly bough & paid for bullshit Ive ever experienced in my life. It happens everywhere but my goodness. And far too many people get so wrapped up in their 'party' allegiance they'll agree to pretty much anything the political-media machine will spit out! /groan.

    As mentioned though, recessions are never as bad for industries that make their money through entertainment as they are for most.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    The stock market might panic if they wait to the last minute. I also worry that the tea party politicians might see a default as something good in the long run.
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher polycounter lvl 8
    there is a reason gold is at record highs. people are getting prepared for a change in the world reserve currency sooner than later. if there is a big crash/panic in the markets, us based companies are gonna get rocked.

    I like how cutting back on social security and all that jazz takes precedent over any talk of reeling in the out of control military spending.
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 6
    Pixel, gold always rises when the stock market is low, and vice versa. It has nothing to do with world currency, although it is a growing issue. As to military spending, the moment we cut into that it will show weakness because we won't stop, we will keep taking for all our problems until our military no longer exists. Its our last solid budget. Ill agree we could cut it down, but after the recession. The military creates tons of jobs through research and development.

    I think we should do what ancient Rome did though, and clean house. Of course, instead of killing everyone involved with the corrupt government they should just be fired.

    Oh, and media does well in recessions/depressions. During the great depression everyone watched movies to escape their problems, what makes a game any different?
  • Slum
    Old people would shit bricks

    Thats what prune juice is for.
  • Ganemi
    frell wrote: »
    As to military spending, the moment we cut into that it will show weakness because we won't stop, we will keep taking for all our problems until our military no longer exists. Its our last solid budget. Ill agree we could cut it down, but after the recession. The military creates tons of jobs through research and development.

    Sorry, you're wrong.

    usvsworld.gif

    The idea that we shouldn't cut a military we don't need that's only been good at failing after a certain amount of money is just thrown at it, is laughable.

    Note how many portions of that pie designate entire geographic regions of first world countries while the U.S. still manages to consume half the map. And we're not even comparing personnel, just expenditures.

    Yeah. Weak military. Right.
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher polycounter lvl 8
    well one of the prime reasons you invest in gold is because it usually doesn't drop in value insane amounts like a hyper inflated dollar. paper money can become as useless as toilet paper because if the dollar is worthless you can always cash out your gold for stronger currency. so I would say its directly related to currency issues. I know I wouldn't invest in anything US based right now.

    infact, the worse the US dollar does, the more people will be buying gold (its happening right now), which in turn will keep it skyrocketing upwards as the world economy is in a huge mess. Chances are when the dust settles, people who had their money in gold will come out ahead, as even if it drops a bit, they will be in a much better position than if their life savings was sitting in a bank account that just suddenly became worth 20x less than it is now.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 6
    Actually, China is consuming about 4 times the cheese now (I'm not joking) from US, meaning the US is currently exporting several billion kilo's of cheese to China.

    Some are speculating this is the backdoor US needs to manage it's debt currently, is cheese. I'm not kidding, if you look up the numbers, it's way to fishy to be simply another case of 'China is opening up to World Food Consumption'.
  • lincolnhughes
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    lincolnhughes polycounter lvl 7
    aesir wrote: »
    Obama can just cite the 14 amendment (? The one that says America can't ever let itself back out of its debts) and raise the debt ceiling himself if he needs to. There is little to no chance that the US will default.

    Regardless of that issue though, the game industry seems to do quite well in recessions.

    I'm sure they'll be able to pay that 15 trillion back sometime soon..... Technically, it doesn't even matter if the US defaults. In the eyes of every other country in the world, the US has noooooooo way to pay back it's debts. The only reason other countries continue lending to them is because they already have such a significant investment in them (China), that the prospect of pulling everything out and allowing them to fail isn't a sound business decision. Most countries still lending to the US have switched to short term loans instead of long-term, so that they don't have to keep their money invested any longer than they have to. Part of the reason the US is able to be such an assclown with it's debt is because they're the world reserve currency, which means that other countries need to convert their dollars to US dollars to dabble in matters of international trade (oil, commodities etc). As soon as they aren't the world reserve currency anymore, they're capoootz. Not to mention the fact that because their industrial base (their one way of reducing their debt) lies in china and not domestically doesn't help their debt situation at all....
    frell wrote: »
    Pixel, gold always rises when the stock market is low, and vice versa. It has nothing to do with world currency, although it is a growing issue.

    It completely has everything to do with world currency. Try taking into account how closely knit the entire global economy is. If the US defaults, economic unrest in 1/2 the world is likely to ensue for at least a little while. This will cause the price of gold to increase.
  • Dudestein
  • Ganemi
    I wonder why so many of their sources trace back to the Federal Reserve rather than the CBO. Seems very questionable to me.
  • Firebert
    I'm moving to Denmark.

    Fuck this shit.
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 6
    Considering our constitution says our federal government should only provide four main things, including the military, and our military budget is 1/4 of our federal budget, it is the only thing that remains in balance. The rest should be covered by state governments.

    Its amazing we can spend more than the rest of the world and still have decent living conditions and welfare, eh? :P
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 11
    what boggles my mind is how there can be so many people joining the military and taking commands blindly to commit genocides while knowing that the government don't really take care of them well after they return home. may be they are mostly the same kind of people who posts comments like Japan deserved the earthquake because of pearl harbor.

    it isnt like the soldiers get paid well or have good care after they provided the service. the real cost of war are the weapons, tanks, fighter planes and all the war machines etc.

    it is easy to live well when you steal stuff from other countries and get away with it.
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 6
    Because here the military (deployed or not) is a well rounded choice for the future.
  • Ferg
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    Ferg polycounter lvl 11
    frell - 63% of the federal budget is military, not 25%. Not exactly well-rounded.

    http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/

    edit: realized you probably aren't in america... derp
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 11
    frell wrote: »
    Because here the military (deployed or not) is a well rounded choice for the future.

    amazing!

    yea, as long as you personally don't get drafted and ordered to shoot and kill anyone the gov doesn't like no matter what the reason may be. as long as you are ok with that.
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 6
    No I mean, thats how public schools preach it here, not my opinion. Saying you're going into the military will give you a nice nod just as you would say you're going to college. Although I come from a military family im really not too fond of what we're doing right now.


    Ferg wrote: »
    frell - 63% of the federal budget is military, not 25%. Not exactly well-rounded.

    http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/

    edit: realized you probably aren't in america... derp
    I usually base it off of the 2009 and 2010 budget pie :S 20%-63% is a big difference, its either extremely biased or something is wrong

    800px-U.S._Federal_Spending_-_FY_2007.png

    20% is just about 1/4

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget
  • Ganemi
    frell wrote: »
    Its amazing we can spend more than the rest of the world and still have decent living conditions and welfare, eh? :P

    Living conditions which are stagnating or becoming worse, while the disparity between the wealthy and poor grow significantly. Let's not even consider touching the military budget which is encouraged by massive multi-billion dollar corporations(Halliburton) who make money by encouraging their ex employees(Cheney) to start wars, allowing them to steal 75 percent of a random nation's(Iraq) oil. Great plan.
    frell wrote: »
    Because here the military (deployed or not) is a well rounded choice for the future.

    What?
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 6
    He said why do people even go into the military, and I said our public schools preach it as a well rounded choice for the future.

    Oh, and can you please link me to the article about us taking oil from Iraq? I have only heard rumors about that and never any actual articles. I dont like the wars but I wont shoot anything I can't back up. The only article I saw was the US found an oil reserve and gave it all to Iraq to help rebuild, but it was only worth $2B iirc
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 7
    this is all i have to say, this country is a fiasco.

    let Bill explain all the way from the early 90's

    [ame]
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 11
    frell wrote: »
    Oh, and can you please link me to the article about us taking oil from Iraq? I have only heard rumors about that and never any actual articles. I dont like the wars but I wont shoot anything I can't back up. The only article I saw was the US found an oil reserve and gave it all to Iraq to help rebuild, but it was only worth $2B iirc

    i am sure there are enough info out there to back that up but since it is the internet there are also lot of made up conspiracy stuff.
    either way, just follow the money and connect the dots and use some common sense and you should be able to get the whole picture.

    http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&source=hp&q=iraq+war+over+oil&aq=f&aqi=g1g-m1&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=aeb16183bfd07c66&biw=1920&bih=1007

    if you come from a military family it is not surprising that you would get biased information since the people you are getting information from are probably also in the dark themselves.

    anyways, here is an image that should give you a clear picture.
    also look up US income disparity. lot of the dept could be helped if the top 2% tax payers would pay more tax.

    sadzy.jpg
  • Mark Dygert
    frell wrote: »
    I call BS on the pie, or at least inaccurate reporting aimed at disguising the actual cost, ahh budget slight of hand... aint it grand.

    So far the war on terror has cost 4.1 trillion over 9-10 years and that isn't counting the interest on the debt or the cost of caring for the 33,000+ wounded not to mention all the veterans, free healthcare for life... humm that's not going to ding us at all... It's good enough for the gov but not for the citizens.

    Your pie also doesn't reflect the supplemental war spending measures (24 million here, 37 million there) that keeps flying through congress and magically get 1-2% more than what was requested.

    Your pie chart also doesn't cover hush money (err I mean financial aid, economic assistance and military reimbursements) paid to governments all over the globe as a direct cause and effect of the war.

    None of this covers the cost to those effected by the wars, the cost in human lives include a lot of civilians not to mention the wars have trashed more than just the US economy.

    Now if you ask me 4.1 Trillion over 10 years on the war on terror VS 200 billion over 30 years on a program like the shuttle, it seems like we got a hell of a lot more out of the 200 billion. Just think of what NASA could do with 4.1 trillion...

    We would have no problem having a universal healthcare system, funding medicare, medicaid and Social Security if we hadn't slashed revenue (tax cuts to the wealthy, bailed out Wall St, kicked off two wars, started prescription drug programs that where never properly funded. and spent 10 years borrowing an ass-load of money to fund programs.
  • greevar
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    greevar polycounter lvl 6
    They have to raise the debt ceiling. If they don't it would crash US currency. The dollar is backed by how much people owe. Banks loan out money they don't actually have by simply writing it into account when you sign a loan. Our money system runs on a constant battle between the debt and money supply. If the debt ever fell below the money supply, the currency would crash. That's why they charge interest (well one reason). Without interest (and fractional reserve), there wouldn't be enough debt to back our currency.
    TomDunne wrote: »
    In what way is the Patriot Act a 'criminal act'? Please don't tell me it violates the 4th Amendment, there are plenty of exceptions to the Bill of Rights...

    Perhaps you weren't taught this in civics class, no offense, but the US Constitution is called "the supreme law of the land" for a reason. It is supposed to be above all other laws and cannot be overruled. It was crafted to protect the people from their government. That's why the supreme court can strike down laws as unconstitutional. It supposed to be held above all other laws. The Patriot Act does violate the 4th amendment and the only allowable exceptions are to be accompanied by a warrant issued by a judge under probable cause noting and describing locations to be searched and items to be seized. It was set up this way so that people wouldn't have the government poking their noses into our lives and disrupting our liberty to lawfully move about in public.

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." - The 4th amendment

    Probable cause must be established before a warrant to search, surveil, or seize may be granted. The exception would be plain sight, open field, or suspicion of present unlawful behavior (e.g. armed people surrounding an unarmed person). The wording makes it quite plain that the Patriot Act is nothing but a complete disregard for due process and gives government the ability to illegally breech your liberty without a warrant.
  • Jeremy Wright
    I also worry that the tea party politicians might see a default as something good in the long run.
    The so-called 'Tea Party' is the worst fucking thing to happen to US politics in quite a while.
  • Bibendum
    8FtSpider wrote: »
    The so-called 'Tea Party' is the worst fucking thing to happen to US politics in quite a while.
    It's pretty incredible though, a bunch of rich people managed to get millions of average income earners who will never earn more than $200k a year in their life to stand behind them and demand that they never get their taxes raised.
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 7
    The Tea Party Is forcing a deeper polarization of the parties, this country is getting extreme and quick!
  • TomDunne
    greevar wrote: »
    Perhaps you weren't taught this in civics class, no offense, but the US Constitution is called "the supreme law of the land" for a reason. It is supposed to be above all other laws and cannot be overruled. It was crafted to protect the people from their government. That's why the supreme court can strike down laws as unconstitutional. It supposed to be held above all other laws. The Patriot Act does violate the 4th amendment and the only allowable exceptions are to be accompanied by a warrant issued by a judge under probable cause noting and describing locations to be searched and items to be seized. It was set up this way so that people wouldn't have the government poking their noses into our lives and disrupting our liberty to lawfully move about in public.

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." - The 4th amendment

    Probable cause must be established before a warrant to search, surveil, or seize may be granted. The exception would be plain sight, open field, or suspicion of present unlawful behavior (e.g. armed people surrounding an unarmed person). The wording makes it quite plain that the Patriot Act is nothing but a complete disregard for due process and gives government the ability to illegally breech your liberty without a warrant.

    This is what I expected, the 4th Amendment argument. As I've already said, there are plenty of exceptions to the Bill of Rights.

    The 1st Amendment ensures the right to free speech. That doesn't mean you can yell 'fire' in a crowded theater. It's been legally defended many times that your right to free speech is trumped by the interest of public safety.

    The 2nd Amendment ensures the right to bear arms. That doesn't mean you can carry a loaded .50 caliber machine
    gun down the street. Again, there's plenty of legal precedent that says your right to bear arms is, again, trumped by the interest of public safety.

    The 4th Amendment prohibits "unreasonable" search and seizure. Title II of the Patriot Act is law enacted by Congress to define certain forms of search as reasonable, due to - you guessed it - the interest of public safety. In the ten years of the Patriot Act's existence, only one element has been overturned as unConstitutional - the 'sneak and peek' delayed warrant provision, which was struct down by a US District Court four years ago. The roving wiretaps and the like remain in force, and have never been challenged before the Supreme Court. They're legal provisions that define special circumstances that mitigate an Amendment, just like causing a panic and wielding a machine gun. Rather than a criminal act, those provisions are the very definition of legal unless and until a Federal court rules otherwise.

    The specifics of which provisions of the Patriot Act have survived legal challenged and those which have expired via sunset provision or oveturned on Constitutional grounds can be found on Wikipedia - no civics class required.
  • wasker
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    wasker polycounter lvl 7
    frell wrote: »

    20% is just about 1/4

    Wat
  • greevar
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    greevar polycounter lvl 6
    TomDunne wrote: »
    This is what I expected, the 4th Amendment argument. As I've already said, there are plenty of exceptions to the Bill of Rights.

    The 1st Amendment ensures the right to free speech. That doesn't mean you can yell 'fire' in a crowded theater. It's been legally defended many times that your right to free speech is trumped by the interest of public safety.

    The 2nd Amendment ensures the right to bear arms. That doesn't mean you can carry a loaded .50 caliber machine
    gun down the street. Again, there's plenty of legal precedent that says your right to bear arms is, again, trumped by the interest of public safety.

    The 4th Amendment prohibits "unreasonable" search and seizure. Title II of the Patriot Act is law enacted by Congress to define certain forms of search as reasonable, due to - you guessed it - the interest of public safety. In the ten years of the Patriot Act's existence, only one element has been overturned as unConstitutional - the 'sneak and peek' delayed warrant provision, which was struct down by a US District Court four years ago. The roving wiretaps and the like remain in force, and have never been challenged before the Supreme Court. They're legal provisions that define special circumstances that mitigate an Amendment, just like causing a panic and wielding a machine gun. Rather than a criminal act, those provisions are the very definition of legal unless and until a Federal court rules otherwise.

    The specifics of which provisions of the Patriot Act have survived legal challenged and those which have expired via sunset provision or oveturned on Constitutional grounds can be found on Wikipedia - no civics class required.

    Well, if that's the case, then we can ignore the entirety of the bill of rights if we just say it's for public safety. It's an excuse to ignore the liberty of Americans for a false sense of "safety". Unless, you consider wiretapping for any reason whatsoever as "reasonable". How does the power to wiretap without a warrant even begin to be justified by a mandate for safety? If fighting terrorism is your reason, you might as well just throw out the 4th amendment because terrorism will always be out there so long as there are reasons to dissent. Add to that, the bar for "terrorist" is pretty low these days. The Patriot Act is a law that shouldn't exist. It doesn't improve the safety of the public and gives the government too much freedom to ignore people's privacy rights.

    I'd much rather the government was impeded in the effort to protect my "safety" if it meant that I retained my right to not have them invade my privacy looking for the boogieman. It's as pointless as the war on drugs and, like the war on drugs, only persists because people are profiting from it.

    Nevertheless, the underlying reason we have the 4th amendment is so the law can't search and seize without a damn good reason to do so, not just because they're looking for terrorists that may or may not exist, clear and provable reason. The only reason this Patriot Act hasn't been thoroughly challenged is because people are too full of fear from the big bad terrorists to do without it.
  • TomDunne
    greevar wrote: »
    Well, if that's the case, then we can ignore the entirety of the bill of rights if we just say it's for public safety. It's an excuse to ignore the liberty of Americans for a false sense of "safety". Unless, you consider wiretapping for any reason whatsoever as "reasonable". How does the power to wiretap without a warrant even begin to be justified by a mandate for safety? If fighting terrorism is your reason, you might as well just throw out the 4th amendment because terrorism will always be out there so long as there are reasons to dissent. Add to that, the bar for "terrorist" is pretty low these days. The Patriot Act is a law that shouldn't exist. It doesn't improve the safety of the public and gives the government too much freedom to ignore people's privacy rights.

    I'd much rather the government was impeded in the effort to protect my "safety" if it meant that I retained my right to not have them invade my privacy looking for the boogieman. It's as pointless as the war on drugs and, like the war on drugs, only persists because people are profiting from it.

    Nevertheless, the underlying reason we have the 4th amendment is so the law can't search and seize without a damn good reason to do so, not just because they're looking for terrorists that may or may not exist, clear and provable reason. The only reason this Patriot Act hasn't been thoroughly challenged is because people are too full of fear from the big bad terrorists to do without it.

    I'm not giving my opinion on the Patriot Act, I'm explaining why it's enforcement isn't a criminal act. I don't really see how there is any debate - Congress passes a law, the President signs it, and that's how things remain pending a successful challenge in court. I understand that you take objection to the act, but that's not really my point.

    As for the United States Code's modifying effects on the Bill of Rights, the alternative to Congressional limitation is allowing people to make death threats (free speech!) and carry bazookas (bear arms!) with absolutely no legal restriction. I can't imagine you want that, but that's what you'd get if Congress didn't pass laws that specify the limits of personal freedom.
  • greevar
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    greevar polycounter lvl 6
    TomDunne wrote: »
    I'm not giving my opinion on the Patriot Act, I'm explaining why it's enforcement isn't a criminal act. I don't really see how there is any debate - Congress passes a law, the President signs it, and that's how things remain pending a successful challenge in court. I understand that you take objection to the act, but that's not really my point.

    As for the United States Code's modifying effects on the Bill of Rights, the alternative to Congressional limitation is allowing people to make death threats (free speech!) and carry bazookas (bear arms!) with absolutely no legal restriction. I can't imagine you want that, but that's what you'd get if Congress didn't pass laws that specify the limits of personal freedom.

    The exceptions to constitutional rights (yelling fire, carrying a mini gun)are very specifically outlined as to what qualifies as an exception and narrow in scope. The Patriot Act is rather vague and leaves a wide swath of possibilities for the law to abuse. The only reasonable instance where a warrant is not required is when an officer witnesses a crime in action (i.e. plain view or open fields). Anything that involves mere suspicion should be held to the standard of due process. Now the Patriot Act doesn't say probable cause or, even less, plain view evidence of terrorist activity, it says suspicion of terrorist activity. That's a pretty low bar for reasonable search and seizure. You don't get to breach my privacy because you have a gut feeling that I'm a terrorist. They should be getting warrants.

    It's unconstitutional because it's too broad and offers too much opportunity for the police to completely bypass due process where it should have obtained a warrant. Why should I sacrifice my liberty to make their job easier? Their job is to protect the public safety within the confines of the law, not change them when it isn't convenient.
  • TomDunne
    greevar wrote: »
    The exceptions to constitutional rights (yelling fire, carrying a mini gun)are very specifically outlined as to what qualifies as an exception and narrow in scope. The Patriot Act is rather vague and leaves a wide swath of possibilities for the law to abuse. The only reasonable instance where a warrant is not required is when an officer witnesses a crime in action (i.e. plain view or open fields). Anything that involves mere suspicion should be held to the standard of due process. Now the Patriot Act doesn't say probable cause or, even less, plain view evidence of terrorist activity, it says suspicion of terrorist activity. That's a pretty low bar for reasonable search and seizure. You don't get to breach my privacy because you have a gut feeling that I'm a terrorist. They should be getting warrants.

    It's unconstitutional because it's too broad and offers too much opportunity for the police to completely bypass due process where it should have obtained a warrant. Why should I sacrifice my liberty to make their job easier? Their job is to protect the public safety within the confines of the law, not change them when it isn't convenient.

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