J.D. Hall
United States
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Okay, crappy intro. Meh.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/30/opinions/freedom-world-reverse...

The gist of this opinion piece is that some organization look at various factors in most world countries and concluded that freedom's onward march has been halted, perhaps even reversed, over the past decade.

From my individual perspective, 10-15 years is a tiny sliver of time when it comes to homo sapiens, the Universe, and real history. To me, centuries are the key blocks of time, and looking back over 6,000-7,000 years of fairly reliable history, it really has only been over the past two centuries or so that a significant number of areas on the planet have thrown off the yoke of kings, dictators, emperors, and strong men. The Western Hemisphere, with few exceptions (Cuba being the largest) is relatively free and democratic. All of Europe is. Places in Asia are, particularly the Anzacs, Japan, and South Korea, as well as India, home to the world's second largest population.

The problem areas are Africa, the rest of Asia (I'm throwing Russia in there for grins), and the Middle East.

I agree there has been some push back. Terrorism against the "West" has caused governments to be more restrictive, especially in the realm of electronic information sharing. The Arab Spring merely led to most of the oppressive governments to clamp down even harder, or in the case of Syria, collapse into a vicious civil war.

But really, after thousands and thousands of years of bowing and scraping to our masters, nearly half the world's population live in relatively democratic and free countries, and that happened in the last 3 percent of our existence as a (allegedly) civilized species.

Your thoughts?

Boredom?

Crickets?

Or, if you'd like, disagree and note the freedoms that have been eroded or taken from you over the past decade.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derry Salewski
United States
Augusta
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
I'm only happy when it rains...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Comfort has gone up quite a bit on average, I guess.

A small number of people owning and controlling the lives of most of the rest of us is pretty much unchanged.

8 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel
United States
Santee
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Bitter and Acerbic Harridan
Avatar
remorseless1 wrote:

Or, if you'd like, disagree and note the freedoms that have been eroded or taken from you over the past decade.


I don't know that it's freedoms per se, but things I see:

Certain business licensing fees seem to be climbing astronomically over the last few decades making it harder to own your own business.

The cost of college continues to skyrocket.

The cost of being elderly and needing a nursing home or any kind of assistance has skyrocketed.

States have put in place enough restrictions on abortion clinics that in five states, there is only a single clinic for the entire state.

6 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What do we mean by freedom, yes I can vote but they ignore my vote. I can march, but they ignore my complaint.

Freedom to starve is no freedom.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick G
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
US is the most free nation by a large margin. Nothing else really compares anymore, sadly.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Belgium
flag msg tools
Meaningless means there's a strong limit to how much I can mess up!
badge
This overtext is not in use.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HerrKaleun87 wrote:
US is the most free nation by a large margin. Nothing else really compares anymore, sadly.


Lots of places compare very easily.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick G
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Maybe in quality of life. But 300 million guns prove otherwise. Like them or not - "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (Thomas Jefferson)


We have different views of measuring freedom I'm sure, but that to me is the ultimate yardstick.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Belgium
flag msg tools
Meaningless means there's a strong limit to how much I can mess up!
badge
This overtext is not in use.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HerrKaleun87 wrote:
Maybe in quality of life. But 300 million guns prove otherwise. Like them or not - "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (Thomas Jefferson)


We have different views of measuring freedom I'm sure, but that to me is the ultimate yardstick.


Yes, well that's the problem isn't it? Though quality of life is not really the point, but the ability to choose the life you want. The two are often closely connected.

Of course, there are many places in the world where you are allowed to own guns, and very few where they are absolutely illegal.

Would you say somewhere where you were legally allowed to own weapons more destructive than guns was more free?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick G
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Which nation(s) would you say are comparable in freedom to the US? I'm not trying to back you into a corner, I'm honestly interested to hear your opinion.

I would say yes, in an entirely anarchistic way. By definition, that would be the ultimate freedom yes?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Belgium
flag msg tools
Meaningless means there's a strong limit to how much I can mess up!
badge
This overtext is not in use.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HerrKaleun87 wrote:
Which nation(s) would you say are comparable in freedom to the US? I'm not trying to back you into a corner, I'm honestly interested to hear your opinion.


The difference in freedom between the US, most Western European countries and Canada is minor to say the least. Specific details swing one way or the other.

For example, there are places in the US where jaywalking is a crime. This isn't true in most places I've lived. Is the US less free?

HerrKaleun87 wrote:
I would say yes, in an entirely anarchistic way. By definition, that would be the ultimate freedom yes?


It's the ultimate freedom in a very simplistic sense. But then in an pure-anarchistic I would be more free if I lived in a place where there was no consequences for murder. In terms of practical ability to live my life and make the choices I want, I would be very likely significantly less free.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick G
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You argue a good point - it really depends on the details I suppose!

Therefore, I will edit my original post to say "The US is the most free nation by a minor margin".

But I'm a tad biased


EDIT: And our chocolates certainly cannot compare. I envoy the freedom of cocoa choices you are afforded over there....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mac Mcleod
United States
houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/...

With 5% of the world's population, the u.s. has 25% of the world's prison population despite a lower crime rate for decades.

This doesn't include those on probation who in many ways are still imprisoned or have much less freedom as well.

Both parties agree on this point and the article fact checks it and finds it to be completely true.

The u.s. is NOT a free country any more for way too many of its citizens.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HerrKaleun87 wrote:
Which nation(s) would you say are comparable in freedom to the US? I'm not trying to back you into a corner, I'm honestly interested to hear your opinion.

I would say yes, in an entirely anarchistic way. By definition, that would be the ultimate freedom yes?
I am free to walk into a hospital and get medical treatment without having to worry about bills.



3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J.D. Hall
United States
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
maxo-texas wrote:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/...

With 5% of the world's population, the u.s. has 25% of the world's prison population despite a lower crime rate for decades.

This doesn't include those on probation who in many ways are still imprisoned or have much less freedom as well.

Both parties agree on this point and the article fact checks it and finds it to be completely true.

The u.s. is NOT a free country any more for way too many of its citizens.

War on drugs. 3-strikes-and-you're-doing-life. I will grant there may be a connection between the high number of incarcerated male offenders and the drop in the crime rate. But our sentencing regulations are insane. Plus throw in the great variances in state criminal systems and the federal one.

In a broader view, our culture tends to idolize those who skirt or outright break the law. How many cop movies does Hollywood make where the hero is a "do-anything-at-all-costs-and-fuck-the-rules" kind of cop? Or CIA agents? Those in the military? Rap culture? Our entertainment is skewed toward th violent, where guns are frequently used to settle disputes.

And Americans wonder why we have a more violent culture than the Euros, Canada, or the Anzacs.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HerrKaleun87 wrote:
US is the most free nation by a large margin. Nothing else really compares anymore, sadly.
Not by a long shot. Yes, that is the American cultural belief and I was raised and educated in the US but facts simply tell a different story. Look at US incarceration rates and totals. Look at the degree of surveillance in the US. Look at how in the US laws cover EVERYTHING so that effectively everyone is always guilty of something legally.Look at the fact it is a police officer's job in the US to make arrests and to build a convincing case against the person-- whether or not they are really guilty of anything. Indeed American police are allowed to lie to people and only use things a person says against them but not in their favor.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grand Admiral Thrawn
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
HerrKaleun87 wrote:
US is the most free nation by a large margin. Nothing else really compares anymore, sadly.
Not by a long shot. Yes, that is the American cultural belief and I was raised and educated in the US but facts simply tell a different story. Look at US incarceration rates and totals. Look at the degree of surveillance in the US. Look at how in the US laws cover EVERYTHING so that effectively everyone is always guilty of something legally.Look at the fact it is a police officer's job in the US to make arrests and to build a convincing case against the person-- whether or not they are really guilty of anything. Indeed American police are allowed to lie to people and only use things a person says against them but not in their favor.

Wait! In other countries the police are not allowed to lie to build a case??? I took that as granted.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J.D. Hall
United States
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
whac3 wrote:
[Look at the fact it is a police officer's job in the US to make arrests and to build a convincing case against the person-- whether or not they are really guilty of anything. Indeed American police are allowed to lie to people and only use things a person says against them but not in their favor.


Okay, first off, it is not up to the police officer to determine guilt or non-guilt, The police officers determine who is most likely the person who should be arrested, and based on evidence gathered before the arrest, takes that person into custody, where they will be assigned a lawyer if they can't afford one and are thus in the court system, where a judge or jury will determine guilt, or the arrestee pleads guilty. The biggest issue I have with this process is the quality of attorneys assigned to work indigent criminal cases. Often it is far too low to really be effective, and in many cases, the pro bono attorney is too eager to just get the case off his/her plate and go onto something lucrative.

To your second point -- police can lie, but only up to a point. They can, for instance, say "hey, your buddy is in the room and boy is he talking!" without saying their buddy is talking about how full of shit these charges are. All this in order to convince someone to confess. But they can't say "Hey, your buddy said you pulled the trigger and he's signing his statement right now!" In addition, anything an arrestee said is supposed to be entered into their statement or into the officer's interview notes, and those have to be made available to the defense attorney. This includes exculpatory evidence that could clear the arrestee of criminal conduct. It is the law in the US that all evidence, damning or no, must be made available to the defense attorney prior to any court hearings.

Of course, I forget Moshe: you lived in Texas. The rest of the country is a tad more constitutional.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.