Robert Winner


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Are rules made to be broken

Why should rules made. To some it is a challenge to find the back door of a program and demonstrate their expertise. To others it is just a dare. We talked in class and passed notes ... if caught we got detention. Yet we still did it.

When I say rules ... I do not mean laws.

Have you ever broken a rule .... why .... would you do it again?

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    Aug 25 2013: I have a simple rule.
    If the rule is in my way, I will break it.
    I have broken so many rules over the years and am much happier for it.
    Remember rules have to do with conduct.
    Laws have to do with punishment
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      Aug 25 2013: Linda, you scamp! As a seasoned veteran of rule-breaking do you mean to say you have never been punished for doing so? Is there really no negative consequence (punishment) asociated with rule-breaking? You may have given us the key distinction between Laws and Rules.
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        Aug 26 2013: Of course there are consequences. But you have to do a cost/benefit analysis before you break any rule - or law for that matter.

        Take steroid use in sports. Users know its against the rule and yet some are willing to take the risk. the consequences are severe but specific to the rule. Nobody is sending them to jail.
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          Aug 26 2013: OK. So rules are backed-up by the threat of punishment just as laws are. That's what I thought, but it seemed you were saying otherwise. Now I get what you are saying... it's about counting the cost no matter whether the subject is rules or laws. Thanks! Be well and live "free"!
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      Aug 26 2013: Nice !!
      There is always a normal punishment if you break rule. So if it do not harm anyone then we can break some for fun and some for the things much prior than rules.
    • W T

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      Aug 26 2013: "If the rule is in my way, I will break it."

      I think everybody breaks rules........

      It begins as soon as you're little and your mom says, "don't touch that centerpiece on the table" soon as she turns around.......bam, you break the just need to feel the cool feel of the glass vase on your fingers.

      Then in school, the teacher says, "raise your hand if you need to talk".......but, as soon as you see the need, you speak to your neighbor, or yell out an answer, or call out the teacher's name, all without raising your hand.

      For the most part I am a rule follower.......but, every once in a while, I will go through the supermarket's "10 or less" lane, with 11 items in my cart................whoops.........LOL :)
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        Aug 26 2013: You just moved-up a notch on the NSA Watch List!
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        Aug 27 2013: hahaha!!
        I totally agree with you.
        I was also about to mention that talking in the class rule.
  • Sep 7 2013: I just know IM gonna break more rules... some on accident some on purpose outta neccessity or lazyness. Theres a time to enforce rules and atime to break them... like kids eating on the furniture or going to bed or speeding theres really no rules that are complete all the for every circumstance. We cant always follow them and we cant do without them..
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      Sep 8 2013: Right on Andrew! I have heard some TV chefs say, "There are no rules in cooking!". That cannot be true. I wonder if they really mean to say we should not be intimidated by the rules and we should even be willing to break one on occasion (out of necessity or laziness as you say).
  • Sep 4 2013: Bob, I've been blogging on the Guardian's site.
    They had the NSA info from Snowden and then
    This Syrian disaster happened, during the
    congressional recess. ...Perfect timing.

    Congress has made no moves towards resolving
    anything concerning the NSA or Syria. Their
    leadership is swayed by Obama, Biden, and Kerry.

    Obama has overwhelming US Naval Forces sitting
    next to Syria. Russia's Navy has backed off.

    The meat is on the table, and Obama wants to eat.
    I write to point out --

    No Freshmen nor Sophomore Congress members
    have ventured opposition to the party lines.

    Nor do Supreme Court Justices open their mouths
    in opposition.

    Our constitutional rules have been forgotten
    as far as Checks and Balances are concerned.

    When other's lives are at stake, as is the case today,
    everyone is mute.
    I am done. I lost again.

    ...under what authority YOU seek the removal of Assad and
    ...why YOU believe YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to KILL and MAIM
    ...any Syrian people, whether by mistake or design. to achieve
    that aim.
    To Kill and Maim the Syrian people.
    As if they themselves were guilty of Killing the Syrian people.


    Collateral Damages, resulting from those
    200 Tomahawk Missiles waiting off-shore.

    Collateral Damages resulting from his
    $Billion Dollar Bombers pinpoint bombing.

    OBAMA WILL KILL and MAIM the Syrian people.

    A pox on him and those like him, who have no care for all those civilians
    the US has killed on its mission to install even more obsequious dictators in that region.

    Those deaths matter to me and I do not consent to their killing.
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      Sep 2 2013: We have not received a post from Barack Hussein Obama, (oops, I just got on the NSA Watchlist) but I guess from his current plan, and others over the last 6 years, his answer to this debate question would be "YES!".
      • Sep 3 2013: Edward, thank you sir,
        Syria, breaking the rules of civil society, in flagrant fashion?

        I'd like to see Obama's damning evidence.
        ...Perhaps, the United States Congress will believe Obama.
        ...His claim that Assad's troops had gas masks?

        The US Troops had gas masks when we invaded Iraq.
        ...Does that mean the US used chemical weapons?
        ...Maybe then we did.
        ...That would make us the Devil himself.
        The US Congress went along with both the Bush's and Clinton's
        Shock and Awe when they were using Cruise Missiles and doing
        B52 Carpet Bombings in Iraq. A hundred miles of Bloody Highway
        attested to their deeds.
        ...Cruise Missiles and Carpet Bombings are WMD's,
        outlawed by most nations except the United States.

        The US Congress's and both the Bush's and Clinton
        refused to sign the treaty, and the US Congress sidestepped
        the issue of ratifying the world-wide accord.

        The United States manufactures and still uses both
        Cruise Missiles and Carpet Bombing in their Wars.

        The United States are breaking the rules of civil society,
        in flagrant fashion.
        Syria's survivors will be is bad shape if the US and France unleash
        their Cruise Missiles, Carpet Bombing,, and 200 Tomahawk Missiles,
        Carpet Bombing and Missiles delivered by $Billion Dollar bombers,
        and the Aircraft Carrier Fleet, all sitting off shore.

        The poor Syrian's need to look for another nation to live in.
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      Sep 2 2013: Frank, This all very political interesting. First sent two Republicans to solve the issue ... not your state department or diplomats. Second have your chief Diplomat call their President a "Thug and Murderer", then for the first time in his presidency go to Congress for a approval of something instead of using Executive Orders.

      Makes me think there is a election in the near future and the President is setting up a blame factor ... Must be Bush's fault as usual. Or if voted down the Republicans stop him from doing the right thing.

      Yep politics as usual.

      I am still figuring out why shooting missiles and bombing is ok ... but remember no boots on the ground. Guess if we send in troops it is like war where as killing them with our missiles and bombs is not war.

      Glad we tried diplomatic approach first .... calling him a thug and murderer was smoooooooth. It would certainly make me want to come to the table for talks with a person who is willing to listen.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
      • Sep 3 2013: Robert,
        I was thinking about rules and this popped into my head
        Could it be that Obama knows that Assad has a weapon delivery
        system for chemical weapons that could be used to attack the
        White House?

        That itself, would make him want to kill and maim any Syrian,
        innocent, guilty, man, woman, or wee child. Pretty scary, enough
        to unhinge anyone, especially a targeted President.
        Not too Far-Fetched? A Weapon of Singular Destruction --

        It would Not have to contain anything that could be spotted
        at an airport. Perhaps an article of clothing that could be later
        ground and processed into a deadly mixture. I am a sinister
        No propellant necessary. Just a large Bow and Arrow device.
        Gosh, what the evil mind can conceive, evil man can achieve.
        I fear for Obama, now, before he kills again, and afterwards when
        the sons and daughters of his Syrian victims come for revenge.
        ...However --
        History shows that people like Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr.,
        never get taken out by revengeful "terrorists", aka: the sons and
        daughters of their victims.
        ...Obama may too sit in the protection of history.
        ...Assad may not be so lucky.

        Jimmy Carter is exempt. He has been redeemed by his God.
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          Sep 4 2013: Yeah, Carter is exempt ... he didn't do the Clinton in the Oval Office or kill masses .... he did however ... lust in his heart ... guess Monica was not on staff yet. If Hilary gets in Bill can be Secretary of Lust.

          I too have thought about this and based on the Muslim Brotherhood stating if the US conducts strikes they will retaliate ... I think there are assets in place. The Refusal of the government or Home Land Security to enforce the immigration laws have by their own admission also allowed terrorists entry into the USA. The NSA, FDA, and Homeland Security all are snooping on us (Big Brother is no longer a novel) and will intercept some calls. Sleeper cells are dedicated and have plans in effect ... They are not all as dumb as TV and movies make them out to be.

          The sad truth is that idiots like Obama get other people killed.

          Everyone calls this a strike ... No boots on the ground ... If I fire missiles and send bombers to your home I have declared war on you .... Is anyone so dumb as to think that killing their people by missiles and bombs is NOT a act of war?

          All of the investigators are out of country now and there has not been a announcement of Chemical Weapons. Two days after they arrived back England voted no to intervention. Obama says they shall not go unpunished ... It is a civil war. Our intervention will solve nothing ... unless they retaliate. Diplomacy is totally gone ... Karry called their Pres a "Thug and Murderer" ..... Smooooth. Wonder what that means in diplo speak ... Maybe ... nice suit have your people call my people and we will do lunch and talk about this.

          Bottom line this is about politics not Syria.

          I see Hilary weighed in today ... It took that long for the Democratic Party to evaluate the pros and cons. He has the Repubs in a tight corner ... yep politics as usual.

          I had fun talking this over .... Bob.
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    Sep 2 2013: I meant something you cannot draw a conclusion from the result to the beginning. Rules basically are to be made to keep some order in our society. They are usually made under some kind of circumstances or at specific eras. Because they are established by people,so when people change they should be modified or abolished accordingly. They should be passed on from generation to generation just as we are born not because we will die at last. And I think if they are strictly implemented with heavy enough punishment , most people won't think they can disobey it. If the teacher punishes you heavily in the class with most people's approvals, you have to obey it. It would be the teacher's mercy that he doesn't punish you heavily enough.If most people disagree on it, so that means the rule has been out of date and should be modified or abolished under the circumstance of yours.So definitely,we need rules to protect our society from behavioral chaos. This is my thinking to your interesting question. :)
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      Sep 3 2013: I am not sure if your comment is in direct reply to someone in particular but I am intrigued by your mention of your belief that we are not just born to die and therefor we need rules and laws. Is your point that if life has no greater purpose beyond time on Earth then we should all just eat, drink, and merry for tomorrow we die?
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        Sep 3 2013: yes, I was asking the topic starter Mr. Winner, but your answer was also welcome. You gave me an unexpected answer that also verified Rules are not made to be broken. :) But I didn't mean that if life has no greater purpose beyond time on Earth then we should all just eat, drink, and merry for tomorrow we die.
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          Sep 3 2013: I understand. I appreciate your phrase "behavioral chaos". It brings to mind the one rule which MUST be broken: "There can be no rules!"
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        Sep 3 2013: Thank you for your comment. Chaos in society caused by people's disorderly behavior could be prevented.We have a famous saying in Chinese: 没(méi)有(yǒu)规(guī)矩(ju),不(bù)成(chéng)方(fāng)圆(yuán)ーーーNothing can be accomplished without norms or standards.
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    Sep 1 2013: Very interesting way of representing this topic, so do you think human beings are born to die? 8-)
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      Sep 1 2013: Everyone does die, but that is not why we are born. The chief end of Man is to know God and enjoy him forever. That's a rule that should not be broken.
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        Sep 2 2013: I agree with you. Thank you.
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    Aug 31 2013: A rule, I think, is an experiment of behavior where one can see the effects of the rule being followed or broken. Rules tend to have a universal context to them and when rules are made upon rules to protect people from the rule breakers or to benefit more than normal from upholding a rule, the experiment is compromised and the original rules 'effectiveness diminishes.
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      Aug 31 2013: At some point in human history someone responded to an event by exclaiming, "That's not fair!". Others nearby heard, and agreed. "Let's all agree that we will not allow that from now on." BAM! The first Rule, or Law, was born. I'm guessing the punitive part of the system was pretty crude, like,"You took Igor's stick? You must be beaten to death." Everyone could see the result of breaking the rule and people's sticks were left alone. Was such a rule made to be broken? A society, or the majority members thereof, agree to make and follow a set of rules/laws. That's the experiment, it is called Civilization.
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        Aug 31 2013: Maybe a better question would be are rules made to teach a lesson and would following or breaking them have the better lesson of civility?
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          Sep 1 2013: I think we learn something from every experience whether breaking a rule or achieving a lifelong goal.
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    Aug 30 2013: There is the argument that laws are made to be broken. By that I mean, the government creates certain laws with the knowledge that some people WILL break them. Thereby, the government representatives have leverage on them if it ever becomes necessary. I bet a determined person could find laws unintentionally broken by each person in this forum. (Consider tax laws.)

    From reading other comments, it seems finding laws broken would not be too difficult.
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      Aug 30 2013: I would hope that laws are passed for the good of the country and the citizens. It was made a law, I hope, because there was a need. Laws are for the greater need of the citizens safety, welfare, and protection.

      I can assure you that in law enforcement I could stop almost every vehicle on the road at some point. The letter of the law would find many violators.

      I( have taken the position that Executive Orders should not have the weight of law. Laws are by act of Congress per the Constitution. Executive can be resinded by the next office holder ... laws cannot.

      I hope that all citizens are basically honest and do not violate laws intentionally. The US AG has now said it will not enforce federal laws on certain states that have passed smoking pot. Why just certain states? If it is OK in your state and you do it in my state ... are you wrong. We turn left after stop here on red. If I do that in other states I could be cited.

      The other thing is wording. On our ballots some yes votes means you are against the proposal and other yes votes mean you are for the proposal. I really want yes to mean I want it and no to mean I do not want it. Many laws are written so that the average person may not know what is what.

      We passed a law in AZ to move to the outside lane for cars in the breakdown lane. Well not really. It involves flashing lights and emergency vehicles. Hearsay beats reading and knowing.

      I do not fully disagree with you .... IMO the representatives of the people are becoming elitists and have voted themselves rights that place them above the law. They exempt themselves from the laws passed. I agree that we need to be more aware of what is happening. As Obamacare comes near people are reading it and find all of the undesirable elements that should have been found by the legislature had they read it before voting for it.

      Thanks for letting me expand on your reply. I wish you well. Bob.
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        Aug 30 2013: I would "hope" so as well, but that unfortunately does not make it so.

        Also, laws are not as simple as "yes/no". When you vote "yes" for an item, you vote yes for EVERYTHING in there whether or not you agree with every line item. Likewise, voting "no" is saying "no" to everything even if there are some elements you want. All or nothing. This is why representatives are often labeled as "voting against women" or "a supporter of freeing criminals" when their decision was based on the greater good at the risk of specific line items or elements in the bill.
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          Sep 1 2013: Good topic for another post when The Vacation is over... should a ballot issue or a Bill be restricted to one subject?
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        Aug 31 2013: It is OK to safely turn LEFT after stopping at a traffic signal? Say what?
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          Aug 31 2013: I did say left didn't I. Well that explains all those people honking and going the wrong way when I drive in Phoenix. I thought they were saying I was number one with that single digit salute.
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      Aug 26 2013: By "society" I assume you mean government? Isn't the distinguishing factor between Rules and Laws determined by the authority behind them? HOA's, employers, and Grandmas make Rules. Government officials make Laws. Right?
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          Aug 26 2013: Indeed there is ALWAYS abuse. The task of defining the distinguishing characteristics of Laws as compared to Rules is arduous. Do you have a suggestion for the definitions Caesar?
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          Aug 26 2013: Do you make any distinction between "society" (family;couple;workplace;neighborhood; etc.) and the government? Sorry to be pedantic ( I will play the "I'm Old" card if I have to).
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          Aug 27 2013: I got it! People who are ELECTED make LAWS. The rest of us make RULES.
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    Aug 26 2013: and yes i had broken many and i will till i handle the consequences.
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      Aug 26 2013: Did you mean to say , "till I CANNOT handle the consequences"?
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        Aug 26 2013: its same but the way of saying is different i guess.
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    Aug 26 2013: That depends upon the rule.
    Sometime our priority is much more than the rules. Rules are always there to be broken. That's why we call them rules. There is hardly any rule which has not been broken. firstly people continuously do things then rules are made. And rules are made because somethings are expected by people not to do but it is known that they will do it that's why it is backed up by the punishment. Punishment can't stop rules breaking process but it can decide the scale at which rules are breaking.
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      Aug 26 2013: Thanks for your insight Sam! What distinction, if any, do you make between rules and laws? (Why do we call them "rules"?)
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        Aug 26 2013: Rules are made by the people and law made by the government. its easy to go against people but we cannot go against govt. Sorry for the funny rply.
        Do not run on the cricket pitch! its rule
        Don't fix the match! its law
        my example can be wrong but law always comes with a defined punishment and punishment of rules differ from place to place and person to person.
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        Aug 26 2013: Law is a term which does not have a universally accepted definition, but one definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation, the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedents (normally in common law jurisdictions).


        1.principle governing conduct: an authoritative principle set forth to guide behavior or action
        2.usual condition: a prevailing condition or quality
        3.governing power: a governing or reigning power

        Synonyms: law, instruction, regulation, decree, statute, imperative, canon, tenet, ruling, directive

        Edward, I took the above right off of the web. As suggested they are synonyms of each other.

        Law is a system of rules ... but not all rules are laws.

        Then enter principles : Examples of principles:
        A descriptive comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption,
        a normative rule or code of conduct,
        a law or fact of nature underlying the working of an artificial device.

        How about ethics, morals, customs, ... religious canons ....

        My mother used to set the LAW in our house with a firm Mammy Yokum "I has spoken". To disobey at that point was to temp fate that was not always known but was swift and as a RULE changed your immediate future. That action was seldom repeated.

        My how times have changed. If I raised my children in the same manner I was raised I would certainly be in jail ..... yet ... we all lived through it. As I think back .. it did take a village to raise me. I was all over but neighbors always knew where ... corrections came from most adults ... and news traveled fast to home ... where again "the judge" awaited.

        But I digress ..... Look a pretty rock .... What was the question.

        See ya .... Bob.
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          Aug 26 2013: Specifically regarding the distinction between Rule and Law how about this?... a Rule is an expression made by one in authority for the purpose of establishing order and discipline. A Law is a Rule established by the government.
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        Aug 26 2013: Nice explanation in short!!
        but Law is not a rule. Law means an order. You like or not but you have to follow law.
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          Aug 26 2013: I do not have to obey the law. I can park where Law Enforcement has placed a sign indicating NO PARKING. Then I can pay the fine for so doing, if I am caught. I don't think mandatory obedience is a distinction between Rules and Laws.
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        Aug 27 2013: Yes you can do it!!
        But No Parking is a rule which we can sort out.
        Rules are made to make us comfort and laws are made to avoid anything bad.
        Rules are made on the things we are supposed to do. But Law is something we are not supposed to disobey and if we do then it may harm surrounding etc.
        Driving without licence is a Law. Giving Indicator while turning is a rule.
        Stop at red light is a law. Cross road by Zebra crossing is a rule.
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          Aug 27 2013: Not true sir. Failure to signal a turn will get you a ticket just as quickly as driving without a license or failing to stop at a red light. They are all LAWS. Police do not enforce Rules. They enforce Laws.
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        Aug 27 2013: yeah i agree but Rules and laws are different.
        and i don't know about the world but in India you won't get any ticket if you forgot to signal while turning.
        Your thoughts are clear sir as you have much more experience than me and thanks for giving your thoughts.
        I may not be clear but just trying to express my views.
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          Aug 27 2013: Your views are valuable and helpful. Thank you!
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    Aug 24 2013: An interesting thought about perfect law enforcement:

    "Over the past year, there have been a number of headline-grabbing legal changes in the US, such as the legalization of marijuana in CO and WA, as well as the legalization of same-sex marriage in a growing number of US states.

    As a majority of people in these states apparently favor these changes, advocates for the US democratic process cite these legal victories as examples of how the system can provide real freedoms to those who engage with it through lawful means. And it’s true, the bills did pass.

    What’s often overlooked, however, is that these legal victories would probably not have been possible without the ability to break the law.

    The state of Minnesota, for instance, legalized same-sex marriage this year, but sodomy laws had effectively made homosexuality itself completely illegal in that state until 2001. Likewise, before the recent changes making marijuana legal for personal use in WA and CO, it was obviously not legal for personal use.

    Imagine if there were an alternate dystopian reality where law enforcement was 100% effective, such that any potential law offenders knew they would be immediately identified, apprehended, and jailed. If perfect law enforcement had been a reality in MN, CO, and WA since their founding in the 1850s, it seems quite unlikely that these recent changes would have ever come to pass. How could people have decided that marijuana should be legal, if nobody had ever used it? How could states decide that same sex marriage should be permitted, if nobody had ever seen or participated in a same sex relationship?"
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      Aug 24 2013: Your argument appears persuasive at first glance. I submit, however, that you have evaded the root problem. Proper societal function depends upon law abiding citizens. This is proven by the questionable nature of the "progress" made via law breaking, such as redefining the family unit to include homosexual (which is biologically unnatural because it is non-procreative) legal unions. Also the legalization of gateway drugs can hardly be considered a purely beneficial step toward social betterment. It is highly unlikely that either of these changes will prove to be good things for America. Your phrase "100% effective law enforcement" is terrifying in that it requires the eradication of personal privacy and makes Big Brother an inescapable, ever-present, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful presence. Such a scenario has no place in happy human existence. Your argument is based upon the hypothetical, invalid premise that Law Enforcement can be 100% effective. I will read your link while awaiting your response.
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        Aug 24 2013: Those weren't my words! The article itself is about the danger of total surveillance, and whether or not the ability to break the rules benefits society. I thought it went along well with the topic, but I wouldn't try to argue that such a world is possible.

        I would say rules are made to be followed. But certainly the ability to break rules presents some benefit. We have words for bad forms of governance- tyranny, oligarchy and ochlocracy. There's words to describe potentially constructive acts of rule breaking- dissent and revolt. Stable societal function depends on law abiding citizens, but is it always proper? What makes the inescapable law of Big Brother so worrisome?
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          Aug 24 2013: I read the link. The "closet" is a part of life. forbidden activities done with 100% secrecy are essentially non-real events as far as society is concerned. Human nature is such that the "closet" will always be essential. The Constitution guarantees the freedom to pursue happiness along with life, and liberty. All three (The Constitution, Law Enforcement, and The Closet) work in unison to let society thrive. It is a delicate balance which is easily upset if Law Enforcement (aka Big Brother) tramples upon the Constitution, or what should be kept in the closet is dragged-out into the mainstream of society. As a species we are depraved. Imperfect people cannot produce a perfect society. Some of our depravity is manageable by Law, and some by The Closet. The foundation is crumbling of late.
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        Aug 25 2013: Pops, though it can be a "click/fad" or... not. Why should it mater to anyone but the individual? I am talking about homosexuality. Why would you want to be in a "closet" about something? I imagine it to be a horrible way of living. Don't you? There are many things in life that I believe are not "natural" through my eyes (prosthetic boobs, lips, nose, foreheads, bubble butts, hair, ...ect) but why enforce this "unnaturalness" on others (my believes, I am not forced to breed with what I don't believe or find appealing), especially when it has absolutely no effect on myself or you? Who is to say what "imperfect" is and what a "perfect society" is? Society will thrive regardless of these imperfections, no? The foundation is not crumbling, it is changing, as always. The more acceptance of these changes the better off we will be as individuals. Ed, let go. Really, how much does it effect you? If someone farts why would it bother you if another smelled love in the air? :P

        A "perfect society"? There will never be a perfect society. In a closer to perfect society we won't need any laws or RULES. We/leaders are going in the opposite direction for the past 25 years (police state). Don't mean to keep bringing this up but.. why a presently broke father not allowed see his children? I'm about to CAREFULLY break some RULES! How does one parent have the right to make money off of "her" children when the other wants to be in their lives as much as possible (50/50)? This is effing insane to me! I can't find a good enough topic for a discussion because it is tied in with so many other things but for the most part it's about MONEY, sadly. The more I show my heart to this effing county the more it gets stepped on financially and emotionally. People are more concerned about gay marriage/smoking pot/religious believes for the effing birds. Be well, I will be.
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          Aug 25 2013: Sorry about your struggle with the post-marriage management system. I can imagine it is an all-consuming anxiety to not see your children. Do what's best for them, which does not include becoming a convicted criminal. By the way, one of the things which has come out of the closet in my lifetime is easy-to-get, knee-jerk divorce. What was once worked-out is now terminated in anger and haste. The innocent kids suffer. Marriage was once treated as a sacred institution. We should not have stood by as a society and let that changing/crumbling happen. I strongly disagree with your optimism that the foundation of traditional, historical American culture is simply undergoing some inevitable changes and we should just let it be. Crumbling is a form of change, a destructive, undesirable change. Resist change by evaluating it and assessing its value before allowing it, that's what Conservatives do. Some things should not change. Some, but not all, change is inevitable. Certainly no logical argument can be put forward that all change is good. Evaluate the effects of change and resist the bad! Be strong and do no harm.
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          Aug 25 2013: RE: "It's about POWER and not RULES..." Right-on WD, right-on! Welcome to The Closet". Those closed doors must be a safe barrier behind which free people- who have not given Law Enforcement probable cause to believe they are breaking the Law- find peace and safety on an individual, not a social, level. So long as society is in no way affected by The Closet activity the system works smoothly. Letting the FBI, NSA, CIA, DHS, etc. violate the sanctity of The Closet is an example of the crumbling of the foundation of America. To Law Enforcement I say watch me all you want in public, but when I close my door you must stay out!
      • Aug 26 2013: Alcohol is a gateway drug. I've never seen a stoner who didn't also drink. Therefore, legalizing alcohol causes people to use cocaine! Likewise, post-menopausal women should be prohibited from marrying, since it is "biologically unnatural" for them to enter into romantic relationships, since they are non-procreative. Likewise, married couples should be legally REQUIRED to have children, since making the choice to not procreate is also "biologically unnatural". Birth control (including "abstinence methods") is also "biologically unnatural", so it should be illegal and married couples should be legally required to have sex a minimum number of times per week so as to insure they are not indulging in "biologically unnatural" abstinence.

        Whenever one operates under the fallacy that law is not at heart an ad hoc pursuit and attempts to find gigantic, over-arching, infallible theoretical underpinnings for every single law, one must admit that absurd things must also be enshrined in law.

        Law is ad hoc. Law is piecemeal. Law is empirical. Law is rationalized after the fact, and only appears rational so long as one does not look to heavily at the rationale and compare it to how society as a whole actually operates.

        This fundamental truth is why Plato revisited the questions asked in his "Republic" and responded to his earlier work a resounding "No" in his "Laws". The Republic was written when Plato was an out-of-touch philosopher. The Laws was written after Plato had some hands-on experience actually running a polity.
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          Aug 26 2013: Don't hurt yourself jumping to all those conclusions. There is NO evidence that alcohol use leads to cocaine use. Infertile human females should not be prohibited from marrying human males. A malfunctioning, or non-functioning reproductive system is NO reason to forbid marriage. Homosexual reproduction for humans is biologically impossible. Conception prevention is NOT unnatural. The idea of laws demanding sexual activity between husband and wife is entirely without merit or intelligence. Agreed laws are imperfect, as is every human construct. That shows the need for due process to fix defective laws. Plato, schmato, every thinking person knows what makes sense and what does not. I miss your point in the reference to the opinion of the long-dead Greek.
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    Aug 24 2013: @ Ms. Windweaver-- American citizens including employees of the NSA should obey all US laws. All citizens of Saudi Arabia should obey all Saudi Arabian laws. Do you advocate some other arrangement?
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      Aug 24 2013: yep. don't obey nutty laws, the same as rules. If you have objections based on reason, then break the laws and the rules. If nobody did that, then we would still be in the middle ages. I propose rules and laws evolve based on relevance to the times and to those to whom they apply.

      Their relevance or irrelevance would never be found or tested had they not been broken in the first place
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        Aug 24 2013: Laws, not rules, are based upon the will of the People in a Representative Republic like the USA. If an American citizen disagrees with a law they are empowered to use the legislative process to change, or repeal, that law. Anarchy and rebellion are not necessary. No society where each individual is allowed to obey only the laws with which they agree, and disregard the rest, has ever functioned successfully. Breaking the law idemands a response from law enforcement. That is no way to run a society. The Law of the Land is what keeps the peace in a society. If you consider a law to be "nutty" and choose to disobey it, you MUST suffer the consequences or the very fabric of the society will unravel. Due Process is what separates savages from civilized people. Rules, on the other hand, can be broken at will without contributing to the destruction of the nation. Big difference!Am I wrong Minishka?
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          Aug 24 2013: Laws have a long history of overstepping their boundaries. Such as the laws on sodomy. If I were to object to the law, I would say evaluate the situation first. Should a person go to court and get legal permission to break that law? By doing so BEFORE you actually do it, are you acknowledging the law's right to give or repeal permission for what you do in the bedroom?

          All I'm saying is, question everything .. including the law
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        Aug 24 2013: Question, yes. Disobey, no! Agreed.
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          Aug 24 2013: I do suggest using common sense, I do suggest obeying most laws as part of the social contract. I do suggest following legislative process for most laws you don't agree with, AND I suggest breaking a few.

          Here's a few you could consider

          Disclaimer: if a reader decides to maim themselves based on my suggestion of this page just to avoid jury duty, I can't be held liable for their lack of common sense
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        Aug 24 2013: RE: "I do suggest..." Sadly, common sense is an oxymoron. The only bond keeping society from disintegrating is the Rule of Law. If that goes out the window all bets are off. Chaos ensues. Anarchy rules. Everybody panic!
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      Aug 30 2013: You are assuming no laws are inconsistent with each other. In the noodlely tax code for example, there are ways to do one's taxes which are both right and wrong.

      You are also assuming that people know all the laws. Also, there are many odd, archaic laws on the books which are not enforced, yet they are still laws.
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        Aug 30 2013: You are assuming about what I am assuming. I know full well that there are conflicting, nonsensical laws. I also know full well that no person could ever know all the laws to which they are expected to render obedience. I do not see how either of those has application in this debate. Please clarify.
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          Aug 30 2013: You made the comment, "American citizens including employees of the NSA should obey all US laws". You also agree that some laws are conflicting. Therefore, I can not obey all laws without breaking others. Therefore, I can not obey all laws.
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        Aug 30 2013: Conflicting laws are not mutually exclusive in their application. Two laws may prescribe different penalties for violations but they deal with the same subject. That is what I mean by "conflicting". Do you know of a law which requires breaking another law in order to obey? I cannot think of one, and if there is it should be changed by due process. Regarding the statement "... should obey all laws", the key word is SHOULD. The right thing to do is always to obey the law. The fact that people break laws unknowingly does not change the fact that the right thing is to obey all laws. Ignorance does not make unlawful conduct acceptable. Thanks Drew!
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          Aug 30 2013: As I mentioned, In tax code there are examples of assets which may fall under any of several different laws are require different treatment under each. One may require taxing at one percent whereas another at another percent. One could change the code "by due" by specifically "working with the IRS" to get this specific asset type included, but that only adds further complexity and there is always another derivative type of asset to complicate even that.
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        Aug 30 2013: Hey, Drew! You ran-off and left me behind. What are you talking about? Isn't it true that in Tax Court if I can show I obeyed an official IRS law then I cannot be penalized for disobeying another "conflicting" rule? Such a scenario is a problem for the IRS, not for me. Do you agree?
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          Aug 31 2013: "Such a scenario is a problem for the IRS, not for me."
          Ha! Lucky you! You obviously have never dealt with the IRS.
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        Aug 31 2013: Uh oh! Another assumption. I have dealt with the IRS far more than I care to but have never encountered a scenario where obeying one law caused violation of another law. Again, if that is a reality the IRS must make it a priority to fix such nonsense.
  • Aug 23 2013: as a rule, no.
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      Aug 24 2013: If rules WERE made to be broken, and, there was a rule that stated rules were not meant to be broken, that rule would be invalid by virtue of being illogical. Or, if rules were NOT made to be broken a rule which stated that rules were not made to be broken be invalid because of redundancy. Either way a rule which states that rules were not meant to be broken would be invalid. Thus rules ARE made to be broken. Can you falsify my conclusion?
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    Aug 23 2013: Renegades and rebels everywhere are passing notes in class. When a rule is broken it can be fixed and the result is a better rule. If a broken rule cannot be fixed it may lead to the discovery that it was not necessary in the first place and everything works just fine, or maybe even better, without it. I think there is a time to break SOME rules in order to improve The System. Some rules, like "Don't stick your finger in an open flame!" should not be broken. In that case there are far less harmful ways to discover the results of fire upon flesh. As W.D. says, find the reason for the rule's existence. I say "Yes, within reason, rules are made to be broken."
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      Aug 23 2013: On school board we had a discussion about school rules. One wanted no logos on any clothing .... I pointed out that our school shirt sales would definitely be impacted. We discussed skirts either at or below the knee and punishments ... that would put all cheerleaders in detention. Hair length came up .... men's hair .length became a issue .... five male teachers would have to get locks chopped.

      As we have a small school and we all know each other very well why all of the worry about these rules. I submit that rules should reflect concerns for safety, welfare, and focus on the educational process.

      For almost every rule proposed there were exceptions .... I object. From the top (President) to the bottom (me) rules, laws, and regulations should apply to everyone. As a example: Insider trading is a federal crime everywhere but in Congress .... they are citizens so the law of the land should apply to them also. Is Obamacare good enough for the masses but our leaders all opt out by making their own law.

      Using those two example .... yep I guess rules are made to be broken .... Role modeled from leaders.

      Great conversation Edward ....
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        Aug 23 2013: Legislators have the power to make LAWS. We are talking about RULES here. There is a difference as you point-out in the post intro. Bingo on the proper considerations for intelligent rule-making being safety, welfare, and specific advantage to the parent effort/organization. So many rules have nothing to do with any of those criteria. Break-On Robert!
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          Aug 23 2013: Are not laws just rules with consequences?
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          Aug 25 2013: It's about POWER and not RULES but POWER to enforce rule on others but behind closed doors the makers do not have to follow. The only way to fight the law and win? BECOME THE LAW (or a convincing translator of a bible)!
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        Aug 23 2013: RE: "Are not laws. . ." I just don't want anyone to think this conversation is advocating breaking any law. Also, it is not just laws which have consequences. Rules can carry penalties too. There are always exceptions to rules, but there should be no exceptions to laws. As you said above, no one should be exempt from the law. I say break rules IF they are not valid, but obey ALL laws.
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    Aug 23 2013: Rules made to be broken? Nope and yep, to find reason for their existence is most important.
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    Aug 22 2013: Hi Robert. Good conversation. I notice it got quiet a week ago and has remained so. Can I hijack it in an effort to start a new debate while the Moderators are on vacation and we are not allowed to start anything without their curatorial oversight. I am benignly curious to see if it can be done without them, like an underground thing. The idea is to communicate a new topic to the participants in this post and they spread the word like a virus throughout the TED Conversation community and we learn how to start clandestine debates! If you do not wish to risk it I will find another post. What do you say? EDIT: Oh crap! I just noticed Whiskey Delta made some comments 2 hours ago. Sorry I thought the topic was dormant. Never mind Robert.
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      Aug 23 2013: Edward I like the concept. Lets do it. The conversation is pretty much dormant. Give me a subject you would like to introduce and we will edit and give it a shot.

      Thanks. Bob.
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        Aug 23 2013: Well Bob, as you can see for yourself Fritzie dropped a couple of common sense bombs on my idea. But, then again, I still wonder if we could pull-off a kind of segue-on-steroids and start a whole new debate by parasitically attaching to a Host Post... nice ring to it huh? We can call this experiment Project Remora. If caught we will be banned from TED, and possibly the Internet, forever for subversive actions contrary to good order and discipline. Ms. Reisner is culpable because she is aware of the plot, so we can control her by simple extortion, right? I doubt she will rat us out. So, a subject. How about: "Are rules made to be broken?".
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          Aug 23 2013: Oh, Edward. Your little project is pretty obviously not the sort of thing anyone would be banned for.

          My only hope is that others don't follow with less savory experiments.

          The real test is how the community behaves and the productivity of exchanges without the expectation of staff moderation.
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          Aug 26 2013: Edward, now who is the scamp?

          My my my my, funny thing is, I was thinking, if I had been smart, I could have started a conversation before the team went on vacation, then come back and changed to topic by editing it.....or else sell my conversation to a high roller who needed a conversation fix hahahahaha..........hmmm......I'm thinking of next year, when the team goes away again, we will all be better prepared to handle this whole situation, don't you think?

          I can't believe it took me a whole three days to find your shenanegans......better late than never............and in a conversation about breaking the rules.........I don't know what to think. LOL

          To flag, or not to flag? hmm let me think...........
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          Aug 26 2013: tsk tsk tsk....... us poor souls with good intentions are always being misunderstood.

          I think that you and Robert are way up there on my favorite TED member's list.


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        Aug 26 2013: Robert, Robert, Robert.......have you no shame?

        Ha Ha Ha........

        So, did you change the conversation topic?
        What was it before?

        [EDIT......never mind, I just realized by reading the bottom comments that this was the conversation on giving up your citizenship............ah, nice...........]

        Edward Long is a genius........I wonder if he shared his rule breaking shenanigans with the Mrs.?
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          Aug 26 2013: RE: "Edward, now who is the scamp..." Mary! Please don't flag poor Robert. He's just a soul whose intentions are good, please don't let him be misunderstood! So, I gather you are not opposed to a bit of rule-breaking now and then? I have always suspected school teachers had a radar-like sixth sense about rule enforcement. Anyway, by posting here you are now on the NSA,and on the TED, close watch list! :-D
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      Aug 23 2013: I think people often do this in the midst of conversations if there is a natural sort of segue.

      As an aside, I have a hunch moderators are not entirely absent, as I believe I noticed a blatantly uncivil comment deleted yesterday in this thread.
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        Aug 23 2013: We are providing a pro bono, real-time test of the integrity of the conversation moderation system during vacation hours. Should we be apprehended and interrogated we will make every effort to disavow any knowledge of your participation or foreknowledge. Project Remora is underway. I repeat, Project Remora is underway! ;-[
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          Aug 23 2013: Done. Lets see if anyone is awake. Bob.
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        Aug 23 2013: RE: "Oh Edward. Your little project...". The threat of abuse by The Vermin is mitigated by the brevity of Project Remora. By the time "they" get wind of the scheme our moderators will be back and our Abuse flags will be effective so we can self-police. I anticipate productivity from this rogue exchange. I also expect it will be free of any nefarious activity. Between you and me I think TED will remove the ability to edit the Headline of a post. Perhaps that will be the improvement which justifies Project Remora and secures it a place in the annals of TED Security history! Do you, Fritzie, think rules are made to be broken?
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          Aug 23 2013: I think this is one of those sayings that is neither right nor wrong. Most of us will break rules now and then, particularly if we are ready to bear the expected consequences of such behavior. (the penalty weighted by the risk of apprehension and enforcement)

          In some cases rules are meant mainly to facilitate coordinated action. For example, most places have a rule as to which side of the street you drive on or the order that should prevail when several vehicles are at a stop light. Such rules, though arbitrary in themselves, are best followed in the spirit of community.
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          Aug 24 2013: Oooh! SHHHH.. This is so underhanded! Shhhh
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        Aug 23 2013: RE: "I think this is one of those..." . Agreed. Not all rules are made to be broken, but some seem to be. The traffic examples you cited are LAWS, as distinguished from RULES (perhaps we need a definition of the difference, but I think everyone knows laws have civil authority while rules are specific to an institution). I also agree on the logic of acknowledging consequences of rule breaking. . . IF one is caught!
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      Aug 23 2013: Thanks for the compliment pops! :) How about a beer? Rules are for bibles.
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        Aug 23 2013: Mmmmm beer! Thanks, I will, but I have a Rule, no domestic beer! As a Rule I disagree with your assessment of the purpose of the Holy Bible, we can discuss that over an import beer, right? Be well.
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          Aug 23 2013: Ah, no colt 45!? Mickey's?! Old E(8 ball)?! Whaaa! ;) OK then, not picky here, you choose!

          Beer, religion, and politics. Awesome combination ;) I can agree to disagree but if you wanna discuss, sure anytime. EDIT: With respect!
  • Aug 15 2013: This is nonsense and lunacy.
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    Aug 15 2013: Hi Robert,
    I had never heard of the Law you speak of and was curious, so I did a quick search. It does not seem to be a "secret", as you say, nor do I find any information regarding "Americans overseas up in arms and giving up their American Citizenship". Do you have anything substantiating that information?

    The Act, as presented, is part of an incentive to restore employment (HIRE) Act.....and an attempt to minimize tax evasion by U.S. tax payers. That seems like a good thing.....don't you think?
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      Aug 22 2013: LOL

      FBAR ...

      Great acronym to chose! So close to this one FUBAR.
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    Aug 15 2013: These laws are there to find money launderers and tax evaders.

    30% is mentioned because that's the tax liability. If you file taxes and report all assets, you're safe.

    I don't think it should be secret. I'd love to see how many politicians have money stashed away in foreign banks.
  • Aug 15 2013: Several staff that I work with, from other countries, are shocked and amazed by our tax system which does not make sense to them. They do not understand why our tax system makes it so hard for us. This did surprise me to see it on the rise.

    What is most deplorable are the steps the government is taking to make sure that foreign banks report on US citizens, according to the articles.
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    Aug 15 2013: Honestly, I have thought about doing this many times.
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      Aug 15 2013: Why would you want to?

      What stopped you?

      Where would be your choice of home? Why?
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        Aug 22 2013: Sorry for the delayed response...
        Why would you want to?

        Lack of trust within the workforce, oppression, amount of corruption is personally overwhelming (I can't seem to keep the shades pulled over my eyes anymore pretending nothing is wrong), the poor decisions being made for all the wrong reasons (money, panic!), lack of freedom that is growing (police state, good suffering for the bad, paranoia in communities creating more and more rules and regulations), the scams, marketing/capitalism, lack of unity, and the amount of inequality created for money and power are the most important reasons.

        What stopped you?
        I still wonder if it's still worth fighting for. I am not proud of the overall decisions that have been made for the last 10 years (reasons above). I have given up on voting because I don't believe in selecting "the best of the two evils", never have. This country needs a nonviolent cleansing, the sooner the better.

        Where would be your choice of home? Why?
        I would prefer somewhere in the tropics because that is the type of climate I like. I spent a winter month (January) flying in Alaska and enjoyed it when I was there but also glad to leave it there. The same with this place I grew up in. Party cities such as New Orleans are fun places to visit and leave it alone. It lacks on a community level with corruption in politics. Home is where you make it, ya know. Opportunity means alot!!! People need and deserve good jobs and a balance with the rapid rate in which technology continues to grow today. We should have more free time spread among us in a wide shot not millions of unemployed and others with 70 hour work weeks or one person doing 2-3 jobs.
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          Aug 22 2013: WD, Can't argue with the state of affairs. I am glad that your at least aware of the ills of our new society. The problem I see is that people have become sheeple and are willing to follow without question.

          The unions, government workers, military, most corporations, almost all universities and colleges, etc ... are all laying off and / or reducing hours to less than 25 hours per week in preparation for the advent of Obamacare. Since it was not ever read ... I am not surprised that there are all sorts of problems popping up.

          All of the current and projected social programs have encouraged generational welfare families. The big government concept and spending more that the GNP is bringing in is of real concern. The fed running rampant with no federal controls drives me nuts.

          I have traveled a lot and always thought a home in Asia would be fantastic ... I really liked Thailand.

          I am not sure there is a nonviolent means of correcting the problems. Historically it has taken a overthrow.

          OK I am through bellyaching .... thanks for the reply and for putting up with me.

  • Aug 12 2013: There are reporting problems and there are real reasons. Who knows?
  • Aug 11 2013: This is pretty scary if it's true mind sharing this link you read it on?
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      Aug 11 2013: MSN Money .... also .... type in .... Americans overseas giving up citizenship.

      There are about five different articles.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Aug 15 2013: Ok Robert,
        I just did a quick read of some of the sites you recommend...."Americans overseas giving up citizenship".

        Those giving up US citizenship because of the new tax laws, which are apparently meant to minimize US tax evaders, have been claiming US citizenship, making money in the US, and they are not paying taxes to the US. Are we going to miss them?
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          Aug 15 2013: Colleen, Great question. I just wrote to Dylan Griffiths at bloomberg and ask him other than the 8+ billion (that we are not getting over 10 years) and the drop of 1,000 in population what were any other effects. I will let you know when he replies.

          Thanks for the comment. Bob.
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          Aug 15 2013: Got a reply from Dylan:

          Hi Bob,
          Good questions - we will certainly be returning to this issue, so hopefully we can provide some answers.
          Best regards,

          So the question are we going to miss them .... we will see what the long range effects are .... hopefully.

          Thanks again. Bob.
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        Aug 17 2013: Honestly Robert, I don't give a damn what "Dylan Grittiths at Bloomberg" says.

        I have worked very hard for many years...50+ years, since I started working at age 13. I have always paid taxes, and it would be good if EVERYONE paid their fair share, which is required to be a citizen of the USA.

        Those who choose to give up their US citizenship have been avoiding paying taxes, and if they choose that, it's ok with me:>)
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          Aug 22 2013: "Those who choose to give up their US citizenship have been avoiding paying taxes, and if they choose that, it's ok with me:>)"

          Please reconsider with reason, Colleen.