1. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo New Member

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    A Major Loophole In the Law

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mugen shiyo, Feb 18, 2012.

    I was wondering...the average person never swore themselves to the country or to it's laws. We are all drafted at birth into the country. I understand that doing this to an infant to a certain age where they are judged mature enough to make the decision is simplifying and agreeable, but shouldn't we be allowed to- say at eighteen- re-evaluate ourselves, our country, and all in between and decide whether we would pledge the rest of our lives to the country or not?

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    (This is not a anti-America or anti-country thread. Don't treat it as such)
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    By living in a particular country, you're giving implicit consent that you agree to follow its laws. If you don't agree to it, you can always leave the country and find somewhere else to live (though it's not practical in today's world).
  3. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo New Member

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    No, you never gave explicit concent, you were simply made a citizen of the country. Me saying that would be like me saying by being in the country you are automatically a part of the US Marines, so pack up and head to Iraq.
  4. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Member

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    In essence, refugees are people who have this same idea.

    You have to play by the rules of the country you live in. And if you don't agree there's nothing stopping you from going somewhere else.
  5. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas New Member

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    It has some common characteristics with slavery... Things are chosen for you without your consent. Which is wrong but what can you do about it? Almost nothing at all, it's the same everywhere. (I'm actually dealing with a similar thing myself. Where I am the 'law' says you can't choose whether you want to go through time service or not, there is an evaluation process and, quite frankly, it is idiotic since there have been individuals who have made suicide after 'proven' acceptable, not to mention other problems people did not have before going to time service. So far, luckily for me, I seem to be getting my will and not go there...)
  6. art
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    art Senior Member Contributor

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    Get born. Grow up. Find some laws diagreeable?: Break them, or make efforts to change the, or move. Simple.

    Infants can't look after themselves. Most folk are just about competent human beings by the age of around 42. The infant might be rather grateful that certain things are chosen for him. Most countries have laws against eating babies. And so on.
  7. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Senior Member Contributor

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    For the law to operate it has to be absolute. If you can opt out in any way other than moving out of the jurisdiction then the law itself is impotent.
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    exactly what law is it that you see a 'loophole' in?

    you might just as well be complaining about not being able to choose the parents you are born to... but what's a viable alternative to either situation?...

    letting newborns choose where they'd rather have been born, or to whom?... well, that's physically impossible, isn't it?...

    so, do you want to be able to choose at age 3, when you can finally talk?... or age 9, or when?... and then what?...

    do you raise yourself from infancy/3/9/whatever?... do you pack up your diapers and move to another country?

    are you seeing how futile such a question is, yet?

    and, by the way, when children become legal adults they DO have the legal right to move to another country, y'know... in most countries, anyway... and in tbose repressive regimes where they may not, they can always sneak out... which is what countless discontented residents do every day, all over the world!

    and in many parts of the world, children can even sue for emancipation from their parents when still in their mid-teens...
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does seem a rather odd question. And, of course, ignores the benefits one has bestowed for this imposition of living in a country. But, as others have said, if, upon reaching the age of maturity (legally), one can go wherever they wish. Bearing in mind, of course, that those benefits do not follow you.
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    This becomes a very important question when the government and the society become corrupt and violent, and in today's world a lot of people might be increasingly uneasy with certain decisions their governments make, and then use their taxes to carry out those objectionable decisions.

    Immigrants are people who leave of their own volition, looking for a society more compatible with their ethics or needs, but refugees are people who were forced to leave, usually due to war, destruction of their land, real threat to them and their loved ones, political persecution and threat of imprisonment or torture etc. Refugees are people who leave countries where it has become practically impossible for them to live anymore.
    That's why immigration laws are very different for immigrants vs refugees and asylum seekers.

    I have been an refugee and an immigrant for over half my life and I often wondered about this. In the end, it's about accepting that in order for the society to exist, some personal freedoms must be compromised, such as the freedom to not abide by the laws of a certain country. Unless those laws are so damaging that some sort of dissent is necessary, and then you get political upheavals, revolutions which aim to transform the society into a fairer, more amiable one. But honestly, I am yet to see serious improvements anywhere, as long as the country is not in war, the law and the politics are pretty much the same everywhere.
  11. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo New Member

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    I think some people may have misunderstood what I wrote. I understand that a baby can't make such a decision for themselves, and agree to the fact that they are made citizens at birth. What I was saying is that even so, they have never truly accepted the laws and the country they are in and I was wondering whether or not- when they reach an age where they are considered mature or competent enough (18, post high school sounded fine to me) they should be allowed to reevaluate themselves in regards to their country and decide whether they will commit to the country they are in and upholding the laws of the country.
  12. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo New Member

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    I agree completely with what you wrote. In a way, I'm trying to accentuate the question 'how does a citizen feel about his country and what can he REALLY do to change it without having to resort to leaving. I mean, you can say you simply move but it is an expensive and risky adventure for most to where the cost alone prevents such a thing. A citizen has the rather long process of "changing things for the better". Look how long it took for women to gain equal rights AFTER the Constitution.
  13. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo New Member

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    Sorry to be unclear about it, the question was not whether a person can leave the country when they want or whether an infant should decide upon citizenship when he slides out the womb, but are we (adults) really bound to serving the country and laws which they never personally swore to? The best answer seems to be, well, in order to make things simple for us we just say they;re all citizens, but technically, if you wanted to be perfectly legal, I never swore to upholding the law personally. May sound ludicrous, but I've seen stranger things passed by the legal system. Just wondering if there could possibly be any validity in bringing up such a claim.
  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    You swear to uphold the law when you get your driver's license. You swear to uphold the law when you register to vote. You swear to uphold the law when you buy a house, rent an apartment, write a check, take out a loan...

    There are actually very few activities in which we do not, in one way or another, swear to uphold the law.
  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Member Contributor

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    Also, you can't forget what you may owe to the country you grew up in - the country that fed and nurtured you, educated you, defended you, protected your rights (most reasonable countries do that), etc. Sure, you may not have a legal obligation to serve the country in return for all that, but there are people who feel a moral one.

    That said, you can't refuse to obey the laws of the country you were raised in just because you never formally signed a pledge to do so. Your presence within the country's borders constitutes a tacit agreement to obey the country's laws. Not all contracts are written on paper, signed, and notarized.
  16. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Owww great if everyone gets to pick their nationality at 18 we would have a bunch of empty countries. Where you are born is sort of part of chance. Some are “lucky” some are not.

    Legally being inside a nations border is an agreement to fallow the laws. Hence why you can be arrested for violating local laws when you are out of country.

    Also trough actions like voting, getting a DL, applying for license in general, some jobs imply or have an agreement to fallow the law in their paper work.
  17. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Awaiting a good story in the local pub... Contributor

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    Good question.

    I think, for the most part, we're raised by our parents to be decent human beings, and to be a productive member of society. We're taught from the get go to not break the law and be an all around burden. Give back to the community, rather than take away from them. When you live in the country (be it the US or somewhere else), there is an unspoken, unconditional agreement that you must serve the country by not being a burden, and being decent to your fellow man.

    So, while we didn't exactly swear to uphold the laws of the country, we're taught what helps and hurts society, and how to avoid hurting society. Not having a job (or doing a piss-poor job of it), being a drain on your family's income, etc. are some of the things that can hurt.

    I will never be anything grander than a librarian, but but by doing a good job I help serve a small community of people, and, to a larger extent, the country.

    And there's the paperwork James Berkley talked about.

    EDIT: But like others said, if you found the laws too oppressive, too overbearing, there are plenty of other countries you can go to. Of course, you'll be bound by the laws of that country as well. If I moved to the UK and became a citizen (subject?) there, I'd be bound by their laws.
  18. Gonissa
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    Gonissa New Member

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    You seem politically focused the way you ask your question. The trouble is, it's not a matter of politics. You were raised in your country of origin, and for that reason you are steeped in its culture, and are that type of person whether you particularly want to be or not. For example, I really like Confucianist Asian people, but I am not one. I might try to become one of them, but I am not by my culture very adaptable to Confucian principles. Also, I'm not Asian by race either. As much as I might try to be an Asian girl, I'm a good ol' American Irish artsy-fart. I might force myself in the end, but it wouldn't be natural or enjoyable for any involved. Simply put, it would be fake.
  19. Jeeves
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    Jeeves New Member

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    Another thing to think about is even if you decide you don't like the way your country operates, you are not exactly free to go somewhere else. If you go to another country, after you get your passport, you reside in that other country only with the permission of that country. If you want to be able to work and earn a living there, you will need a visa to do so. Candidates for citizenship usually have to meet some criteria. You can't just decide you are going to leave the US and go to work in the UK or Canada or whatever.
    That is why people who say "If you don't like it here, why don't you just move to <fill in the name of a different country or continent>" haven't thought it through. ( Many times these are the same people who don't like foreigners trying to move to their country.)

    As for legal obligation, in the US you are a citizen as defined by the law having been born here or gone through the process of naturalization. That binds you to certain laws. However, you do not have to be a citizen to be bound by laws in the US. You just need to be acting within the jurisdiction of the US and subsidiary governments. Not being a resident or citizen is not a "get out of jail" card as you know. I'm fairly certain it won't work that way in any place on our planet. Being a Brazilian on vacation will not get you out of trouble if you are arrested. In short, when in Rome do as the Italian police tell you!
  20. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Breaking Beard Contributor

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    I am incredibly happy that I'm not the only person who ever thought of this. And, despite how white I am, I actually wrote a spoken-word rap about this. I wasn't signed by a major record company, if you know what I mean, but I loved this line: "That our governments rule a society we didn't choose./ We were born to this place and we were born to these rules."

    The thing is, most political advocates (by which I mean politicians and anyone who enjoys voting) are going to say, "Well, once you turn 18, you have the ability to change the country with voting" and blah blah blah. The problem is that society is not yet perfect and that we're never really going to see much of a change in our lifetimes. Hell, here in Australia, we're not even a republic yet, but occasionally you hear talk on the news about people who are trying to get us to secede from the Commonwealth.

    I personally see the change in the internet, though. Years ago, the internet was basically just assholes and flaming. It's slowly maturing now, I think, especially with the rise of groups like Anonymous. Politicians and major corporations have to be more careful now because we can rally support on the internet rapidly and we can share our thoughts on what exactly is wrong with them.

    So, yes, I agree that it's not really right that we're born to these laws not just immediately but for all our lives. That said, life isn't about fairness or unfairness or any of this. Really, life just needs to be about continuing your own freedom without inhibiting the freedom other people have. The internet provides that kind of refuge and it's becoming better and better as more people realise its political power.

    On a side/end note: the one problem I have with Australia? You have to vote here. I don't have a political opinion. I don't want to vote and I don't want to have a political opinion. So, naturally, I didn't vote. So political advocates will need to find some other way of telling me I can change the country.
  21. Blue Night
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    Blue Night Member

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    mugen shiyo, I agree with your original post.

    I’m a natural born citizen of the U.S. and I had to say the Pledge of Allegiance for 12 years.

    And as you were saying, after all that, I made my own decision on what ideal means.

    I can come up with a list of things I find arbitrary about our foreign and domestic affairs.

    But I choose not to. I don’t want to start controversy either.

    It was once said on our radio, “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorist.”

    Really?

    A viewer stated, “Don’t invade Iraq.”

    His response was, “You’re a Terrorist.”

    Really?

    It was Mike Ghallagher to be specific. 2002ish.

    No, his voice was not the law of the land. But it sounded like it.

    It wasn’t my voice.

    I don’t pledge to such things.
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i see what you mean now, mugen... you mean affirming your allegiance to your birth country officially, upon attaining legal majority, just as catholics 'officially' affirm their belief in their faith and 'swear' their 'loyalty' to the Church, in the rite of 'confirmation'...

    the problem with that [in the us, at least] is to make it a law that all citizens of the country must do that could conflict with the freedoms guaranteed them in the constitution... and no one should be made to do such a thing on pain of some penalty... non-citizens seeking citizenship must do it, of course, as must all who assume public office and others, such as those in the military, etc...

    but for all private citizens to be forced to do so would seriously infringe upon their right to dissent...

    and in other countries, it could be [and certainly would , in despotic states] used to punish any who disagree with those in power...
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A mandatory declaration of allegiance is as meaningful as a contract entered into under duress.
  24. Jowettc
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    Jowettc New Member

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    There are all very good reasons why this is principally the case:

    1)The laws of the land are there to protect and serve it's citizens - not just any old random person who happens to sneak across their borders. If you are a citizen then you are given these rights. Illegal interlopers have other rights by international convention - or not, depending on which country you are in.

    2)In order to get you from that lovely little swaddling babe to a fully fledged anarchist teenager, your government, and its taxpayers, have to devote a good deal of time, money and effort into you. Healthcare, education, wide open parks to play in, law and order to keep you safe, primary industry to make things for you to play with, imports and exports of playstations and PC's, technolgoical advancements to keep you hooked up to other teenage anarchists all over the globe not to mention the food that keeps you belly fed. This all costs money. Your government would like you to repay the debt thanks.

    3)The demise of the successful. If anyone could 'up sticks' and move to any country they wanted, which one would they head for? They would head for the most successful one - that is usually implied by economics and standard of living. However...the most succesful country would begin to attract people, of all abilities or lack thereof, from all over the world. The population would rapidly swell with those that could provide benefit to the country and those that were only a drain on the resources. The succesful country would then find that it had more dependents than providers and the economy would rapidly begin hitting the sides of the toilet bowl as it spun into the sewer taking everyone along with it. Then the transients would move on to the next country and do the same..it would be like a plague of human locusts and the unsavory element of the human species would exploit it to their utmost advantage....see Hedgefund Manager.

    4)There is no loophole in the law. If you desire to move country - you can. Millions of people all over the world do it every day - it's called immigration. I've done it. I live somewhere very far from where I grew up...and love it thanks very much. Luckily I had a skill that my chosen country needed so they let me in. I know others have not been so succesful. Nothing stops you from moving if you really want to...all it takes, like anything else in life, is a little effort.

    Just for the record...I didn't get into my first or second choice country by the way. The first one had economic barriers of entry, and the second had skillset barriers of entry so there you go. As it happens I prefer where I am to the first and second one's anyway!
  25. Lightman
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    You can renounce American citizenship.
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