Talk:John Birch Society

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What do we mean by "front groups" here?

Here's some information we may be able to use, however it's not worked upto a full fledged organization yet.
Fronts and cutouts
A front organization in espionage functions within a system of "cutouts". A "cutout" is intended to shield or isolate a higher level infiltrator who has "penetrated" the target organization (government bureau, for example). Once the Department penetration has been made, the higher level infiltrator may have any of three jobs: (1) to bring within the government agency, and to protect, lower level appointees who are also infiltrators; (2) to provide information from within the penetrated target organization to an outside intelligence organization; or (3) a combination of both.
A "ring" within a penetrated bureau consists of several collectors of information from different areas within the penetrated bureau. The most valuable source must be protected; so often the least "productive" infiltrator, i.e. the person lowest on the totem pole within the penetrated target, whose knowledge and ability to collect information is second or third hand, functions as the head of the group. He carries the information from higher level gatherers to outside persons, so as to "cutout" contact between a high level infiltrator and a foreign intelligence organization.
So the most valuable and productive members of the ring are isolated from contact with foreign Agent case officers, which is safest for both. One member gathers all the collected material from all infiltrators, then will pass the information to another cutout outside the government. That second cutout likewise is usually a natural citizen, though not employed by the target government, but who then can transmit the information directly to the foreign intelligence service.
The extensive use of cutouts, so long as they are trusted and reliable persons, can become a long chain of individuals. This performs another purpose, similiar to the extensive use of "front organizations"; by their sheer number, it becomes a shell game with counterintelligence investigators, who have finite and limited resources. When suspicion arises, the large number of persons and organizations connected to the conspiracy can devour endless hours and cost, which has the effect of slowing down the process of exposing an espionage ring. RobS 16:03, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Splitting hairs

the United States is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy

What's the difference? --Ed Poor Talk 17:44, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Democracy as a form of government implies direct democracy, or something closer to direct democracy. The USA isn't that... in fact, no modern country is... when we use the word "Democracy" to refer to the United States, it refers to the genus, if you will, of elected governments, of which a constitutional republic is a subset... in that it's a non-monarchy government that vests autonomy in the people to elect officials which must stay within constitutional lines. I'll double-check with my polisci textbooks....-MexMax 17:55, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Right. In a 'true' democracy, citizens would vote on the bills that become laws. In our republic, we elect the lawmakers who vote on the laws. Maestro 09:24, 10 November 2007 (EST)

Both are wrong. Direct democracy is a form of democracy: dude, the adjective direct modifies the noun democracy, indicating what KIND of democracy it is.
It is usually leftist critics of American democracy who trot out the old "not a democracy" canard.
Our form of democracy is not majority rule like a New Hampshire town meeting, because it has federal and state components (each states have local components!). --Ed Poor Talk 21:38, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Okay, I get it now: I did some googling and found out that "not a democracy" is a slogan meant to emphasize the "republican" nature of American democracy;

Modern American democracy is in the form of a democratic republic or a representative democracy. [1]

So, translated into plain English the slogan means that America's form of government is a representative democracy rather than a direct democracy - which everyone here knew all along. --Ed Poor Talk 21:45, 11 November 2007 (EST)

--Ed Poor Talk 21:45, 11 November 2007 (EST)