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Political Hygiene 101

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Since it is increasingly apparent that the Executive and Legislature of the United States are unable collectively to run a bath, let alone a nuclear-armed global superpower*, all current and prospective elected Federal representatives should be required to take and pass a mandated class in personal cleanliness techniques before being allowed to assume office.

*Allegedly

8th of 7, Oct 14 2013

H L. Mencken http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki
Oh dear. [8th of 7, Oct 15 2013]


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       Next up, the Brits will be giving lectures about the fine art of dentistry...
RayfordSteele, Oct 14 2013
  

       //Executive and Legislature of the United States//   

       Could this clique not more appropriately be named "Authorized Nominees of the United States"?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2013
  

       Or we could all gird our loins and get down to the hard work of building a new system that actually worked. The only reason why we keep this turd of a system is because as a people we are to gutless to change it for something better. Frankly this country lacks the intellect and sense of personal responsibility necessary to maintain a democracy. Likely we never did /have such/; which explains so much of the mythology in our history.
WcW, Oct 14 2013
  

       //this country lacks the intellect and sense of personal responsibility necessary to maintain a democracy. Likely we never did;//   

       I'm sensing an error.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2013
  

       better?
WcW, Oct 14 2013
  

       Immeasurably so.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2013
  

       I think the American government is working exactly the way in which it was designed to work, and it only looks messy from the outside (and as seen through the eyes of media who have an interest in making things seem apocalyptic because then you'll watch more).
tatterdemalion, Oct 14 2013
  

       // Or we could all gird our loins and get down to the hard work of building a new system that actually worked. //   

       If my house is on fire, some people will come with a big red truck and put it out. If my car gets stolen (unlikely), a man in a blue uniform will come and listen to me complain about it. When my kid's old enough to go to school, a lady will come in a long yellow bus to take him there.   

       Based on that evidence, I'd say the primary functions of our government are working just fine. If you'd like to scrap it all and build something that you think is better (which is an easily attainable goal for those who can sustain two or three years of open warfare), feel free to try. Be a sport and pick up the mess when you're done, eh?
Alterother, Oct 14 2013
  

       // big red truck … man in a blue uniform … long yellow bus //   

       And are these services financed and provided at a local, regional or national level ?   

       Apart from the over-arching function of defence (in its widest sense, including border control etc.), a prerequisite for the continuing existence of the classic nation-state, what does central government actually do that's useful to its citizens ? And, more importantly, provide value for money ?
8th of 7, Oct 15 2013
  

       //gird our loins   

       As a purveyor of pre-girded loins, available in a choice of polyester, lurex or teak....   

       Hmm, I suspect our transatlantic cousins have the same taste in farce as in the old country. At least they're missing out on the Black Rod and/or cricket malarkey.
not_morrison_rm, Oct 15 2013
  

       //I think the American government is working exactly the way in which it was designed to work, and it only looks messy from the outside //   

       Umm, rather not.   

       The Federalist Papers, No. 22: 'To give a minority a negative upon the majority ... is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser. ... Its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of the government, and to substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or corrupt junto to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.'   

       This tyranny of the minority, Hamilton wrote, would result in 'tedious delays; continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good.' Sound familiar? James Madison agreed, later writing in The Federalist Papers, No. 58, that by letting a minority faction run rogue, 'the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority.' Madison wrote that the minority faction would be prone to extort unreasonable indulgences."
RayfordSteele, Oct 15 2013
  

       "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right...The United States has never developed an aristocracy really disinterested or an intelligentsia really intelligent. Its history is simply a record of vacillations between two gangs of frauds."   

       <link>
8th of 7, Oct 15 2013
  

       // Madison wrote that the minority faction would be prone to extort unreasonable indulgences.   

       Yes, they wrote a lot about those things, but still they created a government that permits exactly that to happen. No one has broken any rules. The government is operating within its parameters. It appears designed to break, just as it is doing. Let the damage be done and hopefully wiser electors will prevail next time.   

       Poor planning, for certain. I'm not suggesting that the founders were wise in this. But if everyone is operating within the law, then the government is working as it should. If people are not satisfied with that, then the law was poorly written and needs updating.
tatterdemalion, Oct 15 2013
  

       //        And are these services financed and provided at a local, regional or national level ?   //   

       Provided locally, coordinated regionally, sanctioned nationally, and financed at all three levels. It's complicated, but the primary colors of government service still benefit the individual taxpayer with graceful simplicity when viewed from underneath.
Alterother, Oct 15 2013
  

       // the primary colors of government service ... when viewed from underneath. //   

       Brown, then, and presumably from a great height.
8th of 7, Oct 15 2013
  

       It might be white, if we use the traditional eagle mascot.
normzone, Oct 15 2013
  

       The Founding Fathers spent far too much of their time arguing about the proper balance of representative powers for me to believe that they would condone that a small minority of a minority party should shut down government and bring its debt-paying-ability grinding to a halt.   

       Also by Mencken: "To be an American is, unquestionably, to be the noblest, grandest, the proudest mammal that ever hoofed the verdure of God's green footstool. Often, in the black abysm of the night, the thought that I am one awakens me with a blast of trumpets, and I am thrown into a cold sweat by contemplation of the fact. I shall cherish it on the scaffold; it will console me in Hell. But there is no perfection under Heaven, so even an American has his small blemishes, his scarcely discernible weaknesses, his minute traces of vice and depravity."   

       Quote him at risk.
RayfordSteele, Oct 15 2013
  

       // ... that they would condone that a small minority of a minority ..   

       Didn't mean to suggest they would condone it, only that the system of government they created allows for it. Hence the poor planning bit. I'm suggesting that the founding fathers were not omniscient beings as they are often credited.   

       I think they were so jaded toward imperialism that they overcorrected, erred on the side of spreading out control, and in so doing, created the very situation we see today.
tatterdemalion, Oct 15 2013
  

       //I think they were so jaded toward imperialism that they overcorrected//   

       Here in the UK we have a deeply flawed system of government, but since our deep flaws are different from your deep flaws, we just roll our eyes at you lot.   

       One of the funniest things, from our perspective, is that you lot all seem to do as you are told so much of the time. We've long since learned to ignore whatever the government tells us to do, unless they keep telling us for several years, in which case we throw them out and pick another lot.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 15 2013
  

       While the government is shut down, do the politicians still get paid ?   

       It would be amusing to see Barack panhandling for dimes outside 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue and then getting moved on by the cops ...
8th of 7, Oct 16 2013
  

       //As long as the roads are paved, plowed and salted in the winter, we have emergency services (police, fire, hospitals & ambulances), and we have sufficient military resources to prevent foreign invasion, then I'd say the government is working as it should. IDGAF if it's handled at the state or federal level as long as the shit gets handled//   

       Never mind that whole fiscal management thing.
RayfordSteele, Oct 16 2013
  

       I'm kinda partial to NASA, FEMA and the CDC. There are no small business loans, immunization programs or federally subsized daycare but nonetheless these are bonuses, not requirements.   

       I'd like to disassociate my comments from those who are arguing the government is working as it should. It may sound as though I'm in agreement with this view, as I've stated that the government is working as it was designed - and it is designed to permit bad things to happen through its misuse. None of this is how it SHOULD be however, that will take some fiddling withthe constiution.
tatterdemalion, Oct 16 2013
  

       // it is designed to permit bad things to happen through its misuse. //   

       Second Amendment. anyone ?
8th of 7, Oct 16 2013
  

       The 2nd Amendment was designed to thwart overly oppressive, not vacationing, government.
FlyingToaster, Oct 16 2013
  

              // it is designed to permit bad things to happen through its misuse. //      

       No it most certainly is not. The founding fathers had a plethora of flaws and foibles amongst them, but it is ludicrous to think that they should have created a nation with malice aforethought. Their design may suffer from a few loopholes, but its intent was clear.
Alterother, Oct 16 2013
  

       I'm not speaking of intention. I say permitted, not intended, and the last few weeks shows it quite readily.
tatterdemalion, Oct 17 2013
  

       //created a nation with malice aforethought//
This is a great idea (conceptually, at least), a colonialism driven by a desire to do it wrong. I suppose the easiest way to do this would be to replicate the Scramble for Africa.
calum, Oct 17 2013
  

       Then it's your phrasing that set me off, [tatter]. To 'permit' something implies intent, or at the very least knowledge that it could or will happen. Saying that the Constitution etc. is 'designed to permit' is saying that those who composed our laws knew that they were leaving loopholes and condoned their misuse. I do not believe this to be true. Lack of foresight does not make their intent any less altruistic.
Alterother, Oct 17 2013
  

       Well, fair enough, it's a constitution, not the Seldon Plan …
8th of 7, Oct 17 2013
  

       // Saying that the Constitution etc. is 'designed to permit' is saying that those who composed our laws knew that they were leaving loopholes and condoned their misuse. I do not believe this to be true.   

       I am in agreement with you.   

       I mean more of the passive sense of the word "permit" than the active connotation you are reading.   

       The system, working within constitutional parameters, nearly broke itself, and may well have the opportunity to do so again soon. This was surely not intended, but permitted by the rules of the game. I hope that clarifies.
tatterdemalion, Oct 17 2013
  

       It does, thank you.
Alterother, Oct 17 2013
  

       1)America needs to get rid of the electoral college system of voting, and move to popular vote.   

       2) An official equivocation has to be drawn between fundamentalist christians and muslims because they're coconspirators in a dialectical way to the destruction of America.   

       3) George W Bush has to be held accountable for American debt crisis.   

       4) America needs leaner government and higher taxes for the next few decades.   

       5) The FBI needs to investigate the Republican Party's efforts to downsize the American government, including Bush's overspending and borrowing on Iraq that will limit spending of every subsequent government for the next century.   

       6). The Republican Party needs to divide into two parties, one of bonnet wearing and sign signifying uberfascists, and another party of true to name Irish or French styled republicans.   

       7) The purposeful noise by right wing media that destroys all meaning has to be deadened.   

       8). Israel has to thank everyone for their interest in monotheism and historical goings on in that region, but respectfully ask everyone in the world to frankly STFU about it and move on with their meaningless lives without Abraham, it was all a lot of fun, but now there's bosons, asteroids and other shit to worry about, and nobody who has ever died on a cross or otherwise is coming back, and also show a diagram illustrating the difference between god and a book and where to draw the line.   

       9) Obama has to give his speeches holding a gun.   

       10) The right wing of the American bald eagle needs to be clipped because flying in a circle is better than falling to the ground.
rcarty, Oct 17 2013
  

       [rcarty], please, find another soapbox location on which to stand for awhile.   

       The system that needs fixing is not the electoral college, but the inherent inefficiency and expense being driven by having the party in charge of one branch of government not be able to be in charge of execution of law. Our governmental programs seem excessively expensive and inept in comparison to other nations, and I suspect that laws designed in the sausage farm of party compromise in order to get past one branch of government or the other may be a big part of the problem in that they are rendered toothless or hopelessly arcane upon issuance to the delight of the opposing party.   

       We need a parliamentary style of governance.
RayfordSteele, Oct 18 2013
  


 

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