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Can We Design A Better Government?

11/18/2007 7:52 PM

What Organizational structure should be deployed?

How many levels?

What should be taxed & how?

What should be required of citizens?

Could accurate job descriptions be written for the administrators?

........

more later

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#1

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/18/2007 11:16 PM

The U. S. Constitution was adequate till the lawyers got to misinterpreting it.

IF taxes have to be imposed on the people then let it be the Fair Tax.

Enforce a maximum of two terms for all elected offices.

Limit Supreme Court and other Judges and Justices to a maximum of eight years.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/18/2007 11:52 PM

I doubt the founders, intended the constitution to be static document.

the needs of a few hundred gentleman farmers, are not the same as a planet of several billion.

The U. S. Constitution was adequate till the lawyers got to misinterpreting it.

any situation that requires rules, will always require interpretation.

IF taxes have to be imposed on the people then let it be the Fair Tax.

Consumption taxes [sales], would encourage saving, would you consider them fair?

how about value added?

what about mandatory public service?

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#18
In reply to #2

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 7:28 PM

I doubt the founders, intended the constitution to be static document.

I would differ with you on that particular statement. It was designed to be ammended(through a rather lengthy and thorough process) if absolutley necessary, but not to be "interpreted". It is a rather well thought-out document that actually does cover all the principles required for governing the entirety of the original responsibilities of the federal government. The problem comes in when the intentionally weak central government began to impose itself on the sovereign states' right of self-government. Unfortunately the wrong side won the Civil War.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 7:52 PM

"Unfortunately the wrong side won the Civil War."

Oh boy, get ready to take fire over that one!

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#88
In reply to #19

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/28/2007 11:56 PM

Not from me.

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#90
In reply to #88

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/29/2007 12:05 AM

God bless Texas!

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#207
In reply to #1

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/31/2007 1:03 AM

History always has the last laugh!

When the income tax was being proposed and voted on, a senator stated that the income tax should never exceed 10%. The response from the rest of the senate was that such an amendment would mean that the income tax would ultimately sore to 10%! So they removed the 10% amendment!

What a bunch of idiots!!!

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#209
In reply to #207

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/31/2007 1:12 AM

1

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#3

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 12:39 AM

"The idea of freedom has been born with every generation of man. But only one generation of Men wrote the Constitution of the United States of America."

I think Stan's right. The trouble started when the Constitution began to be interpreted as a restrictive document rather than a permissive one. I do not subscribe to the belief of the Constitution as a "living document". It is meant to be read precisely in the context that it was written. I have a framed copy of the document in Gouverneur Morris' handwriting hanging on my wall to remind me of that. The amendment process should be the only route to repair sections that become unworkable over time, not judicial or legislative re-interpretation.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 11:51 AM

I don't think the lawyers are to blame or even the judges. The lawyers are paid to try and obtain judgements of beneficial interpretations of the constitution that favors their clients. Judges are appointed to their positions to interpret the constitution, and do so in a manner consistent with the political interest that appoint them. The real issue is that the voting public has almost no idea of the content of the constitution. They seem to only know what they learn from news media and TV, and seem to believe the whole one-man one-vote concepts, or even worse they begin to believe it is the governments role spend money to protect their own interest, but not others. The constitution is set up to allow the voters to be the ultimate deciders of governance, but when the voters, who QA the judgements of the courts or executive, are composed of 90 % idiots, e.g. real estate agents, et. al., who just want the housing market to continue to boom no matter what, who do not understand our constitution, this means the votes of the 10% who are knowledgeable are lost. This has been a political endeavor since very early in our political system, Boss Tweed used this voting idiocy to maintain his own very corrupt position of power in New York. What we really need is a constitutional test for the priviledge to vote in federal elections (of course this would likely make the votary composed of 10% of the US citizens who are educated here, and most of the immigrants).

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 12:10 PM

I'm by no means politically active, I vote & attend the occasional water or air board meeting. I just try to stay @ least marginally informed, but take very little overt action.

Guest [ please register] has pointed out some of the more fundamental problems,

What sort of system would require more informed particpitation by the GP [general public]?

How would such a system keep the special interests @ bay

corporations should not be afforded the same rights as indivuals.

money is not free speech.

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#12
In reply to #4

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 1:56 PM

"Judges are appointed to their positions to interpret the constitution, and do so in a manner consistent with the political interest that appoint them."

That is the unfortunate reality, but not the intent of the judiciary. The only authority and interest the judiciary should recognize is the Constitution. It is their job to ensure that political interests do not run counter to the Constitution, not devise ways to usurp its authority through contemporary re-interpretation.

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#91
In reply to #4

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/29/2007 12:07 AM

It is a knowing and willing attempt to restrict access to the common man.

Any industry including govt, medical, scientific even religion, is specialized by its language. Just as the church used to prevent commoners from learning Latin so do others in various specializations use specialized language as not only a tool for describing there practice but also as a way to further the appearance of they being knowers and others knowers not. >>>>I want to rant in length but the hour is late.

Knowledge is power but this law does not reciprocate. The beast is out for ameriKa. there is no going back for us. I agree that the document of the constitution was designed to receive very few modifications.

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/29/2007 1:02 AM

Welcome CR3,

Come on in the waters fine!

Please continue your rant in the morning

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 11:52 AM

The ability to amend, makes the constitution a living document.

I'm basically a libertarian/anarchist

less control=more freedom

free markets work when they are truely free.

Term limits are not the answer, they only remove the experience & lower the skill level of the decision makers

would you remove the middle management of a company every 10 years & expect continuity of direction?

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 12:31 PM

"Term limits are not the answer, they only remove the experience & lower the skill level of the decision makers"

Term Limits constrict the ability of anyone so limited to become so firmly entrenched so as to benefit their constituents and/or themselves. e.g. Teddy K., Chapaquidic MJK, sea search JFK Jr., etc., etc. Sen. Byrd and many project squandering $$$.

Lower skilled at "stealing" from others to benefit themselves?

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 12:43 PM

Term Limits constrict the ability of anyone so limited to become so firmly entrenched so as to and/or themselves.

benefit their constituents, isn't that the job description

I guess the question is how do we limit the buying of influnce, or @ least lower the return on investment.

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 1:50 PM

"The ability to amend, makes the constitution a living document."

I agree, but only in that context. The concept of the Constitution as a living document as become polluted by the notion that what was written can be re-interpreted via contemporary word usage. That dishonors the founding fathers.

I share your libertarian leanings, and also have issues with term limits; they seem to usurp the will of the people to a certain extent. However, I am uncomfortable with the idea of a system that would compel educated voting. It seems to create different classes of citizen and certainly flys in the face of libertarian ideals.

I guess the bottom line is "democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others."

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 2:10 PM

now we have a system uneducated popularity contests.

there must be a way to improve this situation.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 2:30 PM

I agree, and I share your frustration. How often, after hearing someone tell how and why they voted on a certain issue or for a certain candidate, I just want to shake some basic political awareness into them! The challenge is to improve without violating the ideals of freedom or democracy. Democracy, by its very nature (even our representative republic) requires citizen participation to succeed. Voter apathy, or non-feasance is far more dangerous to democracy than all the corrupt politicians in history. How do we increase voter give-a-damn? Give them candidates and issues that are worth-a-damn. How do we do that? Remove the power from Washington DC and place it back at the state and local level where people can have control over their own lives and well-being. (Far to much minutia is dictated from on high by Congress; we are rapidly approaching a fascist state.) How do we accomplish that? Re-read and follow the Constitution to the letter, the way it was written 200 years ago. How do we change the mind-set of millions of people and start progressing on this path? Right here, right now, on this forum and others, one reader at a time. If the idea has merit, it will spread. Free exchange of ideas is the most important and powerful freedom guaranteed by our Constitution, let's use it!

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 3:06 PM

If the general populace would focus 10% of the energy spent on american idol towards problems of actual concern, problem solved!

I'm not sure following the constitution to the letter is the answer, but that would be a much lower priorty [argument] than making what we have work better.

Government plays bait & switch to keep the focus on non issues, because the harder issues would require real thought [SS, outsourcing, healthcare....]

corporate media helps perpetuate the campain of noninformation rolling .....

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 3:28 PM

If the general populace would focus 10% of the energy spent on american idol towards problems of actual concern, problem solved!

Amen, brother!

I'm not sure following the constitution to the letter is the answer, but that would be a much lower priorty [argument] than making what we have work better.

Okay, I'm open. What do you suggest?

Government plays bait & switch to keep the focus on non issues, because the harder issues would require real thought [SS, outsourcing, healthcare....]

Exactly why we need a return to local control. The federal government does not need to concern itself with these issues for solutions to be implemented. Their involvement only guarantees that nothing gets done.

corporate media helps perpetuate the campain of noninformation rolling .....

That's what makes forums like this one so vital.

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#130
In reply to #16

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 2:18 PM

Hi all,

As a group we use the scientific method in problem solving which should be devoid of personal bias, thus peer reviewed. At best, a self correcting system as new knowledge is found. Applying this method to politics depends on the addition of correct knowledge to be a self correcting system and that input of knowledge is the media. I too am a libertarian leaning to the conservative, and think if a change is to be made it would be in the licencing of reporters with a long apprenticeship and schooling. A knowledge of the constitution and bill of rights being the cornerstone, it defines our nation. Most of the problems I have noted while reading this thread would be much simpler with clarity. The government on all levels being for the people, by the people is open, or should by law be open, and reporters of the quality (graduated licencing) to report as accurately as is humanly possible. Government and what influences it (us) should be transparent with the exception to a large degree, the defense of our nation. In times of trouble skunk works have to exist as long as there are people elected to govern that have an agenda contrary to the constitution, bill of rights and the well being of the people. Having been in the military and served on fast attach submarines, having our mission during the cold war compromised, as has happened, the "get out of our waters" warning dept charges could have been on top of us, not miles away, they had a suspicion but not a sure knowledge so what's a few firecrackers. Trust but verify relates to our own government as well but a level of trust must be tolerated for it to do part of it's mandate. Good reporting on people in government would leave a record to look at so if a person were elected to an important level in government, the people could have a fairly clear knowledge of that person before voting them in.

Media is the answer to a transparent government and what influences it. That's where I would start, pick the top news sources and research them from when they started to the present and see how jaded they may be. As a self correcting scientific group it seems we could come up with a model for screening news for accuracy. Unfortunately I know scientist themselves can't agree on the data or how it's collected in many cases. I still wish for clarity in news the same way I got clarity in testing. It either out gassed or it didn't, the measurement was +or - .0001, I like knowing things I depend on to have that sort of accuracy. But as others have mentioned, you can't take the human factor out of any equation much less politics.

Regardless, have fun, life's too short.

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#131
In reply to #130

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 2:40 PM

Well said.

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#132
In reply to #130

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 4:02 PM

Welcome Frank,

to both CR4 & this thread.

We could sure use a little peer review for our legislators too, needs to be more direct than a 2-4-6year popularity contest.

broad based independant ratings for for news sources is a great idea!

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#27
In reply to #5

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/20/2007 7:11 AM

Hi Garthh.

Could you please define for me the word "Freedom" ?

Spencer.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/20/2007 11:16 AM

The ability to make decisions & act unimpeded.

A really good question!

There has to be balance

my freedom ends where your freedom begins [when there is a conflict]

do as you would have others do.

Does personal freedom have to be balanced against others future freedom?

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/20/2007 3:07 PM

Hi Garthh.

Yes, that is what I thought to, but here in the UK according to your definition we do not have freedom!

Just the first one; "The ability to make decisions and act unimpeded", go's by the board here, so yes we could do with another form of government!!!

Spencer.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/20/2007 3:53 PM

I don't really think my little thread will change much, but you never know.

A fairly low level of freedom exists in the USA too.

I don't think the whole system is fatally flawed.

I think that improvements could be made.

the overwelming influence of power & money makes real change unlikely

It will require many small positive incremental changes.

most of discussion so far has been about strict constitutional interpretation.

I noticed the thread didn't hit the daily digest, I'm not really surprised as this is a fairly conservative crowd.

I think that engineering & technical people have a very valuable viewpoint, having lots of practical experience dealing w/monolithic organizations.

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#219
In reply to #3

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

02/19/2010 6:54 PM

Amen

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#9

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 1:25 PM

Civil administrators should be trained by institutes with latest updates and not by a system that is practised from the day constituency was formed . Here we have same system with newer breed who run government with miniscular changes that intefaces with latest trends .That is why we see lawyers successfull in government organisation than any other professional , governance doesn`t necessary mean law enforment agency and law makers , lawyers are more active and take advantages through flaws and loopholes of perticular system.

We as engineers cannot try to apply annology with any social governance where efficienct and quick functioning is not desirable and practicle , not comparable to corporate functioning .but tax structures can be altered to keep in interest of citizens .

Administrators should definetly have job discription written for there functionality and tasks they perform ........but now even private companies function same as any government agency or to say worse........Thank you

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 1:47 PM

Why Don't business models apply?

government is a service provider among other things.

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#17
In reply to #10

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 7:04 PM

Business Models don't fully apply because the mission is broader for government, than it is for business. Some of what is wrong with the US is everybody is supposed to show a profit for everything they do. The right and ethical thing to do, like refuse to print cigarette ads in your magazine is in conflict with the bottom line for the stockholders of the publishing company who may or may not smoke, but are united in their desire for a dividend.

The interactions between systems and governments call for idealized leadership of crucial institutions regardless of the design of the government, and this is the quandry that plagues all governmental inventions.

I am condensing here points made by the Political Scientist Edward Hallet Karr who wrote A Critique of Realism. The other Political Scientist of note is Jared Diamond who wrote Guns Germs & Steel & Collapse.

The great Anarchist William Godwin did design a fine Anarchy that was much adopted by Tito, and otherwise goes on well as Alcoholics Anonoymous.

Frankly I don't think we can make a better government than one that has been designed already, but do think the US Government could stand to adopt some principals of already constructed governments.

I am about to prefer the Parlimentary System of Democracy over the Federal system of the US, because of the Senate and Electorial College.

Really I wish I didn't have to think about it at all.

A Good King, is a good thing.

Tried and true,

and nothing new.

So actually my answer to Garthh is, No, we cannot design a better government, but we could assemble one from what is known.

Define the mission of the Government in order to assemble your ideal government.

The first is defense.

What is second?

Education is second.

The more educated your people the less you need more government.

This is the essence of Godwin Anarchy.

Categories of government, or something like government progress from Bands, Tribes, to Chiefdoms and then States.

Overall Global Urbanization does call for some new government assembly, and I support strongly the Points for Reinvention of the UN authored by Andre` Lewin Chairman of the French UN Association.

I am pleased he supports some of my points and included into his, one of mine though he has not fully accepted Transcendia.

To close and say again No we cannot design a better government, I say again, it is to be assembled from the parts laying around, and really only needs an army and a school system at its simplist.

Well, maybe that's design, so yes too.

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#20
In reply to #17

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 8:08 PM

I agree that the average citizen needs to be more well informed about the responsibilities of being a citizen. I don't think "education" as it is practiced in our public institutions today is the answer. I am pleased that more and more responsible parents who are able to do so, are educating their children at home. The statistics of the last twenty or so years results of this trend are encouraging. I only hope it's not too late to reverse the damage done by the "me" generations of the 60's and 70's.

........the mission is broader for government, than it is for business.

This is part of the problem. The mission of the government, at least at the federal level, needs to be scaled back to it's original two responsibilities; common defense and regulation of interstate trade. It's this last which has been used as a wedge to drive itself into states affairs ever since someone "interpreted" that clause to mean that anything that "effects" interstate trade comes under federal jurisdiction. That concept can, and has been twisted and pried to gain influence over almost every aspect of the lives of the citizenry. (or,in many cases, the "ditz-enry")

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#23
In reply to #20

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 8:28 PM

Enlighten us as to what you feel the responsibilities of being a citizen are?

Please the reasoning behind your comment "The wrong side won the civil war"?

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 9:31 PM

Enlighten us as to what you feel the responsibilities of being a citizen are?

Primarily, and in general, it means one is a productive member of society. This is characterized by preparing oneself to earn a living (preferably, but not necessarily, doing something one enjoys); being involved in your local community by taking an active part in areas that need your particular talents, or at least providing input and opinions (as needed) to those who are; and generally just being a good neighbor. Being a good neighbor involves helping out those in your community who may not be able to do all of the above for one reason or another. Unfortunately, in our society today, many have taken the position that these functions are best done by "the government". I personally think that is a cop-out for people who just would rather not be bothered. (certain menbers of the "me" generations mentioned earlier)

Please the reasoning behind your comment "The wrong side won the civil war"?

The US Civil War, contrary to what is taught in revisionist history books, was a war over the question of whether the federal government had the right to dictate the policys and practices of the individual member states of the union. Our modern history books tell us that the issue was slavery. That particular social blight was the excuse used by the federal government to rally popular support for their cause. No reasonably moral person could support such an institution. The southern plantation owners tried to justify it as a matter of economic necessity, but with the move to industrialization that arguement was on it's way out anyway. That, in my opinion, is one of the reasons for the timing of the war. Another thirty or so years and there would be no need for slavery. That and the immorality of it would have made it go away. Once the war was fought and won by the union they had the opportunity to impose their "big central government" philosophy on the dissenting states. I'll grant you that one of the most important objactives of the founding fathers was the preservation of the union, but not at the expense of the sovereignty of the states. In that war the states' rights to self-rule was trampled. Today we have exactly what the founding fathers tried to avoid: a large bureaucratic central government that is out of touch with local communities and yet has the power to dictate policy and practice to suit the desires of those in power without regard for the interests of those who they are supposed to represent.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 10:14 PM

Should the citizen have any obligation to the larger group [state, country,world]? or just the local community?

Are you saying the federal government has no obligation to protect individuals rights? or that landowners rights supersede "lesser"individuals. Originally landowners were the only full citizens.

States rights is a red herring thrown up to protect intolerence of all types

should to california have the right impose higher gas milage standards, medical marijuana......

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 8:10 PM

Reconfiguring parts is design!

When I talk about Business models, I'm refering to improved methods of information gathering & utilization. Just because you don't need to show a profit, doesn't mean organizations should be inefficent.

1 of the larger problems of US health care is the failure to capitilize on huge I.T. gains made possible by computers. Changing doctors causes a new set of information to be generated, everthing is required to be kept on paper records....

On the list of the mission of government, the 2nd function is public safety

police, fire, product safety.

product safety is best handled on a bigger scale & comprehensivly dealt with.

I have to toddle of & figure out what your moniker refers to.

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#22
In reply to #9

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 8:24 PM

Civil administrators for local or federal positions? When this country was founded and the constitution written, the job of representing the people was one that was taken on by those with a significant sense of civic duty who volunteered to shoulder the responsibility on top of their normal everyday activities. It was a part-time duty that was undertaken as an act of temporary service, not a career path. These men had businesses and farms to run. They were producers and contributors to our economy not bureaucrats with a vested interest in seeing the government's reach and influence grow ever larger so they could get rich off of the labor of those who are actually creating the prosperity which they seek to plunder!!

Want to design a better government? Get people to work producing goods and services, not just managing others who do!

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/19/2007 8:31 PM

Effective management is the key to any successful enterprise!

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#31
In reply to #24

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/20/2007 6:54 PM

Garthh, I agree with you now that you have defined Business Methods in your terms. In general the arguements have been twisted up with both concepts, and on the one hand we are told that Private Enterprise can do everything better cheaper, but when you look at Heathcare in the US, controlled by private this and private that it costs so much that the general benefit is lessened so much that systems such as in Canada, or the Netherlands, or France, with their flaws, in general come out better for both individuals and all.

I bring the Healthcare system up since it is such a glaring example of what is wrong with this particular governmental system.

Practical leaders should be capable of recognizing in this day and time that Healthcare is a proper role for good government, since it fits into the responsiblity of a good government under Defense.

The Sarrs incident, which will of course occur again, in the form of Ebola, or now the much more lethal cold already gaining foothold in the US exemplifies further the need for a Healtcare System that does not shame citizens for getting sick.

It is not too much for me to ask of my government that it protect me from sick people. I consider it a very legitmate use of my tax money, up there with money for the Department of Defense.

Your question is: "Can We Design a better government?"

To really advance and come to a resolution, to create out of the Thread Discussion I suggest we further limit and define Who the Government is for, and where it is.

As a work of conceptual art, I have been working on this for all of my adult life. My great study had the limitation of suceeding without the typically required war for creating a nation.

Machiavelli, (spell check), said it was impossible to create a nation from a struggle with the environment - that the land had to be consecrated in blood.

The precedents for creating a nation without having a war, are at best Disneyland, followed by Pan Am, partly Woodstock Nation, and some bits of Hong Kong. Maybe there are some other precedents, but I don't know everything.

The best I can come up with is a government that would be attractive to join by people who have choices.

My creation is Transcendia, a nation of confederated airports, culturally neutral, and operating under aspects of International Law, Maritime, and Human Rights as signed to by nations of the UN.

At my most radical I am completly Anarchistic and feel that if you have a Transcendian Passport, you ought to be required to carry some appropriate defensive weapon, for I do not expect my creation to be a large nation, and think if you can't carry a weapon to defend your self or others of your nation, you really ought not be in the country.

Of course I am a fan of non lethal weapons for untrained people just doing their business who every now and then get scared for no particularly good reason.

The World Today has become pretty much totally urbanized, and this does call for a World Government. Mr. Jesus is Lord, sorry, name slips, claims haven't, Claims problems are from Federal Government. 'Laments the Confederate defeat.

I was born in White Plains NY, and grew up in the South.

I know a good deal about the Civil War, and say to other nations of the world, "My Past Will be Your Future." - as an American.

I say that the difference between a Southerner and a Northerner, or a Rebel and a Yankee, is that the Northerner is sucessfully Federalized.

I've traveled up and down the East Coast working and paying taxes and running up against laws, simply driving a car that make me think, "To hell with States Rights!"

I only need one Pilot License, and the rules are pretty much the same Federally and then on.

So I suggest we pin down the international era we live in and then determine what government works locally and globally for the greatist number of people.

When looking for long lived successfull cities, you will find that they are ports.

Hence my limits as far as what I think I might be able to create before I die, a nation of airports where it is known that good manners are the best thing to have in the commons.

I will admit that the Sermon on The Mount was a good speech, since it did encourage doing unto others as you would have done to you.

But lately I stay alive for Buddha, who said it can be borne.

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#33
In reply to #24

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/21/2007 5:08 AM

Hi Garthh.

Everybody has a duty to their country and their government, but by the same token the Government has a duty towards it's citizens. I don't know how it works in the US, but here in the UK lately the government seems to have a duty to itself rarther than to it's citizens.

Here's how it works: The citizens work, get married, produce future citizens and pays taxes, they also abide by the laws of the country that they happen to be living in.

In return the government uses the paid in money sensibly and ensures that it's citizens are not abused, trod apon, given help when needed and safe in the knowlege that they will repell any other state that attacks its borders or citizens.

This last one is sadly lacking over here as our government only looks after itself, not it's citizens. Another thing is that any government has to be voted in power by a majority of it's citizens.

This is also lacking over here, as our government has just signed a deal with the EU to take us over. Thus we are to be governed by an unelected group of beuraucrats on mainland Europe! 82% of the UKs citizens do not want that to happen, but our government has refused to listen to it's citizens!!!

So, as I said before we could do with another form of government here in the UK, one that we can freely elect into power.

Spencer.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/21/2007 11:09 AM

When all else fails there is always this:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States of America)

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/21/2007 9:11 PM

I have yet to totally give up hope, but I fear that just such a scenario is the path we are on. I am preparing myself, my family, and friends, mentally and spiritually for the possibility. I only hope that those who still understand what true freedom is are sufficient in number and fortitude to prevail upon the reasoning of those still in ignorance, to turn back the tide before it comes to that. War is never pretty, but sometimes necessary. I don't know who said it first, but it's true: "freedom isn't free". Lately others have been paying the tab for most of us; we may soon have to "ante-up" ourselves.

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/21/2007 11:08 PM

that won't be an option.

blackwater & military have all the weapons of mass destruction.

the only real chance is to change the system from w/in

the only hope is positive incremental change!

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/21/2007 11:33 PM

the only hope is positive incremental change!

Only problem with that is that negative incremental change has a tremendous head start.

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 5:46 AM

Hi water buffalo.

I agree with you on this one! We had a polition that warned of; "Rivers of blood", if our government did not change it's direction, he was imediately sacked. I am 62 years of age so I have nothing to lose realy if there comes a time when our citizens revolt, and I have been ready for it these last 5 years!!!

But, and this is a big but, after a revolution the government we then get might be worse that the government that we overthrew, think of the Russian revolution?

One of the big problems as far as I can see it, is that we in the west have gone the way of earlier western civilisations these days, we the citizens and our governments have become very complacent. This leads to "Familiarity breeds contempt".

The only answer to this one is, To start again from square one.

Spencer.

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#49
In reply to #39

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/23/2007 2:18 AM

I agree that complacency is probably the single biggest factor contributing to the current state of our nation, politically, but that stems from a moral deficiency, the cause of which is slightly more difficult to pin down. You would get several different answers as to the cause, depending on who you asked. In the event of a successful armed revolt, I would think that "back to square one" would be the goal of such a revolt. Roll back our governmental structure to what it was originally intended to be. The Constitution set forth some specific ways of implementing certain governing principles which have not gone oblsolete. As previously pointed out though, there might be some resistance from the culturally brainwashed in our midst. Hopefully they would either have wised-up during the period of conflict or become casualties of same.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/23/2007 2:30 AM

"...there might be some resistance from the culturally brainwashed in our midst. Hopefully they would either have wised-up during the period of conflict or become casualties of same."

The original American Revolution did not have a majority of support at the outset either. I believe I read at one time that support may have been as low as 30%. Funny how support swings to the winning side.

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/24/2007 9:00 PM

Here's some food for thought Read the excerpts

From woody Holotons book unruly americans & the origin of the constitution.

& here's a link to the constitution

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/24/2007 9:32 PM

My Lawyer Friend told me to read the Federalist Papers, and I never could figure out if I agreed with Hamilton, the asshole, or Madison, the evil pragmatist. I just wanted to drink and get shocks from kites with Mr. Franklin.

Today I poured Vinegar into the copper wired glass and got it all up to almost 2 volts.

Big Infrastructure is what we want and need GOOO................................

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/24/2007 11:26 PM

Well this thread's a bust.

I'd hoped for better than Armed issurection, turning back the hands of time, term limits.......

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/25/2007 12:14 AM

In order to design a better government you have to start with better people. Those who designed our original government were under the assumption that the general populace would always be as civic-minded and responsibly involved as it was in their day. Unfortunately what they designed has been meddled with over the succeeding generations to become what we have today, and most people don't care enough to pry themselves away from their TV or any of many other modern diversions to do anything about it. We're too busy having fun or ruining our minds with drugs or alcohol. A bit cynical, I'll admit, but there is a lot of truth to it.

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/25/2007 12:25 AM

We don't have better people

what can we do with what we have?

the founders assumed white land holders knew what was best!

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/25/2007 5:13 PM

I agree with you that we don't have better people. The point is that we have to begin to try to educate those we have. I personally think that will have to start on a one on one basis personally reasoning with those people we interact with on a daily basis. I can't say I agree with 100% of your opinions, but at least you are interested enough to make them known and honestly debate them. I know that the founders did not agree on everything. They had some very heated arguments, some of which were never resolved, but ultimately they did come to enough of a consensus that our nation was formed. We need to work on this to build some momentum back in the right direction. Regarding your last comment, I don't think that white landholders was really the criteria. More to the point, it was landholders in general who were the voters and decision makers. They were the ones who had the most stake in making sure the future of the country was secure. Since they were the primary source of the prosperity of the economy at the time it made sense that what was in their interest was in the interest of the rest of the population that was, to a large degree, dependent on them. Those demographics have changed dramatically down through the years, so some accomodation would need to be made for that, but the main point is that citizens need to be exhorted and educated in their role and responsibility, and the connection between their participation and their standard of living needs to be reestablished. I meet a lot of people today who complain frequently about their politicians, but when I ask them why they didn't vote for someone else, they answer "Oh, I don't vote. It doesn't do any good." Is it any wonder that things are going downhill? Most everything in this world, when left alone will degenerate rather than improve. Human society is no different.

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/25/2007 7:20 PM

I STAND CORRECTED male landholders was the criteria

I agree education is vital

hey look common ground

You concede that changes have been made.

@ least in the interpretation of the constitution.

The basic structure is fine

balance between the branches is fine in concept & practice.

The interaction between the government & the governed could use some work.

I don't believe that business entities & indivduals should be afforded the same rights!

more later

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#59
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Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/25/2007 8:47 PM

The interaction between the government & the governed could use some work.

I agree. The interaction needs to be something other than that which could be compared to a giant criminal scheme in which the government plays the role of a common swindler conning the public out of their hard-earned money, all the while promising to provide certain services, and in fact, spending the money on himself and then telling the public that things aren't working so they need to spend a little more. Why people keep buying into that, I don't know.

I don't believe that business entities & indivduals should be afforded the same rights!

I was actually reading an article a while back that was discussing that issue. I wasn't aware until then that the "personhood" of corporations was a unique situation found only in American law. I had never even thought about the implications of that, but the author did a good job of making the case for not having amoral corporate entities making decisions and interacting in the public realm in situations that require moral and ethical judgment. With corporations and other business and commercial entities, the determining factor in all decisions is, by necessity, economic. They have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders. Many times that responsibility is in conflict with good ethics. The corporate structure was created, I think, primarily to circumvent that conflict and allow the management and directors to be insulated from the consequences of the ethically questionable practices of the corporation. If directors and other decision makers had to bear the moral responsiblity for their business decisions, perhaps they would more carefully consider their actions.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/25/2007 9:48 PM

Wow more common ground

I'm having fun now

The interaction needs to be something other than that which could be compared to a giant criminal scheme in which the government plays the role of a common swindler conning the public out of their hard-earned money

It's not quite that direct, even worse

they trade $1000 campain donation for $1'000'000, corporate welfare [see farm subsidies]

or getting elected to the planning commission, so you can rule in favor of your builder friends, who will give you a job, after you leave office.[that would be the retorical you]

we need these functions to be acomplished, the problem is

the officals are mostly immune from prosecution

many of these positions should be proformed by well paid professionals, who can be held accountable!

The accountability of an occasional election is not enough.

I'm sure your accountable everyday as a employee or owner.

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/25/2007 10:25 PM

Garthh-

Out of respect for you as the author of this thread, and the obvious fact that my posts were not helping to move the discussion in the direction you had wanted to go, I have refrained from comment to give you the opportunity to "get back on track". A phrase in your last post caught my eye, however:

"we need these functions to be accomplished, the problem is

the officials are mostly immune from prosecution

many of these positions should be performed by well paid professionals, who can be held accountable!

The accountability of an occasional election is not enough."

This exact situation is the type of condition that causes me to urge a return to local control. De-centralizing the power-base of the Federal Government would help achieve this very end; perhaps even allow for privatization of some of these functions. You have made the very point I have been arguing all along.

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 12:12 AM

No need to defer, there's only 3-4 of us here anyway.

what would you think is the 1st step to regaining local control? & how would we keep the locals from abusing their increased power?

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 11:54 AM

You are very gracious.

The first step is to get the value to spread to enough voters that pro local-control officials can be elected (yes, they do exist). It is a long and difficult process, but it starts on forums just like this and on the op-ed page of your local paper. Then, the process just has to take it's course. All services and functions the federal government is providing that are not specifically required by the constitution should be phased out. Any vacuum created (and I suspect there would be far less than most people fear) would necessarily be replaced with local or private programs that can function with far greater efficiency and oversight than existing.

As far as locals abusing their power, I think we would find a natural reduction; most locals cannot afford to be full time politicians. A citizen government operates at a much higher level of integrity. And so long as voters maintain the courage of their convictions, an abusive official would be replaced on the next election cycle (which should be spaced to minimize the potential impact of any abuse).

In the end, it will always come back to the voters. We have exactly the type of country and situation we asked for. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

The problem, of course, goes back to the very first step. Are there enough disillusioned voters to make a difference? Can they even begin to agree on the solution? The 3-4 of us can't. Do we as a society value liberty over security? That is the question which is at the very heart of the discussion. I fear the answer to be no, but fervently hope to be wrong. The evidence is not promising.

You have expressed several concerns related to the potential effects of a return to local control (coal-fired power plant, California gas mileage & med. marijuana) and have called state's rights a red herring to protect intolerance. The intolerance assertion puzzles and intrigues me; please expound. As far as the other issues are concerned, the straight answer is yes, the states would have that right, but a return to local control would require a much greater reliance on interstate cooperation. The big Federal Government simply would not be capable of stepping in to handle situations; we would have to rely on our neighbors. Therefore, no action would be taken without first considering the impact beyond the immediate locality. Sure, there would be instances of rogue states, but I think we would find these incidents to be few and far between, as they are ultimately self-defeating. The benefits would far outweigh the isolated harm brought about under the intended system. This is what valuing liberty above security is all about.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 1:52 PM

3-4 People are a start!

actually I've voted liberatarian the last 3 presidential elections.

I am not clear as to what the federal role would [or should] be in relation to protecting rights. I would prefer to protect all groups rights, not just the 1's I agree with & feel a secular government [strict separation of church & state] would protect all. Very tricky stuff.

I a little wary of politicans that wave the local control flag. We have several in my area who have twisted this to mean federal subsidies to benefit unsound business practices. Flood irrigation w/cheap water in the middle of the semi arid land I live in. Converting farm land to housing is another aspect of this. Growth is fine but development should pay all the costs [roads, schools, courts, jails....] having new members of the community entails much more than the cost of the houses.

I choose freedom, security is dependant on all the citizens.

more later

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 4:26 PM

3-4 People are a start!

actually I've voted liberatarian the last 3 presidential elections.

As do I, when the choice is available.

I am not clear as to what the federal role would [or should] be in relation to protecting rights. I would prefer to protect all groups rights, not just the 1's I agree with & feel a secular government [strict separation of church & state] would protect all. Very tricky stuff.

Stop. That right there is the top of the very slippery slope. The government has no need to protect rights, for they have no power to infringe! That is the difference between reading the constitution as permissive (original intent) rather than restrictive (current interpretation). The trick is getting the courts to adhere to the founder's intent and strike down laws that overreach federal power as granted by the constitution. We are also guaranteed protection of our rights from every state and local government, so even a return to local control would not endanger any rights as guaranteed by the constitution. Also, what separation of church and state do you require beyond that guaranteed by the first amendment? Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. Are you suggesting a government devoid of any and all religiously-based values? Some would argue our current political situation is the result of just such a belief; by forcing the removal of religion from the government, we have also removed the moral guideposts that accompany it. I personally have no problem with government based on religious (even if specifically Christian) values, so long as we never approach declaring an "official" religion, an event guaranteed not to happen by the first amendment. Please expound on your views. I personally have never understood the fervor over this "separation" and welcome your views.

I a little wary of politicans that wave the local control flag. We have several in my area who have twisted this to mean federal subsidies to benefit unsound business practices. Flood irrigation w/cheap water in the middle of the semi arid land I live in. Converting farm land to housing is another aspect of this. Growth is fine but development should pay all the costs [roads, schools, courts, jails....] having new members of the community entails much more than the cost of the houses.

Alas, this is a common perversion of the local control concept akin to the perversion of the notion of the constitution as a living document discussed in earlier posts. Government at any level has no business in any of these areas, and we need to elect officials who believe that people are best able to take care of themselves without government interference.

I choose freedom, security is dependant on all the citizens.

More importantly, choose liberty, and cooperate with your neighbors to provide your own security.

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 5:10 PM

Liberty it is

I require freedom from religion!

Religion implies We are right & you are wrong, if you don't ascribe to our beliefs.

There is only one moral belief & all others are derived from it!

treat others as you would be treated

Liberty and freedom are distinct, as well. As the political theorist Hanna Fenichel Pitkin has observed, liberty implies a system of rules, a "network of restraint and order," hence the word's close association with political life. Freedom has a more general meaning, which ranges from an opposition to slavery to the absence of psychological or personal encumbrances (no one would describe liberty as another name for nothing left to lose).

What is the minimum network of restraint & order?

A slipery slope if ever ther was one.

An issue that needs attention is

How do we balance short term gain against, long term ramifications?

& what controls will protect our planet?

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 6:20 PM

"I require freedom from religion!"

Sorry, not gonna happen. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom from speech further than your ability to shut yourself away from other human and media contact. Taking the good along with the bad goes part and parcel with the American way of life. Short of declaring an "official" state religion, putting limits on how lawmakers bring their beliefs to the job would be a violation of their rights as well. (Yes, I hate to admit it, but politicians are people too and must be afforded the same protections as the rest of us.)

"Religion implies We are right & you are wrong, if you don't ascribe to our beliefs."

That, unfortunately, is your personal hangup. Get over it and learn to take religious pontification for what it is and you'll soon realize it doesn't affect you in the least.

"There is only one moral belief & all others are derived from it!

treat others as you would be treated"

First, how is the unconditional nature of that statement any different than the objections you just stated about religion? Second, while the statement is a bit oversimplified, I agree with you in essence. However, different people draw that value from different sources and it is not for you or I to declare religion as an invalid source and to deny practice of such to any public official, whether in their job or not.

"What is the minimum network of restraint & order?

A slipery slope if ever ther was one.

An issue that needs attention is

How do we balance short term gain against, long term ramifications?

& what controls will protect our planet?"

That is the issue that men of good conscience must wrestle with on a daily basis. There are no hard and fast answers. Any system beyond the bare bones set forth in the constitution will result in abuse and a spiral toward security rather than liberty. It requires eternal vigilance and unwavering commitment by not only elected officials but the voting public as well. America has failed in her civic duty to herself and it will be a long, hard rode to get back on track.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 6:56 PM

That, unfortunately, is your personal hangup. Get over it and learn to take religious pontification for what it is and you'll soon realize it doesn't affect you in the least.

I supposed it was only a matter of time.

What ever you believe is totally up to you.

I draw the line when you want to use our tax money to support or promote those beliefs!

That, unfortunately, is your personal hangup. Get over it and learn to take religious pontification for what it is and you'll soon realize it doesn't affect you in the least.

But it does, public financing of those belief runs counter to liberty.

However, different people draw that value from different sources and it is not for you or I to declare religion as an invalid source and to deny practice of such to any public official, whether in their job or not.

Correct, until you want to use your position of public trust, to repress others beliefs.

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 7:03 PM

All of those (very vague) examples are in direct violation of the constitution! That is the very basis of the discussion - a fundamental understanding of what the constitution does and does not allow. Any public official who behaves in such a matter should be removed from office. The challenge is to get a majority of the voting public to understand and vote their values. The fault does not lie with the officials, it lies with the voters! There is no need to tolerate such abuse.

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#71
In reply to #69

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 9:49 PM

Very good more common ground.

How do you feel about proportional allocation of electorial college votes?

this is an issue that may be a proposition here soon. I support anything that would make my vote more potentially meaningful in a presidential election. winner take all negates the possibility of a 3rd party even winning a vote or so.

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#72
In reply to #71

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 12:06 AM

Excellent question! I'm going to jump to the bottom before our posts are only a single character wide!

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#133
In reply to #56

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 5:57 PM

"We don't have better people"?

The back lash of so much liberal (in the Hollywood sense) education and entertainment is a generation of conservative kids. As my oldest son graduated some time back with a masters in business economics, I was struck by all the grads being so clean cut and anxious to get out and start life. I worked at a University research lab for 20 yrs and hired plenty of students, they also gave me hope. In response to the attack on a rsons right to self defense, millions on millions of guns were sold, ammunition stock piled, components and reloading equipment purchased, the NRA grew by millions, the right to carry has passed in 40 or so states plus the castle doctrine has passed in several states and looks to gain in many more, all to benefit the individual. Governments work the other way, disarm the unwashed masses, millions have paid the price with their life for that problem. With the increase in arms there has been a steady decrease in violence in the US. The UK has had the opposite experience. And by the way, why do Australians oil their lawns? Keep their guns from rusting. John Lott's study turned book, "More guns, less crime" has been peer reviewed to death when the original study came out and stood up. One item that stood out to back up his study was the homicides by guns per capita in the blue states were 12.2 (or12.4? memory aaarrrg) and the red states 2.4 or there about. I remember a national geographic in the early 80's I wish I had kept, that had a group of women, 20 or so, all holding guns of one sort or another, furnished by the government because guerrillas had been coming out of the mountains and raping & beating them. After they were armed it all stopped. Same in Dade county Florida before and after the right to carry was passed. Crimes against women dropped dramatically. The NRA sent instructors down to hold training sessions and expected 4-500 to show up. Close to 6000 showed up and the chief of police said later he was never so concerned when that many showed up with guns for training in how to use them safely. The Cowboy action sport has attracted thousands that practice by shooting 100,000 rds a year and these are the ones that participate, thousands more buy and shoot reproductions of the old guns for the fun of it. This is not counting all the other shooting sports involving 10s of thousands more. Whole industries have sprung up just to support the cowboy shooters with period CLOTHES, SHOES and all the trinkets. Arms for small shooters (kids-teens) have come on the market in greater numbers. I heard a rumor of a gay group called the pink pistols, do they exist?

I mention all this to make a point, these are by in large conservative people. Also as the UN pushes the US to sign the anti small arms treaty, all this is growing. The NRA has a rep in the UN meetings on small arms and is very good at getting the word out on who supports this and who doesn't. To me gun control is the litmus test for all other general opinions a candidate may have because it says they trust the unwashed masses with GUNS. Who doesn't trust the serfs is the media in general. That is the problem and the cure. If anyone should be required to know everything there is to know about the constitution, bill of rights and swear an oath to tell the truth and nothing but as humanly possible is the media. They are the truth seekers that make government transparent. They let the masses know a persons record, where the pork is, who is influencing who, it's our government. Everything that isn't in the interest of keeping our nation safe is fair game. I don't know if there is a site that is a one stop info center on our government but there should be. Who's in it, whats their back ground, voting record, law suites, lobbies paid by who, for what. City, state and national. What legislation is being voted on or soon to be voted on with an attached impact statement and sunset period so if it works, give it another 5 tears if it doesn't it goes away. Judges included and how to get rid of ones that don't have the peoples best interest in mind or undermines the basic constitution and bill of rights that make this nation different. So different we have to build fences and turn away thousands.

The media needs the clean up, then we can tell what's what. If a site was made what method could be found to find the culprits of lies and expose them? At the very least a group of people as ourselves that more than likely use the scientific method to find the truth, is peer reviewed, expanded on, improved so it becomes a self correcting system. Only the pursuit of truth can get you close. Anybody know a representative willing to introduce the truth in reporting act that outlines the peoples expectations and punishments. I think they came out lower than politicians for telling the truth in a recent poll or study, maybe someone remembers.

That's my fix, it can be done, just focus on the reporters to do their job, clarity brings satisfaction.

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#134
In reply to #133

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 6:20 PM

Can I get a "hallelujah", brothers and sisters!

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#141
In reply to #134

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/08/2007 7:34 PM

Hallelujah and Amen!

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#136
In reply to #133

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 7:22 PM

So, let me see Wheeling-Arachnoid, in this thread you are in support of Gun Rights, or the Second Admendment, and licensing of journalists.

I'm reminded of my saying, "The Democrats say, We Love You, but we want your guns." And, "The Republicans say, We hate you, but you can keep your gun."

I don't know where Press Passes are much needed or advertised on the headband, as they were in the past in the US, other than say the UN, or Washington. From a Constitutional point of view your hope for licensing of Journalists would conflict with the First Admendment.

People with common sense do then to do things in order, and it is no surprise Free Speech and The Right to Bear Arms are the First, and Second Admendments.

Regardless of the order, the two Rights already part of the US Government require similiar considerations. However there are distinct differences.

Luxury Enemies just say bad things about you, or to you. Real enemies shoot or stab you, or figure out how to make you poor.

I'm all for the unlicensed free speecher, and have some reservations about who ought to have a gun, frankly. -and I've got a gun, it's not much of a gun, but I like having it. The cops took my other gun, and I never got it back, even though the charges of having a concealed weapon, and some pot, were dismissed.

I don't give a damn about statistics, Machievelli in The Prince, says it all when he asks, "What makes you think an armed man, will submit to the will of an unarmed man?"

Man, I was proud when I had a Press Pass, but I tell you you really ought not have to be licensed to be a reporter. If I get hit with some words, and I really don't like them, I can bring a suit in court for libel, and if you don't think the "media" is telling the truth about you, you can take them to court according to US Law.

If I get hit with a bullet, and the wound is fatal, my Right to Free Speech is seriously affected.

And what the hell, who hires journalists, and who hires soldiers, makes politicians and editors responsible as things are.

Funny how you have a right to a gun, but it's a privelige to drive a car these days? Day in and day out, what do you need more? I really don't understand why International Law and agreements don't apply to Mexican "Tourists" -who overstayed something, who are still Mexicans or whatever, don't have licenses from where they are apparently still citizens.

Some of government is simple Bureaucracy, and for my country I want the most efficient and uncorruptable and proud Bureaucrats ever, as a Corp, with Esprit de Corps about how they help people get things done.

Garthh somewhere spoke of Techocrats, and Technocracy, which I would much prefer over Theocracy.

As far as your post, I am off the hook in the Thread since I have said along that you cannot make a better government, they have all been made, but you can recognize how the experiments have turned out in the past, and expect that is what is likely in the future.

Our present is short.

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#137
In reply to #136

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 8:25 PM

I don't think he's proposing government licencing of journalists, more of a professional certification, much like the Professional Engineer's stamp. You can still practice engineering without a stamp, but having PE behind your name certainly increases your credibility, in certain instances. The journalistic certification could work much the same way, administered solely within the profession. No 1st amendment muss or fuss and would certainly fall under the heading of "responsible journalism". There would be no issue of "licenced" or "un-licensed" free speech, just an elevation of the standard of excellence within the profession. We wouldn't trust a bridge built by an un-certified engineer, why should we trust reporting done by an un-certified journalist? I think it's a great idea.

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#139
In reply to #137

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 11:13 PM

Certification(s) are nice, just because you can pass the test, doesn't mean you can do the work. I want my bridge designed by a engineer, who has a track record of proven success on similar projects. @ the very least a record increasingly complex projects, that would lead me to believe there is a likely hood of success. Designing the bridge is only 1/2 the job, can the engineer interact w/the construction company?

In news, the reporter must be able to gather the facts & have a balanced presentation. I can accept commentary, but it should be noted IMHO

who does a good job? that's the question?

who presents all the facts, in an impartial fashion?

which organization(s) presents news, not stories or commentary?

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#138
In reply to #133

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/06/2007 10:39 PM

Much of the traditional media, are owned by large corporations & have some built in conflicts.

Liberal or conservative, hard to say. corporate most definitly!

Entertainment is certainly liberal.

Technocrat, I'll define the term: A politican or bureacrat who acts in a skillful & professional manner, making informed decisions to benefit the greater good within the existing construct(s).

On guns, it makes sense to keep firearms out of the hands of citizens who have proven themselves unworthy of that right & to limit or prohibit more serious weapons [grenades, rocket launchers, artillary & large automatic weapons]. It's probably pointless to ban semiauto as there's tons of them out there. Guns are fun, dangerous, but fun.

Can we design a better government?

An entire government? no

Can we improve what we have? Yes

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#142
In reply to #133

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

12/08/2007 9:12 PM

Please put me down for 1 hallelujah, 1 amen and 1 damn straight!

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/21/2007 11:35 PM

You would be surprised a what a relative handful of civilians equipped with only small arms and the courage of their convictions can accomplish. WMD's will never extinguish the spirit of freedom. I dare say that if the military really did ever turn those weapons upon a group of civilians, no matter how set on insurrection they may be, the backlash from the general populace would be staggering. Positive incremental change was not the midwife of this nation. The citizens of this country are some of the most patient and tolerant in the world, but they do have their breaking point, and when push comes to shove, they do take their liberties very seriously. Water Buffalo and his family are not alone in their preparations.

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 9:50 AM

If it's really that hopeless, why are you still hanging around & talkin' about it?

any suggestions for what we can do, to make things better, short of armed insurrection?

This is not a discussion about the end of times!

Please try to offer positive suggestions about how the management of our shared resources could better be utilized. Freedom being 1 of those resources.

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#43
In reply to #40

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 2:05 PM

I did not say it was hopeless, only that history has shown us where this path intimately leads. I'm still here talking precisely because I do not believe the cause to be hopeless. I gave you my very specific positive suggestions in post #14, you did not like them but failed to rise to the challenge to offer any of your own. Your observations of the current deficiencies are accurate, but you seem to be focused only on the problem and poo-poo any proposed solution as unworkable within the current system. But as you have pointed out yourself, the current system is broken. The only logical answer is to strip back to basics either willingly or through force. You seem to want a "can't we just all get along" solution. Great, so do I. What are your ideas for achieving that? Armed revolution is nowhere near "end of times". I realize that you started this thread, but to try to pigeon-hole the discussion to only answers that don't leave a sour taste in your mouth does a disservice to the discussion and all readers; it flys in the face of any notion of freedom. All topics discussed thus far are extremely pertinent to your original question. Don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 2:34 PM

Give them candidates and issues that are worth-a-damn. How do we do that? Remove the power from Washington DC and place it back at the state and local level where people can have control over their own lives and well-being. (Far to much minutia is dictated from on high by Congress; we are rapidly approaching a fascist state.) How do we accomplish that? Re-read and follow the Constitution to the letter,

are these the suggestions?

We can't get along or we wouldn't need a government!

Local control is a great concept until you don't share you neighbors views on what that control means

if I have a coal fired power plant & you live downwind, will you support my right to pollute @ will?

We should stop using taxes [or lack off ] to encorage short sided behaviour.

Consumption[sales] & value added Taxes should be the primary revenues, tax money spent, not money saved.

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#46
In reply to #43

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 2:46 PM

I like your signature.

& the jefferson quote further back.

other than entropy nothing is certain

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#47
In reply to #43

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 3:30 PM

I vote absentee & have permanent absentee status.

I can always vote no matter what's happening to me personally or professionally

My wife & I sit down & talk about the issues & candidates

this way seems to make it easier to make an informed decision

the downside is you can vote too early & not know some important info

The ballot we use in this county are scantron type, you fill it out w/a #2 pencil & its read by machine, looks similar to ibm cards for easy handing by machine.

low error rate, simple tabulation

IMHO better than touch screens

should be widely implemented, along w/permant absentee status

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#45
In reply to #38

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 2:43 PM

Hi CSM Engineer.

I agree with you, I have experienced what a few determined people are capable of. As you said, if any government used a nuclear weapon against such people then there would be a major outcry and possibly ignite a civil uprising by normally quiet and liberal people.

Spencer.

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#32

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/20/2007 9:07 PM

Can you vote?

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#41
In reply to #32

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 10:53 AM

Good point Hero. I've gotten depressed about where my vote seems to go though. You have to admit it takes a good deal of courage to run for elective office. Whenever I complain or congradulate elected officials, I try to keep in mind they had the courage to run, and I didn't.

Garthh asked us, if we could create a "better government". To do so we need to collect the working parts of the government we have, and subtract, and add parts.

For the experiment I suggest we disregard any particular nation, and attempt to design a World Government.

In this way we might come to create a system both encumbered by issues of equavalence to "states rights", and universal issues of purely human distinction.

The vote is certainly nice to have, until it becomes the equavalent of mob rule.

The role of leadership is always in tension with laws and the system, for some in positions of power come of machinactions such as the use of the Supreme Court to put our current US Executive Branch in power betray a disbelief in founding principles, and some corruption of what is good about the system, which was designed to prevent mob rule, but has served to advance oligarchy due to the law of unintended consequences.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 11:18 AM

Thanks Trans,

Any second now we're going to devolve into name calling

let's not get to bogged down with the large esoteric issues, just some nuts & bolts

If every week you had to vote, would you do it?

Something along the lines of informatoinal polls for our representatives.

questions posted in advance & actual vote after say 1 week.

Vote & get your next weeks home work.

Start w/local issues: zoning fer instance maybe an online forum in conjunction, so the sides could present their info.

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#48
In reply to #42

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/22/2007 11:32 PM

It is a large project to design a government. Seems to me Democracy exists up through the County Governments where I live, and have lived, but once it is State and Federal you had better have money to buy influence.

What's wrong with saying the US has at the Federal Level become an Oligarchy?Seems to me it was a small group of people that got the US to go to war in Iraq, and that in the US it is a small group of people who set their agendas and say anyone who disagrees is either a traitor, or Godless. (Half the time those who say they are Christians seem to misunderstand that Jesus demarked the New Testament, and reduced the Commandants to Two from the 10. The 10 work pretty well for the Jews, and the local Babtists.)

Doing unto others as you would have done to you works ethically in the commons whether or not you have "Faith". You can create a pretty horrible world from the teachings of the Old Testament.

Let us list forms of governments and their pros and cons, then, as if they are nuts and bolts. Let us then measure which work locally and globally and would be satisfying to all competing peoples.

In alphabetical order: Anarchy, Communism, Democracy, the Dictatorship (or Stalinism), Facisim, Kleptocracy, Monarchy, Oligarchy, The Republic, Socialism, and Theocracy.

Each of these governmental theories and systems, exists in the world today. Which is more sucessful? -And by "successful" I mean providing security and liberty for men and women in conjunction with a generally decent standard of living.

Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands impress me. Sometimes it is all like sports where it truly does amount to "How you play the game."

I heard awhile back John Edwards was studying the causes of poverty.

Corruption and War cause poverty.

Under good government people are not so desperate as to be corrupt, or the government so desperate that it has to start a war to bring the nation together.

If you want to have a war, the war to declare positively is for Womens Rights internationally. Don't wait, go fight those that rape and mutilate.

If you want to be a spy always at war, fight to elimanate weapons of mass destruction.

If I ever get over being a lonely disconnected anarchist, with some technocratic bureaucrats that believe in financing schools with the tax money first, I'd ask the donors if they were in agreement about how to defend the schools.

The problem with Home Schooling is that your parents can only teach you what they know, and now what you may need to know. It only works up to a certain point.

When we look around the world and wonder what governments are best, we have to recognize that in the end, the written system is not the permanent determining factor.

Some Monarchys are better places to live than some so called democracies. My suggestion is then that regardless of the governmental system, from top to bottom the golden rule is applied by all, and women are equal under the law.

In creating a world government one must keep in mind that it will have to transcend overall, and be not to quick to insult other systems, except when they insult human rights, and specifically the rights of women.

My study of the US Civil War led me to say it was a war over women, since the Southern men, owned White Women, and Black Women, and didn't want to give that up, if they had it, or had the prospect of it.

Technocracy, might be something to invent? Voting is a nut, or a bolt?

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#51

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/24/2007 6:22 PM

P.S. Last Time I wrote up a government I just took the Alcoholics Anonomyous Traditions and rewrote them applied to a government, for a nation. Basically do one thing for one group well, and leave everybody else alone to do what they will.

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#70

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/26/2007 7:27 PM

I dropped in and read everything on the thread.

Since Morality is in the Mind of the Believer, the "Faithful" and has been cause for drownings and burning at the stake, I judge it as not recommended with influence over Civil Government, or The Commons.

In the Commons, for instance, Adultery, does not concern me.

Frankly, "Taking the Lords name in vain." as simply saying Yahweh, or GD! does not affect my tax rate or where the money goes for the Civilian Infrastructure.

In your search, that I certainly share, for the perfect government, for imperfect creatures, I hope you will measure morality to ethics and defer always to ethics, which are actually more moral in the end of our study.

The second time election of Bush, really has been for the international community enough to cause a devaluation of the dollar, that points to failures mounting up in time wasted that was not affordable.

I am hopeful, since Water Buffalo was lucid, and the golden rule was invoked.

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#73

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 12:42 AM

(In reply to post #71)

First, I wholeheartedly support the concept of the Electoral College. While born of a compromise largely concerning how to count slaves in southern states, it is essential to the preservation of the federal nature of The United States. The Constitution quite correctly leaves it to the individual states to determine how electoral votes are allocated to candidates. This is one of the few remaining examples of local control and should be guarded jealously. That being said, it is quite within any state's power to move to a proportional allocation (or any other method) of votes if they so wish. It is certainly the most representative of the popular vote (compared to the Maine method) and, as you correctly state, the best chance a third party has to make a difference. It certainly passes the "feel good" test and will make voters feel as if their vote counts. The down side, and it is a HUGE down side, is now the voters of such a state have given up their real power - the ability to vote as a block and influence the national election. No state with such a system will ever be a "swing" state and will rapidly loose the interest of candidates during campaigns. The effect will be to give less populous states an even greater per capita electoral influence than the current system. (As an aside, I do believe that the current system that gives less populous states an edge in the electoral college to be a good thing; it helps to prevent the "tyranny of the majority" to a certain extent.) Colorado voters realized this and rejected a proposition in 2004 that would have moved the state to a proportional elector. If enough large states moved to such a system you could well see candidates campaigning only in small states! One plan I cannot support is the Interstate Compact. That would pervert the notion of the electoral college far beyond anything it was intended to be.

So, as an end result does proportional allocation make your vote more meaningful? I'm not sure. It certainly makes it more visible, but I think it also makes it less influential. It is not such a black and white issue. It's now not just about making votes count, it's about how they count. As I said, this is a perfect issue that is correctly left to each state to decide for themselves what role they want to play in national elections. I'll share this with you: if California passes a proportional allocation proposition, every conservative in the country will be smiling the next day.

Does any of that add any new thoughts to the issue for you? I will certainly be watching this issue in California with interest. This is democracy at work in the right way! The most important thing to remember (I think) is that the whole idea of The United States of America is a continually evolving social experiment. If California tries this and is not happy, they can change it! If Congress had made the decision, they'd be stuck. That is the beauty of our federal heritage - self determination!

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 2:18 AM

The electorial college & senators are both fundamental parts of the constitution. Both protect against the tyranny of the majority. I realize the net effect will be a few more republican electorial votes. The republicans continue to show their true colors, no different than the democrats, just in the pocket of different special interests.

I welcome true conservatives. who will actually balance a budget, w/out floating a bunch of bonds, for future generations to pay for! I vote against every bond unless there is a defined, stable & verifiable revenue stream can be put in place!

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#75
In reply to #74

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 2:40 AM

"I welcome true conservatives. who will actually balance a budget, w/out floating a bunch of bonds, for future generations to pay for!"

Yeah, let me know if you find one. I think most are slowly becoming Libertarian. True fiscal conservatives are rare indeed!

On the topic of lobbyists and special interest groups, in your mind are they all no good, or only the ones tied to big business? Do groups like the Sierra Club or the NRA that are non-profit special interests focusing on real social issues as objectionable? If yes, why? If no, what sort of system could allow the "good" but reduce the influence of the "bad"? How and where would the good/bad line be drawn? I have been following your other thread about weekly voting/polling, and it occurs to me that we already have that type of influence if we choose to use it. Any one of us can call or write our representatives at any time about any topic we have concern about. Are the social-issue groups just an organized method of this process? Is it wrong that a group of people who care enough about an issue to do something should have more influence than the stay-at-homes? I don't have any answers here, but welcome your input.

I know this may be going off topic, but tell me, as a Libertarian/Anarchist, what do you think of the Libertarian platform as it relates to Foreign Policy? I know it is consistent with Libertarian values, but can the world's greatest economic power afford to be isolationist? At least, that is how I understand Libertarian foreign policy to boil down. What are your thoughts?

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#76
In reply to #75

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 2:23 PM

I think isolation is not possible or even advisable

We are a major military & economic power, no going back, especially economically.

I don't think we should be the worlds police force, but we should be involved & engaged in efforts to promote peace.

Everyone should be able to advocate for their interests. Having paid professionals is a natural extension of this. I'm a member of a couple special interest groups my level of participation varies, depending on the issue & the amount of time I have to devote. Election finance reform, I don't know what form? McCain fiengold had promise, loopholes made the cure worse than the problem. Businesses or industries tend to have an advantage due to the amount of resources at their disposal.

one of My goals w/this & the voting thread was to explore ways to help our representatives do the best job possible. I don't think the problem is the overall structure, like everything the devil is in the details!

The title is probably more provocative than descriptive

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#77
In reply to #76

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 3:40 PM

"I don't think we should be the worlds police force, but we should be involved & engaged in efforts to promote peace."

Does that include promoting democracy and human rights (as we see them) or are we out of line to impose (maybe too strong of a word, but you get my meaning) these values on the rest of the world?

"I don't think the problem is the overall structure, like everything the devil is in the details!"

How true...

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 3:59 PM

I think we should enable democracy, no matter how you feel about jimmy carter he's @ least making an effort documenting the level of freedom in elections.

We should be a part of a body (UN) to deter gross human rights violations [death, torture...]

I think the UN could use a bit of going over also.

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#79
In reply to #78

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 4:05 PM

"I think the UN could use a bit of going over also."

That could be the biggest understatement of the whole thread!

Thank you for your observations, I have enjoyed reading both threads and look forward to more!

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#80

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/27/2007 11:24 PM

Garthh, CSM,

I'm assuming you both are subscribed to this thread. I have been out of the loop for a couple of days (see my bio), and have just read to the end of the thread. I must confess to a certain ignorance regarding the specific workings of the electoral college. Is there a resource that you could recommend to me to become more familiar with the system and the possible implications of the different proposals for improvement.

Secondly, and this question may stem from my aforementioned ignorance, would it be feasible or even desireable with the technology we have today, to make national elections a direct referendum. Why or why not? This question assumes a much stronger system of local control has been restored.

wb

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/28/2007 12:06 AM

Water Buffalo-

Welcome back and congratulations! All ten fingers and toes I hope?

You are not alone - the electoral college is a very poorly understood aspect of our constitution. Since you've read my posts, you have a general idea of my opinions on the matter, so I will refrain from further possibly coloring your opinions until you've had fair chance to educate yourself on the matter.

I would recommend going to the horse's mouth first off; Article 2, Section 1 of the US Constitution. The 12th Amendment is also relevant. After that check the Wiki entry here. It's Wiki, and not well cited (as usual) so take it for what it is, but it is surprisingly comprehensive and depending on which aspects pique your interest, you can research from there.

Have fun and when you feel you have a handle on it, I'll be happy to barrage you with my opinions on the college and discuss your question about direct referendum.

Veritas vos Liberabit!

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#83
In reply to #81

Re: Can We Design A Better Government?

11/28/2007 7:59 PM

No. It was not time yet. I was working some long hours. Maybe I'll post a thread to announce.........naaahhhhh! Thanks for the links. I'll get back to you on the electoral college thing this weekend, hopefully. Assuming I'm not in the L&D ward at Mary Washington.

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