The Nature of our Government

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The Nature of our Government

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Behavior is a good way to assess things, not what rhetoric you hear but what they do. I looked at the Treasury budget to see. I like this one because it shows what they actually spend, not something else. About 12% is Treasury debt, used to finance the Government. 19% is military. We need some capability to defend ourselves and our less armed allies. Between Health and Human Services, combined with Social Security we have 45%. Broadly speaking, that is without digging around to see a bunch of details, 45% of our Government's expenditures are for entitlements and social programs.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby dai bread » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Our govt. makes about 50% of its expenditure on social services, including health at about 15%. Defence is 2%, and education 15%.

If you're horrified at that defence figure, remember that I've been saying for years that being the world's policeman will bankrupt you.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:04 pm

Image

[insert your own caption here]
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Shapley » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:06 pm

The figures I've seen show entitlements at 58% to 61%, depending on the classification of 'entitlement'. Some include things such as interest on the federal debt as an 'entitlement', and some do not.

The figures I've seen, however, are for budgeted spending, not actualy spending. Actual spending would include 'off budget items', and would likely push the entitlement allowance lower. I believe all 'entitlement' spending is in the budget.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:19 am

Michael S. Malone: Why Can’t We Do Big Things Any More?

There was a time – was it just a generation ago? – when Americans were legendary for doing vast, seemingly superhuman, projects: the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo Missions, Hoover Dam, the Manhattan Project, the Normandy invasion, the Empire State Building, Social Security.

What happened? Today we look at these achievements, much as Dark Age peasants looked on the mighty works of the Roman Era, feeling like some golden age has passed when giants walked the Earth. Even when we can still see the aged survivors of that era sunning themselves outside the local convalescent home – or sitting down with us for family holiday dinner – it’s hard not believe that there was once something larger-than-life about them that they failed to pass on to us. . . . We no longer build the world’s tallest buildings – other countries do. We no longer reaching towards the moon – other countries are. And when we do attempt something big – universal health care, alternative energy, improved educational standards, mass transportation – the initiative inevitably snarls up in bad planning, corruption, political pay-offs, lack of leadership, impracticality and just sheer incompetence. The comparatively tiny Lincoln Administration managed to win the Civil War, open up the Great Plains through the Homestead Act, and kick off construction of the transcontinental railroad. . .all in four years.


IMHO I think that back then we had a leadership class that wanted America to be successful.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Shapley » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:42 am

I've lamented that for some time. When we talk about 'high speed rail' that goes 100 MPH, I have to laugh. We were doing 100 MPH 100 years ago, with steam engines. Other countries, most notably Eastern ones, are going three times that fast.

We've given way to 'internationalism', and lost the competitive spirit. When the Soviets launched Sputnick, it spurred a space race. Nowadays, we have no such competitive drive, just a sort of national surrender as we all sit around and bemoan the glory days.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby analog » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:12 pm

that's an interesting observation. We sent most everyone to college and things got worse?

One of the German engineers who built that mag-lev train in China, and in only two years, said as he stepped off its maiden run: "In Europe we'd still be counting owls."

You'd enjoy Eric Hoffer's later books, he writes a lot about such questions.

One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men.

Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 60 (1973)


Kids need to be brought up to do things for themself. This instills a "can do " attitude later in life.
Eldest daughter, at around fifteen , spent an afternoon with her brothers putting brakes on their old car. She announced at dinner, holding up mildly battered fingers with fresh red polish, "We did brakes on all four wheels and I only broke one nail !"
My proudest day......

The confidence and self esteem that comes from doing practical stuff is i think what is missing.
Why else would the elites be so terrified of Sara Palin ?

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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby dai bread » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:50 pm

"...and submit to the tutelage of medicine men."

I see this almost daily in the reef-fish-like responses to things like Wikileaks and anything endorsed by a television personality.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:03 pm

The 2010 reapportionment numbers are out today, and it’s hard not to see the subsequent redistricting as a significant boon for the GOP, especially given the overwhelming gains that Republicans made at the state level in the midterms. Have a look:

States Gaining Seats: Arizona (+1), Florida (+2), Georgia (+1), Nevada (+1), South Carolina (+1), Texas (+4)!!! (and republicans have a super majority in the Texas legislature), Utah (+1), and Washington (+1).

States Losing Seats: Illinois (-1), Iowa (-1), Louisiana (-1), Massachusetts (-1), Michigan (-1), Missouri (-1), New Jersey (-1), New York (-2), Ohio (-2), and Pennsylvania (-1).
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Shapley » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:03 pm

There seems to be a sort of mass movement from Democrat states to Republican ones. That would be good news, if they left their liberalism behind when they moved. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:24 pm

Tell me about it. Austin is dead blue and Dallas is purple
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:19 pm

[url=http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/local/school-sends-home-permission-slips-for-pledge-of-allegiance-20101222]School sends home permission slips for Pledge of Allegiance
[/url]

The school now says permission isn't needed for student to recite the Pledge.[shakes head icon]
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby dai bread » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:21 pm

What happens if foreigners on a temporary posting, say 5 years or so send their child to a U.S. school? Is the child required to recite an oath of allegiance to a country he won't be a citizen of? Diplomatic and company staff come to mind.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby jamiebk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:40 pm

dai bread wrote:What happens if foreigners on a temporary posting, say 5 years or so send their child to a U.S. school? Is the child required to recite an oath of allegiance to a country he won't be a citizen of? Diplomatic and company staff come to mind.

I don't think the recitation is mandatory...
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby piqaboo » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:02 pm

stand politely, face the flag, keep mouth shut,
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:00 pm

Scalia: Constitution does not protect women against discrimination



Justice Antonin Scalia has weighed in on the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, leaving women's rights activists seething.

In an interview with California Lawyer, Scalia said that the Constitution itself does not protect women and gay men and lesbians from discrimination. Such protections are up to the legislative branch, he said.

In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don't think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we've gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?

Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. ... But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that's fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't. Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box.

You don't like the death penalty anymore, that's fine. You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. That's what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.


He does have a way with saying interesting things. IMHO I believe he's correct. The Federal government has supplanted states rights and this state of affairs will have to be addressed eventually, hopefully in my lifetime (30+ years?) :D
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Shapley » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:15 pm

The courts have devised a method of 'finding' things in the Constitution that apparently were overlooked for over a century. The have also devised rules regarding 'precedents' that say that, once a ruling has been handed down regarding such things, those rulings have equal weight to the original document. Thus, bad decisions are hard to reverse because they become 'grandfathered in', even in their infancy.

This is why Democrats fought so hard to keep Judge Bork off the court, just as they do any nominee who shows a preference for the letter of the law over the decisions of judges past.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby jamiebk » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:55 pm

the constitution is a framework for establishing a govenment no more. It needs to be broad and general
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby Shapley » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:44 pm

I rather think it is a foundation upon which a nation is built. It needs to be strong and inflexible, in order to stand up to the weight built upon it. Weaken it, and the whole structure is weakened.
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Re: The Nature of our Government

Postby analog » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:39 pm

it's mighty straight thinking went into the constitution.
It is a set of fundamental principles which, if adhered to, will keep less straight thinkers out of trouble. Just like the ten commandments.

Modify such things at your own peril.

intellectually i'm a low level plodder . But i have had occasion to be in company of real thinkers and recognize it when i see it.
Forty years ago, as a newbie engineer i happened to pick up a magazine for electric utility executives. One guest editorial made statement "Spare me these young know-it-all kids who want to change everything." Kinda set me back a little...

today i appreciate the etymology of the word "sophomoric". It's a compound word, first part from sophis, "wise" and second from "moros", moron or fool.
Function: adjective
Date: 1813
1 : conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature <a sophomoric argument>

..............there's a lot of that going around these days.....

Better absorb "Federalist Papers" and "Five Thousand Year Leap" before tweaking the constitution.

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