Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by thirdcatmusic »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:03 am
I love American people..but why are you allowing the powers of the judiciary and legislature be diminished??1? Stop being stupid cunts.
many of us in the US feel the same as you do. but there doesn't seem to be much we can do about it. hopefully enough people bother voting for Biden in November to end this nightmare but I'm not taking it for granted. (the good news is if the election were held today I'm pretty sure Trump would lose ... then of course we have to wonder how Trump would react to that. graciously seems off the table.)
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

"Are we doing much to justify being such a prominent world presence or are we a nation not to be trusted". I don't see why we should be trusted. I've felt that way since Iraq.

As for people hopefully voting for Biden this year, I mean we'd at least have a competent administrator in office if he won. But I feel like we're stayed so far from "business as usual" that even having an old guard politician in office like him wouldn't make things normal again. If the general public wanted "status quo" politicians, I doubt Trump would have won in the first place.

That being said, how come the best opposition to Trump the Democratic party can muster is a guy so closely connected to the heart of the impeachment trial. Like seriously, the whole point of the impeachment was Trump asking Zelensky to investigate shady business dealing's of Biden's son. And while we all know that Trump's a shady bastard, the whole process kind of made the Bidens look sketchy too.

So it turns into "an unpredictable, incompetent leader who's definitely sketchy" vs "an old school guy with some questionable history". I'll probably hold my nose and vote for Biden regardless, but come on Dems, can we have someone just a little more inspiring please?!
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by crumpart »

thirdcatmusic wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:21 am
Caravan Ray wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:03 am
I love American people..but why are you allowing the powers of the judiciary and legislature be diminished??1? Stop being stupid cunts.
many of us in the US feel the same as you do. but there doesn't seem to be much we can do about it. hopefully enough people bother voting for Biden in November to end this nightmare but I'm not taking it for granted. (the good news is if the election were held today I'm pretty sure Trump would lose ... then of course we have to wonder how Trump would react to that. graciously seems off the table.)
(Please note, anytime I say or imply “you” here, it’s the general “you”. All youse.)

I think that part of it in general is that as Australians, we have to vote. It’s mandatory. And to be honest, it’s not a huge fine if you don’t vote, but because it’s mandatory we learn about its importance early on. In my high school we were taught that voting is not a right, it’s a responsibility. If we want to live in a democratic country, we HAVE to have our say about government, and if we don’t like the people running for government, we can put our own hand up. The thing that bothers me most about elections in other countries, particularly the US, is the amount of time, effort and money that’s spent just trying to get people to vote at all (or, on the other hand, the amount of money and effort trying to prevent people from voting). I try not to get angry often, but when I see Americans online spouting off about how they’re not going to vote because apparently all the candidates are just the same anyway, I want to magically reach through my computer screen and slap them silly. Fucking vote Jaysus, if not for yourselves, for the rest of us who are drastically affected by your government but can’t actually do anything about it.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by thirdcatmusic »

I won't say anything else here because I find political discussions so frustrating and songfight is a great place to leave all that behind but I'll say I totally agree with you crumpart. I do hope folks in other countries realize that some of us here are not insane and we understand how important it is to vote out Trump. Biden is a saint compared to him. an absolute saint.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Lunkhead »

Re: voting here in US, there are some big factors which, IMHO, have gotten us here. I think the big ones are racism, and corruption (in the government and in the media).

Sadly I think racism is what is uniting the super rich Republican leadership with they're base. People believe the white Republican leaders are on their side and will protect them against the non-white people. This is constantly being played up by Republican leadership and the right wing media. Classic divide and conquer tactics, convincing poor white people that rich people are not the enemy, the poor non-white people are the enemy.

As far as corruption goes, at least at the federal legislative level, a study has shown there is literally zero correlation between a senator/congressperson doing what their constituents want and that person being reelected. I think that is representative (haha) of the broader problem. For more info on that, check out these folks:

https://represent.us/

Republicans have been working for decades to disenfranchise voters and suppress voting, largely targeting poor/minority voters, since they traditionally vote for Democrats. With the help of the media they push the lie that they're actually trying to stop voting fraud, except, there is virtually no significant voting fraud:

https://prospect.org/civil-rights/voter ... elections/

Instead they pass all kinds of crap at all levels to keep people from voting:

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/23/65978427 ... alist-says
https://www.aclu.org/facts-about-voter-suppression

Plus there's been plenty of gerrymandering to try to make sure they hold on to any positions they get, basically forever.

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/27/ger ... ler-memos/

(Democrats gerrymander too, which is also bad.)

Then IMO the Democrats have spent several decades selling out their constituents to the same corporate interests that the Republicans largely also serve:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019 ... t-get-memo

So we've got the right wing party paying lip service to rabid nutjobs but actually serving the super rich, and the centrist status quo partying paying lip service to actual progress but actually serving the super rich. The rabid nutjobs go vote since they're basically a racist angry mob that's been stoked up and given torches and pitchforks. Then some of us turn out but understandably some folks are not motivated to turn out in droves to vote for the status quo party that intends to kill them to turn them to grist more slowly.

The Democratic National Council in particular is disgracefully corrupt and fights against any folks running as Democratic who aren't towing the party line, like Bernie Sanders, and like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who's now facing a bunch of _Democrats_ trying to unseat her: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/202 ... s-election ) even though those folks and their positions actually DO rally mass support.

Anyway, to sum up, we're getting it from both sides and at this point we may need a bloody revolution if we want systemic change. Folks are not exactly lining up to get their heads bashed in by the dozens of heavily militarized police agencies we have at the local, county, state, and federal levels, not to mention the numerous actual military agencies. So I'd say we're pretty well buggered. :(
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 10:56 am
"Are we doing much to justify being such a prominent world presence or are we a nation not to be trusted". I don't see why we should be trusted. I've felt that way since Iraq.
Yes - well the USA has never really been “trustworthy “, but since we are always on “your side” - we in Australia could always turn a blind eye to the military atrocities and be confident at least of being the lickspittles of a competent bully. It is the competence we miss.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Rone Rivendale »

Basically the last election was the vocal minority being the voting majority. Hopefully the last 4 years have taught the majority of good people that voting is VERY important, as it literally shapes how the world works for the next 4 years. I mean, I'm Democrat and even I don't like Hilary. But would we have significantly less covid deaths right now if she had won? 100% yes.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by irwin »

I live in California. I have voted in every presidential election since 1992 (the first I was of legal age). I cannot recall a single election in which my vote had any bearing on the outcome.

I was going to say _maybe_ Clinton in ’92, but I just looked it up, and nope that wasn’t close either.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by ujnhunter »

The biggest issue here is that Trump/Biden are the "best" these fucking parties can come up with... it's probably because it doesn't matter which one of them wins... the Left v Right doesn't exist... and everyone is too busy pointing fingers at each other to realize what's really happening here.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by grumpymike »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:03 am
I love American people..but why are you allowing the powers of the judiciary and legislature be diminished??1?
To answer your question: The founders envisioned an agrarian confederation of states ruled by a plutocratic republic. We have patched it to be a national direct democracy. And now we don't do either very well, and we've been running off of norms.

To elaborate-
The less democratic a position, the more power tends to be ceded toward it. The legislature has ceded power to the executive and judiciary. The executive has ceded power to the judiciary. Presidents and senators were not originally intended to be first-past-the-post popularity contests. There are valid reasons for those changes, but they have undesirable consequences when the system is not considered holistically.

It works in a somewhat similar way in state vs federal positions. Fewer people care about local government and would rather put all their hopes in a daddy figure on TV, so fewer people vote for local officials. The founders never wanted the president to be a high-profile position. Since we were the first nation with these ideas, other nations have since tried to improve on this with their president-prime minister dichotomy. Wouldn't a Trump/Clinton split have been delightful...ish? Let him bloviate and let her count beans. But I digress.

The founders wanted to make a republic that would last a very long time, so they made change difficult and openly acknowledged that they didn't want literally everyone to vote because you end up with pure id. Business and trade doesn't prosper in that climate, and freedom doesn't persist for thousands of years with a fast swinging pendulum. However, we've had internal and external existential threats that have required extraordinary action dubiously sanctioned by the constitution. The exception becomes the norm, the pendulum swings, and here we are.

"Why does more direct democracy cause such bad things in the USA? It works pretty well everywhere else." Well, we don't have a unified national identity or culture like other nations. The only thing we all can agree on is "don't tell me what to do". For perspective: the constitution's original amendments were all negative rights- what government can't do. A lot of modern constitutions have positive rights - what the government provides people. It's a beautiful idea that breaks down when states don't protect the vulnerable. Someone had to swoop in. It turns out you can't rely on local safety nets and people to help their neighbors when they don't know each other, or when their neighbor is a freed slave. And then there's the whole "are you truly free if you cannot afford health care?" class of question.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

grumpymike wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 8:00 pm
Caravan Ray wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:03 am
I love American people..but why are you allowing the powers of the judiciary and legislature be diminished??1?
To answer your question:
Good post. Thank you Mike for treating my angry rants with the respect they probably didn’t deserve. I shall respond with more detail when I get time with a proper keyboard - but I do think we have a lot of common ground here in a nerdy constitutional law way.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

grumpymike wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 8:00 pm
Caravan Ray wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:03 am
I love American people..but why are you allowing the powers of the judiciary and legislature be diminished??1?
To answer your question: The founders envisioned an agrarian confederation of states ruled by a plutocratic republic. We have patched it to be a national direct democracy. And now we don't do either very well, and we've been running off of norms.
OK - the very first and obvious response here that amazes all civilised people - your founding fathers did not envisage an agrarian confederation of fuckwits roaming around the joint with guns. This is the single point of insanity that the rest of the world cannot understand about the USA (if I may speak for all humanity - i think i can)

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Does not sound to me like your Founding Fathers wanted Billy Bob to wander down to the PiggyWigg packing heat

How the fuck did the USA let morons carry guns? The death rate in the USA from guns is appalling. How do sane people let this occur?

And now we now know the answer - you have elected Disinfectent Donny as your President.

What the fuck are you people going to do about it??

This concerns me greatly. I have a lot on money invested in American companies. And I am seeing me investments eroded by a fuckwit that i didn't vote for.

Fix it.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Lunkhead »

If I had to guess I'd say the current situation probably has something to do with money:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/elizabethm ... is-bigger/

Selling guns, selling protection, policing, etc. We're also the #1 weapon manufacturer in the world. A small group of white guys are making enough money off this to be able to pay enough to corrupt policy enough to perpetuate if not increase their money making.

Isn't that the reason for all our problems? :lol:
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by grumpymike »

With the caveat that I have the luxury of looking at this from a 30,000 ft view. I try not to care about politics anymore but I know all the players.

I'm going to try to avoid starting a gun debate. The one thing everyone loves more than guns is debating about whether people should own guns. "Don't tell me what I can't do! But also, let me tell you what to do."

The history behind this is actually really fascinating. Guns didn't become an identity signaling mechanism until somewhere in the last 60-70 years. Check out this podcast episode. It started with African Americans asserting their rights against prejudiced police - like most of our ills, it comes down to the original sin of slavery.
Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:26 am
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The technical argument generally boils down to:
1. The commas: is the latter part ("the right to bear arms") dependent upon the first part ("being necessary to the security")? It's not even a well-formed sentence!
2. Militia: Even if 1 meant that, did "militia" mean what it means today? Back then, supposedly, it meant a more nebulous populous.
3. Where to draw the line: How much regulation is "infringement"?
4. Who are we securing security from? Who are we protecting? What is a free State? Is state equal to government?

A lot of pro-gun folks read the amendment this way: "An armed populace, being necessary to ensure freedom of the State (against the tyranny of the government, like the one we just seceded from), the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:26 am
Does not sound to me like your Founding Fathers wanted Billy Bob to wander down to the PiggyWigg packing heat
This is true. They didn't live in this type of society - lots of social isolation and deterioration of local community. At the same time, Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It's a callous and long-term view. We all want a quick and easy solution, but is there one?

A lot of people find it offensive that a criminal could have a gun, but if we outlaw guns, then you cannot deter or defend against the criminal without being a criminal too. They also find it offensive that people want to regulate them as if they are the problem, but the majority of shootings don't happen around them or among people they know. Rural-urban divide.

Statistically, most shootings are in areas where people cannot trust law enforcement to protect them and they cannot trust their neighbors, and unfortunately it spreads like a contagious disease: gun ownership begets gun ownership. Are you going to tell those people they cannot protect themselves? How do you ensure safety? In fact: are you going to tell women they cannot have a weapon that equalizes them against men? It's easy to say we aren't going to have any guns in this wonderland to make things better for all of us, but that doesn't assure them as individuals. Without assured individuals, we can't get from point A to point B.

The pro-regulation argument usually pivots to "machine guns" and "assault rifles". Those are a kind of red-herrings. ("Assault" rifles are hunting rifles that look a little more badass to appeal to the common insecure man. None of them are fully automatic machine guns - we did ban those and you need a special license. Fun fact: you can buy a licensed one for about $10,000.) Most shootings are with handguns. High-profile mass shootings are with rifles and disproportionately impact middle-class white people. So, the pro-gun people accuse the pro-regulation people of being myopic or prejudiced. At this point, one option that is floated are smaller magazines or getting rid of semi-automatic weapons. The pro-gun people say that it's a slippery slope and that those are easily moddable things, and they won't solve shootings anyhow. The pro-regulation people want to do something and if you don't want to do anything that is directly related to the regulation of guns, then you are a callous redneck.

I know Australia had an amazing gun buyback thing - to get that to work here, you'd need 1) everyone to agree to trust the government (lol), 2) serious border security , 3) significant increase and cooperation in enforcement at all levels of government. Any territory that cannot eliminate guns completely makes their citizens targets. To the point: most if not all of our mass shootings have been in gun-free zones, and cities that ban guns have a lot of shootings. Australia, like the UK, is basically a gun free island.

Even if you solve guns, you have to consider knives, the 3D printed guns that are popping up, or whether the mass shooter-types would use bombs instead.

TBH I think mass shootings and handgun shootings are different problems with different causes. I am skeptical that we could do anything directly with guns to solve either at this point, so I would look at the primary causes of each: mental illness, poverty, lack of community, trust in law enforcement. The American psyche is sick and nobody wants to agree on how to fix that. Such questions are more difficult. Quick and easy with a side of fries, please, and super-size it!
Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:26 am
And now we now know the answer - you have elected Disinfectent Donny as your President.
Well, that's not really related to guns. In fact, he's made some regulations pertaining to guns. The thing is, the people that support him are OK with that as long as it is their guy doing it.

There's a great sense of dissatisfaction and fear that people who aren't like them have been selling them out. "Middle" America never wanted us to be the world's moral superpower and have been saying around the dinner table for years: "why are we spending money building roads in Iraq/etc and not here?". Our politicians have failed to explain the importance of this to them - how we are stopping tyrannical nations from taking global power, how we are ensuring lucrative trade policies, etc.
Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:26 am
What the fuck are you people going to do about it??
This is where I am going to purposefully say some controversial things.

I think the two-party political system may be a good thing. We have an unspoken agreement going: Democrats want to do something at the government level, Republicans claim that government doesn't work, Democrats ignore them and make bigger government, Republicans prove that government doesn't work, and Democrats fix it (hopefully). Rinse and repeat.

We are lucky that we didn't elect a competent authoritarian into the presidency. We elected an incompetent narcissist with authoritarian tendencies. The opposing party has made many promises about limiting the president's powers. If they keep those promises, then it was a good thing this buffoon came along otherwise we'd never fix the imbalance of powers. In other words: the two Americas are so afraid of each other that perhaps they might agree on limitations on government power, which is kind of how this great experiment started. (Trump's also caused Democrats to actually pay attention to local politics, and we have a record number of women as representatives. Sometimes a little bad causes a lot of good?)

In other words: Donald is like a vaccine: a weakened virus to train our immune system. If he doesn't give us autism, he'll (indirectly) make us immune to some democratic loopholes going forward... for a while.
Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:26 am
This concerns me greatly. I have a lot on money invested in American companies. And I am seeing me investments eroded by a fuckwit that i didn't vote for.
IMO things are probably going to get a lot worse before they get better. His idiocy was driving stocks upwards before this pandemic. Like I said in the other thread, the real problem is that we don't have a unified plan and we're all arguing about it. Like guns, we can't solve a pandemic cleanly if we can't all agree to do it at once at the same time.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by crumpart »

grumpymike wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 9:44 am
I know Australia had an amazing gun buyback thing - to get that to work here, you'd need 1) everyone to agree to trust the government (lol), 2) serious border security , 3) significant increase and cooperation in enforcement at all levels of government. Any territory that cannot eliminate guns completely makes their citizens targets. To the point: most if not all of our mass shootings have been in gun-free zones, and cities that ban guns have a lot of shootings. Australia, like the UK, is basically a gun free island.
What's even more amazing is that the gun buy-back scheme happened under possibly the worst, most damaging Prime Minister Australia has had in my lifetime. John Howard did so many things that have had just heartbreaking knock on effects all these years later. The gun buy-back is his saving grace. I still remember, in vivid detail, the exact spot where I was standing when I heard the news about the Port Arthur Massacre.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

crumpart wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:04 pm
grumpymike wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 9:44 am
I know Australia had an amazing gun buyback thing - to get that to work here, you'd need 1) everyone to agree to trust the government (lol), 2) serious border security , 3) significant increase and cooperation in enforcement at all levels of government. Any territory that cannot eliminate guns completely makes their citizens targets. To the point: most if not all of our mass shootings have been in gun-free zones, and cities that ban guns have a lot of shootings. Australia, like the UK, is basically a gun free island.
What's even more amazing is that the gun buy-back scheme happened under possibly the worst, most damaging Prime Minister Australia has had in my lifetime. John Howard did so many things that have had just heartbreaking knock on effects all these years later. The gun buy-back is his saving grace. I still remember, in vivid detail, the exact spot where I was standing when I heard the news about the Port Arthur Massacre.
Agree 100% Crumpart. Nailed it. And this feeds into my thoughts about the USA I hope to elaborate later. We had a truly awful government back then. A truly awful Prime Minister. A government that led us into an illegal invasion of Iraq. A government that backed the USA's demolition of the Kyoto Protocol. A government that allowed an Australian citizen be tortured by our ally - the USA. A truly appalling government that every Australian should hang their head in shame by having them been elected. Yet - even that complete pig-swill pack of complete aresewipes - when it came to the completely obvious notion that joe public probably doesn't need to heavily armed = even John Howard's pack of oxygen-stealing fucktards got it.


The world's largest economy and military power doesn't get it.

We are seeing the USA entering its Suez Crisis days. It is end of empire. But it is happening in a far more uncontrollable way than we said goodbye to the British Empire. At Suez - at leat we had Eisenhower put the British in their place. And we all moved under the USA umbrella. Now - we are all obviously moving under the Chinese umbrella - leaving the USA with it's dribbling idiot in our wake
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

grumpymike wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 9:44 am
I'm going to try to avoid starting a gun debate.
No - that wasn't my intention. There is no debate. That is sort of the point. That the USA has a "gun debate" - is part of that malaise I am pointing to here. There is no "gun debate". There is a sad country that allows its citizens to be killed why the rest of the world watches on in horror.

You said it in an earlier post:
"The founders envisioned an agrarian confederation of states ruled by a plutocratic republic"

Yep what is it - 250 year ago? Use-by date is gone.

The USA has become a sad parody of what Jefferson, Franklin etc envisaged.

You have royal families named "Clinton" or "Bush" or "Obama". You have Presidents who apparently can not be prosecuted. You have a public service where people may be sacked for no reason. You guys set the standard back in 1776. You are now falling badly behind. Time to update.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

grumpymike wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 8:00 pm

"Why does more direct democracy cause such bad things in the USA? It works pretty well everywhere else." Well, we don't have a unified national identity or culture like other nations. The only thing we all can agree on is "don't tell me what to do". For perspective: the constitution's original amendments were all negative rights- what government can't do. A lot of modern constitutions have positive rights - what the government provides people.
Not sure what you are talking about here. As far as I know - very few places have as much "direct democracy" as the USA. You guys even vote for your Fire Chiefs and shit don't you?!?! And I know of few countries with a less "unified national identity" than the USA!! USA!! "thank you for your US military service " fuckwits. Try telling a Welshman and a Scot that they have a "unified national identity" or a bloke from Mt Isa and an inner-city Melbournite.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

US Federal employee/public servant here: minor correction. Political appointees can be sacked for arbitrary reasons. Lower level hires are extremely difficult to fire unless they flagrantly break the law.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by Caravan Ray »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:18 am
US Federal employee/public servant here: minor correction. Political appointees can be sacked for arbitrary reasons. Lower level hires are extremely difficult to fire unless they flagrantly break the law.
Oh good! This stuff is really confusing me. (me- currently a local government public servant - but with extensive experience in the public service in both state and federal government). I am having trouble getting USA politics

So what is the deal with the sacking of the Inspectors General? Just recently this Steve Linick guy? I know nothing about him - but I assumed he was public servant? Does "public servant" mean the same to you as it does to me? What is a "political appointee"? To me - that means a staff member of a member of Parliament. Politicians do not get to appoint bureaucrats here - I assumed Steve Linick was a bureaucrat (ie. an employee of the government - independant of any political party).
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by grumpymike »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 4:31 am
As far as I know - very few places have as much "direct democracy" as the USA. You guys even vote for your Fire Chiefs and shit don't you?!?!
When I say that, I refer to the system of republic we have at the national level where the voters in less populous states wield more power than the voters in more populous states when it comes to the senate and the presidency.
Caravan Ray wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 4:31 am
And I know of few countries with a less "unified national identity" than the USA!! USA!! "thank you for your US military service " fuckwits.
A lot of those "sacred" things have been eroded as of late, and they were never domestically unifying. It's true that it's a bit ironic that the most socialist institution we all mostly get behind is the national defense.
Caravan Ray wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 4:31 am
Yep what is it - 250 year ago? Use-by date is gone.
Freedom doesn't go out of style. Spoken like a true British commonwealth citizen. :P Ya'll have more in common with China than we do in the collectivist sense.
Caravan Ray wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 4:31 am
We are seeing the USA entering its Suez Crisis days. It is end of empire.
People have been saying that for at least a hundred years. Pax Americana, decline, Rome, blah blah blah. We will see. As long as we continue to draw in the world's ambitious, intelligent, and talented individuals, we will have disproportionate world power. We have a diverse nation and the most wealthy, influential individuals don't want to move away despite complaining all the time. That's kind of the beauty is you can hate Ohio and love California or vis-versa.
Caravan Ray wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 4:31 am
Now - we are all obviously moving under the Chinese umbrella - leaving the USA with it's dribbling idiot in our wake
God help us if that's the case.
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Re: Modern democracy (was: COVID-19 freakout thread)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:32 am
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:18 am
US Federal employee/public servant here: minor correction. Political appointees can be sacked for arbitrary reasons. Lower level hires are extremely difficult to fire unless they flagrantly break the law.
Oh good! This stuff is really confusing me. (me- currently a local government public servant - but with extensive experience in the public service in both state and federal government). I am having trouble getting USA politics

So what is the deal with the sacking of the Inspectors General? Just recently this Steve Linick guy? I know nothing about him - but I assumed he was public servant? Does "public servant" mean the same to you as it does to me? What is a "political appointee"? To me - that means a staff member of a member of Parliament. Politicians do not get to appoint bureaucrats here - I assumed Steve Linick was a bureaucrat (ie. an employee of the government - independant of any political party).
Political appointee in this case refers to a federal employee who was placed in their appointment by a political act. Positions like the inspector general, heads of agencies, stuff like that. Me? I'm a hydrologist, I deal with river stage, pool elevation, dam inflow forecasting, etc. I was hired through USAJOBS.gov after going through a hiring panel, interview, HR, etc. Both would be considered "public servant" -- employed by a government agency to serve the general public, but that's about all they have in common.

Though if you define bureaucrat as an employee of the government independent of any political party, all of us would fit that description -- as part of the Hatch Act, we're all prohibited from participating in any sort of election or partisan activities. We can register as a Republican/Democrat/third party, and vote (obviously) but that's about it. Like I couldn't even run for mayor or local school board if I wanted to. As for like posting political stuff on our Facebook -- yeah, but we can't associate it with our position other than "I'm a federal employee and I'm pissed off they keep shutting down the government because I hate having to wait on my paychecks". And it can't be actively campaigning for someone.

If that makes any sense.
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