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Member since: Tue Mar 17, 2015, 12:56 PM
Number of posts: 6,409

About Me

I am a disgruntled former DU member. Most people here are fine, but the site is ruined by zealous Hillary supporters. DU took my money and put my account on everlasting review. Cowards. Dishonest cowards.

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A small lesson in comparative politics

In college, I had an interesting class in comparative politics, the study of differences and similarities among the political systems of various countries. In Japan, a cabinet minister resigned because his staff took some inappropriate gifts, amounting to about $9k, and used the money for parties and junkets. So it was not even something he did, but something his hired help did. I saw him on on TV, saying he was resigning because he had failed in his duty as a public servant by allowing this to happen.

The contrast to the way we do things in the United States is almost funny. Our politicians take free vacations paid for by lobbyists, arrange for their family members to get lucrative jobs with companies Congress is supposed to regulate, and so on. When caught, they stand in front of the TV cameras and dare prosecutors to indict them. Sometimes they even throw in that gratuitous line about "...dedicated public servant... lifetime of hard work for the people..." and blah, blah, blah. I'm not saying we should be just like Japan, and expect our politicians to fall on their swords over the slightest infraction, but it would be nice to see some evidence of a sense of obligation to the public interest.

Here is a link to the Bloomberg article on the resignation.

What my yahoos are up to.

I'm sure you have the usual collection of Tea Party grumps common almost everywhere. In my area, they're fighting against the school bond. They'll probably prevail, since we have a constitutional amendment that requires 60 percent to pass a bond measure. Anyway, I found an interesting little statement on their website.

"Rather than tear down existing schools to build new ones, maintain and upgrade what’s there, add more portable classrooms if necessary, and let the kids learn how to help in the maintenance and improvement of their schools."

Why is Johnny not learning to read? Because he's been up on the school roof every day, trying patch those pesky leaks. I guess they figure the kids should empty the waste baskets, clean the bathrooms, etc. Maybe they can move the portable classrooms around once in a while, just to make life interesting.

I liked Kerry's point

I saw John Kerry on TV, and he said it would be easy to imagine how the issue of the ten US sailors would have played out three or four years ago. Diplomacy plays a crucial role, he said, in keeping our nation strong. That's an understatement, Mr. Secretary. If we had some Republican nut job in office, we would have bombed Tehran by now, the sailors would have been executed, and we would be at war. I realize that would create great joy in some sectors of our citizenry, but most of us realize a diplomatic solution that results in the release of our military personnel is better than a war that kills thousands. Most of us.
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