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Go Ahead, Just Believe...
philman_36 ^ | 11-30-04 | philman_36

Posted on 11/30/2004 5:15:15 AM PST by philman_36

As anyone who knows me can verify I've often railed about people who refer to our government as a Democracy when it is a Republic. It seems that there is a movement, with all of the "each vote counts" hullabaloo and the calls for the removal of the Electoral College, to bring about actual Democracy in America, yet that too won't make a difference. Because, and I hate to burst the bubble of those desiring a Democracy, and it doesn't matter what form of government is in place, we all face a more deadly peril that needs to be taken care of no matter which side of the political spectrum one may come from.

And, scoff as you will (I've got flame proof Skivvies), that peril is Bureaucracy, for that, in fact, is what America has become...a Bureaucracy. A body of nonelective government officials, administrative policy-making groups, and government by specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority.

The first rule of a Bureaucracy is it must survive. And a Bureaucracy can survive through almost anything. Whether it's in a Republic, a Democracy, a leftist Democratic administration or a centrist/right Republican administration it will survive and even prosper. If workers within the Bureaucracy can aid its longevity then things will get done to make that happen.

As an example, and an illustration as to how long the Bureaucracy has been in place and functionally operating, I ask the reader to consider what happened when Prohibition ended. Harry Anslinger, the Arch-Bureaucrat went from one office (within the Treasury Department's Prohibition Unit of the Prohibition Bureau) to a whole new, newly created, Federal Bureau of Narcotics (it was created by then Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, Anslinger's wife's uncle) The Narcotics Division had previously existed within the Prohibition Unit. (this also illustrates that the Bureaucracy can grow, giving it a "living" quality, and thus having a need to survive...It's Alive!)
Administrations may come and go, but the Bureaucracy must survive.

Part of that Bureaucracy, in my opinion, is The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) which in addition to being the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas--also represents some 4,500 employees working for the District of Columbia government.. [BTW...look here for a 2000 FR article where their numbers are stated as only 100,000] That is 600,000 people folks and anyone with any inkling of how unions operate has got to admit that such a number is a force to be reckoned with and that is, by their admission, only "the largest" federal employee union. How many countless smaller unions exist is something I've not looked into...yet.

And this, finally, brings me around to what troubles me and got me thinking about all of this. The first is the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFCMH) created by the POTUS by Executive Order. One of the biggest beneficiaries of this new program is SAMSHA and The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). (note that members of The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) National Advisory Council Subcommittee on Consumer/Survivor Issues includes people who have experienced mental illness, treatment, and recovery. Now that is one group of Bureaucrats who I really want looking out for my best interests (/sarcasm).

The second thing that is troubling me is the national database to collect information and track the progress of every college student in the country. According to The Boston Globe's article "US eyes collection of college-student data" the idea was proposed by a research wing of the Department of Education. Now that is another fine group of Bureaucrats who I really want looking out for my children's best interests (/sarcasm).

My point, which I hope you've waited for, is that these Bureaucratic institutions seem to be up to something. At the end of the day we all need to remember that, as the thinking goes...the Bureaucracy must survive...and these things seem to be helping it to do so. Now, as to what the end desires are, I've no idea and they may have started out with the best of intention. However, we know what is said about the best of intentions, they often result in the worst of consequences.

I'm merely asking others to think about this as well. Consider that a person usually debates internally before deciding upon their actions. The Bureaucrats in these Bureaucratic institutions have probably done so as well, it's human nature, and their end designs and desires are their own. I do know that we as Americans need to seriously consider the implications of such programs at the hands of Bureaucrats. Our elected officials may not be ones we approve of, but Bureaucrats are there forever. We can get rid of one group, but the other is thoroughly entrenched behind their desks.

Now, if you're one of those folks who believe in the perpetual goodness of government and if you want to believe that these things are all being done for "the benefit of the American people", then "Go ahead, just believe"...


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: bureaucracy; collegestudent; datacollection; mentalhealth; newfreedom; nfcmh
For consideration and comment.
1 posted on 11/30/2004 5:15:15 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36

I agree, but you'd have to have a political party that gives a sh!t to do anything about it.


2 posted on 11/30/2004 5:19:29 AM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan)
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To: iconoclast
I agree, but you'd have to have a political party that gives a sh!t to do anything about it.
My personal belief is that the political party in power at the moment recognizes the Bureaucracy for what it is (the true power in DC) and simply works with it.
Some of the actions of the political parties seem to be nothing more than appeasement of the beast for the moment so that it doesn't devour the party in office.
3 posted on 11/30/2004 5:25:42 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36

Just to make sure I got it right: the actions of this huge omnipotent 'Bureaucracy" are both unified and conspiratorial?


4 posted on 11/30/2004 5:48:58 AM PST by silverdog (Let's leave the grown-ups in charge.)
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To: philman_36
there is a movement, with all of the "each vote counts" hullabaloo and the calls for the removal of the Electoral College

The 2004 American League Championship Series was won by the Yankees:
10-07
03-01
19-08
04-06
04-05
02-04
03-10
______
45-41

The Yankees scored 4 more runs than the Red Sox.

5 posted on 11/30/2004 5:50:24 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: silverdog
Just to make sure I got it right: the actions of this huge omnipotent 'Bureaucracy" are both unified and conspiratorial?
I see you're the designated "Scoffing Official".
Carry on...without me, of course.
6 posted on 11/30/2004 5:51:00 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Izzy Dunne

You've infected me.


7 posted on 11/30/2004 5:52:03 AM PST by philman_36 (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus.)
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To: philman_36

Is there a union for "Scoffing Officials"?


8 posted on 11/30/2004 6:01:24 AM PST by xp38
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To: philman_36
If bureaucracy scares you think how you will feel when you study NGO's (Non Government Organizations) which are privatized outsourced bureaucracy by another name.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, for example, is heavily funded by government grants (in at least one state-North Carolina) but operates as a private non-profit lobby for every feel good form of government management it can feasibly support.

Thus, checkpoints, seatbelt laws, child safety seats, etc.( regardless of public perceptions of their value) are all supported by a quasi-government organization lobbying government for implementation.

Any honest real market need would not require support from a government treasury not to mention conflict of interest aspects. (Should an organization which benefits from government grants be allowed to advocate positions that clearly benefit government bureaucracies?)

Best regards,

9 posted on 11/30/2004 6:01:33 AM PST by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: philman_36
that peril is Bureaucracy

Some might argue that the Founders purposely created a form of government that wouldn't be subject to the whims and mob mentality of a democracy. By doing so, they created a government that has been more or less stable for better than 225 years. How many other countries can really say that?

While I don't think the Founders had an inefficient bureaucracy in mind, the stability part is certainly there.

10 posted on 11/30/2004 6:07:06 AM PST by Lou L
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To: xp38
Is there a union for "Scoffing Officials"?
There probably is. There is a union for just about everything else...
11 posted on 11/30/2004 6:09:08 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Copernicus
If bureaucracy scares you think how you will feel when you study NGO's (Non Government Organizations) which are privatized outsourced bureaucracy by another name.
Been there, done that. The UN has the greatest number of associated NGOs working with them by far! That should give folks a clue about the UN, yet it doesn't and the clueless drive on.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving...
They're operational in Texas too. They were the big reason we got our BAC raised. Don't know about federal funding down here.
...conflict of interest aspects.
Those abound when they shouldn't exist at all.
So much for nepotism laws. /smartalec mode
Should an organization which benefits from government grants be allowed to advocate positions that clearly benefit government bureaucracies?
Rhetorical? If not...Hell NO!

Best regards
And to you as well.

12 posted on 11/30/2004 6:15:09 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36

Not to be picky.....but it's a representative democracy.


13 posted on 11/30/2004 6:19:23 AM PST by OldFriend (PRAY FOR MAJ. TAMMY DUCKWORTH)
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To: Lou L
How many other countries can really say that?
Just a guess...none? (just kidding!)

While I don't think the Founders had an inefficient bureaucracy in mind, the stability part is certainly there.
Faint comfort if all of the liberties they fought to ensure us are taken away in an endless, mindless paper trail by robotic, bureaucratic drones.

14 posted on 11/30/2004 6:23:39 AM PST by philman_36
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To: OldFriend
Not to be picky.....but it's a representative democracy.
Show me! If the Founding Fathers created a representative "democracy" then you should have information, or should be able to show me the information.
Keep in mind that "democratic principals/elements" does NOT a Democracy make.

As an FYI, look here for The World Fact Book 2002 by the CIA. Scroll down to "Government type" and then get back to me when you finish. Be sure to pick on that as well and it will bring you to a list of countries. The US is listed as a "Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition".
Give me something, anything, from any founding documents/writings to convince me that America was established as a representative democracy!

15 posted on 11/30/2004 6:34:32 AM PST by philman_36
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To: OldFriend
Something else to help you out, 'cause you obviously need the help in understanding this.
An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic
In both the Direct type and the Representative type of Democracy, The Majority’s power is absolute and unlimited; its decisions are unappealable under the legal system established to give effect to this form of government. This opens the door to unlimited Tyranny-by-Majority. This was what The Framers of the United States Constitution meant in 1787, in debates in the Federal (framing) Convention, when they condemned the "excesses of democracy" and abuses under any Democracy of the unalienable rights of The Individual by The Majority.
16 posted on 11/30/2004 6:38:49 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36

Consider that those who run for office are egotistical in nature. Sure, many have hopes, but it's really a personal fulfillment thing to run for office, get elected, and weild and use power. There are no selfless beings in office.

The people (voters and squeaky wheels) naturally create the Bureaucracy from the gathering of egos. Calls of "I want this, and I want that" (shrimp museums in Kansas, a guy who sits around and knows everything there is to know about potatoes) feeds the ego of the politician ("he's a hero!"), and the expansion of the Bureaucracy in the form of new agencies and additional staff.

It's sort of a self-sustaining entity, but involves many players, not just politicians.

I'm sure that the collection of data and such was brought upon us by some sort of initial citizen's group inquiry or demand that simply grew into the monster it is today. I call it the Curse of the Ignorant Masses.


17 posted on 11/30/2004 7:02:21 AM PST by AmericanChef
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To: AmericanChef

There is much to consider in your response. Thanks for replying.


18 posted on 11/30/2004 11:28:10 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36

I didn't make my point clear. You have no idea how happy I would be if gov't employees were all smart enough to operate a conspiracy to oppress the citizenry and efficient enough to keep it a secret.


19 posted on 12/01/2004 4:14:41 AM PST by silverdog (Let's leave the grown-ups in charge.)
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To: silverdog
I didn't make my point clear.
Your point was clear. You made your disdain and scorn perfectly clear.

You have no idea how happy I would be if gov't employees were all smart enough to operate a conspiracy to oppress the citizenry and efficient enough to keep it a secret.
You miss the point in your proposed scenario. Smart employees wouldn't be wanted! Dutiful, obedient, mostly ignorant employees would be wanted. Only a few need to be smart, and those would be needed in the topmost positions of authority and power. Even then, if there were "a conspiracy" (which I never implied yet which you're trying to insinuate I did) they might not even know about it as they could just be a dutiful, obedient, mostly ignorant employee as well.
Besides, as an example think of Winston Smith in 1984. He was a nobody employed inside the Ministry of Truth. When he got "too smart" he got "fixed" and was left crying in his beer.

20 posted on 12/01/2004 5:06:59 AM PST by philman_36
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To: iconoclast; Izzy Dunne; xp38; Copernicus; Lou L; AmericanChef; silverdog
An FYI for some of you who responded.
(A faceless bureaucracy is so much easier to blame than anyone in particular.)
Whoever drafted this little beauty of an exception to the privacy laws, its sweeping language shows that the drafter knew just what he was doing. This was no random slip of the pen.

21 posted on 12/01/2004 6:04:53 AM PST by philman_36
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