Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boiling Points: Beyond Irked

I have a temper and there are some things that set me off in about zero seconds.

- Being patronized 'cos I have not travelled much, had a real education, or come face-to-face with even the beginner's introduction to the run-up to The Elephant. Yes, it's true: I'm a small-town girl, an autodidact and I never even so much as dated a JROTC guy. It does not follow that I am therefore ignorant, parochial, or sneer at those who serve in the military and if you'd like a screaming argument, one quick way is to assume those things are so.

- Ted Kennedy. Well, any Kennedy, really. This is prejudice, for all it has so far been borne out by their behavior in and out of office. I won't make mock of the unfortunate man's brain cancer and I'm glad for him that he appears to have recovered so well from surgery, but he still afflicts me like chalk on a blackboard. Woke up to him on the tube hovering like a Zeppelin over the Democrat convention and regretted having set the television to go off. Gah! Before coffee?

- The two-party system. Sorry, but in my ever-so-amateur opinion one of the very worst features of U. S. politics is the "big tent" theory (a lot of the campers do not so very much play well with others) and the worst of all is the bedamned casting every election as an uber-apocalyptic Ragnarok of Light vs. Darkness. Aw, crap -- it's just another choosing-of-fools to (try to) run things for an even number of years; later, we'll pitch 'em and get another set of meddling eejits. And I'd like to see a wider assortment of fools being elected, who will argue with each other more and meddle with you and I less.

- Unfounded authority. Yeah, yeah, maybe any MBA can manage anything and any biz-school poser can work as a supervisor; but it's all play-pretend unless they understand the specific nature of the endeavor. Slingin' buzzwords doesn't count.


Alan said...

Not being a small town girl myself, I can't speak to the first point, but the others are spot on.

phlegmfatale said...

I wonder about people who think what a Kennedy thinks is even relevant, anyhoo. *much eye-rolling here*

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

So is your roomie's endorsement of a repeal of the 17th Amendment a bond of contention between you 2? The whole 2 party system is a side-affect of the structure set up that the passing of 17th Amendment was designed to chip away at.

They didn't follow up with amendment aimed at the electoral college, but give them time.

Roberta X said...

NJT, what? I'm very opposed to the direct election of Senators and have said so, here, in the past.

At least ostensibly, the 17th was set up to ensure senatoral positions would not go unfilled when State governments became deadlocked. Me, I'm thinkin' fewer Seators, less meddling.

"Bond of contention." Oooo. Typo? I like that concept!

Turk Turon said...



Jeez, I pity the fool who tries.

Anonymous said...

Cannot disagree with a single thing. The only issue in play in this election is SCOTUS. mcCain might appoint a couple of decent judges; Hopama would certainly try to ressurect Marx and Trotsky to fill the spots. The devil you know, you know?

Anonymous said...

- Being patronized ...

Something tells me there may be a story behind this entry?

Drang said...

I, too, have issues with the two party system, but I look at countries where governments are built on fragile combinations of small parties--The Left Handed Redheads Union, The Society of Glock Lovers, The Saint John Moses Browning Party (PBUH)--and see said government collapsing over some trivial issue, and a new coalition having to be rebuilt, and I think "On the one hand, little gets done. On the other hand, little gets done. And sometimes things need to get done!"

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

heh! I'm good at typos.

I thought it might be contention in that the Federalist Republic set up by the FF had a side-effect (or is it affect?) of the 2-party system. The 17th amendment was passed to nibble away at the Federalist Republic structure, some. To want a repeal and cement a return to the original structure as foolish purist like me desire is a good way to further enshrine the 2-Party system.

Or do you have designs on different structural Amendments to pass for the Constitution?

Fo that you'll have to re-vamp the whole Electoral College, to start. Make it a plurality vis a makority and you might get a bunch more active, functioning, parties that last more than a few cycles.

BobG said...

“I vote for the candidate that I believe will paralyze the government the most. The last thing we need is a fully functional government looking for something to do.”
-Spotted on a blog

Mark said...

I've been trying to find this t-shirt I did for the SO, a hazard-sign style affair reading

Will Bite
When Patronised"

If I can't find the original, I'll re-do it and upload the image where you can get to it.

Mike Kole said...

These two parties don't, can't represent anything like a consistent ideology because of their big tent nature. Detractors of multi-party systems find chaos in the coalition governments. Well, this is a coalition government, too. Each big party has many factions within it, each of which would be their own party in another country.

At least abroad there are no delusions about the coalition nature of governing. The delusion for small government types within the Republican Party was that they would see spending cut. The delusion for anti-war types in the Democratic Party is that Obama will see it through.

Relax in the safety of your delusions. Pool the wool over your own eyes as you slip into that big tent.

Shermlock Shomes said...

Roberta, you say 'real education.' I could write an essay about the folks I work with/for who have had a 'real education' and who I wouldn't leave alone in a room with a toaster and a fork. And the kids who think they are getting a 'real education' but will not crack a book either for work or pleasure.

Home on the Range said...

I have always been completely intimidated by how incredibly smart you are, and talented. Small town, big university or not, I am in awe of all that you can do.

Plus you know the COOLEST little stores to go explore.

Anonymous said...


Hmmm...let's see, Breda called you "scary smart"and Brigid refers to you as "incredibly smart". That's enough for me. Intelligence has nothing to do with formal education.
Intelligence is the ability to use what you know, something I think you are pretty good at.

Roberta X said...

Er, Brigid? D'you feel okay? Forehead hot? 'Cos I know all you do and...well, what I do is just splashing around in the shallows; you sail the high seas! (Mind you, I'm quite proud of the things I do and believe that I do many of them adequately. Including knowing neat places to shop!)

Pax: yes, but it's a lot less story than you might think! Had a conversation that pushed a hot-button and, a few heated exchanges into it, found just enough presence of mind to get a glimmer of what I was doing on; sat down at the keyboard to sort it out and voila! Blog post.

NJT, I am still not understanding the connection between State governments picking their own Senators and the two-party system. There is certainly no inkling of it in the founding documents; Washington was scornful of any type of party politics and there have been several periods in the States where we did not have a two-party system.

Turk: then pity a long line of broadcast equipment salesmen and outside engineers. I'll be having to cope with another pair of them early in Sept; not looking forward to it.

Bob G., D.W. Drang and Mike Kole (hey, welcome!), you're singing a song I do love. (Though, D.W., if it really needs to get done? People find a way). Og takes the pragmatist's view and he has a point -- I don't know as I can be quite that pragmatic where Senator McCain is involved: nice man, way weak on the First Amendment.

In closing: Mark, you post that design and I'll iron it onto a T-shirt. Promise!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

This is the part where I'd take it offline if that was possible. Ideally we'd hit the brewpub and hash this out like civilized people... shouting and raving til management told us to shush or be thrown out like common drunks.

Mmmmmm.... IPA...


When we had more than 2 parties it was a time of transition, and the superfluous party either eclipsed and absorbed an existing established party, or disappeared.

We have 2 parties because of the way the gov't structure set up in the Constitution was done. It wasn't inteneded to establish a 2 party system, but that is unintended consequence of the structure. Few liked it 200 years ago, but it's just the way the system worked out organically, when the goodies in the Constitution were applied in practice. The electoral college and the need for 50%+1 to get a president, rather than a run off if there is mere plurality, is a big part of this.

We've established, as I suspected, that you don't like monkeying with the structure. You think the Progressive movement's passing of the 17th A. was a mistake.

To change the system to allow for 3 or more active permanent parties you'd need to change the structure of gov't via more Amendments, starting with how the electoral college works. I doubt you trust folks to do that right, and not mucking it all up... maybe fixing it so that we have a thing worse than a 2-party system... a ONE party system.

I know I don't trust my fellow voters any farther than I can throw them.

And no one will let RobertaX and T-Bolt make the new rules. Sadly.

SordidPanda said...


You have a legitimate right to get hot under the collar when someone assumes that you don't know something that you do know. It is an insult saying that you don't know your job.

And as far as supporting the military, somebody would have to be completely ignorant of who you are to even bring up such a point.

So yeah, you're smart, talented, classy, and all sorts of other good stuff. I'd write more but kinda don't want to come across as "fanboy".