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  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    /facepalm No, he doesn't. If he thinks filling out a form that requires you to disclose all foreign trips in the last 15 years is transparency, he doesn't know what he's talking about. I couldn't care less about his qualifications. Anyone can be wrong about something, and he's wrong here.

    Transparency can be automated thanks to the technology we have today. Public officials don't have to spend any extra time jumping through bureaucratic hoops, which is all he was really complaining about. But this guy seems to be stuck in the past. Maybe he should retire if he's so backward thinking.

    As for meeting lobbyists after hours, I already covered that. It's treason.
    The distance between:

    Oh look at this great nascent idea I have for greater accountability in government that has not moved beyond "implement technology to increase transparency"

    and

    look at the greater level accountability we have in our government, without an increased level of bureaucratic waste

    is cosmic.

    Given the nature of people and the tendencies within government, and the kind of legislation that would have to pass for this to even be a speck on the horizon, I'm going to try and work with what we have now, and increase gov't accountability where I can moving forward.

    Your fundamental lack of understanding about how the government works betrays you.

  2. #182
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    Also, he was using those other examples as instances where attempts at transparency kept government from working the way it needs to as opposed to actually achieving greater transparency.

    I see no reason why the same thing would not happen if we tried to implement your idea.

    This isn't to say that the idea isn't sound, but that government would find a way to get around it in such a way that it wouldn't be worth the money we would spend trying to implement it.

  3. #183
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The distance between:

    Oh look at this great nascent idea I have for greater accountability in the government that has not moved beyond "implement technology to increase transparency"

    and

    look at the greater level accountability we have in our government, without an increased level of bureaucratic waste

    is cosmic.

    Given the nature of people and the tendencies within government within government, and the kind of legislation that would have to pass for this to even be a speck on the horizon, I'm going to try and work with what we have now, and increase gov't accountability where I can moving forward.

    Your fundamental lack of understanding about how the government works betrays you.
    It is entirely possible to implement the type of transparency I was talking about, theoretically (and technologically), but our government is hopelessly corrupt. Hopelessly, so it would never pass. But nothing that could actually pass would be effectual, so this argument really goes nowhere.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    It is entirely possible to implement the type of transparency I was talking about, theoretically (and technologically), but our government is hopelessly corrupt. Hopelessly, so it would never pass. But nothing that would actually pass would be effectual. So this argument really goes nowhere.
    It's your argument that goes nowhere.

    If it couldn't be implemented in reality than why even try to approach the problem from that direction?

    I know you work with electronics, but technology can't just be some deus ex machina that makes everything better.

    If you are going to criticize David Frum's argument, you're going to have to do it on more substantive grounds.

  5. #185
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    There is a difference in government accountability and transparency.

  6. #186
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It's your argument that goes nowhere.

    If it couldn't be implemented in reality than why even try to approach the problem from that direction?

    I know you work with electronics, but technology can't just be some deus ex machina that makes everything better.

    If you are going to criticize David Frum's argument, you're going to have to do it on more substantive grounds.
    Frum didn't even propose a solution. He basically says "let's not even try". How old is this guy? Whatever his age, he sounds to old to be useful anymore.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #187
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    There is a difference in government accountability and transparency.
    Of course, but you can't have the former without the latter.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #188
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    It depends on where you are trying to implement it.

    For instance, I'm a huge fan of congress posting proposed bills online months prior to passage so that we know what our government is actually doing as opposed to what it says it's doing on TV.

    But asking the White House to keep public records, of the people coming and going is tedious in a way that would waste government time as opposed to actually achieving anything.

    I've cut the article down to the points I agree with most:

    I worked in the White House in 2001-2002. After the 9/11 attacks, regulations governing visits to the executive complex were tightened. The new rules made it so difficult to book meetings in one's own office that many White House aides just gave up. Instead, they walked across the street to the Pennsylvania Avenue Starbucks. With a little luck in his timing, a suicide bomber could have knocked out a swath of the National Security Council staff for the price of a caffe latte.

    Rules to enhance security only detracted from security. These disclosure rules will backfire in the same way. The new visitor disclosure rules won't stop White House aides from meeting in secret with controversial people. Secret meetings will continue. They will just continue outside the White House complex.

    What the disclosure rules will do, however, is force White House staffers to waste a lot of time on useless meetings summoned for the sole purpose of generating a public record.

    The TV show "The West Wing" gives a false impression of what government work is like. In reality, the U.S. government -- and the White House that supposedly runs that government - is almost paralyzed by its own rules and procedures most of the time.

    Some of the rules that encumber governance are valid. It's important to check that officials do not use government power to favor their own financial interests. But many, and probably most, rules persist as fossilized remains of now-forgotten controversies.

    The new policy of disclosing White House visitors likewise memorializes a forgotten controversy -- Democratic anger at Vice President Cheney's refusal to answer questions about his energy task force. Democrats wanted a list of the attendees at Cheney's meetings.

    Cheney refused. Democrats took Cheney to court. Cheney won. You might think that would have settled the matter.

    You might even think that Democrats, having regained the presidency, would appreciate the wisdom of the Supreme Court's admonition to "afford Presidential confidentiality the greatest protection consistent with the fair administration of justice." But no —they are still annoyed at Cheney.

    Having lost in court, they are now changing the rules to score a retrospective point. Of course, the loser in this point-scoring won't be Cheney. He's retired. It will be the administration that inflicted this stupid policy on itself out of vindictive pique—and those future administrations that discover they cannot escape a bad precedent instituted for bad reasons.

  9. #189
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    But asking the White House to keep public records, of the people coming and going is tedious in a way that would waste government time as opposed to actually achieving anything.
    How much time does that really waste? And could that process be automated? Quite easily and cheaply (by government standards), I'm certain. We should start watching the offices of Congress, too. A government website with hundreds of video feeds wouldn't be that difficult to implement. Just put the raw data out there and let the public analyze it on its own time.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #190
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    Because in Government you have to have a meeting before you can do anything.

    If you are publishing something for the public as a branch of government, you're probably gonna have to have like 3 meetings.

    The government is made up of people. The decision making process will always be managed by human minds. The technology would be fast and I'm sure it would be able to do it's job. But at every step of it's implementation, in every government office, one person would need to meet with another. The problem is the fact that people would end up running the program.

    In instances where the implementation would be easy, like in publishing bills online before passage, where literally all you would need to do is post all new bills under consideration each month, I'm a fan of transparency. But in other instances adding computers to the process just means that you have to input data into a computer as well as a hard copy. This stuff is already automated as much as it's going to be.

    Well that is as long as you still like all those government jobs. Because implementing a program in government this way would basically begin to get rid of government employees.

    And the gov't isn't a big fan of that.

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