15 December 2010

Slippery Slope

Face it, didn't I tell you that the the gay marriage thing was all about changing the rules? All we want is the dignity of being recognised as Buck and Chuck, cuz we love each other. Plus the tax advantages, of course, and the pension benefits; but it's all for love, twue love.

Camel's nose, some of us said, slippery slope. But it would never.. said others.

Slippery slopes always getcha. The Constitutonal amendment enabling the Income Tax was originally written with a ceiling of 10 per cent,. as it was patently obvious that it would never ever ever get anywhere near that level, plus it was a temporary expedient to retire war debt. Yeah right.

Imagine this as a problem in hydrostaics. The government is a fluid, restrained within a pressure vessel. That vessel is the Constitution. The demands from the citizens exert a certain pressure.

There are relief valves - elections, amendments. These are built in pressure relief points; designed, engineered to allow the overall process to work.

But then someone says "We need another feed line from the M1 line, but it's not there! We must poke another hole in the presure vessel!". Voiding all warranty.

This is what we have - a well engineered Constitution so filled with "temporary" changes and riddled with bleed-off valves, fractionation columns and dubious patches that the original plans are not even recogniseable.

I breaks my little drop forged made in taiwan heart to see this. The Founding Fathers were pros in their lines of work.. Most of them were licensed Surveyers, which at the time meant that the were at the bleeding edge with maths and sciences (check your history as regards the development of accurate timepieces, just as a start).

These were men who had to write tech support, as it were. They knew their metes and bounds. They had to write so that it could not be misunderstood. It is my understanding that the Military Academies still have as a pons asinorum the writing of a set of orders that cannot be misunderstood, despite perversity.

Can we not grant that same quality to the old dead white dudes that wrote the Constitution?

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