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Jean-Christophe Jouffrey · Copenhagen, DenmarkDear Bruce Fullwood,
Yes, and No ("Sic et non")... , what you describe are procedural "loopholes", in the same way that there are legal or tax "loopholes", and a prominent man in American politics said last year: "If I have paid few taxes, that makes me a smart man".
(Summary: In case this answer is too long, here is the short version: No, Yes, No, No, Yes but No.);-)
What would be the definition of a "loophole" when it comes to rules, procedures and laws? It is when one follows the letter, instead of the spirit of the law (remember Saint Paul).
"The complexity of the issue at hand is immaterial; the attention span and interest of your readers are material."
In the discussions, in the last few weeks over American politics, there is something that is missing sorely from the debate: the elementary notion that it is not because something is legal that it is ethical (and you can add, that it is not because something is ethical, that it is legal).
So one should only comment for readers with a short attention span and little interest in the complexity of the question?
So, ("Sic") we should not complain , ("et non") but we should act to close those loopholes.
I recognize your helpful hint (I am the first to recognize that I am often long-winded), and I took an easy jab with the "visual aid", but I could have as well replied that I did not have the time to make it shorter...;-)
So, when you have rules, procedures, laws, time after time there are people who (for whatever reasons) will try to find the best ways to exploit loopholes in a "legal" but ultimately "unethical" way: they will flaunt the letter to flout the spirit.
"You're not Kevin, Jean."
There are two kinds of small changes of procedures: the ones that try to stop the loopholes (and I am all in favor of these), and the ones that aim to create more loopholes.
If you mean that I am not a talented writer, I would agree with you, especially in a language that is not my own. Although I was guilty for a little while of the sin of self-satisfaction, by "they will flaunt the letter to flout the spirit", tho the extent that I repeated twice, but then I shall use my constitutional power to pardon myself on this venial sin . But even if untalented, is it a reason for me not to attempt, even clumsily to express my views? Not all the readers of the comments have your elitist petronian taste for style.
Over the years, decades and centuries, the books of rules, procedures, laws, get bigger and bigger with all these small changes. To the point that it becomes easier and easier to flaunt the letter and flout the spirit.
If you mean that I do not have the "authority" to express my opinions at length, and that I should confine my comments to the kind that proliferate in here and that I shall abbreviate (sometimes I can) in "You're a moron". Then I disagree strongly with any notion of "authority" in such a case, as do I disagree with the spirit and the letter of about 30% of the comments here.
So from time to time (not too often), it is necessary to rewrite the rule book, not from a "tabula rasa", not in a revolutionary spirit, but taking into account the accumulated wisdom of the years, decades and centuries.
I believe that you meant more about the quality of the writing, than the content, but I included the latter, as there have been some people here who were questioning my "authority" to express my views ("who are you, to say...?").
One non political example of this can be found in Canon Law: To the "concordance of discordances" of Gratianum in the 11th century, which attempted to put together in a coherent way the previous millenium of laws, a number of additional books of Decretals were added to form the Corpus Juris Canonicis (in a huge volume, that is very difficult to "navigate" for the non expert), and after a number of attempts at reform, it was completely rewritten in 1917 in the Codex Juris Canonicis (a much smaller book), to be rewritten again in 1983.
This comments section should be about exchanging, exploring, deepening and even changing our ideas, and not just "liking" (there is a button for it), or saying STFU.
Perhaps it is time to rewrite the book or parliamentary procedures?
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