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Fit to Lead?

GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jan 06 - 05:52 AM
Paul Burke 09 Jan 06 - 06:05 AM
GUEST 09 Jan 06 - 06:12 AM
wysiwyg 09 Jan 06 - 07:48 AM
Rapparee 09 Jan 06 - 08:50 AM
Liz the Squeak 09 Jan 06 - 09:04 AM
Rapparee 09 Jan 06 - 09:14 AM
LilyFestre 09 Jan 06 - 09:20 AM
Moses 09 Jan 06 - 09:21 AM
Moses 09 Jan 06 - 09:24 AM
Rapparee 09 Jan 06 - 09:24 AM
LilyFestre 09 Jan 06 - 09:26 AM
Jeri 09 Jan 06 - 09:30 AM
greg stephens 09 Jan 06 - 09:39 AM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 09:45 AM
DMcG 09 Jan 06 - 10:06 AM
LilyFestre 09 Jan 06 - 10:17 AM
Jeri 09 Jan 06 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jan 06 - 11:11 AM
Rapparee 09 Jan 06 - 11:29 AM
Paul Burke 09 Jan 06 - 11:34 AM
GUEST 09 Jan 06 - 12:11 PM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 12:37 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Jan 06 - 12:43 PM
Jeri 09 Jan 06 - 01:03 PM
Stu 09 Jan 06 - 02:16 PM
wysiwyg 09 Jan 06 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Jan 06 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 09 Jan 06 - 04:00 PM
LilyFestre 09 Jan 06 - 05:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Jan 06 - 05:32 PM
LilyFestre 09 Jan 06 - 05:38 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Jan 06 - 05:59 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 09 Jan 06 - 06:24 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 09 Jan 06 - 06:26 PM
Deda 09 Jan 06 - 06:27 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Jan 06 - 06:28 PM
Paul Burke 10 Jan 06 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,AR282 10 Jan 06 - 07:46 PM
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Subject: Fit to Lead?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 05:52 AM

The Charles Kennedy affair got me thinking about whether voters should demand that our politicians should be, literally, "fit to lead". For example, I would guess that Ariel Sharon is at least 50 pounds overweight. Should that fact have been raised by the Israelly people. Being that much overweight must negatively affect Sharon's ability to do his job properly/efficently.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:05 AM

I think having a massive stroke affected his ability to lead rather more. I don't think obesity affects people's ability to think.

Where they lead you is another matter. Tony Blair flaunted his physical fitness until his sins caught up with him.

This thread should be down under anyway.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:12 AM

I think the difference arises between those who have a health issue that impairs mental capacity and those who have a health issue that impairs physical ability. I would not want to be led by a person mentally impaired.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 07:48 AM

Tunesmith, your post represents flat-out discrimination based on ignorance. If fat-bashing weren't politically correct in ths forum, your thread would have been deleted, and I think it should be.

~Deeply Offended


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 08:50 AM

Would you toss out FDR? Churchill? Stalin?

FDR had had polio, and was actually wheel-chair bound. Churchill and Stalin were also obviously overweight. And God alone knows how many leaders of the past smoked (e.g., Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill). Eisenhower had a heart attack while President, Kennedy had back problems.

Mental problems, no, I don't want such a person to lead. Physical is irrelevant (unless they affect mentation).

(And let me note two fictional characters who are grossly overweight but fully capable mentally: Mycroft Holmes and Nero Wolfe.)


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:04 AM

Insomuch as being overweight is probably a factor in many health problems, it is not a disease in itself and does not automatically affect the mind. There are many people who see a fat person as equating to a jolly, stupid person (Billy Bunter, Fatty Arbuckle, Oliver Hardy) but there are many more thin, stupid people around....

Take Winston Churchill and President Bush.... one was fat, had a speech impediment, and was extremely intelligent. The other is thinner, wields more power and is thicker than fat on Christmas pig.

Ariel Sharon may not have been the nicest person around, but he was a charismatic leader, regardless of his size or health.

Somewhere on the 'Net there is an argument for pro-life, giving the decision to euthanase a child who was, for example, premature, born under unusal circumstances or had a neurological disease that would eventually cripple him. If you answer yes, it turns out you would have killed someone like Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Ghandi.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:14 AM

Yes, and one of the biggest proponents of eugenics was...oh, what was his name?...oh, yes! Adolph Hitler. (Who wasn't overweight, was a vegetarian, and was charismatic -- and who has developed a place in history.)


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:20 AM

I'm curious about the rationale of the orginal poster. How is it that you think a person's weight would negatively effect a person's job performance given the position?

I have lots of thoughts on this but would like to see the reason behind the comment before I say anything else.

Thanks.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Moses
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:21 AM

I thought this was a thread on the suitability of a singer to "front" a band.

Should this be in BS?


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Moses
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:24 AM

I see it is now - what is happening to Mudcat - it was at the top of the page when I logged in!!


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:24 AM

I originally thought that it was about joining something to the element lead (Pb, for you chemistry wonks) or to an electrical wire.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:26 AM

I thought this thread was going to be about another blunder by GW and whether he is fit to lead or not (gee, talk about your no-brainers...yuk yuk yuk)!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:30 AM

"The Charles Kennedy affair got me thinking about whether voters should demand that our politicians should be, literally, "fit to lead"."

You mean like be an ideal weight, not ever have smoked, not drink to excess or drive under the influence, eat right, work out, be less than 50 years old and have no personal OR family history of heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer or anything else that has a heredetary component and might prove fatal. Have him/her pass a physical examination and doctor's review?

Yeah, that could happen. Health and vigor count for SO much more than, you know -- all that political stuff.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:39 AM

Great, nobody should be allowed to lead a political party if they have a mental impairment that affects their ability to do the job.. What a splendidly sensible idea. Just one query: who is going to decide if people have said mental impairment? A government-appointed committee of doctors? A Suitability for Public Office Assessing Committee appointed by the House of Lords? Contributors to the Mudcat Discussion Forum? Tell us more.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 09:45 AM

Rapaire:

Unfortunately most of the eugenics theory espoused by the Reich was developed in the 1900's, more or less, by American Victorians in quest for their "natural and manifest destiny" at the top of the food chain. I wish I could find my references for this, but I think it will bear investigation.

A


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 10:06 AM

You mean like be an ideal weight, not ever have smoked, not drink to excess or drive under the influence, eat right, work out, be less than 50 years old and have no personal OR family history of heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer or anything else that has a heredetary component and might prove fatal. Have him/her pass a physical examination and doctor's review?

Yeah, that could happen. Health and vigor count for SO much more than, you know -- all that political stuff.


The problem is, much of that is probably the case now. How many potential leaders - political and otherwise - are rejected because they are not sufficently photogenic, I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 10:17 AM

They have to be photogenic, eh?

Picture Perfect

What is he doo-ing?!?!?!

Photogenic Indeed!!!!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 10:59 AM

Greg, usually mental health fitness is decided by the, um... press. ('Press' in this sense refers to mostly tabloids and talk shows.)   The press and the voters. Well, the press and the parties' 'spin doctors' (there may be a difference) and the voters. Maybe not so much the voters, because voting doesn't happen until after the press has done its job.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 11:11 AM

Surely being unfit must have some sort of effect on one's abiltity " to think". The Ancient Greek's believed in " a healthy mind AND a healthy body". And they had more than a fair share of great thinkers.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 11:29 AM

Yes, Amos, I know. And the US had its share of eugenic nuts, including some who we don't normally think of in the category.

As for mental fitness, I had in mind obvious manifestations of mental unfitness, not a mental health review by a panel of "experts." I couldn't care less if the President raises goldfish in his hat or dresses his coon hounds in pantyhose as long as he keeps his finger off the nuclear trigger!


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 11:34 AM

What's your biometric ratio, Tunesmith? You seem to be having some problem thinking this out.

All sorts of things affect a person's ability to think clearly. The biggest problem isn't their weight, alcohol, drugs, tiredness etc.etc., all though all these can get in the way if they aren't careful. The main thing that impedes clear thinking is history- the personal and cultural history that puts no-go areas in people's minds. And it's invisible to speak-your-weight machines, scanners, cardiac monitors, breathalysers, even lie detectors (because they AREN'T lying).


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 12:11 PM

Charles Kennedy has admitted he has an alcohol problem. Albeit after he was told it would be exposed to the voters. It was covered up for long enough by his party. Should his colleagues show unconditional loyalty to their impaired leader or to the voters they hope to win over?

In the interests of his party he should have resigned before being issued an ultimatum. Lots of people drink without it becoming a 'problem'. But once it does become such, then the person with the problem should be seeking professional help not votes.

Over eating to the point of obesity is another kind of illness. I can see the similarity in such that it shows a person with lack of self control. And it could conflict with the party image to promote health . But obesity is a visible illness and the voters can judge for themselves as to whether they wish that particular person to represent them. It doesn't necessarily have an adverse effect on their decision making skills.

Kennedy's illness was hidden as with most alcoholics until those around him lost confidence in him.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 12:37 PM

Fitness of mind often reflects itself in the general physical 'tonus' but not all physical conditions reflect psychological ones. The parallism between the two is very hot or miss, often misleading. Some very nuitsy people are in perfect physical condition, and some very sane and insightful people are not.

Mister Bush is a prime example; he keeps himself physically fit, and he is at least average in appearance despite critic's appreciation of a certain simanism in his features. Many other people of far lower physical qualities strike me as being for better equipped mentally and spiritually to do his job. To put it mildly.

A


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 12:43 PM

Many other people of far lower physical qualities strike me as being for better equipped mentally and spiritually to do his job...

Strikes me as you have to be mentally deficient to actually run for office.

As someone said, those who crave power are usually those least suited to wield it.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 01:03 PM

"Surely being unfit must have some sort of effect on one's abiltity " to think". The Ancient Greek's believed in " a healthy mind AND a healthy body". And they had more than a fair share of great thinkers."

Yes, but we have Stephen Hawking.

The physical body has no effect on thinking unless it't the brain that's affected. There are plenty of conditions that DO affect the brain, but not all brain problems affect a person's ability to think, to evaluate, judge, and stick to their own morals. Prisons are full of guys in great shape.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Stu
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 02:16 PM

Definately throw out Stalin. As fat a tw*t as ever has existed on this planet, and as brutal and unpleasant as Hitler was. Doesn't seem to have impeded his thought processes though.

stigWeard the not-so-thin-himself


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 02:36 PM

Of course, really thoughtful, sensitive people will want to do their own HOMEWORK about obesity before bloviating.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 03:10 PM

Let's take a different angle. If Tony Blair were to put on 4 stone, would he be able to do his job as efficiently as he is at present? Surely that extra weight would be a hindrance!


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 04:00 PM

A sedentary lifestyle and too many high fat foods are undisputably the major causes of obesity. If your calorific intake is higher than you burn off then the excess turns to body fat.

Note I said major cause. I believe less than 10% of obesity has been put down to medical reasons.

If he bloated up due to a medical condition then it would be beyond his control. If he was in the other 90% he would have to ask Jamie Oliver around for dinner and take note of the advice he dishes out. (Preferably small dishes.)


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 05:19 PM

Tunesmith, again, you are really vague in your response. Exactly what it is that you think an overweight leader cannot do? And why do you think that?

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 05:32 PM

GUEST, Tunesmith said, in part:

Surely being unfit must have some sort of effect on one's abiltity " to think".

Whenever, in a discussion or argument, one party makes a statement of his position, starting "surely", I know that it's not an argument of fact or reasonable conclusion, but merely a statement of personal belief regardless of the facts that may apply.

So here.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 05:38 PM

Good observation Dave!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 05:59 PM

And later GUEST, Tunesmith, asked this misleading question:

If Tony Blair were to put on 4 stone, would he be able to do his job as efficiently as he is at present? Surely that extra weight would be a hindrance!

You are talking about something else than your initial premise.

You started (using Sharon as your whipping-boy) with the suggestion that in general overweight politicians cannot/will not do a good job in office.

In this case, your instance MIGHT suggest that a given politician would not do as good a (or a worse) job at a higher weight. I am prepared to entertain the possibility that Blair, if greatly overweight, MIGHT be more sluggish in his thinking than he would "in fighting trim", so to speak. But of course that can't be tested.

But if one is given a candidate for office who is quite obese but has a terrific track record behind him at something like that weight, he should be judged and voted in or out on his record.

The plain fact is, however, that the electorate does take the appearance of a candidate into account, consciously or unconsciously, and the less-physically-appealing candidate (for whatever reason)has a negative that he needs to make up for. If the heavy politician is elected despite his appearance, it is clear that the electorate has considered his track record, his platform, his personality more important than his adiposity.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am about fifty pounds overweight, and decidedly not "physically fit". But I'm still smart enough NOT to run for office!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:24 PM

Fitness to lead, for me, is more about attitude than physical fitness.

Cabbies in London go through a process called "The Knowledge". Part of that process is a series of intensive interviews designed solely to weed out those applicants who are psychologically unfit to hold a licence (e.g. those who might lose their tempers and punch out a member of the public).

A similar process might be useful in keeping warmongers out of the Whitehouse and Westminster.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:26 PM

It would certainly have stopped that thug Prescott.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Deda
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:27 PM

An active alcoholic in denial, as Charles Kennedy was, can fairly be described as unfit to run a national party. That's all that happened in that instance.

OTOH, I have known an active alcoholic who was able to maintain a prestigious career for decades, and to have lengthy and lucid conversations about current events which astonished his listeners. He was a writer who influenced millions of readers, although almost none of them knew his name. His memory for historical facts was amazing, as was his capacity to put away great quantities of hard liquor. He also played tennis almost every weekend. He was my father. He retired, had a lower-key second career, and died at the age of 72. Had he taken better care of himself he would surely have lived a lot longer. But no one who knew him would have described him as "unfit" -- for much of anything.

If we make physical fitness a criterion for public office I think we cross over into a territory that's crazy, ultra-controlling, and misguided.


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:28 PM

Politician + overweight + extremely intelligent = Cyril Smith... no one can suggest HE was ever thin!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 04:24 AM

No, Bush and Blair took the world to war stone cold sober. Kennedy opposed the war drunk. His judgement drunk was better than theirs sober. Where his drinking (if it isn't just character- assassination and a coup-in-office by Campbell- remember, admit alcoholism and you're out, deny it and you're in denial and you're out) may have caused problems was in the low profile of the LibDems, the lack of aggressive presentation, the failure to press home points.

As for weight, what did Julius Caesar say?

And who was it proposed that the main qualification to be a leader should be that they don't WANT to be leader?


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Subject: RE: Fit to Lead?
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 07:46 PM

Says a lot for how stupid we are to elect a veep with 4 heart attacks and a pacemaker to his credit. The only good thing about it is if numbnut is ever removed from office, Cheney will not likely be allowed to succeed him and, if he does, he won't last long.


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Mudcat time: 10 August 7:32 AM EDT

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