January 29, 2004
What I Want
In the ever-present political bickering, I often lose sight of the long-term goals I think the nation needs to brings its resources to bear on. In no particular order and with no timeline offered, here's where I think we should be heading:
1. Universal Health Care: Turning the industry from one driven by profit and fixated on erectile-dysfunction research into one that serves humanity no matter what a person's financial status seems a noble and achievable goal to me. The Clintons of course were shot down in the early 90's, but this needs to eventually happen. Truth be told, we pay for everyone anyway, whether it be through emergency room visits by the uninsured or long-term disability caused by medical neglect.
2. Populate Space: It's a question of "when" not "if" the world will suffer a global catastrophe or not be able to support the current population. Let's look hundreds of years into the future now and work toward getting humans colonizing planets and traveling to the closest stars. Why not take a huge slice of the defense budget, which funds nothing but death and destruction, and finance research and missions into space that benefit all? Plus, this endeavor has the natural result of uniting the world in a common goal.
3. End Unqualified Support for Israel: I'm tired of the tail wagging the dog on this one. For too long we've given our support to a tiny group of uncompromising zealots whose entire claim to legitimacy is supernatural. If I had my way, Israel does what we say or financial and military support goes away. The blood in the Middle East is largely on our hands, and, until we address Israel's control over our foreign policy, it'll just keep building until somebody nukes somebody else. What then?
4. Truly Reform the Education System: Small schools, small classes, vocational opportunities, reformed learning disability support, flexible school hours, single-gender schools. The solutions are obvious, but are we willing to fund it? While we're at it, move athletics out of the school day. And computers. Gone.
5. Sustainable Energy: We have a fossil fuel crisis, not an energy crisis. Pour on the incentives for businesses to deploy renewable energy technology, which already exists, but is cost-prohibitive. Don't depend on GM and ExxonMobil to be innovative and offer products that undermine the most profitable companies in the world; create the supply by subsidizing, like we did with the railroad, telephone, and electricity industries, what will eventually be a multi-billion dollar industry. Do it. Now.
6. End Binary Party System: This will take a grassroots effort, but there's got to be a better way than choosing from basically identical parties. The instant runoff voting system is my solution. Force coalitions; discourage mindless idealogy; emasculate big money.
7. Legalize Drugs: The "War on Drugs" has not been successful. Let's quit fooling ourselves that those drug users are the "other" people and admit they are us. Legalization will allow people who need help with addiction to get help rather than condemnation. The thousands of young minority men in prison because of draconian and racially-biased drug laws can be gainfully employed by a newly created industry. Otherwise law-abiding people who want to smoke a doobie on the weekends, just like millions of people drink liver-killing alcohol, won't risk jail or worse. Bill Hicks said it best: "It's not about the want of drugs; it's about the want of personal freedom." It's hypocrisy at its worst and needs to end now.
8. Freedom From Religion as well as Of Religion: Although well-meaning, groups like the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family have long sought to exert more than their proportional power on political and civil activities. They target political offices not to represent the will of the people, but to impose their fundamentalist views through government, which they usually ironically rail against. I don't want to impose restrictions on their freedoms, but I do want the citizens they purportedly represent to wake up to the stealth tactics of these guys.
9. Firearms: There's got to be a compromise here somewhere. I love shooting guns as much as the next Texan, but it seems blindingly obvious to me handguns make murder way too easy. Besides, if we force people to come up with innovative and creative ways to murder each other, we'll have more interesting headlines like "death by blender" or "semi-automatic feral hampster." Let's keep our other guns, but move toward civilization and dump the handguns, shall we?
Are these gonna happen? Probably not anytime soon. But if we lose sight of the long-term goals, we become consumed by the pettiness. And that's no way to dream.
Posted by tat at January 29, 2004 10:50 AM
Preach Brother B!
Too bad that the first person that tried to run on that platform would be made quite past tense by the powers that be.
In Haliburton We Trust. Amen.
1. Excellent idea, but there are too many billions of dollars at stake for me to think that this will happen anytime soon. You'll also have a hard time convincing people because of the overwhelming evidence of other countries that have national health care AND 60+% income tax rates. The other thing that needs to be done is change the name from health care to sick care, 'cuz that's what it is. Health care is food supplements and exercise and not eating like a pig. There also needs to be a change of focus from developing treatments to developing cures. Also people need to be educated as to the importance of drinking enough water and eating enough salt. De-hydration is linked to everything from upset stomachs, headaches, cancer, diabetes, etc... www.watercure.com
2. Well said, but I think that the threat will have to present itself before this world will unite in any way at all. Gort, we need you!
3. Damn straight. Enough of this feeling sorry for them over what the Nazis did. It's been 60 years get over it. I'm a little more extreme in my views about this. I say immediately pull all funding. Let them stand alone. If they god has destined them to stay, then they should be able to do without our help.
4.I would have so say I agree with this, too. But we need to add classes that teach financial intelligence, right from the beginning. We also need to remove the brainwashing that makes all kids think that the only way the can be successful is to "get a good job," its hogwash. It might be better than having a bad job, but you can't really be free when you do what some huge corporation tells you to at least 5 days a week. Also, take all the money that would go into athletics and buy school supplies. You want to be in an extracurricular activity? Fine, but you're gonna pay for all of it. Parents shouldn't be required to buy school supplies, except with their taxes.
5. Well enough said that I have no comment to add.
6.Good idea, but I wouldn't hold your breath. You might as well ask for the abolition of racism, too. These types of things are usually born and bred, and with deep hatreds thrown into the mix. It needs to be done, but I fear the only way to accomplish this would be to kill everyone and start over.
7. Right on! I still don't understand, and have never had it explained to any effect, why it is illegal for someone to walk in the woods and then walk back out with certain plants and/or fungi. Dumb, dumb, dumb!!! Get a life people. Quit worrying about what I'm doing and raise you kids, instead letting the TV and schools do it. There are more important things to worry about than what the guy next might be doing in the privacy of his own home that doesn't harm anyone else.
8.They've got their own radio stations, magazines, newspapers, TV station, etc... Keep you ideals off of the rest of the stations and printed works. Not everything needs to follow your religious guidelines. When you watch an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus from 1968 and they broadcast a topless women, back then, and you still can't get anywhere near that here in America, though you can show Saving Private Ryan, uncut which I don't understand. Show all the violence you want, but no boobies! How dumb is that. I firmly believe that organized religion is the WORST thing to happen to the human race. I don't think that we have a unified world and have religion. You don't need a religion to know the Golden Rule. I know that the golden rule is in the christian bible, but guess what? It was around a long time before that book was ever written. And, also, if you need to read it on a piece of paper for it to make sense, you got problems anyways. I won't kill you or take your stuff 'cuz I don't want you to kill me or take my stuff. Freakin' duh!
9. Though I believe that there are a lot of weapons, guns or otherwise that we just plain have no need for as a populace, I don't think that my list includes as many as Bryan's does. It doesn't mean that the idea isn't sound, though... Do you still need to be able to defend yourself? YES. Do you need to do it with a hand gun equipped with armor piercing bullets and a 17 round clip or a fully auto AK-74? Freakin' NO! There's a line between wanting to be prepared and going overboard, and it ain't a fine one. It's blaringly obvious which types of weapons are overkill (forgive the pun) and flat out not required by an stretch of the imagination. I might also say that irrespective of what laws you pass regarding firearms, schools should be required to teach gun safety, maybe raise the level of awareness a bit. That way when little Johnny finds out if granddad has an arsenal in the basement, he's more apt to treat it with the respect it deserves, not load up and head to school for target practice. You could go a bit further and require military service, but if you're going to do that, I say you have to do it in full-blown Starship troopers fashion. You can't be a citizen until you've defended your country.
Todd, I really like you. :) Great posts by both of you.... couldn't agree more. Although, I just got to hold my brother's new Glock (pardon the ignorant spelling there, I have NO clue) that was issued to him (he's a federal agent) and now I want one. Can't help it, it just felt good. :)
I think that if we, as a country, stopped being so damned PC and stopped worrying so much about whether or not we're going to burn in hell, we'd be a lot better off. Like you said, either you know good from bad or you don't. We're so puritanistic (is that a word?) in this country and our values are upside down, like you mentioned - boobies vs. violence. Nudity and sex is perfectly normal and no one should feel guilty about it, but we still frigging preach that it's a sin. Jeez.
Anyway, GREAT posts guys!!
1. Noble idea. Greedy doctors will fight hard.
2. I would go inverse and populate the sea first. Learn to cultivate the sea bed etc. We are only really utilizing a fraction of the earth's surface.
3. No problem with tightening parameters of support. But they are in important ally in the middle east.
4. Surprised about your feeling that computers should be excluded. But ok you're the expert.
5. Pretty much agree.
6. Won't hold my breath.
7. Okay, but tighten drunk driving and PI laws.
8. Yeah Yeah those Christians are really killing this nation. Let's feed them to the lions.
Seriously, there already is freedom from religion in this country. This is not a problem.
9. NRA baby!
9. (revisited) Bryan, you have stated over and over again that drug testing in schools takes a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude towards students and drugs. Isn't taking away people's guns taking a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude on people and their guns? Actually, it's just a "guilty" if you're taking them away and not giving them back.