Wednesday, August 15, 2012

10 Things I will do when I am made President.

When I say president, what I really mean is benevolent dictator.  Because everyone would agree with me and then institute my ideas as a part of a comprehensive change in the country.  I'm sure that my ideas have some problems, that's ok, I'm in no danger of being installed as Premier of the United States any time soon.

I know some of these things I've mentioned in prior blogs so forgive me if this sounds like a loop.

1 - All Death Penalties will be evaluated at the highest court - Not only that, but each death sentence will get immediate DNA review.  There have been far too many mistakes made based on an inviolate judgement of the court.  Too many people are dead based on a legal process built to protect the sanctity of the courts rather than the innocent.  That being said, if the appeals have been made and the evidence has been reviewed INCLUDING PERTINENT NEW EVIDENCE.  The death penalty needs to be escalated to immediate review at the highest level so the court can execute justice one way or another.

2 - Healthcare reform will not be citizen ID reform - if we are really going to have health care reform, we have to stop this idea that people need to be tracked by a government whose sole goal in this is not providing better service, but rather wresting economic control from the public.  The only things that need to be tracked are doctors and services.  The idea of insurance in general is really silly and based on fear.  So we pay more and more to avoid an inevitable end.  Eliminate health insurance and create government clinics that provide simple health services that support the 75% of malady's that we seem to run into.  The rest are medical procedures that are covered in the private sector.  Are we all entitled to them?  sure if we have the money.  What if we don't have money?  Then we can't afford it.  Just like it will be no matter who tries to 'fix' it.

3 - Laws of evidence need to change - it seems like the evil are protected quite well by the same laws that protect the innocent.  That's o.k. by me.  On the other hand, if law enforcement ends up breaking some law or procedure in the procurement of evidence that convicts the individual of wrongdoing, it is wrong to invalidate the evidence just because the procedure was wrong.  The evidence should be maintained and scrutinized, but those that made the improper acquisition of evidence will be held civilly responsible.  The criminal would be entitled to monetary damages based on the seriousness of the intrusion backed by the individuals as well as the government.  There would still be an incentive to do it correctly, but guilty criminals would not go free based on bad judgement.

4 - Internet is free for everyone.  - There is currently no real competition in providing internet access.  The Internet is informational and educational and encourages growth in the economy.  The government is constantly telling companies that they MUST store information that the government can use against it's citizens and each company gives you the same product at different prices that all tend to be mini-monopolies.  It falls to the best product provided for your area.  Right now, if you have fiber net available, you will take it above cable.  If you don't, you will take cable above DSL.  If you don't have cable available, you will take DSL.  If you don't have DSL, you'll take dial up or some other less consistent option.  This is not competition.  The internet is no different than the road system.  It is provided by our taxes and available for all to drive upon it.  If we pay for it the same way we pay for roads, we will charge people a fee for the modem device, and a small amount for how much access you use.  Wireless is freely available to all.   Individuals are responsible for their own security/encryption.  If you don't want people snooping on what you are doing, then take steps to prevent it.

5 - Campaign Finance Reform - Ok, so I think we all know about this load of steaming excrement judgement that says the money is freedom of speech and that corporations are in fact citizen entities of the country.  Well this is allowing wealthy companies to really pour on the influence peddling by spending as much as they want in ad's supporting various political figures.  Well that's all gonna stop under my regime.  I will establish how much money it takes to run a specific campaign in the country and give the candidates that money.  Sitting presidents get a little bit less than their new faced Mr. Smith counterparts since they are already known.  Then the race is on.  Debates cost nothing.  Everything else each candidate may spend in the pursuit of election and anything not spent is given back to the government.  Any ad's seen on tv NOT paid for by the candidate will be deducted from the candidates total allowable expenditures.  That should fix being hounded by campaigns for a year and a half prior to the election.  The same can be done on a local level.

6 - Companies are not citizens. - But if they are, then the heads or boards of these ersatz citizens should be put in jail for anything the company does wrong.  Corporate fees still apply, but prison will be more prevalent to those that run the citizen company.  If a company is afforded the rights of citizen then they should have the same exposure that being a citizen carries with it as well.

7 - Bankruptcy is a once in a lifetime thing - Bring back debtors prison.  Why?  because too many people take advantages of bankruptcy laws to the point that they are just reckless with money and believe that everyone else should pay for it.  I don't think so.  Bankruptcy should be rare and a well thought out safety net against a bad turn of events, not a fallback so you don't have to pay your due.

8 - ALL patents/copyrights have sundowns among other things - Sorry, one of the biggest problems with our country now is that competition is based more on not allowing your competition to compete rather than building a better mouse trap.  All of these copyright trolls (Yes, Microsoft and Apple, I'm looking squarely at you) that buy up copyrights just to keep other people from competing.  You get your 7 years, that should be more than enough. Any company that gets a copyright, but does not survive will have their copyrights immediately put into the public domain.  Laws will have to be drastically changed, I know, but I'm tired of innovation being stifled in the name of profits.  There would be some problems when dealing with iconic figures, but that might be covered under some kind of corporate identity provisions.  I'm not sure, I just know that the way it is now does not serve the public interest.

9 - Sorry, you don't play fair, you can't play in our playground - We used to be a HUGE dog in the world but now...oh yeah, we are still a big dog in the world.  EVERYONE currently wishes that they had our economy.  They don't.  So in order to get some of it, they sell their goods here.  If you are manipulating your crappy currency just so we can buy your crap even cheaper, stop it.  I wish it were this simple but obviously it isn't.  On the other hand we can certainly make things less comfortable for those that cheat into our economy.

10 - COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY - When I say that, I don't mean, some, I mean all.  ANY aspect of the government that is popularly elected will have a cellphone that is on all the time that records and transcribes every conversation.  There will be NO secret deals, NO backroom anything.  All of it is recorded.  What's that you say?  What about privacy?  what about National Security?  Oh, I have answers for those.  Privacy?  none.  If you don't like that, don't apply for the job.  Understand that the sweet nothings you whisper to your wife or your mistress will be a part of the public record.  Why?  Because you represent the public.  We don't expect that you will be perfect, but because we don't expect that, we need to know everything that you are doing or talking about.  When we do this, we eliminate the effectiveness of political action committees.  Everyone will know what you are being asked to do by anyone that is asking to do it.  National Security?  We will have an oversight committee that is made of citizens much like jury duty that is sworn to secrecy under severe penalty.  Those people will be allowed to evaluate pieces of your security based conversation so you aren't making shady deals or acting against the best interests of the nation.  Yes, I know that this will make a lot of people not want the job.  That's good.  Because most of the people we have in the job couldn't bear this kind of transparency and we don't want them there anyway.

There it is.  What I would do if I were installed as Commander in Chief.  It won't happen.  I have no ambitions in that direction.  But it seems the season for elections and what not.

As always, thanks for reading!  Don't do drugs, Stay in School.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

10 Reasons to not like the News much

I admit.  I like watching the news.  I'll watch all kinds of strange news.  I should say that I used to like news a lot.  Now I really don't like the news much any more.  Why?  Well I've got about 10 reasons.

10 - Accuracy?  As far as you know - I have no evidence of this other than anecdotal.  There have only been a few news stories about which I have had personal exposure to the details. I found that the stories of those events were at best partially factual.  There were a lot of misunderstood interpretations and poor expositions of fact.  I felt like the entire event was misrepresented.  This has happened more than a couple of times in my life.  So what about the stories I don't know anything about?  hmmmm...

9 - Bias?  Naaaaah - This is just common sense.  People that report things are biased unless they have no 'dog in the fight'.  I like to believe that people were assigned to a particular story based on their LACK of interest in the story.  But even then, it's human nature to take a side in any conflict.  Bias is supposedly mitigated by a good editor.  But a good editor also wants an exciting story.  How do you make something exciting without taking a side?  I'm not sure.  Just understand that a news story you are hearing is probably colored by what you aren't hearing or just by the emphasis of the selected story points.

8 - Wanna see something cool? - The news more and more has turned into a smarmy side show barker.  They want you to see 'something cool' no matter if it's the latest multi-car pile up, or the last body that's washed up in the river.  You pay for this with the ads.  so in exchange for watching the ads, they will pull the curtain back and let you gaze at the spectacle like a bunch of mesmerized cats watching a laser pointer.  This of course is no different than people slowing down in traffic to crane their necks to see the aftermath of a car accident.  I know it's human nature.  Just not a very pretty side of it.  Our desire to see other peoples suffering really is unparalleled.

7 - We are really sad, see?  we are really sad - The news it seems has been told that people feel like they are too clinical, too antiseptic about their treatment of such emotionally charged subjects.  When the school bus full of disabled children goes off a cliff on their way to a benefit helping even more disabled children, the news people put on their saddest most empathetic faces.  Sometimes they are very convincing, other times they just look like they are acting poorly.  The one thing I DO know is every time a tragedy occurs on a news worthy scale the news is smiling on the inside because now they have material for the next 3 days maybe even the next 3 weeks!

6 - The news is for the young - While the news is constantly shaking their sad faces at the events of humanity, We also notice that the news is like some kind of fraternity/sorority with one older newsie to lend an air or respectability to the event and a bunch of seemingly young news people.  Of course the more tabloid like the news, the less you need any air of respectability, and the younger the newscasters will be.  Older newscasters will of course try to talk hip, just to try to remain relevant.  It's a sad exposition of what we tend to value in our news people.

5 - I can't use that source!  I might get caught! - Tapping phones...sheesh! - Every job has elements of it that are hard, but there are rules you just don't break.  Tapping phones?  That's for Government investigators with warrants, not for nosy newsies that want to get a jump on the real juicy stuff.  The mistake we make is thinking that this kind of thing doesn't happen all the time.  It's like termites.  You see one or two nibbling on an eve on the house and you have several thousand of them making a meal of your floor joists.

4 - Nothing new under the sun - Really, how much news is really news?  The names change sure, but are you really surprised to find murder, inappropriate sex, political corruption?  I doubt it.  In fact I would say that you could stop any person on the street and make up a headline containing any of the above and nobody would be surprised.  So how much of it is news, and how much just institutionalized gossip?

3 - Why didn't you tell me this story was sponsored?! - A little bit of info about the news business I didn't know.  Stories that are on after the headlines are many times, but not always, sponsored.  So when you see a news bit about a local sports star visiting the sick kids in the local hospital, that news spot was likely arranged.  I know this makes me sound even more cynical than usual, but it's true.  Even when you're not watching commercials, you are watching commercials.

2 - If it's in print, said over the air, or presented on a nice MUST be true - It really doesn't take much to make us believe something is true.  if it is written or said in a professional way, we pretty much take it for Gospel.  It's just what we do.  Thank goodness for to help us out of this informational morass.

1 - If WE don't think it's important, then it isn't - Sometimes news gets 'scooped' which means that someone else broke a story that was thought of as important to the public before the standard news faucets.  How could this happen?  Well it happens because news is produced and since it's produced they try to evaluate news for it's ability to capture the attention of the public so more people will pay their nickel to watch the peep show.  They decide what's important first and then you look at it and feel like it's important because if it wasn't, it wouldn't be on the news.  Ever see something happen that you thought for sure would be on the news later?  It wasn't was it...more hmmmm.

Lately I've just found that people that try to feed you the information of the day have been contaminating the pablum.  My wife would probably say 'What took you so long?'  It must be my bright eyed idealism.

Thanks for reading!