30 October 2009


Many are Needed

First, some definitions are needed to begin this discussion because politics has construed the word “reform” to its own ends irrespective of its meanings. Here are some widely accepted definitions:

· make changes for improvement in order to remove abuse and injustices; "reform a political system"
· bring, lead, or force to abandon a wrong or evil course of life, conduct, and adopt a right one; "The Church reformed me"; "reform your conduct"
· produce by cracking; "reform gas"
· break up the molecules of; "reform oil"
· a change for the better as a result of correcting abuses; "justice was for sale before the reform of the law courts"
· improve by alteration or correction of errors or defects and put into a better condition; "reform the health system in this country"
· a campaign aimed to correct abuses or malpractices; "the reforms he proposed were too radical for the politicians"
· change for the better; "The lazy student promised to reform"; "the habitual cheater finally saw the light"
· self-improvement in behavior or morals by abandoning some vice; "the family rejoiced in the drunkard's reform"

The idea or the words "fundamental change" do not appear among these definitions. Although not precisely the opposite of reform, no where in any of these definitions does it hint at fundamental changes. It speaks everywhere to changing the trappings that come after the fundamental basis of an initiative that has been accepted. Reform addresses processes, procedures, methods, paradigms, the how to, not changing the primary purpose as though it no longer has consensus.

Next, a few things in priority order that need urgent comprehensive reform:

Public Education needs many reforms. Very little that will be useful to children in their adult futures is even being offered to them today. The teaching methods and motives are perverse. The moral and intellectual integrity of teachers and administrators are poor examples for young minds. Inspiration and enthusiasm are rarely displayed or transmitted. Low quality performance and low achievement are routine; and excellence, analytical thinking, and forethought are mocked, if even mentioned. You get what you tolerate and we’ve tolerated indolence and dishonesty. Young people today are confused, incapable and feel betrayed and they have been. They’ve been offered very little that will help them become valuable human beings.

Government reform has never truly been attempted. Virtually none of the useless programs, departments, policies have even been evaluated by their objectives let alone discontinued. Many new, false or exaggerated programs have been initiated. All programs that encourage people to accept resources they have not earned, or are truly owed, must be stopped. And those government enterprises that are not constitutional, or add no value for all our citizens, must stop.

Taxation reforms must focus only on revenue collection, not commingled with wealth redistribution. Revenue collection must focus only on the collection of minimum equitable taxes with some reasonable amounts paid by all who derive any benefits from citizenship.

Immigration, citizenship, residency, and border security reforms must include clear, simple, fast, and equitable methods for foreigners to come here legally, and rigidly exclude and expel those who are not lawfully here.

Protectionism, free markets, unionism, subsidy and tariff reforms. If you cannot produce a competitive product or service sought after in a free market you should retrain and re-equip yourself to produce something desired at a competitive price without subsidies, tariffs or special protections. Anything less than open, fair and honest competition should not be tolerated among ourselves or from others.

Some other reforms, not prioritized include:

Legal and justice system reforms, like restoring speedy trails and penalizing those who fund, participate, process or bring frivolous law suits.

Reconsider and revoke unjustified antitrust exemptions, and a thorough review and denial of many religious and non-profit tax exemptions.

Current Human Services entitlements, they have future unfunded liabilities that by most estimates exceed 50 trillion dollars.

Government ownership and operation in competition with private enterprises is immoral and unconstitutional. National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting Service, National Endowment of the Arts and the Humanities, and substantial ownership in auto manufacturing, finance and insurance are examples.

Disband the Department of Education and stop inequitable funds and grants to public schools, fund all or fund none.

Federal subsidies to the journalism, media broadcast, or any activities where adequate private enterprise providers supply the demand in free, open and fair markets.

You will notice no where in my list is anything resembling the current Health Care reform attempt because stopping government provided health care and prohibiting governmental interference in acquisition of health care by our citizens, except for directing and contributing to the control of epidemics, should occur in governmental reforms listed as the number one priority.

25 October 2009

A Law Passed with Exemptions,

A Bad Law

Why would a good law, a meaningful, helpful, widely applicable law, need to have any exemptions? If it needs to exempt or subsidize someone or something, then it’s a bad law.

Only poor or bad laws, designed to subsidize or shield ones political contributors, or penalize ones political enemies would have any need for exemptions. Maybe it’s just a poorly conceived law and badly written and extensive attempts have been made to improve it when it should have been scrapped and the entire reason for it revisited.

Good laws should address real needs expressed by the electorate, not needs imagined by politicians seeking political advantages.

Good laws are simple to write because they have a simple straightforward purpose, correcting a widely perceived easily understood wrong. No exemptions, subsidies, or credits are needed. Do something new or begin doing something differently that is important or helps all the people, stop doing things badly that just help your contributors and harm most others. If it is complexly written, it is by its very nature a bad law.

A 3,000, or 300 or 30 page law, is definitely a bad law. If the reason for a law and the description of the solution can’t be understood in writing in a few pages, then it’s not a real problem, or a real solution, or both; and it’s probably deceitful and corrupt, and in its true purpose, a bad law.

After all, how many new laws do we need? I’ve seen over 1,100 new laws per year attempted. That is pure idiocy. New laws truly made necessary by changes in human behavior couldn’t honestly exceed ten annually.

Incidentally, we can’t equitably enforce the laws passed last year, or last decade, or the last century. We can’t even provide surveillance of them; the solution, stop passing laws that cannot be enforced equitably.

Old laws, obsolete, no longer applicable laws most be removed from affect much more quickly and much more publicly. Even archaic laws used as device to catch criminals when no other legal way can be discovered, need to be eliminated. If the only way a criminal can be caught is because they don’t have a horse hitching post or a clean spittoon, then you have way more pressing problems than a new or an archaic law can fix.

A Constitutional Amendment making Congress delete twice as many laws as they pass for the next hundred years should bring the number of applicable laws down to a manageable number that infringe less upon our human rights, or they could do it because it makes good sense.

24 October 2009

Health Care Reforms I Want

1. Get the Federal government out and stay out of providing health care, (Veterans, military, prisoners, Native Americans, citizens, foreigners, anyone.) Federal Government policies and programs are the reasons for high and rapidly increasing costs, not the solution.

2. Get the Federal government out and stay out of health care insurance. The Federal Government isn’t competent enough to operate an insurance program, even a nonprofit one.

3. Reduce Federal taxes on each family by at least $10,000 annually. For those who pay no income tax, issue a $10,000 voucher to “head of household” good for health insurance only, paid for by cuts to labor appropriations for government employees taking the same percentage from each government department’s staffing.

4. Drop the phony so called “health care reform” initiative currently underway wholly within the Senate, House of Representative, and the Executive Branch. More the half of all frequent voters have no interest in being the victims of the intended and unintended consequences of those well-meaning, but uninformed morons. Did it ever occur to you to poll all of your constituents? It would be a good starting place to find out if something is truly needed.

If this travesty passes, there will be many new faces in national politics after the next election.

18 October 2009

What Are Our Values?

Ignorance Matters!

Humans try to do things. It’s just the way most of us are. The sick and dying even try to do useful things with their last gasps. These efforts are pursued based upon personal value systems adopted mostly by example, or from teaching, and some from learning by experience. Not all people seek to do good, some try to accomplish values that are evil, and a few have no humanity. Even the worst humans seek to do something, usually something terrible.

Most try to do something good according to their acquired values. They learn, teach, protect, destroy, plant, harvast, use, conserve, build, demolish, imagine, create, listen, understand, guide, think, organize, help, lead, contribute, read, write, amuse, entertain, etc. Achievement of these worthwhile accomplishments has been tested over the millennia and this wisdom has been passed along by cultures in their legends, teachings, religions, artifacts, records and institutions. Many have been codified in laws and religious writings. A few things are still being tested and it has not yet been determined if in the long run they are useful and good, not helpful, or destructive and bad.

For instance, most agree that to do something for a sick or crippled person that aids them in a necessary task or reduces their pain and suffering, is a good value. Protecting, feeding or teaching children is considered a good value in every culture known to me. Many of the tested rules of life are written into religious texts; the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, The Golden Rule, and many others.

Some are verbal legends passed from one generation to the next or among the members of a community, and believed to be good. These for the most part are dubious, not having wisdom or being applicable to significantly large numbers of people in normal life circumstances; like running and hiding when law enforcement officials stop near you in your community, or refusing to stop your vehicle leading the police on long pursuits that always seem to end badly, or pregnant woman eating clay for nutritional benefit.

Here are some ignorant values, unwise behavior, and foolish practices that are too widely held, for instance:

Taking or accepting things you have not earned or are not owed, from outright theft to accepting entitlement benefits by deceitful eligibility;

Lying for personal gain or to avoid punishment for dishonest behavior;

Benefiting from someone else’s crime, like buying stolen merchandise;

Cheating for personal benefit, like insurance fraud;

Taking advantage of or terrorizing the weak, crippled or mental challenged, for hedonistic gratification, psychotic amusement or personal gain, like tormenting a retarded child or brutalizing a helpless animal;

Any kind of deceitful malice, like concealing your intent to do harm until your victim trusts you, ganging up on an incapable victim, continuing to damage an incapacitated victim;

Cheating associates, clients, customers and friends out of goods or services promised them, or misrepresenting the quality or quantity of goods or services provided;

Justifying or participating in criminal behavior because it benefits a weak family member, or harms someone demonized by your peers or community, or both;

Imposing your personal wants and needs on those unwilling to participate or unable to resist, like women, children or the mentally and emotionally incomplete;

Entitlement mentality, others owe me for slights, bigotry, discrimination, or embarrassments, visited upon me, my family, my ethnic group, my city or my country, and they need to be made to suffer like me, as though a similar wrong and more bigotry produces justice;

Or, being inconsiderate, impolite or rude without cause.

It’s probably true that some of these behaviors are considered acceptable in some culture or sub-culture somewhere. Many are acceptable in ethnic sub-cultures in this country. I believe these ignorant, self-esteem destroying, vulgar, cowardly behaviors are destroying our culture and our country and need to be stamped out by social recriminations, increased imprisonment, and massive educational reforms.