Friday, October 30, 2009

How to Save America . . or at least American Money

I tried to leave this comment on the Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest blog. *sigh*, it got longer than the allotted 4k (4096 characters) max length. 6713, by Microsoft Word count. 21 paragraphs, 1383 words, 8141 characters with spaces. And so many great . . uh, well . . so many ideas!

So theotherryan, here is my response to your hat tip to Onion News Network's "Nations Girlfriends Unveil New Economic Plan: "lets move in together""
I have a better notion.

Live with one or the other in-laws, until the first child at least completes first grade.

Next best is the polygyny method. Have the wife invite two to five additional women for an . . intimate . . sharing. Combine energies for child care, shopping, reduce the number of home decorations and remodelings by three (3) to six (6) times. Of course, this likely increases the amount of time the husband gets to be . . supervised . . by a similar margin. Three coins, and all that.

One approach that I personally favor, is to limit Congress to two staff members each, and require that all proposed laws be typed/entered by the sponsoring Representative of Senator, personally, on pain of dismissal from office. With no replacement until the following regular election. Eliminate the Department of Education, dismiss all domestic enforcement agencies except the Coast Guard, Customs inspections, and FBI; limit each of these to 75% of JFK administration staffing levels. Dismiss the ATF; limit the Secret Service to 25 total officers and 12 support. Give the IRS thirty days to confer with Congress - to arrive at a new regulation to replace all current forms, regulations, and guidelines - limited to 12 letter sized pages, 1.5 inch margins, 14 point Georgia font with 2 point leading and no kerning, no referenced documents, no appendixes, unless they fall within the 12 page total. Headings and subheadings must be 16 point Arial font, with 3 point leading. Start with taxing only voting citizens of the US - companies and businesses collect taxes, they don't pay them. All future changes and amendments, when incorporated, shall be disregarded unless the resulting amended regulations with guidelines all combined still meet the required 12 page total. I take that back - tax all corporations and businesses and other organizations at 1% gross income less business expenses, rate to be frozen forever. We want the IRS to keep their books honest.

Invite the northern tier of Mexican states, individually, to apply to enter to become part of the United States. If so many of their people are living here and sending money home - let's make it official. It would make our southern border much shorter. And we could make sure their schools teach English.

Legalize drugs; tax substances on today's controlled substance list at 20% VAT at each transaction, and turn enforcement over to the IRS.

Limit jail sentences to seven (7) years. The only term more severe would be the death penalty. Add exile as a punishment. Exile the miscreant by one to three states away from home for one to twenty years; separate the bozo from the bad influence of the home turf. Punish exile violators in the time honored fashion, with summary execution.

Convicted felons can't own guns. Why should their marriage be preserved? Impose mandatory dissolution of marriage, with forfeit of all assets by the convicted felon, on initial conviction. Let him/her make amends, if they can, if they get released, pardoned, or conviction is overturned. At least the family won't be pining and depending on the state for handouts.

Let the biggest farms with the biggest debts go broke. Then divide the property into 16 acre patches for homesteading by dismissed Federal employees and long term unemployed, on a voluntary basis. Provide a minimal prebuilt home and well/water, septic/sewer, a bag of seed beans and a hoe, a subscription to Mother Earth News, Internet connection, a goat, three chickens, and an 18 month termination date for subsidies and support; title of property to be held by the state until the patch has been occupied, with taxes paid, for 10 years. Then title would revert to the homesteader. Or let Sheriff Joe kick the idea around with Sharon Astyk; they could probably have the inhabitants weave their own tent or yurt instead of building a place for them.

You remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio, don't you? The one that showed that bologna has to get really green before you get too sick?

The military has quotas; 70% of inductees must be high school graduates, or the equivalent. Colleges and Universities should be required to have a bond of tuition, board, and books posted for 70% of all newly enrolled students. Let's cut the crap of borrowing lives away to send kids to college. And teach democracy in political science, for crying out loud. The Obama administration seems to have studied everything *but* democracy. Or the Constitution.

Require all males age 18 and over to register with the selective service board. Wait - that is already the law. So take that list, in each community, and introduce five (5) of the guys that are unmarried, chosen at random or by the local selection board, to a given unwed mother. She chooses one, and they are married, on the spot. Select guys within four (4) years of the lady's age when possible. Guys would remain vulnerable for selection until they hit 26 years, enter the military for at least three years active service, or get married. Allow deferments for missing limbs or running away to Canada.

Unwed mothers unwilling to "select" would be deemed wards of their parents, their grand parents, uncles or aunts, or their neighbors, whichever the courts deem most suitable, until age 35 or youngest kid completes high school, or equivalent.

An alternative to selective marriage, would be to hold an act of birth is an act of marriage; on giving birth, the mother is married to the biological father. Such "act of marriage" nuptials could only be ended by dissolution by reason of abandonment - leaving all assets of any parent to the remaining parent. Note that this would cross and absorb any existing marriages, partnerships, or alliances - they would all be married with merged assets and group responsibility for each. Take that, adulterer!

Decree that driving a motorized vehicle on public roads is unsafe, risky, and take at the risk of driver and passengers, joint and severally. Your car gets wrecked, you have a bill - you can make no claim on anyone else, there is no fault, just as a fallen rock climber has no claim on a friable cliff face. Car insurance then covers only what losses you might experience. Don't want someone drunk to run over you? Stay off the road. As a side issue, remove all speed limits; thin the gene pool by letting those with no judgment remove themselves from the propagation pipeline. States can sell salvage rights to wrecked cars. If you take a motor vehicle onto a public road, and can't drive it off - the state confiscates it.

Water power. Get back to the old mill stream kind of thing - creekside craft shops, creek-level power generation. How many times could you put a water turbine on a mountain stream, if you only needed 2 feet of water head? How many creeks and streams could provide a 2 foot water head for a new, low-head type turbine (or paddle wheel?) generator.

Tax commutes. For each company with three or more employees, evaluate the daily commute of each on a weekly basis. Each week, tax the employer $1 per commute mile per employee, with a deduction of 5 commute miles per employee. Think of Houston, Phoenix, and LA. If employers hired local people only, neighborhoods would change, and rush hour commute would dribble to something manageable.

Outlaw public contributions, or state or community involvement, in mass transit. If it makes sense, let the community address the issue through private interests. Keep taxi rates minimal.

Impose a $0.01 tax per 10 miles over the first 120 miles per pound on produce, fruits, vegetables, etc., that competes with produce available, at any quantity, within 100 miles. Let's go green - develop local resources for improved food security.

If I think of something else, I'll let you know.

Oh - one last thought. Engines. Replacement engines. Engines that run well, for a long time, cheaply, cheap to maintain. Engines to replace faulty, or just high-emission or low miles per gallon engines. It takes a *lot* of energy - fossil fuel - to build a new car. Tax the carbon out of new cars, and encourage the development of robust, low-priced or endowed or subsidized replacement motors. The cost of a "green" engine should be lower than the cost to rebuild a "clunker" engine. Teach auto paint, Bondo and glass repair in Junior High shop.

Another thought. Any employer paying less than minimum wage plus $1, has to offer minimal room and board. Chambers of Commerce can help re-establish the inexpensive boarding house. Minimal room and board would *not* include child care, Internet, TV, or all-you-can-eat.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is Obama jealous of Afghanistan?

It seems that the Obama administration can't decide what to do with Afghanistan. On the one hand, they decry the corruption, how bloated the national government and weak the local governments are (MSNBC news story).

Mr. Obama - do you hear what was just said?

I would like to see the national laws limited to what can be printed on one side of 1500 pages, 14 point font size, 8 1/2 by 11 paper, with 1 inch margins, and 16 point line height. I would like to see government limited by strict interpretation of the US Constitution as written and amended, to those roles requited by that constitution. I would like to see powers and authorities vested in the local governments denied in all shapes and forms to the national government. I would like to see elections freely held, without illegal distortions, or undue influence exerted by monied internal and external interests.

And I want this for the United States of America. Then worry about showing the rest of the world what an honest election, what limited government and empowered local government looks like.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Senior activist or realist?

I got an email. A copy of a letter, sent by Walt and Cindy, to A. Barry Rand, Chief Executive Officer of AARP, a commercial product promotion company that happens to also pursue certain issues and agendas relating to seniors, people 50 and older.

50 might seem young to call one a "senior", but remember the purpose of the company is to push products, and 50 is a number they can use to widen the customer base. Under certain circumstances, an IRS rule lets you retire early, at age 50, so the number isn't wholly made up.

Back to Walt and Cindy. Their letter to AARP is an answer to a (another!) promotional letter, reminding them they didn't renew their membership. That turns out to have been deliberate. Part of the letter follows. Please read the entire letter at - which also posts trusted authentication, showing that the letter was indeed written by Walt and Cindy, and was sent to AARP.

Dear Mr. Rand,

Recently you sent us a letter encouraging us to renew our lapsed membership in AARP by the requested date. . . Our gap in coverage is merely a microscopic symptom of the real problem, a deepening lack of faith.

While we have proudly maintained our membership for several years . . ., we can no longer endorse it's abdication of our values. Your letter specifically stated that we can count on AARP to speak up for our rights, yet the voice we hear is not ours. Your offer of being kept up to date on important issues through DIVIDED WE FAIL presents neither an impartial view nor the one we have come to embrace. . .

Once upon a time, we looked forward to being part of the senior demographic. We also looked to AARP to provide certain benefits and give our voice a power we could not possibly hope to achieve on our own. AARP gave us a sense of belonging which we no longer enjoy. The Socialist politics practiced by the Obama administration and empowered by AARP [emphasis added] serves only to raise the blood pressure my medical insurance strives to contain. Clearly a conflict of interest there!

We do not understand the AARP posture, feel greatly betrayed . . . and leave your ranks with a great sense of regret. We mitigate that disappointment with the relief of knowing that we are not contributing to the problem anymore [emphasis added] by renewing our membership. . .

This Presidential Administration scares the living daylights out of us. Not just for ourselves, but for our proud and bloodstained heritage,but even more importantly for our children and grandchildren. . . . Perhaps I became American by a great stroke of luck . . ., but in my adulthood I CHOOSE to embrace it and nurture the freedoms it represents as well as the responsibilities it requires.

. . .

We travel for a living... Walt hauls horses all over this great country, averaging over 10,000 miles a month when he is out there. He meets more people than a politician on caffeine overdose. Of all the many good folks he enjoyed on this last 10,000 miles, this trip yielded only ONE supporter of the current administration.. One of us is out of touch with mainstream America. Since our poll is conducted without funding, I have more faith in it than one which is power driven.

. . . I am disappointed as hell.
I am scared as hell.
I am MAD as hell, and I'm NOT gonna take it

Walt & Cyndy

Interestingly, Barry Rand responds to the loss of members that disagree with AARP's positions. The August blog post date is either about the time of Walt and Cindy's letter, or a month prior (August 2009).

Since July 1st, when we started seeing a rise in phone calls and emails here at AARP as a result of the health care debate, we have lost approximately 50,000-60,000 members. While we are encouraged that almost 1.8 million people have either joined AARP or renewed their memberships over that same time span, we take the loss of any member seriously. ‪We don't want to see you, our members, leave for any reason, and understand that even when we all have the facts reasonable people may agree to disagree on the proposals being put forth by Congress.

Earlier in his post, Mr. Rand mentions the 40 million members of AARP. 50,000 would be something like 0.13% (.0013 of 40,000,000) of the members. Not a lot, really. Just a wiggle in the membership rolls, really. But how many organizations dare watch 50,000 to 60,000 people seemingly individually act in concert - and against the organization?

AARP did *nothing* to dispel the hate-mongering used during the Bush years, to besmirch and disrespect our then-President. I recall my mother, and the bitter hatred she expressed over trivia, and without cause. Someone made a *bunch* of money energizing seniors and other population segments to that level of passion.

To my mind most of the excesses and wrongs of the Bush years, including refusal to audit and correct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were the doings of the Democrat-led Congress who tied our President's hands. To be sure, President Bush was not without his faults. I do not believe that much of the enmity waged against President Bush was politically, and especially money, driven, and not criticism over legality of his actions - such as should be leveled against his predecessor and increasingly against his successor.

My sympathy to Walt and Cindy. And my thanks for getting their statement of opposition to supporters of Socialist B. Hussein Obama published.