Monday, December 28, 2009

The 10 Things I Think Must Change.


I was inspired by one of Beach Bum’s recent posts and many of Jack Jodell’s and also Stimpson’s pieces this year to do some hard thinking about what’s wrong with the world I live in and what can be fixed or changed. At first I thought: “who the hell am I to suggest anything? I’m no person of importance, I don’t hold a degree.” And then I thought “Wait a minute, I actually live here on Earth.
That’s enough of a reason.

Here are the 10 things I think must change.

Outlaw lobbying.
Not just on America’s K Street, but everywhere on Earth. Corporate influence on the law and regulations must be made illegal and be vigorously prosecuted. No reform or honest lawmaking is possible without the extrication of the corporation and big industry from the process of making the laws that WE human beings live under.

Outlaw media monopolies.
Newspapers, Magazines, Television, Radio and the Internet are too important to the understanding of reality to be left to the likes of greedy oligarchs like Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp.
No one should be allowed to own more than one media outlet.
No one should be allowed to own media outlets in different mediums.
If you are in a particular sector of business (E.G. General Electric owning NBC,) you should not be able to own a media outlet: We know we will never get honest reporting from NBC about its parent company and we know we will never get honest reporting from News Corp. about anything. These immediate conflicts of interest should be obvious to everyone.

House, clothe and feed every human being.
This one is also obvious: There is more than enough wealth in every government on earth to accomplish this, and if there wasn’t? Ask yourself if there is anything else you can think of that is more important, more worthwhile and a better reason for going in to debt? We never question the price of defense, of roads, or of subsidies for big business. It takes very little to guarantee the safety of fellow human beings around the world and here in the United States. No veteran, child or senior citizen should be homeless or hungry -ever.

Legalize all drugs.
You cannot protect people from the things they want. It’s never worked and the enforcement of prohibition laws and the black markets they create around the world and in the United States have killed more innocent people than all the drug overdoses ever will.
If we can handle alcohol, we can deal with everything else.

Guarantee education for all.
People everywhere should be enabled to go as far with their education as they need or want to go. It should not be impossibly expensive to become a doctor or a lawyer. In any case, stupid people are dangerous, so let's get rid of them humanely: with education.

Mandatory draft for all.
This one is for the United States specifically, but would be a good idea all over the world: EVERYONE, man or woman, from age 18 to 50 should have to serve in the armed forces should their country go to war.
Period.
That means the President’s children, the sons and daughters of all Senators and Congresspersons, the spoiled asshole princes of Brunei, the kids of all the people working at Lockheed Martin and Halliburton get drafted.
No deferments, no loop holes, no exceptions.
If you’re in a wheelchair you can man a communications terminal near the frontline.
Unless you’re a quad amputee? -you’re going to war.
There’ll be a lot less war if nobody, not a single soul can avoid risking their life in it. When there is a war? -We’ll be sure it won’t be only our dedicated and honorable youth risking their lives for the rich, everyone will really think about what's going on and why.

Outlaw the creation of perennial wastes and toxins.
No one, no individual or company anywhere can be allowed to create artificial substances, materials or compounds that cannot be broken down within 100 years.
Period.
If a corporation creates a new plastic, it has to be accompanied by the creation of its own solvent that will break it down into its harmless constituent elements. Substances toxic to humans, plant and wildlife cannot be used in the manufacture of anything, ever.
This is not a big deal, it is totally doable and it’s the way we lived in the 19th century before the entire world got fast, cheap and out of control and the most toxic substances were mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead and smoke.

Invest in the reclamation of raw materials.
Landfills have to be mined for recyclable materials, and our current system of waste management has to be changed to a recycling system. No paper should ever end up as pure waste, no serviceable metals should end up at the bottom of garbage.

Establish a global minimum wage.
People in China should not be making 4 dollars a day while taking a manufacturing job away from a person in a country with higher standards of working and living. We no longer build television sets or computers here in the United States yet America pioneered both technologies… where did all those manufacturing jobs go? To a place where you can pay people 4 dollars day and make them settle for standards deemed inhumane in the United States a century ago. Corporations are moving manufacturing and all kinds of jobs off shore so they can do business as if it were 1810.

And lastly,
Teach the possibility of change as a functioning philosophy to all.
For the sake of our species we need to do away with the destructive notion that things are immutable. We must ridicule and obliterate the idea that things are always the same and that idealism and futility are mutually inclusive outlooks and conditions…
if we are to survive.

I didn’t even touch upon human rights, habitat, healthcare or fossil fuels
What are the 10 things you would change my friends?

-SJ

9 comments:

TRUTH 101 said...

I agree with everything you said.

SJ said...

Thanks Truth.
Wouldn't it all be nice?
-SJ

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

SJ... you liberal commie! I adore you! I'll accept that challenge and try to come up with 10 before the New Year.

SJ said...

@Gwendolyn,
-that's "Dirty Pinko Liberal" thank you very much!
No but seriously, I'd love to see what you have on your mind, post it here or on your blog. Whatever you would change immediately if you had the power to do so...

A colleague was recently remarking about how it's much easier to complain than actually name solutions, and after reading a recent post of Beach Bum's and one Jack's it got my wheels turning.
-SJ

Manifesto Joe said...

I'm not much of a libertarian anymore -- please excuse the fact that I actually was one at 18 or 19 -- but the "Drug War" that's been going on officially since 1970 always seemed pretty insane to me, even before I had gone to a 1970s American college and inhaled. It's been our domestic Vietnam. I don't think I would personally advocate full legalization of all drugs, but the "lock 'em up" approach has clearly just fueled organized crime, rather than curtailed it. When there's demand for something, someone will take the risk of providing it, and they regard jail time as just an occupational hazard. And hell, there are plenty of people who want dope inside the joint. It just becomes another black market. Demand on this side of the border has turned Mexico into the world's capital of gangland killings. The mere legalization of marijuana would probably cut the number of ritual decapitations down there in half.

Beach Bum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beach Bum said...

EVERYONE, man or woman, from age 18 to 50 should have to serve in the armed forces should their country go to war.

Now SJ, theres just no reason to go and spoil the fun for all us poor folks whose sons and daughters have to join the military just to have a chance to go to college.;P

Other than that I'm good to go with everything you said.

SJ said...

@Manifesto Joe,
it's a tricky issue for me too (the crack epidemic destroyed the neighborhood I grew up in within two years) but arresting people and inadvertently creating all that crime just isn't working. Besides, if we could tax all that activity and regulate it, like we do with alcohol...
I figure it's running wild anyway.
Hope you had a good holiday MJ.
-SJ

SJ said...

@Beach Bum,
I hear that, in exactly the spirit you mean it.

I just know more questions would have been asked about Iraq if everybody was potentially a participant. I personally do not advocate any conflict that I wouldn't sign up for myself. Dick Cheney got a deferrment, so did many hypocrits in the last administration. Some in our country are pretty brave when risking the lives of others on flimsy policies.
We should all share the peril that servicemen like you already have.

And Dude, post your ten things on your site. Whatever you'd change if you were in charge. I'm eager to see 'em from everybody.
-SJ