Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Solutions to All the World’s Problems

Conflict and controversy are what drives people to political aspirations—it makes great six-o’clock news—but, funny enough, political aspirations are what causes conflict and controversy. Imagine for a moment if the United States were a monarchy and, I don’t know, King Bob ruled the land. There wouldn’t be much conflict if his was the last word, but since this country is nearly as far away from a monarchy as indeed possible, everyone has the last word, from John Q. Public, all the way up to those behind the velvet ropes in the Senate. A bi-partisan government, such as ours, is in one way flawed in that varying political beliefs, which are so usually so polar opposite, are in such conflict that nothing worthwhile gets done. But when it does, when a meaningful bill passes, someone sues and the whole thing gets tied up in court for years… and things never get done and then some liberal panel of old obsolete judges declares it unconstitutional because it violates someone’s human rights, Heaven forbid.

Is there an end to the quagmire that I see the country spiraling toward? When will the good of the whole finally outweigh the good of the few, the very few, and what will become of those of us who pay the most taxes into the system but utilize the least of its resources? Can I stop contributing if I promise not the use the services of the government? I won’t drive on the Interstate. I won’t visit the National Parks. I won’t burden whatever pathetic healthcare system is feebly in place. I won’t require the use of the military. I won’t declare bankruptcy. I won’t use welfare. I won’t commit a Federal crime. I won’t vote. I won’t watch C-SPAN (that one’s easy). And I won’t complain about any of it.

Maybe a state can be set up for people like me, those of us who wish the system was a little different, a little less arrogant and a little less demanding without owning up to its responsibilities of being a government “by the people, for the people and of the people” instead of being one that caters to the people that complain the most or those that have loud lawyers.

Start taking care of Americans, and since I’m not one to offer criticism without solutions, following is a list of all the world’s problems and their best solutions (in no particular order except for the order in which I thought of them).

The War in Iraq Problem: The real problem isn’t the war itself, it’s the way the people of the United States choose to support it. Nobody wants war, of course, but when it comes, there has to be a certain element of trust for the decisions of the government. That aside, here’s what needs to be done for a quick end to the war, so that all of our troops can finally come home: Make it a total war. If we are there to end the insurgents, break up the fighting between the Sunnis and the Shiites, and restore peace and order to an otherwise orderless region of the world (and fat chance that), we need to go into the war with everything we have and decimate those that oppose us. Is the city of Baghdad a problem? Okay, surround the city and wait for a week. During that time, make it well known that everyone needs to leave the city via six specific roads. Everyone will be searched, everything will be looked through and those caught with anything (guns bombs or whatever) will be arrested. Then, take the city. Anyone left will automatically be considered an insurgent and therefore the enemy. Treat accordingly.

What really burns me is that we are letting the enemy take control of the operation. They hide in mosques and we seem to have some kind of mentality that those buildings need to be respected and not fired upon, and our troops have been ordered to mind the wishes of the local ward bosses. Did we take into consideration the populous’ requests when we bombed Dresden during World War II, or did we watch out for historic buildings when Hiroshima was obliterated? Nope, because it was a total war. We were fully committed to stop whatever atrocities were happening, and is that a fair comparison? Yes and no. No because the Germans and Japanese were a standing army fighting a war based on a conventional terms of agreements. Insurgents are animals with loyalty to a outmoded cause, one that places some kind of code above that of human existence.

Immigration Problem: This one is simple to solve and I’m surprised that our government, which is supposed to look out for the well-being of its American citizens, hasn’t thought of this solution yet, but now that I’ve brought it out into the open, I’m sure it will be no time until it is implemented. Close the border. That’s it. Period. Build a giant wall (you can raise my taxes for it even and I’ll be happy to pay) from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and don’t let anyone in or out. I have no problem with never visiting Mexico again, and if I do, I’ll take a boat or a plane to get there. Truth be told, I have no intentions, as the Mexico I know is a cesspool of crime and depravity. But wait, what about the cheap labor companies use to manufacture goods that are shipped to this country? That’s no problem. Goods can still be traded back and forth as it has always. They just happen through one port of entry, say, Nogales. When a truck comes through. It gets searched. People get deported, others arrested.

But wait, what about the millions of people that are already in this country illegally? That’s easy too. Round them up and send them home. When INS says, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” they can hand them a packet of papers containing the proper forms for a VISA, a worker program or citizenship request. Fill it out in your own country and mail it in…and since you didn’t mind waiting for 10 years in our country while the papers are processed, I’m sure you won’t mind waiting in your own.

What about those with babies and children who were born here? As they say, if you’re born in the U.S., it makes you a U.S. citizen. That’s a nice rule and it worked for a while, but I think that it isn’t being used in the spirit of its original intention; therefore it needs to be altered slightly to read: “If you’re born in the U.S. and you have at least one parent that is a citizen, then you are a citizen too.” Problem solved…and not only that, but this will solve other problems too: less demand on the hospitals, lower health insurance rates, less cars on the freeway, less kids in schools, less crime on the streets.

And don’t for a second try to tell me that the majority of illegal immigrants are a benefit to American society, that they respect this land, that they pay taxes. There isn’t a single person who gets a cash-paying job from a Home Depot parking lot that says to himself, “I can’t wait to go to H&R Block and file my taxes”… Give me a break. The money is converted to pesos and sent back home. Our country is hemorrhaging cash through the holes at the borders… and through the holes in government that are allowing it to happen.

Poverty Problem: Get rid of welfare, for one. Stop the free handouts and the soup kitchens and the shelters and the subsidizing of people’s lives. Make them be resourceful again. What caused the largest breakdown in the family core was welfare. When we started handing checks out to poor families in the hopes that that would help prop them back on their feet, we took away all of the fathers in those families… back in the day when the biggest part of getting respect as a father was bringing in the paycheck. When the U.S. government became the daddies and husbands to thousands of children and mothers, the respect vanished, the problem escalated and those fathers became obsolete and faded away. What happened? No strong role model from the father, no respect for the one that is there, no rules about right and wrong, no solid ethics of hard work, no morality code of the working class… and you end up with a large group of people that decide the check from the government isn’t enough. Crime rises and the cycle continues.

What to do about it? For one, stop giving people a crutch to stand on. Our society is based on productivity, so start providing jobs. Better yet, bring back the alphabet soup of the Depression, the CCC, the WPA, and brainwash the mindless loafers who have been milking on my tax dollars for decades into thinking a man is nothing unless he has a job. Infuse pride into working for a living again and you will have a society of producers.

Frivolous Lawsuit Problem: Laws need to be changed. Tactics surrendered. There is too much money spent on defending institutions, personal property and governmental agencies because of idiots who can’t think for themselves, who can’t take responsibility for their own actions or who see it as an opportunity to make a lot of money they didn’t earn. A fireman has a lot of fun playing the usual pranks at the station, repeated refers to himself as the “Big Dog” is the focus of a prank that involves him eating dog food. If you’re suing somebody because you did something stupid, then it’s a frivolous lawsuit. Did you stick a plastic bag over your head and nearly die? Did you try to walk up the down escalator and get partially sucked into the mechanism? For every warning label you see on products, equipment, toys, out in public that have these asinine warnings, the ones we all read and say to ourselves, what sort of idiot would do that? You know what I’m talking about: “keep you hands inside the ride,” or “this is not a flotation devise” or “not intended for use as a toy,” or “keep away from children” or “for external use only” For every one of those, there is some moron who doesn’t know his head from a hole in the ground and did something wrong, got hurt and filed a lawsuit. Slip on a wet spot in a store? You weren’t paying attention. Your child choke to death on a toy? You weren’t watching him.

Why can’t people own up to their own responsibilities? Well, now they can. If you’re going to sue someone, first you have to pass my Frivolous Lawsuit Test (patent pending).

Question One: Did you get hurt doing something somewhere other than at home that any normal person wouldn’t do or try?
Question Two: Do you expect to claim over one million dollars even though you only make $7.50 an hour and/or are you suing because you hope it will make you famous or at least appear on the news?
Question Three: Are you suing because you ate something, drank something or smoked something that millions of other people eat, drink or smoke on a daily basis?
Question Four: Has anyone quietly shook their head in disappointment at you when you told them why you were suing?
Question Five: Are you suing because you did something you saw on TV or heard on the radio?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you my friend, are filing a frivolous lawsuit and should be stopped immediately and placed into some sort of holding tank for self-aggrandizing idiots.

Here’s a good example and let me know what you think: A Florida phone sex operator won a workers’ compensation settlement claiming she developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands from giving herself an orgasm as many as seven times a day while speaking with callers.

Here’s another: The parents of a 27-year-old man who was found dead in a killer whale’s pool at Sea World Orlando sued claiming the theme park caused his death by portraying the dangerous five-ton orca as safe and huggable.

Just asinine.

Violent Crime Problem: There’s a very easy solution to this problem: More cops, more jails, more penalties. The main psychology of the situation is that people commit the crimes because they are willing to risk the sentencing. It’s not that bad of a risk. Say you want to go to Las Vegas for a very good chance of winning a million dollars, but it will only cost you a few to take that risk. That’s good odds. Now say you can murder someone, plead temporary insanity and only spend 10 years in jail or so? Sounds like a reasonable risk. We need to, first, bring back the Hammurabi's law code, incidentally one of the first set of laws in human history. If you are convicted of premeditated murder, sorry, but it’s the death sentence for you, and if the crime you’ve committed one someone will forever change the rest of their life, then your life will forever be changed. Stiff penalties for crimes will make those on the verge of doing them think twice about playing with their own life.

Global Warming: Haha! For starters, just to let you know right off the bat, I don’t believe in global warming. That is, I don’t believe in it in the same way others want us to. Sure, the Earth’s temperature is rising a few degrees a century. It’s going to do that, as it has been doing that for millions of years, but what I find so annoying is that scientists (and you Al Gore) are so self-centered and egotistical to think that mankind is important enough to the vastness of the ecosystem to cause such a dramatic change in the climate.

Pollution is bad, greenhouse gases, o-zone layer and all that, I agree, but it can’t possibly be enough to make the temperature of the Earth rise or fall one way or another.

At the beginning of the industrial revolution, they say that pollution was many times greater in London and Paris and New York than it has ever been. Since that was 150 years ago, why didn’t we see a horrendous spike in “global warming” then? I’m not going to say that pollution is under control, not by a long shot, but I am willing to bet the air is a lot cleaner than it used to be… but why do it? Not for the good of the Earth, but for the good of the individual. Who wants to breathe polluted air? Not me. But it’s not enough to kill the planet. The deserts in the Middle East used to be lush with vegetation. The now frozen tundra of northern Siberia was once a giant forest. Who turned an oasis into a desert and a forest to a tundra if mankind wasn’t around to do it? Wow, maybe there’s something larger at work here than just little old us.

Gun Control Problem: The idea of a gun is more a psychological problem than it is a physical one. A gun is another muscle that people use for intimidation and if you take away that option, you take away the psychology of the gun. And you can do that without making guns illegal… instead make them very legal. Think of it this way, if you’re about to pull a gun on someone and there is a strong possibility that this person will also have a gun. Oh, you gush, what about those countries that have strict gun control and their crime rates are almost nil… like Japan, for example. That’s a good argument, but you have to take into consideration the mentalities of the peoples involved. Good or bad, Americans today are imperialistic, domineering, self-centered, egotistical, self-righteous and altogether conquering: Manifest Destiny, Trail of Tears…the whole take California from Mexico just because it contains gold and we’ll soon need it to fight a civil war. It has all added up to a society that takes what it wants by whatever means necessary to take it. Japanese are more respectful of authority, their fellow countrymen, acquiescent maybe to the will of the way.

World Police Problem: Doesn’t it always seem like if there is a problem in the world, everyone looks on the U.S. to come to their rescue? We do it all the time, and in the last 100 years, I’d be willing to bet there isn’t a country on Earth we haven’t had to send troops for whatever reason. What happens after that? That country gets invited to be on our world welfare program and all we do is dump truck loads of money into their coffers.

According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (a government group), the two goals of U.S. foreign assistance are to further US foreign policy interests ( which is to say we are interested in democracy and free markets) and to improve the lives of people in the developing world. Why, when there are so many people in this country whose standard of living is well below the norm, yet we pump a great deal of the economy’s money into other countries.

In 2004, we sent 8.5 billion dollars to the Middle East (Iraq $6.4 billion, Egypt $664 million, Israel $555 million, Jordan $400 million, West Bank $137 million); 3.9 billion to Africa (Ethiopia $433 million, Sudan $474 million, Uganda $222 million, Kenya $176 million, Liberia $138 million, South Africa $126 million, Nigeria $125 million, Congo $119 million, Angola $118 million, Tanzania $101 million); 2.2 billion to Latin America (Colombia $648 million, Peru $275 million, Bolivia $178 million, Haiti $158 million); 2.8 billion to Asia (Afghanistan $1.5 billion, India $172 million, Philippines $168 million, Indonesia $157 million, Pakistan $155 million); and 2.4 billon to Europe and Eurasia (Russia $1.1 billion, Serbia $235 million, Kosovo $110 million, Kazakhstan $107 million).

That's 19.8 billion dollars all in the interest of spreading democracy to some lands that frankly aren't interested. Does it end? No, of course not. We give money to everyone and they’re starting to expect it. I say, let other countries handle their own problems and if they don’t, they’ll cease to be a country and someone else will have a go at it. What about the poor people? Who cares? What about the poor people in our own country? Have you ever seen a “send us just 13 cents a day” program on television that sponsors poor kids in Kentucky? Of course not, and why not? Because we’re the world’s police department. Foreign aid needs to stop, entirely, unless we directly benefit. Do we get free oil from the money we send Kuwait? No. Do we get free vodka from the money (and grain) we send Russia? No.

So, how many of you did I piss off? Let’s see a show of hands. Good. Doesn’t it feel good to get mad about something? Doesn’t it feel good to know that there is still conflict about highly charged topics and that you are free to voice your opinion about them without the care of hurting someone’s feelings or violating their personal beliefs?

Now you know how I feel.

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