Posted by: Andy | August 5, 2007

“My” politics

I don’t recall exactly when I started writing this, but at some point I was talking to someone (probably at work) about politics, and they called me a leftist or a liberal or a democrat or something. Now, I don’t necessarily define myself as any of those (especially not a Democrat), but I certainly wind up looking that way in comparison to “right” leaning folks. So I figured I’d sit down and try and figure out what I actually think about some major issues.

Personal:

*freedom of religion – you can believe whatever the hell you want, but the second your faith impacts someone else (muslims cabbies not picking up drinkers, various religions having anti-some other religion, or anti-gay/muslim/christian rallies/flyers/etc.) it becomes limited. ie, you can do whatever you want in the privacy of your home and faith building, but it stays there. No, science is not inherently anti-religion, don’t even start. Two completely separate realms.
**No tax exemptions for religions – large religions are a business, so they pay taxes like one. Smaller religions/religious gatherings (meeting in someone’s house, etc.) aren’t going to be bringing in any money, so have nothing to worry about. This will hit those mega churches/mosques/synagogues though. Sorry, pastors don’t need personal helicopters.

*freedom from discrimination – racial, sexual preference, whatever, none of that. Meaning: “Yes” on gay marriage, “no” on ethnicity checkboxes on applications, etc. (ok to document this after hiring for statistical purposes).

*freedom to do what you want in your own home
**legalize alcohol, cigarettes (woops, those 2 are already legal!), pot & some of the other low level drugs (especially the “natural” ones – peyote, shrooms, etc.)
**NOT legal to drive intoxicated, etc.
**NOT legal to do in public spaces – special clubs designated for that pursuit are OK.
**legalize & regulate (and tax!) prostitution too while we’re at it.

*I’m fine with people owning sport, self defense & hunting guns. Note that I don’t consider military grade & fully automatic weapons as falling into any of those categories.

Government:

*freedom of elections
**no personal spending on campaigns – this needs to be thought out much more, especially on the small scale, but on the large scale this means federally mandated commercial, debate, etc. time & funding. Not just for the major parties. Much easier to do in the post-youtube world though
**no donating to campaign funds – ??general campaign spending tax on big business??

*freedom from lobbyists
**bribery counts as “treason”, punishable in the same way (death?)
**no gifts, etc. (for real!) – as a congressman/etc. your entire life becomes public domain. You know the term “public servant” – this shit is for real. Every dollar you spend is documented, every vote you make, every trip you take (I’ll be watching you!) as well (a few weeks after the fact, just in case folks are paranoid of terrorists) so you’d better be comfortable with your grandma knowing you went to see Debbie Does Dallas Again twelve times in two months. How often do Congressmen actually have to work – 3 days out of the week (assuming it’s a work week…)? Keeping all their receipts and filing them should occupy at least half of one of their free days. Although, technically it would probably be much easier than that – just use a gov’t credit card for everything. Some things would require annotations though. Especially that “massage”…

Legal:

*freedom to a fair trial
**we need a system to guarantee everyone access to the same “skill level” of lawyer, not just the filthy rich, because, as meddling as that might sound, without that we have the system we have now, where the rich walk free much more often than the poor, on the same charges. perhaps the rates they can charge are federally set as some ratio of the defendants income?
**The appoint-a-lawyer system is screwed. You get stuff like public defenders being paid through the prosecutors office (yes, this really happens). Perhaps the general litigating population would be required to fulfill some kind of ratio of work for this subsection of the populace?

*freedom to punish
**death penalties for those convicted beyond the shadow of a doubt (dna, etc.) for death penalty worthy offenses – no more than 5 years in jail, then down they go. Would probably extend the DP to rape & child molestation. No appeals, etc. It currently costs something like $1 million to execute a prisoner due to all the legal options they are given – sadly this is even more expensive than housing a prisoner for 40 years (@ 21,000/year).
**ALL sex offenders will be fixed, no children for you! If they have reformed at some point and desire a child, they can adopt – assuming they get past all the adoption screens & tests. Sex offenders should also probably be given some kind of hormone shot to remove/repress arousal. Sorry man/woman, you surrendered your rights to be a human being when you crossed that line.

*freedom not to pay for criminals
**life sentences get sent to an island, surrounded by minefields (and sharks with lazers on their heads I guess…) – prisons should NOT be an industry
**also helps keep less dangerous criminals from being influenced by these freaks into becoming more dangerous

*freedom from smelly people on the streets
**if homeless people don’t want to work for the welfare company, and don’t want to get off the streets and into the wilderness or something…they get sent to homeless island, yay! it’s like the wilderness, but far away. Homeless island should not be accessible from Prisoner island – that would just be silly.

.
Market:

*freedom of the market – no government propping up failing businesses – esp. favorably over other competitors. If there is some kind of emergency gov’t loan program for failing businesses it needs to be available to ALL.
**Corporations are not immortal human beings – I need to research this again, but basically corporations have the rights of a person to certain things, and some of those would normally expire at death, but since they don’t die…they hold onto things forever.

*freedom from copyright
**no extension of copyright lifetimes
**you bought something, you own it – freedom to encode and transfer your personal media to & from any media you desire – no DRM, etc. Leave it to the sellers to give buyers a reason to buy their product. It is NOT the governments job to keep an industry in business.

*freedom to be able to afford to live
**no job can pay less than is required to live at the poverty line, or whatever.
**all workers must be documented residents, etc.

*freedom to not be lazy unless YOU can afford it
**work for welfare: it’s a business that has set government construction, filing, etc. projects with no high priority projects – if you want welfare money for not having a real job you fucking work for it. Digging holes, licking stamps, whatever.

*freedom to live in America, where the official language is English
**Future residents: must learn English before applying for citizenship. You can get say, a 6-12 month visa to live/stay with relatives while you learn English, then you have set amount of time to pass the test or you are denied & deported. You only get this stay once, although you may attempt to take the language test as many times as you want.
*Current residents: you have 1 year to learn English or be…surprise…deported! OK, I’ll be nicer – after 1 year, all federal benefits are rescinded, and then after 3 years you are deported. Because, seriously, if you can live here for 3 years and manage not to learn English you are a fucking lazy son of a bitch. Under the new laws it will be much harder to just work with other non-English speakers, making it much easier to learn/practice your English during the course of a normal day.

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Health:

*Everyone gets birth control! – In fact, it’s enforced on the entire population from say, age 10 and onward. This is where I get a little sci-fi and say “Ignore that there isn’t a way to do this currently, it’s my ideal world!” Basically, everyone would be given a shot a puberty that renders your reproductive functions inactive indefinitely. In order to have a child, you must APPLY for it. Everyone gets 1 “free” child – so a married couple can have 2 no questions asked no paperwork needed other than a request. For children beyond that you must do some actual work, maybe write an essay on why you want another child, or show that you can financially support it, etc. No bureaucracy here – you go down to a local clinic, and if it’s one of your freebies, you get a shot and you’re “functional” for 9 months – note that your partner must have a matching shot, one “functional” person cannot get another non-functional, or even another functional person who is not their partner, pregnant. If you aren’t pregnant in 9 months, next shots are freebies until you successfully give birth. If it’s not a freebie, need a guaranteed turnaround time of 6 months from application to shot.
**No more unwanted pregnancies, none. OK, next to none, because some people are insane. No more “groupie babies”. No more babies with illiterate parents…
**Note that with these precautions we no longer need abortion as a birth control method – but it IS still legal because it will rarely be needed medically.
+Since this is all sci-fi and not doable now, in the meantime everyone has freely available/gov’t funded NO QUESTIONS ASKED birth control, day after pills, condoms, etc. This investment will pay off in the future since those unwanted babies won’t be growing up to be unwanted criminals…

*Limit on healthcare for the obese (UNLESS the strain of obesity can be shown to be 100% medical) – we should not be paying for their laziness. Health issues that are side effects of their obesity (lypo-suction, bad joints, whatever) would not be covered by the aforementioned spiffy healthcare system. If people don’t care about their own bodies, why should the government?  Note that by “obese” I mean “obese”, not just “chubby” or “not-up-to-crazy-Hollywood-anorexic” standards.

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Responses

  1. I think you should consider going to law school – you would like it. 🙂

  2. You know, I have debated it at several points, but at this point in my life I think it would be too time consuming. It is on my list as something to do maybe “after 40”, or when all the kids are nearly out of the house or something. From what I’ve heard it’s a huge time sink – moreso than other graduate level type things.

  3. I know this is a little belated of an entry to be commenting on… but I just wanted to mention how eerily similar our points of view are on such things. Except for economic regulation, but I won’t get into that here. From the “leftist/liberal/non-democrat” bit all the way to the “obesity health care limits.” Music to my ears.
    Wanna start a country?

  4. I would love to start a country.
    It’s actually a pipe dream of mine to gather a small group of intelligent friends/family, buy a fucking island, and just get away from shit.

    “real” has gotten too weird these days. Maybe it’s just a factor of age, and our parents felt this way too, but man, stuff just seems wrong.

    Re: economic regulation: please go there, what do you mean?

    I have an addendum to this post I’ll put up eventually with my thoughts on a few of the big issues I forgot in this one (military, economics, etc.).

  5. I don’t think that, without economic regulation, any semblance of a market (free or otherwise) has any chance of existing. For instance: anti-trust regulations (or, on the other hand, a state controlled market… but we all know how that tends to work out) are an absolute neccessity- and even with controls in place things get a little out of hand (see Oil Companies, the Auto Industry, the Airline Industry, Microsoft, etc.).
    On second glance, I doubt that this is what you intended to address with the original section of your plan, but I was just too excited by your good sense to think before I “spoke.”

  6. My “good sense”? Hah! That’s something I don’t do often, thanks!

    To clarify, I do agree with you that regulation is a good thing – what I’m opposed to is the opposite – propping up large companies (like the various multi-bankrupt us airline companies, the uh…us banking system in general (LONG digression here, I’ll avoid it)) that would otherwise expire to “protect the economy”, or some other lobbyist funded bullshit.

    They should be allowed to expire so new blood can move into the competition.


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