Thursday, September 30, 2010
Date Created:Sunday, September 05, 2010
These words and thoughts are the sole property of Augustus Fitch III.
If you are reading them then Augustus Fitch III sent them to you personally. If you received them any other way, they are NOT for publication or dissemination without the express written consent of Augustus Fitch III.
What follows are thoughts that were stimulated, for the most part, by newspaper articles I read in the Manchester Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. The thoughts were penned during the very early hours of the morning and are replete with grammatical, spelling and syntax errors for which I am unapologetic. They serve as a repository of ideas and musings to which I refer when thinking about some political subject.
There is no questions that many, if not all, of my thoughts are not of the mainstream. In the past, I would have been afraid to say some of what I really believed because of the atmosphere of political correctness. My retired status and advancing years have removed many of my self imposed restraints of self expression.
SO…IF YOU ARE EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED TO CURRENT DAY POLITICAL ISSUES AND ARE EASILY OFFENDED… READ NO FURTHER.
An Abbreviated Manifesto for America
Many will see this as naive and/or the musings of someone out of touch with reality. Perhaps, but read and see if you don't believe that much of what I have to offer is desirable but more than likely impossible to pull off in our current political climate. It is hard, but not impossible.
Perhaps a phase of isolationism for the US is in store. Not trade isolation like the ill advised tariff issue relative to the importation of cheap tires from China.
Not what I had in mind.
Let’s get isolated by withdrawing all American troops from all countries to include NATO and the UN. It is way past time that we realize we are not the planets police force. This mission of global cop along with nation building should be struck from our mantra. No matter how much we think our intercession may be morally correct, the cost of such good will is now beyond our ability to pay. Besides, when we intercede, there is always some group that will hate us for our actions. Maintain naval forces as necessary to keep trade routes open. If you like the way Iraq and Afghanistan are working out, you will not like this idea.
Not just troops... withdraw all of our contributions to foreign aid of all kinds, this includes Israel. Stop all funding to the World Bank, NATO and the UN. Immediately terminate all aid funding to include humanitarian aid to any country for any reason. Use the savings to defend our southern border with deadly force.
Foreign aid will have only one function, to further the interest of the US. Emotionally responding to images designed to elicit sympathy but not further the interest of the US are prohibited. If a country needs aid, let them formally and publicly ask. Provide aid with strings attached. Any aid provided by the US must pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the President. This approval must be renewed EVERY year. If the world does not like this, let them go to the EU, especially France, OPEC, the Red Crescent or ASEAN, for their "needs". All requests for aid from Islamic organizations must be referred to the members of OPEC whose governments are Islamic states. Let Islamic charity begin at home. You might as well admit it, we give out aid by the boat load and we are roundly hated for it. So if the world wants to hate us, let's not fund that hate. Use these savings to: create CCC/WPA type jobs if needed; fund interstate energy and transportation infrastructure projects only.
Disband the USPS. Government bureaucracy and the postal labor unions have created one of the most inefficient and singular business failures in the history of this country. (Perhaps AMTRAK could compete for that honor.) Allow UPS and FedEx to compete to deliver all our mail. Yes it will cost more but you get what you pay for.
US efforts to educate its young is a joke. A sad joke, but a joke non-the-less. We spend more on our educational systems than most western nations and do the poorest job. Unless you can convince me that the US Department of Education and the relevant teachers unions have done anything but protect their own jobs vice motivating and stimulating students to perform, then this Department should be a candidate for dissolution.
Disband Fannie May and Freddie Mac. If you put yourself underwater in a mortgage, suck it up and go rent. Allow those institutions who purchased these loans in bundles for the purpose of making a profit to do what happens when you do not make a profit. You break even or you take a loss. If you did not properly capitalize your risk, then you suck it up and file for chapter 7 or 11. That's how capitalism works. There are winners and there are losers. No entity should be able to be classified as too big to fail. If they are too big, break them up as a condition of doing business in the US.
Require the US government to approve or deny any request to build a nuclear facility within the US within 12 months of receipt of request. If no response is received in 12 months, the request is approved by default and can not be rescinded with out cause. Open Yucca Mountain tomorrow. The Gulf Oil Spill notwithstanding, open all of our potential energy sources to exploration and exploitation while at the same time funding a dedicated project much like NASA to discover and produce yet to be discovered or invented energy sources. In fact, can you think of a better organization than NASA to guide and direct the efforts of thousands of engineers to tackle such a technological feat? Think Manhattan Project. These sources must be able to replace, economically, all fossil fuels that we currently use for transportation, heating, cooling, lighting and the running of all things electric. The sooner we can drop the mid east oil countries from our list of energy suppliers, the better.
Terminate all nuclear treaties. Publicly announce that the US now includes preemptive nuclear strikes as a viable diplomatic option when threatened by another nation. Modernize our stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
Strike from all obelisk and tablets and modify any written document that refers to the US as anything other than a Republic. The good guys in 1775 knew that a Democracy is doomed to ultimate failure. They correctly feared the tyranny of the majority over the inalienable rights of the minority. In 1789 Madison stated: "The tyranny of the legislatures is the most formidable dread at present, and will be for long years. That of the executive will come it’s turn, but it will be at a remote period." They viewed our inalienable rights as documented and protected through a charter which is our Bill of Rights and our Constitution.
The Congress may only pass a balanced budget. Work off the deficit in 50 years max. Start with Social Security Benefits, MediCare and MediCaid as the place where the most savings can be derived. Restore the Social Security Fund to its pre 1965 status and never allow taxes designated specifically for singular purposes to be placed into the general treasury. The next budget year the government should cut spending in every government agency by 8%. There are NO exceptions to this rule. Spending is spending and there shall be no differentiation between discretionary and non-discretionary spending.
It seems obvious to me that the planet, in regards to standards of living and job creation, is a zero sum game. If the citizens of India, China or any other third world or developing nation is taking business away from the US, its because they do it better and cheaper than we do. Yes, there are unfair trade practices by many of our trading partners, but that notwithstanding, if Mr. Lin of China makes widgets at a price that the US can not match, his standard of living is going to go up. When Mr. Lin has a better life, he does so at the expense of Mr. Smith, a union member in good standing. Mr. Smith is or will be feeling the impact of a better off Mr. Lin as a result of the global economy. If Mr. Smith and/or the US is going to compete in this global economy, Mr. Smith is going to have to take a cut in pay and benefits or go without a job and live off his fellow tax paying citizens. It will not take his fellow citizens long to tire of this unfair redistribution of wealth.
No executive branch department, czar, or any other entity of the President's administration may, without specific Congressional approval, compel any citizen or business entity to pay a fee or tax to further the ideology or policies of the administration. Example: The EPA, at the direction of the President, levies a "tax" on the carbon foot print of a business like a fossil fuel burning power plant.
No rider, codicil, or proposed legislation may be attached to any authorization bill for any reason. No exceptions. Ear marks are prohibited.
The list is endless and can only be achieved by executing the following:
Replace every senator and house representative with part time politicians who can serve only ONE term as a senator or representative. Do this by holding a shackled constitutional convention to consider amending the constitution to change term limits for our representatives as well as limit the spending by and the growth of our government. See http://www.10amendments.org/ for details.
If I were king for a day, my term limits ideas would be as follows:
The Supremes may serve for 20 years or the age of 70 which ever comes first. At the end of their term, they get the standard GS retirement and healthcare packages. They can not work for a firm that directly or indirectly does business with the US Government for five years after their term is up.
The term limit for the President stays the same except he will not get a pension or medical benefit at the end of his term. He will continue to get SS protection.
The terms for a Senator or a Congressman/woman would be one six year term for each. No benefits on completion of their terms other than that of any other GS employee who worked for the government for six years. They have the same employment restrictions as do the Supremes. It would be my hope that we would have amateur politicians. If they all had the same heart and concern for the US as Jimmy Stewart did in "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", that's all right by me. “The country bumpkin come to Washington” would have a hard time making more of a mess of the nation than the current crop of "Best and Brightest" have done to date. Skeptics will ask…”What kind of person of quality would run for office under these conditions?” The answer is…a person who wants to serve his country and then go back home to his former life. If the last 200 plus years have not taught us anything, they have proved the saying of Lord Acton in 1883 "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
Just think, Smith comes to Washington and the first concern he will have is where is the toilet. He will not need to ask how I am going to raise/steal $10,000 a week for my next election. There is nothing he needs from a pundit or lobby person other than to help to write legislation that he is interested in. With the exception of a criminal bribe, the incredible corruption associated with political financing would be substantially reduced if not eliminated. Best of all, there would be no demagogues filling the President of the Senate and the Chairperson of the House, or any other party hack who got to where they are by seniority and guile. Finally, if Mr. Smith is confronted with a moral question that puts his state in competition with the nation, he can vote his heart and not worry about his action impacting his next term.
English is the language of the United States of America. If you conduct business of any kind, deal with a city, county, state or federal agency, you will do so in English only. If you find this too burdensome, then return to the land that speaks your language. See if you can find a phone recording in France that says, “Press 1 for French or 2 for Spanish/English/German/Russian/Farsi/Arabic”. Additionally, English is the language of aviation world wide, English is the language of diplomacy regardless of what the French may say, English is the primary language of Science and Mathematics. Our Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and Constitution were all written in English. The English language is as much a partner for this nation's culture and the preservation of natural wonders as to be expected. There is no politically correct method to wash Babcock, my brother out of my hair.
There will be no references made to hyphenated Americans. If you are a citizen of this Union, you will be called an American regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, culture or sexual preference.
If you are here illegally, then neither you nor any member of your family may receive benefits of any kind from any organization that is funded directly or indirectly by the taxes of legal American citizens. Your children born in the country while you are here illegally will not automatically become US citizens. You may not work in this country if you are here illegally. Farmers are going to have to figure out how to harvest their crops without criminals doing the work. If you are apprehended by law enforcement, you will be deported to your home country regardless of your family status at the time and regardless of how long you have lived in this country. These are the standards of most of the world’s nations. Think the US is tough, try France or more improbable, Mexico.
WOW! Who is this red neck boob. What an insensitive, and uninformed view of US and world conditions. Perhaps, but how do you like the job the Best and Brightest are doing? With tongue in cheek, only mildly, how about prohibiting graduates of Yale, Harvard, Columbia University, Stanford and Chicago business schools from holding jobs on Wall Street and in banks dealing in derivatives. Fat chance, but is it totally crazy? If that rule was in place from 2004 to 2008 would we still have had the economic turndown we experienced? Stay tuned.
If you find the time, I would welcome your efforts to rationally pick apart my ideas. The position that any or all of these ideas is not politically doable is a non starter. When I share these thoughts with my peers, I am inundated with reasons why none of this will work. Mostly I hear...the guys/gals in the Congress will never go for any of this. They may be right! But we will never know unless we try. ANYTHING is possible with a new Congress and term limits. It would also be refreshing if, during your retort, you avoid any use of the words, Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, Clinton, Bush, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, Rove or Gore. Name calling is a no-no.
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