What follows is the vision that I sent to the Obama administration via the ‘Share your Vision’ portion of his Change.gov site.. I have slightly modified it for spelling and grammar correction, and have added a few things after-the-fact.
A Little About Me
To put this all in a little perspective I will describe myself and my life – I am a Unitarian Unversalist Centrist. I have married a beautiful Belarussian woman and we have recently found out that she is pregnant. Yea! I am 35 years old and I served in the US Navy as a Reactor Operator on board the USS Enterprise during Desert Storm. I graduated college with a BS in Computer Information Systems and an AS in Computer Networking Technologies. I am currently working for a small county government as their primary web developer; my wife and I are trying to start a Yoga Studio; and I also kind of working as a part time licensed assistant for a local real estate broker. I have traveled to several countries in Europe on vacations as well as throughout the US too.
My Visions For The US and the Future
I know most of this will get ignored and/or laughed at but here goes: =)
CALENDAR REFORM: The International Fixed Calendar (IFC) is one of the greatest inventions that has not come to pass. =( The IFC is a 13 month 28 day calendar with 1 (Year Day) or 2 (Leap Day) intercalary days. It almost passed during the UN’s calendar reform movement in what I think was the 1950′s. What stopped it was protests by Seven Day Adventists and Sabbatarians. There are a great amount of benefits to the IFC for companies and for individuals. Those mobile holidays such as Easter and Thanks giving will be fixed. Trend analysis and project planning will be easier since the days per month and days for all holidays will be exactly the same each year. Budget planning and payroll will be easier with fixed days per month and we will see an increase in monetary turn over per year since we will have 13 months instead of 12 months per year. These are but just a few examples. For more information see Calendar Reform: The International Fixed Calendar: Part Deux.
ELECTORAL COLLEGE ABOLISHMENT: For the love of all that is holy, haven’t we had enough of this nonsense. When a president can win the majority of popular vote and still lose the election, I think we have a problem.
ESPERANTO is recognized by Google and by UNESCO as a modern usable language. I would very much like to see this language taught in schools as a primary secondary-language – the unifying language that can bring the world together. Studies have been shown the those who learn Esperanto, due to its unique construction have an easier time learning and understand other foreign languages. It is also the only real hope for a primary diplomatic or business language for the world since it has no cultural or national heritage. Esperanto can also be used as the primary second-language that most things are translated into everything from websites, government documents, public terminals and signs, DVD and TV subtitles, and merchandises user manuals saving them a lot of money. This will also bring the world together and give us a common language with which to share and understand each other with which will also make the world a much smaller place. Traveling to other countries will be easier and less scary as well as allowing people to by pass language barriers to learn about other cultures more easily. For more information you can see .Esperanto‘.
FLAT TAX: Now is the time to enact a flat tax system. The 20% tax for everyone and then perhaps give congress a +/- 3% leeway to play with tax breaks and penalties. This will greatly simplify the tax code as well as increasing the taxes for the rich and decreasing it for everyone else giving us an overall net gain in taxes.
GAY AND POLY RIGHTS need to be granted. These are both civil rights issues secular issues, and, as far as the government is concerned, it is not religious issue, and this need to come to pass. Same Sex Marriages (SSM) and Polyamorous/Polygamous Marriages (PPM) (in general) are made with the same commitment and therefore should have the same rights as everyone else. Those who argue from the stand point of Christian fundamentalism need to stop it as this is not a religious issue. This is a secular issue. So many people see them as one and the same and they are not which is a large part of our culture and government’s problems. SSM and P/PM are civil rights violations that need to be corrected. Consenting adults (and I do stress consenting adults) can and will form whatever relationship structures they will and outlawing them has proven to unconstitutional; and/or difficult to enforce and/or not enforced. Examples of such are sodomy laws and interracial marriage. I am more or less speaking about P/PM from the specific standpoint of Polyamory. Our mainstream Polygamy examples that come from Muslim and Mormon faiths are not so pretty and the primary problem with both of them are that both (sub-)cultures are inherently oppressive to women. Polygamy in and of itself is not. Cultural specific implementations of polygamy (plural marriage) are not the end all and be all of what Polygamy is and can be. If you search within the polyamory community you will see something quite different that what Islam and Mormons show. As far as I have seen US Immigration laws allow, at least in some fashion, polygamous marriages from India, and this in any form, is discrimination. When it comes to marrying a cheese burger, a muscle car, or a horse – show me one of these whose signature or very presence can be considered and adult or able to sign a civil contract since that is what marriage is from the standpoint of the government.
HEALTHCARE SOCIALIZATION: I am basically for the socialization of health care in the US, but we need to be careful and study those who have traveled this road before us. There are countries that are doing this well and there are those that are not doing it well. This needs to be studied extensively. The US market is very much different then all other markets in the world and this needs to be accounted for. We need to keep the same or better quality of care and availability for all people or this will be a failure. Something that may need to be addressed is doctor’s and insurance which is one of the largest costs for doctors today in our extremely litigious society. Perhaps impose a much lower monetary cap for rewards on malpractice suits. We also need to greatly invest in new technology for online health records as well as streamlining the paperwork process.
IMMIGRATION AND MEXICO: This one is pretty simple. What we are currently doing to deal with illegal immigration of Mexicans into the US is destined to fail and it is an expensive band-aid. There is only one way to stop or reduce immigration from Mexico and that is to remove the reason for them to come here. We do not have such problems with Canada, nor do re really worry about it so much. The only way to solve this is to work with the Mexican government to solve their sociopolitical and socioeconomic problems as well as their drug and crime problem. With those things dealt with they will have no really large reason to come to the US in droves since their quality of life will be better. Either bring Mexico into the world as a First World Country or we will always have immigration problems with them.
JUDICIAL OVERSIGHT: There really needs to be some sort of judicial oversight or advisement on all legislation that is passed as the number of unconstitutional laws that get passed and lived destroyed because of this lack is unforgivable. There are too many unconstitutional laws that are put into effect and they should never had made it that far. Perhaps removing the ban on suing the government would be a start – not going to happen – but it would definitely make law makers think more about the laws that they make. There needs to be someway to prevent this craziness. Or Perhaps there can be a small department of the judicial branch in which all that they do is review new laws for legal issues and then publish an opinion for the public to see and for the lawmakers to take into consideration when writing their legalese. At least when the last shoe drops the law makers can be told “I told you so”.
MEASUREMENT REFORM: We have been kind of sitting on the border of moving to the metric system for a very long time. We are one of the few countries (US and Myanmar?) that are left still using the Imperial System of measurement. We have started it so let us finish it. The metric system is used in most other countries and changing to this will allow our products and research to be more easily understood and cheaper to export and import. This will also allow foreign workers and professionals to more easily work, in, and for the US as well as allowing our workers to work abroad, again reducing the barriers to international understanding and cooperation.
PATENTS are of a similar vein as my Research idea. If all patents were available to all they we could see more efficient and unified products with the most advancements in them such as solar cells that utilize technologies that they would currently have to pay for which stymies truly creative combinations and ideas. Instead of having 200 different solar products out there with 200 different advancements we could have maybe 5 or 10 products with many of the combined advancements which would result in a greatly efficient product much sooner than if the current model were followed. Perhaps have a flat public buyout fee that must be paid in order to bring the patent or copyright into the public domain. Businesses could make other arrangements in order to gain access to the Intellectual Property until a point is reached where they have received money to use the IP in excess to the buyout fee.
PRISONMATE REFORM: This may seem a little off-the-wall, well may not as some of my other recommendations, but teaching Yoga to inmates may give them a sense of serenity and be less prone to violence and/or repeat offenses, especially if they concentrate on some meditation. Reducing the violent tendencies would be great as well as to help make them more productive to society as a whole.
RESEARCH needs to be opened for the good of humanity. There are so many entities that are doing research – everyone from governments, private and public companies, as well as individuals many of which are recreating work done by other companies which amounts to wasted time for all. All research should be available to all who would like it so that we can more quickly bring technological advancements to pass. My favorite example is those that are researching solar power. If all of those entities that are working on this had access to all of the research on this, then a lot of time would be saved and many could work together on research making specific advancements come more quickly with much less wasted time and money. Researchers that had the same idea could work together on it as well as split up the testing bringing results to term sooner and more efficiently.
SCHOOLS: Somethings that should be taught in school that will greatly help the next generations is Evolutionary Psychology, Evolutionary Biology, Comparative Religion, Relationships (Men are from Mars…) and Non-Violent Communication, Investing and Money Management (Cashflow/Rich Dad Poor Dad). Evolutionary sciences can give great insight as to why we are and why we do the things that we do. Comparative religion classes will help to diffuse tensions between disparate religions as well as build in a sort of tolerance or acceptance for other religious or aspiritual paths. Part of getting this accepted by religious conservatives or fundamentalists is to also teach Evolutionary Creationism. We also need to concentrate and accept that students really do learn differently. We need more teachers that acknowledge this and to be trained to see this, in addition to being able to create tailored curriculum for our students to learn a given subject in their own way.
TIME REFORM: This first part will not be as radical as my calendar reform suggestion. We should adopt the 24 hour clock as the standard as much of the rest of the world has. Since having been in the military I have found the 12 hour clock to be annoying and ambiguous. The 24 clock relieves us of ambiguity and simplifies planning and relieves us of some worrying. The last part of the my time reform recommendation is to adopt something similar to what Swatch recommended in 1980′s – what they called Internet time which was a decimal time system that did not change ever, not even for day light savings times. This would have to be modified from Biel Mean Time to Greenwhich Mean Time as all of our time standards are based off of. This can form the basis for all international time sharing and planning. Instead of figuring out what the time difference is they just can say we will meet at @300 and they will both know what time it is locally and they can plan from there. This can also form the root for time keeping in space since it will not be terra-centric. When combined with Esperanto and the International Fixed Calendar we have the makings of a method of communicating with the world at large since the world grows smaller everyday and we are struggling to find ways to communicate, plan, and get things done across international, cultural, and times. You can read more about it in ’Standardizing Time” If you have read this far then perhaps he last thing you should read is a small narrative I wrote that talks about more changes called “Class 2i“.