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  1. This is a fanciful thread to encourage all to post what they would do to "fix" the numerous problems of the United States, if they had omnipotent (or at least autocratic) power to do so. All intelligent and polite discourse is welcome and debate about why anyone's suggestions may or may not work as written, or additional amendments to make improvements are encouraged. If you find the idea of an absolute monarchy within this country repugnant, then think of this as if you were at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, but with a modern mindset. How would you go about creating a government truly representative of it's people? A couple of Ground Rules are that we must first agree that climate change is real and we can't simply ignore the impact it is having and will continue to have on this and other countries. So if you live in a coastal or low lying area this may be of particular import to you. A second rule is posts here must remain civil and respectful of each others views, regardless. Since we are a diverse group, living in diverse places within this land (including Canada and maybe beyond), let us pretend that we are all part of the same country, and we are charged as representatives of our respective regions with creating a "constitution" that will fairly represent and protect us all. To this end we must all agree that persuasion and compromise is requisite if we are to achieve a unanimous consent. And, just as our founding fathers did, we must likely implement effective checks and balances to help insure the preservation of "our" government for future generations. Okay, I'll begin as if I were somehow appointed the "benevolent" (and temporary) autocratic ruler of this fair land... If I were king.... I would immediately remove the false legitimacy of "gerrymandering" and the "electoral college" in this country. (We are the only modern "democracy" to have either.) I would implement term limits to all elected offices of government and make it impossible for any former elected official to "lobby" the government on behalf of any corporation for at least the equivalent of two terms after having left office. I would make it impossible for any candidate to conceal the sources of his funding with mandatory reporting of all donors. I would also repeal the SCOTUS decision making corporations the equivalent of individual citizens, and would minimize the amount that any individual or entity could contribute to any political campaign. To help mediate that decision I would make it mandatory for all public and privately controlled media to provide a minimal standard amount of "free and equal ad time" to any person seeking any elected office. And make it illegal for any public and privately controlled media to accept any funding for political ads from any private or corporate source. In this way, diminishing the current exuberant cost of running for office will hopefully encourage the best and brightest and not just the richest or most financially connected to run for public office. Media would also be required to "fact check" any advertisements before allowing any of them to be aired or printed. "Truth" must be verifiable to be trusted. I would implement a fixed and flat individual income tax, and eliminate all other private property and possession taxes. I would also limit the retirement and health benefits received by any politician to the equivalent of the least of their represented citizenry. I would put "teeth" into the "balanced budget" amendment and eliminate the ability of congress to forever raise the debt ceiling (in time of peace). With a flat and fixed income tax (and no way to tax persons out of their property) government will be forced to limit and prioritize it's spending. To increase available dollars government will have to work to raise the standard of living of all it's citizens. I would do my best to incentivize politicians to fairly represent all citizens within their geographic area, regardless of party affiliation. As the only way for them to increase the personal gain of their office would be by improving the lot of their least citizenry. In other words, I would reinstate the constitutional ideal of checks and balances, with the goal of making this truly a government of, by, and for it's people. I would initiate mass infrastructure rebuilding projects with the emphasis on long term sustainability. I would wean this country from it's dependence upon fossil fuels and encourage the maximum development of sustainable renewable energy enterprises (i.e. solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal, wherever available) that is environmentally benign. I would incentivize the development of new low energy consuming technologies, and more efficient ways of "storing and transporting" regional energy, and decentralize the power grid. I would start by mandating all new federal and state government and public buildings be energy self-sufficient. Followed by older building renovation. As technology costs decreased I would mandate all private new construction be the same, and then further incentivize renovation of older private dwellings. I would invigorate rapid transit transportation and rail systems throughout the land. Many ideas are continually popping into my head, and the devil of course is in the details... So to get this thread started I'll stop for now... My goal being, after I have successfully gotten us onto the "right" track of "Making America Great Again," (or rather "making us into the great nation that we should have been all along") I would depose myself and, like Washington, step down from public life... So whether you wish to be an interim "king" or a "delegate" from your area, post your thoughts on how to persuade me to do things differently or how you would do them yourself (if you could). If you were Solomon what would you do?
  2. I found a "great" movie today on Amazon Prime for fans of cheesy movies. It is a Spaghetti Western complete with cowboys, Indians, horses, and shootouts mixed with a horror/fantasy element of evil people living in a volcano! Check it out!
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