A sarcastic view of the new creationism museum. I still can’t beleive that they built that thing. Only in America. God says “don’t waste your brain on thinking just believe.”

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I think that we need to add a more “democratic” branch to our government.  It would be a body that would review all laws and decide if the contents of the law were cohesive.  Laws that are deemed to be too broad or contain “pork” will be partitioned and sent back of individual votes in congress and approval by the president.

This body would not be elected and not appointed.  It would be a completely random from a pool of all Americans with social security numbers (yes even “criminals”).  Those that were selected would be required to participate (or spend the two years in prison) and would serve a two year term.  The only way out would be to demonstrate health issues with you or immediate family.  These health issues would have to require you to be incapacitated for at least the time of service and any transgressions would be dealt with as draft dodging would be.  Service would be like the national guard in that your job would be guaranteed on returning.  You would be paid something like $250,000 and year for this time.

It would be a rigorous with much of your time being educated on the matters included in the bills that are presented.  You identity will be anonymous and any “leaks” of the identity of those serving will be dealt with severely.  We don’t want people to pressure or otherwise corrupt the members.  Any reports of tampering or pressuring will have severe consequences to those doing the “lobbying” and perhaps members involved.

This would make for a far more “representative” body that would have not real power of its own except to make sure the other branches from passing laws with abusive side effects.

Good Capitalism?

June 5, 2007

Many people get branded a socialist who should not be.  I am generally a capitalist except that I see a broader, long-term set of interests that need to be addressed.

Conservatives often want raw capitalism meaning unfettered market forces drive the world.  There is two things wrong with this ideology that make it unsustainable.  The first is that it tends to think of the individual as the most key stakeholder in the market.  The second is that it is tremendously short and narrowly sighted.  The second largely is a product of the first in that people tend to be irrational in discounting societies longterm health.

I stated earlier that I am generally a capitalist.  This is a word game on my part.  I am a capitalist as long as the two problems with capitalism are addressed.  We are social beings and so we need to think in terms of society not in terms of individuals.  Our society needs to act responsibly and rationally not rely on individuals to do this (that is where laws and, yes, taxes come in).  We also need to think in long-range terms.  This is something that individuals and even society can be pretty poor at doing (I am no unquestioning fan of democratic government). 

If we fully accounted for all unpleasant byproducts of our society then I would have far less problems with capitalism.  The truth is we do not take into account our impact on the environment and the adverse effects our “captialistic” actions have on our and other societies.  Also, for the long-term health of our economy we need to step back and take into consideration the importance of universal quality education.  Our economy thrives when we have an educated workforce.  I understand that some conservatives don’t like having a thriving middle class (it dilutes their wealth) but for a sustainable society we need a strong middle class.


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A good analogy

June 5, 2007

There was a good analogy on this weeks “Blast-the-Right” podcast (#96) it goes something like this:

When charity is used to “help” the unfortunate it is like holding a babies head above the water so it doesn’t die.  This form of charity is what conservatives like to employ they like to do just enough to keep the baby afloat.  Many “liberals” are the same.

What really needs to be done is to (A) get the babies out of the water and (B) to keep them from falling in the water in the first place.  Charities are needed, obviously, but more importantly we need a social structure in place that would keep the babies out of the water in the first place.

Go listen to the podcast…


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Here is a good blog entry where Al Franken talks about why public campaign finance is crucial.  I agree that this is an important topic and public finance should be worked out.